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Jeremiah Jordan M.P. (1830–1911): Protestant home ruler or ‘Protestant renegade’?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2016

Richard McMinn
Affiliation:
Stranmillis University College, Belfast
Éamon Phoenix
Affiliation:
Stranmillis University College, Belfast
Joanne Beggs
Affiliation:
Stranmillis University College, Belfast
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Extract

The 1886 general election found Parnell at the helm of a well-disciplined nationalist party. In its struggle for home rule, the Irish Parliamentary Party (I.P.P.) had been helped along the way by the newly formed Irish Protestant Home Rule Association (I.P.H.R.A.), which in July 1886 had no fewer than six M.P.s in its ranks. Jeremiah Jordan, nationalist Member of Parliament for West Clare, was one of the six. Born in 1830 at Tattenbar, near Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, the son of a tenant farmer and a Wesleyan Methodist, he was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen. He started a grocery and provision business in Church Street, Enniskillen, and the town’s Young Men’s Society served as a training ground for his intellectual and oratorical skills, as did his appointment as a part-time Methodist lay preacher. Jordan had a passion for the sport of hunting and an intense dislike of idleness.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Irish Historical Studies Publications Ltd 2009

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References

1 There is some uncertainty as to Jordan’s date of birth, as no baptismal certificate appears to have survived. His obituary in the Irish News of 2 January 1912 gives his age at the time of his death as eighty-three. However, his year of birth is given as 1830 in Stenton, Michael and Lees’s, Stephen, Who’s who of British Members of Parliament, volume two (Hassocks, 1978), p. 196.Google Scholar

2 Methodist Times (henceforth M.T.), 14 Jan. 1886.

3 Impartial Reporter, 15 Nov. 1880.

4 Livingstone, Peadar, The Fermanagh story (Enniskillen, 1969), p. 258.Google Scholar

5 M.T., 14 Jan. 1886.

6 Ibid.

7 McMinn, Richard, ‘John Pinkerton: an Ulster Unitarian at the court of “King Charles”, 1886–1900’ in Eire-Ireland, xix, no. 3 (1985), pp 3147.Google Scholar

8 Newspaper cutting from Yorkshire Post, 1888, in Jeremiah Jordan papers (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073).

9 Livingstone, Fermanagh story, p. 257.

10 Ibid., p. 258.

11 M.T., 14 Jan. 1886.

12 Ibid.

13 Thompson, Frank, The end of Liberal Ulster: land agitation and land reform, 1868–86 (Belfast, 2001), pp 203-4Google Scholar. See also idem, ‘The land war in County Fermanagh’ in E. M. Murphy and W. J. Roulston (eds), Fermanagh: history and society (Dublin, 2004), p. 294.

14 Livingstone, Fermanagh story, p. 257

15 Ibid.

16 M.T., 14 Jan. 1886.

17 Livingstone, Fermanagh story, p. 259.

18 Ibid.

19 Jordan quoted in ibid.

20 Thompson, End of Liberal Ulster, pp 207–8; idem, ‘Land war in Co. Fermanagh’, p. 294.

21 McCaffrey, Lawrence quoted in Oliver McCann, ‘The Protestant home rule movement, 1886–95’ (M.A. thesis, University College, Dublin, 1973), p. 145.Google Scholar

22 Livingstone, Fermanagh story, p. 202.

23 Ibid.

24 Loughlin, J. P., ‘The Irish Protestant Home Rule Association and nationalist politics, 1886–93’ in I.H.S., xxiv, no. 95 (May 1985), p. 341.Google Scholar

25 Ibid., p. 342.

26 McCann, ‘Protestant home rule movement’, p. 34.

27 M.T., 14 Jan. 1886.

28 Walker, B. M., Parliamentary election results in Ireland, 1801–1922 (Dublin, 1978), p. 137.Google Scholar

29 McCann, ‘Protestant home rule movement’, p. 74.

30 M.T., 14 Jan. 1886.

31 Ibid., 14 Feb. 1886.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.

34 Hansard 305, iii, 651 (10 May 1886).

35 Ibid.

36 McElroy to Jordan, 5 May 1886 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/1).

37 M.T., 14 Jan. 1886.

38 Loughlin, ‘Irish Protestant Home Rule Association’, p. 353.

39 McCann, ‘Protestant home rule movement’, p. 46.

40 See Jordan papers (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/4/1).

41 McKilleen to Jordan, 20 May 1886 (ibid., D/2073/2/1).

42 McMinn, J. R. B., ‘An Ulster Unitarian at the court of “King Charles”’ in The Glynns, xiii (1985), p. 41.Google Scholar

