Carson of Duncairn, Baron

Famed barrister in Oscar Wilde libel suit, Irish & Ulster Unionist leader, foe of Irish Home Rule

Price: $175.00 Special Offer - $125.00



Description:
(1854-1935, Edward H. Carson) Irish & British barrister, judge, politician, leader of Irish Unionist Alliance and Ulster Unionist Party 1910-21. Called to Irish Bar 1877, regarded as a brilliant barrister. Appointed Queen's Counsel 1889, in 1895 led Marquess of Queensberry’s defense against Oscar Wilde's libel action. The Marquess, angry at Wilde's relationship with his son, Lord Alfred Douglas, accused Wilde of being a "posing somdomite [sic]". Wilde brought a libel action, as homosexuality was then illegal. Carson portrayed Wilde as a morally depraved older homosexual man who seduced young boys into a life of homosexuality. Wilde dropped the libel charge when Carson, in his opening speech, said he would call several male prostitutes to testify they had had sex with Wilde, which would have rendered the libel charge unsupportable. Wilde was bankrupted when ordered to pay considerable legal and detective bills Queensberry incurred in his defense. Wilde was arrested, charged with sodomy and gross indecency, found guilty, sentenced to 2 years' hard labor. He moved to France, died penniless. Carson appeared for the London Evening Standard in a 1908 libel action brought by George Cadbury and was victorious in the 1910 Archer-Shee Case, on which Terence Rattigan based his play “The Winslow Boy”. Appointed Solicitor-General for Ireland 1892 although not an MP, elected as a Unionist. Admitted to English Bar mainly practiced in London. Irish Privy Council 1896, Solicitor-General for England May 1900, receiving knighthood. When Conservative government resigned Dec. 1905, rewarded with membership on Privy Council. With passage of 1911 Parliament Act, Unionists faced loss of House of Lords' ability to thwart passage of new Home Rule Bill. Carson campaigned against Home Rule in House of Commons and organized rallies in Ireland. On Sep. 28, 1912 he was first signatory on Ulster Covenant, which bound signatories to resist Home Rule by "all means necessary" after Carson established Ulster Volunteers, 1st loyalist paramilitary group. Ulster Volunteer Force formed Jan. 1913 received arms from Germany April 1914. Home Rule Bill passed May 25, 1914 and awaited royal assent. To enforce the legislation, Asquith's Liberal government prepared to send troops to Ulster. Ireland was on brink of civil war when WW I broke out which led to suspension of Home Rule Act's operation until end of the War. An Ulster Division was formed from the U.V.F., and the 36th (Ulster) Division was organized. On May 25, 1915, Asquith appointed Carson Attorney-General in Coalition Government, but resigned on Oct. 19 over opposition to Government policy on war in the Balkans. Became leader of Unionists not members of the government, effectively Leader of the Opposition in Commons. When Asquith resigned as PM Dec. 1916, Carson became First Lord of the Admiralty, Minister without Portfolio July 1917. Early in 1918, government extended conscription to Ireland, but Ireland would have to be given home rule to make it acceptable. When 1920 Government of Ireland Act was introduced, he advised his party to work to exemption 6 Ulster counties from Home Rule as best compromise; proposal passed and Parliament of Northern Ireland was established. Carson was asked to lead Unionists in election to become 1st Prime Minister of Northern Ireland but declined due to his lack of connections with Ulster and resigned leadership of the party 1921. Appointed one of 7 Lords of Appeal in Ordinary 1921, life peer 1921 as Baron Carson of Duncairn in County of Antrim. Retired 1929, in July 1932 witnessed unveiling of a large bronze statue of himself in front of Parliament Buildings at Stormont, over 40,000 people present at his last visit to Belfast. United Kingdom gave him state funeral in Belfast. From a silver bowl, soil from each of the 6 counties of Northern Ireland was scattered on to his coffin, earlier covered by the Union Flag. SP, 7 ¾ x 5 ¼ b&w bust portrait signed "Carson of Duncairn" (post-1921) in pencil on 9 ¾ x 6 ¼ mount below image. Angus Faith of London photograph studio copyright stamp verso.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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