Captain Boycott II

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by elilily
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Social Studies

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Captain Boycott II

CAPTAIN BOYCOTT'S CROP Harpers Weekly, December 18, 1880"Lough Mask Farm, which is likely to become a famous place in the history of Ireland, is situated in the county of Cannaught, almost in the centre of the district know as the "nursery of the Land League," the first meeting of that organization having been held at Balla, a village near Castlebar. Captain BOYCOTT, besides managing his own farm, has been for some years agent to Lord ERNE, who, it is said, bears an excellent reputation as a landlord. Captain BOYCOTT himself is spoken of by some as a kindly hearted man, who not only never did any one any harm, but had done all he possible could for the benefit of the tenants; on the other hand, it is alleged that he is eccentric and domineering, and that he has subjected the tenants and laborers to a series of petty deprivations and humiliations which have exasperated them without benefiting the landlord. Be that as it may, the attempt to serve a number of ejectments in September last led the tenants to appeal to Lord ERNE to dismiss him. His lordship refused, and from that day Captain BOYCOTT became a marked man. No labourer dared to work for him, no tradesman to serve him with goods. He was isolated by order of the Land Leaguers, and was compelled to accept the service of constabulary to protect the lives of himself and family. His case is a typical one, and for some time attracted little attention, although he and his wife and daughters were left to get in the crops as best they could.A newspaper correspondent first started the idea of sending assistance to Captain BOYCOTT. He soon flooded the correspondence offering every kind of co-operation, and one person alone promised to get together 30,000 volunteers. Mr FORESTER, Chief Secretary for Ireland, at once vetoed the project of an armed invasion, at the some time offering to afford military protection to whatever number of men were required for the bona fide purpose of saving the crops. It was accordingly decided to pick out some fifty or sixty from the great number of Cavan and Monaghan men who were anxious to go. Under military protection these men harvested Captain BOYCOTT'S crops, and then returned to their own homes. The cost of this singular expedition was about ten thousand pounds, while the value of the harvest gathered did not, it is said, exceed five hundred pounds. Captain BOYCOTT and his family have since left Ireland. The people of the country were very much incensed by his success in getting his crops gathered, and, although his family was treated with respect, he was hooted and cursed wherever he appeared.

Captain Boycott!

Why ?

In the autumn of 1880, Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott, a land agent for Lord Eme on his Co. Mayo estate, was called upon by the Land League to reduce rents after a bad harvest. He refused to do so.

Boycott had to hire men Orangemen from Ulster to bring in the harvest, and he had 1,000 soldiers for protection. A large amount of publicity resulted from the event, and Boycott was forced to return to England with his family

From then on, the word 'boycott' has been widely used to describe the shunning of people, organisations or countries that do not respect human rights. The tactic of boycotting was used widely in Ireland during the Land War. Therefore, not only did the people of Mayo successfully organise against Captain Boycott, but they also added a new word to the English language.



Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

Due to Captain Boycott's hard-heartedness towards the tenants who were facing great hardship, the Land League organised a 'moral coventry' against boycott and the tenants refused to have any dealings with him. This meant he had no one to bring in the harvest on the estate that he managed.


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