Dáire Keogh & Kevin Whelan, eds., Acts of Union: The Causes, Contexts and Consequences of the Act of Union (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2001), 270pp.; 28 col. pls.

List of Contribs.; List of Abbrevs.; Preface [11]; Kevin Whelan, The other within: Ireland, Britain and the Act of Union [13]; Patrick Geoghegan, The making of the of Act of Union [34]; James Kelly, The Act of Union: its origin and background [46]; Allan MacInnes, Union failed, union accomplished: The Irish union of 103 an the Scottish union of 1707 [67]; James Livesey, Acts of unin and disunion: Ireland in Atlantic and European contexts [95]; Gillian O’Brien, Camden and the move towards the Union 1795-1798 [106]; Daniel Mansergh, The unin and the imprtance of public opinion [126]; Nicholas Robinson, Marriage against inclinatin: the union and caricature [140]; Dáire Keogh, Catholic responses to the Act of Union [159]; Claire Connolly, Writing the Union [171]; Willa Murphy, a queen of hearts or an old maid?: Maria Edgeworth’s fictions of union [187]; Jane Elizabeth Dougherty, Mr and Mrs England: the Act of Union as national marriage [202]; Ruan O’Donnell, The union and internal security 1798-1799 [216]; Thomas Bartlett, Britishness, Irishness and the Act of Union [243]; Index, 259.

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Kevin Whelan, The other within: Ireland, Britain and the Act of Union [13]
Burke: Union would be justifed ‘in some nearly desperate crisis of the whole empire’ (Letter to Earl Fitzwilliam, c.26 Setp. 1794; Corr., VIII, p.21.

Tone: ‘The revolution of 1782 was a revolution which enabled Irishmen to set at a much higher price their honour, their integrity, and the interest of their country; it was a revolution, which, while at one stroke it doubled the value of every borough monger i the kinfdom, left three-fourths of our countrymen slaves as it found them, and the government of Ireland in the base and wicked and contemptible hands who who had spent their lives in degrading and plundering her [...] The power remined in the hands of our enemies, again to be exerted for our ruin, with this difference, that formerly we had our sdistresses, our inguries, and our insults gratis, at the hand so fEngland; but now we pay very dearly to receive the same with agggaravatin, thorugh the hands o firishmen; - yet this we boast of, and call a revolution.’ (An argument on behalf of the catholics of Ireland [1791], in Moody, McDowell & Woods, The Writings of Theobald Wolfe Tone, 1763-98, vol. I,, Oxford 1998, pp.112-13; cited in Keogh and Whelan, Preface, p.14.)

Sir Richard Musgrave: ‘Ireland in her present state may be considered as an intestine thorn in the side of England, as a strong outpost easily accessible to her enemies, who may at all times annoy her through it: instead of affording her strength, it will be an incessant source of weakness.’ (Memoirs of the different rebellions in Ireland, Enniscorthy [1995], p.851; here p.16.)

Barrington in on Irish catholics under British administrations: ‘In 1798, they were hanged; in 1799, they were carressed; in 1800, they were cajoled; in 1801, they were discarded.’ (Historic memoirs, vol. II, p.232; here p.17.)

Bibl.: J. Glassford, Notes of Three tours in Ireland in 1824 and 1826 (Britsol 1832).

Richard Griffith, Irish Whig MP: saw disadvantages of Union but considered they would be ‘more than counterbalanced by the demolition of the most corrupt assembly that ever disgraced a nation.’ (Letter to T. Pelham, in Pelham Papers, BL Adds. MS 33,106, ff.169-72; here p.19.)

On Castlereach [of Irish MPs] had a successful career in the union parliament and the psychological cost can perhaps been seen in his ultimate act - cutting his own throat. (p.19.)

‘it is not an identification of people, as it excludes catholics from the parliemant and the state [...] The union, the, is not an identification of the two nations [...] it is merely a merger of the parliament of one nation in that of another.’ (Cited in D. Madden, Speeches of the Rt. Hon. Henry Grattan, Dublin 1853, p.255; here p.20.)

”A Pastoral ballad for John Bull”. ‘I have found out a gift for my Erin,/A gift that will surely content her;/Swet pledge of a love so endearing!/Five millions of bullets I’ve sent her.//She ask’d me for Freedom and Right,/But ill she her wants understood;/Ball cartridges, morning and night,/Is a dose that will do her more good [...]’ (Following dispatch of said quantity of ammunition to Ireland in 1805; quoted here, p.23 [no source]).

Sydney Smith: ‘Before you refer to the turbulence of the Irish to incurable defects in their character, tell me if you have treated them as friends and equals? [...] Nothing of all this. What then? Why you have confiscated the territorial surface of the country twice over; you have massacred and exported her inhabitants; you had deprived four fifth of them of every civil privilege; you have at every period made her commerce and manufactures slavishly subordinate to yor own; and yet the batred which the Irish bear to you is the result of an original trubulence of character, and of a primtive, obdurate wildness, utterly incapable of civilisation.’ (Dcited in S. Deane, A short history of Irish literature, 1986, p.60; here p.26.)

