Donegal Supporters of the Act of Union 1800 - Donagh Parish, Co Donegal
Compiled from Advertisements in the Belfast Newsletter between 31 Dec 1799 and 17 Jan 1800
The content of these pages was compiled by Malcolm and form part of the Donegal Genealogy Resources website
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If you have a connection to any of the people in the list and would like to have your email address linked to them, please feel free to Contact Me
The complete list comprises the names of 3,808 Donegal supporters for the Act of Union, transcribed and compiled by Malcolm from editions of the Belfast Newsletter. Below are the names, in alphabetical order, along with the supporter's townlands. The townlands have been assigned their present name and the parish to which they belong however, please note that there may be a few where this is not certain.
While compiling the records, Malcolm gained the impression that many of the major landowners, who all belonged to the established Church of Ireland and the Catholic hierarchy, were foremost in their support and brought along the support of their tenants and congregations for good measure. When viewed by townland name, groupings become clearer. Where there was no apparent support, for instance from the Marquis of Abercorn, few of his tenants appear on the list.
This promises to be a very valuable historical document, with scope for a lot of spin-off studies.
In 1789 the French Revolution began, and in 1793 France declared war against Britain. The ideas of the French Revolution — liberty, equality, fraternity and democracy — plus the religious link, were favoured by the Irish, and Ireland traditionally had been the back door to England. The Irish could see that religious inequality had been abolished in France and that a democratic government had been set up. Irish Roman Catholics wanted equality; Irish Protestants wanted parliamentary reform. Both groups wanted economic reform.
Many moderate Irish politicians wanted Catholic Emancipation and parliamentary reform, but thought that Ireland should support England in the crisis and wanted to preserve the link with Britain. However, there were others who were more extreme in their views. Among these were Theobald Wolfe Tone and Lord Edward Fitzgerald who formed the United Irishmen in 1792 which aimed at "breaking the connection with England, asserting the independence of our country, uniting all Irishmen in place of the denominations of Protestants and Catholics." The organisation tried to unite Dissenters and Catholics against Anglican rule, and it grew rapidly. Pitt moved equally quickly. In 1793 the Irish parliament was persuaded to pass the Catholic Relief Act which gave Catholics the right to vote. Voters still had to be 40/- freeholders, and Roman Catholics, although they could stand as candidates, were not allowed to take a seat in parliament. Catholic voters could realistically only vote for Protestants. Pitt's 1793 Act was only a part-solution.
In 1795 Earl Fitzwilliam was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was a Whig and an Irish absentee landowner who believed that Roman Catholics should have complete political equality. This he announced as a policy which raised hopes in Ireland, but Fitzwilliam was recalled within three months on the King's orders and in disgrace.
After 1795 there were increasing incidents of sectarian violence in Ireland, exacerbated by the attempts of the United Irishmen to enlist French help in their struggle to free Ireland from English control. The Protestants in Ireland formed the Orange to safeguard Protestantism in Ireland which merely escalated the problem.
In May 1798 an Irish rising occurred with the avowed aim of Catholic Emancipation and parliamentary reform. Many peasants joined because they wanted tithes to be abolished; some educated men wanted independence. Pitt believed that Ireland could not be allowed the luxury of an independent parliament, because the Irish might decide on an independent nation and make Ireland a base for England's enemies. Pitt therefore decided on an Act of Union which would totally tie Ireland to Great Britain.
(Source: The Victorian Web)
The Act of Union (Ireland) 1800 (full original text)
The Union with Ireland Act 1800 (full original text)
Act of Union (Wikipedia)
Preamble to the List of Supporters
The Subject of Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland having undergone a full and extensive consideration, it is to be presumed that few men are at this day undecided in the opinions on that momentous object.
We whose names are undersigned, take this method of conveying to the public our sentiments on that most important question. We are not surprised that different opinions should prevail on a subject so interesting, and so extensive, we therefore hold the sentiments of such of our fellow countrymen as happen to be different from our own, in that just respect that is due to their characters and their property in our country. We deem it however right, at this period to declare our own.
The principle of Legislative Union between this Kingdom and Great Britain, founded on equality of trade, equality of protection, equality of constitutional rights and privileges, and equality of taxation, according to the respective wealth and resources of both kingdoms meets with out decided approbation. But while we thus declare our approbation of the general principle, we are not understood to pledge ourselves to the detail. That detail we consider arduous and difficult. However we do not think that the apparent difficulty ought to discourage the efforts to accomplish an object that, in our opinion, will strengthen the Empire at large, allay private discontents and religious animosities in the Kingdom, and bury forever the jealousies that are inseparable from a federal connection between distinct and independent nations.
[The above Declaration has been signed by the following Noblemen and Gentlemen, with about seven hundred others whose names we will insert when we can make more room.]
(Lords) Donegall , Ross Gov., Leitrim , Conyngham , Londonderry , Wicklow , Sudley , Lifford
(Bishops) Frederick Derry , James Raphoe , etc.
|Name||Townland (old)||Townland (new)|
|Auld Ephm.||Carnmore||Carn More|
|Kerr Robt.||Carnmore||Carn More|
|Kerr Tho.||Carnmore||Carn More|
|McCanless J.||Carnmore||Carn More|
|Moore J.||Carnmore||Carn More|
|Kennedy J P. Rector Donagh||Donagh||Carndonagh|
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