The Age of Riots: 1855–74

  • Ian Budge
  • Cornelius O’Leary


AT the beginning of his chapters entitled ‘Late Victorian Belfast’ in Beckett and Glasscock’s compilation, Professor Emrys Jones cites from an unnamed newspaper of 1853 a remarkable piece of Belfast self-congratulation: ‘this great emporium of trade, manufacturing and commerce now exciting the attention and claiming the admiration of every community whose good example we have been following, and of every community to which, in our turn, we present a model of imitation’. But this effusion was not untypical. The Belfast News Letter in the late 1850s and early 1860s waxed lyrical about the boom town, e.g. ‘warehouses of large dimensions and great beauty’; ‘the steam-hammer and steam-punch cease not from morning till night’.2


Town Council Shipbuilding Industry News Letter Home Rule Morning News 
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  1. 13.
    Cf. J. Handley, The Irish in Modern Scotland (Cork, 1947), pp. 113–29, and J. A. Jackson, The Irish in Britain (London, 5963), PP. 154–6.Google Scholar
  2. 54.
    Cf. C. O’Leary, The Elimination of Corrupt Practices in British Elections 1868–1911 (Oxford, 1962), pp. 46, 61. It might have been thought that the incidence of sectarian rioting in Belfast would have been a natural subject for study by political historians and sociologists. To date, however, apart from polemical works, only one study has appeared-Andrew Boyd’s Holy War in Belfast (Tralee, 5969). See also O. Dudley Edwards, The Sins of Our Fathers (Dublin, 1970), Chapter 3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ian Budge and Cornelius O’Leary 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Budge
    • 1
  • Cornelius O’Leary
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity of EssexUK
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceThe Queen’s University of BelfastUK

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