Ireland Under Coercion (2nd ed.) (1 of 2) (1888)
by William Henry Hurlbert
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This was his way of "co-operating" with Colonel Turner to "calm down the ill-feeling which exists"!

During the morning Mrs. Stacpoole sent for the clerk and manager of the estate, and asked him to show me the books. He is a native of these parts, by name Considine, and has lived at Edenvale for eighteen years. In his youth he went out to America, but there found out that he had a "liver," an unpleasant discovery, which led him to return to the land of his birth, and to the service of Mr. Stacpoole. He is perfectly familiar with the condition of the country here, and as the accounts of this estate are kept minutely and carefully from week to week, he was able this morning to show me the current prices of all kinds of farm produce and of supplies in and about Ennis—not estimated prices, but prices actually paid or received in actual transactions during the last ten years. I am surprised to see how narrow has been the range of local variations during that time; and I find Mr. Considine inclined to think that the farmers here have suffered very little, if at all, from these fluctuations, making up from time to time on their reduced expenses what they have lost through lessened receipts. The expenses of the landlord have however increased, while his receipts have fallen off. In 1881 Edenvale paid out for labour L466, 0s. 1-1/2d., in 1887 L560, 6s. 3-1/2d., though less labour was employed in 1887 than in 1881. The wages of servants, where any change appears, have risen. In 1881 a gardener received L14 a year, in 1888 he receives 15s. a week, or at the rate of L39 a year. A housemaid receiving L12 a year in 1881, receives now L17 a year. A butler receiving in 1881 L26 a year, now receives L40 a year. A kitchen maid receiving in 1881 L6, now receives L10, 10s. a year. Meanwhile, the Sub-Commissioners are at this moment cutting down the Edenvale rents again by L190, 3s. 2d., after a walk over the property in the winter. Yet in July 1883 Mr. Reeves, for the Sub-Commission, "thought it right to say there was no estate in the County Clare so fairly rented, to their knowledge, or where the tenants had less cause for complaint." In but one case was a reduction of any magnitude made by the Commission of 1883, and in one case that Commission actually increased the rent from L11, 10s. to L16. In January 1883 the rental of this property was L4065, 5s. 1d. The net reduction made by the Commissioners in July 1883 was L296, 14s. 0-1/2d.

After luncheon a car came up to the mansion, bringing a stalwart, good-natured-looking sergeant of police, and with him the boycotted old woman Mrs. Connell and her son. The sergeant helped the old woman down very tenderly, and supported her into the house. She came in with some trepidation and uneasiness, glancing furtively all about her, with the look of a hunted creature in her eyes. Her son, who followed her, was more at his ease, but he also had a worried and careworn look. Both were warmly but very poorly clad, and both worn and weatherbeaten of aspect. The old woman might have passed anywhere for a witch, so wizened and weird she was, of small stature, and bent nearly double by years and rheumatism. Her small hands were withered away into claws, and her head was covered with a thick and tangled mat of hair, half dark, half grey, which gave her the look almost of the Fuegian savages who come off from the shore in their flat rafts and clamour to you for "rum" in the Straits of Magellan. Her eyes were intensely bright, and shone like hot coals in her dusky, wrinkled face. It was a raw day, and she came in shivering with the cold. It was pathetic to see how she positively gloated with extended palms over the bright warm, fire in the drawing-room, and clutched at the cup of hot tea which my kind hostess instantly ordered in for her.

This was the woman of whom Mr. Redmond wrote to Mr. Parnell that she was "an active strong dame of about fifty." When Mr. Balfour, in Parliament, described her truly as a "decrepit old woman of eighty," Mr. Redmond contradicted him, and accused her of being "the worse for liquor" in a public court.

"How old is your mother?" I asked her son.

"I am not rightly sure, sir," he replied, "but she is more than eighty."

"The man himself is about fifty," said the sergeant; "he volunteered to go to the Crimean War, and that was more than thirty years ago!"

"I did indeed, sir," broke in the man, "and it was from Cork I went. And I'd be a corpse now if it wasn't for the mercy of God and the protection. God bless the police, sir, that protected my old mother, sir, and me. That Mr. Redmond, sir, they read me what he said, and sure he should be ashamed of his shadow, to get up there in Parliament, and tell those lies, sir, about my old mother!" I questioned Connell as to his relations with Carroll, the man who brought him before the League. He was a labourer holding a bit of ground under Carroll. Carroll refused to pay his own rent to the landlord. But he compelled Connell to pay rent to him. When Carroll was evicted, the landlord offered to let Connell have half an acre more of land. He took it to better himself, and "how did he injure Carroll by taking it?" How indeed, poor man! Was he a rent-warner? Yes; he earned something that way two or three times a year; and for that he had to ask the protection of the police—"they would kill him else." What with worry and fright, and the loss of his livelihood, this unfortunate labourer has evidently been broken down morally and physically. It is impossible to come into contact with such living proofs of the ineffable cowardice and brutality of this business of "boycotting" without indignation and disgust.

