Joseph Addison

Walter Graham (ed.), The Letters of Joseph Addison

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191. To Sidney, Earl of Godolphin

Dublin Castle [Thursday] June 30th 1709

My Lord

I yesterday Receiv'd the honour of yr Lordshipps of the 23d I must beg leave to acquaint Yr Lordship, that as I am informed, pg 161there was but a Weeke between the time that the Merchnts appear'd and that the Lords gave a Judgemt on the Case of the Tobacco, for which reason possibly Your Lordship did not receive advice of the one before the Other. I have heard My Lord Lieut intimate that he wou'd bring the Case before the House of Lords in England if he cou'd not otherwise gett the Sentence of the Irish Lords Redressd and I heare there will be methods attempted for the doing of it in this Kingdome without bringing matters to that Extremitie. I am afraid a Lord Lieut woud be Capable of doing Her Matie but little Service here after having mov'd in such an Affaire. The Case of the Earle of Meath in the last Reign is often talked of in this Country but with a Secret kind of Triumph that notwithstanding the English Lords reversed the Sentence of the Irish house of Peers in their Votes, yet in Effect it remained good the Earle having by Vertue of that Sentence possessed the Estate he contended for without any molestation. There is indeed a great reluctancy in all sorts of people here to the having it thought that they are a Conquer'd and dependt Kingdome, and thatt even Acts of Parliament in England may not be superseded by those in Ireland as to what relates purely to the Affairs of their own Country. Of this I think they have given a little instance in a Clause of the Popery Bill, by which the Estate of a Popist that has been fraudulently convey'd is not to goe to the Informer as is expressly enacted in the English Act of Parliament relating to My Lord Clanrickard, but to Continue in the Purchasers hands provided that he Conforms to the Church of Ireland within a certain Time after the passing of the Act. This Bill is now gone through the Privy Council without any alterations of Moment. The Clause which was most struck at but passed at last, is that which Obliged Popish Parents to give a Third of their personall Estates as well as of theire lands to the Son that turns Protestant. It was Objected that this would Spoil Trade by lessening the Stock of the Roman Catholick Merchnt one Third, and still breaking the Increase of it in the Same proportion as often as the Son pleases to demand his Third out of the Addition it has received since the last Division, besides that it subjects the Parent to make frequent discoverys of his Estate, which in a Merchnts hands is verry uncertain and often passes for more than it is, and Consequently may Spoil his creditt and Ruin him. It was answerd that this Clause came over in the Transmiss from England with an Exception to such personall pg 162Estates as are turned in Trade and Merchandize, which Exception was struck out in the house of Comons, because all personall Estates might shelter themselves under it, and by that means Elude the Force of the Law.

Yesterday the House of Comons adjourn'd by My Lord Lieuts order to the 28th of the next Month.

The House of Lords have Committed the Bishop of Raphoe to the Castle upon his entering a Protest in Theire Bookes against the adjourning of the house to the 29th of this Month which is a Holy day. The Bishop is a man of Ungovernable passions Enflamed with the most furious Zeale and generally passes for Mad tho' I think nobody imputes it to too much Learning. The Words of his Protestacon will give your Lordshipp an Idea of him and are as follow.

The Bipp of Raphoe protests against adjourning to the 29th of June at 12 O Clock. Because he conceived it against the Laws of the Church and a late Act of Parliament to do business on a holy day which may hinder divine Worshipp prayers and Sacraments, Sermons or homilies and Catechisms, least it should be a Robbery of God as well as Tythes and Offerings. The Bishops being unwilling to punish or Excuse their Brother left him in the hands of the Lay Lords and withdrew before the Question was put for the taking him into Custody.

  • I am
  • My Lord etc.
  • J. Addison

A letter of ye same news sent to ye Earl of Sunderland.

Address: [London]—Charterhouse copy.

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