Irish House of Commons, Tuesday, March 11, Excerpt

Citation Information: “Irish House of Commons, Tuesday, March 11, Excerpt,” The London Chronicle, January 3 - March 18, 1800, Vol. 87.

Tuesday, March 11

On the second reading of the new Rebellion Bill, on Tuesday,

Mr. Richard Dawson, Member for the country of Monaghan, opposed it. He observed, that he could not view it in any other light than as an engine in the hands of the Administration, for the purpose of driving the people of Ireland to the dreadful alternative of calling out for the detested measure of an Union, in the hope that change of any kind might better their condition. He denied that any such thing as rebellion existed in the country.

Mr. M’Naghten stated, that the county he had the honour to represent (Antrim) was in a very disturbed state, and that those people who were active in suppressing the rebellion, were in continual fear of being murdered.

A similar assertion was made by another Member, who said, that the Yeomanry and others, who were formerly engaged in inflicting the penalties of martial Law, in the neighbourhood of Fethard, where he resided, were in a constant state of peril and alarm.

Doctor Browne said, he remained of the same opinion as last year, with respect to this Bill, and could see no good reason why it should be brought forward now. He asserted there was nothing which even bordered on rebellion existing in the country, although he was convinced much dissatisfaction did prevail.

Mr. Ogle said, that if he thought the present Bill had the smallest connection with the detested measure of Union, it should meet his decided opposition; nor would he even vote for it now, convinced as he was there was a spirit of rebellion in the country, which waited but for a favourable opportunity to burst forth, unless amended in two parts, viz. the one which authorised the Lord Lieutenant to appoint such persons as he thought fit to sit on Courts Martial, and the other which prolongs that act to a period he was afraid ad infinitum, i. e. to the end of the next Session; which he feared, would never come in this country. He thought these Courts should be composed indiscriminately of the troops of the Line, the Militia, and the Yeomanry.