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It would be impossible and unnecessary, to state here the numerous resolutions agreed to by the several volunteer corps and other assemblies, where these subjects were taken into consideration : they were substantially the same, and differed but in words. We shall therefore only add the proceedings of a few other bodies, that were not under the military character, to shew that the same disposition and sentiments pervaded all ranks of people.
At a Meeting of the Freemen and Freeholders of the City of
Dublin, convened by the High Sheriffs, at the Tholsel, on Tuesday the 19th of March, 1782, the following Address was
unanimously agreed to. To Sir Samuel Bradstreet, Bart. and Travers Hartley, Esq.
Representatives in Parliament for the City of Dublin.
AS men justly entitled to, and firmly resolved to obtain a free constitution, we require you, our trustees, to exert yourselves in the most strenuous manner, to procure an unequivocal declaration, “That the king, lords, and com
mons of Ireland are the only power competent to make laws
to bind this country.” And we solemnly pledge ourselves to you and to our country, that we will support the representatives of the people at the risk of our lives and fortunes, in every constitutional measure, which may be pursued for the attainment of this great national object.
Be assured, gentlemen, that your zeal upon this occasion will insure you a continuance of our esteem and regard. (Signed)
James Campbell } Sheriffs.
The Sheriffs, having waited on the Representatives, received the
To the Sheriffs, Freemen, and Freeholders of the City of
IT has ever been my wish to receive with pleasure, and to obey the instructions of my constituents.
You may depend on my using every means in my power to procure an explicit and unequivocal declaration, " That the
king, lords, and commons of Ireland are the only power com
petent to make laws to bind this country ;” and I rely on your solemn engagement to support your representatives in every constitutional measure, which may be necessary for the attainment of this great national object. Permit me to assure you, that my zeal for the accomplishment of your wishes can be equalled only by my desire to convince you how sacred I esteem the trust you have reposed in me, and how much I value a continuance of the good opinion of my fellow citizens. I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, Your obliged and faithful servant,
To the Sheriffs, Freemen, and Freeholders of the city of Dublin.
I SHOULD be very unworthy of that honourable and important trust, with which you have so recently invested me, did I not receive with the highest respect, the must perfect satisfaction, and cheerful conformity, your instruccions on a subject in which the national honour and security are essentially engaged. To suppose that any power, except that of the “ king, lords, and commons of Ireland, is competent to “ make laws to bind this kingdom," is utterly inconsistent with the idea of freedom ; it is equal liberty alone, which can secure that perfect harmony to the subjects of the same crown, so necessary to the prosperity both of Great Britain and Ireland.
You may rely, gentlemen, on every exertion I am capable of, to procure an unequivocal declaration of the sole rights of the legislature of this kingdom, to enact laws obligatory on the people of Ireland; and I doubt not in this, and every constitutional measure, I shall be alway's secure of the support of my constituents. Your instructions on this occasion will give a dignity to the vote you have intrusted me with, which it must have wanted, if considered as merely proceeding from my own private judgment. I have the honour, gentlemen, to be, With the most perfect respect, and sense of obligation, Your faithful and obedient servant,
At a Meeting of the High Sheriff and Grand Jury of the
County of Dublin, on the 11th of April, 1782, the following
Resolutions were agreed to. Resolved, That no power on earth, but the king, lords, and commons of Ireland can in right make laws to bind the people of this land.
Resolved, That the members of the House of Commons are representatives of, and derive their power solely from, the people ; and that a denial of this proposition by them would be to abdicate the representation.
The following Address was then read by the Chairman, and
To the Right Hon. Luke Gardiner, and Sir Edward New
enham, Knight. GENTLEMEN,
WE, the high sheriff and grand jury of the county of Dublin, warmly coinciding with the determination respecting the constitutional rights of Ireland, with which the mind of every man in this nation is deeply impressed, think it our duty to express those feelings in the strongest terms.
