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"I, A. B., do solemnly promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to their majesties, King William and Queen Mary; so help me God."

Arts. III., IV., V. and VI. extended the provisions of Arts. I. and II. to merchants and other classes of men. Art. VII. permits "every nobleman and gentleman compromised in the said articles" to carry side arms and keep "a gun in their houses." Art. VIII. gives the right of removing goods and chattels without search. Art. IX. is as follows:

"The oath to be administered to such Roman Catholics as submit to their majesties' government shall be the oath aforesaid, and no other."

Art. X. guarantees that "no person or persons who shall at any time hereafter break these articles, or any of them, shall thereby make or cause any other person or persons to forfeit or lose the benefit of them." Arts. XI. and XII. relate to the ratification of the articles "within eight months or sooner." Art. XIII. refers to the debts of "Colonel John Brown, commissary of the Irish army, to several Protestants," and arranges for their satisfaction.

These articles were signed before Limerick, at the well known "Treaty Stone," on the Clare side of the Shannon, by Lord Scravenmore, Generals Mackay, Talmash, and De Ginkle, and the Lords Justices Porter and Coningsby, for King William, and by Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, Viscount Galmoy, Sir Toby Butler, and Colonels Purcell, Cusack, Dillon, and Brown, for the Irish. On the 24th of February following, royal letters patent confirmatory of the treaty were issued from Westminster, in the name of the King and Queen, whereby they declared, that "we do for us, our heirs, and successors, as far as in us lies, ratify and confirm the same and every clause, matter, and thing therein contained. And as to such parts thereof, for which an act of Parliament shall be found to be necessary, we shall recommend the same to be made good by Parliament, and shall give our royal assent to any bill or bills that shall be passed by our two Houses of Parliament to that purpose. And whereas it appears unto us, that it was agreed between the parties to the said articles, that after the words Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Mayo, or any of them, in the second of the said articles; which words having been casually omitted by the writer of the articles, the words following, viz.: 'And all such as are under their protection in the said counties' should be inserted, and be part of the said omission, was not discovered till after the said articles were signed, but was taken notice of before the second town was surrendered, and that our said justices and generals, or one of them, did promise that the said clause should be made good, it being within the intention of the capitulation, and inserted in the foul draft thereof: Our further will and pleasure is, and we do hereby ratify and confirm the said omitted words, viz., 'And all such as are under their protection in the said counties,' hereby for us, our heirs and successors, ordaining and declaring that all and every person and persons therein concerned shall and may have, receive, and enjoy the benefit thereof, in such and the same manner as if the said words had been inserted in their proper place in the said second article, any omission, defect, or mistake in the said second article in any wise notwithstanding. Provided always, and our will and pleasure is, that these our letters patent shall be enrolled in our Court of Chancery, in our said kingdom of Ireland, within the space of one year next ensuing."

But the Ascendancy party were not to be restrained by the faith of treaties, or the obligations of the Sovereign. The Sunday following the return of the Lords Justices from Limerick, Dopping, Bishop of Meath, preached before them at Christ's church, on the crime of keeping faith with Papists. The grand jury of Cork, urged on by Cox, the Recorder of Kinsale, one of the historians of those times, returned in their inquest that the restoration of the Earl of Clancarty's estates "would be dangerous to the Protestant interest." Though both William and George I., interested themselves warmly for that noble family, the hatred of the new oligarchy proved too strong for the clemency of kings, and the broad acres of the disinherited McCarthys, remained to enrich an alien and bigoted aristocracy.

In 1692, when the Irish Parliament met, a few Catholic peers, and a very few Catholic commoners took their seats. One of the first acts of the victorious majority was to frame an oath in direct contravention to the oath prescribed by the ninth civil article of the treaty, to be taken by members of both Houses. This oath solemnly and explicitly denied "that in the sacrament of the Lord's supper there is any transubstantiation of the elements;" and as solemnly affirmed, "that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the mass, as they are now used in the church of Rome, are damnable and idolatrous." As a matter of course, the Catholic peers and commoners retired from both Houses, rather than take any such oath, and thus the Irish Parliament assumed, in 1692, that exclusively Protestant character which it continued to maintain, till its extinction in 1800. The Lord Justice Sydney, acting in the spirit of his original instructions, made some show of resistance to the proscriptive spirit thus exhibited. But to teach him how they regarded his interference, a very small supply was voted, and the assertion of the absolute control of the Commons over all supplies--a sound doctrine when rightly interpreted--was vehemently asserted. Sydney had the satisfaction of proroguing and lecturing the House, but they had the satisfaction soon after of seeing him recalled through their influence in England, and a more congenial Viceroy in the person of Lord Capel sent over.

About the same time, that ancient engine of oppression, a Commission to inquire into estates forfeited, was established, and, in a short time, decreed that 1,060,792 acres were escheated to the crown. This was almost the last fragment of the patrimony of the Catholic inhabitants. When King William died, there did not remain in Catholic hands "one-sixth part" of what their grandfathers held, even after the passage of the Act of Settlement.

In 1695, Lord Capel opened the second Irish Parliament, summoned by King William, in a speech in which he assured his delighted auditors that the King was intent upon a firm settlement of Ireland upon a Protestant interest. Large supplies were at once voted to his majesty, and the House of Commons then proceeded to the appointment of a committee to consider what penal laws were already in force against the Catholics, not for the purpose of repealing them, but in order to add to their number. The principal penal laws then in existence were:

  1. An act, subjecting all who upheld the jurisdiction of the See of Rome, to the penalties of a premunire; and ordering the oath of supremacy to be a qualification for office of every kind, for holy orders, and for a degree in the university.

