Dublin

Borough

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the freemen and 40s. freeholders

Estimated number qualified to vote:

about 3,400 in 1820, rising to about 5,700 in 18311

Number of voters:

3,613 in (May) 1831

Population:

175,881 (1821); 203,752 (1831)2

Elections

DateCandidateVotes
16 Mar. 1820HENRY GRATTAN I 
 ROBERT SHAW 
30 June 1820THOMAS ELLIS vice Grattan, deceased1137
 Henry Grattan II789
12 June 1826GEORGE MOORE 
 HENRY GRATTAN II 
4 Aug. 1830GEORGE MOORE1852
 FREDERICK SHAW1579
 Henry Grattan II1014
 Edward Cottingham5
 Sir John Milley Doyle2
6 May 1831ROBERT WAY HARTY1943
 LOUIS PERRIN1935
 George Moore1568
 Frederick Shaw1562
  Election declared void, 8 Aug. 1831 
18 Aug. 1831FREDERICK SHAW1292
 HENRY JOHN CHETWYND TALBOT, Visct. Ingestre1250
 David Charles Latouche1053
 Michael O'Loghlen937
 Marcus Costello28

Main Article

As befitted the long-standing ambiguity of the cultural status of the Irish capital, which was at once both constitutionally and economically dependent and socially and intellectually irrepressible, Dublin after the Union witnessed both the depths of electoral chicanery which marked out its politics as those of a colonial sewer and the heights of inspirational fervour which brought Ireland’s great causes into the heart of the imperial Parliament.3 Neither the obstructive powers of the corporation and the Castle, nor the rising tide of popular forces - advanced Whig, Catholic, radical or proto-nationalist - were blameless in their participation in the elections of this period, but, despite the fact that at least one seat was usually held by a Tory, it was on the liberal side that the major arguments were ultimately won. The veteran campaigner Henry Grattan died as Member for the borough in 1820, when his son and namesake vainly fought a by-election against the corporation and Irish government on the question of Catholic emancipation, which was finally granted in 1829. The liberator Daniel O’Connell*, who came in for the metropolis after the passage of the Reform Act in 1832, supported the Irish government against the corporation over parliamentary reform during the two controversial contests in 1831, although his hopes then (as later) for the imminent repeal of the Union proved to be false. In the period of transition between the eras of these two giants, who each made their city stand for the collective hopes of the Irish people, Dublin continued to be a focal point for national issues as well as a battleground over narrow civic affairs.

Flanking the Liffey, the county of the city of Dublin, whose limits lay mostly within the Circular Road (although the conurbation already extended slightly beyond it), was often likened to a miniature London.4 With some remarkable public buildings, such as the recently opened general post office, Sir Walter Scott commented that the city was ‘splendid beyond my utmost expectations’, but visitors were equally struck by the grotesque squalor of the omnipresent poor, notably in the depressed area of the Liberties, which was seemingly immune to the philanthropic endeavours of the Mendicity Society and other charities.5 The general economic decline took its toll in the capital, especially in the crises of 1822 and 1826, but the fortunes of manufacturing and trade, notably in poplins and tabinets, held up well, while the presence of the viceregal government, the law courts and numerous professional and learned societies undoubtedly provided much needed support for the local economy. Yet, as was commonly felt by contemporaries, the Union had precipitated a flight of the aristocracy from the centre, with hundreds of town houses being let or sold off, so that by the time the last noble architectural contribution of Fitzwilliam Square had been completed in the mid-1820s, the gentry had been largely ousted from Dublin society by the newly confident professionals and middle classes; among these, the lawyers easily outflanked the merchants in straining for a full share of the representation.6 Of the inhabitants, in whose name the posturings of the parliamentary candidates and would-be popular leaders found their rationalization, only about two per cent had the vote.

Like the ancient foundation of the City of London, the corporation of Dublin was a bicameral institution based on an old system of trade guilds. At its apex was the lord mayor, elected each year from among the 24 aldermen, who chaired the proceedings of the board of aldermen and had weighty magisterial and other functions. The aldermen, who served for life, dominated the senior offices in the gift of the city, although, as in the vexed case of the police magistrates (whose organization was again altered by statute in 1824), the Castle’s partial powers over appointments and salaries gave it a useful check on a body which could occasionally prove itself an awkward rival. The common council (or city commons), whose frequently raucous debates were presided over by two annually elected sheriffs, comprised two distinct elements: the up to 48 (but usually fewer) sheriffs’ peers, who had served as sheriff or paid the fine levied on refusing to do so; and the 96 guild representatives, of whom 31 were chosen by the most prominent municipal body, the merchants’ corporation (or Holy Trinity Guild), and the rest by the other 24 individual guilds, all of which returned between two and four representatives. Most of the guilds, each of which had its own distinct corporate identity, were no longer exclusively confined to their original trades and the merchants’ guild included many leading citizens who had no connection with commerce.7 As a result, the Chamber of Commerce was revived in the 1820s as a mercantile lobby and its most significant president that decade was Arthur Guinness of Beaumont, who ran the eponymous family brewery and was governor of the Bank of Ireland.8 All members of the corporation were entitled to vote by virtue of being freemen, being admitted by birth, service or ‘grace especial’ (gift) on payment of the requisite fees. In the majority of cases this occurred through one of the guilds, subject to confirmation by the common council, though the corporation could also create (honorary) freemen at large on its own initiative. In the first two decades of the nineteenth century the freemen, who were generally resident, far outweighed the other element in the franchise, the 40s. freeholders, who accounted for just over ten per cent of the total number of voters in 1806 and slightly lower than this in 1820.9

Although the proportion of Catholics grew from near parity with the Protestants in the mid-eighteenth century to something approaching three-quarters of the inhabitants by this period, the electorate remained, with the exception of some of the freeholders, wholly Protestant. The corporation was strictly exclusive in composition since not only were Catholics still refused admission as freemen, even following the Relief Act of 1793, but it was usually the staunch anti-Catholics such as Alderman John Claudius Beresford, a former Member, who were promoted to senior positions and then used them to defend the status quo. Despite the example of the Castle, which since the Union had attempted to distance itself from direct involvement in displays of sectarian triumphalism, the leading corporators continued to participate in such ceremonies as the dressing of the statue of William III on College Green in Orange colours and giving the provocative toast to his ‘glorious, pious and immortal memory’ on civic occasions.10 An attempt was made by the lord mayor Thomas McKenny (who, as one of the corporation’s few prominent Whigs, had given offence by banning Williamite toasts and party tunes at his inaugural dinner) to bolster the Catholic cause through holding what proved to be a highly charged meeting of Protestants in its support in 1819; that year mismanagement involved the corporation in one of the periodic financial crises for which it was much criticized.11 The increasingly divisive issue of Catholic relief was embittered by the partisanship of the wide range of Dublin newspapers, some of which continued to be manipulated by the Castle. The best known, the Dublin Evening Post (under the editorship of Frederick Conway), which received a secret service subsidy, was moderately pro-Catholic, but was soon to be opposed by the biggest circulating title, the Dublin Evening Mail (of Joseph Timothy Haydn and Thomas Sheehan), while even in the potentially hostile parts of the press, the frequent meetings of the Catholic Association, founded in 1823, and other O’Connellite initiatives received enormous coverage.12

In the century prior to the Union, the city’s representation had gone through three different phases: first the aldermen had dominated; then there had been a period when aristocratic, mercantile or professional Members mixed with liberal, even radical, colleagues; and finally there had been a spate of ministerial patriots, who, while being usually loyal to the Castle (although opposition to it also carried a certain cachet), were adept at using their personal clout and independence to wield significant influence. The borough, which retained two seats at the Union, entered on another phase with the reappearance of Grattan, who had represented the seat in the Irish Parliament in the 1790s, as had his father James, the recorder, in the 1760s; his unexpected success in 1806 was partly owing to the patriotic resentment that was still felt at the loss of the Irish Parliament. As the celebrated champion of Catholic relief, his own position was unassailable and the fact that this (as well as the absence of other government sponsored candidates) for a time suppressed the potential sectarian divisions, in itself helped to safeguard his colleague Robert Shaw. A banker and alderman, Shaw, who had sat since 1804 and first voted with Grattan on the Catholic question in 1812, was otherwise an unexceptional corporation Member and Tory, being reasonably active on constituency matters, including in relation to local legislation and taxation.13 Although George Agar Ellis, who transferred from Heytesbury to Seaford, and the Irish solicitor-general Charles Kendal Bushe, among others, were approached, the prevailing electoral calm was maintained at the general election of 1820, when no one answered the growing calls for a challenge to be launched against Shaw, who was believed to be vulnerable, and the dying Grattan did not make way for his younger son, as had been half expected.14 Questions about agricultural distress and local taxation were raised on the hustings, where the absent Grattan was proposed by the Quaker businessman Joshua Pim and represented by Henry Grattan* junior, and Shaw, who insisted on his independence, was nominated by Alderman John Cash; but the only excitement came in the form of a tirade from the old United Irishman Archibald Hamilton Rowan and the sitting Members were returned unopposed.15

