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History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution Volume 2 by Rev. James MacCaffrey

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one the infliction on the poor of the fine of twelve pence prescribed
for each offence by the law of 1560, the other, the promulgation of
individual mandates, disobedience to which was to be punished by the
Court of Star Chamber. The noblemen of the Pale, alarmed by such high-
handed action, presented a petition against the measures taken for the
suppression of their religion, praying that the toleration extended to
them hitherto should be continued. In reply to their petition the
Viscount Gormanston, Sir James Dillon, Sir Patrick Barnewall, and
others were committed as prisoners to the Castle, and others of the
petitioners were confined to their houses in the country, and bound to
appear before the Star Chamber at the opening of the next term (Dec.
1605). Sir Patrick Barnewall, "the first gentleman's son of quality
that was ever put out of Ireland to be brought up in learning beyond
the seas" was the ablest of the Catholic Palesmen, and was sent into
England at the request of the English authorities.

The appeal of these Catholic lords, backed[8] as it was by the danger
of a new and more general rebellion, was not without its effects in
England. In January 1607 the privy council in England wrote to Sir
Arthur Chichester, Lord Deputy, that although "the reformation of the
people of Ireland, extremely addicted to Popish superstition by the
instigation of the seminary priests and Jesuits, is greatly to be
wished and by all means endeavoured, still, a temperate course ought
to be preserved." There should be no question of granting toleration,
but at the same time there should be no "startling of the multitude by
any general or rigorous compulsion." The principal men in the cities
who show themselves to be the greatest offenders should be punished;
the priests and friars should be banished, but no "curious or
particular search" should be made for them; Viscount Gormanston and
his companions should be released under recognisances, except Sir
Patrick Barnewall who was to be sent into England; the Dublin aldermen
should be treated in a similar manner but should be obliged to pay the
fines, and the Protestant clergy should be exhorted to take special
pains to plant the new religion "where the people have been least

But Chichester, Davies, Brouncker, and their companions had no
intention of listening to the counsels of moderation. They continued
to indict the poorer classes according to the clauses of the Act of
Uniformity and to cite the wealthier citizens before the Star Chamber
for disobedience to the royal mandates.[10] In Waterford Sir John
Davies reported "we proceeded against the principal aldermen by way of
censure at the council table of the province for their several
contempts against the king's proclamations and the special
commandments of the Lord President under the council seal of Munster.
Against the multitude we proceeded by way of indictment upon the
Statute of 2 Elizabeth, which giveth only twelve pence for absence
from church every Sunday and holiday. The fines imposed at the table
were not heavy, being upon some £50 apiece, upon others £40, so that
the total sum came but to £400; but there were so many of the
commoners indicted that the penalty given by the statute (twelve
pence) came to £240 or thereabouts."[11] Punishments of a similar kind
were inflicted in New Ross, Wexford, Clonmel, Cashel, Youghal,
Limerick, Cork, and in all the smaller towns throughout Munster. In
Cork the mayor was fined £100, and in Limerick more than two hundred
of the burgesses were indicted, the fines paid by these being given
for the repair of the cathedral.[12] Steps were also taken in
Connaught to enforce attendance at the Protestant service. Five of the
principal citizens of Galway were summoned before the court and fined
in sums varying from £40 to £20, and punishments of a lesser kind were
inflicted in other portions of the province. In Drogheda "the greatest
number of the householders together with their wives, children, and
servants," were summoned and fined for non-attendance at church. In
Meath, Westmeath, Longford, King's County, and Queen's County the
government officials were particularly busy.

But though here and there a few of the prominent citizens and of the
poorer classes were driven into public conformity by fear of
punishment, the work of winning over the people to Protestantism made
little progress. In Cashel the Commissioners reported (1606) that they
found only one inhabitant who came to church, and even "the
Archbishop's (Magrath) own sons and sons-in-law dwelling there" were
noted as obstinate recusants."[13] Brouncker, President of Munster,
was particularly severe in his repressive measures, so much so that on
his death (1606) his successors were able to announce "that almost all
the men of the towns are either prisoners or upon bonds and other
contempts," but they added the further information that many of those
who had been conformable in his time had again relapsed. The
Protestant Bishop of Cork complained (1607) that in Cork, Kinsale,
Youghal, and in all the country over which he had charge no marriages,
christenings, etc., were done except by Popish priests for seven
years, that the country was over-run by friars and priests who are
called Fathers, that every gentleman and lord of the country had his
chaplains, that "massing is in every place, idolatry is publicly
maintained, God's word and his truth is trodden down under foot,
despised, railed at, and contemned of all, the ministers not esteemed
--no not with them that should reverence and countenance them." "The
professors of the gospel," he added, "may learn of these idolators to
regard their pastors."[14] Sir John Davies with his usual keen insight
placed the blame for the comparative failure of the Protestant clergy.
"If our bishops, and others that have care of souls," he wrote (1606),
"were but half as diligent in their several charges as these men [the
Jesuits and seminary priests] are in the places where they haunt, the
people would not receive and nourish them as now they do. But it is
the extreme negligence and remissness of our clergy here which was
first the cause of the general desertion and apostasy, and is now
again the impediment of reformation."[15] The Catholics had protested
continually against the proceedings under royal mandates as illegal,
and their protests were brought before the English privy council by
Sir Patrick Barnewall, who had been sent over to London as a prisoner.
The judges in England condemned the proceedings in Ireland as
unwarrantable and without precedent. Barnewall was allowed to return
to Ireland in 1607, and the new method of beggaring or Protestantising
the wealthier class of Irish Catholics was dropped for the time.

The king had been advised, too, to enforce the oath of supremacy in
case of all officials of the crown. Though in the beginning of the
reign of Elizabeth something had been done in that direction, yet, in
later times, owing to the dangerous condition of the country Catholic
officials were not called upon to renounce the Pope. As a result, when
James ascended the throne many of the judges were Catholic, as were,
also, the great body of the lawyers. In response to the advice from
Ireland that judges who refused to attend church and to take the oath
should be dismissed, and that "recusant" lawyers should be debarred
from practising in the courts, James instructed the council to induce
John Everard, a Justice of the Common Pleas, to resign or conform. The
mayors and aldermen of the cities, too, had never taken the oath of
supremacy. In 1607 the Lord Deputy and council of Ireland informed the
privy council in England that, "most of the mayors and principal
officers of cities and corporate towns, and justices of the peace of
this country birth refuse to take the oath of supremacy, as is
requisite by the statute, and for an instance, the party that should
this year have been Mayor of Dublin, avoided it to his very great
charges, only because he would not take the oath." The contention
apparently was that the mayors not being crown officials were not
bound to take the oath, but the lawyers decided against such a view,
and steps were taken to imprison those mayors who refused, and to
destroy the charts of recusant corporations. Still in spite of the
attempted banishment of the clergy, the enforcement of attendance at
church by fines, and the punishment inflicted on the officials who
refused to take the oath, the Deputy and council were forced to admit
that they had made no progress. "The people," they wrote (1607), "in
many places resort to Mass now in greater multitudes, both in town and
country, than for many years past; and if it chance that any priest
known to be factious and working be apprehended, both men and women
will not stick to rescue the party. In no less multitudes do these
priests hold general councils and conventicles together many times
about their affairs; and, to be short, they have so far withdrawn the
people from all reverence and fear of the laws and loyalty towards his
Majesty, and brought their business already to this pass, that such as
are conformed and go to church are everywhere derided, scorned, and
oppressed by the multitude, to their great discouragement, and to the
scandal of all good men."[16]

Although the persecution of James I. was violent the Catholics were
well prepared to meet the storm. The Jesuits had sent some of their
best men to Ireland, including Henry Fitzsimon, who was thrown into
prison, and after a long detention sent into exile, Christopher
Holywood, James Archer, Andrew Morony, Barnabas Kearney, etc., and,
although there were complaints that their college in Salamanca showed
undue favour to the Anglo-Irish, this college as well as the other
colleges abroad continued to pour priests into Ireland both able and
willing to sustain the Catholic religion. The Dominicans and
Franciscans received great help from their colleges on the Continent
so that their numbers increased rapidly, and they were able to devote
more attention to instructing the people. As in England, the young
generation of priests both secular and regular, sent out from the
colleges in France, Spain, and the Netherlands were much more active
and more determined to hold their own than those who had preceded
them. They were in close touch with Rome where their agents kept the
Papal Court informed of what was going on in Ireland. Clement VIII.
hastened to send his congratulations to James I. on his accession to
the throne, and to plead with him for toleration for his Catholic
subjects. James White, Vicar-general of Waterford, wrote (1605) to
inform Cardinal Baronius of the measures that had been taken to
suppress the Catholic religion and to offer his good wishes to Paul V.
The latter forwarded a very touching letter in which he expressed his
sympathy with the Irish Church, commended the fidelity of the Irish
people, and exhorted them to stand firm in the face of
persecution.[17] The only weak point that might be noted at this
period was the almost complete destruction of the Irish hierarchy.
O'Devany of Down and Connor, Brady the Franciscan Bishop of Kilmore,
and O'Boyle of Raphoe were the only bishops remaining in the province
of Ulster since the murder of Redmond O'Gallagher of Derry. Peter
Lombard had been appointed Archbishop of Armagh (1601), but he never
visited his diocese. In the province of Leinster Matthew de Oviedo, a
Spanish Franciscan, had been appointed to Dublin (1600), and had come
to Kinsale with the forces of Spain. He returned to plead for a new
expedition to Ireland. Another Spanish Franciscan, Francis de Ribera,
had been appointed to Leighlin (1587), but he died in 1604 without
having done any work in his diocese. The rest of the Sees in Leinster
were vacant. In Munster, David O'Kearney was named Archbishop of
Cashel (1603), and soon showed himself to be a man of great activity
and fearlessness. Dermod McCragh of Cork had been for years the only
bishop in the province, and had exercised the functions of his office
not merely in the South, but throughout the province of Leinster. In
the province of Tuam all the Sees were vacant. Wherever there was no
bishop in residence care was taken to appoint vicars. In Dublin
Bernard Moriarty who acted as vicar was arrested in the Franciscan
convent at Multifernan in 1601, and died in prison from the wounds he
received from the soldiers. Robert Lalor who acted in the same
capacity was arrested, tried, and banished in 1606.[18]

Although the Earl of Tyrone had been restored to his estates and had
been received graciously by the king (1603), he was both distrusted
and feared by the government. Sir Arthur Chichester, who had come to
act as Lord Mountjoy's deputy in 1605, and who was appointed Lord
Lieutenant on the death of the latter (1607), was determined to get
possession of Ulster either by driving O'Neill into rebellion or by
bringing against him some charge of conspiracy. New and insulting
demands were made upon O'Neill; the Protestant Archbishop of Armagh
and the Protestant Bishop of Derry and Raphoe claimed large portions
of his territories as belonging to their churches, and some of the
minor chieftains were urged on to appeal against him to the English
authorities. Having learned in 1607 that he stood in danger of arrest,
he and Rory O'Donnell determined to leave Ireland. In September 1607
they sailed from Rathmullen, and on the 4th October they landed in
France. After many wanderings they made their way to Rome, where they
received a generous welcome from Paul V. O'Donnell died in 1608, and
O'Neill, who had cherished till the last a hope of returning to
Ireland, died in 1616.[19] Both chieftains were laid to rest in the
Church of St. Pietro di Montorio. Although the flight of the Earls
caused a great sensation both in England and Ireland, and although
James I. was said to have been pained by their departure and even to
have thought for a time of granting religious toleration, Chichester
and his companions were delighted at the result of their work. The
flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, the attempted rebellion of Sir Cahir
O'Doherty, and the trumped-up charges brought against some of the
other noblemen in the North opened up the prospect of a new and
greater plantation than had ever been attempted before. Tyrone,
Fermanagh, Donegal, Derry, Armagh, and Cavan were confiscated to the
crown at one stroke, and preparations were made to carry out the
plantation in a scientific manner. The greater portion of the
territory was divided into lots of two thousand, one thousand five
hundred, and one thousand acres. The Undertakers who were to get the
largest grants were to be English or Scotch Protestants and were to
have none but English or Scotch Protestant tenants, those who were to
get the one thousand five hundred acres were to be Protestants
themselves and were to have none but Protestant tenants, while the
portions of one thousand acres each might be parcelled out amongst
English, Scotch, or Irish, and from these Catholics were not excluded.
Thousands of acres were appropriated for the support of the Protestant
religion, for the maintenance of Protestant schools, and for the
upkeep of Trinity College. A small portion was kept for a few of the
old Catholic proprietors, and the remainder of the population were
ordered to leave these districts before the 1st May 1609. Many of them
remained, however, preferring to take small tracts of the mountain and
bog land from the new proprietors than to trust themselves among
strangers; but a great number of the able-bodied amongst them were
caught and shipped to serve as soldiers in the army of Sweden.[20]

