Thursday, 8 February 2018

Resisting tithes

Tithes were traditional payments that entitled the Church to a tenth of people’s annual income. Usually the payments were made in kind in the form of crops, wool, milk and other produce, to represent a tenth of the yearly production. After the Reformation, much land passed from the Church to lay owners who inherited entitlement to receive tithes, along with the land. This payment was demanded whether or not the parishioner attended Church and they—and church rates--were a bone of contention across the country. In Scotland, a form of commutation of teinds applied from 1633 even though full reform was not carried out until the 1930s.[1] The main difference between tithes in England and teinds in Scotland was that tithes were calculated as a proportion—a tenth—of produce whereas teinds were calculated as a proportion of the rateable value of agricultural land set against the current price of produce. This made Scottish ministers more vulnerable to loss of income than the English clergy particularly after poor harvests. It also meant that tithes were far less contentious in Scotland than elsewhere in Britain and Ireland.[2] Though compulsory church rates were not abolished until 1868, legal judgements made it clear that they could only be collected where authorised by the churchwardens and a majority of the vestry. As Nonconformists were eligible to vote for both, in some towns such as Birmingham the rate lapsed.  This was preferable to Nonconformists than the scheme that the House of Commons seriously considered for repairing all parish churches from public funds.[3] The Tithe Commutation Act 1836 ended tithes in kind in England and Wales replacing them with money payments called tithe rentcharge based on the average prices of corn, oats and barley over the previous seven years. Tithes remained contentious issue in England and Wales for the remainder of the nineteenth and into the twentieth century. Legislation in 1925, 1936 and 1951 reduced payments but it was not until the Finance Act 1977 that tithes were finally abolished.[4]
Resistance to paying tithes was common in East Anglia, Sussex and Kent where there had been a long tradition of Nonconformity that in their geographical links to Lollardy pre-dated the Reformation. In Kent for instance, about 3,000 people met at Barham Downs in May 1834[5] to denounce the evils inflicted by tithes while the Sevenoaks Chronicle reported in 1883 that support for tithe protestors was especially strong in the Weald.[6] Tithe disputes intensified in the inter-war years largely because of the major changes in land ownership after the Great War when tenant farmers bought farms, paying ‘over the odds’ and taking out large mortgages. Bailiffs who were sent to distrain farmers’ goods for non-payment of tithes or even to evict non-paying farmers were met with violent resistance and Cosmo Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury was burned in effigy by a crowd in Ashford in 1935.[7] Feelings ran particularly high in Kent and Norfolk, where the novelist Doreen Wallace was a leading campaigner.[8] In some areas farmers were supported by local members of the British Union of Fascists but during the anti-tithe militancy in Suffolk in 1933, Blackshirts went down from London to join the disturbances.[9] There was also a legacy of tithe payment levels after 1918 that were pegged at what had become unrealistically high levels that was coupled to the centralised collection of tithe through offices at Westminster Abbey. This was exacerbated by agricultural depression of the late 1920s and into the 1930s when prices tumbled making tithe payments increasingly onerous. A national Tithe Payers’ Association was formed in the mid-1920s to campaign for the abolition of Tithe Rent Charge and there were at least six branches in Kent by the mid-1930s, at Ashford, Elham, Paddock Wood, Sandwich, Stansted and the Weald. Across communities there was a common hatred of what people saw as an out-dated system that mercilessly exploited rural communities.[10]
The Ecclesiastical Commissioners’ policy of seizing goods in lieu of tithe payments required them or their agents to turn the goods into cash, and initially the means used for the latter was to auction them off. Following several very public debacles at Ruckinge and Stelling Minnis in September 1931 where those sympathetic to those refusing to pay tithes put up ridiculously high bids and otherwise disrupted the auction process, the authorities turned to alternative methods--public tender using the services of possession men. Perhaps the best known incident in the ‘Kentish Tithe War’ was ‘the battle of the ducks’, their ‘liberation’ and return to their ‘rightful’ pond at Beechbrook Farm in Westwell.[11] The campaign began when between 70 and a 100 people, mostly young men and some with trucks met at the Half-Way House on the Dover Road. This was not far from Shepherdswell where the ducks had been taken on the orders of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to their farm called West Court Farm, run by their tenant. The ducks and other livestock had been seized because the farmer at Westwell, the Rev. Roderick Kedward, had refused as a matter of principle to pay the tithes demanded of him. Kedward (1881-1937) was a Methodist minister from a Westwell farming family, Ashford’s only ever Liberal MP from 1929 to 1931 and President of the National Tithe Payers' Association in 1932. The night-time raid in September 1934 was reported in the national press the following day making the Church authorities even more furious. They sent General Dealers their agents to retake the ducks and the other items that had not been collected during the first sequestration, and also persuaded the Police to provide a substantial guard at West Court Farm for the whole of the following week.
