Grattan Sentence Examples
He was elected member for the city of Dublin in 1761, his colleague in the representation being the recorder, Henry Grattan's father.
But he desired to root out the popular respect for the names of Charlemont and Grattan, and to transfer to more violent leaders the conduct of the national movement.
Grattan was a reformer and a patriot without a tincture of democratic ideas; Wolfe Tone was a revolutionary whose principles were drawn from the French Convention.
Grattan's political philosophy was allied to that of Edmund Burke; Tone was a disciple of Danton and Thomas Paine.
Burke and Grattan were anxious that provision should be made for the education of Irish Roman Catholic priests at home, to preserve them from the contagion of Jacobinism in France; Wolfe Tone, "with an incomparably juster forecast," as Lecky observes, "advocated the same measure for exactly opposite reasons."Advertisement
In parliament he acted with the small Opposition group led by Grattan (q.v.), but took no prominent part in debate.
He was as conspicuously deficient in the statesmanship as he was in the oratorical genius of such men as Flood, Plunket or Grattan.
The influence of Flood did much to give direction to Grattan's political aims; and it was through no design on Grattan's part that when Lord Charlemont brought him into the Irish parliament in 1775, in the very session in which Flood damaged his popularity by accepting office, Grattan quickly superseded his friend in the leadership of the national party.
Grattan was well qualified for it.
This was the constitution which Molyneux and Swift had denounced, which Flood had attacked, and which Grattan was to destroy.Advertisement
It was through ranks of volunteers drawn up outside the parliament house in Dublin that Grattan passed on the 16th of April 1782, amidst unparalleled popular enthusiasm, to move a declaration of the independence of the Irish parliament.
The gratitude of his countrymen to Grattan found expression in a parliamentary grant of £ioo,000, which had to be reduced by one half before he would consent to accept it.
One of the first acts of "Grattan's parliament" was to prove its loyalty to England by passing a vote for the support of 20,000 sailors for the navy.
Grattan himself never failed in loyalty to the crown and the English connexion.
It was to give stability and true independence to the new constitution that Grattan pressed for reform.Advertisement
Having quarrelled with Flood over "simple repeal" Grattan also differed from him on the question of maintaining the Volunteer Convention.
In general Grattan supported the government for time after 1782, and in particular spoke and voted for the stringent coercive legislation rendered necessary by the Whiteboy outrages in 1785; but as the years passed without Pitt's personal favour towards parliamentary reform bearing fruit in legislation, he gravitated towards the opposition, agitated for commutation of tithes in Ireland, and supported the Whigs on the regency question in 1788.
The defeat of Grattan's mild proposals helped to promote more extreme opinions, which, under French revolutionary influence, were now becoming heard in Ireland.
The Catholic question had rapidly become of the first importance, and when a powerful section of the Whigs joined Pitt's ministry in 1794, and it became known that the lordlieutenancy was to go to Lord Fitzwilliam, who shared Grattan's views, expectations were raised that the question was about to be settled in a manner satisfactory to the Irish Catholics.
After taking Grattan into his confidence, it was arranged that the latter should bring in a Roman Catholic emancipation bill, and that it should then receive government support.Advertisement
In the outburst of indignation, followed by increasing disaffection in Ireland, which this event produced, Grattan acted with conspicuous moderation and loyalty, which won for him warm acknowledgments from a member of the English cabinet.2 That cabinet, however, doubtless influenced by the wishes of the king, was now determined firmly to resist the Catholic demands, with the result that the country rapidly drifted towards rebellion.
Grattan warned the government in a series of masterly speeches of the lawless condition to which Ireland had been driven.
Grattan from the first denounced the scheme with implacable hostility.
The constitution of Grattan's parliament offered no security, as the differences over the regency question had made evident that in matters of imperial interest the policy of the Irish parliament and that of Great Britain would be in agreement; and at a moment when England was engaged in a life and death struggle with France it was impossible for the ministry to ignore the danger, which had so recently been emphasized by the fact that the independent constitution of 1782 had offered no safeguard against armed revolt.
