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After the Commonwealth forces conquered Ireland, the policy of confiscation and plantation initiated by the act of 1641 was implemented. By an Act for the settling of Ireland (1652), many protestant and nearly all the catholic landowners, graded according to their guilt in the eyes of parliament, had lost all or a portion of their estates. By the Act for satisfaction (1653), the lands so secured, were divided amongst the soldiers and adventurers. (For the text of these two ordinances see C. H. Firth and R. S. Rait, Acts and ordinances of the interregnum (1642-60), ii. 598603, 72253.) The restoration of 1660 was welcomed by all the Irish parties, each of which could claim that it had at some period supported the royal authority or the British cause. The new government's land policy was embodied in the act of settlement. This measure was soon found to be unworkable since there was not sufficient land to satisfy all the claims based on it. In consequence it was amended three years later by the Act of explanation (1665). By the provisions of this latter act the various protestant interests lost one third of their claims, while all unheard catholic petitioners were debarred from bringing their cases before the court of claims. (For an account of the land policy of the Commonwealth and the Restoration see R. Dunlop, Ireland under the Commonwealth (Manchester 1913), i, preface, and W. F. T. Butler, Confiscation in Irish history (London 1918), chapters V and VI.) [Curtis & McDowell, Irish Historical Documents 11721922, p. 159].
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Created: By King Charles II Date range: 1662-1665.
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Benjamin Hazard (ed.)
Benjamin Hazard (capture)
Whereas an unnatural insurrection did break forth against your majesty's royal father of ever blessed memory, his crown and dignity, in this your majesty's kingdom of Ireland upon the 23 October in the year of our Lord God 1641, and manifest itself by the murder and destructions of many thousands of your said majesty's good and loyal subjects, which afterwards universally spreading and diffusing itself over the whole kingdom, settled into, and became a formed and almost national rebellion of the Irish papists, against your royal father of blessed memory, his crown and dignity, to the destruction of the English and protestants inhabiting in Ireland, the which Irish papists being represented in a general assembly chosen by themselves, and acting by a council called by them, The supreme council of the confederate Roman catholics of Ireland, did first assume, usurp and exercise the power of life and death, make peace and war, levy and coin money, and many other acts of sovereign authority, treating with foreign princes and potentates for their government and protection, and afterwards acted under a foreign authority, by all the said ways disowing and rejecting your royal father, and your majesty's undoubted right to this kingdom, even whilst they treacherously used his and your majesty's names in the outward forms of their proceedings [...] and whereas several of your majesty's subjects, by whom, as instruments, the said rebels were totally subdued, did in the time of your majesty's absence beyond the seas, for supply of the then pressing necessities, and to prevent the further desolation of this your majesty's kingdom, enquire into the authors, contrivers, and abettors of the said rebellion and war, and after much deliberation among themselves [...] did dispossess such of the said popish Irish rebels of their lands, tenements and hereditaments, as they found guilty of, and to have been engaged in, the said rebellion or war aforementioned, and did withal distribute and set out the said lands to be possessed by sundry persons, their agents and tenants,
p.160who by advancing of their monies and goods, or by hazarding of their lives, had contributed into the said conquest, or who had been otherwise useful, as having served or suffered in the suppression of the said rebellion and war; and whereas several of your majesty's protestant subjects as soon as with much difficulty and hazard they had gotten the power of this kingdom into their hands, did according to their bounden duty, with all humility and cheerfulness, invite your majesty into this your kingdom, [...] and afterwards when your sacred majesty, their sovereign lord and king, by your gracious letters from Breda, bearing date the 4/141 day of April in the twelfth year of your majesty's reign, intimated your royal intentions of returning to the exercise of your regal authority, they, with others of your majesty's protestant subjects, did readily and dutifully yield up themselves and the said subdued people with this your kingdom of Ireland, unto your majesty's absolute obedience and disposition, who thereupon after many months consideration, and the public hearing of all parties concerned in, and pretending to lands and estates in this your majesty's kingdom; [...] did [...] set forth a declaration bearing the date the 30 November, in the twelfth year of your majesty's reign, with several explanations and instructions relating thereunto, expressing your royal pleasure concerning the people and territories of this your majesty's said kingdom, declaring