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Association, and finding that one of the greatest objects of that Society, is to counteract the poisonous influence of those provincial Journals, which, by calumny, misrepresentation, and ill directed irony, still endeavour to draw over the minds of our countrymen the last portion of those clouds of prejudice and intolerance, that produced such torrents of penal laws and persecutions, as threatened to sweep all, and actually did carry many Catholics from the face of the earth. The Society of Mercy in this town, (formed for the purpose of instructing the ignorant, counselling the doubtful, and comforting the sorrowful) has ordered me to communicate to yoų the sentiments which it entertains of your Society, by assuring you, that no portion of the community sees more clearly the necessity and utility of the Catholic Association, than it does, nor will any be more strenuous in rendering it support and co-operation : the Society of Mercy being composed altogether of mechanics, or men in the working classes of society, you will perceive, Sir, that it is impossible that each man could become a Member of the Association, on account of the heavy subscription required; however, what is possible to be done, we will do ; we will each subscribe a proportional part of the subscription money required from one member, which shall be placed in your hands in the name of one of our body; which of course will consti, tute bim a Meinber of the Association, and keep up a communication between the two bodies : should our hereafter increase considera. bly, we may perhaps furnish two or three Members for the Association.

" We cannot help expressing our opinion, that if similar Societies were formed amongst the working classes in all Catholic Congregatiuns, they would materially strengthen the Catholic Association.

“ But prior to our throwing our mite into your funds, we wish, Sir, to know what those funds are applied to, or in what manner they are to operate. You will pardon us, Sır, for being so inquisitive, when we inform you, that our reason for being so, is because we perceive that the Stockport Advertiser (a journal which seems to have its existence for the express purpose of railing at Catholicity) still continues its abusive career with impunity. Yes, we can safely affirm that scarcely a number has appeared since its first commencement, which has not, in some shape or other, misrepresented, traduced, or railed at the Catholic body! thus strengthening that prejudice, which was already too strong in the minds of the greatest part of the population.

“ You see, then, Sir, the reason for inquiries, and the necessity of an answer; for if you are establishing a Press, froin which Pamphlets will issue out as thick as the sunbeams from the orb of day, it will be our care to see them as extensively circulated as possible in this district, to counteract the influence of the before-mentioned pernicious Journal. If you mean to establish a Newspaper similar to the fallen Advocate, which, in our opinion, removed more of Protestant Prejudice than the Catholic Press of three centuries has

ne; or if some one of the existing papers is to become the organ of

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the Society of Mercy

409 your active labours, let us know which it is, and we will get it as extensively circulated in this town, as our influence can command.

“ But if, on the contrary, your money is to lie dormant in the hands of your Treasurers, why then, Sir, in plain English, our guinea would do far more active service at home, than in the funds of the Catholic Association. These, Sir, are the real sentiments of the Society to which I belong. In expectation of your answer,

Sir, I subscribe myself,

“ Your obedt. Servant, “ Sept. 19th, 1823.

“ BOOTH AUGUSTIN OLIVER.

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Bellamore, Staffordshire, Sept. 29th, 1823, « Dear Sir,

“ I have received, with much satisfaction, your Letter of the 19th inst. to which I would have returned an earlier answer, had I enjoyed a moment's leisure, containing the sentiments of the Members of the Society of Mercy in the town of Stockport, on the formation of the British Catholic Association, its objects, and its duties.

" Allow me to say, that I coincide with you in the sentiments expressed in your Letter, and heartily congratulate the Catholic Body, that feelings so creditable exist amongst the mechanics and the working classes of the town of Stockport.

