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‘A Nation of Beggars’?Priests, People, and Politics in Famine Ireland, 1846–1852$
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Donal A. Kerr

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207375.001.0001

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Lord John Russell and the Irish Catholic Church: Problems and Plans

Lord John Russell and the Irish Catholic Church: Problems and Plans

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Lord John Russell and the Irish Catholic Church: Problems and Plans
Source:
‘A Nation of Beggars’?
Author(s):

DONAL A. KERR

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207375.003.0001

Even if Lord John Russell shared the English dislike of Catholicism, he possessed to a high degree the Whig insistence on liberty and justice. His sympathy for Irish Catholics was genuine, if somewhat removed from the reality of the peasant’s plight. Russell was in opposition from 1841 to 1846. Alarmed at the discontent in Ireland, he concluded that the Tory government was ruining the good relations he had established. Russell finally came to power on issues closely connected with Ireland and her problems: the repeal of the Corn Laws and an Irish Coercion bill. Russell’s great plan was to conciliate Irish Catholics by improving the state of their Church and by according it rights analogous, if not actually equal to, those of the Established Church. However, the first nine months of Russell’s administration saw more deaths than any similar period before or since in the history of Ireland.

Keywords:   Ireland, British, Whig, Catholicism, aristocracy, Corn Laws

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