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Sunday, August 20, 2017
Date Posted:

Days of Deliverance Part 4: The Deliverance Of The Protestants Of Ireland

Dr Clive Gillis

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chr. 7:14.

IN OUR LAST article, (BCN 26 December 2003), we introduced Dean William King who wrote the State of the Protestants of Ireland under the late King James Government (1691).  It is a justification of the actions of Protestants in Ireland at that time.  What King wrote is as relevant today as it was then.

We intend in this article to quote from Dean William King’s Prologue to State of the Protestants of Ireland with careful editing for ease of reading.

The Officers employed by King James (II)

“I suppose the Reason why one Man is allowed to possess a greater Estate in a Commonwealth than another and to maintain himself by the labour to attend to the public business of his Country and of such Men every wise and well designing King will supply himself and their Interest will support him.

“But James (II) employed the scum and rascality of the world.  This made him fond of the Irish who had lost their Estates (confiscated after the 1641 Rebellion) who depended wholly on espousing his Interest, and serving him without reserve.  Many had been servants to Protestants, the Officers of the Army had been Cow-herds Horse-boys or Footmen (to the Protestants).  Even so, none of these were their worst men by reason of their Education amongst the Protestants.  They understood more than those who had lived wild on the mountains.  James fondness to employ those who had only what he gave them was obvious.  These could never thrive but my making him absolute, they would never demur at any Command.”

The mischievous Consequences to the Kingdom

“The Poverty (of these rapidly promoted Papists) was not their worst fault.  A poor man may be both honest and able for the greatest Trust.  But they neither had fit Education nor had applied their minds to Management.  Officers made themselves ridiculous by their Blunders and Mistakes.  One that a few days before was no other than a Cowherd to his Protestant Landlord perhaps was set before him on the Bench as a Justice of the Peace.

“This was the condition in Ireland from the King’s Privy Council and Secretaries of State down in the High Constables which must and did bring many Inconveniences to the Kingdom.  They were so proud, lazy and dull they neither would, nor could make themselves better by Application or Industry … They had nothing to recommend them to the King, but that they were Papists who would never scruple any Command however illegal or absurd to weaken or destroy Protestants, which was the sole Qualification which recommended them.”

James had Officers … fitted to destroy a Kingdom

How rare was it to find amongst them a man that had ordinary Moral Honesty.  True they made conscience of hearing Mass, and not eating flesh on Fridays, but hardly anything else.  (Men who had been) Infamous whilst the Government was in the Hands of Protestants, for Forgeries, Perjuries, Robberies and Burglaries, were all indifferently employed by them (the Government).  That some such should be admitted to the Army, is not so much to be wondered at, but that honest Gentlemen should be turned out to make room for them, was intolerable.  And not only the Army (but) the Courts of Justice were filled with such.

“There was another sort of People, I mean Converts to their Religion….

“Converts to their Religion, had mighty favour with them.  He is a very dishonest Man that dissembles or alters his Opinion, without any other visible motive besides Gain or Preferment.  Now this was the case of many of their Officers.

“Children of Papists … were taught to read and write by the kindness of their (Protestant) master.  (They) were preferred becoming Counsellors at Law, Attorneys and Clerks.  Upon the Change of Affairs most began to despise their Benefactors … and in order to get Preferments … declared in their hearts … they had been Roman Catholics all along.  These (false) Converts … were uncharitable, and void of compassion.  They turned vast numbers of Protestants out of their houses and left them … begging.  They abused betrayed and imprisoned (Protestants) and drank damnation to all Heretics especially the Prince and Princess of Orange.”

James Officers … destroyed Laws Liberties and Religion

“(In ancient Ireland) Heads of Clans were absolute over Tenants.  Their Wills passed for Laws, and all their Proceedings were merely arbitrary and despotic.  (The ‘Old’ Pre-Reformation) English who came over, at first (also) made their Tenants Vassals and Slaves, except in the English Pale, land about 20 miles from Dublin.  Whatever the Landlord (wanted) he sent to the Tenant’s house for and caused it to be brought.  This practice was called Coshering.  The old Landlords that had not forfeited their estates in 1641 … were so burdensome by their exactions, the tenants were miserable and poor and the Estates unimproved.  Whereas the English were content with their Rents from their Tenants, who were able to live well and grow rich.  The native Irish (once with) a Protestant Landlord, would hardly ever be persuaded to come under one of his own Religion.”

Popish Landlord who had lost their Estates

“Many Old Landlord (who) lost their estates for their Rebellion in 1641 and their murdering Protestants at that time had (already) mortgaged their estates for more than their value to two or three times … to several persons.  Yet they still continued an Estate their own if either they or their ancestors had it in their possession at any time, though they had sold it or been (legally evicted).  Yet they have such influence on the Tenants of their own Nation and (Roman Catholic) Religion … who live on those lands, these (Papist tenants) look on them still as Landlords.  These pretended Gentlemen with numerous Coshering Popish Clergy who lived much after the same manner, were the two greatest Grievances of the Kingdom.  The Laws of England were intolerable to them, nor could they subsist under them.”