For some time after the flight of the Earls there seems to have been a
slight lull in the persecution, the king and his advisers fearing
perhaps that their action was only a prelude to a more general
rebellion in the course of which O'Neill might return at the head of a
Spanish force. But once it was clear that no danger was to be
apprehended the Irish officials began to urge once more recourse to
extreme measures. Fines were levied on Catholic towns, some of which,
however, were remitted by the king. It was represented to Salisbury
(1609) that the Catholics had grown much more bold even in Dublin,
that in the country they drew thousands to "their idolatrous
sacrifices, and that the Jesuits stir up the forces of disloyalty."
The writer of this letter recommended that the fine of twelve pence
should be exacted off the poor every time they absented themselves
from religious services, that so much should be levied off the rich as
would suffice to repair all the churches and build free schools in
every county, and he himself undertook to pay £4,000 a year for the
right to collect the fines of the "Recusants" in Munster, Leinster,
and Connaught, provided only that he could count on the support of the
ecclesiastical and civil authorities.[21] In the following year
Chichester informed the authorities in England that "the mayors of
cities and towns for the most part refused to take the oath of
supremacy, as did also the sheriffs, bailiffs, etc.," and he inquired
in what manner he should act towards them. To put an end to this state
of affairs Andrew Knox was sent over to Ireland as Bishop of Raphoe,
and was commissioned to take measures to stir up the Protestant
bishops and to suppress Popery. On his arrival he found that he had a
heavy task before him. In a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury
(1611) he wrote that there were only four men in the ministry "who
have knowledge or care to propagate the Evangell." "The defection," he
wrote, "is so great of those who sometime professed the truth, that
where hundreds came to several churches before, there resort now
scarce six; the gathering and flocking in great numbers of Jesuits,
seminary priests, friars, and gidding Papists of all sorts are so
frequent from Rome and all parts beyond the seas, that it seems to him
the greatest lading the ships bring to this country are burdens of
them, their books, clothes, crosses, and ceremonies; natives and
others in corporate towns publicly profess themselves their
maintainers. There is no diocese but it has a bishop appointed and
consecrated by the Pope, nor province that wants an archbishop, nor
parish without a priest, all actually serving their time and the
Pope's direction and plenteously maintained by the people, so that the
few ministers that are, and bishops that profess to do any good,
profit no more than Lot did in Sodom. And sure it may be expected that
if God, the king, and his Grace prevent not this unnatural growth of
superstition, the face of the kingdom will be shortly clad with this

He lost no time in summoning a meeting of the bishops (1611), most of
whom, according to him, were not very reliable. The Archbishop of
Dublin (Jones) was "burdened with the cares of state;" the Archbishop
of Armagh was "somewhat old and unable;" the Archbishop of Cashel
(Magrath) was "old and unable, whose wife and children would not
accompany him to the church;" the Archbishop of Tuam was "well willed
and best learned, but wanted maintainers and helpers," and the Bishops
of Waterford and Limerick were described as "having no credit." In
accordance with the instructions that had been forwarded to them by
the king, they agreed that they would take common action for "the
suppression of papistry and the plantation of religion;" that they
would observe the law of residence in their several dioceses; that
they would make visitations every year of their parishes, and inquire
into the condition of the churches and the behaviour of their
ministers; that by authority of his Majesty's commission they would
"carefully tender the oath of allegiance to every nobleman, knight,
justice of the peace, and other officers of corporate towns," and make
a return to the Lord Deputy of those who took the oath as well as of
those who refused it; that they would admit no cleric "to any
spiritual promotion" who would not willingly take the oath of
supremacy, and that they would inquire in every deanery "what persons
receive or harbour trafficking priests, Jesuits, seminaries and
massing priests, and friars, and will present their names together
with the names of the said priests and Jesuits to the Lord

A royal proclamation was issued (1661) ordering all Jesuits and
priests to depart from the kingdom immediately; the laity were
commanded to attend the Protestant service under threat of severe
penalties, students in foreign colleges were ordered to return at
once, and Catholic schoolmasters were forbidden to teach within the
kingdom. Backed by all the powers of the crown, Knox and his fellow
bishops set up a terrible inquisition in every part of the country,
and spared no pains to hound down the clergy and those who entertained
them, to drive the poorer classes by brute force into the church, to
harass the better classes by threats and examinations, and to wipe out
every vestige of the Catholic religion. Cornelius O'Devany, a
Franciscan, who had been appointed Bishop of Down and Connor (1582),
was arrested together with a priest who accompanied him, was tried in
Dublin, and was hanged, drawn, and quartered (1612).[24] Almost at the
same time the Protestant Bishop of Down and Connor was accused of
"incontinence, the turning away of his wife, and taking the wife of
his man-servant in her room, subornation of witnesses," and alienation
of the diocesan property. He fled from his diocese, was arrested,
degraded, and died in prison. The Archbishop of Glasgow and Bishop
Knox of Raphoe, himself a Scotchman, hastened to London to secure the
appointment of one of their countrymen as his successor; but
Chichester wrote that though he would not say that Scotchmen were not
good men, he could aver that they were "hot-spirited and very griping"
and "such as were not fit for these parts."[25] Several attempts were
made to arrest Dr. Eugene Matthews or MacMahon, who had been
transferred (1611) by the Pope from Clogher to the Archbishopric of
Dublin. He was detested especially by the government, because it was
thought that he owed his promotion to the influence of O'Neill, who
was also suspected of having had a voice in the appointment of the
learned Franciscan, Florence Conry to Tuam (1609).[26] During the
course of these years jurors were threatened by the crown lawyers with
the Star Chamber unless they found a verdict of guilty, and were sent
to prison for not returning a proper verdict against those accused by
the Protestant ministers of not attending church; wards of court
though Catholic were committed to the guardianship of Protestants, and
in every grant a special clause was inserted "that the ward shall be
brought up at the college near Dublin (Trinity College) in English
habit and religion;" the Irish were excluded from all offices; men of
no property were appointed as sheriffs; and the fines for non-
attendance at church were levied strictly. Instead of being applied to
the relief of the poor they found their way, according to the Catholic
Lords of the Pale, into the pockets of the ministers. In reply to this
last charge Chichester asserted that they were not given to the poor,
because all the poor were recusants, but they were employed "in the
rebuilding of churches, bridges, and like charitable purposes."[27]

Yet Knox did not succeed in uprooting the Catholic faith in Ireland.
According to a report furnished (1613) to the Holy See by Mgr.
Bentivoglio, Internuncio at Brussels, whose duty it was to superintend
affairs in Ireland, heresy had made little progress even in the
cities, while the nobility and gentry were nearly all Catholic. There
were then in Ireland about eight hundred secular priests, one hundred
and thirty Franciscans, twenty Jesuits, and a few Benedictines and
Dominicans, of whom the Franciscans were held in special esteem. The
best of the secular clergy were those who came from Douay, Bordeaux,
Lisbon, and Salamanca.[28] In the following year (1614) Archbishop
Matthews of Dublin held a provincial synod at Kilkenny at which many
useful regulations were made regarding the conduct of the clergy,
preaching, catechising, the celebration of Mass, the administration of
the sacraments, the relations between the secular and regular clergy,
the reading of controversial literature, and the observance and number
of fast-days and holidays.[29] In the province of Armagh Dr. Rothe,
acting under authority received from Peter Lombard, convoked a
provincial synod at Drogheda (1614). It was attended by vicars from
the several dioceses and by representatives of the various religious
orders, and passed regulations somewhat similar to those enacted at
Kilkenny. In both synods the clergy were warned to abstain from the
discussion of state affairs and from disobedience to the civil rulers
in temporal matters. At Drogheda the new Oath of Allegiance framed by
James I. was condemned as being opposed to faith and religion;
Catholics were commanded not to have recourse to prevarication or
wavering in regard to it, but to reject it openly, and were warned
against attendance at divine worship in Protestant churches even
though they had previously made a declaration that they meant only to
pay a mark of respect to the civil rulers.[30] At the same period the
Franciscans and Dominicans founded new colleges on the Continent, at
Douay and Lisbon, to supply priests for their missions in Ireland.

During the later years of Elizabeth's reign the disturbed condition of
the country made it impossible to convene a Parliament, and after the
accession of James I. his advisers feared to summon such a body lest
they might be unable to control it. Still, they never lost sight of
the advantage it would be to their cause could they secure
parliamentary sanction for the confiscation and plantation of Ulster,
and for the new methods employed for the punishment of recusants.
These for so far had behind them only the force of royal
proclamations, and their legality was open to the gravest doubt. The
great obstacle that must be overcome before a Parliament could be
convoked was the fact that both in the House of Commons and in the
House of Lords the Catholics might find themselves in a majority. To
prevent such a dire catastrophe it was determined to create a number
of new parliamentary boroughs so that many places "that could scarcely
pass the rank of the poorest villages in the poorest country in
Christendom" were allowed to return members, provided only that it was
certain they would return Protestants. Nineteen of the thirty-nine new
boroughs were situated in Ulster, where the plantations had given the
English and Scotch settlers a preponderance. In the House of Lords the
situation was also critical, but it was hoped that by summoning all
the Protestant bishops and also certain peers of England who had got
grants of territory in Ireland the government could count on a
majority, especially as some of the Catholic lords were minors, and as
such not entitled to sit. For months the plans for packing the
Parliament and for preparing a scheme of anti-Catholic legislation
were being concocted, and the Catholic lords, knowing well what was
going on, felt so alarmed that they lodged a solemn protest with the
king against the erection of towns and corporations "consisting of
some few poor and beggarly cottages" into parliamentary boroughs,
against the wholesale exclusion of Catholics from office on account of
their religion, and conjured the king "to give order that the
proceedings of Parliament may be conducted with moderation and
indifferency." In spite of this protest the new boroughs were created,
and the elections were carried out in the most high-handed manner, the
sheriffs hesitating at nothing so long as they could secure the
nomination of Protestant representatives.

On the day preceding the opening of Parliament (fixed for 18th May
1613) the Catholic Lords of the Pale addressed a protest to the Lord
Deputy. They asserted that while several of the Irish Catholic nobles
entitled to sit in the House of Lords were not summoned, English and
Scotch lords "already parliant in other kingdoms" had been invited to
attend, that new corporations had been created, many of them since
Parliament was summoned, without any right or title except to assure a
Protestant majority, that the sheriffs and returning officers had
acted most unfairly during the election, and that a Parliament sitting
"in the principal fort and castle of the kingdom," surrounded by
"numbers of armed men," could not be regarded as a free assembly. When
the House of Commons met on the following day the Catholics proposed
that Sir John Everard, who had been dismissed from his office of judge
because he refused the oath of supremacy, should be elected speaker,
while the Protestants proposed Sir John Davies for this position. The
Catholics, knowing well that if the returns of the sheriffs were
accepted they would find themselves in the minority, maintained that
the members against whose return objection had been lodged should not
be allowed to vote. On this being refused, they tried to prevent a
vote being taken, and when the supporters of Davies left the chamber
to take a count, the Catholics installed Sir John Everard in the
chair. The Protestants, claiming that they had a clear majority, one
hundred and twenty-seven out of a possible two hundred and thirty-two,
removed Sir John Everard by force, and adopted Sir John Davies as
speaker. The Catholics then left the chamber, and both Lords and
Commoners refused to attend any further sessions until they should
have laid their grievances before the king. In consequence of their
refusal it was necessary to suspend the parliamentary session, and
both parties directed all their attention to an appeal to the king.
The Catholics sent to London as their representatives, Lords
Gormanston and Dunboyne, Sir James Gough and Sir Christopher Plunkett,
William Talbot and Edward FitzHarris, and a general levy was made
throughout the kingdom to raise money to pay their expenses. A great
deal of time was wasted in inquiries in London and in Ireland. James
found it difficult to decide against the Lord Deputy, while at the
same time he could not shut his eyes to the justice of several of the
claimants brought under his notice by the Catholics. At one time he
promised their delegates that he would not interfere with the free
exercise of their religion provided they admitted it was not lawful to
deprive him of his crown or to offer violence to his person, but when
the Lord Deputy wrote warning him of the effect this speech had
produced in Ireland, James, while not denying that he had used the
words attributed to him, issued a proclamation announcing that he
would never grant religious toleration, and ordering all bishops,
Jesuits, friars, and priests to depart from the kingdom before the
30th of September (1614). In April 1614 the king decided to annul
thirteen of the returns impeached by the Catholics, but in regard to
the other matters of complaint he gave judgment in favour of the Lord
Deputy. In a personal interview with the Catholic lords he pointed out
that it was his privilege to create as many peers and parliamentary
boroughs as he liked. "The more the merrier, the fewer the better
cheer." He informed them, too, that they were only half subjects so
long as they acknowledged the Pope, and could, therefore, expect to
have only half privileges, and expressed the hope that by their future
good behaviour in Parliament they might merit not only his pardon but
"his favour and cherishing."

