Talk:Edward Carson

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Pay no attention to the Open tasks behind the curtain[edit]

The appearance of in this page's ToC of sec'ns that are not visible on the page is a side-effect of a bad design decision in one of the relevant WikiProjects. This talk page needs the ToC to do its job, and i think we can assume that it the project will find a better way of accomplishing its design goals, and eventually give us an accurate ToC.
--Jerzyt 01:25 & 01:42, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Fixed per request at the Wikipedia:Village Pump (technical). Anomie 14:10, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Just when it feels like WP is hurtling into permanent incomprehensibility, Linus's Law delivers again. Thanks to Anomie (apparently NTBCW User:The Anome) (and, for all i know, anonymous others) for the quick resolution of the nagging weirdness. Hmm, does something now need to be done about the nagging weirdness of my now cryptic references to "open tasks behind the curtain"? [wink, shrug]
--Jerzyt 17:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Carson, where was he from?[edit]

Carson was actually born in Portarlington, think about it , Portarlington has a huge Protestant population up until the mid 50's so really he wasn't a "true blue" at all.

I tell you I've just found something interesting, he was born in Dublin alright but he spent the "formative years" of his life in Portarlington where he went to primary school. I could've put any amount of money on him being a Laois man, but like most people he only moved there when he was young, i.e. a child after being born. He may have been born in Dublin but he definately wouldn't be classed as a true blue.

There seems to be some confusion as to whether Carson was elected MP for Dublin University in 1892 as a Conservative or Liberal Unionist. I have come across a number of sources which conflict on this point. In one respect it's not important as the Conservatives and Liberal Unionists were in coalition (and merged in 1911) and for many years Conservatives in England as well as Ireland were simply known as "Unionists". But it should be noted that Carson's political views on most issues other than Irish Home Rule placed him in the tradition on 19th century liberalism rather than conservatism. For this reason, I have replaced the term "Conservative" with "Unionist" in respect of his 1892 election to parliament as MP for Dublin University.

Auto peer review[edit]

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Carson and partition[edit]

This and other articles say that Carson was opposed to partition. When? He certainly supported it in 1920-22, and he seems to have supported it in 1914 by ensuring an exemption for Ulster from the Third Home Rule Bill. I assume that his first desire was to avoid any Home Rule in Ireland, and failing that then to ensure Ulster (or most of it) remained in the UK. That cannot fairly be described as opposing partition: it was an opposition to Home Rule at all, but with a fall-back position. --Henrygb 21:27, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


1910 - explain?[edit]

The opening sentence in the section Unionism that reads, "In 1910, the House of Lords' opposition to the Third Irish Home Rule Bill was about to be overridden through the Parliament Act." This needs to be cleared up. The Third Home Rule Bill was not introduced to the Commons until 1912 and the Lords was "about to be overridden" until 1914. --sony-youthpléigh 08:32, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Life Peer?[edit]

The article refers to Carson being made a life peer in 1921. Yet to the best of my knowledge, there were no life peers then. But I can't find any record of anyone succeeeding to the peerage on Carson's death. Can someone please explain? Millbanks 23:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Law Lords were effectively life peers from 1876 onwards - see Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. Timrollpickering 21:16, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, although they were not technically life peers under the 1958 Act. This is a particular bête noire of mine. --Counter-revolutionary 21:22, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. They should be referred to as Law Lords, not as Life Peers. Ganpati23 (talk) 11:35, 18 August 2016 (UTC)


In the newly available index of wills for England & Wales, we see that Carson left £150,295 18s. 5d. - a huge sum of money for the time. Probate granted to his widow the right honourable Ruby baroness Carson in 1935. PeterClarke 18:08, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

He was the highest paid barrister of his generation. --Counter-revolutionary (talk) 10:08, 18 January 2011 (UTC)


I'm not convinced he did play. Marjoribanks' biography states that he continually suffered from ill health in youth and was unfit for games. --Counter-revolutionary (talk) 10:08, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

He played 'Hurley' which was more akin to hockey than to hurling: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Winslow Boy[edit]

This is a minor point but ought to be cleared up. "The fictional barrister, Morton, is a somewhat different character from Carson, younger and more lively." I suspect this statement is based on Robert Donat's performance in the 1948 film, I doubt if the script mentions his age. In the 1990 TV version he is played as a late middle aged stern and not very likeable character, which I suspect may be closer both to Rattigan's original conception and Carson in real life. PatGallacher (talk) 01:32, 13 February 2011 (UTC)


He also self-identified as an Irish man but also as a unionist, he was not just considered British.Sheodred (talk) 16:51, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

British citizenship, Irish ethnicity - two big differences. I doubt calling him British is controversial and the fact the opening line states he was born in Ireland and the lede makes it clear he was involved in Irish unionism, so is there a need to further ram home his ethncity seeing as we don't do that according to WP:MOSBIO?
As a side-note i thought i'd pop in Anglo-Irish as a possible inbetween solution. Mabuska (talk) 21:53, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
His nationality was Irish. Ethnicity has nothing to do with it. I've added two ref's which address the point.--Domer48'fenian' 08:02, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
What makes one's Nationality? Yes, he was born in Ireland; but he served in Parliament and on the Bench as Law Lord in UK, where he died. --Counter-revolutionary (talk) 10:50, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Having "fenian" in your user signature doesn't inspire one with confidence in your objectivity on this subject. Opera hat (talk) 14:02, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Isn't it easier just to avoid mention of his nationality altogether? It's obvious from the lead paragraph that he was born in the island of Ireland and at a time when it was a part of the United Kingdom. Let readers make of that what they will, according to their own viewpoint. Opera hat (talk) 14:06, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

