Slike strani
PDF
ePub

CHA P. VII.

[ocr errors]

New Registration of Freeholders in Ireland --Mr. O'Connell's Address to the Electors of Clare- The Catholic Rent voted to support him - He is elected without Opposition-Alarming State of IrelandThe Magistrates of Tipperary request the Renewal of the Insurrection Act - Disturbances among the Manufacturers in EnglandSpitalfields, Macclesfield, Coventry, Barnsley Court Martial arising out of the Battle of Navarino. THE Act, which disfranchised only 93 were registered. It was

the forty-shilling freeholders of estimated that not more than oneIreland, provided that a new en- third even of those who served rolment of the freeholders who notices would succeed in being enstill retained a qualification, should rolled. The exclusion of the lower take place as soon as possible after freeholders promised to alter greatly the commencement of the Act. the relation in which the remainThis important business was pro- ing electors would stand to those ceeded in with all the despatch who had hitherto commanded the which the forms of the statute representation. The strength of allowed, and the result was a very the landlords had hitherto lain in serious change in the lists of the the forties ;” the lowest class of electors. The notices given of freeholders now admitted were not an intention to register were not altogether so dependent; and a so numerous as might have been still" more useful

consequence anticipated from the hosts of small seemed likely to be, that, as the freeholders who used to be marched shoals of the forty-shilling men up to the poll. Even of those were now remo

moved, even the ten. who gave notice, a large pro- pound electors would find it diffiportion carried the application no cult to beat out of the field those farther, conscious that their claims who were rated still higher. The would not bear the strict scrutiny mass of unthinking, obedient matto which they were now to be ter, on which the will of the landsubjected; and of those who came lords could operate at pleasure, forward to the scrutiny, another was greatly diminished; what relarge proportion were, in every mained was of a somewhat better county, found to be wanting. In quality in itself, and was brought many instances the people displayed more nearly to a level with that no disposition to register; and which might be supposed to have their landlords had difficulty in a will of its own. Neither did bringing them into court. In the new arrangement appear to Cavan 650 notices of enrolment threaten any injury to the Prohad been given from five ba- testants, in so far as the number ronies; but only 137 claimants of voters was concerned; for, in presented themselves; and, of these, general, the poorest class of free

son,

greater losers.

OWN

CAN

NEVER

* BE

TRUE

TO

US

holdhers had contained a much political freedom of our beloved greater proportion of Catholics country.” That victory, he told than of Protestants, and the for- them was still necessary to premer, therefore, were, in compari- vent Catholic rights and liberties the

from being “sapped and underWhile the registration was going mined by the insidious policy of on, Mr. O'Connell was taking those men who, FALSE TO THEIR measures to secure his re-election

PARTY, for the county of Clare, to which

and who have the vote of the House of Commons yielded, not to reason, but to nehad sent him back. So soon as cessity, in granting us freedom of that vote was passed, he addressed conscience." “A sober, a moral, a long letter to the electors, in and a religious people cannot conwhich he described both Parlia- tinue slaves ; they become tou ment and the ministers by terms powerful for their oppressors: their very different from those which, moral strength exceeds their phywhen he pleaded his cause in the sical powers; and their progress House of Commons, had gained towards prosperity is in vain ophim credit as a temperate and mo- posed by the Peels and the Welderate-minded person. He spoke lingtons of society. These poor of himself and his constituents strugglers for ancient abuses yield as the conquerors of the govern- to a necessity which violates no ment; he spoke of the government law, and commits no crime; and as faithless and insulting. “ The having once already succeeded by House of Commons," said he,“have these means, our next success is deprived me of the right conferred equally certain, if we adopt the

me by the people of Clare. virtuous and irresistible They have, in my opinion, unjustly means.” Such was the language and illegally deprived me of that in which this representative of the right ; but from their decision feelings and interests of Ireland there is no appeal, save to the already spoke of the granters of people. I appeal to you. In my emancipation ; this was the first person the county of Clare has sample of the gratitude and affecbeen insulted. The brand of de- tion, which, in the Catholic body, gradation has been raised to mark were to take the place of hostility me, because the people of Clare and insult! The Relief bill itself fairly selected me. Will the people did not escape his censure, and the of Clare endure this insult, now prohibition contained in it against that they can firmly, but constitu- the growth of the monastic orders, tionally, efface it for ever? Electors he frankly declared, would not be of the county of Clare, to you is obeyed. “I trust I shall be the due the glory of converting Peel instrument of erasing from the and conquering Wellington. The Statute-book that paltry imitation last election for Clare is admitted to of the worst and still-existing have been the immediate and irre- portion of French Jacobinism-a sistible cause of producing the Ca- miserable imitation, which pretholic Relief Bill.' You have tends to do that which nature and achieved the religious liberty of religion forbid to be done-10 exIreland. Another such victory in tinguish monastic orders in IreClare, and we shall attain the land. While it is law, its penalties

