[Footnote 5: The Repeal “Rent.” The weekly contributions to the funds of Conciliation Hall.—Ed.]
[Footnote 6: Moved by the Right Reverend Dr. Brown of Elphin; seconded by the Right Reverend Dr. McNally of Clogher. Resolved: That the Most Reverend Dr. Crolly be requested to reply to the letter received from the Holy Father, stating that the instructions therein contained have been received by the assembled prelates of Ireland with that degree of profound respect, obedience and veneration that should ever be paid to any document emanating from the Apostolic See, and that they all pledge themselves to carry the spirit thereof into effect.”
Dr. Crolly had previously explained what he considered true obedience to the rescript. He writes in reference to a former one in 1839: “In obedience to the injunction of the Holy See, I endeavoured to reclaim those misguided clergymen;” adding that the present was “in order that I should more efficaciously admonish such priests or prelates as I might find taking a prominent or imprudent part in political proceedings.”]
[Footnote 7: John Reynolds.]
IMPRISONMENT OF O’BRIEN FOR CONTEMPT OF THE BRITISH COMMONS.—CONDUCT OF THE ASSOCIATION.—DEPUTATION FROM THE ’82 CLUB.—MR. O’CONNELL RETURNS TO IRELAND.—DISCUSSIONS IN THE COMMITTEE.
Before proceeding to detail the circumstances which led to the celebrated secession, it is essential to dispose of an episode in the struggle, which, more than any other, stamped its impress on the acts and feelings of that unfortunate period; I allude to the imprisonment, by the House of Commons, of William Smith O’Brien. There is no act of his life upon which there has been so much acrimonious criticism; none on account of which he has been subjected to so much intemperate misrepresentation. And yet, perhaps, his great career, fruitful in good actions, never furnished a purer or more unselfish example of sound judgment as well as intrepidity and devotion. The history of his incarceration ranges over a great portion of the time which has been already passed, and enters largely into the leading events, hereafter to be related. A clear understanding of the whole—of Mr. O’Brien’s influencing motives and his tenacity of principle—would be impossible without a distinct recital of the circumstances out of which his purpose first grew, and which, to the end, controlled his resolution.
In the spring of 1845, the committee of the Association passed a vote to the effect that the Parliamentary representatives, who were members of that body, should withdraw from the British Parliament. It was proposed by Mr. Davis and received Mr. O’Connell’s entire approval. Though at first sneered at, it had a stunning effect. The supercilious British Commons, who would have answered the just remonstrance