Annotated proof of Sir Robert Peel's speech on 'Suppressing Disturbance in Ireland', 1833

There was growing unrest in Ireland in the 1830s due to the payments, or tithes, that the mainly Catholic people had to pay to the Protestant state church, the Church of Ireland. The unrest escalated into violence in some areas and the conflicts became known as the Tithe War. Peel made a speech in the House of Commons about the violence in 1833 and this is a version he later edited for publication.


Copyright National Library of Scotland

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of Sir Robert Peel
Bart, on friday the 1o of March on the Bill fo
suppressing disturbances in Ireland.

Sir Robt Peels corrections

HAVING a deep sense of the value of the
time of this House, and seeing how much
of it is wasted in useless discussion, I shall,
without any attempt at an elaborate pre-
face, proceed at once, briefly, and in the
plainest language, to state the course I
mean to pursue with respect to this painful
measure; and the grounds upon which my
resolution has been formed. I came down
to the House, on the first night of the
debate, with a strong impression, founded
on the general notoriety of facts which have
not been denied, that some measure, in
aid of the ordinary operation of the law,
was absolutely necessary for the protection
of life and property, and the preservation
of order, in Ireland. I have since heard
from two ministers of the crown a detail of
atrocities, the recital of which makes
the blood run cold. Is this detail correct?
Have these murders — these burnings —
these various atrocious crimes been com-
mitted? We may differ as to the conclu-
sion to be drawn from the premises; we
may differ as to the remedy to be applied;
but do we agree as to the state of facts, and
as to the existence and character of this
evil? Up to this hour I have heard no
denial of the truth of the statements that
have been made. There appears on all
sides an admission that the condition of

Mar 7. 1833