Page images
PDF
EPUB

public offices in Ireland, and others were CHAP.

III. fent to England.

1666. Among the latter, a copy which was shipped for England, was taken by a French privateer, and carried into France about the latter end of the last, or the beginning of this century; and some time afterwards they were deposited, with a description of their importance in the hand-writing of cardinal Dubois, in a great literary collection.

The copy of this survey was discovered, it is said, by the industry of colonel Vallancy before the late Revolution. The liberality of the French government enabled him to take a copy, and to complete the maps of three counties, or more, which were wanting: this collection, with the note of the French minister in his autograph, I remember to have seen about six : years ago in the king's library at Paris.

CHAP, IV,

of the principal Speakers in the Irish Pars

liament from 1613 to 1666;-Characters of Sir John Davis, Primate Usher, the Duke of Ormond, Primate Bramhall, Sir James Ware, Sir Audley Mervyn, Mr. Whalley, Sir John Temple, Lord Mallereene, the Earl of Roscommon, Sir William

Petty, and Sir William Temple, CHAP. SIR John Davis, who had been chosen a

IV. member in one thousand fix hundred 1613. and one, in the last English parliament of

Elizabeth, and who appears in D'Ewes's Journals to have been a very adive and useful, as well as a strenuous opposer of the courtly doctrines of monopolies, was appointed solicitor general in Ireland in one thousand fix hundred and three, and foon after attorney general, where he was employed in settling the province of Ulster, after it had been reduced to the king's obedience; a work which was considered as

the

the most laudable measure of the reign of CHAP. king James the first.

IV.

1613,

He was member for the county of Fermanagh, when it first sent representatives to parliament, and was chosen speaker, after a close division and violent opposition from sir John Everard, in thousand six hundred and thirteen. The speech which he delivered upon his presentation is, perhaps, the most comprehensive that was ever pronounced ; since in a short space, he has left us one of the best accounts of the parliaments which were held in Ireland before that period.

His discovery of the true causes why Ireland was never subdued, is a rich mine of useful information. As a poet, he was admired by cotemporary wits, and posterity has confirmed their approbation. As a lawyer, he has left us a valuable book of Reports, which is said to be the only reguļar collection of this sort upon practical jurisprudence in Ireland.

When

CHAP. When we consider the many volumes of

IV. w this species in England, when we reflect that 1616. few or no reports exist of causes in the Irish

courts, when even the cases of controverted elections are not reported in Ireland, when it is believed that there are only some detached memorandums of legal processes to be found, principally in the chief baron Gilbert's Reports, we must be a little surprised at the difference of the two countries in this respect, and impute it to its true reason, that few men will be found to write for fame, and many for pecuniary compensation, and to the want of a law for the protection of literary property in Ireland.

Sir John Davis, having left Ireland in one thousand fix hundred and sixteen, was elected for Newcastle upon Tyne, where, in the parliament which met four years afterwards, he appears in the parliamentary debates as a warm advocate for Ireland; contending strongly against the oracle of the law fir Edward Coke, that England could not make laws to bind Ireland without her own con

[ocr errors]

sent, and opposing a law for the prohibi- CHAP. tion of the importation of Irish cattle, with a

IV.

great ability.

1616.

He had been designed for chief justice of England before his death in one thousand fix hundred and twenty-fix: and it is not a little to his credit that he does not appear to have acquired any landed property in Ireland, from his great employments.

That polite and amiable nobleman the late earl of Huntingdon, whose friendship and conversation I am happy to recollect, informed me of this last, with many other particulars. The heiress of fir John Davis married into that family; and though that truly noble lord could boast of a princely lineage, he was ever pleased with reckoning fir John Davis amongst his illustrious ancestors.

In the sessions of one thousand fixi hundred and thirty-four and one thousand fix hundred and forty the great primate

arch

« PreviousContinue »