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CCXVII.-CONCERNING Yo CHARTERS TO CORPORACóNs.
In most of y" Corporać6ns of Ireland yo Freemen were generally Papists in ye Year 1641, & so continued till about 1654, & altho’ most of y" persons who were then free may now be presumed to be dead, yet there being a custom in most corporačáns y'all y' sons of Freemen are also free of y" Corporačán whereof their Fathers were free, there cannot but be now very many Papists living who are entitled to their freedoms in yo severall Corporačáns.
Since yo ending of y" Rebellion all yo Magistrates in Corporačáns have been generally Protestants, and many Protestants have bin also admitted to their freedoms, & in y Usurpers Time all yo Papists that were Freemen were hindered from enjoying y' benefitt of their Freedoms.
Since yo Kgs restauračán many disputes have happened concerning y” Papists, who were formerly free, being admitted agen into yo Corporačáns.
By a Letter from ye King dated yo 22" of May, 1661, his Mātie declared his Pleasure y' y' respective former Inhabitants, Natives, & Freemen, & such as had right to be Freemen in any of yo Cittys or Towns in this Kingdome should be forthw" restored to their accustomed priviledges & Immunities, & admitted to Trade in ye s" respective Cittys & Towns, as freely as heretofore, without making any Nationall distinction or giving any Interruption upon pretence of difference of Judgm' or Opinion in matters of Religion.
Notwithstanding this Letter many of y' auntient freemen that were Papists were kept out of severall of y". Corporacions.
In yo Acts of Setlem" or Explana&n there is no Clause that hinders any Papists from enjoying y' benefitt of their Freedoms, but there is a Clause that hinders any papist from buying or taking Leases of any forfeited Houses from y” 49 Officers whout Licence of ye Lo Lieu' & Councell.
His Mātie afterwards by his Lies bearing date ye 26th of Febr. 1671, in y” Time of y" Lo Berkeleys Goverment, did againe declare his Pleasure, that all y' auntient freemen of ye respective Corporačáns should enjoy their former freedoms and Priviledges, & that a generall Licence should be given to Papists to hire or purchase any forfeited Houses in Corporačáns, wo" was accordingly done, & His Maties pleasure therein published by Proclamačán of y" Lo Lieu" & Councell bearing date y' eighth of May, 1671. The Rules since made by ye Lo Lieu' & Councell in pursuance of a Clause contained in yo Act of Explana&n does hinder all Papists from being Magistrates in Corporaôns, unlesse dispens'd w" by y' Lo Lieu' from taking yo Oath of Supremacy, but nothing in those Rules takes away from them ye benefitt of their freedoms, yet in some of y" Corporačáns (in wo" ye number of Protestants is great) many of y" Papists are still kept out & hindered from their freedoms, as particularly in Cork, wo" is now wholly inhabited by Protestants, & y auntient Natives or Freemen are either dispersed in y” Country abroad, or doe only inhabite in y” suburbs without y” walls, but y Trade is almost wholly carried on by y” Protestants. Upon renewall of Charters great disputes are likely to arise betweene ye present Inhabitants & auntient Natives of severall of yo Corporačáns concerning y' hindring y' auntient Natives from, or admitting them to ye benefit of their freedoms. If they should be hindred from their freedoms, they will complaine that there is no Law to take that benefitt from them; That it is unreasonable to hinder them from Trading & may be also prejudiciall to ye King in his Customs; And will force them to withdraw their Stocks beyond ye Seas, And that it is ago y Kings Pleasure expressly declared by his severall Lies, & since made publick by Proclamačán, upon confidence whereof (it will be pretended) may have come over to inhabite here. That by y” Rules, Papists, who are forreiners, may be admitted to be free in yo Corporaóns here; And that it will be hard to barr Papists, who are Natives, from enjoying that Freedom, wo" hath bin already granted them. If they should all be generally admitted by yo new Charters to enjoy yo benefitt of their freedoms, ye protestant Inhabitants will complaine, y' ye Corporaôns will be all presently filled wo" Papists, as they were in ye year 1641, & yo Protestant Inhabitants thereby discouraged, yt yo number of y' auntient Freemen, who are Papists, will be much greater then of Protestants, & thereby they will have yo choice of Parliam' men; And ye House of Comons thereby will be fill'd woo Papists, who are not by any Law of force here hinderd from sitting in yo House; That it will be unreasonable, that such, who by reason of their not being adjudgd innocent, have forfeited their Estates, should be admitted to continue their freedoms, & it is to be feared y' y' present Protestants Inhabitants, who will generally sollicite & take out ye Charters, will hardly be at y" charge of renewing them, if any provision should be therein made for all y' auntient Freemen to be restored to their Freedoms. What expedients to propose herein seems to be very difficult, & it will be hardly possible to propose any that may satisfy both partys. It may perhaps be a midle way to admitt only those Papists to their Freedoms who doe now actually enjoy yo benefitt thereof by y" Corporaćons themselves, may be excluded, or else to provide that those Papists, who have bin adjudgd Innocent, & their Heirs and Children shall enjoy yo benefitt of their Freedoms whereby only those who have not been admitted to enjoy their Estates will be hindred from their freedoms, but it is to be doubted whether either of these will satisfy y” parties concernd.