In October 1614 Parliament was at last ready to proceed with its
business. During the course of the negotiations it would appear that
the plan of passing new penal legislation against Catholics was
abandoned. It was intended at first to enact a very severe measure for
the expulsion of Jesuits and seminary priests, and another framed with
the intention of making the laws against Catholics in England binding
in Ireland. But these clauses were struck out, probably as a result of
a bargain between the Catholic lords and the king. In return for this
toleration the Catholic lords agreed to support the Act of Attainder
passed against O'Neill and O'Donnell, together with their aiders and
abettors, and to approve of the wholesale confiscation that had taken
place in Ulster. In vain did Florence Conry, Archbishop of Tuam, call
upon the Catholic members to stand firm against such injustice. His
warning, that if they consented to the robbery of their
co-religionists of the North their own turn to be robbed would surely
come, fell upon deaf ears. Their loyalty to England had nerved them to
draw their swords against O'Neill, and it nerved them also to assist
Chichester and Davies to carry on the Ulster Plantations. Well might
the latter boast in his letter to the Earl of Somerset that the
service performed by this Parliament was "of such importance, as
greater has not been effected in any Parliament of Ireland these
hundred years. For, first, the new erected boroughs have taken place,
which will be perpetual seminaries of Protestant burgesses, since it
is provided in the charters that the provost and twelve chief
burgesses, who are to elect all the rest, must always be such as will
take the Oath of Supremacy. Next, all the states of the kingdom have
attainted Tyrone, the most notorious and dangerous traitor that ever
was in Ireland, whereof foreign nations will take notice, because it
has been given out that Tyrone had left many friends behind him, and
that only the Protestants wished his utter ruin. Besides, this
attainder settles the Plantation of Ulster."[31]

Chichester, who had planned the Plantation of Ulster, and who had
enriched himself out of the spoils of the Northern princes, was
removed from office in 1615, and was succeeded by Sir Oliver St. John,
who came to Ireland determined to support the anti-Catholic campaign.
In a short time more than eighty of the best citizens of Dublin were
in prison because they refused the oath of supremacy, and throughout
the country, jurors who refused to convict the Catholics were
themselves held prisoners, so that the jails were soon full to
overflowing. Immense sums were levied off both poor and rich for non-
attendance at Protestant religious service. In the County Cavan, for
example, the fines for one year amounted to about £8,000,[32] while
large sums were paid by the Catholic noblemen for protection from the
Protestant inquisitors. New plantations were undertaken, on the lines
of the Ulster Plantation, in Wexford, Longford, King's County, and
Leitrim, though, not having been carried out so thoroughly or so
systematically as the former, they had not the same measure of
success. All Catholic noblemen succeeding to property were obliged to
take the oath of supremacy, though apparently they could procure
exemption from this test by the payment of a fine, but the Court of
Wards took care that minors should be entrusted to Protestant
guardians, and should be sent if possible to Trinity College. By means
such as these Elizabeth and James succeeded in Protestantising a
certain number of the heirs to Irish estates. Proclamations were
issued once more against the clergy, both secular and regular, and so
violent was the persecution that the Bishops of Ireland addressed a
petition to the Catholic rulers of Europe, and especially to the King
of Spain, asking them to intercede with James on behalf of his Irish
Catholic subjects (1617).[33]

The negotiations for the marriage of Prince Charles to a Spanish
princess made it necessary for the king to be more guarded in his
religious policy in Ireland. Oliver St. John, who had shown himself to
be such a bitter enemy of the Catholics, was removed from office, and
Lord Falkland was sent over as Deputy in 1622. Rumours were afloat on
all sides that his policy was to be one of toleration. The Protestants
were alarmed and at the installation of the new Deputy (Sept. 1622)
James Ussher, then Protestant Bishop of Meath, taking as his text, "He
beareth not the sword in vain," preached a violent sermon in favour of
religious persecution. Primate Hampton wrote immediately to the
preacher, reproving him for his imprudence, asking him to explain away
what he had said about the sword, and advising him to spend more of
his time in his own diocese of Meath, where matters were far from
being satisfactory.[34] On the return of Charles from Spain a new
proclamation was issued (1624) ordering all "titulary popish
archbishops, bishops, vicars-general, abbots, priors, deans, Jesuits,
friars, seminary priests, and others of that sect, made or ordained by
authority derived from the See of Rome or other foreign parts to
depart from the kingdom within forty days under pain of his Majesty's
indignation and penalties. If any of these dared to remain, or if any
persons dared to receive them, the offenders were to be lodged in
prison, "to the end such further order may be taken for their
punishment as by us shall be thought fit."[35]

A full account of the position of the Catholics of Ireland is given in
a letter written from Dublin in 1623. Catholic minors were compelled
to accept the oath of supremacy before they could get letters of
freedom from the Court of Wards (established 1617); all mayors,
magistrates, officials, etc., of corporate towns were commanded to
take the oath under penalty of having their towns disenfranchised;
priests were arrested and kept in prison; laymen were punished by
sentences of excommunication and by fines for non-attendance at
Protestant worship; they were summoned before the consistorial courts
for having had their children baptised by the priests and were
punished with the greatest indignities; Catholics were forbidden to
teach school and Catholic parents were forbidden to send their
children abroad; the Catholic inhabitants of Drogheda were indicted
before a Protestant jury, and having been found guilty of recusancy,
they stood in danger of having all their property forfeited; in Louth
the juries were ordered to draw up a list of Recusants; when three
Catholic jurors refused they were thrown into prison and obliged to
give security to appear before the Dublin Star Chamber; and in Cavan
proceedings of a similar kind were taken.[36]

Amongst the distinguished bishops of the Irish Church at this period
were Peter Lombard, Archbishop of Armagh (1601-25), a native of
Waterford, who studied at Oxford and Louvain, was appointed a
professor at the latter seat of learning, took a very prominent part
in the /Congregatio de Auxiliis/, published some theological treatises
together with an ecclesiastical history of Ireland, entitled, /De
Regno Hiberniae, Sanctorum insula, Commentarius/,[37] but who on
account of the danger of stirring up still greater persecution never
visited his diocese; Eugene Matthews or MacMahon, Bishop of Clogher
(1609) and Archbishop of Dublin (1611) who did splendid work for the
Irish Church by the decrees passed in the provincial synod at Kilkenny
(1614) as well as by his successful efforts for the foundation of the
Pastoral College at Louvain; David O'Kearney, appointed to Cashel
(1603) as successor to the martyred Archbishop O'Hurley, who though
hunted from place to place continued to fill the duties of his office
till about the year 1618, when he went to Rome; and Florence Conry,
Archbishop of Tuam, a Franciscan, who served with the army of the
Northern Princes, and who was specially detested by the English
government on account of his loyal defence of O'Neill. Not being
allowed to return to Ireland, he devoted himself to the study of
theology, and was the author of several very important works, some of
which were not, however, free from the suspicion of something akin to
Jansenism. By far the most useful book he composed was his celebrated
Irish Catechism published at Louvain in 1626.[38]

During the opening years of the reign of Charles I. (1625-49) the
persecution was much less violent, and as Charles was married to a
French Catholic princess and as he had promised solemnly not to
enforce the laws against Catholics, it was hoped that at long last
they might expect toleration. The distinguished Franciscan Thomas
Fleming, son of the Baron of Slane, who had received his education in
the Irish Franciscan College at Louvain, was appointed Archbishop of
Dublin (1623), and arrived in Ireland two years later. He was able to
report that the conduct of the Catholics not only in Dublin but
throughout Ireland was worthy of every praise, and to point to the
fact that many who made the pilgrimage to St. Patrick's Purgatory in
Lough Derg were obliged to return without satisfying their pious
desires because the island was so crowded that there was no room for
them to land. Chapels were opened in some of the less pretentious
streets in Dublin; communities of religious orders took up fixed
residences in the capital; and the Jesuits summoned home some of their
ablest teachers to man a Catholic University which they opened in Back
Lane (1627). The government stood in need of money to equip and
support a new army, then considered necessary on account of the
threatening attitude of France, and in order to obtain funds a large
body both of the Protestant and Catholic nobility were invited to come
to Dublin for discussion. They were offered certain concessions or
"Graces" in return for a subsidy, and to placate the Catholic peers it
was said that the fines for non-attendance at church would not be
levied, and that they might expect tacit toleration.

The very mention of toleration filled the Protestant bishops with
alarm, and, considering the fact that they were dependent upon
coercion for whatever congregations they had, their rage is not
unintelligible. James Ussher, who had become Protestant Primate of
Armagh, convoked an assembly of the bishops. They declared that: "The
religion of the Papists is superstitious and idolatrous, their church
in respect of both, apostatical. To give them, therefore, a
toleration, or to consent that they may freely exercise their
religion, and profess their faith and doctrine is a grievous sin, and
that in two respects. For it is to make ourselves accessory, not only
to their superstitions, idolatries, and heresies, and in a word, to
all the abominations of Popery; but also, which is a consequent of the
former, to the perdition of the seduced people, which perish in the
deluge of Catholic apostacy. To grant them toleration, in respect of
any money to be given, or contribution to be made by them, is to set
religion to sale, and with it, the souls of the people, whom Christ
our Saviour hath redeemed with His most precious blood."[39] The Irish
deputies arrived in London to seek a confirmation of the "Graces" at
the very time that the third Parliament of Charles (1627) was
petitioning him to put in force the laws against the Recusants. The
members of the English House of Commons complained that religious
communities of men and women had been set up in Dublin and in several
of the larger cities, that Ireland was swarming with Jesuits, friars,
and priests, that the people who attended formerly the Protestant
service had ceased to attend, that in Dublin there were thirteen mass-
houses, and that Papists were allowed to act as army officers, and
Papists were being trained as soldiers."[40] In these circumstances
the Catholic members of the deputation consented to abandon their
claims for full toleration, though it was understood that the fines
levied on account of absence from Protestant service would not be
enforced, but they were promised that Catholic lawyers would be
allowed to practise without being obliged to take the oath of
supremacy. In return for the promised "Graces," which were to be
ratified immediately in Parliament, the Irish nobles promised to pay a
sum of £120,000 for the support of the new army.

The promised Parliament was not held, nor were the "Graces" conceded
either to the Irish generally or to the Catholics. Still, there was no
active persecution for some time. The provincial of the Carmelites in
Dublin was able to report to the Propaganda (1629) that "all the
ecclesiastics now publicly perform their sacred functions, and prepare
suitable places for offering the holy sacrifice, and that with open
doors; they now preach to the people, say Mass, and discharge all
their other duties without being molested by any one." The Carmelites,
he wrote, "had a large church, but not sufficient to contain one-sixth
of the congregation; the people flocked in crowds to Confession, and
Holy Communion; the Franciscans, Dominicans, Capuchins, and Jesuits
were hard at work; and the parishes were supplied with parish priests
who resided in their districts and were supported by the voluntary
offerings of the people."[41] From a report of the year 1627, it is
clear that the Dominicans had over fifty priests of their Order in
Ireland, together with several novices and students.[42]

But already the enemies of the Catholic religion were at work, and, as
a result, a proclamation was issued by Lord Falkland in 1629
commanding that all monasteries, convents, colleges, and religious
houses should be dissolved, that all religious and priests should
cease to teach or to perform any religious service in any public
chapel or oratory, or to teach in any place whatsoever in the kingdom,
and that all owners of religious houses and schools should apply them
to other uses without delay (1629). At first no notice was taken of
this proclamation in Dublin or in any of the cities of Ireland. Ussher
wrote to complain of the "unreverend manner" in which the proclamation
was made in Drogheda. "It was done in scornful and contemptuous sort,
a drunken soldier being first set up to read it, and then a drunken
sergeant of the town, making the same to seem like a May-game." The
priests and friars merely closed the front doors of the churches, he
said, but the people flocked to the churches as usual by private
passages.[43] Lord Falkland does not seem to have made any determined
effort to carry out the royal proclamation in Dublin, but
unfortunately he was recalled in 1629, and in the interval from his
departure till the arrival of Sir Thomas Wentworth (1632) Loftus,
Viscount of Ely, and Lord Cork were appointed as Lords Justices.
Immediately the persecution began. The Protestant Archbishop of
Dublin, accompanied by a body of soldiers, made a raid upon the
Carmelite Church in Cook Street while Mass was being celebrated on St.
Stephen's Day, destroyed the altar and statues, and seized two of the
priests; but the people set upon the archbishop and the soldiers, and
rescued the prisoners. The troops were called out at once, and several
of the Dublin aldermen were lodged in prison. Most of the churches
were seized, and the Jesuit University was given over to Trinity
College. Attacks of a similar kind were made on the houses and
churches of the regular clergy in Cork, Waterford, Limerick, and in
various other parts of the country. An order was issued by the Lords
Justices that St. Patrick's Purgatory together "with St. Patrick's bed
and all the vaults, cells, and all other houses and buildings should
be demolished, and that the superstitious stones and material should
be cast into the lough." Catholic deputies hastened to London to lay
their grievances before the king, but, though he was not unwilling to
help them, he found it difficult to do much for them on account of the
strong anti-Catholic feeling in England. Queen Henrietta Maria did
appeal to the new Deputy to restore St. Patrick's Purgatory, but, as
it was situated "in the midst of the great Scottish Plantation," he
feared to grant her request at the time. Lord Cork reported that "he
had set up two houses of correction in dissolved friaries, in which
the beggarly youths are taught trades." But soon the king and
Wentworth grew alarmed about the storm that the justices were creating
in Ireland. The Catholic lords threatened that unless an end were put
to the persecution, which was contrary to the "Graces" that had been
promised, they would refuse to pay the subsidy they had promised, and
letters were sent both by the king and Wentworth throwing the blame on
Loftus and Lord Cork, and reproving them for what they had done.[44]