43 Megahey, A. J., ‘The Irish Protestant churches and social and political issues, 1870–1914’ (Ph.D. thesis, Queen’s University Belfast, 1969), p. 5.Google Scholar

44 Ibid.

45 Hansard 305, iii, 651 (10 May 1886).

46 Ibid.

47 Ibid., 653.

48 Ibid.

49 Ibid., 657.

50 Draft speech by Jordan (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/2).

51 Hansard 311, iii, 1138 (3 Mar. 1887).

52 Hansard 353, iii, 753 (14 May 1891).

53 Fermanagh Times, 4 Jan. 1912.

54 M.T., 14 Jan. 1886.

55 Hansard 305, iii, 651 (10 May 1886).

56 Speech by Jordan, 1892 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/2).

57 Freeman’s Journal, 6 Nov. 1890. For a fuller discussion of the Protestant Churches in County Fermanagh in the period and of the particular significance of Methodism in the county, see Hill, Myrtle, ‘Protestantism in County Fermanagh, c. 1750–1912’ in Murphy, & Roulston, (eds), Fermanagh, pp 387407.Google Scholar

58 Draft speech by Jordan, n.d. (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/2).

59 Fermanagh Times, 4 Jan. 1912.

60 Hansard 352, iii, 624 (15 Apr. 1891). Parnell voiced a typical opinion in the House of Commons on 15 Apr. 1891: ‘I understand that not one in 20,000 of the population are arrested for drunkenness on Sunday.’

61 Malcolm, Elizabeth, ‘Temperance and Irish nationalism’ in Lyons, F. S. L. and Hawkins, R. A. J. (eds), Ireland under the union: varieties of tension (Oxford, 1980), p. 90.Google Scholar

62 Ibid., p. 91. For a good description of the links between the temperance movement and Protestantism in Ulster, see Gibson, William, The year of grace (London, 1909).Google Scholar

63 Hansard 305, iii, 651 (10 May 1886).

64 Draft speech by Jordan, 1888 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/2). Such pressure included pressure from constituents, unscrupulous canvassing in the lobby and ‘the blandishments and pressure of propaganda in our own party well known to us’.

65 Malcolm, ‘Temperance’, pp 95–7.

66 Ibid., p. 97.

67 Daily News, 25 Nov. 1890.

68 Sullivan to Healy, 25 Nov. 1890 in Healy, T. M., Letters and leaders of my day (2 vols, London, 1928), i, 322-3.Google Scholar

69 Ibid.

70 O’Brien, C. C., States of Ireland (London, 1972), p. 29.Google Scholar

71 O’Brien, R. B., The life of Charles Stewart Parnell, 1846–91 (2 vols, New York, 1969), ii, 271.Google Scholar

72 Draft speech by Jordan, n.d. (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/2).

73 Ibid.

74 Ibid.

75 O’Brien, C. C., Parnell and his party (Oxford, 1964), pp 322-6.Google Scholar

76 United Ireland, 22 Aug. 1891, quoted in Macaulay, Ambrose, Patrick McAlister, bishop of Down and Connor, 1886–95 (Dublin, 2006), p. 85.Google Scholar

77 Pinkerton quoted in McMinn, ‘An Ulster Unitarian at the court of “King Charles”’, p. 43.

78 Freeman’s Journal, 2 Dec. 1890.

79 O’Brien quoted in Lyons, F. S. L., The Irish Parliamentary Party, 1890–1910 (London, 1975), p. 52.Google Scholar

80 Ibid., p. 60.

81 Ibid.

82 Kilrush Federal Debating Society to Jordan, 22 Jan. 1891 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/3).

83 McMahon to Jordan, 17 July 1891 (ibid., D/2073/2/3).

84 Walker, Parliamentary election results, p. 146.

85 Impartial Reporter, 9 June 1892. See also Barton, Brian, ‘The origins and development of unionism in Fermanagh, 1885–1914’ in Murphy, & Roulston, (eds), Fermanagh, p. 313.Google Scholar

86 Ibid.

87 McCann, ‘Protestant home rule movement’, p. 116; Barton, ‘Origins’, pp 313–14.

88 Woods, C. J., ‘The general election of 1892: the Catholic clergy and the defeat of the Parnellites’ in Lyons, & Hawkins, (eds), Ireland under the union, pp 308-11.Google Scholar

89 Ibid., p. 313.

90 Pastoral letter from Bishop Nulty to the clergy and laity of the diocese of Meath, 29 June 1890 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/6/4). The by-election in South Meath in 1893 arose because the successful anti-Parnellite candidate from the 1892 general election, Patrick Fulham, was unseated on petition and a new election writ was then issued.

