Jan. 1st, 2014


Jan. 1st, 2014 05:51 pm
xenith: (Eucalypt)
I think, for the first week of the year, I shall make it Victoriana Week here. I have some photos, of houses and object, some from Canberra, some older. I have some books to scan things from. I wonder if I can manage two posts a day. Also, I'll have to do one on O'Brien.
xenith: (Eucalypt)
I thought I should write something myself but while I was gathering some link, I decided the introduction to the Wikipedia article says it quite well. So...

William Smith O'Brien was an Irish Nationalist and Member of Parliament (MP) and leader of the Young Ireland movement. He also encouraged the use of the Irish language. He was convicted of sedition for his part in the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848, but his sentence of death was commuted to deportation to Van Diemen's Land. In 1854, he was released on the condition of exile from Ireland, and he lived in Brussels for two years. In 1856 O'Brien was pardoned and returned to Ireland, but he was never active again in politics.

Or there's the entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Or an obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1864.

Or this biography in the paper describing the National Library of Ireland's William Smith O'Brien collection:

O'Brien became a member of Daniel O'Connell's Catholic Association but disliked O'Connell's threat to the political interests of the local Clare gentry class. He and O'Connell also disagreed over Irish poor law, tithe reform, the repeal of the corn laws, and non-denominational education reform. After O'Connell was imprisoned for sedition in 1843, O'Brien joined the Repeal Association and acted as leader in O'Connell's absence. This brought him into contact with a group of younger men led by Thomas Davis and associated with the Nation newspaper. A dispute arose over Young Ireland's support for Robert Peel's proposal for three non-denominational university colleges. Young Ireland also disliked O'Connell's conciliatory moves towards Lord John Russell's new Whig government. Matters came to a head when in August 1846 Thomas Meagher attacked O'Connell's non-violent approach and O'Brien led a split between Young Ireland and the Repeal Association. The following year O'Brien became leader of Young Ireland's Irish Confederation.

When the government ordered the arrest of several prominent Young Irelanders including Charles Gavan Duffy and suspended habeas corpus O'Brien attempted to initiate a rebellion. Enthusiasm was muted and on 29 July 1848 he and several others besieged Widow McCormack's house, outside Ballingarry in county Tipperary where police had taken her children hostage. O'Brien was arrested on 7 August and in October 1848 he was sentenced to death for high treason. This was later commuted to transportation for life to Van Dieman's Land.


On arrival, he was sent to Maria Island, to the probation station at Darlington, where he was given a cottage to live in. That one there, with the open door and the sign out the front.

Read more... )


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