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Full text of "Historical sketches of O'Connell and his friends : including Rt. Rev. Drs. Doyle and Milner, Thomas Moore, John Lawless, Thomas Furlong, Richard Lalor Shiel, Thomas Steele, Counsellor Bric, Thomas Addis Emmet, William Cobbett, Sir Michael O'Loghlen, etc., etc., with a glance at the future destiny of Ireland"

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rt. rev. drs. doyle and milner thomas moore john 

lawless thomas furlong richard lalor shiel 

thomas steele counsellor bric thomas addis 

emmet william cobbett sir michael 

o'loghlen, etc., etc., 




I LOVE agitation, when there is cause for it ; the alarm-bell which startles 

the inhabitants of a city, saves them from being burned in their beds." — Burke. 


1 845. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 

Stereotyped by 















The name of my immortal subject has been familiar to the 
civilized world for nearly forty years. The free of the earth 
venerate it — the tyrants and task-masters of men hate its 
utterance, so ominous of the annihilation of their unhal- 
lowed caste. Were those who have been benefited by the 
labors of his life, to assemble in congress, at the call of 
pTatitude, an assembly would be formed without a parallel 
in all past history. The Asiatic of the Indian Peninsula 
would leave his rice crops by the banks of the sacred 
Ganges ; Africa would send forth her dusky deputies ; the 
West Indies their emancipated dark men ; Canada her 
grateful reformers, and Europe the noblest of her free and 
of her fallen races. The voice of Kosciusko, from the 
tomb, would command some son worthy of Poland, to join 
the great chorus of humanity, in singing praises to the com- 
mon benefactor. It would be a testimonial equal to its 
cause, if all the world were represented, and not otherwise. 

It is the character of true greatness to attract greatness, 
as the magnet draws towards itself the finely-tempered 
steel. Of this truth, the life of Daniel O'Connell, like that 
of a very differently constituted hero — Bonaparte — is a 
strong exemplification, and much of O'ConnelPs public 
character and glory will be found to emanate from his 
'' friends." 

The age we live in certainly excels all antiquity in the 
art of making professions, although it falls decidedly behind 
the past in men of genuine greatness of soul. There is 
hardly a public man who has earned an eminent character 
for consistency, although many are distinguished by start- 
ing theories, and afterwards tamelv suffering them to be 


run down by ihc ronscd indignalion oi dominant custom and 
dogged prejudice. It is clieering to human nature, and 
promises better things for humanity, to find, in O'Connell, 
a man who lias outlived, in the obduracy of a steady pur- 
pose, an unnatural alliance of republican prejudice, monar- 
chical hatred, and religious animosity ; who has been forty 
years before the world, without giving it reason to despise 
or detest him ; who has overturned more than one monop- 
oly of his own government, and aided, with no unfelt hand, 
the struggles of every cotemporary nation and people 
aspiring to freedom. If he has undertaken much, he has 
achieved much. Ireland rejoices in her free altars, and 
open corporations ; England in the abolition of her odious 
rotten boroughs ; the West Indies in the overthrow of 
the most indefensible and disgraceful of tyrannies, that of 

The great work of universal emancipation is scarcely 
commenced. One of the first in the field, amongst those 
who labored, and thought, and suffered contumely and re- 
proach for its sake, was the Liberator of Ireland. AVhoever 
may live to see the day when slavery shall cease, if hap- 
pily such a day will dawn upon this globe of ours, will see 
also, the statue of O'Connell in every free senate — and 
hear, in every land, the wise and honorable of that age, re- 
peat his story with reverence. Alone, or perhaps side by 
side with Washington, he will be placed in the first rank of 
those worthies of all the world, w^hose souls w^ere uncribbed 
by custom, and whose benevolent labors were unconfined to 
any family, or nation of the earth. In him the everlasting 
Church will claim a champion, unexcelled amid laymen 
for the severity of his mission. In him Humanity will 
claim a priest, entitled to administer at her high altar. In 
him Liberty will boast a model for all her future reformers. 


The Family of Mr, O^ConnelL — His Birth and Educa- 
tion, collegiate and legal. 

The O'Connells are of unadulterated Milesian origin. 
Their history is coeval with that of Ireland itself, and will 
most probably remain so forever. The present head of the 
" sept," was, in his youth, as we are told, not unconscious 
of the value of the honorable fame transmitted by a long 
line of brave and pious forefathers, for, like his own, their 
patriotic deeds were numerous enough to transmit some 
rays of honor to the humblest and remotest of their de- 

Kerry, the patrimony of the family, anciently styled 
Iveragh, was an independent toparchy, amenable to the 
kings of Connaught, in all matters concerning the general 
welfare of that kingdom. Originally, it appears, this inher- 
itance extended some distance into the adjoining counties of 
Clare and Limerick ; but treachery, invasion, and hospital- 
ity, ultimately narrowed its limits, so that it now yields less 
than £5,000 per annum, nor has its revenue much exceeded 
this sum at any time, since the memorable rebellion and 
confiscation of 1641. 

The O'Connells have been, from first to last, an agitating 
family, firm haters of the Saxons, and bold foragers in the 
hour of national struggle, and ever ready to wipe out in 
blood any insult offered to their clan. An Irish MSS. 
preserved in the British Museum, mentions a Daniel O'Con- 
nell, who successfully opposed an invasion of the Scotch, on 
the northern coast of Ireland, in the year 1245. A yet 
earlier record (for these are early dates in the dilapidated 
annals of modern Ireland) is preserved, of the courage and 
patriotism of this family, many of them having fallen on 
the memorable field of Clontarf, in defence of the standard 
of '* Brian the Brave. '^ In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
the O'Connell of Iveragh made a treaty with that sove- 
reign, by which he was guarantied the security of his prop- 


erty and the enjoyment of his power. The son of this 
leag^ier is mentioned in history, soon after, as High 
Sheriff of Kerry. When the last monarch of the Stuarts 
besought the land he had repeatedly injured, for support 
against one he had too pliantly conciliated, John O'Connell 
of Iveragh, raised a regiment of his clansmen, and poured 
out of his mountain fastness, to aid the dethroned mon- 
arch at the Boyne. In that desperate struggle between a 
wise knave and a foolish one, which stained the ill-fated 
field of Anghrim in Ireland's true regal blood, and reddened 
the broad w^aters of the Shannon, and flooded the banks of 
" Boyne's ill-fated river," the O'Connells remained firm to 
the royal weakling, and suffered, as all the best blood of 
their land have, by that enterprise. The remnant of their 
regiment, sailed with Sarsfield to France ; some returned 
to Kerry, but the vast majority lay dead on the battle-field, 
or cold within the ramparts of Limerick city. In the lapse 
of two generations, Derrynane Abbey, the old residence of 
Iveragh's toparchs, passed into other hands, and ultimately 
crumbled into dust, in mournful consonance with the for- 
tunes of its rightful possessors. The present abbey, which 
is of modern date, stands near the ruins of its venerable 
predecessor. Its doors are ever open to the stranger, the 
board is laden as of old, and the vintage of foreign lands, 
and the usequebaugh of the mountains, are offered as liber- 
ally as any O'Connell of the olden time could wish. 

Of that portion of the family who emigrated to France 
after the evacuation of Limerick in 1691, several rose to 
eminence in the service of various continental powers. 
Their names, rendered illustrious in many a bloody field of 
Austria and France, rang through their native isle, cheer- 
ing the hearts of their kinsmen, and warming others into 
emulation. The last of eminence disappeared a few years 
ago from the stage — Count Daniel O'Connell, uncle to the 
more illustrious bearer of that name. This veteran had had 
the singular fortune of being a general in the service of 
France, and a colonel in that of England at the same time. 
At the period of Bonaparte's return from Elba, he en- 
tered the English army, and received a colonelcy, the du- 
ties of which command he continued to fulfil, until Charles 
the Twelfth mounted the Bourbon throne by the right of a 
legitimacy, too painfully evident in the sequel of his reign ; 
he w^as then restored to his rank and command. Count 


O'Connell was, we believe, a Huguonot, and has left behind 
him, the reputation of a brave officer. 

The father of the Liberator, Morgan O'Connell, of Car- 
hen, mingled the high blood of these illustrious soldiers, 
with that of a race no less celebrated in the annals of West- 
ern Ireland. His mother was a daughter of the O'Donahoe 
Dhuv, or the black chief of that clan, whose banners for ages 
had waved over Killamey from the summits of an hundred 
hills ; whose bugles for the early chase, or trumpets for the 
battle, were for centuries re-echoed from the deep glens of 
the " Eagle West," and the valleys of Manger ton and the 
Keeks. His wife was Catharine, daughter of John O'Mul- 
laine, of Whitechurch, Co. Cork ; he was one of twenty- 
two children by the same mother, more than half of whom 
lived to the age of eighty years and upwards. At the time 
of Daniel's birth, he was far from opulent, but possessed 
nevertheless a sufficiency to keep up the honor and dignity 
of his house, and to bestow upon his sons, John, Daniel, and 
James, the advantages of a continental education. This, 
however, was a matter of necessity, not choice ; for, accord- 
ing to the brutal penal code, no Catholic could educate his 
child in Ireland, without being chargeable of felony. The 
character of Morgan O'Connell was that of an easy and 
plain country gentleman, without arrogance to those of 
humbler state, and above the meanness of courting the 
smiles of men, whose greater wealth was their only claim 
to distinction. He was a model of the old Irish gentleman 
— fond of the chase — partial to the follies of his tenantry — 
a fond father, and a reproachless husband. 

The 6th of August, 1775, is ever memorable in the an- 
nals of Ireland, as the birth-day of her Liberator. The 
house in which this event occurred, yet stands, although in 
a ruinous condition ; the roof has fallen in, and the wall- 
flower shakes in every blast on the crumbling eaves. It 
stands apart from the village of Cahirciveen, at a short dis- 
tance from the highway, which no traveller passes, of high 
or low degree, without pausing to gaze upon the classic 
spot, where was born the Washington of Europe. The 
year of 1775 is one memorable in the annals of Freedom. 
In that year America entered on her long and glorious war 
with Great Britain ; in that year Henry G rattan entered 
the prejudiced and dependent Irish Commons, whom, after 
^ seven years' war with prejudice and patronage, he enfran- 


chised ; in that year, Daniel O'Connell was born, to be the 
saviour of his people. Some coincidences in history seem as 
if directly ordained by Providence, and of that class I know 
none more worthy of remark than the one I have just 

Of the childhood of Mr. O'Connell little more is remem- 
bered than that he was of a bustling and intrepid nature ; 
fond of physical exercises, as most healthy children are, 
and full of pranks and playfulness. His first, and only 
Irish tutor, was an aged priest, who often partook the hospi- 
tality of his father's house, and who, as he became more en- 
feebled by age, made it in great part his residence. He 
was one of those, numerous in his day, who suffered a 
lingering martyrdom for his faith ; not a martyrdom which 
causes death, but one which, instead of taking life away, 
spares the existence it has rendered burthensome. A man 
of black-letter knowledge, patient and self-denying ; one 
who had suffered too much to love the world and its ways, 
but who prayed too much to hate either. A Christian, in 
the truly evangelical meaning of the word, since his faith 
in Christ Jesus brought him but sneers and persecution. A 
scholar, whose views were all impregnated with the salt of 
sound theology, and whose manner of instruction was often 
tinctured with the solemn gloom of the cloister. Such was 
the first priest, with whom the future Emancipator became 
acquainted, and it would be idle to deny that this good 
man's character had deeply impressed him with that high 
admiration, amounting almost to reverence, ever manifested 
towards the clergy, and that lively sense of the necessity of 
a Christian life, the practice of which is one of the most glo- 
rious traits in his character. The instructions of this good 
man, however, were chiefly elementary ; his pupil at an 
early age was sent to the French college of Lou vain, and 
afterwards removed to that of St. Omers, where, under the 
teachings of the Jesuits, he acquired that self-control and 
regularity of habits, that profoundly Catholic cast of mind, 
that sound theological knowledge, and that invincible logic, 
which the libellers of Ireland, and the enemies of his faith 
have often confessed in the bitterness of defeat. 

Saint Omers was then a favorite resort of Irish students ; 
the descendants of the old Irish emigrants in France chiefly 
frequented it ; and it must have been a glorious sight to be- 
hold the amity which subsisted between these two branches 


of the old Milesian tree — the one flourishing in a free for- 
eign soil, the other preferring to stand on Irish ground, in 
defiance of every storm, still aspiring under the multitude 
of its chains. In all their games the French-Irish portion 
of the students sought out the countrymen of their brave 
fathers ; in their studies they clambered up the steeps of 
fame together, and v^oe be to him w^ho breathed a word of 
reproach against Ireland or France within the walls of St. 

Mr. O'Connell, it is said, had been intended by his pa- 
rents for the church, but he felt within himself the prompt- 
ings of a different mission, and with the courage of a true 
Catholic, feeling by anticipation, the responsibilities of the 
priesthood, he firmly expressed his determination not to enter 
on a profession for which he considered himself incapable. 
Notwithstanding this, he ever admired the character of his 
much reviled instructors, and truly may we believe him 
when in his old age he exclaims to the Premier Earl of 
England — " I love the Jesuits— I honor the Jesuits."^ 

Many anecdotes are related of the student life of O'Con- 
nell at St. Omers, and some of the best have stolen into 
print. One of the least current, is that of his having fisti- 
cuffed a young student, who protested strongly against such 
an ungentlemanly mode of arranging a quarrel ; " attendez 
un moment,''^ said O'Connell, and going to his room he 
brought forth his sword and pistol, offering his adversary 
either, as the only pair of weapons in his possession. The 
Frank, however, declared himself for peace, and the affair 
ended. Whilst he was at college the Jesuits frequently 
corresponded with his parents, and one, who seemed to have 
taken a peculiar interest in his progress, represented him 
from the first as an extraordinary youth, who loved power, 
and who would rise to eminence by daring and honorable 
enterprizes. Thus truly, did " the child become the father 
of the man." 

O'Connell studied in France in the days of the tremen- 
dous Revolution, which not only shook that country in 
every part — which overturned the throne, trampled on the 
nobles, rooted up the deep foundations of Catholicism, laid 
in the days of Pepin, and hardened in the storms of a thou- 
sand years — ^but set all Europe in commotion, inflaming the 

* Letter to the Earl of Shrewsbury, p. 1. 


literati, terrifying the great, and intoxicating the mechanics 
and the toilsmen. Like a silver speck on the heavens, the 
nucleus of a tornado, it met the eyes of millions who gazed 
with admiration upon the gentle purity of the God-sent 
avenger ; but soon it spread forth its lurid wings from hori- 
zon to horizon, darkening all above, and wrapping all below 
in ruin and desolation ; filling all space with reverberations 
of the work of havoc. The young student of St. Omers 
looked forth with a steady and statesmanlike gaze, on the 
phenomena at work around him ; with a heavy heart he 
saw the grand theory of freedom swept away in blood-spil- 
ling, and in anarchy, and even then he must have felt the 
necessity of a far different and far better system of revolu- 
tion. He must have felt that on ruined altars, squares 
crowded with scaffolds, and streets inundated with blood, 
Freedom could never look down without horror ; and that 
any indications of a movement which might tend to such 
scenes in Ireland, have always met his unqualified denun- 
ciation, is not strange. 

Having completed his education in France, Mr. O'Con- 
nell returned home, but was obliged, as an Irishman, to study 
his profession — that of law — in London. He therefore en- 
tered himself of the Middle Temple, where it w^as only re- 
marked of him that he w^as a good humored Irishman, and an 
attentive student. After spending the usual time in attend- 
ance on the courts of law, he returned to Ireland, and was 
admitted a member of the Irish Bar, at Dublin, in the Easter 
Term, 1798. 

The Irish bar was still in the glory of its independence — 
there w^as buoyancy in the national heart, and a generous 
emulation ran through the senate, the bar, and the press. 
The voice of Curran was heard in the four courts, drying 
the tears his pathos had caused. The sonorous and terri- 
ble energies of Plunkett, " the Wellington of the Senate," 
still shook the accuser, the criminal, the jury, and even the 
bench, at w^ill. The silver tones and gorgeous figures of 
Bushe were there in meridian brilliancy, " charming a ver- 
dict by the silent witchery of his manner." The morose, 
yet unfathomable mind of Saurin, rich alike in logic and in 
learning, made another giant figure in that group of colos- 
sal jurists ; while, pressing hard after them in the career of 
fame, came a younger, and scarcely less noble race — 
Holmes, Thomas Addis Emmett, Louis Perrin, and O'Con- 


nell. Such was the school to which the pupil of St. Omers 
came — already rich in learning, skilled in elocution, and 
subtle in debate. Here his first Irish lessons were received, 
and assuredly he has done no discredit to his instructors. 

Just at the time of his admission to the bar, the projected 
revolution of the United Irishmen exploded ; thus teaching 
him another painful lesson in the science of reform. Had 
he resided in Ireland in '97, and the previous years, it is 
probable that he would have entered, with the ardor of youth, 
into all the perils of a physical contest. But when he ar- 
rived from London the train was laid, the match was lighted, 
and all was completed for a rising. He was already a 
skeptic in the efficiency and justice of military means to effect 
political changes, and, happily for Ireland, he survived the 
exile and executions of the Emmetts, Tories, Fitzgeralds, 
Orrs, and Russells, to do with other weapons what they 
had dared to do in spite of the gibbet and the convict ship. 

In his twenty- third year he had the sing-ular advantage, 
to a statesman, of witnessing the beginning and the end of a 
successful revolution, and an unsuccessful national revolt. 
It was in this period of unparalleled suffering when the most 
sanguine scarcely dared hope for the welfare of the country 
— when the Catholic cause was saddled with all the blame 
of this unfortunate project — when the props of national inde- 
pendence were one by one silently withdrawn from its sup- 
port by the fratricidal Castlereagh — when the civil tribunals 
were closed, and public meetings dispersed at the bayonet's 
point — that Daniel O'Connell vowed before God to devote 
his energies to his country, and its altars, and to live but for 
the emancipation of both. What venal heart could prompt 
such generous adventure ? What sinister design could 
raise up a volunteer in those disastrous days ? Certainly 
there was nothing to gain, and much — life, friends, fortune, 
and perchance reputation — to lose, by confronting the inso- 
lent foreigner, who had prostrated Ireland lower than ever, 
and spurned her as she lay, covered with the blood of her 
devoted heroes. 



The Act of Union. — O'ConnelVs Opposition to that Meas- 
ure. — Robert Emmett. — Review of the Catholic Question 
in Ireland. — Rt. Rev. Dr. Milner. — Commencement 
of the Veto Controversy. — Suppression of the Catholic 

The year of 1799 is noted in Irish history for the dis- 
cussion of the projected legislative union between Great 
Britain and Ireland, emanating from the ministers of the 
former power, and strenuously opposed by the patriotic 
members of the Irish Parliament, in both houses. It is 
often asserted that the Irish Union was a compact made 
by mutual consent — but the fact of the standing army being 
130,000 strong in 1800, and but 74,000 in 1798, during the 
strength of insurrection, conclusively shows that the means 
of repressing popular opposition to the act, were considered 
needful to insure its passage under any pretence. 

Many meetings, notwithstanding, were convened, and the 
mercantile classes of Dublin, especially, were strenuously 
opposed to the baneful measure of legislative extinction. 
Lord Castlereagh and his followers had more than once 
hinted in the debates, that the Catholics of Ireland were in 
favor of the Union, and to make truth out of their asser- 
tions, they held out emancipation as a result of imperial 
liberality. To disprove the imputation thus brought against 
them, the Catholics of Dublin called a meeting at the Royal 
Exchange, on the 13th of January, 1800, where a large 
number attended, and several spirited resolutions w^ere unan- 
imously passed. It was at an early stage of this meeting 
that Major Sirr, the hireling of the Castle, and the butcher 
of the gallant Lord Edward Fitzgerald, followed by his 
Janisaries, entered the meeting, and demanded a copy of 
the resolutions to be read to him. When this was done, 
and while the bayonets were yet glistening in the hall, a 
young barrister, robust in form, of an interesting coun- 
tenance, rose to support their spirit and meaning. The eye 
of the Irish Marat was glistening upon him. It was his 


first public speech, when, as many years later he confessed, 
*' he trembled at the sound of his own voice." As he pro- 
ceeded, he waxed warm and energetic, and every sentence 
that fell from his lips, though nothing but peace was spoken, 
was emphasized by the most treasonable bitterness. There 
was a boldness, more of manner than language, in his deliv- 
ery, a feeling, as it were, of his own strength, which he 
could not conceal. He spoke not long, but with much 
effect, " I would rather," said he, with a noble vehemence, 
" see the whole penal code re-enacted than consent to the 
legislative extinction of Ireland." This young advocate of 
nationality, and defender of Catholicism, was the future 

But in despite of all that eloquence could do — of Grat- 
tan's w^ords of fire, and Plunkett's thunder, and Curran's 
most beautiful protests — in despite of all that genius could 
urge, and talent and intrepidity undertake — the legislature 
of Ireland was basely, infamously bartered away, and her 
senators sat in the council chambers of another land, amongst 
strangers, where her voice could not reach their ears, nor 
her miseries appeal to their senses. 

There were many of the young men of Ireland, who felt 
goaded to indignation by this act. When they thought on 
the glories of Dungannon, they blushed ; and when they 
heard of Grattan's triumphs abroad, and looked upon the 
empty senate house which he had purged eighteen years 
before, the tears of vexation streamed upon their cheeks. 
Their fathers had possessed a constitution nearly akin to 
freedom — they had representatives, who, with all their 
faults, were national — were Irishmen. It is not wonderful 
that the youth of a people, proverbially sanguine, should 
thus have regarded a change from independence to pro- 
vincialism, from glory to slavery, from plenty to utter 
want. But of the number v/ho most lamented this foul 
consummation, history loves to record, with peculiar honor, 
the names of two — the one Robert Emmett, and the other 
O'CoNNELL. No two men of the present century, more 
truly recognized the great principle of disinterestedness ; 
none so closely approached the ideal of patriotism ; neither 
feared for the frowns of placemen, nor of the employers of 
placemen ; both had hope in the native virtue of their down- 
cast countrymen. The only marvel is, that agreeing so 
well in the premises, they should have differed so w^idely in 


the means of achievement. Yet honor to the man who no- 
bly died — who perished with his country, when he found it 
impossible to save her ! However his judgment may have 
erred, every fibre of his heart, and every faculty of his vast 
mind, was responsive alone to Ireland's woes, and employed 
exclusively in attempts to ameliorate them. Soft be the 
turf upon his ashes, and reverent be the mention of his 
name on Irish lips, for assuredly, when the good and bad of 
all the world, and of all time, shall throng to judgment in 
the dread Jehosaphat, there shall not arise from the earth 
nor from the sea a purer-intentioned man than Robert 
Emmett. If, however, differing from him, Mr. O'Connell 
preferred to live for his country in chains, to Avatch over 
her first returning hour of courage, to catch the faint spark 
from her soul, and nurse it into a flame, which should over- 
spread the land, and melt down the brazen pillars of ascen- 
dancy, in its ardor — who shall refuse to him an honor 
equally deserved, and more wisely earned ? On devoting 
himself to Ireland, he found two great reforms necessary, 
viz., the emancipation of the Catholics, who were more 
than seven eighths of the population ; and afterwards a com- 
bination of Catholics, Protestants, and Dissenters, in order 
to attain a repeal of the obnoxious iVct of Legislative Union. 
To establish freedom of conscience in the British empire, 
to re-create a Senate, and raise a Constitution from the 
dead, were the vast projects of his young mind ; and equally 
honorable to his courage and his liberality, is the manner 
in which he has followed up those designs, against all sorts 
of disheartening obstructions. 

A knowledge of the state of the Catholic question, the first 
labor of the Irish Hercules, at the time he became by com- 
mon consent its head and front, is indispensable to the due 
appreciation of the magnitude of his undertaking. Laws of 
a prescriptive nature, framed upon the sole plea of creed, 
had been long accumulating on the English statute books, 
against the Catholics of the empire generally, wdiile several 
were exclusively against the Irish Catholics. Of the former 
number were those denying their admissibility to seats in the 
legislature, to all offices under the crown, and denying them 
the right of publicly attending Catholic worship, or harboring 
a Catholic clergyman ; these grievances were exaggerated 
in Ireland by the addition of others forbidding Catholics to 
educate their children at Trinity College, (the only univer- 


sity,) or at all within the realm ; and disabling them to hold 
real estate, if known to be frequenters of a Catholic church. 
To these causes of complaint we might add many others, 
equally tyrannical, narrow and unchristian. When the Irish 
Parliament obtained its independence, in 1782, its most able 
patriots beset themselves to carrying out a repeal of these 
laws, which, as volunteers, they had solemnly resolved to 
do, in the Congress of Dungannon. The emancipators of 
that assembly were more able than numerous, and for some 
years after they obtained perfect self-control, so many and 
such weighty questions of international policy were broached, 
such as Simple Repeal, the Commercial Regulations, the 
Pension List, and the Regency, that the Catholic cause was 
not immediately advanced. There cannot, however, be any 
doubt, but that, if it were not for the union, emancipation 
w^ould have come to Ireland twenty years sooner than it did 
at last. Meantime the subject was not neglected, nor did 
its great advocates, Grattan and Yelverton, suffer it to cool 
in their custody. There is no record of a session in which 
these illustrious men did not introduce the subject for dis- 
cussion, and, year after year, new proselytes were gained, 
and the minority at last was fast approaching a tie, when 
the act of union sent its Irish advocates to plead before a 
less genial audience. They obtained, however, in 1793, a 
bill empowering Catholics to be educated within the king- 
dom, and in Trinity College ; of taking apprentices and of 
being admitted to the bar ; " the old millstone still being 
about their neck," says Plowden, " the want of the elective 
franchise and a fair trial by jury.'"^ It was not long before 
this period that the plan, afterwards so successful, was 
adopted by the Catholics, I mean that of co-operating out of 
doors, by meetings, addresses, and petitions with their friends 
in Parliament. The Irish legislature had always guaran- 
teed freedom of speech, and the friends of emancipation had 
resolved to make good use of that inestimable weapon against 
wrong. They organized and agitated ; they poured in pe- 
titions to Parliament and to the sovereign, and appointed 
Richard Burke, son of the immortal impeacher of Hastings, 
as their agent in London. They induced the lethargic 
Catholic nobles to join them, who in most cases were a 
g^reater obstacle than an assistance to the labors of the ener- 

* British Empire, p. 178. 


getic. They obtained, later in this same year, (1793,) on the 
recommendation of the king, another bill, the only part of 
which, however, really worth thanks, was the title ; for, 
after setting forth that it was to be "A Bill to make it law- 
ful for Papists to hold any civil or military office under his 
Majesty," it comjnenced a list of exceptions so extensive as 
to take in everything worth having, from the lord-lieu- 
tenantcy of Ireland, to a sub-shrievalty. But then it ad- 
mitted them to the elective franchise and the trial by jury. 
Even this instalment, poor as it was, met with violent oppo- 
sition from the Lord Chancellor, (Clare,) and was opposed 
even by the Speaker, (Foster,) a man otherwise of good 
reputation for liberality. Its great advocates, however, with 
the aid of many worthy coadjutors, forced it through Parlia- 
ment after a stormy and protracted debate. These were the 
only benefits which the Irish Parliament, in its indepen- 
dence, conferred on the Catholics of that country ; but even 
these were promissory of further and wdder concessions. 
As to what it attempted previous to its independence, it is 
hardly worthy of a moment's consideration. Although 
Brooke, Curry, and O'Connor wrote, and Wyse, and one 
or two other men of property, agitated, the lethargy of the 
Catholic nobles, and the cry of " No Popery," were still too 
strong for their efforts at amelioration. True, in 1762, they 
were empowered to lease " iinprofitahle hogs,^^ and in 1778 
some portions of the " Act to prevent the increase of Popery " 
w^ere repealed. But to return to our narrative : — the engine 
of legislation, whether dependent or defective, was at last 
totally demolished, and the bold spirit of the people found a 
dying vent in the spasmodic outbreak of 1803. For a time 
they lay utterly stricken and hopeless, not daring to raise 
their eyes to their new rulers, much less to address them. 
At last, the old system of Wyse, in 1760, and of John 
Keogh, in 1793, — the system of a Catholic Committee, — 
was resuscitated, rather than founded, and Lords Fingal, 
Gormanstown, Trimblestown, and French, Sir Thomas 
Esmond, Bart., and a few Esquires undertook to hazard the 
experiment once more. 

In consequence of the concession of 1793, Mr. O'Connell 
did not find himself the only Catholic at the junior bar, and 
more than one of his brother jurists entered as w^armly into 
the contest as himself. They never lost sight of their de- 
grading position for a moment, but whether in the crow^ded 


assembly, or the social meeting, were ever ready to try their 
fortune at proselytizing. Of the most prominent (though 
they all did not enter the vineyard at the first hour) vi^ere 
Messrs. Hussey, Clinch, Scully, and Shiel. It may be 
supposed that the clergy, who were the most deeply con- 
cerned in the struggle, were not unwilling to lend a hand 
in bearing its brunts ; and we find, therefore, the names of 
Dr. Dromgoole, Dr. Troy, and Dr. Milner, and later in the 
battle, those of Drs. Doyle and McHale, amongst the most 
prominent actors in the agitation. These three powers — 
the nobles, the barristers, and the clergy, took form in 
1805, but were so rent by divisions, and agueish with their 
dread of plain-speaking, that they could hardly be said to 
exist until 1808. In May, of that year. Lord Fingal reached 
London, w4th a lengthy petition from the Catholics of Ire- 
land, on behalf of their committee, which was presented on 
the 26th of May, by Henry Grattan, in the House of Com- 
mons, and by Lord Grenville, on the following night, in the 
Lords. These gentlemen simultaneously announced to the 
Parliament the astounding piece of information, that if the 
prayer of the petition was granted, the Catholic hierarchy 
would thenceforward and forever allow the sovereigns of 
Great Britain a veto, or negative final voice in the choice of 
all the bishops within the realm. Both gentlemen spoke 
with the words of authority, and there can now be little 
doubt but that Lord Fingal, the honest, easy, weak-minded 
delegate of the Catholic Committee, had given Messrs. 
Grattan and Grenville to understand, that an arrangement 
of such a nature might be effected ; as he also did Mr. 
Ponsoby. It is necessary, however, to bear in mind, that 
the origin of these declarations is involved in much ob- 
scurity, which even Mr. Wyse, in his history of the Catho- 
lic Association, has not been able to penetrate. Subsequent 
events showed that Mr. O'Connell and the Irish bishops 
were free from any hand in the base proffer of such an anti- 
Catholic concession. 

At this period Dr. John Milner, an English Catholic di- 
vine, of vast erudition and indomitable spirit, was the agent 
of the Irish bishops in London. His name has already be- 
come familiar in the church — his writings are amongst the 
most approved classics of Catholicism, and his memory will 
long be reverenced in the British empire, for the highly 
important part he played in the enfranchisement of the 


Catholics. In person, il is said, he was plain and almost 
repulsive ; in address blunt and unconciliating, but the 
ruui^h rind of tlie gourd held within the purest milk of 
human kindness, and encased the kernel of an hnmortai 
genius. He had been a scholar from his infancy, a priest 
from early manhood, and a controversiaHst of enviable fame, 
for many years. He was a man without fortune, save in 
the riches of his library, and without ambition but in the 
dissemination of the faith which was so firmly seated in his 
own soul. Had he lived in the palmy days of Catholic 
unity, he would have been the Chrysostom of the West. 
Under the pressure of penal bonds, he has reached a niche, 
side by side with those of Bossuet and Doyle. In all re- 
spects he was a powerful pillar of the church — a rough-hewn 
ojie to the eye, but having within the adamantine stamina 
of a Loyola, with the ability of a Ganganelli. His name is 
written upon the tombs of the penal laws, and, assuredly, 
his fame shall not pass away. 

Dr. Milner was born in London, in 1752, educated at 
Douay, and admitted to holy orders in 1777. Returning 
to England, he officiated for some time in London, and after- 
wards in Winchester. The first occasion of his literary 
exertions was in the celebrated " Blue Book" controversy 
against Mr. Charles Butler, and the " Protesting Catholic 
Dissenters," or Association of Anti-Catholics, of high rank, 
in England. The object of this association was to persuade 
Catholics that they ought to appoint their own bishops, 
to take the oath of allegiance, and, in short, to become 
Protestants de facto, that they might be free from Catholic 
oppressions. A party of this despicable nature had been 
gradually growing up in England when Dr. Milner re- 
turned to his native country ; he saw at once the magnitude 
of the evil, and the urgency of redress; the following year, 
his pamphlets came down upon the brooding trimmers as a 
heron pounces on a lake covered with wild-fowl, and lo ! 
each one screamingly took wing and fled into obscurity. 
In 1791 his paper, called " Facts relating to the Contests 
among the Roman Catholics," completely annihilated the 
" Protesting Catholic Dissenters," of whom we hear no 

In 179S appeared his erudite, and now far-famed History 
of Winchester ; in 1803 he was consecrated Bishop of Cas- 
tabala, and appoir^ted Vicar Apostolic of the Midland Dis- 


trict, in England ; in 1801 he published " Case of Con- 
science Solved; or, the Catholic Claims proved to be com- 
patible with the Coronation Oath ;" in 1807 he travelled 
through Ireland, and on his return to London was appointed 
parliamentary agent to the Irish Catholic bishop ; a duty of 
w^hich he so honorably acquitted himself, that he frequently 
received their thanks, and those of the Catholic Association. 
On his return from Ireland, he again entered the list^ against 
Mr. Charles Butler and the Catholic aristocracy, in opposi- 
tion to their favorite scheme of a veto. The only remain- 
ing works of Dr. Milner, to our knowledge, not previously 
enumerated, are, his " End of Religious Controversy," pub- 
lished in 1818 ; " Strictures on Southey's Book of the 
Church," and his " Parting Word to Dr. Grier.""^^ Besides 
these, there are several published letters of his, which, we 
believe, have not heretofore been collected, with prefaces to 
some Catholic books, notes, &c. &:c. 

Dr. Milner died at Wolverhampton, on the 19th day of 
April, 1826, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. He has 
been justly styled the " Modern Athanasius," and there has 
been found no sentence in his multifarious writings which 
the church wishes to disavow. 

The morning after the debate in Parliament, in which 
the veto proposition was put forward by Mr. Grattan, Dr. 
Milner published a card disclaiming all agency in the new 
lure held out to dilatory justice ; that he did not censure 
Mr. Grattan, is sufficiently evident from the beautiful tribute 
to his worth and eloquence which afterwards appeared in 
his admirable " Letters from Ireland.'''' 

When the news of the veto proposition reached Ireland, 
a shout of universal opposition was raised against it, and 
with such terrific energy was it denounced, that many soi- 
disant friends of emancipation trembled for the result. The 
laity were justly alarmed, the clergy roused to defence. 
A national council of the hierarchy was immediately as- 
sembled, and twenty-three of twenty-six prelates eagerly 
voted for a resolution directly contradicting the assumption 
that they w^ould ever place so sacred a power in the hands 

* Under this name (his brother-in-law's) the Archbishop of Dublin 
(Magee) attacked Dr. Milner, concerning certain passages in the 
"End of Controversy." The Archbishop suffered as complete a de- 
feat from this luminary of the English church, as he did from J. K. 
L., a twin brother, of the Irish hierarchy. 

of the sovereign. Lord Fingal atlemplecl a contrary de- 
monstration, and secured four signatures to an address which 
he prepared in support of the veto. These, like himself, 
were lords of a peculiar stamp, who wa^re much more anx- 
ious to sit in the upper house, and dine at the table of 
kings, than to preserve the independence of their spiritual 
guides. In the petition of 1809, the slightest hint of any- 
such concessions on the part of the Catholics w^as distinctly 
avoided, and the resolutions of March, 1810, w^herein the 
Irish clergy asserted their venerable and never-ceeded inde- 
pendence, gave to their opposition a still firmer aspect. 
This open variance between the old Catholic nobility and 
the hierarchy, w^as daily widening to a breach, when an 
event took place which crushed the old organization of the 
Catholics — drove some to lethargy — silenced the controver- 
sies of others — and left Daniel O'Connell the sole leader 
in a troopless field, the pilot of a ship without crew or com- 
pass ; I mean the suppression of the Catholic Committee, by 
Wellesley Pole, then Secretary for Ireland, and since Lord 
Maryborough. This was effected by enforcing the " Con- 
vention Act" of 1793, originally framed by the famous Lord 
Clare, against the united Irishmen and defenders. On the 
meeting of the Catholic Committee, in 1809, Lord Fingal 
and other members were arrested, and Mr. Kirwan and 
Dr. Sheridan were tried before Chief Justice Downes, for 
violation of the law regarding public assemblages. The de- 
fence was conducted by Mr. O'Connell, and, though the 
packing of a jury for the purpose of a conviction was notori- 
ously evident, still Kirwan and Sheridan w^ere acquitted. 
They, then, at the instance of their victorious counsellor, 
instituted a prosecution against the Chief Justice, which, as 
was to be foreseen, ended only in a vexatious acquittal of 
that functionary, a result tantamount to a reversion of the 
former verdict. This prosecution, how^ever, although it 
failed in securing obnoxious individuals, gave to govern- 
ment a temporary triumph in the terror it had caused in the 
Catholic body, and the gradual falling away of the most 
prominent members of the Committee. 

At that time Mr. O'Connell had been twelve years in 
Dublin, and the Committee had been in existence five. He 
had been the great lever of the people. He had worked in 
the w^ake of Fingal and Dr. Troy. He now saw that his 
probation had closed, and that he must step boldly forward 


and uphold the tottering fabric of emancipation, which 
otherwise would inevitably fall. The hazard was great, but 
the prize even more so ; and, girding up all his strength, as 
one who embarks on a perilous journey, he bravely took the 
post of danger, anxiety, and labor, resolved to leave it but in 
death, or crowned with success. The members of the shat- 
tered Committee, with O'Connell at their head, assumed the 
title of " The Catholic Board," and entered vigorously upon 
the new contest. Every member of the new board was an 
anti-vetoist, and if it possessed less titles than its prototype, 
the Committee, it had certainly more energy, and far greater 
effect upon the destinies of the great Catholic question. 


The Catholic Question continued. — The Veto Controversy 
in England. — Richard Lalor Shiel. — Rome and the 
Veto. — Father Hayes. — His Career and Character. — His 
Death. , 

The Catholics of England had given before this time 
but few and feeble responses to the invitations tendered 
them by their brethren of Ireland. They were indeed a 
body far from powerful ; weak-minded, low-spirited, and 
almost ashamed of the faith, they could neither resign nor 
defend. The vast majority of their clergy, and all the 
Catholic nobles of England, with two or three honorable 
exceptions, were in favor of the veto ; consequently the 
truckling policy of Lord Fingal and his friends had found fa- 
vor in their sight. Great and influential as Dr. Milner was 
amongst his Catholic fellow-countrymen, he could not in- 
fuse his own Catholic spirit into their grovelling souls, nor 
make his potent voice heard above the din of ten thousand 
minor advisers. In the different viev/s which they took of this 
important question, we see the strongest illustration of that 
temper, which has rendered all attempts at an amalgama- 
tion of the Catholics of Ireland and England most unprofit- 
able and painful to their common friends. The Irish, more 
severely and systematically persecuted ; deprived of prop- 


erty ; shut out from education ; their priests hunted, ban- 
ished, beheaded ; their hereditary leaders in exile, or impov- 
erished, with all lost but an independent spirit, which no 
law, no administration, could extirpate, — boldly and at once 
denounced the vile project, and declared their undying 
hostility to the principle on which it was founded. In so 
doing the laity vied with the clergy in the emphasis of their 
reprobation. In England, on the other hand, the Catholics, 
few in number, but rich in lands and heraldic honors, had 
received treatment of a less demoniac nature. True, the 
day had not long passed, when Lord George Gordon, the 
commander-in-chief of a miscreant rabble, had pillaged 
their churches and residences in London, under the very 
eyes of the Parliament and the Court. True, those yet 
lived, who remembered the illustrious Ciialloner, hunted 
from door to door, and forced to offer the divine sacrifice of 
the altar in a filthy ale-house, under pretence of social 
meeting's wath his flock. But these orpievances were con- 
fined to the canaille of English Catholicism, and to those 
Irish missionary priests, who chose to lead such a life of 
perpetual persecution, to save the souls of porters, laborers, 
and other unimportant persons. The Surreys, How^ards, 
and Talbots, who yet held old England's faith, as well as 
old England's legitimate nobility, felt not these stinging op- 
pressions. The legation of every Catholic court had its 
chaplains in London, and the iron walls of Allnwick and 
Alton could conceal a priest wdth impunity, w^hile the mud 
walls of the Irish peasant's shed w^ere no barrier against the 
bloodhounds of religious fury. The influential Catholics of 
England w^ere, as we have said, vetoists ; the majority of the 
English hierarchy agreed with them ; and if any one amongst 
the mass was opposed to its being so enacted, his voice 
was drowned in the opposing torrent, or his lips self-sealed 
in deference to superiors, temporal and ecclesiastical. With 
the exception of the Irish Catholic peers, the Channel may 
be said to have divided the Catholic body into vetoists and 
anti- vetoists. The controversy began to look serious — the 
brotherhood, so necessary in the attainment of Emancipation, 
daily disappeared in mutual recriminations, while the en- 
emies of religious equality laughed to scorn the foolishness 
of its friends, and chuckled over their suicidal differences. 

Such was the state of feeling among the emancipators of 
the empire, when the Catholic Board came into existence ; 


in 1810, and for the three years ensuing, little or nothing 
was done, on either side, but the issuing of pamphlets and 
the making orations for and against the veto. In the 
mean while, the enemies of Catholic enfranchisement were 
not idle. Several pretended a sudden conversion to the 
cause, but to range themselves with the anti- Catholic or 
veto faction, inciting its members to further breaches, and 
rejoicing over its prospective ruin. 

At this time appeared in the Catholic councils a young 
man, two years beyond minority — Richard Lalor Shiel, a 
native of Waterford. Like Mr. O'Connell, his father's for- 
tunes had reached at his birth almost to the zero of pros- 
tration ; like him, also, he received his education in most 
part from the glorious Jesuits. He had studied at Stoney- 
henge, where, encircled by the young Catholic nobles of the 
empire, he rose up to a prematurity of fame, such as few 
men of original genius have attained in their boyhood. At 
nineteen, he was as famous in his academy, as Hortensius 
in Rome at the same age, according to the panegyric of 
Cicero. It was here, beyond doubt, that his mind was first 
crippled into that aristocratic mould, which only the tropic 
rays of the most intense popular demonstrations have been 
able to dissolve from around it. Here, in the gorgeous 
dreams of his ambitious youth, was the germ of a spurious 
feeling laid, which nothing but chance and insult had pre- 
vented from flowering into indolent luxuriance beneath the 
genial star of high-born society. Here, rambling through 
the druidical pillars, burthened down with the long accumu- 
lating load of centuries, with the first-born of England's 
most exalted families as his companions, his im.agination 
was carried captive by the obstinate aristocratic genius of a 
land, which has stolen away more than one illustrious dis- 
ciple from democracy. But between him and nobility there 
was a fearful obstacle, or rather two of almost paramount 
difficulty. He was an Irishman and a Catholic. The son 
of a country without name, flag, or senate — the child of a 
church, without patronage in this world, yet chained and 
pressed down with the most perverse assiduity. A Chris- 
tian separated from, and trodden on by all others. A sub- 
ject, yet regarded as a slave and a pestilence in the state. 
Even in his boyhood he was too proud to change his creed 
or deny his country, and too bold not to hope that these 
burdens, now hanging like millstones around his neck, 

might yet become tjtepping-stories, bearing his footsteps to 
eminence and renown. That he might be ennobled by 
achieving such two-fold celebrity, he gave up a mind rich 
in stores of imagery, acutely and intuitively logical, dwel- 
ling with nearly equal delight on the honeysuckle and the 
night-shade, displaying by turns his hoards of sweets, and 
the infallible poison of a deathly sarcasm. His industry 
was a strange mixture of the wasp and bee; his mental 
complexion incongruously formed of the most seductive 
beauty, and the most terrible ferocity. All antiquity was 
rifled of its bitterness and its splendor. Praetors, archons, 
usurpers, tyrants, were modeled out in the world around, 
and having given them Roman power and Roman tyranny, 
he borrowed the weapons of the dead satirists and tribunes, 
wherewith to demolish the inheritors of the vices and the 
ambitions they had scourged of old. A most excellent 
linguist, and by instinct eloquent, he found himself insen- 
sibly on the track of every mighty mind that has sw^ayed 
the democracies of ancient time, or left its tokens of exist- 
ence among the tangled by-ways of ancient history. With 
a keen and headlong haste he rushed forward in the pur- 
suit, and before other men begin to study popular eloquence, 
Shiel came forth upon the world, to rule the rudest of Ire- 
land's peasantry, in a Roman toga, with a wand of Greece. 
From Stoneyhenge Shiel went to Trinity college, and 
there graduated, but with no peculiar honors. He then 
commenced the study of law, and was admitted to the bar 
in 1814. It was, however, in the two preceding years that 
he laid the foundation of his literary and political fame. 
While yet a student of Lincoln's Inn, where he was entered 
in 1811, he composed in rapid succession, the brilliant trag- 
edies of "Adelaide, or the Emigrants," " Bellarmina," " The 
Apostate," and " Evadne." Connected with this pillar of 
his reputation is an anecdote, which, for his own sake we 
wish it were in our power more adequately to explain. The 
late celebrated writer, and scarcely less eminent patriot — 
John Banim, submitted his glorious tragedy of " Damon and 
Pythias " to the supervision of Mr. Shiel ; and to the great 
surprise of the author, on its parentage being publicly and 
repeatedly attributed to that gentleman, he rather admitted 
than denied the rumor. From a brother Irishman, this was 
certainly very reprehensible treatment. It is a fact general- 
ly received, and one which does as much credit to Mr. 


Shiel, as the foregoing (if true) is discreditable, that the 
accomplished and reproachless actress, Miss O'Neil, took 
many of her lessons in attitude from the author of the 
"Apostate." Mr. Shiel's fame as a dramatic writer is 
based upon his own imperishable genius, and it is no little 
addition to our large stock of national vanity, that of the few 
really good tragedies recently introduced upon the English 
stage, three fifths at least are the productions of Irishmen.^ 
On the 10th of December, 1813, he entered the Catholic 
Association, with his already high reputation upon a brow 
of extremely juvenile aspect. His debut on that cele- 
brated occasion, in his speech against the resolution pro- 
posed by Dr. Dromgoole, asserting the independence of the 
Irish Catholic church, is one of the most remarkable epochs 
in the history of the Catholic question. The Irish vetoists 
hailed him as an apostle of their cause, but the clergy and 
the people, while they admired and applauded the singular 
power which had enabled him, at the very outset of his 
career, to cope single-handed against such gigantic minds 
as O'Connell and Dr. Dromgoole, were nevertheless not a 
little grieved and chagrined at its misapplication. When 
he had closed a maiden speech, unparalleled, we will venture 
to say, in either ancient or modern times, " the Atlas of the 
Association," rose to reply ; and for many a day, O'Connell 
and Shiel, on opposite sides of the question, were tugging 
like giants in the contest, pressing logic, wit, rhetoric and 
facts into their several arguments, with a reckless prodi- 
gality, which would have left bankrupt any other minds in 
the empire. It was, like the combats of Homer's immortals, 
unseen in the eminence of inspiration, yet the thunders of 
their strife surged louder and louder over the land, rivetting 
the public mind on the magnificent spectacle, and filling the 
air with their alternate notes of victory. In years and girth 
of mind, in the firm dogmatism of a rigid resolution, Mr. 
O'Connell stood like a rock in the deep sea, whilst his 

* It is scarcely necessary to remind the reader that in this cata- 
logue the Gysiypus of Gerald Griffin, the Damon and Pythias of 
Banim, the Alasco of Sir M. A. Shee, the Virginius and Tell of 
Sheridan Knowles, and all the plays of Shiel, find place. We might 
extend the list to comedy, and be equally gratified in enumerating the 
productions of Tobin, Knowles, Lover, and Mrs. Gore. Assuredly, 
the land of Congreve and Murphy did not cast away, at their birth, 
Ihe die of excellence in which she had moulded ihem. 


antagonist waged a Parthian warfare, steel-clad from head to 
foot in the shining robes of an exhaustless invective, with 
but one vulnerable spot, and that in the unsoundness of the 
ground on which he planted his standard, not in the heart 
or the head of the champion. The latter had his parti- 
zans, but the former had the whole nation at his back ; there- 
fore he triumphed, but the first hour of victory was that, 
likewise, of the downfall of the Catholic Board. Shiel and 
his friends deserted it, and the more violent anti-vetoists, 
having now no one to contend with, gradually sunk into 
their former indolence, leaving O'Connell and one or two 
others alone. In 1814 the Catholic Board disappeared from 
the public eye, and nine long years of unmitigated anguish 
to the Irish nation, was the penalty of the veto controversy. 
During this interregnum many events of importance to Ire- 
land, and of course connected with the life of O'Connell, 
took place, which we shall briefly glance over. 

The Catholic Board had hardly sunk into the repose of 
annihilation, when a rescript, addressed to the Catholics of 
Great Britain and Ireland, signed by Monsignor, afterwards 
Cardinal, Quarrantotti, conceding to the sovereigns of Eng- 
land a veto over the appointments of Irish Catholic bish- 
ops, reached the laity and clergy in their lethargic sleep. 
A meeting was immediately called in Dublin, a remon- 
strance drawn up on behalf of the Catholics of Ireland, and 
Richard Hayes, a Franciscan friar, was appointed ambassa- 
dor, on their behalf, to Rome. 

This gentleman w^as born in the historic and ancient town 
of Wexford, in the year 1787. His family were and are 
respectable, not only for their comfortable circumstances, but 
the integrity of their character, and the charity of their 
hands. From boyhood, the future ambassador gave indi- 
cations of extraordinary ability, quickness, and sagacity, 
qualities w^hich no Irish Catholic parent ever considered as 
thrown away in holy orders. During the terrible scenes of 
1798, when the streets of his native town were drenched in 
blood, and its hearths left desolate, or became the biers of 
their unburied possessors, his young mind did not sleep. 
Another tinge of care came upon his thoughtful face, for the 
boy was already a patriot. In 1802 he went to Rome, and 
after studying for the priesthood, in the college of St. Isi- 
dore, was duly ordained, and afterwards admitted to the 
order of St. Francis. After an absence of nine years he 



returned to his country, rich in theological lore, and elo- 
quent above any other ecclesiastic of his years. For three 
years he officiated in Wexford, where his name is never 
mentioned but in a tone of awe and reverential love. In 
1814 he removed to Dublin, to the universal regret of those 
he left behind, who addressed him as a bereaved family 
might be supposed to apostrophize a dying and darling pa- 
rent. " Do not leave us," they said, " dear father. You 
are one of us ; remain in your native town, and we will 
endeavor to live worthy of so good a pastor." The dictates 
of duly, however, v/ere stronger in the young ecclesiastic's 
heart, than the yearnings of nature, and he departed, amid 
sighs and benedictions, never to return. No sooner had he 
appeared in the metropolis, than all ages thronged to hear 
him. Amongst others, came the great agitator, himself. 
He saw in the young divine, then but in his twenty- 
seventh year, a mind of no common order, a resolution and 
a dignity of bearing, a cautiousness and a fervor, which 
struck many a responsive chord in his own feelings. From 
that moment O'Connell resolved to enlist him in the cause 
of emancipation, and he found the gifted Franciscan nothing 

On the arrival of Quarrantotti's rescript, the Rev. Mr, 
Hayes Avas accordingly despatched to the eternal city, where 
he arrived towards the end of October, 1815, with the writ- 
ten remonstrance of the Irish Catholics, and wdth discretion- 
ary powers to defeat the machinations of the vetoists and 
the intrigues of the British ministry. 

