All Valiant Dust: An Irishman Abroad

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Ireland Connolly, S. An Irish History, Jackson, Alvin. Culture and Nationalism in Ireland Dwan, David. A Journey in Ireland Ewart, Wilfrid, Wolfe Tone Elliott, Marianne, A History of Ulster Bardon, Jonathan, The Two Irelands, Fitzpatrick, David. Tom Barry Ryan, Meda.

Military History Jeffery, Keith. Military History Bartlett, Thomas. The End of Hidden Ireland: Ireland and the American Emigration, Schrier, Arnold. The Irish Counter-Revolution, Emigration From Europe, Baines, Dudley, Annals of the Labouring Poor: Bristol in the 's Winstone, Reece. The Search for Beulah Land: Clans and Chiefs Grimble, Ian. An Interpretive Essay Dunkley, Peter, Oxfordshire and Berkshire Bond, James. American Industry and the European Immigrant: Breakfast the Night Before: A Companion to Scottish History: Grandmother and Wolfe Tone Butler, Hubert. Connemara Robinson, Tim, Arthur Edwin , British Emigration, Murdoch, Alexander.

Memoir, Memory, and Dunne, Tom, Story of a Girl Mac Intyre, Tom, Irish First Names Coghlan, Ronan. Representations of British Emigration, Colonisation and Settlement: Imagining Empire, Grant, Robert, In a New Land: From Artisans to Paupers: American History Smith, Wilber Hazleton, An Autobiography Bernelle, Agnes. The Irish Famine, Kinealy, Christine. Skelligside Kirby, Michael, The Scots in South Africa: John MacDonald , Old Age in English History: An Illustrated Life Arnold, Bruce.

Patrick Sellar and the Highland Clearances: Swing, Speenhamland and Rural Social Relations: Nineteenth Century King, Carla. Social History Gray, John. Parish Economies of Welfare, Broad, John. Continuity and Change in English Rural Society: Visitation of Ireland Howard, Joseph Jackson, Focus on Joyce Senn, Fritz. Irish Emigration Fitzpatrick, David. Life in Ireland Cullen, L. Australia, Britain, and Migration, Steel and Hosiery, Erickson, Charlotte, But this great emigration included many, besides soldiers, who preferred to leave Ireland rather than remain in it, subject to the restrictions WilUam III, in his blind hatred of the Roman Catholics, proceeded to impose on them.

His penal laws in these days seem to us so childishly spiteful and unfair, that we can only wonder how any Parliament of even tolerably educated and rational men could ever have approved them. Yet, unthinkable as it is, many of these penal laws remained in force till well on in Victoria's reign. The most important of them were the following — 1. No Catholic could sit in the Irish Parhament or vote members for it. All Catholics were excluded from the Army, Navy, corporations, magistracy, bar, bench, grand juries and vestries. No Catholic could be a sheriff, soldier, gamekeeper, or constable.

No Catholic could possess firearms under penalty of severe fines, imprisonment, whipping, or pillory, and their houses might at any time be searched by two justices or sheriffs. No Catholic could receive any kind of education whatever this should be digested by those people who are wont to remark on the ignorant Irish peasants ; if they are ignorant, it was the English who made them so ; neither were his children allowed to attend school.

No Catholic could purchase land, or inherit it, or receive it as a gift from a Protestant, or hold a life annuity, or a lease, for more than 31 years, or any lease on such terms as that the profits of the land exceeded one-third the value of the land. If a Catholic bought land, the first Protestant who chose to inform against him at once became the proprietor.

The eldest son of a Catholic, upon renouncing his creed and becoming a Protestant, immediately took over the whole estate of his father, who was reduced to the position of a tenant on sufferance. Any wife renouncing the Catholic Faith and becom- ing a Protestant obtained a certain proportion of her husband's property, and was entirely freed from his control. Any child apostatising was at once taken out of his father's hands and given a share of his father's property.

Any marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant was nuU and void ; whichever of the two was Protestant could leave the other at wiU and had sole control of the children. A Protestant might seduce a Catholic's wife with impunity, and the Catholic was denied all means of obtaining redress. Concerning these statutes, Mr. Justin McCarthy remarks, "It is hard for a more enlightened age to believe that such laws as these were ever passed, or, being passed, were ever practised.

It was well said that the penal code would not have been practised in hell, or it would have overturned the kingdom of Beelzebub. From the Bench, Lord Chancellor Bowes and Chief Justice Robinson, both of whom nowadays would rightly be in Broadmoor, decreed that no such person as an Irish Roman Catholic existed, and that no Protestant could be legally convicted for doing an3d;hing he chose to a Papist ; and from the pulpit. Bishop Dopping of Meath announced that it was the King and Parliament's wish that no one should keep any faith with a Roman Catholic. Nor was this all. In , all trade between Ireland and the Colonies was forbidden ; in fact every- thing was done that could be done to render it impossible for any Irishman to live in Ireland, and, in these circum- stances, aU who could scrape together the money and were not hopelessly tied to the land left.

Many went to America to found there fresh towns and villages, whilst not a few joined their friends and relatives on the Continent. In all, including those already mentioned, this third great exodus totalled up to just a half of the entire Celtic population of Ireland, some hundred thousand having been slain in battle or massacred in the war of Some have said that William III and his Ministers, in their treatment of the Irish, must have been inspired by Satan, but, if so, Satan assuredly was laughing at them up his sleeve, for though, by forcing the Irish to migrate to France and America, they thought they were doing the finest thing in the world for England, in reality they were doing England the greatest possible harm.

The descendants of these emigrants completely turned the tide against the English at Fontenoy, and they also turned the scales in the final issues of the American War of Independence. This may be accounted for by its geographical position. The port of Bristol was then the nearest of any size in England to Ireland, hence it was to Bristol, naturally, that most Irish farmers and merchants sent their produce to be sold.