While Connell was telling his pitiful tale a happy thought occurred to the charming daughter of the house. Mrs. Stacpoole is a clever amateur in photography. "Why not photograph this 'hale and hearty woman of fifty,' with her son of fifty-three?" Mrs. Stacpoole clapped her hands at the idea, and went off at once to prepare her apparatus.

While she was gone the sergeant gave me an account of the trial, which Mr. Redmond, M.P., witnessed. He was painfully explicit. "Mr. Redmond knew the woman was sober," he said; "she was lifted up on the table at Mr. Redmond's express request, because she was so small and old, and spoke in such a low voice that he could not hear what she said. Connell had always been a decent, industrious fellow—a fisherman. But for the lady, Mrs. Moroney, he and his mother would have starved, and would starve now. As for the priest, Father White, Connell went to him to ask his intercession and help, but he could get neither."

The sergeant had heard Father White preach yesterday. "It was a curious sermon. He counselled peace and forbearance to the people, because they might be sure the wicked Tory Government would very soon fall!"

Presently the sun came out with golden glow, and with the sun came out Mrs. Stacpoole. It was a job to "pose" the subjects, the old woman evidently suspecting some surgical or legal significance in the machinery displayed, and her son finding some trouble in making her understand what it meant. But finally we got the tall, personable sergeant, with his frank, shrewd, sensible face, to put himself between the two, in the attitude as of a guardian angel; the camera was nimbly adjusted, and lo! the thing was done.

Mrs. Stacpoole thinks the operation promises a success. I suppose it would hardly be civil to send a finished proof of the group to Mr. J. Redmond, M.P.




This statement as to the action of Lord Palmerston in connection with Mr. Gladstone's Newcastle speech of October 7th, 1862, made upon the authority of a British public man whose years and position entitle him to speak with confidence on such a subject, appeared to me of so much interest, that after sending it to the printer I caused search to be made for the speech referred to as made by Sir George Cornewall Lewis. My informant's statement was that Lord Palmerston insisted that Sir George Lewis should find or make an immediate opportunity of covering what Mr. Gladstone had said at Newcastle. He was angry about it, and his anger was increased by an article which Mr. Delane printed in the Times, intimating that Mr. Gladstone's speech was considered by many people to be a betrayal of Cabinet secrets. Sir George Lewis was far from well (he died the next spring), and reluctant to do what his chief wished; but he did it on the 17th of October 1862 in a speech at Hereford. Mr. Milner-Gibson was also put forward to the same end, and after Parliament met, in February 1863, Mr. Disraeli gave the Government a sharp lashing for sending one or two Ministers into the country in the recess to announce that the Southern States would be recognised, and then putting forward the President of the Board of Trade (Milner-Gibson) to attack the Southern States and the pestilent institution of slavery. Mr. Gladstone's speech at Newcastle, coming as it did from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, after the close of a session during which everybody knew that the Emperor of the French had been urging upon England the recognition of the Confederate States, and that Mr. Mason had been in active correspondence on that subject with Lord Russell, was taken at Newcastle, and throughout the country, to mean that the recognition was imminent. Mr. Gladstone even went so far as to say he rather rejoiced that the Confederates had not been able to hold Maryland, as that might have made them aggressive, and so made a settlement more difficult, it being, he said, as certain as anything in the future could be that the South must succeed in separating itself from the Union. This remark about Maryland distinctly indicated consultation as to what limits and boundaries between the South and the North should be recognised in the recognition, and on that account, it seems, was particularly resented by Earl Russell as well as by Lord Palmerston.

Sir George Cornewall Lewis's speech of October 17, 1862, was a most skilful and masterly attempt to protect the Cabinet against the consequences of what the Times, on the 9th of October, had treated as the "indiscretion or treason" of his colleague. But it did not save the Government from the scourge of Mr. Disraeli, or much mitigate the effect in America of Mr. Gladstone's performance at Newcastle, which was a much more serious matter from the American point of view than any of the speeches recently delivered about "Home Rule" in the American Senate can be fairly said to be from the British point of view.


MR. PARNELL AND THE DYNAMITERS. (Prologue, p. xxxiii.)

