The Info List - Anglo-Irish

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ANGLO-IRISH (Irish : Angla-Éireannach) is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify a social class in Ireland
, whose members are mostly the descendants and successors of the English Protestant Ascendancy . They mostly belong to the Anglican Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
, which was the established church of Ireland
until 1871, or to a lesser extent one of the English dissenting churches, such as the Methodist church , though some were also Catholic. Its members tended to follow English practices in matters of culture , science , law , agriculture and politics but often defined themselves as simply "Irish" or "British", rather than "Anglo-Irish" or "English". Many became eminent as administrators in the British Empire
British Empire
and as senior army and naval officers .

The term is not usually applied to Presbyterians in the province of Ulster
, whose ancestry is mostly Lowland Scottish , rather than English or Irish, and who are sometimes identified as "Ulster-Scots ". The Anglo-Irish held a wide range of political views, with some of them being outspoken Irish Nationalists and others being Unionists . And while many of the Anglo-Irish were part of the English diaspora in Ireland, many were of Irish Catholic origin but had converted to Anglicanism.


* 1 Anglo-Irish social class

* 1.1 Business interests * 1.2 Prominent members

* 2 Attitude towards Irish independence * 3 Anglo-Irish peers * 4 See also

* 5 References

* 5.1 Bibliography


See also: Protestant Ascendancy

The term "Anglo-Irish" is often applied to the members of the Church of Ireland
who made up the professional and landed class in Ireland from the 17th century up to the time of Irish independence in the early 20th century. In the course of the 17th century , this Anglo-Irish landed class replaced the Gaelic Irish and Old English aristocracies as the ruling class in Ireland. They were also referred to as "NEW ENGLISH" to distinguish them from the "Old English " who descended from the medieval Hiberno-Norman settlers. A larger but less socially prominent element of the Protestant Irish population were the immigrant French Huguenots and the English and Scottish dissenters who settled in Ireland
in the 17th and 18th centuries, many of whom later emigrated to the American colonies .

Under the Penal Laws , which were in force between the 17th and 19th centuries (although enforced with varying degrees of severity), Roman Catholic recusants in Great Britain and Ireland
were barred from holding public office, while in Ireland
they were also barred from entry to the University of Dublin
and from professions such as law, medicine, and the military. The lands of the recusant Roman Catholic landed gentry who refused to take the prescribed oaths were largely confiscated during the Plantations of Ireland
, and the rights of Roman Catholics to inherit landed property were severely restricted. Those who converted to the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
were usually able to keep or regain their lost property, as the issue was primarily one of allegiance. In the late 18th century the Parliament of Ireland
in Dublin
won legislative independence, and the movement for the repeal of the Test Acts began. Marble bust of The V. Rev. Jonathan Swift , inside St Patrick\'s Cathedral , Dublin
. Swift was Dean of St Patrick's from 1713 to 1745.

Not all Anglo- Irish people
Irish people
could trace their origins to the Protestant English settlers of the Cromwellian period; some were of Welsh stock, and others descended from Old English or even native Gaelic converts to Anglicanism. Members of this ruling class commonly identified themselves as Irish, while retaining English habits in politics, commerce, and culture. They participated in the popular English sports of the day, particularly racing and fox hunting , and intermarried with the ruling classes in Great Britain. Many of the more successful of them spent much of their careers either in Great Britain or in some part of the British Empire
British Empire
. Many constructed large country houses , which became known in Ireland
as Big Houses , and these became symbolic of the class' dominance in Irish society.

The Dublin
working class playwright Brendan Behan , a staunch Irish Republican , saw the Anglo-Irish as Ireland's leisure class and famously defined an Anglo-Irishman as "a Protestant with a horse".

The Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer Elizabeth Bowen memorably described her experience as feeling "English in Ireland, Irish in England" and not accepted fully as belonging to either.

Due to their prominence in the military and their conservative politics, the Anglo-Irish have been compared to the Prussian Junker class by, among others, Correlli Barnett .