Cork skippers, in saffron-coloured jerseys and high jack -boots, brought cargoes of cattle and sheep, stowed away in quantities that seemed out of all pro- portion to the size of their quaintly rigged forty-ton ships, and, disembarking them at the wharves alongside the Hotwells, drove them over the cobble-lined streets to the big market almost in the centre of the city. These skippers spoke but little English — and that with a strong " roUing " accent — were occasionally seen drunk, and rarely slept anywhere save on their ships, or, if the weather permitted, under the lofty trees that lined either shore of the Avon.

Of their skiU as seamen and pilots much might be said. The Irish Sea then, as now, was notoriously rough at times, but, despite the diminutive size of their vessels, these Celtic mariners appear to have met with few disasters, and to have weathered both sea and channel with the same success as they navigated the dangerous, winding mud-banks of the Bristol river.

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Dunstan was educated by the Irish monks of Glastonbury, and King Alfred, rather than be taught by any of his own countrymen, sent to Glastonbury for one of its Irish inmates. To monks and sailors the Irish population in Bristol was almost exclusively confined for many years ; but, with the termination of the war with Wales, a new element arrived. Irish soldiers, who had come over to Wales under Norman Irish leaders to fight on behalf of the English, when hostilities ceased, were cast adrift and wandered about in all directions. Some got lost in the mountains and died from want and exposure, some were murdered by the Welsh, and some, aiming for the south, found refuge in the Forest of Dean, where the simple shepherds and wood-choppers gave them food and shelter, and advised them to go to Bristol.

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Accordingly, keeping the shining, yellow waters of the Severn well in sight, they tramped along the Glo'ster shores of that river till they came pretty well to where Pilning now is, when they struck inland, and, passing through Almonds- bury and Henbury, reached Bristol by the old Westbury- on-Trim road. Once in Bristol, their troubles may be said to have ended, for they speedily found their way to the quays, where those who wished to return to their native land were gladly taken on board the Irish cargo ships, and in most cases given a free passage to Ireland.

But, despite these restrictions, and the horrible atrocities perpetrated in Ireland by a long succession of English generals, the relations between the Irish traders and Bristol continued to be friendly, and nothing occurred to mar the harmony, till the advent of the first batch of boy and girl slaves from Ulster and Connaught. At first, the Irish residents in Bristol could not believe that the gangs of weeping, half-starved looking children whom they saw brought out of the ships in what is now known as Cumberland Basin, and marshalled through the streets to the ordinary cattle market, were to be sold as slaves.

They thought it was some grim hoax, grimmer and ruder than any their friends, the Bristolians, had hitherto played on them ; and it was not until they saw the whip fall on the children's backs, and heard the brutal language of those escorting them, that they realized the truth. Their indignation then knew no bounds ; they rushed in an angry crowd to the Mayor, but he could do nothing ; Cromwell had sanctioned the work ; there was much money in it ; and it must go on. And go on it did. Every week brought fresh human cargoes, and the natives of Bristol, when they had got over their first shock of horror and astonishment, flocked to see the exhibition with the same curiosity that prompted them to attend the executions of their feUow-citizens.

Few towns in England have witnessed such an immense amount of suffering as Bristol — happily, few towns can reveal such black spots in their histories. Yet, apart from this one foul stain, the conduct of the Bristolians has ever been fair and hospitable to the Irish.

Indeed, in no city in England have they been better received or made truer friends. As might be expected, the selling of Irish slaves in Bristol acted as a deterrent to the Irish, who would otherwise have visited the city ; and so long as that abominable traffic lasted the Celtic Colony in Bristol was very smaU. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, when prejudice against the Roman Catholic Irish — never so pronounced in Bristol as in many other towns in England — began to decline, Irish peasants, many of whom belonged to old Celtic families that had been stripped of their property and reduced to beggary by the English, went to Bristol by various routes, and obtained employment in the coal mines and stone quarries, and on the wharves.

To-day Bristol contains many thousands of people possessing Irish names or having strong Irish blood in them ; but, unlike their compatriots in Glasgow and Liverpool, the Irish in Bristol have no special quarter, they are located everywhere, and follow every occupation. The town that, in all probability, claims the next closest and oldest intimacy with Ireland is Liverpool.

Though there is no actual record to show when the first Irish citizen came to Liverpool, there are evidences which go a long way towards proving that there was, at least, some intercourse between that port and Dublin as far back as the twelfth century. There does not appear, however, to have been an Irish settlement of any size in Liverpool till well on in the fifteenth century, when " Irish grain " began to be imported in large quantities.

Up to the reign of Charles I, the relationship between the natives of Liverpool and the Irish was cordial enough, but, with the rise of Puri- tanism, this friendly feeling began to diminish. The Irish often were caUed malignants and Papists, usually accompanied by foul epithets, and it was not long before their priests were stoned and assaults were made on their places of worship during divine service.

When they retaliated, which they were compelled to do in self-defence, the authorities were sent for, a riot was declared, and troops were at once called out ; and, as the soldiers had orders to be careful whom they touched, the only persons who suffered at their hands were the Irish, many of whom were kiUed outright, whilst others were arrested, flogged and piUoried. This state of affairs went on almost unremittingly all through the latter portion of Charles I's reign and the Common- wealth, reaching a climax at the time of the Titus Oates scare, when practically all Liverpool turned out to attack the Irish, and daily scenes of the most disgraceful nature occurred.

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The priests were mobbed, stoned, whipped, and many of them tortured to death, and their houses entirely demolished ; scores of Catholic women were violated and then murdered, whilst their children were 40 THE IRISH ABROAD knocked on the head and tossed from windows ; whole rows of CathoHc houses were seized, and, their owners having been shut up inside them, they were set iire to and reduced to ashes.

With the exposure and trial of Titus Gates, the fury of the Protestants against the Irish populace somewhat abated, though the feeling against them still continued to run high. John Denvir, in his Irish in Britain pub. At last, a sufficient sum of money being collected, a piece of land, known as the Harkirke estate, after much persuasion and difficulty, was bought at Crosby, and thenceforth used as the Irish Catholic Cemetery. After the commencement of the eighteenth century, the attitude of the people towards the Irish was a little improved.

