T. P. O’Connor (1848-1929)


Life
[Thomas Power O’Connor; fam. “T.P.”, joc. “Tay Pay”]; b. Athlone; ed. Queen’s College, Galway [MA]; worked on Saunders’ Newsletter in Dublin; moved to London, 1870, and joined Daily Telegraph staff; supported Home Rule Confederation; His first book, Lord Beaconsfield (1879; earlier in serial form, 1876) attracted attention for its unsparing attack on Disraeli; elected MP for Galway, 1880; elected MP for the Scotland Division [in] Liverpool, 1885-1929, [err. 1880-1929 DIH], through Liberal party influence, and thus the sole Irish member sitting for an English constituency;
 
supported Land League and Parnell, and advocated extension of Irish land legislation to working-class England; visited America for fund-raising, 1881; wrote with others Manifesto to the Irish in England (Nov. 1885), advocating support of Liberals n accord with Parnell’s agreement; returned for Galway and Liverpool, 1885, opting for Liverpool – the Galway seat going to Parnell’s nominee, Capt. O’Shea; availing of the reduction of tax on newspapers, he became fndr-ed. The Star (1887-90), in which his leader was called ‘What We Think’;
 
also The Sun (1893), and T. P.’s Weekly (1902); a early Home Rule Confederation member with Isaac Butt and others (fnd. Jan. 1873), he also supported the Land League and Parnell; helped draw up the Manifesto to the Irish in England (1885) in which Parnell asked the Irish voters to oppose the Liberals; supported Parnell at the split; became the President of the Board of Film Censors, 1917; Privy Councillor, 1924; as the longest sitting MP, he remained ‘father’ of the House of Commons for many years;
 

O’Connor completed the 4th vol. of Charles Read’s Cabinet of Irish Literature (1880); his published titles include Lord Beaconsfield (1880); The Parnell Movement with a Sketch of Irish Parties from 1843 (1886); Charles Stewart Parnell (1891); Sketches of the House (1893); Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1908); My Beloved South (1913); Herself - Ireland (1917); Memoirs of an Old Parliamentarian (1929); he edited T.P.’s Weekly [London : Walbrook & Co., 1902-1916. 27 vols. Absorbed by To-day after 1916 [Jackson, Holbrook, 1874-1948.] Cassell’s Weekly, 1923-29; there is a portrait by Sir John Lavery [NGI]; he models for a character in W. P. Ryan, The Plough and the Cross (1910). CAB ODNB IF DIW DIB DIH OCEL FDA OCIL


Electoral record ...
O’Connor secured the Liverpool Scotland seat in Liverpool as a representative of the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1885 and retained it in every election until his death in 1929 - even after the demise of the actual party O’Connor being returned unopposed in the elections of 1918, 1922, 1923, 1924, and 1929.
—See “Irish Parliamentary Party” in Wikipedia - online;

