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Chapter three

The Increased Royal Bounty

 

(Notes are given at the end. Links to the notes from the text are given in groups of five, 1 - 6 - 11 etc)

 

THE ACT OF UNION

There was no popular pressure for the Act of Union. It was a remarkable political manoeuvre on the part of a handful of individuals, convinced that it was the only possible policy for Ireland and determined to push it through despite the opposition both of the reforming 'patriot party' and of the borough owners, with their vested interest in the existing Parliament.

The advocates of Union were trying to deal with the same problem that pre-occupied the theorists of the United Irish rising - the weakness of a state structure which had so few interconnections with the population it was governing. The moderate reformers (who included Fitzgibbon and Castlereagh, the architects of the Union) had argued for a Parliament that would be as fully representative as possible of Protestants. Some of them (notably Joy and Bruce in Belfast) had argued that this would provide a basis on which Catholics would eventually be incorporated into the political nation. The problem as they saw it lay in the fact that political power was a marketable commodity. While this was also the case in Great Britain, the problem in Ireland was exacerbated by the subordinate status of the Irish Parliament. Westminster had a vested interest in buying Irish legislation, and Irish legislators had a vested interest in increasing the price through irresponsibility. Both Unionists and United Irishmen recognised that the legislative independence of 1782 had done little more than to increase the price of government in Ireland still further.

The radical alternatives to the existing system were the elimination of the subordinate Parliament through a full Union, or the establishment of Ireland as a fully independent country. In between those radical solutions stood a reform of the subordinate Parliament by which the legislators would be forced into behaving virtuously by being unable to achieve political power without the support of their constituents. The radical solutions were not seriously contemplated until the 1790s, when the reform movement split on the question of extending the franchise to include Catholics.

The problem of including Catholics lay in the divergence of interest which was felt to exist between Protestants and Catholics. Fitzgibbon put the problem in very stark terms. It was foolish for Irish Protestants to argue in terms of Locke's 'social contract' since the Protestant interest had no other basis in Ireland than a 'right of conquest' which Locke did not recognise: 'The Act by which most of us hold our estates was an Act of violence - an Act subverting the first principles of the common law in England and Ireland.' According to Lockean theory, the nature of property was such that 'without a man's consent it cannot be taken from him.' Catholics could never be expected to acquiesce in the spoliation of their property and the establishment of an alien church, yet this was the basis for the whole property and wellbeing even of the members of the Patriot Party. The maintenance of the Protestant interest in Ireland was fully dependent on the continued denial of political power to the Catholic interest. (1)

Robert Stewart (later Lord Castlereagh), who had been elected as a moderate reformer in 1790, substantially agreed with this when, in 1793, he wrote to his uncle, Lord Bayham (later the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Camden, and one of the earliest advocates of the Union): 'There appears to me this strong distinction between the two sects, that the Protestants may be conciliated at the same time that the constitution is improved; the Catholics never can by any concession which must not sooner or later tear down the Church or make the State their own.' (2)

While supporting the civil concessions in the Catholic Relief Bill of 1793, (as did Fitzgibbon) he opposed the extension of the franchise, which rendered the position of the moderate reformers nonfunctional. Henceforth, a democratic reform of the Irish Parliament would open up the possibility of a full-blown Catholic ascendancy. If the subordinate Parliament continued in existence, the maintenance of the Protestant interest would depend on its continuing to be unrepresentative.

The moderate reformers in Belfast - Bruce and Joy - had a less stark view of the contradiction between Protestant and Catholic interests, presumably because the property they represented was not landed property and could not so easily be said to have been stolen from Catholics. They saw the problem in ideological terms and had a strong faith (which they shared with their most prominent controversial opponent, Drennan) in the progress of ideas. The establishment of Protestant ascendancy through the Williamite victory had been the victory of a more advanced and rational system of ideas over a more backward and superstitious one. The penal legislation had been necessary to safeguard this desirable revolution, but a process had already been initiated in which the penal restrictions could be progressively eased while Catholics increasingly adopted the attitudes and ideas of their more enlightened Protestant neighbours. Thus far I have been summarising the argument as advanced in Drennan's Belfast Monthly Magazine of 1808. Bruce and Joy differed from Drennan and Tone, however, in that they wanted the process to continue in piecemeal fashion, while Drennan saw radical constitutional change as a means by which it could be speeded up. Catholics, given the responsibilities of free men would be forced to behave as free men. For Bruce and Joy, the additional political power of Catholics at their present stage of development, would simply be thrown behind corruption and subordination:

'As far as the feelings of Catholics are concerned, they (the opponents of immediate extension of the franchise - PB) rejoice in the extension of franchise; but as a national measure, their enfranchisement without a reform will be a calamity.... It will drown the few good voters we can boast of in a deluge of the meanest class of Catholic electors. With a reform, this extension of the franchise would have benefited all parties. They should therefore have gone hand in hand. Had this been the case, the Catholics would have remained with the people. They will now, it is apprehended, strengthen the hands of government, increase the expense and corruption of elections, and render many of the old patriots tenacious of their boroughs, as a bulwark of the Protestant interest. They insist that the Protestant and Catholic should have been bound together by the tie of a common interest, a partnership in oppression, and a joint hope of freedom, which neither could obtain without the other. This, they admit, would have required time; but they do not think that a material objection. Being apprehensive of sudden shocks in the political machine, they profess themselves friends to gradual and deliberate measures. Incredulous with respect to sudden revolutions in popular or religious prejudices, they fear that the progress of liberality or the decay of bigotry, is not by any means as great or general as is pretended; and that whatever views wise and enlightened men may take of the subject, three millions of people will not be easily excited to an opposition which some may consider dangerous to themselves, and others ungrateful to the court. A religious sect, whose dearest prejudices are in favour of Monarchy and Hierarchy, will scarcely prefer a combination either with associations suspected of republicanism, or with professed Presbyterians, to an alliance with the State and with the Church of Ireland, which they may consider as a sect of popery; since it acknowledges a human head and professes to derive the efficacy of all its orders and ordinances by apostolical succession thro' the Church of Rome.'

The Catholic Relief Bill of 1793 (which allowed Catholics to vote in elections to the Irish parliament without allowing them to stand as candidates) left as alternatives the maintenance of Protestant ascendancy through the maintenance of parliamentary corruption; the abolition of the subordinate parliament; or its reform to make it more dependent on an overwhelmingly Catholic electorate, either under the British crown or fully independent of it. The United Irish support for the last of these alternatives was based on a refusal to recognise any essential divergence of interest between Protestants and Catholics - a refusal which was only possible because of the formless nature of Irish Catholicism.