In 1632 Sir Thomas Wentworth, afterwards Earl of Strafford, arrived in
Ireland as Lord Deputy. He was a strong man, intensely devoted to the
king, and determined to reduce all parties in Ireland to subjection.
In religion he was a High Churchman of the school of Laud, and opposed
to the Scotch Presbyterians of the North of Island almost as much as
to the Irish Catholics. From the beginning he was determined to raise
the revenues of the crown in Ireland, to establish a strong standing
army, and to secure the future peace of the country by carrying out a
scheme of plantations in Connaught and Munster along the lines
followed by the advisers of James I. in case of Ulster. One of his
first acts after his arrival in Ireland was to commission Dr. John
Bramhall, afterwards Protestant Bishop of Derry and Primate, to hold
an inquiry into the state of the Protestant Church. The latter, after
having made some investigations, informed Archbishop Laud that he
found it difficult to say "whether the churches were more ruinous and
sordid or the people irreverent in Dublin," that one parochial church
in Dublin had been converted into a stable, another had become a
nobleman's mansion, while a third was being used as a tennis-court, of
which the vicar acted as keeper. The vaults of Christ's Church had
been leased to Papists "as tippling rooms for beer, wine, and
tobacco," so that the congregation stood in danger of being poisoned
by the fumes, and the table for the administration of Holy Communion
was made "an ordinary seat for maids and apprentices." "The inferior
sorts of ministers were below all degrees of contempt, in respect of
their poverty and their ignorance," and it was told him that one
bishop held three and twenty benefices with care of souls.[45]

Wentworth lost no time in trying to raise money for the army, but many
of the lords, both Catholic and Protestant, were so annoyed at the
refusal to confirm the "Graces" and at the delay in calling the
Parliament that had been promised, that Wentworth was forced to make
some concession. Parliament was convoked to meet in 1634, and the Lord
Deputy nominated his own supporters in the boroughs, so as to counter-
balance the representation from the counties, which representation he
could not in all cases control. The Catholics were strong in the Lower
House particularly, but care was taken that they should be in a
minority. The main question was the granting of subsidies, but several
of the Protestants and all the Catholics demanded that the "Graces"
should first be confirmed. Both Protestant and Catholic landowners
were interested in safeguarding the titles to their property by having
it enacted that sixty years' possession should be regarded as a
sufficient proof of ownership. As such an enactment would have upset
all Wentworth's plans for a wholesale plantation, he succeeded in
resisting such a measure, and partly by threats, partly by underhand
dealings with particular individuals he obtained a grant of generous
subsidies without any confirmation of the "Graces." In April 1635
Parliament was dissolved, and almost immediately the Lord Deputy made
preparations for acting under the commission for inquiring into
defective titles granted to him by the king. "All the Protestants are
for plantations," he wrote, "and all the others are against them. If
the Catholic juries refuse to find a verdict in favour of the king,
then recourse must be had to Parliament, where a Protestant majority
is assured." Portions of Tipperary, Clare, and Kilkenny were secured
without much difficulty, but nothing less than the whole of Connaught
would satisfy the Deputy. Roscommon was the first county selected, and
the Commissioners, including the Lord Deputy, arrived in Boyle to hold
the inquiry (July 1635). The jury, having been informed by Wentworth
that, whether they found in his favour or not, the king was determined
to assert his claims to their county, and that their only hope of
mercy was their prompt obedience, delivered the required verdict.
Sligo and Mayo also made their submission. In Galway, however, the
jury found against the king. In consequence of this the sheriff was
fined £1,000 and placed under bail to appear before the Star Chamber,
and the jurymen were threatened with severe punishment. They were
fined £4,000 each and ordered to be imprisoned till they should pay
the full amount. In this way the whole of Connaught, with the
exception of Leitrim which was planted already, together with a great
part of Clare, Tipperary, and Kilkenny was confiscated to the crown.
But Wentworth postponed the plantation of Connaught to a more
favourable period, and before any such period arrived he had lost both
his office and his head. The danger to Charles I. from the Scotch
Covenanters was already apparent, and Charles urged his Deputy to
raise an army in Ireland. During the years 1639 and 1640 the work of
training the army, many of the officers of which and most of the
soldiers, were Catholics, was pushed forward, but the triumph of the
Scots and the execution of the Earl of Strafford in April 1641 made it
impossible to use it for the purpose for which it was designed. Acting
on the instigation of the English Parliament, Charles sent an order
that the Irish troops should be disbanded, and added that he had
licensed certain officers to transport eight thousand troops to the
aid of any of the sovereigns of Europe friendly to England. For one
reason or another very few of the soldiers left Ireland, as both their
own leaders and the king knew well that their services would be soon
required at home. Parliament had met in Ireland in March 1640,[46]
and, having voted several subsidies to aid the king, it adjourned.
When it met again in 1641 the Catholics were actually in the majority,
and seemed determined to hold their own. The king wrote to confirm the
"Graces," and to suggest that a bill should be introduced to confirm
defective titles in Tipperary, Clare, and Connaught, but the
obstructive tactics of the Earl of Ormond, and the unfavourable
attitude of the Lords Justices, Sir William Parsons and Sir William
Borlase, towards Catholic claims, prevented anything being done.
Parliament was adjourned till the 9th November, but before that date
arrived the issues had been transferred to another and a different

From 1632 till 1640, though the Deputy was doing his best to rob a
large portion of the Catholic owners of their property on the ground
of defective titles, and though in many districts the Protestant
bishops and ministers created considerable difficulties for their
Catholic neighbours, still the religious persecution was carried out
only in a half-hearted manner. The king was shrewd enough to recognise
the important part that might be played by the Irish Catholics in the
civil struggle that he foresaw, and he was anxious not to antagonise
their leaders. This period of comparative calm was providential for
the Church in Ireland, by enabling it to organise its forces and to
prepare for the terrible days that were soon to come. In accordance
with the advice given by Archbishop Lombard years before, Rome decided
to fill several of the Sees that had been left vacant. Hugh
MacCaghwell (/Cavellus/), a distinguished Irish Franciscan, who had
been instrumental in founding the College of St. Anthony at Louvain,
and whose theological works caused him to be regarded by his
contemporaries as the ablest theologian of the Scotish school in
Europe, was appointed Archbishop of Armagh (1626), but he died in Rome
a few weeks after his consecration. Less than two years later it was
decided to transfer Hugh O'Reilly from Kilmore to the primatial See
(1628). Thomas Fleming had been appointed to Dublin in 1623, and
despite the efforts of his enemies he succeeded in eluding the
vigilance of those who wished to drive him from Ireland. Malachy
O'Queely, who had acted for years as vicar-apostolic of his native
diocese of Killaloe, was appointed to Tuam (1630) in succession to
Florence Conry, and Thomas Walsh, a native of Waterford, was promoted
to the See of Cashel (1626). Amongst the distinguished ecclesiastics
who were promoted to Irish dioceses during the reign of James I. and
Charles, were the learned David Rothe (Ossory, 1618), Roche MacGeoghan
(/Roccus de Cruce/), who had done so much for the restoration of the
Dominican houses in Ireland (Kildare, 1629), and Heber MacMahon (Down,
1642, Clogher, 1643). As a result of the long persecution and of the
absence of bishops from so many dioceses a certain amount of
disorganisation might be detected in several departments, and to
remedy this provincial synods were held to lay down new regulations,
and to adjust the position of the Church to the altered circumstances
of the country. A synod was held at Kilkenny (1627) which was attended
by bishops from Leinster and Munster; another very important one, the
decrees of which were confirmed by the Holy See, was held for the
province of Tuam in 1632, and a third attended by the Leinster bishops
was held in the County Kilkenny in 1640.[48] The Irish colleges on the
Continent continued to pour able and zealous young priests into the
country, while the colleges for the education of the Franciscans,
Dominicans, and Jesuits supplied new recruits to replenish the ranks
of the religious orders. The Capuchin founded Irish colleges on the
Continent, at Lille, Antwerp, and at Sedan, and so earnestly did they
work in Ireland that a special letter in praise of the Capuchins was
forwarded to Rome by a number of the Bishops in 1642. The results of
this renewed activity were soon apparent in every part of the country.
Thus, for example, in a report presented (1631) from the diocese of
Elphin, then ruled by Bishop Boetius Egan, it can be seen that
although all the churches, including the cathedral, had been destroyed
or taken possession of by the Protestants, there were at the time
forty priests at work in the diocese; the decrees of the Council of
Trent had been promulgated; the parishes had been re-arranged, and the
learning of the parish priests appointed had been tested by
examination; regular synods, visitations, and conferences of the
clergy were being held, and steps had been taken to ensure that the
people should be instructed fully in their religion.[49]

In the Parliament of 1641 the Catholics were in the majority, and they
insisted that the "Graces" must be confirmed. The king granted their
demands, and the bill was actually on its way to Ireland when the
Lords Justices, Parsons and Borlase, who administered the government
of the country prorogued the session. They wished for no settlement
with the Catholics lest a settlement might put an end to their hopes
of a plantation, and the Earl of Ormond tried also to block the
passage of the bill in the hope of saving the king from the odium
which he would incur in England and Scotland by granting toleration to
the Irish Catholics. The Catholic noblemen of Ireland, whether Irish
or Anglo-Irish, had good reason to complain. They had seen the
Catholics driven out of the good lands of Ulster to make way for
English and Scottish planters, and they well knew that the danger of
similar transactions in Connaught, Munster, and Leinster had not
passed away with the death of Strafford. They had seen the operation
of the Court of Wards, and they could not fail to realise that as a
result of its work the landowners of Ireland would soon be
dispossessed or Protestantised. They knew something of the Protestant
Inquisition courts as run by the ministers and bishops, of the
persecution of their clergy, the fees and fines levied on the
unfortunate Catholic peasantry, and of the still graver danger that
lay before them in case the Covenanters and the Puritans were to
overthrow Charles I., or to succeed in forcing him to accept their
policy. Were they to remain passive, they believed, they could have no
hope of redress or even of safety, and hence many of them made up
their minds that the time for negotiations had passed, and that they
could rely only on force. Never again were they likely to get such a
favourable opportunity. England was torn by internal dissensions; the
disbanded Irish soldiers, who had been trained for service against the
Scots, were still in the country; and with so many distinguished
Irishmen scattered through the countries of Europe there was good hope
that they might get assistance from their co-religionists on the
Continent. The distinguished Waterford Franciscan, Father Luke
Wadding, who had founded the College of St. Isidore in Rome and had
taken such a prominent part in the foundation of the Irish College,
was in Rome ready to plead the cause of his countrymen at the Papal
Court. His fame as a scholar was known throughout Europe, and his
active support could not fail to produce its effect in Europe, and
particularly in Spain where he was esteemed so highly by Philip IV.
Owen Roe O'Neill, who had achieved a remarkable distinction in the
army of Spain by his gallant defence of Arras against the French,
Colonel Preston, uncle of Lord Gormanston, and a host of others, who
had learned the art of war in France, Spain, and the Netherlands, were
willing to return to Ireland and to place their swords at the disposal
of their country.