Even while Grattan made his painful and ultimately futile last journey to promote the Catholic question in London, in May 1820 Dublin opinion was becoming more polarized on the subject: after protracted proceedings the Orangeman Abraham Bradley King, who held the office of king’s stationer in Ireland, became lord mayor elect, while the liberal Protestants held a public dinner in honour of McKenny, who like King had been considered a potential candidate at the general election.16 Grattan’s death in early June signalled the release of the pent-up frustrations of the extreme Protestants and a bitterly divisive by-election ensued. Grattan junior, with the assistance of his brother James Grattan*, immediately offered in his father’s place and his opponents found a champion in Thomas Ellis, an Irish master in chancery and governor of the Aldermen of Skinner’s Alley, who had been preparing the ground since coming to public attention as an anti-Catholic orator early the previous year. Again other names were raised, such as that of the prominent Latouche family of Dublin bankers (one of whom, John, had represented the city in the 1802 Parliament), but if others considered entering, they were probably put off, as the former Dublin University Members Francis Hely Hutchinson† and John Leslie Foster* were, by the likely trouble and expense of a contest, the last of which had cost Shaw £12,000.17 Amid mutual accusations of raising the religious temperature, Grattan’s praises were sung at a meeting of the independent freemen and freeholders, who included O’Connell, 13 June, but Ellis had the better of the traditional tour which the two candidates made of the guilds and on 19 June 1820 he gained the support of the common council (by 63-11) and the unanimous endorsement of the board of aldermen.18 On the hustings, 24 June, Ellis was falteringly introduced by Sir William Stamer, the lord mayor, but Grattan was powerfully nominated by the leading pro-Catholic barrister William Plunket, the University Member, who delivered a memorable panegyric on the late Grattan and complained that Ellis’s judicial duties were incompatible with a seat in Parliament, an allegation echoed by others. Ellis took and held an early lead, while a barrage of objections against the blatantly partial conduct of the sheriffs was kept up by Grattan, who also condemned the unwarranted violence of the armed forces in breaking up a gathering of his supporters on the 26th. Grattan, citing the intimidation and trickery of the corporation and a shortfall in the registration of Catholic freeholders, eventually resigned on the sixth day, when he had secured the votes of only 41 per cent of the 1,926 who were finally deemed to have legitimately polled, many of whom may only have been admitted that year.19 It has been estimated that perhaps 1,200 freemen and 200 freeholders were left unpolled. The freeholders split 4:1 in favour of the losing candidate, but they were swamped by the ten times larger body of freemen, who voted nearly 3:2 for the winner. Ellis did proportionately better among the younger freemen, the members of the merchants’ guild and those who had corporate or government employment and, on the basis of a partial comparison with 1806, he seems to have benefited from a slight swing in his favour from formerly pro-Catholic voters.20

To the intense irritation of the lord lieutenant Lord Talbot and the Castle, the pro-Catholic chief secretary Charles Grant openly interested himself on behalf of Grattan, whom he however acquitted of misconduct in revealing divisions in the Irish administration, to the point of almost committing the like-minded foreign secretary Lord Castlereagh against Ellis.21 Further embarrassment arose for the Liverpool government when, on the day that Ellis was declared elected, 30 June 1820, Sir John Newport, Member for Waterford, introduced a clause to the Irish court of chancery bill to make masters ineligible to sit in Parliament as their duties required them to be resident in Dublin. After an angry debate, in which Shaw sided with Ellis, but described the recent contest as ‘one of the most acrimonious and violent that had been remembered for a long time in that city’, and Castlereagh, despite his personal preference, was obliged to insist that no such amendment could be made retrospective in character, Newport had his way. Attempts to exempt Ellis from this provision failed in the Commons, 3 July, but succeeded on the 24th in the Lords, where the bill in any case failed that session. So strong were the expressions of disgust against the decision of the Commons reportedly made by Orangemen in the merchants’ guild, 6 July, that Newport raised the matter as a breach of privilege, 12 July, when Sir George Hill, Member for Londonderry, presented the corporation’s petition against the clause.22 On 17 July the Speaker brought up Grattan’s petition, which made numerous allegations about Ellis’s ineligibility and the improper handling of the poll, as well as the interference of the military, which was the subject of a separate petition presented by Lord Duncannon, 24 July; the matter was allowed to drop, 21 Aug.23 Ellis celebrated his anti-Catholic triumph at an election dinner in July, but the liberal press took comfort from the efforts taken to register Catholic freeholders and a pamphlet was issued to remove the stain of Grattan’s defeat from the inhabitants by pinning it on ‘that system of juggling inseparable from the corporation’, through an analysis of the poll.24 Although radical sources occasionally appeared vague about the character of electoral influence in Dublin, they usually agreed that the corporation, which could now claim to control both seats, had the dominant interest.25 It certainly imposed demands on the Members, as when it instructed them to watch over the city’s affairs in relation to any relevant measures introduced into Parliament, 3 Aug. 1820.26 As well as those emanating from the corporation itself, they were also usually entrusted with the large number of guild, commercial and parochial petitions which were forthcoming each year.

There was a general illumination in honour of the acquittal of Queen Caroline, 20 Nov., and much resentment in the city at the suppression of the county’s putative address to her at the end of the year; but on 20 Dec. 1820 the corporation agreed a loyal address, which was presented to George IV by King, the first lord mayor to receive such an honour, in London the following month.27 Ellis, who was criticized in the press because his absence on official duties prevented him from pursuing his intended motion on Dublin taxation, successfully saw off another opposition attempt to unseat him, 5 Mar. 1821.28 The Catholics met to thank Plunket for his endeavours on their behalf, 7 Apr., while the corporation’s petition against his relief bill was brought up in the Lords by the duke of Wellington, 12 Apr.29 The high Protestants sought to use the king’s planned visit to Ireland to bolster their interest, but in line with George IV’s stated desire for ‘conciliation’ between the sects, the lord mayor banned the dressing of the statue of William III on 12 July and resigned from the Orange order when his command was ignored by a group of journeyman tailors. The visit, including the theatrical procession into the city, 17 Aug. 1821, displayed the king’s widespread popularity, and the civic dinner on the 23rd passed off harmoniously, except that after George IV and the lord mayor (who soon received a baronetcy) had departed, Alderman Frederick Darley caused a furore by giving the Williamite toast.30 In January 1822 the recently knighted lord mayor John Kingston James courted the new lord lieutenant, the pro-Catholic Marquess Wellesley, by ordering an illumination and hosting a dinner in his honour, and preparations were begun for the erection of a statue of the late Henry Grattan in Dublin. But that month also saw the failure of the first of several attempts by George Ness, a merchant of Scottish origin, to obtain the admission of Catholics to the merchants’ guild and the provocative use of the toast to the ‘immortal memory’ at Sir Thomas Whelan’s shrieval dinner.31 Notable victories were struck for the Whigs in April on the election of John Smith Fleming as lord mayor elect by 83-23 in the common council and the defeat of an anti-Catholic petition by 11-8 in the board of aldermen, but the hostile petition of the Protestant inhabitants was brought up in the Lords, 30 May.32 Ellis had secured the appointment of a select committee on the extensive and inequitable Dublin taxes on 20 Mar., but both he and Shaw were ridiculed in the press for leaving the composition of the report (which the Commons ordered to be printed, 5 June 1822) to Spring Rice, Whig Member for Limerick, who was admitted as a freeman and, like the Members, thanked by the corporation that year.33

