Meath election – 9th July 1841

MEATH COUNTY ELECTION.—RETURN OF MR. O’CONNELL. —TRIM, FRIDAY [9th July], Four o’Clock P.M.—Daniel O’ConnelI, Esq., has just been returned for this county, in conjunction with Mr. Grattan. Mr. Corbally retired, in order to give the seat to Mr. O’Connell, in the event of Tory corruption defeating him in Dublin. [O’Connell was also returned for County Cork and chose to sit for Cork]. Both Grattan and O’Connell were Repealers. At the subsequent by-election Matthew Corbally was elected unopposed as a Whig. He had previously been the M.P. briefly after Morgan O’Connell’s retirement in 1840. 

The above text was found on p.6, 17th July 1841 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

The text below is taken from the Spectator also on 17th July 1841. Both papers took a strongly anti-Tory stance.

MEATH. Mr. Corbally has retired, to make way for Mr. O’Connell ; who, with Mr. Henry Grattan, was returned without opposition on Friday ; being proposed by Mr. Corbally himself.

The Times on the 20th July reported things rather differently. It was fiercely pro-Tory, and very anti-Whig, anti-Catholic, and very anti-Daniel O’Connell.



It is said that Mr. Corbaly, who was so unceremoniously kicked out of the representation of this county to make room for the great rejected of Dublin, actually had a large party engaged for dinner at Corbalton Hall to celebrate his re-election for Meath, and when the fatal tidings arrived that he was to be thrown overboard, he expressed his indignation against Mr. O’Connell in  no very measured terms, personal chastisement being more than hinted at. Mr. Henry Grattan too, fumes and flusters at the insult put on the men of Meath by Mr. O’Connell in first accepting the seat merely as a warming-pan tiIl his election for Cork county was secured then scurvily giving the go-by to the sheep ticklers, and, said Mr. Henry Grattan, inflicting at the same time the additional blow of leaving the county but half represented at the opening of Parliament.

Morgan O’Connell (1804 – 1885)  who was Daniel O’Connell’s second son had been M.P. for Meath between 1832 and 1840. Morgan purchased a commission in Simon Bolivar’s Irish Legion even though he was only 15 years old. He survived that, and during his return home in 1821 caught tropical fever, got shipwrecked twice. He was still only seventeen when he returned. On his return his father said ” His South American adventure had made a man of him. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to tame him down to the sobriety of business.”

Morgan fought a duel with Lord Alvanley, on his father’s behalf, on 4 May 1835 at Chalk Farm. Daniel O’Connell had vowed in 1816 never to fight a duel again. He had killed John D’Esterre in a duel in February 1815, which didn’t prevent him almost immediately trying  to fight a duel with Sir Robert Peel. But by 1816 he had seen the error of his ways. Morgan was challenged to a duel by Benjamin Disraeli in December 1835 following astonishingly anti-semitic abuse of Disraeli by Dan, but refused.

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