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you will believe me, when I assure you, that I shall by many degrees prefer innocent death to inglorious and wounded honour.
That I have been foully calumniated, and most grossly insulted, is too notorious; and that I bore it in all meekness and patience is not less so; nor is it a secret, though since overlooked, that during the horrid rebellion in Wexford, I did every thing in my power to serve and save my Protestant neighbours and their property; and if I did not more, it was unfortunate for them and painful for me, that I could not effect it, being myself in constant terror for my life. The fabrications and false tales of the ignorant I can, I thank God, despise; but charges of trea. son or felony are too much for a Christian innocent man to bear.
This consideration, I hope, will make my apology for giving
And most obedient servant,
RESOLUTIONS IN FAVOUR OF MR. FOSTER.....P. 175,
COUNTY OF LOUTH.
AT a numerous and respectable meeting of the Freeholders of the county of Louth, held at Dundalk, on Monday, January the 14th, 1799, the following resolutions were unanimously agreed to.
John M'CLINTOCK, Esq. jun. High Sheriff in the chair. Resolved, That it is the duty as well as the right of the freeholders and burgesses of Ireland to express their sentiments on the subject of a Union.
Resolved, That our representatives were not empowered at their election to surrender the constitutional privileges of their constituents.
Resolved, That the rapid improvement of this kingdom since the date of her legislative independence, clearly evinces that an independent Irish legislature is as necessary as British connec. tion to the prosperity of Ireland.
Resolved, That an Union would not only deprive us of many of our dearest rights, but render the enjoyment of the remainder precarious and uncertain, and would for ever destroy the secu. rity that Ireland now possesses, for their continuance.
Resolved, That it is impolitic and unwise to agitate, at this time, a question that may lead to a recurrence to first principles.
Resolved, That firmly attached as we are to British connection, we do totally disapprove of a plan of a legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland.
Resolved, that these our sentiments be communicated to our representatives, in whose attachment to the constitution and true interests of Ireland we have the most firm reliance.
The high sheriff having left the chair, and Mr. Balfour having taken it, it was resolved,
Th our thanks be given to our worthy high sheriff, for his readiness to convene the county, and his proper conduct in the chair.
To the Electors of the County of Louth.
I THANK you for your sentiments, and it is a great satisfaction to me, to find my own opinion strengthened by your explicit declaration, that an Irish independent legislature is as necessary as British connection to the prosperity of Ireland.
The House of Commons have said so in strong language, when they stated to his majesty in 1782, that the very essence of our liberties exists in the right of a sole legislature, the parliament of Ireland, a right which they then claimed on the part of all the people as their birthright, and which they declared to his majesty they could not yield but with their lives.
I joined in that statement, and we were afterwards told from the throne, that both countries had pledged their good faith to each other, that their best security would be an inviolable ad. herence to that compact; and we were desired to convince the people, that the two kingdoms were then one, indissolubly connected in unity of constitution, and unity of interest.
Nothing then remains to strengthen our union. We have adhered to that compact, so has Great Britain ; and we have risen to prosperity with a rapidness beyond example since it was made, I see no concern either of imperial concern or local necessity, which can justify our attempting a change, much less such a change as would annihilate that birthright, by the confirmation of which our trade and manufactures felt a security that immediately roused a happy spirit of exertion, the surrender of which would not only make the employment of those exertions precarious, but would equally take away all security of perma
nence from every advantage, which any persons might bé ignorantly deluded into a hope of from the projected measure of a legislative Union. In truth, I see much danger, and a probable decrease to our trade and manufactures from the measure, and I cannot conceive any one advantage to them from it.
If the linen manufacture rests at all on any compact, that compact was made with the Irish parliament, the extinction of which takes a way a security we have found adequate, and leaves it without the protection of its natural guardians, who by their vigilance, their regulations and their bounties, have more than doubled its export within a few years past.
As an Irishman then, I should oppose the measure, and as a member of the empire, I should not be less averse to it; for the innovation it would make in the constitution of Great Britain, with whom we must stand or fall, may so endanger that constitution, as in the end to overturn it, and with it the whole of the empire.
Nor can I look at the circumstances of the times without de. preciating its being proposed, when the French proceedings teach us the danger of innovating on the established constitution, and, when it must be peculiarly alarming to Ireland, scarcely rested from a cruel and unprovoked rebellion, to have the public mind again agitated by an unnecessary, unprovoked, and unsolicited project. These are my sentiments.