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Works
Political studies
  • Life of Lord Beaconsfield: A Biography [William Ewart Gladstone], ed. S. O. Beeton (London: Beeton 1877-81), 2 vols. (London: Beeton 1881) [of which Vol. II was written by Algernon Foggo]; Do., Vol. I [printed separately] (Belfast & London: William Mullan 1879), vi, 711pp., 8° [19cm; see note]; Do. [10th Thousand; People’s Edn.] (London: W. Stewart & Co.; Dumbarton: Bennett Brothers 1880), 292pp.; Do. [6th edn.] (London: Chatto & Windus 1884, [7th Edn.] 1896), xxxvi, 711pp.; Do. [8th edn.] (London: T. Fisher Unwin 1905), xxxvi, 711pp. ill. [front. port.], and Do. [another edn.] (London: Collins Clear-type Press 19??), 380pp., ill. [4 lvs. of pls.].
  • Gladstone’s House of Commons (London: Ward & Downey 1885), xii, 567pp.;
  • The Parnell Movement, With a sketch of Irish Parties from 1843 (London: Kegan Paul 1886);
  • The Home Rule Debate ([London]: 1886), 46pp. [digital copy available by subscription at JSTOR [19th Century British pamphlets] (2009) - online.
  • Gladstone-Parnell, and the Great Irish Struggle: a complete and thrilling history of the fearful injustice and oppression inflicted upon the Irish tenants by landlordism supported by coercive legislation; full and authentic account of the great Home Rule movement championed by Gladstone; rocking the British Empire and agitating the world: together with biographies of Gladstone, Parnell and others / by T.P. O’Connor and R[obert] M. McWade, introduced by Charles Stewart Parnell; specially introduced to the Canadian public by Alex. Burns (Toronto; London [Ont.]: J. S. Robertson [1886]; Do. [another edn.] (Sydney, Austral. 1886) [Cambridge UL]; Do. [another edn. (Philadelphia [1886]) [Nat. Lib. of Scotland]; microfiche copy in CIHM/ICMH (Canada) No. 33379].
  • The Parnell movement from 1843 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co. 1886), 574pp., 8°.; Do. [2nd Edn. ] as The Parnell Movement: with a Sketch of Irish Parties from 1843 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1886), 536pp., 23cm.; Do. [New & revised edition] (London 1887), 302pp.; Do. [another edn.] as The Parnell Movement: Being the History of the Irish Question from the Death of O’Connell to the Suicide of Pigott [The “Commission” Edn.] (London: T. Fisher Unwin 1889), 370pp., 19 cm.
  • Charles Stewart Parnell: A Memory (London: Ward, Lock, Bowden & Co. 1891), 223pp. port.;
  • Parnell and Home Rule: The Man and the Measure, being a Reissue of Two Books [The Life of Charles Stewart Parnell and Sketches in the House] (London: Ward, Lock [1891]);
  • Sketches in the House: The Story of a Memorable Session (London: Ward, Lock & Bowden 1893), [vii]-viii, [9]-288pp., 18 cm. [incorp. Charles Stewart Parnell: A Memory, by T. P. O’Connor, M.P. and About Ireland by Elizabeth Lynn Linton];
  • Napoleon (London: Chapman & Hall 1896), xii, 416pp., 8º.
  • Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (London 1908), 167pp. [17cm.; see extract].
  • Contrib. to Great Irishmen in War and Politics, by John E. Redmond [Foreword], T. P. O’Connor, MP [“The Irish in Great Britain”; “John E. Redmond”], Joseph Keating [“Isaac Butt”, “Charles Stewart Parnell”, “Major Willie Redmond”, “Tyneside Irish Brigade”], Capt. Stephen L. Gwynn [“Irish Regiments”], and D. Polson [“Irish military and Naval Leaders”], comp. [ed.] by Felix Lavery (London: A. Melrose Ltd. 1920), 208pp., ill. [front., pl., ports.], 23 cm.
  • The Hat of Destiny (London: Collins 1923) [copy in Aberdeen UL];
  • Memoirs of an Old Parliamentarian, by the Right Honourable T. P. O’Connor, 2 vols. (London: Ernest Benn 1929), Vol. I: ix, 388pp., [4] lvs. of pls. [ports]; Vol. II: ix, 342pp., [4] plvs. lf pls., some fold., ports.], 25 cm.; and Do., 2 vols. (NY: D. Appleton & Co. 1929), ill. [ports.], 25cm.
 
