Charles Cunningham Boycott

Life
1832-1897 [Capt. Charles Boycott]; b. Norfolk, ed. Woolwich; commission in 39th Foot, 1850; retired by sale, 1852; agent for Lord Erne’s estates in Mayo, 1873; conflict with Land League agitators, 1879; victim of ‘moral Coventry’ policy advocated by Parnell, Autumn 1880; crops harvested by fifty Orangemen working under protection of 1,000 RIC men at cost of 10,000 to Govt., Nov. 1880; left Ireland permanently, 1886; gave evidence at Parnell commission; ‘suffered annoyances’.

. ODNB DIH OCIL

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Criticism
Joyce Marlow, Captain Boycott and the Irish People (Ill. History Book Club 1973).

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Commentary
Roy Foster, Modern Ireland (1988), Above all rent was withheld, evicted farms were kept empty, and landlords ostracised by the traditional weapon of excluding the transgressor from all transactions within the community - now called, after its most celebrated victim, the boycott.

Jonathan Bardon, A History of Ulster (Belfast: Blackstaff 1992), Captain Boycott, agent of Lord Erne’s Mayo estate, described his plight in letter to The Times; his crop brought in by hired and guarded labourers at the expense of 10,000; Cpt. Boycott admitted to Belfast News-letter that he charged the workers 9d. for a stone of potatoes during the work. [366]

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Notes
Ulster Boycott: Eamon de Valera, Sinn Fein candidate in Co. Down in 1921, asked the ‘men and women of north-east Ulster’ to vote ‘so that there may be an end to boycott and retaliation, to partition, disunion and ruin.’ (Buckland, Irish Unionism, 1973). [479] Winston Churchill regretted the continuation of the Boycott: ‘It recognised and established real partition, spiritual and voluntary partition, before physical partition had been established [...] it did not secure the reinstatement of a single expelled Nationalist, nor the conversion of a single Unionist. It was merely a blind suicidal contribution to the general hate.’ (The World Crisis, the Aftermath, 1929, p.318.) Eoin O’Duffy in the north with Dan Breen to stiffen Northern units, said at a rally outside Armagh, Sept. 1921, that members ‘would have to put on the screw - the boycott. The would have to tighten the screw and, if necessary, they would have to use the lead against them [the Unionists]’ (Farrell, Northern Ireland, The Orange State, 1979, rep. 1990; 1992).

Film: Captain Boycott (1947), dir. F. Launder - a British director and later a resident of Monaco,, with Stewart Granger in lead; sometimes considered the worst “Irish” film ever (vide John Kirkaldy, in Books Ireland, Dec. 2006, p.287.)

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