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Lord Manners heard four several shocks given to the Constitution, and the Roman Catholic qualification-oath coming again and again upon him, it is not wonderful that his composure should have been disturbed, and that the loyal part of the Bar should have caught the expression of dismay. Mr. Sergeant Lefroy, alarmed at the repeated omissions of those pious denunciations of the Virgin Mary, by which the laws and liberty of these countries are sustaineil, in the very act of putting a fee into his pocket, lifted up the whites of his eyes to Heaven: Mr. Devonshire Jackson let fall his mask, and determined on voting for Gerard Callaghan :* the Solicitor-General was observed to whisper Mr. Saurin, until the arrival of Mr. Plunket withdrew him from the ear of his former associate in office: to Mr. Saurin it was proposed by Barclay Scriven to petition Mr. Peel to appoint him Attorney-General in the island of Barbadoes; and it is rumored that another letter to my Lord Norbury has been discovered,t in which the writer protests his belief, that the Bar will soon be reduced to its condition in the reign of James the Second.
In the reign of James the Second, Roman Catholic barristers were raised to office; and, as the time appears to be at hand when they will be rendered eligible by law to hold places of distinction and of trust, it is worth our while to examine in what way they conducted themselves when, in the short interval of their political prosperity, Roman Catholics were invested with authority. Doctor King says, that "no sooner had the Papists got judges and juries that would believe them, but they began a trade of swearing and ripping up what they pretended their Protestant neighbors had said of King James, whilst Duke of York;" and proceeds to charge them with gross corruption in the administration of justice.
* Mr. Devonshire Jackson, a clever lawyer, very attenuated in person and intolerant in political polemics, is now one of the Judges of the Common Pleas in Ireland.— Mr. Gerard Callaghan, son of Daniel Callaghan, a rich victualler and contractor in Cork, was ineligible, as a Catholic, to sit in Parliament, so he changed his religion, and was elected for his native city. After Emancipetion his brother Daniel was elected, without relinquishing his religious faith.-M.
+ See the preceding sketch of Lord Norbury, in this volume.-- M.
The Doctor was Archbishop of Dublin. He liad originally been a sizar in the University; and having afterward obtained a fellowship, gradually raised himself, by dint of sycophancy and intrigue, to one of the richest sees in the richest establishment in the world.* Whether he exhibited all the arrogance of a Pontifical parvenu ; whether he was at once a haughty priest and a consecrated jackanapes; whether he was a sophist in his creed, an equivocator in his statements, and a cobwebweaver in his theology; whether he had a vain head, a niggard hand, and a false and servile heart, and betrayed the men who raised him, I have not been able to determine. He appears to have been an apostate in his politics. His representation of the conduct of the Catholic judges in his time is not without some episcopal characteristics, and justifies what Leslie says of him :-"Though many things the archbishop says are true, yet he has hardly spoken a true word without a warp." The best and most incontrovertible evidence (that of Lord Clarendon, the Lord-Lieutenant, and a firm Protestant), could be adduced to show how widely the statements of Doctor King vary from the fact.
Lord Clarendon tells us that “when the Popish judges went to the assizes in the counties of Down and Londonderry, where many considerable persons were to be tried for words formerly spoken against King James, they took as much pains as it
Dr. William King, born in 1650, was an Irishman educated at Trinity College, and for many years Archbishop of Dublin. It is worth mention, as show. ing how church patronage went in those days, and (it may be) how little they deserved promotion, that though, from 1609 to 1773, there were one hundred and eight appointments or translations to Irish sees, only twenty-three fellows of Trinity College (the only University in Ireland), were among the prize-hold
One of these was the illustrious James Usher, appointed Bishop of Meath in 1620 (a see now having Dr. Singer at its head), and Archbishop of Armagh in 1624. A celebrated wit, by the way, used to say that “Bishops," who are always removed merely to richer dioceses, “are the only things that do not suffer by translation."— Archbishop King died in 1729.-M.
+ Of these last sentences it might be said, addressing Dr. Magee, Archbishop of Dublin when they were written
Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur." Mr. Sheil appears to have a rooted antipathy to this divine, who was a liberal in his youth, but became intolerant in his later years.-M.
was possible to quiet the minds of the people wherever they went; and they took care to have all the juries mingled, half English and half Irishi.”—(State Letters, vol. i., p. 326.) “Judge Daly,” he says, “one of the Popish judges, did, at the assizes of the county of Meath, enlarge much upon the unconscionableness of indicting men for words spoken so many years before; and thereupon the jurors, the major part of whom were Irish, acquitted them :" and he adds, that Mr. Justice Nugent, another Popish judge, made the same declaration at Drogheda, where several persons were tried for words.” Lord Clarendon further states, that lie was in the habit of consulting Roman Catholics, who had been recently promoted, respecting the appointment of mayors, sheriffs, and commoncouncil men. “I advise," he
" with those who are best acquainted in these towns, particularly with Justice Daly, and others of the King's council of that persuasion; and the lists of names these men give me, are always equal, half Engglish, half Irish, which, they say, is the best way to make them unite and live friendly together."-(State Letters, vol. ii., p. 319.)
