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Figures of Authority in Nineteenth-Century Ireland$
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Raphaël Ingelbien and Susan Galavan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622409

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622409.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Undermined Authority: John Reynolds and Dublin Corporation

Undermined Authority: John Reynolds and Dublin Corporation

(p.57) 3 Undermined Authority: John Reynolds and Dublin Corporation
Figures of Authority in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

James H. Murphy


This chapter sketches the municipal career of John Reynolds (1794-1868), a member of Dublin corporation, the city’s city council, between the 1840s and 1860s. Reynolds sat together with Daniel O’Connell on the corporation following the reform of that body in the early 1840s, yet he clashed with O’Connell over taxation. Later he campaigned for the abolition of minister’s money (a city tax to benefit the established church) and the freeman parliamentary franchise which favoured the Ascendancy and which may have cost him his own parliamentary seat. He had a disastrous year as Lord Mayor in 1850, easily allowing himself to be provoked into outbursts of rage, a habit that undermined his authority. Reynolds saw himself as combating the anti-Catholic sectarian animus of the former Dublin Tory ruling class but also sometimes played it up for his own advantage. The Tories on the corporation were riled by his pugilistic, populist approach to issues. With his early political and analytical skills much reduced, Reynolds never became the figure of authority he might have been.

Keywords:   John Reynolds, Dublin corporation, local politics, franchise

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