Whelan: ‘Burke inflected the Scottish Enlightenment model of civilisation in his celebrated reflections on the consequences of the French Revolution. Burke asserted that there is a uniform and universal human nautre, as profound as it is unchanging. Civility (in the Scottish Enlightenment sense) could be calibrated against this universal set of values. Burke’s innovation was to argue tha the French Revolution had failed to meet the this standard of civility, because it had fundamentally altered human nature itself in its brutal pursuit of an unattainable and abstract human perfectability. Revolutionary Jacobinism also backlit the essential features of that universal human nature which it so rudely assaulted - the domestic values of feeling, fiidelity, loyalty and a profound at-homeness. Burke then argues that the new France had betrayed the old values while the placid, dull, almost bovine, English had not. The placity of thier national cahracter, grooved in immeorial routine, firmly rooted tme in their traditions, unlike the volatile, frivolous French. This curious British reworking of the Scottish Enlightenment and the French Revolution had massive Irish repercussions. The identification of civility as the apex of human development and its instantiation in Great Britain meant that other forms of identity, like the Gaelic, were deemed incapable of aspiring to the universal. Similarly, the British imperium in Ireland had to be seen as a defender of universal human values indelibily identified with the British way of life and British nationalism. [.../] Burke and, later, Coleridge are able to theorise the relatinship between Englishness and civilisation,and the British state which preserved and guaranteed them as a system of universal values. The irish can then only be celts in a saxon world, like greeks in a roman one, whose function is to be absorbed - either coercively (through punitive means) or genially (the Gladstone project). The Gael occupied the space of the past, as the celts became the memory of the saxon. [Quotes Wordsworth, “The pibroch’s note [... &c.] all speak mof manners withering to the root’.] (Whelan, p.27; Bibl., Deane, ‘Factions and fictions: Burke, colonialism and revolution, in Bullán, iv, No. 2, 200, pp.5-26.)

The Liberal Peter Burrowes posed the issue: ‘Is it possible that the catolics of Ireland can be permanently alienated and the two countries permanently united?’ (Letter to L. Parsons, 23 Oct. 1800; PRONI T 3489/D/2ii; here p.30.

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Patrick Geoghegan, The making of the of Act of Union [34]
Barrington relates that chief secretary Edward Cooke kept a lavish table for about 30 irresolute members of Parliament in committee rooms during the Union debate so that they could be rushed in to vote in a division: ‘with significant nods, and smirking innuendoes, [he] began to circulate his official rewards to the company [until] every man became in a prosperous state of official pregnancy.’ (Historic Memoirs, II, p.336; here p.43.)

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James Kelly, The Act of Union: its origin and background [46]
William Daunt O’Neill (on the Act of Union): ‘The motive of the government was “an intolerance of Irish prosperity”. They hated Ireland with intense fierceness, from ancient national prejudice. Pitt also had his own peculiar quarrel with the Irish parliemant, from its opposition to his view on the regency question in 1789; and the growth of Ireland in happiness, in greatness, in prosperity, in domestic harmony, and consequent strength, was altogether insupportable to our jealous English foes [...].’ (Cathecism of the history of Ireland: ancient and Modern, Dublin 1844, p.133; here p.46.)

William King, bishop of Derry, was among the earliest to maintain that a union would be bmutually advantageous, claiming in 1697 that it would enable both kingdoms to “flourish effectively”. (King to Southwell, 19 July 1697, cited in Moody & Vaughen, eds., A New History of Ireland, Vol. IV: Ireland 1692-1800, OUP 1986, p.7; here p.52.)

Kelly: ‘Jonathan Swift well captured the feelings of rejection in his allegory of “the injured lady” (Ireland) who had been taken advatage of and ruined by a suitor (England) only to be forsaken for another (Scotland). In truth, Irish protestants did not have strong grounds for feeling aggrieved since they perceived a legislative union as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Their primary object was to secure the same commercial and constitutional rights as Englishmen; when this was not forthcoming, they reverted easily to their more familar strategy of asserting their rights, as subjects possessed of a separate kingdom.’ (p.53; citeing Swift, Prose Writings, ed., H. Davis, Vol. IX, Oxford 1968, pp.3-9.

Bibl., G. O’Brien, ed., Parliament, politics and People (Dublin 1989); F. James, Ireland in the Empire, 1690-1770 Cambridge, Mass: 1973).

Kelly: ‘Furtherore, many of the most impartant voices in conservatism - sir Richard Musgrave and Patrick Duigenan most notably - were vigorous proponents of union. Their support ws inevitably predicated on its being proposed upon “protestant principles”, which caused both the iris executive and the British government serious problems. they believed that Catholic emancipation should follow the union, but they shrewdly ensured that this did not become a major public matter and it did not prevent the measure’s passing. Moreover, there is nothing to suggest that combined or separately the Rebellin, the immeediate prospect of the abolition of ht eIrish parliament or the fear of further catholic empowerment prompted significant leaching from the ranks of Irish unionists.’ [p.65]

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Gillian O’Brien, Camden and the move towards the Union 1795-1798 [106]
‘Francis Higgins, the unscrupulous editor of the Freeman’s Journal and an active and enhusiastic Castle informant, vividly illustrates the disillusionment and despndency flet by Irish loyalists: “You [...] have never heard anything equal to the outcry made against the English government for want of the protection of the fleet; [...] the enemy on the shores; no assistance given, though [...] the country might be overrun by the French. The citizens who are strongly attached to the government speak of the neglect in this wat “that Ireland is to look to itself, the hour of danger has come and neither assistance nor relief from an English fleet will have arrived”.’ (F[rancis] H[iggins] to [Edward Cooke], 8 Jan. 1797, NA 620/18/14; here p.117.)

