Opposing Emancipation, 1801–12

  • Stuart Andrews


If early experience of the Union allowed the propagandist battle-lines of the 1790s to remain fixed a decade after the Act, the receding prospect of Catholic Emancipation ensured that the Protestant version of 1798 would become entrenched. From a modern perspective, it seems surprising that the 1798 Rebellion had not itself driven Emancipation from the political agenda. Yet in 1799 and 1800 the British Critic and the Antijacobin Review were both more concerned to combat English Protestant Dissenters — notably Unitarians — than the threat of Catholicism.1 In February 1801 the Antijacobin, reviewing a pamphlet by Thomas McKenna in favour of Emancipation, commended it as ‘a production containing much good sense and sound argument’. The short review does express surprise that ‘Mr McKenna has not noticed the objections so strongly urged by Dr Duigenan’, which have ‘led us to entertain very strong doubts, not merely as to the expediency, but as to the constitutional practicability of rendering Catholics eligible to seats in Parliament’. The editors nevertheless express themselves ‘open to conviction’, and prepared to ‘weigh the arguments that come before us on both sides with equal impartiality and attention’.2


Unitarian Commitment Monthly Review Religious Liberty Catholic Religion Notice Spread 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    see J.J. Sack, From Jacobite to Conservative: reaction and orthodoxy in Britain c. 1760–1832 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) especially p. 229.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    T. McKenna, Memoire on some questions respecting the project of the Union of Great Britain and Ireland (Dublin, 1799).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See also]. Hamilton, Letter to Theobald McKenna, Esq., occasioned by a publication entitled a memoire on some questions respecting the projected Union (Dublin, 1799).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See E. E. Y. Hales, Revolution and Papacy 1769–1846 (1960) p. 129.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. Reeves, Considerations on the coronation oath to maintain the protestant reformed religion, and the settlement of the Church of England… (1801) in BC 17 (Mar. 1801) pp. 284–9.Google Scholar
  6. See also Reeves, Thoughts on the English Government addressed to the quiet good sense of the people of England… Letter the Second (1799) p. 113.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Peter Plymley [Rev. Sydney Smith], Letters on the subject of the catholics, to my brother Abraham, who lives in the country 7th edn (1808) pp. 39–40.Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    Bartlett, [5.29], p. 290. For Grenville and the veto see P. Jupp, Lord Grenville 1759–1834 (Oxford, 1985) p. 425, and Bartlett, pp. 291–4.Google Scholar
  9. 25.
    W. Parnell, Historical apology for the Irish Catholics (Dublin and London, 1807) in MR 53 (July 1807) p. 295.Google Scholar
  10. 35.
    P. Duigenan, The nature and extent of the demands of the Irish Roman Catholics fully explained, in observations and strictures, in a pamphlet entitled ‘A history of the penal laws against the Irish Roman Catholics’ 2nd edn (1810) in AJR 36 (May 1810) pp. 34–54 and (June 1810) pp. 165–77.Google Scholar
  11. 41.
    H. Parnell, History of the penal laws against the Irish Catholics; from the treaty of Limerick to the Union (Dublin, 1808) and pp. 78–9 on Duigenan [note 35].Google Scholar
  12. 43.
    J. Dillon, Two Memoirs upon the Catholic question, with an essay upon the history and effect of the Coronation Oath… (1810).Google Scholar
  13. 44.
    T. Clarke, Memoirs of the King’s supremacy, of the rise, progress and results of the supremacy of the Pope in different ages and nations, so far as relates to civil affairs (1809).Google Scholar
  14. 45.
    Lord Kenyon, Observations on the Roman Catholic question (1810). For Liverpool’s earlier speech see p. 88 above.Google Scholar
  15. 47.
    AJR 39 (May 1811) pp. 61–76 on Pasterini [Charles Walmesley], General history of the church from her birth to her final triumphant state in heaven, chiefly deduced from the Apocalypse of St John the Apostle (Dublin: printed 1771, reprinted 1790 and 1800).Google Scholar
  16. 49.
    see S. J. Connolly, Priests and people in pre-famine Ireland (Dublin, 1982).Google Scholar
  17. 64.
    J. Disney, Remarks on the Bishop of Lincoln’s charge, delivered to the clergy of his diocese, 1812 (1812) in CR 4th series 3 (Jan. 1813) p. 101.Google Scholar
  18. 69.
    Saurin to Peel 16 March 1813 in Sir Robert Peel from his private papers ed. C. S. Parker 2 vols (1891) i pp. 81–2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stuart Andrews 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Andrews

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations