The Manchester Martyrs of 1867:  The "Irish Question" in England 
("Work" by Ford Maddox Brown--a mural at the Manchester City Hall)

1867 was a momentous year in British history both politically and socially. In this last year of Tory domination, Liberal reformers led by William Ewart Gladstone set in motion a series of social and political changes which would impact several areas of British society. The franchise was extended to the to the £7 freeholder with the 1867 Reform Act thereby granting the vote to the lower middle class and prosperous laborers. Gladstone, the likely winner of the following years' general election, was known to be open to the cause of Home Rule for Ireland. He had already gained notoriety for his support of the disestablishment of the Anglican church in Ireland. In response, several Irish politicians gave him their tacit backing for the upcoming election. Despite this favorable forecast for Ireland, radical nationalist groups would upset the political balance between England and Ireland. Ironically, in this year of progressive change within the British political sphere, a series of events led to a loss of England's confidence in the Irish cause and opened wider the rift between the two countries.

Though the bulk of the perceived injustices occurred on Irish soil, it was in the industrial cities of the North of England where the tensions between the Irish and their English overlords exploded. The alienation of the Irish immigrant in the north of England in the two decades following the devastation of the Irish famine was instrumental in bringing about a heightened sense of nationalism among the Irish communities. Though a greater proportion of the Irish-born population in Northern England resided in the port city of Liverpool, it was in its manufacturing neighbor, Manchester, that a fuse was lit that proved to almost completely alienate the English government from the Irish cause of Home Rule.

In the early hours of September 18, 1867, a black maria containing several prisoners passed under a railway arch on its way to Bellevue Gaol on the other side of the city of Manchester. Four officers of the Manchester police force rode on the outside of the vehicle, but the officer in charge rode with the prisoners in the van. Despite the fact that the police had been warned that this particular delivery might encounter trouble, none of the police officers were armed. As the van drove by a vacant lot, thirty armed men surrounded it and forced it to a halt. After they ordered the drivers out and shot one of the horses, the raiders attempted to break in the roof of the van with stones. Unsuccessful, the raiders demanded that the policeman inside the van hand over the keys to the door. Sergeant Brett, the officer in charge, refused their request. In response, one of the party fired a pistol into the door shooting Sergeant Brett in the head. The prisoners inside grabbed the keys from the dying policeman and dropped them through the van's ventilation panels. Once the doors were opened, two prisoners who were handcuffed, were secreted into the assembling crowd and were never seen again by the English officials. The raiders of the prison van were members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), also known as the Fenians, who had sworn to bring about Irish independence from England by whatever means necessary. The two prisoners, whose escape the group had made good, were Col. Thomas Kelly and Capt. Timothy Deasy, the leaders of the Fenian movement in England.

The Irish Republican Brotherhood was formed on St. Patrick's day in 1858 as an armed struggle against British rule in Ireland. Though the bulk of its early membership was comprised mainly of working class Irishmen, its leaders were educated and respectable members of the lower middle class. Several had worked as clerks, shopkeepers, and National school teachers.(1) Upon joining the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Fenians swore to uphold the precepts of the organization. An early version of the Fenian constitution read:

The object of the IRB is to establish and maintain a free and independent Republican government in Ireland...the Supreme Council of the IRB is hereby declared in fact, as well as by right, the sole Government of the Irish Republic. Its enactments shall be the laws of the Irish republic until Ireland secures absolute national independence, and a permanent Republican Government is established.(2)

Unlike previous Irish nationalist organizations, the Irish Republican Brotherhood's main base was outside Ireland. In the mid 1860s, Fenian leaders constantly moved between the Irish immigrant communities in the industrial towns of Lancashire in the north of England in an attempt to elude the British authorities.

