Page images


was almost every year a Parliament, and sometimes two or
three, in so much as in 34 Hen. 6, c. 6 it was enacted that there
should be only one Parliament summoned in one year.
Edw. 4 during his reign did not suffer two years to pass
without a Parliament.
Ric, 3 held two Parliaments here in less than three years.
Hen. 7 held five Parliaments in 22 years.
Hen. 8 held six Parliaments in 38 years.
I find no Parliament held in the time of Edw.6, but the
two first years of Queen Mary's reign were spent in one
Parliament. And, lastly, Queen Elizabeth, in the first 27
years of her reign caused five Parliaments to be held in
Ireland, but since that time 25 years have passed without
any Parliament.
But perhaps there have not risen such important causes for
calling Parliaments in these last 27 years as in former times.
There was not, till late years, a third part of the kingdom
subject to English law and government, so as the English
pale and two or three shires in Leinster and some of the
corporate towns of Munster only, sent knights and burgesses
to the Parliament, and the Lords of the Upper House were for
the most part all of Leynster. And this is the cause why the
ancient barons of Ireland have so mean estates, for, to fill up
the Upper House of Parliament, the esquires of the pale were
created barons, for necessity of service, in those days, whereas
such as have been made earls and barons of late years in the
other provinces have far greater territories. All the other
parts of the land were under the tyranny of the Irish, who
made such continual incursions upon the English, as they
could never make such a form of commonwealth amongst
themselves as was capable of good laws and their execution.
Now the whole island, containing 34 shires being entirely
subdued, as there was much valour and martial virtue shown
in the conquest and recovery thereof, so must there be much
wisdom used in establishing civil government, which cannot
be done without making new laws for settling both the
persons and possessions of the subjects.
There are not sufficient laws provided for the government
of this kingdom, since not only the common law, but all the
statute laws of England made before 10 Hen. 7 are enacted and
established in Ireland, besides many statutes made since
10 Hen. 7 in sundry Parliaments held there in the times of
Hen. 8, Queen Mary, and Elizabeth.
It is true that there are such laws in force in this kingdom,
but they only extended to the persons and possessions of the
English colonies, and to some few families of the Irish, who
by special charters were admitted to enjoy the benefit of the
laws of England; and though it appears by a record
remaining in the Tower of London, that all the Irish in
Edward the Third's days made petition to receive the like


benefit, yet we find not that they ever obtained it. So as
the persons of the Irish and their possessions, which were
two third parts of Ireland, were not subject to the laws of
England, but were governed by the Irish laws.
Since this last general conquest his Majesty has, by pro-
clamations, received all the Irish into his royal protection,
and by his justices of assize has published and executed his
laws in their several countries, yet it is necessary that by a
common council of the whole realm all the subjects, their
lands and possessions, should be made alike subject to and
governed by the laws of England. Therefore it is requisite
that a Parliament be summoned to supply divers defects of
law, and to establish matters of importance which are now
1. It is to be declared and enacted that all the laws which
are now in force in England shall bind the possessions and
persons as well of the meer Irish as of the English born. And
that the Brehon law and March law, and all other Irish laws
and customs repugnant to the laws of England, shall be
2. That all the natives of Ireland be naturalized and made
denizens, and may enjoy the benefit of the King's laws as
other free subjects.
3. That all the possessions of the Irish shall from hence-
forth descend and be conveyed according to the course of
the common law of England, and not accordiug to the bar-
barous customs of Tanistrie or Gavelkinde; and that all
conveyances heretofore made of any of their possessions
according to the rules of the common law be ratified and
confirmed by Act of Parliament. For until this be done
the estates, both of the lords and tenants will be uncertain,
so as they will never build houses, improve their lands, nor
take any care of their posterities.
4. Whereas, upon surrenders accepted of divers Irish lords
and gentlemen, the commissioners for accepting of such
surrenders have reduced their cosheries, cuttings, and Irish
duties of oatmeal and butter to certain rents in money, which
was done for the benefit of the tenants, and the said rents
reserved upon the letters patent made back again to the
Irish. Nothwithstanding because these reservations do not
bind the tenants in point of law, because they are made
without their contract or consent, though it be against the
profit of the lords, and for the special benefit of the tenants
and the general good of the commonwealth, the lords have
no remedy for their said rents by the common law; and if
the tenants deny to pay the same they are enforced to com-
plain at the council table, and there obtain injunctions for
payment thereof. Yet it is most necessary that a law be
made to confirm those letters patent and the reservations
therein contained, for otherwise the Irish lords will be