The relation of Mr. Parnell and his Parliamentary associates to what is called the extreme and "criminal" section of the Irish American Revolutionary Party can only be understood by those who understand that it is the ultimate object of this party not to effect reforms in the administration of Ireland as an integral part of the British Empire, but to sever absolutely the political connection between Ireland and the British Empire. Loyal British subjects necessarily consider this object a "criminal" object, just as loyal Austrian subjects considered the object of the Italian Revolutionists of 1848 to be a "criminal" object. But the Italian Revolutionists of 1848 did not accept this view of their object. On the contrary, they held their end to be so high and holy that it more or less sanctified even assassination when planned as a means to that end. Why should the Italian Revolutionists of 1848 be judged by one standard and the Irish Revolutionists of 1888 by another?

If Mr. Parnell and his Parliamentary associates were to declare in unequivocal terms their absolute loyalty to the British Crown, and their determination to maintain in all circumstances the political connection between Great Britain and Ireland, they might or might not retain their hold upon Mr. Davitt and upon their constituents in Ireland, but they would certainly put themselves beyond the pale of support by the great Irish American organisations. Nor do I believe they could retain the confidence of those organisations if it were supposed that they really regarded the most extreme and violent of the Irish Revolutionists, the "Invincibles" and the "dynamiters" as "criminals," in the sense in which the "Invincibles" and the "dynamiters" are so regarded by the rest of the civilised world. Can it, for example, be doubted that any English or Scottish public man who co-operates with Mr. Parnell and his Parliamentary associates would instantly hand over to the police any "Invincible" or "dynamiter" who might come within his reach? And can it for a moment be believed that Mr. Parnell, or any one of his Parliamentary associates, would do this? There are thousands of Irish citizens in the United States who felt all the horror and indignation expressed by Mr. Parnell at the murders in the Phoenix Park, but I should be very much surprised to learn that any one of them all ever did, or ever would do, anything likely to bring any one of the authors of these murders to the bar of justice. Mr. Parnell and his Parliamentary associates are held and bound by the essential conditions of their political existence to treat with complaisance the most extreme and violent men of their party. Nor is this true of them alone.

There is no more respectable body of men in the United States than the Hibernian Society of Philadelphia. This society was instituted in 1771, five years before the declaration of American Independence. It is a charitable and social organisation only, with no political object or colour. It is made up of men of character and substance. Its custom has always been to celebrate St. Patrick's Day by a banquet, to which the most distinguished men of the country have repeatedly been bidden. Immediately after the inauguration of Mr. Cleveland as President, on the 4th of March 1885, Mr. Bayard, the new Secretary of State of the United States, was invited by this Society to attend its one hundred and fourteenth banquet. It will be remembered that, on the 30th of May 1884, London had been startled and shocked by an explosion of dynamite in St. James's Square, which shattered many houses and inflicted cruel injuries upon several innocent people. It was not so fatal to life as that explosion at the Salford Barracks, which Mr. Parnell treated as a "practical joke." But it excited lively indignation on both sides of the Atlantic, and Mr. Bayard, who at that time was a Senator of the United States, sternly denounced it and its authors on the floor of the American Senate. What he had said as a Senator he thought it right to repeat as the Foreign Secretary of the United States in his reply to the invitation of the Hibernian Society in March 1885. This reply ran as follows:—

"WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 1885.

"NICHOLAS J. GRIFFIN, Esq., Secretary of the Hibernian Society of Philadelphia.

"Dear Sir,—I have your personal note accompanying the card of invitation to dine with your ancient and honourable Society on their one hundred and fourteenth anniversary, St. Patrick's Day, and I sincerely regret that I cannot accept it. The obvious and many duties of my public office here speak for themselves, and to none with more force than to American citizens of Irish blood or birth who are honestly endeavouring to secure liberty by maintaining a government of laws, and who realise the constant attention that is needful.

"In the midst of anarchical demonstrations which we witness in other lands, and the echoes of which we can detect even here in our own free country, where base and silly individuals seek to stain the name of Ireland by associating the honest struggle for just government with senseless and wicked crimes, there are none of our citizens from whom honest reprobation can be more confidently expected than from such as compose your respected and benevolent Society. Those who worthily celebrate the birthday[22] of St. Patrick will not forget that he drove out of Ireland the reptiles that creep and sting.

"The Hibernian Society can contain no member who will not resent the implication that sympathy with assassins can dwell in a genuine Irish heart, which will ever be opposed to cruelty and cowardice, whatever form either may take.

"Present to your Society my thanks for the kind remembrance, and assure them of the good-will and respect with which I am—Your obedient servant,


What was the response of this Society, representing all the best elements of the Irish American population of the United States, to this letter of the Secretary of State, the highest executive officer of the American Government after the President, upon whom under an existing law the succession of the chief magistracy now devolves in the event of the death or disability of the President and the Vice-President?

The letter was not read at the banquet.