In there was a temporary reaction of feehng against the CathoHcs ; the Lord George Gordon riots in London found their answering echoes in all parts of the country, and much havoc was wrought in the Irish settlement in Liverpool by mobs of drunken Protestant fanatics, who only desisted in their cruel and wanton work of destruction through fear of the troops. The same sort of thing, only on a smaller scale, had happened in after the retreat of the Young Pretender from Derby, when the joy of the Protestants at the overthrow of the Cathohc claimant to the Throne's cause found vent in attacks on the Irish Colonies in London, Liverpool, and elsewhere ; in , after the failure of the Irish Rising ; in , when the Orangemen, unable to restrain their religious zeal during their anniversary fete, made a sudden and quite unprovoked attack on the Catholic quarter, chiefly in Tithebarn Street, Dale Street, White- chapel and Park Lane ; in , when MacManus, Dr.

Murphy, and other sympathisers with the Chartists urged a rising in aid of Feargus O'Connor in London, and a general insurrection in Ireland ; and again, in , when the Pope made Bishop Wiseman a Cardinal and made a new Hierarchy in England. This act of the Vatican led to a storm of indignation throughout the country. A climax was reached through the inflammatory speeches of Lords Beaumont and Camoys, which led to a savage affray in Birkenhead, From statements made by unbiassed persons at the time, it appears that a number of Irish attended an Anti-Catholic meeting outside the Town Hall, and showed their resentment to the violent denun- ciations of the Pope and Cardinal Wiseman by vigorous shouting and booing.

This led to a demonstration from the other party, and, matters becoming threatening, a priest called Father Brown, perceiving that many of the Catholics had brought weapons, persuaded them to give them up to him and go home peacefully. This they were about to do, when the police, seeing them move, and, presumably, thinking they were bent on mischief, suddenly and without any warning, charged them.

Batons were freely used, and heads as freely cracked, several people — including one well-known Birk- enhead tradesman — being knocked down and severely injured. When once they had recovered from their astonishment at the unexpectedness of the assault, the Irishmen speedily pulled themselves together, and, roused to a pitch of the highest indignation at the utter unprovokedness of the attack, rushed at the police and scattered them to the four winds of heaven. Twenty policemen were rendered insensible, and two were rather badly hurt. A regular panic then took place in which half the town apparently shared.

Some cried for more policemen, some for the military, and, when messengers were dispatched to Col. Sir Edward Cust's house to ask his assistance, he was found hiding under the drawing- room table. Brown, use your influence with these dreadful Irish, and calm them, or we shall all be torn to pieces. Jackson, and only alluded to as that " confounded Papist," at once walked into the midst of the mel6e and held up his hands. At first everyone was too intent on giving and parrying blows to notice him, but in a very little while he had attracted attention, and, after listening to a word or two of advice from him, all the Irish com- batants withdrew from the skirmish and walked quietly home.

In the newspaper reports of the affair, all the credit for restoring peace was given to Mr.

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Jackson and his brother magistrates. Also, the character of the Irish was cleared, and anything further in the way of Justice could hardly be expected in those days. This may be regarded as the last serious disturbance with the Irish in Liverpool, although from time to time, notably in , on the occasion of the Fenian rising, and in the early '80's, several demonstrations, which threatened to become grave, took place.

Owing to the convenience of its situation, as well as to the age of its Irish Colony, Liverpool has always been closely connected with all Ireland's national movements. Also, in , when the Tithe and Land Question in Ireland called into existence the earliest of the secret Associations of Ribbonism, namely, the Shanavests and Caravats, branches of both these Orders were established in Liverpool ; and, later on, Daniel O'Connell, the great agitator for Catholic Emancipation, drew many of his ablest recruits and much of his money from Liverpool, which not only he, but nearly all the eminent Irishmen connected with the Catholic Emancipation movement, at one time or another visited.

Following in the wake of the agitation for Catholic Emancipation came that for the repeal of the Union, which was started by O'Connell in This, too, found many of its most ardent supporters in Liverpool, not only among the Irish poor, of whom practically all were Repealers, but also among the rich ; and when the chief organ of the cause, namely.

The Nation, was founded in by Gavan Duffy, John Blake Dillon, and Thomas Davis, the wildest enthusiasm prevailed in all parts of the city, thousands of copies of the paper being sold and thousands more ordered. The Young Irelanders had branches both in Liverpool and Birkenhead, and some of the most powerful and violent revolutionary speeches of the Mitchel faction were delivered by Terence BeUew MacManus, at that time a shipping agent, in a parlour of a private house in Circus Street. MacManus then sailed for Ireland ; and at Killenaule joined Smith O'Brien, Meagher, and O'Donoghue, whose followers, numbering six or seven hundred at the most, and composed entirely of the rawest peasants, he helped to drill.

Temporary barracks had already been erected, but the leaders were disappointed — instead of half Ireland flocking to join them, each morning saw the addition only of some six or seven recruits, and, despite the fact that the bitter feeling against England was more intense then — and with good reason — than it had been since Emmet's death, the movement was a failure.

The police, ready at any moment to strike, came down on the insurgents when they least expected it, surrounded them in a cabbage field at Ballingarry, and after the exchange of a few shots put them to flight. All the leaders were captured either on the spot or directly afterwards, and MacManus was sentenced to transpor- tation for life to Australia. He escaped, however, and succeeded in reaching California, where he remained till his death in His remains were taken to Ireland, and, amidst a great demonstration on the part of all Nationalists, buried at Glasnevin Cemetery.

Having the good fortune to escape, he reached the United States in safety, where he distinguished himself, together with Meagher and other leaders of the '48, in the Civil War of Another contemporary leader of the Irish was Feargus O'Connor, who was also associated with Liverpool, though never actually residing there. After his rupture with the Repeal Party in , O'Connor returned to the North of England, and made Liverpool one of the centres for the Chartist Movement, of which he speedily became the recognized head.

