Martin Nutty Profile picture
25 Mar, 21 tweets, 14 min read
Michael Davitt, refugee, physically disadvantaged, revolutionary, agrarian agitator, parliamentarian, journalist, author and servant of his people was born #OnThisDay 175 years ago in Sraide, #Mayo

@davittmuseum @visitmayo @mayotourism @MayoTrails @MayoDotIE #GlobalIrishNation
2) Davitt was born during the #GreatFamine into a family of #Irish speaking tenant farmers who were evicted from their land when he was just 4 years old

3) Landless, Davitt’s family were now economic refugees and opted to leave their home first to #Liverpool and then onwards to Haslingden a cotton milling town in #Lancashire
3) Landless, Davitt’s family were now economic refugees and opted to leave their home first to #Liverpool and then onwards to Haslingden a cotton milling town in #Lancashire
4) Davitt started working in the mills at 9 years of age. Two years later his arm got caught in mill machinery and had to be amputated. Sadly child labor and mill maimings were not unusual in #Victorian #England
5) Davitt was more fortunate than many injured children as a local philanthropist arranged for his education at a Wesleyan school. By 1861, Davitt secured a job at Haslingden’s post office/ printer
6) During this period, Davitt appears to have been deeply influenced by the Chartist movement which was agitating for universal male suffrage
7) Davitt’s increasing radicalization led him to become a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood which was dedicated to the armed overthrow of British rule in #Ireland
8) Davitt’s activities with the IRB would result in his arrest and conviction of treason felony at the Old Bailey with a sentence of 15 years in 1870
9) Davitt would serve more than 7 years of his sentence, the bulk of which was spent in the notorious #Dartmoor prison. The harsh prison regime would permanently scar his health. In 1877, he was released under political pressure from the #Irish Home Rule Party
10) On his return to #Ireland, Davitt began writing and speaking of his life experiences to public acclaim. He returned to #Mayo in 1878 and it was there that he began a political transition to an emphasis on land reform
11) Davitt was central to the establishment of the Irish Land League in 1879 with Charles Stuart Parnell as President and Davitt as one of the organizations three secretaries. The new organization agitated for fairer treatment of #Irish tenant farmers
12) The Land League would achieve a notable success with the shunning action against Charles Boycott in #Mayo in 1880. Davitt worked to establish branches of the organization across #Ireland and travelled to America on fundraising speaking tours
13) While the Land League was non violent in nature, the associated agitation would unsurprisingly spill over into violence. The #British government would respond with the heavy handed Coercion Acts which would result in the reimprisonment of Davitt at Millbank in #London
14) While imprisoned, Davitt would be elected to Parliament in a #Meath by election in 1882. The outcome would be disqualified by his status as prisoner. Parnell and many members of his IPP party would also be imprisoned
15) The impasse between the #British government and supporters of the Land War was resolved with the Kilmainham Treaty in 1882. The agreement would spell the end of the Land League and result in a cooling of relationship between Parnell and Davitt
15) Increasingly Davitt’s career would focus on speaking, traveling and writing. He would marry Mary Yore an Irish American woman in 1886. Together they would have 5 children
16) Davitt was elected to Parliament in 1893 and spoke in favor of Home Rule. However personal bankruptcy would force him to resign to put his finances in order. Davitt would return to #Westminster in 1895
17) Davitt would virulently oppose the 2nd Boer War (1899-1902) in #SouthAfrica. He resigned his seat in Parliament in protest and in 1900 travelled for three months in the conflict zone visiting Irish troops serving in Boer units
18) Davitt continued to play a role in the Irish land movement but the struggle was increasingly dominated by the IPP whose conservative approach was at odds with Davitt’s left wing radicalism
19) Davitt died prematurely in 1906 as a result of septicemia caused by a botched tooth extraction. He is buried in Sraide in #Mayo. For more on Davitt, @DIB_RIA provides a fine detailed biography at =>…


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More from @mnutty

26 Mar
165 years ago #OnThisDay, William Ferguson Massey (1856 - 1925), the 13th prime minister of #NewZealand was born in #Ireland to a small farming Protestant family

#BOTD #OTD Image
2) In 1862, Massey’s parents emigrated to #NewZealand leaving their 6 year old child behind to complete his education He was raised by his grandmother and uncle and at age 14 followed his parents in 1870 to #Auckland Image
3) By 1876 Massey settled in Mangere on the outskirts of #Auckland where he leased a 100 acre farm and bought a threshing machine to provide supplemental income. Image
Read 13 tweets
24 Mar
106 years ago, one of #Ireland's giants of #Astronomy, Margaret Lindsay Murray Huggins (1848 - 1915), passed #OnThisDay

#HERstory #STEM #GLobalIrishNation #OTD Margaret Lindsay Huggins
2) Margaret Lindsay Murray was born in #Dublin in 1848 and lost her mother her mother, Helen Lindsay, while still a child. In the absence of her mother, she seems to have developed a shared interest in Astronomy with her paternal #Scottish banker grandfather Robert Murray
3) Margaret seems to have been self educated, delving into #astronomy and developing photographic skills which became important for her future research in astronomical spectrography which involves the examination of light spectrums emitted by planets, stars and nebulae
Read 8 tweets
23 Mar
Multiple #Oscars winner and #Hollywood studio executive , Cedric Gibbons (1890 - 1960) was born 121 years ago #OnThisDay.

There is some dispute as to whether he was born in #Ireland or in #Brooklyn

#GlobalIrishNation #IrishDiaspora #OTD #BOTD Image
2) Gibbons started out his career in the #movies in the art department of the #NYC based Edison Studios where his architect father Austin was employed. After serving in the @USNavy in #WWI. Gibbons, followed the migration of the film business to #Hollywood Image
3) Gibbons had a career of more than 30 years at @mgmstudios. He would become a founding member of @TheAcademy and design the famous #artdeco #Oscars statuette Image
Read 5 tweets
22 Mar
#Irish artist, Sarah Purser (1848 - 1943) was born #OnThisDay 173 years ago. Her family was prosperous with a background in brewing. Shortly after her birth, her father Benjamin decided to move the family from #Dublin south to Dungarvan in #Waterford

#OTD #BOTD #HERstory Image
2) Sarah would go to finishing school in #Switzerland where she learned to speak French and began painting. On her return to #Ireland she enrolled in the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and would go on to attend the Académie Julian in #Paris Image
3) In the early 1870s Benjamin’s businesses collapsed and Sarah now had to rely on her ability to generate income from art commissions. While she did some landscape and genre painting, portraiture appeared to be her metier

#MaudGonne #WBYeats ImageImage
Read 7 tweets

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