Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century

Edited by Kyle Hughes and Donald MacRaild

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ISBN: 9781786948359

Publication: October 31, 2017

Series: Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland 2

The study of crime and violence in all its multifarious forms remains one of the most productive areas of enquiry for Irish historians. Considered an inordinately violent and unruly society by many contemporaries, nineteenth-century Ireland was notorious for sectarian unrest, agrarian disorder, alcohol-fuelled casual fighting, the seditious activities of various illegal underground organisations, as well as a host of other ‘outrages’. The image of an Ireland in an almost perpetual state of tumult during the nineteenth century, however, is a false one, invariably pedalled by partisan observers with a particular political or religious agenda to satisfy. Modern historical scholarship has corrected many lingering assumptions about the extent and character of Irish violence, but much work remains to be done. This important collection of essays, based on original research delivered at one of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland’s most successful annual conferences, draws together some of Ireland’s leading historians as well emerging talents to examine a broad range of topics under the banner of crime and violence. Irish secret societies, agrarian disorder, security and the law, sectarian violence, and a host of similar topics benefit from innovative methodological perspectives and advanced historical scholarship

Don MacRaild is Professor of British and Irish History and Head of the Department of Humanities at The University of Roehampton.

Kyle Hughes is Lecturer in British History, Ulster University.

List of Illustrations
List of Contributors

Introduction: Crime, Violence, and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century; Themes and Perspectives
     Kyle Hughes and Donald M. MacRaild

Section 1 ‘Secret Societies’ and Collective Violence
1 Whiteboys and Ribbonmen: What’s in a Name?
     Michael Huggins
2 The Law of Captain Rock
     Terence M. Dunne
3 ‘Night Marauders’ and ‘Deluded Wretches’: Public Discourses on Ribbonism in Pre-Famine Ireland
     Jess Lumsden Fisher
4 Organised Labour in Limerick City, 1819–1821: Violence and the Struggle for Legitimacy
     John McGrath

Section 2 The Law and its Responses
5 Cork’s Courthouses, the Landed Elite, and the Rockite Rebellion: Architectural Responses to Agrarian Violence, 1820–1827
     Richard J. Butler
6 Constitutional Rhetoric as Legal Defence: Irish Lawyers and the Languages of Political Dissent in 1848
     Colin W. Reid
7 ‘Why, it’s like a ’98 trial’: The Irish Judiciary and the Fenian Trials, 1865–1866
     Richard A. Keogh
8 Crime and Punishment: Whiteboyism and the Law in Late Nineteenth-Century Ireland
     Ciara Breathnach and Laurence M. Geary

Section 3 Sectarianism and Violence
9 From Bandon to … Bandon: Sectarian Violence in Cork during the Nineteenth Century
     Ian d’Alton
10 ‘Loyal to the Crown but not the Crown’s Government’: The Challenge to Policing Posed by the Orange Order in 1830s Ulster
     Daragh Curran

Section 4 Manifestations of Crime and Violence
11 Arson in Modern Ireland: Fire and Protest before the Famine
     Gemma Clark
12 The Head Pacificator and Captain Rock: Sedition, Suicide, and Honest Tom Steele
     Patrick Maume
13 ‘Skin the Goat’s Curse’ on James Carey: Narrating the Story of the Phoenix Park Murders through Contemporary Broadside Ballads
     Teresa O’Donnell
14 Attitudes and Responses to Vagrancy in Ireland in the Long Nineteenth Century
     Virginia Crossman


A thought-provoking collection by scholars who you sense really care about the topics they study.

Books Ireland


'Secret societies, agrarian disorder, the law, sectarianism, and related topics in relation to perceptions of the Irish are all discussed by a range of academics.'
Books Ireland 

'An important and valuable collection.'
Dr. Richard Mc Mahon, Assistant Professor of History, Trinity College Dublin

Format: Ebook

304 Pages

B&W illustrations

ISBN: 9781786948359

Publication: October 31, 2017

Series: Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland 2

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