The Act of Recognition was the first act of Parliament. It recognised James's right to the Imperial Crown of Ireland. It compared the usurpation by the Prince of Orange to the murder of James' father King Charles I, emphasized indefeasible hereditary rights, and asserted that the monarchy was founded on the Divine right of kings, not the result of any supposed contract between a king and his subjects.
The Declaratory Act affirmed that the Kingdom of Ireland had always been "distinct" from that of England, and that no Act of the English Parliament was binding on Ireland unless ratified by the Irish Parliament. However, Poynings' Law remained as statute law.
Parliament also passed legislation or resolutions for additional purposes:
Liberty of Conscience. Parliament granted full freedom of worship and civic and political equality for Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, and repealed the requirement of the Oath of Supremacy, but retained the Act of Uniformity. James sought the abolition of penalties against liberty of conscience but did not seek to remove himself as head of the Church of Ireland.
A Bill of attainder. "An Act for the Attainder of Divers Rebels, and for the Preserving the Interest of Loyal Subjects" named 2,000 Williamites as traitors, being opponents of James II, who were to lose their property and their lives.
Firth wrote that King James was opposed to the last two measures, but was "overborne by Tyrconnell and the Irish nationalists".
William's supporters won the War of the Two Kings and James and his supporters fled to the Continent, and in 1692 William III and Mary II summoned a loyal Irish parliament. In 1695, the next Irish parliament passed an act declaring all actions of the "late pretended Parliament" void, including attainders as well as acts; it also ordered all the Parliament's records to be destroyed.
The Parliament was overwhelmingly Old English and Roman Catholic, however, Church of Ireland Bishops retained their place as the Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords. A number of members served in James' Irish Army in the ensuing Williamite War in Ireland, with several of them losing their lives during the fighting.
That the Parliament had declared Ireland's autonomy was of interest to 19th century Irish nationalists, in particular the Young IrelanderThomas Davis who wrote a history of the parliament as an inspiration to his fellow countrymen.
^"The Nation" paper, essays in several issues, 1843 by TO Davis; reprinted in 1893 as The Patriot Parliament of 1689: With its statutes, votes and proceedings" Edited with an introduction by the Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy.
^Bartlett, Thomas Ireland: a History Cambridge University Press (2010) p135
^Harris, Tim Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy 1685-1720 Allen Lane (2006) p 439
^Harris, Tim Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy 1685-1720 Allen Lane (2006) p 444
^Simms, J.G. Jacobite Ireland 1685-91 Routledge and Kegan Paul (1969) p 80
^Bartlett, Thomas Ireland: A History Cambridge University Press (2010) p 135
^Harris, Tim Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy 1685-1720 Allen Lane (2006) p 441
^Firth, C. H.A commentary on Macaulay's History of England, republished by Routledge (London 1964), pp 211-212. Macaulay wrote there were 3,000 such attainders. History of England from the Accession of James the Second (London, 1855), pp 216-220, had said that t
^See also Butler, W. F. T. Confiscation in Irish History Talbot Press (Dublin 1917-1918), pp.215-216. "... if we follow King as corrected by Davis, between eighteen and nineteen hundred persons were attainted; and if we follow Harris, and a pamphlet cited by Davis as 'the List' the number may possibly be two thousand two hundred."