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In the same year, the Commons, in an address to the king, declared that, the great number of Papists in Ireland must at all times justly alarm your loyal Protestant subjects,' and resolved once again that the popery laws should be vigorously enforced. In 1733, the lordlieutenant urged upon parliament the necessity of securing 'a firm union amongst all Protestants, who have one common interest and the same common enemy.'

In 1735, there lived in a village in the Bog of Allen, Dr Gallagher, the Catholic bishop of Raphoe. His life is a picture of the 'penal days.' 'Sixty or seventy years ago,' writes a Protestant historian of our own time, the aged inhabitants of the district used to speak of his exertions on their behalf. There,” they would say, “he administered confirmation; here he held an assembly of clergy; on that hill he ordained some young priests, whom he sent to France, Spain, Italy; and we remember, or we heard, how he lived in yonder old walls in

with the young priests, whom he prepared. He sometimes left us with a staff in his hands, and, being absent for months, we feared he would never return, but he always came back, and closed his days amongst us.

In 1739 the Papists petitioned the king for 'the relaxation of the most severe laws passed against us, contrary to the Treaty of Limerick.' 'Two-thirds of the business of the law courts,' they say, 'consist of popish discoveries ;' and they add, we are daily oppressed by the number of idle and wicked








vagrants of this nation informing against our little leases and tenements, if the law gets any hold thereof.' This petition was treated with contemptuous silence. "Though little attention is to be given to this paper,' wrote the Duke of Newcastle, '[yet] keep a strict watch on the behaviour of the Papists.' In fine, so well had the Penal Code worked

an instrument for plundering the native race, that, in 1739, there were not twenty Catholics in Ireland who possessed each £1000 a year in land, while the estates belonging to others of less yearly value were propor. tionally few. 'It is no matter to the public,' said the prime sergeant of the day, in 1747, ‘in whose hands the estate is, provided it is not in the hands of a Papist.' And ten years later a judge declared from the Bench, that the laws did not presume a Papist to exist, nor could they breathe without the connivance of government.

In these circumstances, it is not surprising to learn, at a later period, on the authority of Lord Townshend, that the laws against popery have so far operated that there is no popish family at this day (1772] remaining, of any great weight, from landed property.'

While this horrible triangular duel went on between England, English colonists and Irish, the country was perishing by want and star. vation. England destroyed the trade of the colonists; the colonists crushed the industry of the native race. Everywhere misery and anarchy prevailed.

*This kingdom,' wrote Swift in 1727, 'is now absolutely starving by the means of every oppression that can be inflicted on mankind and,' he adds with terrible irony, 'I confess myself to be touched with very sensible pleasure when I hear of mortality in any county parish or village where the wretches are forced to pay, for a filthy cabin and two ridges of potatoes, double the worth, to whom death would be the pleasantest thing to be wished for, on account both of themselves and the public.'

In 1740 a famine swept over the land, and thousands died on the roadside and in the ditches.

'I have been absent from this country for some years,' writes a contemporary authority, and on my return, but last summer, found it the most miserable scene of universal distress that I have ever read of in history-want and misery in every face; the roads spread with dead and dying bodies; mankind of the colour of the docks and nettles they fed on; two or three, sometimes more, going on a cart to the grave for want of bearers to carry them; and many buried only in the fields and ditches where they perished; whole villages were left waste by want and sickness, and death in various shapes.'

Many years later the wretchedness of the people drew the following statement from another contemporary authority :

*Can the history of any other fruitful country on the globe, enjoying peace for four score years, produce so many recorded instances of




the poverty and wretchedness, and of the reiterated want and misery of the lower orders of the people?'

Amid this universal misery, the first agrarian war broke out. In Ireland there was no common bond of sympathy between landlord and tenant.

'The landlord was an alien—[the descendant of some English settler who had acquired his title by confiscation]—with the fortunes of the residents on his estates upon his hands and at his mercy.

He was divided from them in creed and language. He despised them as of an inferior race, and he acknowledged no interest in common with them. Had he been allowed to trample on them, and make them his slaves, he would have cared for them, perhaps as he cared for his horses. But their persons were free, while their farms and houses were his; and thus his only object was to wring out of them the last penny which they could pay, leaving them and their children to a life scarcely raised above the level of their own pigs.'

'Rents,' wrote Swift, in his fiercest style, are squeezed out of the blood, and vitals, and clothes, and dwellings of the tenants, who live worse than English beggars.'

In 1761-1762, the landlords of Tipperary -the descendants of Cromwellian soldiers, cleared their tenants off waste lands and commons to make way for graziers, in order

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that a sudden and large demand for beef in the English market might be fully met. This clearance meant starvation to the tenants, who had no other resource but the land. They rose against their oppressors, banded themselves into a secret organisation, seized arms wherever they could find them, and swept over the country, committing every species of outrage, destroying property, attacking human life, and inflicting terrible punishments on all who crossed their paths. This insurrection of slaves lasted intermittingly for about ten years, and is known as the first Whiteboy'i rising. It was confined to the south. But in the north there were agrarian troubles too; for strangely enough, as England did not spare her own colonists, these colonists did not spare their own kindred in Ireland. British colonial landlords oppressed British colonial tenants. In 1771 an Ulster landlord refused to renew the leases on his estates, unless the tenants—themselves British settlerspaid heavy fines. Many tenants refused, and took up arms against the landlords; marching throughout the country, defying the law, committing outrage, and causing terror and dismay wherever they went. The government took strong measures to put them down, and the rising was soon quelled. But,' to use the language of a Protestant historian, 'the effects were long baneful. So great and wide was the discontent, that many thousands of Protestants

So called because the insurgents wore white shirts over their clothes as a 'badge of union.'

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