Short History of the Presbyterian Church
in Ireland

Prof. John M. Barkley
M.A., Ph.D, D.D.,F. R. Hist.S.




M.A., Ph.D., D.D., F.R. Hist.S.



Printed by T. H. Jordan Ltd., 47-49 Upper Church Lane, Belfast.















The Church of Scotland, in 1960, commemorates the fourth centenary of the Reformation in Scotland, so this is perhaps a not inappropriate time to give a brief account of "the eldest daughter of the Kirk". In attempting to do so I have made every effort to be accurate and fair, but on many issues in Irish history there is a wide variety of interpretation, and in a brief sketch it is impossible to discuss every subject fully. Readers, therefore, are referred to the references and the works listed in the bibliography. Also, in view of this, in thanking those who read the typescript for their helpful suggestions I must make it clear that I alone am responsible for the interpretation and opinions expressed on the facts.

I gratefully acknowledge my debt to earlier writers, such as, Reid, Killen, Latimer, Hamilton, Witherow, Woodburn, Dr. David Stewart, Principal J. E. Davey and Professor J. C. Beckett. Many works of general history have been consulted, and in addition to the older standard works by Curtis, Froude, and Lecky, I am deeply indebted to the two series of broadcast talks on : "Ulster since 1800", edited by Professor T. W. Moody and Professor J. C. Beckett, and the excellent series of studies in Irish history published by Messrs. Faber and Faber, Ltd., London.

It simply remains to express my gratitude to the Publication Board of the Presbyterian Church, especially Rev. Dr. A. J. Gailey, for making publication possible; and to Rev. Dr. W. D. Bailie (Eglish), and Mr. L. M. Barbour, B.A., for reading and correcting the proofs.







THE CHURCH (1603-1714)

St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, according to the generally accepted view, arrived in Ireland in the year 432, but in the present state of Patrician studies one dare not be dogmatic about many facts concerning his career.l It can be maintained, however, that the teaching of the "Confession" and "Epistle" are in harmony with Evangelical Christianity.2 The Church, which he organised, was distinguished for her missionary zeal, and of names like St. Columba, St. Columbanus, St. Gall, St. Ciaran, St. Aidan, St. Colman, St. Finnian, and others, every Irishman may feel justly proud. The Celtic Church is rightly famous for such Schools of Religious Learning and Culture as Bangor, Clonard, Movilla, Kells, Clonmacnoise, and so on, in Ireland, never to mention foundations abroad such as Iona, Lindisfarne, Liege, Luxeuil, Strasburg, Wurzburg, St. Gall, and Bobbio, to name but a few. She has also bestowed to us such treasures of art as the "Book of Kells", the "Book of Durrow", the "Lindisfarne Gospels", the "St. Gall Gospels", the `Book of Bobbio", the Ardagh Chalice, and other masterpieces of the scribe and the craftsman.

The Celtic Church maintained a sturdy independence within Western Christendom, and her subjection to Roman practice was only accomplished, after centuries of conflict and intrigue, by the influence of the Danish Christian settlements3 and the Anglo-Norman invasion based on the Bull "Laudabiliter" of Pope Adrian IV to King Henry II of England in 1155.4- Henry was unable to act on this grant ; and seventeen years later, when he was able to make a move, he acted in point of fact on a new grant from Pope Alexander III in 1172, the grant being really a confirmation of the Bull of Adrian.5While Henry's conquest of the country was incomplete he was careful to fulfil some of his obligations to the Pope, and at the Synod of Cashel in 1172, which was under the orders of the conquering king, it was enacted "that divine offices shall be henceforth celebrated in every part of Ireland according to the forms and usages of the Church of England".6- The result of this twelfth century movement was that the Celtic Church lost her independence and was brought into conformity with the doctrine, worship, and government of the Church of Rome. The spiritual union with Rome brought with it ecclesiastical and political union with England. This meant that when the reforming movement of the sixteenth century was first introduced into Ireland it followed the Tutor pattern.

The Reformation in Ireland dates formally from the "Act authorising the king, his heirs and successors to be Supreme Head of the Church of Ireland"7 in 1537, but the Anglican historian, Professor G. V. Jourdan, takes the words of Dr. H. A. O'Grady as "a fairly accurate picture of the Church of Ireland in the years immediately preceding the meeting of the Irish Parliament of 1613-15",8 when he says, "On the one side was a Church contaminated by State Control, unable to move an inch without an Order in Council, forbidden to exercise its natural functions by political exigencies, poor, needy, and weak, regarded as legitimate prey by every agrarian adventurer, staffed with a Clergy who were heirs of Pre-Reformation traditions, and reft of Parishes by the fact that more than half its advowsons were in the control of its enemies. On the other side was a Mission, financed by a great European Power, and supported by the dominant political interests of the moment. What was more, it was controlled autocratically by an outside Power, the Vatican at Rome".9. From this it is evident that the Tudor reforming movement had made little headway.10

The Puritan movement in Ireland began in the sixteenth century, its chief representatives being Englishmen of the Cartwrightian school-Thomas Cartwright himself, who at one point was recommended for the Archbishoprick of Armagh, and Walter Travers, a Presbyterially ordained minister, who became the first regular Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1594, in succession to Archbishop Loftus, himself a Calvinist. Travers immediate successors, Henry Alvey (1601-09) and William Temple (1609-27), were also Puritans. Further the first two Fellows of T.C.D. were Presbyterians from Scotland, James Hamilton and James Fullerton. The Puritan trend in T.C.D. may also be seen from the fact that one of the theological primers was the favourite catechism of the Puritans, Perkin's "Six Principles".

In the year 1615, Convocation met and promulgated the "Hundred and Four Articles", commonly referred to as the "Irish Articles", to replace the "Twelve Articles" of 1566. The new articles were Calvinistic, and, as Dr. Wyse Jackson points out, "tended strongly towards Presbyterianism".11. These Articles were principally the work of James Ussher, Professor of Divinity in Trinity College, who became Bishop of Meath in 1621, and was Archbishop of Armagh from 1625 to 1656; and they are of considerable interest to Presbyterianism as they formed the basis of the Westminster "Confession of Faith".

The Puritan alignment of the Irish Church may be illustrated by Bramhall's letter to Laud in December, 1634, in which he states that few northern churches have an altar, "but in place of it a table ten yards long, where they sit and receive the sacrament together like good fellows".12. This points clearly to the use of the Table in the aisles at the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. However, in the South of Ireland this Puritan movement was chiefly carried on by individual English Puritans, and was not backed up by mass settlements. In the North the situation was very different. Presbyterianism entered Ulster almost as soon as Anglicanism, for the latter had not really touched it in 1605.

The history of Presbyterianism in Ireland may be said to begin with the Plantation of Ulster which was carried out under the able administration of Sir Arthur Chichester, the Lord Deputy, in the opening years of the seventeenth century. Describing the Plantation settlers, Adair writes, "Albeit, Divine Providence sent over some worthy persons ; yet the most part were such as either poverty or scandalous lives, or the search for better accommodation, did set forward that way".13. The land to which they came was little, if any, better than the settlers. It was a country left desolate by war, with the exception of a few fortified towns and castles. The whole face of Ulster was covered with bogs and forests, interspersed with patches of wretched and war-wasted tillage. Ulster is what she is today as the result of the settlers' industry in the task of reclaiming from swamp, forest, and bog.

Such was the unpromising field into which the first Presbyterian ministers came to preach, to teach, and to shepherd. The following is a list of these prior to 1640, and, as they were admitted to the parish churches, where ordained, the name of the bishop has been given, leaving aside, for the time being, reference to the controversial questions involved :14.

Robert Blair, M.A., ordained 10th July, 1623, by Bishop Echlin of Down and Connor, in Bangor.

John Boyle, M.A., ordained 5th May, 1605, in Eckford by the Presbytery of Jedburgh, admitted to Killyleagh in 1623.

Edward Bryce, M.A., ordained on 30th December, 1595, in Bothkinnar by the Presbytery of Dunbarton, admitted Broadisland, 1613, prebendary of Kilroot, 1619.

Henry Calvert, M.A., ordained on 4th May, 1629, by Bishop Knox of Raphoe, admitted to Oldstone, 17th June, 1630.

Robert Cunningham, M.A., ordained on 9th November, 1615, by Echlin, in Holywood.

Robert Cunningham, M.A., ordained by Knox on 3rd September, 1627, admitted to Killomard (Co. Donegal) on 23rd June, 1630.

George Dunbar, M.A., ordained in Cummock by the Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1599, admitted to Ballymena and Larne, 1624.

William Dyal, ordained in Ervall by the Presbytery of Dunfermline, 1613, admitted to Stewartstown by Hampton of Armagh, 1614.

James Glendinning, M.A., ordained in Scotland, admitted to Carnmoney prior to 1622.

James Hamilton, M.A., ordained by Echlin on 3rd March,1626, admitted to Ballywalter, on 6th March, 1626.

Robert Hamilton, M.A., ordained in Scotland, admitted to Killeshill (Co. Tyrone), 1617.

------ Hubbard (educ. Cambridge), ordained in Church of England, settled in Carrickfergus, 1621.

James Johnston, admitted to Boho (Lisnaskea) circa 1640.

David Kennedy, M.A., ordained in Scotland before 1613, in Newtownards, 1638.

John Livingstone, M.A., ordained by Knox on 29th August, 1630, admitted to Killinchy.

John Lowthian, M.A., ordained on 9th November, 1619, by Echlin in Dundonald.

John McLelland, M.A., school-teacher in Newtownards circa 1629, ordained, apparently in Ireland, between 1630-1636.

John Moulder, M.A., ordained on 13th April, 1603, by Presbytery of Jedburgh in Minto, admitted to Donaghmore (Co. Tyrone) by Ussher of Armagh, on 9th September, 1625.

Thomas Murry, M.A., ordained in Scotland, admitted to Killyleagh circa 1640, crucified during the rebellion in 1641

Hugh Peebles, M.A., ordained in Scotland, in Aghalow (Co. Tyrone) in 1633 .

Robert Pont, M.A., ordained in Scotland, admitted to Ramelton circa 1630.

John Ridge, B.A., ordained by Bishop of Oxford on 7th June, 1612, admitted to Antrim, 1619.

David Row, no details known, but ordained, probably in Ireland, circa 1625-26.

Samuel Row, M.A., ordained in Ireland, 1634.

Andrew Stewart, ordained in Scotland, admitted to Done-gore, 1627.

David Watson M.A., admitted to Killeavy (Co. Down), 1617, Precentor of Armagh.

Josias Welsh, M.A., ordained by Knox circa 1625, in Old-stone, and later Templepatrick.

It will be noticed that some eight of this list were ordained by Bishops Echlin and Knox, so perhaps a word should be said concerning them.15.

Robert Echlin was born in 1576, and was ordained in the Second Charge in Inverkeithing by the Presbytery of Dunfermline in 1601.. He was consecrated Bishop of Down and Connor on 14th March, 1613, and died on 17th July, 1634.

Andrew Knox was ordained in Lochwinnnoch by the Presbytery of Paisley in 1581, was translated to Paisley in 1585, became Bishop of the Isles on 2nd April, 1605, translated to Raphoe on 26th June, 1611, and died 7th November, 1632.

With the rise of Laudian ideas, Echlin of Down deposed Blair, Dunbar, and Welsh in 1634; Leslie of Down deposed Bryce, Calvert, Cunningham (Holywood), James Hamilton, Livingstone, Ridge, and Samuel Row in 1636; and, in the same year, Leslie of Raphoe deposed Pont. David Kennedy was deposed by the Court of High Commission in Dublin in 1638, and Peebles, having returned to Scotland, was deposed there after 1661.

