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was so sworn in his affidavit, and not denied in the affidavits of the corporation, on showing cause, as I recollect.
Do you know whether, in other corporations, the same adherence to the exclusion is still continued ?- In the corporation of Limerick, as much as in the other; but that was rather to keep it in the hands of a particular family; the religion mixed there with self interest. In Cork it is an inconvenience, but it is not so strict. I am not aware of any other corporation in which it has had that effect, and that particularly, because the corporations with which I am acquainted, are not, in general, open corporations, except Dublin.
Do you know the circumstances of the corporation of Waterford ?-I am not acquainted with the details of that corporation ; but there are Catholic freemen there, and there are Catholic freemen at Cork.
You have said, in answer to a question, that you attribute, in some degree, to the exclusion of the Roman Catholics from the Bank, the superiority of their wealth in Dublin; on what observation do you ground the alleged fact, that the Roman Catholics are superior?- Many circumstances have made me very intimately acquainted with the city of Dublin, and the commercial men in it. There is, first, my professional opportunities; one reason also is, the political part that I have taken, which has brought me into immediate connexion with the Catholic mercantile men. The opposition to us has made me know, tolerably well, the Protestant commercial men; and both causes have given me a knowledge of what we call the liberal men. Now, from these causes combined, I am able to say, with a good deal of confidence, that the preponderance of the commercial wealth in Dublin is with the Catholic merchants. My profession gives me private information of the amount of property.
Do you mean to include in that, merely the Roman Catholics themselves, or that proportion of the Protestants supposed to be favourable to their opinions ?-I mean to say, that the Roman Catholics themselves have the absolute preponderance, in my judgment.
Can you form any estimate of the commercial wealth of the city of Dublin, on the whole ?-I should be afraid to state any guess upon that subject.
You have mentioned the spirit with which the laws have been administered in Ireland; what influence has that had, in respect to the concessions made to the Roman Catholics in the year 1793?
It has not allowed those concessions to go fully into effect, as the legislature intended. The instances I have given are instances of that description, where the legislative benefit has not been realized. There are others.
Have you ever known, in the case of purchases made by Roman Catholics of landed property in Ireland, any exception taken to the purchasing of lands, the title of which depended upon confiscation or forfeiture?- No objection, certainly; on the contrary, in advising a purchaser to buy, as a professional man, I infinitely prefer that it should have been a forfeited property, and for this distinct reason, that then the origin of the title is easily traced ; for after the usurpation, all those who obtained forfeited property took out patents for it, and therefore we easily find the patent, and direct the searches merely for subsequent periods; so that I take it to be an additional advantage in carrying an estate to market in Ireland, that it was a forfeited estate. I myself, in the small property I possess, have lands that are forfeited.
Have you ever known purchases of landed property in Ireland, to a considerable extent, made by Catholics ?-0 yes; and indeed, circumstances having placed me a good deal in the confidence of wealthy Catholics, and knowing a good deal of their purchases, I do not think I could call to recollection the purchases, by Catholics, of any thing but forfeited estates. The instances in which they have purchased them are beyond a doubt very numerous. I speak from positive knowledge.
The Catholic body, as a body, would have no interest in reversing the forfeiture --The wealthy Catholics would be ruined by it.
Have you any means of informing the Committee, what proportion the property that never was forfeited bears to that which was ?-It must be extremely small. I know of but one instance within the scope of my knowledge, of a property that never was forfeited, and I possess that myself.
Then the inference to be drawn is this, that almost the whole of Ireland has, at one time or other, been forfeited ?- I believe the whole of Ireland has been two or three or four times forfeited. the northern forfeitures were, many of them, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; the southern were at the Usurpation, and again at the Revolution. During the reigns of James the First and Charles the First, there were immense forfeitures, both in the north and in Connaught.
There were some in the reign of Edward the Sixth ?-Yes ; those were principally church lands. .
The quit rents, which show pretty well what estates have never been forfeited ?-I take the distinction between crown rents and quit rents to be this: crown rents show where it was forfeited; quit rent, in its signification, was a kind of composition for a bad title, for quieting the title, and may exist as well after forfeiture as in lands not forfeited.
nages were, till atmoney on landleheir money
Is it within your knowledge, that there is a considerable sum lent out by Catholics on mortgages of estates, in addition to the land purchased by them ?-Very considerable, in addition to their landed property. Except in Dublin itself, the Irish Catholics have not, until latterly, got into the habit of placing their money in the funds; they have lent their money on landed security. Judgments and mortgages were, till lately, considered nearly equal in value, in practice in Ireland.
Are there not a considerable proportion of the tenantry greatly interested in the present state of things, by the possession of very long leases ?—There are ; and on forfeited estates I am quite convinced that any measure so ruinous to all the wealth and property and intelligence of the Catholics in Ireland, as any attempt to get back for the old proprietors, if they could be traced, the forfeited lands, could not be devised ; in short it is a thing utterly impossible.
Do you believe that any attempt to do that, would create general alarm among the Catholic body in Ireland ?-I am convinced it would not only create general alarm, but that if they had the least notion it would be done, there is nothing which would excite to actual civil war so soon.