Early in 1641[50] Rory O'More, who was closely connected with both the
Irish and the Anglo-Irish nobles, suggested to Lord Maguire of
Enniskillen the idea of an appeal to arms, and hinted at the
possibility of a union between the Irish nobles and the Lords of the
Pale. In a short time most of the important leaders of the North, Sir
Phelim O'Neill, Turlogh O'Neill, Lord Maguire, Hugh MacMahon, Arthur
MacGennis of Down, Philip and Miles O'Reilly of Cavan had come to an
understanding. The war was to begin in Ulster on the night of the 23rd
October 1641, and on the same night an attempt was made to seize
Dublin Castle. The latter portion of the programme could not be
carried out owing to the action of an informer who betrayed Maguire
and Hugh MacMahon to the Lords Justices; but at the appointed time the
Irish Catholics of Ulster rose almost to a man, and in a very short
time most of the strong places in the province were in their hands. In
such a movement it was almost impossible for the leaders to prevent
some excesses, particularly as many of the men who took part in it had
been driven from their lands to make way for the Planters, and had
suffered terribly from the harshness and cruelty to which they and
their families had been subjected. Naturally they seized their own
again, and in some cases they may have used more violence than the
situation required, but it is now admitted by impartial historians[51]
that the wild stories of a wholesale massacre of Protestants are
without any more solid foundation than the fact that the Protestants
were for the most part driven out of Ulster in much the same way as
the Catholics had been driven to the mountains thirty years before.
Most of the few who were killed were probably struck down while
attempting to defend their homes, and in no case is there evidence to
prove that the leaders countenanced unnecessary violence or murder. If
the historian wishes to look for organised lawlessness and murder he
can find it much more easily in the campaign of the infamous Sir
Charles Coote or in the raids carried out by the forces of the Scotch
Covenanters of the North. The Catholic Lords of the Pale hastened to
Dublin Castle to offer their services against the Northern rebels, but
they were received so discourteously by the Lords Justices that they
recognised the absolute necessity of joining with the Catholics of
Ulster. In announcing their defection the Lords Justices positively
gloated over the splendid prospect of having the province of Leinster
planted with English settlers (Dec. 1641).[52] The action of the
English Parliament in decreeing that for the future there should be no
toleration allowed to Irish Catholics (Dec. 1641) and in putting up
for sale two million five hundred thousand acres of fertile land in
Ireland, the proceeds to be expended in a war of extermination,
strengthened the hands of the Irish leaders, and helped to bring over
the waverers to their side.

The Catholic clergy had sympathised with the movement from the
beginning, but they had exerted themselves particularly in moderating
the fury of their countrymen, and in protecting the Protestants, both
laymen and clerics, from unnecessary violence.[53] But, as there was a
danger that the movement would break up and that the Irish forces
would be divided, it was necessary for the bishops to take action.
Religion was nearly the only bond that was likely to unite the Irish
and the Anglo-Irish nobles, and the Church was the only institution
that could give the movement unity and permanency. A meeting of the
bishops and vicars of the Northern province was held at Kells (May
1642) under the presidency of Dr. Hugh O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh.
They prescribed a three days' fast, the public recitation of the
Rosary and the Litanies, and a general Communion for the success of
the war, issued a sentence of excommunication against murderers,
mutilators, thieves, robbers, etc., together with all their aiders and
abettors, denounced the Catholic Irishmen who refused to make common
cause with their countrymen, and ordered all bishops, vicars-general,
parish priests, and heads of religious houses to spare no pains to
raise funds immediately for the support of the soldiers.[54] In May
(1642) a national synod was held at Kilkenny. It was attended by the
Primate of Armagh, the Archbishops of Tuam and Cashel, by most of the
bishops either personally or by procurators, and by representatives of
the religious orders and of the secular clergy. They declared that the
war was being waged for the defence of the Catholic religion, for the
preservation of the rights and prerogatives of the king, for the just
and lawful immunities, liberties, and rights of Ireland, for the
protection of the lives, fortunes, goods, and possessions of the
Catholics of Ireland, and that it was a just war in which all
Catholics should join. They condemned murder, robbery, and violence,
advised all their countrymen to lay aside racial and provincial
differences, took measures for the restoration of the cathedrals and
churches to their owners, exhorted all, both clergy and laymen, to
preserve unity, and called upon the priests to offer up Mass at least
once a week for the success of the war.[55]

During the year 1642 the war had spread into all parts of Ireland, and
most of the prominent nobles, with the exception of the Earl of
Clanrickard, had taken the field. Owen Row O'Neill and Colonel Preston
had arrived with some of the Irish veterans from the Continent, and
had brought with them supplies of arms and ammunition. Urban VIII. had
forwarded a touching letter addressed to the clergy and people of
Ireland (Feb. 1642) and had contrived to send large supplies of
weapons and powder. A general assembly of Irish Catholics was called
to meet at Kilkenny in October 1642. There were present, eleven
spiritual peers, fourteen lay peers, and two hundred and twenty-six
representatives from the cities and counties of Ireland, under the
presidency of Lord Mountgarrett. Generals were appointed to lead the
forces in the different provinces, as unfortunately owing to the
jealousy between the Anglo-Irish and the Irish nobles Owen Roe O'Neill
could not be appointed commander of the national army. Arrangements
were made for sending ambassadors to the principal courts of Europe,
for the establishment of a printing-press, for raising money, and for
the promotion of education. The Irish Franciscans of Louvain were
asked to transfer their press and library to Ireland to help in the
creation of a great school of Irish learning. Father Luke Wadding was
appointed the Irish representative at the Papal Court, and agents were
dispatched to France, Spain, the Netherlands, and to several of the
German States. Urban VIII., yielding to the entreaties of the Irish
ambassador gave generous assistance, and wrote to nearly all the
Catholic rulers of Europe recommending them to assist their
co-religionists in Ireland.

In 1643 the well-known Oratorian, Father Francesco Scarampi, landed in
Wexford as the accredited agent of the Pope, bringing with him
supplies of money and arms. Hardly, however, had he arrived, when he
discovered that though the Irish armies had met with considerable
success both against the Royalist forces in Dublin and the Scotch
Covenanters in the North, negotiations had been opened up for an
extended truce. The Anglo-Irish nobles had never been enthusiastic for
the war as an Irish war. They fought merely to preserve their estates
and to secure a certain degree of liberty of worship, but in their
hearts they were more anxious about the cause of the king than about
the cause of Ireland. The Marquis of Ormond, whom the king had created
his Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, had many friends amongst the Lords of
the Pale, and by means of his agents he succeeded in bringing about a
cessation (Sept. 1643). The Irish Catholics were to send agents to the
king for a full discussion of their grievances, and were to help him
with supplies. Anxious to secure the help of the Irish Catholics, and
fearing to give a handle to his parliamentary opponents by granting
religious toleration, Charles was in a very difficult position, and to
make matters worse Ormond was determined not to yield to the demands
of the Catholics. He was prepared to make a conditional promise that
the laws against them would not be enforced, but beyond that he was
resolved not to go.

After long and fruitless negotiations with Ormond the war was renewed
(1644). Representatives from France and Spain had arrived in Kilkenny,
and it was thought that if the Pope could be induced to send a nuncio
such a measure would strengthen the hands of the Irish ambassadors on
the Continent. At the request of Sir Richard Bellings, Secretary to
the Supreme Council, Innocent X. consented to send Giovanni Battista
Rinuccini as his representative to Ireland (1645). The latter landed
at Kenmare in October, and proceeded almost immediately to Kilkenny.
In the meantime Charles I. was being hard pressed in England, and as
he could have no hope of inducing Ormond to agree to such terms as
would satisfy the Catholics of Ireland, he commissioned the Earl of
Glamorgan, himself a Catholic, and closely connected with some of the
Irish families by marriage, to go to Kilkenny and to procure
assistance from the Catholic Confederation at all costs. Shortly after
his arrival he concluded a treaty in the name of the king (Aug. 1645)
in which he guaranteed "the free and public exercise of the Roman
Catholic religion." All churches possessed by the Irish Catholics at
any time since October 1641 were to be left in their hands, and "all
churches in Ireland other than such as are now actually enjoyed by his
Majesty's Protestant subjects" were to be given back to the Catholics.
All jurisdiction claimed by Protestant bishops or ministers over Irish
Catholics was to be abolished, and all temporalities, possessed by the
Catholic clergy since October 1641, were to be retained by them, two-
thirds of the income, however, to be paid to the king during the
continuance of the war. Charles had already addressed a letter to the
nuncio promising to carry out whatever terms Glamorgan would concede,
and adding the hope that though this was the first letter he had ever
written to any minister of the Pope it would not be the last.[56] The
terms were to be kept a secret, but in October 1645 Archbishop
O'Queely of Tuam was killed near Sligo in a skirmish between the
Confederate and Parliamentary forces, and a copy of the treaty which
he had in his possession fell into the hands of the enemy. As soon as
it was published it created a great sensation in England, and Charles
immediately repudiated it. Glamorgan was arrested in Dublin by Ormond,
but was released after a few weeks, and returned coolly to Kilkenny to
conduct further negotiations.

Since his arrival in Kilkenny (1645) the nuncio was anxious to break
off negotiations with Ormond, and to devote all the energies of the
country to the prosecution of the war. But the Anglo-Irish of the Pale
were bent upon accepting any terms that Ormond might offer; and soon
the Supreme Council was divided into two sections, one favouring the
nuncio, the other supporting Ormond. Negotiations had been opened
directly with Rome by Queen Henrietta through her agent Sir Kenelm
Digby. In return for promises of men and money the latter signed a
treaty even much more favourable to the Irish Catholics than that
which had been concluded with Glamorgan (1645), but as the original of
this treaty had not come to hand, and as it was feared that there was
little hope of its being put in force, the Supreme Council patched up
an agreement with Ormond (March 1646). Although the latter had got a
free hand from the king he granted very little to the Catholics. The
oath of supremacy was to be abolished in the next Parliament, as were
to be also all statutory penalties and disabilities; "his Majesty's
Catholic subjects were to be recommended to his Majesty's favour for
further concessions;" all educational disabilities of Catholics were
to be removed, and all offices, civil and military, were to be thrown
open to them. Even this treaty was kept a secret, but in the meantime
the Confederation should send troops to the assistance of the king.
But before the troops could be sent Charles was driven to take refuge
with the Scots at Newcastle (May 1646), from which place he wrote
forbidding Ormond "to proceed further in treaty with the rebels or to
make any conditions with them."[57]

Notwithstanding Rinuccini's earnest entreaties the majority of the
Supreme Council insisted on accepting Ormond's terms. The
Confederation had been so weakened by dissensions that General Monro
thought he could march south and capture Kilkenny, but at Benburb he
found his way barred by the forces of O'Neill, and he was obliged to
retreat to Coleraine, having left a great portion of his army dead on
the field, and his standards, guns, and supplies in the hands of
O'Neill (5 June 1646). The news of the great victory was brought to
the nuncio at Limerick, where the captured banners were carried in
procession through the streets and deposited in the cathedral. General
Preston had also scored some successes in Connaught, so that once
again the tide seemed to have turned in favour of the Confederates.
Rinuccini was more than ever determined to refuse half measures, such
as were being offered by the terms of Ormond's treaty. He summoned a
meeting of the bishops in Waterford (Aug. 1646), and after long
discussion it was agreed that those who accepted Ormond's terms were
guilty of perjury, because they had thereby broken the terms of the
oath of confederation. According to this oath the members had pledged
themselves to be content with nothing less than the free and public
exercise of their religion, while Ormond left nearly everything to the
good-will of the king, from whom nothing could be expected considering
the state of affairs in England. In spite of all remonstrances the
Supreme Council published the Peace in Kilkenny, but their messengers
were refused admittance into several of the cities of the South.
Ormond was invited to Kilkenny, where he received a royal reception
from his friends. But O'Neill marched south and compelled Ormond to
beat a hasty retreat towards Dublin. Rinucinni returned to Kilkenny,
and some of the prominent adherents of Ormond were arrested. A new
Supreme Council was chosen, and O'Neill and Preston were commissioned
to march on Dublin, but, though they brought their armies close to the
city, yet, owing to underhand communications carried on between
Ormond's agent, the Earl of Clanrickard, and Preston, and the jealousy
between the generals, the attack was not made.