The first Presbyterian ministers in Ireland, as we have seen, entered into a none too promising field, but God blessed their labours, and this resulted, in 1625, in the Six-mile Water Revival, which spread throughout a great part of Antrim and Down. God's chosen instrument was the godly but eccentric Rev. James Glendinning, of Oldstone. He preached the terrors of the Law with such force that the careless were aroused, and many were "prostrated" by a conviction of sin. Neighbouring ministers came to Glendinning's assistance. Finding that while he could preach the terrors of the Law he could not expound the Gospel of the love of God, they reformed the work in harmony with God's redemptive purpose, and rooted out the excesses and abuses. To build up the people in knowledge and grace, Rev. John Ridge suggested that a monthly meeting might be set up in Antrim as a central place. This was agreed to, and Blair, Cunningham, Hamilton, and others, co-operated. So was formed, in 1626, the Antrim Meeting, at which ministers and people met on the first Friday of each month. Four sermons were preached in the morning and afternoon to confirm converts in the Faith, and the ministers spent the evening discussing and arranging, though in an informal way, the affairs of the Church. In many ways the Antrim Meeting served the consultative purposes of a Presbytery.

It must be remembered that only Lowlanders were allowed to be undertakers in the Ulster plantation, and that the tenants were generally Lowlanders also. These Scots brought with them many of the characteristic usages of the Scottish Kirk. They looked upon the Church of Scotland as the mother Church ; and, in 1642, when they were able to make a forward drive, they petitioned the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for assistance.

The earliest period of Irish Presbyterian history, 1603-30, has been described by Professor A. F. Scott Pearson as "Prescopalian".16. During these years, the Presbyterian ministers were inducted into the "parish churches" and were not ministers of "non-conformist congregations". Some of them, as we saw above, were ordained by Bishop Robert Echlin and Bishop Andrew Knox. Considerable discussion still rages concerning what exactly took place. It is inconceivable that a man like Robert Blair, who had resigned the position of Regent in the University of Glasgow because of his opposition to "prelacy" should not know the difference between presbyterial and episcopal ordination, when concerning his own ordination at Bangor, on 10th July, 1623, he reports Echlin as saying, "I know you account a presbytery to have divine warrant; will you not receive ordination from Mr. Cunningham and the adjacent brethren, and let me come in among them in no other relation than a presbyter ?"17. Further, it has to be remembered that both Echlin and Knox were Scots, and so would know, at least, some of the following facts, that, in Scotland: (1) when episcopacy was restored in 1610 there was no "re-ordination" of those already in the Ministry, (2) some bishops, even after the publication of the 1620 Ordinal, continued to use the "Order" in the "Book of Common Order", for example, at the ordinations of William Row and George Gillespie, (3) some bishops, for example, the Bishop of Dunkeld, held that a bishop at ordination came not as a bishop, but as a member of Presbytery ; and (4) that Presbyteries still maintained their right to ordain, for example, Kirkcaldy, Haddington, etc.18.

The situation in Ireland appears to have been parallel. All that it is possible to say is that the "Form" used was one which satisfied the bishops, but, at the same time, enabled the Presbyterians to assert that they had received Presbyterial ordination. Presbyterian historians, generally speaking, have been sentimentalists concerning the years prior to 1630. However, it must be recognised that the situation pleased neither the bishops nor the Presbyterians. Once determined bishops came into power, if Presbyterians retained their convictions, they would have to go outside the Establishment, with all the penalties and hardships that involved. "The division", as Professor R. Buick Knox says, "had to come, and to romanticise about the milder conditions during the early years of the Scottish settlement in Ulster is to be quite blind to the ultimate aims of the Presbyterians and to what a bishop who wished to be faithful to his vows would have to do".19.

The Presbyterians were comprehended within the Irish Church, but with the advent of Sir Thomas Wentworth (later Earl of Strafford) a radical change took place. He, as president of the Council of the North, had rendered the King loyal and devoted service in England, so Charles appointed him Lord Deputy of Ireland. He arrived in Dublin in 1633, and until his final departure in 1640 he ruled the country more efficient than she had ever been ruled before, although his rule was stern and in some respects unscrupulous. His one aim was to destroy, throughout the British Isles, every force which stood against the absolute authority of the Crown, and the royal power of the Monarchy. This can be seen in his military, economic, and ecclesiastical policies. All must serve the end of establishing the King's authority in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Wentworth's ecclesiastical reforms were carried out largely under the guidance of Archbishop Laud with the assistance of his chaplain and fellow-Yorkshireman, John Bramhall, who was appointed Bishop of Derry in 1634 in succession to the Calvinist, George Downham. In the Convocation of 1634 he forced the adoption of the English "Thirty-nine Articles" for the "Irish Articles" of 1615, although the latter were left, for diplomatic reasons, unrepealed. He, also, forced through a new set of canons.20. James Hamilton (Ballywalter) was a member of Convocation that year, and was the only member who voted against receiving the canons submitted by Wentworth. "The Irish Caroline Canons", as Mr. F. R. Bolton points out, "are more Laudian than the English Jacobean Canons" of 1603.21. Thus they tended to alienate many of the Irish clergy, who, while forced into temporary submission, tended towards a Calvinistic theology, and were ready to turn against Wentworth as soon as opportunity should offer. Dr. E. A. Payne writes, "The religious policy of Archbishop Laud played an important part in precipitating the Civil War".22. The policy of his disciple Wentworth in Ireland also tended in the same direction.

Sufficient tribute has not been paid by Presbyterian historians to Wentworth for what he accomplished for the Anglican Church. He served the Laudians faithfully and well, and built up the finances of the Church. "It is clear", writes Mr. F. J. Angus, "that the Church of Ireland would either have withered away altogether, or at best have survived as an insignificant body in a few places; if Strafford had not busied himself with its revival".23. On the other hand, he never really understood the Presbyterians. It was his royal and political ideals, and their connection with Scotland, which finally made Wentworth turn upon them. This means that the years 1633-40 tell a story of militant action against the Presbyterian party within the Church. Space forbids details, but the case of Robert Cunningham (Holywood) may be quoted as an illustration. In 1636, he was deposed by Henry Leslie, Bishop of Down, for refusing to sign the "Canons", and forced to flee to Scotland, where he died at Irvine on 26th March, 1637. Five weeks after his death, he was summoned before the High Commission in Dublin, and fined �20 for not appearing, though the Court was apprised of his death. The officers of the Court then seized the property of his widow to the value of �40 as security. While there must be order in the Church many of the actions in this period were harsh and unnecessary.

These years, also, gave birth to one of the most heroic stories in Irish Presbyterian history, that of the first ship known to have been built on Belfast Lough. She was called the "Eaglewing", from Exodus xix, 1-8, and was built to carry Presbyterians to freedom. On 9th September, 1636, she sailed from Groomsport for New England with 140 emigrants aboard, including Blair, Livington, Hamilton, and McLelland. Tempestuous seas and winds buffeted the little ship for two months before forcing her back half-wrecked to Groomsport.

In Scotland, meanwhile, resistance to the dictatorial attitude of the King was increasing, and, in 1638, the "National Covenant" was signed, and the Glasgow Assembly, of which Blair, Livingstone, Hamilton, and McLelland were members, met. It abolished the innovations in worship, deposed the bishops, and re-established Presbyterianism. Alarmed by what had happened in Scotland, Wentworth determined to smash the Ulster Scots. The bishops were ordered to enforce conformity, and a Court of High Commission was set up in Dublin. The opposition reached its climax with the "Black Oath" in 1639, by which everyone over sixteen years was required to swear, "on their knees" and "upon the Four Evangelists" "that they would never oppose any of the King's commands, and that they would abjure and renounce the Covenant".24. While the Scots who were Romanists were exempted from the oath, that none might escape the clergy were instructed to make a return of all Presbyterians in their parishes. Some did conform, but the majority stood the test bravely. They were fined and imprisoned, they left the homes they had builded, and the fields made fertile by their sweat and toil, and fled to Scotland. Deprived of their ministers, great numbers of those who remained went to Scotland at Communion Seasons. Livingstone, who was then minister at Stranraer, records that on one occasion "over 500 persons from Co. Down crossed the sea to receive the Sacrament at Stranraer", and on another how "twenty-eight children were baptised at one time".25.

While the "Black Oath" was primarily a political measure, and Wentworth does not appear to have been able to enforce it as he planned, there can be no denying that the Presbyterians suffered grievously because of it; and as an illustration of the severity of the judgment meted out to those who remained in Ireland and refused to take this Oath the case of Henry Stewart may be quoted. He, his wife, his two daughters, and his man-servant, were arrested for refusing the Oath, taken to Dublin, tried in the Court of Castle Chamber (the Irish equivalent of the Star Chamber), and fined he and his wife in �5,000 each, and the two daughters and the man-servant in �2,000 each - a total of �16,000, and cast into prison until the uttermost farthing should be paid.

After the fall of Wentworth, the government of Ireland was committed to Sir John Parsons and Sir John Bolase, both Puritans. Under their guidance, Parliament abolished the Court of High Commission and religious liberty was practically accomplished, when the Rebellion of 1641, largely the result of Strafford's policy, broke out. Its aims were the overthrow of English rule in Ireland and the recovery of the estates forfeited after the flight of the Earls in 1607, and the extirpation of Protestantism and the establishment of Romanism. The situation was further complicated by the King's negotiations with some of the Irish Romanist leaders to take up arms on his behalf against the Protestants, but not the Ulster Scots as he hoped to unite them with their kinsmen in Scotland in support of his cause. This meant that, at first, the King's orders were obeyed, and the Scots suffered no injury. This situation, however, only lasted a short time. This rebellion is one of the darkest blots in Irish history, and while, no doubt, there were atrocities committed by both sides, apologists for the rebels must feel very embarrassed by their excesses against opposition so numerically inferior. Latimer sums up, "At first, the rebels acted with comparative moderation. They contented themselves with robbing the Protestants, stripping them naked, and sending them off defenceless. But they soon abandoned this moderation, and aimed at murdering the native Protestant population. Neither woman nor infant was spared. The brains of the children were dashed out before the eyes of their mothers, some were thrown into pots of boiling water; and some were given to pigs that they might be eaten. A Protestant clergyman was actually crucified. Many had their hands cut off or their eyes put out before their lives were taken. Many were promised their lives on condition of conforming to Popery, but any who recanted were told that, being now in the true Church, they must be killed at once lest they might afterwards fall from the faith. Various calculations have been made of the number who perished, but it cannot be much under 40,000. As a body, the Presbyterians suffered less than other Protestants. Their leading ministers had been driven out of the country. Many of the people followed. The few months of liberty which intervened between the execution of Strafford and the beginning of the rebellion, were not sufficient to enable many to return. The bishops, who had banished both pastors and people to Scotland, saved them from destruction" .26

To quell the rebellion, and give protection to the Irish Protestants, a Scottish army of 10,000 was sent to Ireland, a detachment under General Robert Munro arriving in April, 1642. After a campaign to restore law and order, the army returned to Carrickfergus. "The Rebellion had", as Dr. D. Stewart says, "literally swept the Episcopal Church away".27. To the chaplains of the Scots army fell the responsibility of reorganising the Church. They were ordained ministers of the Church of Scotland and many of the officers were elders. After four Kirk-Sessions had been formed in the army, it was decided to form a Presbytery. Its first meeting was held at Carrickfergus on Friday, 10th June, 1642. It was attended by five ministers, and a representative elder from each of the four sessions. Rev. John Baird, as Moderator, preached on the text Ps. li. 18 : "Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion ; build thou the walls of Jerusalem"; and Rev. Hugh Peebles was appointed Clerk. Both these ministers remained in Ireland, Mr. Baird was appointed to preach in Belfast "every Third Sunday", and was installed in Derrykeighan in 1646, and Mr. Peebles in Dundonald and Holywood in 1645. The other ministers were Rev. Hugh Cunningham, who, in 1646, was installed at Ray, and Revs. John Scott and John Aird, who both returned to Scotland. "By these prudent and zealous men", writes Reid, "the foundations of the Presbyterian Church were once more laid in Ulster, in exact conformity with the parent establishment in Scotland. By their agency the Scottish Church in Ulster assumed the regular and organised form which it still retains, and from this period the history of its ministers, its congregations, and its ecclesiastical courts can be traced in uninterrupted succession".28.

