The Irish in Britain, 1750-1922
A Bibliographic Essay
Copyright © 1999 by Donald MacRaild, all rights reserved. This work may be used for non-profit educational purposes if proper credit is given to Donald MacRaild and the Irish Diaspora Studies Web site. For other permission, please contact...
Donald MacRaild (email@example.com)
Note: An version of this Bibliographic Essay will be found in Donald MacRaild, Irish Migrants in Modern Britain, 1750-1922, Macmillan, Basingstoke & London, 1999, ISBN 0 333 67761 7 hardback, 0 333 67762 5 paperback, where the reader will also find more detailed discussion of issues raised here.
This Bibliographic Essay is meant to be indicative rather than exhaustive. Further references to many other sources will be found in the Notes of each work cited here.
Important theoretical contexts are discussed in two fine works which, despite their titles, have important implications for the study of Irish and other emigrant flows to Britain and the United States: Brinley Thomas, Migration and economic growth: a study of Great Britain and the Atlantic Economy (Cambridge, 1954) and D.E. Baines, Migration in a Mature Economy: Emigration and Internal Migration in England and Wales, 1861-1900 (Cambridge, 1985).
The best short analyses of the Irish in Britain are two chapters by David Fitzpatrick: ' "A peculiar tramping people": the Irish in Britain, 1801-70' and 'The Irish in Britain, 1871-1921', which appear in W.E. Vaughan (ed.), A New History of Ireland, V (Oxford, 1986) and VI (Oxford, 1996); and Roger Swift's The Irish in Britain, 1815-1914: Perspectives and Sources (1991).
For more detailed treatments, see J.A. Jackson's The Irish in Britain (1963); Graham Davis, The Irish in Britain, 1815-1914 (Dublin, 1991), which is particularly strong on historiography; and three volumes edited by R. Swift and S. Gilley: The Irish in Victorian Britain 1815-1939 (1989) and Irish in the Victorian City (1985) and The Irish in Victorian Britain: the Local Dimension (Forthcoming, 1999). Ruth-Ann Harris The Nearest Place that Wasn't Ireland: Early Nineteenth-Century Labor Migration (Ames, Iowa, 1994) is controversial for taking Engels at face value and for arguing that the majority of the Irish in Britain were temporary sojourners.
Patrick O'Sullivan's monumental series on the Irish Diaspora contains many good essays on the British dimension: The Irish World Wide: History, Heritage, Identity 6 vols (Leicester, 1992-97) I: Patterns of Migration; II: Irish in the New Communities; III: the Creative Migrant; IV: Irish Women and Irish Migration; V: Religion and Identity; VI: The Meaning of the Famine. (See particularly Swift's essay in vol. II).
Two contemporary accounts, H. Heinrick, A Survey of the Irish in England, 1872 (1990), edited with an introduction by A. O'Day, and J. Denvir, The Irish in Britain from the Earliest Times to the Fall and Death of Parnell (1892), provide fascinating insights.
The best books the on Scottish dimension are still J.E. Handley, The Irish in Scotland, 1789-1845 (Cork, 1943) and his, The Irish in Modern Scotland (Cork, 1947), although T.M. Devine (ed.), Irish Immigration and Scottish Society in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Edinburgh, 1991) contains a number of good essays.
I have already mentioned the two chapters by David Fitzpatrick :`Emigration, 1801-70' and `Emigration, 1871-1921, in W.E. Vaughan (ed), A New History of Ireland vols V and VI. A superlative introduction to the wider population issue is L. Kennedy and L.A. Clarkson, `Birth, death and exile: Irish population history, 1700-1921' in B.J. Graham and L.J. Proudfoot (eds) An Historical Geography of Ireland (1993).
The standard book-length treatment of pre-Famine population is K.H. Connell, The Population History of Ireland, 1750-1845 (Oxford, 1950), and on the later period it is T.W. Guinnane, The Vanishing Irish: Households, Migration and the Rural Economy in Ireland (Princeton, 1996).
