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use or knowledge of the English tongue, he might say and
the purpose of promoting their own cause in Ireland through the medium of the native language ; and with them were probably printed those Irish catechisms and religious tracts afterwards circulated so extensively among the natives by the agents of the Hiberno-Roman Church.
“The next person who exerted himself in Irish printing was the Honourable Robert Boyle: this eminent patriot, at his own expense, procured a fount of types, cut by Moxon in London, and with it he printed, first, the Church Catechism, with Elements of the Irish Language-London, 1680: then Archbishop Daniel's New Testament already mentioned; and, lastly, the version of the Old Testament, made by Bishop Bedell, and the Rev. Murtogh O Cionga, or King, one of his clergy. This great work (wanting, however, the Apocrypha) was now for the first time printed in 4to., London, 1685, under the title, Leabhuir na seintiomna, ar na Ttarruing go Gaidhlig tre chúram agus dhútrás an doctuir Uilliam Bedell.
“Although a number of scholarships in Trinity College were reserved for natives who spoke Irish, no attempt was made to encourage the study of that language until Provost Bedell, in 1628, introduced Irish prayers and a lecture in the chapel of the university. In the provostship of his successor, Dr. Robert Ussher, in 1630, a chapter in the Irish Testament was read every day at dinner in the hall by one of the natives, and this was appointed by the provost and senior fellows, soe to continue betweene 12 of yo. proficientest untill ye. rest be able to perform it, wch. we enjoyne them all wth. in half-ayeare, or in default thereof to be deprived of their natives stipend.'
“James I., in the seventeenth year of his reign, thus wrote to the Lord Deputy on this subject,-- Because our colledge of Dublin was first founded by our late sister of happie memorie, Queene Elizabeth, and hath beene sence plentifully endowed by us, principallie for breeding upp the natives of that kingdom in civilitie, learning, and religion, wee bave reason to expect, that in all that long tyme of our peaceable government, some good numbers of our natives should have beene trayned upp in that colledge, and might have beene employed
use the Mattins, Evensong, Celebration of the Lord's Supper, and Administration of each of the Sacraments, and all their Common and Open Prayer in the Latin tongue,* in
in teaching and reducing those which are ignorant among the people ; and to think that the governors of that house bave not performed that trust reposed in them, if the revenewes thereof have beene otherwise imployed; and therefore wee doe require that henceforth speciall care be had, and that the visitors of that universitie be required particularlie to looke unto and take care of this point, and the supplying of the present want, that choice be made of towardlie young men, alreadie fitted with the knowledge of the Irish tongue, and be placed in the universitie, and maintained there for two or three yeares, till they have learned the ground of religion, and be able to catechise the simple natives and deliver unto them so much as themselves have learned.' The efforts made, in consequence of this letter, to promote the cultivation of Irish among those students who spoke the language from infancy, continued under Provosts Beilell and Ussher, but were put a stop to altogether by the civil war and the troubles that ensued. We hear no more of Irish being taught in the university till the year 1680, when Dr. Narcissus Marsh, then provost, (afterwards Primate), engaged teachers at his own expense, whose lectures were attended by about eighty students. About thirty years later, Dr. John Hall, viceprovost, supported a person at his own expense, to give private lectures in the language ; and finally Dr. William King, Archbishop of Dublin, engaged one Charles Lyniger as a public teacher of Irish in the college.
“The recent establishment of a professorship of the Irish language in the university, together with the foundation of scholarships and prizes for the encouragement of the study of Irish among the students, has done much to wipe away the reproach which rested for so long a period on the heads of the university, for neglecting this part of their duty.”
*“As to this remarkable clause, “if,' says Dr. Leland (vol. ii. p. 225. in not.), 'it did not effectually provide for the edification of the
the order and form mentioned and set forth in the Book established by this Act. people, it at least served to sheathe the acrimony of their prejudices against the reformed worship, by allowing it to be performed in the usual language of their devotions :' a benefit dearly purchased by the sanction given to a practice which was 'plainly repugnant to the word of God and to the custom of the primitive Church'. Waiving, however, a consideration of the principle compromised by this enactment, and admitting the occasion of some substitute for the Liturgy in the English tongue, certain questions immediately offer themselves to the mind, concerning the application and the utility of the proposed substitute. The obvious substitute would have been the same liturgy in the Irish tongue-in the native language of the people. But this might not be, as well for the difficulty to get it printed, as that few in the whole realm could read Irish letters.' Could not these difficulties then have been overcome by supplying the proper types for the printing, and by training persons to read the Irish character, if none were to be found actually qualified ? Such a course was, in fact, adopted, and with good success, by a private clergyman, not many years after, so that it should seem to have been by no means impracticable at this time by those in power.
