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Title: The political life of Charles Owen O'Conor, 1860-1906
Author: Enright, Aidan
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis is a study of the political career of Charles Owen O'Conor from 1860 to 1906. More commonly known as the O'Conor Don, he was a leading Catholic landlord and Whig-Liberal politician of his time whose significance in Irish and British political life has been overlooked. It is therefore the aim of this thesis to examine the O'Conor Don's career in the contexts of Catholic Whig-Liberal and unionist politics in Ireland and Britain in the second half of the nineteenth century. A wide range of manuscript and printed primary sources are drawn upon in this thesis, but principal among them is the O'Conor papers, an extensive and hitherto largely unused private archive. The thesis is organised into six thematic chapters. Chapter one provides the historical background for the O'Conor Don's Whig-Liberal outlook by charting the fortunes of his family from the mid-seventeenth century right up to his election as M.P. for County Roscommon in 1860. Chapter two examines the social and economic aspects of the O'Conor Don's role as a landlord while chapter three follows with a discussion of how these factors, together with the ideology of political economy and various political considerations, influenced his thinking on land reform between 1860 and 1903. Chapter four considers the 0' Conor Don' s role in the Irish university question with a view to emphasising the influence of elite lay Catholic opinion on educational reform between 1860 and 1880. Chapter five examines the O'Conor Don's Whig views on self-government in the contexts of liberal politics in Ireland and Britain, and the rise of the home rule movement between 1860 and 1880. Finally, chapter six continues with this theme for the period between 1880 and 1900, but with the added emphasis on the O'Conor Don's place within the wider unionist opposition to home rule.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available