it likewise to be your pleasure, that all the particulars in the said declaration mentioned should be effectually recommended unto your majesty's chief governor or governors, privy council and parliament in this kingdom, for the establishing the same, by law. Now we the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons in this present parliament assembled [...] do most thankfully acknowledge, accept and admire your sacred majesty's wisdom, grace and justice towards all interests in that your majesty's said gracious declaration and instructions expressed. [...] It is therefore enacted [...] that all honours, manors, castles, houses, places, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, right, title, service, chiefry, use, trust, condition, fee, rent-charge, chattels real, mortage, right of redemption of any mortgages, recognizance, judgments, forfeitures, extent, right of action, right of entry, stature or any other estate of what nature or kind soever, in all and every the counties, baronies, cities, towns, corporate and walled towns in this kingdom, which at any time from and after the said 23 October, in the year of our Lord 1641, were seized or sequestered into the hands, or to the use of his late majesty King Charles I, or of your most gracious majesty that now is, or otherwise disposed of, distributed, set out, or set apart, by reason of, or upon account of the said rebellion or war, or which were allotted, assigned, given, granted, ordered, disposed, distributed, demised, set out, or set apart to or for any person or persons, use or uses, for adventures, arrears, reprisals or otherwise, or whereof his late majesty, or your majesty that now is, or any adventurer, soldier, reprisable person, or others respectively had and received the rent, issue or profits, by reason or upon account of the said rebellion or
p.161war, or whereof the adventurers, officers or soldiers now or formerly of the English army in this kingdom, or transplanted or transplantable persons, or any of them, or their or any of their heir, heirs or assigns, or any other person or persons whatsoever, upon account of the said rebellion or war, were in seizin, possession or occupation [...] on 7 May 1659, or which were assigned, given, set apart, or reserved for or towards the satisfaction of any the said adventurers, soldiers or other persons for or in consideration of any money or provisions advanced, lent or furnished, or for arrears of pay, or in compensation of any service or reputed services, or other account whatsoever, or reserved or mentioned to be reserved, for or in order to a reprisal or reprisals for such incumbrances as then were, now are, or shall be adjudged due to any person or persons [...] or unto which your royal father, or your majesty that now is, are any ways entitled by reason of, or upon account of the said rebellion or war, or which are wrongfully detained or concealed by any person or persons whatever; as also all chantries, and all manors, lands, tenements, rents, tithes [...] of any persons or persons, who by the qualifications in this act shall not be adjudged innocent persons, as also all lands, tenements, and hereditaments belonging to any ecclesiastical person or persons, in his or their politic capacity, and that have formerly by them or any of them been let in fee-farm, the right whereof, or title thereunto, or interest therein, was in any person or persons, his or their heirs or assigns, who by the qualifications in this act expressed, shall not be adjudged innocent persons, as also all leases that have been made by any ecclesiastical persons, of any lands, tenements or hereditaments belonging to them in their politic capacity, to any person or persons, their executors, administrators, or assigns, who by the qualifications in this act expressed shall not be adjudged innocent persons, as also all impropriations or appropriate tithes belonging to any person or persons, his or their heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, who by the qualifications in this present act expressed shall not be adjudged innocent, are and shall be, and are hereby declared, deemed and adjudged, as from the said 23 October, 1641, forfeited, and to have been forfeited to your majesty, your heirs and successors[...]
IV. Provided likewise, that this act [...] shall not vest [...] in your majesty, your heirs or successors, or otherwise be prejudicial unto or take away any estate, right, title, interest, service, chiefry, use, trust, condition, fee, rent-charge, chattel, real, mortgage, right of redemption of mortgages, recognizance, judgment, forfeiture, extent, right of action, right of entry, stature, or any other estate, of what nature or kind soever, from any protestant or protestants, their heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, who did not join with the said rebels before 15 September, 1643, [...] nor to the vesting any of the lands, tenements, hereditaments, or chattels real, right title, service, chiefry, use, trust, condition, fee, rent-charge, chattel-real, mortgage, right of redemption of mortage, recognizance, judgment, forfeiture, extent, right of action, right of entry, statute,
p.162or any other estate, of what nature or kind soever, of any innocent papist, or their innocent heirs, executors, administrators or assigns.
