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political integrity, Mr. Fox exposed with an astonishing power both of argument and ridicule; it was unknown, he said, in ancient history, and was a discovery in modern times, which did them no honour. He concluded by a strong appeal to the good sense and candour of the house,-on the folly and injustice of deciding a great question of right and expediency, in which the general welfare of the kingdom and the individual interests of a large proportion of the community were equally concerned, by the conduct of a few unauthorized and unavowed individuals.

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The house divided, one hundred and five for the motion, two hundred and four against it.

CHAP. LXXX.

HISTORICAL MINUTES RESPECTING THE IRISH CATHOLICS, TILL THE REVOLUTION.

IT was the wish of the writer of these pages, to insert in them, a full account of the principal events in the history of the catholics in Ireland, since the reformation; but, he was prevented by want of leisure and want of materials. While it was in his contemplation, he collected, from the best sources, which were within his reach, the following minutes. They may be found to contain ;-Some miscellaneous înformation, I. On the state of the Irish, previously to the reign of Henry the second: II. On

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their state between the reigns of Henry the second and Henry the eighth III. On the condition of the Irish catholics in the reigns of Henry the eighth, Edward the sixth, and queen Mary: IV. On their condition in the reign of queen Elizabeth: V. On their condition under James the first: VI. On their condition during the first part of the reign of Charles the first VII. On the massacre in 1641: VIII. On the confederacy of the Irish catholics in 1642: IX. On the interference of the pope's nuncio in the proceedings of the supreme council of the confederates: X. On the confiscations made by Cromwell; and the arrangements of Charles the second respecting them: XI. On the Irish Remonstrance, or the Declaration of Allegiance, presented by several Irish catholics of distinction, to Charles the second, in 1661: XII. On father Peter Walsh, he promoter and historian of the remonstrance: XIII. On the confiscation of Irish catholic property, in 1688: XIV. And on the Irish brigade.

LXXX. 1.

State of the Irish before the reign of Henry the second.

A CONSIDERABLE difference of opinion now prevails among the learned, respecting the early civilization and refinement of the Irish nation. At present, the tide of public opinion is unfavourable to them; but the subject is far from being exhausted; and the author conjectures, that further and more impartial discussion will lead to a different conclusion.

The learning, the piety, and the manners of our Saxon ancestors, before the invasion of the Danes, have, fortunately for their memory, and for our edification, been preserved by the venerable Bede: --such an historian of its early annals, appears to have been wanting to Ireland. It should also be noticed, that the confusion, which followed the Danish invasion of England, was terminated by the Norman conquest; the arts and sciences were always, from this time, in a progressive state of improvement; and those were never wanting, who investigated and transmitted to posterity, memorials of their own and of former times. During the same period, Ireland was divided into many states; and the chieftains lived in a continued state of predatory warfare. It may even be asserted, that, till the accession of James the first, the condition of Ireland, with the exception of the small part of it within the English pale, was nearly in the same state as that of England, from the invasion of the Danes, till the Norman conquest. The consequence was, that, "to use the expression of an able writer,-" Few "histories are so charged with fables, as the annals of Ireland*."--To separate the fabulous from the probable, and the probable from the certain, will therefore require no ordinary share of penetration and persevering industry; but there is great reason to conjecture that, whenever it shall be done, the result will be favourable to what has been suggested respecting the ancient civilization and * Mr. Plowden's Hist. Mem. vol. i. p. 21.

early literature of this very interesting but much abused country.

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At all events, three circumstances are clear: 1st. The schools of Ireland were frequented by crowds of students from Britain, France, Flanders, and Germany.-Bede*, informs his readers, that many, both of their nobles and the low state, "left their country, and, either in search of sacred learning, or a stricter life, removed to Ireland:" and that "the Irish most willingly received them, "took care to provide them with sustenance, sup"port, and masters." A most honourable testimony, as lord Littleton justly remarks, to the learning, hospitality, and bounty of thu nation. Bede's account is confirmed by the lines so well known, which Camden has quoted from the life of St. Sugenius, who flourished in the eighth century:

Exemplo patrum, commotus amore legendi,
Ivit ad Hibernos Sophiâ mirabile claros.

2d. In the eighth and ninth centuries, the Irish clergy spread themselves over the greatest part of Europe, to convert the pagans, and instruct the unlettered christians. The instances produced by Mr. Plowdent, and by Dr. Milnert, place this beyond controversy §.

* Lib. iii. s. 17.

+ History of Ireland, vol. i. p. 20, 21.

"An Inquiry into the vulgar opinions concerning the "Catholic Inhabitants and the Antiquities of Ireland," letter ii.

§ See also Mr. Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints, Murphy's edition, iii. 176, note vii. 54. n. 165. ix. 58. xi. 247. ii. 238. vii. 54, note x. 5. ix. 37.

3d. "There happened," says Mr. Plowden*, "about the year of our Lord 1418, a very notable "transaction, which proved the high estimation "in which the kingdom of Ireland then was, and

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ever had been holden by the learned of Europe. "At the council of Constance, the ambassadors "from England were refused the rank and pre"cedency, which they claimed over some others; "they were not even allowed to rank or take any place as the ambassadors of a nation: the "advocates for France insisted, that the English having been conquered by the Romans, and again "subdued by the Saxons, who were tributaries to "the German empire, and never governed by native "sovereigns, they should take place as a branch only of the German empire, and not as a free "nation; for, added they, it is evident from "Albertus Magnus and Bartholomew Glanville, "that the world is divided into three parts, Europe, "Asia, and Africa,'--(America had not then been discovered): Europe was divided into four em"pires, the Roman, the Constantinopolitan, the "Irish, and the Spanish.' The English advocates, admitting the force of these allegations, claimed "their precedency and rank from Henry's being "monarch of Ireland only, and it was accordingly granted t."

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* Hist. vol. i. p. 22, n.

+ O'Halloran's Hist. vol. i. p. 68.

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