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Political History

[Oliver] Cromwell

Effect on Ireland

By 1652 all Ireland was crushed. By then 616,000 persons, 1/3 the population, had died in the wars, plague, & famine of the preceding 10 years. There followed a ravishment of unprecedented severity. Cromwell parceled out 2/3 of the land to his soldiers & adherents. Several thousand Irish were sent in chains to the West Indies & sold as slaves on the plantations. Others roamed the country as vagabonds. The great majority remained to work the land for the conquerors.

- Wm. V. Shannon, The Am. Irish, p. 5

 

 

Preserved in Language

Sayings - "The remembrance of which (the visit of Cromwell) is still freshly preserved in the expressive execration so common in the mouths of the Irish peasantry - 'The curse of Cromwell be upon you!'"

- Halls, Vol. II, p. 424

"to Hell or Connaught"

 

 

French Expedition of 1798 I

Humbert landed at Killala with 1,030 private soldiers & 70 officers, from 3 frigates, 2 of 54 & 1 of 38 guns, which had sailed from Rochelle on the 4 th of the same month. The intention was to land in the County of Donegal, but they were frustrated by contrary winds. The garrison of Killala, consisting of only 50 men (of whom 30 were yeomen, the rest fencible soldiers of the Prince of Wales regiment), after a vain attempt to oppose the entrance of the French vanguard, fled with precipitation, leaving 2 of their number dead & their 2 officers prisoners, together with 19 privates. To compensate as far as possible by the vigor of his operations for the smallness of his numbers, seems to have been the great object of the French general. He sent on the next morning a detachment towards Ballina, which, retreating from some picquet guards or reconnoitering parties of loyalists, led them to a bridge under which lay concealed a sergeant's guard of French soldiers. By a volley from these, a clergyman who had volunteered for the occasion, and two carabineers were wounded, the first mortally. This clergyman was the Rev. George Fortescue, rector of Ballina. The French, advancing to this town, took possession of it in the night, the garrison retreating to Foxford, leaving one prisoner, a yeoman, in the hands of the enemy. From Ballina, Humbert pushed out to Castlebar, where he obtained a victory over the royalist troups, but he was arrested in his further progress by Lord Cornwallis, who, in a battle at Ballinamuck, completely destroyed or took prisoner the whole French force."

- J. Stirling Coyne & N. P. Willis, etc.., Scenery & Antiquities of Ireland, Vol. II, p. 451

 

 

French Expedition of 1798 II

On the 22 nd of August, 1798, 3 French frigates appeared in Killala Bay. The collector of the port boarded the ships (they had hoisted English colors), but did not return. The troops, amounting in number to above 1000, commanded by General Humbert, landed without opposition, & after a slight skirmish with some yeomanry, took possession of the town of Killala. There first step was to arm & equip "the natives" for whom they had brought clothing, arms, & ammunition. Bulletins were at once issued, headed " Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Union," & ending, "The Irish Republic: such is our shout! Let us march! Our hearts are devoted to you! Your glory is our happiness!" Proceeding southward they reached Castlebar on the 27 th, & here met by the English generals, Lake & Hutchinson, who had possession of the town, a much larger force & more ammunition than their enemies. The relative strength of the two armies was 1,000 to 1,500. France was aided by a mob dressed in French uniforms; the English was composed chiefly of militia, who deserted by whole companies. The English generals made a miserable fight & fled in confusion to Athlone (65 mi.), leaving behind their cannon, above 100 dead & wounded, & 300 missing, the majority of whom were deserters. Humbert appointed Castlebar s the capital of the Republic of Ireland. He made no effort to pursue the enemy, but wheeled off to the north (to join Hoche, who was supposed to land 5,000 men at Lough Swilly, Donegal). The Marquis of Cornwallis with 27,000 men pursued & overtook Humbert at Ballinamuck. When Humbert surrendered on the 8 th of Sept., his army consisted of 96 officers & 748 men.

