A Question of Definition, 1868–1908: Gladstonian Reform, Home Rule and the Unionist Response

  • D. G. Boyce
Chapter
Part of the British History in Perspective book series (BHP)

Abstract

In March 1868 an Irish M.P. put forward a motion on the state of Ireland; and Gladstone took advantage of the occasion to declare that the Irish Church ‘as a State Church, must cease to exist’. His political timing and choice of subject were both acute. In December Gladstone had confessed that the cause of Irish disestablishment ‘may again lead the Liberal Party to Martyrdom’; but after Gladstone moved that the House go into committee on his disestablishment resolutions, and a governmental amendment acknowledging the necessity for considerable modifications in the temporalities of the Irish Church was defeated, Gladstone’s motion was carried by a majority of 56. His resolutions setting out the heads of his proposed legislation were carried by even larger majorities. Disraeli resigned, and a general election held in November 1868 gave Gladstone a majority of 116 and a political slogan that was to dominate the rest of his political career: ‘My mission is to pacify Ireland’.1

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    P. M. H. Bell, Disestablishment in Ireland and Wales (London, 1969), pp. 75–6.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., p. 23.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Michael Bentley, Politics without Democracy, 1815–1914 (London, 1969), pp. 204–5.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Hartigan, A. O’Day and R. Quinault, ‘Irish terrorism in Britain’, in A. O’Day and Y. Alexander (eds), Ireland’s Terrorist Dilemma (Amsterdam, 1986), pp. 51–7.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boyce, op. cit., p. 186.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bell, op. cit, pp. 60–1.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. C. Beckett, The Making of Modern Ireland, 1603–1923, p. 371.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    W. E. Vaughan, Landlords and Tenants in Ireland, 1848–1904 (Dublin, 1985).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Boyce, op. cit., p. 220.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. O’Day, Parnell and the First Home Rule Episode (Dublin, 1986), p. 40.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bentley, op. cit., p. 230.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    J. Vincent, Gladstone and Ireland (London, 1977), p. 203.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ibid., p. 210, fn. 2.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    E. D. Steele, ‘Gladstone, Irish violence and conciliation’, in A. Cosgrove and D. McCartney, Studies in Irish History (Dublin, 1980), pp. 72–3.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    P. Bew, Charles Stewart Parnell (Dublin, 1980), pp. 72–3.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    The general election was postponed because administrative changes required by the franchise and redistribution acts of 1884–85 were not yet complete.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    The 1885 election resulted in the difference between the Conservatives and Liberals exactly equalling the strength of Parnell’s following. See Appendix A.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Vincent, op. cit., pp. 220–32.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Peter Gordon (ed.), The Red Earl: the Paper of the Fifth Earl Spencer, 1835–1910 (2 vols; Vol. II, Northampton, 1986), pp. 5–6, 83–90.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bew, op. cit., p. 69; Gordon, op.cit., p. 103.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    O’Day, op. cit, Chs 1–3.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gladstone, ‘Further Notes and Queries on the Irish Demand’, Contemporary Review, Vol. LIII (Jan–June 1888), p. 335.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    R. F. Foster, Lord Randolph Churchill: a Political Life (Oxford, 1981), p. 227.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    P. Marsh, The Discipline of Popular Government: Lord Salisbury’s Domestic Statecraft, 1881–1902 (Sussex, 1978), pp. 73, 90–4.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Foster, op. cit., pp. 252–60.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    For a local example of this see M. Wainwright, Ireland not Socialism: a Leeds Election (Leeds, 1970), pp. 16–19.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gladstone, op. cit., p. 335; J. Loughlin, Gladstone, Home Rule and the Ulster Question (Dublin, 1986), pp. 132–42.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Marsh, op. cit., p. 157.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Dicey to Viscount Wolmer, 5 Nov. 1891, MS. Selborne 13/95.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    D. Brooks (ed.), The Destruction of Lord Rosebery (London, 1986), pp. 85, 98, 108.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    A. Gailey, ‘Failure and the Making of the New Ireland’, in D. G. Boyce (ed.), The Revolution in Ireland, 1879–1923 (London, 1987).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    C. B. Shannon, ‘Arthur Balfour and the Irish Question, 1874–1921’, Massachussetts Ph.D., 1975, p. 86.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    C. Townshend, Political Violence in Ireland (Oxford, 1983), p. 212.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Shannon, op. cit, p. 146.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ibid., p. 155.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    John Ramsden, The Age of Balfour and Baldwin (London, 1978), p. 17.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    A. O’Day (ed.) The Edwardian Age: Conflict and Stability (London, 1979), p. 123.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ramsden, op. cit., p. 20.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. G. Boyce 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Boyce

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations