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Roots
· Protestant minority began to get politically organised:
· Orange Order: Brunswick clubs = by 1828, 200 in number whilst claiming 150,000 members.
· Wanted to unite Protestants as a pressure group, who were ambiguous towards physical force yet hoped to
somehow force parliament/King George IV to abort the constitutional amendments.
· Founded in the 1790s, but roots go back to conflicts arising out of the creation of Eng/Scot
Protestant communities in Ulster: 16th/17th Centuries.
· Celebrate victory of William of Orange over James every year on 12th July ---- Glorious
Revolution links.
· Wanted to sustain the `glorious and immortal memory' of King William III.
· From Wilson's `Orange Boys' in 1792:
· James Wilson, Daniel Winter and James Sloan.
· Orange Order Proper was founded in September 1795 after the so-called `Battle of Diamond'.
· A pitched battle between rival gangs , the Defenders (Catholics) and Peep O'Day Boys (Protestants), based along
sectarian lines over trading rights.
· 80 left dead.
· They drew on the ritualistic and organisational precedents established by the Freeemasons
and Defenders (note, copy Caths).
· The bitter combination of sectarian and economic resentments fuelled the order.
· It spread rapidly through south and west Ulster in the late 1790, penetrating both
yeomanry and regular army.
· Also spread socially, recruiting landed gentlemen.…read more

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Key Information/Aims
· Leader = Henry Cooke ­ Ulsterman.
· Argued that all Protestants, Presbyterians or C of I should unite to defend the common
cause --- their dominance and the union.
· Slowly aligned with Conservatism across first half of C19.
· In 1834, Presbytarians were allowed to join
· VERY sectarian movement.
· Anti-Catholic to the extreme.
· Their power, secretiveness and threat to the public order and promotion of
sectarian tensions led to occasional bans:
· Orangeism was a highly ambiguous asset to the British government and successive chief
secretaries, such as Peel, sought to counter its influence.
· Order was suppressed in 1825 under the Unlawful Societies Act --- it survived in the form of
Brunswick clubs and revived upon the lapsing of the Act.
· Banned from 1836-1845 --- 1836: Brit used armed military to quell trouble at the annual
gathering at Scarva, County Down.
· The order was brutally loyalist and intensely anti-unionist at first.
· In 1835, Whig/O'Connell published highly critical report of Orange Order
as infiltrated yeomanry and army.
· English lodges split in Feb 1836 and (April) the Grand Lodge of Ireland voluntarily
dissolved.…read more

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Key Information/Aims ctd...
· Orangeism survived but at a local level without broad support from
Protestant gentry or middle classes (especially in mid C19).
· Movement benefited from several minor but bloody sectarian clashes.
· Order was also sustained in mid C19 via a pervasive popular culture that
brought its symbolism and rhetoric into many Irish loyalist homes.
· In 1867, Orangeism found a champion in William Johnston, who led the
movement in a defiance of the Party Processions Act.
· Johnston prefigured a wider landed interest in the Orange Order.
· Faced with new challenge of Land League; the landlords of Southern Ulster
joined the order in early 1880s.
· New landlord recruits; most significant = Edward Saunderson.
· Saunderson used the Order to promote a broadly based unionist movement
in 1885-6.
· Genteel patronage and HR crisis of 1886 = massive growth of orangeism in late
Victorian Ulster.
· Orange Order provided an organisational resource for Ulster Unionism during the
second and third HR crises in 1920-2, during the first years of the N. Irish state.…read more

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