Act of Attainder

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXXIII

James now held his Parliament in Dublin, repealed the Act of Settlement, passed the Act of Attainder, and issued an immense quantity of base coin. He has been loudly condemned by some historians for these proceedings; but it should be remembered (1) that the Act of Settlement was a gross injustice, and, as such, it was but justice that it should be repealed. Had the measure been carried out, however severely it might have been felt by the Protestant party, they could not have suffered from the repeal as severely as the Catholics had suffered from the enactment. (2) The Act of Attainder simply proclaimed that the revolutionists were rebels against their lawful King, and that they should be treated as such. (3) The utterance of base coin had already been performed by several Governments, and James only availed himself of the prerogatives exercised by his predecessors.