Though its interests were focused primarily upon England and Ireland, a great source of its strength came from Irish Immigrants on the other side of the Atlantic. Irish-American involvement with the Fenian movement was widespread, especially after the Civil War in which Irish-Americans gained military experience. The Fenian Brotherhood, the American counterpart to the IRB, was formed to assist the Irish in the overthrow of the British government. As a result of misunderstood sympathies and such diplomatic disasters as the "Trent Affair" and the "Alabama Incident", friction between the United States and Great Britain during the Civil War was high.(3) There was fear in some British circles that should Ireland rise against England, America might intervene on Ireland's behalf.(4) Angered with England's neutral stance toward a belligerent South, hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants joined the Union forces. By 1861 in New York alone, there were over 50,000 bona fide Fenians with perhaps five times as many sympathizers who underwrote much of the Fenian cause.(5) Yet the Fenian movement, despite the wealth and manpower contributed by Irish-Americans, was both stronger and made the greatest impact in England. Indeed in 1865, with strong Irish-American veteran and financial backing, the Fenians believed that they had convinced Irish troops in the British Army to mutiny and support an Irish uprising. Fenians in England, Ireland, Canada, and America waited for the signal from leader James Stephens. However, he delayed the action several times and before the mutiny could take place, the would-be insurgents were betrayed by an informer.(6) Warrants for the arrest of Fenian leaders James Stephens and Col. Thomas Kelly(7), were posted throughout the British Isles. The English took immediate action to quelch any Fenian activities in Ireland; a bill was rushed through both houses of Parliament to revoke habeas corpus in Ireland.(8) Despite the perceived need for such action, the suspension of habeas corpus brought about unexpected and, for the English, unfortunate results: the Fenians simply moved the theater of their operations to England and began their campaigns on English soil.

Of all the peoples in the British Isles, the Irish had always been looked down upon as the most backward. Though prejudice against the Irish had prevailed throughout much of England's 800 year association with Ireland, this animosity, called "one of the longest secular trends" in England's cultural history, reached a "high plateau" in the 1860s. Irish inferiority was seemingly confirmed by the Irish's low occupational status in Britain and was extended through demeaning "ape-like" caricatures in newspapers and books.(9)

The devastation caused by the Potato Famine of 1845-48 resulted in an unprecedented mass exodus of Irish peasants.(10) While hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrated to America, Australia, and Canada, the more frequent destinations were England and Scotland. The ten hour journey across the Irish Sea to Glasgow or Liverpool cost only 4d. As a result, the Irish-born population in the Britain exploded, especially in industrial Lancashire in the north of England. By 1861, the number of Irish-born in England climbed to over 600,000.(11) Manchester, as the capital of Lancashire's cotton industry, became a mecca for Irish immigrants.

In the two decades between 1847 and 1867, Irish-born immigrants came to comprise fully one third of Manchester's population. Most worked as unskilled or semi-skilled laborers in the numerous factories and on the railway lines. Many found jobs in the textile mills, although work shortages attributed to the "cotton famine" resulting from the American Civil War, made survival precarious for the recently arrived, unskilled laborer.

The rural agricultural values the Irish brought with them were different from those characterized by the English "Protestant work ethic." Individualism, ambition, and desire for upward social mobility were neither part of Irish culture nor fully understood by the Irish. It was difficult to save money on low, subsistence wages, but the Irish immigrants in England often sent money back home and eagerly contributed to the energetic building of Catholic Churches throughout Lancashire.(12) Other "typically Irish" characteristics were the keeping of livestock, especially pigs, for extra income in the urban tenements. English observers, among them Karl Marx in his Condition of the Working Classes in Britain, were often astounded that the livestock often received better food and treatment than the children in the Irish immigrant family.(13) Housing conditions for the Irish in Manchester caused both environmental and health problems. Open sewers and contaminated drinking water were only two culprits. Epidemics, especially cholera, were constant threats.(14) Crowded together in compact neighborhoods, the Irish formed tightly knit communities amidst a city openly suspicious of its Catholic brethren. Though under law, Catholics in England enjoyed a measure of religious toleration, within Manchester's Protestant Nonconformist circles, tension between the two communities constantly surfaced.(15) Religious sectarianism had flared since the 1850's when Pope Pius IX re-established the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in England. A wave of militant Protestant feeling swept through Lancashire where anti-Catholic sentiment was rapidly converted to anti-Irish prejudice. While no overt action was taken, the re-establishment gave the tensions between England and Ireland an institutional base.(16) By the mid 1860s, these tensions were still present in the North of England. In June 1867 preacher William Murphy incited an anti-Catholic gathering in the city of Birmingham. The ensuing riot proved so violent that the police were called in to disburse the crowd.(17) The Religious Census of 1851 revealed 252, 783 Roman Catholics in England, but this only included those who attended church. Modern estimates place the total figures at over 600,000.(18) Amidst a perceived Catholic inundation, members of the English Protestant and lower middle class began to organize in to militant, anti-Catholic organizations. The Orange Association, popular with Protestants in Lancashire and the north of England, Scotland, and Ulster, flourished in the decades following the re-establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in cities where large numbers of Irish immigrants had settled.(19)

