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Main Events in Irish History 1867-1893

This document was written by Stephen Tonge. I am most grateful to have his kind permission to include it on the web site.

  • Unsuccessful Fenian revolt.
  • The Liberals led by Gladstone won the general election. Gladstone's attention was drawn to Irish affairs by the Fenian revolt.
  • The Church of Ireland was disestablished.
  • Gladstone's First Land Act gave legal recognition to the three Fs where they existed. It provided compensation to farmers evicted unfairly. Minor provisions relating to land purchase.
  • Home Rule Confederation formed by Isaac Butt.
  • Secret Ballot Act passed.
  • Conservatives under Disraeli won the general election. They were more interested in Imperial matters and devoted little time to Ireland. 59 Home Rule MPs elected.
  • Potato crop failed in the West and a near famine situation developed there.
  • Isaac Butt died in May.
  • Land League formed to campaign for better conditions for tenants.
  • Agricultural violence increased. The so-called "Land War" that lasted until 1882.
  • Liberals under Gladstone won the general election. Parnell elected leader of the Home Rule party.
  • Coercion bill introduced to stop the violence in Ireland, called "the Protection of Persons and Property Act".
  • Gladstone introduced his Second Land Act that granted the three Fs and set up a Land Court to set a fair rent.
  • Parnell arrested and lodged in Kilmainham jail.
  • Violence increased greatly in the countryside during the period of Parnell's imprisonment.
  • Kilmainham Treaty saw the release of Parnell from prison.
  • Tenants in arrears were allowed to go to the Land Court.
  • Phoenix Park murders.
  • Irish National League founded that replaced the Land League.
  • Reform Act introduced which trebled the number of men entitled to vote.
  • The election saw the return of 85 Home Rule MPs for Ireland out of a total of 103.
  • Conservatives passed the Ashbourne Land Act that provided £5 million in loans to farmers who wished to purchase their land.
  • Gladstone signalled his conversion to Home Rule.
  • Liberal party split over Home Rule and the first Home Rule bill was defeated.
  • Formation of the Irish Unionist party.
  • Beginning of the "Plan of Campaign".
  • Conservatives under Lord Salisbury gained power.
  • Arthur Balfour became Chief Secretary. Conservative policy of "Killing Home Rule with Kindness" began.
  • Period of rent set by the Land Court reduced to 3 years.
  • “Times Commission” set up to investigate links between the Home Rule party and the Fenians.
  • Captain O'Shea filed for divorce.
  • Home Rule party split into pro and anti-Parnellite factions.
  • Death of Parnell.
  • Balfour's Land Act provided £33 million for land purchase and established the Congested Districts Board.
  • The Liberals under Gladstone won the general election
  • Second Home Rule Bill introduced. It passed the House of Commons but was vetoed by the House of Lords.

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