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1805. Lord had stated, that which was not a fact; at
least in the opinion of any man but himself. He could not, therefore sit silent and hear the country, to which he had the honor to belong so foully traduced, without rising to contradict such un-, founded aspersions upon the national character of Ireland. From the reverend Bench he had heard a liberal argumentative speech : but from the learned Lord he had heard a collection of old womens stories, which he would venture. to assert, not the most prejudiced Protestant in Ireland · would accredit: and not one of which would be avouched by any independent man in that House. He hoped, when the noble and learned Lord should return to the Bench, on which he presided over the Justice of Ireland, he would divest himself of that violent antipathy against one sect of the people, and that obvious partiality for another, which he had so conspicuously manifested to their
Lordships. Lord Bor- Lord Borrington professing himself friendly to
the principles of the petition, hoped the noble Baron, who had introduced it, would not think his objection to the time unreasonable, when he threw back his recollection to a former occasion, on which he very warmly supported his motion for the previờus question, upon a measure somewhat similar having been proposed for the adoption of the House. At a period, perhaps not far distant, he might cordially support such a motion. At all events he thought it should be preceded by a voluntary offer from the Catholics, to allow the King
to appoint their Bishops, having been properly re- 1805. commended by their own parochial Clergy. This would in some sort be a compliance with that principle of our Constitution, which acknowledges the King to be head of the Church. He had no doubt, but that this concession would greatly tend to conciliate the public mind to their wishes. It was then against them, and therefore he must resist the motion.
The Archbishop of Canterbury urged the impos- Archbishop sibility of Parliament's annulling all the principles, bury. upon which depended the security of the Protestant establishment in Church and State. He never would consent to a measure, by which Catholics might come to pass laws for Protestants; or acquire the power of commanding the arinies and navies of this country under a Protestant King.
The Earl of Albemarle was anxious, that the Earl of Algrave character of a Judge, and the advantages of local experience and official duties, should not give weight to the vulgar prejudices and idle tales, which had been retailed to the House by a noble and learned Lord with heat and animosity little becoming the gravity of his situation. He would therefore principally consume the time of the House in refuting the abominable arguments, which the learned Lord had conjured up to support his opposition. :,, Lord Chancellor Eldon warmly opposed the mo- Lord Chan
cellor Eltion ou what he called Protestant principles. Yet don. to say, that the measure never should pass, was language not fit to be used by any man, who was
fit to have a seat in that House. If he did not however now oppose it, he should feel that he was not doing his duty; and in so doing he conceived hiinself acting consistently with that zeal and sense of duty, which he hoped would actuate the majority of their Lordships to transmit to posterity the Constitution in the same purity, in which they had received it from their ancestors. But it was a Constitution, which demanded oaths, tests, and qualifications from those, who are entrusted with parliamentary representation and official power: our liberties were sustained by a system of checks. . . .
The Duke of Norfolk said, that notwithstanding the allegations of several noble Lords, that no "pledge hard been bolden out to the Catholics of Ireland at the period of the Union to grant, as a condition of that measure that final emancipation, which the petitioners claimed, he had the strongest grounds to believe, that such an understanding was foreibly entertained. He was therefore for going into the Committee, were it only to investigate the terms, upon which the Union was negociated. His Grace spoke very fully upon the Catholic Bishops exercising their spiritual functions: and if any thing, he said, could excite amongst the Irish Catholics a disposition to anarchy, it would be the perpetual refusal to admit them to the blessings of a Constitution, in which if once affiliated, every disposition to anarchy or even discontent would cease, and a real union of interests and attachments follow.
The Bishop of St. Asaph disclaiming all illibera-z. 1805. lity, bigotry, or uncharitableness, opposed the mo- Bishop of St. tion in a very long and elaborate speech. He ap- Asapir. peared to have been strongly affected by the speech of Lord Redesdale. He never would consent to open to the Catholics political power; which the accession to the prayer of their petition would do He 'entered into a learned disquisition concerning the original power and effects of excommunication. But what they called excommunication in England, was not really what the word meant : and his Lordship had always considered the manner, in which it was used amongst them, as little better than a profanation of a inost sacred rite of disci-, pline. But if he were to believe the statements of the noble and learned Lord, the excommunication as practised by the Irish Catholics was a still greater profanation of the rite; and an abominable abuse of the power, which Christ has placed in the hands of the Governors of his Church, not to destroy the worldly comforts of men, but for the salvation of their souls. .
Lord Ellenborough most strenuously opposed Lord Ellenthe motion. The only remaining emancipation,
ation borongh. which the petitioners were capable of receiving, must be acquired by an act of their own, by redeeming themselves from the foreign* bon
* One of the fundamental differences between Protestants and Catholics consists in the necessity of an universal Bishop for the Government of Christ's Church upon earth. And the Roman Catholics would cease to be what they prosess from the moment they should have renounced that necessity, and sepa-'
; dage and thraldom, under which they and their
ancestors had long unworthily groaned ; and from which the state, as it had neither imposed nór continued it, had no adequate means of relieving them consistently with the duty of self-preservatiop, which it owed to itself. His Lordship in. veighed vehemently against the usurpation and abuse of power by the See of Rome over the Catholic clergy in Ireland in the performance of rites and ceremonies, particularly that of marriage, from which all civil rights originate, and which it enjoins to be administered by their own Ministers exclusively* ; thereby ousting the law of the land, and endangering or destroying the legitimacy of its subjects, and all rights of descent, inheritance and representation founded thereon. To allow any particle of co-ordinate jurisdiction or power to the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland, would be to infringe the 5th article of the Union, which declares, that the continuance and preservation of the united Church as the established Church of England and Ireland shall be deemed and taken to be an essential and fundamental part of the Union; and such infraction would substantially destroy and subvert the Union. As long as the faculties of his mind and body should enable him, he would manfully struggle to prevent the admission of persons (owning and yielding, as Catholics did, an
rated themselres from the centre of unity, which they hold to be the Chair of Peter.'
* llis Lordship probably was inattentive to the Irish statute law', by which Catholic, niarriages are legalized.