- Halls, Vol. III, p. 379-81

 

 

Limerick - Broken Treaty

William had returned to England in Sept. 1691, after failing to take Limerick. Ginckle (the general he left) made another try.

Sept. 23 rd hostilities ceased. Oct. 3 rd - treaty signed. The 9 th article provided - "The Roman Catholics of this kingdom shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion as are consistent with the laws of Ireland, or as they enjoyed in the reign of Charles II...& their majesties will permit them to summon a parliament in this Kingdom (Ireland), will endeavor to procure the said Roman Catholics such further security as may preserve them from any disturbance upon the account of their said religion."

The treaty further stipulated for the surrender of Limerick, and "other fortresses now in the hands of the Irish," and provided that the garrisons should be marched out with the full honors of war, & be supplied with shipping by the British government (cost paid by British) to take them to France, or elsewhere.

At Limerick on Oct. 6 th, the Irish troops to the number of 14,000 were drawn up. It had been agreed that they should be marched past a flag where those who were to enlist for England should file off, while those for France should proceed onward.

"Sarsfield (Irish commander) gave the order, 'March.' Profound silence reigned; not a sound was heard except the steady tramp of the Irish soldiers as they advanced, until the solemnity of the scene was broken by the shouts of the multitude assembled within sight, when the royal regiment of guards 14,000 strong, reached the flag, & all - excepting seven - passed it by. Of the whole army, only 3,000 joined the English, or obtained means to carry them home; the remainder were subsequently embarked for France, & laid the foundation of the 'Irish Brigades' which occupy positions so prominent & so honorable in the after wars of Europe."

- The Halls, p. 332-33 & 335-36

This was "the Flight of the Wild Geese." Many from Limerick deserted as they marched to Cork for embarkation to France & made their way home.

 

 

 

[James] Napper Tandy2 - Chronology

 

1782 - "The colonel of the Phoenix Park Artillery Corps (of the volunteers) was a Dublin

ironmonger named Napper Tandy, who pushed himself into notoriety as the bullying

demagogue of the corporation; small, ugly, ill-shaped, with no talent except for speech;

a coward in action, a noisy fool in council."

- Froude, Vol. II, p. 356

1783 - When the Volunteer Convention opened in Dublin (to influence the Irish House of

Commons then meeting) it was opened by a parade - "In the rear came Napper Tandy,

with the Dublin Artillery, the guns decked out in ribbons." (Ibid., p. 382)

1784 - Dublin in turmoil, many out of work. "The corporation was governed by Napper Tandy,

who continued at the head of the Volunteers and possessed the guns. The magistrates

were cowardly, or themselves sympathized with the agitators." (Ibid., p. 409)

1784 - French officers came over in disguise to foment trouble. "Napper Tandy & his friends

were in the habit of holding secret meetings with French emissaries... At one of these

meetings was a singular scene. Ten years later the Irish patriots were red republicans,

anxious only to advance the principles of Tom Paine. On this occasion Napper & his

party "drank the health of Louis XVI on their knees." Their acknowledged object was

separation from England & the establishment in Ireland of the Roman Catholic religion."

(Ibid., p. 412)

1784 - Report to Loudon by Irish gov. on the arrival in Dublin of two men to find out what the

plans were of the discontents. "Parker can scrape acquaintance with the leaders of

sedition, particularly Napper Tandy, and perhaps dive to the bottom of his secrets."

(Ibid., p. 415)

1789 - From a speech by Lord Clare, speaking of the formation of Mr. Grattan's Whig Club -

"Under this banner was ranged such a motley collection of congenial characters as

never before were assembled for the reformation of a state. Mr. Napper Tandy was

received by acclamation as a statesman too important & illustrious to be committed to

the hazard of a ballot." (Ibid., p. 520)

1791 - United Irishmen was launched at Belfast; in Dublin a sister lodge was founded. Simion

Butler, younger brother of Lord Mountgarret, was the first chairman. Napper Tandy,

"'with the frenzy-rolling eye' volunteered as Secretary." (Ibid., Vol. III, p. 21)

"Napper Tandy, the noisiest of demagogues, was its secretary."