In October 1822, when the board of aldermen saw off a petition for repeal of the Union, James acted with the lord lieutenant’s support, but against the wishes of the common council, to attempt to prohibit the ceremony of dressing William III’s statue on the anniversary of his birth, 4 Nov.34 The simmering Protestant resentment exploded in the violent, though hardly treasonous, Orange ‘bottle riot’ in the New Theatre Royal, 14 Dec. 1822, when Wellesley narrowly missed being struck by a bottle flung into his box from the pit. The Catholics (a delighted O’Connell at their head), the corporation and the inhabitants competed with each other in forwarding loyal addresses to the lord lieutenant and there was widespread condemnation of leading Orangemen such as Darley, the chief police magistrate, and Major Henry Charles Sirr, a veteran of the suppression of the Rebellion who was still employed by the Castle. However, the principal scapegoat was the sheriff Charles Thorp, who was accused of empanelling a partisan grand jury to throw out the indictments against all but two rioters, which forced Plunket, now Irish attorney-general, to prosecute them by means of ex-officio informations.35 By allying itself with the Tory Sir Compton Domvile* in the county contest, the corporation incurred further odium in January 1823, when the Members, who were considered to have insufficient commercial experience, were also attacked for colluding with its plans for local taxation; many parochial petitions against the excessive burden of tolls and customs were presented to the Commons, which issued two further reports on this subject, during the ensuing session.36 The petition of the grand jury of the city in vindication of its decision was presented by Charles Wetherell, Member for Oxford, 11 Apr., and another from it and Thorp calling for an inquiry was brought up on the 22nd by Ellis, who with Shaw presented anti-Catholic petitions from the inhabitants and the corporation, 16, 17 Apr.37 Plunket successfully justified his own conduct against Charles Brownlow’s censure motion, 15 Apr., but on the 22nd ministers were forced to concede Sir Francis Burdett’s call for inquiry into the legal proceedings against the Orange rioters, which was taken on the floor of the House on ten separate days in May. Despite anxiety about the trouble that might ensue in Dublin and at Westminster, Mrs. Arbuthnot recorded that the inquiry was ‘dull and stupid and nobody seems to pay much attention to it; I suppose it will end in nothing, as most things do concerning Ireland’. Indeed, the papers and minutes of evidence were published, but on 11 June it was announced that a sick Burdett would not be able to pursue his intended resolutions on them.38 Although civic anti-Catholicism persisted and the Catholic Association pressed for the admission of Catholics to the corporation, in June and November 1823 Wellesley was able to inform Peel, the home secretary, that Orange ceremonies would be suppressed in the capital.39

As legislation was passed in 1823 to disqualify Irish masters in chancery from sitting in any future Parliament, that autumn speculation began about who would replace Ellis, with King being seen as the Protestant front runner.40 After the corporation had petitioned for powers to raise local taxes, 19 Feb., and the householders had gathered to oppose such a step, 2 Mar., Ellis introduced a bill to revalue the houses in the city in order to permit taxes to be raised on a fairer basis, 17 Mar. 1824. Despite the corporation’s hostile petition, which was lodged on 21 May, it was given royal assent, 17 June, but was not implemented. The householders petitioned on 13 Apr. for the reappointment of the select committee on Dublin local taxation, which met during that and the following session, and initiated legal proceedings against the corporation that year, but it took until 1835 to gain a judgment in their favour.41 The failure of other local legislation that session led to calls for more efficient Members and mention was made of Frederick Robinson*, the chancellor of the exchequer, and Henry Brougham*, the leading Whig barrister, while Shaw stated that he would continue and Grattan declared his future candidacy. Suggestions that King might be rivalled by the former Irish attorney-general William Saurin, a prominent Orangeman, or the like-minded Sir Richard Steele of Blackrock, came to nothing, but they encouraged O’Connell to denounce the Protestant stranglehold exercised over the city by the corporation, which declined to address Canning, the pro-Catholic foreign secretary, during his visit in September 1824.42 The corporation’s anti-Catholic petitions were presented to the Commons, 24 Feb. 1825, 27 Feb., 27 Apr. 1826, while a favourable one was brought up from the Protestant nobility, gentry, bankers, merchants and tradesmen, 1 Mar. 1825, and three Catholics petitioned to complain of being denied admission as freemen, 9, 14 Mar. 1826.43 Amid reports that both freemen and freeholders were being hurriedly qualified to vote and calls for a genuinely commercial candidate, in late 1825 Richard Westenra, brother of the Member for Monaghan, and in early 1826 James, another uncompromising Protestant, both entered the field; but neither they nor King persisted as far as the dissolution and Henry Goulburn, the Irish secretary, declined the offer of a troublesome seat in favour of a safe berth at Armagh.44

Ironically, given the plethora of Orangemen potentially available, there seemed to be no one willing to stand with Shaw, who initially braved criticisms of his inadequacy, against Grattan, who offered again with the backing of the Catholics, at the general election of 1826, though the wealthy Scottish distiller Robert Haig tested the water as a mercantile independent. In the end the barrister and deputy registrar of deeds George Moore, nephew and heir of the former Member George Ogle, who had originally been intended for the University, was put up by Ellis and George Robert Dawson*, the home office under-secretary, at the important pre-election meeting of the merchants’ guild, 9 June, when he was enthusiastically endorsed as a rigid supporter of the Protestant constitution and so rendered certain of success.45 On the hustings the following day, a Saturday, when Shaw was nominated by the lord mayor Thomas Abbott and Alderman Samuel Wilkinson Tyndall and Grattan was proposed by John David Latouche of Marlay and Guinness, Moore was introduced by Dawson in an emphatically anti-Catholic speech which afterwards received his brother-in-law Peel’s wary blessing, and seconded by Ellis, who defended his own record as Member. Although it was assumed that he might still have won, even with only lukewarm corporation support, Shaw took fright and announced his retirement, so averting the expected poll. Moore and Grattan were duly declared elected on the 12th, when, in spite of an agreement to avoid religious animosity, there was no hiding the differences between them which were soon to be repeatedly displayed in the Commons.46 Grattan’s boast that he could have counted on the votes of over 1,000 Protestant freemen and 1,400 Catholic freeholders was considered a gross exaggeration by the Evening Mail, but there were apparently 2,100 freeholders on the registers.47 In January 1827 O’Connell complimented him on winning back one seat from their opponents almost unaided, the electoral efforts of his Catholic friends having been concentrated elsewhere.48

The staunch Protestantism of the corporation was evident at the dinner to mark the inauguration of Tyndall’s mayoralty, 30 Sept., and another anti-Catholic petition, agreed by it on 20 Oct., was presented to the Lords by Wellington, 30 Nov. 1826, and to the Commons by Moore, 26 Feb. 1827. A similar one from the city’s Protestant inhabitants, which was signed by many of the corporators, was brought up by Moore, 5 Mar., and Lord Farnham, 8 May; numerous favourable petitions from Catholic parishes and many hostile ones from individual guilds were brought up in both Houses during that session and the two following ones.49 Having addressed the king on the death of his high church brother the duke of York in January, in April the corporation congratulated Peel, Wellington and other anti-Catholic ministers on seceding from government because of Canning’s appointment as prime minister and soon afterwards refused the incoming Irish secretary William Lamb* the usual courtesy of being made an honorary freeman.50 In anticipation of an election at that time, the Irish first serjeant Thomas Lefroy*, who was cultivating an interest in Trinity College, announced his son Anthony Lefroy* as a future Orange candidate and it was considered likely that Shaw might try to regain his seat.51 O’Connell, at whose initiative an Independent Club was formed for the county and city, argued in May 1827 that municipal opinion could easily be swung against the Orangemen:

Why? I could myself, with very little aid from Mr. Lamb, put the corporation of Dublin into a total change of system: three or four of the police officers and at the paving board taken from the notorious delinquents and given to honest and independent men, a baronetcy for Alderman McKenny and a knighthood or two would make this corporation as liberal as ever they were the reverse, and the force of this example would, with its causes, soon spread through the other towns.52

Moore, who was congratulated for his constant parliamentary attendance, was prominent among the Orangemen at civic celebrations later that year.53

At the merchants’ guild, 14 Jan., Captain Edward Cottingham of Belfield objected to the shortage of new freemen admitted when it was known that the number of Catholic freeholders was rising, and on 11 Mar. 1828 a petition was presented in the House from the chemist William Kertland, an English Protestant, complaining that he had been refused admission because of his pro-Catholic sentiments.54 At a quarter assembly, 20 Jan., when the corporation agreed to thank George IV for placing Wellington at the head of the government, King and the city architect John Semple moved a petition against Catholic relief, while another for suppression of the Catholic Association was ordered to be prepared; these were presented to the Lords, 28 Mar., 25 Apr., and the Commons, 25 Apr.55 At the contest for the vacant recordership in March, Shaw’s son Frederick Shaw, who was supported by the Castle, defeated a dozen other candidates, including Moore, and was immediately criticized by the Catholic radical John Lawless as a rabid anti-Catholic.56 The city was host to well-attended rival public dinners for O’Connell, the newly elected Member for Clare, 19 July, and Moore, who became a leading Brunswicker, 14 Aug.57 While members of the Catholic Association strove to boost their cause, including by encouraging the comparatively inexpensive registration of freeholders, the Protestants responded in kind, notably in October, when on the motion of John Judkin Butler, a wine merchant, the corporation controversially agreed to consider (but did not pursue the idea of) admitting all the 1,200 members of Irish Brunswick Clubs as freemen, regardless of the high fees, to counteract the growing pro-Catholic bias in the electorate. This step had apparently been the idea of King, who became president of the Dublin Brunswick Club on its formation, 10 Dec. 1828.58