Tithe 1
In Wales there was often a deep-seated antipathy between largely English-speaking Anglican landlords and their Nonconformist Welsh-speaking tenants. A government report of 1844 observed that the existence of the Welsh language and a widespread ignorance of English were ‘felt in a practical shape in the obstacles which it presents to the efficient working of many laws and institutions’.[12] Welsh was linked to poverty and a general lack of prosperity: an ignorance of English stated another report of 1846, was ‘one of the great causes of the backward state of the Welsh part of the population’.[13] It was perceived as excluding its speakers from participation in that key element of British imperial identity, economic trade.[14] Nonconformity was mistrusted not only for its strong identification with Welsh culture and language, but also because of its democratic structure, its populist and community orientated appeal. It was considered potentially dangerous and politically destabilising to encourage ordinary working-class people to debate contentious theological issues or participate in the election of their ministers. The growing antagonism between the Established Church and Nonconformity soon developed into a political movement that was rural society’s contribution to Welsh radicalism. In 1836, the Church Rate Abolition Society was formed and branches established in Wales. Irish disestablishment was also a burning issue and the Anglican Y Gwyliedydd condemned this as a symptom of an alliance to destroy church and state.[15] The conflict between church and chapel generated an aggressive religious radicalism among some Nonconformists and in 1837, a Baptist periodical called on its readers in the following terms: ‘Christians! Use your vote as those in the service of God, not man’.[16] The accusation of atheism fired Nonconformists to a more determined effort to break the connection between church and state.
Constabular and lancers in Denbigh
Police and lancers in Denbighshire in 1888
Despite the introduction of cash payment instead of payment in kind after 1836, there was persistent unhappiness among Welsh farmers, most of whom were Nonconformists while the agricultural depression in the 1870s further aggravated tensions.[17] Many farmers refused to pay the tithe and during the 1880s enforced sales of possessions were made by the authorities in order to collect the taxes owed. This led to confrontation between farmers and the authorities across the country. There were disturbances in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and other rural areas. The people who suffered most from suspension of paying tithes were the clergy who relied on tithes for the bulk of their stipend. One clergyman who was supposed to received £200, actually got £8 in 1887. A Clergy Defence Association was established in Cardigan to protect their interests and took charge of the legal process of enforcing payment of tithes. When distraining goods for non-payment, collectors were faced with large crowds that jostled and verbally abused bailiffs and attempts to sell the distrained goods at auctions often saw crowd violence. ‘Tithe Horns’ were sounded to summon the scattered population to farms where sales were to be held.
Police in a ‘Tithe train’, Denbigh 1894
The confrontation was most pronounced in Denbighshire.[18] Denbigh was the headquarters of the Welsh National Land League--modelled on the Irish Land League—that lobbied against tithe payment. Denbighshire farmers were not necessarily any more resentful than those in the country but the presence of the League’s headquarters and the influence of Thomas Gee meant that tensions were particularly high in the area. Gee was the owner of the local Welsh-language newspaper Baner ac Amserau Cymru and was active in the anti-Tithe campaign. During the late 1880s many farmers took direct action refusing to pay tithes. This led to further enforced sales of land and property and violent protests took place in Llangwm in May 1887, Mochdre in June 1887[19] and Llanefydd in May 1888.  Following the incident at Llangwm, 31 protesters were sent to court and at Mochdre 84 people, including 35 police officers were injured. Dubbed the ‘Tithe Wars’, the protestors’ actions were praised by Gee’s newspaper as the campaign’s momentum reached its peak when troops were deployed to the Denbighshire area in May and June 1888 and August 1890 to control the discontent and protect the tithe collectors in carrying out their unpopular duties.[20]   The disturbances largely ended in 1891 when the Tithe Recovery Act transferred responsibility for the payment of the tithe from the tenant to the landlord. This made the payment of tithes easier to enforce and the unpopularity of the tithe-owners rapidly declined. Protests and violent action continued to the mid-1890s and surfaced again in 1913 but they lacked the intensity of those in the 1880s. The struggle brought Welsh issues to the forefront of the British political agenda especially its links to the campaign for the disestablishment of the Welsh Church. Individuals such as David Lloyd George and particularly T. E. Ellis seized the opportunity to strengthen the case for disestablishment that was eventually achieved in 1920 with the passing of the Welsh Church Act. As the Church in Wales became independent of the state, tithes were no longer available leaving the church it without a major source of income.

