WALSH, Peter. The History & Vindication of the Loyal Formulary, or Irish remonstrance, so gracefully received by His Majesty anno 1661. Against all calumnies and censures. In several treatises : with a true account and full discussion of the delusory Irish Remonstrance and other papers framed and insisted on by the National Congregation at Dublin, anno 1666, and presented to His Majesties (then) Lord Lieutenant of that Kingdom, the Duke of Ormond, but rejected by His Grace.


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To which are added three appendixes: whereof the last contains the Marquess of Ormond Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, his long and excellent letter of the second of December, 1650. In answer to both the declaration and excommunication of the bishops, &c. at Jamestown. London & Dublin: 1674. Folio. pp. [2], lii, [18], 276, 297-329, 331-349, 349-357, [360], 357-378, 390-765, [1], 83, [3], vi, 137. Paper fault to a couple of leaves. Contemporary full panelled calf. Spine and corners professionally rebacked. Ex libris William O’Brien Milltown Park Trust, with bookplates and neat stamps. Armorial bookplate of The Right Honble. Charles Viscount Bruce of Ampthill (Son and Heir Apparent of Thomas Earl of Ailesbury) and Baron Bruce of Whoileton, 1712 on verso of titlepage. Some early scoring in ink. All edges gilt. A very good copy. Rare.
ESTC R13539. Sweeney 5499 Wing 634.
Peter Walsh (1615-1688), D.D. was born at Mooretown near Naas, County Kildare. His father was a chandler at Naas and a member of a local Old English family, his mother it is said was an Englishwoman and a protestant. He was educated at the Irish College at Louvain. Joined the Franciscan Order and was later Professor of Divinity at Louvain. He is described by Joep Leerssen in ‘Mere Irish and Fíor-Ghael’ as “one of the most important Irish historians of the [17th] century”. Walsh returned to Ireland in 1646, the following year he attacked in nine consecutive sermons the ‘Disputatio Apologetica’ of Cornelius Mahony, in which the rights of the kings of England to Ireland was denied. As a consequence of his conduct Walsh was deprived of the lectureship in divinity to which he had been appointed at Kilkenny. The collapse of the Confederation brought with it a bitter aftermath of mutual recriminations between Rinuccinians and Ormondites, between Gaels and Old English, between Franciscans and Jesuits, clerics and laymen. He proved to be a most divisive influence from the start as he opposed the pro Old Irish policy adopted by the papal nuncio Archbishop Rinuccini and wanted the Confederate Catholics to make peace with James Butler, then the Marquess of Ormond.
The present work is Walsh’s ‘magnum opus’ and the volume that sums up the direction his life took in post-Restoration Ireland. He devised the “loyal formulary” as a means of reconciling the Irish Catholics with Charles II, the basis of this being a denial of papal infallibility and the promise of total allegiance to the crown. This important work contains both eyewitness accounts and contemporary documents, and is the most important source for the history of Ireland in the restoration period. Despite all his endeavours, it came to naught and in 1670, he himself was excommunicated by a Franciscan general chapter held in Spain.
He was driven from the house, and even forbidden to enter any town which possessed a library. Rinuccini accused him of having affected the nobility of Ireland and destroyed the cause. He also afterwards described him as “turned out of his convent for disobedience to superiors, a sacrilegious profaner of the pulpit in Kilkenny cathedral, who vomitted forth in one hour more filth (sordes) and blasphemy than Luther and Calvin together in three years”.
Walsh sided with Ormond and wrote against the Papal Nuncio, which led to his excommunication. For his loyal services to Ormond he received a pension from the Government. He died in 1687 and is buried in St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West, London. The Bishop of Salisbury said of him that “He was the honestest and learnedest man among them (Catholics), and was indeed in all points of controversy almost wholly a Protestant”. In the dedication to Charles II Walsh declares himself an “unrepentant sinner”, determined to die as he had lived, the king’s “most loyal, most obedient, and most humble servant”.


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