Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

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Castlecomer,
Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,
Ireland.

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Lot 580/0237

Estimate: €400-600

Glasgow University Elects a New Rector, 1890

Balfour (Arthur)
Conservative propaganda issued in advance of the rectorial election of 15 November 1890, comprising all five issues of a magazine entitled The College Unionist and leaflets and broadsheets with copies of speeches, newspaper articles. Frequent use is made of cartoons and parodies of well-known ballads.
The Lords Rector of Glasgow University are elected every three years. The election of 1890 was fiercely contested between supporters of the two candidates, the Hon. Arthur Balfour and the Earl of Aberdeen. The propaganda reflects the passion with which the literate public followed political developments at the time. The two candidates were:
Arthur Balfour
(1848-1930), a wealthy Scottish landowner and nephew of the Conservative Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury. At the time of the election he was Chief Secretary for Ireland, in which post he even-handedly took firm measures against agrarian unrest and absentee landlords. He was a staunch opponent of Home Rule. In 1902 he succeeded his uncle as Prime Minister.
Lord Aberdeen
(1847-1934) was a Liberal and a devoted supporter of Gladstone, under whom he had briefly served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1886 (his second term, from 1905 to 1915, would prove a great deal more memorable).
The Conservative campaign stresses Balfour’s firm hand in Ireland and there is much mockery of the stereotypical Irishman:
My name is Bill O’Brien, from New Tipperary flyin’
The heart of ‘Bloody Balfour’ I’m a thorn in’
But before the break of morn, he’ll be cursin’ all forlorn
For I’m off to Philadelphia in the morning’.

Balfour won. Are university politics so lively these days?!
A fascinating collection of third-level political ephemera, approx. 30 items. As a collection, w.a.f. (1)

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