The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Lord Arran - 1



I AM earnestly desired by some worthy friends of mine, to write to your lordship in favour of the bearer, Mr. Moore, minister of Clonmel, who will have the honour to present this letter to your lordship. Those rectorial tithes of Clonmel were granted to the church by letters patents from king Charles the second, with the perfect knowledge and full approbation of your great ancestor, the first duke of Ormond, then lord lieutenant of Ireland. Notwithstanding which, some of the former agents to your lordship's family have greatly distressed the incumbent ministers of Clonmel, which is generally believed to be without the knowledge of his present grace the duke your brother, whom God long preserve. But your lordship's present agent being extremely vigilant of all your lordship's interests, has lately renewed the claim of the Ormond family to those tithes, and was at the last assizes, after a long hearing of six hours, nonsuited. The living of Clonmel is one of the largest, and yet poorest parishes, in this kingdom; being upon the whole (including the valuation of the houses) scarce worth one hundred pounds a year; out of which, a curate assistant being absolutely necessary on account of its extent, a salary of forty pounds must be paid.

My lord, your lordship's family has been always distinguished for their favour and protection to the established church, under her greatest persecutions; nor have you, in the universal opinion, ever degenerated from them. Those tithes in and about Clonmel are very inconsiderable, having never been let for above twenty-four pounds a year, made up of very small pittances collected from a great number of the poorest people; so that the recovery of them by an expensive lawsuit, if it could be effected, would not be worth attempting.

Mr. Moore is recommended to me by several persons of great worth (as I have already observed) and I hope I have not hitherto forfeited the credit I had with you.

My humble request therefore to your lordship is, that the minister of Clonmel may, without disturbance, enjoy that small addition to his support, which the king and your grandfather intended for him.

I have always understood and believed, that the duke your brother's retiring has not lessened your fortune, but increased it: and as to his grace, unless all our intelligence be false, he is as easy as he desires to be. I heard of several persons who have ventured to wait on him abroad, and it is agreed that his grace is perfectly easy in his mind and fortune.

Upon the whole, I do earnestly desire your lordship to resign those poor scraps of tithes in and about Clonmel to Mr. Moore and his successors, in a legal form, for ever. Your loss will be at most but twenty-four pounds a year, and that with a thousand difficulties infinitely below your generosity and quality.

I am, &c.