When it was known that a Presbytery had been erected, applications poured in from many districts, and sessions were erected in 1642 in Antrim, Ballymena, Ballywalter, Bangor, Cairncastle, Carrickfergus, Comber, Dervock, Donaghadee, Holywood, Killyleagh, Larne, Newtownards, Portaferry, and Templepatrick. A petition was sent to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, but, as the supply of ministers in Scotland was limited, the Assembly could not send any to settle permanently in Ireland, but they ordered Blair, Hamilton, Ramsey, McLelland, Baillie, and Livingstone to go there for a limited time. This procedure continued for a number of years ; and the Irish Church was now rapidly reorganised by these deputies from Scotland. Her Confession was the "Scots Confession (1560)", her discipline was based on the "Second Book of Discipline", and her worship followed closely the "Book of Common Order", although there was a certain amount of Brownist influence. Brownism receives its name from Robert Brown (1550-1633), who was first a schoolteacher, then a clergyman in the Church of England, and later an English Separatist or Congregationalist. He was opposed to the use of all set forms in public worship including the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Gloria Patri.

In this connection it should be remembered that in April, 1642, the Long Parliament determined to call an Assembly of Divines to reform the government of the Church, that in September both the Commons and Lords passed "An Act for the utter abolishing and taking away of all archbishops, bishops, their chancellors and commissaries, etc.",29. and that, to quote Archdeacon Hutton, "in August, 1645, and March, 1646, Presbyterianism was definitely established by law".30. Presbyterianism was the established form of Church government from 1646 to 1660. While no Act of the Irish Parliament had proscribed episcopacy, under the Commonwealth the Irish Parliament was swept away, and Ireland, like Scotland, was given representation in a central parliament which legislated for the whole British Isles.31.

After the eclipse of the Presbyterian party in the Irish Church during the Laud-Wentworth period there came a resurgence in 1642. Nevertheless the years following 1642 were fraught with difficulties for the Irish Presbyterians. The power of the Irish rebels had been only partially overthrown by the victories of Munro, so when, in 1642, Owen Roe O'Neill arrived in Ireland civil war resulted. Further, in that year, the quarrel between King and Parliament in England had reached a crisis, which led the latter to seek Scottish assistance. This led to the signing of the "Solemn League and Covenant" by the English Parliament, the Scottish Convention of Estates, and the General Assembly, to preserve the Reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, to promote the reformation of religion in the kingdom of England and Ireland "according to the word of God, and the best Reformed Churches",32. to extirpate Popery and Prelacy, to preserve the King's person and authority to come to the assistance and defence of all who entered the Covenant, and to lead holy lives personally. The action of the Scottish nation has been severely criticised by later generations, but to suggest that "she engaged to enforce upon the Church of England the uniformity she herself had raised an army to resist" requires qualifying. Admittedly it developed into this, but, in origin, it was not so, for in 1641, the Scots commissioners stated, "We do not presume to propound the form of government of the Church of Scotland as a pattern for the Church of England".33.

It was in such circumstances the Assembly of Divines met at Westminster on 1st July, 1643. Three facts should be remembered concerning the constitution of this Assembly : (i) with the exception of two, who were French Reformed, all the divines were in Episcopal orders in the Anglican Church, (ii) all members' took the vow, "I do solemnly promise and vow, in the presence of Almighty God, That in this Assembly, whereof I am a member, I will maintain nothing in point of doctrine, but what I believe to be most agreeable to the Word of God; nor in point of discipline but what may make most for God's glory, and the peace and good of this Church" ;34. and (iii) not until August was the Scottish Assembly invited to send commissioners to assist in the deliberations. This they did. "The Scottish Commissioners were not members of the Westminster Assembly : they were Assessors who might speak but not vote".35.

It is a common Anglican allegation that the Scottish Commissioners exercised an undue influence in the Westminster Assembly. It may be pointed out, therefore, that, while their influence was great, on many points, even some which they held to be vital, their views were deliberately and definitely rejected by the Assembly. Especially is this true in the "Directory for Public Worship" and the "Form of Presbyterial Church Government".36.

In the politico-historical situation which existed a number of those summoned by the Ordinance to the Assembly "appeared not : whereupon the whole work lay in the hands of some ninety-four English members, with six of the Scottish assessors".37. Of the English members, thirty-one were Doctors of Divinity, one a Doctor of Laws, one a Doctor of Civil Law, thirty were Bachelors of Divinity, thirty-nine Masters of Arts, one a Bachelor of Arts, and no less than twenty were Heads of Houses, or Fellows of Colleges, at Oxford or Cambridge. The Scottish Commissioners, who took the most active part were : Samuel Rutherford, Alexander Henderson, George Gillespie, and Robert Baillie.

The Westminster Assembly produced a "Confession of Faith", a "Larger" and a "Shorter Catechism", a "Directory for the Public Worship of God", a "Form of Presbyterial Church Government", and a "Directory for Ordination". These were adopted, in Acts of Assembly, by the Church of Scotland. A study of these Acts is essential if one is to understand the connotation of "adoption" in each instance, for example, the Act on the "Confession" states the sense in which chapter xxxi is to be understood and links with the Confession the "Form of Presbyterial Church Government"; the Acts on the. "Directory for Public Worship" relate the "Directory" to the First and Second Books of Discipline and lay down the procedure for the celebration of the Sacraments, etc.38. Adair's "Narrative" reveals that the Presbytery in Ulster followed the practice of the Church of Scotland.39.

The civil war in England resulted in the execution of Charles I on 30th January, 1649. This news was received with horror by the Presbyterians in Scotland and Ireland. The Irish Presbytery met in Belfast on 5th February, and drew up a "Representation", which condemned it as "an act so horrible as no history, divine or human, ever had a precedent to the like".40. The "Representation" was read in the churches, and a copy of it was laid before the English Parliament, which entrusted its reply to John Milton.

Meanwhile the Irish civil war, which began in 1642, continued, so in August, 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland; and 'ere he left he wrote his name "in blood" in the annals of Ireland, especially in connection with the massacres at Drogheda and Wexford. "Cromwell's critics", writes Mr. Christopher Hill, "lay heavy emphasis on two aspects of his Irish policy : the massacres of Drogheda and Wexford, and the `Cromwellian settlement'. Cromwell is by no means free from blame for these atrocious proceedings, but there are points to be made in his defence. Of Drogheda and Wexford it can be said (i) in accordance with contemporary laws of war a garrison which had prolonged resistance unreasonably and so caused unnecessary loss of life might, after due warning, be put to the sword ; (ii) civilians were not intended to be involved; (iii) the severity helped to bring to an end the ghastly Irish war, which had dragged on for eight years .. . The `Cromwellian Settlement' was not Cromwellian at all .. . It was the putting into more drastic effect of what had been English policy since the reign of Elizabeth. The transplantation was initiated before Cromwell controlled policy ; it was mitigated after he became Protector".41.

Further, we must remember that England was not yet divided into Anglicans and Dissenters. Cromwell's State Church was the Church of England. The great majority of the population, ministers included, continued to accept it - as had been the case in the reigns of Henry VIII, Mary, and Elizabeth.42. In Ireland, also, there was no division, as yet, into Anglican and Dissent.

Prelacy was banned, partly on political as well as ecclesiastical grounds, and Presbyterianism established by the Long Parliament, so, for a brief period, Cromwell's commissioners in Ireland were friendly to the Presbyterian ministers. Soon, however, they became suspicious of men who in the Covenant had sworn to "preserve the King's person and authority", and who had condemned his execution. This led to a policy of deliberate repression, and in 1650, the "Engagement Oath" was made compulsory, binding those who signed "to renounce the pretended title of Charles Stewart, and the whole line of King James, and to be faithful to the Commonwealth".43. The Irish Presbyterians refused to take this oath. Soldiers drove the ministers from their pulpits, some were imprisoned, some had to flee to Scotland; and at a Council of War at Carrickfergus in 1653 an Act banishing them from the kingdom was passed. During these years the influence of the Government favoured the Independents and Baptists, and pastors of these bodies were brought from England, planted in the garrison towns, and endowed at public expense. The Presbyterians received little favour, nor indeed could they expect it. Happily the scheme of banishment could not be carried out, and Henry Cromwell, the Lord Deputy, personally intervened on the ministers behalf in 1654, ended the persecution, and granted to every minister, who applied for it, a stipend of �100 a year. For refusing the Republican Engagement in 1650, it would appear that all but two Presbyterian ministers in Co. Antrim, three in Co. Down, and one in Co. Tyrone, were deposed. They were : Ker (Ballymoney), O'Quinn (Billy), Gordon (Comber), Peebles (Dundonald), Ramsey (Bangor), and Kennedy (Donaghmore). However, by 1659, five years after Cromwell's intercession, some forty-nine Presbyterian ministers were receiving grants from the Protectorate, and so were many Anglicans. These years of Cromwellian favour enabled the Presbyterians to recover their strength, and in 1658 there were about seventy Presbyterian ministers in Irish parishes. The original Presbytery was, in 1654, divided into three Presbyteries - Antrim, Down, and Route ; in 1657, the Presbytery of Laggan was formed out of that of Route; and, in 1659, the Presbytery of Tyrone out of Down. These Presbyteries met in Synod, or, as it was called, in "General Presbytery", as the circumstances of the Church required. Cromwell's death on 3rd September, 1658, was soon followed by the Restoration.

Almost the first appearance of Presbyterianism in Ireland, as we have seen, was in connection with the establishment by Queen Elizabeth of` the University of Dublin. The oldest congregation in Dublin, of which we have a record, is that of Wood Street. The great Puritan divine Dr. John Owen was its pastor in 1647; men of the greatest distinction, and of European fame, like Dr. Stephen Charnock and Rev. Joseph Boyce, filled its pulpit ; and it consisted of families in most influential positions and of high social rank. Indeed, when the General Fund was founded in 1710 "for the support of religion in Dublin and the South of Ireland", this congregation contributed �6,750 of the total.

During the Commonwealth many of Cromwell's officers and men were either Independents or Presbyterians, and, as Prendergast shows, were, after his campaign, settled "regiment by regiment, company by company, on the lands they had conquered", for example, at Ennis, Carlow, Drogheda, Limerick, and elsewhere.

These Presbyterians were of English puritan, not Scottish, origin, and there is evidence that they received more favourable consideration in government circles than did their Scottish brethren in the North.

"There", writes Trevelyan, "were two Restorations. In 1660 were restored Parliament and the King, and in 1661 was restored the persecuting Anglican Church. The first Restoration was made by the Presbyterians in the Convention Parliament, and the second by the Cavalier Parliament".44. In England, "the accession of Charles II was marked by a systematic assertion of the supremacy of the Church of England by the chain of legislation known as the Clarendon Code. The Corporation Act, 1661, required every member of a town corporation to receive the Sacrament in accordance with the rites of the Church of England". The Act of Uniformity, 1662, enacted that "incumbents were to use the Book of Common Prayer under pain of deprivation. Deans, Readers in the Universities, parsons and schoolmasters were solemnly to declare their conformity with the liturgy of the Church. Schoolmasters and parsons instructing youth in private houses and families must be licensed by the bishop ; otherwise they were liable to fines and imprisonment. Parsons administering the Sacrament without having been episcopally ordained were liable to a fine of �100". The Conventicle Act, 1664, was passed "to prevent and suppress seditious conventicles". The penalty for attending a meeting of more than five persons beyond the members of any particular household ranged from a fine not exceeding �5 for a first offence to seven years transportation on conviction or indictment. The Five Mile Act, 1665, required all in Holy Orders to take an oath abjuring the lawfulness of taking up arms against the King and declaring that they would not at any time endeavour any alteration of government in either Church or State. Persons preaching in any conventicle "under colour or pretence of any exercise of religion contrary to the laws and statutes of the Kingdom" were not to come within five miles of any corporation returning members to Parliament without having taken the oath. They and persons not frequenting the Church of England were not to teach in any school. The Test Act, 1672, required all persons holding office under the Government to take the oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance.45.

