Chapter 9: My Personal Finances, the Phoenix Park Murders, and the Parnell Tribute

My Personal Finances – The Park Murders – Interview with Parnell in London – Land War Truce – Land for Labourers – Coercion Rampant – I Start Parnell Tribute – £40,000 – Dispersal of Party – Carnarvon Proposals – Parnell’s Trust in Providence – White Heather


I must again remark that from my first start in active agitation with Butt I was running a large tillage concern of good but highly rented land, that I got no mercy from my landlords, and that with one hand I had to make a living for a large family, and work my politics with the other.[1] Soon after the release from Kilmainham and Portland, and the Phoenix Park Tragedy,[2] I paid a visit to London. I found Mr. Davitt and had a chat with him about the condition of things generally, and he told me he was expecting a visit from Parnell. In a short time Parnell and Dillon came in, and in the conversation that followed I learned what I wanted to know in a rather positive fashion. Mr. Davitt stated that he meant to renew the land agitation where he stopped it before going to prison, but Parnell got so heated and excited that he spoke in a way that was quite new to me. He told Davitt that no such thing could be done, and that he should not attempt it unless he wanted to be sent back to jail. I sought Parnell the next night in the House of Commons and he took me out on the terrace. I told him that I came over to know was the fight to go on or was it over during the reign of the present Government. He told me all about the terms of the Kilmainham affair,[3] and that the fight was over so far as he was concerned for the present, but that the Parliamentary work would go on as usual and that he would like me to come to Parliament to organise the labourers and to go on with the industrial movement. I said, “I have neither talents nor time for Parliamentary work. My own business is in a rather bad way. I have drifted into debt and now that the fight, as I understand it, is over, I feel bound to try and get out of it. I am farming a rather big lot of dear land which the present Land Act does not touch and I cannot expect quarter from the landlords. My family is pretty large and young,[4] so upon the whole I think you might extend the order you gave me when leaving prison and permit me to retire until further orders.” He says, “I think you should let me know more about your debts.” I said, “No, not until I must, if that time ever comes, which I hope it never will.” “Now about the future,” I said. “If there is anything which I think would be of service to the cause and useful for you to know, can I find you?” “Yes. Any time or under any circumstances. I shall be at home[5] for you because you never want to see me about your own interests. In any correspondence that may arise out of this arrangement I shall write, but shall never expect an answer unless you think it necessary.” We parted with his usual regret at not having taken the other road at the beginning. I went back to Ireland and spent some years hard labour, trying to hold my own against the landlords, and battling to maintain my independence. But at the same time I kept in touch with everything that was going on and with Parnell. I was present at the founding of the National League[6] and other meetings, but took no part in the proceedings, nor did I become a member until Parnell proposed me years afterwards.

Millview, the Kettle family home in Malahide, Co. Dublin

But although I dropped out of the running in public I pushed the labourer’s question through Parnell,[7] and I paid a visit to London to see Sir George Trevelyan[8] with Parnell on this question. I wanted free money, or at least free land, for a labourers’ settlement then as I want it now.

Ireland was dragooned at a terrible rate during the following years and William O’Brien with “United Ireland”[9] did great work. He covered the retreat and the failure of the Party to put the London policy of a six months’ fight in force, in an extraordinarily able manner. It might have been done by other men, but not in the same style. He narrowly escaped two years imprisonment as he tells us in his recollections.[10] The Forster section of the British Government, and I think every section of the British people after the revelation and conviction of the Invincibles,[11] seemed to be determined to crush the Parnell movement and to ride roughshod over the liberty and the lives of everyone. Gray of the Freeman’s Journal, the High Sheriff, was snuffed out and sent to prison.[12] Davitt, Healy, and Quinn,[13] for hinting at a renewal of the land agitation, were locked up. At no time do I remember a gloomier outlook in Irish politics, particularly for Mr. Parnell. The secret inquisitions that were established by the Government were working so successfully that the people of England seemed to be looking forward to a day near at hand when Parnell, and Egan, and Brennan, and all the other leaders, would be sent to the scaffold after Joe Brady[14] and his comrades. In taking stock of the situation I became horribly impressed with the necessity of a rally of some kind to shake off the attack of the bloodhounds that were howling round the country.

