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The first is, that the records of the Irish Government, for some thirty years or more before the Union, are kept secret. It would be well if the present Administration would earn for itself the credit of annulling a rule which has down to this time, I believe, been officially stereotyped in the Home Office. At least I can say that a gentleman known to me, and bent upon a serious work of authorship, has been refused access to these documents. The second difficulty is more serious, especially as it involves an aggravation of the first. There has been something approaching to systematic destruction by individuals concerned in the Union, or confidentially acquainted with its history, of the papers throwing light upon its progress. Let us look separately at the fact of this destruction, and at the inevitable inferences from it.

It was believed, and has been publicly alleged, that the Irish Government had ordered the destruction of many of their confidential and secret papers. But Mr. Ross confutes this statement, while

he adds that through neglect many had been lost or inadvertently destroyed. But it is purposed, not inadvertent, destruction to which I have now to direct attention. As respects the fact, I might refer to a writer in the Athenæum, or to Mr. Fitzpatrick,' but I prefer to cite the authority of Mr. Ross, the accurate and indefatigable editor of the Cornwallis Correspondence, to whom, though his action was restrained in important particulars, we are deeply indebted for the disclosure of the astounding confessions of Lord Cornwallis. He refers, in his preface to the valuable sources of information freely opened to him; among them, the Spencer, Hardwicke, Sydney, and Melville papers, with many other collections. He proceeds:

But, upon investigation, it appeared that such documents as might have thrown additional light on the history of those times, and especially of the Union, had been purposely destroyed. For instance, after a search instituted at Welbeck by the kindness of the Duke of Portland, it was ascertained that the late Duke had burnt all his father's political papers from 1780 to his death. In like manner the Chancellor (Lord Clare), Mr. Wickham, Mr. King, Sir Herbert Taylor, Sir Edward Littlehales, Mr. Marsden, the Knight of Kerry,' and indeed almost all the persons officially concerned in carrying the Union, appear to have destroyed the whole of their papers.

Mr. C. Ross was allowed by the Viceroy, Lord St. Germans, to inspect these papers. They were brothers-in-law; and I am not aware that this was an official proceeding. Cornwallis Correspondence, preface, p. v.

5 Cornwallis Correspondence, preface, p. v.

• No. 1634.

The Sham Squire and the Informers of 1798, by W. J. Fitzpatrick, ed. 1866, pp. 196-8. This volume not only contains particulars of very great interest, but it exhibits the machinery of Irish government and life at the close of the last century en œuvre, and on this account throws on the general subject a light resembling that which the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini casts on the history of the Cinque Cento.

8 P. vi.

• It is stated by Mr. Fitzpatrick that this is an error.

It may seem that it was not necessary to destroy, on account of the Irish Union, the whole of the papers, for example, of the Duke of Portland. But those who know what it is to deal with the papers of deceased personages, often left in a state of chaos, will not be surprised if in one or more instances, for the sake of making sure and yet avoiding irksome search, papers which might have been spared were committed along with the rest emendaturis ignibus.

Did the necessary limits of this article permit, it would not be difficult to show that the British Government took an active part in the work of suppression. I will only cite one anecdote from the younger Grattan, as he gives it on the high authority of Mr. Foster. The Opposition had their speeches on the Union, with other documents, carefully prepared for publication, and entrusted them to one Moore, a Dublin publisher, though Mr. Foster warned them that he would betray them. Moore sold them accordingly to Lord Castlereagh, and they were burned in Dublin Castle.10

So much for the fact. The inference is nearly inevitable. It is that the history of the Union has been so exceptionally black, that it must be hidden from the eyes of men. But what estimate are we to form of the historical research of Dr. Ingram, who boasts of his study of originals, and who appears to be innocent of all knowledge alike of this difficulty, and of its cause?

