The tithe system, unutterably odious and full of all injustice, had prepared the way for this expression of feeling on the part of the people.
had never, in any period of her history, bowed her neck peaceably to the ecclesiastical yoke.
From the Canon of Cashel, prepared by English deputies in the twelfth century, decreeing for the first time that tithes should be paid in Ireland
, down to the present moment, the Church
in her borders has relied solely upon the strong arm of the law, and literally reaped its tithes with the sword.
The decree of the Dublin Synod
, under Archbishop Comyn
, in 1185, could only be enforced within the pale of the English
The attempts of Henry VIII.
Without the pale all endeavors to collect tithes were met by stern opposition.
And although from the time of William III.
the tithe system has been established in Ireland
, yet at no period has it been regarded otherwise than as a system of legalized robbery by seven eighths of the people.
An examination of this system cannot fail to excite our wonder, not that it has been thus regarded, but that it has been so long endured by any people on the face of the earth, least of all by Irishmen.
Tithes to the amount of £ 1,000,000 are annually wrung from impoverished Ireland
, in support of a clergy who can only number about one sixteenth of her population as their hearers; and wrung, too, in an undue proportion, from the Catholic counties
In the southern and middle counties, almost entirely inhabited by the Catholic