His after history, alas ! is briefly told ; and therefore, we 
will tell it here. 

On his arrival in Rome, he was presented by the supe- 
rior of his order, to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to several of 
the sacred college. Amongst those cardinals, whom he 
found most favorable to the object of his mission, was the 
celebrated Gonsalvi, father of the Papal Constitution, of 
1816, w^hich abolished the last fragments of feudal preroga- 
tive in the Roman States. But the vetoists had long filled 
the ear of Pope Pius with representations of the refractory 
character of the Irish Catholics ; and the independent car- 
riage of Father Hayes, who felt himself the exemplar of his 
country and her unchanged creed, was artfully twisted into 
a want of the due respect, ever to be shown to the successor 
of St. Peter. The ambassador of the Irish Church was ac- 


cordingly arrested, and afterwards ordered to depart the 
city, which with all humility he obeyed. He returned, 
with one satisfaction ; Quarrantotti had been frequently 
reprimanded by his Holiness and the Cardinal Secretary of 
the Propaganda (Cardinal Litta) for his rescript. Of him. 
Father Hayes wrote in one of his letters to the Irish Catho- 
lics — " He is an aged and weak man, and is in compassion 
allowed still to countersign the rescripts of the Propaganda." 

When the Irish Catholics heard of the treatment of their 
deputy, and saw him return in ill-deserved disgrace, they 
drew up a strong, yet respectful remonstrance to Rome, 
which rather augmented the power of the vetoists in that 
city, and drew from the Pontiff a fatherly rebuke. But the 
firmness of the Irish hierarchy triumphed, and they were 
once more preserved from the shackles of ministerial pat- 

Mr. Hayes did not again come before the public until 
1821, when, being in London, on the morning following Mr, 
Plunkett's proposal of " A Bill of Pains and Penalties," he 
opposed that sinister mode of emancipating the Catholics, 
in a document of great power, which sealed its fate forever. 
It was at this period, that his " Vetoistical Catechism" ap- 
peared, in which all the authorities of all ages were searched 
throughout, and human reasoning lavished in building up 
opposition to the odious and much dreaded measure. In 
1822 he commenced the publication of his admirable ser- 
mons, so universally read and admired in the church. In 
1825 he was one of the ten originators of the Catholic Asso- 
ciation, but in the following year consumption, which, " like 
a worm in the bud," had been undermining slowly but in- 
cessantly his constitution, at last overpowered him. On the 
24th of January, 1824, he died at Paris, whither he had 
gone for the benefit of his health, and his mortal remains 
were honorably laid in Pere la Chaise. 

Thus in the thirty-sixth year of his age, and the twelfth 
of his celebrity, the most eloquent of modern Franciscans 
departed from this world. He was a man of meek and 
humble character, without pretension and without pride, a 
ripe scholar, a powerful reasoner, able, untiring and poor. 
His sermons are amongst the best of the Irish pulpit, and 
will not blush by comparison with the most admired of the 
French. His services to Ireland were many and impor- 
tant ; a young man forced into an arduous and delicate 


embassy, he conducted himself without reproach, and failed 
without dishonor. To Rome he was deeply and ardently 
attached, and it is ennobling to see how truly catholic was 
the spirit in which he protested against feeling any want of 
respect to the chair of Peter. On the reply of the Pontiff 
to the remonstrance of the Catholic body being read at a 
meeting in Dublin, Mr. Hayes rose, and spoke thus, in re- 
lation to the censure it contained, of his course. 

" By faiih a Catholic ; by ordination a priest ; by obedi- 
ence a child of the Holy See ; I bow with unhesitating 
submission, respect and veneration, to the centre of Cathol- 
icism and source of ecclesiastical subordination, the vice- 
gerent of Jesus Christ. I solemnly declare, that I should 
choose death, rather than allow any private or personal 
feeling or consideration to betray me into the slightest con- 
test with or disrespect towards the authority and dignity of 
the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Pius the seventh. 
My tongue shall never utter a syllable of complaint, nor my 
pen trace a line of vindication ; for lest scandal should 
arise, in the words of the prophet, I exclaim, " first take me 
up and cast me into the sea." 

On another occasion some priests in America, chafing 
against authority, invited him amongst them, to become 
their patriarch and head. But he spurned the insulting 
proposal, laid it at the feet of his spiritual superior; and elo- 
quently reprimanded those from whom it came. 

So deeply impressed did the Sovereign Pontiff become 
with the lofty character of Father Hayes, that he was re- 
peatedly urged to accept ecclesiastical preferment ; but, no ; 
he was amply rewarded for his anguish of mind, in being 
restored to Rome's esteem, and he died a friar. Beautiful 
unity ! Happy subordination ! Truly must their faith be 
evangelical, and their religion unalloyed by the world, who 
can thus suffer, and thus remain faithful ! 



M?'. O'ConnelVs Personal Career. — Duel loith D'Esterre. — 
Challenge from Sir Robert Peel. — Kerry Election. — 
Endeavor to establish a National Party irrespective of 
Creed. — George the Fourth visits Ireland. — Formation of 
the Catholic Association. 

Mr. O'Connell stood higher than ever in the estimation 
of the Irish people, not only from his hostility to the veto, 
but because he was made the mark for the bullets of an 
assassin, hired by the Dublin Corporation, and for the chal- 
lenge of a detested Irish Secretary, Mr. (now Sir) Robert 

As duelling is a practice alike to be reprobated and 
detested, it is well to understand the particulars of these 
quarrels, the former of which ended in the death of the 
challenger, but the latter was fortunately prevented ; from 
both, w^e will find, the personal character of Mr. O'Connell 
came forth unstained by cowardice,^ as it was free from 

The corporation of the city of Dublin, by their notorious 
bigotry and partizanism, had drawn down upon themselves, 
more than once, the satire of Mr. O'Connell. At a Catho- 
lic meeting in Dublin, on the 21st or 22d of January, 1815, 
he had called them " a beggarly corporation." To resent 
the indignity, and rid the Protestant ascendancy party, at 
the same time, of the only man in the kingdom before whom 
they trembled, was the pious thought w^hich immediately 
suggested itself to their outraged worships. On the 26th 
he received a demand for explanation, signed, " N. I. 
D'Esterre," who stated himself to be one of the corporation 

*I am aware that Mr. Willis, in his '^Pencillings," has asserted, 
on the authority of Moore, that JMr. O'Connell was, by nature, a cow- 
ard. It has been long settled, however, on both sides of the Atlantic, 
that all is not gospel which Mr. Willis has preached in his time, nor 
is it to be questioned that a gentleman who could report private con- 
versations, might, in the matter of pencilling, draw from a fanciful 


thus stigmatized, and professing to consider it as personally 
applicable to himself. This gentleman had been an officer 
in the navy, but had retired, and become a merchant, in 
Dublin. He was an unerring shot, a noted duellist, and a 
violent partizan. Two or three notes passed between the 
parties, and then for a day or two nothing further occurred. 
Mr. O'Connell gave his word of honor to Mr. Justice Day, 
that he would not be the aggressor, and was therefore al- 
loAved to go at large. In the meanwhile D'Esterre dogged 
him in the streets, and was in the act, on one occasion, of 
going into the Four Courts, to offer him personal violence, 
when he was met and stopped by Mr. Kichard 'Gorman, 
a prominent emancipator. The first note from D'Esterre 
had been written on a Thursday, and it was not until the 
Wednesday following that the meeting took place, showing 
the most fixed determination on the aggressor's part. On 
the 1st of February, at forty minutes past four in the after- 
noon, the combatants stood upon the ground, at Bishop's- 
Court Desmene, Kildare Co., at the distance of ten paces, 
each with a pair of loaded pistols, one or both to be fired. 
D'Esterre was accompanied by Sir Edward Stanley, Bar- 
rack Master of Dublin, and Surgeon Peel, while Surgeon 
Macklin, and Major McNamara, of Clare, (his second,) were 
with Mr. O'Connell. The word was given, the seconds 
fell back a few paces, and D'Esterre was mortally wounded. 
Two days later the unfortunate gentleman breathed his last, 
a sacrifice to the preservation of an unworthy faction.^ 

In the August of the same year, in consequence of some 
expressions used by Mr. O'Connell at a public meeting, a 
hostile correspondence took place between Mr. Peel and that 
gentleman, which, however, ended as it had begun. Mr. 
O'Connell was arrested and bound to keep the peace within 
the kingdom ; they then agreed to go to the continent, but 
Mr. O'Connell was again placed under arrest on reaching 
London. Much controversy occurred relative to this aflfair, 

*' Mr. O'Connell immediately settled a handsome annuity upon the 
widow of his fallen antagonist, which she has ever since continued to 
receive. This conduct contrasts most favorably with a fact, well 
known in the best informed Dublin circles, that the Corporation had 
bound themselves to pay the family of Mr. D'Esterre, a certain sum, 
if he should fall in the conflict — an obligation which they never ful- 
filled ; thus truly proving themselves deserving the epithet, D'Esterre 
had died to wipe away. 


but the only plausible or fair conjecture is that .some 
friendly Argus kept the police on the qui vive, to prevent 
the shedding of valuable blood. Enough has been written 
to prove Mr. O'Connell's personal courage, and his love for 
peace ; his vow against duelling needed the former quality 
as much as the latter, in a state of society, and in scenes of 
such danger, as England and Ireland presented thirty years 

In digressing upon the personal career of Mr. O'Connell, 
we cannot omit alluding to his standing, at the bar. On 
almost every case of consequence he w^as engaged on either 
side. He regularly went the circuit, and was always re- 
tained against the crown, in cases smacking of political 
offences. In some of these pleas, he was truly masterly 
and overwhelming; in the defence of the " Whiteboys" of 
the south, for agrarian offences ; in the defence of Mr. 
McGee, of the Dublin Evening Post, for libel on the Lord 
Lieutenant, the Duke of Richmond, and in various other 
cases belonging to the same class, he was invariably the 
victor. He knew more of the Irish character than any 
other man, except, perhaps, the illustrious Curran ; his 
style of examining a witness, like his style of pleading, was 
all his own — original in every bearing. The happy mix- 
ture of humor and severity, the same dexterous boldness, 
and manly love of a joke, was immediately applied to the 
person before him, after a moment's careless prelude, in 
which he had grasped the length and breadth, the depth 
and strength of the mind upon w^hich he had to operate. 
By the overpowering influence of his will, he effected a 
mental somnambulism, during which the victim of his 
genius confessed involuntarily all he wished to have known. 
Himself tenderly alive, as ever was man before, to the 
charms of domestic life, he pleaded, with surpassing pathos, 
the case of a parent or an only child. Himself loving Ire- 
land, as few Irishmen had done before, he expanded into 
the majesty of a dictator, when the theme was to be fol- 
lowed into the gloomy recesses of the national heart. Him- 
self a Catholic, rigidly sincere, and sanguinely enthusiastic, 
he felt all the holiness and greatness of his task, when he 
had occasion to speak of the faith of the apostles. At the 
bar, as in Parliament and in the public assembly, no man 
could listen to the tones of his voice, whether gay or sad, 
passionate or playful, without being smitten by his sincerity, 


and carried captive by his energetic zeal. It has been well 
said that " he was not only the advocate, but the partizan 
of his client." 

The chief public act of Mr. O'Connell's life, next suc- 
ceeding the Catholic meeting, held on the return of the 
Rev. Mr. Hayes, in September, 1817, was the agency he 
took in the Kerry election, consequent upon the dissolution 
of Parliament in the following year. In supporting tha 
claims of the Knight of Kerry, against the Ascendancy can- 
didate. Colonel Crosbie, he delivered one of the most splen- 
did orations which was ever uttered from the lips of man.^ 

In 1819, a dinner was got up in Dublin, for the purpose 
of uniting both Protestants and Catholics, at which Mr. 
O'Connell drank, " the pious and immortal memory of 
William of Orange," toasted the Lord Mayor, and kept his 
tongue off the Corporation. In return, the Lord Mayor 
eulogized the stewards, (Messrs. O'Connell and Shiel,) and 
the few Protestant gentlemen present endeavored b}^ cour- 
tesy and mutual concessions, to banish the symptoms of 
failure which were evinced by certain empty seats. The 
movement, unhappily for both, expired still-born, and the 
throne of anarchy was further propped up in Ireland. 

The visit of George the Fourth, in 1821, to his Irish sub- 
jects, raised once more their hopes, filling them with the 
most sanguine notions of speedy emancipation, which were 
again destined to be disappointed. Lord Fingal was pre- 
sented with " a yard of blue ribbon," the only boon offered 
to the Catholic body. Mr. O'Connell was one of a deputa- 
tion to present an address to the monarch, and was, of 
course, most graciously received like the others, by the 
heartless ^' Vitellius," who knew how to smile and hate at 
the same time. It was in reference to this, as he regarded 
it, slavish reception of the head of the House of Brunswick, 
and in retaliation for Moore's ^' meddling with his dear 
Carbondri," that Lord Byron penned his bitter, yet beauti- 
ful satire on the Catholic leaders and the Irish people gen- 
erally, in which these stanzas occur : 

^ Huish, in his voluminous and ill-arranged Memoirs of O'Connell, 
(London, 1836,) publishes, by some singular oversight, several pages 
of a written address of Charles Phillips to the Electors of Sligo, as 
the peroration of O'Connell's speech at the Kerry election! The 
whole address is to be found in the collection of Phillips' speeches. 


Wear, Fingal, thy fetters! O'Connell, proclaim 

His accomplishments, his, and thy country convince 

That a moment like this is worth ages of lame. 

And that "Hal is the rascaliest, sweetest young prince." 

Will thy yard of blue ribbon, poor Fingal, recall 
The fetters from millions of Catholic Umbs ? — 

Or has it not bound thee the fastest of all 

The slaves who now hail their destroyer with hymns ? 

The reception of the king was indeed far beyond his 
deserts. A sensualist, in the most unqualified sense, he 
could not appreciate the rich tide of affection which the 
Irish nation rolled at his feet ; neither would he, as an 
honest tyrant, command them, Canute-like, to be rolled 
back. By nature lecherous, by education obstinate, invete- 
rate habits of dissipation had seared his heart all round and 
to the very core ; so that there was no chord which the hand 
of humanity could thrill, no feeling which a noble sentiment 
could count upon for support. A son, undutiful and head- 
strong ; a husband, foresworn and faithless ; a friend, who 
regarded men as toys to amuse his leisure hours, and to be 
cast off, from any whim.sical cause ; he was a monarch only 
amongst libertines, and the sovereign scoundrel of his age. 
Yet, he professed to love the land of Sheridan as he had 
loved her sons, and in the end that profession w^as found to 
be true. While the cheers of her peasantry were ringing 
in his ears, he blandly smiled ; whilst the glorious mansions 
of her old nobles held wide their gates to admit him to fairy 
scenes, he praised her ; to the Dublin aldermen he was 
prodigiously polite, and to the castle belles the " rascaliest, 
sweetest young prince." But the channel once between 
Ireland and himself, the people, the nobles, the civic au- 
thorities, even the matchless maidens he had paid homage 
to, no longer held a place in his remembrance or his affec- 
tion. George the Fourth had neither for the grievances of 
his subjects, for he had them not for his bosom friends, nor 
for his wives. 

But a new star is dawning over the land, fairer than any 
of the delusive hopes of the past. It did not shine from the 
mansions of nobles, nor over the palaces of kings, but in a 
humble bookstore, up three pair of stairs, in the city of 
Dublin, with but ten witnesses of its ascent, and some of 
them very unwillingly so. It was in May, 1823, that 


O'Connell and Shiel met, without previous design on either 
side, at the house of a mutual friend in the county of Wick- 
low, where a hearty reconciliation took place between them. 
It was then and there resolved to found an association, 
whose members should pay a small subscription annually, 
to be called the Catholic Association, but at the same time 
to take in men of all creeds, who approved of its objects. 
On the 25th day of May, 1823, the last Catholic Associa- 
tion was formed in Coyne's bookstore, Capel street, Dub- 
lin. A preliminary meeting had been held, at which a 
committee was appointed to frame regulations for the Asso- 
ciation, and the following gentlemen were its members : 
The O'Connor Don, Sir Ed. Bellew, D. O'Connell, Nicho- 
las Mahon, Eneas McDonnell, Richard Shiel, R. Lonergan, 
and Messrs. Callaghan, Scanlan, Oldham, and Hay. 
Such are the immortal names of the founders of an asso- 
ciation, which soon planted its tributaries in America, in 
India, in Australia, and the remotest corners of the earth ; 
which strangled, in its worst form and most strongly forti- 
fied position, the foul centaur alliance of church and state, 
which gave freedom to Christendom's old church, and 
swept away from the greatest empire of our times, a favor- 
ite system, founded in the morning of its greatness, allied 
to all its modern glories, planted on every inch of its new 
territory, and flowing through every channel of its great- 
ness ; a system on which, for three centuries, the British 
senate had propped itself up ; which had accompanied her 
victorious generals, and become as the shadow of her for- 
tunate flag. At first the Association was a feeble infant, 
but its growth to maturity was rapid, and the industry of its 
working members could only be surpassed by the energy of 
its several champions with the pen and the voice. 



Sketches of eminent Writers on the Catholic Question. — 
Right Rev. Br. Doyle. — Thomas Furlong. — ''Honest 
Jack Lawless.^' — Thomas Moore. 

The Association had no sooner been fairly a-foot, than 
the attention of the whole country became rivetted upon its 
progress. Its two orators — O'Connell and Shiel — were long- 
known to the people, as men of surpassingly great genius 
and the most profound sincerity in the Catholic cause. 
Others there were of various prominence, but these were 
such favorites that the Irish heart could take in no other 
idols. The people were never wearied of travelling to hear 
a speech from either ; the newspapers w^ere considered 
worthless if the question — " Is there anything from Dan, or 
Shiel ?" — should be answered in the negative. Eloquence, 
in savage or in civilized society, must be felt, and will find 
its weight — but it is particularly formidable, if orally deliv- 
ered, and in times of revolution. There arose, also, from 
the people of Ireland, champions of different device and 
weapons, but of no less zeal, and little inferior strength, to 
guide and goad, by turns, the free longings of the nation. 
Of these great pensmen, some must necessarily be over- 
looked in our limited space ; I have chosen four names, 
however, not alone for their greater celebrity, but because 
their walks of usefulness were widely apart, and their ad- 
vance characteristic of themselves. Each one's life might 
be the subject of a volume of fruitful narrative ; but to them 
all, we can give only one poor chapter. 

Thomas Furlong was born in the barony of Scarawalsh, 
convenient to the ancient town of Ferns, in the county of 
Wexford, in 1794. His father was, in the country phrase, 
a " snug farmer," who gave him a liberal English educa- 
tion to fit him for commercial pursuits, to which end he 
was sent to Dublin as an apprentice, at the age of fourteen. 
Unlike poor Dermody, he attended punctually to business, 
and was loved by his employers for his gentleness and at- 
tention. Soon after the publication of " The Misanthrope," 


his first poem, in 1819, Mr. Jameson, an eminent brewer 
of Dublin, bestowed on him a confidential office, which gave 
him a handsome return, and allowed him every opportunity 
for prosecuting his mission as a patriot-writer. His first 
effort having ran through three editions, stimulated him to 
further labors ; and in 1824 he published the Plagues of 
Ireland, a Satire. 

Previous to this time, he had made the acquaintance of 
Moore, Lady Morgan, and Charles Kobert Maturin, all of 
whom entertained for him the highest regard, and in their 
several circles, were of much assistance to his reputation, 
which they took an honest pride in establishing. He also 
contributed extensively to the Neiv Monthly Magazine, and 
in 1822 had projected the Neio Irish Magazine. He be- 
came deeply interested in the progress of the Catholic ques- 
tion, as well from an innate love of justice, as from being 
himself one of the number of proscribed Christians in a 
Christian land. His pen was often employed, and his purse 
as freely produced its aids. He was master of that terrible 
gift, which few of our writers possessed or exercised in 
verse — the gift of portraying men's innermost thoughts, 
follies, and weaknesses, in language as apt as the effect 
was evident. Since the days of Swift, there had been little 
satire written in Ireland, and that little was of a character 
most unworthy of its subjects. Moore had just opened a 
nev/ vein, in which he displayed wonderful powers of ridi= 
cule, and brilliancy of fancy ; but he could not be said to 
belong to the legitimate school of satire. He seized upon 
the foibles of nobles, and dandled them with the mischievous 
activity of an unvicious schoolboy. He never grappled with 
their darker passion — with the criminalities of the court of 
the fourth George, or the bitter antipathy of the Eldons and 
Percivals to everything like concession. He had too many 
flowers in his chaplet already, to covet a wreath of henbane. 
It was left to another to shed poison in the cup of the op- 
pressor ; and he performed this duty with terrible liberality. 
There were few so high as to escape his destroying potion. 
He had never basked in court sunshine — had never dispos- 
sessed the lap-dogs of fashionable countesses — had never 
courted the smiles of the effeminate skeletons who called 
themselves the nobles of the land. He had been nursed 
amongst the people — was little given to romance, and less 
to gallantry. His nature was transfused through his writ- 


ings ; frank, bitter, terse, and direct in his attacks, he came 
upon the castle hacks and demagogues of the land, like the 
destroying angel smiting with a sword of flame. He came 
not to ridicule, but to exterminate. He has left us this por- 
trait of the then viceroy : — 

'^ Talk not of Wellesley ! though there was a time 
When that high name stood forth in prose and rhyme ! 
Talk not of Wellesley ! who that saw his day 
Of more than regal pomp, and sovereign sway — 
Wiho that hath marked him in his time of pride, 
Of hosts the leader, and of realms the guide ; 
When the crushed nabobs shuddered at his name, 
And millions bowed before him as he came ; 
The source of power, the organ of the laws, 
The mark at once for envy and applause — 
Who that hath viewed him in his past career 
Of hard-earned fame, could recognize him here, 
Changed as he is, in lengthened life's descent, 
To a mere instrument's mere instrument j 
Begirt with bigots, and beset with fools, 
Crippled by Canning's fears, and Eldon's rules ; 
Sent out to govern in his sovereign's name, 
Yet clogged with those that thwart each liberal aim ; 
A mournful mark of talents misapplied, 
A handcuffed leader, and a hoodwinked guide ; 
The lone opposer of a lawless band ; 
The fettered chieftain of a fettered land ? '^ 

It is chiefly on the merits of this poem, that many biog- 
raphers have agreed in assigning to him the title of the 
Irish Churchill. In this, however, Furlong committed a 
great fault in coupling the agitators with the enemies of 
the land, but one which he more than redeemed by the en- 
ergetic co-operation which he lent them, after being con- 
vinced of their sincerity. Nor was he an unrecognized 
advocate of religious toleration ; the great leader of that 
struggle declared him " a thorn in the side of the enemy, '^ 
and at its termination, his portrait was engraved for the 
Catholic Association, in common with those of Moore, 
Byron, and Shiel. 

As on this work his reputation chiefly rests, we cannot 
refrain from indulging our disposition to extract a couple of 
passages further, indicative alike of a just conception of the 
satirist's office, a faultless versification, and an ardent pa- 

Amongst other characters distinguished in " Saint" Fam- 


ham's train, was the Rev. Mr. Graham, of Magilligan, a 
small beer poet and a foaming apostle to the Gentiles. Of 
him Furlong gives a finished sketch : — 

"Lo ! as his second, in these troublous times, 
Comes crazy Graham, with his ribald rhymes j 
View the vile doggrel, slowly dragged along, 
To mock at grief^ and sneer away a wrong. 
Mark how he stoops, laboriously to drain 
The last low oozing of his muddy brain, 
Until at length, as champion of the cause. 
He gains his end — promotion and applause. 
It comes ! 'tis his— his object from the first— 
'T is his ! and now let Popery do its worst ; 
The low-born crowd may toil to swell his pride, 
'T is his to take — to triumph and deride ; 
'T is his of new-framed acts to make the best — 
To jeer his slaves, and call his faith a jest ; 
'T is his to grasp what cant or craft hath won j 
'T is theirs to strive, to struggle, and pay on. 
View this, ye dolts, who prate about the poor ; 
View it, ye scribes, and say, shall it endure ? 
View it, ye race, who reason from the past, 
And ask your hearts if such can always last.'* 

The following glorious passage, in relation to the intol- 
erant Orange factions, the poorer classes, and the insensi- 
bility of the government to the state of the nation, will 
conclude our selections from this, alas ! too rare poem : — 

''Name not the 'Gang,' let no harsh truths be told 

Of those whom senates in mute awe behold ; 

Breathe not a fault ! perchance, ere drops a sound. 

Their air-drawn hosts may rise and hem thee round ; 

Their mustered myriads may be poured along. 

And by some thrust, or hedge-shot, stop thy tongue ; 
' Bludgeons or bottles may adorn each hand. 

And blazes, blows, and bluster scare the land ; 

Great is their power ! think how the lodgers run, 

Though none had e'er began at number one. 

Great is their power ! nay, turn and gaze again 

On the black brethren of Cathedral Lane ; 

On the lean race who snatch a scanty pay 

From hammering nails and Popery through the day ; 

On those who stitch, and those who mount the loom, 

Round Mitre Alley, or along the Coombe ; 

On those half shod, half shirted, and half fed, 

Who steal at night to deck the Dutchman's head. 

Great is their wealth ! say, can their stock be small, 

When twelve and six-pence came from Donegal ? 

Great is their learning ! though some letters tell 

That even their great Grand Masters scarce can spell ; 


Great is their zeal ! their piety ! and great 

That cant which links their cause with Church and State. 

* # # # * 

Let Brownlow talk — let Dawson trumpet forth 
The deeds that grace the myriads of the North ; 
Let raving Lees prolong his holy lies, 
And Goulbourn plead, and Peel apologize ; 
Let riots spread, let murders still increase, 
And long processions blast the hope of peace ; 
Let oaths be sworn, or added marks be told. 
More dark, more fearful, than they seemed of old j 
Let lodges curse the country and the town — 
Still, late or soon, the faction shall go down. 
Yes ! though connivance makes endurance long. 
Still truth works onward, and her light is strong; 
Though sloth or dulness makes oppression sure, 
Necessity itself must bring the cure 5 
Though caution comes, and slowly cries, ' Forbear ! ' 
There 's something drowns that warning — 't is despair. 
Yes ! if the dolts who rule, their aid withdraw, 
Man stands self-armed — 't is nature's leading law ; 
If those who govern, still betray their trust, 
And will not act, a tortured people must! " 

But in another character than that of the political poet, 
we find him equally patriotic. As the translator of Carolan's 
Remains, Thomas Furlong- is an exception in the history of 
Irish genius. For the previous two centuries, no man had 
arisen to unlock those treasuries of song, which in the 
crumbling cloister, or the wild, roadless mountain-glen, be- 
times found a voice to charm the ear of the wanderer. No 
hand had been stretched forth to roll the stone from the door 
of the sepulchre, where slept the soul of patriotism and of 
chivalry, of religion and of love — the national music, in an 
obscure tomb hewn by stranger hands from the chilling 

Carolan, the greatest of the modern lyric poets of Ire- 
land who wrote in the ancient language of the land, was 
born about the year 1670, at Newton, near Nobber, in the 
county of Meath, and died, according to O'Connor, on Sat- 
urday, the 25th of July, IVSS."^ With high social qualities, 
he united all the suavity of manner that usually character- 
ized the wandering children of that gentle craft. He was at 
once the author of words and the composer of notes, and the 
names of more than three hundred original airs are preserved, 

* Vide Hardiman's Minstrelsy, vol. 1, page 42. 


to which he gave birth — and many of which, Bunting in- 
forms us, were played at the great meeting of the Belfast 
Harp Society in 1792, by the harpers, O'Neil, Fanning, 
and Hempson."^ At the age of eighteen he was terribly 
attacked with the small-pox, which almost deprived him of 
life ; and he only arose from the bed of suffering, to pass 
his days and years in incessant darkness. He then began 
to make a profession of that which had been previously his 
amusement ; and equipped by the kindness of a benevolent 
lady, he commenced a devious pilgrimage, that only ended 
at the grave. 

But here we have no right to pursue the singular story 
of his life. He lived ; he wrote and played, and loved, 
and died — but was 7iot forgotten. In the days of the Par- 
liament, appeared the works of Walker, Miss Brooke, and 
Bunting, on the musical antiquities of Ireland. These pa- 
triots were followed in their enterprize, by Mr. James Har- 
diman, of Galway, who, in 1831, published the first full 
collection of the original words, with translations, of Irish 
melodies, that deserves the name. 

The last labor of Furlong's life was the translation of the 
songs and short lyrical poems of Carolan, for this collection. 
In their intrinsic worth, he at first had no faith ; but on ex- 
amination, he found them so pregnant with passion and 
harmony, that he entered into the labor with all his soul. 

As works in which those translations have appeared, are 
very rare in cis- Atlantic libraries, it is presumed that the 
reader will not find the following specimens unworthy of 
his perusal : — 


Air — Carolaii's Receipt. 

" When in sickness or in sorrow I have chanced to be, 
My hopes, my dear Stafford, were placed in thee ; 
For thy friendly care and skill, 
And thy drink more cheering still, 
Left the jolly-hearted bard from evil ever free : 
At midnight all merrily our cups went round ; 
Our joys in the morning the gay cordial crowned ; 
For the past had plainly shown 
That in this, and this alone, 
Old Thurlough unfailingly true comfort found ; 

* For the particulars of this celebrated meeting, see Introduction 
to Bunting's Ancient Irish Music, 3d edition, Dublin, 1840. 


Drinking, drinking, 
Never thinking — 
Roaring, raking, 
Harp-strings breaking — 
Oh ! this is my delight — 't is the life for me ; 
Then let glasses overflowing 
Still o'er the board keep going, 
Bright gleams of bliss bestowing 
On the sons of glee. 

Oh ! many joyous years may my friend still see, 
This — this my fond prayer to the last must be ; 
Let the country all around 
With my Stafford's praise resound, 
As the lover of wild merriment and harmony j 
Filling, quaffing, 
Joking, laughing — 
Ever pleasing. 
Never teasing — 
Still plying the gay bard with the song-fraught wine ; 
Oh ! Stafford, dear thou art 
To this old but honest heart ; 
Aye ! its fondest, warmest part 

Throbs for thee and thme." 

The following is in a different strain : — 


" Oh ! loved one, how temptingly fair is that face, 

On which thousands have gazed but to sigh ; 
How winningly smooth seems each notion of grace, 

When thy shape of soft brightness glides by ; 
Though some in thy absence a throb may excite, 

When near thee their triumph is o'er ; 
They shrink in thy presence — they fade in thy light j 

They droop, and look lovely no more. 

Those brilliant gray eyes, with those tresses all curled- 

That bosom where love holds his throne — 
Dear ! these are thy dowry for what were a world 

To him who could call them his own ? 
Of millions the beauty seems blended in thee ; — 

But why on this theme should I dwell ? 
Through life there 's but sadness and silence for me — 

Farewell ! Nancy Cooper ! Farewell ! '' 

These most pathetic stanzas are the language of a really 
poetic soul : 

"Were Heaven to yield me, in this chosen hour, 
As an high gift, ordained through life to last, 


All that our earth hath marked of mortal power, 

The concentrated genius of the past — 
Were all the spells of Erin's minstrels mine, 

Mine, the long treasured stores of Greece and Rome; 
All, all with willing smile I would resign, 

Might I but gain my Mary from the tomb. 

My soul is sad ; I bend beneath my woe ; 

Darkly each weary evening wears away ; 
Through the long night my tears in silence flow, 

Nor hope, nor comfort cheers the coming day. 
Wealth might not tempt— nor beauty move me now. 

Though one so favored sought my bride to be ; 
Witness, high heaven ! bear witness to my vow — 

My Mary ! death shall find me true to thee. 

How happy once ! how joyous have I been, 

When merry friends sat smiling at my side -, 
Now near my end — dark seems each festive scene ; 

With thee, my Mary, all their beauty died 
My wit hath passed — my sprightly voice is gone — 

My heart sinks deep in loneliness and gloom ; 
Life hath no after-charms to lead me on — 

They wither with my Mary, in the tomb." 

Such is an inadequate sample of the powers of the 
translator, and the genius of the original. It is hoped, 
however, that as the life of a hero is sometimes preserved 
in the remembrance of a single action — as we judge of a 
palace or a monastery of other days by the greatness of its 
fragments — that these simple and random selections will 
enable those unacquainted with the Gaelic language, to form 
a favorable opinion of the skill and poetic taste of Furlong, 
as well as of the real genius of Carolan ; to those who 
know the latter in his native garb, we need say nothing of 
the appropriateness of his Anglo-Irish costume. In exe- 
cuting his great undertaking, Furlong possessed no notion 
of patronage ; an undying love of country, and warm ad- 
miration for the efforts of her genius, was at once his mo- 
tive and reward. The following fine lines were the last he 
ever wrote, probably suggested by a self-examination on 
the bed of death, when he might have asked himself 
whether he had deserved the gratitude of his country : — - 

'^ Loved land of the bards and saints ! to me 
There 's nought so dear as thy minstrelsy ; 
Bright is Nature in every dress. 
Rich in unborrowed loveliness : 


Winning in every shape she wears, 
Winning she is thine own sweet airs ; 
What to the spirit more cheering can be, 

Than the lay whose Hngering notes recall 
The thoughts of the holy, the fair, the free, 

Beloved in life or deplored in their fall ? 
Fling, fling the forms of art aside — 

Dull is the ear that these forms enthrall; 
Let the simple songs of our sires be tried— 

They go to the heart — and the heart is all. 
Give me the full responsive sigh. 
The glowing cheek and the moistened eye ; 
Let these the minstrel's might attest — 
And the vain and the idle may share the rest." 

In his political life we cannot find that he ever appeared 
as a speaker but on one occasion — when the health of Tom 
Moore was proposed at a public meeting in Dublin. Mr. 
Furlong spoke briefly in response, giving to the bard of all 
Ireland the following eloquent character : " It is impossi- 
ble," he said, " to speak of Moore in the ordinary terms of 
ordinary approbation — the mere introduction of his name is 
calculated to excite a warmer, a livelier feeling. We ad- 
mire him not merely as one of the leading spirits of our 
time ; we esteem him not merely as the eager and impas- 
sioned advocate of general liberty — but we love him as the 
lover of his country. We hail him as the denouncer of 
her wrongs, and the fearless vindicator of her rights." — 
Such was the language of his convictions, weighed in the 
balance of a kindred genius, and a not inferior patriotism. 
They had been personally acquainted many years before. 
When Moore visited Dublin, in 1815, Furlong forwarded to 
him, for perusal and judgment, a poem in blank verse, 
written previous to his nineteenth year — to which the fol- 
lowing considerate and encouraging answer was sent : — 

" I have read the poem which you did me the honor to 
entrust to me, and think highly of the talent and feeling 
with which it is written ; but I should deal unfairly with 
you, were I to promise you much success from the publica- 
tion of it. There is nothing less popular at the present 
day, than blank verse ; as some proof of which, I need not 
perhaps tell you, (for your subject and his are somewhat 
similar,) that the '^ Excursion " of Wordsworth, one of our 
first geniuses, lies unbought and unread on his publisher's 


shelves. If, however, notwithstanding this discouragement, 
it should still be your wish to try the fate of your poem 
in London, I shall be happy to give you all the aid and 
recommendation in my power. 

" Yours, &c., Thomas Moore. 

"Mr. T. Furlong, &;c. &c." 

" The Misanthrope," and the " Doom of D'Renzy," with 
his better known political musings, and several smaller 
pieces of great merit, to be met with in old Dublin maga- 
zines, would form an exceedingly beautiful and interesting 
volume — one worthy, in point of genius, to keep compan- 
ionship with any in the language. Sooner or later, there 
will come some man of taste and liberality among the tombs 
of the bards of Ireland — the bards of her dark and sunny 
seasons ; and to him will the honor be awarded of intro- 
ducing the neglected muse of Furlong, bright in her im- 
mortal beauty, to the admiration of the world. 

Unfortunately for his country, the life of this " great 
young man," as Lord Mansfield said of the second Pitt, 
dwindled to a most untimely span ; a constitutional weak- 
ness, akin to consumption, appeared gradually to undermine 
his health, and he grew alarmingly feeble in the spring of 
1827. He lingered on till midsummer, eating nothing, 
sleeping but little, his body exhibiting to what a shadow 
mortality may be reduced, and yet live on. In the long, 
weary hours of his gradual dissolution, his religious and 
moral habits strengthened and supported him ; as he sank 
towards the grave, tivo objects alone engaged his mind — the 
freedom of his country and the salvation of his soul. In his 
earliest days he had been deeply impressed with the pure 
truths of revealed religion, and one of his youngest efforts 
was this elegy on the death of a dear friend : — 

" Ah ! if the Atheist's words were true, 

If those we seek to save, 
Sink — and in sinking from our view, 

Are lost beyond the grave ! 
If life thus closed — how dark and drear 
Would this bewildered earth appear ! 

Scarce worth the dust it gave. 
A tract of black sepulchral gloom, 
One yawning, ever opening tomb. 


•' Blest be that strain of high belief, 

More heaven-like, more sublime. 
Which says, that souls that part in grief, 

Part only for a time ! 
That, tlir beyond this speck of pain, 
Far o'er the ij^loomy grave's domarin, 

There spreads a brighter clime, 
Where care, and toil, and trouble o'er,. 
Friends meet, and, meeting, weep no more." 

On the 25tli of Jul}^, 1827, the patriotic poet breathed his 
last. He is buried in the churchyard of Drumcondra, near 
Dublin, close to the grave of Grose, the celebrated anti- 
quary, and above his ashes is this expressive epitaph : 

To the Memory of 

Thomas Furlong, Esq., 

in whom the purest principles of 

Patriotism and Honor 

were combined with 

Superior Practical Genius, 

This Memorial of Friendship 

is erected by those who valued and admired 

His Various Talents, Public Integrity, 

And Private Worth. 

He died the 25th of July, 1827, aged 33 years. 

May he rest in Peace. 

Simultaneous with the publication of Furlong's satires, 
appeared the letters of the immortal Bishop of Kildare and 
Leighlin, which, for vigor and purity of composition, are un- 
excelled. From the importance attached to them on both 
sides of the channel, it is but just to say, that he was 
amongst the ablest of those who facilitated by their genius 
the advent of emancipation. 

Born in an age when his country was about to emerge 
from her long night of sufferings, war and impoverishment, 
he rose sublimely above the darkling millions of his breth- 
ren, and the genius of his mind became the precursor of a 
brighter and less mutable radiancy. Placed in a rank 
where he held power without its semblance, and exercised 
its influence without ostentation, he harbored no thought but 
what the Immaculate Founder of Christianity might sanc- 
tion, and lived by the doctrine that, " no life is more pleas- 
ing to God, than that which is useful to man." Through a 
struggle unprecedented in the histories of civilized nations, 
he passed without a stain upon his robes, although no other 


was so constantly enveloped in the din of its conflicts ; for, 
like those great generals we read of, he who gave orders 
with such wisdom, did not disdain to labor with the miner 
and the pioneer. Himself one of the aggrieved, the charge 
of selfishness never was preferred against him ; his worst 
opponent could accuse him of nothing in his extensive con- 
troversies, unworthy the pen of an ecclesiastic and a ruler 
in the church ; but by blending his sacred love of charity 
and admiration of tolerant institutions, with education, the 
cause of the poor, and the enfranchisement of conscience, 
he gave to politics the spiritual character of the loftiest phi- 
lanthropy. His patriotism was generated in his soul, and 
the shadow of the altar was with him on the rostrum. No 
public man ever possessed greater firmness of character ; no 
Christian divine more gentleness of carriage and meekness 
of heart ; the homage of a nation could not spoil him for an 
hour, nor the eminence of a delinquent shield him from his 
rebuke ; the presence of a British Parliament catechizing 
him as to his faith and practice, could not abash him, nor 
their repulsive sternness render them insensible to the pres- 
ence of a superior being — the minister of a more dread 
tribunal. In private life ever active for the salvation of 
souls, modest and retiring even to taciturnity, pious in his 
practice, generous to the poor, he never thought for himself 
when parting with his last sixpence ; persuasive to the 
habitual sinner, he preferred the mission of mercy to that 
of justice, and attracted many to the church by his apostolic 
demeanor, whom the most eloquent appeals could never 
soften into compunction. In a word, his life was the best 
commentary on the doctrines he preached, and they were 
of God. 

The town of New Ross, in the county of Wexford, has 
the honor of being the birth-place of Doctor Doyle. His 
parents were of humble rank, but respected by all their 
neighbors for their honesty and pious lives. James, their 
distinguished son, was born in 1786. Of his childhood we 
can learn nothing, except that he early evinced a studious 
habit of mind, and was fond of entering the churches when 
few were assembled in them. At school, his readiness in 
acquiring every task assigned him, marked him out from 
all his juvenile comrades. These indications suggested to 
the minds of his parents the station in life for which he was 
best qualified. At the age of eighteen he was sent to the 

college of Coimbra, in Portugal, where he completed his 
studies, and first entered into orders. He was one of the 
last of the Irish Catholic priesthood that obtained an educa- 
tion on the continent, as the royal college of St. Patrick's, 
at Maynooth, near Dublin, was opened previous to his 
leaving Ireland. In the early ages of the church, science, 
affrighted from the continent by the barbarian hordes w^ho 
swarmed above the prostrate colossus of the Roman em- 
pire, made Ireland her isle of refuge, because where the 
Roman had never been, the Vandal never followed. 'T was 
then that the Continent incurred an educational debt to Ire- 
land, which it generously repaid Avith the interest of centu- 
ries during the period when penal laws exiled the scholar, 
and made the acquirement of letters a felony in the first de- 
gree. For more than two hundred years the cloisters of 
Louvain and Salamanca, of St. Omers and Coimbra, be- 
held the stalwart forms, and rang with the jocund mirth, of 
Hibernian students. Of the college life of Dr. Doyle, we 
only know that it led to distinction at an unusually early 
age, and was rudely broken off' by an irruption of the 
French army, under Bonaparte, into Portugal. At one pe- 
riod, as he informs us, his mind vibrated between the Athe- 
ism of the French philosophers and the truths of revelation ; 
but, happily for religion, he passed from skepticism to 
faith. During the w^ar in Portugal he joined the army, and 
laying aside the garb of an Augustinian, to which order he 
belonged, "he took up the cap and sword," ^ as much per- 
haps in defence of the monastic institutions of the country, 
as from his strong notions of the allegiance due to the Brit- 
ish crown. Another countryman became the deliverer of 
Portugal — and the friar returned to his duties and his home. 
In 1818 he returned to Ireland, and proceeding to New 
Ross, he had the satisfaction to find his parents in good 
health ; after remaining with them for a short time and ex- 
changing congratulations with his friends, he went to Car- 
low, with the intention of applying for a professorship in the 
newly-founded college. 

At the request of the president he became Professor of 
Classics, and, during the seven years of his continuance at 
Carlow, filled successively the chairs of Natural and Moral 
Philosophy, and of Theology and the Sacred Scriptures ; in 

* Vide Life, p. 11. 


all of which situations, he displayed a profundity of knowl- 
edge, pleasure in his labors, and a kindness of disposition, 
which endeared him to his pupils, and rendered him of im- 
mense value to the college. In 1819 Dr. Corcoran, bishop 
of Kildare and Leighlin, died, and at a meeting of the clergy, 
on the 27th of August of that year. Dr. Doyle was nomi- 
nated with two others, as candidates for the vacant see ; in 
October the Pope's bull arrived, confirming the first nomina- 
tion, and on the 14th of November he was ordained bishop 
in the parish church of Carlo w, by the Most Rev. Dr. Troy, 
assisted by the Right Rev. Messrs. Murray, Everard, Ma- 
rum, and Walsh. 

In a time of peculiar distress and public excitement, at the 
early age of thirty-three years, he is placed over an extensive 
diocese, whose peasantry turn their eyes towards him for ad- 
vice as naturally as do the clergy. A band of fanatics, proud, 
wealthy, and domineering, were thrusting Bibles into the 
hands of the pauperized laboring classes, and with supreme 
charity offering the bread of life to starving and uneducated 
cottagers. To relieve present sufferings and prevent the 
approach of those in perspective, was the duty of the prelate 
and the patriot. With much of the statesman in his nature, 
and an energy equal to any amount of exertion, he used all 
his powers and influence to bring about four great political 
changes, — the emancipation of Catholics, the abolition of 
tithes, the enacting of poor-laws, and a provision for na- 
tional education. His various letters and essays on these 
subjects would fill several volumes, besides others purely 
polemical, which are marked with all the power, ease, and 
dignity of his style. The most eloquent series were his 
*' Letters to a Friend in England," and " Letters on the 
State of Ireland," under the signature of J. K. L. As ^ 
political writer he is assuredly one of the first of his age ; 
clear, massive, logical, in his arguments, and unsurpassed 
in the felicity with which those arguments are arranged. 
In his polemical warfare he was engaged against Arch- 
bishop Magee, the ablest man that the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of Ireland ever enrolled in its ministry. This 
learned and truly gifted dignitary was a student of Trinity 
College when the celebrated Hely Hutchinson was provost. 
After entering mmor orders he conceived an opinion of 
going to the bar, and applied to the provost for his consent, 
without which he could riot prosecute his intention. Hutch- 


inson was the pink of courtiers, and as an election was 
about to take place in the university, Mr. Magee was given 
to understand that if he voted the right loay his request 
might be complied with. After the election he called on 
Hutchinson, who, assuming his blandest smiles, took him 
by the hand and solemnly addressed him thus : — " You 
know, my dear sir, that I am placed a guardian over the 
youth of Ireland, and how could I answer to iny conscience, 
if I were to spoil so excellent a tutor, by alloiuing your re- 
quest ? " Mr. Magee was successively Dean of Cork, and 
Archbishop of Dublin. He is the author of a celebrated 
book on the Atonement, and some others, less successful, on 
various religious subjects. He was justly the darling of his 
party and the champion of his church. With all his fame 
and influence, Dr. Doyle entered into controversy with him, 
on two occasions : the first, on the contents of a charge 
delivered at his annual visitation, on the 24th of October, 
1822, in which he used the terms that " the Presbyterians 
had a religion without a church, and the Romanists a 
church without a religion." In December the charge ap- 
peared in an authorized shape, but the obnoxious passage 
was much mitigated, the words " without what he called a 
religion " being substituted. In 1827 Dr. Magee, in another 
charge, termed Popery, " the slough of a slavish supersti- 
tion ;" and on this was founded his second and last contest 
with J. K. L. The Marquis Wellesley, who was then 
lord-lieutenant, gave it as his opinion that his friend, the 
archbishop, " got the worst of it." Moore, in his well- 
known book, the Travels of an Irish Gentleman, says, in 
view of Dr. Doyle's great exertions, " If St. Basil, St. Am- 
brose, and a few more such flow^ers of the churches, had 
been able to borrow the magic nightcaps of their contempo- 
raries, the seven sleepers, and were now, after a nap of 
fifteen centuries, just opening their eyes in the town of Car- 
low, they would find in the person of Dr. Doyle, the learned 
bishop of Leighlin and Ferns, not only an Irishman whose 
acquaintance even they might be proud to make, but a fellow 
Catholic, every iota of whose creed would be found to cor- 
respond with their own ;"'^ and the Earl of Shrewsbury, in 
his " Reasons for not taking the Test,'^ speaking of the reply 
to the second charge, " recommends it to every dispassionate 

* Vol. 1, page 71. 

reao^r ; — -for ar^ment and eloquence it stands unrivalled." 
From Dr. Magee's ability or fame we would not detract 
one tittle ; he certainly was equal to his gifted adversary, in 
every attribute of genius, learning, and research ; partizans 
will contend, on one hand, that he was superior, and on the 
other, that his weakness was in the cause he had espoused — 
the more likely supposition. 

One of the most important events in the life of Dr. 
Doyle, was his examination before the Parliamentary com- 
mittee, in 1825, on the civil and religious state of Ireland. 
In this arduous position, he bore himself with a self-posses- 
sion, candor and ease, that astonished his examiners and 
the public. Mr. Brownlow, and Mr. Dawson, M. P. for 
Down, and brother-in-law to Sir Robert Peel, both bitter 
enemies to the Catholic claims, confessed that their scruples 
were removed by his answers. The lords spiritual and 
temporal, from thenceforth spoke with less dogmatism and 
arrogance of the church of Rome and its Irish professors. 
The bigot remained, 

" With the bow-string of his spirit all unbent," 

and only random shots were fired, and they not with much 
effect, at the Catholic clergy, from that time up to 1829, 
when the emancipation bill was passed. Thus, the grati- 
tude of his country was doubly due him ; and had it pleased 
Heaven to spare him to his nation, he would have gone on 
laboring for her weal until she would become bankrupt in 
rewarding him. From '29 to '34 he wrote several able 
letters on a Repeal of the Union, Poor-laws, against secret 
societies, and on the necessity of a Literary Institute for 
Ireland. But his chief and greatest laboT was for the abo- 
lition of tithes. On this topic he was mighty indeed ; ev6ry 
source of his strength was fathomed to the bottom, and no 
one labored more effectually to instil his own precepts. He 
once expressed a hope that in every Irishman's soul " the 
hatred of tithes might be as lasting as their love of justice." 
Events have proved that neither this deed of justice, nor a 
cure for her overgrown pauperism, has Ireland to expect 
from a foreign legislature.. 

The death of this able and exemplary prelate took place 
on the 15th of November, 1834, in the 59th year of his 
ag0, and the 23d of his episcopacy. For some months? p^- 


vious, this sorrowful event was looked for with certainty. 
It was on a Sunday morning at ten o'clock — the hour of 
prayer. A new and splendid cathedral, which he had 
erected at Carlow, was crowded as usual — when there came 
over the kneeling crowd an announcement of their great, 
their irreparable loss ; quickly the dreadful tidings leaped 
from lip to lip, and then the hundreds, as if prostrate by a 
general paralysis, fell motionless before the altar, and their 
moanings only told them to be things of life. But his 
mourners were many without that bereaved congregation. 
The tidings of his death struck on the heart of the nation 
like the herald of a fearful distemper. The desolation of 
orphanage sat on every face; and in voiceless misery of 
heart, for many a day the sad event was lamented. The 
void which he left in public affection, was the most une- 
quivocal acknowledgment of the importance of his position 
while living — and the liberality with which all sects became 
his mourners, the best testimony to his utility. Surely 
there can be no spectacle more truly sublime than the undi- 
vided respect poured forth above the resting-place of the 
good — when the barriers of sectarian life no longer shut 
out the pilgrim, whose impartiality leads him to the shrine 
of virtue, even if it be the grave of an opponent. Then, 
the petty controversies of life are overlooked in the melan- 
choly conviction that a holy and a useful man has bidden 
farewell forever to those he taught and those he loved. 
Such was the unanimous feeling of regret that pervaded 
the people of Ireland, on the receipt of the intelligence that 
their J. K. L. was cold in death — that the tongue so elo- 
quent, and the pen dipped in inspiration, were henceforth 
to be numbered with the things that were. To the disgrace 
of their authors, one or two snarling obituaries were di- 
rected against his memory ; but they sought to pierce gran- 
ite with their goose-quills. Censure, to be feared, must be 
felt ; every one could discover the falseness of the assertions 
derogatory to him, whose character was known to all — for 
it was simply that of a pious, learned, and highly-gifted 
prelate, a taintless patriot, and a most benevolent man. 
Long may it cease to be otherwise looked upon ; for then 
the altar, science, and civilization will have reached the 
evening of their decline, and ingratitude, infidelity and 
barbarism will strain eagerly to fill their vacant seats. 