After a requisition had been refused by the civic authorities, the friends of civil and religious liberty met on 20 Jan. 1829 to address Lord Anglesey, the lord lieutenant, on his recall and, on the announcement of the ministerial volte-face in favour of emancipation, Dublin was the scene of large national meetings of both supporters and opponents of the cause. The corporation approved an address to George IV and petitions to Parliament against such a constitutional change, 16 Jan., when, as later in the year, it took notice of the influx of dubious 40s. freeholders, and the inhabitants gathered for the same purpose, 13 Feb.59 The ensuing petitions were brought up in the Lords by Lord Longford, 19 Feb., and Farnham, 6 Apr., and, with many others, in the Commons on 13 Mar. by Moore, who emphasized the thousands of signatures attached to them, but was answered by Grattan, who said that he had gained his seat solely by parroting the phrase ‘Protestant ascendancy’.60 Following the passage of the emancipation bill and the related franchise measure, which did not affect the freeholder element in the constituency, the leading Protestants kept up a rearguard action: for instance, Moore continued to be praised for his parliamentary exertions, while Butler led a bitter opposition to the election of the liberal Jacob West as lord mayor that year and in January 1830 congratulated the board of aldermen for again refusing to admit Catholics to the freedom.61 The triumphant Catholic inhabitants held a dinner in honour of O’Connell, 26 Jan., and met again, 15 Mar., when they agreed a petition against the Franchise Act, which was presented by O’Connell, 22 Mar.62 Both Grattan, who missed much of the session because of legal proceedings in which he was involved as proprietor of the Dublin daily, the Freeman’s Journal, and Moore, despite his overseeing the passage of a Dublin improvement bill, were censured for their conduct that session, though, reflecting the strength of feeling on the matter, both endorsed the petitions of the corporation and of the bankers, merchants and traders against the increased Irish stamp and spirit duties, which were presented, with others from the city, 28 May 1830.63

Numerous candidates were rumoured, in addition to the sitting Members, at the general election of 1830, but nothing came of the suggestions of Wetherell, James, Anthony Lefroy (who came in for Longford) or Edward Conolly* among the Ultras, nor of McKenny or John Doherty*, the Irish solicitor-general. In the end, Moore, now promoted to the office of Irish registrar of deeds, was joined on the corporation interest by Frederick Shaw, whose father was considered a possible fall-back by a cautious chief secretary, Lord Francis Leveson Gower; both, but especially Shaw, were thought impractical choices since their official duties would hinder their full attendance in Parliament, while the fact that each, but particularly Moore, was in receipt of an official salary, rendered them unpopular with the Ultras. Still, most of the guilds came out in their favour, as did the corporation itself, which resolved that they should be jointly supported because of their personal integrity and civic connections.64 There were hopes that Dawson, whose premature conversion to the Catholic cause had alienated his Beresford patrons in county Londonderry but was viewed as a commercial man with good links to government, could be persuaded to enter: a high profile delegation, led by the lord mayor elect Robert Way Harty, called on him to stand, 27 July, but he backed off on the ground that most of his friends had already committed themselves against him. This exposed Grattan, who, with O’Connell and the cause of independence on his side, pleaded for plumpers as the only means of preventing the corporation regaining its hegemony over both seats. To reflect the significant share of the vote now held by the freeholders, the Evening Post argued that a compromise could be reached whereby Grattan was returned by them and Moore by the freemen.65 As many as 1,829 freeholders had been added to the registers in the eight years to January 1829, compared to only 1,029 freemen admitted over the same period (albeit that another 368 were added during the following two years); but according to an incomplete return (it lacked data from four guilds), in 1830 the freeholders were still outnumbered by the at least 2,679 freemen entitled to vote, of whom 1,007 were members of the merchants’ guild.66

On the hustings, 4 Aug. 1830, Moore, proposed by the wine merchant Nathaniel Sneyd*, repeated his constitutional sentiments and disclaimed any junction, freeing his supporters to give their second votes to either of the other candidates; Grattan, nominated by James John Bagot of Castle Bagot, insisted that he stood only to secure the independence of the city and attacked Shaw for compromising his judicial role, pointing out that his own grandfather had been able to serve as both Member and recorder because Parliament then sat in Dublin; and Shaw, introduced by West, echoed Moore’s opinions on the church and Grattan’s assertion of independence, stating that, even if he was obliged to give priority to his judicial duties, he would be an active and autonomous representative. Grattan, who again repeatedly raised complaints about the handling of the poll and the scale of intimidation used, quickly fell behind, largely because he was deserted by many of the freeholders (who, after two full days’ polling, counted for half his votes, compared to only a tenth of his opponents’). Cottingham was put up as a security for the Tories and their adversaries retaliated by nominating the advanced Whig Sir John Milley Doyle*, a military adventurer. After 2,052 freemen (leaving over 500 unpolled) and 751 freeholders had voted (2,803 in all), 13 Aug., Grattan had to concede defeat to the triumphant ministerialists Moore, who boasted of receiving the highest number of votes ever gained in a Dublin contest, and Shaw, whose expenses amounted to £10,000.67 His petition, which argued that Shaw was ineligible on account of his official salary and charged the corporation with manipulating electors’ admissions for electoral purposes, was presented, 4 Nov., but it was dismissed on his failure to enter recognizances, 19 Nov. The O’Gorman Mahon, Member for Clare, brought up a petition from prisoners in Dublin objecting to the length of time they would have to wait before their cases came to trial, 20 Dec., and criticisms of the recorder in relation to his duties were again raised, 23 Dec. 1830, but Shaw made a convincing statement in his defence, 10 Feb. 1831, explaining that he would regularly travel back to Dublin to sit as a judge. An inhabitant’s petition complaining about the corporation for refusing him admission as a freeman was rejected by the House, 17 Feb., but another was lodged, 11 Mar. 1831.68

On 15 Sept. 1830 several citizens expressed approval of the recent revolution in France at a highly respectable gathering, which on subsequent days was overtaken by extremists. Partly because of the burgeoning membership of the mostly working class Dublin Trades’ Political Union, there were a large number of meetings for repeal of the Union with Britain that autumn and winter.69 Numerous Irish noblemen and gentlemen subscribed to the declaration in favour of the legislative Union, which was agreed in Dublin on 29 Oct., and the liberal lord mayor Harty, who in October had personally presented the corporation’s loyal address to William IV, followed the usual civic line by refusing to sanction the requisition for a repeal meeting in December 1830. But the O’Connellite agitation, which was vocally opposed by both Members, reached such a climax that month that the recently reappointed Anglesey was alarmed into taking exceptional security measures, and it continued into January 1831, when Grattan chaired an aggregate meeting for repeal.70 By then, however, as evidenced in the bankers and merchants’ address to the lord lieutenant in support of his actions, the new Irish secretary Edward Smith Stanley had assisted in restoring stability, not least by countenancing and subsidizing a new pro-government daily, the Dublin Times.71 The inhabitants met under Harty’s chairmanship, 15 Mar., when, despite some opposition, resolutions in favour of the Grey ministry’s reform bill were agreed, and that month (though not the next) the board of aldermen defeated, by six votes to four, a request from the city commons for a hostile petition.72 An anti-reform petition from the merchants’ guild was brought up by Shaw, 23 Mar., and another from the sheriffs and commons was presented by Moore, 29 Mar.73 The private boast of O’Connell, who on 8 and 24 Mar. called for Dublin to be granted at least one additional Member, that under the proposed franchise he would ‘have a tolerable chance for the city’, was given credence in April 1831, when, to the Castle’s horror, the office of the paving board provided the information that, by its calculations at least, 94 per cent of the houses were worth £10 or more.74

