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The Third Earl of Clancarty, Proselytism and Evangelicalism in Ballinasloe in the 1850s and 1860s

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Abstract

This chapter deals with events in Ballinasloe between 1851 and 1863 relating to the third Earl of Clancarty’s proselytising activities in Ballinasloe and its hinterland, with particular attention paid to the consequences of the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy in Ballinasloe and the control exerted by the Clancarty family, as the third Earl’s belligerent attitude towards their presence was a check on his control over affairs in the community and reflected aristocratic resistance to the Cullenisation of Ireland. The third Earl’s hostility towards the Sisters of Mercy exacerbated tensions which, while generally class-based, were now taking on a confessional hue. The previous ineffectiveness of the Catholic Church to adequately deal with the abject poverty, both temporal and spiritual, ensured that the workhouse was ripe for a proselytising mission.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Galway Vindicator, 21 Jan. 1854.

  2. 2.

    Galway Vindicator, 23 Jul. 1853.

  3. 3.

    Cathal Smith, ‘Apostles of agricultural reform: The Ballinasloe Agricultural Improvement Society in an era of high farming and high famine, 1840–1850’, Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 64 (2012), p. 205.

  4. 4.

    Miriam Moffitt, Soupers and jumpers: The Protestant mission in Connemara, 1848–1937 (Dublin, 2008), p. 7.

  5. 5.

    National Folklore Collection, schools manuscript collection (microfilm consulted at Galway County Library, Nun’s Island), reel 8, pp. 183–93.

  6. 6.

    Nicholas Wolf, An Irish-speaking island: State, religion, community, and the linguistic landscape in Ireland, 1770–1870 (Madison, 2014), p. 223.

  7. 7.

    Emmet Larkin, ‘Paul Cullen: The great ultramontane’, in Dáire Keogh and Albert McDonnell (eds.), Cardinal Paul Cullen and his world (Dublin, 2011), p. 15.

  8. 8.

    Larkin, ‘Paul Cullen: The great ultramontane’, pp. 21–5.

  9. 9.

    Eamon Duffy, ‘The age of Pio Nono: The age of Paul Cullen’, in Keogh and McDonnell (eds.), Cardinal Paul Cullen, p. 47; Oliver P. Rafferty, ‘The ultramontane spirituality of Paul Cullen’, in Keogh and McDonnell (eds.), Cardinal Paul Cullen, p. 62.

  10. 10.

    Rafferty, ‘The ultramontane spirituality of Paul Cullen’, p. 62.

  11. 11.

    Ciarán O’Carroll, ‘The pastoral vision of Paul Cullen’, in Keogh and McDonnell (eds.), Cardinal Paul Cullen, p. 121.

  12. 12.

    Miriam Moffit, The society for Irish Church Missions to the Roman Catholics, 1849–1950, (Manchester, 2010), p. 20.

  13. 13.

    Moffit, The society for Irish Church Missions, p. 20.

  14. 14.

    Desmond Bowen, The Protestant crusade in Ireland, 1800–1870: A study of Protestant–Catholic relations between the Act of Union and disestablishment (Dublin, 1978), p. 259; Moffitt, The society for Irish Church Missions (Manchester, 2010), p. 266.

  15. 15.

    P.K. Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe: Its history from the earliest time to the present (Dublin, 1960), pp. 177–8.

  16. 16.

    Emmet Larkin, ‘The Devotional Revolution in Ireland, 1850–75’, American Historical Review 77, no. 3 (June 1972), pp. 625–52.

  17. 17.

    Whelan, ‘The Bible gentry’, p. 55.

  18. 18.

    L.M. Cullen, Life in Ireland (London, 1968), p. 118.

  19. 19.

    James Kelly, ‘Scarcity and poor relief in eighteenth-century Ireland: The subsistence crisis of 1782–4’, Irish Historical Studies 28 (May 1992), pp. 38–62.

