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Charles-street, London, Feb. 21, 1722. sometimes been made before the temper of the na
tion was ripe for a real reformation, I think it may MY LORD,
possibly have ill effects, by disposing the penal matI am obliged to your lordship for your commu- ter in a more systematick order, and thereby fixnication of the heads of Mr. Gardiner's bill. I ing a permanent bar against any relief that is truly had received it, in an earlier stage of its progress, substantial. The whole merit or demerit of the from Mr. Braughall; and I am still in that gentle measure depends upon the plans and dispositions of man's debt, as I have not made him the proper those by whom the act was made, concurring with return for the favour he has done me. Business, to the general temper of the protestants of Ireland, which I was more immediately called, and in which and their aptitude to admit in time of some part my sentiments had the weight of one vote, occupied of that equality, without which you never can be me every moment since I received his letter. This FELLOW-CITIZENS.—Of all this I am wholly ignofirst morning which I can call my own, I give with rant. All my correspondence with men of publick great cheerfulness to the subject on which your importance in Ireland has for some time totally lordship has done me the honour of desiring my ceased. On the first bill for the relief of the opinion. I have read the heads of the bill, with Roman CATHOLICKS of Ireland, I
was, without the amendments. Your lordship is too well ac- any call of mine, consulted both on your side of quainted with men, and with affairs, to imagine the water and on this. On the present occasion, that any true judgment can be formed on the I have not heard a word from any man in office; value of a great measure of policy from the perusal and know as little of the intentions of the British of a piece of paper. At present I am much in the government, as I know of the temper of the Irish dark with regard to the state of the country, which parliament. I do not find that any opposition was the intended law is to be applied to.* It is not made by the principal persons of the minority in easy for me to determine whether or no it was the house of commons, or that any is apprehended wise, (for the sake of expunging the black letter from them in the house of lords. The whole of of laws, which, menacing as they were in the lan- the difficulty seems to lie with the principal men guage, were every day fading into disuse,) solemnly in government, under whose protection this bill is to re-affirm the principles, and to re-enact the supposed to be brought in. This violent opposiprovisions, of a code of statutes, by which you are tion and cordial support, coming from one and the totally excluded from THE PRIVILEGES OF THE same quarter, appears to me something mysteriCOMMONWEALTH, from the highest to the lowest, ous, and hinders me from being able to make any from the most material of the civil professions, clear judgment of the merit of the present meafrom the army, and even from education, where sure, as compared with the actual state of the alone education is to be had.
country, and the general views of government, Whether this scheme of indulgence, grounded without which one can say nothing that may not at once on contempt and jealousy, has a tendency be very erroneous. gradually to produce something better and more To look at the bill, in the abstract, it is neither liberal, I cannot tell, for want of having the actual more nor less than a renewed act of Universal, map of the country. If this should be the case, it UNMITIGATED, INDISPENSABLE, was right in you to accept it, such as it is. But if DISQUALIFICATION. this should be one of the experiments, which have One would imagine, that a bill inflicting such a
* The sketch of the bill sent to Mr. Burke, along with the re- was altered' afterwards, and the clauses re-allirming the incapeal of some acts, re-affirmed many others in the penal code. It pacities left out; but they all still exist, and are in full force.
multitude of incapacities, had followed on the heels | those hundreds of thousands, who are denied their of a conquest made by a very fierce enemy, under chance in the returned fruits of their own industhe impression of recent animosity and resentment.try. This is the thing meant by those who look No man, on reading that bill, could imagine he upon the publick revenue only as a spoil; and will was reading an act of amnesty and indulgence, naturally wish to have as few as possible confollowing a recital of the good behaviour of those cerned in the division of the booty. If a state who are the objects of it: which recital stood at should be so unhappy as to think it cannot subsist the head of the bill, as it was first introduced : but, without such a barbarous proscription, the persons I suppose for its incongruity with the body of the so proscribed ought to be indemnified by the repiece, was afterwards omitted.—This I 'say on mission of a large part of their taxes, by an immemory. It however still recites the oath, and that munity from the offices of publick burden, and by catholicks ought to be considered as good and an exemption from being pressed into any military loyal subjects to his majesty, his crown and go- or naval service. vernment. Then follows an universal exclusion Common sense and common justice dictate this of those good and LOYAL subjects from every at least, as some sort of compensation to a people (even the lowest) office of trust and profit; from for their slavery. How many families are incaany vote at an election; from any privilege in a pable of existing, if the little offices of the revenue, town corporate ; from being even a freeman of and little military commissions, are denied them! such a corporation ; from serving on grand juries; To deny them at home, and to make the happifrom a vote at a vestry; from having a gun in his ness of acquiring some of them somewhere else, house; from being a barrister, attorney, or soli- felony, or high treason, is a piece of cruelty, in citor, &c. &c. &c.