A new General Assembly had been elected and met at Kilkenny (10 Jan.
1647). After a long discussion the Ormond Peace was condemned, and a
new form of oath was drawn up to be taken by all the Confederates.
Ormond, who could have done so much for his master had he obeyed his
instructions and made some satisfactory offers to the Irish Catholics,
surrendered Dublin into the hands of the Parliamentarians, and fled to
France. To make matters worse Preston was defeated by the
Parliamentarians at Summerhill (Aug. 1647), and Lord Inchiquin was
carrying all before him in the South. Everywhere he went he had acted
with great savagery, and was especially violent in his opposition to
the Catholic religion. But early in 1648 he changed his politics, and
declared for the king against the Parliament. Immediately the former
friends of Ormond on the Supreme Council insisted on making terms with
Lord Inchiquin. Rinuccini opposed such a step as a betrayal, and his
action was approved by a majority of the bishops. The nuncio left the
city and went towards Maryborough, where O'Neill was encamped. In May
1648 the truce with Lord Inchiquin was proclaimed, and in a few days
Rinuccini issued a sentence of excommunication against all who would
receive it, and of interdict against the towns which recognised it.
The Supreme Council replied by appealing to the Pope. The only result
was that the division and confusion became more general. Several of
the bishops and clergy were to be found on both sides. The Supreme
Council dismissed O'Neill from his office, and afterwards declared him
a traitor. The nuncio went to Galway, from which port he sailed in
1649. Though it is difficult to entertain anything but the greatest
contempt for the Ormond faction on the Supreme Council, and though
Rinuccini was an honest man who did his best to carry out his
instructions, still he did not understand perfectly the situation. He
allowed himself to show too openly his preference for O'Neill, and
displayed too great an inclination to have recourse to high-handed
methods. His arrest of the Ormondist faction on the Supreme Council
and the censures which he levelled against his opponents, however
justifiable these things might have been in themselves, were not
calculated to restore unity and confidence.[58]

Ormond returned to Ireland in 1648 and received a great welcome from
those of the Supreme Council who were opposed to Rinuccini and
O'Neill. In January 1649 he concluded a peace with them by which he
guaranteed that in the next Parliament to be held in Ireland the free
exercise of the Catholic religion should be conceded; that the Act of
Uniformity and the Act of Royal Supremacy should be abolished; that
all offices, civil and military, should be thrown open to Catholics
provided they were willing to take a simple oath of allegiance; that
all plans for any further plantations in Munster, Leinster, and
Connaught should be abandoned, that all Acts of Attainder, etc.,
passed against Irish Catholics since October 1641 should be treated as
null and void; that the clergy should not be molested in regard to the
churches, church-livings, etc., until his Majesty upon full
consideration of the desires of the Catholics, formulated in a free
Parliament, should express his further pleasure; and that the regular
clergy who would accept this peace should be allowed to continue to
hold their houses and possessions. Further concessions were to be
dependent on the king's wishes.[59] The Catholic Confederation as such
was dissolved, and Ormond was installed as Lord Lieutenant to govern
the country in conjunction with twelve Commissioners of Trust
appointed by the Confederates. But O'Neill and his army still held out
against any terms with Ormond, and a large number of the cities
refused to hold any communications with him. Still he hoped to capture
Dublin from the Parliamentarians before help could arrive from
England, but he suffered a terrible defeat at Rathmines (2 Aug. 1649).
Less than a fortnight later Oliver Cromwell[60] arrived in Dublin with
a large force to crush both the Royalists and the Catholics.

Cromwell, having taken a little time for his troops to recruit,
marched on Drogheda, then held for the king by Sir Arthur Aston, and
so earnestly did he push forward the siege that in a short time he
carried the city by assault, and put most of the garrison and a large
number of the citizens to death. Over a thousand were slaughtered in
St. Peter's Church to which they had fled for refuge, and special
vengeance was meted out to the clergy, none of them who were
recognised being spared. Similar scenes of wholesale butchery took
place at Wexford, into which his army gained admission by
treachery.[61] Ormond was unable to make headway against such a
commander, and frightened at last by the prospect that opened out
before him, he made overtures to O'Neill for a reconciliation. O'Neill
agreed to lend his aid against Cromwell. He sent a portion of his army
south, and he himself, though ill, was already on the march when he
died at Cloughoughter (6 Nov. 1649). His death at such a time was an
irreparable loss both to the Catholic religion and to Ireland. Had he
lived, and had Ormond and his faction co-operated with him, the
campaign of Cromwell might have had a very different termination.
During the closing months of 1649 the situation in Ireland seemed
hopeless. Though as an unscrupulous diplomatist Ormond had few equals,
he was utterly worthless as a soldier, and to make matters worse he
was still distrusted by the great mass of the Irish people. In the
hope of restoring unity and of encouraging the people to continue the
struggle a synod of the bishops and clergy assembled at Clonmacnoise
(Dec. 1649). They issued a declaration warning the people that they
could expect no mercy from the English Parliament, that the wholesale
extirpation of Catholicism was intended, as was evidenced by the
actions of Cromwell, and that the lands of the Irish Catholics were to
be handed over to English adventurers. They called upon them to forget
past differences, to sink racial and personal jealousies, and to unite
against the common enemy.[62] But the country distrusted Ormond, and
refused to rally to his standard. Another meeting consisting of the
bishops and of the Commissioners of Trust was held at Loughrea, in
which it was agreed that there should be a general levy of all men fit
to bear arms, and the monastery of Kilbegan was fixed as the place of
rendezvous. Several of the cities and leading men refused, however, to
take any part in a movement controlled by Ormond, and as a last
desperate resort, at the meeting of the bishops held at Jamestown (12
Aug. 1650) the bishops declared that there could be no hope of unity
unless Ormond surrendered his trust to some person in whom the entire
country had confidence.[63] Very reluctantly Ormond agreed to this
request and left Ireland in December, having appointed the Earl of
Clanrickard as his successor. The latter was a Catholic who had played
a very ignoble part throughout the war. Had he displayed years before
but half the energy he displayed in its later stages things might
never have come to such a pass.

As it was, Cromwell made great progress in the South, though he was
forced to raise the siege of Waterford, and suffered a bad defeat at
Clonmel from the nephew of O'Neill. He left Ireland in May 1650, and
entrusted the command to Ireton. Owing to the state of disunion Ireton
was enabled to take city after city. Limerick was taken in 1651, and
Terence O'Brien, Bishop of Emly, was put to death. Bishop MacMahon of
Clogher, who had assumed the leadership of the army of Owen Row
O'Neill after the latter's death was defeated at Scarrifhollis (1650).
Later on he was captured, and put to death, his head being impaled on
the gates of Enniskillen as a warning to his co-religionists. The
submission of Clanrickard in 1652 practically put an end to the war,
and before another year had elapsed all effective resistance had

During the Kilkenny Confederation the Catholic Church was restored to
its original position. In the districts controlled by the Confederates
the bishops and clergy were allowed to occupy once more their houses
and churches wherever these had not been destroyed, and religious
communities of both men and women were set up again close to their
former monasteries and convents, though at the same time the Catholic
Lords of the Pale were alert lest they should be asked to return any
of the ecclesiastical or monastic lands that had been granted to them
by royal patent. In Dublin and wherever Ormond and the Royalists had
authority, both clergy and people enjoyed complete toleration, but in
certain portions of the North, and wherever the Puritans and
Parliamentarians held sway, persecution was still the order of the
day. When Dublin was surrendered to the Parliamentarians (1647) the
priests, and later on, all Catholics, were expelled from the city. In
the South of Ireland Lord Inchiquin acted in the most savage manner in
Cashel and generally in the cities which he conquered, while the
Parliamentarian party in the North showed no mercy to the Catholics
who fell into their hands. After the arrival of Cromwell the prospect
became even more gloomy. Though he announced that he would interfere
with no man's religion, he declared that on no account could he
tolerate the celebration of Mass.[64] The clergy were put to the sword
in Drogheda and Wexford. The Archbishop of Tuam was killed during the
war (1645); Boetius Egan, Bishop of Ross, fell into the hands of Lord
Broghill and was put to a cruel death because, instead of advising the
garrison of Carrigdrohid to surrender, he encouraged them to continue
the struggle (1650); Terence Albert O'Brien, Bishop of Emly, was
captured by Ireton after the siege of Limerick, and was hanged; Heber
MacMahon, Bishop of Clogher, was put to death by the orders of Coote
(1650); Bishop Rothe of Ossory died as a result of the sufferings he
endured, and Bishop French of Ferns, after undergoing terrible trials
in Ireland, was obliged to make his escape to the Continent.

In arranging the terms of surrender the Cromwellian generals sometimes
excluded the bishops and clergy from protection, and at best they
granted them only a short time to prepare for leaving the country. The
presence of the priests was regarded as a danger for the projected
settlement of Ireland, and hence the order was given (1650) that they
should be arrested. In 1650 a reward of £20 was offered to any one who
would betray the hiding place of any Jesuits, priests, friars, monks,
or nuns. At first those clergy who were captured were sent into France
and Spain, but later on large numbers of them were shipped to the
Barbadoes. Thus, for example, in 1655 an instruction was sent to Sir
Charles Coote that the priests and friars then captive in Galway who
were over forty years of age should be banished to Portugal or France,
while those under that age were to "be shipped away for the Barbadoes
or other American plantations." For those who returned death was the
penalty that was laid down. Since the priests still contrived to elude
their pursuers by disguising themselves as labourers, peasants,
beggars, gardeners, etc., an order was issued in 1655 that a general
search should be made throughout Ireland for the capture of all
priests. Five pounds was to be paid to any one who would arrest a
priest, and more might be awarded if the individual taken were of
special importance. When the jails were well filled, another
instruction was issued that the priests should be brought together at
Carrickfergus for transportation. Here it was claimed that some
offered to submit to the terms of the government rather than allow
themselves to be sent away, but as the statement comes from an
unreliable source it should be received with caution. In 1657 Major
Morgan, representative of Wicklow in the United Parliament of England
and Ireland, declared: "We have three beasts to destroy that lay heavy
burthens upon us. The first is the wolf, on whom we lay five pounds a
head of a dog, and ten pounds if a bitch. The second beast is a
priest, on whose head we lay ten pounds, and if he be eminent, more.
The third beast is a Tory, on whose head, if he be a public Tory we
lay twenty pounds, and forty shillings on a private Tory." Towards the
end of the Protectorate the government, instead of transporting the
priests abroad, sent them in crowds to the Island of Aran and to
Innisbofin. "The Lord Deputy and Council," wrote Colonel Thomas
Herbert (1658), "did in July last give order for payment of £100 upon
account to Colonel Sadleir, to be issued as he should conceive fit for
maintenance of such Popish priests as are or should be confined to the
Isle of Boffin, according to six-pence daily allowing, building cabins
and the like. It is not doubted but care was taken accordingly, and
for that the judges in their respective circuits may probably find
cause for sending much more priests to that island, I am commanded to
signify thus much unto you that you may not be wanting to take such
care in this business as according to former directions and provision
is made."[65]

Already in 1642 the English Parliament had passed measures for the
wholesale confiscation of Catholic Ireland, and had pledged the land
to these "adventurers" who subscribed money to carry on the war. In
1652, when the reduction of Ireland was practically complete, it was
deemed prudent to undertake the work of clearing Leinster and Munster
of its old owners to prepare the way for the adventurers and for the
soldiers, whose arrears were paid by grants of farms or estates.
According to the terms of the Act and of the Instructions issued in
connexion with it all Irish Catholics were commanded to transplant
themselves to Connaught before the 1st May 1654 under pain of being
put to death by court-martial if they were found after that date east
of the Shannon. Exceptions were indeed made in the case of those women
who were married to English Protestants before December 1650, provided
that they themselves had become Protestant; in case of boys under
fourteen and girls under twelve in Protestant service and who would be
brought up Protestants, and lastly in case of those who could prove
that for the previous ten years they had maintained "a constant good
affection" towards the Parliament. The order to transplant was
notified throughout Ireland, and a commission was set up at Loughrea
to consider claims and to make assignments of land in Connaught, all
of which was to be at the disposal of the Irish except a prescribed
territory along the sea-board. Even the inhabitants of Galway, who had
submitted only on the express condition of retaining their lands, were
driven out of the city, and the city itself was handed over to the
corporations of Gloucester and Liverpool to recoup them for the losses
they had suffered during the Civil War. Petitions began to pour in for
mercy or at least for an extension to the time-limit, but though on
the latter point some concessions were made, few individuals were
allowed any reprieve. The landowners were marked men, and they were
obliged to go. It would be impossible to describe the hardship and
miseries suffered by those who were forced to leave their own homes,
and to seek a refuge in what was to them a strange country. To ease
the situation large numbers of the men capable of bearing arms were
shipped to Spain, or to others of the Continental countries, but soon
it was thought that this was bad policy likely only to serve some of
England's rivals. It was then determined to transport large numbers to
the West Indies, the Barbadoes, Jamaica, and the Caribee Islands.
Ship-loads of boys and girls were seized according to orders from
England, and were sent out of the country under the most awful
conditions to a land where a fate awaited many of them that was worse
than death.[66] The magistrates had no scruple in committing all
Catholics who remained east of the Shannon and who were brought before
them, as vagrants, and then they were hurried off to the coast.