V. And be it further enacted [...] that all and every such person or persons [...] to whom any lands, tenements, or hereditaments belonging unto such protestant or innocent papist have been assigned [...] shall forthwith, and before any other reprisals whatsoever to be set out, be reprized [...]
VII. And whereas your sacred majesty hath by your said gracious declaration and instructions declared your royal pleasure and intentions, how the said honours, manors, castles, houses, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, and all other the estates and interests hereby forfeited unto, and vested in your majesty, your heirs, and successors, should be disposed of, and also by commission under your great seal of this your kingdom, bearing date 30 April in the 13th year of your majesty's reign, appointed certain commissioners for putting in execution all the matters and things in the said declaration and instructions contained, be it enacted [...] that all the said honours, manors, lands, castles, houses, tenements, hereditaments, and all other the estates and interests hereby vested and settled in your majesty, your heirs and successors [...] shall be and remain in your most sacred majesty, your heirs and successors, to the intent to be settled, confirmed, restored, or disposed to and for such use and uses, and in such manner, as in and by the said declaration and instructions hereafter following, and by this present act, and true intent and meaning thereof, is declared, limited, meant, intended or appointed.
Charles the second, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc. To all our loving subjects of our kingdom of Ireland, of what degree or quality soever, greeting. It having pleased Almighty God out of His great mercy and compassion towards us, and all our subjects, to restore us in so wonderful a manner to each other, and with so wonderful circumstances of affection and confidence in each other as must for ever fill our hearts (if we are in any degree sensible of such blessings) with an humble and grateful acknowledgment of the obligation we owe to His Divine Providence, that He would vouchsafe to work that miracle for us Himself, which no endeavours of our own could bring to pass. We think it agreeable to the just sense we have, and ought to have of the good affection of all our good subjects, who have contributed so much in bringing this unspeakable blessing upon us and themselves, that we acknowledge that our good subjects in our kingdom of Ireland have born a very good part in procuring this happiness, [...] however it was not easy for us to make any public declaration with reference to that our kingdom, there being many difficulties in the providing for, and complying with the several
p.163interests and pretences there, which we were bound in honour and justice in some degree to take care of, and which were different from the difficulties we were to contend within this kingdom; we well knew the acts of parliament which had formerly past for the security of the adventurers in that kingdom, and had heard of the proceedings which had been thereupon, by which very many officers, soldiers, and others, as well of this, as that our kingdom were in possession of a great part of the lands of that our kingdom, and of whose interests we resolve to be very careful.
II. We well remember the cessation, and the peace which our royal father of blessed memory had been forced, during the late troubles, to make with the Irish subjects of that our kingdom,2 by which he was compelled to give them a full pardon for what they had before done amiss upon their return to their duties, and their promise of giving his majesty a vigorous assistance, and that from that time divers persons of honour and quality had not (that we know or have heard of) swerved from their allegiance towards him or us. We could not forget the peace that ourself was afterwards necessitated to make with our said subjects,3 in the time when they who wickedly usurped the authority in this kingdom, had erected that odious court for the taking away of the life of our dear father; and then no body can wonder that we were desirous, though upon difficult conditions, to get such an united power of our own subjects, as might have been able, with God's blessing, to have prevented that infamous and horrible parricide.
III. And therefore we could not but hold ourself obliged to perform what we owe by that peace, to those who had honestly and faithfully performed what they had promised to us, though we and they were miserably disappointed of the effect of those promises, by an unhappy part of them which foolishly forfeited all the grace which they might have expected from us.
IV. And in the last place, we did and must always remember the great affection a considerable part of that nation expressed to us, during the time of our being beyond the seas, when with all cheerfulness and obedience, they received and submitted to our orders, and betook themselves to that service which we directed as most convenient and behooveful at that time to us, though attended with inconvenience enough to themselves; [...] and yet all these important considerations and obligations appeared so many contradictions to the present interest of our good subjects in that kingdom, who had at this time likewise merited very much from us, and for whose security and advantage we held ourself obliged to provide as well as for their indemnity, and so the good settlement of that our kingdom appeared much the more difficult unto us, and even lessened and abated much of that joy of heart we found ourself possessed with, for the great blessings we enjoy in the peace and quiet of this our kingdom of England.