which, till very lately, I did not suppose this age This has surely much more the air of a table of capable of persisting. Formerly a similarity of proscription, than an act of grace. What must we religion made a sort of country for a man in some suppose the laws concerning those good subjects to quarter or other. A refugee for religion was a prohave been, of which this is a relaxation ? I know tected character. Now, the reception is cold inwell that there is a cant language current, about deed ; and therefore as the asylum abroad is dethe difference between an exclusion from employ- stroyed, the hardship at home is doubled. This ments even to the most rigorous extent, and an hardship is the more intolerable, because the proexclusion from the natural benefits arising from a fessions are shut up. The church is so of course. man's own industry. I allow, that under some Much is to be said on that subject, in regard to circumstances, the difference is very material in them, and to the protestant dissenters. But that point of justice, and that there are considerations is a chapter by itself. I am sure I wish well to that which may render it advisable for a wise govern- church, and think its ministers among the very ment to keep the leading parts of every branch of best citizens of your country. However, such as civil and military administration in hands of the it is, a great walk in life is forbidden ground to best trust; but a total exclusion from the com- seventeen hundred thousand of the inhabitants of monwealth is a very different thing. When a go- Ireland. Why are they excluded from the law? vernment subsists (as governments formerly did) on Do not they expend money in their suits? Why an estate of its own, with but few and inconsider may not they indemnify themselves, by profiting, able revenues drawn from the subject, then the few in the persons of some, for the losses incurred by officers which existed in such establishments were others? Why may not they have persons of confinaturally at the disposal of that government, which dence, whom they may, if they please, employ in paid the salaries out of its own coffers; there an the agency of their affairs? The exclusion from exclusive preference could hardly merit the name the law, from grand juries, from sheriffships, and of proscription. Almost the whole produce of a under-sheriffships, as well as from freedom in any man's industry at that time remained in his own corporation, may subject them to dreadful hardpurse to maintain his family. But times alter, and ships, as it may exclude them wholly from all that the whole estate of government is from private is beneficial, and expose them to all that is miscontribution. When a very great portion of the chievous, in a trial by jury. This was manifestly labour of individuals goes to the state, and is by the within my own observation, for I was three times state again refunded to individuals, through the in Ireland from the year 1760 to the year 1767, medium of offices, and in this circuitous progress where I had sufficient means of information, confrom the private to the publick, and from the cerning the inhuman proceedings (among which publick again to the private fund, the families from were many cruel murders, besides an infinity of whom the revenue is taken are indemnified, and an outrages and oppressions, unknown before in a equitable balance between the government and the civilized age) which prevailed during that period subject is established. But if a great body of the in consequence of a pretended conspiracy among people, who contribute to this state lottery, are Roman catholicks against the king's government. excluded from all the prizes, the stopping the cir- I could dilate upon the mischief that may happen, culation with regard to them may be a most cruel from those which have happened, upon this head hardship, amounting in effect to being double and of disqualification, if it were at all necessary. treble taxed ; and it will be felt as such to the The head of exclusion from votes for members very quick by all the families high and low of of parliament is closely connected with the former.
When you cast your eye on the statute book, you under excellent orders and regulations, and under will see that no catholick, even in the ferocious the government of a very prudent and learned acts of Queen Anne, was disabled from voting on man (the late Dr. KELLY). This college was account of his religion. The only conditions re- possessed of an annual fixed revenue of more than quired for that privilege, were the oaths of allegi- a thousand pounds a year; the greatest part of ance and abjuration—both oaths relative to a civil which had arisen from the legacies and benefac
Parliament has since added another tions of persons educated in that college, and oath of the same kind : and yet a house of com- who had obtained promotions in France, from mons adding to the securities of government, in the emolument of which promotions they made proportion as its danger is confessedly lessened, this grateful return. One in particular I rememand professing both confidence and indulgence, in ber, to the amount of ten thousand livres, annueffect takes away the privilege left by an act full ally, as it is recorded on the donor's monument in of jealousy, and professing persecution.