Popish Landlords who retained their estates

“Popish Landlords who retained their Estates, (were enraged) to find the Bodough (a derogatory term for poor Popish tenants) should have equal justice.  That a Landlord should be called to account for killing or robbing his Tenant, or ravishing his Daughter, seemed to them an unreasonable hardship, insufferable to men unused to Law.  Every time they were crossed by a tenant that would not patiently bear their Impositions, they cursed in their hearts the Laws of England and called to mind the glorious Days of the Ancestors who with a Word of their Mouths hung or ruined their dependants as they pleased and had in themselves the power of peace or War.  Their clergy (the priests) pushed them on (fuelling this resentment).”

James chose men to destroy Liberties and Laws and the Protestants in particular

“Now these very men were the Officers and instruments that King James trusted above all others. He espoused their Interest from the time he had thoughts of the Crown.  They were his Favourites and Confidants.  To provide for them he turned his English and Protestant subjects first out of the Army, then out of their Civil Trusts and Employments and lastly out of their Fortunes and Estates.  Those men were at enmity to the Laws and fitted for that Constitution of Slavery under which he designed to bring the Kingdoms.  None were more fawning to their Superiors than they, none more insolent and tyrannous to their Inferiors.  The bargain between him and them was plainly this, restore us to our former Power Estates and Religion and we will serve you as you please, in your own way (italics his).”

Damn your Laws

“These (disaffected Papists) found the King’s legal power could never destroy them (even though James II wished it) to the condition at which they aimed.  No legal Parliament would ever alter the Laws and Constitution of the Kingdom to gratify them.  No wonder therefore they promoted an absolute and despotic power in the King (James II).  They were liberal with their curses and Imprecations against anyone that dare allege their proceedings were illegal, Damn your Laws was their word, We know no reason why our King should not be as absolute as the King of France, we will make him so.  They swore with bloody oaths and bitter imprecations they would never subject themselves to any King that was not of their Religion.”

The Council of Killkenny was well known to King James (II)

“These were not the discoursed of one or two hot headed fellows, but they universally talked at this rate.  Their predecessors were eager to recover this power in 1641.  Their supreme Council of Kilkenny sent Commissioners with instructions to offer up the Kingdom and themselves to the Pope, the King of Spain or any other Popish Prince that would accept the offer.  This was well known to King James. He might very well conclude that they who were wiling to submit themselves to a Foreign Power, to be rid of the laws of England would heartily join with him to destroy them (the Protestants).”

I have put a sword into your hands

“(This) was also the common and encouraging speech of the Earl of Tyrconnel.  From the very beginning, particularly when … he took his leave of several Privy Counsellors and Officers at his going to wait on King James at Chester in August 1687, “I have put the sword into your hands”.  And then in his usual type prayed, “God to damn them all if they ever parted with it again”.


Proof of Rome’s complicity in the elevation of Tyrconnel to head up their offensive in Ireland is found on page 301 of the Appendix.  Modern historians try to distance James II from Tyrconnel.

Letter of the (Roman Catholic) Irish Clergy to King James II in favour of the Earl of Tyrconnel.  Dublin: July 1865.  (Only months after James II became King).

It has pleased Almighty Providence by placing Your Majesty upon the Throne of your Ancestors … to give you both Authority and Occasions to exercise Royal virtues.  We are … so remote from your Majesties presence that our prayers can have no access to you except by a mediator.  Of all others, the Earl of Tyrconnel did first espouse and chiefly maintain these twenty years past the Cause of your poor oppressed Roman Catholic Clergy against our many and powerful adversaries, and is now the only subject of your Majesties presence that our prayers can have no access to you except by a mediator.  Of all others, the Earl of Tyrconnel did first espouse and chiefly maintain these twenty years past the Cause of your poor oppressed Roman Catholic Clergy against our many and powerful adversaries, and is now the only subject of your Majesty, under whose fortitude and popularity in this Kingdom, we dare cheerfully and with assurance own our loyalty and assert your Majesty’s interest. We do make it our humble suit to your Majesty that you will be pleased to lodge your authority over us in his (Tyrconnel's) hands to the terror of the factious and encouragement of your faithful subjects here. We doubt not but that they [the disaffected Papists] will receive him (Tyrconnel) as the Israelites did their redeemer Mordecai.

"And since your Majesty in glory and power does equal the mighty Ahasuerus and the virtue and beauty of your Queen is a true parallel to his adored Hester (Esther), we humbly beseech that she may be heard as our great patroness, against that Haman (“The villain of the Book of Esther who plots to massacre the Jews when his vanity is hurt by Mordecai's refusal to bow to him. He is eventually hanged on the gallows prepared for Mordecai.” The Protestant Heretics were being likened to Haman by the priests.) whose pride and ambition ... hitherto kept us in slavery. We wish none the fate of so dreadful example, but rather a timely penitence and conversion. We yet humbly crave your Majesty's protection ... If it may consist with your royal wisdom and pleasure, to which we with all humility submit, in the establishing of the said Earl of Tyrconnel, in such authority here, as may secure us in the exercise of our function, to the honour of God, and offering up our Prayers and Sacrifice [masses] for the continuation of your Majesty's long and prosperous reign over us.

The letter was signed ‘Your Majesty’s most dutiful and obedient servants’. In the next article we shall hear, DV, Dean William King describe how Rome so tightened the screw upon the Protestants that any Deliverance humanly speaking became impossible.

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