:: CHARLES STEWART PARNELL ::
:: SOCIETY ::
:: PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES ::

For further information: Deirdre Larkin,
Tel: 01 285 2113.
E mail: dlarkin@parnellsociety.com

 
 

Charles Stewart Parnell
Chronology

 

1846 Born in Avondale House County Wicklow, 4th son of John Henry Parnell and Delia (nee Stewart of Bordentown, New Jersey U.S.A).
1848 - 1860 Mrs Parnell and family make extended visits to Paris and London.
1859 Father dies suddenly. Parnell children are made Wards of Court
1865-9 Attends Magdalene College Cambridge but does not take degree. 1867 Parnell comes of age and is the legal owner of Avondale House.
1872 First visit to America. Parnell visits his brother in Alabama seeking business opportunities in mining and railroad investment.
1874 Serves as High Sheriff of County Wicklow and is active in the local gentry.
1874 Offers to stand as Home Rule Parliamentary candidate for Co Wicklow but is ineligible. Stood for Co.Dublin but is defeated.
1875 April 22 Takes his seat in Parliament after winning in Co. Meath.
1876 Joins the Amnesty Association to seek the release of Fenian prisoners.
1877 Parnell identifies with the radical Irish ‘obstructionist’ wing of the Home Rule party.
1877 Elected President of the Irish Home Rule Confederation
1878 Michael Davitt and Parnell collaborate to push for sweeping land reform.
1879 October 21 Irish National Land League established. The first phase of the ‘Land War’
1879-80 Visits the United States with John Dillon. They collect £60,000 for poor relief in Ireland. Parnell addresses the U.S Congress - the first Irishman to be so honoured.
1880 Wins three constituency seats in Parliament and chooses to represent Cork City. In May is elected as Chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Parnell first meets Mrs Katharine O’Shea in July. The Land War intensifies with agrarian disturbances and ‘boycotts’. In November Parnell and thirteen others are charged with seditious conspiracy but the case collapses.
1881 Secret relationship with Mrs O’Shea blossoms. Parnell and the Irish Party M.P.s in frequent clashes in Parliament over coercion in Ireland. In April a reforming Land bill grants the ‘3 F’s’ Fair rent- Free sale and Fixture of Tenancy. In October Parnell and leading Land Leaguers are interned in Kilmainham Jail.
1880- 82 The Ladies’ Land League active under Anna and Fanny Parnell.
1882 The ‘Kilmainham Treaty’ under which Parnell trades stability in the countryside for further land reforms. In May the Phoenix Park murders of Lord Cavendish and Under Secretary Burke. October the Irish National League is founded to campaign for Home Rule.
1883 The Parnell Tribute. A public collection of £38,000 presented to Parnell.
1885 Parnell, now undisputed leader of 85 Irish M.Ps, reiterates Irish Home rule aspirations in his famous Cork speech ‘No man has the right to say to his country “thus far shalt thou go and no further’.
1886 First reading of the Irish Home Rule Bill introduced by W. E. Gladstone Liberal Prime Minister. Defeated by 341 to 311 votes. The defeat brings down the Liberal government. In July Parnell and the Irish Party are returned with eighty-five seats .The Plan of Campaign introduced but is not welcomed by Parnell.
1887 March 7 ‘Parnellism and Crime’ the first in a series of allegations published in The Times newspaper that Parnell and his followers were directly involved in agrarian crime and had prior knowledge of the Phoenix Park murders.
1889 The Special Commission of enquiry into Parnellism and Crime finds that much of the ‘evidence’ has been forged by an ex Fenian, Richard Pigott. Parnell is exonerated and is invited by Gladstone to construct a new Irish Home Rule Bill. In December Capt O’Shea petitions for a divorce citing Parnell as co-respondent.
1890 In November Captain O’Shea is granted a divorce after Parnell refuses to contest .The divorce does not initially cause division in the Irish Party ranks until Gladstone announces that he will no longer accept Parnell as leader, November 25. The Parnell Split occurs after acrimonious meetings in Committee Room 15 in the House of Commons, December. There is also strong clerical opposition growing in Ireland to Parnell. The Party divide on the issue of Parnell’s continued leadership with the majority of M.Ps abandoning him. Later in the month Parnell’s faction loses a by-election in Kilkenny to an anti-Parnellite. Parnell is injured during the Campaign.
1891 Throughout January and February a group of M.P.s led by William O’Brien and John Dillon attempt to heal the party divisions at talks with Parnell in Boulogne, France but without success. In June Parnell is publicly accused of stealing party funds and loses two more by-elections. Amid all the terrible party infighting Parnell and Katharine finally marry at Steyning Registry Office near Brighton. Throughout the late summer Parnell campaigns fiercely to rebuild his party. On Sunday September 27 he gives his last public address at Creggs in County Galway. Gravely ill and exhausted he returned to Brighton.
October 6 1891 Charles Stewart Parnell dies in Brighton
aged 45.
October 11 1891 Parnell is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. His public funeral is probably the largest ever held in Ireland.