George Henry Moore (1811-70)


Life
b. Moore Hall; f. of George Moore and Col. Maurice Moore; ed. Oscott, Birmingham and Christ Church, Cambridge; studied law; contrib. largley to construction of Carnacon Church; suffered the death of a brother Augustus riding Mickey Free in the Grand National, 1845; entered his horse Coranna in Chester Cup and won £17,000 in May 1846, jockeyed by Frank Butler, and afterwards expended prize and winnings to relieve his tenants; charterd Martha Washington with the Marquis of Sligo and Robert Bloose to carry home maize for the tenants; defeated in election of 1846 but elected MP for Co. Mayo, 1847;
 
co-fnd. Catholic Defence Association; leader of ‘Irish Brigade’, a group including 24 Liberal MPS, formed to opposed the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, 1851, which joined with Charles Gavan Duffy and Frederick Lucas’s Tenant Right League to form the Independent Party; he was re-elected for Mayo in 1852, when 42 out of 48 Tenant League candidates took seats, thus narrowly holding the balance against the Tories in Parliament; witnessed betrayal of Irish party by the bank Sadlier and Judge Keogh who accepted posts in the administration for their votes (Sadlier later committed suicide); Moore was relected in 1852 but unseated following charges of clerical interference in the election, 1857;
 
he returned to racing in England with Croagh Patrick who won the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood and Chesterfield Cup; re-elected 1868 and sold his horses in 1869 [or vice-versa]; joined the Fenian brotherhood and raised questions in the House about the treatment of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa; d. 19 April 1870, while engaged in a rent dispute with his own tenants; his funeral was held at Carnacon Church, whence his coffin was carried by sixteen tenants; the funeral oration was delivered by Father Lavelle; he is buried in Kiltoom; sometimes accredited with the invention of obstructionism in Westminster. ODNB DIH.

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Criticism
J. H. Whyte, The Independent Party (Oxford: OUP 1958); see also brief remarks in Malcolm Brown, Politics of Irish Literature: From Thomas Davis to W. B. Yeats (London: George Allen & Unwin 1972), p.129.

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Commentary
Malcolm Brown, Politics of Irish Literature: From Thomas Davis to W. B. Yeats (London: George Allen & Unwin 1972): ‘Moore, a member for Mayo, whose ample gifts of astuteness and generosity were inherited only in fragments by his more famous son, the novelist. ... one of the most distinguished Irishmen of the century, combining liberal nationalism, great oratorical power, and acid wit, impressive land-holdings in west Mayo, and, a not inconsequential item of Irish prestige, the famous racing stable immortalised in his son’s novel, Esther Waters. Moore gathered a nucleus of angry Irish embers and pledged them to vote against whatever ministry was in power, under all circumstances, in the hop of paralysing the work of the House of commons until Irish demands were met. Twenty members were recruited to Moore’s caucus, barely a fifth of the whole of the Irish delegation, but enough to be heard. [... &c.] (p.129.)

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