In Ireland, Catholic peasants had to pay tithes to maintain the Anglican Church of Ireland and demands for their abolition was the most pressing Irish problem facing Whig governments in the 1830s.[21] The 22 Protestant bishops were paid £150,000 a year while the rest of the Established Church received £600,000 more, largely from Roman Catholics who were supporting their own church as well. Resistance to tithes was seen as a prelude to resistance on the payment of rent, a far greater threat to public order and institutional stability. Parliamentary investigations into the rampant abuses and severe structural problems of the Church of Ireland left it with few defenders, while the ranks of tithe opponents swelled with the addition of large farmers and graziers after legislation in 1823 extended tithes to their previously exempt grasslands.[22] The existing protest against tithes but this took on a more organised dimension after 1830 first in the southern provinces of Leinster and Munster spreading quickly to Connacht and Ulster.[23] Protest soon became violent and in 1832 there were 242 murders, 300 attempted murders and 560 cases of arson. Initially responsive to tithe owners’ demand for protection during tithe collection, Dublin Castle’s willingness to provide police escorts waned after the murder of 12 constables at Carrickshock in late 1831.[24] Tithes were of less concern to either smallholders or landless labourers than middling and large farmers. Tithe owners were instead encouraged to accept the money offered to them in 1832 and 1833 while more substantial legislation was under consideration. Unfortunately, parliamentary action was delayed for the next five years, leaving tithe owners free to continue collecting payments with its unchecked potential for violence, such as the murderous affray at Rathcormac in December 1834, when 12 men were killed.[25] The tithe war finally quieted down after the spring of 1835 when the new Whig government and especially Thomas Drummond, the Irish Under-Secretary refused to allow police escorts for tithe business. Tithe opponents resorted to holding meetings to petition Parliament to abolish tithes until the 1838 Tithe Rent Charge Act effectively ended hostilities by transferring responsibility of paying tithes from the Catholic peasantry to Protestant landlords.[26] With the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland by the Irish Church Act 1869, tithes were abolished.