At first the idea was to remove the native population entirely from
Leinster and Munster lest the soldiers and "adventurers" might be
contaminated, and stern measures were taken to prevent any of the
officers or men from taking Irish wives. Ireton laid it down that any
officer or soldier who dared to marry an Irish girl until she had been
examined by a competent board to see whether her conversion flowed
"from a real work of God upon her heart," should be punished
severely.[67] But later on petitions poured in from the new Protestant
landowners to be allowed to keep Catholics as servants and labourers,
and on the understanding that the masters would utilise this
opportunity to spread the true religion, their requests were granted.
Some obtained dispensations or at least managed to secure delays;
others probably were able to come to terms with the soldiers to whom
their farms had fallen in the general lottery, and others still
preferred to risk the danger of transportation by remaining in their
own district rather than to seek a new home. Had the Protectorate
lasted long enough the policy of transplanting might have succeeded,
but as it was the Cromwellian planters soon disappeared or became
merged into the native population, and in spite of all the bloodshed
and robbery, the people of Ireland generally were as devoted to the
Catholic religion in 1659 as they had been ten years before.[68]

When it became clear from the course of events in England that Charles
II. was about to be restored to the throne Lord Broghill and Sir
Charles Coote, both of whom had helped to crush the Irish Royalists
and had profited largely by the Revolution, hastened to show their
zeal for the king's cause. The Catholics who had fought so loyally for
his father hoped that at last justice would be done to them by
re-instating them in the lands from which they had been driven by the
enemies of the king. But Charles was determined to take no risks. He
sent over the Duke of Ormond, the most dangerous enemy of the Catholic
religion in Ireland, as Lord Lieutenant (1660). A Parliament was
called in 1661, and as the Catholics had been driven from the
corporate towns during the Cromwellian régime and as the Cromwellian
planters were still in possession, the House of Commons was to all
intents and purposes Protestant. An Act of Settlement was passed
whereby Catholics who could prove their "innocence" of the rebellion
were to be restored, but the definition of innocence in the case was
so complicated that it was hoped few Catholics, if any, would succeed
in establishing their claims (1661). A Court of Claims composed of
five Protestant Commissioners, was set up to examine the individual
cases, but in a short time, when it was discovered that a large number
of Catholics were succeeding in satisfying the conditions laid down by
law for restoration to their property, an outcry was raised by the
planters, and the Court of Claims was suspended (1664). The Act of
Explanation was then passed to simplify the proceedings, as a result
of which act two-thirds of the land of Ireland was left in the hands
of the Protestant settlers. Close on sixty of the Catholic nobility
were restored as a special favour by the king, but a large body of
those who had been driven out by Cromwell were left without any

In consequence of the Cromwellian persecution nearly all the bishops
and a large body of the clergy, both secular and regular, had been
driven from Ireland, but after the accession of Charles, who was known
to be personally friendly to the Catholics, many of them began to
return. It would be a mistake, however, to imagine that the
persecution had ceased, or that the laws against the clergy were not
put in force in several districts. Ormond returned to Ireland as
hostile to Catholicity as he had been before he was driven into exile;
and as he thought that he had a particular grievance against the Irish
bishops he was determined to stir up the clergy against them, to
divide the Catholics into warring factions, and by favouring one side
to create a royalist Catholic party as distinct from the ultramontane
or papal party. For this work he had at hand a useful instrument in
the person of Father Peter Walsh, a Franciscan friar, who had
distinguished himself as a bitter opponent of the nuncio and as a
leader of the Ormondist faction in the Supreme Council. In 1661 it was
determined by some leading members, both lay and clerical, to present
an address of welcome to Charles II., but by the influence of Walsh
and others the address, instead of being a mere protestation of
loyalty, was framed on the model of the Oath of Allegiance (1605),
which had been condemned more than once by the Pope. Many of the
Catholic lords indicated their agreement with this address or
Remonstrance, as it was called, and some of the clergy, deceived by
the counsels of Father Walsh, expressed their willingness to adhere to
its terms. Ormond, who spent money freely in subsidising Walsh and his
supporters,[69] had good reason to be delighted with the success of
his schemes. Grave disputes broke out among the clergy, which the
government took care to foment by patronising the Remonstrants and by
wreaking its vengeance on the anti-Remonstrants on the grounds of
their alleged disloyalty. To bring matters to a crisis it was arranged
by Walsh and Ormond that a meeting of the bishops, vicars, and heads
of religious orders should be held in Dublin (June 1666). In addition
to Dr. O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh, Bishops Plunkett of Ardagh, and
Lynch of Kilfenora, there were present a number of vicars of vacant
dioceses together with representatives of the Franciscans, Dominicans,
Augustinians, Capuchins, and Jesuits.[70] Dr. O'Reilly spoke strongly
against the terms of the Remonstrance as being highly disrespectful to
the Pope, and the majority of those present supported his contention.
They expressed their willingness to present an address of loyalty from
which the objectionable clauses should be omitted. But Walsh,
dissatisfied with anything but a complete submission, shifted the
ground of the debate, by endeavouring to secure the acceptance of the
assembly of the pro-Gallican declaration of the Sorbonne (1663). Even
still his efforts were far from being successful, and the meeting was
dissolved by Ormond. The primate was kept a prisoner in Dublin for
some months, and then transported to the Continent, while the other
members present were obliged to make their escape from Ireland or to
go into hiding. By orders of Ormond close watch was kept upon the
clergy who sided against the Remonstrance, and many of them were
thrown into prison.[71]

In 1669 Ormond was recalled, and after a short time Lord Berkeley was
sent over as Lord Lieutenant. Though he was instructed to "execute the
laws against the titular archbishops, bishops, and vicar-generals,
that have threatened or excommunicated the Remonstrants,"[72] yet, as
the personal friend of the Duke of York, and as one who knew
intimately the king's own views, he acted in as tolerant a manner
towards Catholics as it was possible for him to do considering the
state of mind of the officials and of the Protestant bishops and
clergy. From 1670 till the arrival of Ormond once more in 1677, though
several proclamations were issued and though here and there individual
priests were persecuted, Catholics as a body enjoyed comparative calm.
The Holy See took advantage of this to appoint to several of the
vacant Sees. Amongst those appointed at this time were Oliver Plunket
to Armagh (1669), Peter Talbot to Dublin, which had not been filled
since the death of Dr. Fleming in 1655, William Burgat to Cashel
(1669), and James Lynch to Tuam. Dr. Plunket had accompanied Scarampi
to Rome (1645), where he read a particularly brilliant course as a
student of the Irish College, and afterwards acted as a professor in
the Propaganda till his nomination to Armagh. Dr. Talbot was born at
Malahide, joined the Society of Jesus, was a close personal friend of
Charles II. during the latter's exile on the Continent, and after the
Restoration enjoyed a pension from the king. Shortly after his
appointment an outcry was raised against him because he and his
brother, Colonel Talbot, were supposed to be urging a re-examination
of the Act of Settlement, and Charles II. was weak enough to sign a
decree banishing him from the kingdom. He returned to Ireland only in
1677, the year in which Ormond arrived for his last term of office as
Lord Lieutenant.

Already Shaftesbury's two subordinates, Titus Oates and Tonge, were
concocting the infamous story of the Popish Plot in the hope of
securing the exclusion of the Duke of York from the throne. In this
plot, according to the account of its lying authors, the Catholics of
Ireland were to play an important part, the Jesuits and the
Archbishops of Dublin and Tuam being supposed to be particularly
active. In October 1678 a proclamation was issued ordering all
archbishops, bishops, vicars, abbots, and other dignitaries of the
Church of Rome, and all others exercising jurisdiction by authority of
the Pope, together with all Jesuits and regular priests, to depart
from the kingdom before the 20th November, and all Popish societies,
convents, seminaries, and schools were to be dissolved at once.[73]
This was followed by a number of others couched in a similar strain,
and large numbers of priests were sent to the coast for
transportation. The chapels opened in Dublin and in the principal
cities were closed, and the clergy who remained were obliged to have
recourse to various devices to escape their pursuers. Dr. Talbot was
arrested and thrown into prison (1678), where he remained till death
put an end to his sufferings in November 1680. Though both the king
and Ormond were convinced of his innocence, yet such was the state of
Protestant frenzy at the time that they dare not move a hand to assist
him. Dr. Plunket, after eluding the vigilance of his pursuers for some
time, was arrested in 1679. He was brought to trial at Dundalk, but
his accusers feared to trust an Irish court, the case was postponed,
and in the meantime his enemies arranged that he should be brought to
London for trial. Every care was taken to obtain a verdict. The judges
refused a delay to bring over witnesses for the defence, and made no
attempt to conceal their bias and their hatred for the Catholic
religion, the very profession of which was sufficient to condemn him
in their eyes. He was executed at Tyburn (1681), and he was the last
victim to suffer death in England on account of the plot of Oates and
his perjured accomplices.[74] But in Ireland Ormond had no intention
of dropping the persecution. Several of the bishops and vicars-general
were arrested and either held as prisoners or banished, and spies were
sent through the country to track down those who defied the
proclamation of banishment by remaining to watch over their dioceses.

On the accession of James II. (Feb. 1685) the Catholics of Ireland had
reason to hope for an improvement of their position, and this time at
least they were not disappointed. The Duke of Ormond was recalled, and
the Earl of Clarendon was sent over as Lord Lieutenant. He was
instructed to maintain the Act of Settlement, but at the same time to
allow Catholics full freedom of worship, and to consider them eligible
for civil and military appointment. With him was associated as
military commander Colonel Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnell, brother
of the late Archbishop of Dublin. In accordance with the well-known
wishes of the king, Catholic officers were appointed in the army,
Catholics were allowed once more to act as sheriffs, magistrates, and
judges, and steps were taken to see that the corporations, which had
been closed against Catholics for years, should be no longer safe
Protestant boroughs. The Irish bishops hastened to present an address
of welcome to the king, and they were assured of his Majesty's favour
and protection. Religious communities of both men and women were
re-opened in Dublin, and in the principal cities throughout Ireland,
and synods of the clergy were held to restore order and
discipline.[75] Irish Catholics as a body were delighted with the
royal edicts in favour of religious toleration, but the small
Protestant minority in the country were alarmed at seeing Catholics
treated as equals, and particularly at the prospect of seeing the Act
of Settlement upset, and their titles to their estates questioned by
the real owners whom they had despoiled twenty years before. Their
fears were increased when the Earl of Clarendon, whom they regarded as
in some sort their protector, was recalled (1687) to make way for the
Earl of Tyrconnell as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The new Lord
Lieutenant was far from being perfect, nor was he always prudent in
his policy or his actions, but if his conduct towards the small body
of Protestants in Ireland be compared with that of his predecessors
for more than a century, or with that of his successors, towards the
Irish people, he ought to be regarded as one of the most enlightened
administrators of his age.

The revolution that broke out in England (1688), the arrival of
William of Orange (1688), and the flight of King James to France were
calculated to stir up strife in Ireland, though it is remarkable as
showing the fair treatment they had received that a great body of the
Irish Protestant bishops were in favour of supporting James against
the usurper, and that it was necessary to have recourse to lying
stories of an intended general massacre to stir up opposition to the
king. Tyrconnell, who had long foreseen such a course of events, had
made wonderful preparations, considering the situation of the country
and the constitution of his council. Had James II. contented himself
with inducing Louis XIV. to send arms and ammunition to Ireland and to
utilise to the fullest the splendid French navy, Tyrconnell, aided by
the able Irish officers who flocked to his standard from all parts of
Europe, might have bidden defiance to all invaders.

But James insisted on returning to Ireland. He landed in March 1689
and proceeded to Dublin, where a national Parliament was summoned to
meet in May. As a result of allowing the majority of the people to
have some voice in the selection of the members, the House of Commons
in 1689 was almost as Catholic as that of 1662 had been Protestant. In
the House of Lords the Protestants might have been in the majority had
all the spiritual and temporal peers taken their seats, but as several
of the bishops were absent from the country, and as many of the lay
lords had either joined the party of William or were waiting to see
how events would go, few of them put in an appearance. From the
beginning it was clear that the ideals of James were not the ideals of
the Irish Parliament. He wished merely to make Ireland the stepping-
stone to secure his own return to England, while the representatives
of Ireland were determined to provide for the welfare and independence
of their own country. They began by laying down the principle that no
laws passed in England had any binding force in Ireland unless they
were approved by the king, lords, and commons of Ireland. They next
affirmed the principle of liberty of conscience for all, whether
Catholic or Protestant, thereby setting an example which unfortunately
was not followed either in England or in later parliamentary
assemblies in Ireland. They decreed further that for the future
Catholics should not be obliged to pay tithes for the support of the
Protestant ministers, but rather that both Catholics and Protestants
should contribute to the support of their respective pastors, a system
which no impartial man could condemn as unfair. They repealed the Acts
of Settlement and Explanation, and declared that those who held
estates in Ireland in October 1641 should be restored to them, or if
they were dead that their heirs should enter into possession. The
soldiers and adventurers were deprived thereby of the property which
they had acquired by legalised robbery and had held for over twenty
years, but it was provided that those who had purchased lands from the
Cromwellian grantees should be compensated from the estates of those
who were then in rebellion against the king. In view of what had taken
place in Ulster under James I., of what the Earl of Wentworth had in
contemplation for portions of Munster and Connaught had his plants not
miscarried, and of what had been done by Cromwell in nearly all parts
of Catholic Ireland, the action of the Parliament of 1689 was not
merely justifiable. It was extremely moderate. An Act of Attainder was
also passed against those persons who had either declared for William
of Orange, or who had left the country lest they should be regarded as
taking sides with James II. Such men were called upon to return within
a certain time unless they wished to incur the penalty of being
regarded as traitors and punished as such. It is not true to say that
there was any secrecy observed in regard to this act, or that
knowledge of it was kept from the parties concerned till the time-
limit had expired. It was discussed publicly in the presence of the
Protestant bishops and Protestant representatives, and its provisions
were well known in a short time in England and Ireland.[76]

Derry and Enniskillen had declared against King James towards the end
of 1688, and all efforts to capture these two cities had failed. In
August 1689 the Duke of Schomberg arrived at Bangor with an army of
about fifteen thousand men, but little was done till the arrival of
William of Orange in June 1690. Had the Irish and French military
advisers had a free hand they might easily have held their own, even
though William's army was composed largely of veteran troops drawn
from nearly every country of Europe. Had James taken their advice and
played a waiting game, by retiring behind the Shannon so as to allow
time to have his own raw levies trained, and to hold William in
Ireland when his presence on the Continent against Louis XIV. was so
urgently required, the situation would have been awkward for his
opponent; and even when James decided to advance had he gone forward
boldly, as was suggested to him, and insisted upon giving battle north
of Dundalk in the narrow pass between the mountains and the sea where
William's cavalry would have been useless, the issue might have been
different. But with a leader who could not make up his mind whether to
give battle or to retreat, and who, having at last decided to fight in
the worst place he could have selected, sent away his heavy guns
towards Dublin with the intention of ordering a retirement almost when
the decisive struggle had begun, it was impossible for his followers
to expect any other result but defeat. In the battle of the Boyne the
brunt of the fighting fell upon the Irish recruits, and both the Irish
cavalry and infantry offered a stubborn resistance. James fled to
Dublin, and in a short time left Ireland (1690). The Irish and French
commanders then fell back on the line of the Shannon, according to
their original scheme. They defended Limerick so bravely that William
was obliged to raise the siege, but the capture of Athlone (1691) and
the defeat of the Irish forces at Aughrim turned the scales in favour
of William. Towards the end of August 1691 the second siege of
Limerick began. Sarsfield, who was in supreme command, made a vigorous
defence, but, as it was impossible to hold out indefinitely, and as
there seemed to be no longer any hope of French assistance, he opened
up negotiations with General Ginkle for a surrender of the city. As a
result of these negotiations the Treaty of Limerick was signed on the
3rd October 1691.[77]

[1] /Cambrensis Eversus/, iii., 53. /Arch. Hib./ iii., 273 sqq.

