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disliked the provisions of the other measure, which authorised the Government itself to collect the tithes. The Viceroy, in Mr. O'Connell's language, had been turned into Tithe ProctorGeneral for Ireland. Thus the legislation of 1832 proved useless. The Irish Government failed to collect the tithes; and the Irish people, organised in bands of Blackfeet and Whitefeet, arrayed themselves against the authorities. Force was met by force, outrage by repression ; and the condition of Ireland became worse and more lawless than it had been at any previous period since the Union.
If the Whig Administration had secured the services of Mr. O'Connell in some suitable office, the influence of the first Irishman alive might have been exerted in this dilemma on the side of authority; it was now thrown into the scale of disorder. Mr. O'Connell declared that he had no patience with the ‘base, brutal, and bloody’ Whigs; and that the true remedy for Irish grievances was to be found in the institution of an Irish Legislature. Forgetting all that the Whigs had done for Ireland in the past; forgetting their constant advocacy of the claims of the Roman Catholics; forgetting even that his seat in Parliament was due to their efforts—Mr. O'Connell was denouncing Whig measures, and waving the banner of Home Rule.
It is evident from the letter which has already been quoted that Lord John shared the feelings with which his friends regarded the conduct of Mr. O'Connell. And he seems almost to have despaired of any solution of the Irish difficulty. For, writing to the same correspondent only a month later, he said—
We are very busy with Church, slavery, and other matters. In England I hope it may be true that there is no wrong without a remedy; in Ireland, all is wrong, and nothing a remedy.
One remedy, however, was always available. Imitating the conduct of all its predecessors and of almost all its successors, the Ministers considered that, if they were unable to redress grievances, they might, at least, preserve order; and consequently determined on asking Parliament for ‘such additional powers as may be found necessary for controlling and punishing the disturbers of the public peace.' There is every reason for believing that Lord John was personally in favour of the policy which was thus pursued. When Mr. O'Connell denounced it as ‘brutal’ and ‘bloody,' Lord John himself called the Irish agitator to order; and in the subsequent debate he avowed his undoubted conviction—
that the dreadful scenes which were occurring in Ireland day after day, that the general insecurity of property, and the peril of life experienced from hour to hour in that country required such an
alteration in the state of the law as might support the supreme authority of the State.
And years afterwards he wrote in his old age—
A measure of coercion containing very strong provisions was sent over by the Government of Ireland. Lord Grey accepted it, because, in his opinion, the protection of life and property was a duty incumbent upon every Government. Lord Althorp accepted it also, because, in his opinion, the stronger the measure the more likely was
it to be temporary, and to give way after a short time to the restoration of the ordinary law.
Lord John's friend and correspondent, Mr. Moore, had differed from Lord John on the subject cf Reform ; he differed from him still more widely on the subject of coercion ; and he despatched to the ‘Times' the well-known lines, “Paddy's Metamorphosis.’ In the poem, Paddy, following other Paddies to the new world, hears himself on his arrival addressed by a negro in his own language, and
in horror yells out Good Lord ' only think, -black and curly already
And the poet adds the moral—
'Tis thus, but, alas ! by a marvel more true
The verses appeared anonymously in the ‘Times' of
March 1. That evening Lord John made a ‘black and curly speech in defence of his colleagues' policy; and the following morning he despatched the following letter to Mr. Moore at Sloperton:—
Dear Moore, Here is, for your “black and woolly already,” if it be yours, more sense, though less poetry.—Yours truly, R March 2. - J. R. THE IRISH ——. In Genoa 'tis said that a jewel of yore Clear, large, and resplendent, ennobled a shrine, Where the faithful in multitudes flocked to adore, And the emerald was pure, and the saint was divine. But the priest who attended the altar was base, And the faithful who worshipp'd besotted and blind ; He put a green glass in the emerald's place, And the multitude still in mute rev'rence inclined. So Ireland had once a fair gem of pure water When Grattan and Charlemont wept at her sorrow, But a token of glass her new patriots have brought her— 'Tis a jewel to-day, 'twill be shiver'd to-morrow.
Coercion, however, was not the only remedy which Mr. Stanley and his colleagues were applying to Ireland. They had the wisdom to acknowledge that the condition of the Irish Church formed the main grievance, or one of the main grievances of the Irish people; and they had the courage to introduce a really comprehensive measure of Church Reform. Ireland, in 1832, was divided into twenty-two bishoprics and subdivided into 1,400 benefices. The bishops' estates were said to be worth 600,000/. a year; though, from being let on leases renewable on fines, the nominal incomes of the sees did not reach more than one-fifth or one-sixth of that sum. The income of the beneficed clergy also amounted to about 600,000/. a year; while the cess, or rate, which could be still imposed for Church purposes in Ireland, yielded a further sum of 60,000/ or 70,000/.