Note: Life of Lord Beaconsfield [Gladstone], in the Mullan edition of 1879 is deemed a diff. edn. from the anon. edn. of 1878 - presumably meaning that O’Connor issued a single vol. biography which was co-opted by the publisher Beeton, revised by him, and supplemented by a second volume by (and probably commissioned from) Algernon Foggo.
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Fiction
  • Pat O’Rourke, or The Deed in the Dark Avenue (London: Henderson 1875) [concerns a transported Irishman on Norfolk Island and his exculpation when the real murder is detected].
Miscellaneous
  • ed. Vol. IV [of] The Cabinet of Irish Literature: Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators, and Prose Writers of Ireland. With biographical sketches and literary notices, by Charles A. Read (London: Blackie and Son, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dublin 1880), ill. [pls.]
  • Alfieri and the Countess of Albany, from The Booklover (1894) [held in Aberdeen UL].
  • Some Old Love Stories (London: Chapman & Hall 1895), [6], 337pp. [viz., Abraham Lincoln & his wife; Mirabeau & Sophie de Monnier; William Hazlitt & Sarah Walker; Fersen & Marie Antoinette; Carlyle and his wife], and Do. [another edn.] (London & Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Sons [1912]).
  • In The Days of My Youth, ed., with an introduction by T. P. O’Connor; containing the autobiographies of thirty-four well-known men and women of to-day, illustrated with sixteen photographs (London 1901), viii, 2 lvs., 3-318pp; 21cm. [see contents].
  • T.P.’s Weekly Correspondence College: Literary Training Course [Mental Training Course ser., nos. 1-12 (London]: T.P.’s Weekly, [191-?], 27cm + booklet [22pp.; 17cm.]
  • Address by Mr. T. P. O’Connor, M.P., to the President of the French Republic (London: Darling & Son 1915), 8pp., 16cm. [‘Delivered on the occasion of the visit of a deputation of the Ancient Order of Hibernians to Paris in order to present an address to the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, on the 30th April, 1915’; M. Poincaré’s reply, pp.7-8].
  • contrib. to Felix Lavery, ed., Irish Heroes in the War, with a foreword by John E. Redmond, comp. [ed.](London: Everett 1917), 335pp., ill. [pls. incl. ports) [contains T.P. O’Connor, ‘The Irish in Great Britain’; Joseph Keating, ‘The Tyneside Irish Brigade’]
  • The House of Spicer: to celebrate the Reunion of the Two Great Spicer Paper Houses after a Lapse of over half a Century [...] (London: Spicers 1922), 15pp., ill. [pls.; 22cm].
  • Intro., The Story of the Savoy Opera London (London: Stanley Paul 1924). xx, 239pp., ill. [18pp. of pls., facs., ports.], 23cm.
  • Two Hundred Years of English Literature (London [1927]), q.pp.
  • contrib., ‘Personal Traits of Thomas Hardy’ to Daily Telegraph (1928) [Monographs on the Life, Times and Works of Thomas Hardy Ser., No.54] (St. Peter Port: Toucan Press 1969), 233-239pp., [1 port.]
  • How to Live Long by Sir William Pryke [and] the Rt. Hon. T. P. O’Connor [et al.] (London [1926]), 8°. Rev. [recte Rt.] Hon. T. P. O’Connor, foreword to Hayden Coffin’s Book (London: Alston Rivers Ltd 1930);
Journals
  • ed., T.P.’s Weekly, 27 vols. (London: Walbrook & Co. 1902-1916) - absorbed thereabout by To-day];
  • ed., T.P.’s Journal of Great Deeds of the Great War, Nos.1-54 (17 Oct.1914-Sept.1916) continued by T.P.’s Journal for Men and Women.
  • ed., Cassell’s Weekly (1923-29 ).
See also writings by Mrs. T.P. O’Connor (d.1931)
  • I Myself London: Methuen 1910), xi, 352pp.
  • My Beloved South ([London:] G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1913).
    Herself - Ireland (London: Hutchinson & Co. 1917), xvi, 300pp., ill. [... with 24 ills. on art paper, incl. front., plates, ports., with music on lining-papers; 23cm.],
—The above incorporates the full listing in the COPAC database; 22.06.2010.
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Bibliographical details
In The Days of My Youth, ed., with an introduction by T. P. O’Connor; containing the autobiographies of thirty-four well-known men and women of to-day, illustrated with sixteen photographs (London 1901), viii, 2 lvs., 3-318pp; 21cm. CONTENTS. The stage: Mrs. Kendal; Mr. Fred Terry; Hermann Vezin; Mrs. Langtry; Edna May; Martin Harvey; Miss Julia Neilson; Miss Fortescue; Miss Marie Tempest. Music: Madame Adelina Patti; Sir Arthur Sullivan; Sir Frederick Bridge; Blanche Marchesi; Edward Lloyd; Madame Melba; Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie. Literature: Justin McCarthy; F. Frankfort Moore; Madame Sarah Grand; Rev. H. R. Haweis; “Toby, M. P.” Art: Laurens Alma-Tadema; Marcus Stone; Phil May. Politics: Sir Richard Temple, bart.; Sir Arthur Arnold; T. W. Russell. General: The Duke of Argyll; M. de Blowitz; The Earl of Hopetoun; Hiram Stevens Maxim; Clement Scott; Sir Edward Baldwin-Malet; J. Nevil Maskelyne.