91 ’Mr Jordan and Methodism’ in Fermanagh Times, 7 July 1892.

92 Ibid., 21 July 1892.

93 Jordan papers (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/4).

94 Cooke to White, 27 Mar. 1893 (ibid., D/2073/2/5).

95 Fermanagh Times, 30 June 1892.

96 Parkhill, and Wilson, to Jordan, , 23 Sept. 1908 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/17).Google Scholar

97 ’To the electors of North Fermanagh’ in Fermanagh Times, 7 July 1892.

98 Draft speech by Jordan, , n.d. (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/4).Google Scholar

99 Draft speech by Jordan, , n.d. (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/3).Google Scholar

100 Hansard 42, iii, 1654 (16 July 1896).

101 Fermanagh Times, 7 July 1892.

102 Macaulay, McAlister, p. 117.

103 Draft speech by Jordan, , 1898 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/3).Google Scholar

104 McMinn, ‘An Ulster Unitarian at the court of “King Charles”’, p. 44.

105 Fermanagh Times, 15 Feb. 1900.

106 Letter to Jordan from unknown author (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/15).Google Scholar

107 Jordan, to Pinkerton, , 1 Mar. 1902 (P.R.O.N.I., Pinkerton papers, D/1078/P/70).Google Scholar

108 Ibid.

109 Fermanagh Times, 4 Jan. 1912.

110 Kelly, to Jordan, , 12 June 1895 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/2).Google Scholar

111 Fermanagh Times, 4 Jan. 1912.

112 Jordan to Lord Lieutenant of Fermanagh, n.d. (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/23).Google Scholar

113 Speech by Jordan at Kinawley, n.d. (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/4).Google Scholar

114 Northern Whig, 2 Jan. 1912.

115 Irish News, 4 Jan. 1912.

116 Fermanagh Times, 14 Apr. 1892.

117 Cleary, to Jordan, , 24 Nov. 1908 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/17).Google Scholar

118 Speech by Jordan at Kinawley (ibid., D/2073/3/4).

119 Draft letter by Cahir Healy, n.d. (ibid., Healy papers, D/2991/1/A/5C).

120 Fermanagh Times, 4 Jan. 1912.

121 McNeel, to Jordan, , 11 May 1886 (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/2/1).Google Scholar

122 Copy of Scarriff resolution, 1888 (ibid., D/2073/4/3).

123 McMinn, ‘An Ulster Unitarian at the court of “King Charles”’, p. 41.

124 Livingstone, Fermanagh story, p. 258.

125 Ibid.

126 Jordan, to Pinkerton, , Mar. 1902 (P.R.O.N.I., D/1078/P/71).Google Scholar

127 Loughlin, ‘Irish Protestant Home Rule Association’, p. 343.

128 Livingstone, Fermanagh story, p. 255. This trait is reflected in the career of such a leading Unionist landlord as Lord Belmore who favoured Trinity College Dublin, over Queen’s University Belfast, in the 1930s.

129 Irish News, 2 Jan. 1912.

130 Jordan, to Pinkerton, , 23 Apr. 1901 (P.R.O.N.I., D/1078/P/70).Google Scholar

131 Irish News, 2 Jan. 1912.

132 Maume, Patrick, The long gestation: Irish nationalist life, 1891–1918 (Dublin, 1999), p. 35.Google Scholar

133 Fermanagh Times, 14 Apr. 1892.

134 Speech by Jordan at Kinawley, n.d. (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/4).Google Scholar

135 Jeremiah MacVeagh, M.P. (ed.), Religious intolerance under home rule: some opinions of leading Irish Protestants (London, 1911), p. 32.Google Scholar

136 Speech by Jordan at Kinawley, n.d. (P.R.O.N.I., D/2073/3/4).Google Scholar

137 Barton, ‘Origins’, p. 317.

138 The authors wish to thank the deputy keeper of records, P.R.O.N.I., for permission to refer to, and quote from, the Jeremiah Jordan papers, the John Pinkerton papers and the Cahir Healy papers.

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