The Northern Star, which was chiefly written by the Liverpool Irish, not only had branch offices in Liverpool but depended on Liverpool for the greater portion of its circulation, and, despite the fact that many looked upon O'Connor as merely a windbag, he was extremely popular throughout the North of England, especially in Liverpool, where many English as well as Irish embraced his cause. During his imprisonment for sedition in York Castle, where he was treated with unnecessary severity, the greatest sympathy was expressed for him in Liverpool ; plans were daily concerted for his rescue, and hundreds of people paraded the streets nightly, chanting patriotic and revolutionary songs that had been mostly written round him.

On his release, he was returned with a huge majority for Nottingham, which constituency he continued to represent till , when, his brain giving way through stress of work, he was committed to a private asylum. His insanity was undoubtedly increased by the cruelties perpetrated on him in York prison, where, according to his own evidence, he was submitted to all sorts of mediaeval tortures, these tortures being undoubtedly intended to perpetuate his madness, and so prevent him being any further nuisance to the Government. The termination of the '48 Rising and that of the Chartists saw the beginning of fresh phases in the Young Ireland movement.

John O'Mahony, one of the fugitives from Ballingarry, after escaping to Paris, where he lived for some time, went over to the United States, and there founded the Fenian Society, an Irish Revolutionary Bro- therhood, generally known as the I. In Ireland O'Mahony found an imitator in his friend and former colleague, James Stephens, who, in , started at Skibbereen the Phoenix National and Literary Society, which was in reality an offshoot of the I. The movement gained extraordinary popu- larity, and spread not only aU over Ireland but into England, where London, Liverpool and Manchester became its chief centres.

In Liverpool the two earliest branches of the I. Among the local Fenians destined to play permanent parts in the I. The great Fenian Rising in was principally pioneered in Liverpool ; most of the arms and ammunition for the cause were stored there ; and Allen, Larkin and O'Brien all lived in Liverpool at one time or another, as also did that member of the LR.

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After the Fenian Rising in '67, Liverpool became tolerably quiet, and, though many additional branches of the various Irish secret societies sprang up there, nothing further in the nature of a serious riot occurred. In the early '80's there were one or two dynamite outrages in Birkenhead and Liverpool, but they passed without any very grave consequences, and proved to be the work of irresponsible persons, and perpetrated without the sanction of any of the organisations.

After the famine of a huge migration to Liverpool sent the Irish population in that city up to over 80,, and the exorbitant rent charged for even the meanest houses and rooms caused a terrible amount of over- crowding, the consequent suffering of these poor immi- grants being indescribable. It was no unusual thing for twenty or thirty people to be crowded together in one room, generally a cellar, deep down, dark and ill-venti- lated, full of rats and cockroaches, and considered by the owners too damp and rank for the storage of any kind of goods ; yet for such villainous accommodation fancy prices were charged, and, unless the rent was forthcoming THE IRISH IN BRISTOL, ETC.

Had these immigrants faced these haidships in a normal state of health, more might have survived, but considering their half-starved and, in many cases, feverish condition at the time they landed — owing to the potato famine — one cannot be surprised that, out of the 60, who came to Liverpool from Ireland between the years and , over 10, died within six months of their disembarkation.

Incredible as it may seem, the authorities were often so adverse and dilatory with regard to the burial of these poor wretches, that their corpses had to remain for weeks in the cellars where they died and where their less for- funate companions still lived. Later on, to provide accommodation for the Irish who still continued to come over, long rows of houses were hastily run up, usually on sites that present-day sanitary inspectors would condemn off-hand, and for these jerry-built erections rents out of all proportion to their value were demanded.

None of these so-caUed houses had any conveniences whatever, the rooms, mere boxes, were low, ill-lighted and ill- ventilated — the windows being little bigger than loop- holes ; there were no kitchens in the proper sense, only rooms darker and smaller than the rest, containing a grate, which by no stretch of the imagination could be associated with cooking ; and one out-door lavatory usually served for half the street. Most of these tene- ments of the back-to-back order were built by Liverpool business men — many of them Jews — whose descendants have waxed fat on their vile speculations.

Miserable as was the condition of the inmates of this quarter, their lot would have been even worse had it not been for the incessant labours of the Roman Catholic priests, whose ceaseless and unselfish toil — for they receive but the scantiest remittance — on behalf of the Liverpool Irish poor has been little short of heroic. The many instances in which these men, at the imminent risk of their lives, had visited pestilential cellars in order to administer Communion to the sick and bring them nourishing food and wine, would fill many volumes, and would win admiration from all but the blindest and most fanatical bigots.

Here, too, mention must be made of the admir- able work done in the Irish quarter by certain of the present-day Anglican clergy.

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All Valiant Dust: An Irishman Abroad - Kindle edition by Peter Ross, Ulick O' Connor. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. For many of its participants, the Second World War was the most intense period of their lives. All Valiant Dust is a young Irishman's experience of war, recounted .

The Irish did not migrate to Manchester till some time after they first went to Liverpool. In the year , or thereabouts, Irish merchants, connected chiefly with the woollen trade, began to come over ; but there was nothing in the form of an actual colony in Manchester till some thirty or so years later, when, the birth of new industries and the development of old ones creating a large demand for labour, workmen were quickly sought for among the Irish population in Liverpool, reluctance in employing them being readily overcome by the fact that extreme poverty and privation rendered them willing to accept any wages, however meagre.

The series of agitations that broke out from time to time against the Roman Catholics in London and Liver- pool had their counterparts in Manchester, though, perhaps, in a modified degree ; and Manchester as well as Liverpool played its part with regard to the various movements for the realization of Irish separation and independence. In the days of Ribbonism, Manchester boasted of many Shanavests and Caravats, and members of other Orders, who met in one another's cellars to discuss the grievances of relatives in Ireland, and then rushed up into the street to repel the sudden inroads of bands of immigrant Orangemen, stirred up to mihtancy by the frenzied words of their Presbyterian pastors.