Even in Ireland from one cause or another, from perhaps the attitude of Mr. Davitt and myself and others on the failure of the Land League to produce better results, Mr. Parnell’s popularity was at a sort of low ebb at that time. I could only think of one thing that could be done and I wrote a short public letter to the Freeman and I called to see Gray who was after coming out of prison. He was in London, but he came the next day and I asked him were my fears correct about Parnell. “Well, Kettle,” he says, “it is impossible to spend one hour in London at this moment without becoming horribly impressed with the feeling that you have given expression to.” “Well,” I said, “something must be done to rally round him.” “But what can be done? You dare not do anything just now.” I said, “I admit you can’t speak, and you can’t write, but you can pay or subscribe, and that argument will convince John Bull better than any other. Read that,” I said, throwing my letter to the Freeman, with a £10 note, over to him. “But,” he says, “I hope you don’t want me to take it up in the Freeman?” “Not just at present,” I said, “but if it grows of course you will.” We talked a bit and I stood up to leave when he jumped up and slapped me on the back and says, “I have it!” “What have you?” I said. “I’ll write to Croke (the Archbishop)[15] and get him to send £50, and there and then I feel the thing is done.” Poor Father Kavanagh,[16] who was afterwards accidentally killed at the altar in Kildare, was moved by the same spirit that moved me and a short letter with £3 appeared in the Freeman on the same subject. Some nine bishops and 260 priests rallied round the Primate’s standard in a short time and succeeded in driving off Forster’s stalk-hounds. In four months the “Parnell Tribute” grew to £40,000, in spite of the fact that the Vatican had frowned on it.[17]

After Dr. Croke denounced the No Rent Manifesto the clergy generally took a lower line in the agitation created by the Land League, and this just suited Mr. Parnell in his arrangements with Gladstone and the Liberal Party. The ordinary political registration and representative business of the country was carried out by Mr. T. M. Harrington,[18] generally through the priests. In the National League, all the Parliamentary Party assisted Mr. William O’Brien and, as he tells us, Mr. T. M. Healy[19] defended the country very ably against Coercion in all its grades and forms. It is curious that all the Cork men were always strong on the defensive, but not at all reliable when called upon to initiate a lead. Ever since his liberation from prison, Mr. Davitt’s position was a most unsatisfactory one.[20] The old Kilmainham Party were all more or less dissatisfied with the turn things had taken and the failure of the Party to force the fighting when it could have been effective, before the Land Bill was drafted. Dillon had left the country, I was paying my debts working day and night at uphill farming, Brennan and Egan were gone also, and Davitt was left practically alone. He spent his time in various ways writing labour articles for the Freeman and addressing labour meetings in various places. He went to America, and when he came back he took a turn in the Dublin Corporation. He was, in fact, like a fish out of water, but his loyalty to Parnell under all the disappointment was something I remember. I often thought it far and away exceeded my own. Of course he had the allegiance of the nation and the unalterable loyalty of a few fast friends and followers like James Rourke,[21] James F. Grehan, John F. Taylor,[22] P. J. O’Neill,[23] and a host of men not in public life, but he tired of such poor work as there was to be done in Ireland, or for Ireland, and he announced his intention publicly in the press of going to Australia for two years. Nothing was gained during ’82, ’83, or ’84 after the Kilmainham Treaty, except an Arrears Act to let the Act of ’81 work, and the Labourers Act.[24] I was loathe to let Davitt go, and I published a series of letters on the Irish question in which I criticised and blamed and praised everyone on the stage of public life at the time.[25] This had some effect in moderating the feelings of hostility that existed at that time between Mr. Davitt and the Parliamentary Party. Parnell had always too much good sense to complain of Davitt’s restless criticism. Mr. Davitt did not leave Ireland, and the summer of 1885 was got through somehow. In August I got a letter from Parnell inviting me down to Aughavanagh for the week-end.[26]

