At a meeting to oppose the Charitable Bequests Act, in Dublin Spi- talfields Market, on Friday, Mr. O'Connell read a letter from the Ro- man Catholic Archbishop of Dublin to the Reverend Dr. Spratt ; in which the Archbishop said-
" I took Mr. O'Connell's legal opinion to the Park yesterday, and had an in- terview with the Lord-Lieutenant and Lord Eliot on the subject of it. They promised to have a regular case made out and submitted to the Crown-lawyers together with Mr. O'Connell's opinion. They declared it was not by any means the intention of the framers of the Charitable Bequests Act to impose any new restriction on religious orders ; and Lord Eliot assured me, that if it should be found that the act would have that effect, measures would be taken to apply a legal remedy." The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh has published a very fierce letter against the Charitable Bequests Bill, addressed to the clergy of his diocese. The spirit of the epistle may be gathered from one passage, in which be speaks with bitterness at Dr. Murray and others of his brother Prelates- " Notwithstanding such a host of opponents to this execrable bill, a rumour has been industriously sent forth that some professing Catholics, nay, that some of the Catholic Prelates are ready to become Commissioners to carry such a law into execution ! This must be a gross calumny on the members of that body : nor should we on this occasion allude to this report, if this were a measure in which any lay Catholic or any Prelate, acting according to the dictates of his conscience, could do so without invading the rights, usurping the authority, and encroaching on the essential and apostolical jurisdiction of every Catholic Bishop in Ireland."
It is reported that the Honourable Hely Hutchinson, brother to the Earl of Donoughmore, will stand for the county of Tipperary ; and it is also said that a Conservative candidate will come forward.
Mr. Grey Porter has published, in the shape of a pamphlet, his long- expected plan for improving the Parliamentary relations between Eng- land and Ireland. The title is " Calm Observations upon Irish Affairs' ; its motto, "II faut reculer pour mieux seater." It begins with this
" 1 envy men who are younger than I am, as they will have more time to serve Ireland.'—O'Comoam., no 1844.
" I wish to raise my country either to her full, fair share, in partnership with Great Britain, in the honours, and management, and advantages, of the Hiberno-British Empire; or, by slow and sure steps, to the dignity of an in- dependent state.
" Crockuafarbrague Lodge. 29th November 1844."
Next there is a
" ' Register, register, register ! '—Smrrn O'BRIEN. " I beg leave to dedicate Letter A to William Smith O'Brien, Esq., M.P., the Bayard of true Irishmen, Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche."
Then there is a " Notice " ; which Mr. Porter begins by saying- " About three months ago I threw a stone at the two following maxims, which have guided the government of Ireland for several hundred year " ; and which he describes as subjecting the interests of Ireland to the exigencies of England and English Ministers. The scheme is thus set forth- " A PLAN OF POLITICAL UNION BETWEEN THE ISLANDS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
" Quiets non molere."
" (I.) That the Imperial Parliament in London shall continue to be the supreme legislative authority, under the Queen, over the whole Hiberno-British empire. (2.) That no bill of any political act of Parliament to be in force in Ire- land, (except only all acts which relate to the Imperial Army, Navy, and Ord- nance,) shall for the future be laid before the House of Commons, or the House of Lords, without the previous approbation of a majority of the Irish Members, or of the Irish Peers, to be called by the Speaker of the House of Commons, or by the Chairman of the House of Lords, by such notice, at such time and place, and in such manner, as shall herearter be settled by the Imperial Parliament.
" Several voices, English, Scotch, and Irish, Whig and Tory, all at once— Well ; you have hit the nail on the bead. " Honest Irishman—A short, simple, and sensible plan ; above all, a prac- ticable plan, that may, with her Majesty's consent, be put in execution next session. I am sick of all this agitation. "Federalist—Why, this plan would give ns a Local and an Imperial Parlia- ment all in one. It has all the best advantages of Federalism, without the ri- valry between two Legislatures sitting in two different places. " Author—Well, 1 always aim at the substance, and not at shadow. You need not praise my plan before my face; but pray stand up for me like a man behind my back. " Red-hot Englishman—We must in some way show up this horrible and most dangerous plan, which would soon establish and keep up a high national spirit in Ireland. I shall try to persuade the Irish people that it falls short of their rights—that it gives too much to England, too little to Ireland—in order to lead them away from this plan, after some unattainable will-o'-the-wisp, till I can put my foot upon their necks. "Author (in his sleeve)—The Irish people have now had rather a long and severe political apprenticeship, and begin to understand your character and their own affairs.
" Editor of the Times* (tapping his forehead)—Ah, I wonder I never thought of this plan. " Author—I am sure I do not wonder; for you know as much about Ireland as I do about Japan.
" TO ALL HONEST IRISPMEN.
" The following plan is drawn up on these grounds- " (I.) That Ireland should, for her own sake, continue to send her Members to the imperial Parliament in London, and, with Great Britain, to form the • ..a of the Hiberno-British empire; and should vindicate to herself a full, fair gla 1 in its great advantages.
" (2.) That a warm and generous national spirit should be cherished in Ire- land, as the best element of national honour, strength, and prosperity.
" (3.) That a strong and bond fide militia—the proper defence of a free country—should be set on foot and kept up in Ireland.
" Honest Man—Ay; I would like well to see a good militia of 100,000 men in Ireland, with a few cavalry to please the women at reviews. It is quite in the spirit of our constitution ; and it would give our Members pluck. in the House of Commons in London."
• I hale a rod iu pickle for this newspaper."
There are several other things in the pamphlet,—" General Observa- tions," with dialoquial comments interspersed as above ; a list of Acts of Parliament passed during four years of the present reign, &c. In some remarks on the catalogue of Acts, Mr. Porter says- " About seventeen acts which relate to Ireland only, and about nine which relate to Ireland and Great Britain, would be laid before the Irish Members every year : now ten only of these twenty-six acts, at most, would give rise to much discussion, to much difference of opinion ; but in order to prevent, by any chance, the long separation of the Irish Members from the whole House, which during that time would be unable to discharge its chief duties, I think the bills should be laid, after due notice, before them only for their votes, not for discussion. if their majority vote against the bill, or (in the case of the bills which relate to Great Britain and Ireland) against those clauses of the bill which relate to Ireland, then that bill, or the clauses of that bill, are thrown out; if in favour, then that bill, or the clauses of that bill, will appear soon afterwards in the whole House, where there will be ample room for its discus- sion."
In the course of his "Calm Observations," Mr. Porter makes this extraordinary avowal—" I would so much wish to see a good Parliament in Dublin, I would almost hope this plan may not succeed"!
The meeting of the Repeal Association was held on Monday. Mr. Henry Grattan, M.P., took the chair, and delivered a somewhat dis- cursive speech. He took occasion to declare that he had treated offers of promotion with contempt. He had been himself offered a place, and was told that the Chancellor would promote him still higher if he miti- gated his political feelings : he was not strong enough, or he would have flung the gentleman who had brought the message out of the window.
Mr. O'Connell said that letters had been received from the counties of Leitrim and Cavan, stating that Ribandmen, under the ludicrous appellation of "Moll Maguire," had committed outrages to a most formidable extent. It was evident that some designing knaves were going among the people and misleading them ; but they would find She bitter consequences of it when it was too late. He moved- " That Thomas Steele, Esq., the Head Pacificator of Ireland, be requested to go down to Cavan and Leitrim, and to make the best exertions that he possibly can to put an end to the disturbances existing there, and, if necessary, to bring the perpetrators of them to justice."
Mr. O'Connell excused himself for not producing the report of the Committee on his ten "propositions" against the Union ; pleading busi- ness which had prevented his attendance at the meetings of the Com- mittee. He went on to attack Louis Philippe, the Journal des Debats, and the French press generally ; and then, after defending himself from the charge made by the Morning Advertiser, that be was inconsistent in giving up Repeal for Federalism, he assailed the Morning Chronicle, which had come out against him on the same subject— Now, there was a good deal of cajolery in the course taken by that paper latterly. The writers in the Chronicle appeared to think that he was so young a bird that they:could catch him with their chaff: but he disregarded their cajo- lery ; and as to any accusation from any quarter of inconsistency in his con- duct, he would treat it with the utmost contempt. While he was looking for Emancipation, i.e often found himself obliged to abandon one course that he found impracticable to adopt another, and he was then told that he was incon- sistent; but he was all the time advancing towards the one object, and he merely went round the rock instead of waiting to cut through it.
But he reserved his most violent language for the Examiner, which had censured him for speaking of the "impenetrability" of the English mind.