The establishment of a potential Catholic Parliament was, however, as unthinkable to Westminster as it was to the great majority of Irish Protestants. Protestant fear of the spread of United Irish rhetoric, together with the tractability of the corrupt Parliament, enabled Westminster to establish a virtual military dictatorship in Ireland, which in turn gave substance to the United Irish rhetoric of a struggle between liberty and despotism, but left them with no alternative other than complete legislative and military independence. The great majority of Presbyterians who joined the United Irish rising saw it as a simple conflict between themselves and their military oppressors. They were persuaded that Irish Catholicism was not a political force to be reckoned with, and that Catholicism as an Antichristian and despotic system had been comprehensively defeated in the French Revolution; and their personal experience of Catholics was a shadowy affair when put beside their disaffection from the Anglican establishment.

The defeat of the United Irish rising left the Union as the only alternative to an unstable and impotent ascendancy Parliament, but it had to be completed quickly before radical reform again presented itself as a possibility and the whole process was repeated.

CASTLEREAGH AND THE PROBLEM OF PRESBYTERIAN LOYALTY

The Act of Union opened up the problems and opportunities of establishing a new sense of national loyalty. There was no coherent Irish national loyalty - only the contradictory possibilities of Protestant ascendancy - with or without the Presbyterians; Catholic ascendancy, in conflict with the existing property settlement; or - the spectre of the United Irish rising - Republican ascendancy, which would necessarily have to establish itself by a Jacobin reign of terror. The reduction of Irish political representation to a substantial minority in Westminster, however, did away with the necessity for such clearcut alternatives, and suggested the possibility of dissolving the distinction between Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter in a common allegiance to Britain. This required adjustments in British culture to facilitate the incorporation of the radically different cultures in Ireland; but it also required adjustments in the Irish cultures to incorporate sectarian allegiance into a common national allegiance.

Most obviously, Castlereagh thought that the Union rendered the admission of Catholics to Parliament possible. Fitzgibbon disagreed. Like the other great theorist of Protestant political monopoly, Patrick Duigenan, Fitzgibbon came from a Catholic background. Where Protestant politicians saw only a shapeless and ultimately manipulable mass, Fitzgibbon and Duigenan saw a steady disaffection which must on no account be given the opportunity of coherent political expression. Castlereagh was more optimistic. Catholic leaders were used to a subordinate position both through the structures of their Church and through the experience of living in Ireland. The subordination required by their incorporation into British culture would be much less oppressive than that to which they were accustomed under the Irish Parliament. And the new opportunities available to them now that there was no danger of Catholic ascendancy, would result in a steady decline in their sectarian alienation.

Presbyterians, on the other hand, appeared to him to be more problematical, possibly because he knew them better. They did not seem to pose any great obstacle to the actual achievement of the Union. As both Lord Londonderry (Castlereagh's father) and Luke Fox (one of his parliamentary supporters) advised, Presbyterians disliked the Irish Parliament and would not regret its passing. Even Drennan, who wrote a pamphlet and took part in demonstrations against the Union, was half-hearted and unhappy about the company (the supporters of parliamentary corruption) in which he found himself. (4)

Despite some efforts on the part of Drennan, there was very little sense of a distinct Irish national identity among Ulster Presbyterians. They identified themselves as Presbyterian rather than as 'Irish' or 'British'. Their Presbyterianism was a maverick element in society. It was more capable of coherent action than English dissent; but unlike Catholicism it had no clearly defined leadership with whom the government could negotiate and which could act as a moderating influence on the rest of the body (though the actual influence of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland in this period was vastly less than Castlereagh appears to have imagined). It had a substantial tradition of rejecting 'human authority' in matters of religion, and there were wide disagreements as to where the boundary between civil and religious matters should be placed. The authority in the Church was quasi-democratic and it proved readily accessible to republican ideas which complemented its own methods of organisation. The very indifference to such an important measure as the Act of Union could be seen as ominous for the prospects of incorporating Ulster Presbyterianism into British political culture.

Castlereagh set himself the task of buying the loyalty of the Synod by making it more financially dependent on the government, and encouraging the emergence of a 'top level' of ministers whose position would be based on wealth and therefore on a vested interest in the political status quo. His ally in this delicate operation was Robert B.lack, minister of Londonderry, of which Castlereagh said after the rebellion: 'Derry, under its present guidance, has long been the counterpoise to Belfast and the rallying point for the loyalty of the North.' (5)

Black had been one of the moderate reformers and prominent in the early days of the Volunteer movement. He had spoken in favour of Catholic relief at the Dungannon Convention of 1783 and had worked with Dickson, Barber and Birch in support of Castlereagh's father in the Co Down election of the same year. The Synod had appointed him as agent for Regium Donum in 1788 (there was some doubt about the constitutionality of the pro re nata meeting which made this appointment but it was confirmed by 'a great majority' in 1789). As late as 1793, he was one of only seven Protestants (who included Tone, Hamilton Rowan, Samuel Neilson and William Steele Dickson) at a Roman Catholic dinner for Richard Burke, Tone's predecessor as secretary of the Catholic Committee. By this time, however, he had already gone into opposition to the United Irish agitation in a speech given in the cathedral in Londonderry in January. (6)

Negotiations began between Black and Castlereagh in 1799, and the result was a Plan for strengthening the connection between the government and the Presbyterian Synod of Ulster, with the aim of:

'rendering the Ministers of the Synod more independent of popular caprices and the arts of factious members of their congregations, and for enabling them to apply more diligently to their ministerial duties, and for inducing young men in a decent station to devote themselves to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church of Ireland.'

A Royal Commissioner, who was to be a Presbyterian, was to sit in on the Synod's debates 'in the same manner as in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.' Ministers, before their appointment to congregations, had to be approved by Government if they were to receive a share of the bounty. The Synod was to be divided into three classes; the first, with about fifteen ministers 'in the cities and large towns', receiving between one and two hundred pounds a year; the second, with about seventy ministers 'in the more populous congregations', eighty pounds; and the third, with one hundred ministers, sixty pounds.