  20. 20.

    Virginia Crossman, The poor law in Ireland (Dundalk, 2006), pp. 6–10.

  21. 21.

    Irene Whelan, ‘The Bible gentry: Evangelical religion, aristocracy, and the new moral order in the early nineteenth century’, in Crawford Gribben and Andrew R. Holmes (eds.), Protestant millennialism, evangelicalism and Irish society, 1790–2005 (Basingstoke, 2006), pp. 56–8.

  22. 22.

    Whelan, ‘The Bible gentry’, p. 69.

  23. 23.

    John Joseph Conwell, A Galway landlord during the Great Famine: Ulick John de Burgh, first Marquis of Clanricarde (Dublin, 2003), p. 14; Peter Gray, The making of the Irish Poor Law, 1815–43 (Manchester, 2009), pp. 208–9, 321.

  24. 24.

    Virginia Crossman, The poor law in Ireland (Dundalk, 2006), pp. 6–10.

  25. 25.

    John O’Connor, The workhouses of Ireland: The fate of Ireland’s poor (Dublin, 1995), pp. 94–5.

  26. 26.

    Ewen A. Cameron, ‘Embracing the past: The Highlands in nineteenth century Scotland’, in D.E. Broun, R.J. Finlay, M. Lynch (eds.), Image and Identity: The making and re-making of Scotland through the ages (Edinburgh, 1998), pp. 198–200.

  27. 27.

    Bowen, The Protestant crusade in Ireland, p. 207.

  28. 28.

    Whelan, ‘The Bible gentry’, p. 53.

  29. 29.

    Jacinta Prunty, ‘Battleplans and battle grounds: Protestant mission activity in the Dublin slums, 1840s–1880s’, in Crawford Gribben and A.R. Holmes (eds.), Protestant millennialism, evangelicalism and Irish society (New York, 2006), pp. 124–5.

  30. 30.

    Bowen, The Protestant crusade in Ireland, p. 227; for more on the Irish Church Missions, see Moffitt, The society for Irish Church Missions.

  31. 31.

    Bowen, The Protestant crusade in Ireland, p. 227.

  32. 32.

    Moffitt, The society for Irish Church Missions, p. 267.

  33. 33.

    See Larkin, ‘The Devotional Revolution in Ireland’, pp. 625–52.

  34. 34.

    Irene Whelan, The Bible war in Ireland: The “Second Reformation” and the Polarization of Protestant-Catholic Relations, 1800–1840 (Dublin, 2005), pp. 12–13.

  35. 35.

    M.C. Ní Ghiobúin, ‘Societal change in Achill Island in the nineteenth century’ (Ph.D thesis, NUI Maynooth, 2006), p. 137; for more on ‘souperism’, see Desmond Bowen, Souperism, myth or reality: A study in souperism (Cork, 1970) and Moffitt, Soupers and jumpers (Dublin, 2008).

  36. 36.

    Galway Vindicator, 21 Jan. 1854; Bowen: Souperism, p. 136.

  37. 37.

    Western Star, 11 Jan. 1851; 25 Jan. 1851.

  38. 38.

    Galway Packet, 26 May 1852.

  39. 39.

    Galway Packet, 26 May 1852.

  40. 40.

    Western Star, 4 Mar. 1854.

  41. 41.

    From Griffith’s Valuation, it appears that this John Curley lived at Reeves Lane in Townspark, Ballinasloe. His house was valued at £2 5s. 0d.

  42. 42.

    Western Star, 4 Mar. 1854.

  43. 43.

    Western Star, 4 Mar. 1854.

  44. 44.

    Western Star, 4 Mar. 1854.

  45. 45.

    Western Star, 4 Mar. 1854.

  46. 46.

    Western Star, 4 Mar. 1854.

  47. 47.

    Western Star, 4 Mar. 1854.

  48. 48.

    Western Star, 11 Mar. 1854.

  49. 49.