Lord Clare: ‘[I]t is essential to the peace of this country that all parties should be satisfied of the determination of the British government to maintain and defend the remant of politic strength whic is left in the hands of the Protestants of Ireland. I hope that such is their determination, else they never can preserve this country to the British Empire.’ (Clare to Auckland, 18 May 1795, PRONI, Sneyd Papers, T3229/1/9; here p.123.)

When parliament, as anticipated, rejected a motion opposing union, a large aggregate anti-union meeting of the leading citizens of Dublin, including a substantial deputation of catholics, was assembled and addressed by John Philpot Curran, the prominent whig lawyer best known for his courageous defence of the United Irish leaders. His words on the occasion are testimony to the desperate importance that was attached by the opposition to public expressions of support: “Our only road to safety [remains] the unanimity of the people. The captial [has] nobly set the example. If the country [follows] the example, Ireland [can] not be lost. The projected surrender of Ireland [ill] be defeated [...] Without our own ardent co-operation, what can we hope from our friends in parliament; with al their virtues and talents, what barrier can they form without our assistance; at the best an uncemented wall, destitute of that connection which nothing but support can give, it must soon be overwhelmed in the overbearing tide of corruption.’ (The Speech of Henry Grattan, Esq., on the subject of a legislative Union with Great Britain; the resolutions [...] at an aggregate meeting held on 16th of January last; the lecelbrated speech delivered on that occasion by John Philpot Curran, Esq. [...] (Dublin 1800, pp.27-28; here p.133.)

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Nicholas Robinson, Marriage against inclination: the union and caricature [140]
Includes W. Holland, The Rival Managers (June 1799), showing Pitt and Sheridan contesting the claims of their theatricals; Sheridan declares: ‘I will maintain it, Sir, - mind is the best conducted Theatre of the two. As to our Finances - ask Mr Reynard, my Property man! - and as to Loyalty, where you have touch’d with a pencil, I have made use of the Trowel, Sir!!’ Pitt urges that his play Union for Ever ‘would make your best Tragedies and Comedies appear mere Farce.’ (Pl. 8; inter. pp. 44-45.) Sheridan is also a figure, with Lord Moira, in the oft-reprinted plate the Union Club by James Gillray, in which the whigs who had strongly opposed the Union drown their sorrows.

Also, Death to Erin, anon, printed by Williamson, Dublin, showing Joh Philpot Curran leading the pall-bearers with Grattan and Foster ad chief mourners, while their beloved constitution of 1782 is laid to rest, with Clare and Castlereagh as gravediggers in the distance. (Pl.22).

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Dáire Keogh, Catholic responses to the Act of Union [159]
Quotes Tom Bartlett ‘The catholics carried the Union; the rest is detail. (Fall and Rise of the Irish Nation: The Catholic Question, 1690-1830, Dubln 1992).

Archibishop Troy appeared at the Catholic Voncention and declare the bishops ‘second to no decription of Catholics [in the demand] for emancipation’ (Troy to T. Bray, 8 Dec. 1972, Cashel Dioc. Arch.; here p.160).

Watty Cox aspersed the Catholic bishops’ stance on the Defenders and United Irishmen as sending ‘a man to the devil for loving his country’ (Irish magazine, March 1815; here 160.)

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Keogh: ‘The Catholic Committee was already dissolved, while the leading catholic radicals, tainted by their association with the United Irish cause and rebellin, were forced underground. In their absence, Troy became the acknowledged voice of Irish catholics, an ironic development which palaced him in an unenviable position, given his conspicuous loyalism throughout the decade. / Troy’s immediage task was to counter the polemical atacks in print, but of greater concern was the overwhelming fear and insecurity felt by catholics for their future whch [Bishop James] Caulfield [of Ferns] attributed to “their craz6 union, that had caused more disunion throughout this country, than it had every perhaps experienced before.” [Caulfield to Troy, 6 sept. 1799; Dublin Dioc. Arch.;]/ Troy was particularly concerned at the revenge the orangemen had begun to inflict on the catholic community. The burning of the chapel of Ramsgrange, County Wexford, on 19 June was the first of sixty epidsodes ove the next two years [...]’ (Keogh, p.161)

‘[...] A fair representation of the present political state of Ireland, published by the rabidly anti-catholic Patrick Duigenan, dubbed the “Black Doctor” by the radical press. In it the author pointed to the inherent unrealiability of catholics, claiming that the rebels were not only santcioned by cammanded to fight by their priests. In this he echoes his recurrne theme of the “necesary connection between popish supremacy in spirituals, with its tyranny in temporals’. (An answer to the Address of the Rt. Hon Henry Grattan to his fellow citizens of Dublin, Dublin 1798; here p.162.)

FitzGibbon on Catholic Relief in 1793: ‘If the principle is once yielded [...] it goes directly to the subversion of all civilised government’ (The speech of the right honourable John, Lord Baron FitzGibbon [...] delivered in the House of Peers on the second reading of the Bill for the relief of His Majesty’s roman catholic subjects, 13 march 1793, Dublin 1798, pp.21-22; here p.163; note bibl. A. kavanagh, John FitzGibbon, Earl of Clare, Dublin 1997, pp.262-81.)

As Burke put it, the English government has ‘farmed out Ireland, without the reservation of a pepper corn rent in power of influence’ (Letter to T. Hussey, 9 Dec. 1796; Burke’s Corr., IC, p.165.

Arthur O’Leary, in his Address to the Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland (Dublin 1799), states that the Union would end all religious disqualification and national jealousies (p.99; here p.165.)