The sitting Members offered again as opponents of parliamentary reform and repeal of the Union at the general election of 1831, when nothing came of approaches to Dawson or Smith Stanley. They were opposed by Harty and, after attempts to find another merchant in the person of Latouche or Guinness had failed, by the advanced Whig barrister Louis Perrin. Encouraged by O’Connell, who informed Duncannon, a minister, that the removal of men such as Tyndall and the buying off of others such as Butler would secure the corporation interest, the Irish government busied itself closely in the return of its candidates, who were supported by central party funds. Not only the Catholics, but leading Protestants like Darley and Sirr therefore joined the united committee, which had branches in several parishes, for Perrin and Harty, who was ridiculed for his pretensions, while Moore and Shaw, who again came under intense pressure because his recordership had prevented him attending vital proceedings on the reform bill, retained their usual dominance in the major guilds and were backed by a general meeting of freemen.75 Moore (proposed by Whelan, now lord mayor elect, and Ellis) and Shaw (by Sneyd and West) both spoke in defence of the existing constitution, and Harty (introduced by David Henry, a Catholic, and Alderman Richard Smyth) and Perrin (by Latouche and McKenny) each advocated reform, especially in relation to the abuses of the corporation. In the desperate contest that followed, during which the radical Catholic Michael O’Loghlen†, the third serjeant, appeared often for the reformers and the Orangeman the Rev. Charles Boyton, a fellow of Trinity, incited support for their losing opponents, allegations were raised about the interference of the Castle and the illegality of many of the freeholders, who polled in a much higher relative proportion for the challengers to the sitting Members than did the freemen (85 against 41 per cent). Shaw and Moore, who plumped for each other and kept the poll open for nearly the maximum two weeks, eventually finished with votes from 43 per cent of the 3,613 who polled (2,459 freemen and 1,154 freeholders), assuming, as seems likely from the closeness of the figures, that almost all the electors split for either the two pro or the two anti-reform candidates.76 As Richard Sheil* wrote, ‘after an obstinate struggle, the corporation, that cumbrous excrescence upon our institutions, was fairly prostrated and the popular candidates returned’, and the new Members celebrated at a dinner presided over by the 2nd Baron Cloncurry of Lyons House, county Kildare.77 Ministers congratulated themselves on this apparently peaceful and satisfactory outcome, though the riotous scenes at the illumination, for which permission had been given by Harty as lord mayor, culminated in the death of a woman.78 Yet there were to be serious repercussions in the near future. Not the least of these was that Harty, who could have paid up if he so wished, was reported by Rowan to have incurred £7,000 of expenses, while he and Perrin, who certainly could not afford his share, were together said to have run up costs of £21,000, a debt which neither their subscriptions nor government were able to settle; Harty’s pressure for a half-promised but long expected baronetcy was finally successful that autumn, when his brother-in-law McKenny also received one, but he continued to argue that he should be assisted with £4,000 or £5,000.79

A petition in the name of James Scarlett and four other freemen, brought up on 8 July 1831, not only accused Anglesey of illegally intervening as a peer and as head of an administration employing a high proportion of the electorate, but also alleged bribery against the successful candidates and questioned the legality of some of the freeholders. O’Connell contrived to have many of his liberal and independent friends present for the ballot for the election committee, 28 July, when an apparently favourable choice was made. However, the county Member Henry White allowed himself to be nominated, despite having himself voted in the contest, and, to O’Connell’s great irritation, once this was noticed the leader of the House, Lord Althorp, accepted the Speaker’s ruling that the procedure would have to be restarted. On the 29th, when O’Connell was defeated by 100-82 on his motion to swear the original committee, a much less sympathetic one was appointed.80 Chaired by Robert Gordon, Member for Cricklade, the committee heard very damaging evidence over several sittings: Sir John Byng*, the commander of the army in Ireland and father of George Stevens Byng*, acting comptroller of the viceregal household, confirmed that a message from Anglesey requiring all government employees to vote for the reformers under threat of dismissal had been circulated and subsequently acted upon; Tyndall and another police magistrate, George Studdert, deposed that the lord lieutenant’s private secretary Baron Twyll had told them in person to vote, against their political opinions, for Harty and Perrin; and several witnesses swore that £5 bribes had been widely distributed to freemen by agents for the winning candidates and that numerous bogus freeholders had been provided with the means to qualify, notably from a notorious gerrymandering district called Cold Blow Lane, with which Grattan had long been associated.81 As the University Member Thomas Lefroy, who predicted that there would be an uncomfortable debate for government on the findings, privately gloated, ‘We have saddled Lord Anglesey with the most direct, deliberate and extensive interference’, while ample instances of bribery had been held in reserve.82 Yet Anglesey, who dismissed the letter at issue as ‘a mere memorandum of directions’, wrote in his own vindication that

the truth is that there is no instance of so little interference on the part of a government, and even the baron - the active and guilty baron - who, by the by, acted without my authority and never communicated with me ... was perpetually upbraided for supineness.83

Gordon duly reported that the committee had voided the election and passed resolutions condemning the Members and their agents for bribery and the Irish administration for using undue influence, 8 Aug.84 The duke of Newcastle, who had previously been thanked by the corporation for his Ultra Protestant stance, recorded in his diary that ‘these purifiers of election have used the basest and most corrupt means to accomplish their ends, namely the return of a Parliament to overthrow the constitution’.85 O’Connell, who like others wanted further inquiry along the lines of the contemporary Liverpool case, and Joseph Hume, who wished to prevent an immediate repeat of the widespread bribery, were tellers for the minority (of 51-76) to postpone the motion for the new writ that day, when James Grattan proposed to introduce a bill, which was damned as ad hominem in intent and withdrawn four days later, to debar the recorder of Dublin from sitting.86

Neither Harty, who was grudgingly given his due as an industrious constituency Member but was castigated in the corporation, nor Perrin, whom ministers promised (without immediate result) to seat elsewhere, were allowed by the Commons ruling to stand again for Dublin during that Parliament.87 Following the usual almost fruitless search (which included Sir John Byng, Guinness, Latouche and McKenny) for plausible candidates who were both liberal and open-handed, the reformers eventually pitched on Latouche’s diffident elder son David Charles Latouche, whose family requested support with his expenses, and the inexperienced O’Loghlen, who was given an (unfulfilled) promise that his would be met by government and public subscription. With an optimistic and energetic O’Connell in the vanguard and an anxious Irish administration fervently, but this time discreetly, hoping for the best, their party sought to repeat their recent triumph at the divisive by-election in August 1831.88 Meanwhile Moore, who like his colleague had been financially supported from Tory funds during the election committee, declined to stand again, perhaps fearing the cost of another contest and the loss of his office at the hands of a vengeful Castle.89 However, Shaw fulfilled Wellington’s expectations by returning to the fray, although only on the condition that money was again forthcoming; at least £2,000 (a figure apparently matched by their opponents) was sent from the Tories’ Charles Street office to Lefroy for the purpose that month.90 Shaw was also instrumental in persuading the pugnacious Lord Ingestre, who was Talbot’s heir and had Irish connections through his mother and wife, to resign Armagh in order to fight alongside him on the strength of the dominant corporation interest and in defence of the Protestant constitution; nothing came of speculation that Sir Henry Brooke, a prominent Fermanagh Orangeman, would offer.91

After the acting lord mayor Smyth had reprobated the sheriffs George Hallahan and John Mallett for filling the hall with Orangemen and their emblems, 18 Aug. 1831, Shaw was proposed by Ellis, who had ‘He’ll be turned out as you were yourself’ shouted at him, and Alderman Alexander Montgomery, and Ingestre was introduced by Moore, who explained his retirement, and Saurin. Both gave robust accounts of themselves in justifying their candidacies, but Latouche and O’Loghlen (nominated by Guinness and Robert Roe, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and Latouche’s father and Smyth respectively) criticized them as a partisan judge and an English interloper, and praised ministers and their reform measure as the best means of purifying the corporation. Although deemed to have won on the show of hands, the reformers, whose disputed votes were left undecided in a higher proportion of cases than were Shaw and Ingestre’s, quickly fell behind in what was expected to be a long contest. As a straw in the wind, much was made in the Evening Mail of the votes of Studdert and Tyndall for the anti-reformers in defiance of the Castle, while the under-secretary, William Gosset*, who suffered the indignity of having his own vote disputed, was pessimistic, considering O’Loghlen to be too radical a candidate for many pro-reform freemen to stomach.92 At a suggestion from Smith Stanley, who failed to come up with the £4,000 demanded by both advanced Whig candidates, Anglesey was willing to accept a disagreeable compromise, with each side returning one Member, but he conceded in reply that ‘the other party is so triumphant that I cannot expect the offer will come from them. I am told they are bribing largely. Their violence is extreme. Usually the popular party takes the lead in this. It is reversed here’.93

Nevertheless, Lord Stormont raised allegations that the Irish government was again interfering in the electoral process, 20 Aug. 1831, when these were ridiculed by O’Connell but echoed by Thomas Lefroy, who stated that Gosset had summoned Darley to Dublin in order to vote. Ministers stonewalled that day and on the 23rd, when, although Peel reported that he had provoked a cabinet row by complaining of Anglesey’s conduct, Smith Stanley put up stout resistance to Gordon’s censure resolutions in relation to the contest earlier that year.94 After a general discussion, in which the extremists Henry Hunt on one side and Lefroy on the other called for severe measures, and James Grattan, on behalf of his brother Henry (who had just been returned for Meath), denied any family involvement in the Cold Blow Lane affair, Gordon secured his first two resolutions to the effect that bogus creations and corruption had taken place in violation of the required purity of election. He was persuaded to relinquish his third, but found that the compromise offered in its place (at the second attempt) by the attorney-general Sir Thomas Denman, to prosecute those guilty of bribery, was too weak; he unsuccessfully divided the House (224-147) in favour of substituting his original wording for trying those concerned in ‘illegal and unconstitutional practices’. It was on the fourth resolution, which amounted to an explicit censure on the Irish government, that Smith Stanley made his decisive contribution, overwhelming Gordon and the other troublemakers to defeat the question by 207-66, which was considered a shameful example of partisanship on the part of the increased government majority.95 Thanking him for his ‘friendly and gallant’ conduct, Anglesey wrote that ‘I am told you was positively cruel. That you cut, hacked and slashed in a frightful manner and that you carried everything before you’, while Smith Stanley related that

the direct negative was a very bold step - so much so, and so unprecedented after a report of a committee, that it was not decided on till I had nearly finished my speech, when Althorp, seeing that the House were well with us, gave me a hint, and I shaped my course accordingly. The result was the more satisfactory as we were not indebted for support to any of our opponents. Peel would I believe have voted with us on the previous question, but would not upon the acquittal and went away with many of his followers.