CCXVIII.-HENRY THYNNE TO THE EARL OF Essex, MY LORD, London, Aprill 13th, 1675.
I doubt not but yo' Ex's must have a particular concerne to know what has been the Issue of this day in which the Parliam' hath assembled, where his Ma's made them a very gratious speech, Telling them That their meeting now was to advise what was yet to bee done for the Secureing both their Religion and propperty, and that there should bee nothing wanting on his part to shew his zeale for the maintenance of the Church of England, to which he would always firmely adhere. He like wise told them that he was sensible y" there were severall disaffected persons that desired to have this Parliam' dissolved, but that he was too sensible of the ill designes of the one & the Loyalty of the other to think of parting with this Parliam'. His Mao was like wise pleased to recomend to their care the providing some fund for building and repairing of Shipps, and at last did hint to them that this was like to bee a short Sessions, but that hee hoped to see them againe in the winter. This is (I think) the Effect of his Ma's Speech, but dare not relye so much upon my ill memory as to give it yo' Ex's for authentique, and there are no coppys to be had of it, the Speaker haveing put it into his pockett as soon as it had been read to the House. After which there was a considerable debate concerneing returneing thanks to his Mao for his Speech, which was at last resolved in the affirmative, but not for the whole Speech in Generall, but for his Mao gratious promises of maintaineing their Religion and propertys, and for what hee was pleased to call them at this time to consider of the ways of doeing it. I doubt not but yo' Exo will have a much more Exact Account of the proceedings of this day from some of the members that were present, but yet I could not soe much omitt my duty as to neglect the giveing yo' Ex", the best acco I could get of this matter. We have no forrain news considerable but of the P. of Orange's being soe well recovered y' hee has been at church to give thanks for his recovery. The D. of Ormond arrived here yesterday. Mr. Secoy has his hands now so full of businesse and soe Little news of importance to acquainte yo' Ex", with, that he begs yo' Exo" Excuse that you doe not heare from him by this post.
CCXIX. —WILLIAM HARBORD TO THE EARL OF ESSEX.
MAY IT PLEASE Y” ExCity, London, 17 Apr. 1675. I gave you an account of my safe arrivall at Chester from thence, weh, I suppose, considering the Easterly windes y' have continued here ever since is ere this come to y' hands. I gott heither on Thursday early, & had not my lame foote compelled me to make use of my Coache from Grafton I had reached this place sooner ; the very first day of the Session y H. of Comons had a long debate whether they should give King thankes for his speech or adjourne, at y' last y” years carried it for thankes, many of the Lords protested in King his presence. The H. of Comons hath passed ye same vote against Lodderdale as formerly, & y Adresse to King for that purpose. I will take order wo M. Petit to have y' Journalls of both Houses transmitted weekly to y Excellency so long as wee sett; I delivered yesterday Esser his Letter to King, & had a long discourse woo him about y' affaires of Ireland & particularly asked him if any thing under Essex, his conduct did displease him ; he answered mo, all as well as could be.
Having observed at Dublin y' Loftus & many of the Irish did much except & Complaine against Essex for the way that was used to suppresse yo Tories & how bloody it was, I thought best to