[1] Black, William G., What are Teinds? An Account of the History of Tithes in Scotland, (William Green & Sons), 1893, pp. 66-91.[2] ‘History and Settlement of Tithes in Scotland’, The Edinburgh Review, Vol. 75, (February 1823), pp. 1-26[3] Brent, Richard, ‘The Whigs and Protestant dissent in the decade of reform: the case of church rates, 1833-1841’, English Historical Review, Vol. 102, (1987), pp. 887-910.[4] Evans, E. J., The Contentious Tithe: The Tithe Problem and English Agriculture 1750-1830, (Routledge), 1976, pp. 163-168, considers developments after 1836.[5] ‘Meeting on Barham Downs’, Kentish Gazette, 20 May 1834, p. 3, an extensive report on the meeting.[6] ‘The Extraordinary Tithes’, Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, 14 September 1883, p. 5. [7] ‘Sir W. Wayland and Tithes’, Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 13 April 1935, p. 16.[8] For instance, ‘Intensive Campaign in Kent and Sussex’, Kent & Sussex Courier, 13 October 1933, p. 19. [9] ‘Fascists’ Retort’, Bury Free Post, 12 August 1933, p. 8, ‘Week-end Tithe Scenes’, Bury Free Post, 13 August 1933, p. 8. See also, Mitchell, Andre M., Facism in East Anglia: The British Union of Fascists in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, 1933-1940, D,Phil., Thesis, University of Sheffield, 1999.[10] Twinch, Carol, Tithe War, 1918-1939: The Countryside in Revolt, (Media Associates), 2001), Griffiths, Clare, Labour and the Countryside: The Politics of Rural Britain 1918-1939, (Oxford University Press), 2007, provides context.[11] ‘Sixty Ducks Seized’, Kent & Sussex Courier, 7 September 1934, p. 2, ‘Excitement in East Kent Tithe War, Dover Express, 7 September 1934, p. 8.[12] Roberts, Gwyneth Tyson, The Language of the Blue Books: The Perfect Instrument of Empire, (University of Wales Press), 1998, p. 20.[13] Jones, Ieuan Gwynedd, Mid-Victorian Wales: The Observers and the Observed, (University of Wales Press), 1992, p. 123. [14] Jenkins, Geraint H., Language and Community in the Nineteenth Century, (University opf Wales Press), 1998, and Jenkins, Geraint H., Welsh Language and its Social Domains: A Social History of the Welsh Language, (University of Wales Press), 2000.[15] Y Gwyliedydd, 1836, pp. 172, 267.[16] Greal y Bedyddwyr, 1837, p. 225.[17] Thomas, Revd D., The Anti-Tithe Movement in Wales, (Llanelli), 1891, pp. 4-5, attached great importance to the depression in farming as a cause of the anti-tithe demonstrations.[18] Davies, Russell, Secret Sins. Sin, Violence & Society in Carmarthenshire 1870-1920, (University of Wales Press), 1996, pp. 135-139, Jones, Tim, Rioting in North East Wales 1536-1918, (Bridge Books), 1997, pp. 56-74, Edwards, E. R., The Tithe Wars in North-East Wales, (Coelion Publications), 1989, Dunbabin, J. P. D., Rural Discontent in Nineteenth Century Britain, (Faber), 1974, pp. 211-231, 282-296. .[19] ‘The Tithe Riots in Wales’, The Spectator, 4 June 1887, pp. 7-8.[20] ‘The Anti-Tithe Agitation in Wales’, The Spectator, 4 January 1890, pp. 26-27, review of work by R. E. Prothero published in London the previous year.[21] O’Donoghue, Patrick, ‘Causes of the Opposition to Tithes, 1830-38’, Studia Hibernica, Vol. 5, (1965), pp. 7-28.[22] See, for instance, Select Committee concerning Tithes in Ireland, First and Second Report, 1831.[23] For the tithe war from a local perspective, see O’Hanrahan, M., ‘The Tithe War in County Kilkenny 1830-1834’, in Nolan, William, and Whelan, Kevin, (eds.), Kilkenny: History and Society: Interdisciplinary Essays on the History of an Irish County, (Geography Publications), 1990, pp. 481-505, Higgins, N., Tipperary’s tithe war 1830-1838 : parish accounts of resistance against a church tax, (St. Helena Press), 2002, and Tierney, Mark, ‘The Tithe War in Munroe, 1831-8’, Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol. 103, (1965), pp. 209-221.[24] Owens, G., ‘The Carrickshock Incident, 1831: Social Memory and an Irish cause célèbre’, Cultural and Social History, Vol. 1, (1), (2004), pp. 36-64.[25] Garner, Edward, Massacre at Rathcormac, (Eigse Books), 1984. See also, McMahon, R., ‘‘A violent society’? Homicide rates in Ireland, 1831-1850’, Irish Economic and Social History, Vol. 36, (1), (2009), pp. 1-20, places the violence in Irish society before 1837 in a European context. [26] In 1832, the Tithe Arrears Act allocated £600,000 to the relief of tithe owners and empowered the government to collect arrears for 1831. The Tithe Composition Act also in 1832 converted the tithe into a money payment and made landlords responsible for payment. Tithe bills introduced in 1834, 1835 and 1836 foundered on the question of appropriation.[27] See Article III of the Articles Declaratory contained in the Schedule to the Church of Scotland Act 1921.[28] Dominguez, Juan Pablo, ‘Religious toleration in the Age of Enlightenment’, History of European Ideas, Vol. 43 (4), (2017), pp. 273-287, Henriques, Ursula, Religious Toleration in England, 1787-1833, (Routledge), 1961, pp. 18-53.[29] Salbstein, M. C. N., The Emancipation of the Jews in Britain, (Associated University Presses), 1982, pp. 17-55.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Ireland in the decade before Union

Ireland posed three problems in the period between the 1780s and the famines in the mid-1840s. First, there was the question of how Ireland should be governed. There was also the highly emotive question of the rights of the Catholic majority in Ireland. Finally, the nature of Ireland’s economic and social structure was brought into high relief by the disastrous events of the 1840s. In addition, events in Ireland had a profound effect on mainland politics.

Why was Ireland a problem for William Pitt?