[2] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 17-26.

[3] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 58-60.

[4] Id., 134, 152-3.

[5] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 190-3.

[6] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 143-44.

[7] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 301-3.

[8] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 362 sqq.

[9] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 389-90.

[10] Cf. Introduction to vol. ii. /Calendar of State Papers/ (James
I.) lxxi. sqq.

[11] Id., ii., 14 sqq.

[12] Id., i., 474.

[13] Cf. Introduction to vol. ii. /Calendar of State Papers/ (James
I.), i., 475.

[14] Id., ii., 131-33.

[15] Cf. Introduction to vol. ii. /Calendar of State Papers/ (James
I.), i., 476.

[16] /State Papers, James I./, i., 67, 78, 134, 299; ii., 309-11.

[17] /Archiv. Hib./, iii., 260 sqq.

[18] Moran, /Archbishops of Dublin/, 218 sqq.

[19] Cf. Walsh, /The Flight of the Earls/ (/Archiv. Hib./, ii., iii.,
app. i.). Meehan, /Fate and Fortunes of the Earls of Tyrone and
Tyrconnell/, 1886.

[20] Hill, /An Historical Account of the Plantation of Ulster/, (1608-
20), 1877.

[21] /State Papers/, iii., 284 sqq.

[22] /State Papers/, iv., 80 sqq.

[23] Cf. /Archiv. Hib./, ii., 164-65. /State Papers/, iv., 80-3.

[24] Rothe's /Analecta/ (ed. Moran), xciii. sqq.

[25] Ware's /Works/, i., 206. /Cal. of State Papers/, iv., 171, 232,

[26] /Archiv. Hib./, iii., 284 sqq.

[27] /Cal. State Papers/, iv., 373 sqq.

[28] /Archiv. Hib./, iii., 300.

[29] Meagher, /Life of Archbishop Murray/, 111 sqq. /Constitutiones
Provinciales et Synodales Eccl. Metropolit. et Primatialis
Dublinensis/, 1770.

[30] Renehan-MacCarthy, op. cit., 428 sqq.

[31] For a full account of this Parliament, cf. /Calendar of State
Papers/, iv. (Introduction, xxxvi. sqq.). Meehan, op. cit., 255

[32] Rothe, /Analecta/, 32 sqq.

[33] Rothe, /Analecta/, 270 sqq.

[34] Ussher's /Works/, (ed. Elrington), i., 58.

[35] /Cal. Carew Papers/, vi., 432-3.

[36] /Hist. MSS. Commission/ X. Report, app. v., 349-50.

[37] Ed. Moran, 1863.

[38] Cf. Renehan-MacCarthy, op. cit., i., 20 sqq., 187 sqq., 258 sqq.,
395 sqq.

[39] Ussher's /Works/, i., 72-4.

[40] Bagwell, /Ireland under the Stuarts/, i., 182.

[41] Moran, /Archbishops of Dublin/, 313-15.

[42] Moran, /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 156 sqq.

[43] Ussher's /Works/, i., 94-95.

[44] Cf. Townshend, /The Life and Letters of the Earl of Cork/, 1904,
186 sqq. Bagwell, op. cit., i., 186-9. Moran, /Archbishops of
Dublin/, 317 sqq.

[45] Bramhall's /Works/, i., lxxix.

[46] /Irish Commons Journal/, 1640-1.

[47] Dunlop, /Ireland under the Commonwealth/, i., cix.

[48] Moran, /Archbishops of Dublin/, 434-36. Id., /Memoirs of
Archbishop Plunket/, 386-88. Renehan-MacCarthy, op. cit., 438 sqq.

[49] /Archiv. Hib./, iii., 359 sqq.

[50] For War, 1641-53, cf. Gilbert, /Aphorismical Discovery of
Treasonable Faction, or a Contemporary History of Irish Affairs,
1641-52/, 6 vols., 1879-80. Id., /History of the Irish
Confederation/, 7 vols., 1882-91. Carte, /History of the Life of
James, Duke of Ormond/, 3 vols., 1736.

[51] Dunlop, op. cit., i., cxvii. /English Historical Review/, i., ii.
Lecky, /Ireland in the Eighteenth Century/, 61 sqq.

[52] Carte, /Life of Ormond/, i., 260-1.

[53] Lecky, op. cit., 96 sqq.

[54] /Spicil. Ossor./, ii., 2-8.

[55] Id., i., 262-8.

[56] Bagwell, op. cit., ii., 88-9.

[57] Bagwell, op. cit., 115.

[58] Cf. Aiazzi, /Nunziatura in Irlanda di Mgr. G. B. Rinuccini/, 1844
(tr. Hutton, 1873). /Ninth Report Hist. MSS. Commission/, App.
ii., 1884.

[59] Cox, /Hib. Anglicana/, app. 43.

[60] Murphy, /Cromwell in Ireland/, 1883. /The History of the War in
Ireland, 1641-53/ (ed. Hogan, S.J., 1873).

[61] On Cromwell's /Massacres/, cf. /Nineteenth Century and After/
(Sept., 1912; Dec., 1912; April, 1913). /Irish Eccl. Record/
(June, 1913; Nov., 1913).

[62] /Spicil. Ossor./, ii., 38-43.

[63] Id., ii., 85 sqq.

[64] /Declaration of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, etc., 1641/.

[65] Cf. Dunlop, op. cit. (the official documents are given in this
book). Prendergast, /The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland/, 2nd
ed., 312 sqq. (References to P. R. Doc.). Moran, /Spicil Ossor./,
i., 374-428.

[66] Williams, /The Regicides in Ireland/ (/Irish. Ecc. Record/, Aug.,

[67] Prendergast, op. cit., 232 sqq.

[68] On the Cromwellian Plantation, cf. Dunlop, op. cit. (Introduction
and Documents). Prendergast, /Cromwellian Settlement/.

[69] Burke, /Irish Priests in the Penal Times/, 11-12.

[70] /Irish Eccl. Record/, 1st ser., vi., 501-15.

[71] Walsh, /History and Vindication of the loyal Formulary or Irish
Remonstrance, etc., 1672/.

[72] Cox, /A Letter/, etc., 11.

[73] Cox, op. cit., 14.

[74] For an account of the Ven. Oliver Plunket, cf. Moran, /Memoir of
the Ven. Oliver Plunket/, 1861. Id., /Life of Oliver Plunket/,
1895. Burke, op. cit., 77 sqq.

[75] Moran, /Spicil. Ossor./, ii., 289 sqq.; iii., 109 sqq.

[76] On this Parliament, cf. Davis, /The Patriot Parliament of 1689/,
1893. Dunbar Ingram, /Two Chapters of Irish History/, 1888. King,
/State of the Protestants of Ireland, 1691/. Leslie, /An Answer to
a Book entitled the State of the Protestants of Ireland under the
late King James, 1691/. Murphy, /Two Irish Parliaments/ (/Record
of the Maynooth Union/, 1907-8).

[77] For an account of the war, cf. /A Jacobite Narrative of the War
in Ireland/ (ed. Gilbert, 1892). /Macariae Excidium or the
Destruction of Cyprus/ (ed. Crofton Croker, 1841, O'Callaghan,
1850). Boulger, /The Battle of the Boyne/, etc., 1911 (based on
the French military reports).



Burke, /The Irish Priests in the Penal Times (1660-1760)/, 1914 (a
valuable book, based on the State Papers preserved in the Record
Office, the Bodleian Library and the British Museum). Curry, /An
Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland from
the Reign of Queen Elizabeth to the Settlement of King William
III./, 2 vols., 1786. Klopp, /Der Fall des Hauses Stuart u.s.w./,
14 Bde., 1875-88. Madden, /Historical Notice of the Penal Laws
against Roman Catholics/, 1865. Lecky, /History of Ireland in the
Eighteenth Century/, 5 vols. (new imp., 1913). Parnell, /History
of the Penal Laws/, 1808. Id., /An Historical Apology for the
Irish Catholics/, 1807. /Works and Correspondence of Edmund
Burke/, 8 vols., 1851. Butler, /Historical Memoirs of English,
Irish, and Scotch Catholics/, 4 vols., 1819. Scully, /The Penal
Laws/, 1812. Murray, /Revolutionary Ireland and its Settlement/,

When the Irish leaders entered into correspondence with General Ginkle
they were by no means reduced to the last extremity. The situation of
the besiegers was rendered difficult by the approach of winter, and
there was a danger that the city might be relieved at any moment by
the appearance of a French fleet in the Shannon. Hence to avoid the
risks attendant on the prolongation of the siege and to set free his
troops for service on the Continent, where their presence was required
so urgently, General Ginkle was willing to make many concessions.
Before the battle of Aughrim William had offered to grant the
Catholics the free exercise of their religion, half the churches in
the kingdom, and the moiety of the ecclesiastical revenues.[1] But the
position of both parties had changed considerably since then, and
Sarsfield and his companions could hardly expect so favourable terms.
They insisted, however, on toleration, and though the first clause of
the treaty dealing expressly with that subject was drafted badly, they
certainly expected they had secured it. In addition to the military
articles the Peace of Limerick contained thirteen articles, the most
important of which were the first, and the ninth. By these it was
provided that the Catholics should enjoy such privileges in the
exercise of their religion as is consistent with the laws of Ireland,
and as they did enjoy in the reign of Charles II.; that their
Majesties as soon as their affairs should permit them to summon a
Parliament would endeavour to procure for Irish Catholics "such
further security in that particular as may preserve them from any
disturbance upon account of their religion;" and that the oath to be
administered to Catholics should be the simple oath of allegiance to
William and Mary. "Those who signed it [the Treaty]," writes Lecky,
"undertook that the Catholics of Ireland should not be in a worse
position, in respect to the exercise of their religion, than they had
been in during the reign of Charles II., and they also undertook that
the influence of the government should be promptly exerted to obtain
such an amelioration of their condition as would secure them from the
possibility of disturbance. Construed in its plain and natural sense,
interpreted as every treaty should be by men of honour, the Treaty of
Limerick amounted to no less than this."[2] The Treaty was ratified by
the sovereigns in April 1692, and its contents were communicated to
William's Catholic ally, the Emperor Leopold I. (1657-1705) as a proof
that the campaign in Ireland was not a campaign directed against the
Catholic religion.

The king was, therefore, pledged to carry out the agreement, and by
means of the royal veto and the control exercised by the English privy
council he could have done so notwithstanding the bigoted fanaticism
of the Protestant minority in Ireland. Nor can it be said that the
conduct of the Irish Catholics afforded any pretext for denying them
the rights to which they were entitled. Once their military leaders
and the best of their soldiers had passed into the service of France
there was little danger of a Catholic rebellion, and during the years
between 1692 and 1760, even at times when the Jacobite forces created
serious troubles in Scotland and England, the historian will search in
vain for any evidence of an Irish conspiracy in favour of the exiled
Stuarts. The penal laws were due solely to the desire of the
Protestant minority to wreak a terrible vengeance on their Catholic
countrymen, to get possession of their estates, to drive them out of
public life, by excluding them from the learned professions and from
all civil and military offices, to reduce them to a condition of

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