Many an old quarrel was fought out to the bitter end under the grim shadows of those jerry-built Manchester houses, and great was the 52 THE IRISH ABROAD tearful moaning, the loud groaning, and the keening that prevailed after the marauders had withdrawn, and motionless recumbent figures, all bashed and bloody, marked the scene of the recent combat. None knew — except those engaged in them — of the awful tragedies these fights involved ; and none — outside these Irish q uarters — cared.

In , when the Repeal Association was founded, the Irish in Manchester were among those who contributed most liberally to its support. In there was a great rally round Feargus O'Connor, who was immensely popular among the poor in Manchester, and a large body of Irish and English Chartists set out, simultaneously with those in Liverpool, to join him. The founding of the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood the I. The local central branch of the Irish I.

Manchester played an important role both in the Fenian Affair of — which ended in the arrest of James Stephens, mainly through a subtle trick on the part of the Man- chester police — and in the Rising of , when, for awhile, all eyes were focussed on it. It was betrayed, and the local principals concerned in it were arrested through the agency of spies employed by the Manchester police ; and it was in Manchester that the scuffle to effect the rescue of the prisoners, which resulted in the unfortunate shooting of a police constable and the subsequent hanging of Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien, " the Manchester Martyrs," also took place.

Since then, Manchester, as far as the Irish are concerned, has been more tranquil, although a large percentage of its Irish Colony have always been — and still are — pronounced members of the Clan-na-Gael. The potato famines and evictions that led to so large a migration of the Irish to Liverpool in the '40's and '50's, were also mainly responsible for the first migration of the Irish to Manchester. In later years, owing to the miserable wages paid to the manual labourer, thousands have been driven out of Ireland and forced to seek their living elsewhere. Those that could not afford to go to Australia or America have come to England, and with the prospect of obtaining employment at Manchester and Liverpool, where the wages for dockers, porters, and factory hands are incomparably better than in their own country, it is there that they have naturally settled.

As navvies, the men from Connaught were unbeatable ; thousands were employed on the railroads and in quarries round about Manchester and Liverpool, and a consider- able number were engaged for the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal, As much has been done of late in Manchester to improve the conditions of the labouring classes, the lot of the Irishman has naturally changed for the better. Also the inter-marrying between the more wealthy of the Irish and the Manchester English has almost eradi- cated racial feehng ; at any rate, so little does it count with the bulk of the professional and business class of Irish in Manchester, that the majority are in favour of the continuation of the Union.

It is not so with the poor Irish ; their religion on the one hand, and on the other black and bitter memories of past days, handed down from one generation to another, and constantly alluded to in speeches and debates at the meetings of their secret societies, have combined in keeping up their racial differences, and in perpetuating their racial sentiments and antipathies.

In aU probability, this early date saw the commence- ment of the first Irish Settlement in London. Almost entirely composed of monks, this colony flourished and increased through fresh immigration, till the Anglo- Saxons totally destroyed the city of London, and exter- minated all its inhabitants. The whole country conquered by these robbers, heathenism and barbarity again held sway in it until a second band of Irish missionaries, nothing daunted by the innumerable dangers that faced them, came to England, and eventually succeeded in re-establishing there the Church and creed they so much loved.

According to some authorities, London was won back to Christianity by St. Finnian, who, accompanied by a party of some twelve or so young Irish priests, visited the city in, or about, the year a. Although, contemporaneously with these monks, Irish traders came to London, not infrequently in Irish ships, to sell their home products, but few seemed to have settled there, and from first to last the nature of the colony remained ecclesiastical.

It was not until the end of the twelfth century that the Irish monks began to leave the country they had done so much for, and their exodus, owing to the English invasion of Ireland, and the consequent change of relationship between the two countries, soon became so rapid and complete that, in the course of a very few years, the colony in London was extinct.

Irishmen of another type now began to come over.

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Chieftains, conspicuous amongst whom were the O'Neills and the O'Donnells, prompted solely by political motives, took up their abode — often for in- definite periods — in London's gayest quarters, whilst Irish seamen, finding their way to London in Anglo- Norman ships, lodged in the numerous small and iU-kept houses that crowded the banks of the Thames between Old Wapping and Blackfriars ; and added to this moving colony were numbers of Irishmen whom the various wars, civil and foreign, brought to England under Norman leaders. The Irish also participated in the insurrection of Lambert Simnel in , when they fought at Stoke under John of Lincoln ; and in the to Rising of Perkin Warbeck, when they fought for the latter in various parts of England.

When the wars were over and their services were no longer required, those who were able returned to Ireland, whilst most of the remainder tramped to London, and, taking up their abode among their fellow-countrymen on the banks of the Thames, engaged in whatever kind of work they could obtain. This river colony, in fluctuating numbers, continued to be constituted mainly of seamen and ex-soldiers, till weU into the sixteenth century, when the military element in it died out.

Traders now began to settle in London, preferring the quieter but more costly neighbourhood of Smithfield and St. Giles, Cripplegate ; and the Irish in London continued to be composed chiefly of merchants and sailors, till the seventeenth century was well in progress, when, for the first time, there came over a sprinkling of men who read for the bar, wrote, acted, or sought for clerkships.

As may be noted, the new immigrants did not congregate in any special district in order to be closely in touch with one another, but their sympathies being more diversified than those of the poorer class Irish they drifted apart, and each individual chose for himself the environment which best suited his tastes or vocation. From , during the progress of the Civil War, the soldier element was once more in evidence. In September, , four Irish regiments, each of about men, but with no Celtic-Irish officers, were dispatched from Ireland by Ormonde to the assistance of Charles.

About were kiUed, 1, taken prisoners, and the remainder fled to Lancashire and joined Prince Rupert.