The entire confidence you repose in my attachment to the constitution, and the true interests of Ireland, call upon me to state them fully to you. You shall not find that confidence misplaced. I shall oppose the measure, and I remain, with the most perfect esteem and affection,
Your very obliged and
John Foster. Collon, January 15th, 1799.
To the Electors of the County of Louth. GENTLEMEN,
I HAVE received your address, and return you my thanks for the confidence you have placed in me.
I entirely agree with you, that an independent Irish legislature is as necessary as British connection to the prosperity of Ireland, and that it is impolitic at present to agitate a question of legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland.
I have the honour to be,
WILLIAM CHARLES FORTESCUE. Ravensdale Park, Fanuary 15th, 1799.
CITY OF DUBLIN. At a general assembly of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Commons, and citizens of the city of Dublin, held on the 18th of January, 1799, the following resolutions were unanimously agreed to :
Resolved, That by the exertions of the people and parliament of this kingdom, the trade and constitution thereof were settled on principles so liberal, that the nation has risen ever since rapidly in wealth and consequence.
Resolved, That having boldly defended the conssitution in king, lords, and commons, against the open secret and abettors of rebellion, we are determined steadily to oppose any attempt that may be made to surrender the free legislation of this kingdom, by uniting it with the legislature of Great Britain,
Resolved, That viewing the measure of an Union with Great Britain as one fraught with the most fatal consequences to this kingdom, tending to annihilate the constitution thereof, any person bringing forward such a proposition, would in our opinion be an enemy to the king's government in this country by endangering the peace and tranquillity of the kingdom.
Resolved, That it is our duty and our determination to support inviolably the prerogatives of the crown, as well as the privileges of the people.
Resolved, That any minister who shall advise his majesty, by the exercise of any of his prerogatives, to influence or deter any member of the legislature from the free use of his judgment in parliament, will thereby commit a high crime against the honour and dignity of the crown, the independence of the parliament, and the constitution of the realm. Resolved, That the foregoing resolutions be published.
Signed by order,
ALLEN and GREENE, Town Clerks. Be it remembered, that at a general assembly of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Commons, and citizens of the city of Dublin, held on the 18th day of January, 1799 it was resolved unanimously, that the following address be presented to the Right Honourable John Foster, Speaker of the House of Commons of Ireland. The Address of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Commons, and Citizens of Dublin, in Common Council
AMIDST the terror which the threatened invasion of our liberties, and our fortunes, and our commerce have spread
around, the hearts of Irishmen, though sickened with disgust, and influenced with indignation, are yet strangers to despair. From those talents and that virtue, in which she has often found relief, your country again demands protection. Suffer not a nation, to which you have heretofore been a shield, to expire without an effort to save her. Come forward with all that ani. mated zeal for the welfare of the empire, with that affectionate attachment to British connection, with that ardent love for Ireland, and that parental care of her commercial and constitutional rights, by which you have been ever distinguished. Bring with you that penetrating judgment and capacious wisdom, that commanding eloquence and bold integrity, with which you have hitherto supported those dear but valuable interests. Demonstrate to the world, that the assertions of our enemies are not motives, but pretexts; that their arguments are idle and delu. sive ; that while they affect to promote the trade and agriculture of Ireland, to secure our alliance with Britain, and to invigorate the energies of the empire, they are proceeding wickedly and wantonly to undermine them all.
In testimony whereof the common seal of said city is hereunto affixed, the day and year aforesaid.
The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, board of Aldermen, Town Clerks, High Sheriff, and Corporation at large, having waited on the Right Honourable the Speaker with said address, he was pleased to return the following answer: MY LORD AND GENTLEMEN,
TO be so honoured by the city of Dublin, which has ever been eminently conspicuous for its loyalty, its attachment to our constitution, and its watchful vigilance over all our rights and interests, fills me with sentiments of gratitude and honest pride, which you can more readily conceive than I can express. Accept my grateful and cordial thanks, and be sure of my zealous perseverance in the conduct you approve.
You have very justly joined a zeal for the empire and attachment to British connection with an ardent love for Ireland. No man can be a sound friend to Ireland, who does not feel that zeal and that attachment, nor can he ever be an efficient friend, if he does not in every public measure hold them in his view, and make them the rule of his conduct.
Since the constitution of this kingdom was settled, by its right to a sole, separate, and exclusive legislation, being unequivocally confirmed, we have seen its prosperity rising rapidly, yet steadily, its resources increasing for the support of the empire, and those resources liberally and effectually applied. We have seen, and still see mutual acts of kindness between the two kingdoms strengthening their comection, and any commercial jealousies