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“ There were many instances within my own knowledge in which the priests have, both directly and indirectly, given such information as led to the conviction of parties by whom outrages had been committed."

And finally, the same Major Warburton expresses himself concerning the same Roman Catholic priests in the following terms :

I cannot name ANY INSTANCE in which, to my knowledge, a priest has known of an offence AND HAS NOT given information." (853.)

Such has indeed been the conduct of the Catholic clergy of Ireland, from the very commencement of the existence of outrages in that country, which era is fixed at the year 1761. These outrages were occasioned by the conduct of the landlords, who, to use the language of Lord Clare, “ground the peasantry to powder," and reduced them to so hideous a necessity, that, as the lord bishop of Cloyne observed (Argument, p. 32), “it would be an act of humanity and mercy towards them to adopt the more humane policy of the Indians, and put them to death,” inasmuch as “they had no other alternative but to commit a violation of the law for the support of life, or to perish of hunger, in submission to the regulations of property.” (Ibid. p. 28.)

At this period (in 1762) we find the Catholic Cloyne issuing a circular to his clergy, earnestly requiring them to use all their influence as pastors, for the preservation of the peace; and to proceed by ecclesiastical censures against the wretches who were tortured into a disturbance of the public tranquillity. An extract from this document will show the danger to which the priests exposed themselves in performing this thankless service in behalf of a hostile government.

As to my order (the bishop says) concerning the general exhortation relative to those disturbances, I have sufficient testimony of its having been executed according to directions. But for the censures, the said frontier parish priests sent me a remonstrance, desiring that they may be excused and dispensed from issuing any menaces of spiritual penalties, until such time as the clergy of the neighbouring dioceses should have proceeded to act in like manner, alleging for their excuse, that as they had been assured, and as it really appeared from all circumstances, the different bands of those nocturnal rioters were all entirely composed of the loose and desperate sort of people, of different professions and communions, who showed as little regard to religion as to morals; they apprehended immediate danger with regard to the safety of their persons, if they made themselves singular in proceeding to censures against a multi

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tude of dissolute night-walkers, who had already given so many terrifying proofs of their rash dispositions, as well as of their disregard to all laws, and contempt of all characters."*

In 1775, the Whiteboys in Kildare buried a Catholic priest naked in the ground up to the neck, after having first surrounded him with brainbles and thorns, and threatened the like usage to erery other priest upon whom they could lay their hands, on account of the endeavours made by the priests to dissuade the Whiteboys from their wicked practices.t Arthur Young says, that

“ The first effective resistance to the Whiteboys of Kilkenny, was made by the Catholic inhabitants of Ballyragget, who formed an armed association, and repulsed with considerable loss a large body of Whiteboys, who attacked a house in the town on the 21st January 1775."

Young travelled through that county in 1776, and collected his information on the spot.

A general excommunication against the Whiteboys by the Catholic Bishop of Ossory was read in all his chapels in 1779, at which time the Whiteboy outrages prevailed principally in that neighbourhood. A pastoral letter to the same effect from the same prelate in 1784 is mentioned in Plowden's Hist. Rev. vol. ii. part 2. The following placard was posted by the Whiteboys upon the churches and chapels in 1787 :

“You are hereby cautioned not to pay ministers' tithes, only in the following manner, viz. potatoes 4s. per acre, wheat and barley Is. 6d. per acre, oats and meadows 1s. per acre. Roman Catholic clergy to receive for marriages 5s., for baptism 1s. 6d., for confession 6d. You are hereby warned not to pay clerks' money, or any other dues concerning marriages; be all sure not to go to any expense of your confessing turns, but let them partake of your own fare."

Nor did the Whiteboys at this time confine themselves to regulating the dues to be paid to their own clergy; but they also, in many cases, attacked their persons. It is distinctly stated, more than once, by Mr. Hely Hutchinson, the secretary of state, in the debate on the bill for the Protection of the Protestant Clergy, that the Catholic clergy had likewise suffered from the violence of the Whiteboys. Several instances of the maltreatment of priests by the rioters are mentioned by O'Leary in the following passages :

“Was not a Father Burke (he says) obliged to quit his parish the same day that Archdeacon Tisdal quitted his? Were not balls

* O'Connor's History of the Irish Catholies, Part i. App. No. ix. p. 26-29.

† Annual Register, for 1775, p. 170. Lewis, p. 31, 28, 30.

fired at Father Sheehy? Were not two clergymen, one a secular and the other a regular, robbed the same night of their wearing apparel ? Another parish priest, a venerable old man, who was never charged with any extortions, and who, in my presence, challenged his congregation to bring forward any charge against him, was robbed of what little he had to support him in his old age, even of his very bed. Another, on suspicion of having brought the army to his congregation to prevent the deluded people from swearing, was on the point of being torn limb from limb at his altar, had not a gentleman stepped forward and said, that he himself was the gentleman who had applied to the magistrate for that purpose. The gentleman himself narrowly escaped with his life, through the interposition of the vicar-general, who had the presence of mind to step, with the crucifix in his hand, between the gentleman and the enraged multitude, crying out to them with a loud voice, I conjure you, in the name of that God whose image I hold, not to pollute his altar with murder.” — O'Leary's Defence, p. 147.

The hostility thus shown towards the priests by the Whiteboys was principally earned by the activity which,

from the beginning, they showed as a body in opposing the Whiteboy combinations.