The quotas were to be paid through an agent chosen by the Synod with the Government's approval. In addition, a college was to be established in Ulster which would include Presbyterian trustees and professors. Previously the grant (Regium Donum) had been given to the Synod as a whole and distributed in equal shares by an agent appointed by the Synod. The proposed system of classification' was especially controversial as introducing (and intended to introduce) something resembling a hierarchy. (7)

Opposition to Castlereagh's proposals came not just from the Synod, but also from the Westminster government. The proposal to establish a college had been argued for within the Synod for some time. Campbell had been negotiating for it in the 1780s, and William Crawford had established an academy in Strabane whose degrees were recognised by the Synod (James Crombie of the Presbytery of Antrim opened the Belfast Academy in 1786, but this did not include a course in theology). Crawford had briefly revived the issue during Fitzwilliam's administration in 1795. Here, a specifically Presbyterian institution was envisaged, but in 1794, the Archbishop of Armagh, Primate Robinson, died, leaving a bequest for a University to be established in Ulster within five years of his death. One of the executors of his will. Rev J.A. Hamilton, wrote to Cornwallis in August 1798 to say that 'that great character (Robinson - PB) thought nothing could tend so much to conciliate and soften down the minds of our various sectaries in the North of Ireland and bind them to the common interests of the empire as the foundation of a "second university in the province of Ulster".' (8)

Castlereagh proposed early in 1799 a 'Plan for a University of Ulster' in which dissenters were to be eligible for fellowships and professorships. Hyde says that this 'came to nothing, since the Home Office turned it down on the curious grounds that as students in Trinity College were already too apt to injure their health by overwork it was not desirable to stimulate Dublin University to any further exertions by the foundation of another institution on similar lines.' (9)

But the main objection raised by the Home Secretary at Westminster, the Duke of Portland, was that 'though the policy of the country admits of their (dissenters - PB) being tolerated, as long as it shall judge an Established Religion to be necessary, so long must it be inconsistent for it to give premiums for the profession of other religious persuasions; and I should incline to say that it must be so long impossible for it to establish a school and appoint Divinity Professors whose doctrines were not subjected to any control or responsibility, and which were in several respects in opposition to those which the Government of the country was obliged to recognise and support.' (10)

On Robinson's legacy he thought 'it is not to be presumed that the Primate would have contributed in any manner to the establishment of an institution for the encouragement of Schismatics and Separatists from the Church of which he was not only the first minister, but one of the most zealous and devoted members.' It is hardly surprising that Castlereagh's allies in the Presbytery of Antrim (Bruce) and in the Synod (Black) were anxious for some guarantee of Presbyterian rights to be written into the Act of Union. As Bruce commented, Presbyterians were understood in Ireland 'while in England, we are either unknown or looked upon as an obscure set of schismatics. Another point of difference is that the imperial Parliament cannot confer any benefit on us that they shall not be prepared to extend to the English dissenters, and might even be persuaded to reduce us to the same level.'

And Black was worried about the proposal to postpone the increase in the grant until the united Parliament met, presumably because he felt it would be less sympathetic to Presbyterian claims. (11)

Notwithstanding his opposition to a dissenting University, Portland was in favour of increasing the Synod's Regium Donum, but 'to the best of the recollection of those by whom this measure was entertained and discussed, a principal object in the increasing and new-modelling the allowance to the persons of this persuasion (which, I must observe, was intended to be restrained to the ministers of that church, and who were the only persons of that description in the contemplation of those who discussed the point) was to make them more dependent, and render them more amenable to Government; and one of our principal views was to prevail upon them by these means to form among themselves some such orders and gradations as prevail in the Established Church of Scotland, to which part of this kingdom and to its Universities it is much more desirable that they should resort for their institutions and tenets than to any school or Professor they may be set up in their own country.' (12)

THE DISPUTE IN THE SYNOD OF ULSTER

The principle of classification thus seems to have been under discussion for some time beforehand. In April 1799, Black submitted a list of ministers with their stipends, complaining that 'uncommon pains had been taken to excite distrust and alarm on this occasion. Ministers were industriously told that they were to be bribed into surrender of the independence and constitution of their country.' If William Steele Dickson's accounts of the Synod's meetings in this period are accurate (he was in prison at the time), they were very stormy, principally on the matter of financial support for ministers accused of complicity in the rebellion and their dependents. Black seems to have seen himself as a man with a mission to tame a refractory Synod, a mission that was to make him very unpopular not only with the Synod, but among subsequent Presbyterian historians. (13)

The Synod of June, 1800, appointed a Committee to negotiate terms with Castlereagh and it reported to a pro re nata meeting in October 1800 that the Government intended to change the terms on which the grant was given. The Committee was itself divided on the issue, with Black supporting the proposed changes and Dr Little of Killyleagh arguing against them. The Synod petitioned against them. (14)

John Sherrard of Tullylish wrote to Castlereagh to complain that classification would 'put an end to that friendly intercourse and brotherly affection, which have hitherto reflected both honour upon themselves and done signal service to the religion they profess and preach to others.' But the main principle involved - that there should be no distinction in rank between ministers and, especially, that there should be no such distinction introduced by an external, secular power - was not likely to cut much ice with the government. As Castlereagh said to Black: 'far from operating as an inducement with them to dispense with precautions, these sentiments are calculated to inspire additional caution.' (15)

Cornwallis, the Lord Lieutenant, resigned in February 1801 after the King had vetoed the arrangements for securing Catholic loyalty under the Union proposed by Castlereagh. Castlereagh, as his Chief Secretory, resigned with him, though both continued to fulfil the duties of their offices until the end of May, when Lord Hardwicke, as Lord Lieutenant, and Charles Abbot, as Chief Secretary, took over. The change in administration took place at an awkward time for Black. The Synod had formally appealed against classification at the pro re nata meeting in October. The system then proposed only included fifteen ministers in the first class and relatively few ministers had a vested interest in defending it. But opposition was muted by the straightforward desire for an increase whatever the terms, and by the fear (which Black was not above cultivating) that the government might withdraw the grant altogether. Black saw himself as a lonely figure upholding the principles of national loyalty in an assembly whose loyalties were mainly devoted to the sect. He identified Presbyterian sectarianism with the Jacobinism of the United Irishmen, and felt that this opposition could only be defeated by the material incentive of the increased grant. There is almost a feeling that classification was desirable, not because of any result it might achieve on its own but because the sectarianism of the Synod was opposed to it and that sectarianism needed to be humiliated. In December, 1800, he had written to suggest that 'the Seceders require regulation still more than the Synod and I believe the Southern Association do not require it less' and to point out that if the Seceders were not 'regulated' in this manner it would increase their popularity and they would secure converts from the Synod. He was putting himself in opposition to a popular spirit which went far beyond either the narrow area of self conscious Jacobinism or the wider area of support mobilised by the United Irishmen. (16)

The new ministry had been appointed on the basis of refusing to make the adjustments in British political culture which Pitt and Castlereagh thought necessary to incorporate Ireland. If the principle that the body politic was to be co-terminous with the established church was to be maintained with respect to Catholics, this did not augur well for Presbyterians. The endowment of Presbyterianism had no implications for British culture as a whole so long as Ireland had a separate legislature, but under the Union, as Bruce had pointed out, it became an anomaly; and it had dangerous implications at a time when 'old dissent' was under political suspicion and a new revivalist dissent was proving highly disruptive to the established church.