1791 - Lord Westmoreland, in a letter against granting the Catholics the franchise, "Why

sacrifice an old & established policy to the intimidation of Napper Tandy & his

associates at the head of the lower ranks of the Catholics in Dublin, unconnected with

the nobility, landed gentry, or clergy of their communion?" (Ibid., p. 38)

1792 - The object of Napper Tandy & the Committee was to prevent moderate concessions, to

keep up the ferment. (Ibid., p. 43)

1792 - The Irish House of Commons session closed the middle of April. "Before the curtain fell

there was a mock-heroic passage at arms with the United Irishmen. Napper Tandy, not

liking the language in which the Society & himself had been spoken of, sent Toler, the

Solicitor-General, a challenge. The Irish laws of honor allowed a gentleman to refuse

such an invitation from a tradesman. Toler brought the letter before the House and an

officer was sent to arrest the offender & bring him to the bar for breach of privilege.

Napper slipped through a window & escaped... As the session neared its end Napper

appeared to challenge martyrdom when it would be inattended by inconvenience. On the

last day he was seen strutting through the streets toward College Green, intending to

present himself to the House. He was encountered by the Sergeant-at-Arms, & was

brought to the Bar, Tone sitting conspicuous in the uniform of the Whig Club in the front

of the gallery. At the motion of the Atty-Gen., Napper was committed to Newgate, to

which he was escorted by an adoring crowd. His imprisonment lasted but an hour or

two. On his release he commenced a prosecution against the Viceroy, by which Dublin

was entertained & excited for the remainder of the year. (Ibid., p. 55-57)

1795 - When Tone got to Philadelphia at the end of the summer, he found Napper Tandy

already there. (Froude, Vo. III, p. 195)

1796 - "Napper Tandy had fled" (when the leaders of the United Irishmen were arrested).

(Ibid., p. 184)

1797 - In Paris: "Napper Tandy, from America, giving out that he was some great one. Wolfe

Tone & the Lewines were civilians; Napper, who had commanded the Dublin Volunteer

Artillery, presented himself as an experienced officer. He had money. His sons still

carried on business in Dublin. He declared that when he set foot in Ireland it would be

the reappearance of Achilles; 30,000 soldiers would spring to his side."

(Ibid., p. 272)

1798 - "Napper Tandy, Lewines, and others of the Irish party in Paris, hearing that Humbert had

sailed [he landed on the N. coast of Co. Mayo, 22 nd of August, 1798, with 1,100 French;

with little support from the Irish, they were beaten by Lord Cornwallis & surrendered

Sept. 8 th at Ballinanuck], had followed in a separate vessel, hoping to be in time for the

revolution they expected would follow. At Rathlin Island [ Rutland] they learnt that all

was over, & they made their way out of reach of danger to Hamburgh."3 (Ibid., p. 492)

(Tone was with Hardy & Bompart on the "Hoche," which sailed from Brest on

Sept. 20 th. They were captured in the Lough Swilly on Oct. 10 th, after an

unsuccessful naval battle. Tone tried Nov. 10 & died a week later.)

1798 - Napper Tandy was arrested at Hamburgh at the instance of the English minister, sent to

Ireland and tried, but was spared as too contemptible to be worth punishing."

(Ibid., p. 496)

 

 

[James] Napper Tandy - and French Expedition to Ireland

Another version -

"He persuaded the Directory that he owned vast estates in Ireland & that 30,000 of the peasantry would rise the minute he set foot upon the island. He was given command of a corvette & landed on a small island off the coast of Donegal. The few fishermen who resided in the area immediately took to their boats in terror, but Tandy hoisted the Irish flag & issued a proclamation to a non-existent population urging all Irishmen "to strike from the blood-cemented thrones the murderer of their friends." Eight hours later he was carried back on board in a state of complete intoxication and the corvette sailed to Bergen. From Bergen Tandy sought to reach Paris by land, and on the evening of Nov. 22 he reached Hamburg in a snow storm & proceeded to the American arms. He was there arrested by Sir James Crawford and a posse of Hamburg police & put in irons. Sir James then persuaded the Hamburg Senate to deliver over Tandy's person & embark him upon a British man-of-war. Bonaparte, when he became First Consul, claimed that this was a violation of International Law & fined the Hamburg Senate the sum of four & a half million francs. The British government, feeling that they were on uncertain ground, first condemned Tandy to death and then released him. He returned to France as a hero & a martyr & died of dysentery at Bordeaux.

