The origin and political activities of the Orange Order in Newfoundland 1863-1890

Senior, Elinor Kyte (1959) The origin and political activities of the Orange Order in Newfoundland 1863-1890. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The object of this study is to give an account of the origin of the Orange Order in Newfoundland in 1863, to investigate the activities of the Orange Lodges in the political life of the colony from 1863 to 1890, to estimate their influence, and more specifically, to examine the charge that the lodges were promoted in Newfoundland as an agency through which the supporters of the colony's union with Canada might work. -- In a colony such as Newfoundland where the population was divided almost equally between Irish Roman Catholics and Protestants, where sectarian squabbles were prone to accompany election campaigns, and where political distinctions often coincided with religious distinctions, Orangeism was bound to find a welcome. With its two-fold ideology of ultra Protestantism and loyalty to the British Crown, Orangeism could appeal to those who sought to maintain or strengthen the ties with England, and, when the occasion demanded it, the Order could rally Protestants of all persuasions against any encroachments upon what were considered Protestant rights. -- The need for some agency through which Protestants could be organized politically had been long felt. Outport Protestants of various denominations often tended to be as suspicious towards one another as towards Roman Catholics. Quarrels over schools, teachers, and educational grants kept Wesleyan and Church of England members at odds. The Liberal party had a strong auxiliary in the Benevolent Irish Society of St. John's through which the Roman Catholic vote could be organized, but the Tory machine lacked a counterpart until the Orange Lodges were organized. -- Not only in the political field did the Orange Lodges fill a gap. In an age when hunger, sickness, fire, and death struck frequently and suddenly, the hapless fishermen often had no place to turn for help. The Orange Order, with its sickness and death benefits, aid to needy brethren, mortality fees to widows, and other welfare services, was able to supply a degree of security in these emergencies. -- As an agency to promote Newfoundland's union with Canada, the Orange Order was not a success in the 19th century. Although some of the Orange leaders undoubtedly hoped to use the lodges for this purpose, the rank and file Orangeman, like his Roman Catholic neighbour, remained cool towards any proposals designed to unite Newfoundland with Canada.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5549
Item ID: 5549
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 234-240.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1959
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Loyal Orange Association of British America; Orangemen--Newfoundland and Labrador--History; Newfoundland and Labrador--History--1855-1934

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