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privileges being obtained, it is hoped, that on balancing the advantages and disadvantages of their situation, they would prefer a quiet and peaceable demeanour to any line of conduct of an opposite description."
The author has given these two important historical documents in his Historical Review, (3, Vol. p. 944.) They have been frequently referred to, commented upon, and variously interpreted in the Imperial Parliament. They speak for themselves, and it would exceed the function of the historian to attempt to put his construction upon them. It having however been given out and generally believed by Mr. Pitt's party, that they had been disowned by Mr. Pitt and Lord Cornwallis; and the Noble Marquis having been appointed to the general Government of India in 1805, which appointment would, as it was probably intended, deprive the public of the advantage of his Lordships reasoning upon the important question, to which he boasted of having sacrificed his situation, the author determined to verify the fact by the best evidence the nature of the case would admit of, feeling it a duty to his own credit, and an important service to Ireland to place the matter out of doubt; he wrote a letter for that purpose to Lord Cornwallis, to which on the next day he received the following answer.
Burlington Street, April 7, 1805.
I have received your letter of yesterday's date, and feel no difficulty in giving the most satisfactory answer to it in my power. I have neither a copy nor a distinct recollection of the words of the paper, which I gave to Dr. Troy, but this I perfectly well remember, that the paper was hastily given to him by me, to be circulated amongst his friends with the view of preventing any immediate disturbances, or other bad effects, that might be apprehended from the accounts, that had just arrived from England; and if I used the word pledged, I could only mean, that in, my opinion, the Ministers, by resigning their offices, gave a pledge of their being friends to the measure of
Under the failure of dates, documents must be
proof of Mr. Catholic emancipation: for I can assure you, that I never Pitt's pledge received authority directly or indirectly from any member of administration, who resigned his office at that time, to give a pledge, that he would not embark again in the service of Government, except on the terms of the Catholic privileges being ob tained
I have the honor to be- Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant.
It appeared unaccountable to the author, that an intimation of this importance to several millions of his Majesty's subjects, should have slipped the memory of a person even in the 70th year of his age, or that the representative of his Sovereign should not have retained a copy of so solemn a pledge or assurance to a whole nation, or that it should have been hastily or inconsiderately, or unadvisedly or unknowingly or imprudently given, or without authority, without consultation, without the privity, with out the approbation or without the sanction of any of his collea gues or directors. It had been written and delivered by the viceroy himself in the presence of his first secretary to the first ecclesiastical and lay personages amongst the Catholics. Under these impressions the author wrote the following letter in reply to his Lordship.
Having given you my history, and in my letter of the 6th instant pointed to the page of it, which contained that important paper, of which you have neither a copy nor a distinct recollec tion, I take the liberty of enclosing an exact copy of it from the manuscript of Dr. Troy in my possession, which led me to believe, that it had been neither hastily given nor insidiously intended to answer a temporary purpose, nor to meet the effects of a flying report.
I have the honour to be,
With all due respect
Your Lordship's obedient humble servant, Essex-St. 8th April 1805, FRANCIS PLOWDEN.
traced and arranged according to their general 1801. consequences and effects. Lord Cornwallis avowed, in his letter to the author, that the paper (which has been called the pledge to the Catholics)" was "hastily given by him to Dr. Troy to be circulated amongst his friends with the view of preventing any immediate disturbances or other bad effects, "that might be apprehended from the accounts, "that had just arrived from England.". The first public reports of a general change of administration in England reached Ireland in the first week of February: that is, as soon as the course of the post could bring from England. the reported consequences of the council, which sat at the Queen's house on the 30th of January. Although it be alledged by Lord Cornwallis, that the paper was hastily given, it follows not, that it was hastily
To this letter the author received the following conclusive ad-. mission of the genuine authenticity of the important documents 'published in the Historical Review.
Burlington-Street, April 8th 1805..
I have alluded in my former letter to a short paper, which I gave to Dr. Troy on the morning after the account of the resignation arrived. I have no copies of the papers, which you have now transmitted. I do not however doubt their authority: but of one circumstance I can speak with the most confident certainty viz. that I had on no occasion any authority for using the word pledged, but what I thought arose from the act of resignation. I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient and most humble servant,
prepared. The two papers ascribed respectively to Mr. Pitt and Lord Cornwallis bear a similarity of stile, and may naturally be supposed to bave been the production of the same individual, whose insidious lubricity had been supereminently successful in duping the Irish into incorporate union and out of Catholic emancipation. Mr. Pitt gave unequivocal evidence in the House of Commons, that his paper was manufactured by Lord Castlereagh: but to the sentiments it contained, when properly interpreted, he however subscribed: and long after the time of the delivery of both papers, this trusty scribe of deception continued the official Secretary of Lord Cornwallis: and that Noble Marquis in executing Mr. Pitt's projects upon Ireland, left the proper interpretation of every captious speech, hallow promise and insidious action to the deceptive powers of his employer. When Mr. Grey moved the House of Commons (on the 25th of March) to resolve itself into a committee of the whole house, to take into consideration the state of the nation, he very judiciously brought the situation of Ireland under their consideration, as a most important part of his subject. In referring to those written pledges he roundly charged them with having been given without sincerity and without authority. "If Catholic "freedom were offered to the Irish as the price of "their support of the union, if the faith of the "Government were pledged on that occasion, it "forms the highest species of criminality in Ministers, because I am confident, said he, if such
were the case, it was so pledged without the "authority of the King: for I know his Majesty “is superior to the idea of swerving in the slightest "degree from the observance of his word. This "then was a crime of the highest denomination "in Ministers, and calls for enquiry. I ask, if
"such promise were made, was Lord Clare and
"the Protestant, ascendancy party made acquainted with it? If so, they were a party to "the delusion, that was intended to be practised on "the unhappy Catholic,"
meaning ou the Catho
Mr. Pitt, though no longer in office sat on the Mr. Pites Ministerial side of the house, and in his reply to Mr. Grey, dwelt as slightly as possible on that part of lic question. his speech, which touched Ireland. The little however he did say, was pregnant with importance to the country. It seemed, that with the office, he had laid aside that craft and wariness, in which he usually enveloped his speeches in Parliament.-Although," said the Ex-Minister, "the gentle"men opposite to me may agree with me in the "necessity of Catholic Emancipation, yet I be"lieve I shall not be entitled to their support,
when I state the principles, on which I intended "to have brought it forward. I hope, however, "the time is not far distant, when in reward of "the patience and resignation of the Catholics it "it may be carried into effect, so as to confirm the general tranquillity and security of the empire." He added also on the same occasion, that he had "no part in the wording of the paper. It was "drawn up by Lord Castlereagh. To the senti