Troy on the Veto: ‘We all wish to remain are we are, and we would do so were it not that too many of the clergy were active in teh wicked rebellin or did not oppose it [...] If we had rejected the proposal in tot, we would be considered here as rebels [...] If we agreed to it wthout rference to Rome, we would be branded as schismatics.’ (Leter to J. Concanen [Spring 1800], Dublin Dioc. Arch.; here 166.)

Summarising outcomes of a seven-hour meeting of the Catholic leadership in Feb. 1799, turning the hierarchy’s epistolary advice to ‘wait patiently for that kindness and relief which it was manifest that the English government had always shewn’, Troy writes to Castlereagh: ‘The general opinion of the meeting was, that the catholics as such ougt not to deliberate on the union as a question of empire, but only as it might affect their own peculiar interests as a body; and on this it was judged inexpedient to publish any resolution or declaration at present.’ (Castlereagh Corr., II, p.61; here p.167.)

Pro-union resolutions signed by bishops Bray (Cashel), Dillon (Tuam), Sughrue (Kerry), Cruise (Ardagh), Coyle (Raphoe), French (Elphin), Macmahon (Killaloe), and Bellow (Killala), Thomas Hearn signing in the absence of Hussey.

Bibl., Theobald McKenna, Memoirs on some questions respecting the projected Union of Great britain and Ireland (Dubln 1799): ‘Unless the servants of the crown mean [...] to exclude a settlement under the head of religious difference completely co-extensive with the grievance, then will an incorporatin of the legislatures be found a measure bad for Ireland, but if possible worse for Britain.’ [q.p.]; here 169.) Note that McKenna is described as a veteran Catholic pamphleteer and this piece commissioned by Castlereagh.

Leonard McNally, report from Cork: ‘The organge and the green were making rapid approaches towards each other [...] The respectable catholics are determined to come forward on the question of union in a body, though individually they are to a man against it.’ (”J.W.” [McNally], 2 jan. 1799, cited in Lecky, Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, Vol. V., p.211; here p.169.)

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Claire Connolly, Writing the Union [171]
‘This chapter examines the fierce paper war fought in Dublin and London betweeen the end of 1798 and the start of 1801 and its implications for the ways in which Anglo-Irish relations could be written about. [...] I do not offer a history of the debates, opting instead to select some of the dominant metaphors and see how they operate according to certain textual manoeuvers and strategies. in so doing I hope to show how the meanings of Ireland’s relatinship with its nearest neighbour shift in relation to such stylistic concerns as langauge and genre.’ [171] Connolly’s essay effectively focusses the prevalence of metaphors of spectres, vampyres and sprites in post-Union discussions of the measure and the class that sponsored it.

Bibl., [Charles Kendall Bushe], Cease Your Funning, or, The Rebel Detected [3rd edn.] (Dublin 1798), riposte to Edward Cooke’s Arguments for and against a Union.; epigraph, ‘Oh that mine enemy would write a book’; Bushe compares Cooke’s pamphlet to Swift’s Modest Proposal, remarking, ‘The stile [sic] consists altogether in the art of supporting in a train of grave irony the opposite of the opinion whic you mean to establish.’ (Bushe, op. cit., pp.3-4); describes the tone of the pamphlet as ‘either a member of the Oppostion or an absolute United Irishman’ (p.4); calls the assertion of independence from Britain ‘the mere cant and frabircation of the United Irishmen’ and ajudges the author to be ‘a concealed United Irishman [who has] jesuitically assumed the style and character of a loyal Englishman’ (p.11) and calls for his prosecution (p.7, 44-45; all here p.172).

Bushe is the model for the lord chief justice in Edgeworth’s novel Patronage (1814).

Fitzgibbon, A compleat refutation of the statements of Lord Moira respecting Ireland; being the entire speech of Lord Clare, lord chancellor of Irelnd, in the House of Peers of that kingdom, Monday, February 19, 1798 (London 1798).

Edmund Burke’s ‘A letter on the affairs of Ireland, written in the year 1797’, being his last letter on Irish affairs: ‘men do not live upon blotted paper. The favourable or the hostile mind of the ruling power is of far more importance to mankind, for good or evil, than the black letter of any statue.’ (Arnold, ed., Irish Affairs, 1881, p.381; here p.173.)

Lady Morgan: ‘A few days back, I met with two peasants who were making compaints of the oppression they endured. A gentleman asked them if they thought they were worse off since the union. They replied, “they had never heard anything about the union, and did not know what it meant.” After some further questions, they were asked, “if they did not know that there was now no Irish parliament.” They replied, that all they had heard was, that the parliament-books were sent away, and that the good luck of the country went with them. Sofull is the heart of the Irish peasant with his own grievance, and so little is his head troubled about public affairs.’ (Patriotic sketches of ireland, written in Connaught, 2 vols. London 1807, I, 121n.; here p.174.) Further, ‘for it was ever, as in is now, the singular destiny of Irelad to nourish within her own bosom her bitterest enemies, who, with a species of political vampyrism, destroyed that source from whence their own nutriment flowed’ (Vol. I, pp.111.-12; here 185).

