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SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, AUGUST 11, 1835.
Ir is remarkable that the gallant colonel (Verner), the Deputy Grand Llaster of Ireland and Viceroy to the Duke of Cumberland, has no! stated that ne was ignorant of the existence of Orange lodges in the Irry. This omission is the more deserving of notice, because he was colonel of the 7th dragoons-because he was examined twice before the committee-and because the several other functionaries of the Orange gody have declared their utter ignorance of that which they ought w aave known so well. Independently of these considerations, it appears by a report of the proceedings of the English Grand Lodge, that th: gallant colonel was present when (the Duke of Cumberland being in the chair) a resolution respecting the establishment of Orange lodges m the army was moved. Is it true that he was present?
Colonel VERNER.-I was never asked, in the committee, whether I knew of the existence of Orange lodges in the army. I now declare that I was utterly ignorant of the fact; and I do not remember whether I was or was not present when the resolution, to which the honourable gentleman adverts, was carried in the English Grand Lodge. Mr. SAEIL.—How far the answer fits the question let the
house judge It appears that the gallant colonel did attend the English Grand Lodge, on what occasion he does not distinctly recollect—his memory is misty --but it would be important that he should state how far the impression is correct, that Orange lodges have been established in the army with the sanction of the Duke of Cumberland, and by virtue of resolutions, passed when the Orange Grand Lodge was graced by the presence of his Royal Highness! I turn from the gallant colonel to the general question. At the commencement of the session I charged the Conservative government with having advanced Orangemen to places of high station, and having given to Orange lodges answers amounting to a recognition of their public usefulness. This motion was not unattended with a salutary effect; immediately after, the member for Kilkenny, * to whom the country is greatly indebted for the disclosures which he has been instrumental in producing, moved the appointment of the committee.
On that committee the leading functionaries of the Orange body were placed. And yet it is said that the committee was packed ; but let us see who were the members of it:—the honourable members for Sligo and for Cavan were upon it ; and there were also Mr. Jackson, Mr. Wilson Patten—I suppose that he is a Conservative-Colonci Wood, Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Nicholl, Sir James Graham—(I really do not know with which party to class him)—Colonel Conolly, and Colonel Perceval. I do not think ́that this selection can be said to be an unfair one, but it is alleged that the mode in which the witnesses were examined was unjust. The Grand Master, and the Grand Treasurer, and the
Grand Secretary were examined --(they are all Grand)—the order of investigation was altogether inverted, and the Orange party were allowed to open the case themselves, and for a number of days none but Orang? witnesses were examined. Colonel Verner was twice examined—first on the 7th of April, 1835, and again on the 9th of April. Then came the Reverend Mortimer O'Sullivan-certainly a very competent witness to give evidence with respect to both religions, for with regard to one he could indulge in the " Pleasures of Memory," and to the other, he, doubtless, looked with the “ Pleasures of Hope;" Mr. M. O'Sullivan, the Grand Chaplain, was produced, and was examined on the 13th of April, on the 21st and 26th of May, and again on the 27th of May: so inany days expended upon theology and the Reverend Mortimer O'Sullivan. Then came Mr. Swan, the Deputy Grand Secretary; next came Mr. Stewart Blacker, the Assistant Grand Treasurer, who was examined on the 8th, 10th, 12th, and 13th of June; next Mr. W. Ward, the solicitor of the Orange body, who was produced to show that they never in any way interfered with the administration of justice ; then again, on the 15th of June came Mr. Mortimer O'Sullivan-ecce iterum Crispinus!—and lastly, came Mr. Hugh Baker. Yet it is alleged that there was unfair dealing in the examination of witnesses, although every word of the resolutions of the honourable member for Middlesex is founded, not upon the testimony of a party adverse to Orangeism, but upon the testimony of Orangemen supported by the journals and the records they themselves produced. What appears to be the state of Ireland in reference the Orange institution, from the evidence adduced by Orangemen themselves ? A confederacy exists, exclusively sectarian. It consists of 150,000 men; the members are initiated with a solemn and mysterious ritual—they enter into a compact of religious and political brotherhood-signs and pass-words are employed by thens for the purposes of clandestine recognition their proceedings are regu. lated by a code of laws, the most specific and the most minute—they are governed by a great representative assembly called the Grand Lodge of Ireland, consisting of delegates from every part of Ireland—the whole country is divided into departments, in which lodges affiliated and corresponding to each other are established and this enormous mass of organized Protestantism is in arms, while a Prince of the Blood, not next but near the throne, is at its head !