In a letter to the Rt. Hon. Spring Rice, Dr. Doyle has 


rightly laid down his own principles : " I am a churchman, 
but I am unacquainted with avarice, and I feel no worldly- 
ambition. I am attached to my profession, but I love 
Christianity more than its earthly appendages. I am a 
Catholic from the fullest conviction, but few will accuse me 
of bigotry. I am an Irishman, hating injustice, and ab- 
horring with my whole soul the oppression of my country ; 
but I desire to heal her sores, not to aggravate her suf- 

Thomas Moore, whose biography, such as the public 
know it, is as extensively read as the efforts of his genius 
are admired, contributed in a great degree, by his Irish 
melodies, the Epistles of the Fudge Family, and other po- 
litical pieces, to establish the success of the Catholic cause. 
His life, indeed, has been but one prolonged effort of patriot- 
ism — one endless succession of thoughts on Ireland. We 
find it under his theology in the Travels of an Irish Gentle- 
man ; we meet it in the groves of Persia, and on the Ghe- 
ber's hill of refuge. In the melodies it melts us into tears, 
or rouses us to indignation ; in the epistles it convulses us 
with laughter ; in the memoirs of Captain Rock, it assumes 
as many colors as the chamelion — while it is the spirit and 
soul of all his thoughts throughout. Mr. Moore was born 
at No. 12 Angier street, Dublin, on the 28th of May, 1780. 
His first teacher was Mr. Samuel Whyte of Grafton street, 
who had likewise under his tuition Brinsley Sheridan. 
Under the teachings of this kind-hearted domine, the tena- 
cious memory of his pupil was stored with wonderful rapid- 
ity; in his 12th year he meditated and actually commenced 
the translation of the odes of the Greek poet, Anacreon. 
His proficiency in the Latin and French languages was 
equally remarkable, and in the history of the middle ages, 
a study of which he was always fond. Amongst other pe- 
culiarities, Mr. Whyte had a rage for private theatricals ; 
and so great was his experience in these matters, that he 
frequently managed the " getting up " of the amateur per- 
formances, in which the resident nobility of Dublin were 
anxious to excel. In these performances, his little pupil 
often figured, and occasionally wrote the prologues. Thus, 
at an age so tender, Moore by his own merit entered the 
high places of the aristocracy, and acquired an unhappy 
preference for their habits, which has remained with him 
through life. The relief bill of 1793 enabled Moore to 


enter Trinity College, where he resumpd the translation of 
Anacreoii, whicji he completed in 1799, and published, 
with a dedication — by permission — to George, Prince of 
Wales. The work is more admired as a beautiful version, 
than for the truthfulness of the translation. 

In 1801, Moore, having gone to London, published a vol- 
ume of original songs, odes and sonnets, under the title of 
" Poems, by Thomas Little the Younger," which contains 
many splendid proofs of a fine imagination and sprightly 
wit, but greatly tarnished and obscured by a pervading spirit 
of lasciviousness. The result of this was, as may be ex- 
pected, that the critics rose in arms en masse, and the only 
trouble amongst them seems to have been, who should 
devour the largest portion of the unfortunate Mr. Little. 
This point, however, was universally ceded to the celebrated 
Jeffrey, at that time editor of the Edinburgh Review, whose 
strictures, cutting with the easy voice of the south wind, 
were far less bearable than the stormy wrath of all the 
other defenders of morality and religion. The hot blood 
of the bard was stirred within him ; he chose not to pay 
back scorn for ill usage, like Byron, but after his own Mile- 
sian method of revenge, he sent the critic a challenge, 
couched in words of fearful determination. They met at 
Chalk Farm, near London, a notorious duelling ground — 
but the authorities interfered, and on drawling the charges 
from the pistols of the hostile men of letters, discovered 
only paper bullets ! This friendly invention of the seconds 
was seized upon by Byron, in 1809, in his masterly satire 
directed against " English Bards and Scotch Reviewers ;" 
and he ralh^J both parties without mercy on the occasion. 
Once more thb irritable Anacreon challenged ; but this time 
there was no meeting, as Byron was on the shores of the 
Bosphorus before it reached him ; on his return from the 
Childe Harold tour, matters were amicably arranged by the 
interference of Samuel Rogers, and the two bards became 
bosom friends. Moore's intimacy with the Prince of Wales 
is well known ; the cause of its sudden irruption has been 
variously accounted for — but it appears that it was occa- 
sioned by the Regent's asking him if he was related to a 
certain peer whose family name is Moore ; to which the 
poet promptly replied, " No, my liege ! my father was a 
grocer of Dublin." A sneer of contempt rose on the noble 
face* at the board, and rested even on the lip of George ; 


and from that night Moore was not seen again in royal 
company."^ The inheritors of the blood that triumphed at 
Hastings and Agincourt, whose bastard sires had enrolled 
their names on the roll of Battle Abbey, turned coldly from 
his conversation ; and this was the true source of his falling 
into " contempt at court," — disgrace, that, in the eyes of 
all upright men, will be a title to everlas^'ng honor ! In 
1811 he was very busy at politics, and published two excel- 
lent pamphlets on the subject of the Catholic claims — one, 
"A Candid Appeal to the Public," and the other in the form 
of "A Letter to the Roman Catholics of Dublin " — both of 
which were of great usefulness at that time. In 1812 he 
produced the " Fudge Family, in Paris," a series of satiric 
letters on the then government, in which an agent of British 
diplomacy at Paris, Mr. Fudge, an expatriated Irishman, 
Phelim O'Connor, and one or two others, are the writers, and 
Lords Castlereagh, Liverpool and Eldon, Dr. Duigenan and 
others of that ilk, are the prominent butts. This work ap- 
peared with the anonymous signature of Thomas Brown. 
The " Two-Penny Post Bag," the " Skeptic," " Tom Crib's 
Memorial to Congress," and " Intolerance," are his other 
prominent satires, all written in a mingled vein of severity 
and humor, that teaches the reader to despise the objects of 
his spleen without sympathizing in the severity of their 
punishment. It was in the same year, we believe, that he 
commenced his '• Irish Melodies," the grandest combination 
of sweet sounds, historic truth, and the eloquent pleadings 
of suffering patriotism, ever produced by a single pen. 
These melodies are the proudest feature in his literary ca- 
reer ; they are universally admired in Europe and America ; 
they have been rendered into many languages, and furnished 
the gallant Poles with their last war songs. The Irish 
heart, barren after the sorrow of centuries, felt their reviv- 
ing influence ; and in some measure his own words of hope 
are verified : — 

" The stranger shall hear thy lament on his plains ; 
The sound of thy harp shall be sent o'er the deep, 
Till thy tyrants themselves, as they rivet thy chains, 
Shall pause at the song of the captive, and weep.'^ 

* Illustrative of the Regent's extreme vanity of rank, there is an 
anecdote told of that counterpart of Chesterfield, the late Beau Brum- 
mell, who laid a wager with some friends, in an hour of excitement, 


They have been so often judged and re-judged, and so 
often eulogized, and by so many eminent critics, that it is 
needless to dwell on their claims to universal favor ; for to 
those who are acquainted with them, (and who is not?) all 
praise is needless. Moore's musical acumen has been 
matter of surprise to the most eminent composers ; amongst 
others, Dr. Burney and Sir John Stevenson have borne 
evidence to its delicacy and ripeness. The airs he WTote 
to, although not originally known by very poetic names, are 
amongst the sweetest in the world. The great Gemanini 
declared he had heard nothing so original west of the Alps, 
and Handel has said he would rather have composed " Aileen 
Aroon," than his most prosperous operas. The historian of 
the Life of Godfrey of Boulogne, the leader of the second 
crusade, remarks that " but for the Irish harp, there would 
seem to be no music in these wars ;" and an Italian pro- 
fessor of great skill exclaimed, on hearing for the first time 
the same instrument, " that must be the music of a people 
who have suffered slavery." To Moore, next to Bunting, 
is due the chief honor of reviving the fame, if not the use 
of his country's neglected melodies, and the resuscitation 
of her harp. For who but himself could have recognized 
the spirit of the " Red Fox," as chanted by some country 
crone, and infuse it into that glorious song, '' Let Erin re- 
member the days of old," — or, that words divine might be 
wedded to the popular ballad air of " Thady ye gaudher ? " 

As a prose writer, Mr. Moore's fame is not equal to his 
reputation as a poet. His ''Memoirs of Captain Rock,", 
published in 1825, is, however, one of the very best books 
that ever was penned, on that prolific theme of many pens, 
the sufferings of Ireland. The knowledge, the philosophy, 
and the wit displayed in its composition, were never equal- 
led, to our belief, in a similar work. The " Travels of an 
Irish Gentleman in search of a Religion,^^ it has been 
bruited, was a penance imposed on Mr. Moore for the sins 
of Mr. Little — which, to judge from its pages, was per- 
formed with scrupulous diligence. The biographies of 
Byron, Sheridan, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald, are all 
works of industry, and unblemished specimens of fine style. 

that he would call the Prince by his proper name in their presence. 
He won the wager ; but a servant M^as ordered to call Mr. Brummell's 
carriage, and he supped with "George'' no more. 


The History of Ireland, his most pretending prose work, is 
one of the best as yet written of that country, although very 
far removed from perfection. It is a singular truth that no 
Irish history now extant can be divested of some radical 
defect. Taafe is too declamatory, McDermott too meta- 
physical ; Keating believes over much, and Tom Moore 
over little. But the latter has done more for Irish history 
than any other writer in our time who has made it his study 
or subject. 

From this summary, and it may appear dogmatic manner 
of speaking of the important productions of our national 
bard, we pass again to his poetry ; — we leap with willingness 
from Ireland's sad realities to Persia's gay romance. Lalla 
Rookh needs no praise, can never feel censure, and stands 
impregnable to all the beleaguering hosts of criticism. 
Original in its conception as in its execution, it has ap- 
peared like one of those rare meteors, whose birth a seventh 
age is only destined to witness. It has struggled out of the 
fast declining age of English poetry, and side by side with 
the Revolt of Islam, illuminates the literary character of the 
nineteenth century. Human nature has no feeling that it 
does not reach ; it puts in motion all the complex machinery 
of the heart. It is throughout " a string of gems " — a 
sheet of gold, scattered with every delicate and gorgeous 
flower that " the land of the sun " produces. With a little 
stretch of imagination, he has supposed that the pure- 
minded Emmet, or the great rebel chief (who seems fated 
to be the last of the Geraldines) stood before him for the 
portrait of his heroic Hafed. The betrayal is another trait 
di resemblance ; and we would not desire a prettier epitaph 
for the late Mr. Reynolds of Kilkee Castle, or loyal Major 
Sirr, than that sublime malediction commencing with the 
line, — 

" Oh ! for a tongue to curse the slave." 

It is only a little too good for either. *' Lalla Eookh " has 
passed through the hands of millions ; every dialect in 
Europe has its version, and of all the people who read it in 
the original, there is not one who does not ever after love 
the name of Moore. Shortly after its publication, it was 
dramatized and enacted at Berlin, the Queen of Prussia and 
the Emperor of Russia taking the characters of Feramoz 
and Lalla Rookh. In a letter written by Byron to Moore, 


he says, '' 1 shall not suffer the Misses Byron to read it, 
lest they discover there is a greater poet than their father." 
It is an honorable testimony to Moore's private character, 
that those who have written of his career or life, prefer 
dwelling on his social virtues and accomplishments, rather 
than the triumphs of his fancy or the splendor of his wit. 
His conversational powers are attractive and varied, while 
no man brings less of his literary pride into company than 
he does. With the ladies he is still successful, and, for a 
veteran adorer of the sex, he writes love songs with nearly 
as much spirit as he did forty years since. He sings, too, 
delightfully ; for, like another Fitzeustace, he 

" Can frame love ditties, passing rare, 
And sing them to a lady fair." 

After all the w^ear and tear affections suffer in passing 
though a life like his, his heart is still full of fresh feeling 
and vigorous attachment. When he visited Dublin in 183-5, 
his stay was celebrated as a public event of great impor- 
tance ; the high hopes of his original designs for Ireland eked 
out, and discovered the same heart then, that once waked 
into life and gave a name to her national melodies. His 
public reception at Bannow, in the native county of his 
parents, was much after the manner of a Roman ovation. 
Nine peasant girls, bright as the beings of his own fancy, 
crowned him with a coronal of laurel and roses interw^oven. 
The entire population sang his praises, in their own untu- 
tored style, and the following beautiful stanzas, from the pen 
of Macdonald Doyle, a young author of increasing celebrity, 
commemorates at once the bard and his liberal entertainers. 

" Welcome ! thou minstrel of the West ! 

While thousands throng to greet, to bless thee, 
In feeble strain among the rest, 

A rustic rhymer dares address thee ; 
Unskilled to pour the polished lay, 

And nursed in life's less favored ranks, 
He ventures in his homely way 

To welcome thee to ^ Bannow's Banks.' 

When first I sung, 't was when thy strains 
Their wizard spell around me threw, 

Of tears, and loves, and flowTS and chains, 
I fondly tried to sing like you ; 


And if H was Moore's entrancing songs 

That plumed my muse's early wing, 
To whom if not to Moore belongs 

The little she was taught to sing. 

Lone, pining in her dark retreat, 

A nameless, friendless thing, she grew, 
Wild as the wild flower at her feet, 

As simple and as lovely, too ; 
In sooth she was a lonesome muse. 

And few would care to test her voice. 
Till, as she sung ot Ireland's woes, 

She touched the manly heart of Boyse.* 

You first awoke her infant lyre — 

He bade the puny numbers thrill ; 
You kindled first its minstrel fire — 

He trims and feeds and fans it still. 
From you the mimic warbler springs — 

You urged her tiny wings to soar j 
If you approve the strain she brings, 

Can < minstrel boys ' solicit more ? 

O long shall Bannow's unborn race, 

As countless ages roll along. 
In Bannow's rural records trace 

This visit of ' The Child of Song.' 
Then pardon this untutored lay. 

And deign t' accept his humble thanks. 
Who, rhyming in his brain-sick way. 

Thus welcomes thee to Bannow's banks.'^ 

In his matrimonial affairs he has been happier than most 
men of letters. His cottage at Slopperton is as inviting a 
homestead as ever was the residence of a mind so active 
and an imagination so brilliant. His lady was chosen after 
his own mode of courtship. " You may go in for eighty 
years," was remarked by his friend Byron ; he is now sixty- 
four, and the completion of the noble poet's prophecy, is, to 
human vision, nowise improbable. 

The revival of the Catholic agitation, in '23, which had 
drawn out the letters of Doyle, and the muses of Furlong 
and Moore, produced yet another name well worthy of 
honor. Mr. Lawless was a native of Belfast, and one of 
the most devoted advocates of emancipation. His disinter- 

* Thomas Boyse, Esq., of Bannow — himself a poet of no humble 
merit, a patriot eloquent and liberal, and naturally, therefore, a friend 
of Moore. 



estedness wiis carried almost to a fault ; for there can be 
little doubt but that his incessant labors, by nit^^ht and day, 
witii voice and pen, sapped the feeble foundations of his 
constitution, and precipitated him into a premature grave. 
He was a man, whose soul was formed for martyrdom, one 
of those t,^en tie-hearted enthusiasts, whose character it is 
almost impossible to define, so delicately are the womanly 
and heroic virtues blended in their natures. He was a 
scholar passionately fond of the history of every noble peo- 
ple, and an idolator of his own. In the old Irish character 
he saw realized the firm virtue of the Roman, with the fiery 
spirit of the Greek character. He was a poet from the in- 
spiration of a noble sympathy with the great : to his mind, 
McMurough was worse than Satan in his treachery, Crom- 
well more terrible than Caligula, and Owen Roe O'Nial, 
the perfection of a soldier and an Irish prince. Wrapt up 
in these noble contemplations, his own mind became sat- 
urated, as it were, with sentiments of chivalry, and he would 
as readily have expired beneath the headsman's hands, in 
Ireland's cause, as he would have despatched a Beresford 
or a Foster, by a few dashes of his fearless pen, in the col- 
umns of the Irishman. In person, Mr. Lawless was 
neither powerful nor commanding, and his peculiarly stiff 
carriage was only redeemed from ridicule by a countenance 
at once noble and commanding. A Roman nose, set as 
irrevocably as destiny ; an eye, large, lustrous, and inces- 
santly flashing with the innate light of a well-stored mind, 
and an enthusiastic fancy ; a brow, firm, comprehensive and 
open, with a bountiful growth of hair, made him conspicuous 
in every assembly. His voice was sonorous, and capable of 
exquisite moderation, and his action in speaking abundant 
and appropriate. His intellect, originally clear and creative, 
had been sharpened by classic lore, and strengthened by 
long and frequent libations from the delicious fountains of 
history. In every pursuit the intensity of his nature led the 
way, and its generosity left no estimable fact or thought 
unnoted ; though he had been an ardent and discursive 
reader, he remembered much ; and few men ever better 
knew, than he did, how to embellish a rhetorical picture, or 
strengthen a position by apt references to the conduct of 
antiquity. Such was the man, who, after battling with all 
the Vandalism of the north, appeared in propria persona, 
to work the machinery of the great engine of emancipation. 


The Irish people knew how to understand so unusual a 
character. Themselves without selfishness and without 
fear, the name of Mr. Lawless became endeared to them at 
once, and during his life the love which they bore him in- 
creased every day, more and more. A scholar without pre- 
tension, and a favorite without vanity, his personal friends 
believed they never could sufficiently display the high re- 
spect in which they held so rare and admirable a mixture 
of modesty and worth. 

The loss of Dr. Doyle was beginning to be less felt, al- 
though not less lamented, when another of the ablest friends 
of O'Connell and Ireland was taken away, in the death of 
Mr. Lawless. He died in London, and was there buried.^" 

It is singular and degrading, that the best of Irishmen 
rest abroad, while the traitors and tyrants — the Castlereaghs 
and McNallys, have been carefully restored to her. Grat- 
tan. Lawless, Sarsfield, the O'Neils and O'Donnells, the 
Laceys, Daunes, and Brownes, have been coveted in death 
by England, France, Rome, Austria and Russia; while 
Duingenan and Reynolds are given to the soil, whose very 
worms sicken on their perjured ashes. How unworthily 
does Ireland's acquiescence in such an unnatural arrange- 
ment, compare with the conduct of France towards Bona- 
parte ? Mr. Lawless died in Cecil street, London, on the 8th 
of August, 1837, and was buried on the 16th of that month. 
The London and Dublin Orthodox Journal for Saturday, 
the 26th of August, contained the following record of the 
mournful event : 

" The mortal remains of this gentleman were, on the 16th 
instant, deposited in the vault attached to the Catholic chapel 
in Moorfields. Several friends of the deceased wished to 
offer to the Irish patriot the tribute of a public funeral; but 
the absence of almost all his political compeers from town 
induced those more immediately interested to adopt a differ- 
ent course. ^ =^ ^ The hearse being in readiness, the 
procession moved slowly along the Strand, Fleet street, &c. 
The first coach contained Philip Lawless, the eldest son of 
the deceased. Captain Lawless, (his brother,) Henry Wil- 
liams, Esq., and Dr. Best. In the second, were Sheridan 

* We have seen it stated, recently, in the Irish papers, that an at- 
tempt was about to be made to bring home the bones of Lawless, and 
we hope it will succeed. 


Knowles, Mr. J. O. Gumming Hill, Mr. Wilham and Mr. 
Ireland ; while the third was occupied by Captain Roberts, 
R. N., Dr. Alley, Mr. Robese and Mr. Shea. The funeral 
rites were celebrated by the Hon. and Rev. Mr. Spencer, 
brother of Earl Spencer, and the Rev. Mr. Hall. The cere- 
mony was highly aflfecting, every individual present having 
for years been * linked in bonds of closest amity' with their 
departed friend." 

That the influence of the illustrious writers whose names 
we have grouped together, was much felt, not only in Ire- 
land, but in all parts of the empire and in foreign countries, 
may be readily conceived. For what with the pure logic 
and lofty eloquence of J. K. L., the irresistible keenness and 
crushing sarcasm of Furlong, the bold rhetoric and infec- 
tious pathos of honest Jack Lawless, and the wit, the 
imagery, the pointed commentaries, and the. vivid declama- 
tion of Moore, there perhaps never was a subject more tho- 
roughly handled by such brilliant, yet such diverse talents. 
The mind and the heart were the provinces in which alter- 
nately these intellectual giants reigned at will, stirring up 
old memories to feed the fire of revolution, or arming and 
elevating the reasoning powers of the chained populace to 
the level of a free destiny. In this, the most glorious mis- 
sion of genius, three of them, it is plainly known, sacrificed 
time and health ; the third yet lives — the last of the race of 
bards. The brightest lamp of his generation has burned the 
longest of that host who shed light from Olympus over every 
history, country, and passion. Him, of whom the great 
Byron wrote : — 

" Anacreon Moore^ 
To whom the lyre and laurels have been given, 
With all the trophies of triumphant song ; 
He won them nobly, may he wear them long ! ^' 



The Catholic Question in foreign Countries. — America, — 
Thomas Addis Emmet. — France. — Germany. — British 
Dependencies. — Groivth of the Association. — English 
Trotestant Liberality. — Rev. Sidney Smith. 

The fame of the wonderful league of mind and enthusi- 
asm which formed the Catholic Association, soon spread 
abroad. The Irish in America were amongst the first to 
give back an echoing cheer to their far-distant kindred, toil- 
ing for emancipation, which they had won at the sad pen- 
alty of exile. Meetings were held in all the important 
cities of the republic, and the honored names of Emmet, 
McNevin, Gary, and Custis, were mingled with the most 
disinterested sympathy, and the most munificent donations. 
The three first named, survivors of the bloody catastrophe 
of 1798, drew around their every proceeding the reverence 
of the older emigrants from their own country, and the 
deference of others, who, although they knew not Ireland, 
knew enough of the story of the disastrous finale of the 
United Irish Society, to treat with peculiar respect the no- 
ble few who survived its wreck. The last born on the soil 
of freedom, nearly allied to Washington, and the inheritor 
of his principles, was no less devotedly an advocate of 
Catholic emancipation. Nor did he stand alone amongst 
Americans ; for many good citizens shared his wishes, and 
participated in his labors. The name of the first men- 
tioned sympathizer has occurred before in these pages, and 
it cannot be tiresome or uninteresting to devote a brief space 
to the consideration of a character, in which we will find 
blended, the best virtues which our nature can cherish, with 
the noblest fortitude, and the loftiest purity. 

Thomas Addis Emmet was born in 1764, in the city of 
Cork ; his father was a doctor of medicine, who soon after 
removed to Dublin, and became physician to the castle. 
His father intended to educate him for his own profession, 
and for that purpose he studied at Edinburgh, and grad- 
uated with distinguished honor. Here he had for school- 


fellows, Sir Jaines Mackintosh, Home, afterwards Lord 
Advocate of Scotland, and a Swiss, named Constant, who 
became a tribune, under the French Republic. He spent 
three years in Edinburgh, and his popularity may be im- 
agined from the fact that he was president of no less than 
five college societies at the same time. Leaving college, 
he visited the continent, spending two years on his tour ; 
he observed institutions with the eye of a philosopher, and 
analyzed their conditions with the keenness of a politician. 
In all, he could perceive ten thousand voices speaking of 
equality, and protesting against the injustice of class legisla- 
tion. He returned from his tour, an earnest and enthusiastic 
republican. Nor did he hold singular ideas of government. 
Already the example of the colonists of North America had 
created an anti-monarchical party in the old world — a party 
w^hich has ever since been going onward, strengthening and 
extending — w^hich is dignified by the learning and exalted 
by the disinterestedness of its professors — w^hich has been 
established wdth a cement of blood, drained from the noblest 
hearts of Europe. 

On his return to Ireland, Mr. Emmet passed through 
London, where he met his old schoolfellow, Mackintosh. 
In their conversation, that eminent man advised him, 
strongly, to choose law as his profession, assuring him 
that, if he did so, he was destined to rise. On his return 
to Dublin, he found his eldest brother, Temple, dead, and 
soon after entered himself as a law student, and in 1790 
was duly admitted. The succeeding year he prosecuted, 
on behalf of James Napper Tandy, the lord-lieutenant and 
council, for issuing an illegal proclamation ! This bold step 
reminds one of the old adage, of w^arring w4th the devil, 
and holding the court in his own dominions. Nothing re- 
sulted from it favorable to the national cause except the 
evidence of Emmet's legal ability. The government were 
astonished at the boldness, the research, and acuteness of 
the young advocate ; and a proposition w^as immediately 
made to him, of judicial preferment. The viceregal wire- 
pullers have ever respected the talent which they feared ; it 
has been their constant object to pickle and preserve patri- 
otism, by clothing it in wig and ermine ; they have thirsted 
and yearned after the preferment of those w^hose opinions 
are at variance wdth their own. But Thomas Addis Emmet 
was a man, and an Irishman — a benevolent man, and he 


therefore refused the proffered honor. It was not for such 
a gentle heart and majestic mind as his to be " the interme- 
diate executioner," as his eloquent brother said of those 
brutal statutes which punished theft with death, and every- 
thinof above it in like manner. He was born to alter bad 
laws, not to execute them ; and he would as soon have 
invoked paralysis upon himself, as have sat on the same 
bench with a Norbury or an O 'Grady. 

Mr. Emmet was often engaged in defending the United 
Irishmen previous to his actual connection with them in 
1796. After that period, by previous arrangement, he sel- 
dom appeared on behalf of any of his fellow-revolutionists. 
On one occasion, in defending a prisoner for having admin- 
istered the oath of the society, he took up that document, 
which is as follows, and read it, distinctly, in open court : — 

" I, A. B., in the presence of God, do pledge myself to my 
country, that I will use all my abilities and influence in the 
attainment of an impartial and adequate representation of 
the Irish nation in parliament ; and as a means of absolute 
and immediate necessity in the establishment of this chief 
good of Ireland, I will endeavor, as much as lies in my 
ability, to forward a brotherhood of aflfection, an identity of 
interests, a communion of rights, and an union of power, 
among Irishmen of all religious persuasions, without which, 
every reform in parliament must be partial, not national, 
inadequate to the wants, delusive to the wishes, and insuffi- 
cient to the freedom and happiness of this country." 

" Having read the test," says Dr. Madden, '* defended its 
obligations with a power of reasoning and a display of legal 
knowledge, in reference to the subject of the distinction be- 
tween legal and illegal oaths, which the counsel for the 
prosecution described as producing an extraordinary impres- 
sion, he addressed the court in the following terms : — 

" My Lords : Here, in the presence of this legal court, 
this crowded auditory — in the presence of the Being that 
sees, and witnesses, and directs this judicial tribunal — here, 
my lords, I, myself, in the presence of God, declare I take 
the oath." 

The jury were electrified at his boldness — the bench were 
rnute with astonishment — the prisoner was acquitted, and 
the court adjourned* 


Nor did he confine himself to his profession in serving 
the cause. He wrote an excellent and vigorous style, and, 
as he thought deeply and reasoned w^ell, his contributions 
to the press attracted much attention. 

Emmet and his companions were arrested at Oliver 
Bond's, in Dublin, on the 12th of March, 1798. When he 
was conducted to prison, his wife accompanied him, and, 
wdth heroic fortitude, withstood every effort of her friends, 
as well as of those in authority, to remove her from his 
side. Young and gentle — reared amid the refinements of a 
luxurious city, this noble woman feared not sickness, shrunk 
not from the dreariness of her gloomy tenement, regretted 
not the loss of that liberty, more irksome than a loss of 
sight ; but dead to the world, she lived for twelve months in 
prison, like a fair plant of another clime cast by stern mis- 
chance upon a most ungenial soil. 

No sooner were the leaders of the revolution in prison, 
than false advisers sprung up amongst the people. Rash- 
ness was mistaken for zeal — deliberation for cowardice ; and 
victory was lost. Lord Edw^ard Fitzgerald and Tone were 
no more. France was a passive spectator of the grievances 
she had fostered ; the south had been unsupported, and the 
north unsuccessful ; and the rekindled flame of liberty went 
out, because there was no wise hand to tend it. Mr. 
Emmet and his friends, therefore, entered into a treaty 
with the government, stipulating for their personal safety, 
and offering, as a bonus, to leave the kingdom forever. To 
this proposal they received answer, that if they would dis- 
close the names of others, not leaders, but men of importance 
in the society, their terms should be acceded to. This, of 
course, they indignantly refused, and accordingly, their im- 
prisonment continued. Early in '99 they were transferred 
from Newgate to Fort George, in Scotland, where they 
continued three years — Mrs. Emmet still remaining with 
her husband. While confined here, Mr. Emmet applied 
to Rufus King, the United States Minister in London, for 
permission to emigrate to this country, which w^as sneering- 
ly refused. On the accession of Mr. Jefferson to the Pres- 
idency, in 1801, his application was more successful ; and 
in 1804, after spending two years on the continent, during 
w^hich he had an interview with Napoleon at Paris, he 
sailed for New York, where he found a hospitable home, 
and built up for himself both fortune and renow^n. 


His style of pleading is well described by Charles 
Gltddon Haines, of New Hampshire — himself an eminent 
lawyer — in a neat biographical sketch of Mr. Emmet. 

" Helvetius remarks," says Haines, " that the sun of glory 
only shines upon the tomb of greatness. His observation 
is too often true ; but facts and living proofs sometimes con- 
tradict it. Mr. Emmet walks on in life, amid the eulo- 
giums, the admiration, and the enthusiastic regard of a 
great and enlightened community. Without the glare and 
influence of public office, without titles and dignities, who 
fills a wider space, who commands more respect, than 
Thomas Addis Emmet ? Like a noble and simple column, 
he. stands among us proudly pre-eminent — ^destitute of pre- 
tensions, destitute of vanity, and destitute of envy. In a 
letter which I recently received from a friend, who resides 
in the western part of the Union, a lawyer of eminence, he 
speaks of the New York bar. ' Thomas Addis Emmet,' 
says he, ' is the great luminary whose light even crosses 
the western mountains. His name rings down the valley 
of the Mississippi, and we hail his efibrts with a kind of 
local pride.' 

'^ If to draw the character of Homer needs the genius of 
the immortal bard himself; if to portray the powers of 
Demosthenes requires the gigantic intellect of the great 
Athenian orator, Mr. Emmet has nothing to expect from 
me. In presenting the features of his mind, I shall describe 
them from the impressions they make on me. I paint from 
the original. I catch the lineaments of the subject as living 
nature presents them. 

" The mind of Thomas Addis Emmet is of the highest 
order. His penetration is deep, his views comprehensive, 
his distinctions remarkably nice. His powers of investiga- 
tion are vigorous and irresistible. If there be anything in 
a subject, he will go to the bottom. He probes boldly, 
reaches the lowest depths by his researches, analyzes every- 
thing, and embraces the whole ground. He may be said to 
have a mind well adapted to profound and powerful inves- 
tigation. In the next place, he has great comprehension. 
He sees a subject in all its bearings and relations. He 
traces out all its various operations. He begins at the cen- 
tre and diverges, until it becomes necessary again to return 
to the centre. As a reasoner — a bare, strict reasoner, Mr. 
Emmet would always be placed in an elevated rank. No 


matter how dry, how difficult, liow repulsive the topic ; no 
matter what may he its intricacies and perplexities, if any 
man can unfold and amplify it, he is equal to the task. 
# # # ^ # :)^ 

" I have spoken of his talent for deep and rigid investi- 
gation. I will now again recur to another feature of his 
mind — his talent for reasoning on whatever data or premises 
he relies on. All the illustrations and all the analogies 
which can well occur to the mind, are readily and adroitly 
arranged in his arguments. He makes the most of his 
cause, and often makes too much — giving a front that is so 
palpably over-formidable, that men of the plainest sense 
perceive the fruits of a powerful mind, without being at all 

Thus spoke an American of his mind ; hear now an 
Irishman, on the qualities of his heart : — 

" In men who are * fit for treasons, stratagems and broils/ 
the passions and mental qualities we expect to find are 
ambition, vanity, malignity, restlessness, or recklessness of 
mind. Were these the characteristics of T. A. Emmet ? 
The question, with perfect safety to the memory of Emmet, 
might be put to any surviving political opponent of his of 
common honesty, who was acquainted with those times, and 
the men who were prominent actors in them. Emmet's 
ambition was to see his country well governed, and its 
people treated like human beings, destined and capacitated 
for the enjoyment of civil and religious freedom. For him- 
self he sought no pre-eminence, no popular applause ; he 
shrunk from observation where his merits, in spite of his 
retiring habits, forced them into notice. No man could say 
that Emmet was ambitious. 

" Emmet's vanity was of a peculiar kind ; he was vain 
of nothing but his name ; it was associated with the brightest 
of the by-gone hopes of Irish genius, and with the fairest 
promises of the revival of the latter in the dawning powers 
of a singularly gifted brother. No man could say with 
truth that vanity or selfishness was the mental infirmity of 

" No malignant act was ever imputed to him. The 
natural kindness of his disposition was manifested in his 
looks, in his tone of voice ; those who came in contact with 
him felt that his benignity of disposition, his purity of heart 


and mind were such, ' and the elements so mixed in him, 
that nature might stand up and say to all the world, this 
was a man.' Malignity and Emmet were as dissimilar in 
nature as in name.'"^ 

Such is a brief sketch of the man who was the most 
dreaded of the insurgents of '98, and one of the most sin- 
cere of emancipationists. A rigid Protestant, he exemplified 
in his own conduct that freedom from prejudice, yet firmness 
of faith, which he long hoped to see established as a na- 
tional characteristic of Ireland, but which, unhappily, he 
did not live to see effected. 

In all struggles against tyranny, it is reasonable that those 
who would be free look to the free for sympathy or encour- 
agement. In this case, they were not deceived. The Irish 
emigrant, toiling in the forests of Illinois and Michigan, 
was startled at the awakening cry of his country ; he flung 
down the axe, and thrusting his hand into his scanty 
strong-box, gave a hearty cheer and his mite, with an in- 
diflference to the amount, which would do honor to a mil- 
lionaire. His brethren in the city were not idle; and 
month after month, for five consecutive years, the claims 
of Ireland to religious liberty were echoed from one frontier 
of the confederacy to the other. This was a new source 
of strength to the friends of emancipation, and of terror to 
their foes. It is a point on which we fain would dwell, if 
not reminded by the title that we must economize space. 
The names of those now departed, who were then amongst 
the foremost in the fight, are hedged in with such honor as 
shields them from the ingratitude of flippancy. We w^ould 
not leap over their tombs for a king's ransom. The names 
of those who survive, are scarcely the legitimate property 
of a biographer ; nor is it any slight to their services that 
their merits shall be left to repose in the memory of their 
beneficiaries, until they are gathered to the sleep of peace. 
The emigrant was found faithful, in spite of distance and 
disappointment. The call of every appealing land had 
been answered by some portion or other of the population 
of the free new world ; and it remained for those who 
owed to Ireland the debt of descent, and were attracted 
towards her by the generous warmth of kindred blood, to 
transmit to her a share of those blessings and benefits 

* Madden's Life of T. A. Emmet. 


wliicli freecium haJ placed in iheir own hands. They 
became liberly's ulinoiiers to llieir own country, as other 
classes of citizens have been to Poland, Greece, and South 

Nor was the foreign assistance which so materially bene- 
fited Ireland, exclusively from the western Avorld. In the 
farther Indies, the spirit of O'ConncU stalked abroad, and 
niany munificent contributions were the result of its ap- 

France, the hereditary friend of Ireland, gave also from 
her treasuries large sums of money, ardent exhortations, 
and promises, faithfully observed, of continued co-operation. 
She had before given station to Irish soldiers, and learning 
to Irish scholars ; it only remained to complete the debt of 
international benefaction, that she should have aided in 
giving her freedom also. 

Germany, the native land of Lutheranism, sent to the 
Catholic millions, from many of her states, the most cordial 
and cheering assurances of interest, wath the more tangible 
encouragement of the purse. 

The British dependencies in every latitude, felt, more or 
less remotely, the influence of this wonderful association. 
Its tracts w^ere imported to Canada — perused in the Austra- 
lian wilderness, and upon the icy shores of New- Zealand. 
Its debates were asked after, on every arrival, by the rulers 
and the ruled ; and not unfrequently, an animating voice 
was heard from the most distant colonies of the empire. 
Canada, and the North American provinces generally, were 
honorably conspicuous for their friendship. Thus, in God's 
inscrutable providence, were the foes of British tyranny 
raised up in every section of the British empire, until, at 
last, the accumulation of their execrations forced even the 
tory chief of Waterloo to tremble, and finally to yield. 

Such were the workings of Catholic agitation abroad, 
during 1824, and the five succeeding years. Let us now 
return to the records of the Association. 

The Association having once fairly raised its head, Mr. 
O'Connell devoted all his attention to render it thoroughly 
operative. For this end, he contrived that no class should 
preponderate in its councils — that the nobles, the clergy, 
and the people, should have as nearly as possible, an equal 

* Amonj^st others, one of £3000 from British India. 


control over it, equal interests, and equal honors. Thus 
also he continued to remind the latter, that emancipation was 
but the precursor of many other struggles and victories — of 
associations to procure the abolition of tithes, the repeal of 
the Union, and other dear but distant schemes of the popu- 
lar ambition. This tended to make the people jealously 
watchful of the Association — to keep their gaze riveted 
perpetually upon it, not only as the engine w^hich was to 
batter down the ministerial bolts and bars upon their church 
doors, but as the precursor of many important advantages. 
The clergy also exercised a legitimate influence on the 
question ; and if there was weakness anywhere, it was 
where a reforming body can best afford to have it — in its 
aristocratic members. The harmony thus engrafted on the 
growth of the Association, never once declined ; there were 
many discussions, but no bitter retorts ; man^r things w^ere 
proposed, and afterwards rejected, but no member of conse- 
quence retired in dudgeon, or remained to make reprisals. 
The various committees were found enthusiastic in their 
labors ; the delegates labored with heart and unanimity, and 
a glorious brotherhood existed between all the organs of the 
Catholics. Through all these pleasing scenes, it was cheer- 
ing to mark how^ generously the great leader gave from the 
abundance of his own laurels, to his chief assistants — to 
Shiel, Doyle, Lawless, Moore, and the other great lights of 
the agitation. 

In 1825, the Association had reached a strength perfectly 
irresistible, in consequence of O'Connell's management; 
aggregate meetings were held all over the country, and the 
spirit of Ireland was transmitted through the deputies, Shiel, 
Bric,"^ and O'Connell, to the Catholics and the people of 

^ This g-entl-eman, by profession a barrister, was snatched from 
society by the bloody and barbarous practice of duelling, in the very 
dawn of his usefulness. He was a young man of extraordinary 
eloquence, one of the school of '82 5 and had he been longer spared, 
would unquestionably have left behind a reputation inferior to no 
orator of the age, for grandeur of imagery and perfectness of style. 
He had been called to the bar in 1824, and commenced at the same 
time law and politics. In the very first term of his legal career, he 
was retained by the Catholic Association on an important prosecution 
instigated by the Association against Browne, a chief constable of 
police in the county of Wexford. In 1825, he was again the advo- 
cate of the Association, on the part of the people of Killishandra, in 
the county of Cavan, recently the scene of a desperate party affray. 

England. Aniouj^^st these Eno^lish demonstration's, one 
deserves to be particularly noticed ; not, indeed, from the 
importance of the parties assembled, but from a very witty 
and really valuable speech delivered on that occasion by the 
Rev. Sidney Smith. ^"^ The meeting was composed of the 
clergy of the Archdeaconry of the East-Riding of York- 
shire, held at the Tiger inn, at Beverley, within which lay 
Mr. Smith's rectory of Londesborough ; and its intent was 
to petition against Catholic emancipation. In opposing the 
object of the meeting, he commenced by saying : — 

" Mr. Archdeacon — It is very disagreeable to me to 
differ from so many w^orthy and respectable clergymen here 
assembled, and not only to differ from them, but (I am 
afraid) to stand alone among them. I would much rather 
vote in majorities, and join in this, or any other political 

'' Saint Farnham" sat among the Judges ; and yet the judgment and 
justness of the advocate carried his cause, with an Orange jury and 
a most one-sided bench. The next period in Counsellor Brio's career 
was his celebrated effort, in conjunction with Messrs. O'Connell and 
Shiel, against the " Biblicals" in the city of Cork. He was not the 
least eminent of the famous English deputation, and it was not unde- 
servedly that his " brothers-in-arms" gave to him, on their return, the 
palm of excellence, humbling themselves to their companion. On 
the controversy of ''the wings" proposed to be attached to the eman- 
cipation bill, in the shape of pensions for the clergy, and the abolition 
of the forty-shilling freeholders, when O'Connell was most ferociously 
attacked by William Cobbett, and that attack was welcomed by Cob- 
bett's friends in Ireland, Mr. Brie stood fast by his friend and country. 
A meeting was held in the city of Cork, in which Mr. Dominic 
Ronayne defended Cobbett's scurrility, and charged Mr. O'Connell 
with many grave errors, and even wilful faults. Mr. Brie rose in 
reply, and delivered a masterly oration. Gallantly he grappled with 
the allegations of his antagonist ; and firmer than ever before, he 
established the name and the services of O'Connell in the generous 
hearts of the West. The speech was read in England with the 
warmest sensations of applause, but Cobbett could never forgive its 
author. In his Register, Mr. Brie was abused as the vilest of men 
— as '^a ball of new-dropped horse-dung," "the son of a pauper," 
and every other epithet which malice and coarseness could invent. 
But Mr. Brie outlived Cobbett's malice, to fall a victim to a less 
deadly though less erring intention. In 1827, during a visit to Cork, 
he became embroiled with a gentleman of that city, which led to a 
duel between them, terminating fatally, as we have before said, to 
this eminent Irishman. 

* This gentleman also rendered vast service to the cause of eman- 
cipation by his inimitable letters, over the signature of Peter Plymley. 
Indeed, he has been the fast friend of many a good cause. 


chorus, than to stand unassisted and alone, as I am now 
doing. I dislike such meetings for such purposes ; I wish 
I could reconcile it to my conscience to stay away from 
them, and to my temperament to be silent at them; but if 
they are called by others, I deem it right to attend — if I 
attend, I must say what I think. If it is unwise in us to 
meet in taverns to discuss political subjects, the fault is not 
mine, for I should never think of calling such a meeting. 
If the subject is trite which we are to discuss, no blame is 
imputable to me ; it is as dull to me to handle such subjects 
as it is to you to hear them. The customary promise on 
the threshold of an inn, is good entertainment for man and 
horse. If there is any truth in any part of this sentence at 
the Tiger, at Beverley, our horses at this moment must cer- 
tainly be in a state of much greater enjoyment than the 
^masters who rode them. It will be some amusement, how- 
ever, to this meeting, to observe the schism which this ques- 
tion has occasioned in my own parish of Londesborough, 
My excellent and respectable curate, Mr. Milestones, alarm- 
ed at the effect of the Pope upon the East-Riding, has come 
here to oppose me ; and there he stands, breathing war and 
vengeance on the Vatican. We had some previous conver- 
sation on this subject, and in imitation of our superiors, we 
agreed not to make it a cabinet question. Mr« Milestones, 
indeed, with that delicacy and propriety which belongs to 
his character, expressed some scruples upon the propriety 
of voting against his rector ; but I insisted he should come 
and vote against me. I assured him nothing would give 
me more pain than to think I had prevented, in any man, 
the free assertion of honest opinions — that such conduct on 
his part, instead of causing jealousy and animosity between 
us, could not, and would not fail to increase my regard and 
respect for him." 

In conclusion, he assumed a more serious tone : — 

" I have also, sir, a high spirited class of gentlemen to 
deal with, who will do nothing from fear — who admit the 
danger, but think it disgraceful to act as if they feared it. 
There is a degree of fear, which destroys a man's faculties, 
renders him incapable of acting, and makes him ridiculous. 
There is another sort of fear, which enables a man to fore- 
see a coming evil, to measure it, to examine his powers of 
resistance, to balance the evil of submission against the 


evils uf opposlilon or (k^feat ; and if lie thinks he must be 
iiltimately overpowered, leads him to find a good escape in 
a good time. I can see no possible disgrace in feeling this 
sort of fear, and in listening to its suggestions. But it is 
mere cant to say that men will not be actuated by fear in 
such questions as these. Those who pretend not to fear 
now, would be the first to fear upon the approach of danger ; 
it is always the case with this distant valor. Most of the 
concessions which have been given to the Irish, have been 
given to fear. Ireland would have been lost to this country 
if the British legislature had not, with all the rapidity and 
precipitation of the truest panic, passed those acts which 
Ireland did not ask, but demanded in the time of her armed 
association. I should not think a man brave, but mad, 
who did not fear the treasons and rebellions of Ireland in 
time of war. I should think him not dastardly, but con- 
summately wise, who provided against them in time of 
peace. The Catholic question has made a greater progress 
since the opening of this Parliament, than I ever remember 
it to have made ; and it has made that progress from fear 
alone. The House of Commons were astonished ])v the 
union of the Irish Catholics. They saw that Catholic 
Ireland had discovered her strength, and stretched out her 
limbs, and felt manly powers, and called for manly treat- 
ment ; and the House of Commons wisely and practically 
yielded to the innovations of time, and the shifting attitude 
of human affairs. 

" I admit the Church, sir, to be in great danger. I am 
sure the State is also. My remedy for these evils is, to 
enter into an alliance with the Irish people — to conciliate 
the clergy, by giving them pensions — to loyalize the laity, 
by putting them on a footing with the Protestant. My 
remedy is the old one, approved of from the beginning of 
the world, to lessen dangers by increasing friends and ap- 
peasing enemies. I think it most probable that under this 
system of crown patronage, the clergy will be quiet. A 
Catholic layman, who finds all the honors of the state open 
to him, will not, I think, run into treason and rebellion — 
will not live with a rope about his neck, in order to turn 
our bishops out, and put his own in ; he may not, too, be 
of opinion that the utility of his bishop will be four times 
as great, because his income is four times as large ; but 
whether he is or not, w^ill never endanger his sweet acres 


(large measure) for such questions as these. Anti-Trinita- 
rian dissenters sit in the House of Commons, whom we 
believe to be condemned to the punishments of another 
world. There is no limit to the introduction of dissenters 
into both Houses — dissenting Lords or dissenting Commons. 
What mischief have dissenters, for the last century and a 
half, plotted against the Church of England ! The Catholic 
lord and the Catholic gentleman (restored to their fair 
rights) will never join with levellers and iconoclasts. You 
will find them defending you hereafter, against your Protes- 
tant enemies. The crozier in any hand, the mitre on any 
head, are more tolerable in the eyes of a Catholic, than 
doxological Barebones and tonsured Cromwells. 

*' We preach to our congregations, sir, that a tree is 
known by its fruits. By the fruits it produces, I will judge 
your system. What has it done for Ireland ? New Zealand 
is emerging — Otaheite is emerging — Ireland is not emerg- 
ing ; she is still veiled in darkness ; her children, safe under 
no law, live in the very shadow of death. Has your sys- 
tem of exclusion made Ireland rich ? Has it made Ireland 
loyal ? Has it made Ireland free ? Has it made Ireland 
happy ? How is the wealth of Ireland proved ? Is it by 
the naked, idle, suffering savages, who are slumbering on 
the mud floors of their cabins ? In what does the loyalty of 
Ireland consist ? Is it in the eagerness with which they 
would range themselves under the hostile banner of any 
invader, for your destruction and for your distress? Is it 
liberty when men breathe and move among the bayonets of 
English soldiers ? Is their happiness and their history any- 
thing but such a tissue of murders, burnings, hanging, famine 
and disease, as never existed in the annals of the world ? 
This is the system, which, I am sure, with very different 
intentions, and different views of its effects, you are met to 
uphold. These are the dreadful consequences, which those 
laws your petition prays may be continued, have produced 
upon Ireland. From the principles of that system, from the 
cruelty of those laws, I turn, and turn with the homage of 
my whole heart to that memorable proclamation which the 
Head of our Church, the present monarch of these realms, 
has lately made to his hereditary dominions of Hanover — 
that no man should he subjected to civil incapacities on ac- 
count of religious opinions. Sir, there have been many 

memorable things done in this reign. Hostile armies have 


been destroyed; fleets have been captured; formidable 
combinations have been broken to pieces — hut this scnti- 
vient in the mouth of a king, deserves more than all glories 
and victories, the notice of that historian who is destined to 
telJ to future ages the deeds of the English people. I hope 
he will lavish upon it every gem which glitters in the cabi- 
net of genius, and so uphold it to the world that it will be 
remembered when Waterloo is forgotten, and when the fall 
of Paris is blotted out from the memory of man. Great as 
it is, sir, this is not the only pleasure I have received in 
these latter days. I have seen within these few weeks, a 
degree of wisdom in our mercantile law, such superiority 
to vulgar prejudice, views so just and so profound, that it 
seemed to me as if I was reading the works of a speculative 
economist, rather than the improvement of a practical poli- 
tician, agreed to by a legislative assembly, and upon the 
eve of being earned into execution, for the benefit of a great 
people. Let who will be their master, I honor and praise 
the ministers who have learned such a lesson. I rejoice 
that I have lived to see such an improvement in English 
affairs — that the stubborn resistance to all improvement, the 
contempt of all scientific reasoning, and the rigid adhesion 
to every stupid error, which so long characterized the pro- 
ceedings of this country, is fast giving way to better things, 
under better men, placed in better circumstances. 

*' I confess it is not without severe pain that, in the midst 
of all this expansion and improvement, I perceive that in 
our profession we are still calling for the same exclusion — 
still asking that the same fetters may be riveted on our 
fellow-creatures — still mistaking what constitutes the weak- 
ness and misfortune of the church, for that which contri- 
butes to its glory, its dignity, and its strength. Sir, there 
are two petitions at this moment in this house, against two 
of the wisest and best measures which ever came into the 
British Parliament, against the impending corn-law, and 
against the Catholic emancipation — the one bill intended to 
increase the comforts, and the other to allay the bad pas- 
sions of men. Sir, I am not in a situation of life to do 
much good, but I will take care that I will not willingly do 
any evil. The wealth of the Riding should not tempt me 
to petition against either of those bills. With the corn bill 
I have nothing to do at this time. Of the Catholic eman- 
cipation bill, I shall say, that it will be the foundation-stone 


of a lasting religious peace — that it will give to Ireland not 
all that it wants, but what it most wants, and without which 
no other boon will be of any avail. 

" When this bill passes, it will be a signal to all the reli- 
gious sects of that unhappy country to lay aside their mu- 
tual hatred, and to live in peace, as equal men should live 
under equal law; when this bill passes, the Orange flag 
will fall; when this bill passes, the Green flag of the rebel 
will fall ; when this bill passes, no other flag will fly in the 
land of Erin, than that flag which blends the Lion with 
the Harp — that flag which, wherever it does fly, is the sign 
of freedom and of joy — the only banner in Europe, which 
floats over a limited king and a free people." 

About the same time, the Lord Bishop of Norwich, in 
his seat in the House of Lords, delivered a very hearty 
speech on behalf of the Catholics, the peroration of which 
ran thus : — 

" I have to detain your lordships only a few minutes 
more. If it could be proved — but I think it never will — 
that the worldly advantage of any particular ecclesiastical 
establishment of Christianity cannot be maintained without 
an obvious violation, on the part of its members, of the 
leading principles of the Christian religion ; such, for 
instance, as that most excellent precept, to ' do unto others, 
in all cases, as we would they should do unto us,' and that 
*new commandment, to love one another' — new, both in 
degree and in extent, which our Divine Master bequeathed 
to his followers, as his last and best legacy ; if, I say, even 
the Church of England cannot stand, unless its members be 
called upon to act in direct opposition to those distinguished 
precepts of our holy religion, I, for one, should say, without 
the smallest hesitation, let it fall ; for, my lords, it nmst 
never be forgotten, that an ecclesiastical establishment is no 
part of Christianity, but the mode only of propagating its 
doctrines ; as has been accurately and justly remarked by 
Archdeacon Paley. It seems, then, to follow, as a legiti- 
mate consequence, that the outward building, the mere fabric 
of the temple, would hardly be worth preserving, if that 
charity, which is the guardian angel of the inner temple, 
had taken its flight, and ' the glory was departed.' 