To the person who decided to bring this old bag of bones up again, it was settled at Irish years ago. Carson was indeed a British citizen but so was every Irish person back then. And still today, this applies to English people, Scottish people, Welsh people and (Northern) Irish people. However British is just too non-descriptive so people in the UK are often identified by what they are regionally. That's why Andy Murray is referred to as Scottish regardless of the fact he represents "Great Britain" and is the "British No.1". Carson may have been a British politician but he's Irish. As for calling Carson "Anglo-Irish", Carson has always been proud of his "Irish" origins not his "Anglo-Irish" origins and identified as "Irish" not "Anglo-Irish". This is why W.B. Yeats is referred to as Irish regardless of the fact his ancestry is in fact Anglo-Irish. Carson played hurling, had an interest in the Irish language and was an Irish patriot. He's Irish, end of discussion. So I hope this old bag of bones is finally put to rest. Stevenbfg (talk) 07:46, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

My apologies; I'd understood from the history that this had arisen before, but hadn't realised that the talk page was the proper forum. Thanks for flagging that for me and I appreciate that we're all in good faith here. But before you proclaim "end of discussion", I'll offer a few fresh bones:
Carson's de jure citizenship I would not, of course, take as determinative. The point is that he was not only a British citizen but identified as British as well as, if not to the exclusion of, being Irish. The point is that the two were NOT mutually exclusive.
This is well illustrated, if consistency with other Wikipedia entries is the criterion, by the Duke of Wellington and David Lloyd George. The former is described as British but "a native of Ireland of Anglo-Irish stock", which is accurate if messy. The latter is described as "British", which is not to deny that he was also Welsh. The two labels were coterminous, as were "Irish" and "British" for those Irishmen pre-1922 who, like Carson, rendered up their cultural and political loyalties to the United Kingdom as a whole.
To me those analogies of 19th/20th century politicians are far more apt than that of Andy Murray, a 21st century tennis player. And even in that particular case, the label "Scottish" is clearly better for him because he himself has consistently and verifiably chosen the tag "Scottish" over "British". Where two nationalities pertain, the individual's choice is important. In the same way that it would be the height of arrogance to tell Andy Murray that he is better described as "British" when he himself prefers "Scottish", it seems strange to describe Carson as "Irish" when he would have said "British". The same holds true with the Yeats comparison; Yeats chose "Irish", and we rightly respect that election. (Likewise Robert Erskine Childers, and Wellington and Lloyd George the other way round.)
That does beg the question of what Carson "would have said", and none of the sources seem directly on point one way or the other. You say that he "identified as Irish" - do we have proof of that? I would have thought that moving to England and becoming a member of the UK Supreme Court (equivalent) after independence was decent evidence the other way. But given what I think is a justifiable emphasis on choice in these circumstances, I'd happily defer to any source indicating that Carson felt himself to be more Irish than British.
The "hurling" point is a bit rich and has already been laid to rest in this same entry (see the penultimate sentence in "Early Life".) What Carson played was far more akin to the (very British) sport of hockey: I'd also like something more than received wisdom on the "interest in the Irish language" point:
Your coup de grace of the BBC source renders him an "Irish patriot, but not a nationalist". Even if we accept that assertion at face value, that still does not take us away from the fact that to be Irish and British were not mutually exclusive in the past (that was the raison d'etre of Grattan's Parliament, after all) and are not mutually exclusive now (post-Good Friday Agreement).
"Anglo-Irish" is, I admit, imperfect. But it at least goes some way toward encapsulating these subtleties. It is surely better than "Irish, end of discussion".
Alternatively, Opera Hat above suggests ducking the issue entirely, which is fairly reasonable. Looking again to the Erskine Childers entry (which reads simply "Irish nationalist"), "Irish unionist" might usefully fit the bill. (talk) 01:57, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Anglo-Irish is an ethnicity, not a nationality. (talk) 16:40, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

What?! It says in the early life section that he was Scots-Irish not Anglo-Irish?! Btw - it's also a social class, and neither a social class or ethnicity belongs in the lead per MOS, right? I don't really wish to comment on this, I have no opinion on what he should be called in the lead - the man is defined by his actions not his bloody ancestry or religion or nationality - but I DO find it amusing that any Irish person would want to 'claim' this guy - after all, he was opposed to home rule and an obvious imperialist. Heh. In life this man divided opinions and in death he continues to do so!-- (talk) 18:13, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

JonC's change to Anglo-Irish[edit]

JonC's claim that there was consensus is quite simply untrue and is very dishonest. There was no consensus despite what he claimed and the long protracted 'discussion' with the same few editors is evident of that. It was interesting and unsurprising to see that the 'editors' here of unionist leanings, leap at this opportunity. Keep your stupid politics out of your editing please. ÓCorcráin (talk) 02:33, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

I pointed out above (on another IP in another part of GB - I am on holiday now) that he is of more direct Scots-Irish ancestry than Anglo-Irish, but I'm not even saying he should be called Scots-Irish!!! Consensus needs to be built, and I really don't see any real agreement for sure.-- (talk) 15:49, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Agreed (talk) 17:27, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
"Irish unionist" is Jonc'S latest effort, and appears to me a very useful way around these difficulties. (talk) 13:03, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Why is his parliamentary seat(s) not listed below his jobs below the photo?[edit]

Normally, on the right hand side, under the photo, after listing all the govt. positions held, the time as an MP is listed. Which seats, which dates, for which party and predecessor and successor.

Can someone who knows the details stick them in, please? Ganpati23 (talk) 11:38, 18 August 2016 (UTC)