Item of the Day: Baratariana (1777)

Full Title: Baratariana. A Select Collection of Fugitive Political Pieces, Published during the Administration of Lord Townshend in Ireland. The Third Edition, Corrected and Enlarged. Dublin: 1777.





Feb. 3, 1770.

My Lord,

Notwithstanding your publick conduct, this nation has obligations to you; and we should be the most ungrateful people on earth if we did not return you thanks, for administering to us the comfort of despising you. We thank you, my lord, that if you have been odious, you have been despicable also; and we acknowledge that of the many thousands you have injured by your conduct, there is not one man, who does not insult you with his compassion, and look down on your person with all the superiority of scorn and indignation. We must have expired under your measures if we had not this secret satisfaction of contemplating your character, and considering the humility of your destiny, that must never aspire to any thing more exalted than hatred, mitigated by derision. Our sense of injury is somewhat appeased, when in Council we behold you in the capacity of a political anarch, presiding over the misrule of your own administration; or when we see you deserting the Council, and at the most important crisis, forsaking the business of the nation for the sports of the field. We pity the intellectual hurricane that has driven you through the discharge of your duty with so much impropriety, and now drives you from the discharge of your duty with so much indeceny; and really, my lord if you were not our chief governour, you are most undoubtedly entitled to a station below our resentment.

We, my lord, who have beheld your predecessors, thought nothing at this time could be new in a Lord Lieutenant, except virtue. Rashness could not astonish a people who had seen the duke of Bedford; weakness could not astonish a people who had seen the duke of Northumberland; and a despicable character ceased to be a novelty, for we had not forgotten lord Herford: but there remained one innovation in politicks, which we had no conception of; a man who had all the defects of these great personages without the allay of their virtues; who was rash, weak, and contemptible, but was not intrepid, splendid, or decent; a man who had not spirit to assert government, and yet was audacious enough to violate the constitution; whose manners were ludicrous, whose person was despised, whose dispostion was vehemence without firmess, and whose conduct was not steady oppression, but rather the tremour of tyranny; such a man could not have been foreseen; but at length the miracle was produced, and this phaenomenon at the Castle appeared in your lordship.

I will suppose the time arrived, when you have departed this kingdom; I will suppose that you have escaped the scoffs, hisses, insults, reproaches, and the thousand other indignities that are probably prepared for your retreat; and that your midnight expediton as been successfull. I will suppose also, that you are honoured with an audience, and address the ear of your sovereign in the following manner.

“The people of Ireland are inclined to opposition; you must check this contagion of British spirit. Their patriotism is faction, and their publick spirit an outrage on majesty, in the person of his representative; no viceroy, for no king can please them. You must supress this restless and seditious people; you must overawe this aspiring spirit into an unscrupulous compliance; and by a steady arrogance, you must maintain in that kingdom the dignity of government, and the rights of the crown of Great-Britain.”

Having surmised what your Excellency will say to your king, I shall now




Leave a comment

Filed under 1770's, Great Britain, Ireland, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s