NBC – 1856.08.02 – Canada – The Catholics and the Governor – #283 – F12222
Sir E. Head is just now in disgrace with the Catholics of Montreal for having dared to receive the Address of the Orange body presented to him by the deputation on the 12th of July. The Address was sufficiently harmless, being merely expressive of loyalty and the Governors reply was as cautiously worded, for the purpose of returning thanks for loyalty alone, as it was possible to be. The Catholics have held a meeting, numerously attended, at which several speakers urged in strong terms the impropriety of Sr. E. Head’s conduct, and the result was a resolution that a petition should be forthwith prepared, for the signature of the Catholics of the city, and immediately forwarded to one of the Irish members of Parliament for presentation, demanding the recall of the Governor General, and a Committee was appointed for the purpose. The general impression seems to be that Sir Edmund acted very innocently though perhaps indiscreetly. Commenting on this matter and the dismissal of a Government clerk for joining an Orange procession the Montreal Transcript says:

“We hesitate not to say that if our Legislature did its duty, it would long ere now have passed a law declaring Orange and ALL OTHER secret societies founded upon like principles illegal. We believe them to be unnecessary, and calculated to do injury by keeping up ill feeling in a new Colony. We, as Canadians in this our adopted land, have nothing to do with the party feuds of another Country. The Boyne does not flow through the wild woods of Canada; nor did the combat of Aughrim redden our prairies with the blood of the slain. And we think good taste alone should induce the Irish Protestants when removed from the scene of their former trials and persecutions, and subsequent triumphs, to abstain from celebrating their victories in a manner offensive to the feelings of the descendants of the conquered. A noble conqueror never insults a fallen foe. Nearly two centuries have passed away since these events happened more recent and more glorious triumphs over foreign enemies have almost obliterated their remembrance from the minds of the great majority of the inhabitants of the British Empire; and even at the time there could have been but little subject matter for rejoicing in a victory gained over our own countrymen, in a war which could not be called a rebellion, but which was rather a struggle for their lawful Prince, whom the Irish Roman Catholics had sworn to maintain; and whose zeal for their religion, whatever effect it might have produced in England, could not by them be considered as a crime.”