Introduction. The Act of Settlement (full title, An act for the better execution of his majesties gracious declaration for the settlement of his kingdom of Ireland, and satisfaction of the several interests of adventurers, souldiers, and other his subjects there—14 and 15 Charles II, chap 2) may be said to have provided the legal basis for the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland by providing legal recognition for the confiscation of the lands of those implicated in the 1641 Rebellion and the war that followed, and by confirming those Protestant adventurers and soldiers who were beneficiaries of the draconian Cromwellian land confiscation in possession of the lands they acquired in the 1650s. Colonel Sir John Ponsonby was confirmed in possession of the extensive lands he acquired in County Kilkenny by clause seven of Charles II’s ‘Declaration for the settlement of his kingdom of Ireland, and satisfaction of the several interests of adventurers, souldiers, and other his subjects there’, made in November 1660, which was afforded statutory recognition by its inclusion in the Act of Settlement.
Source. Andrew Vance, The Irish Statutes: a collection of the principal reported decisions at law and in equity on the Irish Statutes ... (Dublin 1862).
Section 7. And whereas the officers and souldiers now of our army in Ireland, and that have been formerly of the army in Ireland, have also lands set out to them respectively in satisfaction of their arrears of pay for their service in that kingdom, and are accordingly possest of the same … we are pleased of our especial grace and favour to declare, and do hereby declare, that all officers and souldiers, their heirs and assignes, who have been, and are of the said army in Ireland, and to whom lands have been given out in satisfaction of the of their arrears for their service in that our kingdom, and have …declared submission and obedience to us … shall enjoy their respective estates conferred for their arrears, for service in the kingdome of Ireland, according to their respective possessions, on the seventh of May, one thousand six hundred fifty nine, in full satisfaction of all such arrears, for which lands were set out to them respectively as aforesaid …
Dr James Kelly