Vox Hiberni? E Desert Clamantis

Vox Hiberni? E Desert Clamantis

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Excerpt from Vox Hiberni? E Desert Clamantis: Or Ireland Her Grievances and Their Remedies

The corn, the cattle, the manufactures of Ireland, such as they are, are all exported to meet the demands of tax gatherers, and the enormous rents remitted to absentees and to English corporations, who refuse to give leases sufficiently long to justify an outlay in the improvement of the country by proper cultivation, or by building, or the erection of factories, even in localities where they are most required. Thus in Ireland everything languishes. Her marts are unfrequented. Of foreign commerce she has none. England absorbs all, devours all, and gives nothing in return but unwise legislative enactments unsuited to the country, and which leave us in a worse condition than before.

Berkeley, the celebrated philosopher, a Fellow of Trinity College, and afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, pointed out those evils, and suggested various means for their removal. Swift, Dean of Saint Patrick's, powerfully pleaded for Ireland, and proclaimed her wrongs. In one of his addresses he advised the Irish to burn everything that came from England, except their coals. In a letter to the Lord Lieutenant, among other suggestions, he recommends him to endeavour to obtain the support of the Grattans, for their influence with the Irish public was equal to two regiments of infantry.

Whether it be from hereditary teaching or some instinctive impulse of patriotic devotion, it is not easy to say, but the Grattan name in Ireland has since then more than maintained its original place in public opinion, for of this name and lineage was Henry Grattan, my father's kinsman.

Henry Grattan, returned as a representative through the patronage of the Earl of Charlemont, by his eloquence and liberal views soon became a leader in the Irish parliament. He was a strenuous advocate for Catholic emancipation. He claimed and obtained free trade for Ireland. Supported by the Irish Volunteers, he set the English minister at defiance, and compelled England, terrified by her ignominious defeat in the war with the United States, to ratify his resolution that no power on earth has authority to make laws for Ireland except the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland.

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