How has this unparalleled institution worked ? Let us inquire what has been its effect with respect to the administration of justice and the peace of the country, and ask how has it been employed as a political engine for the purpose of persecution, and under what circumst«nces and with what cognizance it has extended itself into the army? The Oranye Grand Lodge have defended a series of prosecutions instituted against the members of this turbulent fraternity, by the crown. An Orangeman, in the streets of Dundalk, strikes a Roman Catholic dead; he is prosecuted by the crown, convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to two years imprisonment. His defence was conducted by the Orange body, and the Orange lodges came to a resolution to support him. Cere tain Orange rioters at Newry were sentenced to sixteen months' insprierignment by a Protestant magistrate ; to these malefictors the Grand Orange Lodge extended their pecuniary aid, and they conducted their defence. They not only defended but prosecuted. Three magistrates in Cavan dispersed an Orange procession ; the Grand Orange Lodge determined to institute a prosecution against the civil authorities who nad the audacity to interfere with them; they sent down to Cavan their solicitor, and the grand jury threw out the bills. At the last Meath election a body of 200 Orangemen, gathered from the adjacent counties, entered the town of Trim. They fill the Court-house ; a dagger is seized in the hand of one of them by the High Sheriff ; they spread confusion and disniay, and after having enacted their part, return to the town of Kells. Here they meet a Roman Catholic, and put him to death ; they are prosecuted, and the Grand Orange Lodge, by a specific resolution, advances money to conduct the defence. An Orangeman is indicted; in the jurors' box twelve Orangemen are placed ; the magistrates, if the case be tried at quarter sessions, are members of this fatal fraternity ; under these circumstances, what a mockery is the administration of justice! Sir Frederick Stovin speaks of it as a subject of public ridicule and contempt. But facts are better than opinions. Take the following :-In a prayer-book a notice of Orange assassination is written ; Sir Frederick Stovin and his subordinate, Duff, who was employed in the police, had incurred the displeasure of the Orangemen of Tyrone, and in the prayer-book belonging to the wife of Mr. Duffleft in the church that she had been in the habit of attending-ul Orance notice, threatening death to Sir Frederick Stovin and to her husband, is written. Almost immediately after, a meeting is called at Dungannon at which the Lord Lieutenant of the county Tyrone attends, and the Orangemen appear in considerable force, with military music, anl invested with their factious decorations. A scene of excitement ensues -shots are discharged—a musket is levelled at Sir Frederick Stovin, and the ball whistles at his ear; and all this occurs in the pacific province of Ulster.
What, the house will ask-atrocious as the circumstances may appear - what has all this to do with the administration of justice ? At that meeting, attended with so many incidents of a revolting character, Lord Claude
Hamilton was made an Orangeman—he was initiated at the house of a publican of the name of Lilburne ; and immediately afterwards he was made a magistrate. In this state of things, what other feeling but one of dismay amongst Roman Catholics, and one of impunity can exist amongst the Orange population of the country? I appeal to a fact again : At the last spring assizes for the county of Armagh, three Orangemen were prosecuted for marching in a procession. Baron Pennefather suggested to them, with a view to a initigation of their sentence, that they ought to express regret for having violated the law. Did they intimate their contrition ? Did they declare their determination never to commit a similar outrage on the public peace again ? In open court, and in the face of the judge, these audacious confederates whistled an air, called “ The Protestant Boys." And what was the course taken by indignant justice ? -- what, do you conjecture, was
their sentence ? Not two years' imprisonment--not one year—not six months. The learned judge tempers justice with mercy, and sentences these presumptuous delinquents to an imprisonment of three weeks. The Dorchester labourers were sentenced to transportation for seven years, and the Orange malefactors to an imprisonment for three weeks. But how has the Orange Society affected the peace of the country? We are told that Ulster is in a state of profound and prosperous repose ; but by the evidence, what appears? In the broad day, on the 17th of January last, a body of Orange incendiaries enter a Roman Catholic village, called Anagagh, and, in the face of the noon-tide sun, set fire to the houses of the Roman Catholic inhabitants ; they then retire to a hill called Pinigo, to the number of near 200, form themselves in military array—Sir Frederick Stovin advances at the head of the military, with a piece of artillery, in order to disperse them—the magistraté, by whom he is attended, declines giving an order to fire-and the Orangemen, in martial order, and with martial music, bidding and looking defiance, march away. And how are they armed? With yoemanry muskets. The entire yoemanry force of Ireland is, in fact, enrolled in the Orange associations, and when a conflict ensues with the people