The zeal of the clergy in opposing the rioters proceeded to such a length, as to have completely annihilated their influence over the people about 1786. (Newenham, cited by Lewis, p. 71.). In a petition presented to the Irish House of Commons in 1787, when the clause for demolishing all their chapels was to be debated, it is alleged that

“ In suppressing the late disturbances in the south, the Catholic nobility and gentry, with the prelates and inferior clergy, had been most active. That during these disturbances their chapels had been nailed up, and their pastors abused and forced from their parishes, and no distinctions made in the paroxysm of popular frenzy.”Lewis, ibid.

Referring to the insurrection of the Rockites, Major Willcock says that

“ The Catholic priesthood have exposed themselves to considerable personal risk and danger in consequence of their exertion to maintain the public peace.—H.C., 1824, pp. 111-12.

James Lawler, Esq., a magistrate residing in Kerry, says, that “all the peasantry of Munster would have been up

in 1821-2, BUT FOR THE PRIESTS. (Ibid. 448.) Robert de la Cour, Esq., banker and treasurer of the county of Cork, bears testimony to the same effect, and makes particular mention of the parish priest of Mallow, for the very essential service rendered to that district by his exertions and communications. (Ibid. 1825, p. 5667.) 'He stated that there were many instances in which the clergy had actively exerted themselves to repress the outrages, and induce the populace to surrender their arms; and that the clergy by such conduct exposed themselves not only to personal danger but to the loss of their income, which depended upon the voluntary contributions of their flocks. In 1825 the Protestants of Maryborough (Queen's County), with the rector, Mr. Waller, at their head, sent a deputation to Mr. O'Connor, the Catholic priest, to know in what manner he would receive an address from them, expressive of their gratitude for the services which he rendered in preserving the peace of the county. (Lewis, p. 206.) He stated before another committee of the House of Commons seven years later, 1832, that the priests in his diocese, as well as in that of Ossory, had been frequently threatened with injury in consequence of their denunciations of the outrages; and mentions a case in which, for that cause, a priest was assaulted in 1832. (No. 3241, 3249.) The Right Honourable Denis Brown says, that he knows of his own knowledge, that at all times the Catholic priests did most seriously oppose the disturbers of the peace. (Lewis, p. 141.) In 1832, Captain Despard says

“ That the Catholic clergy, in his neighbourhood, were doing every thing in their power to stop the outrages; and that the clergy, both priests and bishops, had called upon the peasantry to surrender their arms; but that the insurgents paid little respect to the clergy, and that their disinclination to obey them was increasing.”. -H. C., 1832, pp. 575-79.

Mr. John Dillon stated before the same committee, that the efforts of the clergy to repress disturbances were ineffectual, and ended in destroying the influence of the priest over the flock. (Ibid. pp. 2481-85.) Before the same committee Mr. Miles O'Reilly, whilst detailing some particulars tending to show the connexion between a particular priest and the Whitefeet, says, “I am very certain that collectively the priests have been and are very much opposed to the system of Blackfeet and Whitefeet.” The particular case to which he alluded was tried at the special commission at Maryborough, and the attorney-general said, that “ in his opinion it was not possible to say that there appeared a single fact warranting any criminal imputation upon the priest in question."

Taking the whole of this evidence together, it covers the entire period from 1760, the era of the commencement of modern outrages, down to the sitting of the Roden Committee in 1839; and we confidently ask the reader to decide whether there was ever produced a more complete or decisive

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mass of testimony than that which we have collected in favour of the Catholic clergy?

Upon the same subject the late Earl of Kingston gave the following evidence before the Committee of 1824-25 :

“ As far as I have had an opportunity of observing, or of hearing, what has been the conduct of the Catholic priests in relation to these disturbances, it has been very excellent: one bad priest has come under my knowledge in Ireland. All the rest I have found very exemplary men, and very active to preserve the peace,

and maintain loyalty.Evid. 'of the Earl of Kingston, Dig. of the Rev. Mortimer O'Sullivan and Dr. Phelan, part ii. p.

61. The offence which his lordship imputed to the one bad priest was, his having “preached a kind of sermon in favour of the Catholic rent! (Ibid.) The noble lord goes on to say, know this priest very well, and he is the only priest I ever met that I think ill of; and that is saying a great deal of só large a body.” We should like to know of what other body of men, large or small, such a character could be given with truth.

As it is a favourite part of the professor's theory to establish a connexion between “Romanism” and Ribandism, he returns to the assault in all varieties of untruth, and in reference to every division of the subject. In page 158, we are informed that “It has been proved before the Lords' Committee, that Ribandmen are applied to by the priests for assistance in contested elections." In support of this assertion, there is not the slightest citation of evidence, nor even a reference to any. For our parts, we believe that the statement is totally and absolutely false ; and that there does not exist any such evidence as that upon which the writer professes to found his assertion. It is of course impossible for us to go through the whole body of the testimony for the purpose of establishing the negative. We shall, however, produce all that we ourselves believe to exist in the Report of the Roden Committee, upon the subject of Ribandism in relation to elections. At No. 1737, Mr. Rowan says, “I have no doubt but the society has exerted itself at a general election, as an individual Ribandman told me that they would have the county so organized as that they should be able to chair a cabbage-stalk. This,” says Mr. Rowan, with due solemnity, “was precisely the Ribandman's expression."

The reader will perceive, that in this ridiculous balderdash, such as it is, there is no mention at all of a priest ; whilst the very same identical Mr. Rowan says, (No. 1742) I cannot

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