A Diary of Two Parliaments – Sunday Closing – 1874

Over the coming weeks and months we are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880.

Catch-up with other posts in this series here, or search our library here.

Catch-up with posts in Lord Charles Beresford series here or search our library here.

The Disraeli Parliament 1874-1880

 Friday 8 May 1874


Major O’Gorman on Sunday Closing

Mr. Richard Smyth, endeavouring to obtain the prohibition of the sale of intoxicating liquors in Ireland on the Sunday, led to the disclosure of a wide difference of opinion on the subject amongst the Irish members.

Lord Charles Beresford was specially emphatic in his opposition to the proposal. Hicks Beach declined to adopt the motion on the part of the Government, and an attempt further to carry the discussion was met by cries of “Divide.” On Major O’Gorman presenting himself, however, he was received with loud cheers, and was listened to with profound attention, as beginning by addressing the Speaker as “Mr. Chairman,” and occasionally lapsing into use of the word “gentlemen!” he warmly opposed the motion.

“For ever let the Heavens fall,” said the Major, with hand solemnly uplifted, but “never let it be said that you introduced into Ireland an Act which prevented a poor man going out for a walk on a Sunday  – perhaps a hot Sunday, may be a wet Sunday – with his family, and that he could not get a drop of beer, or porter, or whisky. It is creating one law for the rich and another for the poor, and that” he added, sinking back into his seat, “is a thing I never will stand.”

When the cheers and laughter which this oration evoked had subsided, the House divided, and the motion was rejected by 201 votes against 110.

Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885


Further Reading and External Links

The Author – Henry W Lucy on Wikipedia

Benjamin Disraeli on Wikipedia