- Harold Nicolson, The Desire to Please, p. 173-744

 

 

Daniel O'Connell - Intro & Overview

(see [also] cards under Penal Laws & Johann Georg Kohl)

O'Connell, the founder of Irish nationalism, is the outstanding figure of the period. ...by the force of his personality, his great energy & enthusiasm, his power of organization, and his oratorical gifts, together with his great sympathy with the people, to whom, although a landed proprietor, he really belonged, he gained an enormous power over them. By playing on their emotions and arousing their ambitions, he welded them together & made them feel their importance... It was he who founded the Catholic Association, whose operations extended all over the country. It was he who built up a strong central fund by levying a "Catholic Rent." It was he who gained the cooperation of the Catholic priesthood. Eleven years after Catholic Emancipation had been secured in 1829 by an act that admitted Roman Catholics to Parliament, he founded his Association for the Repeal of the Union. The Protestant landlords still held the land & control of the police and magistracy; if the English support were withdrawn from them, the people were led to believe that they would regain their lands & succeed to their privileges. But Repeal was to them a mere catchword, for they were absorbed with their immediate grievances. Evictions had increased, & so had agrarian outrages...

O'Connell was the hero of the Irish people for having secured Catholic Emancipation, but his work for Repeal, despite his enormous mass meetings, & the large sums he collected, was not much of a success, for he was beginning to lose his influence. Since he was the first Catholic to be returned for an Irish constituency, he had been immensely popular at the time of the Clare elections (1828), a popularity which he tried to maintain by becoming Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nov. 8, 1840; but he suffered a severe setback when he called off a mass meeting set for Oct. 3, 1843 which was opposed by the government... The Repeal movement reached its zenith in 1843, when the Repeal Rent reached over €600 a week (3,000), but O'Connell soon fell out with the Young Ireland Party because of his timidity. In Feb. 1847 his health began to fail. He died in Genoa, en route to Rome, May 15, 1847.

...Carlyle, hearing him speak in London in 1846 called him "the chief quack of the world," & the "Demosthenes of Blarney."

- Constantia Maxwell, The Stranger in Ireland, p. 214-15 (Mil. Lib.)

 

Daniel O'Connell - Chronology

Balzac called him "the incarnation of a people."

 

"His unique gift to his own people was that he brought them hope & courage when they had

lost faith in themselves during the centuries of relentless religious persecution."

- p. 13 [Dunlop? see below]

 

1793 - Maurice O'Connell became Deputy-Governor of County Kerry after the Relief Act of

1793

1794 - Entered as a student at Lincoln's Inn. By Act of '93 a Catholic could be admitted to

the Bar, but was barred from the inner Bar, or any judicial appointment.

1796 - went to Dublin & studied

1798 - April: called to the Bar; in Kerry during uprising & ____. Returned to Dublin after it

was over.

1823 - Catholic Assoc. formed in Dublin; ___ all over Ireland - rent coll.

1825 - his uncle died, leaving him Derrynane & income of about $5000 [pounds?] a year.

1825 - Parliament passes law suppressing illegal societies in Ireland; new assoc. formed which

evaded law.

1828 - Sunday, Jan. 21: in 1500 Catholic churches meetings were held to support petition to

Parliament - estimated 1,500,000 men - later in each parish 2 churchwardens were set

up to collect the rent.

June: O'Connell elected to Parliament from Co. Clare.