The week before the raid of the prison van, Colonel Thomas Kelly and his assistant Timothy Deasy had been arrested for loitering in the Manchester district of Sudhill. The police charged the two with vagrancy unaware that these men were Fenian kingpins. They had traveled in secret to Manchester to negotiate a dispute within a local chapter of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and were preparing to rendezvous with another member who would escort them safely out of the city. They had escaped capture by the police by using the assumed names of Martin Williams and John White. The two men were about to be released by the magistrate when one of the police detectives applied for their remand on suspicion of their involvement with the Fenian movement. John Conroyden, an informer who was himself a former Fenian quickly identified Kelly and Deasy to the police.

Following the rescue, the police searched the Irish districts of Manchester for the perpetrators. An anonymous letter delivered to the mayor alleged that the fugitives were at a house in Ancoats, an Irish district in central Manchester. However, the magistrates arrived too late; the men had already absconded. Rumors spread that Kelly and Deasy had again eluded the police by boarding ships bound for New York. By November the Irish community heard that the men had arrived separately and safely in New York harbor.(20) Despite the escape of Kelly and Deasy, the Manchester authorities were even more intent on the capture of the Fenian raiders who had murdered Sergeant Brett.

Dozens of suspects were rounded up. Indeed, an Irish brogue proved to be a handicap in late September 1867. Several innocent Irishmen were arrested and jailed.(21) By September 21, fifty suspects were in custody. Manchester's Irish community, while not confrontational, openly sided with the accused men. Several witnesses came forward to provide alibis for most of the men arrested. However, the authorities refused to admit evidence given by individuals who were known to have Fenian connections. This seriously effected the cases of Edward Condon and Michael O'Brien who were regarded as two of the leaders of the raid. By the 27th when the Magistrates began to hear evidence in order to establish a prima facie case, twenty-eight men stood accused. Of these twenty-eight, five were charged with murder.

The trial of Michael Larkin, William Allen, Edward Condon, Michael O'Brien, and a marine, Thomas Maguire was held by special commission, heard by Mr. Justice Blackburne, and was prosecuted by the Attorney General. On the first day, the Grand Jury charged them with murder, felony (for breaking into the police van), and misdemeanor (for obstructing the police). The testimonies given by the police constables and the other prisoners in the van were inconsistent. No one could agree who had shot Sergeant Brett. Two witnesses believed that William Allen had fired the gun; the rest were unsure.(22) While the witnesses were unclear as to who shot Sergeant Brett, this vital information was actually immaterial. Under English law, anyone taking part in an illegal act in which someone was killed was guilty of constructive murder.(23)

One of the five accused was the victim of circumstance. All of the witnesses confidently identified the hapless Royal Marine Maguire as an accomplice. Ironically, Maguire was entirely innocent. A ten year veteran of the Royal Marines, Maguire had been visiting relatives while he was on shore leave in Manchester. His was an unfortunate case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Although the other four men accused of murder insisted that Maguire had nothing to do with the raid and had no connection whatsoever with Fenianism, four witnesses, including Constable Shaw placed him at the scene of the crime. Maguire's Manchester relations testified that he had been two miles away with them at the time of the murder. Maguire himself stated, "The witnesses against me have sworn falsely, I was not there...Having been for years to sea, and not much in England, I thought I would enjoy myself when I came here." Despite positive references as to his character by his senior officers, the jury, eager for a conviction, disregarded his testimony.(24)

