‘An Obscure Hall in East Nile Street’: Urban Radicalism and the ‘Crofters’ War’, 1881–1882

Andrew G. Newby

in Ireland, Radicalism, and the Scottish Highlands, c.1870-1912

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623754
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653645 | DOI:
‘An Obscure Hall in East Nile Street’: Urban Radicalism and the ‘Crofters’ War’, 1881–1882

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The passage of a new Irish Land Act in 1881 indicated that agitation could be successful, and suggested that, as long as crofters remained silent in relation to their troubles, they could expect no redress. The subsequent scaling down of the Irish land agitation drove Davitt and Ferguson to conclude that Scotland and England would be more receptive than Ireland to their radicalism. The same year also saw the Highlander lose its long battle against creditors, and although it struggled on as a monthly publication, it reverted to having more cultural than political content. In spite of a fund being established in Dublin by the Gaelic Union, to ‘aid the recovery’ of the Highlander, it folded at the end of 1881. The Oban Times also renewed its interest in land reform — often treading a fine line between support for the crofters and condemnation for the Irish. Disgust with the antics of the Irish Parliamentary Party was regularly displayed, and the editor clearly believed he was speaking for the majority of his readers when, in February 1881, he stated that ‘of the ultimate fate of the leaders of the Land League, few in this country have any interest’.

Keywords: Irish Land Act; agitation; crofters; radicalism; land reform; Irish Parliamentary Party

Chapter.  18290 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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