At the Restoration, the Irish bishops did not wait for Parliament to meet, and Bramhall, now Archbishop of Armagh, saw it as his duty to administer the laws of the Church in accordance with the pro-Laudian Irish Caroline Canons of 1634. This resulted in the eviction of sixty-one Presbyterian ministers in Ulster - sixteen were members of the Presbytery of Down, fourteen of Antrim, ten of Route, thirteen of Laggan, and eight of Tyrone. Eight, who had been Presbyterian in outlook previously, conformed. In fairness to Bramhall, however, it must be noted that he did not dispute the validity of their ordination, but claimed that he was administering the laws of the "National Church", and so could not see how they could remain in their benefices without episcopal ordination.46. At the same time, one sometimes wonders if Bramhall did not enjoy his task, for he wrote to Sir George Lane, secretary to Ormonde, on 16th March, 1661, "I have led them all the dance in the first visitation successfully enough. Yet have I as many hereticks in my diocese as any man. But the surest way to take a populacy is by the ear. So God bless us".47.

Concerning the events of this period three things require noting : (i) the Presbyterians of the Long Parliament failed to secure assent to their practical proposals, partly because of the political circumstances of the time, and partly because they showed themselves almost as intolerant of opposition as had Laud ;48. (ii) "The Church of England", as Hallam says, "had doubtless her provocations, but she made the retaliation much more than commensurate to the injury. No severity comparable to this cold-blooded persecution had been inflicted by the late powers, even in the ferment and fury of a civil war";49. and (iii) the fact that nearly 2,000 Puritan ministers (mostly Presbyterian) were ejected at the Restoration, and that in the eighteenth century the leaders of the Evangelical Revival were excluded, reveal, as Dr. E. A. Payne says, that "the Church of England was unable to adapt its organisation to new tides of spiritual life".50.

After the Reformation there was a time when both Presbyterians and Episcopalians were embraced in the Irish Church, and for a brief period after the Restoration it looked as if Presbyterianism was likely to triumph as Charles II gave the impression that he would support Presbytery rather than Prelacy. In the Irish Parliament of 1660 devotions were conducted every morning by a Presbyterian, Rev. Samuel Cox, St. Catherine's Church, Dublin. The Act of Uniformity ended the hopes of the Presbyterians, but it did not, as its framers hoped, lead to the extinction of Presbyterianism. It resulted rather in the relinquishing of position and emoluments in the Established Church by a considerable number of the most scholarly and godly ministers in the Irish Church, also the Provost of Trinity College, two Senior Fellows, and five Junior Fellows. The congregations of Bull Alley, organised mainly by Presbyterians from the North about 1660, and Wood Street were already in existence in Dublin, and now four new congregations were founded, namely, New Row, Cook Street, Capel Street, and a second congregation in Wood Street.

The congregations of Dundalk, Bandon, Clonmel, Cork, Limerick, Wexford, Enniscorthy, Waterford, New Ross, Sligo, Killala, Wicklow, Fethard Summerhill, Portarlington, Mountrath, Rahul, Edenderry, and Tipperary, all date from the years 1650-90. Varied have been the fortunes of these congregations. Some, indeed, have completely disappeared. Isolated from their fellow Presbyterians in Ulster, denied the rights of citizens by the operation of the Sacramental Test, oppressed by rack-rents, a great number of their membership emigrated, or returned to England and Scotland, during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

With the restoration of the Anglican Church in 1661 began the romance of Nonconformity. It is a fascinating story to read, but it was tragic to experience, and involved great hardship. "Thus", writes Adair, one of the ejected ministers, "there came a black cloud over this poor Church ; for the old enemies became bitter and triumphed over the outed ministers that they might get some advantage over them. Yet, as the danger and difficulty of the time allowed, they did visit the people from house to house, and sometimes had small meetings of them in several places of the parish in the night-time".51.

As a result of the Act of Uniformity, the Presbyterians sent a deputation to the King. He acknowledged their loyalty and promised his royal protection, but nothing came of this and the persecution continued. On the advice of Lord Massereene, a deputation was sent to Dublin to remind the Deputy and the Lord Justices of the King's promises. Massereene himself introduced the deputation, but they were coldly received, and informed that they must conform to the discipline of the Established Church or suffer the consequences. This led the Viceroy, Ormonde, to exclaim, "Unhappy Presbyterians suffering for their loyalty to the King and now suffering under him".52. The evictions of 1661 led to a new ecclesiastical situation in that Presbyterians no longer worshipped in the parish churches hut formed separate congregations and built Meetinghouses. So from the Restoration onwards, religious life in Ireland flowed in three distinct and clearly defined streams�Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, and Romanism.

In the events following 1661, it should be remembered that the spirit of toleration was foreign to the age, and that the clergy of the Established Church had to perform duties and functions that are now undertaken by the civil officers of state. Probate, marriage, divorce, education, relief work, public assistance, etc., were under their governance. The Established Church was, in a sense, an instrument of the government of the State. To remember this helps one to understand Anglican tactics and behaviour although it does not mitigate or justify the severity of the law.

The first sign of relief from persecution in Ireland after 1661 came in 1672, when Sir Arthur Forbes approached the King on behalf of the Presbyterian ministers, and the King made them a grant of �600 per annum. This grant, with several interruptions, continued until the Disestablishment in 1870. This created a new situation in that there was only one Church established by law, yet, at the same time, another was endowed from public funds. Although by the King's action Presbyterianism was officially recognised, still persecution continued, and, in 1684, in Antrim and Down meeting-houses were closed by force, and the public worship of Presbyterians prohibited. A wave of intolerance and persecution seemed inevitable, but the King's death altered the whole situation.

James II succeeded his brother Charles in February, 1685 ; and his "Declaration of Indulgence" in 1687, suspending the operation of the penal laws against Romanists and Dissenters, gave considerable liberty to the Irish Presbyterians. Persecution ceased for a time, and meetinghouses that had been closed were reopened and public worship resumed.

Gradually, however, the intention of James to establish Romanism became clear, and this led to revolution in England. The Protestants in Ireland, also, dreaded another massacre like 1641. "Except in Ulster among the persecuted Presbyterians", says Froude, "the English could count on no friends in Ireland",53. for the Romanists supported James, and the bishops and clergy of the Established Church were in a difficult position as they had bound themselves "under no pretence to take up arms against the King".54. The menace of Romanism, however, proved a unifying factor, and the entire Protestant population, except for a few defaulters, united in its opposition to James. The story of the war in Ireland need not be given here as the names of Derry, Enniskillen, Aughrim and the Boyne are well known.

King William landed at Carrickfergus on 14th June, 1690, with an army of 36,000 men, and began his march to Dublin. As he passed through Belfast, a deputation of the Presbyterian Church waited on him and presented an Address, expressing their loyalty. They were graciously received, and on 19th July, the King issued an Order to the collector of customs at Belfast, authorising the payment of �1,200 yearly to the Presbyterian ministers in Ulster. On 1st July, 1690, King William defeated the army of King James at the battle of the Boyne. James fled and escaped to France ; and William, leaving the siege of Limerick in charge of his officers, returned to England. According to the Articles of the Treaty of Limerick, it was provided that Romanists should retain such privileges in the exercise of their religion as they had had in the reign of Charles II, and those who recognised King William's government need take only the oath of allegiance, and that having made submission they were to be secured in their property and possessions. But the Irish Parliament annulled the civil provisions of the Treaty, thus frustrating the King's policy of toleration.

The changes in the ownership of land that resulted from the Williamite confiscations, however, were comparatively small. In 1641, Romanists held about fifty-nine/sixty per cent. of the land of Ireland, but by 1688 this had gradually decreased owing to the decline in the political power of the Romanist landed classes. "In 1688", writes Dr. Simms, "Catholics had little more than one-third of the land which they had held in 1641. In 1703 they still had nearly two-thirds of the land which they had held in 1688".55.

The major tragedy of the Revolution, however, was that "Irish" and "Roman Catholic" came to be regarded as interchangeable terms. This quite incorrect identification, arising out of a politico-historical situation, is unfortunately still to be found, at times, in the speeches of Irish politicians.

When the turmoil of war had subsided the Irish Presbyterians found themselves legally little better off than they had been under James II. "The Irish government", as Mr. J. C. Beckett says, "had done nothing for them, and such immediate benefits as they derived from the revolution were due to the personal action of the King and to the English parliament. These benefits were two, the renewal of the royal grant (regium donum), and the abrogation, by an act of the English parliament, of the oath of supremacy in Ireland . . . The position, then, of the Protestant dissenters of Ireland in the years immediately following the revolution was a curious one. Legally, since no toleration act had been passed, they had no right to exist at all. Yet there was no barrier to their entering the public service. Further, the Presbyterians (by far the most important of the dissenting bodies) enjoyed a sort of quasi-establishment. In places where dissenting congregations were already established no attempt was made to have them removed. A considerable part of the maintenance of their ministers was provided by the State. But for all this they had no legal security. In theory they were still subject to the penalties of the acts of uniformity".56.

Taking advantage of the liberty accorded them, the Synod of Ulster, which had been unable to meet from 1661, resumed its meetings in 1690, but unfortunately the minutes of the first meeting have been lost. The Synod, in spite of the obstacles involved, in 1691 showed its belief in the necessity for an educated ministry by enacting "that none enter into the ministry without Laureation", that is, without graduating in a University.57. As in 1642 the Church of Scotland provided the model for Church government, the Synod, in 1697, enacting "that some particular Minister be appointed by this Synod to overlook the Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and consider and draw out what may be applicable to us in this Church", and, in 1711, agreed "that each Presbytery procure a copy of all the printed acts of the General Assembly of Scotland".58. Indeed, the Synod did not prepare a "Code of Discipline" until 1825. Up to that time she governed herself by the Acts of the Scottish General Assembly.

In an attempt to give legal security to the Presbyterians Toleration Bills were introduced to Parliament in 1692 and 1695, but these were thrown out, principally through the exertions of the Anglican bishops. The reason for the Anglican opposition may be seen from the statements, in 1698, of Bishop Walkington (Down and Connor), who says, the Presbyterians "proceed to exercise jurisdiction openly, and .... openly hold their sessions and provincial synods for regulating of all matters of ecclesiastical concern".59. This was the real crux of the situation : the Presbyterians were not a group of scattered congregations, but an organised body, and, also, were in close touch with their fellow-churchmen in Scotland, who soon afterwards were able to overthrow an established episcopal Church. "The parallel", as Mr. J. C. Beckett says, "is too close to have been missed by either side and in proportion as it encouraged the Presbyterians it must have alarmed their enemies".60. The argument for toleration also lost much of its force because against Romanism the Established Church knew that the Presbyterians had, for their own sakes, to stand by the Established Church in every threat to the Protestant interest. This meant that while the Presbyterians claimed toleration as a right, and the English government urged it as just and expedient, the Irish government, acting largely under the influence of the bishops, refused to grant it as it would undermine the privileges of the ruling class.