The change in the ministry suggested that this logic would assert itself, in which case Black would be left with no means of regulating the Synod. Loyalty to the sect would predominate over loyalty to the nation: 'It is needless to point out to your Lordship, who are so well acquainted with our unhappy divisions, the loss of influence which loyal ministers will sustain, and the complete ascendancy which men of a different description will acquire, should those engagements not be observed which were made in the name of the late administration.' He wrote again in May 1801 to insist on the principle that the agent should be appointed by the government

'every wise man whom I have consulted, and many who have given unasked opinions, are satisfied that nothing but this can save the Synod from cabals and almost yearly contests - certainly if I am not protected by Government, I will not hold the employment a second year. A character more congenial to the party is already nominated to supply my place so soon as the arrangement is settled.' (17)

Black argued that the Synod should not be given the chance to discuss the proposals in detail, merely to accept or reject them as a package: 'a body formed as the Synod is must ever be incapable of wise and unprejudiced deliberation on a measure which must disappoint the wishes and hopes of so many respecting their share in the distribution.' In particular, elders were not to be given a say in discussions of the grant, in which case 'the popular party would be much weakened, as the elders always vote on that side.' In the event, no proposals were put before the June 1801 Synod, which resolved that elders should be allowed to discuss questions relating to the Synod's grant. Black and twenty-seven other ministers (including Moses Hogg, William Dunlop and Sinclaire Kelburn, who had been associated with the United Irishmen) protested against the participation of elders, arguing that the Regium Donum was a grant to ministers not to the Synod as a whole. It was a negotiation between the government and individual ministers, and the Synod's participation in this negotiation was not a matter of right but of 'the courtesy and indulgence of government only'. The principle that ministers were to a large extent to be financially dependent on the government rather than on the Presbyterian body as a whole, was thus openly put, and it could be said to complement the non-subscribing argument that ministers should be responsible in doctrine to their own consciences rather than to the Presbyterian body as a whole. Thus it is not inconsistent that while the elders were here seen as opponents of the 'conservative' Black, they were in the 1820s seen as supporters of the 'conservative' Henry Cooke. (18)

The Synod sent a letter to Castlereagh thanking him for 'the pains you have taken in explaining to His Majesty's ministers what has already passed on the subject of the augmentation of the royal bounty, and for recommending the measure to their consideration and adoption.' But after Castlereagh had left office, Alexander Knox, formerly his private secretary, now Treasurer to Maynooth College, seems to have taken on the role of intermediary between Black and the new administration. Confronted with an administration which was not prepared to modify its concept of British constitutional principle to take account of the needs of Irish society, Knox was anxious to find a means of reconciling Castlereagh's measures (whose 'expediency' he recognised) with Addington's principles. In particular, as far as Presbyterians were concerned, he wanted to prove that Irish Presbyterians had a constitutional right to a substantial Bounty which could not be extended in principle to any other sect in Ireland or Great Britain (Knox was in favour of endowing Catholic priests, but argued that this should be on essentially different principles to those on which Presbyterian ministers were endowed). (19)

The principle that he found (in Kirkpatrick's Presbyterian Loyalty) was that Ulster Presbyterians were not dissenters, in that they had never separated from an episcopal church. Presbyterian ministers had been introduced by the government as part of the Scottish plantation and in the seventeenth century an ambiguity had been maintained by which Presbyterian ministers had been allowed to regard the bishops who ordained them as presbyters. Many had emigrated from Scotland at the time of persecution under the Restoration and it was reasonable for them to expect a share in the benefits of the re-established Church of Scotland after the Revolution. The denial of this right on the part of the episcopal Church of Ireland had created the habit of alienation which had finally issued in the '98 rebellion.

While it was reasonable that dissenters should be tolerated, it was not reasonable that they should be subsidised, and, while Knox argued that the Synod of Ulster were not dissenters, it was obvious that the Seceders were. The Seceders should not therefore receive a grant. For the morally fastidious Knox 'the introducing of them at all is a striking specimen of the vagueness of mere expediency' and therefore an illustration of the need for an argument from principles such as the above. (20)

With the defeat over the participation of elders, and with the government's delay in giving the grant, Black seems to have felt the ground slipping from under his feet, and Knox told Castlereagh that he had received a constant stream of letters from him: 'Black has certainly had too high raised views, as of a business not sub judice but settled; and his exceeding cruel and ungrateful treatment from the Synod, with rather declining health, has, I fear, rather lessened his equanimity.' His letters 'discover so much ulceration of a mind of so peculiarly sound and almost noble a cast originally.' Immediately before the Synod met in June 1802, however, Alexander Marsden, now Under-Secretary for the Civil Department, following Edward Cooke, wrote on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant 'to signify to you his Excellency's pleasure that the mode hitherto pursued be strictly adhered to, and that the administration of the fund remain exclusively under the direction of the ministers as has heretofore been the uniform practice.' This was followed by a letter saying that the Cabinet had agreed to advise the King to increase the Regium Donum in the next year. (21)

Castlereagh called the decision on Hardwicke's part to exclude the lay elders 'a most seasonable manifestation of authority and has given weight to the friends of government in that body which will have the best consequences,' though an amendment the Synod passed to its resolution on elders is ambiguous - excluding them from voting on the management of the fund, but allowing them to vote on future changes in its method of administration. There seems to have been some doubt in the Cabinet as to the need to impose the conditions Castlereagh had suggested and which had provoked the opposition. Castlereagh therefore wrote to Addington, the Prime Minister, in July 1802 to explain why he thought conditions were necessary. (22)

Firstly, the fact that the Government and its supporters had so far called for classification meant that to abandon the principle 'would surrender the authority of the body very much into the hands of its worst members, by accomplishing the whole of what they have from the first contended for. The distribution and government of the fund is a natural engine of authority.' Power over the grant had to be vested in the State, not in the Synod, since ministers' dependence on the government and independence from their congregations 'are the only means which suggest themselves to my mind for making this important class of dissenters better subjects than they have of late years proved themselves.' Presbyterian sympathy for Jacobinism derived from the principles of ministerial equality and accountability to congregations of their own church. It was therefore desirable not only to make ministers less accountable to their congregations, but also to introduce a principle of inequality: 'Having a hierarchy of their own, they (Roman Catholics - PB) are less alive upon the principle of subordination than the Presbyterians, whose Church is republican in all its forms and too much so in many of its sentiments.'