But it was given to the press by the officers of the Society, and the most influential Irish American newspaper in the United States did not hesitate to describe it as an "insulting letter," going to show that its author was "an Englishman in spirit who will not allow any opportunity to go by, however slight, without testifying his sympathy with the British Empire and his antipathy for its foes."

This was capped by an American political journal which used the following language: "Lord Granville himself would hardly strike a more violent attitude against the dynamite section of the Irish people. When Lord Wolseley, whom it is proposed to make Governor-General of the Soudan, is offering a reward for the head of Ollivier Pain, it is hardly in good taste for an American Secretary of State to condemn so bitterly a class of Irishmen which, while it includes bad men no doubt, also includes men who are moved by as worthy motives as Lord Wolseley."

In the face of this testimony to the "solidarity" of all branches of the Irish revolutionary movement in America, how can Mr. Parnell, or any other Parliamentary Irishman who depends upon Irish American support, be expected by men of sense to condemn in earnest "the dynamite section of the Irish people"?


THE AMERICAN "SUSPECTS" OF 1881. (Prologue, p. xlvii.)

In his recently published and very interesting Life of Mr. Forster, Mr. Wemyss Reid alludes to some action taken by the United States Government in the spring of 1882 as one of the determining forces which brought about the abandonment at that time by Mr. Gladstone of Mr. Forster's policy in Ireland. Without pretending to concern myself here with what is an essentially British question as between Mr. Forster and Mr. Gladstone, it may be both proper and useful for me to throw some light, not, perhaps, in the possession of Mr. Reid, upon the part taken in this matter by the American Government. Sir William Harcourt's "Coercion Bill" was passed on the 2d of March 1881, two days before the inauguration of General Garfield as President of the United States. Mr. Blaine, who was appointed by the new President to take charge of the Foreign Relations of the American Government, received, on the 10th of March, at Washington, a despatch written by Mr. Lowell, the American Minister in London, on the 26th of February, being the day after the third reading in the Commons of the "Coercion Bill." In this despatch Mr. Lowell called the attention of the American State Department to a letter from Mr. Parnell to the Irish National Land League, dated at Paris, February 13, 1881, in which Mr. Parnell attempted to make what Mr. Lowell accurately enough described as an "extraordinary" distinction between "the American people" and "the Irish nation in America."

"This double nationality," said Mr. Lowell, "is likely to be of great practical inconvenience whenever the 'Coercion Bill' becomes law." By "this double nationality" in this passage, the American Minister, of course, meant "this claim of a double nationality;" for neither by Great Britain nor by the United States is any man permitted to consider himself at one and the same time a citizen of the American republic and a subject of the British monarchy. Nor was he quite right in anticipating "great practical inconvenience" from this "claim," upon which neither the British nor the American Government for a moment bestowed, or could bestow, the slightest attention.

The "great practical inconvenience" which, first to the American Legation in England, then to the United States Government at Washington, and finally to the Cabinet of Mr. Gladstone, did, however, arise from the application of Sir William Harcourt's Coercion Act of 1881 to American citizens in Ireland, had its origin not in Mr. Parnell's preposterous idea of an Irish nationality existing in the United States, but in the failure of the authorities of the United States to deal promptly and firmly with the situation created for American citizens in Ireland by the administration of Sir William Harcourt's Act.

As I have said, Sir William Harcourt's Act became law on the 2d of March 1881, two days before the inauguration of President Garfield at Washington. Without touching the question of the relations between Great Britain and Ireland, and between the British Parliament and the Irish National Land League, it was clearly incumbent upon the Secretary of State of the United States, who entered upon his duties three days after Sir William Harcourt's Bill went into force in Ireland, to inform himself minutely and exactly as to the possible effects of that Bill upon the rights and interests of American citizens travelling or sojourning in that country. This was due not only to his own Government and to its citizens, but to the relations which ought to exist between his own Government and the Government of Great Britain. It was no affair of an American Secretary of State either to impede or to further the execution of "Coercion Acts" in Ireland against British subjects. But it was his affair to ascertain without delay the nature and the measure of any new and unusual perils, or "inconveniences," to which American citizens in Ireland might be exposed in the execution there by the British authorities of such Acts.

