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that the Irish people should be induced by this insidious legacy to give credit to the Pitt Administration, for having sacrificed their places to their sincerity in the cause of the Catholics. Deception of some sort seems to have been intended by the suppression of dates and names, and the omission of all clerical formality in the transmission of the document. Many were at the time deceived: and some still refuse to admit, that such delusion has been practised upon them. Imm ediately after Mr. Pitt's resignation, * his Excellency sent for Dr. Troy, the Catholic Arch-Bishop of Dublin, and Lord Fingall the first Catholic Nobleman of Ireland on the same day, though they attended him at separate times, and in the presence of Lieutenant Colonel Littlehales delivered to them the following written declaration; desiring
So confident was the party, that Lord Cornwallis had been the faithful tool of the British cabinet in carrying all its designs into effect in Ireland, and so steadily was that cabinet bent upon continuing the same system of proscription and division, that Lord Cornwallis was strongly and repeatedly urged to continue in his Government. His retirement however was the winding up of the piece; and the test of his sincerity in emancipating the Catholics, whom he left as he found them, and of his detestation of the Orangemen, who had incredibly encreased in numbers strength and influence under bis administration,
About this time namely 25th of February 1801 Lord Cornwallis appointed his confidential friend and favourite Colonel Edward Baker Littlehales, whom his Excellency had brought over with him to Ireland to be 'under secretary in the military department, in the room of William Elliott Esq. who had resigned that office. Mr. Elliott had been long trained to and was ever active in forwarding Mr. Pitt's system upon Ireland.
to the Ca.
at the same time, that they should be discreetly , 1801. communicated to the Bishops and principal Catholics, but not inserted in the newspapers. Within a short time after, they found their way into the English and Irish prints. " The leading part of his Majesty's Ministers Copy of Mr.
Pitt's pledge finding unsurmountable obstacles to the bringing forward measures of concession to the Catholic tbolics body, whilst in office, have felt it impossible to continue in administration under the inability to propose it with the circumstances necessary to carrying the measure with all its advantages; and they have retired from his Majesty's service, considering this line of condact, as most likely to contribute to its ultimate success. The Catholic body will, therefore, see how much their future hopes must depend upon strengthening their cause by good conduct in the mean time: they will prudently consider their prospects as arising from the
persons, who now espouse their interests, and compare them with those, which they could look to from any other quarter; they may with confidence rely on the zealous support of all those, who.
retire, and, of many, who reinain in office, when it can be given with a prospect of success. They may be assured, that Mr. Pitt will do bis utmost to establish their cause in the public favor, and prepare the way for their finally attaining their objects. And the Catholics will feel, that as Mr. Pitt could not concur in a hopeless attempt to force it now, he must at all times repress with the same decision, as if he held an adverse opinion, any unconstitutional conduct in the Catholic body.
Under these circumstances it cannot be doubted, that the Catholics will take the most loyal, dutiful, and patient line of conduct; that they will not suffer themselves to be led into measufes, which can, by any construction, give a handle to the opposers of their wishes, either to misinterpret their principles, or to raise an argument for resisting their claims : but that by their prudent and exemplary demeanour they will afford additional grounds to the growing number of their advocaets to enforce their claims on proper occasions, until their objects can be finally and advantageously attained.”
Such was Mr. Pitt's pledge or promise, which falls certainly within Lord Hollands meaning of a written communication between the agents of Government and the Catholic body. That of Lord Cornwallis was under the following title-viz.
“The sentiments of a sincere friend to the Catholic claims. If the Catholics should now proceed to violence, or entertain any ideas of gaiving their object by convulsive measures, or forming associations with men of Jacobinical principles, they must of course lose the support and aid of those, who have sacrificed their own situations in their cause; but who would at the same time feel it to be their indispensable duty to opposa every thing tending to confusion. On the other hand should the Catholics be sensible of the benefit they possess, by having so many characters of eminence pledged not to embark in the service of Government, except on the terms of the Catholic
Lord Cornwallis du.
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 thenselves, 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 Lord. ships 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 ; be 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 effices, gave a pledge of their being friends to the measure of
1901. Under the failure of dates, documents must be Further 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
I hare the honor to be- Sir,
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, without the approbation or without the sanction of any of his colleagues 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.
“ MY LORD, Ilaving 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 recollection, 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 PLOW DEN.