“ The object of the Members of the British Catholic Association, is to recover their lost rights in the constitution of their country. -Their duty, to open the minds of the public in their regard, by shewing themselves as they are, not as malevolence or ignorance may misinterpret thein.—Their means, the public press In this view, the Protestant Press of England should be closely attended to, by a few well disposed and well informed persons in every county and large town, that no slander or mistatement be allowed to reinain uncontradicted. Not a line should be published against them, without a short, temperate, and conclusive reply: and the papers containing such replies should be widely circulated amongst the mechanics, manufacturers, and middling classes of society, where they meet at their clubs, benefit societies, and public places of resort.-In Lon. don, one daily paper at least should be always open to them, and the Catholic periodical publications should at least be so far countenanced, as to contain all the public proceedings of the Associated Body, why they continue to promote union and brotherly feelings amongst ourselves. To effect these purposes, will require considerable funds, and those funds we have not. Whether the Catholic Gentry will consider the business to be of such moment as to induce them to come forward adequately, remains to be seen. If they do, as far as my share of exertion is demanded, it shall not be wanting : I will not slumber at my post, nor be forgettul of my duty. If, on the other hand, the subscriptions are inadequate, I shall resign a situation which I accepted solely to advance what is, in my opinion, the proudest cause a man can be engaged in :-to rescue his Religion froin aspersion--his ancestors from reproach--himself froin humiliation--his country from injustice. Weak and powerless efforts are

410

of Stockporta unfit for such a cause, and I will be no party to them. It may be beyond my means or ability to advance it ; but in my hands at least, it never shall be tarnished.

I beg you will communicate to your Society the sincere sentiments of respect I entertain for them ; and with many thanks for your communication, I am, Sir,

Your very obedt. Servt.

“ EDWARD BLOUNT.” “ P.S. I beg to express my hope, that nothing I have said above may be supposed to apply to the Subscription you have tendered on the part of your Socieiy. I consider that as an honourable testimony of your zeal, and no doubt fully adequate to the circumstances of the Members; and I will venture to hope, that when the circumstance is made known, it will operate as an inducement to others in more prosperous circumstances, to follow so bright an example. I shall be happy, when occasion offers, to profit by your instrumentality in circulating pamphlets, papers, &c. I shall always receive yonr communications with pleasure ; and if you will address to me as Secretary of the British Catholic Association, No. 2, John-street, St. , James's-square, (as pointed out in our printed circulars) all communications to that address will have early attention paid to them.” “ Honoured Sir,

“ The receipt of your favour of the 30th September, produced in our minds sensations at once the most pleasant and the most painful; pleasing, to perceive that a line of conduct so liberal, prudent, wise', and just, had been adopted by a portion of the natural Leaders of the Catholic Body; and painful, to understand that a great portion still remain insensible to their own interest, their honour and the good of their Religion, as the state of your funds plainly indicate. Is it really possible, good Sir, that men, whose manners have been the sanctuaries of Religion in the very worst of times ; men, whose ancestors sheltered the pious missionaries in spite of the frowns of power, or all the complicated inventions of a penal system. (Ah, how gladly would they have embaced the opportunity that now offers! they would have hailed these days as the days of salvation!) is it possible, Sir, that Catholic Gentlemen can have so degenerated from the heroic virtue of their ancestors, that they can have become so careless of the interests of Religion, as to withhold their countenance from her friends, or their support from her funds ?-Surely no, it cannot be the case. Do we not daily see them refusing to participate in the honours of their country, or the privileges of its constitution, when they cannot do so but by injuring religion ?-Thus do they prove that they prefer the lustre of the Cross lo the false glare of the Coronet. Scorn's pointed finger, the supercilious sneer, and the bigot's frown, sbake not the firmness of their faith : then how can they be indifferent to things connected with its welfare? It must be so, that they perceive not the utility of the association; they perceive not the benefit that must naturally flow from it; they must not feel it is the duty as well as interest of every Catholic, to pursue the line of conduct that it has adopted.

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Talk not then, Sir, of resigning a situation to which you do so much honour, but seize your powerful pen, and rouse your fellow Catholics from the apathy which seems to have seized them. Shew them that it is disgraceful to remain slaves, when they can honourably acquire freedom.

Ungraleful, to suffer their pious ancestors to be aspersed, when they can clear them from the aspersion ; and impious, to suffer their Religion to be calumniated, when they hold in their hands the means of repelling each calumny.

For our own part, Sir, it is the first time that we have had to regret the want of riches. If Providence had blessed us with thousands, then should your funds be strong ; but as our circumstances are humble, and as local matters are immediately pressing upon us, we for the present must content ourselves with sending you, as a pledge of our best wishes, an humble guinea (sorry indeed we are that it is not hundreds) requesting that you will place it to the account of

“ Sir, your very humble servant, " Oct. 16th, 1823.

