Document ReferencePl C 27/1/1-16
TitleSummary of [Sir John Hippisley's] correspondence with Lord Hobart and Lord Castlereagh on the subject of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland in 1799 and 1800, with additional notes, sent to [W.H.C. Bentinck] 3rd Duke of Portland.
Date8 September 1800
Extent32 ff
Content DescriptionArgues that the cooperation of the Catholic clergy is essential for the 'civilizing' of Ireland because of their great influence over the ordinary people, but that equally regulations for Irish clergy are necessary for the safety of the British state and for the security of the clergy themselves; discusses the act of Parliament 13 Eliz, ca.2, s.3, which is unrepealed by 31 Geo. III, ca.32 (1791-1792), and which is so severe as to defeat its own purpose; recommends regulations pertaining to the problems of the importation of catholic items and papal bulls and to the licensing of catholic priests and schoolteachers, after reciting French and Dutch solutions.

Proposes subjecting the process of appointing catholic clergy to the scrutiny of the civil authorities; suggests the possible abolition of apostolic bishops, who are agents of the Pope, in favour of the system in Ireland of bishops-ordinary who are more independent and less susceptible to foreign influence; discusses talks on the subject between himself and Cardinal Antonelli; describes the ecclesiastical situation in Ireland with particular regard to the distinction between secular and regular clergy and the danger of the regular clergy's over-riding allegiance to the head of their order.

Describes the education of British and Irish secular priests in Rome; mentions the adoption of the idea of civil and social duty into the catholic catechism in order to teach obedience to catholics of the lower classes; discusses the provision of aid to the clergy in view of its success in Scotland in preventing emigration by the priest and his people, and in view of Adam Smith's (quoted) opinion that financial insecurity leads to vigorous attempts to encourage the devotion of the people to the catholic church.

Recommends the compilation of accurate records of the state of the clergy and the number of communicants in each area; also the repeal or modification of 13 Eliz, ca.2 which prohibits any contact with Rome; quotes from letters from the late Mr Burke and from Lord Minto on the question of official relations with the Court of Rome; extracts a letter from Pope Pius VII to himself, dated 10 May 1800, promising friendship with England; quotes from letters in praise of his work, sent to him 1793-1795, from the Rt. Hon. Sir William Hamilton, the Rt. Hon. John Trevor, the Rt. Hon. Lord Hood, Sir James St Clair Erskine, Bart., His Excellency the Viceroy of Corsica, and Monsignor Gio. Barberi [in French]; mentions the singular honour bestowed on Sir John by Pope Pius VI.

Signed 'J.C.H.', 8 September 1800.

Appendix A discusses the application of 13 Eliz, ca.2 in Ireland, and quotes from Judge Blackstone on the desirability of softening the legislation.

Appendix B extracts a description of the catholic church in Ireland written by Monsignor Cerri, secretary of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide at Rome, in 1677.
Termreligions, Roman Catholicism
Irish affairs, religion

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CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA12925Stewart; Robert (1769-1822); 2nd Marquess of Londonderry; M.P. and statesman; styled Viscount Castlereagh until 18211769-1822
NA15089Hobart; Robert (1760-1816); 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire; styled Baron Hobart 1798-18041760-1816
NA33267Hamilton; William (1730-1803); Sir; diplomat and archaeologist1730-1803
NA40337Trevor; John (1749-1824); 3rd Viscount Hampden; of the 1st creation; diplomat envoy at Turin1749-1824
NA11338Hood; Samuel (1724-1816); 1st Viscount Hood; M.P. and admiral1724-1816
NA17359Erskine; James St Clair- (1762-1837); 2nd Earl of Rosslyn; general; M.P.; succ. 18051762-1837
NA40338Barberi; G. (fl 1795); Monsignor; secretary of the Congregation of State Vaticanfl 1795
NA40339Antonelli; Leonardo (1730-1811); Cardinal1730-1811
NA40340Smith; Adam (1723-1790); Mr; political economist1723-1790
NA10014Burke; Edmund (1729-1797); Mr; statesman and author1729-1797
NA40341Kynynmound; Gilbert Elliot Murray- (1751-1814); 1st Earl of Minto; viceroy of Corsica and Governor-General of Bengal1751-1814
NA32402Blackstone; William (1723-1780); Sir; judge1723-1780
NA40342Cerri; - (fl 1677); Monsignor; secretary of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide Romefl 1677
NA9435Pius VII (1742-1823); Pope; Luigi B. Chiaramonti Pope from 18001742-1823
NA34616Hippisley; John C. (1748-1825); 1st Baronet; agent of British government in Italy 1779-80 1792-961748-1825
NA905Bentinck; William H.C. Cavendish- (1738-1809); 3rd Duke of Portland; succ. 17621738-1809
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