Detailed treatment of the economic background can be found in J. Mokyr, Why Ireland Starved: A Quantitative and Analytical History of the Irish Economy, 1800-1850 (1983) and in two volumes by C. Ó Gráda, Ireland Before and After the Famine: Explorations in Economic History, 1800-1925 (Manchester, 1988) and Ireland: A New Economic History, 1780-1939 (Oxford, 1994).
The Famine is now well covered in new single-authored volumes: C. Kinealy, This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine, 1845-52 (Dublin, 1994), and Peter Gray, Famine, Land and Politics: British Government and Irish Society, 1843-50 (Dublin, 1999). E. Margaret Crawford (ed.) The Hungry Stream: Essays on Emigration and Famine (Belfast, 1997) includes much excellent up-to-date research. For the Famine's effects on Britain, see Frank Neal, Black 47: Britain and the Famine Irish (Basingstoke, 1997), which marshals masses of statistical data.
Several book-length studies provide an introduction into the regional dimension of Irish settlement: F.Finnegan, Poverty and Prejudice: a Study of Irish Immigrants in York, 1840-1875 (Cork, 1982); L. H. Lees, Exiles of Erin: Irish migrants to Victorian London (Manchester, 1979); W.J. Lowe, The Irish in Mid-Victorian Lancashire: the Shaping of a Working-Class Community (New York, 1990); and D.M. MacRaild, Culture, Conflict and Migration: The Irish in Victorian Cumbria (Liverpool, 1998).
The social geography of Irish communities in Britain has been the subject of some debate. Contributions to that debate include: E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (1963); J.M. Werly, `The Irish in Manchester, 1832-49', Irish Historical Studies, 18 (1972-3); Graham Davis, Irish in Britain and `Little Irelands', in Swift & Gilley (eds.) Irish in Britain, 1815-1939; M.A. Busteed, R.I. Hodgson and T.F. Kennedy, `The myth and reality of Irish migrants in mid-Victorian Manchester: a preliminary study', in O'Sullivan (ed.) The Irish World-Wide, II: Irish in the New Communities; and Busteed, `The Irish in nineteenth-century Manchester, Irish Studies Review, 18 Spring (1997); Colin G. Pooley, `The residential segregation of migrant communities in mid-Victorian Liverpool', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2 (1977) and `Segregation or integration? The residential experience of the Irish in mid-Victorian Britain', in Swift and Gilley (ed.), Irish in Britain, 1815-1939.
Studies of Irish lives and living conditions include: J. Haslett and W.J. Lowe, `Household structure and overcrowding among the Lancashire Irish, 1851-1871', Histoire Sociale, 10, 19, Mai (1977); and L.H. Lees, `Patterns of lower-class life: Irish slum communities in nineteenth-century London', in Therstrom, S. and Sennett, R. (eds.), Nineteenth Century Cities (New Haven, 1969) and `Mid-Victorian Migration and the Irish Family economy, in Victorian Studies, 20. 1976.
The debate over Irish labour is encapsulated by E.H. Hunt, Regional Wage Variations in Britain, 1850-1973 (Oxford, 1973), who argues that the Irish did affect wages levels in Britain, and by J.G. Williamson, `The impact of the Irish on British labor markets during the Industrial Revolution', Journal of Economic History, 46 Sept. (1986), who brings an econometric perspective to argue that they did not.
The clearest introduction to the subject of Catholicism in England is S. Gilley, `Roman Catholic Church in England, 1780-1940', in S. Gilley and W.J. Sheils (eds), A History of Religion in Britain: Practice and Belief from Pre-Roman Times to the Present (Oxford, 1994). The religious transformation of post-Famine Ireland is debated by Emmet Larkin, `The devotional revolution in Ireland 1850-75', American Historical Review, 77, 3, June (1972) and D.W. Miller, `Irish Catholicism and the Great Famine', Journal of Social History, 9, 2, Fall (1975).