    Western Star, 11 Mar. 1854.

  50. 50.

    Moffitt, Soupers and jumpers, p. 10.

  51. 51.

    Western Star, 22 Apr. 1854; 22 Oct. 1854.

  52. 52.

    Bowen, The Protestant crusade in Ireland, p. 313.

  53. 53.

    For more on Derry, see Bernard Canning Bishops of Ireland, 1870–1987 (Paisley, 1987), pp. 330–1.

  54. 54.

    Western Star, 22 Oct. 1854.

  55. 55.

    Western Star, 22 Oct. 1854.

  56. 56.

    Prunty, ‘Battle plans and battlegrounds’, pp. 119–22.

  57. 57.

    Western Star, 22 Oct. 1854. Desmond Bowen discusses this controversy in The Protestant Crusade in Ireland, 1800–70., pp. 178–9; Theresa McDonald, Achill Island (Tullamore, 1997), p. 166; see Dictionary of Irish Biography for entries on Dallas, vol. 3, pp. 6–7 and Nangle, vol. 6, pp. 854–6.

  58. 58.

    Galway Express, 5 May 1855; for more on the Seymour family, see Joe Molloy (ed.), The parish of Clontuskert: glimpses into its past (Galway, 2009), pp. 127–56; and the entry on the family on the Landed Estates Database, the Moore Institute, NUI Galway, http://landedestates.nuigalway.ie:8080/LandedEstates/jsp/estate-show.jsp?id=966 [date accessed 31 July 2010].

  59. 59.

    Maeve Mulryan-Moloney, Nineteenth-century elementary education in the archdiocese of Tuam (Dublin, 2001); Bowen, Souperism, p. 155; Moffitt, Soupers and jumpers, p. 62.

  60. 60.

    Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 139.

  61. 61.

    Moffitt, Soupers and jumpers, p. 10.

  62. 62.

    Galway Vindicator, 22 Oct. 1854.

  63. 63.

    Galway Vindicator, 22 Oct. 1854.

  64. 64.

    Galway Vindicator, 22 Oct. 1854.

  65. 65.

    See The Seventh Annual Report of the Irish Missionary School, Ballinasloe for the year ending 31 December 1853 (Dublin, 1854); Galway Express, 5 May 1855; Moffitt, Soupers and jumpers, p. 10.

  66. 66.

    Bowen, The Protestant crusade in Ireland, pp. 226–7.

  67. 67.

    Moffit, Soupers and jumpers, p. 20.

  68. 68.

    Larkin, ‘The Devotional Revolution in Ireland, 1850–75’, p. 626.

  69. 69.

    K.M. Barry, Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy (Dublin, 1894), p. 3.

  70. 70.

    Ibid., p. v. See Dictionary of Irish Biography for entry on T.A. Finlay, vol. 3, pp. 789–91.

  71. 71.

    Barry, Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy, p. 3.

  72. 72.

    Moffit, Soupers and jumpers, p. 78.

  73. 73.

    Galway Vindicator, 23 Jul 1853; Bowen, Souperism, p. 143; Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, pp. 259, 317.

  74. 74.

    Pius O’Brien, The Sisters of Mercy of Ennis (Ennis, 1992), pp. 11, 69; eadem, The Sisters of Mercy of Kilrush and Kilkee (Dublin, 1997), pp. 45, 48.

  75. 75.

    Galway Vindicator, 21 Jan. 1854.

  76. 76.

    Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 317; Bowen, Souperism, p. 143.

  77. 77.

    Prunty, ‘Battle plans and battlegrounds: Protestant mission activity in the Dublin slums, 1840s–1880s’, p 119.

  78. 78.

    Warden of Galway, 29 Jun 1853; Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 258.

  79. 79.

    Warden of Galway, 29 Jun. 1853.

  80. 80.

    Galway Vindicator, 9 Jul. 1853.

  81. 81.

