Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

resistance. But she appears to have been actuated 1603. less by religious influence against her Irish than her English subjects. In England under Elizabeth * 130 priests were publicly executed for their religion, numbers were imprisoned, and others sent into banishment by companies of forty, fifty, and seventy at a time. Whereas, during her whole reign in Ireland, we read of no imprisonment, banishment, or execution of any priest for the sake of his religion.

had entered into the war under repeated assurances of succours from the Pope and the King of Spain. He constantly importuned these powers for assistance. He urged the unlawfulness of submitting to Elizabeth, who still remained subject to the excommunication of Pius V. and entreated Clement VIII. to send a nuncio to Ireland ; instead of which that Pope wrote a breve from Rome to encourage the nation to the recovery of its liberties; a copy of which is to be seen in the Appendix to the Historical Review, No. XI.

Ere we enter upon another reign, it may be not uninteresting to refer to the specific grounds and reasons, why the Irish rose · against Elizaheth, and so obstinately persisted in ļheir rebellion.

Many of them are collected together in a very strong and sensible memorial submitted to the Queen, by Captain Thomas Lee, a good officer and stauncla protestant, in the year 1594. Several of the facts he was eye witness to ; others he vouches for the truth of. A manuscript of it is in Trinity College, Dublin; and considerable extracts from it are to be seen in the Appendix to my His

torical Review, No. XII. T ILL A TT Let1 1-1/ 1 * Pers. Discuss. of Bul. Answer, 1612, p. 179.

CHAPTER V.

The Reign of James I.

of the house
of Stuart
to the Irish
throne

1003. The accession of the house of Stuart to the throna Accortion of England, and consequently to that of Ireland,

se forms a notable æra in the modern history of that

country. The conduct of the Irish to the Stuarts,
and their treatment of the Irish, afford a melancholy
illustration of the unmanly policy of that family, to
court their enemies and neglect their friends. James
was regularly proclaimed without opposition in
. Ireland, as he had been in England. The former
he found so reduced by the sword, famine, and pesti.
lence, as to have abandoned all thoughts of that
liberty and independence, which was only to be
purchased by a continuance of such calamities : and
it was scarcely worth retaining by so profuse a drain
of blood and treasure, which England was no longer
able to supply *.

* Morryson (p. 97) says, that the Queen's charge for Ireland, from the 1st of April, 1600, to the 29th of March, 1602, was 283,6731. 193. 44. Robertson, in his History of Scotland, tells Os, that “ it was part of James's policy, in order to pave the way to his succession, to waste the vigour of the state of England, by some insensible, yet powerful means. He had his agents in Ireland fomenting Tyrone's war (the Scots daily carrying munition to the rebels) in Ulster; so that the Queen was driven almost to an incredible expense in carrying it on, and her enemies, still

James en

, ingratiate

thc Irish

James's first care after his accession was to ingra. 1603. tiate himself with the Irish. Tyrone and Roderick O'Donnel, who in the late commotions had been deavours to very active against the government, accompanied himself with Mountjoy to the court of King James, where they were most graciously received: the former was confirmed in all his lands and honours, the latter was created Earl of Tyrconnel. It is evident that James encouraged reports in Ireland, that he should be favourable to the catholics, and they were naturally magnified by the enthusiasm of the Irish. It was even currently believed, that the King himself was of that persua. sion *. Mr. Osborne, indeed, says, “ it is certain,

encouraged by James's secret assistance and promises.” Of this,
Elizabeth complained to James in a letter, in 1599, remonstrating
with him upon the impolicy of abetting what she termed the
dangerous party, and failing his own (Saund. King James). No
one therefore could be more alive to the dangers of the Irish
persisting in rebellion, than King James. He could not have .
forgotten, that he had underhand favoured Irish rebellions, and ·
courted the catholic powers of the continent with specious pro-
mises of being well disposed to the religion of his mother, in order
to pave his way to the English throne.

* It is reported of James, that he sent a letter, under his own a
hand and seal, to Pope Clement the VIIIth, assuring his holiness,
that it was his Majesty's intention to become a Roman catholic
whenever he shou!d ascend the English throne. In fact, James
objected not to any tenets of the Roman catholic faith ; but only
to the abusive encroachments of the spiritual over the civil power ;
for he said in his premonition (James's Works, ed. 1616, p. 306):
“ For myself (if that were yet the question) I would with all my
heart give my consent, that the Bishop of Rome should have the
first seate, I being a western King, would goe with the patriarch of

es

marches in

1603. that the promise King James made to the Roman

catholics, was registered, and amounted so high at ·
least as a toleration of their religion.” In the warmth
of these hopes and expectations, they no longer con-
sidered it necessary to confine their religious worship
to privacy : in many parts of Leinster, and more par-
ticularly of Munster, they openly performed the divine
service and other religious ceremonies, in the full

external form of the Roman ritual. Mountjoy Mountjoy marched an armed force into Munster, in to Munster order to check this open defiance of the law. At Wa. to check the open exer- terford he found the town gates shut against him : the

citizens pleaded, that by a charter of King John they were exempted from quartering soldiers; but Mountjoy instantly replied, that with the sword of King James he would cut to pieces the charter of King John; level their city with the ground, and strew salt upon its ruins. The menace was effectual: Mount. joy entered, and the citizens were terrified into submission. From this conduct of the deputy, the other cities of Munster, which had declared for the free and public exercise of the Roman catholic religion, were intimidated into a like compliance with the laws *.

cise of reli: gion.

the West. And for his temporall principalitie over the signory of Rome, I doe not quarrell it neither : let him in God's name be primus episcopus inter omnes episcopos, et princeps episcoporum i 60 it be no otherwise, but as Peter was princeps apostolorum.

* This public exercise of the catholic religion ought not to be consider ed as open and deliberate treason. We have before observed, that the acts of Elizabeth, as well as the other acts of the pale parliainent were not obeyed twenty miles from Dublin : and even within the pale, the penal laws of Elizabeth had not been

Act of obli.

c vion and in

For settling the peace and quieting the minds of 1605. the nation, and for securing their persons and pro- act of ahliperty from the effects of the law, which most of demnity, them had incurred in some way or other during the general confusion, an act of state, called An Act of Oblivion and Indemnity, was published by proclamation under the great seal, by which all offences against the crown, and all particular trespasses between subject. and subject, were, to all such as would come in to the justices of assize, by a certain day, and claim the

executed for the last forty years. All the Irish annalists affirm that the Statute of Uniformity (2 Eliz.) was surreptitiously ob tained by the art of Stanyhurst, the then speaker; who, at an unusual hour, and on an unexpected day, procured the bill to be passed by the friends to reform, in the absence of those, who were expected to oppose it. They soon after protested against the act of this smuggled convention; and the Lord Lieutenant assured them with oaths and protestations, that the penalties of that act should never be inflicted, which they believing, suffered it to remain without further opposition. In fact, that law was never executed, during the remainder of Queen Elizabeth's reign, (Vide Analect. Sacr. p. 431,) Other causes may with greater plausibility be assigned for the non-execution of the penal laws, during the reign of Elizabeth, in Ireland ; while hundreds were put to death, and thousands suffered in their persons and fortunes un. der similar laws in England. Those within the pale were equally te pacious of their ancient faith, as those without it. The Queen's army was full of native Irish, all or most of whom then were ca tholic. And Mortyson (p. 120) asserts, that one half of that gallant army under Lord Mountjoy, which so successfully attacked and at last entirely defeated Tyrone, was Irish ; nor did their having less pay than the English or their being exposed to endure the brunt of every action lessen their zeal or activity in the service.

« AnteriorContinuar »