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1801.

ous to the people; viz. the bill for protecting the
soldiery, by General . Lutterell (now. Earl of
Carhampton) although the soldiers had been the
aggressors in some inhuman atrocities at Island
Bridge, and the bill for restraining the liberty of the
press by Mr. Foster the speaker (now Chancellar
of the Irish Exchequer.) Some newspapers had
reflected upon that gentleman, and the House of
Commons ordered their Serjeant at Arms to take
the Publishers and Printers out of the custody of
the civil power, and hand them over to the ruder
and less responsible discipline of a military escort.*
The Irish people ill relished these beginnings of
Mr. Pitt's Irish Ministers. Even the Irish House
of Commons in the next year, steeped as it was in
servility, made a stand against the ambitious dicta-
tor, and threw out his commercial propositious.
An inexpiable offence, for which he never ceased
to punish Ireland by every variety of national af-
fliction, which insulted pride and baffled malice
could devise. That inexorable enemy to Ireland

!

• Vid : History of Ireland, by the Author, 2. Vol: 256. That ouirageous conduct of the Irish House of Commons, when martial law had not been proclaimed in the country, happened, whilst Mr. Foster was their speaker. It was tamely submitted to by the Irish people, notwithstanding the outrage upon their rights and feelings were greater and more alarming, than the circumstance, which occasioned the issuing of Mr. Abbot's warrants to apprehend Sir Francis Burdett and Mr. Gale Jones in the last Session of the' Imperial Parliament. In Ireland too frequently and systematically did dragovning supersede the forms and tardy process of the law. This was not the only oce casion, on which more forbearance was practised by a Dublin, than a London mob.

1801.

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was not sati fied with having exerted his utmost efforts to weaken and depress her, but he insulted her by drawing his apology for retiring from power from the very act of perfidy, by which he prevented that emancipation, by the prospect of which he duped ber into the union. So barefaced was his duplicity throughout the whole negociation of that fatal measure, that whilst he and his agents were tempting the Catholics to give it support, in orsler to obtain their total emancipation, they were salucing the orangemen to exert their best energies to forward it, as the only etfectual means of blast: ing the Catholics”. hopes for ever. The Ministerial Agents even openly and from avowed authority assured the Orangemen, and the whole of the ascendancy party, that by the union the Catholic

question would be for ever set at rest ; that its “ agitation would never again interrupt the public

repose, and that for any sacrifices Ireļand might

make, the tranquillity founded on the extinction “ of the Catholic claims would be a liberal and " competent reward.”

It is singular, that out of the complicated Purther variety of embarrassments, under which Mr. Pitt Mr. Pott's found himself compelled to retire from the helm, the only transaction, which furnished him with a plausible or popular ground for resignation, was the Catholic question, which that crafty Minister and his followers have so frequently used as a most powerful engine for the worst of political purposes Within very few days after the meeting of Parliawent, he made no secret of his resignation,

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reasons of

Alxdications

180i.

Great were the surprize and consternation, which attended the report. Few indeed gave credit to the alleged cause of the resignation : namely his inability to carry the Catholic question, which was imperiously necessary for the safety of the state. He was too fond of power, his influence in the country was too imposing, Ireland was too insignificant to have caused such an important change in all the departments of the state. Abstracting from the merits and justice of the ques. tion, and from the expediency or necessity of its being then propounded and carried, neither Mr. Pitt's friends nor opponents could bring their minds to believe, that an administration, which had established itself in spite of the House of Commons; which had baffled and at last subdued a most formidable opposition ; which had maintained itself upon new courtly principles for 17 years, and still commanded a decided majority in the cabinet and senate, should have been thus broken

up

from the premier's inability to carry so simple and just a measure, as that of an equal partie cipation of constitutional rights anongst all the King's subject.

Besides those differences in the cabinet, to thę Mr. Pitt's account of which Mr. Pitt's friends most anxie

ously laid the abdication, it was generally be lieved, that some differences with the Duke of York, as commander in chief of his Majesty's forces, contained more of the real grounds for

1

Other causes of

resignatione

1801.

that change in his Majesty's councils.* These differences were said to turn upon three points. The first related to a diversity of opinion upon certain military arrangements and operations. The second arose out of a real or long suspected exercise of unconstitutional influence in a high quarter, which counteracted and embarrassed the important duties of his Majesty's official and responsible advisers. As these two heads affected Ireland in common with the rest of the British Empire, attention is more particularly pointed to the third, which touched Ireland in particular and operated only upon the rest of the Empire by indirect consequence. His Royal Highness had taken deep offence at Mr. Pitt's open declarations of the imperious necessity of emancipating the Catholics of Ireland: in which measure, should it ever take place, he and his adherents foresaw the sure extinction of the orange societies; and they universally looked

up

to the Duke of York as the peculiar patron of the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland, the support of which, each Orangeman individually swore constituted the condition and measure of his allegiance to the sovereign. Upon this as upon some other occasions very unfaithful representa

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So notorious had these differences between the chief movers of the ostensible and secret cabinet become in the 2d week of January, that even the Government papers of that day spoke openly of their race on the Windsor Road immediately after their altercation, for the priority of telling the tale to his Majesty. + Vid. their obligation in the introduction. Rules and regu

p.

II.

lations &c.

1801.

How Mr. Piitused his power

tions of those societies, and of the object of their institution were pressed upon the royal mind*.

For 17 years of the most awful period of human Governments, Mr. Pitt possessed more power, and used it more arbitrarily, than any Minister of a British Sovereign. He was supported in the strongest measures by the largest majorities ever known in Great Britain either in or out of Parlia. ment. His policy and ambition had been emipently successful in weakening his opponents by division, and engrafting upon the fears, which he artfully excited in his dependents and his Şovereign, an infatuated conviction, that the main taining of Whig pţinciples constituted the worst of all crimes, Jacobinism, and the support of his mea. şures became the exclusive test of loyalty and patriotisạn. Having thus discredited his political an,

* From the year 17.97 the Orange Societies were so tenderly cherished and zealously promoted by the Duke of York, that almost every regiment, even of Militia in Ireland, received from the office of the Commander in Chief, encouragement, authority, or orders for establishing Orange Lodges in their respective regi, ments. The person delegated for this mission was generally the Serjeant Major, or some other non-commissioned officer, signalized for his zeal against the Catholics. ' In some instances the institution of Orange Lodges under this high and official sanction. has produced ferment and dissension, which compelled the commanding officer to investigate and punish both those, who gave rise to, and those, who perpetrated the conseguent outrages. When often to the astonishment of the corps, and in defiance of military discipline and subordination, the conduct of the Serjeant has been justified by the production of the official document or warrant, most irregularly superseding that immediate authority, upon which alone the subordination and union of a regiment depend.

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