1829 - Feb. 12 th: Assoc. dissolved itself under pressure; the government had voted to suppress

it; suppression to be followed by Catholic relief (Emancipation).

April 10 th: Emancipation Bill passed; included disenfranchisement of the 40-shilling

freeholders.

May: he was refused his seat in Commons because he refused to take the oath prescribed

before the Emancipation Act just passed (he was elected before the act).

July: he was returned unopposed.

1830 - Feb.: took his seat.

Summer: began agitation for Repeal; 2 societies formed suppressed.

1832-1835 - Question of tithes; Whiteboy outrages, result: Coercion Law passed in '35.

O'Connell dropped active work on Repeal as inopportune & was criticized at home.

1835 - T____ , "scum condensed of Irish bog!"

"Ruffian - coward - demagogue!"

"Spout thy filth - effuse thy slime;

slander is in the_ no crime."

1836 - his wife died

1837 - [Queen] Victoria - O'Connell enthusiastic about her; Melbourne passed a tithe law that

was unsatisfactory, as was the Poor Law passed.

1840 - April 18 th: founded the Repeal Assoc. in a public meeting Easter week. Meeting poorly

attended. Bulk of members paid 1 penny a month. Progress slow.

Oct. 5 th: meeting at Cork great success - Limerick - Ennis - Dublin

Oct. 14 th: Kilkenny 80,000, etc..

"He vowed before the captives' God to break the captives' chain,

To bind the broken heart & set the bondsman free again.

And fit was he our chief to be, in triumph or in need,

Who never wronged his deadliest foe, in thought, or word, or deed."

1841 - defeated for MP in Dublin (elected in Cork)

Nov. 1 st: elected Lord Mayor of Dublin (first R. Cath. so elected in the 150 years since

Battle of Boyne. In his address to the crowd after the election he pointed out that a

great victory had been won without riot, tumult, or bloodshed. Could not Repeal be

won the same way? During mayoralty agitation suspended - 1 st was Meath, Mar. 19 th -

30,000.

1843 - Announced the holding of a public meeting in every county. Apr., West Meath -

100,000; May, Cork - 500,000; Aug. 15 th, Tara - 1,000,000.

Oct. 8 th: Clontarf scheduled, people gathering when the afternoon of 7 th the government

announced (without warning) that they would prevent it by armed force. O'Connell

immediately called it off, sending messengers to Clontarf. A week later he & colleagues

arrested on charges of conspiracy to create disaffection. Bail accepted; trial set for Jan.

15 th, 1844.

1844 - trial; every R. Catholic struck off the jury; Feb. 12 th - guilty; May 30 th - judgement

passed: imprisonment for 12 months, fine $10,000. Imprisoned in Richmond Bridwell

& given every privilege. Appealed to House of Lords who reversed the decision.

Release sparked ovations.

1845 - Famine; wheat crop good & O'Connell urged the gov. to close the ports to exportation of

wheat; ignored.

1846 - Jan.: in Parliament O'Connell pleaded for help for Ireland.

Mar. 30: Coercion Act introduced in response to agrarian outrages. Failed to pass. Tory

gov. fell & Whigs came to power - O'Connell cooperated, thinking they would give

help. Young Ireland Party disapproved, insisting on physical force.

1847 - Jan.: left Ireland for last time. In Parliament made one last plea for Ireland & help for

the starving - a shadow of his former self (72).

April 15 th: died in Genoa on way to Rome.

 

Early in his career (1812) he said, "Incessant repetition is required to impress political truths upon the public mind. Men by always hearing the same things, insensibly associate them with received truisms. They find the facts at last reposing in a corner of their minds, and no more think of doubting them than if they formed part of their religious belief."

Catholic Assoc. - Beginning in the towns...little by little the organization spread to the neighboring parishes, & thence into the remotest parts of the country. A hundred associations sprang into existence...each forming & leading public opinion in the district in which it was located. Thus a means of communication was established between the leaders of the movement in Dublin & the peasantry scattered over the country. A spirit of inquiry was awakened in the masses of the people & a passion created in them for political discussion... The clergy too, animated by a few of their dignitaries, notably Bishop Doyle of Kildare, threw themselves, after a little hesitation, into the movement, thereby giving it a moral sanction of infinite value."