An event of great importance for the future of Ireland was the increase, during William's reign, in the number of Huguenot immigrants. A number of French Protestants had come to Ireland during the reigns of Charles II and James II. Fleeing the fires of Romanist persecution, they found that Anglicanism in Ireland, while prepared to offer refuge, was not favourable to granting freedom of worship. In 1665, they had been granted the use of St. Mary's Chapel in St. Patrick's Cathedral on condition that the congregation would be "governed wholly according to the discipline and rites of the Church of Ireland and the Canons of the same strictly and indispensably".61. In this the Anglican Church was following the policy of Laud's "Manifesto to Council" in 1632 when he attempted to suppress the foreign Churches in England, and to force the refugees to "conforme themselves to the laws of the Kingdom as well ecclesiastical as temporal". In 1632, some of the refugees had been able to flee to Ireland for protection, for the Irish Church had not, at that date, adopted the Laudian position. After Wentworth and Bramhall, as we have seen, the situation was completely altered.

"The early settlers", as Mr. J. C. Beckett says, "had been too poor and too helpless to resist the pressure put on them to conform to the established Church",62. but with the increase in their numbers, after 1690, a new situation arose, and requests were made that they should be permitted to organise their worship and discipline according to their own form, for there were many, "who found with De Bostaquet that the Anglican form of service was 'tr�s oppos� � la simplicit� de notre reformation'." 63. The result was that in 1692 a Toleration Act was passed. This was continued under Anne, and made perpetual under George I.64. This Act was an historic event, because until 1692, those who did not conform were denied liberty of public worship. Eleven years earlier, in a pamphlet entitled "An Apology for the French Refugees established in Ireland", the Huguenots had stated the case for their right to have a Church of their own and to follow their own rite, but their petition was rejected by the government. Despite this, they held meetings for worship in houses of the nobility who sympathised with them, but when this was discovered, those attending were arrested and their minister deported.65.

In 1695, the Irish Commons received two petitions from the French Protestants asking for certain privileges and for provision for their ministers. Endowment of those "who conform to the liturgy of the Church of England" was recommended, but it was determined, it seems, not to endow any dissenters.66. Realising that they would probably receive more sympathetic treatment from the English government than from the Irish Parliament they presented an Address to the king in 1696, from which it appears that there were six nonconforming congregations�Dublin (two ministers), Cork, Waterford, Carlow, Portarlington, and Castleblayney.67. It appears that their request was granted, because, in 1702, Lindsay, Bishop of Killaloe, petitioned unsuccessfully against a bill in the English Parliament relating to Church endowments in Portarlington because it placed conforming and nonconforming congregations "on an equality".68.

A few years later, Archbishop King complains in a letter to Vigors, Bishop of Ferns, that the Huguenot congregation in Carlow had received as minister one who had been ordained by "schismatical presbyters among ourselves", and states that if this continues "they would place themselves on the same foot with the dissenters in relation to Church communion".69. From this the views of the Archbishop are evident. In 1711, Convocation launched an attack against the non-conforming French congregations hinting that the Anglican Establistment was identical with the Reformed Church of France. They had this "Representation" printed, and cried for sale through the streets of Dublin. The Synod of Ulster and the French published replies.70.

With the destruction of the Irish woollen industry the government welcomed the French as useful citizens, and they, as Mr. J. C. Beckett says, "were treated with special consideration; conformity was made profitable and non-conformity easy".71. While this is true of the government, on the other hand, the Anglican Church while prepared to welcome all who conformed, and having to tolerate the non-conformists under the Act of 1692, "allowed small favour" to the Calvinistic Churches.72.

In Ulster, the Huguenots were especially welcomed by the Presbyterians, who found their principles "both with respect to the substance of discipline and worship as well as of doctrine" similar to their own ; and it is in connection with the establishment of the linen trade of the North that they had their greatest influence.73. Economically and industrially Ireland owes much to the Huguenots. So does the Presbyterian Church, for many of them and their descendants have contributed much to her enrichment.

During the reign of Queen Anne (1702-14), the Test Act was passed in 1704, making the taking of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites of the Anglican Church a condition of holding any office, civil or military, under the Crown. When pleading the cause of Romanists at the bar of the House, the Romanist lawyer, Sir Theobald Butler, declared, "Surely the Presbyterians did not do anything to deserve worse treatment at the hands of the Government than other Protestants. On the contrary, it is more than probable that if they had not put a stop to the career of the Irish army at Derry and Enniskillen, the settlement of the country might not have proved so easy as it thereby did. And to pass a Bill now to deprive them of their birthright for their good services would be the worst reward ever granted to a people so deserving".74. This Penal legislation was one of the most terrible tyrannies under which a nation has ever groaned. The Whigs made several unsuccessful attempts to repeal this Act, but with their fall in 1710 the attitude of the English government so changed that the Presbyterians were forced to defend the liberties they possessed rather than seek new ones. "The last four years of Queen Anne", says Mr. J. C. Beckett, "showed the Irish Presbyterians how precarious were their liberties when the influence of the English government, which since the revolution had been exerted to restrain the high Church party in Ireland, could no longer be counted upon".75. This Act was not abolished until 1780, when the Volunteers (in Ulster mostly Presbyterians), number 100,000 armed men, and the Irish Parliament was not in a position to refuse concessions, long overdue, owing to Ireland being left destitute of English troops because of the American war.

The Regium Donum was a royal grant. It was not made by the Irish government or parliament. However, while there was no legal toleration the grant involved a sort of semi-official recognition. Throughout the reign of Queen Anne, the Anglican bishops worked persistently to have the payment stopped. Archbishop King (Dublin) attributed all the troubles the Presbyterians caused, or were supposed to cause, the Established Church to the Regium Donum,76. and he and his colleagues on the bench never rested until they had it withdrawn in 1714.

During the years 1702-05 a pamphlet war raged on the question of Presbyterian marriages, and in 1711 Convocation passed a Canon dealing with "clandestine marriages", and prescribing penalties for all persons performing or attending marriages solemnised in any other form than that prescribed by the Established Church. Action was taken in the episcopal courts both against Presbyterian ministers who performed the marriage ceremony and against the people so married. Presbyterian marriages were denounced as "licences for sin", the children of such marriages were described as "bastards", and ministers and people were brought before the bishops' courts and excommunicated as "fornicators". While the Marriage Act of 1781 did much to alleviate the situation temporarily, Irish Presbyterians did not receive full legal security concerning marriage and legitimacy until 1844.

While the Presbyterian Church had no legal security, she continued to grow so that in 1708 there were 130 congregations The "planting" of new congregations, even at the invitation of the local community, brought them into conflict with the Establishment, the most notable cases of strife being at Drogheda and Belturbet. Yet in face of the opposition to her growth and the troubles involved, the Irish Presbyterian Church sought to be faithful to her evangelical commission, and, in 1710, having a number of Irish-speaking ministers and licentiates sent them forth to preach the Gospel, and to distribute Bibles and Catechisms in Irish, among the Irish-speaking population. This was the beginning of the Irish Mission. In connection with the use of the Irish language it is interesting to note that some Presbyteries held services in Irish and the Irish Mission used Irish-speaking evangelists, until the middle of the nineteenth century ; and that in 1848 the General Assembly conducted 312 Irish schools with over 7,000 scholars on the rolls.77. The loss of Irish as a spoken language was partly owing to the foundation of the National Schools, and partly due to the influence of O'Connell and the Roman Church.78.

THE. CHURCH (1714-1800)

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the relationship of the Presbyterian ministers in Dublin and the South to the Synod of Ulster was one of independence and harmony, and it was during this period that the situation began to be regularised. The divisions among the "Non-conformists" in the South were very injurious to their common interests over against the Established Church. This was at last recognised, and on the 15th July, 1696, a union was formed between the Presbyterian and Independent congregations in Munster and Leinster out of which arose the Presbytery of Munster. This Presbytery is not to be confused with the present Presbytery of Munster, which dates from 1840.

In Dublin the relation of the ministers to the General Synod of Ulster was indeterminate and uncertain. Capel Street was the only congregation that was entirely, and at all times, joined to the Synod. Wood Street, New Row (Eustace Street), and Cook Street had no connection with it at all, although some of their ministers took an active part in the defence of Presbyterianism against Anglican attacks. Plunket Street and Newmarket were so doubtful that the Synod refused to be identified with them unless they gave an undertaking to be subject to their jurisdiction. The Synod's minute of 1704 shows the position with regard to Francis Street : "That seeing that Mr. Thomas Hook, minister of Francis Street, is willing to be a member of this Synod, and to be joined, with our Dublin brethren, to the Presbytery of Belfast, in hopes that congregation will be subject to this Synod : they now receive the Sacrament after our way of administration. Accordingly his name was enrolled a member of this Synod, with his elder�Thomas Berry".1.

The ministers in Dublin joined with the Presbytery of Munster to form the Southern Association. All the Dublin ministers were members of it, and some were also members of the Synod of Ulster. Also, for some time, the Association sent corresponding members to the meetings of the Synod. The associated ministers appear to have been jealous of their rights, because, in 1710, the Synod of Ulster directed the Presbytery of Belfast to apologise to the "Presbytery of Dublin" (that is, the presbyters in Dublin) for not having given notice of the intended ordination of Mr. Craghead in Capel Street congregation.2.

The first Non-Subscription controversy, to be discussed later in the present chapter, altered the whole situation, for in 1726 the Subscribing ministers were organised into the Presbytery of Dublin within the Synod of Ulster.3. The Non- subscribers formed themselves into the Southern Presbytery of Dublin, and together with the Presbytery of Munster formed the Southern Association. In 1809 these two Presbyteries united to form the Synod of Munster.

The only further constitutional change occurred in 1840 when the Trinitarian Non-subscribers in the Synod of Munster, which was Non-subscribing and mainly Arian, were formed into the Presbytery of Munster. They joined the General Assembly in 1854.4.

From about 1750, the Synod of Ulster, the Presbytery of Antrim, and the Southern Association desired to be recognised as one great Presbyterian body, but the second Non-subscription controversy, to be dealt with in chapter III, put an end to such hopes, and the last occasion on which they acted conjointly was when they presented an Address to King George IV, on his visit to Ireland in 1821.

For the sake of completeness it only remains to add that the Synod of Munster united with the Presbytery of Antrim, and the Remonstrant Synod, in 1935, to form the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland.

In the closing years of the reign of Queen Anne, Presbyterians, as we have seen, recalled that without their services Derry could not have been held-they numbered at least fifteen to one of the besieged-and that King William would have been left without a "bridge-head" in Ireland. Yet the validity of their marriages was denied, they were not allowed to teach in schools, they were compelled to serve as churchwardens, and their right to burial according to the rite of their Church was often denied. The Sacramental Test for all holders of public office was restored, for example, leading to the resignation of ten of the twelve aldermen in Derry, and nine of the thirteen burgesses of Belfast. Ministers were forbidden to meet in Presbytery, or to preach, fined �100 if they celebrated the Lord's Supper, and the Regium Donum was stopped for a period. This was the thanks they received for their acts which, according to Hallam, saved the British Constitution.

With the accession of George I, in 1714, the hopes of Presbyterians, if not fully realised, were not altogether disappointed. He restored the Regium Donum, and, in 1718, increased it by 3400 a year to the Synod of Ulster plus �400 to the Protestant dissenters in the South. The later history of the Royal Bounty payments may be given here for the sake of completeness. In 1784, the Regium Donum to the Synod of Ulster was increased to �2,600, with �400 to the Protestant dissenters in the South, and �500 to the Seceders. In 1792, it was increased by �5,000 to be divided between the Synod of Ulster, the Presbytery of Antrim, and the Secession Synod in proportion to the number of ministers. In 1803, the method of payment was changed and in the Synod of Ulster the congregations were divided into three grades receiving payments of �100, �75, and �50 (Irish) ; the Southern Association receiving �100, �75, and �60. In 1809, this scheme was extended to the Seceders who received �70, �50, and �40. In 1838, the method of grading was abolished and all received �75 Irish (�69. 4s. 8d. English), the rights of all receiving �100 being preserved. This continued up to the Irish Church Act of 1869, when all payments were stopped.