RLE: ‘I am a unionist, but I vote and speak agains the union now proposed to us [...] it is intended to force this measure down the throats of the Irish [...] the good people of Ireland ought to be persudaded of this truth, and not be dragooned into submission.’ (letter to Erasmus Darwin, 31 March, 1800; Memoirs of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Esq., begun by himself and concluded by his daughter, Maria Edgewroth, 2 vols, London 1820, Vol. II, p.252; here p.175.) RLE left the house before the bill was passed, taking with him a group of anti-unionist MPs incl. Henry Grattan.

Quotes extensively from Speaker John Foster, The Commercial System of Ireland reviewed and the question of union discussed in an address to the merchants, manufacturers and coutnry gentlemen of Ireland [2nd edn.] (Dubln 1799), viz., ‘The consideration of the great subject of unioin is fitter for a volume than a letter’ (p.4); ‘When republics and republicans are described as iolating every principle of moral retitude, it behoves kings, and the prespresentatives of kings, to secure the addmiration of the world by magnanimity and moderation.’ (p.96); ‘Every respecting man must recognise, in the deplorable extent of religious animosity, the true and extact features of a short-lived enthusiasm, operatin gon minds deparabed by superstition the most unworthy and intolerant. And I defy any many to point out, in the luminous pages of GIBBON, VOLTAIRE, ROBINSON, and HUME, a single instance where a Civil War has not had the effect of giving a country a more determined aspect, and more dreaded character - look at Rome under Marius - Sylla - Pompey - Caesar - Anthony - Augustus - and look likewise at modern France - and the scholar, the statesman, and the philosopher, will see the force and weight of this observation’ (p.98-99). Further, ‘The readers wishes cannot exevceed my own anxiety to get over this retrospective view of our national occurrences, but I do assure him, that a knowledged of past occurrences wil lbe a necesary shielf agains the canting hypocrisy and pausible treachery of a minister.’ (p.20; all Connolly, op. cit., pp.176-79; 182.)

Grattan in response to Clare’s Union-proposing speech: ‘The idea is to make your history a calumny against your ancestors in order to disenfranchise your posterity.’ (Grattan, Answer to a pamphlet entitled The Speech of the Earl of clare on the subject of a legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland, Dublin 1800, p.1; here p.179.)

Duigenan: ‘The present connection with Great Britain and Ireland is such as has no parallel in the history of the world: it contains in it anomalies heretofore unknown to the law of nations, and the seeds of dissolution these anomalies must be corrected; and these seeds must be effectally prevented from striking root; which can be only effected by an incorporating union of the two kingdoms. (Speech of Patrick Duigenan, LLD in the Irish House of Commons, Wednesday February 5 1800, on the subject of an incorporating union between Great Britain and Ireland, London 1800, p.6-7; here p.179.

Connolly: ‘Irish national romances such as Sydney Owenson’s The Wild Irish Girl (1806) or Maria Edgeworth’s The Absentee (1812) do not then simply reproduce the imagery of union; rather they thicken and intensify that language, creating in the process new and affective political possibilities. (p.181.)

Sir John Blacquiere figures in satirical playbills as ‘Queerblack’.

W. J. Fitzpatrick: ‘Oh that our volume were a not an octavo but a folio, in order that we might cull the beauties of those masterly anti-union orations wich in 1799 awakened the echos of the Irish parliament.’ (The Life, times and contemporaries of Lord Cloncurry, Dublin 1855, p.246; here p.183.)

William Parnell, Inquiry into the causes of popular discontents in Ireland (1804), writes:‘imaginations [...] have been worked up to such a degree of agitation, by poor Sir Richard Musgrave’s Tales of terror [i.e., Memoirs of the Different Rebellions]’ (Quoted Connolly. op. cit., p.183.)

John Wilson Croker calls Dublin Castle ‘a kind of Deity much workshipped by the wild irish, and which is supposed to have t epower of looking into futurity and telling fortunes’. (The Amazoniad; or, Figure and Fashion, a scuffle in high life. With notes critical and historical, interspersed with choice anecdotes of bon ton [2nd edn.] Dublin 1806), p.16n.

Barrington:‘The life of Lord Clare is the history of Ireland’; ‘the mind and body [of Lord Clare] became too sympathetic for existence, and he sunk into the grave’ (Rise and Fall, p.37; here pp.183-84.) Connolly notes fictional productions based on Lord Clare incl. Lessons to a Young Chancellor; or, a letter from a mentor of Lord Jeffreys, Baron Petulant, of the kingdom of Barataria (”Barataria printed”, 1792).

Bibl., [Lord Clare], No Union! But inite and fall. By Pady Whack of Dyott-street London in a loving letter to his dear mother Sheelah of Dame-Street Dublin (Dublin 1799).

Lady Morgan: ‘The union cannot subsist [...] sin and dath have fixed their peremptory seal of doom upon it.’ (Absenteeism, 1825, p.152; here p.185.

Barrington likened Henry Grattan, old and ill, to ‘the appearance of a spectre’. (Rise and Fall, p.442; here p.185.)

Daniel O’Connell likened Thomas Moore’s Captain Rock to the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of the Catholic Emancipation Movement’ (See O. McDonagh, The Emancipist: Daniel O’Connell 1775-1829, p.17; quoted in M. Howed, ‘Tears and Blood: Lady Wilde and the Emergence of Irish Cultural Nationalism’, in Tadhg Foley and Seán Ryder, eds., Ideology in Ireland in the Nineteenth Century, 1998, p.161.)’; also between Captain Rock and a Hard Place: Art and Agrarian Insurgency, in Foley and Ryder, op. cit., pp.23-44.