Dr. Ingram assures us in his preface (vii) that he 'supports every statement of fact by reference to his authorities.' Doubtless he has said this in good faith; but it is, as we shall find, most inaccurately said. There is another ground of complaint. References, of which he supplies many, are a snare unless they are correctly cited. In cases where I have had occasion to test him, I find him very deficient either in fidelity or in care. For example, he finds it important to show that Orangeism was pure Protestantism, and not associated with the monopoly of the Established Church. Accordingly we are told (p. 21) that, after a time, the Presbyterians 'became almost universally Orangemen.' This opinion is denied in detail by Plowden," who seems to me to disprove it; but that is not the point. Dr. Ingram quotes as his sole authority Lord Castlereagh. Now Lord Castlereagh was a most prejudiced witness, for no one perhaps of the higher agents was so deeply implicated in the transactions of the Union. He ought, therefore, to be cited with particular care. He says, 'The Protestant Dissenters in Ulster have in a great degree withdrawn from the Union and become Orangemen.' 12 Thus even this ex parte statement is magnified by exaggeration into almost universally.'

'Pitt's proposal' as to Reform, says Dr. Ingram (p. 178), was to raise a million as compensation to thirty-six boroughs selected for 10 Life and Times of Grattan, v. 179.

12 Corr. ii. 32.

11 Post-Union Hist. i. 65-7.

disfranchisement. He gives us no authority; but observes that a million would have given 27,000l. per borough, which was to be set aside for accumulation by compound interest if deemed insufficient, whereas only 16,000l. was given for an Irish borough. Yes; but the readers of Mr. Pitt's speech to Parliament 13 will find that, though it announces the principle of compensation, there is no mention whatever of the million, which appears only in his preparatory communications with Mr. Wyvill, and formed no part of his proposal to Parliament.

Having now touched (1) upon the state of Dr. Ingram's knowledge as to the materials for a history of the Union, (2) upon the trustworthiness of his references, I proceed to remark upon the degree of his acquaintance with the facts of Irish history, with which every historian of the Union ought to be conversant.

In dealing with Grattan's Parliament, he contends (p. 55, n.) that the English Government could not venture to use the royal veto against Bills passed in Ireland. In proof of this he gives an instance: 'So strongly was this felt by the English Government that they did not venture to refuse the King's assent to the Irish Act of 1793 granting the franchise to Catholics.' 14

He is evidently unaware that this measure, one of the few brighter spots in British policy towards Ireland, was pressed by the British Government on the Irish Parliament. Alarmed at the republican. sentiments prevailing among the Protestants of the North, and having in view the great struggle with revolutionary France, possibly too urged on by that Whig section, whose sympathies he had acquired, Mr. Pitt wisely determined to draw the Irish people more closely to the Government. But Dr. Ingram's profound study of original documents has not led him to examine a paper so recondite as the Irish Speech from the Throne of the 10th of January, 1793; which says

I have it in particular command from his Majesty to recommend it to you to apply yourselves to the consideration of such measures as may be most likely to strengthen and cement a general union of sentiment among all classes and descriptions of his Majesty's subjects in support of the established Constitution. With this view his Majesty trusts that the situation of his Majesty's Catholic subjects will engage your serious attention.

On the 4th of February, accordingly, the Government themselves proposed the Bill, which our historian tells us their dread of the Irish Parliament prevented them from arresting by the royal veto. A Scotch Bishop, profoundly learned in patristic literature and the earlier history of the Church, was asked what he thought of the Reformation. He replied, 'I have not got down so far: I have only reached the twelfth century.' So it would appear that Dr. Ingram, pursuing his studies upwards from 1800, has not yet reached the year 1793. Nay, worse. He cannot yet have touched 1795. For in 14 P. 55, n.

13 Speeches, vol. i. pp. 222–38.

this volume he never touches on the most critical event in the whole history of the Grattan Parliament. I mean the Viceroyalty and recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, whose very name is only mentioned once, and that incidentally (p. 105). The man who can write upon the Union without touching on Lord Fitzwilliam and his Government, whatever else he may be, is certainly not its historian.

