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The Banishment Act or Bishops' Banishment Act (9 Will 3 c.1) was a 1697 Act of the Parliament of Ireland which banished all ordinaries and regular clergy of the Roman Catholic Church from Ireland. By 1 May 1698 all "popish archbishops, bishops, vicars general, deans, jesuits, monks, friars, and other regular popish clergy" had to be in one of several named ports awaiting a ship out of the country. Remaining or entering the country after this date would be punished as a first offence with 12 months' imprisonment followed by expulsion. A second offence constituted high treason.

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  • Banishment Act
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  • The Banishment Act or Bishops' Banishment Act (9 Will 3 c.1) was a 1697 Act of the Parliament of Ireland which banished all ordinaries and regular clergy of the Roman Catholic Church from Ireland. By 1 May 1698 all "popish archbishops, bishops, vicars general, deans, jesuits, monks, friars, and other regular popish clergy" had to be in one of several named ports awaiting a ship out of the country. Remaining or entering the country after this date would be punished as a first offence with 12 months' imprisonment followed by expulsion. A second offence constituted high treason.
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  • An Act for banishing all Papists exercising any Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, and all Regulars of the Popish Clergy out of this Kingdom
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  • Parliament of Ireland
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  • Banishment Act
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  • Repealed
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  • The Banishment Act or Bishops' Banishment Act (9 Will 3 c.1) was a 1697 Act of the Parliament of Ireland which banished all ordinaries and regular clergy of the Roman Catholic Church from Ireland. By 1 May 1698 all "popish archbishops, bishops, vicars general, deans, jesuits, monks, friars, and other regular popish clergy" had to be in one of several named ports awaiting a ship out of the country. Remaining or entering the country after this date would be punished as a first offence with 12 months' imprisonment followed by expulsion. A second offence constituted high treason. The act was one of the Penal Laws passed after the Williamite War to safeguard the Church of Ireland as the established church and from fears of Catholic clerical support for Jacobitism. It was foreshadowed by proclamations issued by the Dublin Castle administration in 1673 and 1678 with similar terms. The banishment was originally and most effectively applied to regular clergy; many of whom registered (under the Registration Act 1704) as parish priests to be treated as secular clergy and avoid deportation. The ban on bishops may have been intended to prevent ordination of new priests, which, coupled with a ban on clerical immigration would lead to their eventual extinction. Of the eight Catholic bishops in Ireland when the act was passed, two left, one (John Sleyne) was arrested, and five went into hiding. The port authorities paid for the passage of 424 clerics who emigrated; Mary of Modena estimated that about 700 in total left, of whom 400 settled in France. Priest hunters were active in subsequent decades. Maurice Donnellan, Bishop of Clonfert, was arrested in 1703 but rescued by an armed crowd.
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