Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/435

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


the civil treaty of Limerick, and were indignant when they learned that the Lord Lieutenant fully expected from them a parliamentary ratification of that odious contract, a contract which gave a licence to the idolatry of the mass, and which prevented good Protestants from ruining their Popish neighbours by bringing civil actions for injuries done during the war.[402]

On the fifth of October 1692 the Parliament met at Dublin in Chichester House. It was very differently composed from the assembly which had borne the same title in 1689. Scarcely one peer, not one member of the House of Commons, who had sate at the King's Inns, was to be seen. To the crowd of O's and Macs, descendants of the old princes of the island, had succeeded men whose names indicated a Saxon origin. A single O, an apostate from the faith of his fathers, and three Macs, evidently emigrants from Scotland, and probably Presbyterians, had seats in the assembly.

The Parliament, thus composed, had then less than the powers of the Assembly of Jamaica or of the Assembly of Virginia. Not merely was the Legislature which sate at Dublin subject to the absolute control of the Legislature which sate at Westminster: but a law passed in the fifteenth century, during the administration of the Lord Deputy Poynings, and called by his name, had provided that no bill which had not been considered and approved by the Privy Council of England should be brought into either House in Ireland, and that every bill so considered and approved should be either passed without amendment or rejected.[403]

The session opened with a solemn recognition of the paramount authority of the mother country. The Commons ordered their clerk to read to them the English Act which required them to take the Oath of Supremacy and to subscribe the Declaration against Transubstantiation. Having heard the Act read, they immediately proceeded to obey it. Addresses were then voted which expressed the warmest gratitude and attachment to