their chapel. The taking away of a vote is the taking away It has been the custom of poor persons in Irethe shield which the subject has, not only against land, to pick up such knowledge of the Latin the oppression of power, but that worst of all op- tongue as, under the general discouragements pressions, the persecution of private society, and and occasional pursuits of magistracy, they were private manners. No candidate for parliamentary able to acquire; and receiving orders at home, influence is obliged to the least attention towards were sent abroad to obtain a clerical education. them, either in cities or counties. On the con- By officiating in petty chaplainships, and pertrary, if they should become obnoxious to any forming, now and then, certain offices of religion bigotted or malignant people amongst whom they for small gratuities, they received the means of live, it will become the interest of those who court maintaining themselves, until they were able to popular favour, to use the numberless means which complete their education. Through such diffialways reside in magistracy and influence to op- culties and discouragements many of them have press them. The proceedings in a certain county arrived at a very considerable proficiency, so as in Munster, during the unfortunate period I have to be marked and distinguished abroad. These mentioned, read a strong lecture on the cruelty of persons afterwards, by being sunk in the most abdepriving men of that shield, on account of their ject poverty, despised and ill treated by the high speculative opinions. The protestants of Ireland orders among protestants, and not much better feel well and naturally on the hardship of being esteemed or treated even by the few persons of bound by laws in the enacting of which they do fortune of their own persuasion; and contracting not directly or indirectly vote. The bounds of the habits and ways of thinking of the poor and these matters are nice, and hardly to be settled in uneducated, among whom they were obliged to theory, and perhaps they have been pushed too live, in a few years retained little or no traces of far. “ But how they can avoid the necessary appli- the talents and acquirements, which distinguished cation of the principles they use in their disputes them in the early periods of their lives. Can we, with others, to their disputes with their fellow- with justice, cut them off from the use of places citizens, I know not.
of education, founded, for the greater part, from It is true, the words of this act do not create a the economy of poverty and exile, without prodisability ; but they clearly and evidently suppose viding something that is equivalent at home? it. There are few catholick freeholders to take the Whilst this restraint of foreign and domestick benefit of the privilege, if they were permitted to education was part of a horrible and impious syspartake it: but the manner in which this very tem of servitude, the members were well fitted to right in freeholders at large is defended, is not on the body. To render men patient, under a dethe ideas that the freeholders do really and truly privation of all the rights of human nature, every represent the people; but that all people being thing which could give them a knowledge or feelcapable of obtaining freeholds, all those who, by ing of those rights was rationally forbidden. To their industry and sobriety, merit this privilege, render humanity fit to be insulted, it was fit that have the means of arriving at votes. It is the it should be degraded. But when we profess to same with the corporations.
restore men to the capacity for property, it is The laws against foreign education are clearly equally irrational and unjust to deny them the the very worst part of the old code. Besides your power of improving their minds as well as their laity, you have the succession of about 4000 cler- fortunes. Indeed, I have ever thought the progymen to provide for. These, having no lucrative hibition of the means of improving our rational objects in prospect, are taken very much out of the nature, to be the worst species of tyranny that the lower orders of the people. At home, they have insolence and perverseness of mankind ever dared no means whatsoever provided for their attaining a to exercise. This goes to all men, in all situations, clerical education, or indeed any education at all. to whom education can be denied. When I was in Paris, about seven years ago, I Your lordship mentions a proposal which came looked at every thing, and lived with every kind from my friend the provost, whose benevolence of people, as well as my time admitted. 'I saw and enlarged spirit I am perfectly convinced of; there the Irish college of the Lombard, which which is, the proposal of erecting a few sizerships seemed to me a very good place of education, in the college, for the education (I suppose) of Roman catholick clergymen.