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the public generally, when once they are acquainted with the history, constitution, and objects of the seminary. Previously to the year 1795, the whole body of the catholic clergy of Ireland received their education on the continent of Europe. At that time, there was no institution in Ireland for the education exclusively of persons professing the catholic religion; and, indeed, it was absolutely unlawful to endow a college for such a purpose, until the 35th, Geo. iii. c. 21 was passed. In the year 1793, Trinity College, Dublin, was thrown open to the Roman Catholics; but it does not appear that they were at all willing to avail themselves of that act of liberality, as a means of education for those of their body who were intended for the priestly office. Catholic priests, therefore, continued to be educated at Rome, Douay, St. Omers, and other places. It was stated by Sir John Newport, in the debate in the House of Commons, April the 29th, 1808, that previously to the French Revolution, four hundred and seventy-eight students were educated on the Continent” for the catholic priesthood of Ireland; and of these, four hundred and twenty-six received gratuitous support; but it was remarked on the same occasion, by Sir Arthur Wellesley, who, from having been secretary for Ireland, was acquainted with these matters, that most of those persons received priest’s orders before they went abroad, and that about three hundred of them supported themselves, by the exercise of their functions as priests. On the breaking out of the French Revolution, the education of the catholic priesthood naturally arrested the attention both of the catholic bishops, and of the government. The former viewed with concern the danger to their church which must result from the annual introduction of so many priests, imbued with sceptical opinions; and the latter saw with equal alarm the danger likely to flow from the introduction of foreign prejudices and republican opinions. In these circumstances the catholic bishops found the government ready to sanction the establishment of a college in Ireland for the education of their priesthood, a project to which Mr. Burke is said to have given the sanction of his high authority. In 1793, a memorial was addressed to Mr. Pitt, signed by Dr. Troy, the then catholic archbishop of Dublin, Dr. O'Reilly, and other bishops, in which they begged for permission to found a college, and prayed for a charter, that their funds might be the better secured. We believe that, at that time, no thought was entertained of the institution
being either established, or supported at the public expense. But the wily bishops suggested to the government, that, if the college were founded by themselves, it would be under popular controul; whereas, if the government were to found it, they would direct it for loyal and useful ends. At that time, Ireland was in a state of extreme excitement; the nation was panting after liberty, but saw no hope of the realization of their desires, but in separation from England, and the establishment of republican institutions. The catholic committee, the precursor of the catholic association, consisted, according to Dr. McNevin, of 'immoveable republicans. Under these circumstances, the catholic bishops, true to the policy of Rome, appeared before the world as the apostles of loyalty. In 1793, they came forward with a voluntary declaration of loyalty, and, in the same year, Dr. Troy, catholic archbishop of Dublin, with Dr. O'Reilly, and three other bishops, issued an admonition to the catholics, recommending allegiance to the king. In addition to these two manifestoes, Dr. Troy issued an address to the Defenders,' conjuring them to dissolve. They accordingly did dissolve, but only to pass into the deeper conspiracy of the United Irishmen.' The English government, who kņew nothing of the secret movements of Dr. Troy were delighted, and looked upon him as the most loyal of men; and thinking that they had gained the bishops to the side of loyalty and British connection, gave their consent to the establishment of the college. In 1795, Dr. Hussey, whom Mr. Pitt had made his channel of communication with the catholic bishops, was sent over to Ireland, as Dr. McNevin says, 'to organise and frame the plan of education at Maynooth ;' and we find, from an entry in the journals of the Irish House of Commons, (April 28th, 1795) that Mr. Thomas Hussey was ordered to attend the committee of the whole house, to whose consideration the bill for the establishment of the catholic college had been referred. This Dr. Hussey was so much trusted by Mr. Pitt that he was made the first president of Maynooth; but how worthy he was of that confidence, was amply proved by his conduct afterwards, by which he gave a notable warning to those ministers who seek to purchase loyalty by bribes. The establishment of Maynooth was intended as a bribe to secure the loyalty of the priests; and the increased grant now proposed by Sir Robert Peel, is designed for the same purpose ; and we have no doubt will meet with a like return.
The first notice of the proposed Bill in the journals of the Irish House of Commons, is the following :
April 23rd, 1795. • Ordered, that leave be given to bring in a bill for applying the sum of ten thousand pounds, granted to His Majesty, or part thereof, for establishing a college for the better education of persons professing the popish or Roman catholic religion, and intended for the clerical ministry thereof; and that the Right Honourable Mr. Secretary Pelham, and the honourable Mr, Stuart, do prepare and bring in the same.'