Archbishop Croke, c. 1880

I went to Aughavanagh and we discussed Davitt, and all hands, and it was the only time I ever heard him complain of anyone. He praised O’Brien, and very justly, for the great defence he was making against the Government in Ireland. Amongst other things he said, “Does Davitt not know that I have to work with the tools that come to my hand? I have no choice. The men I would like to have won’t come, so I have to use the men who will.[27] It is no sinecure, I can tell him, to be spending our lives and our health in the House of Commons, watching the enemies of Ireland without being able to strike effectively.” “Well,” I said, “we had better close the discussion in this way: quietly turn over in your mind the services of all the men you have met since you took up your mission, and if on examination you find that Davitt has not rendered Ireland and you more real service than any of the other men around you, you can drop him. Mr. Davitt is no more to me than you are, only for what he may be worth to Ireland. Even his amiable criticism, not of you, but of some of your followers, may help to keep them up to their work.” “Well,” he says, “I will make time to meet him somewhere soon.”[28] I said, “A lot of your men seem to be qualifying for the bar just now.” “Yes,” he says, “I have been advising them to do so. You know in the early days we could not get legal advice on any terms.” “That’s true,” I said, “but take care they do not grow too big when they find they know more than the master.” He alluded to this point years afterwards. “You were at Arklow yesterday,” I said, “opening the quarry and selling the stones to the Corporation but what was the meaning of your strange speech on protection and Irish industries? Are you going to break with the Free Traders?” “Yes,” he said, “we have a rather big project on hands.” He then explained the meeting with Lord Carnarvon[29] and the project of the Aristocratic Home Rule,[30] with the colonial right to protect our industries against English manufacture.[31] I seemed to be knocked dumb, as I really was, by the unexpected news, and he went on to explain that it was not from a motive of justice or generosity that the Conservative Party were making the proposals. Inspired chiefly by Lord Randolph Churchill,[32] the classes in Britain were afraid that if the Irish democratic propaganda were to continue, in conjunction with the English Radicals, class rule might be overturned altogether. So, to save themselves, they are going to set up a class conservative government in Ireland, with the aid and consent of the Irish democracy, or in other words with our assistance, having no connection with England but the link of the Crown and an Imperial contribution to be regulated by circumstances. I said, “This is the most important news I ever heard from England, but it seems to be too good to be true.” “No,” he says. “If we help them to get a majority at the coming election they are going to carry through this policy.”[33]

“The world will be surprised and astounded when this becomes known,” I said, “but do you know what I always thought on this subject? England could not afford to delegate the governing powers of Ireland into the hands of any class other than that ruling in England at the time. Here was I thinking that we would have to wait for Home Rule until the English Radicals and the Irish Democrats would become powerful enough to rule the Empire, and now it is coming from the top instead of from the bottom. It is simply astounding, but I fear it will not come to pass. You will not be able to get the Tories a majority to do this. The Irish in Britain will not vote for them, and besides I fear that the Irish landlords, owing to their crimes in the past, are not destined to be placed so easily at the head of the people’s affairs in Ireland. But all the same I am intensely interested, and I shall do the little I can to help you with the experiment.” He says, “I want you to keep Davitt quiet and advise him not to denounce us while this policy is being tried.” “It will be a big job,” I said, “but I will do my best.” And so I did, and I hope Mr. Davitt will forgive me for getting him to hold his hand several times during the Election of 1885.

Parnell told me all this before breakfast – he was fond of a late French breakfast, where nearly all the dinner dishes are produced. He did not go out with the shooting party he had there at the time. James J. O’Kelly and Peter McDonald[34] of the Dublin Corporation were there, and a good many others.