    Warden of Galway, 29 Jun. 1853.

  82. 82.

    Warden of Galway, 29 Jun. 1853; Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 255.

  83. 83.

    Warden of Galway, 23 Jul. 1853; Western Star, 21 Jan. 1854.

  84. 84.

    Galway Vindicator, 23 Jul. 1853.

  85. 85.

    Galway Vindicator, 23 Jul. 1853; Galway Press, 28 Nov. 1860.

  86. 86.

    Galway Express, 26 May 1853; Galway Vindicator, 21 Jan. 1854.

  87. 87.

    Galway Vindicator, 21 Jan. 1854; 24 Oct. 1857.

  88. 88.

    Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 257.

  89. 89.

    M.C. Ní Ghiobúin, ‘Dugort, 1831–1861, A study of the rise and fall of a missionary community’ (PhD thesis, NUI Maynooth, 2006), pp. 100, 102.

  90. 90.

    Bowen, Souperism, p. 146.

  91. 91.

    Prunty, ‘Battle plans and battlegrounds: Protestant mission activity in the Dublin slums, 1840s–1880s’, p. 119; Bowen, Souperism, pp. 143–4.

  92. 92.

    J.H. Whyte, ‘The influence of the Catholic clergy on elections in nineteenth century Ireland’, English Historical Review, no. 75 (1960), pp. 239–59.

  93. 93.

    Brian Jenkins, Sir William Gregory of Coole: A biography (Gerrards Cross, 1986), p. 129; for a more in-depth discussion on this particular election, see K.T. Hoppen, ‘Landlords, society and electoral politics in mid-nineteenth century Ireland’, in C.H.E. Philpin (ed.), Nationalism and popular protest in Ireland (Cambridge, 1987), p. 291; B.M. Walker, Parliamentary election results in Ireland, 1801–1922 (Dublin, 1978), p. 90.

  94. 94.

    Galway Vindicator, 11 May 1859.

  95. 95.

    Galway Vindicator, 27 Apr. 1859.

  96. 96.

    Galway Vindicator, 7 May 1859.

  97. 97.

    Galway Vindicator, 14 May 1859.

  98. 98.

    The result of the election was: Sir Thomas John Burke, 2536, William Henry Gregory 2435, and Viscount Dunlo 1496. See Walker, Parliamentary election results in Ireland, p. 96. Walker mistakenly states that Lord Dunlo’s name was William Thomas le Poer Trench. In fact, it was Richard Somerset le Poer Trench who was Lord Dunlo in 1859. William Thomas was the third Earl of Clancarty.

  99. 99.

    Jenkins, Sir William Gregory of Coole, p. 137.

  100. 100.

    Galway Vindicator, 14 May 1859.

  101. 101.

    Galway Vindicator, 21 Jan. 1854; 24 Oct. 1857; Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 256.

  102. 102.

    Moffit, Soupers and jumpers, p. 7.

  103. 103.

    Western Star, 22 Oct. 1854.

  104. 104.

    Galway Vindicator, 11 May 1859.

  105. 105.

    Nation, 20 June 1863; Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 259.

  106. 106.

    T.J. Kelley, ‘“Come Lord Jesus, quickly come”: The writings and thoughts of Edward Nangle, 1826–1862’, in Crawford Gribben and A.R. Holmes (eds.), Protestant millennialism and Irish society, 1790–2005, p. 100.

  107. 107.

    Galway Vindicator, 2 Feb. 1856; Jacinta Prunty, ‘Battle plans and battlegrounds’ in pp. 125, 127, 138–9; for an example of Clancarty’s evangelicalism, see Earl of Clancarty, Ireland: Her present condition and what it might be (Dublin, 1864).

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    Casey, B. (2018). The Third Earl of Clancarty, Proselytism and Evangelicalism in Ballinasloe in the 1850s and 1860s. In: Class and Community in Provincial Ireland, 1851–1914. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71120-1_3

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