In 1719, a Toleration Act was passed. In his attempt to prevent it passing Archbishop King declared "The Tests are the only protection of the Establishment : without them Protestant Ireland would become Presbyterian".5. The bill was finally carried in the Irish Lords by twenty-three votes to sixteen, and the entire minority in the Lords, which consisted of nine spiritual and seven temporal lords, entered a protest on the journals of the House, condemning the bill. The "spiritual portion" consisted of the Archbishops of Armagh, Dublin, and Tuam, and the Bishops of Kildare, Clonfert, Limerick, Clogher, Ossory, and Down and Connor. Seven of these were natives of Ireland and two were English. Six bishops, of whom one, Nicholas Forster, was Irish, and five were English, supported the bill. They were Evans of Meath, who had charge of the measure, Nicholson of Derry, Forster of Raphoe, Godwin of Kilmore, Lambert of Dromore, and Downes of Killala. Archbishop King was mortified at the success of the bill and was much displeased with his English brethren for daring to oppose him, as is evident from his letter to Wake on 10th November, in which he says, "The bill could not have passed if our brethren that came to us from your side the water, had not deserted us and gone over to the adverse party".6. This Act granted toleration to Presbyterian worship, allowing ministers to discharge the functions of their office without fines, and absolving the people from the penalties attached to non-attendance at the services of the Anglican Church. It, however, left the Test Act unrepealed. The same year an Indemnity Act was passed, by which civil and military office-holders who had not taken the test were given to 25th March, 1720, to do so. The opponents of toleration failed to see that a privilege of this sort is more easily given than revoked, so this Act was the first of a long series, there being twenty-four in the reign of the first three Georges.

Among the chief events of the eighteenth century were :

(i) the first Non-subscription controversy, (ii) the coming of the Seceders, (iii) the political unrest leading up to the Act of Union, and (iv) emigration to America.

(i) The Scottish ministers, who met in the first Presbytery in 1642, had signed the "Scots Confession (1560)", but there is no evidence to show that, when they accepted livings in Ireland, they were required to sign any Confession or Articles. This was the beginning of non-subscription. It was not until 1698 that the Synod made a move towards subscription, in which year it enacted that "no young man should be licensed to preach the Gospel unless he had subscribed to the Westminster Confession as the confession of his faith". It was further enacted, in 1705, "that all persons licensed or ordained shall be required to subscribe the Westminster Confession as the confession of their faith".7. This made subscription the law of the Church, but in many Presbyteries it was not enforced.

In 1705, a Society was formed in connection with the Presbytery of Antrim, and it was joined by several Belfast ministers. As it met in Belfast it came to be known as the "Belfast Society". Its members were distinguished for their learning and devotion. During the years 1709-16, five of its members were Moderators of the General Synod of Ulster. Many were the theological and cultural topics discussed, and no secret was made of the opposition of its members to subscription of "man-made" confessions as tests of orthodoxy. In 1719, Mr. Abernethy, founder of the Society, minister of Antrim, preached and published a sermon entitled "Religious Obedience founded on Personal Persuasion". The cry of heresy was raised, and for seven years controversy raged in the press, in pamphlets, and in the Courts of the Church.

Two courses were open to the Synod : (a) to bring the suspected brethren to trial for holding heretical doctrines, and, if found guilty, to depose them, or, if innocent, to clear them of suspicion. This was not done, because, as Reid says, the leaders of the Church "believed these brethren to be sincere in holding the essential doctrines of the Gospel".8. The correctness of this view has been confirmed by Dr. Robert Allen in his doctoral thesis on "The Principle of Non-Subscription in Irish Presbyterianism". Or (b) to exercise patience and enforce the law of subscription to the Westminster Confession in the case of every entrant. This would have resulted in every minister having passed a test of orthodoxy within a generation, and schism would have been avoided. Further, the Non-Subscription controversy which split the Church in the nineteenth century might never have arisen.

Neither course was followed. Instead, all the Non-Subscribers were placed in the Presbytery of Antrim. This Pr Presbytery, involving originally sixteen ministers and congregations, separated from the General Synod in 1726.9. At the same time, it must be noted that neither the Synod nor the Presbytery of Antrim excluded members of each other's congregations from Christian fellowship or the ministers from their pulpits. For eighty years, both parties remained close friends. The ministers of both Synod and Presbytery of Antrim were educated at the saine colleges, and differed but little in religious belief. The members of the Presbytery of Antrim sat, deliberated, and sometimes even voted at meetings of Synod. At the centenary celebrations, the Synod minutes of 1791 list the ministers of the Presbytery of Antrim on its roll. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the two bodies seemed in almost every respect to form one religious body. One strange feature of the whole proceedings in the first Non-Subscription controversy was that in the Synod of Ulster non-subscription was allowed to go on as before, and so the seed was sown for the second Non-Subscription controversy in 1821-30, which will be discussed in chapter III.

(ii) Before the turn of the half-century the Seceders came to Ireland, and shortly afterwards the Reformed Presbyterians. To their origins in Scotland we must now turn. Four of the separations from the Church of Scotland still remained Presbyterian :-

a. At the Revolution Settlement, when the Reformed Presbyterian Church originated (1689-90) ;

b. At the First Secession, when the Secession Church, later to be divided into Burghers and Anti-Burghers, began (1733) ;

c. At the Second Secession, when the Relief Church was founded (1761);

d. At the Disruption, when the Free Church originated (1843).

It is in the first and second of the above divisions that our interest is principally centred.

The Revolution Settlement was not on the lines of the "Solemn League and Covenant", and so was not altogether acceptable to the moderate covenanters and was wholly distasteful to the extremists. Hence the origin of the Reformed Presbyterian Church (commonly known in Ireland as "the Covenanters"). They objected to the acceptance of the monarchy of non-Presbyterian and non-Covenanting sovereigns ; the acquiescence in political association with a Prelatic country-England ; and the acceptance of episcopal ministers who were willing to. conform to Presbytery. While many sympathised with this viewpoint, a large number were persuaded by King William and Carstairs to enter into the Revolution Settlement, but the more resolute stood out. Hence arose the Reformed Presbyterian Church, the members of which, while not countenancing rebellion, refused to participate in civil government in any form until recognition and effect are given to both the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant.

The first Reformed Presbyterian minister in Ireland was Rev. William Martin, who was settled near Rasharkin in 1757. The first Presbytery was formed in 1763, but owing to a shortage of ministers because of emigration this Presbytery ceased to function and the ministers in Ireland became once again members of Scottish Presbyteries. An Irish Presbytery was re-erected in 1792, and the first Synod was formed in 1811, since when the Church has been autonomous.

Their refusal to recognise the civil government of the country or to take part therein means that their influence politically has been small. While opposed to many of the actions of the Synod of Ulster, and later of the General Assembly, the Reformed Presbyterians, it must be said, apart possibly from a few individual cases of only local consequence, never were guilty of conduct unbecoming their profession in their relations with that Synod.

'The remaining divisions within Scottish Presbyterianism had this element in common, that the origin of the dispute was the operation of the law of Patronage. The Revolution Settlement had abolished the right of lay patrons to nominate ministers to vacant charges in the Church of Scotland. Election was by the joint-votes of the Session and the heritors. In 1712, during the reign of Queen Anne, an Act of Parliament was passed reimposing lay patronage on the Church. This Act was the cause of the remaining secessions from the Church of Scotland, the first being that led by Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, and resulting in the formation of the Associate Presbytery on 5th December, 1733. While the Reformed Presbyterian Church represented those who refused to accept the Revolution Settlement, the Seceders of the First Secession represented those who accepted it with reluctance and were never comfortable under it.

Undoubtedly the movement was partly religious, for in the view of those who seceded the Church was becoming cold and lax under peaceful conditions. Yet even had this been true it was no ground for separation, but one for greater zeal and endeavour. It was a call to action within the Church, so other grounds had to be found for separation. These were set forth in the "Judicial Testimony", in 1736, in which the Seceders denounce toleration, complain that prelacy was not denounced as "accursed of God", that Presbytery was not declared as "of Divine right", and that every minister who had conformed to Episcopacy was not expelled from his living. The condemn the recognition of Episcopacy in England under the eaty of Union, complain that a Christmas recess has been cognised for the Law Courts, that dancing is permitted, a d that the penal laws against witches have been repeale "in defiance of God's laws".10.

Nevertheless the assertion by the Seceders of the rights of the people in calling their ministers, their insistence upon the doctrine of grace, and their readiness to sacrifice salary and security for principle, won for them considerable approval and support not only in Scotland, but also in Ireland.

Although the system of patronage against which Mr. Erskine protested did not exist in Irish Presbyterianism, there were other causes which demanded a measure of reform in the Synod of Ulster. These were chiefly twofold : (a) the Non-Subscription controversy of 1719-1726 had handicapped the activity of the Church and left many ministers under suspicion, so that pulpits remained vacant because congregations could not agree in their choice of a minister; and (b) there was a tendency to oppose the formation of new charges. The latter resulted in a failure to provide Ordinances for Presbyterians who lived far from a place of worship. This has led some historians to accuse the ministers of the Synod of "love of self" and a "desire to maintain their dividends from the Royal Bounty". While admitting the failure of the Synod in meeting its responsibilities, to make such a suggestion is to forget that the cases of Drogheda and Belturbet led to accusations about the "misuse of the Regium Donum" and contributed to its being withdrawn in 1714. As the Seceders did not receive the Regium Donum until 1784 they were not faced with this legal problem. It also fails to recognise that the Synod was making a determined effort to see that ministers received a stipend of, at least, �40 a year.11.

Lylehill was the first place in Ireland where the Seceders planted a congregation. This was not due to any suspicion of the orthodoxy of Rev. William Livingstone, the minister of Templepatrick, for he and his elder, Colonel Upton, had fought strenuously against non-subscription. The real reason appears to have been a dispute about a farm on the Upton estate which Samuel Henderson, a Lylehill man of some local influence, desired to have, but which Colonel Upton leased to Mr. Livingstone's son. In 1744, the people of Lylehill placed themselves under the care of the Associate Presbytery, and two years later Mr. Isaac Patton was ordained.

In Scotland the Seceders divided into Burghers and Anti-burghers, the latter being the stricter disapproved the terms of an oath in which the Burghers of certain towns in Scotland declared their adherence to "the true religion presently professed within this realm", whereas the former took no exception to it. "The Breach" took place on 9th April, 1747, when twenty-two protesters walked out of the Associate Synod. This division was carried to Ireland although the "oath" was unknown there.

Isaac Patton was one of the protesters so he must be considered the first Anti-burgher minister in Ireland. The first Anti-burgher Presbytery was erected in 1750, and an autonomous Synod in 1788. The first Burgher minister was Thomas Mayne, who was ordained in Ballyroney on 20th June, 1749. A Burgher Presbytery was erected in 1751, and a Synod in 1779.

As there was considerable discontent within the Synod of Ulster, other congregations followed Lylehill's lead, and Seceding congregations were erected at Markethill, Ray, Ballyrashane, Limavady, Boardmills, Bangor, Rathfriland, Armagh, and elsewhere. "Soon", writes Dr. David Stewart, "congregation after congregation sprang up, to the dismay of the ministers of the Synod, who were surprised to see what they looked upon as an intruding faction rapidly assuming the proportions of a Church".12. During this period of growth, even if it may not be said that the policy of the Scottish Seceding preachers was to foment strife, it did happen in individual cases, and they certainly took full advantage of it to establish congregations and preaching stations.