* He certainly meant civility always call them hieromonachi. In conit well ; but, coming from such a man as he is, it sequence of this disrespect, which I venture to is a strong instance of the danger of suffering any say, in such a church, must be the consequence of description of men to fall into entire contempt- a secular life, a very great degeneracy from repuThe charities intended for them are not peceived table christian manners has taken place throughto be fresh insults; and the true nature of their out almost the whole of that great member of the wants and necessities being unknown, remedies, Christian Church. wholly unsuitable to the nature of their complaint, It was so with the Latin church, before the reare provided for them. It is to feed a sick Gentoo straint on marriage. Even that restraint gave rise with beef broth, and to foment his wounds with to the greatest disorders before the council of brandy. If the other parts of the university were Trent, which, together with the emulation raised, open to them, as well on the foundation as other and the good examples given, by the reformed wise, the offering of sizerships would be a propor-churches, wherever they were in view of each tioned part of a general kindness. But when other, has brought on that happy amendment, every thing liberal is withheld, and only that which we see in the Latin communion, both at which is servile is permitted, it is easy to conceive home and abroad. upon what footing they must be in such a place. The council of Trent has wisely introduced the
Mr. Hutchinson must well know the regard and discipline of seminaries, by which priests are not honour I have for him; and he cannot think my trusted for a clerical institution, even to the severe dissenting from him in this particular arises from discipline of their colleges; but, after they pass a disregard of his opinion : it only shews that I through them, are frequently, if not for the greater think he has lived in Ireland. To have any re- part, obliged to pass through peculiar methods, spect for the character and person of a popish having their particular ritual function in view. It priest there-oh! 'tis an uphill work indeed. is in a great measure to this, and to similar meBut until we come to respect what stands in a thods used in foreign education, that the Roman respectable light with others, we are very deficient catholick clergy of Ireland, miserably provided in the temper which qualifies us to make any laws for, living among low and ill regulated people, and regulations about them. It even disqualifies without any discipline of sufficient force to secure us from being charitable to them with any effect good manners, have been prevented from becomor judgment.
ing an intolerable nuisance to the country, instead When we are to provide for the education of of being, as I conceive they generally are, a very any body of men, we ought seriously to consider great service to it. the particular functions they are to perform in The ministers of protestant churches require a life. A Roman catholick clergyman is the minis- different mode of education, more liberal, and more ter of a very ritual religion : and by his profes- fit for the ordinary intercourse of life. That resion subject to many restraints. His life is a life ligion having little hold on the minds of people by full of strict observances, and his duties are of a external ceremonies, and extraordinary observlaborious nature towards himself, and of the high- ances, or separate habits of living, the clergy make est possible trust towards others. The duty of con- up the deficiency by cultivating their minds with fession alone is sufficient to set in the strongest all kinds of ornamental learning, which the liberal light the necessity of his having an appropriated provision made in England and Ireland for the mode of education. The theological opinions and parochial clergy, (to say nothing of the ample peculiar rights of one religion never can be pro- church preferments, with little or no duties anperly taught in universities, founded for the pur- nexed,) and the comparative lightness of parochial poses and on the principles of another, which in duties, enables the greater part of them in some many points are directly opposite. If a Roman considerable degree to accomplish. catholick clergyman, intended for celibacy, and This learning, which I believe to be pretty gethe function of confession, is not strictly bred in a neral, together with higher situation, and more seminary where these things are respected, incul- chastened by the opinion of mankind, forms a sufcated, and enforced, as sacred, and not made the ficient security for the morals of the established subject of derision and obloquy, he will be ill fitted clergy, and for their sustaining their clerical chafor the former, and the latter will be indeed in his racter with dignity. It is not necessary to observe, hands a terrible instrument.
that all these things are, however, collateral to their There is a great resemblance between the whole function, and that except in preaching, which may frame and constitution of the Greek and Latin be and is supplied, and often best supplied, out of churches. The secular clergy, in the former, by printed books, little else is necessary for a protestbeing married, living under little restraint, and ant minister, than to be able to read the English having no particular education suited to their language; I mean for the exercise of his function, function, are universally fallen into such contempt, not to the qualification of his admission to it. But that they are never perinitted to aspire to the dig- a popish parson in Ireland may do very well withnities of their own church. It is not held respect-out any considerable classical erudition, or any ful to call them papas, their true and ancient ap- proficiency in pure or mixed mathematicks, or any pellation, but those who wish to address them with knowledge of civil history. Even if the catholick
It appears that Mr, Hutchinson meant this only as one of the means for their relief in point of education.