Though no one could positively identify the man who fired the gun, the Attorney General would not reduce the charges to manslaughter, indicating that the British government desired to pursue a capital conviction. During his closing speech, the Attorney General remarked that he hoped "the conviction of the five men would have the effect of showing those who were foolish enough to believe that they could upset the British constitution by Fenian conspiracy would realize that they were very much mistaken."(25) Before he passed judgment, Mr. Justice Blackburne emphasized that the use of violence in the rescue made the offense murder. Blackburne re-iterated "there was very strong evidence that the shot which killed Brett was not merely fired in such circumstances that it would be likely to kill him, but there was strong evidence that it was intended to kill Brett."(26)

From the defendant's stand, each of the four Fenians made impassioned speeches both denying the murder of the policeman and affirming their unswerving loyalty to the cause of Home Rule. Michael O'Brien denounced the tyranny of the English overlords:

Look to Ireland...look at what is called the majesty of the law on one side, and the long, deep misery of a noble people on the other. Which are the young men of Ireland to respect: the law that murders or banishes their people, or the means to restrict relentless tyranny and ending their miseries forever under a home government... .(27)

This speech was met with applause by those sitting in the gallery. William Allan declared, "I'll die as many thousands have died, for the sake of their beloved land and in defense of it. I will die proudly and triumphantly in defense of republican principles and the liberty of an oppressed and enslaved people."(28)

On the fifth day of the trial, the jury returned their verdict--guilty in every case. Of the twenty-eight men accused, twelve were convicted: five for murder and seven for riot and assault. The seven assault charges resulted in penal servitude. For the five charged with murder, English law demanded death by hanging. Convinced by Maguire's testimony, nearly forty members of the English press protested his conviction by petitioning the Home Secretary:

We conscientiously believe that the said Thomas Maguire is innocent of the crime of which he has been convicted, and that his conviction has resulted from mistaken identity. We, therefore, pray that you will be pleased to advise her Majesty to grant her most gracious pardon to the said Thomas Maguire.(29)

Afraid of the furor over executing an innocent man, the home office granted Maguire and "free pardon." When this information became public knowledge, a furor arose over the probable miscarriage of justice: should the accused men be executed following a possible unfair verdict?

Throughout November the Freemans' Journal protested the prisoners' capital sentence. The newspaper insisted that because the men had no knowledge that Brett was in the van, murder was an inappropriate verdict; there was no intent behind the policeman's death. Even the conservative Manchester Examiner remarked "we do not for a moment imagine that the capital sentence will be carried out in either case, but we none the less wish that the verdict had commended itself on more satisfactory grounds to the confidences of the public."(30) On the other hand, The Times remained firm in its resolve by calling for the prisoners' execution. After Maguire was pardoned, the press softened their stance somewhat and reflected the opinions of several diverse English groups. Middle-class radicals in Manchester and London, among them John Stuart Mill and Friedrich Engels, petitioned both the Home Secretary and Queen Victoria for clemency as did organized workingmen who gathered in London to protest the impending execution. Charles Bradlaugh, MP for Northampton responded to the trial of the Manchester prisoners by writing, "the men who are the real criminals and traitors are not those who risk their lives and liberties in what must be an unsuccessful and terribly unsatisfactory appeal to force." He placed the responsibility in addressing these wrongs in the hands of the British, "those who have caused the wrong at least should frame the remedy." (31) However, some efforts were not well reviewed. John Stuart Mill recorded in his diary how he and his Liberal associates had spoken in the House of Commons in favor of leniency for the Fenians, but this proposal was coldly received. Tory leader and future Prime Minister Disraeli remarked that Mill's suggestion was disapproved "by the entire body of the House with very rare exceptions."(32)

In late November, two days before the scheduled executions, Edward Condon, who was a naturalized American citizen, was reprieved after the American legation in London appealed to the Crown on his behalf. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.(33) Requests were also made to release American Michael O'Brian, but they were unsuccessful for he had already been released from British justice in 1866.(34) Thus he joined William Allan and James Larkin on death row.

