This study of Valentine Lawless, 2nd Lord Cloncurry (1773-1853) provides a fresh perspective on the life of a late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century Irishman. During his sixty years in public life, Cloncurry was associated with almost every political or public event that occurred in Ireland. Involved at the highest levels in the United Irishmen, he went on to forsake radicalism and to embrace Irish Protestant liberalism and a view of the Irish people as a nation that was clearly ahead of its time. Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century he had a profound influence on many aspects of Irish life. Lionised during his lifetime, his contribution is often overlooked, usually misunderstood, and now almost totally forgotten. As the most senior United Irishman to be allowed to return to Ireland after serving three years imprisoned without trial in the Tower of London, Cloncurry's story serves as a salutary example of the difficulties and the challenges of someone with a radical past trying to settle in a post-Union Ireland and to deal with the prejudices and suspicions of the administration. This book examines: his struggles to ameliorate the sufferings of his fellow Irishmen throughout the 1820s and 1830s irrespective of denomination; his aspiration to separate church and state and to divert tithes to the relief of the poor; his commitment to non-divisive education; his role as benevolent landlord; and his plans for economic development through canal building and bog drainage. Moreover, this book chronicles his sometimes difficult personal life, his often-turbulent relationships with Daniel O'Connell, Robert Peel, and the Duke of Wellington, his rather unsuccessful career in the House of Lords and-what was often considered his greatest achievement-working for Famine relief during the 1845-8 period. [Subject: Biography, Irish Studies, History, 19th C. Studies, Politics, United Irishmen]
Having studied in Dublin, Vienna and Oxford, Daniel D. Jordan received his PhD from University College, Dublin in 2011. In 2020 he was appointed as the inaugural Butler Society Scholar. He continues to live and work in Oxford where he teaches and lectures on various aspects of British and European History.