• Booth AUGUSTIN Oliver." N. B. Please to notify in your answer, whether the payment commences from the present time, or from any other given time, that we may always be ready."

Bellamore, Staffordshire, Oct. 26th, 1823. 66 Dear Sir,

“ Your Letter has been forwarded to me from London, and your Subscription of L. 1:1. placed to the credit of the British Catholic Association at Messrs. Wrights, as paid by you.

The sentiments contained in your Letter do infinite honour to your Society, and will eventually, I can have no doubt, be of great utility to the body at large, for it cannot be believed that the higher classes will continue supine and indifferent, when such an example is set them by those whom the world is pleased to consider as their inferiors. I should rejoice in the occasion that had called forth such a display of creditable feeling, were it not deplorable, that any class of British Catholics should want the stimulus of example, to prompt them to perform the most sacred of their duties. I am, Sir, your very obedt, Servt.

" EDWARD BLOUNT.” I sent you a few days since, a Letter published in the provincial papers in this neighbourhood, on the Declarations against Transubstantiation and Popery, to which publicity ought to be given. The Eilitor of the British Press has copied it, and his remarks on it are most pointed and unanswerable.”

BRITISH CATHOLIC ASSOCIATIONS. The open Meeting of the Committee of this Association will be held at two o'clock on Monday he 5th day of January next, at the Freemason's Tavern, Great Queen-street.

FRIENDS OF POOR ORPHAN CATHOLIC CAILDREN. On Monday the 8th Dec. the Anniversary of this Institution, for clothing, educating poor Orphan Catholic Children, was held at the Freemasons' Tavern, where a numerous and respectable attendance took place: the Rev. Thomas Weld in the chair, supported by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Poynter, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Bramston, the Hon. Edward Petre, and other persons of distinction, who delivered speeches in favour of the Charity, and a handsome collection was made.

SOCIETY for the Relief of the Sick and AGED Poor, in London

and Westminster. On Sunday, the 14th inst. the Rt. Dr. Poynter delivered a most impressive Charity Sermon, at the Sardinian Chapel, for the benefit of that most excellent institution. Nearly L. 100 was collected.

BIRTH.-On Wednesday the 24th Dec. at Irnham Hall, Lincolnshire, the seat of the Rt. Hon. Lord Clifford, the Hon. Mrs. Clifford of a son.

MARRIED.-Nov. 29, at Axminster, Charles Knight, Esq. of Hall-place, Yately, Hants, to Teresa, only daughter of Thomas Taunton, Esq. of Axminster:

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most pure

OBITUARY Huvé pity on me! have pity on me! at least you my friends.... Job xixi Nov. 18. James Vanzeller, Esq. late of Oporto, aged 23.

20. Rev. Robert Johnson, late of Lydiate.

27. (Galway.) The Rt. Rev. Dr. Årchdeacon, R. Catholic Bishop of the United Diocese of Kilmacnagh and Kilfenora. To the

and unaffected piety, he added a fund of ability and intel. lectural acquirements unsurpassed in the Irish Hierarchy. Religious, but not morose, the sweetness and urbanity of the gentleman blended with the zeal of an apostle, and earned for him while living, the esteem and respect of all-now dead, their regret and veneration.

Dec. 12. Robert Dormer, Esq. son of the late Hon. James Dormer, at Leamington, aged 53.

15. Mrs, Mary Huddleston, relict of the late Ferdinand Huddleston, Esq. of Sawston Hall, aged 90.

22. Mr. Thomas Cottam, at Margale, aged 90.—ThisGentleman has a peculiar claim on the pious suffrages of the faithful, as å great portion of his long life was devoted to the active service of that excellent Charity the • Benevolent Society," of which he was many years the Treasurer, and of which the Rev. Mr. Hunt is the President.

Miss Theresa Elizabeth Thew, late of Middleton-square, Clerkenwell, aged 26.

REQUIESCANT IN PACE.

Keating and Brown, Printers, 38, Duke-street, Grosvenor-square, and 9, Ivy

lane, Paternoster-row.

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