" I shall, perhaps, be asked — indeed, I have been asked 
more than once— ^if I feel prepared to abide by the result of 


my opinions; a result which, in tne jud^ient of some, 
must be attended with the entire Joss of those pecuniary 
advantages, and of the honor of a seat in this House, which 
I derive from my present situation in the Established 
Church ? To my present situation in the Established 
Church ? To this question, my lords, my answer is very 
short and very sincere. Worldly advantages, of whatever 
description, which can only be secured by the oppression 
of ^ve millions of loyal fellow-subjects, and conscientious 
fellow-Christians, have no charms for me ; they are poor 
and valueless ; I do not wish to hold them by so bad a 
tenure ; on the contrary, I would gladly relinquish them 
to-morrow, and *eat my bread in peace and privacy,' if, 
by so doing, the cause w^hich I have at heart could be 
effectually promoted. 

" These, my lords, are my genuine sentiments ; they 
have been the same for more than half a century, and I am 
now much too old to change them. I dare not, however, 
rashly say, as has been said, that whatever alteration of cir- 
cumstances may occur in this ever-shifting scene of human 
life, these sentiments will remain unaltered ; but I will say, 
that reflecting seriously upon what has passed, and is still 
passing before my eyes, there is very little probability of 
my thinking differently from w^hat I now do. 

" With respect to the political part of the subject now 
under your lordships' consideration, it is not in my prov- 
ince ; and if it were, I should be unwilling to weary your 
lordships' attention by a repetition of those unanswered 
and unanswerable arguments which have been so often 
urged in behalf of the Catholics, by many of the best and 
wisest men of the age in which we live ; I must, notwith- 
standing, venture to observe, that your lordships have, once 
more, an opportunity of doing tardy justice to a large por- 
tion of his Majesty's subjects, — an opportunity which, if 
neglected, is likely to be followed, and at no very distant 
period, by events which neither the wisdom nor the power 
of government may be able to control." 

We have copied these sentiments of two Protestant eccle- 
siastics, as a delightful evidence of the consoling truth, that 
in all religions, there are true Christians — even in the 
church of a state. Because, also, they are rare evidences 
of a spirit, a little of which would not be thrown away upon 
certain divines of other countries, more especially of this. 

But our readers must not suppose that the path of eman- 
cipation was, by any means, a thornless one. There is not, 
in the history of government, a precedent for the determined 
hostility with which the ministers regarded emancipation. 
The " great captain " of Waterloo, and his worthy croupier 
of Tamworth, solemnly and repeatedly, and in the face of 
the nation, declared they never would sanction its princi- 
ples becoming a law. But the Duke of York, the profli- 
gate and spendthrift Duke of York, who had neither faith 
nor conscience of his own, who regarded no creed, and rev- 
erenced no altar, although a bishop and a Brunswick, made 
even a more solemn declaration than theirs ; for, in the 
House of Lords, he blasphemously swore, that — " so help 
him God, in every situation he would uphold the principles 
of hostility to Catholics, in which he had been brought 
up.'"^ This expression coming from the heir presumptive 
to the throne, was justly regarded as a great strength to the 
enemies of emancipation, but the Duke was soon called 
from the " situation" in which he then stood, to answer be- 
fore the great tribunal of all mankind, for his excesses, his 
bigotry, and his rash swearing. 

The Catholics of Ensfland felt the influence of the Asso- 


* A metrical travestie of this ^' speech presumptive," appeared in 
one of the London morning papers, and has been invariably ascribed 
to the pen of Moore. The following is a sample of this amusing 
satire : — 

" Though Mr. Leslie Foster winced, 

From what he once asserted ; 
Though Mr. Brownlow is convinced, 

And Mr. North converted ; 
Though even country gentlemen 

Are sick of half their maggots, 
And rustics mock the vicar, when 

He prates of fiery fagots ; 
Though Hume and Brougham and twenty more, 

Are swaggering and swearing, 
And Scarlett hopes the scarlet wliore 

Will not be found past bearing ; 
Though Reverend Norwich does not mind 

The feuds of two and seven, 
And trusts that humble prayers may find 

A dozen roads to heaven ; — 
Till royal heads are lit with gas, 

Till Hebrews dine on pork, — 
My lords, this bill shall never pass j 

So help me God ! " — said York, 


cialion, and assumed a mure decided attitude than before, in 
their demands for redress. On tlie 25th of February, 1825, 
was held an innnense meeting, at the Freemasons' Tavern, 
London ; his Grace the Earl Marshal of England, in the 
chair. At that meeting the genius of both isles was blended, 
and the spirits of the common sufferers flowed in sorrowful 
and indignant union, through all the proceedings. Messrs. 
Stourton, Blount, and the chairman, represented one land, 
and the twin-brethren of Ireland's embattled hosts were 
there. Mr. O'Connell's speech was, as all his speeches 
are, a wonderful mixture of all sorts of style, from the most 
lofty to the most plain ; he was by turns, speaking to the 
olden chivalry of the land, in terms courtly and polished ; 
but, far oftener forgetting their presence, he flung his burn- 
ing words, rough-hewn, amongst the masses of his auditory, 
lashing them into the most uncontrollable excitement. He 
was in the capital of England, with her nobles and her 
citizens around him, and not a few of his own humble 
countrymen, who, to escape the petty tyrants of a province, 
had fled to the refuge of the capital of misrule. 

In such a position, with such an audience, his creed and 
his country the subjects, Mr. O'Connell was truly impres- 
sive and masterly. When he had concluded, Mr. Shiel 
v/as called upon by the vast assembly, and with nervous 
haste he stepped forward. The place and the scene had its 
influence upon him in like manner — it brought back his 
musings at Stonyhenge, his rambles through romance, and 
in the mazes of dramatic history. He saw the Talbot, the 
Percy, and the Clifford, before him — the great pillars of the 
old name of England — and his heart beat time to the fairy 
dance of his imagination, as he said to himself, I will plant 
these fallen columns upon their bases again — I will raise 
them up from the dust — I will tear the cobwebs from their 
family escutcheons, and unbolt the parliament their fathers 
created, to these, their sons. It was a proud thought, and 
inspiring ; but it was less patriotic than that of O'Connell, 
who could see in these coronets nothing better than em- 
blems, of themselves worthless, but which shed some tinge 
of nobility on his cause. The different inspirations which 
they drew from the same cause were fair exemplars of each 
man's mental character. This meeting and one or two 
others during this year, greatly advanced the cause in 
Enofland ; several new accessions to its ranks occurred ; 


amongst the rest Mr. Horton, IVl. P., lor Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, and other gentlemen of fortune and good family. 

In 1826, the Association resolved to try its strength with 
the ascendancy party in Ireland. The people had been 
trained — the treasury was full — illegal combinations were 
almost extinct — the public awaited some new step, and the 
Catholics of Ireland resolved to take a bold and decisive 


General Election, of 1826. — The Association resolves to coU' 
test Waterfo7'd, Louth, and Monaghan. — The Result, — 
Triumphs of the Catholics in England. — Publications. — 
The Press. — Death of Edioard Hay, Esc. — Williarn 
Cohbett. — Controversy of the ^'Wings.^^ 

Amongst the families devoted to the " Protestant Ascen- 
dancy" interest, the Beresfords, in the south of Ireland, 
and the Fosters, in the north, were of the most wealthy, 
ardent, and prominent.- These houses were radically aris- 
tocratic, from very different causes. The latter was of 
comparatively ancient origin — dating backwards to the days 
of Cromwell, and some say earlier ; they had been, for a 
century, the dictators of their locality ; and long accustomed 
to undisturbed authority and the exercise of extensive pat- 
ronage, both civil and ecclesiastical, they had gradually 
persuaded themselves to believe that their absolute power 
was, of divine -right, hereditary. 

The origin of the Beresfords was somewhat different, 
and less remote. In the year 175-, the first of the family 
came over to Ireland, as a subaltern in an infantry regi- 
ment. In a ball-room, at Waterford, he met with Catharine, 
dowager-countess of Tyrone ; a lady advanced in life, but 
possessed of many a broad acre of dowry, in various parts 
of the island. The subaltern was athletic and courteous, 
and with the manor of Curraghmore in perspective, saw in 


the noble bereaved the perfection of her sex. After a brief 
courtship a marria^^e v/as the consequence, and by that 
means was entailed upon Ireland, one of the most ruthless 
and brutal races of her provincial tyrants. The marquisate 
dates from 1787. In the memorable era of 1798, the name 
of Beresford acquired a murderous celebrity amongst the 
enemies of the people. John Claudius Beresford (whose 
Roman patronyme reminds us of Macauley's fine expres- 
sion, in one of his immortal lays of ancient Rome — 

" There never yet was Clainlius, that did not wish the Commons ill " — ) 

was particularly active in that era of treachery and blood- 
shed. He was a secretary to one of the first Orange Asso- 
ciations ever organized in Ireland — which were merely the 
continuation of other anti*national secret societies. Of this 
particular society, Thomas Verner was Grand Master. Nor 
was the disinterestedness of this family very conspicuous ; 
among the items which made up the enormous " secret 
service money" expenditure of that period, we find the 
following : "^ — 

July 4, 1798— J. C. Beresford, - - - £50 00 00 
April 8, 1802 — J. C. Beresford, amount of 
money expended for the government, 
between 1798 and 1802, - - - - £470 11 8^ 
And in another place w^e find, 

Feb. 25, 1802— Marquis of Waterford, £ 162 00 00 
March 15, 1798,— do. do. - . . £70 00 00 

The name of this illustrious family is also connected with 
a highly original invention, that of converting a riding- 
school, in Dublin, into a house of torture, in which scenes 
were enacted, almost beyond the power of credulity to be- 
lieve. In this earth-hell, poor, naked wretches, the tender 
youth as well as the decrepid grandsire, and even women 
themselves, were scourged by the orders of these " private 
gentlemen," who often regaled their friends with the odious 
spectacle, and took occasionally a hand at the cat-o'-nine- 
tails themselves. Having so figured in the prologue, it was 
natural to find them, towards the denouement of that drama, 

^ For these and other extraordinary facts, see Madden, Appendix, 
2d vol. United Irishmen^ where it is shown that nobles, bishops, and 
even '^patriots," were hirelings of the castle. 


which, like most of our modern novels, commenced m a 
quarrel, and ended in "a union." We find three of the 
Beresfords voting for the legislative union, in the last Irish 
House of Commons, and for this exertion of loyalty, they 
were again most richly recompensed, and at the expense of 
the nation. 

Such were the two tyrant tribes against which, in 1826, 
the Catholic Association entered the lists, as the champion 
of the people. Both had been enriched by the division of 
the booty consequent upon the capture of Ireland's constitu- 
tion ; both had displayed their loyalty unmercifully austere 
in the disastrous scenes of '98 ; both had many church liv- 
ings at their bestowal ; both held local commands, and took 
precedent in all political displays — addresses to majesty, et- 
cetera, which might originate in their respective provinces. 
Both were wealthy, imperious and revengeful. 

Against such influence the Association could only array 
the integrity of the yeomanry of Louth and Waterford, and 
the eloquence of the orators of the Corn Exchange. It was 
hard to call upon the people to stand out boldly against their 
unforgiving landlords. The friends of emancipation felt 
that it was so. but the trial must be made. The chances of 
certain defeat deeply impressed the minds of the most cour- 
ageous, yet the Association felt that the anxiety of all its 
friends required some brilliant exploit, and boldly overlook- 
ing the difficulty, they saw nothing but glory beyond it. 

Lord George Beresford, on the dissolution of parlia- 
ment, was nominated for the representation of Waterford, 
and on his behalf was exerted all the interest of his family, as 
well as that of the Duke of Devonshire, and other extensive 
landholders of the county. The candidate of the Associa- 
tion was Mr. Vil]iers Stuart, by birth a Scotchman, pos- 
sessed of some property in Waterford, and of well-known 
pro-Catholic principles. When the determination of the 
Catholics to contest the county became known, the greatest 
activity pervaded their friends and their opponents. The 
Beresfords published a sullen and unyieldingly " Protestant" 
address ; Mr. Stuart announced himself in a manly and 
modest appeal to the electors ; the Association sent down 
its best and ablest members, to arrange all preliminaries 
with the local agitators ; the priesthood openly espoused, 
and rigorously advocated the claims of " Stuart and eman- 
cipation," and many were the startling scenes which oc- 

curred between the enthusiastic Soggartli^ and his sorely 
pressed parishioners. The tory candidate, on the other 
hand, had active canvassers in the field, offering money to 
some, leases to others, and inducements to all. It was a 
trial of fearful importance to the character of the people, as 
well as to the success of their cause. Everything that could 
seduce, tempt or terrify, was brought to bear upon the un- 
fortunate tenantry of the unscrupulous conservatives. 

The day for action at length arrived, and the master 
spirit, O'Connell, appeared in person on the hustings. The 
masses of the population had pledged themselves against all 
intoxicating liquors ; they had also taken a solemn and de- 
liberate pledge not to violate the peace, no matter what 
insults they might receive. Both these pledges they kept 
with unscrupulous fidelity. The strongest man might have 
been spat upon by a liveried manikin, and not a w^ord of 
reproof would he utter, nor a finger be raised to avenge it. 
The reception of O'Connell augured w^ell for the success of 
his experiment, and accordingly, Mr. Stuart was elected by 
an overwhelming majority. 

The fate of the Beresfords was merely a prototype of that 
which awaited the Fosters. In Louth, Lord Oriel and Lord 
Roden were the chief patrons of the county, and Mr. Les- 
lie Foster and Mr. Fortescue were their candidates. On 
their part the emancipationists induced Mr. Dawson, a re- 
tired barrister, to stand forth in the breach, to bear the brunt 
of as heavy a contest, as ever, perhaps, occurred since or 
before. Here again the genius of Ireland, and the high- 
toned sense of honor indigenous of her noble peasantry, 
triumphed over .coronets and wealth, and the blandishments 
of an aroused and unscrupulous aristocracy. 

Simultaneous with the elections of Waterford and Louth, 
where the genius of emancipation, in the persons of O'Con- 
nell and Shiel, had prostrated Protestant ascendancy, was 
that of Monaghan, in which the ill-fated and gifted Brie, 
after displaying abilities and judgment inferior to neither, 
beheld the cause of the people crowned w4th similar success, 
in the return of Westenra. This triple triumph was a 
heavy blessing for the Association to bear, but they w^ere 
equal to the plenitude of their suddenly-acquired laurels. 
The brightness of their triumph did not blind them to the 

* Anglice — Priest. 


difficulty of making the best use of it — nor the glory won 
by their agents content them, while unaccompanied by 
substantial benefits. They resolved to husband up their 
energies — to bear their triumphs quietly — to treat their 
opponents forbearingly — and, in short, to lose no time in 
following up the vantage blow they had struck at the hoary 
head and iron sceptre of Intolerance. 

These memorable elections caused, at the period of their 
occurrence, an intense excitement amongst men of all classes 
in the empire, and were watched to the issue, with feelings 
of mournful forethought, by the advocates of the old regime. 
The aristocracy drew closer to each other, from a sense of 
impending danger, and allied by their fears, looked with 
awe and silent bitterness at the progress of the people. 
The popular cause no longer crept like a snail upon its 
path, but bounded like an eager steed, straining for an im- 
perishable prize. A sudden conscience struck the souls of 
the ascendancy party, that their days were not to be pro- 
longed upon the earth ; yet, consistent to the last, they 
swore rather to perish than concede. The Marquis of 
Waterford, after desolating his extensive estates, by a whole- 
sale ejection of his courageous tenantry, vowed an eternal 
hostile farewell to the land, on which his father had landed 
a beggar ; but while on his way to the Continent, was over- 
taken with a mortal illness at an obscure village in Wales. 
He who had made so many homeless, thus closed his own 
eyes in a strange country — unwept, unwatched, and un- 

The same period, in which took place the events we have 
tried to chronicle, was also remarkable for indications of 
growing liberality in the choice of representatives at the 
English elections. At a meeting of the British Catholic 
Association, held immediately after the issue of the general 
election of 1826, on the 26th day of July, Edward Blount, 
the secretary of that body, a most influential and able agi- 
tator, said : — " Our opponents had directed all their efforts 
to influence the public mind against us, and had vainly 
imagined, that under the delusion of an unprincipled war- 
whoop, the voice of justice, honor, humanity, and liberality 
would have been extinguished. They reckoned without 
their host. In the whole range of the country, hardly a 
solitary instance, to their immortal honor be it spoken, can 
be discovered, where this appeal to prejudice and passion 


has been successful." In the same address, Mr. Blount 
slated that three hundred thousand documents of various 
sizes liad been circulated by the British Catholic Association. 
If to this we were to add the innumerable tracts, speeches, 
sermons, and pamphlets from the press of the Catholic Asso- 
ciation, we would find a vast, an almost unprecedented 
amount of research and argument arrayed on the side of 
relig-ious liberty. 

While on this view of the subject, we cannot fail to no- 
tice the pre-eminent zeal with which the Irish metropolitan 
press followed up each new success of the people, stimulat- 
ing and supporting them to even higher victories. The 
Register, then conducted by Mr. Stanton ; the Freeman's 
Journal, originally established by the no less famous than 
able Dr. Lucas ; and the Evening Post, edited by Mr. 
Frederick Conway, led the van of the metropolitan Irish 
press. Nor was the provincial press inferior in spirit or in 
watchfulness, to their more fortunately located co-laborers ; 
in every national sheet, the most ardent zeal appeared, and 
often clothed in language equally pertinent and classical. 

Few stimulants are more useful to the purification of the 
press, than the zest which extensive legislative changes 
gives to political controversy. In such seasons, the minds 
capable of thinking and reasoning, are taxed to their ut- 
most ; they descend to the sources of government and of 
law ; the origin of social wrongs, and the false construction 
of society, are revealed to them, even as the pearl-diver in 
his vocation marks the formation of w^orthless weeds, and 
explores the haunts of monstrous creatures. In such a time 
it is easy to distinguish who possesses the metal of true 
genius, and who the sounding brass. 

In October of this year, died Mr. Edward Hay, of Bal- 
linkeel, county of Wexford, best known as the historian of 
the insurrection of 1798, in his native country, and for many 
years secretary to the Catholics of Ireland. Mr. Hay w^as 
a gentleman in the most liberal sense — as much from the 
respectability of his family, and of his ow^n life, as from 
public spirit and a strict personal regard for integrity of 
conduct. His family were prominent in the first shoal of 
Norman invaders who swarmed along the south-eastern 
coast of Ireland in the days of the second Henry, skulking 
into patrimonies on the banks of the Slaney, the Barrow, 
and the Suire. They were originally men of large landed 


possessions ; but their descendants, by preserving their 
creed, sacrificed their estates. Notwithstanding, the father 
of Mr. Hay was considered a wealthy man ; he is remem- 
bered in that neighborhood as an inveterate duellist and 
sportsman ; and many a haughty, bigoted 'squire has suf- 
fered his nose to be plucked, rather than measure swords 
with old Hay. His son, in 1792, was one of the Catholic 
delegates who, with John Keogh, of Mount Jerome, laid the 
complaints of their brethren at the foot of the throne — and 
this, against the express wishes of his father, who disinher- 
ited him for his patriotism. A few thousands, however, 
were left him in his own right ; but of this he was also de- 
prived by the unnatural litigation of his brother. Major Hay. 
In 1798, Mr. Hay took an active part in the ill-advised 
rising of the peasantry of his native county, of which he has 
given a modest and accurate account in his patriotic and 
trustworthy history of that unfortunate insurrection. In the 
general ruin which followed that desperate strife of the 
unarmed people with their long-prepared rulers, Mr. Hay 
w^ould have undoubtedly been a partner, were it not for the 
representations of Lord Kingsboro' and other officers of 
high rank who had served in Wexford, who were not for- 
getful of his humanity in their days of danger, and of his 
incessant efforts to prevent the cruelties of the justly exas- 
perated peasantry. Of Mr. Hay's public life we find nothing 
on record, subsequent to the publication of his " Narrative 
of the Insurrection in Wexford," until his appearance at the 
Catholic Board meetings in the capacity of secretary. For 
the few years preceding his death, he had retired from that 
position, on account of some difl^erence with Mr. O'Connell, 
to whom he never afterwards could be reconciled. Like 
many another able and honest man, he died not worth a 
shilling, leaving but his poverty to his numerous family, 
and tbat carriage of blended dignity and gentleness, which 
gives a sanctity to misfortune, and renders even rags 

Their victories, in 1826, filled the hearts of the emanci- 
pationists with new strength, and accelerated the final 
triumph of that measure. But there was one obstacle, and 
a formidable one, a great cause for intestine dissensions — I 
mean the well-known controversy relative to the " wings'* 
already mentioned in connection with the name of Coun- 
sellor Brie. The chief advocates of emancipation were at 


variance on this subject, and each contended for the adop- 
tion of his own pprticular views. Mr. O'Connell was for 
recognizing the freehold wing, but opposed the clerical 
wing; Mr. Lawless ably and incessantly decried the free- 
hold wing, which was the abolition of tbe forty-shilling 
qualification. Several titled leaders, and many liberal 
Protestants, were in favor of pensioning the Catholic 
clergy; while the immortal J. K. L., and the scarcely less 
gifted Dr. Machale, courageously opposed their own ag- 
grandizement, at the expense of their laity and church. 
The wdngs were likely to kill the entire measure, by the 
sources of difference they carried with them ; and Parlia- 
ment knew not for a time, nor cared to know, whose 
opinion to take, as the foundation of a satisfactory act. 

Foremost in this most interesting controversy, stood a 
sturdy form, possessing a mind shrewd, vigilant and logical, 
of unvarnished speech, and matchless determination. To 
talents of a simple class, unbedecked by study, but clarified 
in the philosophic sedateness of his mind, William Cobbett 
added a daring at once novel and prudent, in his contests 
with the ascendant bigotry and toryism of England. His 
many public acts and writings form consecutive links be- 
tween those singular circumstances through which, without 
any personal consistency, he transformed himself from a 
private in an infantry regiment, into a member of Parlia- 
ment for the town of Oldham. Born in the humblest circle 
of plebeian life, in the county of Hampshire, and bred a 
common soldier, he found himself master of some knowl- 
edge, of vast penetration, and a thoroughly English style 
of composition. In his regiment he was remarkable for 
great studiousness of disposition ; and during the many 
long nights he passed in the provincial garrisons of North 
America, whether on the sentinel's walk or in his quarters, 
his active mind was never idle. In one of his officers, as 
he himself informs us, (the renowned and chivalric Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald,) he found a friend and patron, who 
could appreciate his acquirements, and who readily assisted 
in bettering his fortunes. On the return of their regiment 
from the North American service to England, Lord Edward 
immediately procured his release from the army. At this 
time he possessed a young wife, whom he had wooed in his 
own original manner, and a small sum of money, the sav- 
ings of his scanty hire. After spending some months in 


England, he started his Eegister, devoted to the interests 
of the working classes, the emancipation of Catholics, the 
abolition of tithes and large banking institutions, and the 
attainment of a reform in Parliament. 

The novelty of his style ; the bold prudence of. his de- 
clamation ; his hostility to the church establishment ; and 
his contempt for the aristocracy, drew him speedily into 
notice. One or two libel suits furthered his notoriety, and 
in a few years his paper became really formidable. It was 
his great ambition to be considered " the man of the 
people," and to this end he endeavored to interweave his 
name with their most domestic concerns ; he wrote " Cot- 
tage Economies," works on gardening, "Advice to Young 
Men," and sermons against tithes, usury, etc. These 
works were issued chiefly in six-penny numbers, and from 
their point, simplicity, and sound sense, became immense 
favorites with the people of England. His writings speed- 
ily crossed the channel, until his "History of the English 
* Reformation,' " and his " Life of General Andrew Jack- 
son," established his fame and his Register in Ireland. 

At the period to which we have arrived, the tide of 
Catholic agitation was at its full ; and of all the names it 
bore along, none, save O'Connell's, bore, for the time, a 
prouder front than that of William Cobbett. But he yielded 
too much to popularity, and was swept away in its turbid 
current. He took a firm stand against both wings, and put 
forth all his energies against their adoption by the Catholics. 
The forty-shilling freeholders, the trades union, and Mr. 
Lawless greeted his accession to their views with joy, while 
the clergy were no less pleased with his homespun denun- 
ciations of those who sought to bribe them into indolence, 
and thus to insure their dependence on the will of the gov- 
ernment. For a time, O'Connell's fame seemed to vibrate ; 
Cobbett saw its crisis at hand, and unwisely poured forth a 
torrent of bitter personalities, which effectually injured his 
own reputation, and re-acted powerfully in favor of his 
adversary. When, too late, he saw the errors he had com- 
mitted, his exasperation prevented his making any atone- 
ment, and he madly persevered in his ferocious libels on 
the great leader and his most devoted disciples. Yet the 
honesty of his intentions was not then doubted by the ma- 
jority of the Catholics, and their unsuspecting dispositions 
saved him from utter disrepute. 


Cobbett was a useful and remarkable man, but by no 
means possessed of the lineaments of greatness. To those 
who dilfered from him in detail, he was as hostile, and often 
more hostile, than to those who opposed totally the ques- 
tions he espoused. He hated O'Connell in his soul — 
which was a mark of unquestionable littleness. A pine 
may flourish bravely in the shadow of an oak ; and so can 
true greatness grow in the shadow of a superior nature. 
Cobbett could no more have been O'Connell, than O'Connell 
could ha\e been Cobbett. Their natures were essentially 
different — their powers and capabilities were dissimilar ; 
and in forgetting this truth, Cobbett unmade his own char- 
acter. He was not born to be the tribune of the people ; 
he was not a *' thinking machine on two legs." Had he 
sedulously and consistently followed the example of Swift, 
he might have left behind productions as nearly equal to 
the Draper's Letters, as the masterpiece of the Roman 
poet is to its prototype, the Iliad. He had the humor, the 
courage, the experience, and the language, with a much 
greater theme than the manufacture of woollens, upon which 
to establish a political fame akin to Swift's. The Archi- 
medean point for him was his closet ; his pen, and not his 
voice, should have been his lever. 

Cobbett was an inconsistent and unsteady public man. 
In every pursuit he seemed more in earnest than he really 
was. His views of the Catholic religion, at various periods 
of his life, will illustrate this assertion. Thus, in his letter 
to Pope Pius, dated Nov. 8th, 1828, he rebukes Dr. Doyle 
for not showing sufficient respect to the sovereign PontifT. 
" Dr. Doyle," he says, " has not confined his labors in this 
way to works from the press, but has, in evidence given by 
him before the houses of Parliament, spoken in the most 
light, not to say contemptuous, manner of the influence and 
authority of the Pope relative to the Catholic Church." 
Yet in his Register for February 11th, 1815, we find the 
very same pen writing down this sentiment in relation to 
Joachim Murat, king of Naples : — " With regard to what 
is said of Joachim's designs against the Pope, nothing has 
appeared in a shape sufficiently authentic to enable me to 
form a correct opinion, though I should be well pleased to 
hear that the temporal, as well as the spiritual power of his 
Holiness, had received an irrecoverable blow." Neverthe- 
less, when he heard that his " Reformation" had been men- 



tioned with praise at Rome, he forthwith addressed a familiar 
and respectful letter to his Holiness, leaving- this and other 
like opinions unretracted, before the public. He was, more- 
over, by turns the libeller and the flatterer of individuals 
and states ; his praise and censure were equally unqualified 
in relation to America and Ireland; his attacks on O'Con- 
nell, Burdett, Grattan, and other eminent public men, were 
modified according- to the degree of attention which they 
gave them. In all his definitions of character — in all his 
religious and political essays, he attacked principles because 
their defenders were his enemies, and seemingly from no 
higher motive ; thus the sins of a blunt advocate were 
visited upon his cause, howsoever pure and unimpeachable 
it might be. He lived an agitator without principle him- 
self, while he could not bear coadjutors more honest ; he 
advocated Catholicism against all the charges brought by 
the church of his own country, yet he had not the strength 
or sincerity to adopt its doctrines, while he censured others 
severely for having cast them off. 

But we must not imao-ine that this unbroken and insin- 
cere spirit was without its better moods, or that its great 
energies were expended without effect. 

Self-interest, the circumstances of his birth, his defective 
education, and the popular bias of his mind, gave to Cob- 
bet's career a sort of consistency which though it did not 
spring from motives of conscience, rendered his middle age 
formidable on account of his past triumphs. His egotism 
or ambition was of so towering a nature as to look down 
upon, rather than up to, aristocracy ; and sneering on the 
many lords who were sovereign in their own petty circles, 
he resolved to be lord of all the land, moving its lower 
strata, and thereby shaking even the throne if necessary. 
The dictatorial tone of his Register would never have been 
tolerated in any other newspaper writer, but one, who, while 
he dared thus speak to the people, used the same style in 
his epistles to the king, to the Hartford conventionists, to 
Bonaparte, to Louis of France, to the Pope, seemed priv- 
ileged to be unceremonious. His consistent and habitual 
courage led him to oppose the last American w^ar, and to 
denounce the Congress of Vienna; he wrote a book and 
published it in praise of General Jackson, while yet the 
beaten troops of Packenham lived and told their tale of shame 
around him ; and he eulogized Bonaparte at the very mo- 


ment he was in open arms against England. Such a man, 
although intolerant of the superior popularity of his coadju- 
tors, was yet a man for the multitude, in the feverish and 
partially-awakened state in which the French Revolution left 
the less than half-educated masses of the British islands. 
They were attracted by his fearlessness, they were charmed 
with his theories, they echoed his oracular decisions, and 
became accessory to the fulfilment of his prophecies. There 
was more strength in his pen than all the reviewers of the 
land could muster, and his facts were as inexhaustible as 
his logic was vivid. In short, he was a man who, without 
the aid of principles, did much for the lower ranks of Eng- 
land — much for the dissemination of historic truth and polit- 
ical knowledge, and who gave to others what he did not 
himself possess, — firmness of purpose, and a consistent 
eagerness for social amelioration, and parliamentary reform. 
He lived to see the fulfilment of many of his desires — to sit 
in the senate of his native land, and to fill a place in her 
literature. A more disinterested spirit could not have been 
more amply rewarded, while many such have fared much 
worse after undergoing a harder public novitiate. 

Cobbett's accession to the formidable opposition to the 
wings, but gave renewed energy to O'Connell ; he saw that 
the forty-shilling freeholders should be disfranchised to 
carry the greater measure of emancipation. He argued that 
there was no great gain without some sacrifice ; that to 
save the land from a civil war, and religion from a new 
persecution, it were better to allow this wing to be affixed 
to the bill, while at the same time he firmly refused to 
sanction or connive at the project of pensioning the clergy. 
His genius and the necessity of the time succeeded, and the 
forty shilling freeholders were disfranchised accordingly, 
and the long-delayed measure was carried. 



Repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts, — O^Connell is 
nominated for the Representation of Clare. — The first 
Clare election, — Mr. Steel. — O^ Gorman Mahon and Fa- 
ther Maguire. — Passage of the Emancipation Act. — 
O^Connell in St. Stephens. — He is refused a seat under 
the new Act. 

The general election of 1826 had placed in the councils of 
the nation many gentlemen favorable to the liberation of the 
Catholic body, to a certain extent, although the number of 
thorough-going emancipators was very limited. One tri- 
umph, however, it gave to the cause, in the repeal of the 
odious corporation and test acts, for which the year 1827 is 
chiefly remarkable in the annals of the Catholic question. 
To the English whigs the merit of first moving in this matter 
is justly due : Lord John Russell being the author of the mo- 
tion. It is fair also to add that several tory members, in- 
cluding the Duke of Wellington, without whose aid it could 
not then have passed into law, supported the bill. The 
present Earl of Shrewsbury had written a very able little 
book, styled " Reasons for not taking the Test," which had 
its share in this result ; while Mr. Brougham, Sir Francis 
Burdett, and the radical reformers, to a man, stood by it and 
voted for it from the first. 

It was in consequence of the part he took in effecting the 
repeal of these acts, and as some say, at the suggestion of 
Lord John Russell,"^ that Mr. O'Connell moved, in the As- 
sociation, to rescind a resolution binding that body to oppose 
the election of all candidates for Irish seats in Parliament 
who refused to pledge themselves against the Duke of Wel- 
lington's administration. In this he providentially failed, 
and that failure was a chief cause of his own election for 

On the meeting of Parliament in 1828, it was announced 

* Vide Huish. p. 434. 


that Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, one of the sitting members for 
Clare, liad been raised to a seat in the new cabinet, which 
occasioned a vacancy in the representation of that county. 
A new writ was issued accordingly, and Mr. Fitzgerald, as 
a ministerialist, resolved to contest any candidate who might 
be brought forward by the Catholic Association. Descended 
of a good family, of great personal popularity, large fortune, 
and respectable talents, he came into the field with many 
advantages. His father had filled the office of Prime Ser- 
geant at the Irish bar for many years, an office in which he 
had been preceded by Malone, and other illustrious jurists. 
He was a member of the last Irish Parliament, and an ac- 
tive opponent of the Union ; his son, therefore, could not 
be an object of dislike to the generous electors of Clare. 
Mr. Fitzgerald had employed his ministerial influence for 
the benefit of many in his native country, for which he 
really entertained a sort of patriotic affection. It may readily 
be imagined that the defeat of such a man was a very dif- 
ferent, and much more difficult task, than the overthrow of 
a Foster or a Beresford. 

In virtue of their anti-ministerial pledge, the Association 
chose an opposition candidate, and their choice fell upon 
Major McNamara, a gentleman of better family than for- 
tune, who had been O'Connell's second, in the duel with 
D'Esterre, and withal was popular in Clare. He had no 
pretensions to ability, except in settling affairs of honor, and 
the highest flight of his ambition was to clear handsomely 
a five-barred gate. He was now^ beyond life's half-way 
house, a portly and courteous country gentleman, much 
respected by his acquaintance, and honored by the humbler 
classes. He was known to have strong pro-Catholic feel- 
ings, although a Protestant, and was, in short, the only man 
the Association could reckon upon as a candidate. Mr. 
O'Gorman Mahon was despatched to acquaint him with 
the fact of his nomination, and after an absence of two 
days, returned to Dublin with the astounding intelligence, 
that Major McNamara's obligations to Mr. Fitzgerald were 
such as to prevent him, " in honor, from running in opposi- 
tion to that gentleman." The receipt of this news caused 
the Association the deepest vexation, which wag further 
increased on learning that Dean O'Shaugnessy, an influen- 
tial clergyman of Ennis, and a relative of Mr. Fitzgerald, 
was supposed to be favorable to his election. Without the 


co-operation of all the clergy, the Association felt the con- 
test would be fruitless, and without Dean O'Shaugnessy's 
aid, such co-operation could hardly be attained. Having 
announced their intention of opposing Mr. Fitzgerald's re- 
turn, and having refused to drop the anti-ministerial pledge, 
the Associates felt obliged to proceed, but were completely 
at a loss for a nominee. There was no one found anxious 
to be a member of Parliament. In this dilemma, a lucky 
thought of O 'Gorman Mahon saved the character of the 
Association, and insured the speedy passage of the long- 
sought-for act. He proposed to Mr. O'Connell, and after- 
wards to the Association, that O'Connell should become the 
candidate of the Association, and if elected, should in his 
person seek to establish the right of Catholics to seats in 
Parliament. It was a bold and happy thought, as the 
sequel will show. The Association adopted, viva voce^ the 
motion ; and the whole empire was astonished by the pub- 
lication of the following address to the electors, promptly 
issued by O'Connell : — 


"Dublin, June, 1828. 
*' Fellow-Countrymen, — 

" Your county wants a representative. I respectfully 
solicit your suffrage-s, to raise me to that station. 

^' Of my qualification to fill that station, I leave you to 
judge. The habits of public speaking, and many, many 
years of public business, render me, perhaps, equally suited 
with most men to attend to the interests of Ireland in Par- 

" You will be tokl I am not qualified to be elected ; the 
assertion, my friends, is untrue. — I am qualified to be 
elected, and to be your representative. It is true that as a 
Catholic, I cannot, and of course never will, take the oaths 
at present prescribed to members of Parliament ; but the 
authority which created these oaths, (the Parliament,) can 
abrogate them : and I entertain a confident hope that, if 
you elect me, the most bigoted of our enemies will see the 
necessity of removing from the chosen representative of the 
people, an obstacle which would prevent him from doing 
his duty to his king and to his country. 

" The oath at present required by law is,^ that the sacrifice 


of the mass, and the invocation of the blessed Virgin Mary, 
and other saint.s, as now practised in the church of Rome, 
are impious and idolatrous.' Of course I will never stain 
my soul with such an oath : I leave that to my honorable 
opponent, IMr. Vesey Fitzgerald ; he has often taken that 
horrible oath ; he is ready to take it again, and asks your 
votes to enable him so to swear. I would rather be torn limb 
from limb than take it. Electors of the county of Clare I 
choose between me, who abominates that oath, and Mr. 
Vesey Fitzgerald, who has sworn it full twenty times ! 
Return me to Parliament, and it is probable that such a 
blasphemous oath wall be abolished forever. As your 
representative, I will try the question with the friends in 
Parliament of Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald. — They may send me 
to prison. — I am ready to go there to promote the cause of 
the Catholics, and of universal liberty. The discussion 
w^hich the attempt to exclude your representative from the 
House of Commons must excite, will create a sensation all 
over Europe, and produce such a burst of contemptuous 
indignation against British bigotry, in every enlightened 
country in the world, that the voice of all the great and 
good in England, Scotland, and Ireland, being joined to the 
universal shout of the nations of the earth, will overpower 
every opposition, and render it impossible for Peel and 
Wellington any longer to close the doors of the constitution 
against the Catholics of Ireland. 

" Electors of the county of Clare ; Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald 
claims as his only merit, that he is a friend to the Catho- 
lics — why, I am a Catholic myself; and if he be sincerely 
our friend, let him vote for me, and raise before the British 
empire the Catholic question in my humble person, in the 
way most propitious to my final success. But no, fellow- 
countrymen, no; he will make no, sacrifice to that cause; 
he will call himself your friend, and act the part of your 
worst and most unrelenting enemy. 

" I do not like to give the epitome of his political life ; 
yet, w^hen the present occasion so loudly calls for it, I cannot 
refrain. He took office under Perceval, — under that Perce- 
val who obtained power by raising the base, bloody, and 
unchristian cry of ' No Popery,' in England. 

" He had the nomination of a member to serve for the 
borough of Ennis. He nominated Mr. Spencer Perceval, 
then a decided opponent of the Catholics. 


*' He voted on the East Retford bill, for a measure that 
would put two virulent enemies of the Catholics into Par- 

" In the case of the Protestant Dissenters in England, he 
voted for their exclusion, that is, against the principle of the 
freedom of conscience ; — that sacred principle which the 
Catholics of Ireland have ever cultivated and cherished, on 
"which we framed our rights to emancipation, 

" Finally, he voted for the suppression of the Catholic 
Association of Ireland. 

" And, after this, sacred Heaven ! he calls himself a friend 
to the Catholics, 

" He is the ally and colleague of the Duke of Wellington 
and Mr. Peel ; he is their partner in power ; they are, you 
know, the most bitter, persevering, and unmitigated enemies 
of the Catholics ; and, after all this, he, the partner of our 
bitterest and unrelenting enemies, calls himself the friend 
of the Catholics of Ireland. 

" Having thus traced a few of the demerits of my right 
honourable opponent, what shall I say for myself? 

*' I appeal to my past life for my unremitting and disin- 
terested attachment to the religion and liberties of Catholic 

^' If you return me to Parliament, I pledge myself to vote 
for every measure favorable to radical reform in the repre- 
sentative system, so that the House of Commons may truly, 
as our Catholic ancestors intended it should do, represent 
all the people. 

*' To vote for the repeal of the Vestry bill, the sub-letting 
act, and the Grand Jury laws. 

^' To vote for the diminution and more equal distribution 
of the overgrown wealth of the established church in Ireland, 
so that the surplus may be restored to the sustentation of 
the poor, the aged, and the infirm. 

" To vote for every measure of retrenchment and reduction 
of the national expenditure, so as to relieve the people from 
the burdens of taxation, and to bring the question of the 
repeal of the Union, at the earliest possible period, before 
the consideration of the legislature. 

" Electors of the county of Clare ! choose between me and 
Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald; choose between him who has so 
long cultivated his own interest, and one who seeks only to 
advance yours ; choose between the sworn libeller of the 


Catliolic failli, and one wlio has devoted his early life to 
your cause ; who has consumed his manhood in a struggle 
for your liberties, and who has ever lived, and is ready to 
die for the integrity, the honor, the purity, of the Catholic 
faith, and the promotion of Irish freedom and happiness. 

" Your faithful servant, 

"Daniel O'CoxNnell.'' 

It is impossible adequately to conceive the enthusiasm 
caused by this resolution amongst those to whom it was 
thus announced. The friends of Mr. Fitzgerald could 
scarcely believe it to be the serious intention of the Asso- 
ciation, until the arrival of Messrs. Steele and O'Gorman 
Mahon, as precursors of the coming of the great agitator, 
aroused them to the necessity of using every exertion within 
their means. 

The names of these gentlemen being historically asso- 
ciated with that of a most interesting period of O'Connell's 
life, a digression explanatory of their standing and charac- 
ter, may not be out of place, ere we meet the " Liberator" 
on the hustings. Both yet live — but alas ! how sundered 
and how separated. Steele is found by the side of his 
leader and companion, while Mahon, fallen from his high 

estate, is . Both, however, must be sketched upon 

our canvass ; less fully, to be sure, than they deserve, but 
faithful at least even in outline. 

Mr. Thomas Steele is by birth a native of Clare. His 
family are of some antiquity in that county, and of highly 
respectable fortune. He was born heir to an extensive and 
valuable property, which he has spent to the last farthing 
upon scientific experiments, and in patriotic adventures. 
His education was commenced in Trinity College, where 
he obtained the degree of B. A., and advocated Catholic 
Emancipation. From thence he went to Cambridge and 
entered Magdalen College. A characteristic anecdote is 
related of the manner in which he decided between the 
relative advantages of studying at Oxford, and on the 
Cam. Having arrived in London without deciding on this 
point, he sat one evening at the door of his hotel in Holborn, 
and seeino' a stage-coach, marked " Cambridge " pass by, he 
called to the driver, ordered his trunk, and jumped into the 
vehicle. Here, he could more congenially, than in " Old 
Trinity," devote his time to his favorite mathematical 


studies. He left this university with the degree of M. A., ac- 
companied by the friendship of its most illustrious inmates. 

Keturning to Ireland, the possessor of a comfortable for- 
tune, he had resolved not to adopt any profession. The first 
evidence of his aspirations for fame on record, v^^as his dar- 
ing conduct in the melee of the Trocadero. With Sir Robert 
Wilson, and other enthusiastic Irishmen, he had entered all 
soul into the Spanish struggle for independence, which 
occupied the years of 1820 — 3. From the resources of his 
private fortune, he had often drawn liberally for the sup- 
port of the public cause, and on abandoning that desperate 
enterprize, he found himself surrounded by so many fellow- 
sufferers that he heavily mortgaged his property to allevi- 
ate their distresses. The knavery of a young lawyer, his 
relative, whom he had placed as agent over his estates, still 
further involved him in debt, and it was with little surprise 
that a short time since those who knew his personal history, 
heard of his having availed himself of the provisions of the 
" insolvent act." It must have been a hard struggle that re- 
duced him to such extremity ; even the judge who presided 
(Chief Justice Pennefather) bore willing testimony to his 
honorable character, and declared him stainless from the 

Mr. Steele's scientific reputation stands deservedly high; 
his improvements in the diving-bell, his plan for reclaiming 
the mudlands and improving the navigation of his native 
Shannon, as also his scheme for supplying Dublin with 
water through the valley of the Liffey, are acknowledged 
by all competent judges, to be highly useful and strikingly 
able projects. In fortification and engineering, indeed, in 
almost every branch of mathematical science he has few, if 
any, superiors in the empire. 

In person, Mr. Steele has nothing of the Adonis in his 
mould, but he is far from being insensible to the soft influ- 
ences of the gentler sex. On this point he is perfectly 
Quixotic; his "silent love" is proverbial; when smitten 
with the charms of some fair Irish girl, he " never names 
her, never," but lets 

Concealment like a worm in the bud. 

Prey upon his damask cheek." 

On more than one occasion, when smitten with peculiar 

adoration he has retired to his cot amidst the hills of Wick- 


low, and hcnnit-Iike, sighed away his soul "to the listening 
deer." Whenever he has occasion to mention tlie ladies, 
he does so in language equally enthusiastic and respectful; 
in a word, he seems to have been made for medioeval times, 
not for ours. There is in his nature an enthusiasm so 
lofty, a sincerity so sincere, a sense of honor so keen, a 
delicacy and a daring so extreme, that, of him more than 
any other man of the nineteenth century, may it be said, — 
" we shall not look upon his like again." 

But my readers must not suppose by the foregoing 
sketch, that I regard Mr. Steele as an impracticable 
being. So far from it, that there is no man more easily 
advised, none who possesses less egotism or self-opinion. 
His nice sense of principle clothes with respect and will 
perpetuate his name to the latest generation of Ireland's 
sons. His perpetual remembrance of his duty ; the mili- 
tary devotedness with which he follows the beck of O'Con- 
nell, cause him to repress his natural impetuosity, which, 
under a less venerated leader, would often break forth, and 
occasion mischief. It is impossible for a selfish nature to 
realize what manner of man Mr. Steele is, and, alas ! how 
few who are not so, have we in the nineteenth century to 
appreciate his " erratic virtue," to honor his consistent and 
unparalleled disinterestedness. 

Of Mr. Steele's coadjutor in the canvass of Clare, Mr. 
O'GoKMAN Mahon, we desire to say but little. It is one 
of the most painful tasks which the pen of a genial chroni- 
cler can undertake, to enumerate the early services of one 
who afterwards becomes a traitor to his country and to his 
own convictions. Such, unhappily, was the case with him 
of whom I am now speaking. There was a time — which 
can never come again — when few men stood so high in the 
estimation of his country, and of all who have forfeited her 
good will, few have sunk so low. Blinded by a mali- 
cious anger, he has of late irrevocably stained his name 
by heaping calumny on his early friend, Steele, in a court 
of justice, in the moment of his humiliation. The reader 
would not thank me for the details of that scene. 

In 182S, O'Gorman Mahon was a young and promising 
man. Of great personal grace, manly form, and undoubted 
courage, he was well calculated for an efficient canvasser 
in an Irish contested election. He boasts the inheritance 
of undiluted Celtic blood, and no man represents more truly 


in outward form, the heau ideal of a Milesian aristocracy, as 
handed down by history and tradition, than does he. His 
address is good, his language select and appropriate, yet it 
were an injustice to style it eloquent. In fashionable life, 
he is the idol of the ladies and the envy of the men ; he ex- 
celled in all manly accomplishments, and showeth in all his 
actions that hoa hommie so irresistible in securino- the affec- 
tions of an Irish peasant. When a member of the British 
Parliament, he usually entered the Commons dressed in the 
antiquated style of an Irish country gentleman, and attracted 
no inconsiderable share of ridicule. On a certain occasion, 
while sitting in a club-room adjacent to St. Stephen's, he 
had the pleasure to hear himself criticised very elaborately 
b}'- a couple of fashionables at a distant table. After dissecting 
" his barbarous style of dress" and swaggering carriage-, one 
of them undertook to wager that he must be a poltroon. 
This startled his Milesian blood, and striding over to this 
imprudent personage, he looked him sternly in the face for 
a moment, handed him his card, and gave him the alterna- 
tive of an immediate challenge, or an apology on his knees 
before the club. The cockney, after a good deal of hesita- 
tion, thought the latter the better way of escaping from the 

Such, in outline, were the two men who now agitated 
the constituency of Clare, from the highest to the humblest 
of its members. Their zeal never tired — their bodies needed 
not rest, nor their thoughts sleep ; they travelled, talked, 
reasoned, appealed ; apathy disappeared at their approach, 
and hostility was converted into generous co-operation. 
But they were not alone in the herculean enterprise. Mr. 
Lawless was also in the field, a formidable assistant; and 
Mr. RoNAYNE, anxious to make amends for his conduct in 
the controversy about the " wings," exerted himself ardu- 
ously in haranguing the people in their native, glorious 
Gaelic. In the midst of the exertions of these gentlemen, 
there arrived in Ennis a coadjutor of no secondary order, 
in the person of Father Maguire, the priest of Ballinamore, 
and one of the first scholars and logicians of the age. 

His fame as a controvertist had been already established 
at the expense of more than one champion of Protestantism. 
His famous controversy with the Rev. Alexander Pope, in 
1827, had been regarded by the Catholic church as a com- 
plete triumph, while the Catholics of Ireland were particu- 


larly ehited at its re^ult. At several of their meetings, into 
which this oral discussion was protracted, Mr. O'Connell 
fre([uently acted as cliairinan, on behalf of Father Maguire, 
and at the close declared that " a simple, unpretending- 
priest, from the bogs of Leitrim," had given a death-blow to 
the doctrines of the established church. Armed with such 
recommendations, and, perhaps, desirous to counteract the 
neutrality of Dean O'Shaugnessy, Father Maguire volun- 
teered to pay an electioneering visit to Clare, which was 
gladly accepted of by the Catholic Association. And here, 
if any cold-blooded rationalist, or sneering sectary inquires 
whether this was the duty of a clergyman, in this case, I 
answer him boldly that it was. We can admire those 
recluses of the Peninsula, who seized the swords of the 
slaughtered peasantry, to resist the influx of Gaelic inva- 
sion ; we admire the heroism of those Vendean ecclesias- 
tics who aroused their flocks to combat against the bloody 
dynasty of the lUuminati, at the peril of extermination ; 
our bosoms glow with admiration when we read of those 
fields of death, on which millions are mowed down with a 
scythe of flame, where defenceless priests walk intrepidly 
through the dying and the dead, anointing with holy crism 
the expiring patriot soldier. If these things be admirable, 
as indeed they are to men of feeling, why should w^e blame 
the man who, ordained to the service of God, and placed as 
a sentinel over man, beholding the slavery or liberty of his 
charge at hand, raises his voice or his hand to place them 
beyond the influence of chains, ignorance and poverty ? 
Mere party politics will defile a robe consecrated to the 
altar; but there is such a thing as a sublime science in poli- 
tics — a science of justice and mercy, of suffering or comfort, 
life or death. The priesthood of Ireland are essentially a 
popular body, by birth, disposition and inheritance; — when 
they assumed holy orders, they did not cease to be sons of 
Ireland, nor to feel, and think, and act for her welfare. It 
was thus Dr. Doyle stamped immortality on his fame — it 
was thus that Mac Hale has become a consecrated name in 
the Irish annals of our time — it was thus that Father Ma- 
guire felt, when he arrived in Clare to co-operate for the 
election of O'Connell. Nor was his visit a useless one. 
His priestly character, his powerful logic, racy and plain 
language, and his theological reputation gave him great ad- 
vantages ; and whilst the lay canvassers merit all praise, 


there was, perhaps, no individual amongst them, whose 
presence exercised an influence so beneficial as did Father 
Maguire. By these hands were those elements of strength 
gathered together, which, bursting from the hustings of 
Ennis, broke down the policy of the Reformation, altered 
the constitution of England, and gave liberty of conscience 
to the Catholic millions and the dissenters of the whole em- 
pire. The names of these men are deserving of everlasting 
remembrance ; they will be sought out by the future his- 
torians as deserving the highest panegyrism ; for through 
them O'Connell was elected, and through him British in- 
tolerance received its death-blow. 

