A. T. Q. Stewart, Edward Carson [Gill Irish Lives] (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1981), 150pp.

[Wilfrid Scawen] Blunt, tried before two magistrates and sentences to weeks imprisonment, having involved himself in the Plan of Campaign and addressing an illegal meeting, Carson and John Atkinson QC appearing for the Crown in his appeal. Blunt wrote that the case was conducted by ‘two of the Castle bloodhoods, who for high pay did the evil agrarian work in those days for the Government by hunting down the unfortunate peasantry when, in connexion with the eviction campaigns, they came within reach of the law. It was a gloomy role they plaed, especially Carson’s, and I used to feel almost pity for the man when I saw him, as I several times did, thus engaged in the West of Ireland Courts.’ (Blunt, Land War, p.365).

Carson called the Home Rule Bill ‘the most nefarious conspiracy that has ever been hatched against a free people ... we must be prepared … the morning Home Rule passes ourselves to become responsible for the government of the Protestant Province of Ulster.’ (Craigavon meeting, 23 Sept. 1911). [73]

Ulster Day, 28 Sept, 1912, 237,368 men signed Ulster Covenant, based on Scottish Covenant of 1775, and 234,046 women signed a similar ‘declaration’. [78]

ATQ Stewart corrects misconceptions about gun-running: Larne, 24,600 of which 20,000 German, April 1914. [ftn, 84]

Redmond, to one of the Ulster delegates who asked him to put his cards on the table, in 1917: ‘I have no cards. I am a leader without a party’ [114]

Carson, relinquishing leadership of the Ulster Unionist Council, 4 Feb. 1921: ‘For the outset let us see that the Catholic minority have nothing to fear from Protestant majority. let us take care to win all that is best among those who have been opposed to us in the past. While maintaining intact our own religion let us give the same rights to the religion of our neighbours.’ (Hyde, 449) [120]

Expressing sense of betrayal in House of Lords, in his maiden speech, following the Anglo-Irish treaty, 1921, he aspersed Chamberlain, Birkenhead (WE Smith), Curzon, et al.: ‘I was in earnest. What a fool I was! I was only a puppet, and so was Ulster, and so was Ireland, in the political game that was to get the Conservative Party into power. … I could not help thinking that it was very like, after having shot a man in the back, going ovr to him and patting him on the shoulder, and saying:’Old man, die as quickly as you can, and do not make any noise … Why all this attack made on Ulster? What has Ulster done? I will tell ou. She has stuck too well to you, and you believe because she is loyal you can kick her as you like.’ (Hyde, 446) [126]

BIBL: The official biography, Edward Majoribanks, i vol [suicide]; 2 vols., Ian Colvin (3 vols 1932-36); H Montgomery Hyde, Edward Carson (1953; rep. 1979) [more accurate]. See JC Beckett, ‘Carson—Unionist and Rebel’, in FX Martin, Leaders and Men of the Easter Rising:Dublin 1916 (Lon 1967), rep. in Beckett, Confrontations: Studies in Irish History (Lon 1972); RB McDowell, ‘Edward Carson’, in Conor Cruise O’Brien, ed., The Shaping of Modern Ireland (Lon 1960). Contemp. memoirs incl. FE Smith, Birkenhead, Contemporary Personalities (Lon 1924); Sir Thomas Comyn-Platt, ‘The Ulster Leader’, in National Review (Oct 1913); Th Moles, Lord Carson of Duncairn, with foreword by Sir James Craig (Belf 1925); Sir Douglas Savory, ‘Lord Carson’, in DNB. Also Patrick Buckland, Irish Unionism I: The Anglo-Irish and the New Ireland 1885-1922 (Dub 1972), II: Ulster Unionism and the Origins of Northern Ireland 1886-1922 (Dub 1973), and Irish Unionism 1885-1923: A Documentary History (Belf 1973).

COMM & SOURCES incl: John N Biggs-Davison, George Wyndham (Lon 1951); Wilfrid S. Blunt, The Land War in Ireland (Lon 1912); Frederick H Crawford, Guns for Ulster (Belf 1947); FP Crozier, Impressions and Recollections Lon 1930); St John Ervine, Craigavon, Ulsterman (Lon 1949); Daniel Farson, The Man who Wrote ‘Dracula’ (Lon 1975); Sir James Ferguson, The Curragh Incident (Lon 1964); Denis Gwynn, Life of John Redmond (Lon 1932); Thomas Jones: Whitehall Diary, Vol. III: Ireland 1918-1925, ed. Keith Middlemas (Lon 1971); Ronald McNeill, Ulster’s Stand for Union (Lon 1922); Lord Peter [the Paker] O’Brien, Reminiscences (Lon 1916); AP Ryan, Mutiny at the Curragh (Lon 1956); ATQ Stewart, The Ulster Crisis (Lon 1967; rep. 1979).

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