And it is on record, under his own hand, in a despatch to the American Minister in London, dated May 26, 1881, that Mr. Blaine had not so much as seen a copy of Sir William Harcourt's Coercion Act at that date, three months after it had gone into effect; three months after many persons claiming American citizenship had been arrested and imprisoned under it; and two months after his own official attention had been called by the American Minister in London, in an elaborate despatch, to the arrest under it of one such person, a man of Irish birth, who based his claim of American citizenship upon allegations of military service during the Civil War, of residence and citizenship in New York, and of the granting to him, by an American Secretary of State, of a citizen's passport. And when he did finally take the trouble to look at this Act, Mr. Elaine seems to have examined it so cursorily, and with such slight attention, that he overlooked a provision made in it, under which, had its true force and meaning been perceived by him, the State Department of the United States might, in the early summer of 1881, have secured for American citizens in Ireland the consideration due to them as the citizens of a friendly State. A curious despatch from Mr. Sackville West, the British Minister at Washington, to Earl Granville, published in a British Blue-book now in my possession, plainly intimates that in the summer of 1881 the American Secretary of State had given the British Minister to understand that no representations made to him or to his Government by the Government of the United States touching American-Irish "suspects" need be taken at all seriously. The whole diplomatic correspondence on this subject which went on between the two Governments while Mr. Blaine was Secretary of State, from the 4th of March 1881 to the 20th of December 1881, was of a sort to lull the British Government into the belief that "suspects" might be freely and safely arrested and locked up all over Ireland, with no more question of their nationality than of any evidence to establish their guilt or their innocence. During the whole of that time the State Department at Washington seems to have substantially remained content with the declaration of Earl Granville, in a letter sent to the American Legation on the 8th of July 1881, four months after the Coercion Act went into effect, that "no distinction could be made in the circumstances between foreigners and British subjects, and that in the case of British subjects the only information given was that contained in the warrant."

No fault can be found with the British Government for standing by this declaration so long as it thus seemed to command the assent of the Government of the United States.

But when Mr. Frelinghuysen was called into the State Department by President Arthur in December 1881, to overhaul the condition into which our foreign relations had been brought by his predecessor, he found that in no single instance had Mr. Blaine succeeded in inducing the British Government, either to release any American citizen arrested under a general warrant without specific charges of criminal conduct, and on "suspicion" in Ireland, or to order the examination of any such citizen. The one case in which an American citizen arrested under the Coercion Act in Ireland during Mr. Blaine's tenure of office had been liberated when Mr. Frelinghuysen took charge of the State Department, was that of Mr. Joseph B. Walsh, arrested at Castlebar, in Mayo, March 8, 1881, and discharged by order of the Lord-Lieutenant, October 21, 1881, not because he was an American citizen, nor after any examination, but expressly and solely on the ground of ill-health.

When Mr. Frelinghuysen became Secretary of State in December 1881 the Congress of the United States was in session. So numerous were the American "suspects" then lying in prison in Ireland, some of whom had been so confined for many months, that the doors of Congress were soon besieged by angry demands for an inquiry into the subject. A resolution in this sense was adopted by the House of Representatives, and forwarded, through the American Legation in London, to the British Foreign Office. Memorials touching particular cases were laid before both Houses of the American Congress. On the 10th of February 1882, Mr. Bancroft Davis, the Assistant-Secretary of State, instructed the American Minister at London to take action concerning one such case, and to report upon it. The Minister not moving more rapidly than he had been accustomed to do under Mr. Blaine, Mr. Davis grew impatient, and on the 2d of March 1882 (being the anniversary of the adoption of the Coercion Act in England) the American Secretary of State cabled to the Minister in London significantly enough, "Use all diligence in regard to the late cases, especially of Hart and M'Sweeney, and report by cable."

Mr. Lowell replied the next day, giving the views in regard to Hart of the American Vice-Consul, and of the British Inspector of Police at Queenstown, and adding an expression of his own opinion that neither Hart nor M'Sweeney was "more innocent than the majority of those under arrest."

This was an unfortunate despatch. It roused the American Secretary of State into responding instantly by cable in the following explicit and emphatic terms: "Referring to the cases of O'Connor, Hart, M'Sweeney, M'Enery, and D'Alton, American citizens imprisoned in Ireland, say to Lord Granville that, without discussing whether the provisions of the Force Act can be applied to American citizens, the President hopes that the Lord-Lieutenant will be instructed to exercise the powers intrusted to him by the first section to order early trials in these and all other cases in which Americans may be arrested."

There was no mistaking the tone of this despatch. It was instantly transmitted to the British Foreign Secretary, who replied the same day that "the matter would receive the immediate attention of Her Majesty's Government."

The reference made to the Coercion Act by Mr. Frelinghuysen touched a plain and precise provision, that persons detained under the Act "should not be discharged or tried by any court without the direction of the Lord-Lieutenant." Had the Coercion Act received from Mr. Blaine in March 1881 the attention bestowed upon it in March 1882 by Mr. Frelinghuysen, this provision might have been used to obviate the dangerous accumulation of injustice to individuals, and of international irritation, resulting from the application to possibly innocent foreign citizens in Ireland of the despotic powers conferred by that Act upon Mr. Gladstone's Government, powers as nearly as possible analogous with those which Mr. Gladstone himself, years before, had denounced in unmeasured terms when they were claimed and exercised by the Government of Naples in dealing with its own subjects.