The grant was at last offered to the Synod on conditions which included classification at their meeting in June 1803. Marsden, in his accompanying letter, explained the conditions, by saying that they were aimed, first, to help Presbyterians guard against 'the disgrace and evil that would attend the appointment of a disloyal minister' and secondly (through 'a proper gradation of emolument') 'to hold out to individuals the means of advancing themselves by the superior endowments of piety and learning.' The plan was altered in some details from its 1799 form. Most importantly, the number of congregations in each class were equal, thus creating a wider vested interest in support of the scheme. As Black had recommended, the idea of appointing a Royal Commissioner was dropped and the agent was to be appointed by the government, not by the Synod. (23)

It is by no means obvious from Marsden's account of the plan that the government had the right to withdraw the bounty once it had been offered to any particular minister. The plan says: 'the bounty once granted in no case to be withdrawn from any minister during his continuance in the charge of that particular congregation, so long as it shall please His Majesty to continue the bounty to the body at large.' Yet Sherrard complains in his A Few Observations that the Lord Lieutenant's right to withdraw the grant infringes on the people's right to choose their own ministers. This could refer to the right to withhold the grant from a congregation at the time of a minister's appointment, but Black was later (1812) to claim that 'under the existing arrangement, each minister holds his bounty by the same tenure that the judges of the land hold their places during good behaviour...' (24)

The issue of the government's right to withhold the grant had been discussed in the Cabinet, and Wickham, who had replaced Abbot as Chief Secretary in Ireland early in 1802, had, in April 1803, been in favour of postponing discussion on the subject. In September, he was proposing that it should be made an annually renewable parliamentary grant. In the event, there were never any cases of the grant once given being withdrawn. (25)

EFFECTS OF CLASSIFICATION

The plan was accepted by the Synod, but a protest was lodged by Rev Henry Henry of Connor on the basis of objections he had already published in his Illustration of the present critical state of the Synod of Ulster. These were that classification was unscriptural; that congregations had not had the chance to discuss the plan; that 'classified churches are and have been the most venal of all others, generally surrounded by external pomp and luxury'; that the Synod was classified by a power external to itself; and that this interfered with the right of church members to choose and control their clergy. (26)

Another pamphlet in opposition to the scheme was published by John Sherrard of Tullylish. Much of this was taken up with an attack on Black and his allies - 'our learned and pious doctors, who have laboured incessantly in the vineyard these four years passed to have the present plan adopted; but who, in all probability, when it is finally established, will command the lower ranks to become their obedient humble servants, to afford them a short interval of rest from their toil and leisure to enjoy the fruits of their honest industry.' He argued that the promoters of the plan in the Synod had been responsible for drawing it up and that thus the government 'when intending to do us both a very great favour and a very great honour, have been advised to adopt a mode of conferring their favour which must both disgrace us and entirely frustrate their own wise and good intentions.' (27)

Ministers who knew of the details of the plan had concealed them from other ministers on the insulting grounds that they might be easily inflamed. While he begins the pamphlet by saying that material necessity will force him to accept the grant, he goes on to argue against it in terms which suggest that he couldn't possibly accept it: 'In a word, must not everyone see that these changes go to dethrone the true king and head of his church, to give up that liberty whereby he has made his followers free, to overturn the constitution of the Presbyterian church, and to substitute in its place a completely human establishment?'

The civil magistrate was to replace Christ as the head of the Church by determining its constitution (i.e. the classes into which it was to be divided); equality before God was to be replaced by an inequality before the magistrate; the seeds of jealousy were to be sown by inequality of rank; the state in its dealings with the Synod would clearly take account only of the feelings of first class ministers who would exercise vigilance over the rest; the Synod was to become 'an inquisitorial, a kind of Star Chamber court'; contrary to Marsden's note, financial reward could not act as an inducement to piety since money was the root of all evil and emoluments were nearly always given to 'the idle and profligate, who had influence with men in power' (not an argument likely to appeal to the government). The overall effect would be to turn the Synod into an established (and Erastian) church, and thereby 'soon leave dissenters nothing but name.' (28)

A perspective similar to Sherrard's was jubilantly expressed by Knox to Castlereagh in July, 1803, soon after the Synod had acquiesced in the plan. The agent appointed by the Government (with a salary of £400 taken from the surplus of the grant) would be 'to all intents (with less state but far more efficiency than in Scotland) a Royal Commissioner in the Synod.... He will be a kind of permanent moderator to whom in all matters of a public nature infallible attention and deference will be paid':

'Never before was Ulster under the dominion of the British crown. It had a distinct moral existence, and moved and acted on principles of which all we could certainly know was that they were not with the state, therefore when any tempting occasion occurred, ready to act against it: now the distinct existence will merge into the general wellbeing, the Presbyterian ministers being henceforth a subordinate ecclesiastical aristocracy, whose feeling must be that of zealous loyalty, and whose influence on their people will be as surely sedative when it should be so and exciting when it should be so, as it was the direct reverse before.' (29)

It is of course difficult to estimate the extent to which Sherrard's fears and Knox's optimism were justified. The mere fact that Synod ministers had been in receipt of a grant since - with some interruptions - the mid-seventeenth century distinguished them from the dissenters in England and Scotland (a small Regium Donum was given to English dissenters and went towards their widows' fund). Drennan thought that the grant was of itself politically emasculating and had complained when Black (apparently on his own initiative) applied for an increase in February, 1792, that 'if they get a great increase to the bounty, their dependence on the crown will increase in the very same ratio. They will be dissociated from the laity and our religion will be contaminated by the corruption of our pastors.' After the grant was given, he commented: 'I think the Presbyterian parsons are pretty well gagged now' and again, at the beginning of 1793 (in response to Black's loyalist speech in Derry Cathedral): 'they are well and truly pensioned and not one here (Dublin - PB) wishes to speak on any public subject.' (30)

Thus the mere fact of being paid by the government at all regardless of the conditions of payment can be said to have had an effect on the political behaviour of ministers, and this charge was most forcibly made during the 'Voluntary' debates of the 1830s, when Ulster Presbyterianism in general disregarded the opposition built up by English and Scottish dissent to the principle of state support for religion (though there was substantial Presbyterian support for reform of the method of tithe collection). The failure of Voluntaryism in Ulster had wider repercussions insofar as it deprived radicalism of one of the stimuli that were important to it in Great Britain. But, as we shall see later, the endowment of Presbyterian ministers was not the sole reason for Presbyterian caution in this matter, and was not in any case likely to much effect the attitude of Presbyterian laymen. (31)

Drennan expected that the new grant could result in a drive towards congregationalist principles, owing to dissatisfaction among the laity at their loss of influence. But insofar as the split he envisaged between laity and clergy did occur, the main beneficiaries seem to have been other Presbyterian bodies - the Seceders and Covenanters, until the Seceders succumbed to classification and a number of their congregations turned to the Scottish 'Old Light' Synods and to James Bryce's 'Primitive Secession.' (32)