- Dunlop, p. 141-42

 

Daniel O'Connell - Clontarf Meeting

Greenville wrote, "The conduct of the government was certainly most extraordinary. Instead of "proclaiming" the meeting at once (when O'Connell announced it), nothing was done until the eleventh hour on the Saturday afternoon before the Sunday. Then the guns of the fort commanding Dublin Bay were trained on Clontarf, warships entered the Bay, & troops occupied the approaches to the meeting place.

- The Great Hunger, p. 17

 

 

Daniel O'Connell - Election

"When the polling began, they were led to the booths by their priests in disciplined bands. Here is a newspaper report:

 

Eight o'clock - Between 300 & 400 of John Ormsby Vandeleur's freeholders are now passing up the street to the courthouse, preceded by colors, every man with a green leaf in his hand, & amidst the loudest cheers of the townspeople. They are brought in by their clergy to vote for O'Connell.

Ten o'clock - Mr. M'Inerney, the priest of Feakle, just passed in at the head of a number of freeholders from that parish, carrying green boughs, & music before them.

Eleven o'clock - Another large body of men passed in, preceded by a green silk flag, Shamrocks wreathed in gold.

Mr. O'Connell has been chaired to the Court House and at the door implored the people to be true to their religion & their country.

Twelve o'clock - Rev. Mr. Murphy of Corofin is come in with Mr. Staunton Cahill, at the head of at least 500 men, decorated with green branches & walking in ranks."

 

The organizing skill of the Catholic Association had its inevitable affect. The gentry & the big farmers stood by Fitzgerald, but the small farmers deserted him almost en masse. O'Connell was elected by 2,057 votes against 982.

- J. H. Whyte, in The Course of Irish His., edited by Moody & Martin, p. 253-54 (Wab. Lib.)

 

 

Daniel O'Connell - Family Home

"In the vicinity of Cahirciveen is "Derrynane," the seat & birthplace of the late D. O'Connell, Esq., M.P.. It was originally a farmhouse; & has been added to from time to time, according to the increase of the property, or family, of its possessor. To determine the order of architecture to which it belongs would be, consequently, difficult. It is beautifully situated; & in its immediate neighborhood are the picturesque ruins of an abbey, founded in the 7 th cent. by the monks of St. Finbar.

- Halls, Vol. I, p. 269

 

 

Daniel O'Connell - Popular Perception

His place in history will never be estimated, for few have been so loved or so hated, or for stronger reasons. Never did a tribune rising to power lift his people to such sudden hope & success. Never did a champion leave his followers at his death & decline to a more terrible despair. Friend & foe admit his immensity. He was the greatest Irishman that ever lived, or seemingly could live. In his own person he contained the whole genius of the Celt... What he said in Parliament one day, Ireland re-echoed the next. To her he was all in all, her hero & her prophet, her Messiah & her strong deliverer.

The finest pen-sketch of O'Connell is by Mitchell, who says, "besides superhuman & subterhuman passions, yet withal, a boundless fund of masterly affectation & consummate histrionism, hating & loving heartily, outrageous in his merriment & passionate in his lamentation, he had the power to make other men hate or love, laugh or weep, at his good pleasure.

- Shane Leslie, in The Glories of Ireland, p. 157

 

 

Daniel O'Connell - Support of Priests

Sean O'Faolain has described this scene in his biography of O'Connell, based on an eyewitness account by Richard Lalor Sheil:

"Across the cropped fields the old priest waited for his flock. With a voice like subterranean thunder (says Sheil), he silenced the moving balls of tatters that called themselves men & women, 'the looped & windowed raggedness' of emerging Ireland. Then he drew to the simple altar, as rough-hewn as the chapel itself, recited Mass & spoke to them. He spoke in Irish, now gently as the wind, now wildly, now with a cold, impassioned sarcasm for some renegade wretch who had abandoned faith & country, now raising shouts of laughter from his congregation, but all the time growing more & more inflamed until the sweat shone on his skull and his eye burned. At last, rising to his height, he laid one hand on the altar, lifted the other to the roof tree, & in a voice of prophetic admonition bade them, by their land & their God, to vote for O'Connell. The shouts that answered told Sheil that 300 free-men had been born.

