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1806.

writes to

, Sonbu

fortnight, occasioned by a grievous assault of a body 1806. of about 500 Orangemen on the person'of Mr. Wil- son, who almost murdered him, on their return . from a public rejoicing given by Mr. Verner on the acquittal of his two sons. ; ;

On the 20th July 1806, Mr. Wilson, who had Mr. Wilson · been referred by Mr. Elliott to the Chancellor in- Mr. Pon

stead of him, for a commission of the peace for snoy
-the county of Armagh, apprized his Lordship by

letter, that since the disgraceful outrage commit-
Ited against him on the 12th instant, a second at-
-tempt had been made upon him on the preceding
evening ; but thie darkness of the night, and the
assassins having had reason to believe, that he had
already escaped them, united to save him. Seve-
ral of them, as well as the Orange outragers of
the 12th were known. For his own part, he
should not move; but if government were disposed
to take up the business in the grave ând solemn
manner its importance in a national point of view,
so imperiously demanded; he was ready to afford
all the aid in his power to give effect to its exer-
tions; lie was however to hope, that if govern-
ment entered into an investigation, it would be
carried on by persons possessed of vigour, perspi-
"cuity, and independence of mind. Five weeks
had elapsed since Mr. Elliott replied to Mr. Wil-
son's information, lamenting that disorderly and
tumultuous transaction, and expressing his inten-
tion of laying it before the Lord Lieutenant.
Mr.' Wilson in consequence, wrote one more

Cwrites again letter to the Secretary, which referred to several to Mr. El

Mr. Wilson

liott.

1806. , documents of abuses and atrocities committed by

Orangemen on the unfortunate Catholics in his neighbourhood, which he had transmitted to go, vernment, but which had remained unnoticed. He thus strongly expressed himself (for the last time) to the Secretary. :1. I have much important “ matter, independent of what relates to myself, " that ought to be submitted to grave and deliber " rate consideration. When I perceive govern. "ment disposed to afford that to my communicafor tions, I will cheerfully, but personally, detail ,!! them. In the mean time, I am to observe, that

I am prepared to prove, that the laws (as I in ," my first letter to you, intimated) are niost par

"Stially and carelessly (I wish to speak mildly) 1. administered with regard to the Roman Catho

"lics; that I have instances, within these few ;"> days, of robbers, assassins, forgers of þank

" notes, and public disturbers being protected; " and their prosecutors frightened from following “ up their complaints ; also of examinations being " either secreted by those, who, ought to have " brought them forward, or withheld from the ..^ clerk of the crown; or, if given to him, his “ being prevailed upon not to fịaine bills of in!dictment upon themn. All this, Sir, I am preE.pared to prove, and call upon government to 1." put me to the proof,” In his letter to the Chan.cellor, he had hinted, that there was an idea rather too prevalent with a great part of the public, that, government was either unable or unwilling to protect the oppressed. The subject of Mr. Wilson's letters to Mr. Elliott, and the Chancellor,

180

turned evidently upon important (perhaps not gra- _1806. cious) matter. It is however worthy of observation, that his letter to the Chancellor, which bears date the 20th of July, remained unanswered nearly two months, which including October) are notoriously the months of the most leisure to the Chan

cellor throughout the year. His Lordship how- ever at last condescended to give him the follow

ing answer,

“ Richard Wilson, Esq. Qwna Lodge.

The Charte cellor's let ter to Mr. Wilso the

Elu

! Sici...: * Ely Place, Sept. 6, 1806.

'" I am very sorry, that a pressure of business, which could not be postponed, has prevented me from sending an earlier answer to the letter you did me the honour of writing to me in July last. That

any attempts should be made at assassination must 3 be a subject of the deepest regret; and will, I am - sure, excite in the government the most anxious

desire to detect and punish those, who are guilty of them, and I hope, that no description of his Majesty's subjects in Ireland will ever have reason

to consider those, to whom he may be pleased to * delegate his authority, as either, unable or unwil- ling to protect them. With respect to the admie

nistration of the Duke of Bedford, I can most

confidently affirm, that there never was and never 5. will be in this country one more sincerely disposed

to protect with vigour and impartiality all its in habitants ; and that whoever shall violate the laws,

1806.

will find his Grace both willing and able to vindicate their authority.

“ The application, which you 'have been pleased to make for a commission of the peace for the

inty of Armagh not having been seconded by the recommendation of the governor, or either of the members for that county, or of any resident privy counsellor, I am under the necessity of forbearing 10 comply with it.

“ I have the honor to be, &c. &c.

“ GEORGE PONSONBY, C.”

commis

Mr. Wilson This answer of the Chancellor was a dignified is refused a :.

Sion insult to Mr. Wilson. His actual commission for for Arniagh. Tyrone superseded any call for a recommendation

of bis fitness to be a magistrate for an adjoining county within some few yards. There was then no resident privy counsellor in the county of Armagh. The governor resided in England, and the members were absent ou their military duty. The application was however made through a privy counsellor, the secretary to the Lord Lieutenant*.

* In order to place the whole conduct and treatment of Mr. Wilson under the reader's eye at one view, we shall anticipate some facts, which will enable him to read most distinctly the identity of spirit, principle and action in the three successive administrations (Hardwicke, Bedford, and Richmond,) under which fie acted as a country magistrate. The notoriety of Mr. Pona sonby's refusal to arm Mr. Wilson with a commission for Armagh occasioned more outrages from the Orangemen, than had before disgraced that neighbourhood. The facility of escape from Tyrone into Arnagh, where they were sure of impunity and pro

This refusal of the Lord Chancellor to extend Mr. 1806. Wilson's commission of the peace to the county of

of bror

tection, multiplied and emboldened offenders. Soon after the
change of ministry, that is, on the 19th of May 1807, Mr. Wil-
son in consequence of several frestr atrocities having been com-
mitted on the Roman Catholics of his district, wrote to the new :
Chancellor Lord Manners, “ to point out the necessity of a strict
or enquiry into the abuses and evasions of justice, which existed
" in that quarter of the kingdom (and he also feared in every
" other part of it.") He enclosed authenticated statements of
the particular enormities, which remained unpunished and coun.
tenanced. On the 2d of July, Mr. Lackwood the Chancellor's
Secretary, answered the letter by returning the papers, which,
he said, did not call upon his Lordship in his official situation as
Chancellor to give any directions about, and that the Chancellor
desired to be relieved from any further correspondence on the subject,
On the next day, (3d July 1807) Mr. Wilson was formally put
out of the commission of the peace for the county of Tyrone by
a regular writ of supersedeas. As to the continuance and.progress
of the system in Tyrone, Mr. Wilson's letter, published in the
Evening Herald, so lately as on the 11th of January 1811, will
speak with more authentic point, than any collection of interme-
diate facts, however numerous and atrocious.'

· TO THE EDITOR OF THE EVENING HERALD, .

« Sir, “ The spirit of impartiality and patriotism, which appeared to govern your paper, induced me, formerly, to give it the preférence of-such publications as the infatuated policy of govern, ment compelled me to bring forward. The same opinion, and the same cause, occasion the renewal of my correspondence; yet, I confess, I do so with some little hesitation, having observed, that for more than three years, the wretched state of this part of the kingdom has scarcely ever been the subject of your notice, al

though it appears to me next to impossible, that the various acts -. af atrocity, which are almost daily committed in it, should not

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