Knox's view that the Synod's agent would become 'a kind of permanent moderator to whom in all matters of a public nature infallible attention and deference will be paid' does not appear to be justified by the event. Black came into conflict with the Synod as a whole in 1806 when a memorial was submitted to the Lord Lieutenant, asking for an equalisation of the bounty. Twenty nine ministers, including Black, supported a protest against the memorial on very straightforward secular grounds of the rights of private property. Of these, twenty-five were in First Class congregations, and there was only one Third Class minister. A smaller number of more definite supporters of Black protested against negotiations for the equalisation being conducted by a Synodical committee instead of by Black and the Presbytery of Dublin ministers (who also supported classification) since the latter normally conducted negotiations with the government. In the event, Black visited Dublin at the same time as the Synod's commissioners to argue against equalisation which was refused by the government - a move which can hardly have endeared him to the rest of the Synod. (33)

Black's personal prestige was also put to the test in his dispute with William Steele Dickson in 1812 over the latter's Narrative of the confinement and exile of William Steele Dickson, when the Synod ordered the publication of Black's Substance of two speeches against what were taken to be Dickson's calumnies. Dickson refused to sign a vaguely worded declaration against errors in the Narrative, but an effort to suspend him was defeated 'to allow Dr Dickson an opportunity of publicly retracting his misstatements and misrepresentations.' The result was his Retractions, which forcibly reasserted his arguments against Black. Dickson was supported in the 1813 Synod by William Porter, previously a protege of Black's. The result was not a clear-cut victory for either side. It was agreed that there were some errors in Dickson's Narrative (Dickson himself did not dispute this), but it was also agreed 'that in the minute of 1799, the phrase "implicated in treasonable and seditious practices" as applied to two of its members then in confinement (which was the main point under dispute - PB) was inaccurately used, inasmuch as it appears to be liable to an unfavourable construction respecting them' and that the Synod regretted its failure to answer a memorial from Dickson in 1805 wanting this point clarified. (34)

So that, although Black was widely regarded as being in the ascendant during this period, a coherent opposition to him continued. Those who supported a protest by Porter against the Synod's handling of the matter included seven out of the twelve ministers accused of complicity in the rebellion who still remained in the Synod. Some backing can be given to the argument that the Arians of the 1820s continued a politically radical tradition in the Synod by the fact that eight of the fifteen Remonstrants who were in the Synod in 1813 supported Porter (including Porter himself). A ninth, W.D.H. McEwen, subsequently joined the Presbytery of Antrim. In 1813, he appears to have been orthodox, insofar as he opposed the Synod's leniency to Josiah Ker, who had declared himself to be an Arian in 1810; though this may be complicated by the fact that Ker was a consistent supporter of Black. (35)

Black was finally defeated on the question of the Belfast Academical Institution, which seems to have been responsible for his suicide in 1817, and his successor, George Hay, also of Londonderry, did not play an important part in the Synod's affairs. Thus it is only in the first ten years that a case can be made for the agent for Regium Donum being a new disciplinary centre to the Synod, and this period saw a political quiescence which stretched far beyond the bounds of the Synod. Black certainly made an impact. According to Dickson, he 'discharges his poisoned urn, as a pestilential Aquarius, to chill or overwhelm" every tender bud of candour and liberality 'with the turbid effusions of his envenomed eloquence'; and Montgomery, leader of the Arians in the 1820s, accused Cooke of trying to fasten B!ack's yoke back on the Synod. But it was the circumstances following the rebellion, together with the skill of his envenomed eloquence which gave Black his influence, not the post of agent for Regium Donum itself. (36)

Dickson was the only case of a minister being deprived of Regium Donum because of his political views, and his case is slightly complicated by the fact of his congregation (second, Keady) having been erected after the list on which the grant was based had been drawn up; and by his insistence that he was not applying for the grant: he simply wanted to know why it hadn't been offered to him. (37)

Dickson was the only minister of those accused of complicity in the rebellion who was made a state prisoner. Concrete evidence against the United Irish leaders was difficult to obtain (owing to the reluctance of informers to testify) and this resulted in the agreement with the Dublin prisoners, whereby they gave the government an account of the progress of the United Irish system in exchange for freedom to leave the country. Dickson, according to his own account, took a leading part in preventing such an agreement being made with the Belfast prisoners, who therefore had eventually to be returned to Ireland. Subsequently, he denied that government had proved his involvement in rebellion, but refused to deny that he had been involved; while maintaining that he had never engaged in politically dishonourable activities or betrayed 'his country' - of both of which he accused Castlereagh. (38)

He was also the only minister to take a fairly prominent role in radical politics in the immediate aftermath of the Union. He was active in opposing Castlereagh in the 1805 election (which Castlereagh lost); he wrote for Drennan's Belfast Monthly Magazine (albeit on the innocuous subject of improved methods for flax spinning); and his Narrative was a fierce attack on the government's early treatment of United Irish prisoners and on the Union itself. His congregation received Regium Donum after his resignation for health reasons in 1815. (39)

 

It would be difficult to argue that classification produced an 'ecclesiastical hierarchy' based on wealth, where none had existed before. Reid/Killen points out that there already were considerable variations in the amount of stipend paid to ministers, and the new arrangement aimed as far as possible to coincide with the old. Of the seventeen ministers who became Moderators between 1804 (after classification had been introduced) and 1820, twelve came from first class congregations. Two came from third class congregations. It is worth noting that the appeal against classification in 1806 and the subsequent quarrel with the government over the Belfast Academical Institution took place under Moderators from second or third class congregations. But of the twenty-six ministers who became Moderators between 1778 and 1803 (before classification was introduced), fifteen came from congregations which were subsequently put in the first class, and only three from congregations which were put in the third class. (40)

Generally speaking, congregations which, according to the list Black submitted to Castlereagh in 1799, had stipends of over £50 a year were put in the first class; between £40 and £50 in the second class; and under £40 in the third class. There was a considerable overlap at £50 and £40, though most £50 ministers were put in the second class. There are a number of surprises (1st, Omagh, with £30, in the first class; Aughnacloy with £65, 1st Coleraine and Tobermore with £60, Newtownards with £70, all in the second class; Dunluce with only £20, also in the second class; Dunmurry with £60 and Glendermot and Omagh each with £50 in the third class). There seems little pattern in these irregularities, except that of the five second class congregations receiving less than £40 in 1799, four underwent a change of minister during this period.

Certainly it is difficult to relate these variations to support or otherwise for Black previous to the introduction of the scheme. Of the five £50 ministers put in the first class, none supported the 1801 protest against allowing elders to speak on the Regium Donum (two out of the twenty-three £50 ministers put in the second class did so). Of the fourteen ministers put in the second class, only two supported the protest, while three out of the thirteen in the third class did so. Of nine ministers who benefited surprisingly from classification, two (1st Coleraine, and the particularly surprising 1st Omagh) had supported the protest, but so had one (1st Newtownards) of the nine ministers who lost surprisingly.