V. But we raised our spirits again with the comfortable assurance that God who had wrought so much for us in England would graciously bring His work to the same perfection in Ireland, and not suffer our good subjects to weep in the one kingdom, whilest they rejoiced in the other, and our satisfaction was much increased when upon conference with several of our good subjects of that nation of quality and interest, who were concerned both as soldiers and adventurers, we found that they had a due sense of the obligations which lay upon our honour and justice; and were very willing, that we should comply with both, [...]
VI. And therefore in the first place, in order to a settlement of that interest claimed by the adventurers, although the present estates and possessions they enjoy, if they were examined by the strict letter of the law, would prove very defective and invalid, as being no ways pursuant to those acts of parliament upon which they pretend to be founded, but rather seem to be a structure upon their subsequent assent, both to different mediums and ends than the observance of those, yet we being always more ready to consult (where the prejudice can only reflect upon ourself) with our natural inclinations to mercy (we praise God we can say so) than with the positive reason of law, we do hereby declare, that all the lands, tenements and hereditaments, of which all or any of the adventurers were possessed on 7 May 1659 having been allotted or set out to them or enjoyed by them as adventurers in satisfaction of and for their adventures, shall be confirmed and made good to them, their heirs and assigns for ever, with allowance or correction of the admeasurement, according to the tenor and directions of the respective acts of parliament of 17 and 18 Caroli, as to English or plantation measure, except as is hereafter excepted; and that the deficient adventurer, either in part or in whole, shall be satisfied out of the moiety of the counties or Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford, in the province of Munster, the King's county, the Queen's county, and the counties of East-Meath and West-Meath, in the province of Leinster, and the counties of Down, Antrim, and Armagh, in the province of Ulster, yet not set out to the said adventurers, as also the forfeited lands in the county of Louth, (except the barony of Atherdee in the said county) and said province of Leinster; [...]
VII. And whereas the officers and soldiers now of our army in Ireland, and that have been formerly of the army in Ireland, have had also lands set out to them respectively in satisfaction of their arrears of pay for their service in that our kingdom, and are accordingly possessed of the same by former pretended orders and powers then in being; and although the incompetency of such powers may justly render such possessions and estates liable to question, [...] yet in regard to our letter to General Monk from Breda, in the twelfth year of our reign, and of our several declarations and proclamations concerning the army, and of the full assurance of the forwardness and readiness of the said army and loving subjects in Ireland to contribute, as in duty bound, all
p.165that in them lay for our restoration, we are pleased of our special grace and favour to declare, and do hereby declare, that all officers and soldiers, their heirs and assigns, who have been, and are of the said army in Ireland, and to whom lands have been given out in satisfaction of their arrears for their service in that our kingdom, and have by the general convention of Ireland, or by any other public act declared submission and obedience to us [...] shall enjoy their respective estates[...]
IX. Being sensible, that several officers, who were engaged in our service in Ireland, and eminently acted and suffered therein, have by the partiality and injustice of the powers then in being received no satisfaction for the same, we are therefore further pleased graciously to declare, that all commissioned officers, their heirs or assigns, who [...] served our royal father or ourself in the wars in Ireland, at any time before 5 June 1649, other than those who have received lands or money, for their pay due unto them since the 5 June 1649 shall be satisfied their respective personal arrears out of the particulars following, viz. out of the forfeited lands, tenements, and hereditaments, undisposed of to adventurers or soldiers, in the counties of Wicklow, Longford, Leitrim, and Donegal, out of all the forfeited lands tenements and hereditaments, undisposed of in the province of Connaught and county of Clare, lying within one mile of the river Shannon or of the sea, commonly called the Mile line, out of all the houses and tenements, forfeited in Ireland, in the several walled towns and corporations, and lands thereunto belonging, not already set out to the adventurers or soldiers [...] out of the benefit arising from the redemption of mortgages, statutes-staples, and judgments, where the lands are not already disposed of to adventurers or soldiers, [...] out of one year's rent and profits of the lands set out to the officers and soldiers for their arrears in the year 1653, and likewise of the army now in being, [...] as also out of one year and a half's rent, and profits arising out of the lands for the arrears of those officers and soldiers who were ordered, or received satisfaction for their said arrears, in the years 1655, 1656, and 1657, [...]
