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The main events in the career of Charles Stewart Parnell

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

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  • Born, the son of a landlord from Co. Wicklow.
  • Entered parliament as M.P for Co. Meath.
  • Joined with the "Obstructionists" in Parliament.
  • Elected leader of the Home Rule Confederation of Great Britain.
  • Foundation of the Land League of Mayo in August and the Irish National Land League in October.
  • Parnell elected president of Land League.
  • Parnell elected leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party.
  • Introduction of Gladstone's second Land Act in August.
  • Land Court set up to decide on a "fair rent "for 15 years.
  • After a violent speech Parnell was arrested in October and lodged in Kilmainham jail. Land League banned.
  • Parnell freed under the terms of "the Kilmainham Treaty" in May.
  • A few days later "the Phoenix Park Murders " took place, which shocked Parnell.
  • In October the Irish National League was founded to promote the cause of Home Rule.
  • "Parnell Testimonial ". Over £40,000 was collected throughout the country to help Parnell overcome financial difficulties.
  • Reform Act trebled the electorate in the country.
  • On November 1st the Gaelic Athletic Association was set up. Parnell was among the patrons of this new organisation.
  • 85 Home Rule M.P s elected for Ireland (one Home Rule M.P from Liverpool also elected). In December Gladstone announced his conversion to Home Rule ("the Hawarden Kite").
  • In June Gladstone's Home Rule Bill was defeated when many Liberal MPs including Joseph Chamberlain voted against it.
  • In October the plan of campaign was announced. Parnell intervened and had it restricted to 116 estates. This action annoyed John Dillon and William O'Brien.
  • The Times published a letter linking Parnell with "The Phoenix Park Murders". A special commission was set up to examine the allegations.
  • Richard Pigott was exposed as the forger of The Times letter.
  • Parnell reached the height of his popularity. He was "The Uncrowned King of Ireland".
  • In December Captain O'Shea filed for divorce.
  • On November 15 the divorce case began.
  • Home rule party split in December. The majority opposed Parnell.
  • Parnellite candidate was defeated in a by-election in Kilkenny.
  • Attempts at reaching a settlement failed in Boulogne and Parnell lost 2 further byelections in north Sligo and Carlow.
  • On October 6th Parnell died at Brighton.

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