The day of election being near at hand, Mr. Shiel, ap- 
pointed counsel for Mr. O'Connell, left Dublin for the 
scene of action. On arriving at Ennis, he ascertained that 
the tenantry of Sir Edward O'Brien (who, although a 
Catholic, refused to support Mr. O'Connell) had been 
brought to their master's way of thinking, and were pledged 
to vote for Mr. Fitzgerald. The energetic counsellor saw 
there was no time to be lost ; it was Saturday evening, but 
he started immediately, and after travelling from twilight 
until nearly noon, he arrived at the humble mountain 
chapel of Corrofin, where the electors he sought were then 
at mass. After the sacrifice had been offered, the celebrant 
introduced him, by a few remarks in Gaelic, to the congre- 
gation. They were old men and young, widows, wives, 
and children gathered before the low door of that rugged 
temple. It was a wild scene, well suited to the genius of 
the spokesman ; he was amid the venerable hills of Tho- 
mond, and his soul, like Ossian's, went abroad amongst the 
children of the mountains. Visions of glory rolled along 
their summits, studding the sky with the sparkling of armor 
and the clashing of shields. The orator's chest heaved, his 
lips trembled, his eye fired, and then, after a long pause, as 
if for breathing, out rushed the language of inspiration, 
pouring like a torrent fresh from a long pent-up cavern, 
and overturning every obstacle in its career. The auditory 
felt the inspiration that burned or melted in his words ; 
they were swayed before his breath, as forest trees wave in 
the tempest ; they yielded to the magic of oratory, and fol- 
lowed the enthusiastic speaker, on the morrow, to the polls. 

This scene at the chapel of Corrofin could only be ex- 
ceeded by that which was enacted in the streets of Ennis, 


on the arrival of Mr. O'Connell. Tiiose who were eye* 
witnesses have never lobt the actual sight, while no man 
hath attempted to describe it ; even Shiel, who pounced 
upon every incident calculated to give a pictorial interest 
to the sameness of political advocacy, has left that subject 
untouched because of its magnitude. The streets were 
crowded ; the thoroughfares leading to the town were 
crowded ; the ladies of the adjacent country graced the win- 
dows and balconies ; the housetops were bristling with hu- 
man bodies, and the prolonged cheers of the vast throngs 
surged like the Atlantic upon a rocky shore at night — loud, 
awful and mysterious. At length O'Connell arrived, and 
then the voices of the multitude rose in simultaneous cheers, 
deafening each other. Who, in such an hour, but w^ould 
feel himself a conqueror ? 

On the appointed day, the Court House was besieged 
wath persons anxious for admittance. The sheriff read the 
writ of election. Beside him, on the left, stood Mr. Vesey 
Fitzgerald, surrounded by the chief gentlemen of Clare. 
On the opposite side appeared the stalwart form and laugh- 
ing countenance of Mr. O'Connell, with more frieze coats 
than broadcloth in his body-guard. There was a gentle- 
man in tabinet, however, who had perched himself, by 
a feat of unusual agility, upon a cross-beam of the court, 
that rendered him no sm.all service. This was no other 
than Mr. O'Gorman Mahon. The high sheriff, observing 
the attention he attracted, rather tartly desired him to take 
off a broad green badge, from which hung the medal of the 
order of Liberators : " I tell that gentleman there," cried 
the functionary, " to take off that badge." There was a 
brief pause, when Mahon slowly replied — " This gentle- 
man tells that gentleman, that if that gentleman presumes 
to touch this gentleman, this gentleman will defend him- 
self against that gentleman or any other gentleman while 
he has got the arm of a gentleman to protect him." 
This reply struck dumb the pompous sheriff, a loud cheer 
burst from the body of the court, and a look of deep vexa- 
tion fastened upon the countenances of the ministerial can- 
didate and his friends. When silence was obtained. Sir Ed- 
ward O'Brien proposed, and Sir A. Fitzgerald seconded 
the nomination of Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, " as a fit and proper 
person" to represent the county of Clare in Parliament. 
Mr. O'Gorman Mahon then proposed, and Mr. Steele sec* 


onded the nomination of Daniel O'Connell in the same 
words. The candidates then addressed the electors — Mr. 
Fitzgerald having the precedence. His speech was allowed 
upon all hands to be a very able and appropriate one ; his 
modest allusion to his own services in the Catholic cause, 
and to those of his father, (at that time lying on his death- 
bed,) in the days of the disastrous union, softened every 
bosom towards him. There was an amiable sincerity in 
all he said, which evidently impressed the vast assemblage 
within the walls, who saluted him, on sitting down, with 
renewed and enthusiastic approval. Mr. O'Connell suc- 
ceeded, and delivered one of those long and magnificent 
speeches by which he has bound to himself the heart of 
Ireland, so that no man can take it from him. He was 
everything by turns — sportive and sad, severe and charita- 
ble, and the people doubled with him as supple as young 
hares sporting on a fallow. They were now roused up to 
the most ^ indignant pitch of patriotic hatred, and again 
melted into feminine softness by the pathos of their favorite. 
After a brief exordium, he had them all his own way, and 
he took good care to preserve his advantage. Of that effort 
all description would be needless, as all praise would be in 
vain. It will suffice to say, that after one of the closest 
contests in the annals of electioneering, Daniel O'Connell 
was declared by the high sheriff " duly elected" for the 
county of Clare. The excitement died away — the people 
returned to their homes — the gentry to lament their over- 
throw, and O'Connell to plead before the bar of the House 
of Commons, for the reco^-nition of the reliofious rig-hts and 
civil liberties of his countrymen. His name was not a 
stranger to their ears, for years before he entered that 
assembly, his spirit had disturbed its bigotry, and shaken 
on its escutcheoned pillars, the antique cobwebs of con- 

Before, however, he could enter Parliament, the ministry 
resolved to force through a bill of emancipation ; and thus 
they succeeded in depriving him of the honor of the 
victory, though they could not shield themselves from the 
ignominy of defeat. 

The autumn of 1828 beheld the Irish nation on the verge 
of civil war. The commander of the forces communicated 
to the ministry the fearful news, that the loyalty of the 
army could not be depended on. Aggregate meetings, pa- 


rochial meetings, and every other mode of evading coercive 
law, was resorted to ; and the fires of a new rebellion began 
to gleam forth from the bustle and confusion of the vast 
open air demonstrations, in which the people thrust forth 
their thousand hands. The rulers of the empire became, 
or affected to be, really alarmed. A call of the Houses of 
Parliament was accordingly made, for an early day in the 
ensuing year; and on the 5th of March, the first day of 
their assembling, Mr. Peel moved a committee of the whole 
house, to go into a " consideration of the civil disabilities 
of his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects." This motion, 
after a two-days' debate, was carried by a majority of 188. 
On the 10th of March, the bill was read for the first time, 
and passed without opposition, such being the arrangement 
entered into while in committee. But even in five days, 
the ancient bigotry of the land had been aroused ; nine 
hundred and fifty-seven petitions had already been present- 
ed against it ; that from the city of London was signed by 
more than "an hundred thousand freeholders."^ On the 
17th it passed to a second reading, and on the 30th to a 
third, with large majorities in each stage of debate. Out 
of 320 members who voted on the final reading, 178 were 
in its favor. On the 31st of March it was carried to the 
Lords by Mr. Peel, and instantly read a first time ; and 
tw^o days later, (on the second of April,) it was read a 
second time, on motion of the Duke of Wellington; a 
bitterly contested debate of three days followed ; on the 
10th, it was read a third time, and passed by a majority of 
104. Three days later, it received the royal assent — and 
in three more, the unanimous welcome of the Irish Catho- 
lics, as well as of all their brethren in the three kingdoms, 
and of the dissenters. 

Thus was proposed, debated and enacted, in the brief 
space of five weeks, one of the most important measures 
ever considered by a British Parliament. From the time 
of the Revolution, there had been no such change effected ; 
for this was, in reality, an alteration of the Constitution. 
Great popular concessions had been made, from the days 
of King John, by bad or weak monarchs; able and popular 
senators had carried throu2:h Parliament some miniature 
reforms ; but wdth the exception of the Bill of Rights, there 

* Vide Croly's '^George the Fourth." 


is no legal advance of the legislature to be at all compared, 
in the extent of its operations, or in the importance of its 
results, with the act of Catholic emancipation. When we 
consider the vast number of persons suddenly restored to 
their civil rights, from a state of hereditary outlawry, we 
cannot but regard with awe and admiration the unconquer- 
able spirit of the man, who trampled upon custom, prejudice 
and intolerance, and forced the minions of sectarian ascen- 
dancy to destroy its immunities, and break down the bulky 
exclusiveness with which it had, year after year, and age 
after age, surrounded the franchise, and laden down the 
civil and social rights of the people. The British Empire 
probably contained, at that time, 150,000,000 of souls, or 
about one fifth of the people of the earth. Of these a mere 
moiety belonged to the Church of England, and an honest 
man of any other creed could not consistently take the test 
oath, or the oath of supremacy. He who believed in the 
apostleship of Knox, and he who held the primacy of Saint 
Peter ; the disciple of Priestly, the proselyte of Paine, the 
follower of Wesley, could never in conscience swear that 
in the person of the lecherous and foppish George the 
Fourth, they recognized the deputy of the All-Pure, and 
the visible head of the only true church. In short, no 
matter what the difference between their dissent from the 
Thirty-Nine Articles, if they were in earnest in their an- 
tipathy to that definition of the faith of the establishment, 
they could not swear to the contrary, in truth or with a 
safe conscience. When, therefore, Daniel O'Connell liber- 
ated the Catholic, he by the same blow struck ofT the fetters 
from the dissenter, and released private judgment from its 
ancient disabilities. One fifth of the people of the entire 
world are now his debtors for the acknowledgment of the 
principle and practice of religious toleration by their impe- 
rial legislature, and crown. 

While the measure of emancipation was calculated to 
bestow so many and such extensive benefits on the whole 
empire, the ministry, with mean dexterity, attached to it a 
clause by which Mr. O'Connell was deprived of its benefits, 
he having been elected previous to its enactment. The 
stor^^ of this petty insult is as follows : — 

On Wednesday, the 5th of March, 1829, a petition hav- 
ing been presented against Mr. O'Connell's return, a par- 
liamentary committee met to take into consideration that 


gentleman's eligibility to sit lor Clare. Some days pre- 
viously, he had published an elaborate legal argument, 
proving his perfect right so to do. His counsel before the 
committee were Mr. F. Pollock, Charles Phillips, Mr. 
Alderson, and Mr. Lynch. Those of the petitioners were 
Messrs. Harrison, Adams and Doherty. The proceedings 
of this committee are so well described in the London 
papers, and are of themselves so important, that I cannot 
refrain from giving them in detail. 

" Mr. Walmesley, the clerk of the committee, read the 
petition against the return of Mr. O'Connell, which set 
forth that on the hustings he (Mr. O'Connell) said he was 
*a Roman Catholic, and would so continue till the end of 
his life ;' that ^ he would never take the oaths,' &c. It also 
detailed the placards, acts of intimidation, commands of 
' vote for your religion,' (fee. 

Mr. Harrison asked whether it was requisite to read the 
whole of the petition ? All the allegations were abandoned 
except that as to the eligibility of Mr. O'Connell. The 
question, in fact, reduced itself to a question of law. 

The Chairman, after consulting with the committee, ac- 

Mr. Harrison then said, that he had made a proposition 
to the counsel of Mr. O'Connell. He was instructed to 
submit, that Mr. O'Connell was ineligible to sit as a mem- 
ber, and therefore to be elected. He had, consequently, to 
urge on the committee to direct the inquiry first to be made, 
whether Mr. O'Connell was eligible? If the question were 
decided against him, such decision would close his case, 
for all depended on that question. He quoted several cases 
from Douglas' Reports and Election Law, to show that the 
committee, where there were several points of inquiry, had 
frequently decided that the material point, whether of law 
or otherwise, should be first settled. It would materially 
save the labor of the committee if this course were pursued. 
The only question he and his friends had to raise was, 
whether Mr. O'Connell was eligible? If Mr. O'Connell 
were not eligible, then it remained for him to show that 
Mr. O'Connell was a Roman Catholic — that the fact was 
notorious — and that the election proceeded on the notoriety 
of such fact. 

Mr. Adam spoke to the like eflfect, observing, that by the 


committee coming- to such decision, the time would be riia- 
terially saved. 

Mr. F. Pollock, on the part of Mr. O'Connell, complained 
of being taken somewhat by surprise, and of the want of 
courtesy in its not having been communicated to him what 
course would be pursued. His learned friend had chosen 
to assume that Mr. O'Connell was a Roman Catholic ; and 
on that was to be raised a dry abstract question of law, 
without any knowledge of the facts on which that barren 
question was to be raised. There was new law, too, pro- 
nounced — that Mr. O'Connell being a Roman Catholic, as 
was assumed, was ineligible to be elected. But ' Roman 
Catholic' — he had read all the acts, and he nowhere found 
the words, as to whether a ' Roman Catholic ' was eligible 
or ineligible. What was meant by ' Roman Catholic ? ' 

Mr. Harrison. — Well I will not quarrel about terms ; I 
mean Papist. 

Mr. F. Pollock admitted that there were certain barriers 
to protect the representation, and that the committee could 
decide by what course they would pursue the inquiry ; but 
he implored the committee to allow him to hear the facts to 
which they intended to apply the alleged law, before they 
were called on to argue an abstract question of law. Let 
the facts first be stated. 

Mr. Alderson followed on the same side. He admitted 
where there were different points, it was convenient to 
separate the objects of investigation, and complained of the 
unfairness of being first, and unexpectedly, required to 
argue a dry question of law. 

Mr. Harrison begged to observe that he had meant no 
unfairness ; that he had pursued the usual course in elec- 
tion cases, and that during twenty-six years' practice before 
Commons' election committees, he had never given the 
previous notice now complained of as not having been 
given. He thought it was by far the best course to settle 
this question first. If he were thrown upon the proof, he 
would appeal to the notoriety of the fact, and to the re- 
peated declarations of Mr. O'Connell, that he not only was 
a Roman Catholic or Papist, but that he would ever con- 
tinue such. 

Lord W. Russell desired Mr. Harrison to say, in distinct 
terms, what was his proposition. 

Mr. Harrison. — It is this — that Mr. O'Connell, being a 


Roman Catholic, or Papist, was ineligible to be elected, to 
be returned, or to sit. 

The committee then desired the room to be cleared. 
After about ten minutes' consultation, the counsel and 
agents were re -admitted. 

Lord W. Russell then said : 'As chairman, I am desired 
to inform you, that the committee are of opinion the counsel 
for the petition should first proceed to prove the fact.' 

Mr. Harrison. — That is, to prove the whole of my case. 

The Chairman. — Yes, the whole facts of your case. 

Mr. Harrison then rose for such purpose. He began by 
observing, that he should have to trespass at great length, 
by first stating the law of the case, the several statutes 
passed to exclude Papists from the Houses of Parliament, 
namely, 5th Elizabeth, 3d James I., 7th James I., 30th 
Charles I., and 1st William and Mary. They required the 
oaths of allegiance and supremacy first to be taken before 
the Lord Steward, or his deputy, and then in the house, 
with the Speaker in the chair. That course continued 
down to the present time. The 1st of William and Mary 
particularly described the former oaths, the modes of taking 
them, and again enacted that they should still continue to 
be taken in such manner, and none other. This was requi- 
site to be enforced by the convention Parliament, because 
the dissenters would not take the oath of supremacy any 
more than the Papists or Roman Catholics ; for the one 
said that Christ was the head of the church, as the Papists 
declared the Pope to be. The first act of William and 
Mary was the only act that applied to the case, though 
others had been referred to — he meant by the gentleman 
against whom he petitioned. He did not know how to 
describe that gentleman. He was not the sitting member, 
because he had not appeared to take his seat ; he did not 
like to call him the ' franking' member, as spme had termed 
him ; he would therefore style him by a term that was well 
known and much used in Ireland — the 'titular' member for 
Clare ; and that would be equally applicable after Mr. 
Vesey Fitzgerald should have taken his seat for Clare. (A 
laugh.) He contended that, next to the laws existing, the 
constant practice of the law was the strongest proof. No 
one ever dreamed that unnecessary oaths had been taken, 
till the titular member for Clare came with his new light; 
but he maintained that 1 William, c. 8, was the governing 


statute, and referred to by 1 Geo. I., 6 Geo. III., c. 53, as 

well as the Act of Union, recognized it. The forms of 
oaths were there settled, and so continued down to the 
present time. [Mr. Harrison argued these points at great 
length, reading the several clauses of the different acts.] 
But it was said that no time was prescribed when the oaths 
should be taken ; this was answered not only by the acts 
already named, but by the 33 Geo. II., chap. 20, all which 
prescribed that the several oaths, &c. must be taken 'before 
they can sit and vote.' Then, unless the member, whoever 
he might be, intended not to go into the house — he spoke 
seriously — unless he desired to continue the 'titular' or 
' franking" ' member — the member must take the oaths 'be- 
fore ' he took the seat, and voted. Unless he read the acts, 
it would hardly be believed that a barrister, who ought to 
have known better, could have asserted in print, the 
pamphlets having been most industriously circulated, that 
*no time' was specified for taking the oaths. The like 
omissions on broad assertions were made respecting Yel- 
verton's Act, the Union, &c. He contended that the act 
of Union, 39 and 40 Geo. III., c. 67, said, as regarded 
peers, that they should take the oaths and make the declar- 
ation as then established by law. It abrogated no laws, 
except where that was specifically done ; but on the con- 
trary, enjoined the taking and subscribing of oaths, &c., as 
previously established. As to the doctrine held to the 
contrary, it was puerile and absurd. And as to ' Roman 
Catholics ' being nowhere mentioned, as was alleged by 
Mr. Pollock, the 33d Geo. III., c. 21, was expressly 'for 
the further relief of Papists or Roman Catholics.' The 
learned gentleman then proceeded at some length to show, 
that by the construction of those acts a Roman Catholic 
was ineligible to sit, and, being so ineligible, a person de- 
claring himself to be a Roman Catholic, and that being a 
matter of notoriety, he was ineligible to be a candidate, or 
to be returned, and that therefore his election was, to all 
intents and purposes, null and void. At the conclusion of 
his address, the learned gentleman put in the return of the 
high sheriff, to which were appended a certificate from the 
office of the Crown and Hanaper in Ireland, of Mr. O'Con- 
nell having been sworn in as a Roman Catholic barrister, 
also an affidavit of his having declared himself a Catholic, 
Mr. F. Pollock objected to those documents being re- 


ceived with the return, and contended, that the sheriff had 
no right to make those additions to his return ; and that 
on that ground they could not be received. Nothing could 
be received as evidence but the return. In some particular 
cases the sheriff might no doubt receive evidence ; for in- 
stance, in that of a boy of tender age, and notoriously a 
minor, he might receive evidence of the fact, and append it 
to his return ; but in most other cases, and in the present, 
his office was purely ministerial, and he was bound to 
make the return, and any addition to it would be irregular 
on his part, and could not therefore be admitted as evi- 
dence with the return itself It was suggested to him 
(Mr. Pollock) by his learned friend Mr. Alderson, that a 
clergyman entering a register of a baptism, and adding in 
it the age of the child, the register would be legal evidence 
of the baptism, but the entry of the age could not be re- 
ceived as evidence of the age, because the party was author- 
ized only to register the fact of the baptism, and not the 
age. In like manner an entry or addition to the return, 
which the sheriff w^as not authorized to make, could not be 
received as evidence of any fact with the return. 

Mr. Harrison contended, that the sheriff was bound to 
state, in his return, the special circumstances of any pecu- 
liar case, and to add any evidence that he might have 
received of those circumstances ; and that such addition 
must be received along with the return. As to the case 
which his learned friend had cited, the entry of the clergy- 
man of the age of the child could not be legally received, 
because the clergyman could not know the fact of his own 

Mr. Pollock, in reply, observed, that let the same test be 
put to the case before the committee, and it would at once 
put an end to his learned friend's argument. How, he 
asked, could the sheriff know anything of the affidavit? 
It was handed to him as sworn ; but how could he know 
that fact, or know that it was true ? 

After some further discussion, the room w^as cleared, and 
strangers were excluded for about twenty minutes. 

On the return of counsel, they were informed by the 
chairman, that the documents appended to the writ might 
be read ; but that reading was not to be considered as evi- 
dence of the truth of their contents. 

The documents were then read by the clerk, after which 


Colonel Fitzgerald was put into the box, and proved that he 
had heard Mr. O'Connell declare at the hustings that the 
freeholders had to choose between him and Mr. Vesey 
Fitzgerald ; that Mr. Fitzgerald had sworn, on taking his 
seat in Parliament, that their religion (that of the Catholics) 
was impious and idolatrous, and was ready to svv^ear it 
again, should he be returned ; but that he (Mr. O'Connell) 
being a Roman Catholic, would never take any such oath, — 
that he would sooner die first. 

On his cross-examination. Colonel Fitzgerald admitted 
that Mr. O'Connell more than once declared that it was not 
necessary that he, as a Catholic, should take the oaths, — 
that he would try that question. 

Mr. Dillon Macnamara gave similar testimony as to the 
declarations of Mr. O'Connell of his being a Catholic. 

In his cross-examination, he made the same admission as 
to Mr. O'Connell's assertion, that it would not be necessary 
for him to take the oaths previously to his taking his seat. 

In answer to another question, as to whether Mr. O'Con- 
nell had not expressed his determination to try the right, 
witness replied, that no doubt he had, but the right could 
not be tried till the return was made. This produced a 
laugh among Mr. O'Connell's friends ; and Mr. O'Connell 
observed to one of his counsel — " Certainly it could not, and 
that is the whole of the case." 

Harrison said he should call no further evidence on this 
part of his case. 

The chairman, after consulting with the committee, de- 
clared it would be advisable to adjourn the committee till 
the following day, when it again met, and Mr. Pollock inti- 
mated that it was not intended to examine any witnesses on 
the part of Mr. O'Connell. 

Mr. Adam said that that would throw some difficulty in 
his way, and then proceeded to argue in support of the peti- 
tion. The learned gentleman, in the first instance, directed 
his attention to the various text writers and authorities, 
proving the necessity of taking the oaths of allegiance and 
supremacy before the Lord Steward, prior to any member's 
being admitted, under the law of the 1st of Elizabeth, to 
enter the House of Commons. The principal act, however, 
on which he relied in this part of his case, was the 3d 
William and Mary, c. 2, which extended to Ireland the 
provisions of the statute 30th Charles II. ; and he referred 


to the history of that period in support of his construction 
of this act, ill order to show that the object of it was to ex- 
clude Papists. That was effected by one of the clauses, 
which declared the Invocation of the Virgin Mary and the 
sacrifice of the mass to be superstitious and idolatrous, 
wliich was a test that the Catholic could not get over. 
That, however, was not the only test. It had been at- 
tempted to be denied that Yelverton's Act, which recognized 
these statutes, did not adopt them so as to create exclusion. 
But a very slight consideration of the very words of the 
statute would suffice to prove the futility of such an argu- 
ment. From the passing of that act up to the time of the 
Union, members of Parliament took the oaths prescribed 
by the English statute of Charles II., and it was not until 
lately that this new light broke in, by w^hich it appeared 
that these statutes had no reference to Ireland at all. The 
9th section of the act of 1793, which relieved the Catholics, 
also mentioned that no one could sit in Parliament unless 
the oaths and declarations were made and subscribed accord- 
ing to the law as then in force, thereby expressly recog- 
nizing the act of William and Mary. If the act of Union 
did, as he contended, continue the law, it w^as certain that 
no Catholic could sit in Parliament ; and if even there w^ere 
any doubt upon that act, the 41st Geo. III., ch. 52, 101, 
left no doubt upon the subject, and seemed as if framed in 
anticipation of the arguments used at the other side. It 
could not be deduced from either of them that it was the 
intention of the legislature at the time of the Union to let 
Koman Catholics into Parliament. He admitted that if the 
prohibitions in these acts were established for the first time, 
they would not amount to a disqualification. But the act 
enjoined the taking of the oaths before accustomed and 
known to be taken by the members of both the Parliaments, 
which were then united ; and it was therefore impossible to 
say that all the consequences which were applicable to 
English members of Parliament would not equally apply to 
Irish members. It was said that there was no time, place, 
or person appointed for the administering the oath, which 
would leave the act open to this interpretation, that no oath 
at all need be taken. The nature of the act pointed out a 
place, for the 30th Ch. II. merely said that the oath was to 
be taken in the House of Commons, and no more ; there- 
fore, it would be absurd to say that there was no place to be 


found for the purpose. The time, place, and manner were 
provided by the different acts to which the act of Union 
referred, and it was not necessary they should be set out 
modo et forma, as if they were to be inserted in a special 
declaration. A distinction was drawn also between the act 
of Union with Ireland and that of Scotland, because in 
the latter the disabilities were directly declared to follov/ 
from the refusal of the oaths, while in the former there is 
only an injunction to take the oaths theretofore usually 
taken. Both of them, however, were equally valid ; the 
latter might, no doubt, have been as special, but it was not 
reasonable to infer from the absence of special and precise 
terms, that it was the intention of the Legislature to omit 
the fulfilment of what it had before enjoined. The learned 
gentleman then proceeded lo argue, that the 41st Geo. III., 
c. 52, applied to all persons returned to Parliament. In 
proof of this he referred to the title of the act, which de- 
scribed it as showing " what persons " are disabled from 
voting and sitting in Parliament. There were three classes 
of persons so disabled by the act, the first and second of 
which had no particular reference to placemen, but applied 
equally to all. The learned gentleman, after concluding 
this part of his case, proceeded to argue, that if a Papist 
could not sit and vote, he was not eligible to be returned. 
He began by asking for what purpose would a member be 
sent to Parliament if he could not sit there, except indeed 
to give considerable trouble in the first instance, and to leave 
a portion of the king's subjects unrepresented. There was 
nothing more jealously looked for than having a full House 
of Commons, and it was therefore the intention of the Legis- 
lature that every member should be able to sit ; otherwise 
the law would allow, what it never does, that something 
should be done in vain. The 6th section of the 41st Geo. 
III. proved this ; for it said, that " if any person declared 
incapable, or disabled from sitting and voting, should never- 
theless be elected, such return or election was declared null 
and void." The consequence then must be, that a new writ 
should be issued, and a new election be had. Assuming, 
therefore, that a Roman Catholic could not sit, he contended 
that the election of one was void. The learned gentleman 
supported this argument by several quotations from Black- 
stone, Douglas, and by reference to the cases of Sir Richard 
Allen and Mr. Ongly, which arose under the acts of King 


William and Queen Anne, with respect to placemen. He 
contended, further, that a member was complete the moment 
he was returned, before he either sat or voted ; and in proof 
of this he cited "■ Hatsell, page 88," who instanced, in sup- 
port of this doctrine, the case of Sir Joseph Jekyll, who was 
chosen on the committee of secrecy, in 1715, before he took 
the oaths at the table of the house. He concluded by calling 
on this committee to look at the history of all these acts, 
and he was of opinion that they would decide with him, and 
declare the return of Mr. O'Connell as one who could not 
sit in the house, to be null and void. 

Mr. F. Pollock, for Mr. O'Connell, said that he would 
not follow either the course of argument pursued by his 
friend, Mr. Harrison, the day before, nor would he make 
any allusion to the first two hours of Mr. Adam's speech. 
It was unquestionable, that before the Union between Great 
Britain and Ireland any Catholic refusing to take the oaths 
would be undoubtedly excluded from sitting or voting in 
Parliament. Agreeing in all that Mr. Adam stated up to 
that period, he denied his conclusion ; and with respect to 
the Act of Union, and the subsequent Act, he would not 
trouble the committee, because the question must be de- 
cided elsewhere. The general question of emancipation 
had nothing to do with this particular subject, which must 
be considered as a mere point of law. He had nothing of 
overweening confidence in his own opinion, nor would he 
enter into those differences or mistakes which might have 
been fallen into by some gentlemen w^ho wrote pamphlets. 
He, however, doubted whether what Mr. Harrison stated 
was anything more than a re-publication of what had been 
published by a learned member of the House of Commons. 
But it had very little to do with the question then before the 
committee. The first point, he asserted, was, that up to the 
Union of Great Britain and Ireland, any person was entitled 
to be elected without any disqualification affecting a Roman 
Catholic as such ; for that, although the oaths and declara- 
tions were necessary to entitle a person to sit and vote, yet 
until that period had arrived, and he failed in doing so, he 
was completely a member of the House, to all intents and 
purposes, and his election was good and valid ; that he 
proved by reference to the first statute quoted, which di- 
rected that members theretofore elected should take the 
oaths before the Lord Steward, and should not otherwise be 


deemed knights of the shire. The language of the 30th 
Chs. II. was equally clear in recognizing the validity of the 
election, but left it on the conscience of the member whether 
he would take the oath in the time and manner specified. 
Peers and members of Parliament were on the same footing. 
The Act of William and Mary was the only one that ap- 
plied to Ireland, and that said that no peer could sit and 
vote or give his proxy without taking the oaths, nor any 
member of the House of Commons could sit or vote without 
taking the oaths thereinafter mentioned. That statute thus 
recognized him to be a member, and only enacted that he 
could not sit and vote, until he had taken the oaths, &c. 
It went on to say, that such peer or member of Parliament 
should be disabled from thenceforth ; wherefore the distinc- 
tion was plain. The committee were only to decide upon 
what was enacted, but they could not decide, that if an indi- 
vidual were once a Catholic, he should be incapable of being 
at any subsequent period elected. It was urged at the other 
side that there was a test, and yet they would not abide by 
it, nor by the care and the provisions of Parliament, but 
would call on the committee to declare that there was no 
necessity for that test. Those enactments were devised be- 
cause the Legislature found it impossible to dive into the 
consciences of men, and perhaps with a view that by being 
allowed to be elected, persons might be induced to take 
these oaths. Peers were entitled to their seats on merely 
taking the oaths ; but still the king could create Catholic 
peers. He would then leave that part of the question, satis- 
fied that the validity of elections was recognized by every 
statute up to the Union. The second point he contended 
for was that the Act of Union left the question precisely 
where it found it. This part of the subject the learned gen- 
tleman illustrated by a number of quotations from the Scotch 
and Irish Acts of Union, and continued to say that if the 
Act of Union provided that all members must take the oaths 
before they voted, that alone must settle the question, and 
that Mr. O'Connell was not subject to any disqualification 
that was not shared by others in the kingdom — namely, the 
not taking the oaths. The learned gentleman proceeded to 
say, that he merely assumed that it was necessary to take 
the oaths for the purpose of the committee entering his pro- 
test, that that part of the question must be decided before 
the House of Commons. The question for the committee 


was, not whether there was evidence of Mr. O'Connell's 
being a Catholic, or of his final perseverance in the Catholic 
i\iith, for they could not know what he might do, when he 
went to demand his seat in the House. The term disability- 
could not refer to Mr. O'Connell ; he was under none ; for 
there was no diving into a man's conscience, and no one 
could say whether he might or might not take these oaths, 
although it was contended that Mr. O'Connell was at this 
moment disabled, because, by and by, he might not choose 
to take the oaths that were required. Blackstone had been 
referred to ; but that eminent constitutional lawyer, amongst 
the disabilities he enumerated, never mentioned the fact of 
Catholics being disqualified from being elected. [Here I\Ir. 
Adam put into the hands of Mr. Pollock Mr. Coleridge's 
edition of Blackstone, which in a note enumerated Papists, 
peers, and outlaws, as having been omitted in Blackstone's 
catalogue of disqualified persons.] Mr. Pollock commented 
shortly upon this note, and asked what necessity existed to 
enumerate peers amongst disqualified persons, when even 
judges who were commoners w^ere included in the list on 
account of their attendance on the Lords' House. He pro- 
ceeded to say that he w^as not there to deny Mr. O'Connell's 
being a Catholic, but merely to w^atch the evidence given. 
There was, however, no Act of Parliament ^vhich fixed the 
indelibility of the Catholic faith upon a man, like holy 
orders ; and the history of the country showed, from the 
many changes of religion which had taken place, that the 
Legislature intended to give the ver}^ last moment for the 
taking of those oaths. What w^as there to prevent Mr. 
O'Connell from taking those oaths, although his learned 
friends at the other side would argue, that although he did 
so, he could not yet be a member of Parliament ? The 
committee must, to decide in favor of the petitioners, adopt 
two propositions — first, that Mr. O'Connell will not take the 
oaths ; and, secondly, that when he presents himself for the 
purpose of doing so, he will not be permitted. That discus- 
sion could only arise when Mr. O'Connell presented himself 
to the House, and then a great question would have to be 
decided. He trusted that Mr. O'Connell was returned to 
try a great right, and that the committee would give him an 
opportunity of doing so, and that they w^ould not come to a 
decision contrary to the usage of all tribunals, by antici- 
pating what any individual might do at a future period. 


The learned gentleman ceased speaking at half past three 

" The chairman of the committee (Lord William Eussell) 
then asked whether the case was closed on both sides, and 
having been answered in the affirmative, strangers were 
ordered to withdraw, when the committee, after a few 
minutes' deliberation, adjourned until the next day. 

" On the meeting of Parliament on the following day, 
Lord John Russell, as the organ of the Committee appointed 
to take into consideration the petition of Daniel O'ConnelL, 
Esq., reported to the House, that Daniel O'Connell, Esq. 
was duly returned, and that the opposition of Thomas Ma- 
hon was neither frivolous nor vexatious." 

This decision was received with evident chagrin by the 
ministers, who were not prepared to disprove it, although 
resolved to do so, if possible. 

On Wednesday, the 15th of May, Mr. O'Connell entered 
the House of Commons, considering himself entitled to sit 
there, by the provisions of the late act, as well as by the 
decision of the committee. On his way thither, he had 
found the streets crowded by a breathless mass of human 
beings, straining their eyes on each actor as he passed to 
the stage, and eagerly expecting the result. AVhen he 
entered the house, which was unusually crowded, he felt 
himself the object of an absorbing curiosity ; every eye was 
on his manly form, and every brow stamped with thought 
and not a few shaded with trouble. Lords Ebrington and 
Duncannon accompanied him to the table, where stood the 
clerk holding the tablets, on which the oaths were printed. 
He crossed the floor, hallowed by the footsteps of so many 
great senators, with a monarch's dignity; since the days of 
Sir Thomas More there had appeared within those walls 
no layman fit to be his peer. He felt that though the walls 
around him were inanimate, still they had been consecrated 
to genius in the echoes of Burke's orations and Chatham's 
early eloquence. Genius reverences genius, and a less 
sensitive nature than his who stood before the Commoners 
of England, would have been impressed with a solemnity 
of the place. When the oaths were tendered to him, he 
pointed out such passages as in conscience he could not 
take, which the clerk of the House reported to the speaker. 
After examining the objections, the speaker rose and briefly 


stating his reasons why the proposition of Mr. O'Connelly 
to take certain portions should not be allowed, ordered that 
gentleman to retire. This being done, a very animated 
debate ensued uj)on the propriety — 1st. Of hearing the hon- 
orable gentleman's objections. 2d. Of where he should be 
heard ; whether at the table or at the bar. On this ques- 
tion there was a great diversity of opinion; the chief 
debaters were Mr. Brougham, Mr. Tierney,and Mr. Wynn, 
in favor of hearing the objections forthwith, and Sir Robert 
Peel, and Mr. Sugden for adjourning the debate until the 
the following Monday, giving members time to examine 
carefully into the merits of the application. The latter pre- 

On Monday, the 18th, the debate was resumed on Mr. 
Brougham's motion ; viz., ** that the honorable member for 
Clare be heard at the table, on his objections to the oath 
of supremacy." Sir Robert Peel moved, as an amendment, 
that he be heard at the bar, and, after some mutual conces- 
sions, the amendment was carried, and Mr. O'Connell was 

His argument on that occasion was long and powerful ; 
it was marked with courtesy towards the House, and at the 
same time with the strongest convictions of his own right to 
sit therein. " The question is," he said in conclusion, '' is 
it not my right on this return to take the seat to which I 
have been duly elected ? Is the question free from doubt ? 
If there be a doubt, I am entitled to the benefit of that 
doubt. I maintain that I have a constitutional right, founded 
on the return of the sheriff and the voice of the people; and 
if there be a doubt upon the subject it ought to be removed. 
The statute comes before us to be construed from the first 
clause. I did — and I am not ashamed to own it — I did 
defer to the opinions of others, and was averse from calling 
for that construction, and if it had not been for the interests 
of those who sent me here, my own rights should have been 
buried in oblivion. But now I require the House to con- 
sider it. Will you decide that a civil right does not mean a 
civil right? And if this case of mine be not excepted, will 
you add it as an additional exception ? It might have been 
said by some of those who supported the bill that it was 
intended by that measure to compensate a nation for by- 
gone wrongs, and to form the foundation stone of a solid 
and substantial building, to be consecrated to the unity and 


peace of the empire. But if what is certain may be dis- 
turbed ; if what words express may be erased ; civil rights 
may be determined not by civil rights, if we are to be told 
that, by some excuse or by some pretext, what is not uncer- 
tain may be made so, we shall be put under an impossi- 
bility to know what construction we must hereafter place 
on the statute. I have endeavored to treat this House with 
respect. My title to sit in it is clear and plain ; and I con- 
tend that the statute is all comprehensive in its intention, in 
its recital, and in its enactments. It comprehends every 
principle and measure of relief with such exceptions as are 
thereinafter excepted. But while I show my respect for 
this House, 1 stand here on my right and claim the benefit 
of it." 

The honorable gentleman thus closed his plea, and with- 
drew amidst the renewed plaudits of nearly all the members 
and persons in the galleries. 

The Solicitor General then rose to reply, but first hoped 
the House would permit him to say that the plea of the 
member for Clare *' was characterized by that ability which 
they had a right to expect from one so distinguished in his 
profession," and that the temper he had displayed had done 
him "great credit as a man and a gentleman;" he then 
went into a learned and copious argument on his inadmis- 
sibility, and concluded by moving, " that Mr. O'Connell, 
having been returned a member of this House before the 
passing of the act for the relief of the Roman Catholics, he 
is not entitled to sit or vote in this House unless he first 
takes the oath of supremacy." 

Mr. George Lambe differed materially from the Solicitor 
General, and hoped the old act was not to be revived "and 
levelled at the honorable member for Clare." 

Mr. Fergusson supported the views of the Solicitor Gen- 

Mr. W. Fitzgerald contravened several of the proposi- 
tions of the latter gentleman. 

Mr. Sugden followed in an elaborate argument in favor 
of the Solicitor General's views, but declared in his perora- 
tion that — " for one, he should be very happy to see the 
honorable and learned gentleman in the House ; convinced 
as he was, from the temper and ability which he had that 
evening manifested, that he would be a very valuable acqui- 


Sir James Scarlett followed on the same side in a true 
lawyer's speech. He agreed with Mr. Sugden as to the 
admirable conduct of the honorable member of Clare ; " it 
certainly would be a subject of great regret to him, if the 
House should feel obliged, in the discharge of their duty, to 
vote the exclusion of so able a man." He did not think 
that his honorable friend (the Solicitor General) had an- 
swered all the objections of the honorable member for Clare. 
He hoped that it would not be made a party question, and 
then proceeded to the merits, which he discussed with dis- 
tinguished ability. 

Mr. Wynne was in favor of another, of a new act, w^hich 
should embrace the case of the member for Clare. 

Mr. Doherty felt it his duty, although a relation of Mr. 
O'Connell's, to support the motion of his right honorable 
friend, the Solicitor General. 

Mr. Brougham rejoined in a very convincing speech. 
After what had been said, no member of the House need be 
ashamed to confess his doubts upon the nice points of law 
involved, and if so, the member for Clare was entitled to the 
benefit of their doubts. *' They had all heard the able and 
manly, though mild and unobtrusive manner, in which Mr. 
O'Connell had urged his claims at the bar. That argu- 
ment had not been touched." 

Mr. Peel had no doubt whatever upon the subject, and 
went into a long argument to prove that the oaths of supre- 
macy and abjuration could not have been repealed by the 
first of William and Mary. 

When he concluded, the question was put and the House 
having divided, there appeared for the Solicitor General's 
motion, 190. Against it, 116. Majority, 74. 

The following day, immediately on the members' assem- 
bling, Mr. O'Connell w^as sent for to the bar of the House, 
when the resolution was read to him by the speaker, and it 
was then demanded of him whether he would take the oath 
of supremacy. Having asked for, and received from the 
clerk, a copy of the oath, he said, in a clear and resolute 
voice, — " There is one assertion in this oath which I do 
not know to be true ; there is another which I do not be- 
lieve to be true. I cannot, therefore, take this oath." Then 
he bowed to the House and withdrew. 

Immediately on Mr. O'Connell's leaving the House, the 
Solicitor General moved for the issue of a new writ for 


Clare. On this motion another lengthy debate ensued 
between Messrs. Wynn and Sir James Mackintosh against 
its immediate issue, and Sir Robert Peel and the Solicitor 
General in support of the latter's motion. The house then 
adjourned until the 21st. On that day, Mr. Spring Rice, 
in a lengthy speech moved the amendment of the " Catholic 
Relief Bill,^ Chap. 7, in relation to the oaths to be taken 
by Catholic members." This motion, however, was lost, 
the previous one carried, and a new writ issued for Clare. 


O^Connell is reelected for Clare. — View of the State of Eu- 
rope. — Various Successes of Revolutionary Efforts. — In- 
Jiuence of the Emancipation upon the Reform of Parlia- 
ment. — Agitation. — Motion for a Repeal of the Union.— 
Death of George the Fourth. — His Reign, and its History, 
The new Irish Representatives. — Sir Michael O^Loghlen. 

The invalidity of his claim had been no sooner decided 
by parliament, than Mr. O'Connell addressed himself to the 
electors of Clare, calling upon them for their suffrages. He 
commenced by informing them that the House of Commons 
" had deprived him of a right which the people of Clare 
had vested him with," and then recapitulated the objects he 
would have in view, if returned, and the interests of the 
country in having him in Parliament. In conclusion, he 
noticed one or two objections which had been advanced to 
his election, and, amongst others, this : 

" It has been said that I am a stranger in Clare. Me a 
stranger in any part of Ireland ? Foolish and absurd ! I 
am identified with the people of Clare in everything that 
can identify man to man. All however, I can claim, is the 

* Throughout this discussion the term "Relief" is used as synony- 
mous with Emancipation. 


ratification of tlie former election. I ask only the sympathy 
ot" Glare upon the vacancy ; I have a title to that sympathy 
by the community of interest, and generous feeling and 
cxahed resolves." 

A bill had been brought in, the previous February, by 
Secretary Peel, to suppress the Catholic Association, and it 
had been passed almost without opposition, the agitators 
having been given to understand, than by such a sacrifice 
alone could majesty be propitiated or the ministry recon- 
ciled to the bitter necessity of their late concession. But 
no sooner had Mr. O'Connell again announced himself for 
the field, than an " aggregate meeting " was held in the As- 
sociation room, addressed by the Association orators ; and 
after a merry meeting, they voted from the funds of the 
Association £5000 towards defraying the expenses of a new 
canvass in Clare. This appropriation was zealously op- 
posed by Mr. Eneas McDonald, then a prominent advocate 
of Catholic claims, but who has been ever since a confirmed 
opponent to the just demands of his country. 

The second Clare election possessed little of the dramatic 
interest of the first. Mr. O'Connell "walked over" unop- 
posed, and delivered to his supporters one of his most tran- 
chant and successful speeches. There was great festivity 
in Ennis, and his route homeward to Dublin was a pro* 
longed ovation, creditable to the people, and worthy of his 
gigantic services. 

It is well to pause here, and looking upon the char- 
acter of the times, especially the condition of the British 
Empire, to consider what place amongst reforms the mea- 
sure of Emancipation ought justly to hold, and in what rank 
amongst the political benefactors of mankind the name of 
O'Connell deserves to be placed. 

It was not alone within the bounds of the British Empire 
that this greatest triumph of our age was felt by all, and 
joyously received by those who sought freedom of con- 
science. Hitherto, in Europe, since the days of the " Refor- 
mation," religious toleration had been a mere name — a thing 
all pretence, and of no real existence. Catholic and Pro- 
testant governments were almost equally coercive on con- 
science. At the head of the first stood France ; the leader 
of the second was England. In nearly every country which 
ranged under these separate banners, the spirit of political 
reform had been at work, but not a few had mistaken the 


wild impulse of innovation for a desire to extend just prin- 
ciples. The famous congress of Vienna, in 1815, had re- 
fastened legitimacy upon the necks of Europeans; and its 
rulers, freed from the awful presence of Napoleon, pressed 
heavier bonds and obligations upon their subjects. The ter- 
rible discipline they had received from the hands of a Cor- 
sican Plebeian, on a thousand fields, where they appeared but 
to retreat, had left much more of the irritation of defeat than 
the experience of adversity behind it. Within a period of 
fifteen years there were attempts at revolt in nearly all the 
countries of the continent, which kept their worships of the 
" Holy Alliance" pretty busy. Old constitutions died giv- 
ing birth to new each successive year. In 1816, by a peace- 
ful and voluntary effort, the constitution of the papal states 
was abrogated to make way for one much more liberal ; a 
similar attempt at reform had been forcibly suppressed in 
Naples, some time after, by the overwhelming power of an 
Austrian army. The Peninsula was the scene of other 
and more violent attempts at change. Portugal was once 
more ruled by a Braganza, under the title of John VI., vi^ho 
granted, on his return from exile, an improved constitu- 
tion to his subjects, whilst his son, Don Pedro, whom he 
had left behind in Brazil, assumed, without the knowledge 
of his father, the title of Emperor of that province, with the 
consent of the people. Spain was not spared in this visi- 
tation of nations. In 1820 the new constitution was pro- 
claimed, but very much to the dissatisfaction of the patriot 
party, who still remained in arms. Ferdinand sought aid 
of France, and the Due de Angouleme, son of Charles X., 
crossed the frontier to the support of absolute monarchism, 
with an army of seventy thousand men. The fields of the 
Peninsula, rifted and seared with the thunderbolts of France, 
of England, and the allies, had not yet felt the restoring 
influence of peace, when a new campaign again broke over 
their deathly stillness. The story of that w^ar of indepen- 
dence is briefly sad ; — Ballesteros was forced to submit ; 
Reigo, in spite of the royal pledge, was put to death, and 
Mina was driven into exile. The rising in Piedmont fared 
a similar fate with that of Spain. The armed interference 
of Austria flung its leaders into the dungeons of Milan, 
where many of them lingered out life in an unremitted soli- 
tary confinement. In England, the spirit of change had 
taken a different shape, but not a less active existence, from 


tlie same stimulating causes. In 1819 occurred the Man- 
chester massacre, in which ^ve hundred persons were mu- 
tilated by the bayonets of a ruthless soldiery, abetted and 
led on by the magistracy of the place. This event occur- 
red on the 16th of August, in open day : a vast assemblage 
of between forty and sixty thousand persons having assem- 
bled to hear a speech from Mr. Hunt, a favorite orator of the 
democracy. In the following year the death of Henry 
Grattan"^ and of George III. materially affected, in their 
results, the cause of reform ; but the return of Queen Caro- 
line to England, and her memorable trial for adultery, be- 
fore the House of Lords, gave to the popular party new and 
formidable advantages, which they failed not to employ to 
the best advantage against the ministry and the court. The 
Cato-street conspiracy, for which Thistlewood and five 
others suffered death — the death of Bonaparte — the suicide 
of the Marquis of Londonderry, (Lord Castlereagh,t) and 

^ It is not sufficient that the name of Mr. Grattan should be men- 
tioned in connection with the early progress of the Catholic question. 
For forty-five years, in the parliaments of both kingdoms, he had been 
the strenuous advocate of the largest liberty of conscience. Indepen- 
dent of his great claims on Ireland, as the father and defender of her 
constitution, he added another paramount to these by his untiring 
efforts, through a long series of years, to secure the abolition of the 
penal laws. Mr. Grattan was born in 1750, and commenced his public 
career at the age of twenty-five. His father had been Recorder of Dub- 
lin, and was one of that influential family of whom Dean Swift said, 
in answer to an inquiry of who they were — '' Not know the Grattans ! 
Why, they could raise an army at their bidding." Mr. Grattan was 
educated at '^old Trinity," admitted to the bar in 1772, where it does 
not appear that he practised, and entered the Irish Commons under the 
patronage of Lord Charlemont, in 1775. In 1805 he became a member 
of English Parliament, and died in 1820, having served fifteen years in 
the councils of each. "■ The style of his speaking," says his patriotic 
son, <'was strikingly remarkable,— bold, figurative and inipassioned, 
always adapted to the time and circumstance, and peculiarly w^ell 
suited to the taste and temper of the audience that he had to address." 

f This man, whose name possesses such an infamous celebrity in 
the latter history of Ireland, was born in 1769, educated at Cambridge, 
and entered the Irish parliament in his twenty-first year, as member 
for the county of Down. He was then an ardent reformer ; but the 
fire of his enthusiasm soon exhausted itself, and in 1797 he was ap- 
pointed chief secretary of Ireland. By the application of upwards of 
two millions of pounds sterling in the purchase of votes, and hav- 
ing secured the populace by martial law, and the suspension of the 
habeas corpus act, he effected the long desired object of his em- 
ployers — the legislative extinction of Ireland. As a reward for this 


the death of Queen Caroline, were the chief domestic inci- 
dents which gave zest to public life in England, and topic 
to the advocates of Reform, previous to 1830. On the con- 
tinent, the spirit of change seemed still at work; the Penin- 
sula and France were still the theatres of its most active 
operations, and even at this day the public mind of these 
countries is troubled and restless ; nor can a reasonable an- 
ticipation be formed of where the commotions ever since 
going on may end. 

I have taken this partial glance at the political state of 
Europe, in order that the reader may more readily compre- 
hend the value of that great concession w^hich was accom- 
plished without bloodshed, and retained without force. 
We are entering upon a new age, and the contemplation 
of that immediately preceding cannot be an irksome or 
useless task. The age of Napoleon was an age of revo- 
lution, in the wildest signification of that extensive phrase. 
It was an age, also, of terrible physical conflicts, by which 
the good effected was marred, while the evils attacked 
were only strengthened, and driven more deeply into the 
soil. The stimulating spirit of France was blindly aggres- 
sive — that of England recklessly conservative. The one, 
after trampling scores of old thrones beneath her feet, took 
back her own, and its tenant, the alms of an invading army 
of sovereigns ; the other, after being the champion of every 
royal race in Europe — the griffin sitting at the portal of 
legitimacy — found herself repaid by an enormous debt, and 
honored with the fears and jealousies of her proteges. The 
character of the masses bore some resemblance to their 
respective governments ; — in France, an insurrection was 
the work of a week, equally brief and bloody ; in Britain, 
it was the long matured exercise of popular strength, care- 
revolting conduct, he was appointed Minister of War in 1805. In 
1811, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs; in 1814 was Minister 
Plenipotentiary to the allied powers, and in the following year repre- 
sented Great Britain in the congress of Vienna. In 1821, he suc- 
ceeded his father as Marquis of Londonderry, but did not long enjoy 
that title, having committed suicide on the 12th of August, 1822. As 
a statesman he was subtle, wary and consummately politic ; one 
every way fitted to play the game of diplomacy with Talleyrand, 
Pozzi di Borghi and Metternich. In Ireland his name will be immor- 
tally odious ; but England has many reasons to remember his abil- 
ities, though few on which to assert his integrity, or to recall his 
name with satisfaction. 


fill of the good, while destroying the obnoxious features of 
legislation. The stability of the measures thus established 
have shown themselves durable or transient, according to 
the haste or caution with which they were concocted and 

The much-needed measure of a reform in Parliament 
had long been a favorite object with the whig party in 
England. In this they were latterly sustained by the 
radical reformers, or more ultra advocates of popular rule. 
To the former class belonged Fox, Sheridan, Grattan, Lord 
John Russell, and other eminent commoners. Sir Francis 
Burdett, and Mr. (now Lord) Brougham, were the chief 
radicals in the House of Commons ; while Sir Charles 
Wolsey, William Cobbett, Mr. Hunt, and a few others, were 
conspicuous in the ''out-of-door" work. This coalition, 
however, was marred by contentions and recriminations ; 
and many of the earliest friends of reform went down to 
the grave, seeing the cause as far from the goal of fulfil- 
ment, as they had found it half a century before. During 
the emancipation debates, the whigs were steady, and the 
radicals ardent friends of the Catholics. Both, therefore, 
justly anticipated additional strength from the passage of 
that measure. This expectation was not disappointed. 