Upon this we remark, that the first motion of the legislature upon this subject was, to apply ten thousand pounds of the public money for establishing this college ; and that the order given by the House was for the introduction of a Bill for the better education, not of laymen, but of priests. After the Bill had been read a second time, a petition of His Majesty's catholic subjects of Ireland, whose names are thereunto subscribed on. behalf of themselves and others, was presented to the House and read; setting forth * that they object to the appointment of trustees to regulate the course of studies,—that that should rest with the “Caput of the college itself, consisting of the principal and fellows,'—that they were likely to be most attentive, and most competent, and were most interested in the reputation and success of the college,—that in the university of Dublin candidates for fellowships were examined in public during four days—that the sizars also were elected after a public examination, at which all persons who presented themselves might be examined,—that these regulations were much to the honour of the Irish university, and do very much promote and encourage learning, industry, piety, and good morals,'— that, by the bill, not only professors, but students were to be appointed by the trustees, without any examination being required,- that this would open a door for patronage and influence among the trustees, and for canvassing and caballing among candidates, which must prove injurious to the college,that they also objected to the exclusion of protestants, and the sons of protestants from the college-that the youth of both religions might with advantage be instructed in the classics, &c., in the same institution, and afterwards live in peace and amity
—that by a recent act of liberality on the part of the legislature, catholics and protestants were educated together in the university of Dublin—that they had hoped that the principle of separation and exclusion had been removed for ever, but that they feared that that principle was now likely to be revived and re-enacted.
The petition, of which we have stated the substance, was referred to the committee on the bill, but no alteration in it appears
* We give only the substance of the petition.
to have been made in consequence. The two chief objections of the catholics were to the exclusion of protestants, and the sons of protestants, from the college, and to the vesting the governing power in a body of trustees, appointed in the first instance under the Act itself. The former objection was not likely to have much effect on the protestant aristocracy of Ireland, who would not wish their sons to enjoy the privilege of a Maynooth education; and the latter was overcome by the appointment of a clear majority of catholic doctors in divinity as trustees, in addition to several catholic laymen.
After the house had been in committee on the Bill, notice was taken that its title differed from the leave given by the house for bringing in the same, the words of the order, and intended for the clerical ministry thereof,' being omitted. The Bill was in effect, therefore, a Bill for the better education of persons professing the Roman catholic religion, without reference to their being intended for the priestly office, or not; and this appears to have been the altered intention of the government. Leave was, therefore, given that the said Bill should be withdrawn; the order of the 23rd of April, above quoted, was discharged; and a new Bill, with the same title as the former one, was immediately introduced, and read the first and second time, and committed, on the same day, the 30th of April.
Whether or not the Bill originally introduced contained any money clause, we are unable to say, but the Bill now before the house does not appear to have contained any clause applying the public money in aid of the establishment of the college. This is proved by tlie following entry in the journals of the house :
. May 6, 1795. * Ordered, That the committee of the whole house, to whom it is referred to take into consideration, a Bill for the Better Education of Persons professing the Popish or Roman Catholic Religion, be empowered to receive a clause for applying the sum of £8,000 (being part of £2,449,600 16s. 9 d. granted to His Majesty this session of parliament) for the purposes of education.'
The Bill, so amended, passed both houses, without a division; and, on the 5th of June, 1795, good King George the Third, who would have laid down his crown rather than grant his catholic subjects the enjoyment of their civil rights, gave his assent to a Bill, the object of which was, to keep up a constant supply of two thousand priests to teach the doctrines, which, in his coronation oath, he declared to be 'superstitious and idolatrous.'
Under this Act the College at Maynooth was established; and it is still in force, as well as two other statutes which have been passed for the better government of the said college. But in order that we may show the more clearly the nature of the obligations which the legislature has undertaken, in the case of this institution, we shall now give a brief digest of these enactments, the titles of which we have placed at the head of this article: and we confidently believe we shall be able to demonstrate that, consistently with a due regard to the public faith, that institution may now be left entirely to its own resources.
We shall take the first of these acts, under which the college was established, as our basis; and append to its several clauses those changes which the subsequent statutes have introduced.
The preamble to this Act (25th Geo. III. c. 21) is as follows; "Whereas by the laws now in force in this kingdom, it is not lawful to endow any college or seminary for the education exclusively of persons professing the Roman catholic religion, and it is now become expedient that a seminary should be esta
dan sanot the filha blished for that purpose. It then proceeds to enact, that the Lord Chancellor, or Lord Keeper, the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, the Chief Baron of the Exchequer, in Ireland, for the time being, together with the Earl of Fingall, Viscount Gormanstown, Vis. count Kenmare, Sir Ed. Bellew, Bart., Richard Strange, Esq., Sir Thomas French, Bart., and eleven reverend doctors in divinity,' (O'Reilly, Troy, Bray, Egan, Plunkett, Mac Davett, Moylan, Tehan, Delany, French, and Hussey,) "and the persons to be hereafter elected, as by this Act is directed, shall be trustees for the purpose of establishing, endowing, and maintaining one academy, for the education only of persons professing the Roman catholic religion; and that the said trustees shalt have full power and authority to receive subscriptions and donations to enable them to establish and endow an academy for the education of persons professing the Roman catholic religion, and to purchase and acquire lands, not exceeding the annual value of one thousand pounds, and to erect and maintain all such buildings as may be by the said trustees deemed necessary for the lodging and accommodation of the president, masters, professors, fellows, and students, who shall from time to time be admitted into, or reside in, such academy.' (By the statute, 40th Geo. III. c. 85, entitled 'An Act for the Better Government of the Seminary established at Maynooth, for the Education of Persons professing the Roman Catholic Religion, and for amending the Laws now in force respecting the said Seminary,' it is enacted (sect. 4) that the judges shall cease to be trustees, but that the other trustees, with their successors, shall continue trustees for the execution of the Act; and by the 48th Geo. III. c. 145,