As the 12th of July comes nearer and those celebrating the Defeat of James II
prepare to march to celebrate the defeat of this tyrant at the Battle of the
Boyne and in response to many condemnations of the celebration of this day
seen here from time to time I thought that a little excursion into history might
be appropriate to illustrate why the 12th of July should always be a great day
for the Irish. Those of you opposed to this celebration should realize that by
being opposed to the celebration of the victory of William of Orange over James
II that you are indeed supporting the celebration of the reverse outcome that is
the triumph of James. Sometimes in our political indoctrination the facts are
lost underneath all of the rhetoric. In no way would the annexation of Ireland
through the work of James II have benefited the Irish - Louis XIV as Hitler in
our own era had an army to feed and staff-and his goal was world domination.
Ireland would have fed that effort down
to the last man and grain of wheat and corn. There would be no Gaelic and you
would be speaking French. I include the background of James II for those of
you who might object to the celebration of his defeat so that you might know
better the man, philosophy and intentions which you hold so dear. Protestant and
Catholic and dissenter alike should march in celebration of this great day for
the Irish- Unfurl the Orange Banner-get out the Orange Juice!
-Fifty one when ascended the throne. Had served in armies of France and Spain as
officer. Became Lord Admiral under Charles and successful Naval
Adminstrator.Commander of English fleet against Dutch. As King:Impossible-dull
obstinate rigid brusque,suspicious,blind to public opinion, determined to have
his way whatever the consequences. May have suffered mental decline about time
he ascended the throne. Inflated confidence in military power-callouisness
toward human suffering. Practiced Catholicism openly-but bigoted in religion
-determined to force Catholicism on England. Acted as tyrant brushing
established law and custom aside.
The Trouble with the Illegal forcing of Catholicism on England
G.M. Trevelyan writes:
The solid part of the Roman Catholic body in England consisted of country
squires, excluded from the magistracy but not from society, and living on very
tolerable terms with their Tory neighbors. They had no goodwill for the policy
which James was adopting at the suggestion of the French and Jesuit party, and
with the applause of unprincipled English sycophants like Jeffreys and
Sunderland. The Catholic squires knew their country-men well enough to be sure
that supremacy could never be won for their religion ,except by foreign arms and
civil war; and a second civil war might end, as likely as not, in completing the
ruin of the English Catholics which the first had half accomplished. In these
views they were supported by Pope Innocent XI, a man of sense and moderation,
.....Innocent had quarrels of his own with Louis XIV and the French Jesuits; he
dreaded the French power in Italy in Europe, and there fore watched with
sympathy the sailing and the success of William;s Protestant crusade because it
would release England from he French vassal age. What the Pope and the moderate
English Catholics hoped to obtain in England was not political supremacy but
religious toleration. A Shortened History of England.,G.M.
William of Orange Supported toleration with all his strength.
Rebellion of Duke of Monmouth-
Landed at Lyme Regis in Dorset June 1685. Proclaimed himself rightful king.
6,000 peasants armed with farming implements joined him. Defeated at Battle of
Sedgemoor-great slaughter without mercy. 300 peasants executed 800 more sold as
slaves in the West Indies. James increases size of army.
-James places Catholic officers who had not complied with the requirements of
the Test Act into the military. But even after importing Irish Catholic officers
he could not replace all Protestant officers.
-James presses on with Romanizing and despotic policies. Brings army to
outskirts of London to overawe parliament. Catholics advised the king in
his despotism: The Earl of Sunderland,Judge Jeffreys,Father Edward Petre.
-1686 names creates court of Ecclesiastical Commission with powers over the
clergy-this was illegal and outside of his powers(since 16410) The commission
suspends bishop of London and installs catholic heads to major Oxford colleges.
The faculty of Magdalen College holds to their legal right to appoint college
head-and are expelled.In these acts the king was overriding due process with his
-April 1687- James Issues Declaration of Indulgence -suspends penal laws and
other statutes.-also illegal. Then he started to pack the commons. He meddled
with town charters installing Catholics. The justices of he peace would still
not repeal the Test Act.
-Whereas the church of England had granted toleration the catholic
government could not be trusted. Dissenting groups eventually support church of
England against the Crown.
-1688-seven bishops were tried-would not read Declaration of Indulgence and
protested against it.The jury returned verdict of non guilty. and bishops were
-James and Queen Mary of Modena had son June 10, 1688
This meant that succession would go to a Catholic which was unacceptable
to parliament instead of James Protestant daughters Mary or Anne
After the acquittal of the bishops William of Orange was invited by Parliament
(he was husband of Mary). James son was to be declared a
foundling and or king declared insane. James declines the offer of assistance
from Louis XIV of the French fleet -William lands on November 5 (anniversary of
the Gunpowder plot) James ran away after attempting
to face William with the army. He went to the court of Louis XIV in France.
This gives parliament the justification it was looking for and did not have
to resort to tricks- the throne had been vacated and Parliament needed to
fill it- they did with William and Mary -Mary requires that power be shared-with
William responsible for Administration.
Following the abdication of James II the English Government in a number of acts
including the Bill of Rights of 1689,Toleration act and Mutiny act strengthened
the development of the constitutional monarchy which granted greater toleration
of dissenters while James II plotted in France to bring
his intolerant and tyrannical form of absolutist rule to Ireland in service of
the French king.
Through the abdication of James II William III came to the throne and then
defeated James II who tried to re-start his Tyranny in Ireland with the backing
of Louis XIV of France William defeated James at the Battle of the
Boyne and James returned to the French court. James upon his retreat at the
Boyne requested that the Irish give up the fight and surrender.
Following the Boyne battle (July 1,1690 old calendar July 12 -our calendar)
A new war began-a rebellion against England on the part of the Irish. The Irish
armies were ill -equipt and undermanned-If ever the advice of James
was to be taken it was in this instance. None the less the risk was taken and
a bloody rising pursued until the treaty of Limerick. Had not this ill advised
rising taken place parliament probably would not have had the will to
override William III to bring the strict Penal Laws down upon Ireland.
With every rising there is the risk of failure-and backlash of the power you
have challenged. The rebellion was seen not only as an attempt at Irish freedom
but due to the alliance with the French and the motives of Louis XIV
it became a threat to the existence of England-playing with fire resulted in the
heat of the Penal Laws.
A History of England.,David Harris Willson,Dryden Press,Hinsdale,Illinois,1972.
A truly wise man will always refuse to play leap frog with a unicorn! Is
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