27 June-Charles Stewart Parnell

Charles Stewart Parnell was an Irish nationalist politician who was describe during the 1880’s as the ‘un-crowned King of Ireland’. He was a member of the British Parliament from 1875 to 1891. Parnell was a land reform agitator and the leader of the struggle for Irish Home Rule in the late 19th century.

Charles Stewart Parnell was born at Avondale House, Co Wicklow in 1846. His father was a landlord. Parnell was elected to parliament for Meath in 1875 and two years later at the age of 31 was elected to lead the Home Rule Confederation. He became president of the Irish Land League which had been founded in 1879 by Michael Davitt.

With Parnell as President and Davitt as one of its secretaries the Land League led opposition to eviction and set out to make landlordism unworkable. During the Land War from 1879 to 1882 it pursued three aims for tenants, fair rent, free sale and fixity of tenure. It led opposition to evictions and brought about reductions in rents. The campaign by the Land League would eventually lead to Land Acts being passed which allowed tenants to purchase their land.

In 1882 the Home Rule League became the Irish Parliamentary Party with Parnell as President. Following the election of 1885 the Irish Parliamentary Party held the balance of power in the Westminster Parliament. This led to the introduction of the first Irish Home Rule Bill in April 1886.

Parnell continued to lead the Irish Parliamentary Party until 1890. In that year Parnell’s adulterous affair with Katherine O’Shea, wife of Captain William O’Shea MP for Galway became public. This resulted in widespread condemnation of Parnell by some members of his party, the Catholic Church, British politicians and the Prime Minister.

Parnell was removed as leader of the parliamentary party. He continued to lead the section of his party which remained loyal to him. In June 1891 he married Katherine O’Shea and later campaigned for his candidate in a by-election Carlow. He died at the age of 45 on October 6th 1891.

Parnell was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. His funeral in Dublin was attended by over 200,000 people. Ivy Day (Lá an Eidhneáin) is held each year in memory of Charles Stewart Parnell. It commenced on the first anniversary of his death and has continued to this day on the Sunday nearest the date of his death.

Charles Stewart Parnell was born in Avondale House Co. Wicklow in the year 1846 On This Day.

Image from page 192 of “The uncrowned king : the life and public services of Hon. Charles Stewart Parnell ; comprising a graphic story of his ancestry; also family reminiscences, related by his aged mother, Delia Tudor Stewart Parnell … ; also, a bilgra by Internet Archive Book Images on 1891-01-01 00:00:00

Charles Stewart Parnell by bonnieann1815 on 2009-07-05 11:08:01


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