Ulster's Stand For Union eBook

Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Ulster's Stand For Union.
Apart from all other circumstances which in the eyes of Ulstermen justified them up to the hilt in the policy they pursued, apart from everything that distinguished them historically and morally from Irish “rebels,” there was the patent and all-important fact that the motive of their opponents was hostility to England, whereas their own motive was friendliness and loyalty to England.  In that respect they never wavered.  If the course of events had ever led to the employment of British troops to crush the resistance of Ulster to Home Rule, the extraordinary spectacle would have been presented to the wondering world of the King’s soldiers shooting down men marching under the British flag and singing “God save the King.”

It was no doubt because this was very generally understood in England that the sympathies of large masses of law-loving people were never for a moment alienated from the men of Ulster by all the striving of their enemies to brand them as rebels.  Constitutional authorities may, as Mr. Churchill says, “measure their censures according to their political opinions,” but the generality of men, who are not constitutional authorities, whose political opinions, if they have any, are fluctuating, and who care little for “juridical niceties,” will measure their censures according to their instinctive sympathies.  And the sound instinct of Englishmen forbade them to blame men who, if rebels in law, were their firm friends in fact, for taking exceptional and even illegal measures, when all others failed, to preserve the full unity which they regarded as the fruit of that friendship.


[41] See Life of the Eighth Duke of Devonshire, by Bernard Holland, ii, pp. 249-51.

[42] Life of Lord Randolph Churchill, vol. ii, p. 65.

[43] Annual Register, 1912, p. 82.

[44] Bernard Holland’s Life of the Eighth Duke of Devonshire, ii, 250.

[45] The Times, July 14th, 1913.

[46] Ibid., August 22nd, 1912.

[47] Parliamentary Debates (House of Lords), July 15th, 1913.



By the death of the Duke of Abercorn on the 3rd of January, 1913, the Ulster Loyalists lost a leader who had for many years occupied a very special place in their affection and confidence.  Owing to failing health he had been unable to take an active part in the exciting events of the past two years, but the messages of encouragement and support which were read from him at Craigavon, Balmoral, and other meetings for organising resistance, were always received with an enthusiasm which showed, and was intended to show, that the great part he had played in former years, and especially his inspiring leadership as Chairman of the Ulster Convention in 1893, had never been forgotten.

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