Expecting the worst in the by-election, the Castle took heart from the evidence of their enemies’ gross misdemeanours and Smith Stanley commented that ‘a proof of bribery against Shaw and Ingestre would I own give me great satisfaction and still more so if we could implicate Messrs. Studdert and Tyndall’.96

Trailing significantly, although they claimed to have thousands of voters in reserve, the reform candidates conceded defeat after less than a week’s polling, but the conclusion of the by-election was delayed by another day on the introduction of Marcus Costello, the president of the Dublin Trades’ Political Union. At the declaration, 24 Aug. 1831, Shaw and Ingestre were as usual shouted down, O’Loghlen and Latouche accused their opponents of corruption and Costello predicted the future success of candidates who favoured repeal of the Union. The new Members celebrated at a dinner hosted by Moore, but, after some dithering (including, as ever, over expenses) by its sponsors, soon faced a petition, which Smith Stanley described as ‘of more importance, if substantiated, than the election itself’.97 The Irish solicitor-general Philip Crampton, who had been stifled in his attempt to raise a preliminary application, 26 Aug., brought up the ensuing petition, alleging that the freeholders had been discriminated against compared to the freemen and arguing that Shaw and Ingestre should be unseated for bribery, 5 Sept. Shaw attempted to justify his position, 14 Sept., and quarrelled about it on the 21st with Henry Grattan, who likewise differed vociferously with Ingestre, 12 Oct., when the committee, which was even more heavily Tory in composition than the previous one, decided in favour of the sitting Members.98 The corporation agreed to compensate Hallahan and Mallett for their expenses, 14 Oct., when it issued a denial of the claim made in parliamentary debates that 4,000 Brunswickers had recently been admitted as freemen. The unpopular Harty, who became still more isolated on revelations the following month that he had deserted King on his case for compensation for the loss of his patent as king’s stationer (which was only finally approved the following year), came close to being disfranchised for his disloyalty to the civic authorities that day.99 He had chaired the meeting, which was addressed by David Charles Latouche, O’Loghlen and other reformers, 16 Sept. (and whose petition for the reform bill was presented to the Lords by Cloncurry, 27 Sept.) and remained a reformer, though he died before the next election. Another grand reform meeting took place, 12 Oct., but the corporation, led by the Tory lord mayor Whelan, was in the ascendant that autumn; for example, the merchants’ guild forwarded a hostile petition which was brought up by Lord Lorton on 4 Oct., and thanked the Lords for defeating the reform bill, 17 Oct. As a culmination of the extensive local activity over economic distress that year, the inhabitants’ petition for the introduction of poor laws to Ireland was presented to the Lords, 14 Oct., and to the Commons (by Rice), 18 Oct. 1831.100

By October 1831 O’Connell had wrested control of the National (formerly Dublin) Trades’ Political Union from Costello and he also set up the National Political Union as a Dublin-based reform organization of moderate middle class composition.101 Large Protestant gatherings were held in the capital in December 1831, and again in January 1832, when the corporation, which suppressed several anti-Union resolutions that year, addressed the king in defence of the Protestant constitution.102 Following a grand reform meeting, 15, 16 May, O’Connell, who welcomed the Irish reform bill as a means of destroying Dublin corporation, 25 May, brought up the petition calling for supplies to be withheld until the (English) bill was passed, 1 June, when Shaw denied that the city was overwhelmingly in its favour. The inhabitants met to welcome the reinstatement of Lord Grey, 21 May, and, under Whelan’s chairmanship, to call for two additional Members for the borough, 4 June. The ensuing petition was presented on the 6th by Edward Southwell Ruthven, who brought up two others to this effect, 25 June, when Shaw stated that O’Connell ‘will be able to return as many representatives as may be decided on for the city’ and presented the corporation’s petition against the Irish reform bill.103 Dominick Browne twice unsuccessfully moved to have one extra seat added to Dublin’s quota, 9 July, and Ruthven’s amendment to double its representation was ruled out of order, 18 July, when Shaw’s position as recorder of Dublin was again called into question. Hume’s bill to disqualify the holder of this office from sitting in Parliament, which was given a lukewarm welcome by Althorp but opposed by Peel, was ordered to be introduced by 33-16, 24 July 1832, and was given a first reading the following day, though it was opposed on the 31st, when the House was counted out, and was not revived.104 O’Connell, who sought to harness the potential support of the moderate freemen, angled for an alliance between a Conservative such as Shaw and a radical on a joint repeal ticket, but Shaw, to the disappointment of the corporation, retreated to a less demanding seat for Dublin University, and O’Connell’s freedom of movement was restricted by the National Political Union’s premature adoption of Ruthven as a repealer. As electoral speculation mounted, much, including Perrin’s candidacy, depended on the outcome of the Liberal registration campaign that autumn.105

The boundary commissioners recommended that the limit of the constituency should be increased to the full area enclosed by the Circular Road and, according to their report, this raised the population covered from about 200,000 to nearly 250,000 and increased the number of houses (as counted in 1824) from 17,324 to 17,500, of which about 14,600 were valued at more than £10. Given that there were another 1,400 qualifying houses in the county of the city beyond the Circular Road and that 200 leaseholders would also be enfranchised, the expected electorate was estimated to be 16,200, a figure which included the existing roughly 5,700 voters (3,500 freemen and 2,200 freeholders) except for about 1,000 of the freemen who were non-resident.106 In fact there were only 7,008 registered electors, though this still made Dublin by far the largest county borough, at the general election of 1832, when O’Connell, who entered at the last minute, and Ruthven were returned after a contest with two Conservatives. O’Connell, who boasted that ‘my return for Dublin unsolicited, and even unavowed by me, is perhaps the greatest triumph my countrymen have ever given me’, sat for the city as the leader of the nascent Irish party for most of that decade and became the first mayor of the reformed corporation in late 1840, when his son John O’Connell† recorded that

to have lived to witness the downfall of the old virulent Orange corporation of Dublin, and the installation in its place of a body composed of Catholics and Liberal Protestants, appeared to the more aged of the popular party almost as a kind of pleasant vision instead of a comfortable reality; while the young looked upon this success as the bright dawning of a new era in the triumphs and advantages of which they would be largely partakers.107

Yet for at least a generation after 1840, partly because the radicalism of the O’Connellites had forced the increasingly pro-Unionist freemen towards the right, the Conservatives largely regained their control of both the civic politics of Dublin and its parliamentary representation.108

Author: Stephen Farrell

Notes

This article draws heavily on Jacqueline Hill, From Patriots to Unionists: Dublin Civic Politics and Irish Protestant Patriotism, 1660-1840 (1997).