As you have already evinced your intention to support the sole and undoubted authority of the legislature of Ireland, to make laws for its government, we confidently hope and expect, that you will persevere in pursuing the most decisive and im mediate measures, that may effectually carry that great object into execution, by a solemn ratification of our rights.
Though this is, at the present crisis, the principal matter under the consideration of parliament, we have no doubt but that you must consider it your duty to act in all things that affect the freedom of our constitution, in such manner as may become the representatives of a great and independent county.
Resolved, That copies of the above resolutions and address, signed by the high sheriff and foreman, be presented to the Right Honourable Luke Gardiner and Sir Edward Newenham, knight, and that the same, together with their answers be published.
The following Answers were returned.
To the High Sheriff and Grand Jury of the County of Dublin. GENTLEMEN,
IT gives me very sincere satisfaction, that my past conduct, relative to the sole and undoubted authority of the legislature of Ireland, has merited your approbation. You may be assured, that I shall persevere in giving my warmest support to the great and important object, as I consider it so decisively founded in right, that no man who loves to be free, can hesitate to acknowledge and to assert it.
With respect to any other matter that may affect the freedom of our constitution, I am so conscious of my intentions to promote the perfect contentment of this country, that I have no doubt I shall, in every particular deserve that confidence, with which you have hitherto honoured me.
I am very glad that you have given me an opportunity of declaring my sentiments thus publicly at this crisis; as I think that the time is now come, which demands an explicit and a permanent settlement of the constitution of Ireland, as the certain means of establishing the tranquillity of this country, and of perpetuating the harmony, which ought to subsist between us and Great Britain.
I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,
of Dublin. GENTLEMEN,
I ALWAYS received your instructions with respect and pleasure, for it is equally my duty and inclination to obey them; if I did not, I should betray that delegated trust, with which you have honoured me.
In respect to those great objects in which you desire “ I will persevere,” I assure you, I will most faithfully pursue that line of conduct marked out by you, confident that his majesty cannot, in justice to this independent kingdom, refuse his royal assent to such acts, as may be deemed by the Irish parliament “ a solemn ratification of our rights." Í flatter myself that no Irish minister will be found to be so presumptuous, as to impede the total annihilation of foreign usurpation; if such a minister should be found, the parliament of Ireland, supported
by the general voice of the people, ought to do their duty. Though effectual impeachments have been too long neglected, and thereby our sister kingdom has nearly fallen a martyr to the corruption and wickedness of its ministry, the spirit of this nation is too high, to submit patiently to national insults.
You are also pleased to direct me “ to act in all things, that « affect the freedom of our constitution, as may become the re
presentative of a great and independent county :" in order to accomplish that object, I have frequently introduced heads of a bill to secure the freedom of parliament, by limiting the number of placemen, and totally excluding pensioners from sitting therein ; a hostile band of parliamentary placemen and pensioners is the foundation of internal and external corruption.
Every measure tending to maintain the freedom, or promote the trade and manufactures of your great, respectable, and independent county, shall meet my warmest support in
every station of life.
I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect,
At a full Meeting of the Grand Jury, Gentlemen, Clergy, and
Freeholders of the County of Galway, assembled pursuant to public Notice from the High Sheriff, at the County-Hall, in Galway, March 31, 1782, the following Resolutions were unanimously entered into :
RESOLVED, That a seat in parliament was never intended by our constitution as an instrument of emolument to individuals; and that the representative, who perverts it to such a purpose, particularly at so momentous a period as the present,
is guilty of betraying the trust reposed in him by the people for • their, not his benefit.
Resolved, That the people who could tamely behold their suffrages made the tool of private avarice or ambition, are still more criminal than the venal representatives, as they become the panders without even the wages of prostitution.
Resolved, That when we daily see the mandate of the minister supersede all conviction in debate ; when placed and pensioned members of parliament notoriously support in public measures, which they condemn in private; when the hirelings of corruption avow, and government have exemplified in recent instances of distinguished characters, that to vote according to VOL. II.