on

same

will be submitted to, but let me justice that had been done to the add, as a matter of fact, that its Jesuits, and the monastic orders: mandate will most assuredly not He would labour for the improvebe obeyed. It was formerly death ment of their river, and the conin Ireland to be a friar, and the struction of a harbour; He would Irish earth 'is still scarcely dry wage war on the East India from the blood of martyred friars ; Charter: He would strain every the friars multiplied in the face of nerve in the cause of parliamentary death. Oh for the sagacity of reform: He would provide for Peel, and the awful wisdom of Ireland a system of Poor-laws Wellington, that meditate to sup- containing every thing that was press monastic orders in Ireland good, and not a particle of any by a pecuniary penalty, and the thing that could be detrimental, dread of a foreign mission, under no not even to the pockets of the name of banishment.”—The those who were to pay." Of these, grounds on which he claimed the and many other matters, his lanvoice of the county, now that the guage was, if you wish to see them stalking horse of religious ine- done,“ send me to parliament. If quality was removed, were sim- the gentry of Clare are desirous to ply, that whatever the county have as their representative a man wished, or ought to wish, he who is able and most desirous to would take care should be done, protect in Parliament their properand that no other man could do ties and permanent interests, let it. He would accomplish the them do me the honour to elect me. repeal of the disfranchisement act, But let them not lay the flattering which was “a direct violation of unction to their souls, that they the Union;" of the Sub-letting act, can, without an independent man which “ was calculated to make of business as their representative, the poor more wretched, and ren- postpone the introduction of the der the destitute more miserable;" English system of poor-laws.” and of the Vestry-bill, which “en- So soon as he took the field, abled a few Protestants to tax at what was termed an “Aggregate their fancy the property of Catho- Meeting” of the Catholics took lics." He would assail the system place, to consider what steps of “Grand Jury jobbing, and should be adopted to forward his Grand Jury assessment:" He would re-election. This was nothing procure an equitable distribution else than a meeting of the Cathoof church property between the lic Association. It was held in the poor on the one hand, and the old Association rooms; it was held really laborious portion of the for old Association purposes. A Protestant clergy on the other: large sum of the Catholic rent still He would struggle hard to cleanse remained on hand ; this meeting the Augean stables of the law, “for was held, and was followed by which Herculean task,” said he, others, to consider how that fund “my professional habits give me should be disposed of-and only peculiar facilities: He would the Catholic Association could disprocure for every Catholic rector pose of that fund. The very first of a parish, a parochial house, and thing done by the meeting was to an adequate glebe: He would vote 5000l. of the rent, as an aid to make manifest the monstrous in- Mr. O'Connell in standing for the

re

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

county of Clare.

This was the that franchise—that right very thing which they had done in stored. I promised you religious 1828. The one was as much an freedom, and I kept my word. act of the Catholic Association as The Catholics are now free, and the other had been—and was in the Brunswickers are no longer the very face of that law suppres- their masters--and a paltry set sing it, with which the Relief bill they were to be our masters. They had been so pompously introduced. could turn up the white of their The vote was strongly opposed by eyes to heaven, but at the same some members, on the ground that time they put their hands very such a mode of appropriating the slily into your pockets. They money was not among the objects would discount God Almighty for for which it had been contributed; the ready money. The Brunswick and Mr. Eneas M'Donnell gave Clubs of Dublin have sent down the treasurers warning, that, if they one, a miniature in flesh, poor applied any part of these monies Bumbo and his land-calf brother, towards such a purpose, it would todisfranchise the brave freeholders, be at their own peril. Mr. M‘Don- and crooked-eye Fitzgerald swore nell probably acted from resent- to it; but I call on the gentry of ment; but the very cause of his Clare to separate themselves from resentment was, the actings of this the disgraceful Dublin bloodhounds, revived Catholic Association. He and join what is intended for the had put in a claim to be remune- good of the people. The question rated from the fund for what he is no longer a question between had done and suffered in the Ca- Protestant and Catholic-that is tholic cause.

