The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From William King to Jonathan Swift - 15
FROM ARCHBISHOP KING.
YOU must not wonder, that I have been so ill a correspondent of late, being, as I find, in debt to you for of June the 8th, and July the 12th. This did not proceed from any negligence, but from the circumstances of things here, that were such, that I could not return you any satisfactory answer.
We have now got over the preliminaries of our parliaments and convocation; that is to say, our addresses, &c, and as to the parliament, so far as appears to me, there will be an entire compliance with her majesty's occasions, and my lord duke of Ormond's desires; and that funds will be given for two years from Christmas next; by which we shall have the following summer free from parliamentary attendance, which proves a great obstruction both to church and country business. As to the convocation, we have no license as yet to act. I have heard some whispers, as if a letter of license had come over, and was sent back again to be mended, especially as to direction about a president. I may inform you, that that matter is in her majesty's choice: we have on record four licenses; the first directed to the archbishop of Dublin in 1614; the other three, that are in 1634, 1662, and 1665, directed to the then lords primates. I have not at present the exact dates; but I have seen the writs, and find the convocation sat in these years.
His grace the duke of Ormond, in his speech to the parliament (which I doubt not but you have seen) mentioned the remittal of the twentieth parts, and the grant of the first-fruits, for buying impropriations; but did not assume to himself any merit in the procuring of them; nor, that I can find by any intimation, so much as insinuated, that the grant was on his motion; notwithstanding, both in the house of lords and convocation, some laboured to ascribe the whole to his grace; and had it not been for the account I had from you, his grace must, next to her majesty, have had the entire thanks. You'll observe, from, the lords address and convocation, that his grace is brought in for a share in both. But if the case should be otherwise, yet his grace is no way to be blamed. The current runs that way; and perhaps neither you nor I have bettered our interest here at present, by endeavouring to stop it.
The conclusion was, that all the archbishops and bishops agreed to return thanks to my lord treasurer of Great Britain, by a letter, which all in town have signed, being convinced, that, next to her majesty's native bounty, and zeal for the church, this favour is due to his lordship's mediation.
But they have employed no agent to solicit the passing the act through the offices, believing his lordship will take care of that of his own mere motion, as he did of the grant. This is meant as an instance of their great confidence of his lordship's concern for them, which makes it needless that any should intermeddle in what he has undertaken.
If his lordship thinks fit to return any answer to the bishops, I wish he would take some occasion to mention you in it: for that would justify you, and convince the bishops, some of whom, perhaps, suspect the truth of what you said of the first-fruits and twentieth parts being granted before his grace the duke of Ormond was declared lord lieutenant of Ireland.
I cannot at present write of several matters, that perhaps I may have opportunity to communicate to you. I have sent with this the lords and the convocation's address to my lord duke.
If it may be proper, I would have my most humble respects to be laid before my lord treasurer. You may be sure I am his most humble servant, and shall never forget the advantages he has been the author of to the church and state: and yet I believe, if it please God to prolong his life, greater things may be expected from him; my prayers shall not be wanting.
As for myself, I will say more some other time: and for the present shall only assure you, that
I am, sir,
your affectionate humble servant,