The Age of Consolidation: 1874–1920

  • Ian Budge
  • Cornelius O’Leary


‘It is just as bad as bad could be. There is scarcely a town in the United Kingdom, except Belfast, in which a Liberal candidate could not count on polling a very considerable number of votes.’I This lament in a Northern Whig editorial after the general election result of 1874 had been declared marks the recognition by the Belfast Liberals that Belfast was incontrovertibly a Conservative city, and might well serve as the keynote for the developments of the next fifty years.


Labour Party Town Council Municipal Election Conservative Association Home Rule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 41.
    The first ten Commissioners were (according to the usual custom) nominated. Thenceforward two Commissioners retired annually and elections, when contested, were settled by those paying water rate within the rated area. The only significant qualifications for membership of the Board were residence in Belfast and annual payment of not less than thirty shillings in water rate. (In 1885 the number was increased from ten to fifteen, and two ex-officio Commissioners were added.) Incidentally, the Charitable Society was allowed £5,000 to cover any debts arising out of the water supply and also given an annuity of £800 and free water ‘for ever’. For the history of the Belfast Water Board see J. Loudan, In Search of Water (Belfast, 1940).Google Scholar
  2. 90.
    Cf. J. D. Clarkson, Labour and Nationalism in Ireland (New York, 1925), pp. 207 ff.Google Scholar
  3. 94.
    The controversy about the incorporation of Queen’s College, Belfast, as a separate University following the abolition of the Royal University of Ireland in 1908 is not discussed here, since it was a national rather than a local issue. See T. W. Moody and J. C. Beckett, Queen’s Belfast, 1845–1949: the History of a University (London, 1959), Vol. 1.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

Personalised recommendations