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VII.

M. LE Gouz represents Dublin as equal to Angers, his native place, that is, as containing little more than 20,000 inhabitants, for such was the population of Angers in that day ; but he makes Kilkenny as large as Orleans, which then, as now, was much more extensive than Angers. The inference would be, that Kilkenny was a more considerable city than Dublin, which certainly was not the fact. Boate, a contemporary of le Gouz, in his Natural History of Ireland, published a few

after our traveller's visit, classes the Irish cities thus, Dublin, Galway, Waterford, Limerick, and Cork, in the first line, and Kilkenny, Drogheda, Bandon Bridge,&c. in the second line; of course, far removed from the capital in dimensions. No doubt, while the Supreme Catholic Council sat there, as it then did, the population was increased, and may, possibly, have amounted to 15,000, or more: but Dublin still greatly exceeded it, probably four-fold. Of the two French cities, I can speak with more certainty, for I have better data, and from contemporaneous authorities may state, that Angers contained about 24,000 souls, and Orleans 31,000. The present population of the former is 33,000, of the latter, 40,250. Ménage, the Vadius of the Femmes Savantes, and one of the most celebrated men of his day, wrote the history of his native Angers. Orleans gave birth, with many other learned men, to the Jesuit Pétau (Petavius), and amongst women of renown, to the beautiful Maria Touchet, who justified the anagram made for her, “ Je charme tout." She was mistress of Charles IX. and mother of one of Henry IV.'s favourites.

years

R. Our traveller, elsewhere, compares Pisa and Sienna, to Orleans. So that Kilkenny, when the seat of the Irish Confederates, and of a Parliament, was of such extent as to rank with three of the first-rate cities of the Continent. Pisa, at that time, was a mighty emporium of trade, and a reinarkably well-built city, filled (as it is to the present day, but with no additional monument) by gorgeous structures, civic and ecclesiastical,

M. Tighe, in his Statistical Account of Kilkenny, states, that that town, in 1689, contained but 507 houses ; in 1777, the number was 2274 ; in 1788, there was a further increase of upwards of four hundred, viz. 2689; and when he wrote (1802) Kilkenny contained 2870 inhabited houses.—The prosperity of Kilkenny, therefore, appears rapidly to have declined under the Commonwealth, Charles II. and James II.

C.

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VIII.

“It was absolutely necessary that the rebels (this is the name applied by Dr. Ledwich to the Confederate Catholics] should have the form of an authority established among them, to make the orders of superiors obeyed, and prevent that confusion and those mischiefs which always attend competition for power, and uncertainty in the right to command; this was done in the general assembly of deputies from all the provinces in the kingdom, which met the 24th of October, 1642, at Kilkenny.

“ The first act, after their meeting, was to protest that they did not mean that assembly to be a parliament, confessing that the calling, proroguing, and dissolving that great body was an inseparable incident to the crown, upon which they would not encroach ; but it was only a meeting to consult of an order for their own affairs until His Majesty's wisdom had settled the present troubles. They formed it, however, according to the plan of a parliament, consisting of two houses, in the one of which sat the estate spiritual, composed of bishops and prelates, together with the temporal lords, and in the other, the deputies of the counties and towns, as the estate of the commons, by themselves.

“ The meeting was at the house of Mr. Robert Shee, son of Sir Richard Shee, now [1802) Mr. Langford's, in Coal Market ; the lords, prelates, and commons all in one room. Mr. Patrick Darcy bare-headed upon a stool, representing all or some of the judges and masters of chancery that used to sit in parliament upon wool-sacks. Mr. Nicholas Plunket represented the speaker of the house of commons, and both lords and commons addressed their speech to him; the lords had an upper room which served them as a place of recess, for private consultation, and when they had taken their resolutions, the same were delivered to the commons by Mr. Darcy. This chamber forms part of a house, now [1802] inhabited by Mr. Tresham, an apothecary, it consisted of one large hall, forty-nine feet by forty-seven, with a dungeon underneath twenty feet square, with which the hall communicated by a trap-door, and stone stairs. Part of the benches with high backs, and the carved oak frame of a table remain. An iron door formerly led out of the dungeon into the yard ; the windows have iron bars, and are small and arched. This hall is now subdivided into a kitchen, shop, and three or four rooms.

The upper floor is low, with large beams, and above is a modern building.

“ The clergy, who were not qualified by their titular sees or abbies to sit in the house of lords, met in a house called the convocation, where it was reported among the laity that they only handled matters of tythe, and settling church possessions, in which points so little deference was paid to their debates, and their proceedings were treated with so much contempt by the lay-impropriators and gentlemen, that the provincial of the Augustinians was hissed out of the house for threatening to wipe off the dust from his feet and those of his friars, and to bend his course beyond seas, if the possessions of his order were not restored.

For the rule of their government, they professed to receive Magna Charta, and the common and statute law of Eng

land, in all points not contrary to the Roman Catholic religion, or inconsistent with the liberty of Ireland. Several judicatories were established for the administration of justice, and the regulation of all affairs; each county had its council, consisting of one or two deputies out of each barony, and where there was no barony, of twelve persons chosen by the county in general, with powers to decide all matters cognizable by justices of the peace, pleas of the crown, suits for debts and personal actions, and to restore possessions usurped since the war; to name all the county officers, except the highsheriff, who was to be chosen by the supreme council out of three which the council of the county were to recommend. From these lay an appeal to the provincial councils, which consisted of two deputies out of each county, and were to meet four times a year, or oftener if there was occasion, to examine the judgments of the county councils, to decide all suits like judges of assize, to establish recent possessions, but not to meddle with other suits about lands, except

in of dower.

“ From these there lay a further appeal to the supreme council of twenty-four persons, chosen by the general assembly, of which twelve were to be constantly resident in Kilkenny, or wherever else they should judge it to be most expedient, with equal voices, but two-thirds to conclude the rest : never fewer than nine to sit in council, and seven to concur in the same opinion; out of these twenty-four, a president was to be named by the assembly, and was to be always one of the twelve resident; and in case of death, sickness, or absence, the other residents out of the twenty-four were to chuse a president.

“ The council was vested with power over all generals, military officers, and civil magistrates, who were to obey their

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