Major studies of Irish Catholics in Britain are Steve Fielding, Class and Ethnicity: Irish Catholics in England, 1880-1939 (Buckingham, 1993) and M.J. Hickman, Religion, Class and Identity (Aldershot, 1995). G.P. Connolly has written a clutch of important essays on Irish migrants and the Victorian Catholic church, including, `The transubstantiation of myth: towards a new popular history of nineteenth-century Catholicism in England', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 35 (1984) and `Irish and Catholic: Myth or Reality? Another sort of Irish and the renewal of the clerical profession among Catholics in England, 1791-1918', in Swift & Gilley (eds.) Irish in Victorian City.
Gilley's contribution is enormous. In addition to essays in his own volumes (edited with Swift), see `The Roman Catholic Church and the nineteenth-century Irish Diaspora', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 35, 2, April (1984) and `Catholic faith of the Irish slums: London, 1840-70' in Dyos, H.J. & Wolff, M. (eds.), The Victorian City: Image and Reality 2 vols (1973), II. Other important works include those of Raphael Samuel, including `Comers and Goers', in H.J. Dyos, & M. Woolf (eds.), The Victorian City: Images and Realities (1973), `The Roman Catholic Church and the Irish poor', in Swift & Gilley (eds.) Irish in the Victorian City and `An Irish religion', in R. Samuel (ed.) Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, 3 vols (1989), II: Minorities and Outsiders (1989).
For some American comparisons, see J.P. Dolan, The Immigrant Church: New York's Irish and German Catholics, 1815-65 (1983) and H McLeod, `Popular Catholicism in New York', in W.J. Shiels & D. Wood (eds.), Studies in Church History (Oxford, 1989), 25: The Church, Ireland and the Irish. The role of the priest is vital. For his training, see P. Doyle, `The education and training of Roman Catholic priests in the nineteenth century', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 35, 2 (1984); for his power among the Irish, see G.P. Connolly, `"Little brother be at peace": the priest as Holy Man in the nineteenth century ghetto', in W.J. Sheils (ed.), Studies in Church History (Oxford, 1982) 19: The Churches and Healing; for his involvement in politics, see W.A. Walker, `Irish immigrants in Scotland: their priests, politics and parochial life', in Historical Journal, 15, 4 (1972); and for an excellent investigation of the American dimension, see Owen Dudley Edwards, `The Irish priests in North America', in W.J. Sheils and D. Wood (eds.), Studies in Church History (Oxford, 1989), 25: The Church, Ireland and the Irish.
The important area of popular Protestantism and anti-Catholicism yields much on the Irish. The best introduction are E.R. Norman's, Anti-Catholicism in Victorian England (1968), which contains many useful documents, and D.G. Paz, Popular Anti-Catholicism in Mid-Victorian England (Stanford, California, 1992). Periodical literature, a vital conduit for anti-Catholic ideas, is considered in D.G. Paz, `Anti-Catholicism, Anti-Irish stereotyping and anti-Celtic racism in mid-Victorian working-class periodicals', in Albion, Winter (1986). The `popular' dimension of anti-Catholicism and anti-Irish violence has yielded many fascinating books and essays, including Tom Gallagher, Glasgow, The Uneasy Peace: Religious Tension in Modern Scotland (Manchester, 1987) and Frank Neal, Sectarian Violence: the Liverpool experience 1819-1914 (Manchester, 1988). For Scotland, also see Steve Bruce, No Pope of Rome: Militant Protestantism in Modern Scotland (Edinburgh, 1985).
The tensions between class and ethnicity have been demonstrated in two fine essays by Joan Smith: `Labour Tradition in Glasgow and Liverpool', in History Workshop, 17, Spring (1984) and `Class, skill and sectarianism in Glasgow and Liverpool, 1890-1914' in R.J.Morris (ed.) Class, Power and Social Structure in British Nineteenth-Century Towns (Leicester, 1986).