- Wm. V. Shannon, The Am. Irish, p. 20

 

 

Sir Robert Peel

1812-1818 - Peel appointed Chief Sec. (residence in Dublin); firmly opposed to any political

rights for Catholics.

1814 - Established an efficient police force (Peelers).

1816 - Wrote to Wm. Gregory, "I believe an honest despotic government would be by far the

fittest government for Ireland."

1841 - The conservatives returned to power with Peel as prime minister. O'Connell launched

the Repeal agitation, though he had organized the Loyal Nat. Repeal Association in

1840.

Peel irrevocably opposed to Repeal (speech before Clontarf), Course of Irish His., p.

2605

 

Quote

(before Clontarf)

On May 9, 1843, Peel said,

"There is no influence, no power, no authority which the prerogatives of the crown & the

exisiting law give the government, which shall not be exercised for the purpose of

maintaining the Union."

- J. H. Whyte, in The Course of Irish His., edited by Moore & Martin,

p. 260 (Wab. Lib.)

 

(Clontarf scheduled Oct. 8, 1843)

 

 

Political Subdivisions

1. Bede divided Ireland into North & South Scotia.

2. Early however it was divided into 5 divisions - in the reign of Henry II they were called

Connaught, Ulster, Leinster, N. & S. Munster.

3. These provinces in the reign of John were divided into counties. The reign of John saw the

division of Leinster & Munster. The division of the rest (2/3rds) were not completed until

300 years later, in the reigns of Elizabeth & Mary. The division into counties was in order

to hold as____s & appoint sherrif[s] to execute the King's writs, etc.., according to the laws

of England.

4. The counties were subdivided into baronies, in its original meaning being the honor & dignity

which gives title to a baron.

 

In short, the political subdivisions were an effort to superimpose English feudal law on unfeudal Ireland.

The division into baronies & half-baronies is at present (1840) of great practical value - the organization of the constabulary, the levying of taxes, etc...

- Halls, Vol. I, p. 159 note

 

The ancient political divisions obliterated now:

4 provinces - Leinster, Ulster, Munster, & Connaught

These subdivided into 32 counties (except exempt jurisdictions of Dublin, Cork,

Limerick, Kilkenny, Waterford, Galway, Carrickfergus, & Drogheda).

The counties are divided with 316 baronies.

The baronies are divided with 2,422 parishes.

The smallest political divisions are called townlands or ploughlands.

Donegal - baronies: 6; parishes: 51; acreable extent: 1,193,443

Mayo - baronies: 9; parishes: 73; acreable extent: 1,363,882

 

- Case of Ireland Stated, Sherlock, p. 15-186

 

 

Repeal [of political Union with Great Britain] - Non-violence

When [Daniel O'Connell] launched his Repeal agitation -

"The actual mode of carrying the repeal must be to augment the numbers of the Repeal Assoc. until it comprises four fifths of the inhabitants of Ireland... Such a combination was never yet resisted by any government, and never can [be]. We have arrived at a stage of society in which the peaceable combination of a people can easily render its wishes omnipotent."

- J. H. Whyte in The Course of Irish History, edited by Moore & Martin, p. 258 (Wab. Lib.)

 

Repeal - Johann Georg Kohl Commentary, 1842

He was immensely impressed by the poverty of the Irish peasant, & was not surprised at the disturbed state of the country... "Ruin, decay, rags, & misery are to be seen all through Ireland - not merely in the wild districts of Clare, Donegal, Mayo, & Kerry - where in truth, they present themselves in the greatest & most appalling forms - but equally throughout the most beautiful & fertile plains," & again he writes, "To him who has seen Ireland, no mode of life in any other part of Europe, however wretched, will seem pitiable."

