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9 - The Irish elections of 1640–1641

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2009

Bríd McGrath
Affiliation:
Information consultant Dublin
Ciaran Brady
Affiliation:
Trinity College, Dublin
Jane Ohlmeyer
Affiliation:
Trinity College, Dublin
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Summary

The Bishop of Rapho tells me your Ma[jes]tie was told all this Kingdom was disposed to trouble. It is wonderful how men are inclined nowadays to report all wherein I am concerned to ye worst possible source. For … there hath not been all this while the least appearance or complexion to any such thing, nor is there yett, or any likely to be, for any thing I can see. Nay Sir, after all their gaping upon me and after me, it will be found I have Estimation & Affection in the Places where I serve you.

The Irish parliament which met on 16 March 1640 was one that Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford, wanted, and it acted in a manner that appeared to support this sanguine view of his happy position in Ireland. The Commons' 235 members, 161 Protestants and 74 Catholics, gave him the most comfortable Protestant majority ever, and the Irish council declared that ‘we observe the Persons returned to serve this Parliament all generally so well affected and disposed to reason’. It held a perfunctory opening session on Monday 16 March at which Sir Maurice Eustace was unanimously selected as Speaker, and adjourned for two days, awaiting Wentworth's arrival from England. On its first full day's legislative business on the following Monday it agreed to four subsidies, and on 26 March sat at three o'clock in the afternoon ‘for the reading of the act of four intire subsidies the third time, for expedition of the business of the House’.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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