Irish Literature in English : The Year's Work, Autumn 1991 - Autumn 1992

Number 10 Jackson will face Irish province tomorrow night for first time since move to France. Fire on the Hill, Headline, , p. Story of a Girl Mac Intyre, Tom, Up She Flew, Galway, Salmon, , 92 p. Rhymes from a Belfast Childhood, Belfast, Apple-.

The Prince already had a few score of Irishmen with him, several of whom were members of the old representative Irish clans, and nearly all of whom had had experience in fighting on the Continent. They startled the stohd Parliamentarian yeomen by the mad impulse of their charges, but at Marston Moor they lost heavily, were at length surrounded by an overwhelming number of Cromwell's Ironsides, and almost annihilated. What few survived and escaped capture rode with Prince Rupert from the battlefield, fought again at Naseby, and, after following the fortunes of the Prince till his surrender at Bristol, 10th September, , left him to join Montrose's Irish Brigade in Scotland.

Of those who were captured at Marston Moor, some were executed off-hand, whilst others, eventually brought to London, were lodged in one or other of the jails like common felons. On the cessation of hostilities, those who had survived the abominable hardships and priva- tions to which they had been subjected in small, foul, foetid, over-crowded dungeons, being unable to return to Ireland through lack of means, sought lodgings, mostly, in the poorest back streets of Whitefriars, where they drifted into all kinds of occupations.

In February, , a grim tragedy was enacted in London, in which two Irish ex-soldiers, Connor Maguire and MacMahon, were the unfortunate principals. In he entered enthusiastically into Sir Phelim O'Neill's plan for a general insurrection, and for the expulsion of the Anglo-Scotch robbers from Ulster. At the conferences, many of which were held in his rooms at Mr.

Unhappily for Maguire the plot was betrayed, and, whilst the majority of the conspirators escaped, he was arrested. After being incarcerated in Dublin Castle for a year, he was brought over to England in company with his friend MacMahon, and lodged in the Tower of London. During their imprisonment they were more than once submitted to the rack, and made to undergo other hideous forms of cruelty, equally dear to Charles's heart. After being confined for two years, they succeeded in escaping, and hid in a house in Drury Lane, and would probably have got right away to the Continent, had it not been for MacMahon, who, unable to withstand the sight of some very tempting-looking oysters, called to their vendor from his bedroom window.

By an extraordinary piece of ill-luck someone happened to be passing by at the moment who recognized his voice and, on his giving the alarm, the two were at once recaptured and placed once again in their old quarters. Both of them were brought up for trial for high treason at the King's Bench on the 11th November, Maguire pleaded his right to be tried by his peers in Ireland: Despite his youth, inexperience, and debility incurred through his sufferings, he defended himself bravely, and urged so many technical objections that the case was prolonged for a second day.

Despite their request, the consolation of a priest was denied to them, and, although it was contrary to custom, they were both subjected to many indignities and torments after being led back to prison. On the morning of the 20th of February, , they were both rudely disturbed by their jailers, who, after buffeting them soundly, when they again petitioned for a priest, threw them on the ground and bound them, face uppermost, on hurdles attached by long ropes to horses.

They were then dragged along the ground over cobble stones and ruts, through dust and mire, down street after street, till they came to Tyburn, where a huge crowd of laughing, jeering Londoners, men, women and children, had assembled to see " the sport. Once again they begged for a priest, and once again their request was roughly refused.

They were now partly stripped, their hands bound behind them, and the nooses adjusted round their necks. The executioners then jumped on the ground, the cart was hurriedly drawTi away, and amidst long yeUs of delight and excitement from the aU-expectant, tip-toeing crowd, the forms of the two young Irishmen were seen — like mice in a pail of water — struggling helplessly and hopelessly for life. Every detail of the horrible sentence was carried into effect, and not until the last item was well over did the people begin to move away, and, even then, many lingered 62 THE IRISH ABROAD behind to feast their eyes on the spot where it had occurred.

The man who, next to the Judge, did most in com- passing the deaths of Maguire and MacMahon was WiUiam Prynne, who throughout showed an extraor- dinary mahgnancy to the two captives. Bad as had been the treatment of the majority of Irish pohtical prisoners in England brought before this Court, none had been subjected to quite such an ignominious and shameful ending as these two scions of ancient and time-honoured Irish families, and their fate sent a thrill of horror and disgust not only throughout Ireland, but, in a measure almost as great, throughout France and Spain.

Towards the close of the war between Charles and his Parliament the Irish in London began, for the first time, to figure conspicuously in literature and art. They are all referred to more fully in the chapter of seventeenth century biographies. In , the Titus Oates Plot led to a general persecution of the Irish, Catholic as well as Protestant — for in the eyes of the ignorant English mob Irish spelt Papist — and many of the Irish in London, lucky to escape with their lives, had their houses burned over their heads.

During this interlude of peace, the Irish population in London had increased considerably.

To account for the increase of the colony, it may be stated that nine ships plied between Ireland and London, which meant the employment of more seamen, many of whom were Irishmen ; and that, wages for all kinds of work being higher in London than in Ireland, Irish labourers also began to come over. Being mostly Catholic, they were gregarious, and founded a fresh settlement in the neighbourhood of the Old Fleet Market, where Farringdon Street now runs.

In addition to these seamen and labourers, the growing trade with London brought over from Ireland more merchants and more clerks ; the glamour of London life attracted more and more of the literary and theatrically inclined Irish ; whilst more and more of the pro- fessional Irish — lawyers and doctors — imagining that in a city so prosperous as London their prospects would be better, chose it in preference to poorer Dublin.

Of all these immigrants few were of real Celtic origin ; the more educated and the seamen were mostly from the English pale, and the labourers, though they largely hailed from Connaught, were in the main descendants of the first English settlers there. After , the rate of immigration was very much more rapid. Irishmen of all vocations in life began to pour over. But the biggest increase of all was in the labouring population, which by was close on 40, There were in that year not far short of , Irishmen in England, 5, in Wales, and , in Scotland.