The Synod of Ulster, realising that the Secession had proved fatal to ecclesiastical unity in Scotland, and fearing a similar result in Ireland, issued "A Serious Warning" to their people in 1747. The first part is apologetic, but the second is polemical, charging the Seceders with having "in a most disorderly way, intruded themselves into our bounds, and, in many cases, have vehemently railed against this Synod, as if we kept in our communion such as are tainted with the most dangerous errors".13. The "Serious Warning" was ordered to be printed, and to be read in the pulpits of the Synod. The Seceders replied, and among their accusations against the Synod was that they held to "New-Light" doctrine. The opposition of the Synod of Ulster to the Seceders continued through the years, but even so they continued to flourish. They were not faultless, but it has to be remembered that they did help to meet the problem of Church extension and the spiritual needs of an increasing population at a time when it was neglected by the Synod. They planted over 140 congregations in less than a century. In fairness it must be pointed out that the Synod of Ulster also planted over 130 congregations between 1751 and 1840.

On 7th July, 1818, the Burgher and Anti-burgher Synods met in Cookstown, the former in their own meetinghouse and the latter in that of the Synod of Ulster congregation, granted for the occasion ; and two days later both met in the Synod of Ulster Church, and united to form "The Presbyterian Synod of Irel nd distinguished by the name of Seceders" (generally referred to as the "Secession Synod"). The first Article of Union as : "We, the Presbyterian Synod of Ireland, distinguished .y the name of Seceders, do declare our constant and inviolable attachment to our already approved and recognised standard-, namely, the Westminster Confession of Faith, Larger a d Shorter Catechisms, Directory for Worship, and Form of Church Government, with the Original Secession Testimony".14.

Politically the Seceders suffered little from the limitations of the Test Act, according to Dr. Stewart, "as few or none of their adherents were of that social rank which aspired to public offices . From the legal standpoint their chief grievance arose from the nature of the oaths which they were required to take upon certain occasions. They also dissented from the manner in which these oaths were administered".15.

The principle accusations against the Synod of Ulster by the Seceders concerned laxity in doctrine and discipline, and the Regium Donum. Let us look at the latter first. Prior to 1784 both groups of Seceders attacked the Synod of Ulster for receiving the Regium Donum, but in that year they were included in the Royal Bounty when �500 was to be paid to them, and as they had thirty-eight ministers in all this meant that they were actually on an approximate parity with the ministers of the General Synod. This grant was gratefully received by both Burghers and Anti-burghers, and had an important influence on their relationship, in that hitherto there had been little or no fellowship between them, but henceforth they met frequently to discuss matters relating to the Regium Donum. Further, the fact that the Regium Donum embodied the concept of royal patronage gave them a quality which made them in a way distinct from their Scottish brethren.

In 1803, when the Synod of Ulster received an additional grant to the Regium Donum on the basis of a classification of congregations, both Burghers and Anti-burghers relentlessly condemned the ministers of the Synod, and "invaded such congregations as revealed opposition to their ministers for receiving the qualified support . . . They dubbed the ministers as `Government hirelings', and `wolves in sheep's clothing'. In this manner the people, in many places, were inflamed against their ministers and, resigning from their congregations, went over to the Seceders".16. However, the Seceders were by their vindictiveness only digging a pit for themselves, as their negotiations with the government during the following years show, for in 1809 they accepted an increase on a similar basis.

Needless to say the attacks on the Synod of Ulster now ceased, and in 1838 the government, as we have seen, abolished the method of classification to which many in the nod of Ulster were as much opposed as the Seceders. The change in 1838 ended the old bitterness on this question, and helped to contribute to the union of the Synod and the Seceders in 1840.

As we have seen, although Subscription waste law of the Church after the first Non-Subscription controversy the practice of non-subscription was allowed to continue in the Synod of Ulster. The Seceders were strictly orthodox and required unqualified subscription to the Westminster "Confession of Faith", adhered closely to the Westminster "Directory for Public Worship" and "Form of Presbyterial Church Government". This meant that, while they continued to accuse the Synod of laxity in doctrine during the second Non-Subscription, or Arian, controversy, although outside the Synod, they were solidly behind the party led by Henry Cooke. This led, especially with the triumph of the Subscribers, to better understanding, to co-operation, and eventually to union, as we shall see in chapter III. The evangelical tone and philanthropic zeal of Ulster Presbyterianism owes much to the Seceders. They, writes Principal J. E. Davey, "were a Church of firm principles and real piety, of sure and deep spiritual foundations and effective ministry".17.

(iii) The second half of the eighteenth century is marked by political unrest in Ireland. The Romanists, under the Penal Code, were treated as aliens in their native land, and they had no political rights ; and the Presbyterians were excluded from all civil, military, and municipal offices by the Test Act, except indemnified. Green says, "The administration and justice of the country were kept rigidly in the hands of members of the Established Church, a body which comprised only a twelfth of the population of the island ; whilst its government was monopolised by a few of the Protestant landholders and gentry . . . Irish politics were for them a means of public plunder; they were glutted with pensions, preferments, and bribes in hard cash, and were the practical governors of the country".18. The only check on their extravagances was the English Parliament. On the other hand, English parliamentary action led to the destruction of the Irish woollen trade, the crippling of Irish shipping, and the prohibition of the export of Irish cattle and sheep, so some said that "its main interest was to keep Ireland poor".19. That Irish industry and agriculture were stifled there can be no denying, but parliament's motive was principally to protect and advance her own commerce and prosperity. In this way English legislation created a spirit of discontent and unrest among the Irish population.

Agrarian troubles gave rise to the formation of the Whiteboys in the South, and the Steelboys in the North. In Ulster, farmers only received short-term leases, and fines were exacted for renewal, and when the fine could not be paid, eviction, without compensation, followed. In many cases, clauses were inserted forbidding them to give a site for a Presbyterian church or manse, and they were required to pay tithe for the upkeep of the Established Church. The Antrim evictions of 1774 set ablaze the smouldering fire in Ulster. Lord Donegal's Antrim leases having expired, he demanded a fine of �100,000 from his tenants for renewal. The tenants, unable to pay, offered interest on the fine in addition to the rent, but this was refused; and their farms were let to the highest bidder. When other landlords followed Donegal's lead the Steelboys were formed. Their manifesto stated that they were Protestant dissenters, and that their resistance was not against the government but the landlords and their agents. They destroyed the farmsteads and stock of intruding-tenants, and harassed the tithe-proctors. Such legal robbery increased the flow of emigration to America, and, as Lecky says, "the ejected tenants of Lord Donegal formed a large part of the revolutionary armies which severed the New World from the British Crown".20. Full security was not obtained until the famous three Fs of Gladstone's Act of 1881, giving fair rents, free sale, and fixity of tenure.

When the American war broke out nearly all the English troops were withdrawn from Ireland, so when a French invasion seemed imminent there was a call for volunteers. The first company was formed in Belfast in March, 1778, and soon 40,000 Ulstermen, mostly Presbyterians, were in arms. They had enrolled to defend their country, but they also aimed at the removal of trade restrictions, of religious tests, and an independent Irish Parliament. The Test Act was abolished in 1780, and, the following year, an Act declaring the validity of marriages conducted by Presbyterian ministers, an Act abolishing trade restrictions, and an Act giving considerable relief to Romanists from the Penal Code were passed.

A Convention "composed almost entirely of Dissenters" 21. representing 100,000 volunteers, met at Dungannon in 1782. One resolution proclaimed "that the claim of any body of men other than the King, Lords and Commons of Ireland, to make laws to bind the kingdom was unconstitutional, illegal, and a grievance". Another declared that "as Irishmen, as Christians and Protestants, we rejoice in the relaxation of the laws against our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects".22. It is noteworthy that the latter was proposed by a ruling elder and seconded by a Presbyterian minister; and that it was in harmony with the mind of the Synod of Ulster as expressed, the same year, in an Address to the King. Legislative independence was obtained in 1782. This was really an abortive achievement, because the Irish Parliament, never to mention its corruption, was unrepresentative, as may be seen from Grattan's words in 1793, "Of the three hundred representatives about two hundred are returned by individuals ; fifty by ten persons ; and several of your boroughs have no resident elector; some of them but one".23. Parliamentary reform now became the vital issue, but reform was well nigh impossible, and little, if anything, was accomplished. At this time the Society of United Irishmen was formed to promote parliamentary reform.

It is of interest to note that the connection between Presbyterianism and radicalism may also be seen in the contemptuous epithet "Blackmouth". It has nothing to do with eating "blae-berries", and it only came into wide use in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. "Black-mouth" was a term of political abuse, applicable to rebels or potential rebels against the State at a time when Church and State were closely linked and when in certain circles "Presbyterian" and "rebel" were regarded as synonymous terms. It was first widely applied to Presbyterians in the days of the Volunteers and United Irishmen, and is a testimony to the radicalism of the Church and her desire for political democracy.

"The aristocracy", writes Latimer, "dreading the results of a union between Saxon and Kelt, tried to turn the attention of Presbyterian farmers from their civil and religious bondage, and stir up their hatred against the Roman Catholics, who suffered from the same laws. For that purpose, various societies of rioters were encouraged to attack one another".". Such societies were the Protestant "Peep of Day Boys" and the Roman "Defenders". It was as a result of a battle between these two parties at the Diamond, near Loughgall, that the Orange Society was regularly organised on 21st September, 1795. Killen says, "There is reason to believe that all the original Orangemen were nominally connected with the Established Church".25. Latimer, on the other hand, says that he is mistaken. It, however, can be said that the vast majority of the first Orangemen were Anglicans, and that any few Presbyterians there may have been "belonged to the class of agricultural labourers or country tradesmen".26. That the Orange Order was regarded by many Presbyterians for many years as an institution of the Established Church, may be seen by quoting from the "Christian Banner" in 1878:�"The twelfth of July' has once more come and gone, and with it the usual amount of Orange eloquence and Orange valour. With one or two exceptions the clergy of the late Established Church had all the abusive political declamation, as well as all the `Orange Lily' and `No Surrender' rhetoric, to themselves. Hundreds of Presbyterians, however, we are told, went on the Sabbath before the `twelfth' to hear the men who from parish beadles and parish school-masters were manufactured into curates immediately previous to the Act of Disestablishment . . . The men of the fiercely persecuted Church of John Knox�the Church which `black prelacy' endeavoured to exterminate in Scotland, and whose sons and daughters the self same prelacy strove hard to bastardise in Ireland, even in our own day . . . these men, we say, went on the Sabbath before the twelfth of July to hear the weak political rant of ritualists, and turned their back upon the Church of their persecuted fathers ! Political infatuation could go no farther. Presbyterians could not in any other way have more effectively dishonoured the memory of the mighty dead. Had they on the twelfth of July last, gone to the church-yard of Old Grey Friars, in Edinburgh, exhumed the sacred dust of the dead and flung it into the Firth of Forth, they could not have shown greater disrespect to those sainted sons of the blue banner, who died for the rights of their Redeemer and the liberties of their country".

One feature of the agitation, when Gladstone declared for Home Rule in 1885, was the strengthening of the Orange Order. Any "denominational rigidities" there may have been disappeared. It, according to Dr. Hugh Shearman, "had been in a state of decay and ill fame for many years. It was attracting only a backward and rather disreputable type of membership . . . Now, however, the organisation was taken up promptly as a convenient existing mechanism by huge numbers of men of a solid and superior type and became, for the most part, highly respectable and a very powerful political organisation working for the maintenance of the Union".27.

