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1805. posed upon them, and to provide for the real and
property in their country as established by the laws now in be-
" Your Petitioners further most humbly shew, that 26 years
your Petitioners are impressed with a belief, that the apprehen- ' sions, which retarded its' beneficial operation previous to the Union, cannot exist in the Parliament of the United Kingdom)."
“For your Petitioners most humbly shew, that by virtue of divers statutes now in force, his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, who form so great a proportion of the population of Ire. land, and contribute so largely to the resources of the State, do yet labour under many incapacities, restraints and privations, which affect them with peculiar severity in almost every station of life; that more especially they are denied the capacity of sitting or voting in either of the Honourable Houses of Parlia- . ment; the manifold. evils consequent upon which incapacity they trust it is unnecessary to unfold or enumerate to this Honourable House.
" They are disabled from holding or exercising (unless by a special dispensation) any corporate office whatsoever in the cities or towns in which they reside; they are incapacitated and disqualified from holding or exercising the offices of Sheriffs, Sub. Sheriffs, and various offices of trust, honour and emolument in the State, in his Majesty's military and naval service, and in the administration of the laws, in this their native land. -"
" Your Petitioners, declining to enter into the principal detail of the many incapacities and inconveniencies avowedly inflicted by those statates upon his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, beg leave however, most earnestly to solicit the attention of this Honourable House, to the humiliating and ignominious system of exclusion, reproach and suspicion, which those statutes generate and keep alive. . .
“For your Petitioners most humbly shew, that in consequence of the hostile spirit thereby sanctioned, their hopes of enjoying even the privileges, which, through the benignity of their most gracious Sovereigo, they have been capacitated to enjoy, . are nearly altogether frustrated, insomuch that they are, in effect, shut out from almost all the honours, dignities, and offices of trus and emolument in the State, from rank and distinction in his Majesty's army and navy, and even from the lowest situations
1805. in bonds of affection and loyalty, and a resolution
and franchises in the several cities and corporate towns throughout his Majesty's dominions.
" And your Petitioners severely feel, that this unqualified interdiction of those of their communion from all municipal, stations, from the franchises of all Guilds and Corporations, and from the patronage and benefits annexed to those situations, is an evil not terminating in itself; for they beg leave to state, that, by giving an advantage over those of their communion to others, by whom such situations are exclusively possessed, it establishes a species of unqualified monopoly, universally operating in their disfavor, contrary to the spirit, and highly detrimental to the freedom of trade..
" Your Petitioners likewise seyerely, feel, that his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, in consequence of their exclusion from the offices of Sheriffs and Sub-Sheriffs, and of the hostile spirit of those statutes, do not fully enjoy certain other inestimable privileges of the British Constitution, which the law has most zea. lously maintained and secured to their fellow subjects...
“ Your Petitioners most humbly beg leaye to, solicit the attenlion of this Ilonourable House to the distinction, which has conceded the elective, and denies the representative franchise to one and the same class of his Majesty's subjects, whịch detaches from property its proportion of political power under a Constitution, whose vital principle is the union of the one with the other ; which closes every avenue of legalized ambition against those, who must be presumed to have great credit and influence among the mass of the population of the country; which refuses to Peers of the realm all share in the legislative representation, either actual or virtual, and renders the liberal profession of the law to Roman Catholics a mere object of pecuniary traffic, despoiled of its hopes and of its honours.
“ Your Petitioners further most humbly shew, that the ex. clusion of so numerous and efficient a portion of his Majesty's subjects as the Roman Catholics of this realm, from civil honours and offices, and from advancement in his Majesty's army and navy, actually impairs, in a very material degree, the most valuable resources of the British Empire, by impeding his Ma.
to defend the King and Constituțional interests of 1805. jesty's general service, stifling the most honourable incentives to civil and military merit, and unnecessarily restricting the exercise, of that bright prerogative of the Crown, which epcourages good subjects to promote the public welfare, and excites them to meritorious actions, by a well "regulated distribution of public honours and rewards.
“'Your Petitioners beg, leave most humbly to submit, that thuse manifold incapacities, restraints and privations, are absolutely repugnant to the liberal and comprehensive principles recognized by their most gracious Sovereign and the Parliament of Ireland ; that they are impolitic restraints upon his Majesty's Royal prerogative; that they are hurtful and vexatious to the feelings of a loyal and generous people, and that the total abolition of them will be found not only compatible with, but highly conducive to, the perfect security of every establishment, religious or political, now existing in this realm.
" For your Petitioners most explicitly declare, that they do not seek or wish, in the remotest degree to injure or encroach upon “ the Rights, Privileges, Immunities, Possessions, or Revenues appertaining to the Bishops and Clergy of the Protestant Religion as by law established, or to the Churches committed to their charge, or to any of them ” The sole object of your Pe. titioners being an equal participation, upon equal terms with their fellow subjects, of the full benefits of the British Laws and Constitution.
“ Your Petitioners beg leave most humbly to observe, that although they might well and justly insist upon the firm and unabated loyalty of his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects to their most gracious Sovereign, their profound respect for the Legislature, and their dutiful submission to the laws, yet they most especially rest their humble claims, and expectations of relief upon the clear and manifest conduciveness of the measure, which they solicit, to the general and permanent tranquillity, strength, and happiness of the British Empire. And your Petitioners, entertaining no doubt of its final accomplishment, from its evident justice and utility, do most solemnly assure this Honourable House, that their earnest solicitude for it, at this peculiar crisis,'
1805., the country against all enemies external and inter
arises principally from their anxious desire to extinguish all motives to disunion, and all means of exciting discontent.
“ For your Petitioners most humbly state it as their decided opinion, that the enemies of the British empire, who meditate the subjugation of Ireland, have no hope of success, save in the disunion of its inhabitants; and therefore it is, that your Petitioners are deeply anxious, at this moment, that a measure should be accomplished, which will annihilate the principle of religious animosity, and animate all descriptions of his Majesty's subjects in an enthusiastic defence of the best Constitution, that has ever yet been established.
" Your Petitioners therefore most humbly presume to express their earnest, but respectful hope, that this Honourable House will, in its wisdom and liberality, deem the several statutes now in force against them, no longer necessary to be retained, and that his Majesty's loyal and dutiful subjects, professing the Roman Catholic religion, may be effectually relieved from the operation of those statutes, and that so they may be restored to the full enjoyment of the benefits of the British Constitution, and to erery inducement of attachment to that Constitution, equally and in common with their fellow subjects throughout the British Empire.
" And your Petitioners will ever pray, &c.”
A. Donel, M. D. .
Bartholomew Taylor ;
Francis Croisa po