That claim was re- at an end-it is now who is a good jected; but it was rejected only or a bad man. If you thus decide, after a debate of three days, regu- which will you choose, Bumbo or larly adjourned from day to day; me? I hope you will rub off the and these meetings took place foul stain of any connection with under the very eye of the govern- these bloodhounds, and ratify the ment without interruption. former election. What good did

The election did not excite much any member ever before in Parliainterest, for Mr. O'Connell was ment do for the county of Clare, not opposed. It was preceded and except to get places for their accompanied, however, by the usual nephews and cousins, &c. ? What quantity of “triumphant entries" did I do? I procured for you as they were called; that is, assem- emancipation. Does the Sub-letting blages of large crowds of people, to Act oppress? I shall not be six whom were addressed the usual months in Parliament until all quantity of bad speeches, in which your oppression shall be done away inflammatory abuse was mixed up with.' with low buffoonery and sheer This was language fitted to blackguardism. In one of these excite, but not to mitigate angry orations, delivered on his entry passions; used too, not in the heat into Ennis, he said, “ The forty- of a contested election, but when shilling elective franchise has been he was allowed to walk the course taken from you, and the 101. sub- undisturbed. He did not conceal stituted in its stead. You will his ulterior views. Whenever he give me an opportunity of having could find an opportunity, he made

one common

a speech; and whenever he made a such a consummation to be Utopian, speech, he announced his great ob- is reminded of the Catholic Quesject now to be, a repeal of the tion. Look at the Catholic cause; Union with England, and the do I not remember when it was means by which he was to seek it, difficult to procure a meeting of that same organization of the people five Catholics to look for a restorato which his majesty's government tion of our then withheld rights! had lately told the empire, it was I recollect when we, agitators, impossible for them to say no. were almost as much execrated by "We have now,” said he, at our fellow slaves as we were by Youghall, “a brighter era opened to our oppressors. For the attainus, and I trust that all classes of ment of the repeal of the Union I my countrymen will join together, shall have the co-operation of all and, by forming one general firm classes and grades in society; the phalanx, achieve what is still want- Orangeman of the north, the Mes ing to make Ireland what it ought thodist of the south, and the quiet, to be. Ireland had her 1782—she unpresuming Quaker, who may shall have another 1782. Let no think his gains shall be thereby man tell me it is useless to look for augmented-all shall be joined in a repeal of the odious Union--that

cause-the restora. blot upon our national character. tion of Ireland's Parliament.” “I I revere the Union between Eng. am now on my way to Dublin ; land and Scotland; but the Union nor shall I be there a fortnight, which converted Ireland into a when a society, having for its title province, which deprived Ireland “ Seventeen Hundred and Eightyof her Parliament—it is for the two,” shall be formed. I dare say repeal of that measure we must I shall have but a few persons ennow use all the constitutional rolled in it at the first ; but like means in our power. That Union the mighty oak, which spreads and which engenders absenteeism, and overshadows the desert, resisting the thousand other evils which for centuries the most furious naturally flow in its train. We blasts of the elements, so shall are bound to England by the golden “ Seventeen Hundred and Eightylink of the cruwn, and far be it two" extend its influence throughfrom me to weaken that connection out Ireland, nor cease till her Parby my present observations; I liament be restored; her sons be want no disseveration; but I want, of one creed ; all joined in the and must have, a repeal of that common cause of seeing old Irecursed measure, which deprived land great and glorious amongst Ireland of her senate, and thereby the nations of Europe."--In anomade her a dependant upon British ther and earlier oration, delivered aristocracy, and British intrigue, at Carrick-on-Suire, he had saidand British interests. I may per

“ what was to be done for Ireland. haps be told that to attempt a re

The contentions of religion were peal of the Union would be chi- over--freedom was obtained--they merical. I pity the man who re- never desired more-they never quires an argument in support of were base enough to be contented the position that Ireland wants her with less-the people shall no parliament, and that individual, longer be misrepresented—what who pronounces the attainment of was done in one county, another

[ocr errors]
« PrejšnjaNaprej »