Dawn Duncan's introductory Power Point to the Famine

Karen Babine's introductory Power Point to the Famine

This is actually a pretty good website of basic historical information on the Famine.

This virtual archive of the typhus of 1847, recorded by the Grey Nuns of Montreal, recently launched, through the University of Limerick. I haven't had a chance to check it out thoroughly, but it's pretty interesting.

**Ireland's History in Maps**

I can't copy the image here, but check out the website--very informative and interesting.

A Timeline: An Gorta Mor, from Quinnipiac University
Click Here for the website itself

The Parliament in Westminster passed an Act of Union formally uniting Ireland with Britain and abolished the Irish parliament. The Act of Union entailed the loss of legislative independence of Ireland. It became effective on January 1, 1801. Catholics could not vote in the Westminster parliament.

The first Christian Brother School was opened in Waterford.

July 23, Irish patriots throughout the country rebelled against Union with Great Britain. Robert Emmet led the insurrection in Dublin. Emmet was executed on September 20.

Commencement of the War of 1812 when the United States declared war against Great Britain and Ireland.

Police Force established in Ireland (it subsequently became the Irish Constabulary).

Daniel O'Connell, a Catholic barrister, helped found the Catholic Association. It sought to bring about ‘Catholic Emancipation’, that is, giving Catholics the right to sit in the Westminster parliament.

Catherine McAuley (1787-1841), founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin.

Daniel O’Connell was elected in a by-election in County Clare. As a Catholic, he could not take his seat in parliament.

O’Connell ‘s electoral success resulted in the granting of Catholic Emancipation, giving Catholics throughout the United Kingdom the right to sit in the Westminster parliament. O’Connell’s achievement was celebrated by the Catholic throughout the world. He then turned his attention to repealing the Union with Britain. Increasingly, nationalist sentiments became identified mainly with Catholics.

Victoria accedes to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland.

A Poor Law, based on the English model, was introduced to Ireland. The country was divided into 130 Poor Law ‘unions’, each with its own workhouse.

Daniel O’Connell founded the Loyal National Repeal Association, which aimed to overturn the Act of Union of 1800.

A General Election in the United Kingdom gives Sir Robert Peel’s Conservative Party a majority in the House of Commons.

A group of supporters of O’Connell establish a newspaper, the Nation, which promotes cultural nationalism. The group was referred to as ‘Young Ireland’.

O’Connell announced that this would be ‘Repeal Year’, that is, the year that the Act of Union would be overturned. But the year ended disastrously and O’Connell was briefly imprisoned in the following year.

In August, the Irish potato crop was attacked by a previously unknown fungus, Phytophthora infestans. It was first noticed in counties Dublin and Fermanagh. The disease blackened the potato leaves and caused the tubers in the ground to putrefy. In this year, approximately 40 per cent of the crop was infected. The British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, introduces a number of measures (public works, financial grants, opening relief depots, importing food), which proved to be successful. Nobody died in the first year of shortages.

The British Prime Minister, Peel, uses the appearance of blight in Ireland to repeal the Corn Laws. The Corn Laws had taxed imported oats, wheat and barley, and so kept prices artificially high. Many members of the Conservative Party did not support Peel and in June 1846, he resigned as Premier.

The blight returned to Ireland, but it appeared earlier in the harvest season and was far more destructive than in the previous year. As Ireland’s potato crop was consumed by blight. The nation’s peasants, who relied on the potato as their primary food source, starved. The famine took as many as one million lives from hunger and disease and caused mass emigration. After 1846, the British government responded to the calamity too late and with too little aid, even though eyewitnesses reported the suffering in the press and government officials kept politicians and civil servants informed about the unfolding tragedy and the consequent mortality.

Young Ireland leave O’Connell’s Repeal Association

June 27, Charles Stewart Parnell (d.1891), Irish nationalist leader, was born.

The public works are closed down and replaced by government soup kitchens. At harvest, the Poor Law is made responsible for providing all relief. This change confirms the principle that Irish taxes should pay for Irish distress. A Vagrancy Act was also introduced to combat begging as famine swept Ireland.

May – O’Connell died in Genoa, Italy, en route to see the Pope. Although there was little blight on the potato, the crop was small.

November - Dennis Mahon, a landowner in Strokestown, County Roscommon, was shot dead in an ambush. He had thrown thousands of poor farmers off the land during the famine and had paid to have some 1000 small farmers shipped to North America so he could establish larger farms. Many died en route. His murder caused outrage in Britain.

Over one million people were dependent on the Poor Law for relief, demonstrating that the Famine was far from over.

John Mitchel, a radical member of Young Ireland, was transported to Bermuda. He blamed the British government for the suffering of the Irish people.

July 29 A small rebellion against British rule was put down in County Tipperary. It was led by William Smith O'Brien of Young Ireland. The leaders were sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, although in the following year, this was commuted to transportation.

A ‘rate-in-aid’ tax was introduced into Ireland: a tax was levied on each Poor Law Union in Ireland and then re-distributed to the poorest unions by the British Treasury.

Lady (Isabella Augusta) Gregory, Irish playwright, was born. She helped found the Abbey Theatre. Her husband, William Gregory, had been responsible for the 1847 ‘Gregory Clause’ that had stipulated that any person who occupied more than one quarter of an acre of land could not receive relief.