There is no evidence of discrimination against ministers associated with the rebellion, outside the case of Steele Dickson; or against congregations whose ministers had been executed or had left the country because of such association. Five such ministers were in the first class, together with four such congregations. Only three such ministers were in the third class, with only one such congregation, none of them surprising (though James Porter's congregation at Greyabbey was a borderline case at £40). There are only two surprises: James Davison with £65 was put in the second class, while William Dunlop, with only £40 was put in the first class (Dunlop supported Black both in opposing the participation of elder in discussing Regium Donum, and, subsequently, in opposing the memorial for equalisation). (41)

The new 'hierarchy' of reward thus conforms more closely to existing divisions of wealth than to reputations for loyalty or disloyalty. Clearly, the new source of income was more secure than payment by congregations and thus could be expected to have a tendency to fix these divisions, but since the grants inhered in congregations rather than in the ministers themselves, and congregations still had the right, with the agreement of the Synod as a whole, to dismiss their ministers, it probably had less effect than Castlereagh had hoped in rendering ministers independent of their congregations (the Fasti lists about fourteen ministers suspended, dismissed or deposed between 1804 and 1820, mostly on points of moral behaviour).

The greatest effects of the grant were probably to increase the 'respectability' of Presbyterian ministers (with a corresponding decrease in their sense of alienation); and to render them independent of other sources of income such as farming or teaching. Classification was not necessary to either of these effects. The main distinct effect of classification was to inflict a moral defeat on the Synod, which had resolved against it yet had to accept it with gratitude: this in turn produced a redistribution of Presbyterian sectarians which strengthened the Reformed Presbyterians and, after the Seceders had been incorporated into the scheme, finally issued in the introduction of a 'Scotch' Secession interest. It can thus be said to have had a marginal effect in reducing the emphasis on Presbyterian peculiarities within the classified synods, thus possibly helping to incorporate the sectarian into a national (or 'imperial') loyalty, as Castlereagh and Knox had hoped it would.

CLASSIFICATION AND VOLUNTARYISM

The opposition to Regium Donum in this period was not yet a fully fledged voluntaryism. The Scottish Secession had moved towards voluntaryism by opposing any coercive power on the part of the magistrate in religious matters, but it had not yet declared itself opposed in principle to state support for religion and the Scottish Synods took a tolerant attitude towards the Irish Synods' surrender to classification. But voluntaryism was implicit in the Scottish New Light position in that funds derived from the whole community to support the religious practice of a part of the community could still be seen as a form of persecution - a penalty on dissent (and John Macleod in his Scottish Theology sees the adoption of the New Light position as the first step of the Secession towards regarding themselves as 'dissenters'). (42)

Thomas Ledlie Birch (like Joseph Priestly in England) had seen the union of church and state as the Antichrist, and traced its origin from the first tithe; Drennan (and, to a lesser extent, Steele Dickson) saw any form of state endowment as a form of political emasculation; Rev Henry Henry declared that "I am no advocate either for establishments or royal gifts, especially establishments professedly intolerant' (he was replying to an attack by the Reformed Presbyterian, Matthew Meek, who subsequently supported the proto--voluntary Rev John Paul in the disputes in the 1830s). Voluntary sentiments were thus undoubtedly current, but once the option of revolution had been ruled out, no coherent programme was formulated on the basis of them, and while revolution was a possibility, such issues tended to be obscured in generalities to maintain the broadest possible alliance. The main beneficiaries of popular discontent over classification - the Reformed Presbyterians and the Old Light Secession - were the strongest advocates of the covenanted state: though the Reformed Presbyterians were later to be split by the tension between the voluntaryist and covenanting tendencies of their opposition to the actually existing establishment. (43)

James Bryce, in his account of the Antiburghers' acceptance of classification, gives what appears to be the full apocalyptical argument for principled voluntaryism:

"The beast with the seven heads and ten horns upon which the woman sat, is evidently the ten kingdoms of the western empire supporting Christianity. This connexion between church and state is called Babylon, or spiritual adultery; in other words, all churches receiving legal support from the civil power are, in the language of prophecy, committing fornication with the kings of the earth. Our Lord Christ has pledged himself in the marriage covenant to support his own spouse. Suppose any other man to supply my wife with food and raiment from year to year, would not every person consider himself justified in calling me cuckold? So, if the spouse of Christ receive her support from the kingdoms of the world, is not this to commit fornication against her Lord?' (44)

But Bryce's objection was to the manner in which the state support was given, not to the principle of establishment as such. He argued that a priest of Jehovah could take offerings which had been given to Jehovah. The government had a perfect right to make a freewill offering to the church; the church had no right to become a pensionary of the government. His objection was to the minister of Christ, in his ministerial capacity (in which he should be sovereign over civil society) having to petition humbly to the civil power for half his income: "This last expression - "as approved by him" (the Lord Lieutenant - PB) - was always the grand obnoxious clause, particularly to me, who had already resolved that no magistrate, in any station, should ever have it in his power to put either a positive or a negative on the one half of my income as a minister of the gospel.' (45)

He had no objection in principle to classification, which he called 'a mere blind to cover the real evils the whole transaction contained' and, though the requirement to take the oath of allegiance could be regarded as insulting, he thought it understandable under the circumstances, and that it could have been borne with. He thought the provision of a regular stipend from the congregation contained in embryo the same dangers as state support: "The people in general consider their stipend as a tax on their property and not as a solemn service to our Lord and Saviour.' (46)

By 1820, Bryce had about six congregations under his (and his colleague, Hugh Mclntyre's) care, of which the second largest, Dervock, with about sixty families, left in 1821 to join the Scottish Antiburgher 'Synod of Protestors' (formed in opposition to the union of the Scottish Burgher and Antiburgher Synods in 1820). The Scottish Original Synod (Old Light Burghers) only had about three. The minutes of the Reformed Presbytery only record one case of a request for supply of sermon to a Secession congregation dissatisfied with classification (some Burghers in 1810). (47)

 

Notes

 

(1) Fitzgibbon quoted in Edith Johnston: Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, Dublin 1974, p,161; Locke: Second Treatise, p. 161. Back

(2) H.M. Hyde: The Rise of Castlereagh, London 1933, p.100.

(3) Belfast Monthly Magazine, Vol i, no 4 (Sept 1808), pp.54-55; Joy and Bruce: Belfast Politics, Belfast 1817, pp.x-xii.

(4) For Castlereagh seeing Presbyterians as more problematical than Roman Catholics see esp. Castlereagh to Addington, 21/7/1802 in Londonderry (ed): Memoirs and Correspondence of Viscount Castlereagh, Vol IV, London 1848, pp. 223-22; for Presbyterian indifference to the demise of the Irish Parliament, see l.ondonderry to Castlereagh, 10/12/1798, and Luke Fox to Castlereagh, 7/10/ 1799 in ibid, Vol II, pp.39 and 414; for Drennan demonstrating against the Union, see Drennan to Mrs McTier, 19/1/1800, in D.A. Chart (ed): The Drennan Letters, Belfast 1931, pp.296-297.