He came out with me on the low-lying moors near the barracks to train a young dog, and the talk turned out to be rather interesting. While he was schooling the dog I picked up a sprig of white heather, and when he turned round he said: “Oh, where did you get that?” in a very interested manner. I told him where I got it growing. “Oh,” he says, “that is an emblem of good luck. As long as I am rambling about here I never chanced on it, and here you are only a short time about and you find it.” “Well,” I said, “I am delighted to know that good luck is coming as I seldom wanted it worse.” This find seemed to throw him into a serious moralising mood and he went on: “Well, Kettle, how little we know about the when or the wherefore. Human effort is after all a very small quantity. The best we can do is to act in the best manner we are inspired to and leave the result to be decided by a higher power.” Now, Parnell and my own mother were the only two people I ever met who seemed to be always referring the results of their work to be decided by a higher power. With all his human frailties he seemed to be the most spiritual-minded man I ever knew. On this day of surprises I had another before the end. “By the way,” I said, “I hear the young men in many parts of the country are falling back into line with the extreme movement notwithstanding all the glamour of your Parliamentary work.” He carried a large walking stick with a crooked end and he laid his two hands on the crook and turned round facing me and said: “Why should they not? All our plans and projects may fail, and all our management may prove at fault, and through some turn of misfortune England may grow savage and trample down every right of Ireland, and God only knows but the quarrel may have to be settled that way yet.” Here was a man who during the three previous years had been nursing one English party, and now was going into an experimental alliance with the other, occupying, as he then did, a position as a statesman and Parliamentarian second to no man in any country, quietly contemplating the miscarriage of all his projects and leaving the results to be decided by a higher power. The reach of his mind and the depth of his nature and his terrible power to absolutely ignore his actual surroundings at all times was never so strikingly displayed in all our intercourse as on this occasion. It was a positive and living exhibition of that mystic element which undoubtedly formed a large portion of Parnell’s character. There also seemed to be an element of mysticism about other members of the Parnell family. On this point, too, I might take a look at another great Irish mind, Isaac Butt. It was a well-known fact that Butt was always greatly upset and disturbed if he happened when dressing to forget to put round his neck the medals and other religious emblems of Catholic devotion. I believe he more than once sent a message from the Courts to his house for them. I know I one day called to see him when he was in Eccles Street, and I found him pacing the hall in a great state of excitement. When we shook hands he says: “Oh, Kettle, I fear there is no chance for the success of the Home Rule cause in my time.” “Why,” I said, “what makes you say so?” He says: “You must have noticed a large picture of the Irish Parliament hanging there,” turning to the side of the hall, “and when I was just going out today it fell with a crash and was broken in a hundred pieces.” Here was a genuine revelation of the mysticism in Butt’s mind. I was often told by friends that no one else could get so near Butt or Parnell as I did. Well, I believe myself to be a very ordinary man with a particularly ordinary education, and I know that I never went one hair’s breadth out my usual movements to attract their confidences, but I sometimes thought I had a rather large element of mysticism in my own character, and that this may have been the attraction. I left Mr. Parnell early in the evening to catch the train for Dublin, and I never recollect making a journey in a greater state of a kind of mental intoxication than after that day with Parnell at Aughavanagh.