Ireland was important to Pitt throughout his first ministry and led to his resignation in 1801. Three things were important. Pitt wanted to establish good relations with the Irish Parliament that had been given considerable legislative freedom in 1782. The loss of America in 1783 meant that Ireland took on a more important role in Britain’s trading empire. Finally, there were important security issues and after 1793, Pitt had to be wary of plans for a French invasion using Ireland as a base.

In the early 1780s, Ireland had a rapidly growing population of around four million. Most were Roman Catholic but it was the Anglo-Irish Protestant landowners[1] who controlled about eighty percent of the land. They were often absentee landlords and were bitterly resented by their Catholic tenants, who generally lived in poverty. This Protestant elite governed Ireland largely for its own benefit and strongly resisted interference from Britain. Relations between the Irish and Westminster Parliaments were strained throughout the eighteenth century. In the 1770s and 1780s, the Irish Parliament enthusiastically supported the Americans in their fight for independence turning Ireland into a pro-American colony on England’s doorstep.


Demands for parliamentary reform especially the campaign to open up Parliament to other forms of property besides land in the mid-1780s failed. The major reason for this was sectarian. Catholics had been deprived of their political rights in the late-seventeenth century and Protestants, who had more to lose, were unwilling to change this. Middle-class political identity had been created in the late 1770s and early 1780s but this had not led to an opening up of the political system. The Anglican ‘ascendancy’ was unwilling to share power with the middle-classes. The reforms of 1782-1783 led to a narrowing of the political elite in Ireland. Catholics were totally excluded from political power by the Penal Laws and Dissenters had only limited access.[2] No Presbyterians sat in the Dublin Parliament. Anglican landowners controlled parliamentary seats and this control increased dramatically after 1782. The result of the failure to take the reforms of 1782-1783 forward was an increasing polarisation of Irish politics between Catholics and Protestants and between those with access to power and those denied it.[3]

Politicians agreed on two things, both designed to prevent Ireland following the American colonies into independence. Ireland should have a significant amount of self-government and that it should have greater access to British markets. Pitt saw the second issue as a way of strengthening the British Empire as well as creating political stability. In 1785, he proposed free trade between England and Ireland. This, he maintained, would benefit Irish trade and, from its profits, a contribution could be made for the defence of the Empire. However, the Irish disliked the idea of contributing to imperial defence intensely drawing parallels with proposals to tax the American colonies in the 1760s. British manufacturers organised a vigorous campaign against the threat from Ireland especially to the woollen trade. Pitt had little choice but to withdraw his proposals. Despite this, Ireland’s trade with Britain increased significantly in the 1780s. Irish linen exports trebled between 1781 and 1792. During the 1780s, Pitt’s control over Irish politics was severely limited by the independent actions of the Dublin Parliament.

The effects of the French Revolution.

The French Revolution renewed demands for political and parliamentary reform. Pitt did not accept the view of the Dublin Parliament that the security of Ireland could be guaranteed only by continued Cath­olic oppression and he attempted to win over the Catholic gentry. In 1792, an Irish Catholic Relief Act freed Catholics from remaining disabilities relating to mixed marriages, education and the law. The following year they were given the same municipal and parliamentary franchise as Protestants. However, these concessions did little to improve their status and they were still debarred from membership of the Irish Parlia­ment. These concessions were wrung out of an unwilling Irish Parliament and many in the Protestant Ascendancy felt betrayed. Their insecurity was reinforced by the actions of Earl Fitzwilliam, briefly Irish Chief Secretary in 1795. Fitzwilliam supported religious toleration and, having assured Pitt that he would not meddle with the Irish administration quickly began to do precisely that. Pitt had little choice but to recall him. Pitt’s reforms whetted the appetite of the more radical Irishmen but satisfied few. Protestant fears of eventual Catholic domi­nation were heightened. Sectarian divisions were increased by measures designed to protect Ireland from invasion after the outbreak of war with Catholic France. Between 1793 and 1796 a Militia Act was passed, a new Protestant Yeomanry formed, an Insurrection Act that made oath-taking a capital offence became law and Habeas Corpus was suspended.

