Monstrous Policy

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER IX (2) start of chapter

The following order was issued by several Governors down to so late as 1765. It shows the spirit against which the Irish Catholic had to contend:

For the better preserving the peace, preventing robberies, tumultuous assemblies, and other disorders of wicked and idle people remaining in the country during the winter, Ordered

That no Papist servant, man or woman, shall remain at any place where they did not fish or serve during the summer.

That not more than two Papist men shall dwell in one house during the winter, except such as have Protestant masters.

That no Papist shall keep a public-house, or sell liquor by retail.

That the masters of Irish servants do pay for their passage home.

Another order, addressed to the magistrates about this time, exhibits the fierce spirit of persecution in a manner still more striking:

Whereas you have represented to me that an Irish Papist, a servant, a man without wife or family, has put up mark posts in a fishing-room within your district, with an intent to build a stake and flakes thereon, and possess the same as his right and property, which practice, being entirely repugnant to the Act 10 and 11 Wm. III.:

I do therefore authorise you to immediately cause the post marks above-mentioned to be taken down, and warn the person so offending not to presume to mark out any vacant fishing-room again as his property, as he will answer the contrary at his peril. You are also to warn other Papists from offending in the like case, as they will answer to the contrary.

(Signed) T. BYRON, Governor.

The Irish in America, first published in 1868, provides an invaluable account of the extreme difficulties that 19th Century Irish immigrants faced in their new homeland and the progress which they had nonetheless made in the years since arriving on a foreign shore. A new edition, including additional notes and an index, has been published by Books Ulster/LibraryIreland:

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