The best contextual study the mid-Victorian years is Alan O'Day, `Varieties of anti-Irish behaviour, 1846-1922', in P. Panayi (ed.), Racial Violence in Britain in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Leicester, 1996). For the so-called `Papal Aggression', see W.L. Ralls, `The Papal aggression of 1850: a study of Victorian anti-Catholicism', in Parsons (ed.), Religion in Victorian Britain, IV: Interpretation and P. Millward, `The Stockport riots of 1852: a study of anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sentiment', in Swift & Gilley (eds.). For the `no-popery' lecturing career of William Murphy, see W.L. Arnstein, `The Murphy Riots: a Victorian Dilemma', in Victorian Studies, 19, 1, Sept. (1975), D.M. MacRaild, `William Murphy, the Orange Order and Communal violence: the Irish in West Cumberland, 1971-84', in P. Panayi (ed.), Racial Violence in Britain 1840-1950 (Leicester, 1993). Murphy Riots, Irish crime, and violence more generally is the subject of Roger Swift's important essay `"Another Stafford street row:" law, order and the Irish presence in mid-Victorian Wolverhampton', in Immigrants and Minorities, 3, I, March (1984). Also S. Gilley, `The Garibaldi Riots of 1862', Historical Journal, 16, 4 (1973) and Frank Neal, `The Birkenhead Garibaldi Riots of 1862', Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 131 (1982).
Essays emphasising Liverpool's pre-eminent position in this respect, include Tom Gallagher, `A tale of two cities. Communal strife in Glasgow and Liverpool before 1914', in Swift & Gilley (eds.), Irish in the Victorian City, Anne Bryson `Riotous Liverpool, 1815-60' and John Bohstedt, `More than one working class: Protestant and Catholic riots in Edwardian Liverpool', both of which appear in J. Belchem (ed.), Popular Politics, Riot and Labour: Essays in Liverpool History, 1790-1940 (Liverpool, 1992).
The continuing English obsession with Romanisation (which had an Irish dimension) is examined by G.I.T. Machin, `The last Victorian anti-ritualism campaign, 1895-1906', Victorian Studies, 25, 3, Spring (1982).
A number of books and articles deal with the Orange Order, including F Neal, `Manchester origins of the English Orange Order', Manchester Region History Review, 4 Autumn/Winter (1990-1), E. McFarland, Protestants First: Orangeism in Nineteenth Century Scotland (Edinburgh, 1990), G. Walker, `The Orange Order in Scotland between the wars', International Journal of Social History, 37, 2 (1992) and D.M. MacRaild, `"Principle, Party and Protest": the language of Victorian Orangeism in the north of England', in Shearer West (ed.), The Victorians and Race (Leicester, 1996). Excellent material on the North American dimension is located in C.D. Gimpsey, `Internal ethnic friction: Orange and Green in nineteenth-century New York, 1868-1872', in Immigrants and Minorities, 1, I (1982), M.A. Gordon, The Orange Riots: Irish Political Violence in New York City, 1870 and 1871 (Ithaca and London, 1993), C.J. Houston & W.J. Smyth, The Sash Canada Wore: A Historical Geography of the Orange Order in Canada (Toronto, 1980) and `Transferred loyalties: Orangeism in the United States and Ontario', in American Review of Canadian Studies, 14, 2 (1984). And see my more thorough Orange Order Bibliography, elsewhere on this Irish Diaspora Studies web site.