After the consideration by Her Majesty's Government of this despatch of the United States Government, it is understood in America that Mr. Forster, as Chief Secretary for Ireland, was invited to communicate with the Lord-Lieutenant, and request him to exercise his discretion in the sense desired, and that Mr. Forster positively refused to do this.

How this may be I do not pretend to say. But as no satisfactory reply was made to the American despatch, and as public feeling in the United States grew daily more and more determined that a stop should be put to the unexplained arrest and the indefinite detention of American citizens in Ireland, the American Secretary of State made up his mind towards the end of the month of March to repeat his despatch of March 3d in a more terse and peremptory form. As a final preliminary to this step, however, Mr. Frelinghuysen was induced to avail himself of the unusual and officious intervention of his most distinguished living predecessor in the State Department, Mr. Hamilton Fish. After measuring the gravity of the situation, Mr. Fish at the end of March sent a despatch to an eminent public man, well known on both sides of the Atlantic, and now resident in London, with authority to show it personally to Mr. Gladstone, to the effect that if any further delay occurred in complying with the moderate and reasonable demand of the American Government for the immediate release or the immediate trial of the American "suspects," the relations between Great Britain and the United States would be very seriously "strained."

This despatch was at once communicated to Mr. Gladstone. Within the week, the liberation was announced of six American "suspects." Within a fortnight, Mr. Parnell, Mr. O'Kelly, and Mr. Dillon, it is understood, imprisoned members of Parliament, were offered their liberty if they would consent to a sham exile on the Continent for a few weeks, or even days; and within a month Mr. Forster, in his place in Parliament, was imputing to his late chief and Premier the negotiation of that celebrated "Treaty of Kilmainham," which was repudiated with equal warmth by the three Irish members already named, and by Mr. Gladstone.



(Prologue, p. 1.)

As I am not writing a history of English parties, I need not discuss here the truth or falsehood of this contention. But I cannot let it pass without a word as to two cases which came under my own observation, and which aggravate the inherent improbability of the tale. In November 1885 I went to America, and on my way passed through Stockport, where my friend, Mr. Jennings, long my correspondent in England, was then standing as a Conservative candidate. I attended one of his meetings and heard him make an effective speech, much applauded, which turned exclusively upon imperial and financial issues. That he had no understanding whatever with the "managers" of the Irish vote in Stockport, I have the best reason to believe. But he was assured by them that the Irish intended to vote for him; and at a subsequent time he was rashly assailed in the House of Commons by an Irish member with the charge that he had broken faith with the Irish who elected him. It was an unlucky assault for the assailant, as it gave Mr. Jennings an opportunity, which he promptly improved, to show that he owed nothing to the Irish voters of Stockport. Whether they voted for him in any number in 1885 was more than doubtful; while in 1886 they voted solidly against him, with the result of swelling his majority from 369 to 518 votes.

In January 1886 I returned to Europe, and going on a visit into Yorkshire, there met a prominent Irish Nationalist, who told me that he had come into the north of England expressly to regiment the Irish voters, and throw their votes for the Conservative candidates, on the ground that it was necessary to make the Liberals fully understand their power. He had fully expected in this way to elect a Conservative member for the city of York. Great was his chagrin, therefore, when he found the Liberal candidate returned. Upon investigation he discovered, as he told me, that the catastrophe was due to the activity of a local Irish priest, who was a devoted Fenian, utterly opposed to the Parliamentary programme, and who had exerted his authority over the local Irish to bring them to the polls for the Liberal candidate.

Sir Frederick Milner, Bart., the defeated Conservative candidate for York, afterwards told me that the local priest referred to here was a most excellent man, and that so far from playing the part thus ascribed to him, he took the trouble, as a matter of fair dealing, to see his parishioners on the morning of the election and warn them against believing a pamphlet which was sedulously circulated among the Irish voters on the night before the polling, with a message to the effect that Sir Frederick despised the Irish, and wanted nothing to do with them or their votes. Sir Frederick has no doubt, from his knowledge of what occurred during the canvass, that direct instructions were sent by Mr. Parnell or his agents to the Irish voters in York to throw their votes against the Radical candidates. These latter brought down a Home Rule lecturer to counteract the effect of these instructions, and the pamphlet above referred to was an eleventh-hour blow in the same interest. It was successful; the Irish votes, some 500 in number, being polled early in the morning under the impression produced by it. The moral of this incident would seem to be, not that there was any real understanding in 1885 between the Parnellites and the English Conservatives at all, but simply that the English Radical wirepullers are more alert and active than either the Irish Parnellites or the English Conservatives. It is interesting, too, as it illustrates the deep dread and distrust of the "Fenians" in which the Parnellites habitually go.



