To William Duane April 23, 1806

To William Duane April 23, 1806

NEW ROCHELLE,

MR. DUANE:

I see by the English papers, that some conversations have lately taken place in parliament in England, on the subject of repealing the act that incorporated the members elected in Ireland with the parliament elected in England so as to form only one parliament.

As England could not domineer Ireland more despotically than it did through the Irish parliament, people were generally at a loss (as well they might be) to discover any motive for that union, more especially as it was pushed with unceasing activity against all opposition. The following anecdote, which was known but to few persons, and to none, I believe in England except the former minister, will unveil the mystery:

When Lord Malmsbury arrived in Paris, in the time of the directory government, to open a negotiation for a peace, his credentials ran in the old style of, "George, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, king." Malmsbury was informed that though the assumed title of king of France in his credentials would not prevent France opening a negotiation, yet that no treaty of peace could be concluded until that assumed title was renounced. Pitt then hit on the union bill under which the assumed title of king of France was discontinued.

THOMAS PAINE.