THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: From the News Letter of March 1831
Orangemen oppose ‘mischievous conspiracy’ to break the Union
The members of the 13 Orange Lodges in the Ballymoney district had held a meeting on February 21, 1831, reported the News Letter, to pass a number of resolutions opposing those who had been agitating for the repeal the ‘Legislative Union’, between Great Britain and Ireland.
The resolutions included: That we view with utmost contempt (while profoundly confident in the long proved firmness and integrity of our Orange brethren) the mischievous conspiracy for the dismemberment of the Empire, organised and carried out by designing men of desperate fortunes and profligate principles, totally indifferent to the calamitous results of their wicked and destructive schemes.
That we have perceived with great satisfaction the prompt and decisive measures taken by His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, for the suppression of the turbulent and illegal meetings of agitators and incendiaries throughout the country – measures which have inspired us, in common with others of His Majesty’s loyal subjects, with heartfelt confidence in the wisdom and energy of His Excellency’s Government.
That we most humbly conceive it to be the high province of those entrusted with the preservation of the State, to crush by the strong arm of the law, all daring endeavours to disturb (by a repeal of the ‘Legislative Union’, or by any other means) the compact so happily substituting between Great Britain and Ireland.
That in order to put a stop to any further attempts for a repeal of the Union the two countries, we humbly but confidently hope the Legislature will in its wisdom enact a Law, making it ‘High Treason’ to discuss, or in any way agitate that dangerous and destructive question in future, out of the Legislative Assembly of the nation.
That, true to ourselves and our obligations as Orangemen, we hereby declare it to be our earnest desire and readiness to maintain and uphold the laws of the country; that we are anxious and willing to afford (even at the risk to our lives and properties) every proof which circumstances may require, in support of the Throne and the remnant of our glorious Constitution as by law established, assured that we shall experience under His Majesty’s present Government that impartial justice, and paternal consideration, of which we are latterly deprived; but which, as the loyal Protestant subjects of a Protestant Monarch, we feel to be our indisputable and hereditary right.
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