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I can only say, that if it be, those other towns must be wretched beyond all conception; for I speak of the state of Carlow from actual knowledge and observation.
Is there any manufacture there !--There is no manufacture, of what kind soever, in it; we have been endeavouring, and have made great efforts to encourage the spinning of coarse linen yarn ; we have not, however, succeeded, to any considerable extent. I have, myself, made a great effort within the last year, to seek to have children taught the manufacture of bonnets. I have lately sent a person to be instructed in the stitching those bonnets which we call Leghorn bonnets; and upon her return, I hope some progress will be made in it, and that females may get employment to a con. siderable extent, either in spinning or bonnet-making : but except those, which are very trifling indeed, we have no mą. nufactures of any kind whatsoever.
Then when you spoke of the great and unemployed population of the neighbourhood in which you reside, did you mean to refer to the neighbourhood of Carlow particularly, or did you mean that the same thing exists in the other parishes within your diocese !-- Yes. I am intimately acquainted with all the parishes, and all the towns in the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin; and as far as I am acquainted, there is very great distress in all of them; but I think there is a greater proportion of distress in Carlow than in any other town in my diocese; but that impression may result from my being more intimately acquainted with that parish than with any other.
Has the subdivision of land in that part of the country contributed much to this increase of redundant population ?
Has that gone to a great extent ? - In the county of Carlow it has not gone to a very great extent, in the county of Kil. dáre it has not gone to a very great extent, in the Queen's County it has gone to a greater extent ; those three counties are almost entirely within my diocese ; I have also portions of the county of Kilkenny, the county of Wexford, the county of Wicklow, and the King's County, and here too I think the population, particularly in the county of Wicklow and the King's County, has increased considerably from that cause.
Is that subdivision of land generally arising from the arrangements of the tenants, or from the circumstance of their holding in joint tenantcy from their landlord ?-It is derived from both those causes ; I have known some instances where it has proceeded from that joint tenantey, and many instances, perhaps more than in the other, where it has arisen from the
subdivision of land occasioned by the necessities or conveni. ence of poor families.
Is there not a very extensive district of country called The Colliery country, which thirty years ago was almost destitute of inhabitants, that is now covered with a very dense population ?m-Yes, that very large tract of country has been covering with a dense population during the last twenty or thirty years, as I should suppose, and previous to that it was almost a waste.
Is that district of country twelve or fourteen miles square ? -It is at least twelve or fourteen miles long; it is not so wide, but it is nearly. - In speaking of Carlow, do you not include the large village of Graigue ?-Yes, I include the suburbs.
Have any other causes, besides those you have alluded to, tended in your opinion to increase the population in an excessive degree !—The population is immediately increased, as every one must perceive, by improvident marriages; but those marriages themselves, in my opinion, result in a great measure from the extreme poverty of the people, for that poverty has paralyzed their energies, it has prevented their taking such an interest in creating a respectable situation for themselves in life, as men possessed of some property always feel ; for those wretched people say, their state cannot be worse when married than before, and hence they go together. Moreover, when the head of a family is extremely poor, he lives in a wretched cabin, and has only one apartment where he and his children dwell; it is so with his neighbour, and there is then a constant intercourse kept up in these small dwellings, so that the different sexes are mixed up together, and that respectful distance which is always observed in families of any thing of rank, is lost entirely amongst the poor. Hence it is, that if those people had some property that would give them education and a feeling of self respect, and would put them as it were upon their energies to seek a livelihood, they would look before them before they married ; but now their very depression and their extreme poverty throws them together like so many savages in a wood. It is a frightful state of society, and when it is considered, it fills one with so much pain and horror, that I have frequently prayed to God, if it were his will, rather to take me out of life than leave me to witness such evils, if they were to continue; they are beyond the endurance of human nature.
Have the landlords of the country, in your opinion, with a view to receiving a higher rent, or with a view to other objects, increased the population by encouraging the subdivision of land ?-Upon my word I think they have, in many cases, done so, with a view to receiving a higher rent.
In point of fact, is a higher rent given, or rather promised, for land, when subdivided in this manner ?-Yes ; those poor people promise any thing almost for land, in order to get possession of it.
Do you think that the desire of registering a great number of freeholders, for instance, has contributed on some estates to the same result ?-It has contributed, on some estates, to the subdivision of land, and to the creation of joint tenantcies.
Has that gone to a great extent of abuse or ill consequence in those parts of the country with which you are acquainted ?It has not gone to a great extent in that part of the country with which I am best acquainted. In Kildare it has not gone to a great extent, because we have not had a contested election there from time almost immemorial; in the county of Carlow it has not gone to a great extent, if I were to except the properties of three or four gentlemen; in the Queen's county it has gone to a considerable extent.
You have given to the Committee a very painful and a very true picture of the state of the peasantry in some of those districts ; are the peasantry, such as you describe, in many instances possessors of the elective franchise ?-No; the class of peasantry, which I describe as labouring under that extreme distress, are not, or but very few of them ; but the Committee will recollect, that I presented to them a kind of scale of the poor. The great and most numerous class of those wretched beings have no elective franchise; then of the class which comes immediately above them, many have the elective franchise.
Do you know any instances in which Roman Catholics in Ireland, having a difficulty in finding the means of paying the clergy of their own persuasion for marriages, have applied to Protestant clergymen to be married ?-Certainly I have never heard of an instance of that kind in the diocese where I live, because a priest in the diocese of Kildare and Leighli who refused to marry any one, would on that account be suspended.
That is owing to a regulation made by you in the diocese; that regulation is not essential to the discipline of the diocese ?- It is a statute in my diocese, it is not a general law throughout the church of Ireland. · Could you state to the Committee from memory, what is the purport of the oath which a Roman Catholic bishop takes upon his ordination I really could not ; the substance of it
withholic and.Ristinction betwe
is, that they profess canonical obedience to the Pope, and will receive honourably his legate going or coming, and various other things which I could not state with any degree of accuracy. i Could you furnish the Committee with a correct copy of the oath ?-I am sure I could borrow a pontifical from the vicar apostolic, who lives in town. - Will you explain the distinction between a vicar apostolic and a Roman Catholic bishop ?–We have the title by the appointment we receive to a see, as Roman Catholic bishop of it, whilst the vicar apostolic is only a delegate from the see of Rome to administer the interests of religion within any district which may be assigned to him, and therefore is removable at the will and pleasure of the Pope ; but a bishop, such as we are in Ireland, cannot be removed when he is once appointed.
Is there any distinction between the power of a vicar apostolic and a Roman Catholic bishop, as to the power of withholding the publication of any bull or rescript from the see of Rome?-I should think there is a material difference, because the vicar apostolic depends, as to the existence of his office, upon the will of the see of Rome, he can be removed from it at the good pleasure of the Pope; the faculties which he exercises can be restricted or limited, or modified, just as the see of Rome may please. It is not so with us bishops, we cannot be removed, we have a title to our place; our rights are defined from the gospel and from the canon law, defined as well as those of the pope himself; we cannot be obliged to do any thing by the mere good will or pleasure of the Pope.
In the year 1799, the Roman Catholic prelates of Ireland, at that time, resolved, that in the appointment of prelates of the Roman Catholic religion to vacant sees within the kingdom, such interference of government as may enable it to be satisfied of the loyalty of the persons appointed, is just, and ought to be agreed to; do you think the Roman Catholic prelates at present entertain the opinion that was expressed by the Roman Catholic prelates in 1799 ?-If I were to pretend to speak the sentiments of the Roman Catholic prelates I might deceive myself, and deceive the Committee, and therefore I think it would be safer in communicating information, that I should only give my own private sentiments, for I do think I could not speak the sentiments of others with any degree of confidence; men's minds are so different, and it is so delicate a matter to pretend to speak for others, that I would not undertake at all to do it.
House of Con
loyalty of the purpose of
Do you dissent from the opinion which was expressed by the Roman Catholic prelates in Ireland ? I cannot say I dissent; but if what is meant there would go to imply, that in order to ascertain the loyalty of the person to be appointed, the Crown should have a direct or indirect interference with such appointment, then I do dissent from it; but if a mode of ascertaining the loyalty of the person to be appointed can be devised, which would not imply a right on the part of the Crown to interfere, directly or indirectly, with his appointment, I should fully agree then with the resolution ; for there is no one in the country who would be more anxious that the Crown should be fully satisfied of the loyalty of the person appointed, than I would, for I think it essential to the wellbeing of the state, that perfect confidence should prevail between His Majesty's government, and every class of his subjects.
You are acquainted with the provisions which were made in the Bill that passed the House of Commons, in the year 1821, for the purpose of procuring that assurance as to the loyalty of the person appointed ?-I have some vague recollec. tion of what the provisions were.
Do you recollect enough of them to express any opinion, as to whether it is likely that the Roman Catholic prelates in Ireland would see with satisfaction the re-enactment of those provisions -I should think they would not; and for my own part, I do say I would not.
Can you suggest any other mode of taking security for the loyalty of the person appointed, than that which was provided by the Bill of 1821 ?-My notions upon the subject are these : I am fully convinced, that if the disabilities under which the Roman Catholics labour were removed, we would be so incorporated by interest and affection with the State, that the same pledge which is required of His Majesty's other subjects, namely, the oath of allegiance, would be quite sufficient to secure our attachment, at all times, to the Crown and to the institutions of the country; for our religion, our church rather, is in its nature monarchical, it has, I might say, a natural tendency to support a kingly government, and if it were to do any thing to disturb or destroy the institutions existing in these countries, it would be acting contrary, as it were, to its own nature ; moreover, we in Ireland, if we were incorporated with the State, would feel a most intense interest in promoting the interests of our own country, without refer: ence to religious distinctions ; there would be a bond arising out of our affections and natural inclinations, which would secure to the Crown our allegiance, better than any provision which