The number of Irishmen in London who distinguished themselves during the eighteenth century was large, even for this increase of population, but may be partly explained as follows: The English political arena was for the first time thrown open to Irishmen ; London, owing to the founding of the Royal Academy, became better known as an art centre ; and the English Army offered a new field for Irish military aspirants. The Irishman could fight, and — in the place of those whose duty it was to fight for their town and country, but who preferred to stay at home and make money — he fought uncommonly well.

After the French Wars of — , , all through the end of the eighteenth century, Irish soldiers, discharged through wounds received in action, were to be seen limping along the London streets and beseeching for coppers. They had no pension, no fund was opened for them, and dozens of them died from sheer starvation.

Half of Wellington's Army that drove the French out of Spain and finally defeated them at Waterloo were Irish, as were half of Nelson's fleet at the Nile and Trafalgar. After a violent outburst against the Catholics in Edinburgh, London was beginning to simmer ; but it is very doubtful if matters would have come to a crisis, had it not been for the interference of Lord George Gordon, who, on 29th May, , presided over a meeting in Coachmakers' Hall, London, to consider a petition to Parliament for the Repeal of the Catholic Relief Act, and thus instigated the disturbance subsequently known as the Lord George Gordon Riots.

Of the killed and injured there was no official record — the affair was scarcely a credit to any Government — and the enquiry into the losses of the Irish was of the most superficial nature. In aU probability at least a thousand perished, whilst as many more received serious injuries. From to the London Irish enjoyed com- parative tranquillity. Then came the " '98 " Rebellion, in which many of the Irish in London participated.

O'Connor's life had been strangely full of vicissitudes. Born at Mitchels, near Bandon, 4th July, , he was educated at Trinity, Dublin, and called to the bar in Early attaching himself to the popular party led by Grattan, he joined in the demand for Catholic Emancipation. Before long, however, he went further. Perceiving, like Tone and others of the Extremists, that Ireland would never obtain the really necessary reforms so long as it remained attached to England, he threw in his lot with Lord Edward Fitzgerald and the United Irishmen.

Accompanying Lord Edward to the Continent in the Autumn of , he had an interview with Hoche on the French frontier, regarding the possibility of obtaining the assistance of France in asserting the independence of Ireland. Shortly after his liberation he took a prominent part in starting the Press newspaper, the organ of the United Irishman. About this time, Wolfe Tone went over to France and pleaded the cause of Ireland so successfully with the French Directory, that a formidable fleet under Hoche, having Tone on board, was dispatched from Brest.

The wind and waves that had wrecked Spanish Philip's Armada once again intervened for England, and, after arriving so close to the Irish coast as to be able to set foot on land, Hoche was compelled to withdraw to France. The English Government, however, being now thoroughly alarmed, troops were poured into Ireland, police spies were set to work in aU directions, the Press was suppressed, and measures taken for the arrest of all those associated with it. O'Connor had long been marked, and on the 27th of February, , as he and his friend, the Rev. In O'Connor's baggage, a military uniform and the key to a cipher correspondence with Lord Edward Fitzgerald were stated to have been found, and in O'Coigley's a paper from a Secret Committee to the Executive Directory of France, A great deal was made of the fact that all the prisoners carried arms, but since highway robberies were frequent in all parts of England at that time few travellers would have ventured abroad without a weapon of some kind.

Directly after O'Connor's arrest a raid was made on his headquarters at 62 Abbey Street, Dublin, where his private correspondence, and all that in connection with the Press, were seized. The trial of the prisoners for high treason was held on the 21st of May, , before Mr. Justice Bullen, at Maidstone. Fox, Grattan, Erskine, Sheridan, the Duke of Norfolk and several others all spoke on behalf of O'Connor, and were most emphatic in their statements that they held him to be innocent of the charge brought against him.

Though the Judge was bitterly prejudiced against the Irish, he could do little in the face of such a flow of eloquence as poured from the lips of the greatest orators in England, and, in consequence, O'Connor, Binns, Alien and O'Leary were acquitted. The Earl of Thanet and a Mr. Ferguson made a plucky attempt to rescue him, but failed, and were each sentenced to a year's imprisonment in the Tower and a heavy fine.

O'Connor, after a few days' detention in the Tower, was transferred to Dublin, and afterwards committed to Newgate. There, together with other State prisoners, he was forced to enter into a compact with the Govern- ment, under which, on the understanding that the executions should be stopped, and that all the prisoners should be allowed to leave England, O'Connor and the other captives consented to reveal, without implicating anyone, the plans and workings of the United Irishmen.

No sooner, however, did the Government extract the information it wanted from them, than it broke its word, and, instead of permitting them to go to the United States as they wished, it had them committed to Fort George in Scotland. After three years in this dreary prison, where they were more humanely treated by Lieut. His frankness and devotion to the cause of liberty, however, awoke no response in the Emperor, who, although ready enough to support any action to the detriment of England, was unwilling to give encourage- ment to any scheme that might lead to the establishment of another Republic.

He, therefore, listened to O'Connor with that coldness that was often, as it was on this occasion, so terribly disconcerting, and when he had finished speaking, curtly changed the topic of conversation. Napoleon recognised ability, and appointed him General of Division in the French Army. He died at Bignon on the 25th of April, , and was buried in the local cemetery.

O'Connor wrote several works, the most important of which was Monopoly, the Cause of all Evil, published in He was bitterly opposed to Daniel O'Connell and his policy. Madden says, " No man was more sincere in his patriotism, more capable of making great sacrifices for his country, or brought greater abilities to its cause. The better educated classes settled in all parts, the poorer mostly in the vicinity of Covent Garden and the Fleet.