The debate about anti-Irish `racism' was begun by L.P Curtis in his two books Anglo-Saxons and Celts: a Study of Anti-Irish Prejudice in Victorian England (New York, 1968) and Apes and Angels: the Irishman in Victorian Caricature (1971). He was subsequently challenged by S. Gilley in an essay, `English attitudes to the Irish in England, 1780-1900' in Holmes (ed.), Immigrants and Minorities in British Society. Since when, several others have weighed with their views, including M.A.G. Ó Tuathaigh, `The Irish in nineteenth-century Britain: problems of integration', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, 31 (1981), R.F. Foster, `Paddy and Mr Punch' in idem, Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Anglo-Irish History (1993) and M.J. Hickman, Religion, Class and Identity (Aldershot, 1995). See also F. Neal, `English-Irish conflict in the North West of England: economics, racism, anti-Catholicism or simple xenophobia?' in North West Labour History Group, 16 (1991/2).
The idea of Ireland and the Irish as `outsiders' under the Act of Union is discussed in a perceptive essay: D.G. Boyce, `"Marginal Britons": the Irish', Colls & Dodds (ed.), Englishness: Politics and Culture is a good starting point. Proof that English lampooning of the Irish is a long-lived phenomenon is illustrated by John Gillingham in his essay `The origins of English imperialism', History Today, 37, Feb. (1987). P. O'Farrell, Ireland's English Question: Anglo-Irish Relations, 1534-1970 (1971) provides much useful context.
The best starting points on Irish criminality are two essays by Roger Swift: `Crime and the Irish in nineteenth-century Britain' in Swift & Gilley (eds.) Irish in Britain and `Heroes or villains? The Irish, crime and disorder in Victorian Britain', Albion, 29, 3 (1997). Excellent local case studies include P. Mulkern `Irish immigrants and public disorder in Coventry, 1845-1975', Midland History, 21 (1996) and M. McManus, `Folk devils and moral panics? Irish stereotyping in mid-Victorian Durham', Bulletin of the Durham County Local History Society, 53 Dec. (1994). S.J. Davies, `Class and police in Manchester, 1829-80' in A.J. Kidd and K.W. Roberts (eds.), City, Class and Culture: Studies of the Social Policy and Cultural Production in Victorian Manchester (Manchester, 1985) suggests that Irish crime rates might have been explained by the number of Protestant Irish who joined the police, while Frank Neal, `A criminal profile the Liverpool Irish', in Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 140 (1991), cites religious hostility.
The politics of the Irish community was wide and varied. Little has been written on the French Revolutionary phase, although the Irish in Britain appear regularly in Marianne Elliot's brilliant study Partners in Revolution: The United Irishmen (1982), while Maurice J. Bric, `The Irish and the evolution of "New Politics" in America', in P.J. Drudy (ed.), The Irish in America: Emigration, Assimilation and Impact (Cambridge, 1985) explains the Irish role in American radicalism. The links between Irish and British radicalism and the effect of Irish issues on British politics in the pre-1850 period are discussed by J.H. Treble, `The Irish agitation' in J.T. Ward, Popular Movements, c.1830-50 (London, 1970) and John Belchem, `English working-class radicalism and the Irish, 1815-1850', in Swift and Gilley (ed.), Irish in the Victorian City.
For trade union politics, the Irish and their church, see G.P. Connolly, `The Catholic church and the first Manchester and Salford trade Unions in the age of the Industrial Revolution', in Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, 135 (1985) and J.H. Treble, `The attitude of the Roman Catholic church towards trade unionism in the North of England, 1833-42', Northern History, 5 (1970). The organic associationalism of Irish community life has been the subject of incisive essays by John Belchem: `"Freedom and Friendship to Ireland": Ribbonism in early nineteenth-century Liverpool', International Review of Social History, 39 (1994) and `The immigrant alternative: ethnic and sectarian mutuality among the Liverpool Irish during the nineteenth century' in O.Ashton, R. Fyson and S. Roberts (eds.), The Duty of Discontent: Essays for Dorothy Thompson (1995).