In the first volume of the State Letters, p. 292, he says, “At the council-board, there was a complaint proved against a justice of the peace; and it is remarkable that several of our new Roman Catholic counsellors, though the justice was an Englishman and a Protestant, were for putting off the business; and particularly the three said Popislı judges said, the gentleman would be more careful for the future.” He adds, that “when the Popish judges were made privy-counsellors, they conducted themselves with singular modesty,"-a precedent which I have no doubt that Mr. Blake will follow, when he shall be elevated to the vice-regal cabinet.*
Many a chance arrow hits the white; many a true word is spoken in jest ; Mr. Sheil was an involuntary prophet. Anthony Richard Blake, who was Lord Wellesley's particular friend, was one of the earliest Catholic Privy Councillors in Ireland, afier Emancipation. Born in 1786, he was called to the bar in 1813; was Chief-Remembrancer of Ireland from 1823 to 1842, when he resigned from ill-health ; in 1844, was made a commissioner of charitable donations and bequests for Ireland; and died, in January, 1849, aged sixtythree.-M.
SIR THEOBALD BUTLER.
Of the Roman Catholics, who were promoted in the reign of James the Second, Sir Theobald Butler was by far the most distinguished. He was created Attorney-General, and discharged the duties of his office with perfect fairness and impartiality. This very able, and, as far as renown can be obtained in Ireland, this celebrated man was not only without an equal, but without a competitor in his profession. Although the reputation uf a lawyer is almost of necessity evanescent, yet such was the impression produced by his extraordinary abilities, that his name is to this day familiarly referred to. This permanence in the national recollection is in a great ineasure to be attributed to the very important part which he took in polities, and especially in the negotiation of the treaty of Limerick. His high rank also, for he was a member of the great house of Ormond, added to his influence.
As far as I have been able to form an estimate of his intellectual qualities, from the speech, which he delivered at the bar of the Irish House of Commons, he was more remarkable for strength, brevity, condensation, and great powers of argument, than for any extraordinary faculty of elocution. The speech to which I have adverted, has none of those embellishments of rhetoric, and those splendid vices in oratory, to which the school of Irish eloquence became subsequently addicted.* The whole of this oration is cast in a syllogistic mould, and exhibits too much logical apparatus. It was, I believe, the fashion of the time : still the vehemence of passion breaks through tlie artificial regularity of reasoning, and while he is proceeding with a series of propositions, systematically divided, the indignant emotions, which the injuries of his country could not fail to produce, burst repeatedly and abundantly out: in the midst of all the pedantic forms of scholastic disputation, Nature asserts her dominion; he gives a loose to anguish, and pours forth his heart.
Sir Theobald Butler had not only been among the besieged Catholics at Limerick, but was employed by his countrymen to settle the articles of capitulation. His name appears on the face of the treaty as one of the parties with whom, on behalf of the Irish, it was concluded. When in the year 1703, only twelve years after the articles had been signed, a bill (the first link of the penal code) was introduced into parliament, the effect of which was utterly to abrogate those articles, the eyes of the whole nation were turned upon the man who had been instrumental in effecting that great national arrangement. Independently of his great abilities as an advocate, he presented, in his own person, a more immediate and distinct perception of that injustice which was about to be exercised against the body, of which he was the ornament, and to which his eloquence now afforded their only refuge.
* And of which Mr. Sheil's own oratory was a brilliant example ; — so easy is it to perceive faults, and yet possess them - to approve of the “ meliora," and yet bave to add "sed inferiora sequor."- M.
In a book entitled “An Account of the Debates on the Popery Laws,” it is stated that the Papists of Ireland, observing that the House of Commons was preparing the heads of a bill to be transmitted to England to be drawn into an act to prevent the growth of Popery, and having in vain endeavored to put a stop to it there, at its remittance back to Ireland presented to the House of Commons a petition praying to be heard by their counsel against the bill, and to have a copy of the bill, and to have a reasonable time to speak to it before it passed, when it was ordered that they should be heard.
Upon Tuesday the 22d of February, 1703, Sir Theobald Butler appeared at the bar, and with the treaty of Limerick
* The defender of Limerick, when besieged by the army of William III., at the Revolution, was the gallant Sarsfield". designated in the histories of the time. He was created Earl of Lucan, by James II., but the title was not legally recognised, for himself or his descendants, in Great Britain or Ireland. Limerick was surrendered to William, even while the Irish were within a few hours of assistance from France, upon conditions, which, if carried out by the English, would have secured equal civil rights and liberties to all of the Irish people, and bound Ireland to Great Britain by a stronger tie
that of justice rendered -- than that of “allegiance." The treaty of Limerick, which terminated the Dutchman's contest for a throne, was basely violated by England, when penal laws against Catholics were enacted, instead of the promised justice. To this day, the very stone on which that Treaty was signed, is shown in Limerick, and one of O'Connell's most stirring speeches, during the “Monster Meetings” of 1843, was made within sight of this monument of Ireland's having trusted to the honor of England - and having been deceived.-M.