(5) Castlereagh to Sir George Hill, 1/12/1798, in Cast Corr ii, p.33.

(6) Account of Black's career in DNB and in Thomas Witherow: Historical and Literary Memorials of Presbyterianism in Ireland, 2nd ser, 1731 -1800, London and Belfast, 1880, pp.267-269; Black in 1783 election in Historical Account, e.g. pp. 50-51; for election as agent for Regium Donum, see RGSU, pp.103-105 (December 1788) and p. 115 (June 1789); Black's presence at dinner to Burke in Drennan Letters, p. 149. Back

(7) Account of original proposals in Cast Corr iii, pp.172-174. ,

(8) Reid: History, pp. 381-383; account of Crawford in DNB; Rev J.A. Hamilton to Cornwallis, 24/8/1798, in Cast Corr ii, p.319.

(9) Hyde: Castlereagh, p.380.

(10) Duke of Portland to Lord Lieutenant (Cornwallis), 31/8/1799 in Cast Corr ii, p.381.

(11) Ibid and Black to Castlereagh, 9/4/1800, in Cast Corr iii, p.381. Back

(12) Portland to Cornwallis as in fn (10) above.

(13) Black to Castlereagh, 27/4/1799, in Cast Corr iii, pp.165-166; William Steele Dickson: Retractations, or a Review of and a Reply to a Pamphlet Entitled 'Substance 85 of Two Speeches etc', Belfast 1813, pp.35-39.

(14) RGSU p.231 (June 1800) and pp.234-235 (October 1800); for quarrel between Black and Little, George Birch to Castlereagh, 23/10/1800, Cast Corr iii, pp.393-394.

(15) Sherrard to Castlereagh, 13/10/1800, m Cast Corr iii, pp.389-392; Castlereagh to Black, 24/10/1800, ibid, pp.394-395.

(16) Black to Castlereagh, 30/12/1800, in Cast Corr iii, p.422. Back

(17) Black to Castlereagh, 28/2/1801 and 30/5/1801, in Cast Corr iv, pp.65 and 87.

(18) Ibid, p. 87; RGSU pp.244-246 (June 1801).

(19) RGSU p.247 (June 1801); Knox to Castlereagh, 5/2/1802, in Cast Corr iv, pp.216-218.

(20) Alexander Knox: 'Observations on the Situation of the Irish Presbyterians' in Cast Corr iv, pp. 252-262.

(21) Knox on Black in Knox to Castlereagh 23/2/1802 in Cast Corr iv, p.220; Marsden's letters in RGSU pp. 255-257 (June 1802). Back

(22) Castlereagh to Wickham, 1/4/1802 in Wickham MSS, PRONI T2627/5/6/6; Castlereagh to Addington in Cast Corr iv, pp.223-226.

(23) RGSU pp.270-271 (June 1803).

(24) Ibid; John Sherrard: A Few Observations on the Nature and Tendency of the Changes Lately Proposed to be Made in the Constitution of the Protestant Dissenting Church, Belfast 1803, pp.18-19; Robert Black: The Substance of Two Speeches Delivered in the General Synod of Ulster at Its Annual Meeting in 1812, Dublin 1812, p.75.

(25) Wickham to Newport, 6/4/1803, in Wickham MSS, T2627/5/J/3; and copy letter, Wickham to Castlereagh, 29/9/1803 in T2627/5/0/53.

(26) RGSU p.272 (June 1803). Back

(27) Sherrard: A Few Observations, pp.32-33 and 38-39.

(28) Ibid, pp.21-22, 30, 31 and 16.

(29) Knox to Castlereagh, 15/7/1803, Cast Corr iv, pp. 286-287.

(30) Drennan to Samuel McTier in Chart: Drennan Letters, Feb 1792, p. 72; 27/2/1792, p.85; 31/1/1793, p.125. 284

(31) See below, esp pp.202-211 and 220-243. Back

(32) Drennan to Mrs McTier, 19/10/1800, in Chart: Drennan Letters, p. 303.

(33) RGSU pp.312-314 (June 1806); Drennan to Mrs McTier, 9/7/1806, in Drennan Letters, p. 364; Dickson: Narrative, pp. 274-275.

(34) RGSU pp.383-384 (June 1812) and ibid pp. 394-399 (June 1813).

(35) RGSU p.399 (June 1813); case of Josiah Ker, pp. 369-370 (June 1811).

(36) Dickson: Retractations, p. 52; Montgomery at first meeting of the Remonstrant Synod in NW 27/5/1830. Back

(37) Black: Sabstance of Two speeches, pp. 30-31; Dickson: Retractations, p. 49.

(38) Dickson: Narrative, pp.84-86; Retractations, pp. 63-64

(39) Bailie: Dickson, p.27; BMM II, viii (March 1809), pp.165-168.

(40) Reid: History, iii, pp.402-403; information on moderators from RGSU passim. Fasti and list of congregations attached to each class in RGSU pp.288-289 (June 1804).

(41) The above discussion based on list of congregations in each class, RGSU pp.288-289; list of supporters of the 1801 protest in ibid, pp. 245-246 (June 1801); the list of congregations with stipends submitted by Black to Castlereagh in Cast Corr iii, pp. 167-171 (1799); the list of ministers implicated in the rebellion in Miller: Presbyterians and "Modernisation", p. 78, together with Fasti and W.D. Killen: History of Congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Belfast and Edinburgh, 1886. Back

(42) for Scottish Synod's attitude, see James Bryce: A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Associate (Anti-burgher) Synods of Ireland and Scotland in the Affair of the Royal Bounty, Belfast 1816, p. 52; Macteod: Scottish Theology, p.234

(43) For Priestley, see Clarke Garrett: 'Joseph Priestley, the Millennium and the French Revolution' in Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol XXXIV, i (Jan-March 1973), e.g. p. 58, and Joseph Priestley: The Present State of Europe Compared with Ancient Prophecies, London 1794; for Henry Henry, see Witherow: Memorials, p.291; for Meek supporting Paul, see Matthew Meek: Letter to the Rev Thomas Houston, Ballymena 1832; and for dispute among Reformed Presbyterians, see pp. 225-241 below.

(44) Bryce: Narrative, pp. 52-58 (fn).

(45) Ibid, p. 28.

(46) Ibid, p.29 (for classification); pp.28-9 (for oath of allegiance); pp. 34-35 (for attitude of people). Back

(47) Stewart: Seceders, pp.393-397; RPI minutes, 1803-1811, p.202.