The Irish involvement in Chartism is discussed in several important works, including R. O'Higgins, `Irish trade unions and politics, 1830-50', Historical Journal, 4, 2 (1961) and her `The Irish influence in the Chartist movement', Past and Present, 20 (1961); and in J.H. Treble, `O'Connor, O'Connell and the attitudes of Irish immigrants towards Chartism in the north of England, 1838-48', in J. Butt and I.F. Clarke (eds.), The Victorians and Social Protest: A Symposium (Newton Abbot, 1973) and D. Thompson, `Ireland and the Irish: English Radicalism before 1850', in Epstein, J. & Thompson, D. (eds.) The Chartist Experience: Studies in Working-Class Radicalism and Culture, 1830-1860 (1982). Feargus O'Connor is examined by John Belchem, `1848: Feargus O'Connor and the collapse of the mass platform' in Epstein and Thompson (eds.) The Chartist Experience.
The momentous year of 1848 is also covered in a number of important works: John Saville's excellent 1848: The British State and the Chartist Movement (Cambridge, 1987) and three shorter pieces by John Belchem: `The Year of Revolutions: the political and associational culture of the Irish immigrant community in 1848', in Belchem (ed.), Popular Politics, Riot and Labour, `Republican spirit and military science: the "Irish brigade" and Irish-American nationalism in 1848', Irish Historical Studies, 24, May (1994) and `Nationalism, republicanism and exile: Irish emigrants and the revolutions of 1848', in Past and Present, 146, Feb. (1995). The descent into sectarian politics in Lancashire is dissected by Neville Kirk, `Ethnicity, Class and Popular Toryism, 1850-1870', in K. Lunn (ed.), Hosts, Immigrants and Minorities: Historical Responses to Newcomers in British Society, 1870-1914 (Folkestone, 1980).
The next important phase is the `Fenian scare' of the 1860s which has been well-documented by T.W. Moody, Davitt and the Irish Revolution 1846-82 (Oxford, 1981), which focuses on a key leader; R.V. Comerford, The Fenians in Context: Irish Politics and Society 1848-1882 (Dublin, 1985), which is the best general study; and P. Quinlivan and P. Rose, The Fenians in England, 1865-1872: a Sense of Insecurity (1982) which provides a detailed narrative of the British aspects. K.R.M. Short, The Dynamite War: Irish-American bombers in Victorian Britain (1979) examines the resurgence of the 1880s.
Alan O'Day is the main historian of the Home Rule phase, and his works include: The English Face of Irish Nationalism (London, 1977), `Irish influence on parliamentary in London, 1885-1914: a simple test', in Swift & Gilley (eds.), Irish in the Victorian City, `The political organisation of the Irish in Britain, 1867-90', in Swift, & Gilley, (eds.) Irish in Britain and `The political representation of the Irish in Great Britain, 1850-1940' in G. Alderman, J. Leslie and K.E. Pollmann (eds.), Comparative Studies on Government and Non-dominant Ethnic Groups in Europe (New York, 19??), IV: Government, Ethnic Groups and Political Representation. L.W. Brady T.P. O'Connor and the Liverpool Irish (1983) and B. O'Connell, `Irish nationalism in Liverpool, 1873-1923', Eire-Ireland, 10, 1 (1975) discuss the important Liverpool aspect.
On the Scots dimension, see Ian S. Wood in `Irish nationalism and radical politics in Scotland, 1880-1906', Bulletin of the Scottish Labour History Society, 9, June (1975) and `Irish immigrants and Scottish radicalism, 1880-1906', in MacDougall, I. (ed.), Essays in Scottish Labour History (Edinburgh, 1978). Discussions of the American scene at this time are found in Thomas N. Brown, Irish-American Nationalism, 1870-1890 (Westport, Conn., 1966). Eric Foner, `Class, ethnicity and radicalism in the Gilded Age: The Land League and Irish-America', Marxist Perspectives, Summer (1978), David N. Doyle, Unestablished Irishmen: new immigrants and industrial America, 1870-1910', in Dirk Hoeder (ed.), American Labor and Immigration History, 1877-1920s: Recent Research (Urbana and London, 1983) and Victor A Walsh, `Irish nationalism and Land Reform: the role of the Irish in America', in Drudy (ed.), The Irish in America, which should be read in tandem.