The story of the first meeting of the United Irishmen is told on a time-browned sheet of paper headed :�"At Barclay's, April 1st, 1791", which reads, "Resolved-That we the undersigned do solemnly declare ourselves in favour of the proposal of Samuel Neilson, a merchant of this town whose name is firstly subscribed hereto, to form ourselves into an association to unite all Irishmen to pledge themselves to our country, and by that cordial union maintain that balance of patriotism so essential for the restoration and preservation of our liberty, and the revival of our trade�Signed: Samuel Neilson, John Robb, Alexander Lowry, Thomas McCabe, and Henry Joy McCracken".28. Samuel Neilson was the son of Rev. Alexander Neilson of Ballyroney and an elder of the Kirk, and many of the leaders, for example, McCracken, Simms, McCabe, Lowry, McTier, and Drennan, were Presbyterians.

At the October meeting of the Society the following resolutions were adopted :-

"First-Resolved-That the weight of the English influence in the government of this country is so great as to require a cordial union among the people of Ireland to maintain that balance which is essential to the preservation of our liberties and the extension of our commerce.

"Second-That the sole constitutional mode by which this influence can be opposed is a complete and radical reform of the representation of the people in parliament.

"Third-That no reform is practicable, efficacious, or just, which shall not include Irishmen of every religious persuasion".29.

Not only Presbyterians and Romanists but a number of Anglicans joined the United Irishmen, including such distinguished leaders as Wolfe Tone, Napper Tandy, Thomas Russell, and Henry Munroe, who although his father was a Presbyterian had been brought up an Anglican by his mother.

In 1792, the newspaper "The Northern Star" appeared as the organ of the Belfast United Irishmen. The twelve proprietors, with possibly one exception, were Presbyterians, and the editor was Samuel Neilson. The chief contributors were : Rev. James Porter ; Rev. Sinclair Kelburn ; Dr. Steel Dickson ; Thomas Russell, librarian of the (now) Linen Hall Library ; and William Sampson, a County Derry lawyer. On several occasions the proprietors were brought before the Courts when they were defended by the distinguished and brilliant John Philpot Curran. Eventually on 17th May, 1797, the military raided the printing office in Wilson's Court, and smashed the presses and the type, and Neilson was imprisoned for eighteen months without trial. So ended the story of the "Northern Star".

In 1795-96, the United Irishmen, as a result of suppression and persecution, became a revolutionary movement, and by 1797, because of the barbarities of the King's forces, Ulster was on the brink of revolution. The rebellion came the following year. It was practically confined to the counties of Antrim, Down, and Wexford, though there were a few skirmishes in Wicklow and elsewhere. In Antrim and Down some thousands of United Irishmen, mostly Presbyterian farmers, armed with pike and musket rose in rebellion, but after the battles of Antrim, Ballynahinch, Saintfield and Portaferry, the movement was suppressed. For the part they were alleged to have taken in the rebellion Rev. James Porter (Greyabbey), and Archibald Warwick, a licentiate, were executed ; several ministers and licentiates had to emigrate to America, including Rev. James Simpson (Newtownards), Rev. John Glendv (Maghera), and Rev. Thomas Ledlie Birch (Saintfield), and some eighteen were imprisoned, including Dr. Steel Dickson (Portaferry), Revs. Sinclair Kelburn (Belfast), and Samuel Barbour (Rathfriland). While many Presbyterians were implicated in the rebellion, at the same time, it must be recognised that the leaders of the Synod of Ulster were opposed to the rebellion, and that the Synod as a body, while sympathising with the people in their oppression, and desiring reform, did not favour rebellion, but desired reform by constitutional means, as is clearly shown in their "Declaration" in 1793 and their "Address to the People" in 1798.30.

In Wexford, on the other hand, the principles of the United Irishmen counted for little, and the main driving forces were religion and resentment at government misrule. The peasantry led by priests like Father John Murphy of Boolavogue got control of most of the county, but the Scullabogue atrocity, in which a large number of Protestants were burned to death in a barn, alarmed the whole Protestant population, and the Presbyterians began to think it better to bear the oppression of rectors and landlords than to be piked and burned by papists.31.

Though some of the accounts of what happened during the rebellion in Wexford appear to be exaggerated, there can be no denying that many of the incidents there, as Professor R. B. McDowell says, "convinced many Irish Protestants that popery still possessed the power to inflame class-hatred with religious fanaticism".32.

While it is certain that Presbyterians were embroiled in the rebellion more deeply than most Presbyterian historians have admitted there is another side to the story, as the situation was not uniform. The rising in the North did not take place for a fortnight after it had begun in the South, and when it was reported that the rebellion in Wexford had taken on a decidedly religious character many laid down their arms, and took no part in the insurrection. Further, as there was no police-force in the country in the autumn of 1796 a force called the yeomanry was enrolled to maintain law and order and to protect property, and many Presbyterians enlisted, especially in the counties of Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry, and Armagh, in which the Romanists were numerous. This possibly accounts for the fact that these counties were spared much of the disquiet of the rising and the inhuman and savage brutality of the suppression. In this connection it is worthy of note that in spite of the troublous times and the amount of disaffection within the Presbyterian section of the community there is not a single case on record of a Presbyterian yeoman having betrayed his oath of allegiance. After the government had succeeded in quelling the rebellion, the people, especially in Antrim, Down, Wexford, and Wicklow were treated with great brutality and cruelty. Many innocent people were put to death without trial, homesteads were burned, and property was destroyed. Hundreds fled to America.

As a result of the rebellion, Pitt determined to unite the Parliaments, and in spite of tremendous opposition the Act of Union was passed in 1800, after much "jobbing" and "dirty work" according to the Viceroy, Lord Cornwallis.33.

Many Presbyterians, as we have seen, long considered the Orange Order to be an episcopal organisation, yet soon we find the sons of men who carried pikes at Antrim and Ballynahinch joining the Orangemen. The reason for this appears to be fourfold : (i) reaction to the Scullabogue atrocity, (ii) the policy of O'Connell in basing his Repeal movement on close alliance with, and dependence upon, the Roman clergy, (iii) the fact that "Home Rule", because of O'Connell's clericalism, was regarded as "Rome Rule", and (iv) the weakening of the Liberal party within Presbyterianism owing to the exclusion of the Non-Subscribers from the Synod of Ulster and consequently from the General Assembly. In other words, Presbyterianism had no intention, after Scullabogue and O'Connell�of substituting a Roman ascendency for the Anglican.

Politically, Irish Presbyterianism has always shown itself to possess an independent spirit which, just as it condemned the execution of Charles I, was also ready on many occasions to champion the cause of justice and honour when, in the intricate paths of Irish politics, these tended to be forgotten. Presbyterians were to be found in Irish national movements, some died in 1798 as rebels, and they also contributed much to the growth of Irish radical thought. Indeed, in spite of a hard Tory core led by men like Drs. Black and Cooke, Irish Presbyterians were Liberal rather than Tory down to the time of Gladstone's Home Rule Bill of 1886, and to this time the Liberal programme met with a great deal of support in the General Synod of Ulster and the General Assembly, as we shall see in chapter III. Since then they have tended towards Unionism, but up to the second decade of the twentieth century this was really a Liberal Unionism. The events of 1912, when the Ulster Covenant was signed, and 1921, when the country was divided politically into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State, however, have so altered the situation that the old party divisions and demarcations have become blurred, and many new problems have been created so far as the Church's ability to exercise a Christian influence in Irish political life is concerned. Nevertheless, the Church maintains her right to speak to the nation in the name of Christ, irrespective of party interest, but allows full freedom to the individual to follow the dictates of conscience. Indeed, in the House of Commons in Northern Ireland several members of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, including the Rt. Hon. Rev. Robert Moore, Minister of Agriculture, sit on the Government benches, whereas a Presbyterian, Mr. T. W. Boyd, of the Northern Ireland Labour Party, is the Leader of the Opposition.

(iv) From 1718 onwards, right through the eighteenth century, a continuous stream, which at times became a roaring flood, of emigration flowed from Ulster to America. The causes were religious, social, and economic. They did not go of their own free will, they were compelled to go; and a few illustrations may be given. Seven ships anchored in Boston harbour in the summer of 1718 bringing emigrants from the valleys of the Bann and the Foyle. They founded New Londonderry and other settlements in New Hampshire and Maine. Prouds' "History of Pennsylvania" states that, in 1729, 6,000 emigrants arrived from Ulster, and that for several years prior to 1750 they came at the rate of 12,000 annually. In September, 1736, 1,000 families sailed from Belfast alone. From 1769-74 no less than 43,720 sailed from Ulster. Some estimate of the extent of the emigration may be obtained from the fact that for the years 1730-70 the number exceeds 500,000, and that in 1775-76 it was over 30,000. Space forbids further details. Most of these were Ulster Presbyterians, and they were the men who gave America independence, a fact recognised by Lord Mountjoy when he said in the House of Commons : "We have lost America through the Irish",34. though he should have said : "We have lost America through Ulster".

"The issue of the Declaration of Independence", writes Dr. W. F. Marshall, "is the most important event in the history of the United States, and one of the notable events in world history. The document itself is in the handwriting of an Ulsterman, Charles Thompson of Maghera . was also first printed by an Ulsterman, John Dunlap of Strabane. It was first read in public by the son of an Ulsterman, Colonel John Nixon. And the only signature on it for a month was the name of a man whose ancestors were Presbyterians from County Down, John Hancock, President of Congress and Governor of Massachusetts".35.

The emigration story would be incomplete without pointing out that it was Francis McKemie, an Ulsterman from the Laggan Presbytery, who emigrated in 1682, and settled in East Virginia, who in 1705/6"organised the first American Presbytery, and founded the Presbyterian Church in North America".36.

The Rev. John Hampton, who was born at Burt, was Moderator of the first Presbyterian Synod. The Rev. John Rodgers, whose father was an Ulsterman from the city of Derry, was Moderator of the first General Assembly, and the second Moderator was Rev. Robert Smith, who was born in Derry. The first Clerk of the General Assembly was Rev. George Duffield, son of an Ulster emigrant. Between 1680 -1820, 189 Ulster Presbyterian ministers, out of nearly 300 ministers of Ulster extraction, served in the ministry of the Presbyterian Churches in America.

Ulstermen took with them also the zeal for education that the Reformed Church has as its heritage from Calvin and Knox. "Ninety per cent. of the primitive educational, and university work done in America", says Dr. Hogg of New Jersey, "was done by the Scotch-Irish".37.

In view of the importance attached to the "Irish-vote" in American politics today, it may be pointed out that "Catholic Ireland was against America in the war of independence";38. and that, in 1784, there were only twenty Roman priests in the whole of the United States, and that, apart from all other Protestant ministers, there were, at that date, over 200 ministers of Ulster origin.39. These facts are surely important in the light of present day propaganda.

To conclude this brief survey of the eighteenth century a word may be said concerning the education of students for the ministry. At the close of the century ministerial education had fallen to its lowest level in the history of the Church. Most students attended the literary and philosophical classes in the University of Glasgow, but many had never attended a divinity class, instead they studied divinity at home under the direction of the presbytery. In an attempt to raise the standard the Synod of Ulster, in 1785, encouraged Dr. William Crawford (Strabane) to undertake the tuition of students in mathematics, logic, and moral philosophy. In 1786, Belfast Academy was opened, but though philosophical lectures were delivered it does not appear to have been attended by a great number of students. In Strabane Academy a collegiate course was provided, and this had a considerable measure of success, but, says Reid, "as the means of tuition which such an institution could furnish were necessarily limited, and as it did not afford anything like adequate remuneration to those by whom it was conducted, its classes were discontinued in a few years, and all students resorted once more to the Scottish universities".40.

About ten years later, during the viceroyalty of Earl Fitzwilliam, in 1795, it would appear that the Presbyterians were encouraged to believe that the government was favourably disposed to assisting in the founding of a collegiate seminary for Presbyterians, but nothing came of the negotiations, and the question was deferred for over half-a-century.