Grattan was still in retirement.Advertisement
On the 15th of January 1800 the Irish parliament met for its last session; on the same day Grattan secured by purchase a seat for Wicklow; and at a late hour, while the debate was proceeding, he appeared to take his seat.
After prolonged debates Grattan, on the 26th of May, spoke finally against the committal of the bill, ending with an impassioned peroration in which he declared, "I will remain anchored here with fidelity to the fortunes of my country, faithful to her freedom, faithful to her fall."
For the next five years Grattan took no active part in public affairs; it was not till 1805 that he became a member of the parliament of the United Kingdom.
His first speech was on the Catholic question, and though some doubt had been felt lest Grattan, like Flood, should belie at Westminster the reputation made in Dublin, all agreed with the description of his speech by the Annual Register as "one of the most brilliant and eloquent ever pronounced within the walls of parliament."
When Fox and Grenville came into power in 1806 Grattan was offered, but refused to Ibid.
Grattan supported the veto, but a more extreme Catholic party was now arising in Ireland under the leadership of Daniel O'Connell, and Grattan's influence gradually declined.
His last speech of all, in 1819, contained a passage referring to the union he had so passionately resisted, which exhibits the statesmanship and at the same time the equable quality of Grattan's character.
Grattan had married in 1782 Henrietta Fitzgerald, a lady descended from the ancient family of Desmond, by whom he had two sons and two daughters.
The most searching scrutiny of his private life only increases the respect due to the memory of Grattan as a statesman and the greatest of Irish orators.
He is remembered, however, mainly as a politician, on account of his opposition to Grattan, his support of the Union, and his violent antagonism to Catholic emancipation.
Up to this juncture the question had been in the hands of Grattan and other Protestants, and of a small knot of Catholic nobles and prelates; but their efforts had not accomplished much, and they aimed only at a kind of compromise, which, while conceding their principal claims, would have placed their church in subjection to the state.
Although Grattan had a profound contempt for Emmet's political understanding, describing him as a quack in politics who set up his own crude notions as settled rules, Emmet was among the more prudent of the United Irishmen on the eve of the rebellion.
He became a member of the Whig club founded by Grattan; and he actively co-operated with Theobald Wolfe Tone in founding the Society of the United Irishmen in 1791, of which he became the first secretary.
Other events of this reign were the parliament of Drogheda, held by Sir Edward Poynings, which gave the control of Irish legislation to the English council (" Poynings's Act " - the great bone of contention in the later days of Flood and Grattan), and the battle of Knockdoe, in which the earl of Kildare used the viceregal authority to avenge a private quarrel.
Angelica Kauffmann worked long in Ireland; James Barry and Sir Martin Archer Shee were of Irish birth; and on the whole, considering the small number of educated inhabitants, it must be admitted that the Ireland of Flood and Grattan was intellectually fertile.
Poyning's law was repealed, and in 1782, in Grattan's opinion, Ireland was at last a nation.
The quarrel and reconciliation of Flood and Grattan (q.v.), the kindly patriotism of Lord Charlemont, the eloquence, the devotion, the corruption, are household words.
But it was a political necessity, and Grattan never gave his countrymen worse advice than when he urged them to "keep knocking at the union."
Within a week of his arrival he denounced in the House of Commons a government proclamation, which Grattan had approved, in language so violent that he was ordered into custody and required to apologize at the bar of the House.
Opposite the castle is the city hall (1779), in the possession of the corporation, with statues in the central hall of George III., of Grattan (a superb work by Sir Francis Chantry), of Daniel O'Connell, and of Thomas Drummond by John Hogan and several others.
A visit to the English House of Lords excited boundless admiration for Lord Chatham, of whose style of oratory Grattan contributed an interesting description to Baratariana (see Flood, Henry).