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the overthrow of that Constitution which had given Freedom and Prosperity to our Country, but had also the audacity to denounce horrid ven. geance against all who should oppose them; when they even proceeded to realize those menaces by every species of barbarous Outrage; when the Arms of such as were deemed Loyal were extorted from them by midnight violence; when Committees of Assassination were formed, and their suggestions deplorably executed; when Terror imposed silence upon Witnesses, and made even the honest Juror shrink from his duty; - it was Bbvious in such circumstances, that the ordinary exercise of Law could not but prove ineffectual, and the Credit and Commerce of the Country, the Security of Property, of Life, the Existence of the Community, as well as the unanimous Voice of the well-disposed Inhabitants of Ireland, indispensably called for an exertion of Legislative and Executive Authority more adequate to the melancholy Exigencies.
We are assured your Excellency, trained as you have been from your earliest infancy in the warmest attachment to our invaluable Constitution, deplored the painful necessity of departing even for a time from its mild and liberal principles, by adding to the Penal Code Laws which give summary powers: the powers thus entrusted have been cautiously resorted to; they have been executed with wisdom and mercy, nor have they, we are confident, been extended to any District where the circumstances of the Country did not loudly demand their exercise. While, therefore, none but disappointed Traitors complain, you possess the approbation of every un. prejudiced Irishman.
We in particular, from our situation as the resident Magistracy of this Northern City, have had the fullest opportunity of knowing both the ne. cessity, the execution, and the consequences, of those extraordinary measures : - and we should be wanting to ourselves in Spirit, Honour, and Truth, if we did not bear testimony to the facts which we have witnessed. We are at this time peculiarly called on to do so, in consequence of a gross mis-statement made by a Noble Personage in another Kingdom, from whom, considering his rank and character, better information and less of party prejudice might fairly have been expected : we willingly attribute to total ignorance of existing circumstances, what it would be painíul to impute to any dishonourable view ; but to the statements made by him relative to the measures adopted by the Government of this Kingdom, and especially to that audacious assertion, that the Proceedings “ in question” were not merely particular acts of cruelty, but that those acts of cruelty “ formed a part of the system acted upon,” we give the most direct and unequivocal contradiction; nay, we are bold to affirm, and we defy the ingenuity of malice to disprove, that the general conduct both of the Ma.
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gistrates and the Military Commanders has been cautious and discrimina, tive; that summary measures have been rarely and reluctantly put in practice ; that the strictest attention has been exerted not to confound the Seduced with the Seducer, or the Ignorant with the Obdurate; and that since the Civil Power has received those additional aids, this country has manifested the happiest alteration both in point of Tranquillity and Manu. facturing Industry, insomuch that the state of our Commerce is at this moment remarkably vigourous and flourishing.
We please ourselves with the hope that the beneficial change which we have already experienced will, through your Excellency's firm and judicious Administration, be rendered universal and permanent; and should our external Enemies carry their vaunting menace of Invasion into execution, we are equally assured, that notwithstanding the disaffection of a worth. less few, the general Loyalty and Courage of the Country will speedily con. vince them of the frantic rashness of so desperate an atttempt.
In token of our confidence in Your Excellency, and of our high esteem of your personal and hereditary Virtues, we humbly request you will honour us by accepting the Freedom of the City of Londonderry, which we have directed to be presented to you by our Representatives.*
In testimony whereof, we have caused our Common Seal to be hereunto affixed, and our Chamberlain to sign the same.
SAMUEL MONTGOMERY, Chamberlain.
To which Address His Excellency returned tbe following Answer. It affords me great satisfaction to receive the Address of the respectable Corporation of the City of Londonderry; and it is more peculiariy satisfactory at this time, as I trust I may interpret it to be the effect of a cool and dispassionate reflection upon those measures which I have thought it my duty to pursue during a period of much internal Disturbance, assisted by the secret machinations and avowod menaces of the Enemy.
As I learn, from the latter part of your Address, that you have experienced in your neighbourhood so beneficial a change, I will not advert to that State of the Country which is so emphatically described in the former part of it. It gives me great pleasure to receive that tribute of applause which you pay to the Magistracy and to the Military, who have so essensially contributed to the tranquillity of your immediate neighbourhood,
# The Freedom of the city was unanimously voted to His Excellency, to be presented in a Cold Box.
which I had no doubt they would merit from their character, their firmness, their spirit, and their humanity.
It is my Duty to endeavour to preserve that Constitution under which this Island has improved, and continues to prosper, notwithstanding the attempts of the Traiterous to undermine and to revile it. And I should ill deserve His MAJESTY's Confidence, or that of his Subjects, if I suffered any personal considerations to prevent my attempts to extinguish that Treason which threatens the Peace, the Prosperity, the Properties, and the Lives, of His MAJESTY's Loyal Subjects, aims at the Perversion of all Order, and presumes to attempt to tear the Crown of Ireland from the Brow of my Sovereign.
Your Vote to me of the Freedom of the City of Londonderry, demands my additional Acknowledgements. I consider it as the most honourable Testimony of your good Opinion and Regard.
We Aattered ourselves that this loyal and spirited Address would produce no inconsiderable effects, by opening the eyes of the People of Ireland, and shewing them the precipice to which the detestable agents of insurrection and murder were furiously goading them. Nor were we mistaken? - every post brings us accounts of the returning good sense of the Country; and even while this last Paragraph was under the Printer's hands, we received copies of a number of Loyal Addresses, from places that have hitherto been the seats of insubordination and outrage. Long as this selection is, we cannot conclude it without giving a few extracts from our communications, as we know not where to find better answers to the infamous assertions of the Jacobins here and in France, that the “ Catholics have been driven to resistance by oppression.”
December 23, 1797. “We, the Roman Catholic Inhabitants of the Parishes of Loughgeels Killraughts, Grange, and Killagan, justly regretting the Disturbances which have outraged and disgraced the Northern Parts of this Kingdom, Aa 4
and feeling sensible of the past errors which many of our Body have been led into by the deep designs of wicked men, styling themselves United Irishmen ; men, who have been and still are the prime causers and sole movers of all the seditious proceedings which have torn and disturbed Ireland ; and detesting and abhorring as we do, from the bottom of our hearts, both their seditious principles and diabolical practices, do hereby declare, and in the most solemn manner piedge ourselves, to support with our lives and fortures the blessed Constitution of this Country, and His Majesty's happy Government, established amongst us. Determined as we are, to exert ourselves for the suppression of Rebellion and Sedition within our District, we further declare, that we have seen with indignation their endeavours to sow discord between those of our and of the Protestant persuasion; being truly sensible that men who have associated or will associate, like us, for the protection of the Constitution, can have no enmity to those who are equally anxious for its preservation, of whatever religious persuasion they may be, &c.”
Signed by TULLY M'NALLY,
And nearly 800 Roman Catholic Inhabitants. “ When our Native Land is threatened with Invasion, by Enemies
whose avowed purpose is to overturn the mild Goverriment under which we live, and abolish every idea of the Christian Religion, and
the blessed hope of Heaven and happiness hercaster, " We, the Roman Catholics of the Parishes of Ballinderry, in the Counties of Tyrone and Lordonderry, think it our duty to come forward, and thus publicly declare our firm and determined resolution of supporting our Gracious Sovereign King George, and opposing with all our might his Enemies, and the Enemies of all we hold dear, our Liberty, our Religion.
" With unfeigned contrition we acknowledge, that many of our Body were seduced from their Duty and Allegiance to the best of Kings, by the artifice and arguments of designing men, styling themselves United Irish. mnen; to their wicked designs and diabolical practices, we are indebted for all the outrages that have disgraced the North of Ireland.
« With unfcigned concern we hcar, that the Emissaries of that seditious Body have been too successful in seducing many of our Roman Catholic brethren in the South of the Kingdom, and that at this time (as it was heretofore in the North) thc Country is disgraced with outrage, rapine, and murder. In the most carnest manner we entreat the Roman Catho. lics in those disturbed parts, for the honour of the Religion they profess, to withdraw themselves (before it is too late) from those wicked Societiese to ackpowledge their error, and throw themselves on the mercy of our
lenient lenient Government: then, like us, they will receive pardon for their past offences, and we hope, like us, will become dutiful and loyal Subjects."
Signed by PATRICK DEVELIN, and all the Roman Catho. 29eb Dec. 1797 lics in the Parish, amounting to several hundreds.
« Clonegall Chapel, Dec. 31, 1797. “We, the Roman Catholic Inhabitants of the Parishes of Mycomb and Baraugh, think it incumbent on us at this crisis of internal disturbance, publicly to declare our unalterable attachment to His Sacred Majesty King, George the Third, and that most excellent Constitution which his mild and paternal Reign has restored to us. We acknowledge, with the most lively gratitude, the many great and important obligations which the Roman Catholics of Ireland owe to their Sovereign; and we will not fail to impress upon our Children, that it is to him and to the principal Personages of his Confidence and Councils, they stand first indebted for the Repeal of those Penal Laws which afficted us for a century. The promoters and advisers of that degrading Code, as well as the most powerful opposers of its appeal, it is easy to separate from the true Friends of Kingly Government-Loyalty has ever been the distinguished trait of the Catholic Body; superadded to this, we have now a common interest to defend: His Majesty, in admitting us to the Constitution, has bestowed on us an invaluable heritage ; and we solemnly promise at this Altar, in the presence of Almighty God, that we will cling to him, and defend him and that heritage which he has conferred on us, if need be, with our blood.
“ We sincerely lament the success of some base Incendiaries in these Parishes, and we blush for the weakness of many of the lowest order of our Communion, who, through ignorance, have been misled by their cri. minal artifices. We rejoice, however, that the delusion was short-lived, and quickly yielded to contrition and remorse ; of this the most unequiyocal proof has been given, by their voluntarily coming forward and taking the Oath of Allegiance ; since which we are happy to perceive that nothing like outrage has disgraced our Parishes. We are perfectly satisfied that the Emissaries of those turbulent Factions called United Irishmen, with whom have originated all the outrages humanity has to deplore, are as much the enemies of Catholicity as they are of our King and Constitution. And we solemnly and sincerely pledge ourselves, should any persons of such description atiempt to disseminate amongst us seditious, levelling, or irreligious Principles, all of which we hold in the utmost abhorrence, that we will drag such miscreants to the Bar of Justice, and prosecute them to the utmost rigour of the Law.”
• Sigricd hy 1561 Inhabitants.