Sayfadaki görseller

sacred cause unpolluted by one drop of human blood. It really forms a phenomenon in the history of nations and of mankind.

Lord Temple arrived in Ireland on the 15th September, 1782, and was received with very general expressions of joy. His administration was but a short one, though during the period, brief as it was, he set himself earnestly to work to correct multiplied abuses, which had crept into the management of public affairs. His brother (the present Lord Grenville) accompanied him as secretary. Like his father, (Mr. George Grenville,) Lord Temple took business as a pleasure he was to enjoy, and his application was "undissipated and unwearied." Such assiduity was never before, and we believe never since, witnessed at the castle. Nor was he at this time more than 30 years of age. He was not awed either by situation or connexion. There was not a board throughout Ire land which did not tremble. The dismay was terrible. Clerks, secretaries, and treasurers fled in all quarters. Some chiefs of particular departments did not indeed fly, but menaced or muttered eternat vengeance against Lord Temple; they shuddered to behold the ancient abodes of peculation on the point of being exposed to the eye of day. Lord Temple, however, went on fearless in the execution of his wise purpose; and it is only to be regretted that his stay was too short to render it likely his plan of reformation could be permanently operative.

[ocr errors]

The Irish parliament did not sit during the administration of Lord Temple, consequently there remains little to record.

In the English commons Colonel Fitzpatrick called the attention of Government, on the 19th December, 1782, to a circumstance which had given much alarm to the people of Ireland; this was the decision of an Irish cause, in the English court of king's bench, notwithstanding the declaration of Irish independence had put an end to all such appeals. It was explained, however, by Mr.. Secretary Townshend to have arisen from this circumstance, that the cause had been in the court for eighteen months, and that consequently the judges were bound to decide upon it. There was the most sincere desire on the part of England to do any thing that might tend to remove all doubts in Ireland as to the validity of the liberty she had acquired. On the 22d January, 1783, Mr. Secretary Townshend moved and carried the motion unanimously, for leave to bring in a bill" for removing and preventing - all doubts which have arisen or may arise concerning the exclusive rights of the parliament and courts of Ireland in matters of legislation and judicature, and for preventing any writ of error, or appeal, from any of his majesty's courts in that kingdom from being received, read, or adjudged in any of his majesty's courts in the kingdom of Great Britain." In about a month after this the famous coalition ministry, in which Fox and Lord North joined their forces, was formed, and the consequence

[ocr errors]

was, that Lord Temple resigned his post of viceroy to the Earl of Northington.

Previously to quitting the subject of Lord' Temple's administration, however, two events must be recorded. One is, the institution of the Order of St. Patrick. This was done to gratify the Irish by a mark of national consequence. The king was always to be sovereign of this new order of knighthood, the viceroy officiating grand master, and the Archbishop of Dublin chancellor. Among the knights were Prince Edward, (now Duke of Kent,) the Duke of Leinster, the Earl of Courtown, and the Earl of Charlemont. On the 11th of March they were invested at the castle, and on the 17th, the festival of their tutelar saint, the ceremony of installation was magnificently performed.

The other transaction alluded to, though it failed, was one of peculiar importance. There had arisen, in the little republic of Geneva, disputes and dissentions between the aristocratic and the democratic parties, in which the former, were ul- · timately successful. The latter, zealous for liberty, disdained to live in a country which they no longer considered as free, and resolved, in consequence, to emigrate to some chosen spot, where tyranny was to be unknown. Ireland, young in her acquisition of freedom, was the country they fixed upon, and six commissioners were appointed

* Messrs. G. Ringler, E. Clavier, Du Roveray, E. Gase, Grenus, and Divernois,

to repair thither for the purpose of obtaining from the government permission and protection in establishing a Genevese colony in Ireland. They received the greatest personal attention from the people in general on their arrival, for they were regarded as self-exiled martyrs to the cause of freedom, a cause yet fresh and youthful in the remembrance of Ireland, The Leinster volunteers enrolled several of them as members of their association, Nor was government less zealous to testify its approbation of their mission. An asylum was promptly offered to them in Ireland; and the approbation of the king and privy council at home being obtained, a place for their residence was fixed upon at Passage, near the confluence of the rivers Suire and Barrow, in the county of Waterford. A warrant was issued by the lord-lieutenant to certain noblemen and gentlemen, empowering them to make all necessary arrangements for transporting these colonists into Ireland, and for building a town for them, to be called New Geneva. Fifty thousand pounds were appropriated for this purpose, and the happiest results were anticipated from a colony of moral, virtuous, and industrious artizans, who would not only bring with them the example of their own regulated behaviour, but also introduce a variety of useful and profitable manufactures. A plan of naturalization was sketched, by which was to be granted to them the establishment of magistrates, councils, or assemblies, with power of re

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

gulating their internal concerns in such a manner as should be most agreeable to the laws under which they lived happily in their own country; provided, however, that these municipal regulations in no way contravened the established laws of the country that received them. A charter was to be granted them, and it was proposed to establish seminaries for instruction similar to those so long known in Geneva, by which it was hoped that many young persons of rank and fortune would resort to the new republic from all parts of Europe for education. But though public ex pectation was highly raised, the whole scheme proved abortive from the intemperate demands of the recusants. They insisted, as preliminary terms, that they should be represented in parliament, and governed by their own laws. Whatever inclination might have been felt to permit them, as subjects of the same realm, to be represented in the legislature, it was manifestly incon sistent, not only with general policy, but with their first requisition, to allow them the privilege of being governed by laws enacted by themselves. The consequence was, that the scheme was abandoned, a few only making a trial of it upon individual responsibility, but soon relinquishing it from conviction of its inefficacy.

Lord Temple did not quit the government till the 3d of June, 1783, when he was escorted to the water-side by the volunteers of Dublin, as the only testimonial which it was in their power

« ÖncekiDevam »