Early in the session of 1830, Mr. O'Connell took his 
seat with the opposition, in the English Commons. There 
had been much speculation as to the course he would prob- 
ably pursue in Parliament — some supposing that he would, 
like Malone, content himself with one great triumph, and 
spend his days in indolent repose ; while others more justly 
predicted a continuation of the career of agitation, by which 
he had already accomplished more than two hundred years 
of argument had been able to effect. These last found 
their supposition fully realized. The passage of the eman- 
cipation bill had been always regarded by Mr. O'Connell, 
a measure as much preliminary as positive in its operation. 
It was necessary to secure freedom. of worship, and easier 
at the same time, than to effect the freedom of corporations, 
the spread of the franchise, or a repeal of the Union. In 
agitating for it, the altar became a rostrum, and the conse- 
crated of God, a popular adviser; the awful paraphernalia 
of religion surrounded every effort of the Catholic leaders, 
and her superhuman voice penetrated to the lowest deep in 
the depth of Irish slavery. But conscience being unfet- 


tered, the people began to survey their actual temporal 
condition, their deprivation of learning, their disfranchised 
freeholders, their unemployed millions, their wasting re- 
sources, their enormous taxations and tithes. In the midst 
of these minor evils which glared upon the country, there 
arose one of greater dimensions and more chilling presence 
— the absence of their old Parliament. It was a matter of 
policy on the part of the victorious leaders of the people, 
whether they should aim first at the greatest grievance, in 
whose fall all minor ones were to be crushed to pieces, or 
whether they should demolish the outworks before they 
opened upon the main fortress. They decided on the first, 
but, four years afterwards, changed their tactics, and have 
since then zealously and successfully labored to repeal the 
tithe rent charge — to open the close boroughs of the Irish 
corporations — to extend municipal reform — to provide for 
the national education and for the poor ; until at present 
they draw up once more, in augmented and experienced 
numbers, before the grand bulwark of foreign domination 
in Ireland — the act of Union. 

The question of a Repeal of the Union was warmly ad- 
vocated by Mr. O'Connell, by Shiel, and many other of the 
veteran emancipators. The cry of "Independence, or else 

" rang through the atmosphere as of old, and was 

met with counter shouts of separation and ascendancy, as 
it had been before. Alas ! how often had Ireland come up 
to the struggle for nationality ! With what wary and 
almost fearful steps, she had climbed the brow of that 
precipice, though laden with penal irons. Her old Milesian 
leaders had fled the land with the eclipse of the Stuart star 
— men of bold hearts and lusty arms, who brooked no 
union in substance or in name — whose swords had written 
in blood their protests against and hatred of English ty- 
ranny, on Beal-an-ath-Buidhe, on Kinsale, and Aughrim. 
In the darkness of the succeeding night, another heroic 
race, of different lineage and temper, of another creed and 
name, stood up her advocates and champions. Molyneaux 
and Swift, Lucas and Malone, Yelverton and Grattan, 
sought to supply the stead of those hereditary leaders, 
whose birth, accomplishments, and creed, once gave them 
sovereign sway over the hearts of the millions. But with 
O'Connell, the Milesian and the Catholic leadership had 
been revived ; and not the great Tir Owen was more for- 


midable to Cromwell's schemes, than was he to that other 
iron subject, and almost sovereic^ tyrant — the victor of 
Waterloo. But though a great triumph had been won, a 
yet greater was to be commenced. Tlie public purse had 
been well taxed of late in the service of agitation ; the 
public mind had been liarassed with alternating hopes and 
fears; and as it was necessary to call forth every energy 
of the people, Mr. O'Connell resolved not to summon them 
ere they could safely come into the field. 

With this wise project, in which he had the concurrence 
of his ablest friends, he started the ' National Union Asso- 
ciation," which was to operate in favor both of Reform and 
Repeal, and to preserve intact the machinery of future 
movements. This body was located at Dublin, and was 
chiefly composed of the same persons who successively 
assumed the titles of the "Liberal Club," "Precursor 
Society," etc., until at length they have chosen to abide by 
that of the "Loyal National Repeal Association." 

O'Connell had been in Parliament but a few weeks when 
George the Fourth died, in the 63d year of his age, and 
the 10th of his reign. This event occurred on the 26th 
day of June, 1830. Within his regency and reign occurred 
many of the most important events of modern history ; with- 
in his life-time, the great empire over which he held the 
sceptre began to settle down into a reasonable and compact 
body. A huge limb had been lopped ofT by the treaty of 
Paris, but the pruning knife of Franklin sent back the sap 
of strength to the old trunk of many branches. Great 
Britain lost much of continental influence towards the close 
of his reign ; Russia, under Alexander, became her formi- 
dable rival in the North and East, while France, emerged 
from her trials and her costly triumphs, w4th an insignificant 
national debt, an abundance of experience, and possessed of 
a new generation of ministers, who, from dining beneath the 
Damoclean sword of revolution, had outgrown the volatility 
of their nation. She had lost also much of her German in- 
fluence ; and for all the blood spilt upon the Peninsula, she 
had not acquired one solitary concession. The opposite to 
all this, she had been in the middle of the last century, be- 
fore George the Third became a driveller, or Edmund Burke 
a tory. But when Chatham was laid with his fathers, an 
obscure Corsican outwitted and browbeat her armies and 
her cabinets ; showing to continental Europe that England 


was neither invincible in arms nor infallible in diplomacy. 
In his mission he was a teacher of kings. To him a Guelph 
was no more than a Bourbon or a Branganza; he scourged 
them all with rigorous impartiality. His ships were 
freighted with kingly emigrants, and his strides, like those 
of Asmodeus, were from one dwelling of corruption to 
another — from St. Marks to the Kremlin, from the Escurial 
to St. James'. He broke down in his wonderful career the 
ascendant fame of England's prowess, which it had taken 
Marlborough a life-time to establish upon land, and Nel- 
son many victories to ratify on the ocean ; and though, in 
his turn, he was defeated, his demonstrations on this head 
are yet unforgotten in the councils of the continent. 

O'Connell had been within the empire what Bonaparte 
had been without. Its rulers prided themselves equally as 
much upon being the political champions of Protestantism 
as on being the regulators of the " balance of power." Two 
insular plebeians, one born in Corsica, and the other in 
Ireland, snatched the " flattering unction from their souls," 
and straitened them into those reforms which never would 
have been voluntarily enacted. The reign of George the 
Fourth, in seeing the consummation of those things, saw a 
mighty change, and the parent of other changes greater 
than the first. 

The new Irish members, chosen in consequence of the 
passage of the Catholic Emancipation bill, were chiefly men 
who had been connected with the agitation of that question, 
although the majority of their members were of the Protest- 
ant religion. O'Gorman Mahon was elected for an English 
borough, Maurice O'Connell for Tralee, Mr. Ronayne for 
Clonmel, Mr. Lawless was nominated but not elected for 
Meath, Mr. Shiel was elected for Tipperary, and Sir Mi- 
chael O'Loghlen for Dungarvan. All these were good men 
and true, and, with some few faults, such sons as their 
country might well pride in. 

The last name goes to the heart of every true Irishman. 
It was borne by one of the purest souls that ever moved 
over, or improved this earth by its presence. It beat with 
unvarying ardor for Ireland, and the image of O'Connell was 
erected within its most sacred recesses. It were guilt to 
pass over the history of such a name, for, in politics as in 
law, it is one of the most truly honorable of the age. 

Sir Michael O'Loghlen, as Master of the Rolls, was ad- 


mined by all parties to be a judge of unblemished impar- 
tiality, application, and sagacity. Few characters, in a par- 
tizan land like Ireland, are so difficult of attainment as this ; 
there has not been a dozen in the past and present century 
to whom it can be justly given. Whigs at the bar have 
been whigs on the bench, and tories in the courts have been 
tories still, whether dressed in stuffs or ermines. To make 
the judgment-seat honorable in the eyes of good subjects, 
to rescue the laws from the disrepute to which mal-admin- 
istration had brought them dowm, to blend the avenger's 
with the guardian's character, was reserved for one of the 
people, by birth, descent, religion, education and feeling. 
That man was Michael O'Loghlen. From his infancy he 
seemed born for a high mission. Patient, retentive and 
mild, without strong passions, always animated and cheerful, 
kind and inviting in his exterior, penetrating and observant, 
firm as a rock in the maintenance of his probity. When a 
boy at school, it w^as remarked by his teacher that he never 
appeared in the sports of other scholars, and having watched 
him one day after the usual dismissal, he found that instead 
of going out at the appointed time, he conveyed himself 
under the benches, and when all w^as restored to quietness, 
resumed his seat and book. The teacher, who was a man 
of the Bonycastle school, and could hardly forgive even such 
disobedience, called for the culprit when all the classes were 
reassembled, and demanded of him where he w^as when 
they were dismissed. " I was hiding, sir," was the manly 
reply. It is unnecessary to say he w^ent unpunished. 

Sir Michael O'Loghlen, born on the 1st of October, 1789, 
was the fourth and youngest son of Colman O'Loghlen, a 
Justice of the Peace who resided at Port, Co. Clare, and 
traced his blood through royal veins to the " Princes of 
Burrin." His son inherited with his blood a portion of heral- 
dic vain-glory, of which he gave a remarkable proof when, 
as Sergeant O'Loghlen, he contested the borough election 
of the city of Dublin. His opponents, Mr. Recorder Shaw 
and Lord Ingestrie, were residents of the city, and they did 
not hesitate to use, in its most unfriendly sense, the term 
" stranger," toward the sergeant, who retorted with great 
force, by repeating their expression — " Stranger ! " said 
he, " why, they are the real strangers, and I, an O'Logh- 
len, am the true native." At the age of twenty-two he 
was called to the bar, but was not immediately taken 


notice of. His personal appearance about that time is well 
discribed by one who knew him. " His bright blue eye 
continually sparkled, and gave his face a playful and juve- 
nile appearance, while his bony and unruffled forehead, 
broad and high, looked conscious strength and seren- 
ity. He was then about that period of life when the ex- 
tremes of age and youth meet, the sweet simplicity of one 
with the ripened observation of the other ; and yet there 
was a glowing and youthful freshness about him, which 
seemedto defy the intrusion of advancing years. You 
could not have looked a moment on him without being at- 
tracted by the silver chord of sympathy — such a generous 
play of cheerfulness in his countenance — such winning 
condescension in his manners — such warmth and affection 
in all he looked and uttered ! " ^ 

His first day of eminence was occasioned by an accident, 
to him, at least, of a very fortunate nature.! He was em- 

* Metropolitan Magazine, vol. v., page 74. 

t Lord Eldon^ also, it appears, owed his first success to an accident 
somewhat similar, which is thus pleasantly related by Mr. Horace 
Twiss :— 

'^ The ibno\^dng story is current at the bar, of Mr. Scott's (Lord 
Eldon) first success on the circuit in a civil action. The plaintiff' was 
a Mrs. Fermor, who sought damages against the defendant, an elderly 
maiden lady, named Sanstern, for an assault committed at a whist 
table. Mr. Scott was junior counsel for the plaintiflf, and when the 
case was called on, his leader was absent in the Crown Court, con- 
ducting a government prosecution. Mr. Scott requested that the 
-cause might be postponed till his leader should be at liberty, but the 
judge refusing, there was no help, and Mr. Scott addressed the jury 
for Mrs. E'ermor, and called his witnesses. It was proved that at the 
whist table some angry words arose between the ladies, which, at 
length, kindled to such heat, Miss Sanstern was impelled to throw 
her cards at the head of Mrs. Fermor, who (probably in dodging to 
to avoid these missiles) fell or slipped from her chair to the ground. 
Upon this evidence, the defendant's counsel objected that the case had 
not been proved as alleged, for that the declarations stated the defen- 
dant to have committed the assault with her hand, whereas the evi- 
dence proved it to have been committed with the cards. Mr. Scott, 
however, insisted that the facts were substantially proved according 
to the averment in the declaration, of an assault committed with the 
hand, for that in the common parlance of the card table, the hand 
means the hand of cards ; and thus, that Miss Sanstern, having 
thrown her cards in Mrs. Fermor's face, had clearly assaulted Mrs. 
Fermor with her hand. The court laughed ; the jury, much diverted, 
found the plaintiff*'s allegations sufliciently proved, and the young 
counsel had the frohc and fame of a verdict in his favor." — Life of 
Lord Eldon, 


ployed as junior counsel to O'Connell in a trial of great im- 
portance ; but it so happened that his leader had, on the 
morning of trial, decamped to fight the ill-starred D'Esterre. 
The case was called, and the bench peremptorily announ- 
ced that it could not be postponed. Under this difficulty 
O'Loghlen shook off his natural diffidence, and stood forth 
the sole counsel of the clients. His age, appearance, and 
habits of seclusion drew particular attention to his debut. 

He commenced in a deprecating tone, which gradually 
rose into a bolder and more assured enunciation ; the judges 
shook their wigs in astonishment ; the senior bar opened 
their eyes, and his young colleagues of the outer bar were 
audible in their approbation. Afier a masterly plea of two 
hours, he sat down, and although there were ranged against 
him some of the ablest and oldest men of the four courts, 
his case was triumphantly carried. From that hour his 
reputation was established, and briefs accumulated on each 
other, until his blue bag became one of the best filled that 
was ever dragged or carried by a nisi prius lawyer. 

In 1834 he was appointed Solicitor General, by the Mel- 
bourne administration, and while in that important station 
effectually aided the Attorney-General, Perrin, in bringing 
about a purer mode of administering justice than had existed 
previous to their time of office. In 1835 he entered the Brit- 
ish Parliament, where he was very successful as a debater, and 
won for himself, in an incredibly short space, the reputation 
of one of the best informed members and deepest thinkers 
in that assembly. Towards the close of that year Mr. Per- 
rin was exalted to the bench, and Mr. O'Loghlen became 
Attorney-General for Ireland. During the two years in 
which he continued in that onerous and laborious station, 
the country presented a more peaceful aspect, than for many 
years previous had characterized the rural districts. Crown 
prosecutions were few and far between, and the odious habit 
of setting aside jurors on account of their religious princi- 
ples, became entirely extinct. From this sphere he was 
still higher elevated to the office of Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer. This office he only held a few weeks, when the 
death of Sir William McMahon leaving vacant the Master- 
ship of the Rolls, it was offered to him, and was at once 
accepted. Here then was a period to his promotions, though 
not his honors ; he was afterwards created a baronet, and 
continued to dispense justice in judgment until the summer 


of 1842, when his heahh showing symptoms of decay, his 
physicians advised him to try the air of England, for which 
country he accordingly departed, leaving his lady and family 
behind him in Dublin, promising, in his usual animated 
manner, to return in a few months completely restored. 
But the glory of the judgeship was never again to sit upon 
the throne of Justice ; the father was no more to sit de- 
lighted amongst his happy family. About the middle of 
September news reached his friends that he was suddenly 
worse, and they were gently advised to expect that death 
was inevitable. His eldest son, the present Sir Coleman, 
set out immediately for London, but arrived too late — for, 
on Wednesday evening, September the 28th, the just judge 
had breathed his last. The following week his remains 
were conveyed from Liverpool to Dublin, and from that 
city, by slow stages, to the old family vault, at Ruan, Co. 
Clare. The procession was everywhere the cause of the 
most profound sorrow ; large bodies of grown persons 
accompanied it from one village to another — shops were 
closed, and laborers forgot their toil ; it was a unanimous 
expression of national grief, honorable to the living, and 
thrice honorable to the dead. It was an evidence of the 
deep, the ineffacable gratitude of genuine Irish natures to a 

As a judge, O'Loghlen seemed perfectly at ease on the 
bench ; he despatched more business in a day than his pre- 
decessors could in a week. McMahon had not quickness or 
promptitude, and Curran had far too much of the sublimity 
of sleepless fancy in his soul, for the place to which he was 
appointed ; but the late judge was precisely such a man as 
Justice herself would have selected to fill the office. Had 
emancipation secured no other benefits to Ireland than hon- 
ors for one such mind and heart, it would have deserved her 

Sir Michael married in 1811, being then in his 22d year, 
and for thirty-one years lived in a domestic millennium, such 
as rarely falls to the lot of public men. He was the father 
of six or seven children, all of whom, with his amiable lady, 
have survived him. 



Irish Transactions^ from 1830 to '34, — The Reform Bill. — 
The Abolition of Tithes demanded, — The Coercion Bill. — 
Mr. Wyse and National Education. — Dr. Doyle and the 
Poor 'Laws. — Continuation of the Repeal Agitation. — 
Motion in Parliament. 

Hitherto our course, dear reader, has been all towards 
one point — the great result of 1829. Having reached that 
period of our sketching progress, we find many paths di- 
verging, on all which the friends of Ireland have entered, 
seeking some good for her people ; w^hile the Great Leader, 
standing on the apex of his fame, far seeing, and speaking 
with a monarch's voice, directs, encourages, and controls 
these various undertakings. No day passes into night until 
he has cast some sunshine and blessing on the land of the 
West. To write a diary of his correspondences, speeches, 
and journeys, would require the pen of one of those strong- 
handed chroniclers, who, before the birth of Guttemberg, 
transcribed with precision every syllable of the great Chris- 
tian code, and whole volumes of ancient authors. From 
the moment of the passage of the emancipation bill, we find 
him, the ambassador of all Ireland when abroad, and the 
monarch of all Ireland when at home. He had obtained 
the power and popularity of Washington, but there had not 
as yet come a time, when he could honorably have returned 
the influence and its responsibility, to those who had in- 
vested him therewith. Condemned to the hard labor of 
command, he entered upon it with that brisk and buoyant 
temper, and religious fortitude, which hath ever marked 
his career from the vulgar herd of prosperous politicians. 
These alone could have been his support through the 
scenes that awaited him — wherein false friends laid in 
ambush, and concealed enemies raised unfounded alarms — 
in which he was to encounter deception, ingratitude, malice, 
and treachery, in all their protean shapes of hideousness — 
in which old bonds of friendship were to be rudely rent, 
and new ones broken in their first trial — in which all were 


to desert him save the clergy, the people, and his own 
indomitable spirit. The first desertion was that of the 
*' moderate " emancipationists, who considered the achieve- 
ment of that measure a sufficient boon for one generation to 
grow thankful upon. These wheeled off', in a slow pha- 
lanx, from all future connexion with him who had restored 
them to the rights of conscience. Then followed individual 
desertions of pragmatical subalterns, anxious to gain a tem- 
porary notoriety by bearding their great leader — of honest, 
but crochety minds, who could only see plainly in one 
direction, whilst every other view seemed full of dangers, 
traps, and precipices, to their wry optics — of insidious and 
intriguing place-hunters, who felt uncomfortable beneath 
his penetrating eye, with pliant patriots of noisy speech, 
whose fiery irruptions had long before exhausted their lava- 
like vehemence, and were no longer anxious to devour cities 
or nations in their wrath, — all these found their policy in 
capitulation, and learned to fear or hate the gallant chief 
who resolved to keep the field while one fortress of invasion 
was still possessed by the enemy. But, thank God ! we 
have not undertaken to treat of Mr. O'Connell's enemies, 
which would be, in good truth, a herculean task, but rather 
to string together some memorial of those good and emi- 
nent men who were his assistants, admirers, or friends, and 
of the events in which they showed their patriotism and 

The year of our Lord 1831, was a busy year for the 
statesmen of the British empire. Although many occur- 
rences of great importance to Ireland took place in that 
year, the magnitude of the reform -bill agitation, in some 
sort overshadowed all other topics of the time. The perti- 
nacious and long-continued hostility of the Tories towards 
the people drove the latter to desperation, and the spirit of 
agrarian outrage blazed over hamlets and cornfields, destroy- 
ing alike the habitations of the wealthy, and the sustenance 
of the poor. The breach was completed on the 7th of 
October, by the rejection of the reform bill in the House of 
Lords. The reception of this intelligence caused the most 
alarming symptoms of insurrection all over the country — in 
several of the cities the muffled bells of the churches tolled — 
noonday mobs rioted in the streets — the ministers' carriages 
were arrested in London, on their way to the Parliament 
House — even the. services of the Duke of Wellington could 


not shield him from the hisses of the populace. Royal 
proclamations were torn down from the very gates of the 
palace — and the soldiery partook of the disgrace of their 
king, and were everywhere treated with the greatest indig- 
nity. The twenty-one hishops who voted against the meas- 
ure, were unmercifully caricatured — the Bishops of Carlisle 
and Durham, and Dr. l^hillpots, incurred peculiar odium; 
their effigies were repeatedly burned in various parts of the 
kingdom. A new ministry had been formed in August, of 
which Earl Grey was premier ; Mr. Brougham, with a title, 
Lord Chancellor; Lord Althorp, as Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, was leader of the House of Commons ; and Mr. 
Stanley, [then an ardent reforming whig, but now^ Lord 
Stanley, a confirmed tory,) was made Secretary for Ireland. 
All the members of the new cabinet were pledged to reform, 
and on coming into power. Earl Grey and his friends lost 
no time in redeeming their promises to the people. The 
most important indication of their anxiety to meet the ques- 
tion was in the speech from the throne, on the dissolution 
of Parliament, in the following November, wherein his 
Majesty cordially recommended it to the earliest considera- 
tion of Parliament, in the ensuing session. But their aims 
were thwarted once more, by the bloated lords of the blood- 
stained establishment, and that inflexible old man, who, 
more than any other, might have served the cause of liberty 
in Europe — the Duke of Wellington — he, the most pow^er- 
ful subject of the age, the most fortunate and the least gen- 
erous, once more chained the honest hands which were 
assiduously tearing up the foundations of the rotten borough 
system. Within six months there was a double change of 
ministry ; but at last, in the spring of 1832, the English and 
Scottish reform bills were carried through both houses, and 
received the royal assent. There was a nine-day jubilee 
and great rejoicing throughout the land ; the torch of the 
incendiary was quenched, and the two great classes of the 
people began to regard each other with greater inward re- 
spect, if not with more apparent cordiality. The Catholics 
of both houses were undoubtedly the class who carried this 
measure ; for out of the many commoners who were elected 
in consequence of emancipation, but one voted against it ; 
while in the upper house, but one Catholic peer was found 
to oppose it. Thus passed a measure which had been 
agitated ever since the revolution, which previous to that 


time had given many a proud head to the block; aye, which 
brought even a monarch's thither, and one worth a thousand 
of the world's kings — the ill-fated, noble Russell. The work 
began by the stout barons at Runnymede, which stood, half 
finished and crumbling from exposure, during three hundred 
years of Protestant supremacy, was now completed by the 
hands of those who held the same faith as its illustrious 
founders. Old Sarum was blotted out — ^borough-mongering 
was no more, and that barrier with which Chatham, Fox, 
and Romilly struggled in vain, gave way before the muscu- 
lar strength of a plebeian Irishman and his co-religionists. 

As Avas but just, O'Connell and his friends expected 
reciprocal aid from the English and Scottish members, who 
had gladly accepted his alliance to accomplish reform for 
themseh^es, in his attempts to carry through an adequate 
Irish reform bill. But many of these worthies had no such 
notions — they still wished to have one law for one side of 
the channel, and another for the other ; so that having ob- 
tained all their desires, they came unwillingly and partially 
to the support of their late assistants. The Grey ministry 
also showed great reluctance to extend the boon to Ireland — 
and when at last they stretched their condescension so far 
west, it was with so stunted a grace, that it seemed more 
like an insult than a right conceded. The Scottish reform 
bill had been introduced by the Lord Advocate, a Scots- 
man — the English reform bill had been given to the charge 
of Lord John Russell, an Englishman ; but the Irish reform 
bill was presented by Mr. Stanley, who was even then no 
lover of the land, and had been more than once censured 
for his anti-Irish feelings. It lingered many months after 
the others were carried — v/as maltreated and mutilated in 
committee, until, like Scott's Palmer, its parent would scarce 
have known his child ; it was spat upon by lay lords, kicked 
out by the holy fathers in the upper house, and after several 
months of clipping, hair-splitting, and re-touching, the ill- 
proportioned thing was at length presented to royalty 
towards the close of 1832, and received King William's 
assent. And the result of all this was, that Ireland got an 
increased representation of five members ! 

The Emancipation struggle had hardly closed when the 
abolition of tithes began to be publicly advocated, to the no 
small alarm of the mitred Nebuchadnezzars, who browsed 
upon the wide-spread glebe lands of Ireland. The exces- 


sive tyranny of tithes was never so completely exemplified as 
in the system inflicted upon Ireland, for the maintenance of 
the law church. A few proofs of the enormity of this sys- 
tem cannot but strike terror to the soul of him who is favor- 
able to a church-and-state alliance in any degree. " It is on 
record," says an intelligent author, " that three bishops, in 
fifteen years, left £700,000 to their families. A bishop of 
Clogher went to Ireland without a shilling, and after eight 
years died, worth £400,000. The bishop of Cloyne, who 
died in 1S26, left £120,000 to his children ; andV Welsh 
bishop, who died recently, although his bishopric was called 
a poor one, left £100,000. 

" By the probates at Doctors' Commons, it appeared in 
182S, that the personal property of twenty-four bishops who 
had died within the preceding twenty years amounted to 
the enormous sum of £1,649,000, an average of nearly 
£70,000 for each bishop. This was the sworn value of 
the personal property only, and some of the bishops are 
known to have had very large possessions in real property. 
Now, we will venture to assert that in no other profession 
will it be found that so large an average of wealth has been 
left by the heads ; take the twenty-four last generals, the 
twenty-four last admirals, the twenty-four last judges, nay, 
the twenty-four last merchants, and their personal property 
will not equal that of the bishops, nor approach it. 

" Nor have they been at all particular as to the mode of 
amassing their wealth. The Earl of Bristol, when Bishop 
of Derry, realized £4,000 a year, by the ingenious practice 
of buying up old church leases, holden under himself, and^ 
granting new ones for fines, of course, considerably larger 
than the sums he thus paid. Whether this practice has 
been continued we know not ; but as there is no law to pre- 
vent it, very large profits might be made by it.'"^ 

The next, is a yet greater proof of the avaricious charac- 
ter of the Irish law church. Mr. Grattan, on the 12th 
of July, 1842, produced, in the House of Commons, in a 
debate touching this subject, the following extracts, from the 
probate of wills in Ireland, by which it appears that, 

Fowler, Archbishop ofDublin,l-eft, at his death,£150,000 
Beresford, Archbishop of Tuam, .... 250,000 
Agar, Archbishop of Cashel, 400,000 

"^ Book of the Poor Man's Church. 


Stopford, Bishop of Cork, 25,000 

Percy, Bishop of Dromore, 40,000 

Cleaver, Bishop of Ferns, 50,000 

Bernard, Bishop of Limerick, 60,000 

Porter, Bishop of Clogher, 250,000 

Hawkins of Raphoe, 250,000 

Knox of Killaloe, 100,000 

Total, £1,575,000 

From a publication of undoubted veracity, we select the 
following statistics, in proof of this heinous rapacity of the 
English church. 

There are benefices in the Irish Church, . . £1,556 
One of which (in the co. Down) is worth per an., 2,800 

Ten, between £2,000 and 2,600 

Twenty, 1,500 ^' 2,000 

Twenty-three, 1,200 " 1,500 

Forty-eight, 1,000 " 1,200 

Seventy-four, 800 " 1,000 

One hundred and forty-eight, . . .600 " 800 
Four hundred and eighty-one, . . 400 " 600 
Three hundred and eighty-six, . . . 300 " 400 
Four hundred and sixty-five, ... 30 " 200 
Number of acres, 669,257 

If we estimate the acres, continues our authority, at £1 
per acre, it will yield £660,257, for the Bishops' lands 
alone. There are also 13,603,473 acres of land subject to 
tithe, all of which is a grievous tax upon the poor, either in 
the shape of rent charges or otherwise. 

The report of the commissioners state that in Ireland 
there are one hundred and fifty-one parishes having no 
mewMr of the Church of England^ and eight hundred and 
sixty parishes having less than seventy-seven Protestants. 

Parliamentary grants since the Union in ISOO, in Ire- 
land : — 

For building Protestant churches, . . . £525,371 

For building glebe-houses, 336,889 

For Protestant charity schools, .... 1,105,867 
For Church Society to discountenance vice, 101,991 
For Kildare Place Society, 170,502 

Total £2,310,662^ 

* Black Book for 1844. 


On these and similar facts, equally strong and unanswer- 
able, those of the emancipators who still retained a love for 
agitation, founded an Anti-Tithe party, which finally re- 
duced the magnitude of the evil, and divided the remainder, 
in shares between the landlord and tenant. But this great 
good could not be accomplished legally without much per- 
severing exertion, although if ever people had cause to take 
to themselves vengeance, it was in the war against tithes. 
In 1830 and '31, elated by their past triumph, they began 
systematically to oppose their collection ; a few bailiffs were 
pitchfoiked, and some peasants transported, at first. But 
the men of God waxed warm in the conflict; they resolved 
to come out against the Philistines, and to smite them hip 
and thigh, from the rising to the setting of the sun. The 
cassock was flung by, and their reverences, at the head of the 
police, scoured the country, laid siege to dairies, and carried 
off the scanty bed-clothes of the poor, with the most distin- 
guished gallantry. One Parson Blood (a fitting name) led 
such a rabble in a broil at Skiblereen, county Cork, wherein 
some few lives were taken. Newtonbarry, in Wexford, was 
the scene of another massacre, in which from twenty to 
thirty persons were killed on the spot or mortally w^ounded. 
There was a young man sacrificed to the same desperate 
spirit of avarice at Rathcomac, " and he was an only son," 
— like the dead youth of Nain, — " and his mother was a 
widow." The dungeons of the prisons groaned with the 
press of heroic martyrs, who declared it, as their fixed deter- 
mination rather to rot in the humid cells with manacles 
crushing their writhing frames, than to give sanction to so 
odious a system, by obeying its executors. Many, unhap- 
pily fulfilled the heroic vow^ expiring in the companion- 
ship of felons, — 

" Alas, nor wife nor children more for to behold, 
Nor friends, nor sacred home !" 

And while these poor victims grew stiff upon their iron 
couches, the consecrated murderers who sent them there, 
plied their sparkling wine, or played at hobby-horse in their 
holy nunneries. O'Connell, of course, was one of the most 
strenuous opponents of the tithe system. Shiel and Dr. 
Doyle were found, as of old, by his side ; while Steele, 
Lawless, Cobbett, and other able agitators, trod once more 
the paths in which previously they had been so much 


distinguished. In August, 1832, was enacted Stanley's 
Commutation Tithe Act, which reduced and re-formed the 
impost, and became law in November, 1834. Lest, how- 
ever, this concession should alarm the church usurious, it 
was accompanied by an infamous coercion act, which was 
enforced for two years with great rigor, and at its expira- 
tion, in 1834, was attempted to be further extended by its 
author, Mr. Stanley, who from this and other matters of 
difference with his colleagues, resigned his seat in the cabi- 
net and went over to the tories. The parsons were terri- 
bly annoyed by the new commutation act ; they announced 
their miseries and proclaimed aloud their starving condi- 
tion ; nay, so far did they carry this beggar's opera or farce, 
that they actually petitioned the treasury for a loan of 
£1,000,000 sterling to save them from utter destitution. A 
grant of £900,000 was made, which was distributed to " the 
hungry," in the following liberal proportions : — 

£ s. d. 

The Rev. Dr. Beaufort received, . . 2,463 4 5 
The Hon. and Rev. George de la Poer 

Beresford, 167 4 

The same, 350 16 6 

The Rev. G. D. Beresford, 215 18 4 

The Rev. Marcus Gervase Beresford, . 1,053 14 4 
The Bourkes — three of them Hon. as 

well as Rev., 8,027 6 7 

The Burghs, 1,195 16 8 

The Butlers, 6,755 1 9 

The Chichesters, . • 3,772 19 8 

Dr. Cotton of Dublin, (three advances,) 4,080 19 3 

The Crokers, 2,265 10 

The Dawsons, 1,557 11 9 

The Ebringtons, 3,612 7 

Thirteen Hamiltons, 10,446 17 

Six Knoxes, 2,581 4 5 

Sir Harcourt Lees, 420 7 

Ten Moores, 5,329 17 5 

Four Hon. and very Rev. Mahons, . 3,812 16 8 

Two Ryders, of Rathcormac, .... 557 19 4 
The Stephensons, one of them living 

in Chester, 5,072 5 3 

Five Hon., Ven., and Rev. Stopfords, 7,776 1 1 


The St. Lawrences, (one of ihem Ven.,) 3,114 6 6 

Five Townsends, 2,681 10 3 

Nine Trenches— Hon. and Ven., . . 7,710 VS 7 

Three Whittys, 1,207 11 6 

The Archbishop of Cashel, .... 2,063 4 1 

The Dean and Chapter of Cashel, . . 795 17 5 

The Lord Bishop of Clonfert, . . . 1,29110 3 

The Lord Bishop of Cloyne, . . , . 455 14 11 

The Dean and Chapter of Cork, . , . 613 10 6 

The Lord Bishop of Ferns, .... 2,198 4 4 

The Lord Bishop of Kildare, , . , 1,892 3 

The Dean and Chapter of Kildare, . 11 14 8 

The Dean and Chapter of Killaloe, . . 999 99 9 
The Dean and Chapter of St. Cenice, 

Kilkenny, 588 13 6 

The Vicars Choral, of Kilkenny, ... 48 7 8 

The Vicars Choral of St. Finnbars, Cork, 1,552 15 4 
The Dean and Chapters and Vicars Choral 

ofLishmore, 1,012 8 6 

The Dean and Chapter of St. Patrick's, 910 2 10^ 

This list contains the names of the wealthiest membera 
of the church of England's ministry — men of large patri- 
monial inheritance, holders of rich, pluralities, and non- 
residents. In this manner the sum extorted from the public 
pocket was meted out, to propitiate the incensed avarice of 
these apostolic persons. Before we quit this subject for 
a tim^e, we cannot do better than append the folio will g 
proofs of the non-residence of some chief recipients of 
this princely grant. The Book of the Poo?' Man's Church 
supplies us with these facts. 

'* When a parson is non-resident— when he can afford to 
live in Dublin, or Bath, or Chester, or to roam about the 
country as a clerical agitator — he is not to be reckoned 
among those entitled to receive alms. But we find among 
the clerical recipients forty residents in Dublin, exclusive 
of the Rev. Charles Boyton, who is put down as living in 
Dovea, in Letterkenny. Mr. Boyton's tithes were in 
arrear for one year only, to the amount of £1089; and he 
had an advance of £912. Was Mr. Boyton one of the 

* Parliamentary Document, 1834. 


distressed ? We have not the least doubt, that many are 
entered as resident clergymen, who are not so really ; for 
we observe, in repeated instances, that the duty of small 
livings is done by curates, when the rectors are said to be 
on the spot. The famous Mortimer O'SuUivan is said to 
reside at Killeman, Moy ; but it does not appear that any- 
body did the duty of his parish, while he was notoriously 
tramping through England, on his missions of bigotry. 
Several avowedly live in England ; and among them we 
note the Rev. Hans Hamilton, of Maida Hill, London, who 
had £2,793 19s. Id.; and the Hon. and Rev. James S. 
Segar, of the Circus, Bath, who was assisted to the amount 
of £2,494 lis. 9d. So much as a specimen of the non- 
resident claimants for relief." 

Such was the tithe question in Ireland ten years ago ; 
we will have need to mention it again. 

Simultaneous with the agitation of the tithe abolitionists, 
was another of great importance, though of less stirring 
character; I mean, the National Education movement, at 
the head of which, in Parliament, stood Mr. Wyse, the 
popular member for Waterford. This gentleman combined 
with great dignity of character, talent of no ordinary de- 
scription. He had been long a mourner over the havocs of 
the penal laws ; by hereditary right he was a Catholic 
agitator, and he had played no ignoble part in some of those 
scenes which his pen has well commemorated."^ The 
chief features in this movement were the withdrawal of the 
grant long continued to the Kildare Street Society, which 
from an educational had become a proselytizing institution 
— the enlargement of the paltry grant to Maynooth Col- 
lege, and the establishment of primary schools throughout 
the country, on the Lancastrian model, without any attempt 
to influence the religious views of the pupils. The benefits 
of this latter plan could only be practical as far as the 
commissioners appointed were faithful and diligent ; there 
were those in Ireland, however, who resolved that they 
should not slumber for need of some one to remind them 
of their duty. Amongst the latter, the Bishop of Maronia, 
now Archbishop of Tuam, was the most powerful sentinel 
of the people. His eye saw every forthcoming danger, 

* History of the Catholic Association. 


every covert attaclv, and every insidious favor ; and his 
vigorous pen provided remedies against most of these evils, 
ahhough, 1 believe, he never sanctioned the system, as a 
whole. Chary as was the ministerial provision for the 
education of the youth of Ireland, it was yet a benefit, the 
first of the sort which the latter kingdom had ever received 
from her proud step-sister, who, on this score, owes her an 
awful retribution. 

The Irish Catholic hierarchy, assembled in synod at 
Dublin, in 1831, had agreed on two petitions to the impe- 
rial Parliament — the one relating to the education of the 
people, and the other asking a legal provision for the Irish 
poor. It was admitted on all hands that great destitution 
prevailed ; but, as usual, there were various remedial 
theories. Mr. O'Connell demanded employment for the 
able-bodied, and out-door relief for the old and infirm ; but 
Dr. Doyle contended for a more safe and extensive system, 
which should erect houses for its purposes, as was the 
case in England. The famous letter of the latter, ad- 
dressed to Mr. Spring Rice in 1831, had no small effect 
upon the success of his project. To the reasoning of this 
letter, Mr. O'Connell declared himself a convert, but he 
afterwards recanted that profession, on which the Doctor 
wrote him a short but severe rebuke. This, from him, the 
great agitator received without retort, although time has 
since vindicated the superiority of his design over that of a 
legal provision. After a protracted agitation of ten years, 
poor-houses, or bastiles bearing that name, have been 
erected on the soil of Ireland, where the mendicants are 
separated from each other — the husband from the wife, and 
the child from its mother — where a bell tolls three times 
per day, to call forth the skeletons to their scant and unsub- 
stantial food, and three times more to command them back 
to their tomb-like chambers. Such is the present Irish 

While these topics were being debated in and out of 
Parliament, Mr. O'Connell and his friends ceased not for a 
moment to strengthen, by every means within their reach, 
the Repeal agitation. The many great wrongs of the 
country afforded them weapons dangerous for an offensive 
war. The ministry imagined they could close his lips by 
allowing him the distinction of a King's Counsel, and fetter 
him with a silk gown. This — the only ministerial com- 


pliment he ever accepted — was conferred upon liim in No- 
vember, '31 ; but so far from diminishing his zeal, it but 
added to his desires to bring back the plundered Parliament 
of '82. A similar mark of favor somewhat later was con- 
ferred on Mr. Shiel, with a more pacific result. These 
things gave to ardent repealers a pang of suspicion and 
pain, but it passed away in a moment ; for O'Connell 
regarded it as his right as a jurist, and continued to treat 
the ministry as if nothing had occurred. His independence 
galled them not a little ; and Earl Grey declared in the 
House of Lords in '32, that " the effect of the government's 
desire to conciliate Mr. O'Connell, was far different from 
what they anticipated." This they had afterwards many 
reasons to be reminded of, but on no other occasion more 
strongly, than on the following. The scene which took 
place upon the occasion of the motion for a repeal of the 
Union, in 1834, is so well described by Mr. Huish, (who 
was an eye-witness,) that I cannot refrain from giving a 
portion of it here : — 

" The mournful tones of the death-bell — the mercenary 
indications of parochial regret- — were sounding at intervals 
from the steeple of St. Margaret's church, as we passed by 
on our w^ay to the House of Commons on the evening of 
the 22d of April, the time appointed by Mr. O'Connell for 
his proposition of a repeal of the Legislative Union ; and 
we felt a kind of cheering presentiment conveyed to us 
with each clang of the death-knell, so totally disassociated 
with the idea of monality which they were intended to 
convey, that we involuntarily exclaimed, as w^e entered the 
precincts of imperial legislation — ' that is the knell of the 
ill-starred Union ! From this night its decline will com- 
mence, and its dissolution will be as certain as that of the 
nameless being, whose decease is now sought to be com- 
municated by these dismal sounds.' 

"Upon the eve of great events, trivial incidents often 
serve to encourage or depress those whose feelings are in- 
terested in the approaching result; and there is scarcely a 
circumstance, however trivial, that will not influence a mind 
excited by such a contemplation. The first discussion of 
the question which involved the fate of the Irish nation, 
was in itself an event sufficiently important to raise in the 
minds of every person belonging to Ireland, emotions of the 


strongest nature. They were not, however, like those 
which are experienced upon the eve of an expected crisis, 
for every one felt that the fate of the Anti-Union cause was 
not at stake in the impending discussion, nor was it to be 
retarded by the defeat that the numbers on a division would 
array against it. It was the manner in which it would be 
discussed, not the circumstances under which it would be 
denied, that was to be regarded — the overwhelming nature 
of the host prepared to resist it, left no hope of encourage- 
ment from the latter, but the anticipations connected with 
the effect of the former were cheering ; and accordingly, 
the friends and advocates of Repeal waited the coming 
struggle with that calm confidence which they who have 
truth and justice on their side always feel when those pure 
and eternal principles are about to be investigated. As 
the hour approached for commencing the evening sitting 
of the House of Commons, the lobby became a scene of 
unusual bustle. The entire representation of the United 
Kingdom was summoned for the occasion, and the members 
crowded into the house at an early hour for the purpose of 
securing seats for the night. A call of the House upon the 
occasion of resistance to a motion of one of the opposition 
members, was a circumstance sufficiently unusual to indi- 
cate that the ministers regarded the question with no incon- 
siderable degree of apprehension, and proved that they relied 
more upon the strength of the numerical force which they 
would parade against it, than the success of the arguments 
and eloquence with which the principle of anti-unionism 
would be resisted. The call of the House was therefore 
an indication that Mr. O'Connell's motion was regarded as 
one of those great occasions upon which the ordinary 
attendance of members was not competent to decide, and 
accordingly the summoned senate met en masse to hear and 
dispose of the daring proposition. 

" Public rumor had for some time bruited it about that 
Mr. O'Connell's proposition was to be resisted in the 
breach by Mr. Spring Eice, at the head of a strong column 
of financial forces, and that the ambitious invader of impe- 
rial power was to be overthrown by a few discharges of 
vulgar arithmetic; nay, it was also stated, that for several 
months entire branches of the financial department were 
busily engaged in preparing the materiel for the magnani- 
mous Under Secretary, and that all he would have to do 


to put an end to the contest, was to meet the assault by a 
judicious disposition of the principles of Cocker, and a 
copious use of arithmetical, instead of oratorical figures. 
He, therefore, as he tripped in and out of the house, be- 
came an object of regard, as one to whom the important 
duty of resistance was entrusted; and, if we were to judge 
by his demeanor, he seemed fully impressed with the con- 
sequence which he seemed to derive from the occasion. 

" O'Connell, for a few minutes, appeared upon the lobby. 
He had been in the house all the time during which an 
election ballot was proceeding. He now came to the door, 
as if he sought for some person in the crowd. A few per- 
sons immediately surrounded him as he came out, but, wiih 
his usual avoidance of common-place colloquy, he soon 
broke from them and re-entered the house. 

" The election ballot being terminated, the strangers were 
admitted, and we soon found ourselves upon a bench under 
the gallery, which gave us a full view of the entire assem- 
bly. By a preliminary arrangement the members who had 
repeal petitions were allowed to present them before the 
order of the day would be called on, and accordingly a great 
number from various parts of Ireland were rapidly given in 
without any other preliminary than the reading of their 
titles. Mr. Emerson Tennant was the only person who 
brought up a petition from the anti-repealers, but when he 
announced the nature of the document to the House a 
simultaneous cheer seemed to break forth from both sides, 
as if the solitary instance of Belfast was a triumphant coun- 
terpoise for the heap of petitions of an opposite nature 
which, at the time, seemed to cover the table. At length, 
the monotonous formalities of presentation having termi- 
nated, the Speaker, with his fine, sonorous voice, called out, 
Mr. O'Connell. The mention of the name seemed like 
* the chain of silence' to produce an instantaneous attention; 
and the mover, rising from his seat, approached to the table 
where he had previously placed some small portfolios con- 
taining the extracts and documents with which he intended 
to support his statement. 

" We had seen him in almost all the various situations 
which his extraordinary political career aflforded. We had 
seen him oftentimes haranguing conventions, where the 
green valley was the arena and the vault of heaven the only 
limit to the scene. We had seen him in all the variety of 


positions which the arbitrary laws, passed on purpose to 
couiUeract him, compelled him to a(loj)t, and yet we felt 
that the occasion which now found him about to address 
the Imperial Senate afforded the greatest epoch of his life, 
and whether the cause of which he is the great defender, 
failed or prospered, that the twenty-second of April, 
formed an era which cast upon his past existence a bril- 
liancy, emanating from the grand and magnificent project 
which he now stood up in the British senate to propose. 
In that brief interval, which elapsed between the moment 
when the Speaker pronounced his name and the sound of 
the first w^ords with which he began his address, an inde- 
scribable sensation seemed to perv^ade the entire assembly. 
The effect was not produced by any forethought of his 
capability as a speaker, for the members were familiarized 
wath the style and manners of the orator w^ho now stood 
before them. Neither was it the effect of that expectation 
which strangers feel prior to the opening words of some 
speaker, whose fame has raised their anticipations of his 
oratorical power. No ! — the associations connected with 
the man, great and peculiar as is their nature, still they 
were secondary at that moment. It was the cause — his 
cause, and the consequences of its triumph with a misgiv- 
ing in their own power to prevent it, that aw^ed the boldest 
of its predetermined antagonists, and produced the almost 
breathless stillness which at that time pervaded the assem- 
bled Senate. To the surprise of many persons present, 
Mr. O'Connell commenced by relating an anecdote of an 
honorable member who, in conversation with himself a few 
days before, had said that the Canadas are endeavoring to 
escape us — America has escaped us, but Ireland shall not 
escape us. This exordium, although it produced a momen- 
tary disturbance, seemed however to enforce a more reluc- 
tant but still greater attention to his speech than if he had 
opened in the ordinary manner, for it compelled the mem- 
bers not to involve themselves with the sentiment of the 
pre-determined gentleman, by betraying an unwillingness 
not to listen to the case which he was going to detail. He 
reproved the first slight interruptions by a timely intimation 
that it was too soon to begin them, which being accompa- 
nied with the sanction of the injunctional 'order, order,' 
from the speaker, the assembly, with exemplary patience, 
seemed to resign itself to the infliction, and yielding its 


unwilling attention to the narration of English domination 
and Irish endurance. 

*' The consciousness of having for an auditory a class of 
persons whose interests and feelings are different, if not 
even opposed to those which are cherished by the speaker, 
is perhaps the greatest disadvantage that is to be encoun- 
tered in public life. A promiscuous assembly will bear 
down the efforts of the person that endeavors to inculcate 
principles which are not held in general repute ; but, what- 
ever allowances may be made for the madness of an asso- 
ciation composed of heterogenous elements, no excuse 
should be allowed in extenuation of such conduct in a dele- 
gated and deliberative assembly. The consciousness even 
of this disposition, without its overt action, is in itself suffi- 
ciently embarrassing, for the speaker does not know at 
what part of his address the latent hostility of his hearers 
Avill rise against and compel him to retire. The attention 
with which Mr. O'Connell was heard throughout his 
address that night was evidently the effect of a discipline 
which he has at last been able to enforce, chiefly by means 
of the constant reproof with which he meets those manifes- 
tations of his parliamentary unpopularity. The aversion 
borne towards him by the great mass of the members pres- 
ent, was chiefly indicated by their avoidance of any parti- 
cipation in those occasional cheers which arose from a few 
others, whenever any just or generous sentiment fell from 
his lips, — sentiments which deserved to be applauded, and 
to which perhaps, if they had heard them from any other 
quarter, they would have responded with sincere acclama- 
tions. O'Connell was encouraged by the cheers of the 
Irish voices alone, and, as far as any symptoms of the per- 
ception of his argument by any of the English members 
present was concerned, his orations might as well have 
been bestowed upon the inmates of a deaf and dumb asy- 
lum. One solitary occasion, however, betrayed them into 
something like a stir of vitality. It was at that part of his 
speech where he bore testimony that military violence was 
resorted to, in order to crush the efforts of the anti-Union- 
ists, and described the meeting at the Royal Exchange, 
which was entered by a military party. The reference to 
the occasion was highly interesting. It afforded an irresist- 
ible proof of the consistency of the speaker upon the ques- 
tion he was advocating : and the occasion was also distin- 


guished by another clrcunistaiice to which, perhaps, the life 
of any other public character does n:,t supply a parallel. 
Amongst various documents, that relate to the period at 
which the Union was achieved, he read from Plowden's 
History an extract of a speech made by himself upon the 
ioregoing occasion — his maiden essay upon Irish politics — 
from which it appeared that, on the first proposition of the 
Union, he gave it all the opposition that undistinguished 
youth could command, and now that after an interval of 
five and thirty years, he was still laboring, in the autumn 
of his existence, to reverse that national calamity which 
thus, in the opening of his remarkable and eventful life, he 
had vainly endeavored to avert. 

" It was evident, both from the nature and arrangement 
of his speech, that, as he had declared in his exordium, 
he spoke not for the present hour, nor adapted his language 
to his present auditory, and he evidently treated those who 
were to oppose him with a corresponding disregard. Anti- 
cipating the species of evidence reserved by his opponents, 
he haughtily taunted Spring Rice wqth the pettifogging 
nature of the arithmetical logic upon whom he relied, to 
refute the claims of a country containing eight millions of 
inhabitants, for the resumption of her legislative indepen- 
dence ; and, observing Mr. Stanley taking a note during 
the delivery of an important sentence, he suddenly paused 
and said, that, ' perceiving the Right Honorable Secretary 
for the Colonies taking a note, he wished to afford him full 
time to complete it,' and then proceeded. Upon another 
occasion, alluding to Spring Rice, he inadvertently desig- 
nated him the Hon. Member for Limerick, but, immediately 
correcting the misnomer, he satirically repeated, with pecu- 
liar emphasis, 'I beg Limerick's pardon, I should have said 
the Member for Cambridge.' 