  • 1. Ibid. 309, 310; PP (1831-2), xliii. 52, 54.
  • 2. PP (1833), xxxix. 4.
  • 3. T.C. Barnard, ‘"Grand metropolis" or "The anus of the world"?’, in Two Capitals: London and Dublin ed. P. Clark and G. Gillespie, 185-210.
  • 4. PP (1831-2), xliii. 51; (1835), xxvii. 83-84; J. Prunty, ‘Improving the Urban Environment’, in Dublin through Space and Time ed. J. Brady and A. Simms, 166-8, 171.
  • 5. D.J. O’Donoghue, Scott’s Tour in Ireland in 1825, pp. 29, 42; H.D. Inglis, Ireland in 1834, i. 6-20.
  • 6. Dublin Evening Herald, 1, 8 May 1821; S. Lewis, Top. Dict. of Ireland (1837), i. 532-46; New Hist. Ireland, v. 193-4; D. Dickson, ‘Death of a Capital?’, in Two Capitals, 111-31.
  • 7. PP (1835), xxvii. 89, 90, 93-97, 101-5, 143-54; (1836), xxiv. 57-76; Dir. Historic Dublin Guilds ed. M. Clark and R. Refaussé.
  • 8. Hill, 297, 298, 359-61; L. M. Cullen, Princes and Pirates: Dublin Chamber of Commerce, 58-60; P. Lynch and J. Vaizey, Guinness’s Brewery, 103-6.
  • 9. PP (1831-2), xliii. 51, 52; (1835), xxvii. 99, 100; Hill, 296, 341; Freemen of City of Dublin (Dublin Heritage Group CD-Rom).
  • 10. PP (1835), xxvii. 94, 101; Hill, 283, 293-6, 316-19; Hill, ‘Politics of Privilege: Dublin Corporation and Catholic Question’, Maynooth Rev. vii (1982), 17-36.
  • 11. PP (1836), xxiv. 434; Hill, 305-7, 318, 319.
  • 12. A. Aspinall, Politics and the Press, 122, 125, 140-7, 319-25; B. Inglis, Freedom of Press in Ireland, 164-209, 239-42.
  • 13. Hill, 159-62, 251, 252, 265, 270-5; Hist. Irish Parl. ii. 228-31; HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 649-51; R.B. McDowell, Grattan, 183-7.
  • 14. Keele Univ. Lib. Sneyd mss SC8/41; NLI, Grattan mss 27799 (3); Dublin Evening Post, 3, 5, 10 Feb., 9, 11 Mar. 1820; Hill, 307.
  • 15. Dublin Jnl. 17 Mar. 1820; TNA HO100/198, ff. 255-6; H. Grattan, Life and Times of Henry Grattan, v. 542.
  • 16. PP (1835), xxvii. 90, 93; Dublin Evening Post, 11, 13, 18, 23 May 1820.
  • 17. Dublin Evening Post, 8, 10, 13, 22 June; Dublin Jnl. 9 June; Grattan mss 27805, draft address [June], J. to H. Grattan, 21 June 1820; TCD, Donoughmore mss F/13/28; A.P.W. Malcomson, John Foster, 161.
  • 18. Dublin Jnl. 14, 21 June; Dublin Evening Post, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24 June 1820; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xvii. 317; Hill, 307-9.
  • 19. D. Plunket, Life of Lord Plunket, i. 249-52; Dublin Evening Post, 27, 29 June, 1, 6 July 1820; Correct Report of Speeches at Election (Dublin, 1820), 18-60; Grattan mss 27799 (4); PP (1824), xxi. 683.
  • 20. Hill, 309-16. Poll lists are given in Correct Report, 71-97; F. O’Neill, Stain Removed (1820).
  • 21. Grattan mss 27799 (11/2); B. Jenkins, Era of Emancipation, 154.
  • 22. Dublin Evening Post, 8, 13 July; The Times, 13 July 1820; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xvii. 317-19; CJ, lxxv. 444.
  • 23. CJ, lxxv. 460-2, 471, 478; The Times, 25 July 1820.
  • 24. Dublin Evening Post, 15, 20 July 1820; O’Neill, 3, 8.
  • 25. Oldfield, Rep. Hist. (1816), vi. 231; Peep at the Commons (1820), 21; [W. Carpenter], People’s Bk. (1831), 327; Key to Both Houses (1832), 322.
  • 26. Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xvii. 337.
  • 27. Ibid. xvii. 348-50, 363-70; Dublin Evening Post, 21 Nov., 21, 30 Dec. 1820, 2 Jan., 1 Feb. 1821.
  • 28. Dublin Weekly Reg. 20 Jan., 17 Feb., 10 Mar. 1821.
  • 29. Dublin Evening Post, 10, 17 Apr.; The Times, 13 Apr. 1821; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xvii. 371-3, 384; LJ, liv. 321.
  • 30. Dublin Evening Post, 18, 25 Aug. 1821; E.A. Smith, George IV, 194-7; Hill, 319-23.
  • 31. Dublin Evening Post, 3, 10, 12, 15, 17, 24 Jan.; Devon RO, Sidmouth mss, Wellesley to Sidmouth, 5 Jan. 1822; Wellesley Mems. 317-21, 328-30; Hill, 323, 324.
  • 32. Dublin Weekly Reg. 20, 27 Apr. 1822; LJ, lv. 203.
  • 33. The Times, 21 Mar.; Dublin Evening Post, 4, 11 June 1822; PP (1822), vii. 159-233; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xvii. 454, 471-4, 490, 491, 499.
  • 34. Dublin Evening Post, 15, 19 Oct., 2, 23 Nov. 1822; Wellesley Mems. 363-8; Hill, 325, 326, 331.
  • 35. Dublin Evening Post, 17, 19, 21 Dec. 1822; O’Connell Corresp. ii. 982; Wellington mss WP1/754/4; Wellesley Mems. 368-79; Hill, 326-9.
  • 36. Dublin Evening Post, 16, 18, 23, 30 Jan., 1 Mar. 1823; PP (1823), vi. 11-329.
  • 37. CJ, lxxviii. 191, 192, 205, 206, 215, 239; The Times, 17, 18, 23 Apr. 1823.
  • 38. Add. 37301, ff. 14, 29; 37416, f. 171; PP (1823), vi. 533-825; Debates, Evidence and Documents connected with Investigation of Charges ... against Charles Thorp (1823); Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 233; The Times, 12 June 1823.
  • 39. Procs. of Catholic Association (1825), 35, 106-10; O’Connell Corresp. iii. 1095; Add. 40324, ff. 221, 223, 259, 261.
  • 40. Dublin Evening Post, 16 Oct. 1823.
  • 41. Ibid. 4 Mar. 1824; CJ, lxxix. 59, 173, 189, 291, 392, 502; PP (1824), viii. 61-74; (1825), v. 637-56; (1835), xxvii. 197; (1836), xxiv. 440-9.
  • 42. Dublin Evening Post, 30 Mar., 17 Apr., 10 Aug., 9 Sept., 12, 26 Oct., 30 Nov. 1824, 18 Jan. 1825; Add. 40368, f. 234.
  • 43. Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 114, 115, 120, 121, 152-7, 179-83; CJ, lxxx. 123, 140, 141; lxxxi. 106, 145, 166, 296.
  • 44. PRO NI, Rossmore mss T2929/9/8; Dublin Evening Post, 8, 12 Mar., 8 Aug., 27 Sept., 6 Oct. 1825, 7, 9, 25 Mar., 1, 6, 13, 20 Apr., 23 May, 1 June 1826; Surr. Hist. Cent. Goulburn mss Acc 304/67A.
  • 45. Dublin Evening Post, 6, 8, 10 June; Dublin Evening Mail, 9 June; Freeman’s Jnl. 10 June 1826; Add. 40322, f. 158.
  • 46. Add. 40387, ff. 98, 100; Dublin Evening Post, 10, 13, 15 June; Dublin Evening Mail, 12, 14, 16 June; Freeman’s Jnl. 12, 13 June; NLI, Farnham mss 18602 (19), Robinson to Maxwell, 12 June; Brougham mss, Abercromby to Brougham, 12 July 1826.
  • 47. Dublin Evening Mail, 16 June 1826; PP (1831-2), xliii. 52.
  • 48. Freeman’s Jnl. 18, 19 Jan. 1827.
  • 49. Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 179-83; Dublin Evening Mail, 2 Oct.; The Times, 1 Dec. 1826, 27 Feb., 6 Mar., 9 May; Freeman’s Jnl. 19 Apr. 1827; LJ, lix. 28, 282; CJ, lxxxii. 230, 231, 273.
  • 50. Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 185-7, 204-6, 214-27; The Times, 1 Aug. 1827.
  • 51. Lansdowne mss, O’Connell to knight of Kerry, 24 Apr.; Dublin Evening Post, 26 May 1827.
  • 52. Dublin Evening Post, 26 May, 2, 9 June 1827; O’Connell Corresp. iii. 1387, 1389, 1398.