  1. Millview, Malahide, was the home of the Andrew Kettle family for many years. The 10-acre holding was rented from Lord Talbot de Malahide, and when the 1881 Land Act, which set up the Land Courts, came into effect, Kettle was one of the first to apply to the new Land Court for the fixing of a fair rent. Lord Talbot fought the application but the case was eventually settled and a fair rent established (Kettle, A. J. 1958a, xi). At this time Kettle also rented a larger holding at Kilmore, Artane.
  2. Parnell, Dillon, and O’Kelly were released on 2 May 1882 and Davitt on 6 May. That evening came the news of the assassination in Dublin’s Phoenix Park of the newly appointed Chief Secretary, Lord Fredrick Cavendish, and the Permanent Under-Secretary, Thomas Henry Burke, by a group called the Invincibles. Although five members of this group were eventually hanged for the murders, all the people involved were never identified. There may have been an overlap with the upper (non-parliamentary) level of the Land League and possibly the involvement of Irish-American radicals. The murders horrified Parnell and compelled him to moderate his political activity. They also prompted Gladstone to introduce new drastic coercion measures. The Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Act became law on 12 July and introduced substantial powers against crime and agitation, including provision for the trial of certain cases by a commission of three judges in place of a jury (Comerford 1996a, 49-50).
  3. Part of the terms were that additional relief measures were to be introduced for small tenants in arrears whose situation had been a source of great popular grievance. The Arrears of Rent (Ireland) Act was subsequently introduced on 18 August 1882, which deemed those tenants of holdings less than £30 were only liable for one year’s arrears of rent. With the resolution of this issue, Parnell was free to fulfil the other terms of the agreement and use his influence to stop the land agitation activities in Ireland (Comerford 1996a, 50).
  4. At this point Kettle and his wife, Margaret, had six surviving children, the eldest of which was eight years old and the youngest was the infant Tom. They subsequently had five more children.
  5. To ‘be at home’ for someone is a nineteenth-century expression meaning to be available to the person.
  6. Following the prominence that Parnell and his parliamentary associates had won during the years of the Land War, a new nationalist political party, the Irish National League, was founded on 17 October 1882. As the successor to the Land League, the National League was the main base of support for the Irish Parliamentary Party and combined more moderate agrarianism with a Home Rule programme under Parnell’s authority. Also of great importance was the alliance between the new, tightly disciplined National League and the Catholic Church.
  7. Problems relating to agricultural labourers were the most problematic to resolve. Although in general they had supported the Land League, the rights of the farmers within the economic order were frequently prioritised over the interests of farm labourers. Parnell was sensitive to the concerns and welfare of the labourers and his advocacy of the Labourers (Ireland) Act of 1883 resulted in the introduction by local authorities of decent housing for the families of rural workers (Comerford 1996b, 55).
  8. Sir George Otto Trevelyan (1838-1928), 2nd Baronet, was a British statesman and author. As a Liberal member of Parliament, he was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1882 after the assassination of Lord Frederick Cavendish in the Phoenix Park murders. He broke with Gladstone over the 1886 Irish Home Rule Bill but later re-joined the Liberal Party following modifications to the bill (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2022).
  9. The United Ireland newspaper had been established under the editorship of William O’Brien in 1881 and continued as an organ of the Parnellite party machine. It promoted Parnell and his policies and guided the tenants in the implementation of the new Land Act and the moderation of agrarian violence, as well as continuing to attack the enemies of the nationalist cause, especially the administration, which brought in legislation such as the Crimes Act of 1882 (O’Brien 1976, 18).
  10. O’Brien 1905.
  11. The Invincibles was a splinter group of the Irish Republican Brotherhood active from 1881 to 1883. Members of the group carried out the Phoenix Park murders, the fatal stabbings of Chief Secretary for Ireland Frederick Cavendish and Permanent Under-Secretary Thomas Burke in the Phoenix Park in Dublin on 6 May 1882. Members of the group were arrested and tried for the crime. Several were executed or given long prison sentences (Wikipedia 2023, ‘Irish National Invincibles’).