Relatively little has been written about the Irish in the Britain labour movement. Ian S Wood considers the Scots scene through the activities of one important figure in `John Wheatley, the Irish and the labour movement in Scotland', Innes Review, 31 (1980). For the English aspect, see Steve Fielding, `Irish politics in Manchester and Salford, 1890-1939', International Review of Social History, 33 (1988) and the later chapters of his Class and Ethnicity: Irish Catholics in England. T.W. Moody, `Michael Davitt and the British labour movement, 1882-1906', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, 4 (1953) examines the limitations of Irish-British co-operation in the political sphere.
The importance of temporary sojourners and itinerant labourers has been the focus of several important studies, including J.H. Johnson, `Harvest migration from nineteenth century Ireland', Institute of British Geographers, 41, June (1941), B.M. Kerr, `Irish seasonal migration to Great Britain, 1800-38', Irish Historical Studies, 3 (1942-3), C. Ó Gráda, `Seasonal migration and post-Famine adjustment in the west of Ireland', Studia Hibernica, 13 (1973), G. Moran, `"A passage to Britain": seasonal migration and social change in the west of Scotland, 1870-1890', Saothar, 13 (1988), Sarah Barber, `Irish migrant agricultural labourers in nineteenth century Lincolnshire', Saothar (8) 1982 and Ann O'Dowd, Spalpeens and Tattie Hokers: History and Folklore of Irish Migratory Agricultural Workers in Ireland and Britain (Dublin, 1991). The navvies have been uncovered in a number of works, including Terry Coleman, The Railway Navvies: a History of the Men Who Made the Railways (1965) and J.E. Handley, The Navvy in Scotland (Cork, 1970), which are the best.
Little has yet been written about either Irish women, the middle class or Protestants. L.H. Lees's work (cited above) and an essay by Lynda Letford and Colin Pooley, `Geographies of migration: Irish women in mid-nineteenth-century Ireland', in O'Sullivan (ed.), The Irish World Wide 6 vols. (Leicester, 1992-97) III, are among the very few exceptions. And only G. Walker, `The Protestant Irish in Scotland', in Devine (ed.), Irish Immigration and Scottish Society in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries has written solely about Irish Protestants.
Finally, much is to be gained by comparing the Irish in Britain with those in others countries. Four excellent essays in W.E. Vaughan (ed.), A New History of Ireland are the best to start with. These are (in vol. V): P. O'Farrell, `The Irish in Australia and New Zealand' and David N Doyle, `The Irish in North America, 1776-1845'; and (in vol. VI): P. O'Farrell, `The Irish in Australia and New Zealand, 1870-1990' and D.N. Doyle, `The re-making of Irish America, 1845-80'. The best comparative work is D. H. Akenson's Small Differences: Irish Catholics and Protestants, 1815-1922 (Dublin, 1988). For a study which explains the rural traditions of some Irish in North America, see Akenson, D.H., The Irish in Ontario: A Study in Rural History (Montreal, 1984). Kerby A. Miller, Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America (New York and Oxford, 1985) is a panoramic, though much-criticised, study of the stresses and strains the migrant life.
Perhaps the best single location studies are R.A. Burchell, The San Fransisco Irish, 1848-1880 (Manchester, 1979), R.H. Bayor and T.J. Meagher (eds.), The New York Irish (New York and London, 1996) and T.H. O'Connor, The Boston Irish: A Political History (Boston and London, 1995). A excellent study of small-town America is D.M. Emmons, The Butte Irish: Class and Ethnicity in an American Mining Town, 1875-1925 (Urbana and Chicago, 1989). For Canada, see C.J. Houston and W.J. Smyth, Irish Emigration and Canadian Settlement: Patterns, Links and Settlers (Toronto, 1990). For Australia, see P. O'Farrell, The Irish in Australia (Kensington, New South Wales, 1987) and J. O'Brien and P. Travers (eds.), The Irish Emigrant Experience in Australia (Dublin, 1991). David Fitzpatrick's magisterial study, Oceans of Consolation: Personal Accounts of Irish Migrants to Australia (Cork, 1994), is an important methodological break-through in the use of emigrants' letters.
by Donald MacRaild
University of Sunderland
Copyright © 1999 by Donald MacRaild, all rights reserved. This work may be used for non-profit educational purposes if proper credit is given to Donald MacRaild and the Irish Diaspora Studies Web site. For other permission, please contact...