clergy should possess those acquisitions, as at first the first time that the presentation to other people's many of them do, they soon lose them in the pain- alms has been desired in any country. If the ful course of professional and parochial duties; but state provides a suitable maintenance and tempothey must have all the knowledge, and, what is to rality for the governing members of the Irish Rothem more important than the knowledge, the man catholick church, and for the clergy under discipline, necessary to those duties. All modes of them, I should think the project, however imeducation, conducted by those whose minds are proper in other respects, to be by no means unjust. cast in another mould, as I may say, and whose But to deprive a poor people, who maintain a original ways of thinking are formed upon the second set of clergy, out of the miserable remains reverse pattern, must be to them not only useless, of what is left after taxing and tything—to debut mischievous. Just as I should suppose the edu- prive them of the disposition of their own charities cation in a popish ecclesiastical seminary would be among their own imunion, would, in my ill fitted for a protestant clergyman. To educate opinion, be an intolerable hardship. Never were a catholick priest in a protestant seminary would the members of one religious sect fit to appoint the be much worse. The protestant educated amongst pastors to another. Those who have no regard for catholicks has only something to reject : what he their welfare, reputation, or internal quiet, will not keeps may be useful. But a catholick parish priest appoint such as are proper. The seraglio of Conlearns little for his peculiar purpose and duty in a stantinople is as equitable as we are, whether caprotestant college.
tholicks or protestants : and where their own sect All this, my lord, I know very well, will pass is concerned, full as religious. But the sport which for nothing with those who wish that the popish they make of the miserable dignities of the Greek clergy should be illiterate, and in a situation to church, the little factions of the haram, to which produce contempt and detestation. Their minds they make them subservient, the continual sale to are wholly taken up with party squabbles, and I which they expose and re-expose the same dignity, have neither leisure nor inclination to apply any and by which they squeeze all the inferiour orders part of what I have to say, to those who never of the clergy, is (for I have had particular means think of religion, or of the commonwealth, in any of being acquainted with it) nearly equal to all other light, than as they tend to the prevalence of the other oppressions together, exercised by mussome faction in either. I speak on a supposition, sulmen over the unhappy members of the Oriental that there is a disposition to take the state in the church. It is a great deal to suppose that condition in which it is found, and to improve it in the present Castle would nominate bishops for the that state to the best advantage. Hitherto the Roman church of Ireland, with a religious regard plan for the government of Ireland has been, to for its welfare. Perhaps they cannot, perhaps sacrifice the civil prosperity of the nation to its they dare not, do it. religious improvement. But if people in power But suppose them to be as well inclined as I
at length come to entertain other know that I am, to do the catholicks all kind of ideas, they will consider the good order, decorum, justice, I declare I would not, if it were in my virtue, and morality of every description of men power, take that patronage on myself.—I know I among them, as of infinitely greater importance ought not to do it. I belong to another commuthan the struggle (for it is nothing better) to nity, and it would be intolerable usurpation for me change those descriptions by means, which put to affect such authority, where I conferred no beto hazard objects, which, in my poor opinion, are nefit, or even if I did confer (as in some degree of more importance to religion and to the state, the seraglio does) temporal advantages. But, althan all the polemical matter which has been agi- lowing that the present Castle finds itself fit to tated among men from the beginning of the world administer the government of a church which they to this hour.
solemnly forswear, and forswear with very hard On this idea, an education fitted to each order words and many evil epithets, and that as often as and division of men, such as they are found, will they qualify themselves for the power which is to be thought an affair rather to be encouraged than give this very patronage, or to give any thing else discountenanced : and until institutions at home, that they desire; yet they cannot ensure themsuitable to the occasions and necessities of the selves that a man like the late Lord Chesterfield people, are established, and which are armed, as will not succeed to them. This man, while he was they are abroad, with authority to coerce the duping the credulity of papists with fine words in young men to be formed in them, by a strict and private, and commending their good behaviour severe discipline,—the means they have, at pre- during a rebellion in Great Britain, (as it well desent, of a cheap and effectual education in other served to be commended and rewarded,) was cacountries, should not continue to be prohibited by pable of urging penal laws against them in a speech penalties and modes of inquisition, not fit to be from the throne, and of stimulating with provocamentioned to ears that are organized to the chaste tives the wearied and half-exhausted bigotry of sounds of equity and justice.
the then parliament of Ireland. They set to work, Before I had written thus far, I heard of a but they were at a loss what to do; for they had scheme of giving to the Castle the patronage of already almost gone through every contrivance the presiding members of the catholick clergy. At which could waste the vigour of their country: but first I could scarcely credit it: for I believe it is after much struggle, they produced a child of their