  12. While holding the office of high sheriff, Gray was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and fined £500 in August 1882 for having published adverse comments on the composition and conduct of the jury in the trial of a Francis Hynes for murder in his newspaper the Freeman’s Journal. Following a widespread outcry over his imprisonment, Gray was set free after six weeks in Richmond Jail in Dublin and his fine was paid by public subscription (DIB 2009, ‘Gray, Edmund William Dwyer’).
  13. Joseph Patrick Quinn (1854-1916) was a nationalist and former secretary of the Land League. Following his incarceration during 1881 and 1882, he was appointed assistant secretary of the Irish National League. Two months later he was put on trial alongside Davitt and Healy, charged with making seditious speeches. In February 1883 all three men were sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, which they served in Kilmainham and Richmond jails. On his release, Quinn resumed his work as assistant secretary of the National League (DIB 2009, ‘Quinn, Joseph Patrick’).
  14. Joe Brady (c. 1857-83) was a Dublin-born Fenian and one of five men hanged for the Phoenix Park murders. He was a member of the Irish National Invincibles, a small secret society committed to political assassination. He was tried for the murder of Under-Secretary Thomas Henry Burke in April 1883 and was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging on 14 May in Kilmainham Jail (DIB 2009, ‘Brady, Joe’).
  15. Thomas William Croke (1823-1902) was the Catholic archbishop of Cashel. He actively pursued an interest in politics and nationalist interests and encouraged his clergy to do likewise. On making a £50 donation to Parnell’s testimonial fund, he declared that the amount anyone gave was a measure of their patriotism. In 1884 he moved the crucial resolution entrusting Parnell’s Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons with the promotion of the Catholic Church’s claims ‘in all branches of the education question,’ thus forging a formal alliance between episcopate and party which lasted until the Parnell split in December 1890 (DIB 2009, ‘Croke, Thomas William’).
  16. James Blake Kavanagh (1822-86).
  17. The extent of Parnell’s popularity was demonstrated by the success of this collection in aid of his personal finances. He had amassed debts amounting to £18,000, which were forcing him to sell his properties in Co. Wicklow, but the subscriptions collected from home and abroad eventually amounted to £37,000. The testimonial raised in 1883 did not lift Parnell out of debt, however, and he continued over the following years to lose large amounts on mining and quarrying enterprises in Co. Wicklow. He remained financially dependent on Katharine O’Shea and the cash she received from her aunt, Mrs. Benjamin Wood (Comerford 1996b, 53, 57).
  18. Timothy Charles Harrington (1851-1910, not to be confused with his contemporary, the unrelated journalist Timothy Richard Harrington) was a barrister, journalist, and nationalist politician. He served as the MP for Westmeath and subsequently Dublin Harbour from 1883 to 1910. He had been a provincial organiser for the Land League in Munster and was imprisioned in late 1881 before being released under the Kilmainham Treaty. He was appointed joint secretary of the Land League and after its replacement by the National League in 1882, he became the principal secretary of the new organisation. He helped ensure loyalty to Parnell by controlling the network of National League branches (1,513 by 1887) that were connected to the central apparatus. He had devised the strategy for the anti-landlord Plan of Campaign and served as defence counsel in some of the prominent Plan trials, including those of William O’Brien and John Dillon. Despite his importance to the Parnell machine, he has been frequently overshadowed by more prominent figures and remains one of the least well known of Parnell’s lieutenants (DIB 2009, ‘Harrington, Timothy Charles’).
  19. Returning from America in 1882, Healy had not been privy to the dealings that led to the Kilmainham Treaty. Following the Phoenix Park murders he furiously denounced the government’s Coercion Bill and attempted to mitigate its severity by negotiating with Chamberlain through the radical Henry Labouchere (DIB 2009, ‘Healy, Timothy Michael’).
  20. Although Davitt recognised the political advantages of the constitutional movement that succeeded the Land League, the period following the Kilmainham Treaty resulted in increased antipathy between himself and Parnell as he began to assume a more isolated position as a freelance radical (Marley 2010, 47).
  21. This could be James Rourke (1844-1921), the uncle of Thomas Brennan, and a prominent Land League official (DIB 2009, ‘Brennan, Thomas’).
  22. John Francis Taylor (1853-1902) was a lawyer, orator, and writer. Although a member of the Land League he believed that Irish nationalism had been restricted by a reliance on agrarian populism (DIB 2009, ‘Taylor, John Francis’).