At the beginning of the 20th century, the Anglo-Irish owned many of the major indigenous businesses in Ireland, such as Jacob\'s Biscuits , Bewley\'s , Beamish and Crawford , Jameson\'s Whiskey , W. P. & R. Odlum , Cleeve\'s , R&H Hall , Maguire "> They also controlled financial companies such as the Bank of Ireland
and Goodbody Stockbrokers . Statue of Anglo-Irish mathematician and theologian George Salmon (1819–1904), in front of the campanile of Trinity College, Dublin
, the traditional alma mater of the Anglo-Irish class. Salmon was provost of Trinity from 1888 until his death.


Prominent Anglo-Irish poets, writers, and playwrights include Jonathan Swift , George Berkeley
George Berkeley
, Oliver Goldsmith , George Darley , Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker
, Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
, J. M. Synge , W. B. Yeats
W. B. Yeats
, Cecil Day-Lewis , Bernard Shaw , Augusta, Lady Gregory , Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
, Giles Cooper , C. S. Lewis , Lord Longford and Elizabeth Bowen .

In the 19th century, some of the most prominent scientists of the British Isles, including Sir William Rowan Hamilton
Sir William Rowan Hamilton
, George Gabriel Stokes , and John Tyndall
John Tyndall
, George Johnstone Stoney , Thomas Romney Robinson , Edward Sabine , Thomas Andrews , The 3rd Earl of Rosse , George Salmon , George FitzGerald , were Anglo-Irish, and in the 20th century John Joly and Ernest Walton shared this identity. The polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton
Ernest Shackleton
was also an Anglo-Irishman.

Medical experts included Sir William Wilde , Robert Graves , Thomas Wrigley Grimshaw , William Stokes , Robert Collis , Sir John Lumsden and William Babington .

The Anglo-Irishmen Edmund Burke , Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
, Henry Grattan , Viscount Castlereagh , George Canning , The 1st Earl Macartney , Thomas Spring Rice , Charles Stewart Parnell
Charles Stewart Parnell
, and The 1st Baron Carson played major roles in British politics.

The Anglo-Irish were also represented among the senior officers of the British Army
British Army
by men such as Field Marshal The 1st Earl Roberts , first honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards regiment, who spent most of his career in British India
British India
; Field Marshal The 1st Viscount Gough , who served under Wellington , himself a Wesley born in Dublin
to The 1st Earl of Mornington , head of a prominent Anglo-Irish family in Dublin; and in the 20th century Field Marshal The 1st Viscount Alanbrooke , Field Marshal The 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis , Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson and Field Marshal The 1st Viscount Wolseley . (see also Irish military diaspora ).

Frederick Matthew Darley
Frederick Matthew Darley
emigrated to Australia where he became Chief Justice of new South Wales.

Prolific art music composers included Michael William Balfe , John Field , George Alexander Osborne , Thomas Roseingrave , Charles Villiers Stanford , John Andrew Stevenson , Robert Prescott Stewart , William Vincent Wallace , and Charles Wood .

In the visual arts the sculptor John Henry Foley , art dealer Hugh Lane , the artists Daniel Maclise
Daniel Maclise
, William Orpen
William Orpen
and Jack Yeats , the ballerina Dame Ninette de Valois
Ninette de Valois
and the designer-architect Eileen Gray were famous outside Ireland.

William Desmond Taylor was an early and prolific maker of silent films in Hollywood

Architects included Frederick Darley jnr

Philanthropists included Thomas Barnardo and The 1st Earl of Iveagh .

Discussing the lack of Irish civic morality in 2011, former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald remarked that before 1922: "In Ireland
a strong civic sense did exist – but mainly amongst Protestants and especially Anglicans".


The Anglo-Irish, as a class, were mostly opposed to the notions of Irish independence and Home Rule. Most were supporters of continued political union with Great Britain , which existed between 1800 and 1922. This was for many reasons, but most important were the economic benefits of union for the landowning class, the close personal and familial relations with the British establishment, and the political prominence held by the Anglo-Irish in Ireland
under the union settlement. Many Anglo-Irish men served as officers in the British Army , were clergymen in the established Anglican Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
or had land (or business interests) across the British Isles – all factors which encouraged political support for unionism . Between the mid-nineteenth century and 1922, the Anglo-Irish comprised the bulk of the support for movements such as the Irish Unionist Alliance , especially in the southern three provinces of Ireland.