Moore: ‘The Union, a measure arising out of corruption and blood, and clothed in promises put only to betray, was the phantom by with the dawn of the nineteenth century was welcomed.’ (Memoirs of Captain Rock, the celebrated Irish chiefain, with some account of his ancestors, written by himself, 1824, p.363; here p.186.)

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Willa Murphy, A queen of hearts or an old maid?: Maria Edgeworth’s fictions of union [187]
’The union would be advantageous to all the aprties concerne,d but England has no right to do to Ireland good against her will’ (Letter to S. Ruxton, 29 Jan. 1800; given in Hare, the Life and letters of maria Edgeworth, 1894; here p.187.)

’I have no doubt that my happiness would be much increased by a union with a man suited to me in character, temper, and understing, and firmly attached to me, but deduct any of those circumstances and I think I should lose infinitely more than I should gain [...] I am not afraid of being an old maid.’ (Quoted in Marilyn Butler, Maria Edgeworth: A Literary Biography, Oxford 1972, p.187; here p.188.

Bibl., Marilyn Butler, The novels and selected works of Maria Edgeworth (London 1999), ‘General Introduction’, pp.vii-lxxx;

R. L. Edgeworth, The substance of three speeches delivered in the House of Commons of Ireland upn the subject of an Union with Great Britain (London 1800): ‘the sun of reason has ascended too high to be followed by the mists of ignorance [...] let it shine on Ireland’ (p.14); ‘the force of England is wanted to restrain the violence of party [in Ireland], and to give time for the revival of better passions, to give time for the effects of knowledge and of increasing property’ (p.14-15); [Union would transform] ;idleness and poverty into industry and wealth’ (p.15); ‘we have called in England to our aid, to settle our domestic quarrels’ (p.15); ‘The two islands [will be] mutually dependent - so are the earth and moon; they mutually regulate and enlighten each other; (p.16); ‘Good example and good education will carry off, or prevet the peccant humors that disease [this] country’ (p.17); ‘an identical and equal partnership, such terms as leave no temptation one one side and no suspicion on the other’ (p.20); ‘the real union of different materials can only be effected by the mutual attraction of their respective parts; when these parts have once combined they become one body without danger of spontaneous dissolution’ (p.32);’Are not trooops stationed in every part of this kingdom to enforce what will formally be law, but what an never be substantially legal till it has been santcioned by time and acquiesence?’ (p.46; all here pp.187-191; and note that Murphy calls the Speeches so even-handed that none of Edgeworth’s contempories, himself included, knew which way he would vote in the Union division.)

Murphy remarks: his daughter’s Irish works are frequently been read as allegories of literary unionism - imaginative attempts to consecrate the union as a necessary and desireable marriage of equals [...] a merger that looked rather more doutbful in the murky bogs of County Longford’. [187-88].

Barrington: ‘one of the most flagrant public acts of corruption on the records of history, and certainly the most mischievous to this empire’ reducing Ireland to ‘a withered limb.’ (Personal Sketches and recollections of his own times, Dublin 1997 [Edn.], p.iii; Historic anecdotes and secret memoirs of the legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland, 1809, p.17; here p.189.)

Elizabeth Smith, ‘What we want to lead [the Irish tenants[ to is to consider [the landlord] as their friend, the natural guardian oftheir rights and their comforts’ (28 Feb. 1843; in D. Thomson & M. Gusty, ed., The Irish Journals of Elizabeth Smith, 1840-1850, Oxford 1990, p.59; further, ,’Sometimes a perfect glow of happiness comes over me when I think of twenty years hence. We have party and sectarian bigotry to get over however before any great advance can be made. We don’t want the rapidity of enthusiasm but the sober conviciton of rational intelligence and lending libraries are to be among our tools.’ (30 May 1842, p.48.)

Murphy: ‘As the Catholic novelist Gerald Griffin has it, Ireland was treated not as a “sister-island” but as a S2tep-daughter”, suggesting a relationship of bitter dependence and (if the fatre of step-children in his tales is anything to go by) danger and death’ (p.195; citing Griffin, ‘The Brown man’, in Holland-Tide; or, Munster Popular Tales, London 1827, p.292.

Some men live with their family, without letting them know their affairs [...] this was not my father’s way of thinking. - On the contrary, not only his wife, but his children knew of all his affairs. Whatever business he had to do was done in the midst of the family, usually in the common sitting room: so that we were intimately acquainted, not only with his general principles of conduct, but with the most minute details of their every-day application.’ (Memoirs, II, p.15; here p.196.)

Guide to practical education (London 1798), baes on Rouseaa, Jospeh Priestley, David Hartley, Thomas Day; issued by Edgeworth and reflecting the system developed by him with his second wife Honora, based on encouragement of ability rather than discipline; encourages in particular free conversation between children and parents, taking care that they do not become ‘spiles of servants, nor should they keep their secrets’ (p.200) and warning against ‘secret intercourse [...] between children and servants’ (p.201); in the course of the educational experiment, Edgeworth kept ‘notes of everything which occurred worth recording’, makiing - as Murphy writes - a personal panopticon in his house. (Murphy, pp.196-97.)

Bibl., Tom Dunne, ‘Haunted by history: Irish romantic writing 1800-1850’, in R. Porter and M. Teich, ed., Romanticism in a national Context (Cambridge 1989), pp.68-91.

Bil., Kathryn Kirkpatrick, ‘Putting down the rebellion: notes and gloesses on Castle Rackrent’, in Eire-ireland, 30, 1, 1995, pp.77-90 [remarks on competing discourses in the text and glossary].