  23. This could be Patrick O’Neill, who was the vice-president of the Athy branch of the Land League.
  24. The Arrears of Rent (Ireland) Act of 1882 followed the Kilmainham Treaty and extended the provisions of the 1881 Land Act to include tenants in arrears. Tenants were liable for one year’s rent, while the government undertook to pay half of the balance with the landlords suffering the remaining loss. Through this the government paid the landlords £800,000 in back rent owed by 130,000 tenant farmers. The Labourers (Ireland) Act of 1883 resulted in the introduction by local authorities of housing for the families of rural workers. It authorised the payment of grants to local authorities for the building of cottages for landless labourers, with about 15,000 provided over the following 20 years (O’Hara 2010).
  25. Kettle 1885.
  26. This is in reference to Aughavanagh Barracks in the Wicklow Mountains. A remote and Spartan building about ten miles from Parnell’s family home in Avondale, it had been abandoned by the military in the latter half of the nineteenth century and had come into the hands of the Parnell family. A keen shooter, Parnell loved to spend weekends at the lodge in Aughavanagh shooting partridge in the Wicklow hills (Fewer 2006).
  27. This declaration by Parnell provides insight into the fact that Parnell’s first choice for a ruling class was the Irish Protestant ascendancy. However, his failure to win over the landlords meant that he had to work instead with the new domestic Irish Catholic bourgeoisie and their democratic representatives (Bew 2011, 194).
  28. It can not be doubted that Davitt had a grudging appreciation for Parnell and his attributes as a leader, but the rift between Parnell and Davitt was deepening and from the end of 1882 Davitt ‘acted as the unofficial opposition in nationalist politics.’ Although he had joined the National League, he was highly critical of many of their policies and was ‘the bane of Parnellism’ during these years (Marley 2010, 77-78).
  29. Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert (1831-90), 4th Earl of Carnarvon, was a British politician and a leading member of the Conservative Party. He held the position of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1885 and 1886, during which time he was involved in negotiations with Parnell regarding Home Rule. Carnarvon was known to be sympathetic to the notion of Home Rule (DIB 2009, Herbert, Henry Howard Molyneux’; Bew 1980, 72; Bew 2007, 343).
  30. ‘Aristocratic Home Rule’ was a term popularised by the historian Edmund Curtis (1881-1943) to refer to the period of relatively weak royal government under the English crown in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, when the lordship of Ireland was left increasingly to its own devices under a native dynasty (Connolly 2007).
  31. A secret meeting had been arranged between Parnell and Carnarvon with the consent of the new Conservative premier Lord Salisbury and although most Tories were not prepared to go as far as Carnarvon, they were anxious to keep Parnell on their side for opportunistic reasons. This sudden appearance of the topic of protectionism in Parnell’s speech in Wicklow in November 1885 had arisen from this meeting where Parnell had discussed a very conservative version of the concept of Home Rule and had also argued the case of trade protection for native industries (DIB 2009, Herbert, Henry Howard Molyneux’; Bew 1980, 72; Bew 2007, 343).
  32. Lord Randolph Churchill (1849-1895) was a leading Conservative MP and fierce opponent of Home Rule (Wikipedia 2022, ‘Lord Randolph Churchill’).
  33. The Parnellites held the balance of power at Westminster for the 1885 election and although a majority of neither Liberals nor Conservatives accepted the principle of a Dublin parliament, Parnell took the step of advising Irish voters in Britain to vote against the Liberals. He appeared to overly rely on the sympathetic views of Carnarvon and Churchill and, in addition, it was his aspirations of a respectable ‘class conservative government’ in Ireland that inspired him. It appeared that Parnell was ‘ideologically predisposed in favour of a conservative deal’ (Bew 1980, 73-74; Bew 2007, 344).
  34. Peter McDonald (1836-91) was a teacher, businessman, and politician. He was elected as commissioner for Kingstown and afterwards represented the Mountjoy Ward in the municipal council and was elected senior councillor to the position of alderman. In 1885 he won the North Sligo constituency as a nationalist candidate for the Irish Parliamentary Party (Cantwell n.d.).


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The Material for Victory: The Memoirs of Andrew J. Kettle Copyright © 2023 by Open Press at the University of Galway is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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