CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED IRISHMEN IN 1791.
society is constituted for the purpose of forwarding a
brotherhood of affection, a communion of rights, and a
union of power among Irishmen of every religious
persuasion, and thereby to, obtain a complete reform in
the legislature, founded on the principles of civil,
political, and religious liberty.
members of this society shall either be ordinary or
Honorary, and shall not he limited to any description of
men, but to extend to all persons who may be deemed
candidate for admission into this society shall be
proposed by one member, and seconded by another, both of
whom shall vouch for his character and principles, and
whose name shall be entered on the books of the society,;
the candidate to be balloted for on the society`s
subsequent meeting, and if one of the beans be black, he
shall stand rejected.
4th. As a
fund is necessary the better to carry into effect the
purpose of this association , each member, on his
admission, shall pay to the society the sum of [ ] and per
month while he shall continue a member.
officers of this society shall be a secretary and
treasurer, who shall be appointed by ballot every three
months, viz. on every first meeting in November, February,
May, and August.
society, in manner aforesaid , shall appoint two members,
who with the secretary shall act for the society in a
baronial committee, which members shall receive on each
night of their attendance on said committee.
society shall in manner afore said appoint members, who,.
with the treasurer; shall form a committee of finance, &c
8th. At the
request of either committee, or any members signing a
requisition, the secretary, or if he should be absent, the
treasurer ,shall call an extra meeting of the society.
society shall meet in ordinary every evening at [ ]
o`clock, the president to be chosen by the majority of the
members present, of whom [ ] shall be a quorum.
respect and deference shall be paid to the chairman. On
his rising from his seat and taking off his hat, there
shall be silence, and the members seated. He shall be
judge of order and propriety; shall grant leave of absence
at pleasure; shall not enter into debate. If any member
behave improperly, he is empowered to direct an apology;
or if refractory, fine him in any sum not exceeding [ ]
and on refusal to do as directed, he stall therefore be
expelled the society for [ ]
member shall speak more than twice to a question, without
leave from the chairman.
person elected a member of this society, whether ordinary
or honorary, shall, previous to his admission, take the
following test in a separate apartment, in the presence of
the persons who proposed and seconded him, and one member
appointed ‘by the chairman; or in case of absence of one
of the two persons, the chairman shall appoint another
member to act for the absentee ; after which the new
member shall be brought into the body of the society, and
there take the test in the usual form.
awful presence of God.
I A. B., do
voluntarily declare, that I will persevere in endeavouring
to form a brotherhood of affection among Irishmen of every
religious persuasion, and that I will also persevere in my
endeavours to obtain an equal, full, and adequate
representation of all the people of Ireland.
I do further
declare that neither hope, fears, rewards, or punishments,
shall ever induce me, directly or indirectly, to inform
on, or give evidence against any member of this or similar
societies, for any act or expression of theirs done or
made collectively or individually, in or out of this
society, in pursuance of the spirit of this obligation.’
member of any other acknowledged society, being introduced
to this society by a member, shall, upon producing a
certificate ,signed by the secretary, and sealed with the
seal of the society to which he may belong, and taking the
foregoing test, be admitted to attend the sittings of this
member shall have a certificate certificate but by
applying to the committee, who shall grant it, unless the
member is leaving his place of residence, which
certificate shall be lodged with the secretary on his
this society shall amount to the number of thirty-six
members, it shall be equally divided by lot, that is, the
names of all the members shall be put into a hat or box,
the secretary or treasurer shall draw out eighteen
individually, which eighteen shall be considered the
senior society and the remaining eighteen the junior, who
shall apply to the baronial committee through the
delegates of the senior society., for a number; and that
this division shall only take place in the months of
October, January, April, and July. The fund shall also be
‘no society shall he recognized by any committee, unless
approved of and taking the test, and amounting in number
to seven members
also the Volunteers
and the avowed policies of Dr William Drennan and Wolfe
Tone which by 1795 – 96 were much more republican in their