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foundation than in civility I would have said of it ; but sure I am, sir, that if tythes had been commuted according to Mr. Grattan's plan, a very powerful engine would have been taken out of our hands.
A Member. Is not the Union much indebted to the Roman catholic clergy?
Mac Neven. The principle of burying all religious differences in oblivion, was warmly embraced by the catholic clergy; some of them became more active members of the Union, and I make no doubt but they are in general well affected to the liberties of their country.
Speaker. Have not the Priests a great influence over the people?
Mac Neven. When they espouse the interests of the people, they are readily obeyed by them, from the reliance that is placed on their better sense and education when they oppose these interests, they are certainly found to have neither authority nor influence; of this I can give you two important examples. At the time the catholic committee was opposed by the sixty-eight, together with Lord Kenmare and his marksmen, a priest; between Kilbeggan and Moate, who endeavoured to seduce his fock to support the slavish principles of that party, was well nigh hanged by his own parishioners, for what they deemed treachery to their interests. The other, a priest in the north, who thought fit to preach against the Union : the flock immediately left the chapel, and sent him word they would for that Sunday go to the meeting-house; and that if he did not desist from such politics in future, they would come near him no
Of such a nature, gentlemen, is the influence of thie catholic clergy.
Speaker. Speaker. Are the bishops much looked up to?
Mac Neven. They are not as far as I can learn, so well be. loved, nor so much confided in by the people as the inferior clergy.
Speaker. Can you assign any reason for that?
Mac Neven. I am inclined to believe it is because they are seen so much about the castle, and because some acts coming from that body have manifested an over extraordinary complaisance for the supposed wishes of government.
Speaker. Did you see Dr. Hussey's letter---what do you think of that?
Mac Neven. I have seen it, and disapprove of it. As one paper
is mentioned, I cannot help saying that I have seen another letter, with the name of Dr. Moylan, which contained a remarkable falsehood in favour of the administration
; but as this was only a pious fraud perhaps, I could never hear that they complained of it.
Lord Castlereagh. We will detain you no longer.
THOMAS ADDIS EMMET'S EXAMINATION,
BEFORE THE SECRET COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS,
AUGUST 10, 1798.
Committee. WERE you an United Irishman ?
My Lords, I am one.
Com. Were you a member of the executive ?
Emmet. I was of the executive from the month of January to the month of May, 1797, and afterwards from December, 1797, ’till I was arrested.
[I was then asked as to the military organization, which I detailed. They then asked when the returns included fire arms and ammunition.]
Emmet. After the insurrection and indemnity acts had been passed, when the people were led to think on resistance, and after 4000 persons had been driven from the county of Armagh by the Orangemen.
Com. Was not the name of Orangeman used to terrify the people into the United system?
Emmet. I do not know what groundless fears may
have been propagated by ignorant people; but I am sure no unfair advantage was taken by the executive. The Orange principles were fairly discussed, as far as they were known, and we always found, that wherever it was attempted to establish a lodge, the United Irish encreased
Lord Dillon. Why, where was it endeavoured to introduce them, except in the north, and the city of Dublin?
Emmet. My Lord, I can't tell you all the places in which it was endeavoured, but I will name one, in the county of Roscommon, where
am told it made many United Irishmen.
Lord Dillon. Well, that was but very lately, and I endeavoured to resist it.
When were the first communications with France ?
Emmet. The first I heard of were after the insurrection and indemnity acts had been carried; the first I knew of was after the French fleet had left Bantry Bay, and after it was manifest the effort for reform would not succeed: and permit me to add, on my oath, it was my intention to propose to, and from cons versations I had with some of the executive directory, I am - sure it would have been carried there, that if there had been any reasonable hope of reform being adopted, to send one more messenger to France, and he should have told them the difference between the people and the government was adjusted, and not to attempt a second invasion.
[They then took me into detail through the whole of the negotiations and message--I stated that the demand on our part was from five to ten thousand men, and forty thousand stand of arms, by the first agent; that the instructions to the second agent differed by requesting more arms in consequence of the disarming of the north, which had intervened, and that the French had promised we should be at perfect liberty to choose our own form of government. It was expressly stipulated with them that they should conduct themselves so.]
Lord Chancellor. As they did in Holland ?
Emmet. As Rochambeau did in America, my lords.
They then entered on the subject of the separation.
Lord Chancellor. How is it possible, Mr. Emmet, just look on the map, and tell me how you can suppose that Ireland could exist independent of England or France ?
Emmet. My lords, if I had any doubt on that subject, I should never have attempted to effect a separation, but I have given it as much consideration as my faculties would permit, and I have not a shadow of doubt, that if Ireland was once independent, she might defy the combined efforts of France and England,
Archbishop of Cashel. My God! her trade would be destroyed !
Emmet. Pardon me, my lord, her trade would be infinitely 1
encreased : 150 years ago, when Ireland contained not more than one million and an half of men, and America was nothing, the connexion might be said to be necessary to Ireland, but now that she contains five millions, and America is the best market in the world, and Ireland the best situated country in