The Bill which the Ministry proposed, and which Lord
' Lord John apparently writing from memory, thought that Mr. Moore had written ‘black and woolly,” and not ‘black and curly.”
Althorp introduced, imposed a tax of from five to fifteen per cent, on all ecclesiastical incomes exceeding 200/ a year; and the proceeds of this tax were applied to the purposes to which the Church cess, which was abolished, had been devoted. Ten of the twenty-two bishoprics were extinguished ; a further saving of 60,000/, was thus effected ; and the Legislature was empowered to deal with this sum as it thought proper. Even in 1832, however, three members of the Cabinet, Lord John, Lord Althorp, and Lord Durham, desired to go much further, and to apply some portion of the savings to the general purposes of education. How strongly Lord John felt on this subject, and how nearly the Grey Administration was broken up upon it, will be seen from the following correspondence —
(No. 1) Whitehall: Oct. 20, 1832.
My dear Lord Grey, Although I did not wish to enter my formal protest last night against the plan adopted by the Government, I yet saw very clearly the result to which I am forced to come. I set out on the principle that a clergy ought to teach religion. It follows that when there neither are nor will be any, or more than an infinitely small fraction of Protestants of the Established Church, it is not necessary or useful to have a clergyman of that Church. This seems no very extravagant proposition, but I should be content not to insist upon it were it not that the disorders of Ireland, at the present moment, hinge upon this very question ; and you have to govern by military law in order to maintain the reverse of my proposition, viz. that the incomes of the Church should be devoted exclusively to the use of one-tenth of the population. I might, it is true, suspend my opinion, as it were, and vote for the plan proposed with the intention of carrying it further at a future time. But the avowal of such an intention, which I should not be able to disguise, even if I wished it, would weaken your Government and make the Church very jealous of adopting it [i.e. the proposed plan]. I admit the difficulty of carrying a measure which should go to the cure of the disease. But I am not bound, on that account, to carry out a system which I think unjust, tending to an effusion of human blood, and the insecurity of life and property in Ireland. Upon these grounds I feel myself compelled to say that I cannot anticipate that I shall be able to support the plan of the Cabinet in that full and entire manner in which it ought to be supported by a member of the Government. The time of my resignation must depend on your judgment and convenience. I feel too much impressed with your kindness to me on every occasion to act in any manner that may embarrass or annoy you.-I remain, my dear Lord Grey, ever yours faithfully,
(No. 2) Whitehall: Oct. 25, 1832.
My dear Lord Grey, On the morning after the Cabinet held at your house on Friday last, I wrote the accompanying letter marked No. 1. But, calling upon Althorp to show him the letter, he informed me, before he read it, of his opinions, which exactly coincided with mine. This made me pause, because, though my resignation might be of little importance, his would lead to a dissolution of the Government, which in the present state of our affairs, foreign and domestic, could not be otherwise than a great calamity. Yesterday evening I received a note from him saying, “I will not say I am convinced, but upon the best consideration I could give to the subject I did not think I should be justified in breaking up the Government,” and saying that ‘for the same reason' he hoped Ishould follow his example.” Undoubtedly I should not feel justified in breaking up the Government. Such an event might probably lead to war in Europe, and certainly would deprive the country of the best hope of a peaceable reform of those institutions which require reform, and a steady maintenance of the principles of the constitution against further demands.
But I feel it due to you to put you in possession of the sentiments I entertained upon hearing the plan for a reform of the Church of Ireland, because, although I could bring myself to vote for that plan without admitting any amendment, yet such a vote would be notoriously against my opinion, and no little harm might accrue to your Government upon that account. I should not say, I need not say, that I looked to a further reform, but on the other hand I could not profess to have altered my opinion any further than this: that a more extensive measure would be impracticable.
Upon the whole, I leave the matter to your judgment to determine whether your Government, which I am most anxious to see continue, will be best supported by my remaining to vote for the plan with such feelings as I entertain, or by my retirement from the Administration. Let me only add that, whatever your decision may
* Lord Althorp went on : “So, as I found Lord Grey quite stout, I o) given way.”
* Lord Althorp concluded : “For your resignation on such a point, or, indeed, on any other, will be fatal to us, perhaps not instantaneously, but in a very short time.”