Though many in the Irish community hoped for a stay of execution, all last minute attempts to secure a reprieve for the remaining three prisoners were rejected. On the night before Friday, November 22, a crowd began to gather at Salford Gaol, Manchester where a part of the prison wall had been removed to accommodate a scaffold. Over twenty-five hundred soldiers and policemen were amassed to prevent any rescue attempts. Throughout the night, a squadron of Highlanders were stationed at the nearby railway viaduct overlooking the side of the prison. One newspaper reported, "between midnight and six o'clock this morning, a walk through the streets produced the impression that the city was in a state of siege."(35) Despite the intense emotions surrounding the execution, there was little or no "demonstration of feeling" from the eight to ten-thousand people present. Awakened at five Saturday, the condemned men attended mass during which each denied having shot Brett. After a final breakfast, the three men were bound and led to the gallows. Though the men were denied the opportunity of a final pronouncement, just before the trap was sprung, the three cried, "Lord Jesus, have mercy on us."(36) Both Allan and O'Brien died quickly, but James Larkin lingered for forty-five minutes during which time Monsignor Gadd, who had said mass that morning, held Larkin's hand and recited the prayer for the dead. Later in the day, the bodies were cut down and buried quietly in quicklime within the confines of the prison. There was no funeral.

Apart from the questions over the fairness of the trial, most members of the Irish community in England, indeed most Irish everywhere, could not help but believe that Larkin, O'Brien, and Allan had been executed because they were Fenian rebels. Because none of the three had actually pulled the trigger, many found it unacceptable that the men were executed for murder. Within Manchester's Irish community, masses for the dead men went on for days. Though the community leaders discouraged any demonstrations, other ways to memorialize the "Manchester Martyrs" were developed.

After the executions, Edward Condon's impassioned words spoken from the dock during the trial, "I have nothing to regret, to retract, or take back. I can only say, 'God save Ireland,'" were incorporated into verse and published by T.D. Sullivan. These words, set to the American Civil War tune of "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching," spread throughout the Irish communities in Manchester, and throughout Britain and Ireland. The song became the unofficial national anthem for Ireland and is still sung today. (37)

Other poems and ballads circulated through the Irish community. In response to one such ballad sung before a Liverpool crowd of 500, the people lamented, "God help the poor fellows. They should not have been hung."(38)

In retrospect, some Britons regarded the executions as an extreme measure. In her 1914 autobiography, militant suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst recalled the execution of the "Manchester Martyrs:"

On my way home from school I passed the prison where I knew the men had been confined. I saw that a part of the prison wall had been torn away, and in the great gap that remained were evidences of a gallows recently removed. I was transfixed with horror, and over me there swept the sudden conviction that hanging was a mistake--worse, a crime. It was my awakening to one of the most terrible facts of life--that justice and judgment lie often a world apart."(39)

Despite the inconclusiveness of the trial, in late 1867 the murder of Sergeant Brett alienated much of the British minority opinion which before had looked favorably upon the Fenian cause.

Before the Fenian risings, the British press took a patronizing, but nonetheless benign attitude towards the Irish. As late as October 1863 The Times could report "the country [Ireland] was never in a state of greater tranquillity. Never, perhaps, since the union was there an entire absence of complaints against the government."(40) With the outbreak of Fenian activity in Ireland, the British press took a somewhat more smug attitude toward the "hopeless" aspirations of the IRB: "Almost the only thing we know for certain about them [the Fenians] is that the establishment of an Irish Republic is one of their main objects. A more extravagant and chimerical idea never entered the head of an Irishman...Is there any people under the sun more unfit for a Republic...than the Irish?"(41)

Certainly the British press was suspicious of Fenian activities. However, such widely read newspapers as The Times and the Manchester Guardian urged their readers not to lump together all Irishmen with the radical Fenians. But the murder of Police Sergeant Brett on September 18 by the Fenian rescue party abruptly ended most English journalistic sympathy. Though the editor of The Times, John Delane, had persuasively argued in favor the commutation of the death sentence for a Fenian in a previous incident, after the Manchester murder, he wrote: "The Manchester prisoners must be hanged...the doctrines they avow are absolutely inconsistent with the joint existence of themselves and society, and as society does not mean to be destroyed, it is esential [sic] that they should be put to death."(42)

