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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

The Big House in the North of Ireland

Land, Power and Social Elites, 1878-1960

"The Big House in the North of Ireland" explores the changing fortunes of the landed elite in the six counties that became Northern Ireland from the land war of the late 1870s to the last days of the Unionist government at Stormont in the 1960s. Purdue examines the social, economic and political challenges faced by the north’s landed elite - tenant agitation, the break-up of their estates and the growing political challenge initially from Belfast’s mercantile class and, eventually, from populist political movements - and determines the extent to which these undermined the foundations of their influence. She discusses the strategies adopted by the north’s landed class to meet the challenges it faced and uncovers the reasons for the Big House clinging on as a social and political force in Northern Ireland long after it had ceased to hold any value in the rest of the island.

328 pages

History: British and Irish History


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Table of Contents

Introduction ONE - Northern Landlords 1878 TWO - Landlord and Tenants 1878-85 THREE - Sale of Landed Estates 1880-1921 FOUR - Final Break-up of Landed Estates 1921-50 FIVE - Determined Survivors SIX - Carlton Club and Orange Order SEVEN - Political Roles 1921-60 EIGHT - An Ulster ’Lord of the Manor’ Conclusion Appendix I - Comparison of Election Results 1868 and 1880 Appendix II - Town Properties of Landed Families in the Nineteenth Century Appendix III - Landed Involvement in the Church of Ireland 1905-55 Appendix IV - Northern Landowners of 2,500 Acres and Upwards their Big Houses in 1880, 1921 and 1960 Appendix V - Maps Showing Distribution of Landed Families in Northern Ireland 1880 and 1960 Notes Bibliography Index.

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