New Penal Laws

Justin McCarthy
Chapter VII | Start of Chapter

One of the earliest illustrations of Ireland's rule under Queen Anne was given when the Irish House of Commons presented for the approval of the new Lord-Lieutenant a list of measures intended "to prevent the further growth of Popery." The Irish House of Commons at that time contained not one Catholic member. It might be thought that enough had been done during the reign of William III. to discourage the further growth of Popery; but the Irish Parliament of Queen Anne's time was of opinion that much yet remained to be done. Some of the measures which the Irish Parliament desired to introduce were merely elaborations or extensions of the penal clauses already existing, but there were some additional disqualifications and penalties recommended. It has been already shown that the Irish Parliament had to obtain the consent of the Sovereign and council before any new measure could be brought forward, even for discussion, in the Lords or Commons of Ireland. The royal assent was easily obtained for the production of the new measures.