Skip to main content

Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell Vol - I"

See other formats

60                  CHARLES  STEWART PARNELL             [1873
Church or the land. Their movement was purely political, and none of the leaders at that time saw any advantage in associating a struggle for national freedom with an agitation for the redress of material grievances. Accordingly, while the Constitutionalists pushed forward their demands for Church and land reform, the Fenians concentrated themselves on a movement for the release of their comrades who had been sent to penal servitude in the years 1865, 1866, and 1867.
In 1868 the first Amnesty Association was formed. Isaac Butt became its president.
Butt was one of the most remarkable men who have appeared in Irish politics during the past half-century. Born at Glenfin, in the County Donegal, in 1813, he was educated at the Eoyal School, Eaphoe, and entered Trinity College, Dublin (as a scholar) in 1832. He took his degree in 1835, became LL.B. in 1836, and M.A. and LL.D. in 1840. As one of the founders and for a time editor of the Dublin ' University Magazine,' he showed the culture and literary skill which always distinguished him. In 1836 he was appointed Whately Professor of Political Economy at Dublin University, and in 1838 he was called to the Bar. In 1841 he gave up his professorship, and thenceforth devoted himself absolutely to law and public affairs. Chosen in 1840 by the Municipal Corporation of Dublin—then a Tory stronghold—to defend their privileges before the House of Lords and to oppose the Irish Municipal Reform Bill, he was, in recognition of his able but unsuccessful efforts, elected an alderman of the Reformed Corporation. He now became one of the leading champions of Conservatism in the City, and was singled out to confront O'Connell in