The Irish Catholic Petition of 1805

The Diary of Denys Scully

Edited by: Brian MacDermot

In the autumn of 1804 after the return of Pitt to power at Westminster, a new Catholic Committee was formed in Dublin to petition for the abolition of the penal laws left unrepealed by the Irish Act of 1793 and in particular the Test Act which still excluded Catholics from sitting in parliament. The following March the committee sent a deputation to London to meet Pitt. A diary kept by Denys Scully a member of the delegation, provides a full account of the deputies unsuccessful application to Pitt and a memorandum explaining in some detail why the turned to the parliamentary opposition. Scully himself is shown engaged with the Marquis of Sligo and Huskisson in a private attempt to avert this fateful decision,which was to make Catholic Emancipation for the first time a party issue. The diary also records Scully's conversations with leading politicians of the day including. Lord Castlereagh, Charles James Fox, Charles Grey, the Prince of Wales' private secretary and William Cobbett. Additionally the book reproduces the greater part of the relevant correspondence about the Committee between Dublin Castle and the Home Office in London; two letters from the new Chief Secretary, Robert Vansittart, and three from Dr John Milner which mark a belated intervention by the Irish hierarchy and foreshadow the later veto controversy. Ten appendices include the minutes of the deputies' meeting, and a text of the petition is given; taken from the surviving original in the House of Lords

Publication Date: 12/1/1992
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9780716524977