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Criticism
L. W. Brady, T. P. O’Connor and the Liverpool Irish (Royal Hist. Soc. 1983); see also Irish Book Lover, Vols. 5 & 13.

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Commentary
D. P. Moran, in The Leader, T. P. on O’Connor: ‘The Ireland in which he rose to fame is gone. It must be strange to him when he finds that sentimentality and treacle are drugs on the market, but no doubt he has made the discovery already. If he has nothing else to offer, he had better go home to England, where life is so hard-working and practical that treacle and sentimentality may be eagerly taken as a condiment. We, who, alas, have taken them so long as our staple food have had our fill of them.’ (Q. source: Foster, infra?]

Roy Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch (London: Allen Lane 1993), quotes O’Connor, ‘Who but an Irishman can know the full hopelessness of a youth born into the lower-middle classes of an Irish country town?’, and remarks: Irish politicians sometime accused him of living off the immoral earnings of two ladies of St John’s Wood, which he urbanely called ‘more flattering to my charm than my morality’; wrote The Parnell Movement; after working on the Daily Telegraph and Pall Mall Gazette, founded the Star (1887), and TP’s Weekly (1902); wrote sharp biographies Disraeli, Parnell and others, and a nationalist MP for 40 yrs.; father of House of Commons, and first President of the Irish Censorship Board.

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Quotations
Parnell: ‘What the Irish saw in [Charles Stewart] Parnell was a man who was proud, scornful of English indignation. [...] The strong nation was humbled by the weak, in the person of Parnell; the proud conqueror baffled; the scorn of the dominant race met with a scorn prouder, more daring and more deep […]. It was a spirit in some respects evil, and at first decidedly malignant; but it was the spirit of self-confidence, pride and hope which Parnell thus inspired […] Parnell [was] the first man who, for two generations, approached the proud and, as England then was, cruel and contemptuous conqueror, and compelled him to stand and listen - and obey.’ (T. P. O’Connor, biographical memoir, 1891; cited in William Michael Murphy, The Parnell Myth and Irish Politics 1891-1956, NY: Peter Lang 1986, p.72-73; quoted in in Michael Valdez Moses, ‘Dracula, Parnell, and the Troubled Dreams of Nationhood’, in Journal X: A Journal in culture and Criticism, Vol., 2, No. 1, Autumn 1997, p.75.)

