Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/223

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the Lords a bill providing that no person should sit in the Irish Parliament, should hold any Irish office, civil, military or ecclesiastical, or should practise law or medicine in Ireland, till he had taken the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and subscribed the Declaration against Transubstantiation. The Lords were not more inclined than the Commons to favour the Irish. No peer was disposed to entrust Roman Catholics with political power. Nay, it seems that no peer objected to the principle of the absurd and cruel rule which excluded Roman Catholics from the liberal professions. But it was thought that this rule, though unobjectionable in principle, would, if adopted without some exceptions, be a breach of a positive compact. Their Lordships called for the Treaty of Limerick, ordered it to be read at the table, and proceeded to consider whether the law framed by the Lower House was consistent with the engagements into which the government had entered. One discrepancy was noticed. It was stipulated by the second civil article, that every person actually residing in any fortress occupied by an Irish garrison, should be permitted, on taking the Oath of Allegiance, to resume any calling which he had exercised before the Revolution. It would, beyond all doubt, have been a violation of this covenant to require that a lawyer or a physician, who had been within the walls of Limerick during the siege, should take the Oath of Supremacy and subscribe the Declaration against Transubstantiation, before he could receive fees. Holt was consulted, and was directed to prepare clauses in conformity with the terms of the capitulation.

The bill, as amended by Holt, was sent back to the Commons. They at first rejected the amendment, and demanded a conference. The conference was granted. Rochester, in the Painted Chamber, delivered to the managers of the Lower House a copy of the Treaty of Limerick, and earnestly represented the importance of preserving the public faith inviolate. This appeal was one which no honest man, though inflamed by national and religious animosity, could resist. The Commons reconsidered the subject, and, after hearing the Treaty