compelled to exact their Irish duties again, which will make
them lords over the bodies, lands, and goods of their tenants
and reduce” the former barbarism which we have endeavoured
by this mean to abolish.
5. The composition of Conaght granted to the Crown in
lieu of cess which, when the country is fully inhabited, will
amount to 3,500l. per annum, and the chief rents of 58 upon
a quarter granted to the Irish Lords in lieu of all Irish duties
or exactions depend only upon a covenant between Sir
John Perrott and the lords and gentlemen of that province,
which composition, if it be not continued by Parliament will
be easily broken, whereupon their possessions will be again
uncertain and the state of the country fall into the former
looseness and barbarism. It is likewise fit that the com-
positions of Leinster and Mounster be made a settled in-
heritance of the Crown by Act of Parliament.

Note in margin in Carew's hand to the above: It is now in the King's power at any time to break the composition. Whether it may not be prejudicial unto him to settle the same by Parliament is worthy to be considered. 6. The attainders of the late fugitive earls and other chief lords of Ulster, by outlawry, and the attainders of others who are found by offices to have been slain in actual rebellion, whereby the Crown has been entitled to great scopes of land, and many subjects titles depending thereupon, are to be confirmed by Act of Parliament. 7. The estates of the undertakers of Mounster, who are continually sued and vexed by the Irishrie, and the estates of the new undertakers in Ulster are to be established by Act of Parliament, which will encourage them to settle and build and improve their lands, and enable them to pay the King's rent and other duties the better. 8. Uses and fraudulent conveyances whereby the King and other great lords are defrauded of their wardships and escheats, and divers purchasers are daily deceived, are to be abolished and made void by Act of Parliament as in England, for hitherto there are no laws provided in Ireland to reform these mischiefs. 9. A law to be made for the punishment of pirates who are taken upon the coasts here, in which point the laws of Ireland are at this time defective. 10. The alienations of ecclesiastical persons who have already well nigh disinherited their churches, are to be restrained by Parliament as in England, and their former grants to be in some sort resumed, whereof there are divers precedents in the Parliament Rolls of this kingdom. Among others 10 Hen. 7, c. 43, an Act was made that the Deputy and

* 7 induce.


Council should examine all alienations made by churchmen, and take order for the restitution of the lands to the churches again; and such orders as they should make to have the force of an Act of Parliament.

These are matters of special importance fit to be provided for and established in Ireland, for the civil government, (for I will not speak of matters of religion,) and this to be done with all convenient speed, for until it be done things will not run in a right course, neither will the peace and welfare of this kingdom be settled.

But to what end should we call a Parliament if we may not pass such good laws as shall be propounded for the reformation and settling of this common weal, for it is to be doubted that the Irish and such as are descended of English race, of whom both the Houses of Parliament consist, being for the most part Popish recusants, will distaste and reject such Bills as shall be transmitted out of England to be propounded here in Ireland, although they be for the benefit of the Crown and kingdom, which was observed in the last Parliament, when the Lower House did obstinately refuse to pass divers good Bills containing matter of civil government, only out of a froward and perverse affection to the State.

But as the state of Ireland now stands, or is like to stand in the next Parliament, let us examine who are like to be the members of both houses, and thereupon see whether the number of Protestants or Recusants will be the greater, and, consequently, what party will carry the greatest sway in the next Parliament.

