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James II & The Williamite Wars - 1. Introduction
It would be a mistake to think that all the fighting those years of oligarchy and misgovernment can accounted for upon the mere grounds of difference in race between the old Celtic inhabitants and the English invaders., This was not so. Neither would it be correct say that though ostensibly the fight was about religion, no other incentive guided and controlled the cruel passions of the invaders. There was quite another object. Ireland was a country worth fighting for; and the robbery and spoliation of the property of the natives was determined upon by the covetous eye of the invader. The Earl Desmond had wrested from him 570,000 acres; the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnel, 800,000 acres, and so on. In single generation two and a-half millions of acres were plucked from the Catholics and given to the professors of the reformed religion.
While plundering the natives it was of course, most politic to degrade them on account their religion; hence as a specimen of the class of legislation effecting that object a few years before the death of Charles II., or before the accession of James II., Ormond issued some proclamations from Dublin Castle, such follows:-
"And we do straightly charge all and every one, &c., &c., that they do make diligent search for all Popish archbishops, bishops, &c., &c., and that the said Popish friars, &c., shall be committed to safe custody, and be proceeded against according to the laws of the kingdom."
And in 1678 all Papists were forbidden to enter Dublin Castle or any citadel or fort of his Majesty, Charles 11.,' and it was further ordered
"that all Papists wherever' assembled be dispersed. Further that all fryeries, nuneries, Catholic schools, &c. be suppressed."
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