He declared that the miscreant who wrote it was grovelling in his garret while he himself was struggling for his country, and successfully struggliug ; and was that the recompense which he was now to get from an anonymous scoundrel scribbler? His reply to the Examiner at their last meeting was in the harshest and severest language he could command ; but he would ask them, in what other terms should such calumnious falsehoods be spoken of ? He bad called him a miscreant, a base calumniator, and a foul liar ; and these, he repeated, were suitable terms to speak of him, unless any harsher words could be found in the English language—in which, he admitted, they were too soft. The fellow who assailed him in that way was a base, brutal, ay, and he believed a bribed wretch ; though whether he were bribed or not did not make much matter, for the rascal who would so act for nothing could scarcely be made worse, even by bribery.
He subsequently referred to Mr. Grey Porter's recent pamphlet ; reading passages from it— Some parts of the plan he considered impracticable ; but it was not the less worthy of the most attentive consideration. He approved most highly of his ingestion with regard to the foundation of a national militia ; but he would defer arming them till the Irish Parliament assembled. If fifty gentlemen such as Mr. Grey Porter came forward and declared themselves in favour of a Domestic Legislature, the independence of Ireland would be secure. Suppose a million, with these fifty gentlemen at their head, met on Tars Hill, and adopted a petition commencing with these words, " We the undersigned, being of a fighting age humbly deplore," &c. Did they imagine such a remonstrance would remain unheeded ? He considered the Englishman as not possessing common sense who shut his eyes to the present condition of this country.
The rent for the week was 3331.
The Marquis of Londonderry and his eldest son Lord Castlereagh were entertained at a public dinner, in Newtownards Assembly Rooms, On the 4th instant, by the tenantry of the Marquis's estates of Newto wn- ards, Comber, and Killinchy. The dinner, certifieth the Northern Whig, "was served up in the first style, and the bill of fare comprised the choicest viands of the season, the various dishes being of the best quality : the wines were of excellent vintage." Mr. Guy Stone, a Justice of the Peace, presided; and a number of gentry and clergy of several denominations were among the guests. On the right hand of the Chairman, sat Lord Londonderry and his second son, Lord Seaham ; en the left, Lord Castlereagh. Atter the dinner, Lady Londonderry and a party of ladies entered a gallery specially provided for them be- hind the chair. The best feeling prevailed. The harmony was not even interrupted by an untoward speech early in the evening, from a clergyman of the Established Church, the Re- verend J. F. Jex Blake ; who responded to the toast " The Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese." He spoke in a spirit of bitter sectarianism, the most inopportune ; praising Lord Londonderry for being "a strenuous advocate for the furtherance of evangelical truth," and for his address to Sir Robert Peel against the system of National Education. The speech was interlarded with still more offensive phrases : " It had been foolishly and absurdly stated and reported that some of the clergy of his Church were taking a Rome-ward course,—a circumstance, if true, which no man could deplore more than he " ; all his brethren in the ministry would always present " the strongest barrier that could be opposed to Popish tyranny and superstition and error of every species " ; the union of Church and State has for its object "not to make the Church political but the State religious, and the more religious the State is the better "; " the Church, it was true, had enemies without— and where was the Church that had not ?—(he prayed God that they might be forgiven)—but as to a traitor in the whole camp, he did not believe there was a single one." This speech elicited strong marks of disapprobation. The next toast was " The Clergy of other Denomi- nations," — which was acknowledged by three reverend gentlemen ; and they delivered a negative rebuke to Mr. Blake by alluding to the prevalent absence of sectarian feeling, and especially in the conduct of Lord Londonderry himself Lord Castlereagh spoke in a similar spirit. The Marquis, however, ventured upon a direct rebuke : he was alluding to some perversion of what he had said about the Corn-lairs at the dinner which he gave to his tenants lately, and, in qualifying his complaint against the newspapers, he remarked that "he did not mean to say that the public press would not give him a better speech than he could deliver, and he was sure it would also give his reverend friend a much better speech than he bad made." This drew forth applause and laughter.
The routine toasts disposed of, the Chairman, with an eulogiam on Lord Londonderry, proposed his health as " the best of landlords." To the burst of cheering which backed that eulogy, Lord Londonderry re- plied with warmth. He then adverted to some questions of the day. First, he corrected some misrepresentation to which his previous remarks had been subjected— His impression of what be said, and what he believed he had stated on that occasion, was, that they should be prepared for any change likely to occur; no man could answer for what changes a Minister might be compelled to make. He had admonished his tenantry to be prepared for the worst; and because he had done so, was it to be argued he had turned Corn-law Leaguer ? Quite the reverse ; for when he looked at his own tenantry and saw what agricultural protection had done for them, how could he advocate such a change as that sought for by the Corn-law League ? On the contrary, was it not his duty to urge upon them the necessity of making such improvements in their modes of agriculture as would enable them to set any such alterations as those at defiance?
