|James Francis Edward Stuart, “The Old Pretender“|
September 7th, 1695 – With the defeat of Catholic attempts to regain power and lands in Ireland, what became known later as the “Protestant Ascendancy” sought to insure dominance with the passing of a number of laws to restrict the religious, political and economic activities of Catholics and Dissenters. Harsher laws were introduced for political reasons during the long War of the Spanish Succession that ended in 1714. The son of James II, the “Old Pretender”, was recognised by the Holy See as the legitimate king of Britain and Ireland until his death in 1766, and Catholics were obliged to support him. He also approved the appointments of all the Irish Catholic hierarchy, who were drawn from his most fervent supporters. These aspects provided the political excuses for the new laws passed for several decades after 1695. Among the discriminations now faced by Catholics and Dissenters under the Penal Laws were:
*Exclusion of Catholics from most public offices (since 1607), *Presbyterians were also barred from public office from 1707.
*Ban on intermarriage with Protestants; repealed 1778
*Presbyterian marriages were not legally recognised by the state
*Catholics barred from holding firearms or serving in the armed forces (rescinded by Militia Act of 1793)
*Bar from membership in either the Parliament of Ireland or the *Parliament of Great Britain from 1652; rescinded 1662-1691; renewed 1691-1829.
*Disenfranchising Act 1728, exclusion from voting until 1793;
*Exclusion from the legal professions and the judiciary; repealed (respectively) 1793 and 1829.
*Education Act 1695 – ban on foreign education; repealed 1782.
*Bar to Catholics entering Trinity College Dublin; repealed 1793.
|Church of Ireland St.Patricks Cathedral, Armaugh|
*On a death by a Catholic, his legatee could benefit by conversion to the Church of Ireland;
*Popery Act – Catholic inheritances of land were to be equally subdivided between all an owner’s sons with the exception that if the eldest son and heir converted to Protestantism that he would become the one and only tenant of estate and portions for other children not to exceed one third of the estate. This “Gavelkind” system had previously been abolished by 1600.
*Ban on converting from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism on pain of Praemunire: forfeiting all property estates and legacy to the monarch of the time and remaining in prison at the monarch’s pleasure. In addition, forfeiting the monarch’s protection. No injury however atrocious could have any action brought against it or any reparation for such.
*Ban on Catholics buying land under a lease of more than 31 years; repealed 1778.
*Ban on custody of orphans being granted to Catholics on pain of 500 pounds that was to be donated to the Blue Coat hospital in Dublin.
*Ban on Catholics inheriting Protestant land
*Prohibition on Catholics owning a horse valued at over £5 (in order to keep horses suitable for military activity out of the majority’s hands)
*Roman Catholic lay priests had to register to preach under the Registration Act 1704, but seminary priests and Bishops were not able to do so until 1778
*When allowed, new Catholic churches were to be built from wood, not stone, and away from main roads.
*No person of the popish religion shall publicly or in private houses teach school, or instruct youth in learning within this realm’ upon pain of twenty pounds fine and three months in prison for every such offence. Repealed in 1782.
*Any and all rewards not paid by the crown for alerting authorities of offences to be levied upon the Catholic populace within parish and county.
*This post does not reflect any opinions of my own. It is part of Irish /
English history. Source: WIKI