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‘A few of the gods’: Irish Plays and Irish Audiences in North East Theatres, 1860-1914. 

Under the headline ‘Fenian Outrage in Manchester. A Policeman Murdered’,[1] the Newcastle Journal reported the shooting dead of Police Sergeant Charles Brett during the rescue of two Fenian prisoners in Manchester on 18 September 1867.[2] In spite, however, of countrywide ‘sightings’ of Colonel Thomas Kelly, police searches, and mass arrests, the fugitives eluded re-capture. In […]

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John Walsh – Middlesbrough’s ‘Invincible’

The assassination of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Lord Frederick Cavendish, and the Under Secretary, Thomas Burke, in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on 6 May 1882 stunned Irish nationalists in Ireland and Britain. In the North East of England, hastily convened meetings of National Land League branches condemned the ‘foul murder’[1] with the ‘utmost horror and […]

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Middlesbrough’s Irish Literary Association.

Founded 150 years ago in April 1871, Newcastle’s Irish Literary Institute is still remembered both for the impact it had on the lives of the Irish migrants and their descendants living on Tyneside in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the key role it played in Irish nationalist politics in the North East […]

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Fenians in the North East of England during the 1890s.

[Note: This post was originally given as a paper entitled ‘An analysis of advanced nationalist activity amongst the Irish diaspora in the North East of England during the 1890s’ at ‘The Irish Diaspora and Revolution 1845-1945’ conference organised in 2012 by the Department of History, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Some small changes have been […]

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M J Kelly, Newcastle’s Fenian school teacher.

In February 1869, police in Liverpool arrested Michael James Kelly, a young Irish picture dealer and stationer, at his shop in Tithebarn Street for ‘seditiously exposing to view and selling a certain wicked, malicious, and seditious print against our Lady the Queen and Government’.[1] This ‘seditious print’, a chromo-lithograph imported from New York, was entitled […]