Murphy writes: The writing of Castle Rackrent was one activity that went unsupervised by the all-seeing Richard Lovell Edgeworth. And it is this text that is most complicit with the discourse of secrecy. Despite her reformist rampages against Ireland’s furtiveness, Maria Edgeworth knew well the pleasure and power associated with a good secret. In an 1803 letter to a friend, she describes compsoing stories in secret as “one of my greatest delights and strongest motives for writing (Quoted in Butler, Maria Edgeworth, p.228).” [.../] Why, then, all this secrecy in a writer committed to a union of open hearts and minds, and to a marriage of transparency? Though she never married, maria Edgeworth arguably knoew soemthing about a subservient [199] partnership in her relationship to with her father, who was described by a friend as Maria’s “father, friend, husband - he was all to her.” (pp.199-200.)

Emily Lawless called RLE an ‘autocrat’, ‘arbitrator and general overseer’ of his family who forced Maria to ‘carry on her little pusits under his direct eye’; ‘When not actually guiding her pen, in spirit he hovered over it.’ (Maria Edgeworth, pp.38-40; here p.200.)

Bibl., some discussion of Practical Education in L. Stone, The Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800 (London 1979).

Murphy concludes by quoting [Padraic Colum’s] Irish ballad, “She moved through the Fair”; ‘The people were saying no two wer e’er wed/But one had a sorrow that never was said.’

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Jane Elizabeth Dougherty, Mr and Mrs England: the Act of Union as national marriage [202]
Quotes Drennan: ‘The nation that does not feel the debasement of the very proposition deservres to suffer the prostitution: for certin proposals may be made to individuals, in whic the injury, monstrous as it is, is lost in the insult: which by the one sex, can be repelled only by a look of ineffable contempt, and by the other, with a blow - so there are affronts to natoins, on which controversy is contamination; as if we could be reasoned into making a capon of our country - an eunuch of Ireland.’ (A Letter to the right honourable William Pitt, Dublin 799, p.32; here p.206); [calls the proposal as] ‘revolting to the nation, as to the man’ (p.33); Further, Drennan ends with the signature, ‘I am your humble servant, But not yet - your slave - ’ (p.48; here 206); ‘It is not from [...] any consideration of equal relationshihp to the whole family of the peole, that this plan has proceeded’ (p.23; here p.207.)

‘It is not an identification of people, as it excludes catholics from the parliemant and the state; it is not an identification of government, for it retains the Lord-Lieutenant and his court; it is not an identification of establishments; it is not an identification of revenue; it is not an identification of commerice, for you have stillr elative duties, and countervailing duties; [...] if it be not an identification of interests, still less is it an identification of feeling and of sympathy. The union, the, is not an identification of the two [208] nations; it is is merely a merger of the parliament of one nation in that of another; one natin, namely England, retains her full proportion; Ireland strikes off two-thirds; she does so, without any regard either to her present number, or to comparative phsyical strength; she is nmore than one-third in pouplation, in territory, and less than one-sixth in representation. Thus ther is no dientifiaction in any thintg, save only in legislature, in which there is a complete and absolute absorption.’ (Quoted in Foster, Modern Ireland, p.283; earlier cited in D. Madden, Speeches of the Rt. Hon. Henry Grattan, Dublin 1853, p.255, and above at p.20.)

‘[Ireland and England were] at once too near and too far, akin and estaranged, both inside and outside each other's cognitive range’ (p.128); (‘Changing the quesiton’, in Heathcliff and the Great Hunger, London 1995, p.128; here pp.210-11); further, ‘[the British] treated Ireland at once differently and not differently enough - The Irish were different enough to require a special civl sevice and apparatus of repressin, to be asked to foot the bill for the Famine, and to enjoy a peculiar franchise qualification. But they were alike enough to have MPs at Westminster in the first place, a privilege enjoyed by no other British colony, to contribute to the national debt, and to share with the imperial nation an exchequer,armed forces, postal services, and free-trade area.’ (p.131; both here, pp.210-11.)

Ftn. 45: ‘Romantic nationalism is explicitly opposed to a contractarian society. Oliver MacDonagh links O'Connell;s romantic nationalism with Teutonic romanticism and its idea of gemeinschaft nationalism, which is opposed to gesellschaft nationlaism, the national of the French Revolution and the United Irishmen of the late-eighteenth century: ‘gemeinschaft tends to be used of an association that is internal, oganic, pricate, spontaneous: its paradigm is the Gemeinschaft of marriage, the communio totius vitae. Gesellschaft - comparatively new as a word and as a phenomenon - is, on the other hand, usually something external, public, mechanical, formal or legalisitc. It is not an organic merger or a fusion but a rational coming together for ends that remain individual’ (Age of O'Copnnell, 1830-45, in Vaughan, ed., Itreland Under the Union, p.161, n.) Romantic nationalism, then, replaces the conrtractarian version of marriage with one that is mystical, organic, and natural. It is marriate that propagates the race, not marriage in which a woman and a man contract for, respectively, protection and obedience. Eagleton has writeen that contractrian notins were not necessarily importable to Ireland: ‘if the British thought in terms of contract and utility, there was at work in popular irih attirudes a doctrine of moral economy.’ (Heathcliff and the Irish Famine, p.139.) Indeed, the catholics of Ireland had signed no contracts, and so were bound by no terms.’ (p.213.)