XI. That such protestants, whose estates have been given out for satisfaction of adventurers or soldiers, or otherwise disposed of to any other persons, shall be forthwith restored to their former estates, and a reprisal of equal value, worth, and purchase forthwith assigned to such adventurers or soldiers, as shall be removed out of their said estates.
XII. Provided no person or persons shall have benefit hereof, who were in the rebellion before 15 September 1643, and have taken out decrees for lands in the province of Connaught or county of Clare in recompence of their former estates; [...]
XIII. And whereas we understand, that by the late usurped powers, during the distempers, of these times, several Irish proprietors of the popish religion, have been dispossessed of their estates merely for being papists, and have sued out decrees, and are
p.166possessed of lands in the province of Connaught, and county of Clare, in compensation of their former estates, [...] we declare, that all innocent papists, being such as shall prove themselves to have been faithful and loyal unto, and never acted against our royal father or ourself since 22 October, 1641, though they have sued out decrees, and are possessed of lands in the province of Connaught, or county of Clare, in lieu of their former estates, shall notwithstanding be restored to their said estates by 2 May 1661 [...]
XVII. Provided also, that whatsoever adventurer or soldier that shall be removed from his present possession, to make room for any such papist, shall forthwith have a reprise of equal value [...] in other forfeited lands.
XVIII. Provided always, that whereas the corporations of Ireland are now planted with English, who have considerably improved at their own charges, and brought trade and manufacture into that our kingdom and by their settlement there do not a little contribute to the peace and settlement of that country, the disturbing or removal of which English would in many respects be very prejudicial, that all such of the popish religion, of any corporations in Ireland, who have been for public security dispossessed of their estates within any corporation, shall be forthwith reprised in forfeited lands, tenements and hereditaments, near the said corporations, [...]
XXII. And as we cannot but with extraordinary sadness of heart remember, and even at present behold the desolate and distracted condition that our kingdom of Ireland hath been, and is reduced unto, by the unnatural insurrection begun in the year 1641, and consequently abhor and detest the contrivers and obstinate promotors of the same against us, our crown and dignity, so we cannot, upon the considerations formerly expressed in this our declaration, deny all just and reasonable provision that may stand with the present juncture of our affairs into such of the Irish nation, who not only gave early evidences of their repentance for their crimes, but also persevered in their loyalty to us and our commands, and that as near as we can, our justice and our mercy, in accommodating this interest might not jostle each other, we are in a different manner to consider of such of them as are justly entitled to the benefit of those articles of peace formerly mentioned, and such who did not submit unto the same, or after a submission made a departure from the same, which two latter sorts have justly forfeited that favour which otherwise they might have received. We are also further to consider of those who embraced the said articles, and submitted to the said peace without any apostacy, in a different notion, as of those who remained in that our kingdom, who sued out decrees and received lands in satisfaction of their ancient estates, and those who being transported into foreign parts, through many difficulties united, rendevouzed, and served under our obedience; so that upon these consideration, we think fit and declare [...] that as to those who embraced the said articles, and submitted to the said
p.167peace and constantly adhered thereunto, and remaining at home sued out decrees and obtained possession of lands in the province of Connaught, or county of Clare, that they are to stand bound by them, and not to be relieved against their own act, [...] and yet if the conditions of those seem hard, they can no more reasonably expect that we should further relieve them, than our friends in England and Ireland can expect we should pay back to them all the moneys they were compelled in the evil times to pay for their compositions which they would have avoided had it been in their power.
XXIII. And in case any justly entitled to the said peace, have obtained decrees for the lands in the province of Connaught or county of Clare, in lieu of their estates, and have not been possessed of lands according to such their respective decrees, we further declare, that if by 1 November 1661 they shall not be possessed of such decreed lands, they shall immediately after the said day be otherwise satisfied for the same.