Two days after the rescue, the Manchester Courier called for a crackdown on Fenian activities: "It is evident that the importance of the Fenian conspiracy has been seriously underrated...Leniency has been tried already...all this gentleness has proved ineffectual, for rather it has served simply to encourage the rebels in their evil habits. Now, however, the time for gentleness has passed away."(43)

The British government's deviation from the standard, lenient policy towards prisoners created martyrs to the Fenian cause and thus brought credibility to the Home Rule movement. Historian Robert Kee remarks in his history of Fenianism, that the British government might have tried to disassociate violent, radical Fenianism from legitimate Irish grievances such as the lack of political autonomy, the need for land reforms, or even the issue of granting Ireland vice-regal status. Instead, they blindly prioritized the need to carry out the letter of the law. (44) Furthermore, the Manchester incident brought the Anglo-Irish conflict onto English soil. Actions taken in Ireland were remote to the English people. When the violence came closer to home and when English lives and property were at stake, Englishmen did not remain neutral on the subject of Irish independence. Despite tacit support from highly vocal and influential individuals, the Fenians, through their violent action, alienated the English press and the general population causing further complications for the Irish in England.


"God Save Ireland"

High up on the gallows tree swung the noble hearted three

By the vengeful tyrants stricken in the gloom.

But they met them face to face with the courage of their race

And they went with soul undaunted to their doom.


"God Save Ireland" say the heroes. "God Save Ireland" say they all.

Whether on the scaffolds high or the battlefields we die

Oh no matter when, for Ireland here we fall.

Climb they up the rugged stair, ring their voices round them clear.

'Til with England's fain of heart 'round them cast.

Close beside the gallows tree, just like brothers, lovingly

True to home and faith and freedom to the land.


Never 'till the latest day shall the memory pass away

Of their gallant lives that's given for our land.

But on the cause must go, with a joy that we'll evoke

'Till we make our Ireland nation free at last.

This version of "God Save Ireland" was transcribed from an album of Irish national songs. Performed before a live audience in Dublin in 1982 by the Irish folk group the "Wolfe Tones" (named for the eighteenth century nationalist leader Wolfe Tone), the particular version owned by the author includes wide audience participation. Clearly, this song was familiar to hundreds of people only ten years ago.

1. Robert Kee, The Green Flag: The Turbulent History of the Irish National Movement (New York: Delacorte Press, 1972), p. 300.

2. Patrick Quinlivan and Paul Rose, The Fenians in England, 1865-1872: A Sense of Insecurity (London: John Calder, 1982), p. 4.

3. Though the British government never formally acknowledged the Confederacy as an independent nation, British recognition of Southern belligerency was regarded by the North as an unfriendly act. When the Trent, a British ship enroute to London by way of Havana was stopped by a Northern vessel, two Confederate representatives on their way to London were kidnapped. The British regarded this as an affront to their neutrality. The next year in 1862, the Confederate blockade runner Alabama, which had been built in an English shipyard, was deployed despite protests from the Union forces. Both incidences seriously undermined Anglo-American relations. [Walter L. Arnstein, Britain Yesterday and Today: British History from 1830 to the Present (Toronto: D.C. Heath & Co., 1988), p. 104.]

4. R.F. Foster, Modern Ireland, 1600-1972 (London: The Penguin Press, 1988), p.359.

5. Leon O'Brion, Fenian Fever: An Anglo-American Dilemma (New York: New York University Press, 1971), p. 5.

6. Quinlivan and Rose, Fenian Fever, p. 7.

7. Col. Kelly was an Irish-American who had fought with the 10th Ohio Regiment in the Civil War. While in America, he had worked with the American branch of the IRB to consolidate Fenian interests in the American North. Within a few days of Appomattox, Kelly arrived in Ireland to advise Fenian leader Stephens of Irish-American troop support. However, because of Stephens' indecisiveness which led to the failure of the planned rising, Kelly was chosen by the other leaders of the IRB to replace Stephens and act as the chief executive of the Irish republic. [Leon O'Brion, Fenian Fever: An Anglo-American Dilemma (New York: New York University Press, 1971), p. 7.]