‘In order for the Irish to reclaim masculinity, they had to be violent, in order to restore the self/other split, they had to claim reacial difference [...] These repeated assertions of an othered identity were often taken by the British authorities to be disguised cries for reform, suggesting the extent to which even armed rebellion could be “domesticated” in the union relationship. One famous example is Gladstone’s admission that it was [213] the Fenians who inspired him to puruse a policy of Irish reform (Foster, Mod. Ireland, p.395). And, indeed, it was Matthew Arnold’s attempt to arge for an inclusion of Irish culture in the domestic sphere in Britain - for the union finally to be consumated - that provided the writers of the Irish Literary Renaiisance with the materials of cultural nationalism. Thus did the assertion of a separae, reacial, and masculine identity have to be rpeated and rehearsed throghout the nineteenth century, as the Irih question remained unanswered.’ (pp.213-14.)

Bibl. G. Wheatcroft, 'Disenchanted Isle', in Atlantic Monthly (May 1994), cp.74.

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Ruan O’Donnell, The union and internal security 1798-1799 [216]
Comments on Mihcael Dwyer, James Hughes, John Mernagh, et al.

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Thomas Bartlett, Britishness, Irishness and the Act of Union [243]
Quotes Linda Colley: ‘The invention of Britiishness was so closely boudn up with protestantism, with war with France and with the acquisition of emire that ireland was never able to or willing to play a satisfactory part in in. Its poplation was more chatolic than protestant. It was the ideal jumping-off point for a Frnch invasion of Briai, and both is catholic and its protestant dissidents traditinally looked to France for aid. And althought Irishmen were (and still are) an important component of Britain’s armed forces, and individual Irishmen played leading roles as generals, diplomatists and pro-consuls, Ireland’s relatinship with the empire was always a deeply ambiguous one. How could it not be so when London treated it as a colony. [...] Ireland was cut off frm Great Britain by sea but iw was cut off still more effectively by the prejudicces of theEnglish, Welsh, and Scots, and by the self-image of the bulk of the Irish themselves, both protestants and catholics. (Britons: Forging the nation 1707-1837, New Have 1992, p.8.

On John Foster: ‘The speaker, John Foster, the main opponent of union, regarded an Irish parliament as an essential badge of protestant nationhood (for him, protestant nationalism meant little more than protestant ascendancy) and he urged his fellow Irish MPs not to vote for a move from “an independent kingdom to an abject colony”. Like Grattan’s pan-nationalist sentiments, Foster’s, too were given short shrift. Edward Cooke, under-secretary at Dublin Castle and closely involved in monitoring anti-unionist speeches, reports that Foster‘ ’ s arguneet were easily rebutted “except the obvios and irrefutable objection per se of removing parliament to a distance.”' (p.247.)

Denys Scully: ‘I have often heard Irish ladies (who possessed rank or birth, or forune or education, or some or all of those advanages together) express themselves in words which would shock an ear of common delicacy in England, such as the following, “stinking”, “dirty”, “nasty”, “fat woman”, “the fellow’s carcase”, “swimin blood”, “rotten”, “to spit” - with fifty other phrases (nauseous to recollect) which ware in English confined to the drunkard, debaucher, or the butcher and the scavenger. Yet is is a fact that they possess as much native innocence of mind, genuine modesty and rather more prudery than the English women - and I impute the use of those coarse phrases (which are inconceivably grating to the ear from a female voice) to the ignorance of mothers in a few insstances more generally to their shameful neglect of cultivating the style of conversation and many other useful attainments.’ MacDermot, ed., Scully Papers, pp.43-44; here 2254. Bartlett notes that Scully recommends the substituted terms fetid, soiled, embonpoint, and putrid, carious or decayed.)

Consider the curious case of Leonard MacNally, widely know to Irish historians as both a United Irishman and as a government informer: less well-known as a playwright and composer. In the 1780s he wrote the still-popular song, “The Lass of Richmond Hill” - a ballad so quintessentially English that MacNally’s authorship was periodically disputed in the pages of Notes & Queries during the nineteenth century. MacNally’s writing for the stage is liekwise almost entirely bound up with [257] English themes. [Details of the exception, being Prelude for Covent Garden, 1782, with details of is hostile critical reception.] However, the Prelude had been an uncharaterisitc foray by MacNally into Irishness: later plays such as Richard, Coeur de Lion, but especially his major “hit” Robin Hood or Sherwood Forest dealt with classic English heroes. MacNally’s Irish birth and upbringing were obviously no barriers to his immersing himself in Englishness, or contributing to its invention. Robin Hood has even been accredited witwh reviving interest in the famous outlaw of Sherwood Forest. In the 1790s macNally acted as a lawyer for the United Irishmen: at the same time he was an important government informer. He wrote a play extolling union in 1800, but was never performed and has subsequently disappreace. MacNally died in 1820: he had been a protestant all his life, and he had spent twenty-five years secretly denouncing sundry catholic committees, catholic bishops, and clerics: but on his deathbed he summoned a catholic prist. His life illustrates the point that identities are not always fixed but rather are frequently overlapping and contingent. (pp.257-58; Bibl., W. J. Fitzpatrick, The Secret Service Under Pitt, London 1892, chap. 14; Bartlett, 'The life and opinions of Leonard MacNally, playwright, barrister, United irishman, and informer, in Hiram Morgan, ed., Information, Media and Power through the Ages, Dublin 2001, pp.113-36.) END

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