However, Protestants in Ireland, and the Anglo-Irish class in particular, were by no means universally attached to the cause of continued political union with Great Britain. For instance, author Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), a clergyman in the Church of Ireland, vigorously denounced the plight of ordinary Irish people
Irish people
under British rule. Reformist politicians such as Henry Grattan
Henry Grattan
(1746–1820), Wolfe Tone (1763–1798), Robert Emmet
Robert Emmet
(1778–1803), Sir John Gray (1815-1875), and Charles Stewart Parnell
Charles Stewart Parnell
(1846–1891), were also Protestant nationalists , and in large measure led and defined Irish nationalism. The Irish Rebellion of 1798 was led by members of the Anglo-Irish and Ulster
Scots class, some of whom feared the political implications of the impending union with Great Britain. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, however, Irish nationalism became increasingly tied to a Roman Catholic identity. By the beginning of the twentieth century, many Anglo-Irishmen in southern Ireland
had become convinced of the need for a political settlement with Irish nationalists. Anglo-Irish politicians such as Sir Horace Plunkett and Lord Monteagle became leading figures in finding a peaceful solution to the 'Irish question'.

During the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921), many Anglo-Irish landlords left the country due to attacks on their family homes . Animosity towards them continued after the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. Many members of the Anglo-Irish class subsequently left Ireland
forever, fearing that they would be subject to discriminatory legislation and social pressures. The Protestant proportion of the Irish population dropped from 10% to 6% in the twenty-five years following independence, with most resettling elsewhere in the British Isles.

The reaction of the Anglo-Irish to the Anglo-Irish Treaty
Anglo-Irish Treaty
which envisaged the establishment of the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
was mixed. J. A. F. Gregg , the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
Archbishop of Dublin
, stated in a sermon in December 1921 (the month the Treaty was signed):

It concerns us all to offer the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
our loyalty. I believe there is a genuine desire on the part of those who have long differed from us politically to welcome our co-operation. We should be wrong politically and religiously to reject such advances.

In 1925, when the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
was poised to outlaw divorce, the poet W. B. Yeats
W. B. Yeats
delivered a famous eulogy on the Anglo-Irish in the Free State's Senate:

I think it is tragic that within three years of this country gaining its independence we should be discussing a measure which a minority of this nation considers to be grossly oppressive. I am proud to consider myself a typical man of that minority. We against whom you have done this thing, are no petty people. We are one of the great stocks of Europe. We are the people of Burke ; we are the people of Grattan ; we are the people of Swift , the people of Emmet , the people of Parnell . We have created the most of the modern literature of this country. We have created the best of its political intelligence. Yet I do not altogether regret what has happened. I shall be able to find out, if not I, my children will be able to find out whether we have lost our stamina or not. You have defined our position and have given us a popular following. If we have not lost our stamina then your victory will be brief, and your defeat final, and when it comes this nation may be transformed.

The term "Anglo-Irish" is no longer commonly used to describe southern Irish Protestants, or Protestant citizens of the Republic of Ireland
as a group, since —despite retaining a certain distinctive identity— they have mostly been keen to stress their Irishness and loyalty to the Republic of Ireland


See also: Irish House of Lords and Peerage of Ireland

Following the English victory in the Nine Years\' War (1594–1603), the " Flight of the Earls " in 1607, the traditional Gaelic Irish nobility was displaced in Ireland, particularly in the Cromwellian period. By 1707, after further defeat in the Williamite War and the subsequent Union of England and Scotland, the aristocracy in Ireland was dominated by Anglican families who owed allegiance to the Crown. Some of these were Irish families who had chosen to conform to the established Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
, keeping their lands and privileges, such as the Dukes of Leinster (whose surname is FitzGerald , and who descend from the Old English aristocracy), or the Gaelic Guinness family . Some were families of British or mixed-British ancestry who owed their status in Ireland
to the Crown, such as the Earls of Cork (whose surname is Boyle and whose ancestral roots were in Herefordshire
, England).