It has been truly said that the mission of Lord Fitzwilliam was a covenant of peace with Ireland, and his recall a declaration of war. The mission meant the dethronement of the faction of ascendancy, the removal of the Roman Catholic disabilities, the purification of Parliament, and the solution of the Irish problem. The recall brought about at once the return of religious discord, the foundation of Orangeism, the conversion of the United Irishmen from a constitutional and in the main open into a seditious and secret society, and a violent shock to public confidence and order. In this so-called History, I am not sure that the name of Burke even once occurs. What says he 15 of Ireland under Lord Fitzwilliam?

I saw the King's business done with success and splendour, and the country united and happy. But the old Court has risen again. The junto which for a long time has ruled Ireland by deceiving Great Britain has returned in triumph, with all that renovated force which it has long since been observed a government acquires from a suppressed rebellion.

Next let us hear his friend Dr. Hussey, 16 on the recall.

The disastrous news, my dear sir, of Earl Fitzwilliam's recall is come, and Ireland is now on the brink of a civil war. . . . An awful gloom hangs on every brow; and every man that has anything to lose, or who loves peace and quiet, must now exert himself for the salvation of the country and to keep the turbulent in order.

Burke himself replies on the 5th of March 17.

All the letters I have seen from Ireland speak but one language, which is the same with yours.

And again he complains when this 'true friend of both countries' was cruelly torn from the embraces of the people of Ireland,' 18 that

the Parliament of Great Britain itself is rendered no better than an instrument in the hands of an Irish faction.

From this point all the stages of the onward process were linked together in a chain of adamant. The recall of Lord Fitzwilliam required the revival of religious faction. The revival of religious faction was the introduction of the reign of terror, and of savage lawlessness in the guise of law. By this lawlessness the rebellion was, in the language of Lord Russell, wickedly provoked,' and by the rebellion the Union, to which in 1795 no class or party would have

15 March 17, 1795, Correspondence, iii. 296. 17 Ibid. p. 290.

16 Ibid. p. 282.

18 Ibid. p. 388.

listened for a moment, was rendered possible. All these great and cardinal facts appear to be wholly unknown to Dr. Ingram.

It is now time to state what are the leading propositions which Dr. Ingram has made serious endeavours to support.

1. That a catena of distinguished writers had recommended the Union, to whose voice a British Minister could not be deaf (chapter i.).

2. That the Union was carried by fair and constitutional means, without corruption (pp. vii, 228).

3. That before the measure was adopted the people of Ireland, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, were decidedly in its favour (chapters v. vi.).

4. That the compensation to the owners of boroughs was justifiable (chapter viii.).

5. That the dismissal of recalcitrant members of a Government is an established practice (chapter viii.).

6. That there is no sign that Members of Parliament were the recipients of money payments; and that in 1799, when the Union was practically carried' (p. 209), there was only 5,000l. available (chapter ix.).

I will take these heads in series from the first onwards.

In his first chapter,19 after showing that in certain instances Irish representatives, under much protest from electors, had been summoned to very ancient English Parliaments, and had again been summoned by Cromwell, he refers to the action of the two Irish Houses in 1703 in favour of some description of legislative union. There were similar declarations in 1707, the year of the union with Scotland. No encouragement could be had from this side the water. Then followed the enactment of the penal code. In 1676 the Irish Council of Trade recommended an incorporating union, and Sir William Petty did the like. He was followed by Brewster (1694), Molyneux (1698), Molesworth (1703), Sir M. Decker (1749), Postlethwayt (1767), Tucker (1775 and 1785), and Adam Sınith (1776). Bishop Berkeley (1735) also thought that it was 'the interest of both nations to become one people,' but that this was not sufficiently felt.

Dr. Ingram turns us loose without the aid of reference (a defect too common in his work) among the 595 Queries of the admirable Bishop. He has done this with gross inaccuracy, not only welding questions 89 and 90 into one, but omitting from 89 the earlier portion of the query, whether our hankering after our woollen trade be not the true and only reason which hath created a jealousy in England towards Ireland.'

Had these words not been omitted, we should have had a clue to the utter misapprehension by Dr. Ingram of his own citations and

19 Ingram, p. 6 seqq.

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