(Vol. i. p. 209.)

Father White of Miltown-Malbay, taking exception to the statement made by me, upon the authority of Colonel Turner, that he was "the moving spirit" of the local "boycott" of policemen and soldiers at that place, addressed a note to Colonel Turner on the 5th of September, in which he desired to know whether Colonel Turner, had given me grounds for making this statement. To this note Colonel Turner tells me he returned at once the following reply, which he kindly forwards to me for publication:—

"ENNIS, 6th September 1888.

"REV. SIR,—I am in receipt of your letter of yesterday, and in reply thereto beg to state that I informed Mr. Hurlbert that you said 'in open court' that you had directed (I believe from the altar) that the town was to be 'made as a city of the dead' during the trials of 23 publicans who were charged for conspiracy in boycotting the forces of the Crown who had been employed in preserving the peace on the occasion of a former trial—this you said you did in the interests of peace. The magistrates, however, took a different view, viz., that it was done with the object of preventing the military and police from obtaining any supplies, which they were unable to do; and that their view was the correct one was proved by the fact that half of the accused pleaded guilty to the offence, and on promise of future good behaviour were allowed out on their own recognisances. That the people followed your instructions on that day, coupled with the fact that in your letter to the Freeman's Journal, dated 17th March of this year, you stated that you offered me peace all round on certain conditions, thereby showing that at least you consider yourself possessed of authority to bring about a state of peace or otherwise, probably led Mr. Hurlbert, to whom I showed a copy of this letter, to infer that you admitted that you were the moving spirit of all this 'local boycott,' while you only did so in the particular case above mentioned. Whether Mr. Hurlbert is correct in drawing the inference he does as to your being the moving spirit, and as to your conduct, may perhaps be gathered from the numerous numbers of United Ireland and other papers which he saw giving reports of illegal meetings of the suppressed branch of the Miltown-Malbay National League, at which you were stated to have presided, and at some of which condemnatory resolutions were passed, and also from the fact that you are reported to have presided at a meeting on Sunday, April 8, which was held at Miltown-Malbay in defiance of Government proclamation.—I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,


"Rev. P. White, P.P., Miltown-Malbay."

On further investigation of his records, Colonel Turner found it necessary to follow up this letter with another, a copy of which, through his courtesy, I subjoin:—

"ENNIS, 10th September 1888.

"REV. SIR,—A slight inaccuracy has been pointed out to me in my letter to you of the 6th inst., which I hasten to correct. It occurred in transcribing my letter from the original draft. I should have said that I told Mr. Hurlbert that you stated in open court, at the trial of 23 publicans charged with boycotting the forces of the Crown on the occasion of a former trial, that you had told the people (I believe from the altar) that the town was to be made as a city of the dead during the former trial; and that in consequence the soldiers and police could get nothing to eat or drink in Miltown that day.

"I also told him that this boycotting of the police was by no means new, since on the 13th March 1887, at a meeting of the Miltown-Malbay branch of the League at which you are reported to have presided, in United Ireland of 19/3/87, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:—

"'That from this day any person who supplies the police while engaged in work which is opposed to the wishes of the people with drink, food, or cars, be censured by this branch, and that no further intercourse be held with them.'

"I regret that through inadvertence I have had to trouble you with a second letter.—I am, Rev. Sir, yours faithfully,


"Rev. P. White, P.P."

[1] Vol. ii. p. 376.

[2] Vol. ii. p. 364-370.

[3] The exasperation of the local agitators under the cool and determined treatment of Mr. Tener may be measured by the facts stated in the following communication received by me from Mr. Tener on the 20th of September. I leave them to speak for themselves:—


"DEAR MR. HURLBERT,—I enclose you a printed placard found posted up in Woodford district on Sunday morning the 9th inst. It alludes to tenants who had paid me their rent,—and broken the 'unwritten law of the League.' All the men named are now in great danger. The police force of the district has been increased—for their protection; but the police are very anxious about their safety!

"I send you also a pencil copy taken from a more perfect placard which the police preserve. John White or Whyte is the tenant whose name I already have given you. He is the tall dark man whom you saw (with an ex-bailiff) at Portumna. He was then an "Evicted Tenant." He has since been, on payment of his rent, restored to his farm by me. And now, as you see in the placard, he is held up to the vengeance of the "League of Hell," as P.J. Smyth called it.—Yours, etc.


"P.S.—The evictions were finished on the 1st of September, and on the 9th (after it became known that the men whose names are in the placard had paid) the placard was issued."


