Whereas for several years past there has been a design formed and carried on to support a popish and Jacobite interest in the city of Kilkenny in favour of the pretender and his friends, and for the encouragement of rebellion against your most sacred Majesty; and for the aiding and abetting of rebels, more especially James Butler late duke of Ormond, in pursuance of which design, many arbitrary and illegal practices have been used to procure persons, notoriously disaffected to your Majesty, to be admitted into the magistracy, board of Aldermen, common council, offices, and franchises of the said city; which persons so illegally admitted, confederated with those, by whose interest they were so admitted, and others, for the preventing of publick justice, and especially to render prosecutions against papists and other enemies to your Majesty's person and government, ineffectual; for which purpose the said confederates obliged one or more of the sheriffs of the said city, before he or they could be admitted into the said office, to promise by subscribing an instrument and taking an oath, not to return any jury during the time of his or their sherivaltry, but such as should be approved by John Birch, late mayor of the said city, and alderman Robert Connell, present town clerk of the same; and in order to continue the mayoralty in the hands of such ill affected persons, the said confederates illegally restrained the nomination of candidates for the mayoralty to the aldermen only, exclusive of the common council, contrary to the ancient and right usage of the said city; and farther to carry on the said design, the said confederates illegally admitted diverse persons of the common council of the said city, in order to support such disaffected interest therein, par-
ticularly the persons following, (viz.) Edward Butler, James Cartwright, William Eyres, Richard Dean, Richard Jacob, George Birch, junior, John Barnes, William Warcing, and James Bradish; all which evil practices upon due examination have plainly appeared to your faithful commons; and that since the admission of the said common council-men, divers illegal and arbitrary by-laws and acts have been made to the misgovernance of the said city, and the notorious misapplication of the revenues thereof, for the carrying on and promoting the said evil design; and several of the said disaffected persons, so far as in them lay, to avoid the full discovery of such their proceedings, have concealed the town-books of the said city, and particularly alderman Robert Connell present town clerk thereof, who has the said books in his custody, though he was duly summoned by order of your Majesty's faithful commons to lay before them the said books, has contemptuously withdrawn and concealed himself, and has carried away the said books: and whereas the well affected protestants of the said city have been greatly damnified, and still labour under the great discouragements on account of such illegal and arbitrary acts, by the admission of the aforesaid common council-men, since the twenty fourth of June one thousand seven hundred and sixteen; by which proceedings several offenders against your Majesty's peace, crown, and dignity, have hitherto escaped punishment, and divers persons of rebellious disposition against your Majesty have been and are encouraged, to the danger of your Majesty's peace in that part of this your kingdom: and whereas it has appeared to your Majesty's faithful commons, that Robert Connel, John Birch, Edward Philips, Thomas Blount, all of the said city, aldermen, John Doyle one of the common council, and George Smith one of the freemen of the said city, have been principal instruments with several others in carrying on the said evil design, and are persons notoriously disaffected to your Majesty, and the succession in your royal family, which they have manifested in several instances, but cannot be punished on account of the said confederated power and interest in the said city: be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, for the better regulating the said corporation. That the said John Birch, Robert Connell, Edward Philips, Thomas Blount, John Doyle, and George Smith, be and are hereby ousted of all liberties and franchises, which they now have as members of the corporation of the said city of Kilkenny, and that they shall be at all times hereafter incapable of having any office, or enjoy any of the
liberties, priviledges, or franchises of the said city, as members of the said corporation.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all such persons, as have been admitted of the common council of the said city since the twenty fourth of June one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, shall be and are hereby removed from being of the common council of the said city, notwithstanding such their pretended election.
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all by-laws, made by the said aldermen and common council at their assemblies since the said twenty fourth of June one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, shall be and are hereby declared null and void.
IV. And for the punishment of the said Robert Connell for his disobedience to the said summons, and contempt in concealing the said books; be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said Robert Connell shall surrender himself and the said books to the lord chief justice, or some one of the justices of his Majesty's court of King's bench in Ireland, for the use of the said corporation of Kilkenny, on or before the twenty third day of January, in this present year one thousand seven hundred and seventeen, and shall then be examined upon oath by the said chief justice or other justice, whether the said books are as entire as the same came to his hands; or whether the same have been altered, changed, raised, or defaced, by him, or by any other person with his privity, or by his consent or procurement, and shall discover the person or persons that hath or have altered or defaced the same, and the particulars, which he knows or believes to have been altered or defaced: and in default of such surrender, and submitting himself to such examination as aforesaid, he the said Robert Connell shall be deemed guilty of a premunire, and shall incurr all the pains, penalties, and forfeitures, as persons convict of premunire: and in case he the said Robert Connell do or shall surrender himself and the said books as aforesaid on or before the said twenty third day of January one thousand seven hundred and seventeen, that then the said lord chief justice, or some one of the justices of the said court of King's bench, to whom the said Robert Connell shall so surrender himself and the said books, are hereby impowered and required to commit the said Robert Connell to the common goal, there to remain for three calendar months without bail or mainprize.
V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this act shall be deemed, judged, and taken in all courts and places whatsoever to be publick act.
Return to Summary