- The Stranger in Ireland, Constantia Maxwell (1954), p. 290 (Mil. Lib.)

At Limerick he had seen posted up on every gate notices of a meeting to be held by the Liberator - "Repeal! Repeal! Repeal! Up, citizens of Limerick, & all Irishmen! Up for a separation from England!" To travel in Ireland & to remain ignorant of O'Connell, he remarks, "is next to impossible," and now he was to see the great man himself. [He] went to one of his big repeal meetings in the hall of the Corn Exchange in Dublin, on the walls of which was inscribed the motto, "Repeal is Erin's right & God's decree," & he found the place crowded to suffocation with people mainly in "rags." When O'Connell, who was driven through the streets in a magnificent carriage drawn by 2 dapple-grey horses, entered, he was greeted with terrific applause. His theme, as reported by Kohl, was that of all the political discourses of his life - the oppression of Ireland by the Saxon... "for forty years I have wished for but one thing, striven but for one cause - to obtain justice for Ireland, & to shake off the tyranny of England...There is but one means for the complete rescue of Ireland, and that is Repeal; but one thing on which the welfare of all depends - Repeal! With Repeal you will be happy, with Repeal you will become rich, with Repeal you will obtain all that you desire and strive for..." Kohl duly noted the thunderous applause with which the speech was received, as also the fact that the orator was so affected by his own eloquence that he was reduced to tears. O'Connell had sacrificed a large income at the Irish Bar when he had left it to become a professional agitator, & both to compensate himself & to pay the expenses connected with his campaign, raised from the people what he called his "rent," a sum which is said to have averaged at one time as much as 13,000 pounds a year. Kohl did not approve of the money box in which he collected his tribute so prominently displayed at the meeting.

- Ibid., p. 86-87

 

 

[Theobald] Wolfe Tone

The French Revolution sparked in Ireland the ideal of an Irish republic established by physical force... A young Protestant lawyer, Wolfe Tone, embodied their ideal. Theobald Wolfe Tone, descendant of Cromwellian stock, came the closest in rebellious spirit to the old Gaelic chieftans, & this character attracted to him in his day, & in later generations to his memory & ideal, the unreconstructed Gael in every land... He always kept before his eyes a plan for a united Ireland, not a Catholic Ireland or a Protestant Ireland. As an individual he was the unusual revolutionary; he had a merry sense of humor & a bright gaiety.

Wolfe Tone is very important in any study of the Catholic Irish in America. His was the name invoked by that segment which repudiated peaceful agitation as an approach to Irish freedom and stood for revolution & physical force. He was the godfather of the secret brotherhoods, republican organizations, & in short, the Fenian ideal. He was the direct ancestor of Republican Ireland.

- Geo. Patton, To the G. Door, p. 33

 

 

Young Ireland Movement

Inception - Oct. 1842, by the foundation of the "Nation." Essentially a literary movement. Threw in with Repeal [Movement]. Hero was [Wolf] Tone. For O'Connell a certain amount of respect, mixed with contempt.

 

 

1 J. Stirling Coyne, Nathaniel Parker Willis, and W. H. Bartlett, The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland, Vol. IandII. London: J. S. Virtue, 1842.

 

2 James Napper Tandy (1740-1803); Irish nationalist leader. He was on Arranmore Island in September of 1798.

3 Brackets in this paragraph appear in original.

4 Sir Harold George Nicolson, The Desire to Please: The Story of Hamilton Rowan and the United Irishmen. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1943.

5 This may be T. W. Moody and F. X. Martin, eds., The Course of Irish History. New York: Weybright and Talley, 1967.

6 Peter T. Sherlock, The Case of Ireland Stated Historically, From the Earliest Times to the Present; Together with a Gazetteer, Geographical, Descriptive, and Statistical . Chicago, IL: P. T. Sherlock, 1880.