Among the prominent Anglo-Irish peers are: Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington , from a portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence

* The 1st Earl of Cork , Lord High Treasurer of Ireland, father of scientist Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle
. * The 1st Baron Glenavy , second-last Lord Chancellor of Ireland
and first Cathoirleach (or Chairman) of the Irish Senate (1922). * The 8th Marquess Conyngham , owner of the Slane Castle
Slane Castle
rock venue and candidate for Fine Gael
Fine Gael
in recent Irish general elections . * The 3rd Earl of Iveagh , of Gaelic Irish descent; head of the Guinness family
Guinness family
who sat in the Irish Senate (1973–1977). * Valerie, Lady Goulding , founder of the Rehabilitation Institute and close associate of former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Charles Haughey . * The 6th Earl of Longford , Impresario at the Gate Theatre in Dublin
in the 1950s. * The 7th Earl of Longford (who succeeded his brother (above) in the Earldom), British Labour Cabinet minister, biographer and friend of Éamon de Valera . * The 3rd Earl of Rosse , astronomer and builder of the then-largest telescope in the world. * The 18th Baron of Dunsany , author. * The 1st Duke of Ormonde , 17th century statesman, served as Lord Deputy of Ireland
on two occasions and commanded Royalist forces in Ireland
in the Irish Confederate Wars negotiating with the Irish Confederates on behalf of Charles I . * Murrough, 1st Earl of Inchiquin , 6th Baron Inchiquin (1618–1674), of Gaelic Irish descent; a Parliamentary commander in the Irish Confederate Wars 1644-48 before changing sides to become one of the leaders of the Royalist troops in Ireland
during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649–53). * Field Marshal The 1st Duke of Wellington , Irish-born British general who fought many successful campaigns and defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
. He later became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Until the year 1800, the peers of Ireland
were all entitled to a seat in the Irish House of Lords , the upper house of the Parliament of Ireland
, in Dublin
. After 1800, under the provisions of the Act of Union , the Parliament of Ireland
was abolished and the Irish peers were entitled to elect twenty-eight of their number to sit in the British House of Lords
House of Lords
, in London, as representative peers . During the Georgian Era , titles in the peerage of Ireland
were often granted by the British monarch to Englishmen with little or no connection to Ireland, as a way of preventing such honours from inflating the membership of the British House of Lords.

A number of Anglo-Irish peers have been appointed by Presidents of Ireland
to serve on their advisory Council of State . Some were also considered possible candidates for presidents of Ireland, including:

* Valerie, Lady Goulding * Lord Killanin * Lord Ashbourne (a renowned Gaelic scholar).


* Baron Baltimore * Protestant Irish nationalists * Derry
* Hiberno-English * Ireland–United Kingdom relations * Irish Unionist Alliance * Irish migration to Great Britain * Miler Magrath
Miler Magrath
* Reform Movement * Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
* Unionism in Ireland
* West Brit


* ^ The Anglo-Irish, Fidelma Maguire, University College Cork Archived 2 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. and Donnchadh Ó Corráin

* ^ A B The Anglo-Irish, Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870–1914, Multitext Projects in Irish History, University College Cork Archived 2 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ A B Wolff, Ellen M. (2006). An Anarchy in the Mind and in the Heart: Narrating Anglo-Ireland. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. p. 37. ISBN 0838755569 .

* ^

PAT: He was an Anglo-Irishman.

MEG: In the name of God, what's that? PAT: A Protestant with a horse. ROPEEN: Leadbetter. PAT: No, no, an ordinary Protestant like Leadbetter, the plumber in the back parlour next door, won't do, nor a Belfast
orangeman , not if he was as black as your boot. MEG: Why not? PAT: Because they work. An Anglo-Irishman only works at riding horses, drinking whiskey, and reading double-meaning books in Irish at Trinity College . — From act one of The Hostage, 1958 * ^ Paul Poplowski, " Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973)," Encyclopedia of Literary Modernism, (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2003), pp. 26–28. ISBN 0-313-31017-3 * ^ "Roberts, Kitchener and Wolesley were three national heroes of the nineteenth century whom Correlli Barnett sees as prime examples of the Anglo-Irish gentry, "the nearest thing Britain ever possessed to the Prussian Junker class". Desmond and Jean Bowen, Heroic Option: the Irish in the British Army, Pen -webkit-column-count: 2; column-count: 2;">

* Connolly, S. J. (1992). Religion, Law, and Power: The Making of Protestant Ireland
1660-1760. Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780191591792 . * Killeen, Jarlath (2005). Gothic Ireland: Horror and the Irish Anglican Imagination in the Long Eighteenth Century. 1851829431. ISBN 0140154094 .

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