Donald MacRaild (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Additions May 1999
by Patrick O'Sullivan
Irish Diaspora Research Unit
University of Bradford
First, let me mention Donald MacRaild, Irish Migrants in Modern Britain, 1750-1922, Macmillan, Basingstoke & London, 1999 - this is a giant historiographic essay in itself.
Donald MacRaild's start date, 1750, means that in his book - and in this bibliographic essay here - we do not consider the earlier history of the Irish in Britain. Thus we do not consider the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the Battle of Culloden, April 1746. The events of 1745 are seen by Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837, as decisive in defining 'Britishness'. Colley has been criticised for ignoring Ireland - see the brief discussion in Patrick O'Sullivan, Introduction, pp 9-11, in O'Sullivan, ed., Religion and Identity, Volume 5 Of The Irish World Wide, 1996. We should also not forget the Irish Diaspora dimensions of those events, in the financing of Prince Charles Edward's adventure, and in the 'twin battles' of Fontenoy and Culloden.
Period of the French Revolution
Roger Wells, Insurrection: the British Experience 1795-1803, Alan Sutton, Gloucester, 1983, paperback 1986, looks at Irish involvement in British mutinies and movements - though, as always, it is as much about British elite fears as the realities. See also Alan Booth, 'Irish Exiles, Revolution and Writing in England in the 1790s', in Paul Hylands and Neil Sammells, eds, Irish Writing: Exile and Subversion', Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1991.
D. G. Wright, The Chartist Risings in Bradford, Bradford, 1987 - a little pamphlet, which discusses the importance of the Irish, especially in the 'physical force' Chartist Bradford risings.
John Newsinger, Fenianism in mid-Victorian Britain, Pluto Press, London & Boulder, 1994 is worth reading, not least for his critique of Comerford. See also, Patrick Quinlivan, 'Hunting the fenians: problems in the historiography of a secret organisation', in Patrick O'Sullivan, ed. The Creative Migrant, Volume 3 of The Irish World Wide.
On the 'devotional revolution' thesis
It is worth remarking - because these things tend to percolate out of the history of Ireland into the history of the Irish Diaspora - that Larkin's thesis has not received universal acceptance. See, for example, Theo Hoppen, Ireland since 1800; Kevin Whelan, 'The catholic parish, the catholic chapel and village development in Ireland', Irish Geography, 16 (1983), pp 1-15; Thomas G. McGrath, 'The Tridentine Evolution of Modern Irish
Catholicism, 1563-1962: A Re-examination of the "Devotional Revolution" Thesis', Recusant History, Vol. 20, No. 4, October 1991, pp 512-523 - also to be found in Reamonn O Muiri (ed.), Irish Church History Today (n.d.), pp 84-99 [a strong critique of Larkin's argument]; P.J. Corish, 'The catholic community in the 19th century' in Arch. Hib., 38 (1983), pp 26-33; David Miller, 'Irish catholicism and the great famine' in Journal of Social History, 9 (1975), pp 81-98. [another response to Larkin]; David Miller, 'Irish catholicism and the historian' in Irish Economic and Social History, 13 (1986), pp 113-16.
On the Curtis/Gilley debate
Luke Gibbons, 'Race Against Time: Racial Discourse and Irish History', Chapter 12 of his book Transformations in Irish Culture, Cork, 1996 - one of the few things from within Ireland to engage with the debate.