The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to William King - 41


TRIM, DEC. 31, 1704.

I DID intend to have waited on your grace before you went for England; but, hearing your voyage is fixed for the first opportunity of the wind, I could not forbear giving you a few minutes interruption, which I hope your grace will believe to be without any other design than that of serving you. I believe your grace may have heard, that I was in England last winter, when the dean and chapter of Christ Church had, I think, with great wisdom and discretion, chosen a most malicious, ignorant, and headstrong creature to represent them; wherein your grace cannot justly tax their prudence, since the cause[1] they are engaged in is not otherwise to be supported. And I do assure your grace (which perhaps others may have been cautious in telling you) that they have not been without success. For not only the general run in Doctors Commons was wholly on their side, which my lord bishop of Cloyne[2] observed as well as I; but that little instrument of theirs did use all his power to misrepresent your grace, and your cause, both in town and city, as far as his narrow sphere could reach. And he spared not to say, that your grace had personal resentment against him; that you sought his ruin, and threatened him with it. And I remember, at a great man's table, who has as much influence in England as any subject can well have, after dinner came in a master in chancery, whom I had before observed to be a principal person in Doctors Commons, when your grace's cause was there debating; and, upon occasion of being there, fell into discourse of it, wherein he seemed wholly an advocate for Christ Church; for all his arguments were only a chain of misinformations, which he had learned from the same hand; insomuch that I was forced to give a character of some persons, which otherwise I should have spared, before I could set him right, as I also did in the affair of the late dean of Derry[3], which had been told with so many falshoods and disadvantages to your grace, as it is hard to imagine.

I humbly presume to say thus much to your grace, that, knowing the prejudices that have been given, you may more easily remove them, which your presence will infallibly do.

I would also beg of your grace to use some of your credit toward bringing to a good issue the promise the queen made, at my lord bishop of Cloyne's intercession, to remit the first fruits and tenths of the clergy; unless I speak ignorantly, for want of information, and that it be a thing already done. But what I would mind your grace of is, that the crown rent should be added, which is a great load upon many poor livings, and would be a considerable help to others. And, I am confident, with some reason, that it would be easily granted; being, I hear, under a thousand pounds a year, and the queen's grant for England being so much more considerable than ours can be at best. I am very certain, that, if the bishop of Cloyne had continued to solicit it in England, it would easily have passed; but, his lordship giving it up wholly to the duke of Ormond[4], I believe it has not been thought of so much as it ought. I humbly beg your grace's pardon for the haste and hurry of this, occasioned by that of the post, which is not very regular in this country; and, imploring your blessing, and praying to God for your good voyage, success, and return, I humbly kiss your grace's hands, and remain, my lord,

Your grace's most obedient

and most humble servant,

  1. A lawsuit between the archbishop of Dublin and the dean and chapter of the cathedral of Christ Church, Dublin, about his right of visiting them, which was given in favour of his grace.
  2. Dr. Charles Crow.
  3. Dr. Bolton.
  4. Lord lieutenant of Ireland.