The Lower House consists of knights, citizens, and burgesses. There are 34 shires, which will send 68 knights.

In Ulster, the counties of— Armagh, 2 knights, Protestants; Tirone, 2 knights, Pro.; Colrane, 2 knights, Pro.; Donegall, 2 knights, Pro.; Fermanagh, 2 knights, Pro.; Cavan, 2 knights, Pro.; Monaghan, 2 knights, Pro.; Antrym, 2 knights, Pro.; Downe, 2 knights, PrO.

In the English pale, the counties of— Lowth, 2 knights, Recusants; Meth, 2 knights, Rec.; Westmeth, 2 knights, one Protestant, for Sir Oliver Lambert and Sir Francis Shane are freeholders there; Dublin, 2 knights, one Protestant, Sir Will. Usher, Sir J. Caroll, &c.; Kildare, 2 knights, Rec.

In Leinster, the counties of—
Longforde, 2 knights, Recusants; King's County, 2 knights,
Protestants; Queen's County, 2 knights, Protestants; Wick-
low, 2 knights, Pro.; Catherlough, 2 knights, one Protestant,
Sir Will. Harpole and his brother, or some other by the Lo.
Viscount Butlers nomination; Kilkenny, 2 knights, Recusants;
Wexford, 2 knights, Pro.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

In Mounster, the counties of—

Waterford, 2 knights, 1 Protestant; Corke, 2 knights, 1 Protestant at least; Limericke, 2 knights, Pro.; Kerrie, 2 knights, Pro.; Tipperary, 2 knights, Recusants; Cross of Tipperary, 2 knights, Recusants.

In Connaght, the counties of—

Clare and Thomond, 2 knights, Protestants; Galway, 2 knights, Recusants; Roscomman, 2 knights, Recusants; Maio, 2 knights, 1 Protestant, Sir Jo. King, Sir John Bingham, freeholders in Maio; Sligo, 2 knights, Recusants; Leotrym, 2 knights, Recusants; yet the Earl of Clanricard may nominate who he pleases, for there is no freeholder in this county but young O'Rork.

The Citizens and Burgesses.—

In 27 Eliz, when the last Parliament was held in Ireland, there were but 26 cities and boroughs which sent citizens and burgesses to the Parliament; but in the next Parliament the number of borough towns will be double, for his Majesty has created some boroughs since his reign, and will be pleased to erect 25 corporate towns more in the escheated lands of Ulster, all which shall send burgesses to the Parliament, and be planted with Protestants and well affected subjects.

“The ancient cities and borough towns.”

Dublin, 2 citizens, Protestants, an alderman and the recorder; Waterford, 2 citizens, Recusants; Corke, 2 citizens, Recusants; Limericke, 2 citizens, Recusants; Kilkenny, 2 citizens, Recusants; Drogheda, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Galway, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Wexford, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Naas, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Trym, 2 burgesses, 1 Protestant, Sir Tho. Ash; Molingare; 2 burgesses, Recusants; Athenry, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Athboy, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Navan, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Catherlagh, 2 burgesses, Protestants, the Earl of Thomond will have the nomination; Kildare, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Kelles, 2 burgesses, Recusants; New Rosse, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Dungarvan, 2 burgesses, Protestants; Youghall, 2 burgesses, Protestants; Dingle Kush, in Kerry, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Dundalke, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Knockfergus, 2 burgesses, Protestants; Wicklowe, 2 burgesses, Protestants; Cashell, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Clonemell, 2 burgesses, Recusants.

The new boroughs erected and to be erected:—

Athlone, 2 burgesses, Protestants; Gauran, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Inistioge, 2 burgesses, Recusants; Cavan, 2 burgesses, Protestants.

Boroughs to be erected in Ulster:

Armagh Protestants, 2 burgesses; Mountnorryes, 2 burgesses; Charlemount, 2 burgesses; Tonregy, 2 burgesses.

« PreviousContinue »