  • 53. Dublin Evening Mail, 29 June, 11 July, 3, 17 Oct. 1827.
  • 54. Ibid. 16 Jan. 1828; CJ, lxxxiii. 156.
  • 55. Dublin Evening Mail, 21 Jan. 1828; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 242-9, 263; LJ, lx. 147, 246; CJ, lxxxiii. 268, 269.
  • 56. Dublin Evening Post, 11, 13, 22 Mar., 1 Apr. 1828; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 255.
  • 57. The Times, 21 July; Dublin Evening Post, 16 Aug. 1828.
  • 58. Dublin Evening Post, 20, 25 Sept.; Dublin Evening Mail, 22, 29 Sept., 31 Oct., 10 Dec.; The Times, 15 Dec. 1828; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 313, 314, 316, 317, 549; Ellenborough Diary, i. 351.
  • 59. Dublin Evening Post, 13, 17, 22 Jan.; Warder, 21 Feb. 1829; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 336, 339, 340, 345-51, 359.
  • 60. LJ, lxi. 56, 353; CJ, lxxxiv. 132, 133.
  • 61. Warder, 25, 29 Apr., 2 May, 3, 10 Oct. 1829, 30 Jan. 1830.
  • 62. Dublin Evening Post, 28 Jan., 16 Mar. 1830; CJ, lxxxv. 213.
  • 63. Dublin Evening Post, 29 Apr., 15, 18 May; Warder, 24 Apr., 5 June 1830; CJ, lxxxv. 42, 100, 119, 227, 430, 495, 503, 561.
  • 64. Add. 40320, f. 166; Dublin Evening Post, 26 June, 1, 3, 6, 8, 13, 20 July; Warder, 26 June, 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 24, 31 July; NAI, Leveson Gower letter bks. Leveson Gower to Gregory, 28 June, to Singleton, 11 July 1830; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 454, 455.
  • 65. Add. 40327, ff. 189, 194; Dublin Evening Post, 24, 27, 29, 31 July, 3 Aug.; Morning Reg. 29 July, 4 Aug.; Freeman’s Jnl. 30 July, 2-4 Aug. 1830.
  • 66. PP (1829), xxii. 28-43; (1830), xxxi. 325-30; (1837), vol. xi. pt. ii. 549.
  • 67. Ibid. (1831), xvi. 217; (1831-2), xliii. 52, 55; Dublin Evening Post, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 28 Aug.; Warder, 7, 14 Aug.; Freeman’s Jnl. 5-7, 9-14 Aug. 1830, 7 May 1831.
  • 68. CJ, lxxxvi. 32-34, 109, 193, 194, 264, 368.
  • 69. Dublin Evening Post, 14, 16, 19 Sept., 23 Oct., 4, 9, 20, 23 Nov. 1830; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 422-4, 452, 453, 485-91; F.A. D’Arcy, ‘National Trades Political Union and O’Connell’, Eire-Ireland, xvii (1982), 7-10.
  • 70. Dublin Evening Post, 6 Nov., 7, 23, 28, 30 Dec. 1830, 27 Jan.; Dublin Evening Mail, 12, 14, 31 Jan. 1831; PRO NI, Anglesey mss D619/29B, pp. 16-33; Hill, 348-50.
  • 71. Dublin Evening Post, 18, 29 Jan.; Derby mss 920 Der (14) 124/5, Byng to Smith Stanley, 29 Jan.; 121/2 Gosset to ?Earle, 14 Aug. 1831; 119/3, Anglesey to same, 11 Jan. 1832; Aspinall, 125.
  • 72. Dublin Evening Post, 10, 15, 17 Mar. 1831; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 503; Hill, 363.
  • 73. CJ, lxxxvi. 424, 456.
  • 74. O’Connell Corresp. iv. 1778; K.T. Hoppen, ‘Politics, the law and nature of Irish electorate’, EHR, xcii (1977), 748, 760.
  • 75. Derby mss 121/2, Gosset to Smith Stanley, 24-27 Apr.; Dublin Evening Post, 26, 28, 30 Apr., 3, 5 May; Dublin Evening Mail, 27, 29 Apr., 2, 4, 6 May 1831; Anglesey mss 28C, pp. 105-14; 33B/5-13; O’Connell Corresp. iv. 1799, 1800; Hill, 344, 371, 372.
  • 76. Dublin Evening Post, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24 May; Dublin Evening Mail, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23 May; Freeman’s Jnl. 7, 9-14, 17-21 May 1831; PP (1831-2), xliii. 52, 55; Hill, 344.
  • 77. R.L. Sheil, Sketches of Irish Bar (1854), ii. 354-66; New Monthly Mag. (1831), ii. 1-4; Dublin Evening Post, 2 June 1831.
  • 78. Grey mss, Smith Stanley to Grey, 14 May; Derby mss 117/5, reply, 18 May; Add. 51568, Anglesey to Holland, 23 May; Dublin Evening Mail, 20, 23, 25 May, 29 June 1831.
  • 79. Dublin Evening Mail, 30 May, 20 June; Derby mss 119/2, Anglesey to Smith Stanley, 29 June, Harty to same [Oct.] 1831; Anglesey mss 31D/55; 33D, pp. 76-77; PRO NI, Young mss D2930/8/39.
  • 80. CJ, lxxxvi. 628, 629, 706-9; O’Connell Corresp. iv. 1831, 1832.
  • 81. PP (1831), iv. 447-534; Dublin Morning Post, 4-6, 8, 9, 11 Aug. 1831.
  • 82. Farnham mss 18611 (2), Lefroy to Farnham, 1, 9 Aug. 1831.
  • 83. Derby mss 119/1/2, Anglesey to Smith Stanley, 30 July, 7 Aug. 1831; Anglesey mss 27B, pp. 33-35; 31D/50.
  • 84. CJ, lxxxvi. 734.
  • 85. Unrepentant Tory ed. R.A. Gaunt, 30, 36, 62, 161, 356, 357.
  • 86. CJ, lxxxvi. 734, 737, 744, 750.
  • 87. Anglesey mss 28C, pp. 135-8; 29/B, p. 90; Dublin Morning Post, 25 July; Dublin Evening Mail, 25, 29 July, 29 Aug. 1831.
  • 88. Derby mss 119/2, Anglesey to Smith Stanley, 9, 10 Aug. 1831, 8 Jan. 1832; 121/2, Gosset to same, 9, 13, 14 Aug., to Earle, 10, 11 Aug.; Dublin Evening Post, 11, 13, 16, 18 Aug. 1831; Anglesey mss 31D/52-56; O’Connell Corresp. iv. 1833, 1834.
  • 89. Dublin Evening Post, 11 Aug.; Dublin Evening Mail, 12 Aug. 1831.
  • 90. Farnham mss 18611 (2), Lefroy to Farnham, 9 Aug.; Wellington mss, Holmes to Arbuthnot, 9 Aug., latter to Wellington, 10, 17, 19 Aug.; Chatsworth mss, Ellice to Devonshire, 22 Aug. 1831; K.T. Hoppen, Elections, Politics and Society in Ireland, 299.
  • 91. Dublin Evening Post, 13, 16 Aug.; Dublin Evening Mail, 15, 17, 19 Aug. 1831.
  • 92. Derby mss 121/2, Gosset to Smith Stanley, 18 Aug.; 121/1/1, to ?Anglesey, 19 Aug.; Dublin Evening Mail, 19, 22 Aug.; Freeman’s Jnl. 19, 20, 22 Aug.; Dublin Evening Post, 20 Aug. 1831.
  • 93. Anglesey mss 31D/53, 57; Derby mss 121/2, Gosset to Smith Stanley, 18 Aug.; 119/1/2, Anglesey to same, 23 Aug. 1831.
  • 94. Peel Letters, 134.
  • 95. CJ, lxxxvi. 778-9; Arbuthnot Corresp. 148; Greville Mems. i. 185.
  • 96. Derby mss 119/1/2, Anglesey to Smith Stanley, 26, 29 Aug. 1831; Anglesey mss 31D/57, 58.
  • 97. Dublin Evening Post, 23, 25, 27 Aug.; Dublin Evening Mail, 24, 26, 31 Aug., 2, 7 Sept.; Derby mss 121/2, Gosset to Smith Stanley, 16 Sept. 1831; Anglesey mss 31D/59.
  • 98. CJ, lxxxvi. 786, 817-19, 860, 861, 907; Dublin Evening Post, 27, 29 Sept., 1, 4, 8, 15 Oct. 1831.
  • 99. Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xviii. 519-22; Dublin Evening Post, 15, 18 Oct., 10 Nov. 1831.
  • 100. Dublin Evening Post, 4 Aug., 17 Sept., 1, 13, 18 Oct. 1831; LJ, lxiii. 1011, 1012, 1056, 1089; CJ, lxxxvi. 931.
  • 101. D’Arcy, 8-13; O. MacDonagh, The Emancipist, 58.
  • 102. Dublin Evening Post, 13 Dec. 1831, 19, 28 Jan., 2, 25 Feb., 3 Mar.; Warder, 21, 28 Jan., 25 Feb., 31 Mar. 1832; Wellington mss WP1/1213/25; Cal. Ancient Recs. Dublin, xix. 11-18; Hill, 350, 351.
  • 103. Dublin Evening Post, 15, 17, 22 May, 5 June 1832; CJ, lxxxvii. 364, 380, 432, 433.
  • 104. CJ, lxxxvii. 518, 521, 542.