"IRISHMEN!—Need we say in the face of the desperate Battle the People are making for their Hearths and Homes that the time has come for every HONEST MAN, trader and otherwise, to extend a helping hand to the MEN in the GAP. You may ask, How will that be done? The answer is plain.

"Let those who have become traitors to their neighbours and their Country be shunned as if they were possessed by a devil. Let no man buy from them or sell to them, let no man work for them. Leave them to Tener and his Emergency gang. The following are a few of the greatest traitors and meanest creatures that ever walked—John Whyte, of Dooras; Fahey (of the hill) of Dooras; big Anthony Hackett, of Rossmore; Tom Moran, of Rossmore! Your Country calls on you to treat them as they deserve. Bravo Woodford! Remember Tom Larkin!—'GOD SAVE IRELAND!'"

[4] Appendix, Note A.

[5] Appendix, Note B.

[6] Appendix, Note C.

[7] Appendix, Note D.

[8] Since this was written fifteen Catholic bishops in England, headed by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, have united (April 12, 1888) in a public protest against the Optional Oaths Bill, in which they say: "To efface the recognition of God in our public legislature is an act which will surely bring evil consequences." Yet how can the recognition of God be more effectually "effaced" than by the unqualified assertion that the will of the people, or of a majority, is the one legitimate source of political authority?

[9] Mr. Blair was then a member of the Lincoln Cabinet, and its "fighting member."

[10] Mr. Quill stated that the Savings-Banks deposits increased in Ireland during 1887 eight per cent. more than in thrifty Scotland, and forty per cent. more than in England and Wales!

[11] This was the Provost's last appearance in public. He died rather suddenly a few weeks afterwards.

[12] In the Census of 1880 it appears that of 255,741 farms in Illinois, 59,624 were held on the metayer system, pronounced by Toubeau the worst of systems, and 20,620 on a money rental.

[13] I have since learned that Father M'Fadden sold another holding, rental 6s. 8d., for L80. He has three more holdings from Captain Hill, at 15s., 6s. 8d., and 11s. 2d., for which he was in arrears for two years in April 1887, when ejectment decrees were obtained against him. For his house holding he pays 2s. a year! So he was really fighting his own battle as a tenant in the Plan of Campaign.

[14] Yet of Connemara, Cardinal Manning, in his letter to the Archbishop of Armagh, August 31, 1873, cites the "trust-worthy" evidence of "an Englishman who had raised himself from the plough's tail," and who had gone "to see with his own eyes the material condition of the peasantry in Ireland." It was to the effect that in abundance and quality of food, in rate of wages, and even if the comfort of their dwellings, the working men of Connemara were better off than the agricultural labourers of certain English counties.

[15] For this holding, of 10 Irish acres, I have since learned the widow O'Donnell pays 10s. a year. She is in the receipt of outdoor relief, there being fever in the house (May 1888).

[16] This "townland" is a curious use of a Saxon term to describe a Celtic fact. The territory of an Irish sept seems to have been divided up into "townlands," each townland consisting of four, or in some cases six, groups of holdings, occupied by as many families of the "sept." The chief of the "sept" divided up each "townland" periodically among these groups, while the common fields were cut up among the families as they increased and multiplied according to the system—against which Lord George Hill battled at Gweedore—known as "rimdale" or "rundeal," from the Celtic, "ruindioll," a "partition" or "man's share." This is quite unlike the Russian "mir" or collective village, and not more like the South Slav "zadruga" which makes each family a community, the land belonging to all, as, according to M. Eugene Simon, it does in China. But it is as inconsistent with Henry George's State ownership of the land or the rents as either of those systems.

[17] From a question just asked (July 12) in the House of Commons, and answered by the Postmaster-General, I gather that this "local question" has been further complicated by the removal of Mr. Sweeney, the sub-postmaster, under an official regulation.

[18] The incident occurred in Clare. See p. 45.

[19] Or they may date back to the Parliament of Grattan, who wrote to Mr. Guinness that he regarded the brewery of Ireland as "the actual nurse of the people, and entitled to every encouragement, favour, and exemption."

[20] This refers, I am told, to the murder, in open daylight, in 1881, of an old man, Linnane, who acted as a "caretaker" for Mrs. Moroney. It should gratify Father White to know that, as I am now informed (May 21, 1888), a clue has just been found to the assassins, who appear to have received the same price for doing their work that was paid the murderers of Fitzmaurice.

[21] Mrs. Moroney, so often referred to here, is the widow of a gentleman formerly High Sheriff and Deputy-Lieutenant for the County Clare, who died in 1870. She lives at Milton House, and has fought the local League steadily and successfully.


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