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Proceedings of the Sheriffs and Commons of Dublin


Post Assembly, August 23, 1775.

By the Sheriff' s and Commons of the City of DUBLIN:

Whereas, at the Quarter Assembly held April 28, 1775, a Petition of certain of the Commons was lodged, praying "that the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Commons, and Citizens, would take into their serious consideration the oppressions and grievances which our brethren of America labour under, and the evils that from thence are likely to fall upon this Country; and that their Lordship and Honours would present a dutiful and loyal Petition to the King, stating the above facts, and praying relief:"

And whereas, on said day, upon the unanimous requests of the Sheriffs and Commons to the Lord Mayor and Board of Aldermen, that they would be pleased to concur in presenting an Address, as above, they were pleased to return for answer "that the matter was of the highest importance and therefore inexpedient:"

And whereas, the said Petition of certain of the Commons was again lodged on the last Quarter Assembly, when a Committee of six Aldermen and as many of the Commons was appointed, with the assistance of Mr˙ Recorder, to draw up a Petition and Address to His Majesty, as above stated; who after several weeks deliberation, agreed to the following one:


"To the King' s Most Excellent Majesty.

"GRACIOUS SOUVEREIGN: We, your Majesty' s dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Commons, and Citizens of the City of Dublin in Common Council assembled, conceive it would be highly improper in us at this alarming crisis of affairs to observe a criminal silence and an unfeeling indifference.

"We see the horrours and calamities of civil war raging in America, the hands of fellow-subjects imbrued in the blood of each other, and without searching for, or investigating the cause, we cannot hesitate to pronounce its effects destructive to the British Empire at large, and particularly and essentially ruinous to the limited commerce of this Kingdom.

"At a period of time when every political eye is intent on the movement of the armament fitted out by the Court of Spain, our natural and hereditary enemy, when that powerful force has been frustrated in its first attempt, and when this Country may with reason think, that such great preparations will not be suffered to become entirely abortive; we are naturally led to inquire into our means of defence against any sudden invasion, but have the mortification to find the military force drained from this Kingdom, to enter into an unnatural conflict with Protestant subjects of the same Empire.

"Your Majesty will be pleased to consider how much our trade, credit and manufactures are connected with peace in America, and that we cannot but feel the most lively distress and apprehensions at a continuance of a war which must necessarily involve in ruin our staple commodity, almost the only source of wealth to your faithful subjects of Ireland.

"It is not the intention or wish of us, your Majesty' s dutiful subjects, to pretend to determine from whence the evils complained of have originated, or what has introduced your Majesty and your subjects into a situation unprecedented, delicate, dangerous, and distressing.

"Permit us to apply to your Majesty' s wisdom and virtue, and to implore your parental interposition in promoting such means as will at once quiet the fears of your subjects in America, and preserve the constitutional rights of your Majesty and the British Legislature.

"Then may we expect the return of that peace so long a wanderer, an unnatural separation of the Colonies from the Mother Country prevented, the British Constitution throughout your Majesty' s wide and extended Empire established on the firmest basis, and its necessary attendants, civil liberty and political security.

"The sword of discord once sheathed, Great Britain shall recover her wonted unanimity and importance; commerce shall again revive, and those torrents of your people' s blood now flowing in the cause of civil commotion, be reserved for the noble purpose of asserting the just prerogative of your Majesty' s crown, and the liberty of your People, in support of which we are ever ready to sacrifice our lives and fortunes."

Resolved unanimously by the Committee.

And whereas the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor and Board of Aldermen have this day put a negative on the said Address:

Now we, the Sheriffs and Commons, anxious to preserve our reputations from the odium that must remain to all posterity on the names of those who in any wise promote the acts now carrying on in America, and feeling the most poignant grief, as well on account of the injured inhabitants of that Continent, as on that of our brave countrymen sent on the unnatural errand of killing their fellow-subjects, have

Resolved, That it is the duty of every good citizen to exert his utmost abilities to allay the unhappy disputes that at present disturb the British Empire.

Resolved, That whoever would refuse his consent to a dutiful Petition to the King, tending to undeceive His Majesty, and from which it could be hoped that the effusion of one drop of subject blood might be prevented, is not a friend to the British Constitution.

Signed by order:


The Lord Mayor and Board of Aldermen put a negative on the Petition and Address.