“ But the substitute to be used was the Liturgy in the Latin tongue'. In what way was the Latin version to be provided ? Was it by public authority? Of that there are no traces of information, nor does it appear at all probable. Was a translation, then, from English into Latin to be made by each individual minister ? If so, why could he not use it as prescribed in the English service ? Was such minister sufficiently conversant with Latin to be able to translate into that tongue! Yet this is hardly consistent with the character of ignorance and illiteracy ascribed to very many of the clergy, so great that they were supposed not to understand their own mass-books.
“But suppose the Common Prayer to be nsed in the Latin tongue, how could this be taken for such language, as they mought best understand'? The people surely must have been left without any benefit from a service, to them as unintelligible as the Popish service which it was to
In 1566 the Lord Deputy, Archbishops and Bishops,
supersede; the proposed provision, indeed, so far was calculated to ‘advance the due honour of God, as it shut out from his service idolatry and superstition, and other unscriptural forms of worship; but the application of the provision to the benefit of the people is by no means easy to be discovered. That was a wiser and more wholesome provision which was contained in one of King Edward the Sixth's instructions, that the Liturgy in the Irish tongue should be used in places where it was needed : only care should have been taken to supply the need, by getting Common-Prayer Books printed in that tongue, and finding or making ministers qualified to read them, if such could possibly have been done."
It is, however, clear by this statute that it was the intention of the Legislature that vacant benefices should be bestowed upon “persons who could speak English, apt and convenient to occupy the same," in preference to any person not so qualified. The frequent preferment of Englishmen should seem to have been the natural consequence of this provision.
Many of the English who went over to Ireland for the purpose of such preferment, were either unlearned or of questionable character, so as to be justly deemed incapable and insufficient for succeeding to a benefice ; for as Strype remarks, under the year 1563, “the ignorance of the ordinary sort of clergymen, curates, and such like, is commonly said to be great about these times. Notwithstanding all the pains that were used to deliver the Church of that blindness that enveloped the priests in the late popish times, it would not yet be dispelled. For an instance of this I bring in here the curate of Cripplegate, one Tempest, a well-meaning man, who, having upon some occasion, perhaps the metropolitical visitation, been before Peerson, the Archbishop's chaplain, was asked by him some questions, and, among the rest, what was the meaning of the word 'function, which hard word he could not tell what to make of ; for which, it seems, he was reprehended."
1 Mant, Hist. Church of Ireland, 260—262.
bi Life of Parker, 258.
and other Her Majesty's High Commissioners, * for Causes Ecclesiastical in Ireland, t put forth a book of articles, which were to be publicly read by the clergy “at their possessiontaking, and twice every year afterwards.” It would appear, says Dr. Elrington, “ that the English Articles were not in force at this time in Ireland, because this book of Articles is copied from a similar production issued in England before the publication of the Thirty-nine Articles, and designed, no doubt, to supply the want of an authorized formulary. Its publication in Ireland would therefore seem to warrant the supposition of a similar want there. It has
* 'Dr. Elrington (Life of Ussher, p. 42.) observes : “These commissioners were appointed by Elizabeth in the year 1563, and are not taken notice of in any history of Ireland with which I am acquainted. Leland, indeed, and he is followed by Bishop Mant, states that a high commission court was established in Dublin in 1593. Possibly this is an error of the press, and that he wrote 1563, alluding to these commissioners. The commission is dated the 6th of October in the sixth year of her reign, and is addressed to Adam, archbishop of Armagh, Hugh, archbishop of Dublin, Thomas, earl of Ormonde, Gerald, earl of Desmond, Gerald, earl of Kildare, Hugh, bishop of Meath, Robert, bishop of Kildare, Thomas, bishop of Leighlin, Sir Henry Radcliffe, knight, Sir William Fitzwilliam, knight, Sir Robert Cusack, knight; John Plunkett, Robert Dillon, James Bathe, Francis Agarde, Robert Cusacke, the Maiours of * * * * * for the time being, Terence, the dean of Armagh, John Garvy, and Henry Draycott. The commission is very long, and extends over a largo range of business, including heresy and other subjects of spiritual jurisdiction."
+ Of this publication the contemporary historians give no account, and it was utterly unknown till Archdeacon Cotton discovered a copy of it in a collection of pamphlets in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. Vide post, xix.