Irish reformers believed in Irish nationalism and more democratic institutions. Demands for reform straddled the religious divide and, during the 1790s support for Irish nationalism was non-sectarian. The two societies of ‘United Irishmen’ formed in late 1791 in Belfast (mostly Presbyterian and middle-class supporters) led by the lawyer Theobald Wolfe Tone and Dublin (mostly Catholic supporters) led by Napper Tandy, an ironmonger. Their non-sectarian approach had little appeal to most Irishmen. Secret societies of Catholic ‘Defenders’ and Protestant ‘Peep o’ Day Boys’ were responsible for rural atrocities. In September 1795, the Protestant Orange Order was formed dedicated to maintaining Protestant dominance at all costs. The failure of the Irish government to address the twin issues of ‘Emancipation’ and ‘parliamentary reform’ helped push Catholic and Protestant radicals closer together and encouraged the growth of more extreme demands.


The United Irishmen became increasingly nationalist in ideas appealing to all Irishmen, irrespective of religion to establish an independent Irish republic. Freedom from English rule appealed to both the middle-class radicals who had been denied access to political power and the Catholic peasantry who had largely economic grievances against Protestant landowners and the Anglican Church. Officially suppressed in 1794, the United Irish­men went underground and its leadership accepted French assistance to achieve revolution in Ireland. Bad weather prevented the French troops landing in December 1796 and British repression in Ulster in 1797 and around Dublin the following year significantly weakened the United Irishmen. The 1798 Rising was, in many respects, a prolonged and flabby failure. The United Irishmen was largely leaderless and its organisation was in disarray. It was unable to impose any real control over the rebellion when it finally began in late May. The result was a series of separate risings based largely on local grievances. The risings in Ulster and in the west of Ireland were very limited affairs. The Catholic rising in the south-east was, after some initial success, defeated at Vinegar Hill in June and the French landed too late to be of any real value. The rebellion lasted barely a month but some 30,000 people were killed or executed.


The 1798 Rising convinced Pitt that the Dublin government could not keep Ireland loyal. Constitutional union of the two kingdoms became increasingly attractive and by June 1798, it was the only real option. Pitt believed that removing the remain­ing disabilities against Catholics was essential to ensure their support for union. In this, they faced opposition not only from the Protestant minority in Ireland and politicians in Westminster, but also from George III. Pitt decided that he would concentrate on getting the support of the Irish Parliament for union and would work for Catholic Emancipation once union had been achieved.

A narrow rejection of a Union Bill in Dublin in January 1799 was followed by a year of negotiation and bribery. Castlereagh as Chief Secretary was largely responsible for winning over public opinion. Critics denounced his activities as pure corruption but recent investigation has shown that the swing of Irish parliamentary opinion between 1799 and 1800 cannot be explained simply in these terms. The bulk of support for the 1800 Act came from MPs elected to the 60 seats that changed hands between the two votes on Union. More important was the inability of those opposed to Union to come up with any real alternative. This ensured the passage of the bill a year later. At Westminster, the Act of Union was approved with little difficulty and constitutional union occurred on 1 January 1801.[4]

Committed as Pitt and some of his colleagues were to Catholic Emancipation in 1800 they were unable to win over the king. In March 1801, Pitt resigned over the policy that he saw as necessary. Far from eliminating the Catholic question, Union merely pushed it more directly on to the British political scene. The Catholic community felt betrayed by the British government and soon became increasingly anti-unionist in attitude developing a sense of its own separate religious and national identity.

[1] Anglo-Irish Protestant landowners. Protestant control over the institutions of Ireland is known as the Protestant Ascendancy.

[2] Catholics had been deprived of their political rights. Most of the population of Ireland was Roman Catholics but their rulers were Protestant. Catholics were denied access to public offices, to ownership of land and to full involvement in the running of their country. The existence of disabilities against Catholics was used by the minority Protestants to maintain their political dominance

[3] Sectarian. Divisions in Ireland were based on religious belief and conflict generally followed the lines of religion. Catholics versus Protestants.

[4] In the Act of Union, the separate Irish Parliament disappeared. Each of the 32 Irish counties kept their two MPs. Two were given to Dublin and Cork and one to Dublin University and the 31 single-member Irish borough constituencies. This gave a total representation of 100 Irish MPs in the House of Commons. Twenty-eight Irish peers were elected for life to the House of Lords. One archbishop and three bishops spoke for the Irish Anglican Church. Irish peers, who were not representative peers, could sit in the Commons for mainland constituencies. The Anglican Churches of England and Ireland were united. The Act gave full equality of commercial rights and privi­leges though Castlereagh did secure twenty years’ protection for Irish textile manufacturers.