He also explained what he understood by tenant right (a custom which Lord Castlereagh afterwards said his family first established)-
" Since I had the pleasure of meeting you last, many have asked me what I mean by tenant-right ? Others have said, ' Lord Londonderry, I do not go along so far as you do with regard to tenant-right.' Now, what I understand, and wish be to understood, by tenant-right, is this. The tenants in Ireland pay for all their buildings, farm-steads, gates, &c., themselves. In England, all these expenses are borne, at the half-yearly audits, by the landlord or pro- prietor. There can be no doubt, therefore, that an Irish tenant has a much greater claim upon the land he holds than an English farmer. But the tenant- right on this estate probably commenced in the assurance from my forefathers, that if the farmer, holding a lease, improved his farm, laid out his money, and paid his rents, neither he nor any of his descendants should be disturbed by strangers when that first lease fell out. This system being acted upon, gave great confidence to the tenantry ; and the next proceeding was, that they were induced to lay out all their capital, the amount of all their means, on their farms and holdings. Thus, all their property became vested in the proprietor's land. Their tenements were as it were a bank for their savings : how cruel and dishonourable it would have been, then, when their lease dropped, to look for or admit competition for all the good tenant's earnings? The commission of the privilege to sell them was the just act of my fathers, which gives confidence to the tei ant, and is the guarantee to him that the fruits of his labour can never be lost to him or his family ; for cases may and must arise where the privilege of keeping and holding on a farm would be impossible or unavailing to a man. The loss, then, of the capital expended to such individual and his family would be ruinous, it permission to sell were re- fused ; and even although such instances might be rare, it would effectually deter the tenantry from hazarding the expenditure, so necessary for their own success and their landlord's prosperity. It has not been my habit to require to know the prices given and received ; and it has been objected that very high and unreasonable prices are asked and received. This may be an objection; but all I say is, the purchaser is/he best judge of what he can afford and the seller of what he thinks tit to take; and I don't feel I have on this a tight to be a grand inquisitor, if all parties are satisfied. But there is a point on which strict investigation is always made at the office; and that is, that the chazacter, substance, and capability of the• man entering upon the farm, is such as to make him an eligible and advantageous tenant. It must always be remem- bered, that I reserve the right of objecting, by the clause in your leases, if there shall appear any just cause or reason; and I refuse at my pleasure yclur letting to one man, and may desire you to look out for another. But these instances are as rare almost as your exercising on my estate your right of re- tiring ; for in the twenty-two years I have presided over you, I have just had eighty sales—about five or six every year. The fine paid for tenant-right is often exorbitant ; but, as the tendency of the system is salutary, the greater good should not be sacrificed for the prevention of the lesser evil. Another advantage tenant-right affords, from the reservation by the landlord, by the non-alienation clause in the lease—it prevents further subdivisions.of farms, by requiring, which I do, and which is not objected to by tenants, that small holdings shall be sold chiefly to persons already holding farms on the estate. There is only one case on my estate where any disappointment ever occurred. As the best test of the advantage of tenant-right, it may be suffi- cient to point out the condition of the districts where it exists and where' it does not: in the one, all is confidence and comfort, and no anxiety; in the other, distrust, jealousy, fear to improve, lest the landlord alone should derive benefit. But tenant-right must not be confounded with the unexplained dee- trine of fixity of tenure. Tenant-right is the voluntary concession of a privi- lege by the landlord; fixity of tenure, as contended for, would constitute a proprietary, and all would then be landlords and no tenants. Such a law'or arrangement would be impossible." There was one very gratifying circumahnice connected with his estates, to which he would now allude. Daring the period which be had presided over them, and though they were thirty English wires in extent, what were the number at' evictions? Why, these were _only thirteen actual evictions. neither Irelased oar Ragland, ite.isvaiplos- lima, could show a table of such results. He had five thousand acres out of lease at present ; and when those farms were valued, he would be prepared to grant new leases to the holders, in order to make assurance doubly sure. He referred to another point : be had been warned that he would incur some unpopularity by granting sites for certain places of worship- * His answer was, that ever since he came to preside over these estates—and .he believed the same principle had been carried out by his lamented father be- fore him—he had never refused to grant to Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, or other Dissenting body of his tenantry, a piece of ground on which to erect a house for the worship of God in such a way as the consciences of the people dictated. That very day a deputation had waited on him, with a request that he would collect for them at the opening of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Belfast; and