Can you institute any comparison between the state of Catholic property now, whether landed or personal property, with what it was previous to the year 1778?-In numbers or numerically, I cannot do it; but it has increased (the only phrase at all to express such increase is,) enormously, and it is increasing every day; the Union has tended very much to increase the resident Roman Catholic property in Ireland; it drained off for every purpose of colonial government, and from the expectation of promotion in the army and navy, the Protestants; the Protestants being of a wealthier class, when the war prices fell, they could not endure the misery which the Roman Catholic peasant endured from habit, and therefore they auctioned off every thing, and went off to America in numbers; these things, as far as I have observed, have a daily tendency to increase the resident numbers strength and wealth of the Roman Catholics in Ireland, as compared with the Protestants.
As compared with the period antecedent to 1778, your opinion is, that the Catholic property, in proportion to the Protestant property, is infinitely greater now than it was then ?-Beyond any possible comparison certainly, and that applied to every kind of wealth; the Catholic commercial property was very much shaken before 1778, by the decisions, which made judgment debts discoverable ; which means, that when a Catholic had a certain kind of property, any person filing a bill in chancery, merely stating the owner of the property to be a Catholic, and that he, the plaintiff then was a Protestant, he was entitled to a decree for the property.
The state of the law before 1778 was such, that accumulation of property in the hands of a Catholic was difficult ?-Of landed property impossible, but even of personal property, the moment they laid it out on any security affecting land, and a judgment in our country is not a lien on land, but is convertible into a lien, it was held that the convertible nature of the judgment into a lien on landed property, though not brought into action by what we call an elegit, still rendered it discoverable.
Are the Committee to understand, that it is your opinion, that of the emigrants, a much greater number of Protestants have gone to the Colonies and the United States, than Catholics ?--A great number of poor Catholics, but of the wealthier yeomanry a greater number of Protestants ; for the Catholic yeomanry arosé only during the war, and they descended more easily into an inferior station than the Protestants, who had never been in so low a state.
You have stated that many Roman Catholics are very unjustly excluded from being members of particular corporations in Ireland ?- In the city of Dublin especially; and I understand Derry, but I may be mistaken.
Are you to be understood to state that to be more in practice than in law ? The law certainly does not exclude them.
Has any remedy ever occurred to your mind to prevent this practice? Yes.
Have the goodness to state it?-By making it punishable by a pecuniary fine, to refuse the undoubted right of a poor man, and by giving double or treble costs, which would easily encourage respectable attorneys to speculate, by advancing their own money to enforce the right; if treble costs were given, the attornies would be naturally looking out for the clients.
Do you think that would be a perfect remedy in all cases ?-I think it would be an excellent if not a perfect remedy, because it would go to the extent of the evil ; perhaps if I had the preparing an Act of Parliament, some legislative provisions to facilitate the modes, so as to prevent the applicants from being defeated in matters of form, where in substance they were correct, might be made; but with the two things together, preventing the right being impeded by mere technical forms in the corporation, with which by-the-by, a man who is not already in the corporation, cannot be so well acquainted, and a provision of this kind, that every question of right should be the matter tried, and tried in one of the superior courts, for example, the court of King's Bench, and there need not be a better, the thing would perhaps approach to perfection; but we should not do any thing to encourage persons not entitled to be the right, unjustly to claim it; that would be an evil.
Have you ever looked at the Act which has been passed here, for the admission of freemen, or for the regulation of their claims, in the town of Coventry ?-Never, I have not seen it.
Do you apprehend it would be a beneficial regulation, if in every corporation, they were bound to examine the claims of freedom, at the first meeting after the petition for freedom was presented, previous to doing any other business, save and except the election of mayor or sheriff ?-I think that certainly would prevent what is called in Ireland « cushioning," a technical phrase, referring to the not deciding upon the claim at all; that is a practice which has been much complained of.
Do you think that if means can be devised to prevent the application of the corporate funds by the corporation, to the vexatious defences set up against applications for freedom, that would have a beneficial effect?-0, certainly; if I had had it in my contemplation when I answered the question awhile ago, I would have added, that it would be a great additional advantage, if, where an unfounded resistance to a just claim was made, it might be in the power of the judge to certify his opinion of the verdict, and then that the individuals should be themselves responsible, as well as the corporation funds, and that the corporation might have a remedy over for the costs which they were put to, against the individuals; a legal provision to some such effect, would probably diminish the resistance to the claims of poor men.
Have there been many applications within your knowledge, to the court of King's Bench, against the corporation of Dublin for refusing admission to that body ?-Very few ; I have known but of two instances of Catholics applying. Coles, the man for whom I applied, had an unquestionable right, but he never would have applied if I had not done it at my own expense; the Adcocks and Henderson, for whom we lately applied, had certainly a right, but they never would have applied if we had not done it for them.
They were the children of Protestant parents; their father had exercised the right till the very moment of his death, and the grandfather in the case of Adcocks.
Do you recollect any case of an application in respect of the corporation of Derry ? —No, I do not know it; I have not heard much of Derry, beyond what I have already stated.
Have you known of applications made for the franchise in other cities, besides Dublin ?-Limerick is familiar to me.
Those applications have been continued for many years; have they not?-Those applications have been continued for many years; the Limerick corporation, being experienced in the modes