the consequences are easily foreseen : witness the slaughters of which they have been guilty, the blood in which they have waded, the horrors which they have perpetrated : witness Newtownbarry! How has the Orange institution been employed as a political engine? To their declaration of allegiance a condition is attached. They engage to maintain the throne, so long as by the throne Protestant ascendancy is supported. They expel from their society every member who does not comply with their ordinances at elections. They issue proclamations, commanding every Orangeman to petition parliament for or against specific measures —and they are armed with what must be considered formidable instruments of supplication. At the close of the last year it was determined by a cabal that Lord Melbourne should be driven from oflice. At Hillsborough 75,000 Orangemen are asserabled to sustain the Conservative adventurers in their daring and desperate enterprise, and to prove that they are not the remnant of a despicable faction. But will it be said, “ Had they not a right to all this? Had they not the advice of the King to speak out? Had they not a right to petition parliament, and address the crown at Hillsborough ?" Be it so. Granting them their prerogative at Hillsborough, what have they to do with Quebec ? The house seems startled with the question. It is readily explained. The Orangemen of Ireland have passed resolutions for the extension of their bociety into Upper and Lower Canada. The Grand Lodge of England have appointed a Grand Secretary to visit the British colonies of North America, with directions to communicate wirh the Grand Master. Why is this? Upon what pretence? For what purpose ? Is their object defensive? What, in God's name have the Irish or English Orangemen to do with Lower Canada, whose religion is Catholic, whose established church is Catholic, whose legislature is Catholic-for eighteen out of twenty of the inhabitants are Catholics? Are they not contented with striking the baneful roots of their confederacy into the heart of the
British empire, hit they must extend ramifications across the Atlantic, in order to supply the North American colonies with their poisoned fruits ?
I come to the army, the most important topic. This loyal brotherhood, the guardian of peace, the promoter of tranquillity, despite of the notorious rules of the Horse Guards, and in violation of every principle of military discipline, have introduced into the army its secret, its factious, and mutinous organization? The fact is beyond all dispute ; but there are circumstances connected with it, which are not a little remarkable. There is, in the code of Orange legislation, an ordinance that all regiments in the army shall be considered as districts. It is the 15th rule of 1824. So late as this very year in the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, a warrant was granted to create a lodge in the army; and who was in the chair? Mr. Cromelin, the Grand Master of the county of Down. This resolution and the presidency of Mr. Cromelin on the occasion, appear in the appendix to the report. But let the house mark the following resolution,“ That the next warrant should be granted to the 66th Regiment.” Who was it moved that resolution ? No ordinary individual—a man, holding, in the Orange body, the highest posie tion, but who began his political life as a Felow of Trinity College, Dublin, (of which the Duke of Cumberland is chancellor), who has since figured in Brunswick clubs, and has exhibited, on various occasions, at public meetings in England,—the Rev. Charles Boyton, the associate of Mr. Mortimer O'Sullivan, the Grand Chaplain of the Orange Grand Lodges, and mark it !-the Chaplin to the Earl of Haddington, the late Lord Lieutenant. But all the functionaries of the Orange body, despite all this, were ignorant of what was going on in the army. The knowledge of some people is wonderful ; but not half so marvellous as the ignorance of others. The next time the honourable gentleman opposite, the Grand Treasurer, late Treasurer to the Ordnance, who was admitted, with the Duke of Wellington, a doctor of common law at Oxford, visits that learned and loval establishment, I pray of him to revive the old college play of " Ignoramus ;" the principal characters to be performed by Alexander Perceval, Henry Maxwell, and his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland. His Royal Highness has written a letter. He never heard of Orange lodges in the army-never heard of the orders of 1822 and 1829,—of the rule of the Orange body, that every regiment should be considered a district of the majority of the Grand Lodge having carried a resolution, on a division, to establish Orange lodges in the
army—of the printed book of warrants, in which the list of military warrants is contained ;-neither does his Royal Highness recollect having beea present when, in 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1835, warrants were granted, whilst he was in the chair, to military men, and actually a soldier attended as representative of his regiment. His Royal Highness does not bear all this in mind, and is utterly ignoranı of the introduction, into the army, of the lodges, of which he is the Grand Master. Heaven forbid that I should question the truth of his Royal Highness's allegation ; I fly in the midst of difficulties, whicls might startle the belief of men of less accommodating credulity than mine