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Life of Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, M.P., (): ‘The Irish Nationalists had already become restive, for, while not openly repudiating Home Rule as an ultimate solution, several of the friends and adherents of Lord Rosebery among the leaders of the Liberal Party had proclaimed that they would not only not support, but would resist any attempt to introduce a Home Rule measure in a Parliament that was about to be elected. It was under these circumstances that I had an interview of any length with Campbell-Bannerman for the last time. He invited a friend and me to breakfast with him. ... This exchange of views was brief, for there was complete agreement as to both policy and tactics. ... It was shortly after this that he made his historic speech in Stirling. That was the speech in which he laid down the policy that while Ireland might not expect to get at once a measure of complete Home Rule, any measure brought in should be consistent with and leading up to a larger policy. Such a declaration was all that the Irish Nationalist Party could have expected at that moment and it enabled them to give their full support at the elections to the Liberal Party.’ (Quoted in D. D. Sheehan, Ireland Since Parnell, London: Denis O’Connor 1921, [Chap. VII] “Forces of Regeneration and Their Effect”; access full-text via Sheehan, q.v.)

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References
Justin MacCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (1904) contains an extract from Life of Beaconsfield.

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2, selects Memories of an Old Parliamentarian [322]; associated with Parnell against Butt’s ‘appeal to reason’ in demanding justice for Ireland [224n.]; linked with Mssrs. William O’Brien and John Dillon as ‘the three who did not keep the bridge’ in wring home that ‘Gladstone must be obeyed’, in F. H. O’Donnell (History of the I.P.P., 1910), 333; T. P. O’Connor mentions Parnell’s reference to Healy as a ‘chimney sweep’ - the kind of reference which inspired Healy’s acrimonious pamphlet of By a gutter-sparrow (1890) [ibid.; 335n.]; William O’Brien refers to ‘the genial T. P. O’Connor’ as being ‘consistently throughout his life an English radical first of all - who as President for twenty years of the Irish Nationalist Organisation of Great Britain, had gradually diverted that vast fabric of Irish opinion from its electoral function under Butt and Parnell as an electoral force to be thrown either on the Liberal or the Conservative side according to the shifting interest of Ireland, and had turned it into a reliable Hiberno-Radical chapel-of-ease of the Liberal party. [...] Mr T. P. O’Connor’s chattel interest in the Irish vote in great Britain is to be made over to the English Labour Party on the usual loose terms, that is to say, no terms at all, so far as Ireland is concerned’ [352]; also 369 [recte 370].

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Ulster Libraries: Belfast Linen Hall Library holds The Parnell Movement (1886). Belfast Public Library holds Charles Stewart Parnell (n.d.); Herself-Ireland (1917); Lord Beaconsfield (1880); Memoirs of an Old Parliamentarian (1929); My Beloved South (1913); Parnell Movement (1886); Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1908); Sketches of the House (1893). University of Ulster Library, Morris Collection, holds The Parnell Movement with a Sketch of Irish Parties from 1843 (1886).

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Fisher Unwin Ltd.: Endpapers of E. M. Lynch, A Parish Providence [New Irish Library] (London: Unwin 1894), provides notices of The Parnell Movement, being the History of the Irish Question from the Death of O’Connell to the Suicide of Pigott, by T. P. O Connor, MP (London: T. Fisher Unwin [1886])

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Notes
Maurice Headlam (Irish Reminiscences, 1947), makes reference to Irish MPs absent from Dublin society and who remained in London, ‘cultivating each day a deeper Irish brogue, like T. P. O’Connor’ (p.49).

D. George Boyce (Nationalism in Ireland, London: Routledge 1982), quotes his witty remark, ‘Devolution is Latin for home rule’, and rejoins that ‘home rule was Irish for independence.’ (p.279.)

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Namesakes incl. Terry [T. P.] O’Connor, archaeologist and author of studies of bones in Anglo-Scandanavian and medieval York (York Archaeological Trust 1989 & 1991), and Land and people : papers in memory of John G. Evans, ed. Terry O’Connor, et al. [Oxford: Prehistoric Society & Oxbow Books 2009), xxii, 236pp.; and the T. P. O’Connor, author of Foreign Direct Investment and Indigenous Industry in Ireland: review of evidence [One Europe or Several? Working Papers / ESRC Research Programme on One Europe or Several?, 22/01 (Brighton: Sussex European Institute 2001), 55pp.

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