Joseph Blake, 3rd Baron Wallscourt

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Joseph Henry Blake, 3rd Baron Wallscourt (2 June 1797 – 28 May 1849) was an Irish nobleman and pioneering socialist.

Blake (one of The Tribes of Galway) was the eldest son of Colonel Henry James Blake, younger brother of Joseph Blake, 1st Baron Wallscourt. He grew up on the Ardfry estate near in Maree, where his father was the estate agent. He was educated at Eton before joining the 85th Regiment of Foot at the age of 15. When, at 18, he unexpectedly inherited the Ardfry estate and the Wallscourt title on the death of his first cousin, he abandoned his military career.

It was during subsequent travels in Europe, according to Wallscourt, that he was first impressed by "some of the theories, then much debated, for lifting the labourer into the position of partner with the capitalist." Following a visit to the co-operative commune at Ralahine in County Clare–about 40 miles from his home–he attempted to implement socialist theories on his own estate. The results, evidently, were mixed, but he persisted until his early death of cholera in Paris.

In the last years of his life, Wallscourt joined the Irish Confederation, but, while he supported the French revolutionaries of 1848, he could not be convinced that armed revolution was a practical proposition in the famine-stricken Ireland of that time.

Sources[edit]

Cunningham, John. Lord Wallscourt of Ardfry (1797-1849): an early Irish socialist, Journal of the Galway Archaeological & Historical Society, vol.57 (2005), pp. 90–112.

See also[edit]

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Joseph Henry Blake
Baron Wallscourt
1816–1849
Succeeded by
Erroll Augustus Blake