Few took up their abode in Wapping, which had ceased to be Irish, and had become entirely heterogeneous. There were, perhaps, fewer Irish writers and actors in London at this time, but there were many more doctors and lawyers ; and, also, shops kept by Irishmen speedily ceased to be a novelty. Among the immigrants of the nineteenth century, however, there were few real Celts, by far the majority were of Anglo-Irish or Scotch-Irish extraction. The pure Celt still preferred the Continent or the United States. In , the Orange anniversary riots found answering echoes on a small scale in London, where several street scuffles occurred, and the windows of a number of Catholic shops and private houses were pelted with stones, dead fish, and other refuse.

In February, , when let out on bail, O'Connell himself visited London, addressed large meetings, and was respectfully received in the House of Commons. In May, the Court gave judgment, and O'Connell had to return to be sentenced. From that moment to the day of his release, there was no abatement to the excitement and indigna- tion of his fellow-countrymen in London, and many were the plans discussed for a general rising to rescue him. Some were in favour of a huge brigade being dispatched to Ireland, and others for a raid on Westminster, and the destruction of the Houses of Parliament.

Ulick O'Connor

Happily, however, sounder counsel prevailed, and nothing took place beyond a few slight skirmishes with the police to disturb the peace. It advocated revolution by force and complete separation from England, and numbered among its leaders Terence MacManus, George Smjrth, Dr.

Perhaps the zenith of its fame in London was reached when it amalgamated — or was supposed to amalgamate, for in reality very few of its members did — with the great Chartist Demonstration of April, , which demonstration, for many very obvious reasons, ended, as the more thoughtful had anticipated, in accomplishing nothing.

Those of the Irish who took part in it, however, had one satisfaction, they enjoyed a good joke at the expense of the police. So fearful were the authorities that the " wild " Irishmen, as they were generally — and fallaciously — deemed, would " kick over the traces " and create a riot, that extraordinary precautions were taken, and in addition to large bodies of extra police being brought to London from the provinces, thousands of special con- stables, either in their dotage or hardly out of short trousers, were " sworn in.

And the professional element on this occasion was, perhaps, hardly less comic. Its members stalking along on either side of the proces- sion — their ponderous arms keeping time to the ambling, mechanical stride of their big, ungainly feet, their narrow brimmed, chimney-pot hats balanced with the greatest exactitude at precisely the same angle on their highly elevated heads — were oblivious of everything saving their own dignity and importance, and subUmely indifferent to the frantic endeavours of their amateur comrades to keep back the crowds that lined the streets ; whilst the said THE IRISH IN LONDON Continued 73 amateur force, aU heights, and widths, and ages, dressed in aU styles — in baggy trousers, tight trousers, black trousers, audaciously checked trousers ; with wasp waists, with no waists ; and consisting of dudes, parsons, artists, clerks all carrying truncheons, which, had matters really come to a crisis, would have been wrenched from their grasp and laid across their heads in the twinkling of an eye , tried to appear professional and failed dismally.

Needless to say, it was not they who prevented a fracas ; nor was it the threat of a regiment of Guards with ball cartridges, for the " '98 " testified to the little the Irish civihan feared the soldiers of the Crown — it was the priests who kept the peace by successfully prevailing upon the Irish element among the Chartists to proceed without resorting to violence. Two years later saw the London streets in much graver danger of bloodshed.

This act was thoroughly disapproved of by the Protestants in England ; but when the Pope declared the Hierarchy to be restored, and, in obedience to him. Cardinal Wiseman issued a pastoral, handed to him from the Flaminian Gate of Rome, in which he gave a full description of the various sects, and in conclusion ordered Te Deums to be sung in commemoration of the event in all the Catholic churches in England, the storm burst.

Lord Jolin Russell violently denounced the Pope's action both in and out of Parliament, declaring it to be a gross inter- ference with the spiritual independence of the country. Such an outcry against the Catholics had not been heard since , and as Wiseman was an Irishman, and aU Irishmen were reckoned to be Papists, whether they were so or not, the Irish in London, Protestant as well as Catholic, came in for a bad time.

Wiseman was burned in efhgy in Hyde Park, Hampstead Heath, and in a dozen other places, and his London residence was stoned and otherwise damaged ; whilst similar attacks were made on the houses of several other well-known Roman Catholics, and on many of the houses of the very poor, numbers of whom were roughly handled and so seriously injured, that they had to be taken to the hospitals. Of the papers, The Times, usually so moderate in tone, was almost the most virulent in its attacks on the Irish, and Punch, somewhat losing its head, went out of its way to insult them, some of its cartoons of the Pope being in such bad taste that John Doyle, at that time on its staff, resigned his post in disgust.

When the Wiseman agitation died out, which it finally did with the resignation of Lord John Russell's Second Ministry in , the Irish in London were given a respite, though public interest was to a certain extent concentrated on the doings of the Irish clique in Parliament, christened by the Press, " The Pope's Brass Band. The effects of the great potato famine in Ireland on landlord and tenant had been such that both were in urgent need of relief measures. This was a very necessary piece of legislation, as many estates were literally weighed down by mortgages and settlements of every description.

Later on, by an addition to the Act, the powers of the Court were increased to permit the sale of estates that were not so encumbered. Now, although it had acted fairly precipitately in the case of the landlord, the English Government showed no such eagerness to do anything for the tenant. At last, those in sympathy with the latter began to agitate. John Bright, ever on the side of need and justice.

The result of these meetings was the formation of the Tenants' League, composed of both Catholics and Protestants, the Parliamentary representatives of which were pledged to oppose any Government — Whig or Tory — that did not accede to its requests. With the dissolution of the Whig Government and the return to power of the Tories under Lord Derby, the Tenants' League at last had a chance.

Instead of having the welfare of the tenants at heart as they professed, they thought only of self- aggrandisement, and regarded the House of Commons solely as a happy hunting-ground for promoting the concerns of their private life. The Sadleirs owned the Tipperary Bank, in which the other two had big interests, and, conjointly, they ran a paper called The Telegraph, presumably to uphold the principles they professed, but in reality to bolster up their business.

Having plenty of money and spending it lavishly, they had, of course, a large following, but were a great deal more popular in London than in Dublin.