1800-1859 | Famine

ROYAL DRAGOONS SHOOT DEAD TWO AS STARVING CROWD DEMANDS FOOD

28 September 1846 On 28 September 1846, during the height of the Irish potato famine, forty mounted soldiers of the First Royal Dragoons were called out to deal with a large crowd of up to twelve thousand starving peasants and labourers. They had converged on the coastal port of Dungarvan, until the town was ‘literally…

1800-1859 | Collective punishments | Famine

Relief works for famine struck Irish villagers suspended

7 December 1846 In December 1846 Ireland was in the grip of a devastating potato famine as well as one of the worst winters in many years. Wherever a few people could find employment at a local public works, it provided the sole possible source of income and survival for the local community. One can…

1800-1859 | Famine

British treasury halts relief to famine struck Irish peasants

17 July 1846 Today in 1846, Charles Trevelyan, Assistant Secretary of the British Treasury, on learning of the ‘very unfavourable’ reports on the potato harvest’,  wrote to Sir Randolph Ralph, head of Ireland’s Relief Commission. He warned him that ‘the only way to prevent the people from becoming habitually dependent on government is to bring…

1800-1859 | Curfews | Famine | Martial law

British react to famine in Ireland with martial law bill

23 February 1846 On 23 February 1846, the Irish Coercion Bill was introduced into the House of Lords, following reports that famine struck tenants in Ireland were not paying rent to their landlords. The bill was to allow for the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to introduce martial law to any district, impose curfews from sunset…

1800-1859 | Famine | Ireland | Media propaganda

22 SEPTEMBER

THE TIMES ARGUES IRELAND’S POTATO FAMINE IS ‘A BLESSING’ [ 22 September 1846 ] On 22 September 1846, an editorial in The Times admonished those appealing to London to intervene to ameliorate the catastrophic potato famine in Ireland. Some might go hungry or starve, but this was a necessary evil, which would correct Irish indolence and their…

1800-1859 | Battlefield butchery | India

10 FEBRUARY

BRITISH TROOPS GIVE NO QUARTER TO THOUSANDS OF SURROUNDED SIKH SOLDIERS [ 10 February 1846 ] On 10 February 1846, British troops slaughtered thousands of Sikhs attempting to flee the Battle of Sobraon in the Punjab. After a fierce two hour engagement, Redcoat infantry and cavalry, under the command of Major-General Sir Hugh Gough, concentrated…