" The speech occupied five hours in delivery, and when, 
at length, the mover had closed his last impressive sentence 
and the clerk of the House read the resolution, we then 
expected to have seen the son of Henry Grattan advance to 
second its proposition, but we were somew^hat surprised, 
however, to hear that Mr. Fergus O'Conner had already 
performed that office. The Speaker immediately pro- 
nounced the name of Spring Rice, while a few voices called 
* adjourn,' which conflicting propositions being reduced to 
a motion, the aijes were declared adverse to the endurance 


of the Under Secretary's eloquence for that night, and he 
was therefore obliged to reserve his thunder for the next. 

'* A few minutes after ^yb on the following evening we 
found Spring Kice upon his legs as we entered the House. 
He had just turned a few sentences upon the designs of 
the mischievous agitators, which were intended to ensure 
some encouraging cheers at the beginning of his course 
and gain him confidence and courage to sustain the very- 
arduous service he had undertaken. With the exception 
of Stanley, perhaps, the Treasury bench does not contain 
one that would enjoy the ungracious task of vindicating 
British domination over Ireland more than the Anglo-Irish 
Under-Secretary. He brought to his aid the ultra virulence 
of an Irish auxiliary under English pay, and entered upon 
his duty with an effrontery that evidently arose from a con- 
sciousness of the mercenary nature of his advocacy against 
the cause of that country to which he nominally belonged. 
Aware, however, that he was open to a reproval for this 
desertion of all the obligations of nationality, he took an 
opportunity of renouncing every association of country, and 
having mentioned the name of Scotland, he artfully cor- 
rected himself, and said North Britain, and then in a 
parenthesis, he had the audacity to insinuate that he 
wished the name of Ireland should also undergo a similar 
mutation, and be distinguished in future geographical 
arrangements as West Britain only. This shameless 
admission was sanctioned by an applauding shout from the 
' Gentlemen of England,' who, although they encouraged 
the traitor, to serve their own purposes, must have secretly 
despised the meanness that could thus unblushingly exult 
in his own degradation. 

" Spring Rice possesses many of the requisites necessary 
for a parliamentary speaker; a fluent and graceful delivery, 
a good voice, a facility of intonation, the command of copi- 
ous and appropriate expressions, with a judicious arrange- 
ment of language, enable him to sustain a much greater 
consequence on the Treasury Bench in the House of Com- 
mons than in the subordinate station he holds under his 
Whig patrons at the Treasury Board. He who is their 
best defender, who, in the attributes of oratory is at least 
their equal, takes his seat as their very humble servant and 
secretary at Whitehall. The controversy upon Repeal, 
which he had courted, was now commenced ; the cham- 


pions of either side were in the lis>ts, and Irish skepticism in 
the indissolubility of the Union was to be reconciled by a 
course of reasoning, which, like the discussion of rival dis- 
putants in matters of religious faith, generally was likely to 
render that skepticism even more fastidiously attached to its 
own opinion than it w^as before the controversy commenced. 
Rival polemical disputants have mostly afforded unbelievers 
some advantages, derived from the different extremities to 
which they mutually drive each other; and the subject 
which was now to be investigated was likely to afford those 
who stood aloof from Unionism on one side, and simple 
Repeal on the other, abundant material to strengthen and 
confirm that speculation which they cherish, but have not 
yet ventured to extend by precept. Spring Rice rushed 
into the nature of the connection between the two countries 
with a flippancy that deprived the important subject of 
much of its supposed importance, and discussed interna- 
tional interests in terms that considerably diminished pre- 
conceived notions of the reciprocal advantages that both 
England and Ireland enjoy from the compact of Union. I 
am to describe, however, the incidents of the debate, and 
the nature and tendency of the arguments used on both 
sides. Mr. O'Connell had occupied five hours during the 
delivery of his luminous and powerful address; and Spring 
Rice, having the advantage of a day's preparation, made 
himself up for a reply that should be equal to the service 
for which it was intended, by being commensurate at least 
in length ; and from the prolongation of his arguments to 
a six-hour speech, it seemed as if his reliance was placed 
more upon the length than the strength of his oratorical 

" On the conclusion of Lord Athorpe's speech, a number 
of voices called upon O'Connell. It w^s evident that the 
toleration of the house did not extend to the endurance of 
another speech. Mr. Lalor and Mr. E. Ruthven both had 
to give way to the inexorable rudeness that prevailed; and 
so impartial was the House in -its determination to hear no 
more, that the efforts of the Unionists and Anti-Unionists 
were suppressed with equal promptitude. Mr. Shaw and 
Mr. William O'Reilly were denied a hearing, as well as 
the members for the Queen's County and Kildare. Mr. 
O'Reilly was the last that essayed to speak" ; and after he 
had' been permitted to deliver a few sentences, a voice 


called out, in the most impatient tone, ' O'Connell — O'Con- 
nell I ' The member for Dundalk looked towards the quar- 
ter from whence the voice proceeded, and said, ' I wish I 
could find out the gentleman who called " O'Connell," and 
I would keep him here all night, only that I would not like 
to trespass upon the other members of the House/ It was 
rather an extraordinary threat of punishment for one who 
had so offended) and implied an acknowledgment of a very 
unflattering nature* *I will punish the person who has in- 
terrupted me,' said the member for Dundalk, 'by compelling 
him to listen to me ! ' 

" Mr. O'Dwyer, taking advantage of a pause in the storm, 
attacked Mr. Shaw, whom he denounced as an agitator of 
the sinister school, which, coming at the close, relieved the 
tedium of the debate by the dash of invective which he 
infused into it. The patience of the collective wisdom, how- 
ever, would endure no longer; a simultaneous summons 
was given. O'Connell now approached to the table, and 
there was silence. He had not delivered more than one 
or two sentences, when we foresaw that his reply would 
be equal to any of his former displays of eloquence ; he 
appeared to be now in the mood most favorable to the com- 
mand of his peculiar powers. A degree of fierceness, tem- 
pered with levity, rendered him merciless in invective, and 
irresistible in ridicule to those who had provoked his retali- 
ation by their personalities in the preceding debate. Ani- 
mated almost to a degree of exultation, he seemed proud 
of the success that his motion had attained, and the great 
importance that even its antagonists had acknowledged 
to be attached to it. Confident, notwithstanding the 
ablest leaders of the whig and tory parties had combined 
against his cause, that still their joint exertions had failed 
to discourage its friends, or to produce a crisis fatal to its 
advance, he commenced his reply under auspices so favor- 
able, that it was impossible he could have been otherwise 
than what he was, throughout the entire of his address. 

" In replying to the personalities that had been used by 
many of the preceding speakers, it was expected that he 
would have severally taken up the individuals who had in- 
dulged in them, from the mover of the amendment down to 
the member for Dundalk. This course, however, he judi- 
ciously avoided ; but, in order that their conduct should not 
pass unnoticed, he selected from the band of his assailants 


one individual only, the most distinpfuished, because the 
most virulent of those who had followed his example during 
their participation in the debate. Before Mr. O'Connell 
had commenced to reply, we observed Mr. Emerson Ten- 
nant suddenly leave his seat behind the treasury benches, 
and rush through one of the side-doors that lead to the 
members' gallery ; there, removed beyond the eye which 
he anticipated would soon be endeavoring to mark him 
amongst the crowd below, he seemed to await the moment 
when the vial which he himself had filled, would be poured 
upon his head. It cajne, and shortly ; for it was the first 
topic that he touched upon after his exordium. ' The first 
person that assailed me,' said the speaker, 'was the honor- 
able member for Belfast. I presume he is in his place.' 
'Hear!' said a voice from the gallery, and O'Connell con- 
tinued — ' I am glad of it ; and I now ask, was there ever 
anything more indiscreet in a government than to take 
such a person as a seconder of their motion ? If I could 
have desired to have lessened the eflfect of what had fallen 
from me — if I had desired that my arguments should have 
as little weight as possible in Ireland — if I had desired 
that my opinions should be disregarded there, the course 
which I should have taken, would be to have as my seconder 
a factious and furious partizan, who would have pro- 
nounced an invective against the people, their religion, and 
their clergy, and taunted as " adventurers," men upon 
whom he, at least, ought to be sparing in casting such an 
imputation. The government knew that there w^as a cor- 
poration inquiry, to forward which, the greatest anxiety has 
been expressed by them. Now, what has been done by 
the honorable member for Belfast ? Why, with an equal 
love of truth and chivalry, he denounced, long since, that 
very inquiry as an inquisition, and assailed one of the 
commissioners in a manner that did not terminate very 
creditably to himself. This is one portion of his political 
conduct ; and now look to a preceding part of his career. 
When the reform bill was to be carried, the modern con- 
servative was an old republican. " A pampered prelacy," 
and " the folly of a hereditary aristocracy," were then his 
favorite topics ; and these, too, were expected to be abol- 
ished by him, as blessings which should follow from the 
reform bill. And this — this is the person the government 
has selected as the seconder of their motion, and whom, 


also, they have enthusiastically cheered, when he assailed 
me ! I shall not, however, retaliate ; but I can imagine a 
being who would assail me so — a being, at one time exult- 
ing in all the fury of republicanism, then a speculating 
adventurer, and dwindling at last into a mean and merce- 
nary political dandy ; I can conceive such a being servile 
and sycophantic in one situation — petulant and presumptu- 
ous in another — calumnious and contemptible in all.' 

" O'Connell occupied about fifty minutes in his reply, 
which space, considering that he noticed almost every 
speaker of any importance that had opposed his motion, 
proves how successfully he must have condensed his argu- 
ments within that compass, and how little time he had for 
the exercise of any of those oratorical expedients by which 
public speakers are often enabled to produce a considerable 
effect. He succeeded, without the aid of any of these 
advantages, by the powerful energy of his own talents 
alone, and in despite of a predetermined and inexorable 
host by whom he was surrounded. If, as he said, his first 
speech was not intended for his audience, he made amends 
for the omission by adapting the second in a more decided 
manner to the minds of his brother members ; and although 
it failed to array them upon his side at the division, the 
general acclamation that burst forth as he concluded, proved 
how far at least he had gained upon their admiration and 

This debate occupied seven days ; and w^hen, on the 
29th, the question was finally put, there appeared a vast 
majority opposed to it. The result was no sooner an- 
nounced, than Mr. Spring Rice immediately moved an 
address to the king on the subject, which motion was also 
carried through both houses by large majorities. His 
Majesty appointed the 1st of May for receiving it, which he 
did, according to report, with great satisfaction. 

Thus for a time the destiny of Ireland seemed an endless 
dependance, and all her complaints no better than the vain 
bowlings of a prisoner in his subterranean solitude. Those 
who feasted and revelled in their lordly chambers above, 
suffered no thought to penetrate the distance through which 
they imagined no voice could reach them. But Ireland 
was laboring under a thousand unredressed wrongs, and 
the reign of Agitation could cease only in the reign of 
Right, ^ 



Accession of the Melbourne Ministry. — The Five Years'' 
Truce with England. — Orangeism. — The Fruitlessness 
of Peace. — Revival of Agitation. — Just Judgment of the 

The close of 1834 saw another change of ministry, a 
new one being formed of the old Peel and Wellington 
stan^ip, with the addition of the Duke of Richmond and Earl 
Eipon, two members of the deceased Reform Cabinet, who 
loved power better than consistency. A repeal of the 
reform bill was threatened, under pretence of an amend- 
ment; and an "indemnity" of the established church, for 
the reduction of tithes, was another favorite project of the 
new rulers. Alarmed at such prospects, O'Connell called 
around him all the patriotism of Ireland, and exhorted them 
to combine and stand together, that they might thus keep 
the advantages they had struggled so hard to obtain. They 
formed themselves into the Anti-Tory Association, (on 
which the National Political Union was abandoned,) and 
labored strenuously to avert from the empire, more particu- 
larly from Ireland, the probable calamities of a new tory 

A general election occurred in the interim between the 
dissolution of the Parliament of 1834 and its re-assembling 
in '35 ; the Irish people, thoroughly aroused to the impend- 
ing danger, exerted all their energies, as if the battle of 
emancipation was to be fought over again ; this resulted 
in the return of a large majority of reformers — the effect 
of which was, the new cabinet were defeated on the very 
threshold of their triumph ; the opposition Speaker, (Aber- 
crombie,) was chosen by a majority of ten, and the speech 
from the throne was amended by a majority of seven. 
After a brief service of about three months, Sir Robert Peel 
and his colleagues resigned that power they had pre- 
determined to abuse, and the Melbourne administration 


This new administration obtained the confidence of Mr. 
O'Connell, and could they have fulfilled their promises, 
would have continued to deserve it. They chose for Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland, Earl Mulgrave, now Marquis of 
Normanby, a statesman of enlarged views, and distin- 
guished for liberality. They gave him for Secretary, Lord 
Morpeth, one of the purest and most high-minded of Eng- 
lishmen ; they placed Perrin and O'Loghlen in the two 
highest Irish legal offices ; they made Mr. More O'Ferall 
an under Lord of the Treasury ; Shiel, Master of the Mint, 
and disbanded the Orange faction. Surely, such a com- 
mencement augured well to Ireland from their future legisla- 
tion. The prime sin of the Grey administration had been 
their patronage of tories, on w^hich rock they split. That 
premier w^as also unfortunate in the choice of his subordi- 
nates, for there could not have been a worse selection for 
Ireland, than the Marquis of Angiesea and Mr. Stanley. 
Both hated O'Connell, as if by instinct ; and his feelings 
towards them were, from the first, of the most hostile de- 
scription. But when these worthy gentlemen laid violent 
hands on the father of the Irish people, and attempted to 
incarcerate his person, they showed too plainly how unfit 
they w^ere for the station they held. There can be no 
doubt that this circumstance liastened the fall of Lord Grey, 
and facilitated the rise of Melbourne. The latter saw 
clearly through the great blunder made by his predecessor, 
and he solemnly resolved, and publicly vowed, to take the 
w^arning. But the vow did not last many years ; and the 
lesson forgotten brought on a similar punishment. Lord 
Melbourne resolved to steer wide of such an error ; but, 
unhappily for liberal principles, he, like many another poli- 
tician, while avoiding Scylla, ran plump into Charybdis. 

On Monday, May 11th, 1835, the new viceroy arrived 
in Ireland, having been recalled from the government of 
Jamaica, — where his departure was regarded as a public 
calamity, — to preside over the destinies of another island of 
slaves. His reception was on a scale of unusual magnifi- 
cence ; triumphal arches, decked in the glowing produc- 
tions of surviving looms — the earnest faith of the people — 
the hoarse voices of the cannon, and the brilliant corteges 
which blocked the magnificent streets of the long-misruled 
metropolis — were all promissory of better times for Ireland. 
But cold would have been that noble viceroy's welcome, 


had he not come from England with a character endorsed 
by the eulogium of O'Connell. This was the secret of the 
clamorous joy which everywhere met the ear, and of the 
costly exhibitions of remaining grandeur, which neither 
crown nor coronet, wealth nor promises, could have pro- 
cured for an untried ruler, from that justly suspicious race. 
But Lord Mulgrave in the sequel showed himself not un- 
worthy of the cead mille failthee "^ he had received ; and 
had his colleagues in the cabinet of England, endeavored 
to earn an honest popularity by a like upright and consis- 
tent course, the Melbourne administration might have held 
the reins until this day. Not only Mulgrave, but the whole 
cabinet had been vouched for by Mr. O'Connell ; and the 
earlier measures, as well as appointments of their making, 
fully justified the confidence he asked for them. 

With a momentary interruption, this ministry retained 
power until 1840. Within that period, many great con- 
cessions were made to Ireland by the imperial legislature, 
at the instance of Mr. O'Connell. Of these the chief were 
the Irish church reform bill, and the Irish corporate reform 
bill. By the provisions of the first, tithes were lessened 
from 75 to 68 per cent. ; by the operation of the second, 
municipal religious tests, and municipal Orange exclusive- 
ness have been abolished. Both were assuredly triumphs 
of no secondary order; they were a necessary sequel to 
the emancipation act. The operation of the latter has been 
attended with the most gratifying results, since within two 
years last past, we have seen the five chief cities of the 
country presided over by mayors of the long-proscribed 
Roman Catholic persuasion. Dublin rejoiced in the pater- 
nal care of O'Connell, and forgot, for a time, her misery 
and altered state in the honor conferred on her by such a 
choice. The southern cities, and even Derry, forgot an- 
cient feuds ; and at the civic board, the high courtesy of 
honorable minds succeeded the narrow and gloomy bigotry 
of an associated privileged sect. But for these blessings, 
the House of Lords took care Ireland should owe them 
nothing. They had gone to the most indecent extremities 
in their opposition to these, as well as to all other necessary 
and commendable changes. 

One of the earliest and most important services of the 

♦ Anglice — A hundred thousand welcomes. 


new ministry, was their expose of the nefarious system of 
secret combinations called Orange Lodges. Of all the for- 
midable conspiracies which ever fettered government, or 
thwarted social advancement amongst a people, this was 
assuredly the most criminal and destructive. From long- 
continued impunity, its leaders at last lost all sense of 
shame and honor, and their annual processions on the anni- 
versaries of the chief victories of William the Third, were 
marked with blood and sacrifice in the memory of the 
empire. But the northern province of Ireland was their 
great stronghold. The fertile valleys of Tyrconnel, the 
broad lands of O'Neil, the picturesque patrimony of Ma- 
guire, and the rich domains of Mageinns, had been, in the 
16th and 17th centuries, torn from their legitimate proprie- 
tors, and bestowed upon adventurous Scots, bestial Hes- 
sians, and the promiscuous followers of the Prince of 
Orange. These races combining together in the north, 
and conscious of the illegality of their title-deeds, strove by 
exciting feuds and jealousies between the two kingdoms, to 
retain the Catholics in bonds, and to attract toward them- 
selves all the fat of the land, with the approbation of the 
English governors. Though some amongst them knew and 
practised a better creed, the immense majority had bitterly 
opposed emancipation, and all the smaller concessions that 
followed in its train. It was, therefore, a victory to the 
Irish, when a committee was appointed by Parliament, on 
the 23d of March, 1835, to inquire into the nature, oaths 
and obligations of this confederacy. On the 4th of August 
following, Mr. Hume, the chairman of this committee, 
introduced the annexed resolutions, as containing the min- 
utes of evidence examined before them, and their opinions 
thereon : — 

Resolution 1. That it appears, from the evidence laid 
before this House, that there exists at present, in Ireland, 
more than fifteen hundred Orange Lodges, some parishes 
containing as many as three or four Private Lodges, con- 
sisting of members varying in number from sixteen to two 
hundred and sixty, acting in communication and correspon- 
dence with each other, and having secret signs and pass- 
words as bonds of union, and all depending on the Grand 
Lodge of Ireland. 

Resolution 2. That the Orange Institution of Ireland 


is unlimited in numbers, and exclusively a Protestant As- 
socijition ; that every member must belong to a private 
lodge, to which he is admitted under a religious sanction, 
and with a religious ceremony, carrying a Bible in his hands, 
submitting to certain forms and declarations, and taught 
secret signs and pass-words. 


"No. 1. The Orange Institution consists of an unlim- 
ited number of brethren, whose admission is not regulated 
by any other test than those of their religious character and 

*' 2. No person who at any time has been a Roman 
Catholic can be admitted into the Institution, except by 
special application to the Grand Lodge, or Grand Com- 
mittee, accompanied by certificates and testimonials, trans- 
mitted through the Grand Secretary of his county, which 
shall be so perfectly satisfactory as to produce an unani- 
mous vote on the occasion. 

" 3. Any member of the Orange Institution who shall 
print or circulate anything connected with the Institution 
affecting its character, or the character of any of its mem- 
bers, without the sanction of the Grand Lodge, or of the 
Grand Committee, shall be expelled by the Grand Lodge. 

" 4. That every member of the Orange Institution shall 
belong to a Private Lodge, and that no person shall be pro- 
posed as a member of a committee, unless the Lodge to 
which he belongs is mentioned." 

Resolution 3. That no Lodore can be constituted without 
a warrant of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, signed by the 
Grand Master and office-bearers for the time being, and 
having the seal of the Grand Lodge thereto affixed. 


^^y°[ ! Statue of William III. \ ^S°""*y °^ 

. 18 — \ / "^District of 

" By virtue of this authority, 
our well beloved Brother Orange-man of the Purple Order 
(and each of his successors) is permited to hold a Lodge, 

No. , in the county 

and district above specified, to consist of True Orange- 


MEN, and to act as Master, and to perform the requisitions 

(County Seal) Given under our Great Seal. 

(Great Seal.) 

(Copy.) Ernest, Grand Master. 

(Copy.) Enniskkillen, Deputy Grand Master. 

(Copy.) Henry Maxwell, Grand Secretary. 

(Copy.) Wm. Swan, Deputy Grand Secretary. 

(Copy.) Alex.'r Percival, Grand Treasurer. 

(Copy.) H. R. Baker, Deputy Grand Treasurer. 

Countersigned by ) 

County Grand Master." ) 
I am authorized to state, on the part of the Grand Orange 
Lodge of Ireland, that a marching warrant only differs from 

this,^ in the district being filled up thus : " District of 




" No. 23. No Private Lodge shall be held without the 
authority of a warrant from the Grand Lodge, signed by 
the Grand Master, a Deputy Grand Master, the Grand 
Secretary, Deputy Grand Secretary, Grand Treasurer, and 
Deputy Grand Treasurer, and countersigned by the Grand 
Master or Deputy Grand Master of the County, and sealed 
with the seals of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and of the 
Grand Lodge of the county in which such Lodge shall be 

"24. All applications for warrants shall be made through 
the District Lodges, in the County Grand Lodge, to be 
thence forwarded to the Grand Lodge of Ireland, under 
their respective seals, transmitting therewith the sum of one 
guinea; with renewals, the sum of five shillings." 


[See Resolution No. 4.] 

Moved by Rev. C. Boyton, seconded by Francis Kier- 

April 22, 1830. 

" That this Committee recommended to the Grand Orange 
Lodge, at its meeting on the 5th of May, to establish a law, 


that all warrants in future be signed alone by the Grand 
Master, His Royal Hij^hness the Duke of Cumberland, by 
the senior D. G. M. of Ireland, the Grand Secretary of Ire- 
land, and countersigned by the County Grand Master. 

" W. Brownrigg, Chairman. 

*' Thomas Nixon, A. G. I." 
Resolution 4. That it appears by the laws and ordi- 
nances of the Orancre Institution in Ireland, dated 1835, 
that the Secretary of each Private Lodge is directed to re- 
port to the Secretary of the District Lodge ; the Secretary 
of each District Lodge to report to the Grand Secretary of 
the County Lodge ; the Grand Secretary of the County 
Lodge to report to the Deputy Grand Secretary of the 
Grand Lodge in Dublin ; and the Grand Lodge to hold 
meetings at stated periods, to transact ordinary business of 
the society : and the Deputy Grand Secretary of the Grand 
Lodge to communicate half yearly to each Lodge in Ireland, 
and also to the Grand Lodge of Great Britain. 


" No. 5. The Secretary of each Lodge to make a return 
as soon as possible after the regular meeting in February 
to the District Secretary of the names and residences of the 
several officers in his Lodge, together with its place of 
meeting and post town, and number of its members. 

" 13. Masters of Lodges shall make returns to their Dis- 
trict Masters of the names and residences of the members 
of their respective Lodges, at the district meeting in March. 

" 14. In order to establish a fund to defray the expenses 
of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, each lodge shall transmit 
a subscription of not less than 2s. 6d. annually to the County 
Treasurer, to be by him forwarded (at the same time with 
the return of the County Grand officers in April) to the 
Deputy Grand Treasurer of Ireland." 


" No. 3. District Masters shall make returns to the 
County Grand Lodges of the names and residences of the 
brethren in their districts, and of individuals rejected or ex- 
pelled within said district, at the county meetings to be held 
in April. 

" 5. The Secretary of each District shall make a return^ 
as soon as possible after the regular meeting in March, to 


the County Grand Secretary, of the names and residence 
of the several officers in his District Lodge, together with 
the name and residence of each of the Masters and Secre- 
taries of the Private Lodges, their places of meeting and post 
towns, with the number of members in each; and ivherevei 
the County Grand Lodge is not formed of the district officers^ 
the Secretary of each Lodge shall make a return to the 
County Secretary, similar to the one to be made to the 
Secretary of the district." 


'' No. 6. The Grand Master of the Counties shall make 
returns to the Grand Lodge of Ireland, of the names and 
residences of the brethren in their counties, at the meeting 
of the Grand Lodge in May. 

"7. The Grand Secretary shall make a return of the 
County Grand Officers to the Grand Committee, within one 
week after the election. 

" 8. The Grand Secretary of each county shall make a 
return as soon as possible after the meeting in April, to the 
Deputy Grand Secretary of Ireland, of the names and res- 
idences of the several District masters in his county, to- 
gether with the names and residences of the Masters and 
Secretaries of the several Private lodges, places of meeting 
and post town, as also the number of members in each 

" The Grand Secretary shall make a return to the Grand 
Lodge of Ireland^ of the names and residence of all persons 
rejected or expelled within their respective counties, at the 
meeting in May." 


" No. 2. The Grand Lodge of Ireland shall have two 
stated meetings in the year, viz., in May and November. 

" The Grand Lodge shall, after the general election of offi- 
cers for the ensuing year, proceed to transact their ordinary 

" 12. The Grand Officers of Great Britain are members 
of the Grand Lodge. 

" 13. All members of the Grand Lodge are members of 
every other Lodge in the kingdom. 

" 14. No member of the Grand Lodge whatsoever, shall 
be allowed any privilege as such until he has paid his 
subscription for the current year, of one guinea. 


" 17. The Deputy Grand Secretary shall communicate 
in the half yearly report to each Lodge in Ireland, and to 
the Grand Lodge of Great Britain^ the names and resi- 
dences of all persons that are rejected ox expelled from 
the Orange Institution. 

" 18. The duty of the Grand Co??imittee shall be, to 
watch over the interests of the Orange Society while the 
Grand Lodge is not sitting, and to decide upon applications 
from subordinate Lodges, conformably to the rules of the 
Institution, as the exigencies of the different cases corning 
within their knowledge may appear to require. All the 
acts of the committee shall be submitted to the scrutiny of 
the Grand Lodge at its ensuing meeting. 

" 1. All official communications sent to the Grand 
Lodge, or the Grand Committee, shall be transmitted 
through the County Grand Secretary, or grand officer hold- 
ing the county seal, and sealed with the same." 

Resolution 5. That Orange Lodges have individually 
and collectively addressed his Majesty, both Houses of Par- 
liament, the Lord Lieutenant, and others, on special occa- 
sions, of a political nature, such as on the subject of the 
Colonies, the Change of Ministry, the Education of the Peo- 
ple, the Repeal of the Union, Catholic Emancipation, and 
Reform of Parliament. 


" That the Rules submitted by the D. G. S. for the gov- 
ernment of the colonies be adopted, and that publicity be 
given to the same." 

Moved by J. Butler, ) p _, 

Seconded by J. H. Jeboult, ) 
" That the address to the King on the subject of the 
Colonies be adopted, and forwarded to the Trustees for sig- 
nature. 31st Oct., 1829." [Vide Appendix.] 

5th May, 1832. 
" [Appendix 76.] That circulars be forwarded to the 
several Masters of the Orange Lodges in Ireland, request- 
ing them to procure petitions from their several lodc^es, to 
both Houses of Parliament, against the new Irish Educa- 
tion system, also against the Irish Reform Bill, and to for- 
ward them without delay to the Right Honorable, the Earl 
of Roden, House of Lords, London, endorsed, 'Parliamen- 
tary Petition.' " 


28th November, 1828. 

" Resolved, That we deem it essential for the preserva- 
tion of our Protestant constitutions, that we should co-ope- 
rate with the committee of the Brunswick Club in procuring 
and obtaining signatures to Petitions, to be presented to his 
Majesty, and both Houses of Parliament, against further 
concessions to persons professing the Popish or Roman 
Catholic Religion." 

Resolution 6. That the Grand Lodge of Ireland has in- 
terfered in political questions, and expelled members for the 
exercise of their constitutional and social rights ; has inter- 
fered at elections and defended criminal prosecutions, as 
appears from the evidence and from the minutes of pro- 
ceedings in the book of the Grand Lodge, produced before 
the select committee. 

[Q. 1935.] "That Mr. Archibald Fisher was expelled 
the Society, for canvassing and being an active partizan, 
and heading processions of bodies of men whose principles 
may be judged, from their shouting, ^O'Connell and the 
Repeal of the Union.' 

[Q. 1937.] " That John Hitton was removed from the 
Committee of the Grand Lodge, for not having voted at the 
late city election, that being on the 9th of June, 1831. 

[Q. 1938.] " That the Grand Committee be directed to 
remove from the list of officers of the Grand Lodge the, 
name of any person or persons supporting the Reform Bill, 
as proposed by his Majesty's present government. 

[Q. 1939.] " That the Rev. Henry Cottingham and the 
Rev. Samuel Willis were expelled the institution on the 
8th June, 1831, for sacrificing their principles as Orange- 
men, by voting for the reform candidates." 


" 1st September, 1831. 
"That Major Brownrigg be expelled from this commit- 
tee, in consequence of his conduct at the recent election in 
Dublin, and that his expulsion from the institution at large 
be recommended to the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and that 
a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the King's County 
Grand Lodge. 

" 12th February, 1833. 
" That the sum of £10 sterling be placed at the disposal 
of brother M'Neale, for the purpose of defending an Orange- 
man, at present in the gaol of Dundalk. 


" 24th December, 1S34. 

"That a document be prepared to be forwarded to tlie 
Orange electors of the city of Armagh, calling on them 
most strongly to support a Protestant candidate, and give 
their most determined opposition to the return to Parlia- 
ment of Mr. Dobbin, or any other person professing the 
same radical principles." 

Resolution 7. That it appears by the books of the Grand 
Lodge of Ireland, produced by its Deputy Grand Secretary, 
before the Select Committee of this House, the undermen- 
tioned warrants for constituting* and holdinc^ Oran^re Lodjres 
have been issued to non-commissioned officers and privates 
of the following regiments of Cavahy and of Infantry of the 
Line, at home and abroad ; to non-commissioned officers of 
the Staff of several Militia regiments ; to members of other 
corps and to the Police, namely : — 

No. of 

No. of the Warrant 

The name of the person to whom 

Question in 

in the Register of the 

granted; of the regiment, 


Grand Lodge of Ireland. 

and date of warrant. 


155 To John Thompson, Glass- 

lough, Monaghan, Militia 

Staff, 24th Sept., 1828. 


334 I 

). Thompson, 24th regi- 
ment, (marching warrant,) 
1st Oct., 1829. 


415 Peter Duff, Fermanagh Staff, 

(marching warrant,) 30th 

Jan., 1835. 

506 Marching warrant, (see Ap- 

pendix, p. 54.) 


564 Marching warrant, (see Ap- 

pendix, p. 54,) 15th regi- 

ment, 15th Sept., 1830; 


567 John Kennedy, Dublin, 1st 

Dragoon Guards, 26th 

Dec, 1831. 

568 Marching warrant, (see Ap- 

pendix, p. 54.) 


859 George Agnew, 59th regt., 

22d Oct., 1833. 

878 Marching warrant, (see Ap- 

pendix, p. 56.) 


Samuel Scott, Cork, 89th 

regiment, 1st May, 1834. 
James Gresson, Cork, 70th 

regiment, 1st May, 1834. 
Colin Dunlop, 79th regiment, 

(marching warrant,) 3d 

Jan., 1827. 
J. N. Henry, 4th Dragoon 

Guards, 1st April, 1835. 
7th regiment, (marching war- 
rant,) 28th April, 1835. 
James Gillespie, regiment. 

Armagh, 20th February, 

J, Meineigh, 1st regiment of 

foot, city of Derry, 2d 

January, 1834. 
W. Gutteridge, Fermanagh 

Staff, (marching warrant,) 

24th Sept., 1828. 
J. Fisher, 81st regt., Dublin, 

17th September, 1832. 
Robert Moore, 15th Hussars, 

25th March, 1835. 
J. Meineigh, 1st Royal Foot 

regiment, Londonderry, 

7th June, 1834. 
2295 1725 W. Evans, 85th regiment, 

county of Limerick, 14th 

March, 1834. 
John Maberty, 83d reg., 11th 

September, 1832. 
R. Taylor, 2d battalion 1st 

Royals, 25th March,1835. 
Sergt. N. Hanna, 60th reg., 

1st battalion, 1st May, 

Henry Nicols, 50th regt., 4th 

July, 1832. 
Thomas Pownall, 80th reg., 

8th August, 1832. 
Alexander Mortimer, senior, 

depot 32d regiment. 





































" 1st January, 1834. 
" Resolved, That warrant No. 1592 be granted to Joseph 
Meineigh, of the First Royals, on the recommendation of 
brother Adam Schoales of Derry. N. D. Cromelin. 

"25th March, 1835. 
Present : 
N. D. Cromelin, Chairman. 
Rev. R. Handcock, Hugh R. Baker, 

Annesley Hughes, William R. Ward, 

Sir D. J. Dickenson, Allan Ellison, 

James C. Lowry, William W. Childers, 

Thomas Marshall, John J. Butler, 

Thomas J. Stoney, John O. Jones, 

James Jones, William Swan. 

** That warrant No. 1537 be granted to brother Robert 
Moore, for the 15th Light Dragoons." Moved by W. 
Swan, and seconded by J. 0. Jones. 

"That Lodge 1575 be permitted to initiate Mr. Talbot, 
formerly a Roman Catholic." Moved by J. C. Lowry — 
seconded by Wm. Swan. 

" That a warrant. No. 1765, be granted to R. Taylor for 
second battalion of the First Royals." 

" 1st April, 1835. 
Present : 
N. D. Cromelin, Chairman. 
Rev. R. Handcock, George W. Breton, 

John Mayne, William W. Childers, 

Isaac Butt, Hugh R. Baker, 

W. C. Epsy, Stewart Blacker, 

H. Murphy, William Swan. 

" That warrant 1372 be granted to brother J. N. King, 
for the 4th No. on the Dragoon Guards." 



155 John Lee, Glasslough, Militia Staff, Monaghan, 
Nov. 18, 1823. 
1309 John Little, 25th regiment of foot, Oct. 4, 1823. 
1406 Serjeant John M'Mullen, Militia Staff, Armagh, 

March 8, 1824. 
1623 John Bushill, 1st Royals, July 28, 1824. 


4632 Francis Kennedy, County Limerick Police, Co. 

Clare, Feb. 12, 1824. 
1689 J. Buchanan, Rifle Brigade, June 4, 1824. 

1711 D. Dowdall, 1st Royal Veteran Battalion, Feb. 

20, 1824. 

1712 John M'Matty, 12th Royal Lancers, Feb. 20, 1824. 
1723 W. Hannah, 2d or Queen's regt.. May 15, 1824. 
1725 John Aiken, 2d Royal Veteran Battalion, Derry, 

May 28, 1824. 
1729 H. Holden, 5th Dragoon Guards, June 16, 1824. 

1733 R. Kerry, 4th Dragoon Guards, July 28, 1824. 

1734 2d Rifle Brigade, July 28, 1824. 

" 17th December, 1829. 
'* Moved by Rev. C. Boyton, seconded by E. Cottingham, 
"That T. B. White's suggestions be adopted as the 
resolution of this committee : 

" That the next dormant number be issued to the 66th 
regiment, and the Quebec brethren be directed to send in a 
correct return, in order that new warrants be issued." 

" 17th November, 1831. 

[Appendix 76.] — " Your committee have received from 
America the most cheering accounts, and the lodges now 
sitting there under your warrants emulate each other in 
evincing their gratitude for the interest taken by you in 
their welfare." 

Resolution 8. That such warrants are sent privately and 
indirectly to such non-commissioned officers and privates, 
without the knowledge or sanction of the commanding offi- 
cers of such regiments or corps, and every Lodge held in 
the army is considered as a District Lodge. 



GRAND LODGE. [Q. 2856.] 

" Sir — We, the Master, Deputy Master, and Secretary 
of 1458 Orange Lodge, of the 16th Company Royal Sappers 
and Miners, having, in August, 1831, taken out the above 
warrant from the county of Antrim Grand Lodge — we are 
increasing in number, and wish to be supplied with any 
information which the Grand Lodge from time to time 
sends to our other country brethren. The regulations not 
pointing out any means for military Lodges holding com- 


municalion, we have therefore come to the re.solution of 
applyino^ by letter to you for instruction, which will be most 
thankfully received. From the peculiar nature of our duty, 
we do not remain long in any place ; therefore, your 
answering this as soon as possible will confer a lasting 
obligation on your most obedient, humble servants and 
brethren, William Scott, Master. 

Daniel Rock, Deputy Master. 

Edward Dixon, Secretary." 

'' 15th February, 1833. 
[Appendix.] "William Scott, 16th Company Royal Sap- 
pers and Miners. 

"That the committee would most willingly forward all 
documents connected with the Orange system, to any confi- 
dential person in Ballymena^ as prudence would not permit 
that printed documents be forwarded direct to our military 
brethren. W. J." 

[Q. 28o6.] In reply to this is a letter from Mr. Scott, 
dated 18th February, stating, " I have to acknowledge the 
receipt of your letter of the 15th inst., and take this oppor- 
tunity of expressing my thanks for the kind and gentlemanly 
manner in which you have answered last month's letter. 
I request you will be kind enough to convey the thanks of 
the brethren of No. 1458, to the committee of the Grand 
Lodge, for their prompt consideration of our business, as 
well as for the interest they have shown in our welfare. 
The parcel, containing the papers, &c., can be directed to 
Mr. Andrew Crosbie, saddler, who is a faithful brother, and 
can be depended on." 

Resolution 9. That the General Orders of the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Forces (Parliamentary Paper, No. 
395 of 1835) addressed in the yeais 1822 and 1829, to 
Commanding Officers of Regiments and of Depots, and to 
General Officers and to other officers on the Staff, at home 
and abroad, strongly reprobate the holding of Orange 
Lodges in any regiment, as "'fraught with injury to the 
discipline of the army ;^^ and ''that on military grounds 
the holding of Orange Lodges in any regiment or corps, is 
contrary to order and to the rides of the service; " and " that 
a disregard of this caution will subject offending parties to 
trial and punishment for disobedience of orders." 


No. 2. 
(Copy.) (Confidential.) 

Circular Letter from the Adjutant General, dated July 1, 

1822. (Addressed to Officers commanding regiments of 

Cavalry and Infantry, at home and abroad, East Indies 


"Horse Guards, July 1, 1822. 

" Sir — Reports having reached the Commander-in-Chief 
that measures are taking in some regiments to promote the 
establishment of Orange Lodges, and that in certain in- 
stances Commanding Officers have been solicited to permit 
soldiers to receive diplomas for holding such Lodges, his 
Koyal Highness desires that you will state, for his Royal 
Highness' information, whether any attempt of this descrip- 
tion has been made in the regiment under your command, 
as his Royal Highness cannot too strongly reprobate a 
practice so fraught ivith injury to the discipline of the 
Army. I have, &:c., 

(Signed) H. Torrens, Adjutant General." 

No. 3. 
Circular Letter from the Adjutant General, dated Nov. 14, 

1829. (Addressed to Commanding Officers of Regiments 

and Depots, and to General and other Officers on the 

Staff, at home and abroad.) 

"Horse Guards, November 14, 1829. 

" Sir — In consequence of circumstances which have 
recently come to the knowledge of the General Command- 
ing-in-Chief, his Lordship has directed me to transmit to 
yoa a duplicate of the circular issued on the 1st of July, 
1822, by his late Royal Highness the Duke of York, and 
to call your attention to the necessity of strict conformity to 
it, and of the exercise of the utmost vigilance on your part 
to prevent the introduction^ or the existence^ in the regiment 
under your command, of the practice therein adverted to, 
and which ivas so justly reprobated by his Royal Highness 
as 'fraught luith injury to the discipline of the Army.'' 

" In making any inquiry with a view to ascertain 
whether any Orange Lodges have been made in the regi- 
ment under your command, you will cause it to be clearly 
understood by the men, that the investigation has become 
necessary on military grounds, and that they will not be 


exposed to any reflection or disgrace on account of being 
Orangemen, but that their meetings heing contrary to order 
and to the rules of the service^ cannot he 'permitted^ under 
any yretence. Finally^ that their disregard of this caution 
lo'ill subject them to trial and punishment for disobedience 
of orders. I have, &c., 

(Signed) H. Taylor, Adjutant General." 

Resolution 10. That these resolutions, and the evidence 
taken before the Select Committee on Orange Lodges, be 
laid before his Majesty. 

Resolution 11. That a humble address be presented to 
his Majesty, praying that he will be graciously pleased to 
direct his royal attention to the nature and extent of Orange 
Lodges in his Majesty's Army, in contravention of the gen- 
eral orders of the Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's 
Forces, issued in the years 1822 and 1829, which strongly 
reprobate and forbid the holding of Orange Lodges in any 
of his Majesty's regiments ; and also to call his attention to 
the circumstance of his Royal Highness Ernest, Duke of 
Cumberland, a Field Marshal in his Majesty's army, having 
signed warrants, in his capacity of Grand Master of the 
Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, (some of them dated so 
recently as April in the present year,) which warrants have 
been issued for constituting Orange Lodges in the army. 

An address, grounded on this extraordinary statement, 
was accordingly prepared and presented to the crown, to 
which his Majesty in substance replied that he agreed with 
the address in considering such combinations dangerous 
and illegal, and that he w^ould " adopt the most effectual 
means to prevent the introduction of secret societies " into 
the army ; for on the charge of seducing the soldiery from 
their duty, the investigation had been established. 

These efforts seem to have exhausted the entire stock of 
whig liberality, and early in 1838, there was much appa- 
rent probability of a coalition between them and Sir Robert 
Peel, " the child and champion of toryism." A ferocious 
attack on O'Connell by Lord Brougham, and the lukewarm 
manner in which the whigs saw their own Irish measures 
mutilated by amendments, convinced the "great agitator '^ 
that the sum of ministerial concession was filled up, and 
farther they would not, or could not proceed. In the career 
of reform they had forgotten the inspired maxim — "he that 


hath put his hand to the plough, let him not look back ; " 
for when the furrow was laid open, when the good grain 
was half sown, their evil genius, like the magician men- 
tioned in a German legend, metamorphosed them into 
ravens, and they devoured it. They were a good-inten- 
tioned class; but hell, it has been well said, is paved with 
good intentions. If their cowardice had injured only them- 
selves, it were small loss ; but it had a most destructive 
effect upon the cause of reform in the empire. There were 
then but two classes in British politics, the people and the 
tories. The former were fast acquiring energy and wisdom 
and skill; they were learning their own strength and their 
rights and prerogatives, but they had not been long enough 
engaged in such studies to rear a race of plebeian staies- 
men. They were necessitated, therefore, to look to either 
of the political aristocracies, and they chose the whigs for 
their allies and agents. Had they been resolute enough to 
treat the people as confidants, not as temporary and useful 
tools, a thorough regeneration of the constitution might 
easily have been effected. But the whigs slighted the 
people — the people, in turn, became disgusted with the 
whigs ; and the fox of Tamworth stepped in for the spoil, 
while both v/ere lying inactively and suspiciously apart. 

O'Connell, with his usual foresight, beheld the approach- 
ing result, and he resolved to save Ireland, at least, from 
the apathy so fatal to popular reforms in the sister island. 
On the accession of Lord Melbourne's administration, it 
had given to him and the country a solemn pledge that 
justice should be done to Ireland. The royal speech of 
the same year echoed this sentiment, and condemned all 
attempts at agitating for repeal. The accession of Victoria 
two years afterward, did not change the cabinet; and one 
of the first acts of her Majesty was a letter to Lord Mul- 
grave, expressing a wish that he should treat her Irish 
subjects precisely as those of England. These fine speeches 
had not been openly violated ; on the contrary, they had 
been, as we have seen, in a meagre measure fulfilled. Mr. 
O'Connell in '35 had said to the new ministry in answer 
to their pledges, and to the monarch in reply to his speech, 
— " I will give you five years to act upon your promises ; 
I will cease for five years to agitate for repeal ; you may, 
perhaps, do us full justice, which I someAvhat doubt. Yet, 
to abolish all argument in favor of the Union, I will try a 


reformed imperial Parliament for a fair time ; if it fails, 
there can be but one course for Ireland — to demand and 
procure the restoration of her own legislature." 

For this declaration, he was blamed by the most ultra 
friends of Ireland, as well as by the lories. " He has 
deserted us!" cried the one. "A compact, a bargain, a 
Litchfield House purchase — he has sold you!" cried the 
other. But the " best abused man" pursued the even tenor 
of his way, striking down the outposts as before — abolish- 
ing, foot by foot, the outer defences of Anglican domination 
ere he returned once more to the main trial. The debate 
of 1834 had convinced him the time was not yet come 
when repeal could be peaceably effected ; and by no other 
means would he undertake to accomplish it. The tories 
were too strong, the whigs too weak, and the radicals too 
wild, to suffer such an end to come to pass in Parliament ; 
and not only policy, but necessity stimulated to the experi- 
ment. Some have contended, that had he continued to 
agitate repeal, he would still have gained all that he did in 
the five years' truce — they even assert that such a course 
might have gained him more. But in this, they are 
completely mistaken. The case stood thus : had Mr. 
O'Connell in '35 gained, from the imperial Parliament, all 
the advantages of which Ireland was desirous to avail her- 
self, or not? It is very evident he had not; then the next 
consideration is, if repeal were kept in the foreground, 
would it not have made the whigs less willing to concede, 
and given to the tories the favorite and not powerless cry 
of "Revolution?" Any man, who bestows an hour's 
thought on the constitution of the imperial Parliament at 
that time, must be fully aware that the only wise course 
was that of the experiment, or truce. 

Although the monarch and the ministry forfeited their 
promises and pledges, O'Connell resolved to fulfil his to 
the letter. He found peace useful, to a limited extent; but 
at a certain point it became inoperative, and he had once 
more to recur to his favorite weapon, " agitation." As a 
soldier long parted from his sword — as an artist forbidden 
the implements of his art, so O'Connell returned to the 
rostrum, rearing aloft the banner which had braved a 
thousand threatening storms, with only the mystic words — 
"Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!" On the 4th of August, 
1838, he returned to Dublin, somewhat worn with the 


fatigues of a most laborious session. On the 18th, he pro- 
cured a meeting- of his friends and constituents at the Corn 
Exchange, wherein, on that day, was organized " The Pre- 
cursor Association," the object of which was to co-operate 
with the ministry during the remaining two years of the 
truce, in doing "full and equal justice to Ireland." If 
in this they were disappointed, it was then to merge into 
another, to be called the " National Repeal Association." In 
its origin, the "Precursor Association" was scarcely less 
promising than that formed fifteen years before, in the same 
hall, for Catholic emancipation. Mr. O'Connell's compan- 
ions were not so limited, but the men who had gained fame 
by his side were no longer there ; and the crowd missed 
them for a season. Shiel was a ministerialist — Steele had 
retired into private life — Mahon had apostatized — Doyle, 
Furlong, and Lawless, were gathered to their fathers. The 
great old man was not only deserted, but openly attacked. 
Mr. Sharman Crawford, an influential northern member of 
Parliament, a dissenter, of good fortune, strong talents, and 
high parliamentary reputation, was filling column after 
column of the Irish press against what he was pleased to 
term his evil temporizing ; Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald found an 
opportunity of venting his long-accumulated bile, in a series 
of bitter letters, fraught with spleen and sophistry; while 
the Rev. Mr. Davoren, a Catholic clergyman of ability, was 
on the same side, hammering at the broad foundations of 
O'Connell's public character. It was under such a con- 
junction of malignant influences, that the "Precursor Asso- 
ciation" sprang into existence ; a tour through the island, 
during the three last months of the year, was sufficient to 
dispel all the gloom, and to combine all the honest men of 
the country, "in the last attempt to obtain justice from a 
British Senate." 

The year 1839 opened on Ireland once more aroused to 
the talismanic truth — 

'^ Hereditary bondsmen, know ye not 
Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?" 

Twelve months of agitation passed away, leaving little good 
behind it. The " Reform Registry Association " was sub- 
stituted, on the 3d of September, for the Precursor Society. 
On the 15th of April following, the National Association 
was established, but early in July it assumed the additional 


title and objects of "The Loyal National Repeal Associa- 
tion," which it lias since continued to hold. An infamously 
devised bill of Lord Stanley's, for reducing the paltry 
number of the voters of Ireland, hastened this final step, 
from which Mr. O'Connell has not retrograded. 

The policy of founding so many associations in Dublin, 
has been repeatedly ridiculed by Mr. O'Connell's libellers. 
But they know little of politics or of truth, who would deny 
their utility. These bodies in some measure served as 
substitutes for a local Parliament, and in some cases were 
fully as efficient as that dependent legislature, which 
existed from the violation of the Treaty of Limerick till the 
convention at Dungannon. It is true, its members made 
no laws of themselves, but they found out the grievances 
and wants of the country — they typified its spirit, and pre- 
sented wise and well digested plans to the imperial legisla- 
ture, w^hich in not a few instances they had strength 
sufficient to force through ; they were indispensable 
monitors of the Irish members of Parliament, who, living in 
a foreign metropolis, w^here the actual state of their con- 
stituents, lost by distance and banished by the comforts of 
fashionable society, left them but too prone to degenerate 
from their hustings' patriotism. Moreover, for the country 
itself, more especially the peasantry, their influence was 
most necessary. While the same class in England, under 
lighter provocations, were breaking out into all manner of 
agrarian outrage, and while illegal combinations were 
strengthening in every English and Scottish city — while 
the Chartists flew to arms, and the prisons were crowded 
with captured rebels, the humbler classes of Ireland were 
comparatively quiet. If an Orange murder excited the 
Catholics of the north, or a tithe slaughter aroused the 
peasantry of the south, a brief address from " O'Connell's 
Association " in Dublin restored all to quiet. 

It is not for me to enter into minute details of the actions 
of any of the associations alluded to — much less, of that 
last named, which is still in such successful operation. 
Four years have done great things for Irish independence. 
The spirit of the people and the number of their champions 
have increased together, until, once more, an assembly i-s 
witnessed, combining the majority of the patriotic and 
gifted of the country, toiling night and day, eagerly and 
unitedly, for her prosperity and honor. The remnant of 


the gallant band of emancipators have rallied around their 
veteran chief — the chivalrous Steele, the magnificently- 
gifted MacHale, the resolute Barrett, and the high-minded 
Lord Ffrench. Some others are dead, and some sleeping; 
but the watchers are not a few, and they are ready. The 
son of G rattan, whose name is prouder in its simplicity than 
barony or earldom could make it ; the untiring Stanton ; 
the faithful nationalist, Valentine Blake, and names too 
many for rehearsal, are amongst the watchers at the sepul- 
chre, from which the crucified spirit of Irish Liberty is to 
arise, glorious and immortal. 

Four years have seen as many attempts to quell the 
national spirit — and they have failed. Lord Ebrington 
withdrew all patronage from repealers ; De Gray superseded 
magistrates who felt for their country, and attempted by 
military means to extinguish it in blood, on Clontarf ; a 
court of justice and a prison have been tried — but the one 
could not persuade the people that their leaders were guilty, 
nor could the other alienate the free without from the con- 
fined within. Firm in the calm resolve of righting their 
manifold wrongs — sober as was never race before — studious 
beyond any other contemporaneous people — religious as 
the most pious of their forefathers, the Irish of to-day stand 
m a formidable union, from which they can neither be 
wheedled nor terrified. And by these signs, more than 
from any external cause, do wise men predict their political 
emancipation ; for, if Ireland divide not, England must 
yield up the wrongfully acquired and accursed union. 