8. J.L. Hammond, Gladstone and the Irish Nation (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., Ltd., 1938), p. 21.

9. W.J. Lowe, The Irish in Mid-Victorian Lancashire: The Shaping of a Working Class Community (New York: Peter Lang, 1989), p. 128.

10. Between 1845 and 1851, approximately one million Irish peasants died from disease and starvation. Another 1.5 million emigrated during these years setting in motion a trend which would continue for the rest of the century. From an estimated population in 1841 of 8,200,000, by 1911, the number of people living in Ireland would be reduced to 4,400,000. (Foster, History of Modern Ireland, p. 323.)

11. John Archer Jackson, The Irish in Britain (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1963), p.11.

12. W.J. Lowe, The Irish in Mid-Victorian Lancashire: The Shaping of a Working Class Community (New York: Peter Lang, 1989), p. 95.

13. Sheridan Gilley and Roger Swift, eds., The Irish in Britain, 1815-1939 (London: Pinter Publishers, 1989), p. 70.

14. M.A.G. O'Tuathaig, "The Irish in Victorian Britain: Problems of Integration" in The Irish in the Victorian City, Sheridan Gilley and Roger Swift, eds. (London: Croom Helm, 1985), p. 16.

15. Gary S. Messinger, Manchester in the Victorian Age: The Half-Known City (Manchester University Press, 1985), p. 177.

16. F.R. Norman, Anti-Catholicism in Victorian England (New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1968), p. 42.

17. "Anti-Popery Riots in Birmingham," Annual Register, (June 1867) , p. 79.

18. Norman, Anti-Catholicism in Victorian England, p. 17.

19. Jackson, Irish in Britain, p. 155.

20. This was in fact the truth. Thomas Kelly remained in New York, but fearing extradition, maintained a low profile while working as a customs official in New York harbor until his death in 1908. Timothy Deasy settled in Massachusetts and went into politics. He was elected to the Lawrence City counsel in 1870 and became a state representative in 1876. He died in 1880 at the age of 39. (Quinlivan and Rose, Fenian Fever, pp. 191-93.)

21. One man with a heavy accent turned himself into the authorities "as the only means I have of saving myself." (Quinlivan and Rose, Fenian Fever, p. 51.)

22. In actuality, Fenian Peter Rice, who along with Kelly and Deasy had escaped capture, fired the fatal shot.

23. Kee, The Green Flag, p. 342.

24. Quinlivan and Rose, Fenian Fever, p. 62.

25. Anthony Glynn, High Upon the Gallows Tree, (Dublin: Tralee, 1967), p. 26.

26. Quinlivan and Rose, Fenian Fever, p. 63.

27. Glynn, High Upon the Gallows Tree , p. 23 fn.

28. Ibid, p. 27.

29. Quinlivan and Rose, Fenian Fever, p. 64.

30. Manchester Examiner (4 November 1867).

31. Quinlivan and Rose, Fenian Fever, p. 69.

32. Norman McCord, "The Fenians and Public Opinion in Great Britain" in Fenians and Fenianism: Centenary Essays, Maurice Harmon, ed. (Dublin: Scepter Books, 1967.), p. 49.

33. After serving eleven years of his sentence, Condon was released on condition that he be banished from the United Kingdom for twelve years. In 1909 he was elected Freeman of Dublin and died in 1918, two years before Ireland became a republic. (Quinlivan, Fenians in England, p. 70.)

34. Kee, The Green Flag, p. 342.

35. Manchester Guardian, 22 November, 1867.

36. Annual Register, 1867, p. 213.

37. Kee, The Green Flag, p. 344. (see appendix)

38. O'Brion, Fenian Fever, p. 208.

39. Emmeline Gould Pankhurst, My Own Story (New York: Hearst's International Library, Co., 1914), p. 4-5.

40. The Times, (23 October 1863), p. 11.

41. The Times, (18 & 22 September 1865).

42. The Times (2 November 1867), p. 2.

43. Manchester Courier, (20 September 1867)

44. Kee, The Green Flag, p. 343.


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