XXIV. And as for those who continued with us, or served faithfully under our ensigns beyond the seas, we think fit and accordingly declare, that they shall be restored to their former estates, if they [...] have not prosecuted and obtained decrees and lands in the province of Connaught or county of Clare, in compensation of their former estates, a reprise being first assigned and legally set out of the remaining forfeited lands undisposed of, to such adventurer or soldier, or other person before named, of equal value [...] to the estate, out of which such adventurer or soldier or other person aforesaid shall be so removed, [...]
XXVIII. And though some, not sensible of the great perplexities we have laboured under to reconcile these jarring interests, may infer that we judge persons fitting to be restored to their estates, yet the limitation of a previous reprisal may eclipse much of our grace, to this we say, that the laying of the foundations is not now before us, when we might design the model of the structure answerable to our own thoughts; and how hard it would be, that the English after so many expensive difficulties in suits of law, and finding several officers in order to get the present possession they enjoy, and that after so many thousands of families, who have sold their interests in England, have transported and settled themselves in Ireland, and have made great improvements in buildings and otherwise, should in the interval of those accommodations (reprisal not being first provided for) be dispossessed of their houses and their flocks (the sole subsistence of them and their families) exposed to certainty of loss (though greater inconveniences we pretermit) may easily be judged; to this we might add, that since the persons of the Irish for whom we do hereby intend satisfaction, are such who have been abroad with us, who probably being not furnished with stock and other provisions, may with less inconveniences wait for a reprisal, than to dispossess others, especially since we are fully assured that a very short time may and will assign them their respective reprisals, there being so good and large a proportion of
p.168undisposed forfeited lands in our power reserved for this purpose, and we doubt not but the persons most concerned in this supposed prejudice, thoroughly weighing these inconveniences, and that they will be but of a short duration, and how great and reasonable a dissatisfaction a contrary acting in us will produce, will acquiesce therein, and by such a forbearance lay the foundation of a good understanding between themselves and those other their fellow-subjects who are to be settled with them in that our kingdom. And least any ambiguity or controversy might arise for precedency in restitution to their former rights, we do declare, that first all innocent protestants, and those persons termed innocent papists (who never took out any decree, or had lands assigned to them in Connaught or Clare) be first restored. In the next place, that those innocent protestants and papists, who took out decrees, and had lands allotted to them in pursuance thereof, in Connaught or Clare, shall be restored, and that such transplanted persons as shall be dispossessed of their decreed estates in Connaught or Clare, by virtue of this our declaration, shall be reprised out of other forfeited lands of equal value, worth, and purchase [...] before they be dispossessed of their said estates, and that then such of the Irish papists who constantly served under our ensigns abroad, having right to the articles of peace, are to be restored, [...]
Clause XI of the Instructions Whereas by our said declaration, several innocent protestants and papists are to be restored to their estates, and a reprise of equal value, worth, and purchase, is to be assigned to such adventurers and soldiers, and other persons as do possess the same, in the doing thereof, you are to observe these following directions, viz. Not to restore any as an innocent papist, that at, or before the cessation which was made upon 15 September 1643 were of the rebels' party, nor any, who being of full age and sound memory, enjoyed their estates real or personal in the rebels quarters, [...] nor such as entered into the Roman catholic confederacy, at any time before the articles of peace concluded 1648, nor such as at any time adhered to the nuncio's or clergy's party, or papal power, in opposition to the king's authority; nor such as have been excommunicated for adhering to the king's authority, and afterwards owned their offences for so doing, and were relaxed thereupon from their excommunication, nor such who derived their titles to their estates from any who died guilty of any the aforementioned crimes, nor such as pleaded the articles of peace for their estates, nor such as being in the quarters which were under the authority of our royal father, or ourself, held correspondence with, or gave intelligence to such as were then in opposition against our said royal father, or ourself, in Ireland, nor such as before any of the peaces in 1646 or 1648, sat in any of the confederate Roman catholic assemblies or councils, or acted upon any commissions or powers derived from them, or any of them; nor such as empowered agents or commissioners to treat with any foreign papal power beyond the seas, for bringing into Ireland foreign forces, or were
p.169persons which acted in such negociations, nor such persons as have been wood-kerns or tories, before the marquess of Clanrickarde's leaving the government of that kingdom.