these gentlemen had shown him a letter from his late revered father expressing his intention to comply with a similar request made of him : and why should he depart from the excellent sentiments entertained by his father? Why should he refuse them their request, when he saw the Legisla- ture, on a late occasion, passing such a measure as the Dissenters' Chapels Bill? He hoped that on his estates no body of Christians would ever want a piece of ground for the erection of a house for the worship of God—every man m his own way, in the manner which in their opinion would be most pleasing to their God and in accordance with the dictates of their own consciences. If he were wanting any further argument for the adoption of that line of con- duct, it would be found in a passage contained in the kind address which had been presented to him a few days ago by his tenantry. The passage to which he alluded was as follows—" We venture to express a hope, that by order, industry, and scientific improvement in our agricultural pursuits—by harmony, good-will, and friendship in our social intercourse—and by a cordial union of all sects and parties in loyalty to our Queen, obedience to her laws, and a deter- mination to maintain in our several stations of life the peace and wellbeing of her united empire, we may prove to the world that your Lordship's advice and'example have been fully appreciated and practised by us." If these elegant words and excellent sentiments, which, he was proud to say, were echoed over the Lough of Strangford, were more universal—if they were heard through Leinater, and Munster, and Connaught—a vast change would soon exhibit itself among the people; they might then look for greater prosperity in those provinces than they had hitherto witnessed. If such sentiments were general throughout Ireland, the whole face of the country would he altered— that country above all others which was dear to his heart, and in whose wel- fare he was so deeply interested.
This speech was as much applauded as might have been expected. At the close Lord Londonderry gave, " Health and prosperity to my beloved tenantry of my Newtownards and Comber estates." In acknowledging the toast, Mr. John Miller mentioned some reasons for Lord London- derry's success as a landlord.
The rents charged by his Lordship were fair, and the tenants both should and would pay them. He used not refer, except for contrast, to the tenants on other estates; but one of the great reasons of the superiority of their (the Lon- donderry tenantry's) condition was this—that many other landlords still en- deavoured to get the rents received when war-prices for produce were going ; but Lord Londonderry adopted a more generous, and, it now turned out, a wiser course : he lowered his rents, as he found it judicious to do so. • • * How happy were they in that neighbourhood compared to the inhabitants of other parts of the country. Here all was peace and quietness. People were not afraid to go over their threshold at night. His Lordship— but that would be a small compliment—no man on the estate would be harmed or molested, let him be out at what hour he might. If they had complaints to make, they took the wisest way of complaining—they didn't tell the proprietor of the soil what they objected to by shooting his agent, nor did they let him know their wants by setting fire to his house. (Langlikr.) The people here explained their wants, and a ready ear was given them. Lord Castlereagh was not less cordially hailed ; and he responded in congenial spirit. In excuse for the young noble's somewhat too great absenteeism from the estate, it was hinted by the Chairman that he would give the tenantry a fair reason for not having resided more among them. Lord Castlereagh gave forth the last toast—" Our next merry meeting."
In the Dublin Court of Chancery, yesterday week, the Lord Chan- cellor gave judgment in the case of the Attorney-General versus Hutton. The application of certain funds and the use of two chapels were dis- puted: the funds were left and the chapels built more than a century since, for the use of " Protestant Dissenting Congregations"; they are now possessed by Unitarians, and their right to them was disputed. The Lord Chancellor decided, that as no specific articles of religion were mentioned in the bequests, and as the present congregations had pos- sessed the chapels more than twenty-five years, they must, under the provisions of the Act of last session, be considered the rightful possessors. There are a few " agrarian outrages" reported this week. Mr. Sa- muel ltd`Kim was shot in his own house, near Sligo, on the 3d instant, by some person who fired through the window ; motive unknown. Patrick Curren, a substantial farmer, was rising from a chair at the fireside of his house, at Gurteen near Clara, when he was in like man- ner wounded in the arm, shoulder, and breast, by a bullet and some slags. On the 3d, James Murray and John Kennedy, brothers-in-law, quarrelled about some land which they held jointly ; there was a conflict among their friends, and Murray received a mortal blow ; of which he died on the 5th. An armed party entered the house of Joseph Burk, at Douras, in King's County, on Friday, during the man's absence, fired shots over the head of his wife, destroyed some seed-wheat, hay, and agricultural implements, and left word that Burk had better prepare his coffin : he is herd to Mr. Blackett, who lately took some land from his tenants, making them compensation in money. William Shea, an old man, was killed with a stone, by his son Michael, at Kilvemuon, near Callan, because he was spreading some seed-wheat for a sick son-in-law with whom Michael had quarrelled.