  2. An act for the uniformity of Common Prayer, imposing a fine of a shilling on all who should absent themselves from places of worship of the Established Church on Sundays.

  3. An act, allowing the Chancellor to name a guardian to the child of a Catholic.

  4. An act to prevent Catholics from becoming private tutors in families, without license from the ordinaries of their several parishes, and taking the oath of supremacy.

To these, the new Parliament added, 1. An act to deprive Catholics of the means of educating their children at home or abroad, and to render them incapable of being guardians of their own or any other person's children;

  1. An act to disarm the Catholics; and, 3. Another to banish all the Catholic priests and prelates. Having thus violated the treaty, they gravely brought in a bill "to confirm the Articles of Limerick." "The very title of the bill," says Dr. Cooke Taylor, "contains evidence of its injustice." It is styled "A Bill for the Confirmation of Articles (not the articles) made at the Surrender of Limerick." And the preamble shows that the little word the was not accidentally omitted. It runs thus:--"That the said articles, or _so much of them as may consist with the safety and welfare of your majesty's subjects in these kingdoms_, may be confirmed," &c. The parts that appeared to these legislators inconsistent with "the safety and welfare of his majesty's subjects," were the first article, which provided for the security of the Catholics from all disturbances on account of their religion; those parts of the second article which confirmed the Catholic gentry of Limerick, Clare, Cork, Kerry, and Mayo, in the possession of their estates, and allowed all Catholics to exercise their trades and professions without obstruction; the fourth article, which extended the benefit of the peace to certain Irish officers then abroad; the seventh article, which allowed the Catholic gentry to ride armed; the ninth article, which provides that the oath of allegiance shall be the only oath required from Catholics; and one or two others of minor importance. All of these are omitted in the bill for "The confirmation of Articles made at the Surrender of Limerick."

The Commons passed the bill without much difficulty. The House of Lords, however, contained some few of the ancient nobility, and some prelates, who refused to acknowledge the dogma, "that no faith should be kept with Papists," as an article of their creed. The bill was strenuously resisted, and when it was at length carried, a strong protest against it was signed by Lords Londonderry, Tyrone, and Duncannon, the Barons of Ossory, Limerick, Killaloe, Kerry, Howth, Kingston, and Strabane, and, to their eternal honour be it said, the Protestant bishops of Kildare, Elphin, Derry, Clonfert, and Killala!

The only other political incidents of this reign, important to Ireland, were the speech from the throne in answer to an address of the English Houses, in which William promised to discourage the woollen and encourage the linen manufacture in Ireland, and the publication of the famous argument for legislative independence, "The Case of Ireland Stated." The author of this tract, the bright precursor of the glorious succession of men, who, often defeated or abandoned by their colleagues, finally triumphed in 1782, was William Molyneux, member for the University of Dublin. Molyneux's book appeared in 1698, with a short, respectful, but manly dedication to King William. Speaking of his own motives in writing it, he says, "I am not at all concerned in wool or the wool trade. I am no ways interested in forfeitures or grants. I am not at all concerned whether the bishop or the society of Derry recover the lands they contest about." Such were the domestic politics of Ireland at that day; but Molyneux raised other and nobler issues when he advanced these six propositions, which lie supported with incontestible ability.

"1. How Ireland became a kingdom annexed to the crown of England. And here we shall at large give a faithful narrative of the first expedition of the Britons into this country, and King Henry II.'s arrival here, such as our best historians give us.

"2. We shall inquire whether this expedition and the English settlement that afterwards followed thereon, can properly be called a conquest; or whether any victories obtained by the English in any succeeding ages in this kingdom, upon any rebellion, may be called a conquest thereof.

"3. Granting that it were a conquest, we shall inquire what title a conquest gives.

"4. We shall inquire what concessions have been from time to time made to Ireland, to take off what even the most rigorous asserters of a conqueror's title do pretend to. And herein we shall show by what degrees the English form of government, and the English statute laws, came to be received among us; and this shall appear to be wholly by the consent of the people and the Parliament of Ireland.

"5. We shall inquire into the precedents and opinions of the learned in the laws relating to this matter, with observations thereon.

"6. We shall consider the reasons and arguments that may be further offered on one side and t'other; and we shall draw some general conclusions from the whole."

The English Parliament took alarm at these bold doctrines, seldom heard across the channel since the days of Patrick Darcy and the Catholic Confederacy. They ordered the book to be burned by the hands of the common hangman, as of "dangerous tendency to the crown and people of England, by denying the power of the King and Parliament of England to bind the kingdom and people of Ireland, and the subordination and dependence that Ireland had, and ought to have, upon England, as being united and annexed to the imperial crown of England." They voted an address to the King in the same tone, and received an answer from his majesty, assuring them that he would enforce the laws securing the dependence of Ireland on the imperial crown of Great Britain.

But William's days were already numbered. On the 8th of March, 1702, when little more than fifty years of age, he died from the effects of a fall from his horse. His reign over Ireland is synonymous to the minds of that people of disaster, proscription and spoliation; of violated faith and broken compacts; but these wrongs were done in his name rather than by his orders; often without his knowledge, and sometimes against his will. Rigid as that will was, it was forced to bend to the anti-Popery storm which swept over the British Islands after the abdication of King James; but the vices and follies of his times ought no more be laid to the personal account of William than of James or Louis, against whom he fought.




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Map of Ireland