Anecdotes of the Personal Career of Mr. O'Connell — 
Various opinions of his Public Character — Yieiu of his 
Genius and its Influence — Conclusion. 

We have rapidly traversed the long and active public 
life of a great statesman. Let us once again cast a glance 
upon his personal career, since passing that era from which 
we last regarded it. With the triumph of emancipation, 
his professional life may be said to close ; for, notwithstand- 
ing he has often been engaged, since then, in suits of law, 
at least eleven months of each year is given to politics. 
The most remarkable of his personal qualities is, perhaps, 
his power of winning and keeping friends. For, though 
many have broken from his society, the first disruption has 
been on his part, and from striking necessities. To Ireland, 
indeed, he would sacrifice his dearest personal predilec- 
tions ; but however harshly he has dealt by those who 
seemed to him deserving of it, he has shown, by many 
extraordinary proofs, that he is far from the selfish egotism 
his enemies have charged him with. If the dead could 
speak to vindicate the living, the voice of O'Loughlen, from 
the tomb, would silence all the babbling of a host of such 
slanderers. When he himself is no more, a thousand facts 
will be his monument to posterity as a most loving and 
faithful friend. In his home — amidst the children whom 
he loves and watches over, of whom a father might well be 
proud, the genuine aflfections of his soul are seen ; and no 
enemy hath ever crossed his threshold and came back as 
he entered. Those who have often seen him thus, all agree 
in asserting that there is a charm of manner and of tone 
about everything he says and does, which they can never 
afterwards efface from their memory. The mother of his 
children is now no more ; but in them, she hath left behind 
her so many deputies of her own love, that the matronless 
board looks cheerful, and the hearth-side gay although there 
is no mother there. A score of rosy grand-children gladden 
the thoughtful evening hours of the lioary patriot, and for 


the proud name he has made them, return him homage and 
veneration. If there be on earth no more delightful object 
than a Christian father seated among his well-taught off- 
spring, in this case it is doubly admirable, where the busy, 
weary life of the patriot might be an excuse for the omis- 
sions of the parent. Politics have been the ruin of many a 
noble mind, and the warper of many a soul. Ambition, 
power and popularity have given the great of the earth to 
man^s eternal enemy. Incessant care has blunted the 
devotional feelings, while an arbitrating destiny has often 
chased away their faith in God, the Supreme Arbiter. 
Lordly minds have gloried in a fancied triumph over reve- 
lation, and conquering spirits have too frequently spurned 
the strict allegiance to be ever rendered to the church. 
All these misfortunes, by God's grace, O'Connell has 
avoided — of which his household hours are the most con- 
vincing proofs. Before such deleterious causes. Napoleon 
was crushed, and Jefferson yielded ; the Catholic and the 
Protestant have been lost together, while he stands up, amid, 
laymen almost alone, in his deep and uniform observance 
of relii^ious duty. His very love of country was a tempta- 
tion, the same by which Richelieu stumbled and Wolsey 
fell; but over this also has he triumphed. 

A life so ordered could not escape the admiration of good 
■and fervent spirits like his own. To its influence we may 
trace the deep personal reverence which has actuated so 
many communities to choose him as their representative in 
the national councils. We find him, within twelve years, 
sitting alternately for Dublin, Drogheda, Kilkenny, Water- 
ford, and Clare — and canvassed for by the best men of 
these localities, with an enthusiasm which could not be 
greater, if he were the bosom friend of each. An anecdote 
or two will show how worthy of such friends he is. 

In 1834, when Mr. Barrett, of the Dublin Pilot, was 
prosecuted for publishing a letter of Mr. O'Connell's, Mr. 
Shiel was engaged to defend him. But the day before the 
trial, that gentleman suddenly and most unexpectedly 
returned the brief which he had before accepted ; and a 
few hours before the opening of court, it was placed in Mr. 
O'Connell's hands. So deeply interested did the latter 
feel for his friend, that he immediately accepted — and, 
although without previous examination, delivered one of 
the most eflfective law arguments he had ever uttered. 


At a recent election in Carlow, some of the voters had 
been decoyed into Mr. Bruin's castle and there confined, 
lest they should vote a<2:ainst that gentleman's election. 
Their alarmed wives approached the carriage of the Liber- 
ator as he entered the county-town, amid a dense mass of 
spectators, and held up their children to him, in mute appeal. 
He took the little ones fondly in his arms, caressed them, 
and exclaimed with deep emotion — " The tyrants I how 
could they deprive such innocent beings of their fathers?" 

His readiness of repartee is one of the most singular 
of his gifts. Addressing a meeting in Dublin, favorable to 
domestic manufactures, a wag in the crowd, observing that 
he wore a foreign-looking cravat, inquired — ''Is that hand- 
kerchief on your neck, Irish manufacture?" 

" Yes ! " rejoined the speaker, " and the man that wears 
it, too!" 

There are stories innumerable told in the Four Courts 
of his promptitude in reply, and humorous eccentricities ; 
and even the coal-porters and fish-mongers retail the 
"Counsellor's boii mots^' with the greatest fidelity. His 
talent at nicknames is incredible — his soubriquets stick 
forever. Spinning-Jenny Peel, Scorpion Stanley, Lord 
Mount-Goose, and other equally terse descriptions of char- 
acter, have been long established as popular phrases. 

But he who can thus stigmatize an individual, can bear 
in his turn with almost any amount of personal abuse, from 
individuals as well as from assemblies. His conduct in the 
House of Commons, on two very trying occasions, amply 
illustrates this quality. 

At a public meeting in 1838, he had charged the tory 
election committees with gross bribery, for which he w^as 
censured by the Speaker of the House, on motion of Lord 
Maidstone. This censure he received with a dignified 
silence — arose after the speaker had ceased, defended his 
own conduct, and in the very teeth of his opponents, repeated 
the original charge. 

On a later occasion he was reported to have said in pub- 
lic, that the same assembly contained ^ve hundred scoun- 
drels, and for this he was arraigned, as a fresh breach of 
privilege. When he arose to explain, he Avas saluted with 
the most clamorous outcries. The voices of all beasts were 
imitated to perfection by his right honorable antagonists ; he 
turned to the chair and said in an emphatic and calm tone 


of voice, " Mr. Speaker, am I to be put down by such 
beastly bellowing-?" This added fuel to the flame. A 
score of gentlemen leaped simultaneously to the floor, and 
began to gesticulate vehemently ; at length it was decided 
that, if he withdrevv the word " beastly," the matter should 
be dropped ; but he very promptly rebuked this nice distinc- 
tion by inquiring, — -" What sounds were they ? — surely not 
human sounds— -and how can there be any other sort of 
bellowing but beastly bellowing?" It was upon this occa- 
sion thai Sir David Roche, of Limerick, stepped forward, 
amid the excitement, and boldly declared that if any gentle- 
man would say that he considered himself individually in- 
sulted by Mr. O'Connell, he, Sir David, was prepared to give 
him satisfaction. Indeed, since O'Connell had pledged him- 
self to peace, his friends have more than once, been obliged, 
at the risk of life, to protect his honor and person. About the 
time of the Maidstone vote of censure^ his son, Morgan, fought 
with Lord Alvanley, because that nobleman considered a 
phrase dropped in the House of Commons by Mr, O'Connell 
applied to himself personally. Mr. Steele and other gen- 
tlemen have carried their attachment equally as far, 
although in every instance without the remotest knowledge 
on the part of their illustrious friend. Mr. O'Connell him- 
self has been more than once tempted to the field since his 
vow became known, but he has faithfully observed it, in 
spite of every provocation. 

The usual treatment of living greatness is slander, doubt, 
and caricature on the one hand, and flattery on the other. 
If our great subject's eminence is to be measured by the 
amount of either which he has received, no other public 
man could rival him. There are, however, many excep- 
tions to this general truth ; men of foreign birth and fellow- 
subjects have made many and sincere attempts to hold up 
his public life as it has been acted. All agree in assigning 
him great firmness of character, fertility of expedient in 
delicate circumstances, deep penetration and a sanguine 
temperament which no obstacle can change. His worst 
enemies have allowed him the singular merit of consistency, 
and, although the tory writers of England endeavored to 
make him guilty of corruption in the Litchfield House 
"compact," the charge has never been repeated^-by a credi- 
ble authority since the re-commencement of the Eepeal 
Agitation. The reason seems to be, that while O'Connell 


was a partisan of the whigs, their antagonist strove by 
every means to ruin him in the estimation of his country, 
but when he returned to labor for her alone, and thus in- 
sured the fall of his former proteges, they ceased to calum- 
niate him. Common sense is sufficient to persuade us of 
one thing; if Mr. O'Connell were not an honest man, he 
could not be to-day, as powerful as he was thirty years ago. 
No democratic champion has, I believe, ever retained so 
uninterrupted a popularity. No mere orator, certainly, has 
held his place in the affections of any people. Cicero had 
his day of idolatry and of exile. Demosthenes was within 
ten years the most powerful, and the most abject of Athe- 
nians. But the one gave way to an overweening vanity, and 
the bribes of Harpalus justified the ingratitude of Athens 
towards the other. Burke was once, perhaps, in a fair way 
to become formidable as a public man, at that time when 
his foresight was vindicated by the anarchy of France and 
the insurrection of America ; but he had more of speech 
than action in his soul, and though his gifts of language 
were beyond those of created beings, they could not cover 
up the absence of that greatest requisite of greatness — prac- 
ticability. These men were all more eloquent than O'Con- 
nell, in the general interpretation of the word, but they fall 
immeasurably below him in the results they have produced. 
Had Cicero used his triumph mildly over the Catiline con- 
spirators, and withstood the seducing flatteries of C?esar, the 
Roman Republic might have seen other ages of glory and 
conquest and letters; had Demosthenes thought less of him- 
self and more of his country, Athens had not fallen with 
him in the estimation of the neighboring states ; had Burke 
formed a political school on his own plan, (which he might 
easily have done,) the latter history of Europe would not 
be so blasted with civil wars, and desperate attempts at 
revolution. But the orators seem to have forgotten that 
speech is only valuable as it induces or excites action. 

The generosity of O'ConnelPs public character has 
always been admitted by his respectable enemies. There 
is hardly any sort of personal offence which he has not for- 
given for the sake of union in a good cause, or for Ireland. 
The Earl of Shrewsbury, a pious and well-meaning man, 
of long descent and vast property, a Catholic for whom 
O'Connell had opened the House of Lords, the Premier 
Earl of England, and deservedly one of the British laymen 


most honored by the successor of Saint Peter, this Earl, 
published, a couple of years since, a philippic against the 
revival of agitation in Ireland, and reflecting pointedly on 
the public character of O'Connell. Ingratitude, it is said, 
would incense an eremite : the Liberator wrote a rejoinder 
famous for its terrible pungency and its unanswerable logic. 
" Stand forth Saxon and stranger," he said, and meet your 
benefactor, whom you have thus wantonly outraged. The 
Premier Earl must have felt the lash in his soul, and it 
went deeper and deeper when he recalled his own unpro- 
voked attack, but a few months ago, before the eyes of 
assembled thousands ; this mistaken man forgave, and was 
forgiven. Another delightful instance of the same class, it 
may be well to record. Sir Abraham Bradley King was 
one of those Orange Corporators of Dublin, who, before the 
passage of the Irish Municipal Reform Biil, rioted in civic 
indolence, drank to "the glorious and immortal memory" 
of the violator of the treaty of Limerick, and hiccoughed, 
" To h — 11 with the Pope," over his turtle soup, provided at 
the expense of the Catholic metropolis of a Catholic nation. 
Sir Abraham became poor, and put in his claims for a pen- 
sion of £5,000 per year ; the man who obtained it for him 
was Daniel O'Connell, — that man, who narrowly escaped 
death from the pistols of the corporation bravo, and who 
was libelled at every sitting of that body, and vilified by 
every individual who belonged to it. Many other proofs of 
the same loftiness of soul might be rehearsed, but these two 
are worth a million. 

One of the most ordinary charges against Mr. O'Con- 
nell's public character is, that like the Turk, he 

^^ Cannot bear a brother near his throne." 

But of this, there is, in his history, as far as I am acquainted 
with it, no proof whatever. Had he been so unqualifiedly 
ambitious, he had never wrought so long in embryo, be- 
hind the banners of Lords Fino-al and Killeen. In 1808, on 
the revival of Catholic Emancipation, he was in his thirty- 
third year, a prominent member of the first profession in the 
land, of genius generally recognized, and sincerity unques- 
tioned, — and yet we find him for many years after, content 
with the name and rank of a subordinate, while in fact he 
was the head and heart of the board. It was not until 
1823, that he may be said to have assumed that political 


supremacy to which he might well have aspired a dozen 
years before. This certainly does not look like inordinate 
ambition, in his youth. Had he made the eflbrt, he might 
have been as prominent in Ireland in his twenty-fifth year, 
as Bonaparte was in France, or Pitt in England, at the 
same age — but principle forbade him. He saw around and 
before him, men who had grown gray in advocating, how- 
ever feebly or fitfully, the emancipation of conscience; he 
saw Grattan in the senate, and Killeen and Kenmare in 
the associations, and he resolved to let them play out the 
monarch's part upon the stage; he respected their venera- 
ble years, and was ambitious only in practising that most 
difficult of virtues for a politician, self-denial. Since the 
Emancipation Bill, how often has he told the men who 
cavilled with his egotism, that he would ever be as willing 
to follow as to lead ? Have they tried him, ere they con- 
demned ? No, to their confusion, be it told. The only 
evidence which his most bitter opponent can bring to bear 
on this assertion is entirely presumptive. The fact is, that 
Mr. O'Connell could very well afford to allow any other 
man the eclat of leadership, for he would ever be the leader 
in point of fact. Like the great Earl of Warwick, although 
unwilling to be king himself, he could be more — a king- 
maker. There never w^as a public man more free from 
jealousy. He has given merit to every consistent friend of 
his country or cause, and for the memory of past services 
he has often overlooked present derelictions. Mr. Shiel 
and Lord Plunket, are cases in point. Both are men of 
transcendent oratorical ability ; both devoted the flower of 
their youth to the cause of Ireland, and nobly held the 
breach against the most formidable of invasions, and both, 
unfortunately, in a certain degree, have destro^^ed the reputa- 
tion for which they dared so much. Yet, when Mr. O'Con- 
nell mentions either name — though Plunkett prosecuted him 
to prison, and Shiel begged for mercy, where he should have 
demanded justice — he has always preferred to dwell upon 
their better deeds, avoiding their desertions. In a word, 
he seems as superior to jealousy as he is above rivalry. 
There have been times when he has prostrated an ambi- 
tious politician by an unmerciful exertion of his power, but 
these instances are very few, and the cases extreme. There 
is nothing farther from his nature than deliberate malignity, 
or long-cherished personal feelings. He has been forced to 


become the single leader of Ireland, and in a country whose 
hereditary curse was disunion, it was better far to have a 
dictator, than a triumvirate. The one may err, and has 
erred, but the other would have perpetuated for ages, the 
slavery of the soil. But almost all his designs have been 
practicable. If he made enemies he converted them by his 
generosity into friends. He followed others until obedience 
became folly, and he has since led without fear pr dogma-* 
tism, although in every new stage victorious. 

The genius of O'Connell has been much descanted on by 
writers, but with indifferent success. A celebrated French 
writer considers it, in Parliament, " as a huge plant under 
a glass case," and in this opinion the majority of his critics 
are agreed. I am inclined very much to doubt the accu- 
racy of this decision. When we consider him as born in 
Ireland and educated in France, we cannot but wonder that 
he has had so many triumphs in the English Parliament, 
When we consider, also, that he is a sincere and enthusias- 
tic Roman Catholic, and a determined stickler for Irish 
nationality, and that five sixths of those around him are 
Protestants of different shades of dissent from Rome, and 
four fifths of them avowed enemies of Ireland, or at least 
careless or prejudiced on Irish matters, this decision will at 
once disappear. Taking everything into consideration no 
other man has been able to accomplish so much, in the 
teeth of such various and important difficulties. Night 
after night, and session after session, has he stood in St. 
Stephens, the target of six hundred marksmen ; but having 
his quarrel just, he was armed in triple mail, and had a 
heart beneath it, which never blanched, never despaired. 
Men who have faced death in its worst forms, who have 
looked unterrified on the carnage of the Peninsular, or, that 
wild unearthly conflict when the elements combat around, 
below, and above — -the mariner— would have fled in dismay 
from such a position. But the courage of O'Connell failed 
not ; his active voice and wonderful mind were not hushed 
before the clamor of the mighty majority, nor diverted by 
the insolence of the cowardly allies of the strong cause. He 
has faced all that prejudice could array against him ; and 
w^hat can it not? Every attempt to stifle his voice has been 
defeated, and whenever he has retreated, in haughty silence, 
for a time, but to return and pay back scorn for scorn, the 


plaudits ofliis worst enemies have not uiifrequently accom- 
panied him. 

If we foHow liini from the senate house to the rostrum, 
we find the same wonderful facuhy of adaption strikingly 
visihle. His genius seems then in its natural channel, so 
smoothly and so irresistibly does it pour along. He speaks 
more than any one else, and he is better relished. Who- 
ever may be present, O'Connell is the lion. Whether it be, 
that royal blood presides, and the aristocracy form the audi- 
ence, as at the anti-slavery gatherings at Exeter Hall ; or that 
an humble priest presides, and the peasantry are his hear- 
ers, as in some of his Irish meetings, he pursues the self- 
same train of argument, in a style but little altered. There 
is a sameness, indeed, in nearly all his orations, but from 
an indefinable charm, they never tire either hearer or 
reader. There are not many attempts at rhetoric in his 
speeches, although at times he has produced as fine pas- 
sages of this class as any other speakers of our age. His 
sarcasm is one of his most pow^erful gifts ; it is a miracle of 
bitterness when he exerts it to the full, and woe betide the 
wight whose portrait he is to draw while in that mood. 
He little thinks of refining it, but, as Wilson well remarks 
of Burke's imagery, " It is like a tropical shower which 
washes down virgin gold and worthless sand together." It 
is as unhewn as Swift's, though far less concise, and as 
subtle as Sheridan's without the classical nicety of that 
great joker. It is a weapon w^hich, like the dagger of the 
knight's errant, he uses upon all occasions, in opening an 
amorous epistle at the bar, roasting an adversary in the 
commons, or in despatching him on the rostrum. Few 
there are of note in Britain who have not felt it. and none 
who have been able to forget it. 

The influences of O'Connell's genius and life will be of 
great benefit to mankind. He is the founder and father of 
a new political philosophy, which promises great results in 
futurity. The system of moral agitation is the work of his 
hands, and his immortal motto will be, ere many years, as 
universal as the science it embodies — 

*'He who commits a crime gives strength to the enemy." 

There is another aphorism of his, not unworthy to be 
placed beside the last ; viz., ** Nothing can be politically 
right, which is morally wrong." On these two precepts 


depend the whole secret of his success, and the glory of his 
history. The principle is at present for the first time recog- 
nized as a political truth, that the better way for men to 
recover lost rights, is by degrees ; such piecemeal revolu- 
tion, whilst it prevents the intoxication of sudden success, 
teaches the mind to expand, as its privileges increase ; thus 
suiting the slave to bear the novelty of freedom by a gradual 
acquaintance with its blessings. And to this end, neither 
war, munitions, nor bloodshed, are required ; in peace such 
revolutions commence, and in peace they terminate. The 
nature of a struggle thus drawn out, taxes, to the utmost 
stretch which nature can support, the energies, fortitude and 
religious firmness of a people. As they endure, so is their 
reward, until at last, having no other trials to pass through, 
they are admitted in peace to the fulness of their desires, 
and the consummation of their ambition. 

There now are, and ever will be in the world, advocates 
of war and bloodshed. Men, who, constitutionally sanguine, 
or insensible to Christian truth, will teach that by blood 
alone is right to be acquired, and liberty obtained ; who 
take their philosophy from Korhner, and their politics from 
Paganism ; nay, the world has seen " divines " (so called) 
who have contended with martial ferocity for the literal 
truth of our blessed Saviour's declaration, that he came not 
to send peace but the sword ; and if they considered them- 
selves as sent, they certainly endeavored to live up to their 
interpretation, in thus becoming firebrands and scourges to 
society. The Mahomedan's motto — "The Koran, the 
tribute, or the sword" — finds advocates even at this day 
amongst the meek disciples of a crucified Eedeemer. It is 
hard to stifle the bigot's thirst for slaughter, whether he be 
a political zealot or a sectarian partizan, yet a day will 
arrive when mankind will learn to estimate their own hap- 
piness and honor better than in giving way to brutal appe- 
tites for physical conflict. The man who has done most for 
the peace principle, is beyond doubt, in our time at least.. 
Mr. O'Connell. The best of causes may deserve to be put 
down, if their friends should attempt by force to establish 
them; and how often in this world is the oppressor strong- 
handed, while the neck of the slave is weak and bowed 
from habit? Ireland's modern history is the most striking 
proof of the insufficiency and danger of using physical 
means to redress political or social wrongs. Within seven 


centuries, that unhappy country has been led into twenty 
attempts at revolution, and each time slie failed. She had 
leaders and allies — numbers, courage, and wrongs ; and yet 
she failed. At an early period of the English connection, 
Robert Bruce, king of Scotland, sent over his brother 
Edward, and followed himself with a large army, to assist 
the northern princes in regaining their independence ; but 
this effort failed. Spain sent her veteran.? in the sixteenth 
century, witli ships of war, and stalwart cavaliers, and gold 
of Peru, to co-operate in the rising of the south and west 
against Queen Elizabeth ; and this also failed. France, in 
the last century, made three different attempts of a similar 
nature, and each of them failed. The poor aborigines, who 
clung to the soil as naturally as grass, were thus left to 
suffer the penalty for both parties ; confiscation performed 
its deadly work ; a mercenary soldiery were let loose upon 
society ; industry was murdered in the cities, and plenty 
banished from the rural districts ; the fiery spirit of the 
people went down for a season, until another generation, 
unterrified by the example of the past, should spring up to 
act the same part, and share in the same punishment. 
Indeed, there ever seems to be a fatality attending forcible 
revolutions, so much so that for one that has succeeded, one 
hundred have failed. The Christian religion, properly 
enforced and understood, is the only power capable of 
implanting in a people the better way of redress. We 
hear men declaim warmly against a brace of worthless 
fellows, who go forth to pistol each other ; yet we do not 
hear half so much said in denunciation of the wholesale 
slaughter, where contending thousands meet to destroy one 
another in an imaginary quarrel. A more rigid morality 
in the mass of mankind — a larger spiritual authority in the 
pulpit, is the only hope of the friends of universal peace. 
Whoever would spread this principle must be an O'Connell 
in faith, in practice, in sincerity — a man who will reverence 
the altar, instead of trying to abolish it ; who will respect 
ecclesiastics, not seek to bring their high office into disre- 
pute ; who will observe the Lord's day, and the days set 
apart to commemorate the virtues of His saints — not a 
scoffer, a Deist, or a contemner of holy ordinances. With- 
out a temper and a soul like this, it will be in vain to 
imitate one, who, by such inward strength, has braved 


countless perils, and called down the blessing of Provi- 
dence upon his designs. 

But not for Ireland alone has this life been led, nor to 
her alone has the lesson been taught. For thirty years, in 
the greatest of modern empires, and the most extensively 
read of modern languages, he has done great deeds, the 
records of which shall not pass away. For the last twenty 
years of that time, the eyes of all civilization have been 
upon him. There is no land so remote where his name 
does not penetrate — no court so far removed from Britain, 
where his influence does not enter into the calculations of 
statesmen. Few peacefully inclined politicians have ob- 
tained so singularly extensive a reputation, and no other 
perhaps has possessed so deep a controlling influence 
beneath it. Englishmen have railed at him, yet while they 
railed they felt the majesty of his prestige weighing on 
their hearts. Foreigners, passing from England to Ireland, 
having their optics pre-arranged in London, have observed 
many derogatory traits in his character, — while those who 
visited Ireland first, and viewed things and men with un- 
clouded eye, have not failed to proclaim him as the greatest 
man in the empire. But though often exasperating, by the 
vehemence of his temporary anger, the sensitive national 
feelings and prejudices of foreign countries, his name has 
not been discarded from any ; the wise and better minds 
of every nation have made allowance for a man, whose too 
rigid honesty is his only error as a politician. When they 
recall his sayings of England and its Parliament — the bold- 
ness of his denunciations of both the great parties of that 
kingdom, uttered at their own doors, they always acquit 
him of dishonest motives, however they may question his 
prudence, or deny his assertions. 

There is hardly a crowned head in Europe, with whom 
he has not been personally at war. Although but a sub- 
ject, he has reached with his strong voice the tenants of 
thrones, and maddened the wearers of crowns by the keen- 
ness of his attacks. Cloth of gold and marble walls have 
been unable to keep out his hostility, and more than one 
monarch has trembled beneath the infliction of his lash. 
He has been well styled " one of the great powers of 
Europe;" and assuredly he has given his brother sove- 
reigns some unfriendly tokens of his supremacy. Untitled, 
unpensioned and unpatronized by his own or any other 


government — simply as Daniel O'Connell — he exerts more 
influence on European afiairs than any single man, pri^mier 
or prince, of the present age. With Catholic countries he 
secured this influence in '29; with Protestant kingdoms he 
secured it by his advocacy of the rights of dissenters; and 
wherever the leaven of democracy has entered, his anti- 
church-and-staie principles, and his universal-suffrage 
doctrines have secured to him a permanent host of admiring 
friends. Long may he continue to exert his power — to 
curb the ambitious schemes of speculating princes — to teach 
republics justice and kingdoms a just appreciation of human 
rights ! Long may he live to be the father and saviour of 
Ireland — the best benefactor of the black slave, and the 
ablest advocate of his white brother, in all quarters of the 
globe ! 

My labor of love is nearly done ; and, with all its imper- 
fections on its head, I commit it to the eyes of the world. 
The canvass was small — the group a large one, whose 
members were all models in their respective departments. 
The main figure would require the best pen of the age, to 
do him justice ; and the most gifted author might not refuse 
to take any one — the humblest — of his followers, as a sub- 
ject. Their features will be engraven on the immortality 
of history ; and as the tide of time bears posterity farther 
downward from the nineteenth century, the veneration of 
ages will but increase, and the brightness of their fame be 
multiplied more and more. Others whom I have over- 
looked, for the sake of brevity, will be added ; and the 
names of O'Connell and his friends will shine a constella- 
tion through the night of slavery, and in the noon-day of 
liberation ; — and as future chroniclers relate their actions to 
other generations, they will add, to the young and ardent 
of the earth — " Go ye and do likewise." 

The time has not arrived, and I trust for years will 
not arrive, when it shall become necessary to add a final 
chapter to the history of O'Connell's life. At the good old 
age of threescore and ten years, he now stands before the 
world. The temperance of his habits, joined to a constitu- 
tion originally lusty and sound, has sustained the repeated 
shock of midnio^ht debate and constant travel. Within a 
year the world has resounded with the magnitude of his 
triumph over an unscrupulous combination of perjured 
jurors and partizan judges ; and as he slowly and erectly 


progresses toward the grave, his good deeds shine more 
vividly around him. A hundred years from now, his name 
and fame will be even better known, and his actions more 
favorably interpreted. Ireland will recall his memory, as 
the Greeks of old deified their departed great ; and while 
his few faults will be forgotten and blotted out, his suffer- 
ings, his genius, and his courage will only be remembered. 
It will then be recalled with wonder, how for half a century 
he battled ao^ainst the wealthiest of nations and the most 
wily of governments ; how they assailed him with gold, 
and he yielded not — laid coronets and ermine at his feet, 
and he trod over them ; how in an era of darkness doubly 
desolate, he emerged from the grave of his country's mur- 
dered independence, and smote down, with his single arm, 
all the legions of the land of the destroyer ; how before his 
voice chains were burst, and dungeon walls impregnable 
were sundered, and altars were relighted, and monopolies 
broken like reeds ; and how he taught the people to secure 
all the fruits of revolution without risking any of its 
calamities and horrors. 

When these truths are unfolded to an unprejudiced 
world, in what position will Ireland be ? Will she be free 
or enslaved — elevated to the pinnacle of prosperity, or sunk 
to the lowest depth of pauperism ? This is a consideration 
which we will enter into presently. It will here suffice to 
say, that when all O'Connell's triumphs are rehearsed, and 
his moral victories recounted by posterity, may the list 
contain — (and we doubt not for a moment but it will) — as 
one of the most glorious of his achievements, 





The destiny of a people is in a grreat measure, indeed 
nearly altogether, the work of their own creation. To 
penetrate the mysterious ways of Providence, by unveiling' 
the hidden face of futurity, has been given to few even of 
the most favored of men, and for no trivial purposes. But 
hope and observation are in some degree prophets ; and it 
is because I have firm hope in Ireland's ascension, and have 
observed for years past her growing mind, that I have 
ventured to throw out the following reflections as a fitting 
sequel to the sketches just concluded. 

There is no enslaved people who within the present cen- 
tury have given such cause for hope to their sympathizers, 
as the Irish. When we contemplate the self-denial they 
have observed since arriving at a knowledge of their 
wrongs, we cannot but allow them the possession either of 
a more phlegmatic disposition than they have hitherto beert 
suspected of, or a deep and all-pervading religious senti- 
ment. Within fifteen years the mental eye of Ireland has 
been opened; education has been progressing; her history 
has been unsealed. The first lesson she learned was 
indeed of surpassing bitterness. Her first triumph brought 
her to the knowledge of herself, of the high estate from 
which she had fallen, and of the almost universally received 
calumnies on her character and name which England had 
propagated as wide as ships could sail, or travellers pene- 
trate. There was no people in Europe less known, previous 
to the days of the Irish Volunteers. From '82 to 1800, 
Ireland nobly vindicated her fame as a mother of genius 
and an ardent seeker after liberty. But the union demol- 
ished the fair rising structure, and again England ruled 
and libelled unopposed. In 1830, Ireland was again on 
her feet ; looking around, she beheld all the horizon cov- 
ered with the mists of prejudice and calumny. From one 
quarter alone, there came a ray of cheering light — from the 
land in whose service Sarsfield and Wolf Tone had died. 
Fourteen years are gone, and Ireland has learned some- 


thing of her own history, and something also of the mournful 
truth that mankind are always more prone to give credit to 
the charge of the powerful, than the defence of the subju- 
gated. A wise resolution was taken ; the people resolved 
to undo practically before the eyes of the whole world, the 
filthy web of misrepresentation with which England had 
surrounded them. Every educational society and improve- 
ment was adopted, and a new one was formed which 
redounds to her great credit — I mean, " The Christian 
Brothers." Mr. Rice, a man of the most exalted purity 
of soul, the most generous enthusiasm, and the highest 
order of practical ability, was the founder of this admirable 
system. He realized in his own life many of those great 
qualities which distinguished Ignatius Loyola, with the 
shrinking modesty of a pure, devoted soul. His institution 
has conferred on Ireland innumerable advantages thus far, 
and many more and greater may fairly be anticipated from 
its rapid increase. Gerald Griffin, the inspired author of 
Gysippius — the poet, novelist and philosopher — the scholar 
of nature, and child of all the muses, was so deeply im- 
pressed with the utility of this excellent association, that, 
divesting himself of the world, he descended (or rather rose) 
from the instruction of kingdoms, to be a teacher of the 
poorest of the children of Ireland. The Ursuline commu- 
nity, devoted to the education of female children, are at 
present very numerous in Ireland, and the minds of the 
future mothers of the people are being expanded and 
improved to a degree which many generations before them 
have not been able to compass. The "national education" 
system, with all its faults, is also producing its effects; and, 
acting on the system of the ingenious Mr. Lancaster, is 
sowing the seeds of an abundant harvest. To these we 
cannot omit to add the lately-established method of "adult" 
self-culture, by the founding of reading-rooms and night- 
schools. The Dublin newspaper press deserve everlasting 
credit for their unceasing efforts to propagate this most 
useful and admirable system. Taking all things into con- 
sideration, we can very well agree with a late intelligent 
tourist, in the belief that the rising generation of Irish men 
and women will be as well, or better educated, than any 
other portion of the European populace.^ 

* Dr, James Johnson, 


There cannot be a truer maxim than Homer's : — 

" Jove makes it certain, that whatever day 
Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away." 

The Irish people, pressed down for so many ages — ren- 
dered reckless by an invariable infliction of want, incurred 
to a frightful extent, the odious habit of drunkenness. In 
this they are generally conceded the "bad eminence" of 
superiority ; but there are unanswerable proofs that the 
Scottish people exceeded them in intemperance.^ But of 
one fact there can be no question — that there are few 
among the population, on whom this terrible habit had not 
fastened. The Directory of the United Irishmen, in 1797, 
proposed to the people a pledge against all intoxicating 
liquors, which was not generally adopted. Mr. O'Connell, 
at Waterford, in '26, and in the first Clare election, had 
pledged the peasantry to total abstinence until the contests 
should be decided ; but the effects of these vows were 
limited by their duration. It is more than twenty years 
since the Rev. George Carr of New Ross introduced the 
system of Temperance Societies into Ireland, which lan- 
guished through a fluctuating existence until the year 1S38, 
when Theobald Mathew^ appeared as the moral regenerator 
of the people. Within five years, as many millions of the 
Irish people have taken a solemn vow, before God and their 
fellow-men, to abstain from all intoxicating drinks ; this 
they have most rigidly adhered to, and faithfully endeav- 
ored to propagate. The contagion of their example has 
spread into Scotland and England, and accompanied the 
Irish emigrant to the Pacific, and America; and the world 
is now indebted for the brightest example of moral heroism 
which modern times produces, to the longest oppressed and 
Avorst ruled portion of its people. The career of Father 
]\Iathew is a miracle of success ; quietly and humbly, with- 
out pomp, or bribe, or flattery, he has induced the people to 
cast off' their prevalent and perilous habit. Sobriety has 
paved the way for study ; the national love of music has 
been revived ; the staple produce of the metropolis is poetry; 
the old airs are caught upon the mountains, as they were 

* Among other documents tending to place the Irish people in 
their proper relation to other nations guilty of drunkenness, is the 
Parliamentary Report of the Excise Commissioners of 183.5, in 
which their secondary proficiency is clearly established. 


departing forever ; and an enriulalive improvement actuates 
all the classes of society. Meanwhile, the good apostle, 
like another Patrick, traverses the island round and round, 
imitating that illustrious saint in the industry and self- 
sacrifice with which he pursues his mission, strengthening 
social bonds and virtuous societies, shedding peace and 
comfort into many a long-desolated home. His ways are 
not those of self-opinionated reformers, nor his wisdom as 
their wisdom. Yet in those distant ages when half a dozen 
names, at most, will be well remembered, out of the multi- 
tude of men dignified at this day by the cheap prefix of 
" great," that of Mathew will hold a first place. Political 
systems will perish; monuments of civilization will disap- 
pear; nations, leaving scarce a name, shall have expired — 
but his memory shall endure. The "abomination of deso- 
lation" shall fill cities and empires; false creeds shall have 
lived and died ; false prophets and their rhapsodies will 
have vanished — but the name of this illustrious friar will 
not pass away. Their greatness is made with hands, or 
with the voice — while his is erected out of the inexhaustible 
energies of his own soul, and the edifice partakes of the 
immortality of the instrument of its erection. Their w^ork 
is a w^ork of pride, stimulated by passion — his, rising from 
humility, touches the heavens ; and sustained by the most 
unbounded benevolence, makes all the earth its resting- 
place. In them we see the workings of man, the mere 
animal — but in him, the exhibition of one, all soul, and 
love, and disinterestedness. 

There is no other phrase which so well expresses the 
character of Irish political history, as the single word, ex- 
traordinary. Singular, indeed, have been the fortunes of 
the Hibernian Celts, and their descendants. Ireland was 
old when Christianity exiled the Druids from their sacri- 
ficial forests ; her commerce was known at Rome, but not 
her captives; Tyre and Sidon had bartered with her, before 
Romulus and his brother had forsaken Alba. Her military 
fame, at an early time, was equally celebrated ; her soldiers 
trampled down the Roman fortifications, and were about 
to scale the Alps, when an arrow of lightning, launched 
from the thunder-cloud above, struck down Dathy, their 
daring general — yet a handful of needy Normans overran 
her sea-coast, and, profiting by the jealousies of rival chiefs, 
seized on the pleasant plains of Leinster. Seven hundred 


years of slavery have scarcely cured them of that besetting 
sin. Early ii» her Christian ages, when Europe was buried 
in barbarism, letters and science found a shelter amidst her 
glens, where like a conservatory, those precious plants were 
screened from the inclemency of that Gothic winter which 
had set in on all the cities and states of the continent. 
When literature " revived " abroad, in the latter part of the 
sixteenth century, penal laws and Protestantism had com- 
menced the w^ork of devastation in Ireland; then, what the 
Vandals had done for Rome, and the Saracens for Spain, 
Henry and Elizabeth performed for Ireland. With the 
accession of the Guelphs this was completed ; and ignorance 
and the Reformation were established by law together. 
This eccentric destiny clung to the land even later ; in the 
history of the Stuart war in Ireland, it is strangely exem- 
pliiied. The revolution of 1688 gave new security to 
the liberties of the empire, but refastened the fetters of 
Ireland. Her soldiers went abroad to win glory in a foreign 
service ; her scholars were proscribed and incarcerated ; 
and while the reign of Anne is the brightest era in English 
literary history, it becomes the darkest in that of Ireland. 
In 1793, the Presbyterians and Catholics first combined to 
save the constitution, and enlarge its pale so as to take in 
all creeds ; but again a blight came o'er their councils — 
and from willing comrades in danger, they were artfully 
turned into enemies, underrating and suspecting each other. 
But, strange as it may appear, the singularity of this 
destiny has preserved through every change the great char- 
acteristics of the Milesian bloody which, although in some 
respects chilled or changed by slavery, is yet gushing from 
the heart. Their hatred of control has preserved the love 
of learning, because learning was denied; and persecution 
has established Catholicism more firmly in the hearts of 
the people, than it would probably have been fixed, in an 
uninterrupted course of national prosperity. Every people 
west of the Alps have, at some time or other, yielded up 
their old faith and its imposing forms — but Ireland has only 
clung to them more fondly in the lapse of centuries. The 
sons of her rightful princes entered the sanctuary, and the 
expounders of Christian doctrine became also the hope of 
the bondsman. For nearly two centuries, the Catholic 
clergy were the only educated portion of the aboriginal 
population ; and from this cause they were obliged to be 


the advocates and defenders of the people — the councillors 
and conveyancers, as well as the teachers, of the masses. 
The clergy became the conservers of antiquity, the nar- 
rators of history, and the preservers of a national spirit. 
In the gloomy glen, or in the cavern's darkness, haranguing 
their faithful flocks, it was impossible for them to avoid 
mentioning the laws which had driven them thither, and 
the transition thence was natural, to the men who made 
them. The upstart antiquity of the Saxon race — their 
treachery, injustice, and inferiority to those whom they 
oppressed, were kept constantly before the down-trodden 
masses ; and thus was perpetuated that sturdy sense of 
ancestral dignity, which is always the companion of your 
true Irishman. Young patriots loved and cherished this 
useful vanity, feeding it with declamation, and celebrating 
it in fiery strains of never-dying song. At length, pro- 
scription wearied of its ineffectual labors, the penal laws 
were abolished, and the heart of Ireland swelled out to its 
original greatness. It has since voluntarily cast out much 
of the folly of a false pride, and in its place now wisely 
cultivates a knowledge of the defects of native character, 
with a view to their remedy. 

It would be rash to assert, dogmatically, that the Irish of 
future times will be a great people ; but we may say with 
certainty, that few countries ever had a fairer field, to win 
for themselves solid and legitimate greatness. In politics, 
they have produced the most remarkable statesman of the 
day ; in morals, they possess the most wonderfully apostolic 
man ; and in education, they are fast tracking up the steps 
of the best taught communities. It is true that in Austria 
and Prussia there are wider and deeper systems of study ; 
but these are entirely governmental, and have not origi- 
nated with the people. The peculiar genius of a nation 
ought to be represented in its system of culture ; for if the 
system harmonizes not with that genius, it becomes a clog 
around its neck, rather than a beacon to light it onward. 
The Irish system, now rapidly tending to an established 
existence, will be of the people — all the better, insomuch 
that instead of being compulsory, it is formed by the same 
hands which are to use it. In this view its practicability 
is vastly superior to the schemes of the continental cab- 

But there is a higher cause for hope, than all the work- 

ingb of the national spirit convey, although these certainly 
are far from diihious or equivocal. It is the hope we all 
have (or should have) in the merciful guardianship of a 
just and retributive Providence — Him, of whom it is writ- 
ten that a sparrow falls not to the earth, unknown to His 
all-pervading intelligence. To Him, on behalf of the 
oppressed, the freeman should always look — for the eman- 
cipation unsanctioned in heaven is valueless. We have 
many causes to look there on behalf of Ireland. The birth- 
land of five hundred canonized saints, and many thousands 
of beatified martyrs, cannot surely, in His justice, be left 
longer as the footstool of a hereditary despotism. The 
land from which the patrons of Scotland and Northumber- 
land, of Germany and Gaul, swarmed forth, as St. Bernard 
says, "in an inundation" of pious zeal, is not to continue 
forever a nursery of paupers, partizans, and mercenary 
soldiers. The vessel in which such goodly forms were 
moulded of old, has not been doomed — Oh! never can be 
doomed — to the shaping of hideous shapes, of slaves who 
go forth to make slaves, and maniacs who execute the laws 
of those who manacle them. Nations shall confess the 
justice of God, and kings tremble before his judgments. 
*' Heaven and earth shall pass away," but his word never ! 
We see the evidences of this propitious Providence in 
the men now employed to raise up the people of Ireland, 
as well as in the improved temper of the people themselves. 
Their ancestors of old, revelling in plenty, and indulging in 
unattacked freedom, grafted on their hereditary Milesian 
impetuosity, a wilder and more hazardous daring. To 
this they joined an unsuspicious disposition, pampered by 
an overweening sense of their political security and mili- 
tary invincibility, which in reality " sold the pass " upon 
them, and gave their patrimony to the invader. But their 
sons, so long as they retained lands and gold, scorned to 
degenerate from the olden rule ; it was only confiscation 
w^hich could teach prudence, and beggary which introduced 
frugality. Two generations lay paralyzed in each of those 
extensive changes, w^hich, under Elizabeth, James, Crom- 
well, and William, gave a new race of proprietors to the 
soil. Had the present and wisest attempt at national eleva- 
tion been the work of impulse, or the promptings of a 
temporary resolution, we might well distrust it; for the 
swiftest steed is often the first to give out, and the wave 


which throws itself highest on the beach, returns most 
quickly to the bowels of the ocean. Such, however, is not 
the nature of the present Irish agitation, that, like a natural 
crop in a wholesome soil, has appeared faintly at first, but, 
overcoming the inclemency of many obstacles, flowers, and 
at last brings forth the long-expected fruit for general 
nourishment and preservation. The Providence which has 
given Ireland an O'Connell in political, and a Maihew in 
moral reformation, has also given her the heart to receive,' 
and the understanding to follow the teachings of these great 
men. Without this innate virtue, and a strong native 
sense of duty, all preachings of peace and charity and for- 
giveness would be thrown away, and Father Mathew's 
reputation would still be limited to the congregation of 
Blackamoors Lane, and O'Connell would have been little 
more than "a stout special pleader." That consciousness 
of deserving better times, and hilarity of temper which dis- 
tinguishes the people — their fervent Catholic enthusiasm, 
and lofty appreciation of the value of letters, are materials 
out of which sincere and industrious advocates can easily 
effect many salutary improvements. No country that en- 
dured slavery so long, has emerged from it less deteriorated 
by the contact. The sons of the Italian republics are wan- 
derers on the earth, pedlars of bad music and retailers of 
comfits ; the posterity of Greece lie most complacently 
beneath the heel of the Moslem, although their fathers 
were freemen before the Hegira, while yet Arabia slum- 
bered in a state of tinselled barbarism. 

The situation of Ireland, and her natural advantages, 
should long since have made her eminent amongst nations. 
An island compact and well watered, with as many harbors 
as there are leagues in her circumference ; placed to the 
west of all Europe — the last Atlantic landmark of the old 
world, and the first European beacon for the new — she has 
been regarded by commerce as a mere Eddy stone, useful 
when a wide berth is given her. Yet, what a mistake is 
here. Her northern coast — that wonderful museum of 
geology — instead of attracting attention only by its curiosi- 
ties, should have invaded the ocean with moving monuments 
of art, more wonderful than the eternal pillars planted by 
giant hands, in defiance of the angry North Sea. Her 
southern shore tempts the approach of Mediterranean com- 
merce, while her vast western havens oug'ht to be covered 


with the fleets of the new world. Through the means of 
Ireland, a revolution will some day be effected in British 
commerce ; and if the merchants of Liverpool and Bristol 
will not take time by the forelock, they may behold a time 
when the warehouses of Galway shall be large enough to 
oblige few ships to brave the dangers of Channel navigation. 
Dr. Kane, in his recent admirable work, has demon- 
strated, with the most beautiful accuracy, the immense fund 
of mineral wealth which lies unemployed beneath the feet 
of the idle and half-starving peasantry. This laborious 
author has developed the extent of vast coal-fields, hitherto 
but little known, the wealth of which will be inexhaustible 
when Newcastle and Whitehaven are no longer productive. 
He has divided these fields into provincial classes, of which 
one is in Leinster, two in Munster, three in Ulster, and one 
in Connaught. The first occupies the greater portion of 
the county of Kilkenny, the Queen's County, and part of 
Carlow, and is bounded by the rivers Barrow and Nore. 
" This district," says the Doctor, " forms a great mineral 
basin ; its strata consequently incline from the edge toward 
the centre — the undermost appear on the outer edge, and 
the uppermost in the interior of the district." ^ =^ # 
*'Mr. Griffith estimates the area occupied by this coal at 
5000 acres, (Irish,) and its specific gravity is 1.591; the 
total quantity of pure solid coal may be calculated at rather 
more than sixty-three millions of tons." The Tipperary 
coal-field is about twenty miles in length by six in breadth ; 
yet the quantity of coal at present raised from it does not 
exceed fifty thousand tons per annum. The great Munster 
" formation " is the most extensive coal-bed in the British 
islands. It occupies much of the counties of Clare, Kerry, 
Limerick, and Cork. Mr. Griffith has discovered in it six 
different layers ; " three of the most valuable, locally known 
as the bulk-vein, the rack-vein, and the sweet-vein, have 
been recognized at the opposite sides of the undulations." 
Yet this vast source of wealth is almost untouched. The 
coal formations of Ulster, in Tyrone and Antrim, are not 
very extensive ; in the former, however, there are between 
seven and eight thousand acres, comprising the Coal Island 
and Anahone districts. The hills around Lough Allen 
encompass the Connaught coal fields, which extend through 
Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim, and a portion of Cavan, or 


about sixteen miles in each direction. This also has been 
to the present but little worked. 

Such is the fuel power lying inactive in Ireland. Of 
her immense water power, it has been acknowledged that 
it could turn all the machinery of Britain and France. 
There is no other European country so well watered ; an 
innumerable variety of streams dash down her declivities, 
and float onward to the ocean, like the unemployed hours 
of a sluggard, never to return. O, Nature I how thy boons 
are squandered upon slaves! What profits it to Irishmen 
that they live in a land flowing with milk and honey, when 
their hands are chained, and their limbs fettered? Of what 
avail are all the benefactions of a good Providence, when 
tyrant laws have reversed the order of nature, and reared 
up beggary in the very nursery of abundance ? But the 
day of the destroyer is fading into twilight, and the sun of 
a new age is smiling serenely on " the plains and rivers of 
the land." 

I have cast this hasty glance upon the moral, intellectual 
and physical capabilities of Ireland, for building up a name 
and nationality, because it is always an agreeable task to 
show that men are capable of better things than most phi- 
losophers suspect them of; but it is peculiarly so to believe 
that the slave is to have his turn of fortune, honor, enlight- 
enment, and independence. It is delightful to contemplate 
the possibility of Ireland's ascension — to think that, when 
England's star shall pale^ and her " felon flag" be furled 
forever, her long- oppressed sister-isle shall assume a glorious 
destiny, and practise toward her prostrate oppressor, " the 
noble vengeance of forgiveness." 

Ireland has a deep, abiding faith; vast natural wealth; 
increasing intelligence ; a firm sobriety, and a good share 
of political education. If she be but true to herself, no 
country ever shaped out a nobler futurity than she can. As 
the people are to themselves, so shall their posterity be to 
the world. The inheritance of liberty and eminence is 
before them, and over its portal, like to the enchanted 
chamber, it is written — " Be bold ! be bold ! but be not too 
bold ! " 



Iktroduction, ...*... 


The Family of Mr. O'Connell. — His Birth and Education, collegiate 
and legal, 7 


The Act of Union. — O'Connell's Opposition to that Measure. — Robert 
Emmett — Review of the Catholic Question in Ireland. — Rt. Rev. 
Dr. Milner — Commencement of the Veto Controversy. — Suppression 
of the Catholic Committee, .14 


The Catholic Question continued. — The Veto Controversy in Eng- 
land. — Richard Lalor Shiel. — Rome and the Veto. — Father Hayes. 
— His Career and Character. — His Death, .... 23 


Mr. O'Connell's Personal Career.— Duel with D'Esterre.— Challenge 
from Sir Robert Peel. — Kerry Election. — Endeavor to establish a 
National Party irrespective of Creed. — George the Fourth visits Ire- 
land. — Formation of the Catholic Association, . 32 


Sketches of eminent Writers on the Catholic Question. — Right Rev. 
Dr. Doyle. — Thomas Furlong.—" Honest Jack Lawless." — Thomas 
Moore 38 


The Catholic Question in foreign Countries.— America. — Thomas Addis 
Emmet. — France. — Germany. — British Dependencies. — Growth of 
the Association. — English Protestant Liberality. — Rev. Sidney 
Smith, G5 


General Election, of 1826. — The Association resolves to contest 
Waterford, Louth, and Monaghan. — The Result. — Triumphs of 
the Catholics in England. — Publications. — The Press. — Death 
of Edward Hay, Esq. — Wiliam Cobbett. — Controversy of the 
''Wings/' 83 



Repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts. — O'Connell is nominated 
for the Representation of Clare. — The first Clare Election. — Mr. 
Steel. — O'Gorman Mahon and Father Maguire. — Passage of the 
Emancipation Act. — O'Connell in St. Stephens. — He is refused a 
seat under the new Act, . . .... 95 


O'Connell is reelected for Clare. — View of the State of Europe.^ 
Various successes of Revolutionary Efforts. — Influence of the 
Emancipation upon the Reform of Parliament. — Agitation. — Mo- 
tion for a Repeal of the Union. — Death of George the Fourth. — His 
Reign, and its History. — The new Irish Representatives. — Sir 
Michael O'Loghlen, 125 


Irish Transactions, from 1830 to '34.— The Reform Bill.— The Aboli- 
tion of Tithes demanded. — The Coercion Bill. — Mr. Wyse and 
National Education. — Dr. Doyle and the Poor-Laws. — Continuation 
of the Repeal Agitation. — Motion in Parliament, . . ,138 


Accession of the Melbourne Ministry. — The Five Years' Truce with 
England. — Orangeism. — The Fruitlessness of Peace. — Revival of 
Agitation. — Just Judgment of the Whigs, .... 160 


Anecdotes of the Personal Career of Mr. O'Connell. — Various opin- 
ions of his Public Character. — View of his Genius and its Influence. 
— Conclusion, 182 

A Glance at the Future Destiny of Ireland, . . .196 


Page 9, line eleven — for " Eagle West," read Eagle's Nest. 
Page 13, line fourteen — for " Tories," read Tones,