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Loyal National Repeal Association of Ireland scrapbook

Collection MS-2007-019: Loyal National Repeal Association of Ireland scrapbook


  • Creation: 1837-1864

Scope and Contents

The collection includes blank membership cards, certificates, forms, tickets to events, and other ephemera issued by the Loyal National Repeal Association of Ireland and originally housed in a scrapbook created by the Association's secretary Thomas Mathew Ray. There are also a number of items of Daniel O'Connell memorabilia.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Historical Note

The Loyal National Repeal Association was founded in 1841 by Irish politician Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), the leader of the movement for the repeal of the Act of Union (1800) between Great Britain and Ireland. Through a central administration in Dublin, the organization sought to demonstrate overwhelming popular support for Repeal to the British Government. O'Connell fostered mass participation in the organization at local and national levels through meetings, speeches, establishment of Repeal reading rooms throughout Ireland, and in fundraising and mobilization of the electorate. He declared 1843 "Repeal Year" and began a series of large-scale public demonstrations, popularly referred to as "monster meetings". The British Government banned a critical meeting at Clontarf, near Dublin, in October 1843 and arrested and imprisoned O'Connell and several colleagues for sedition. Upon his release the following year O'Connell tried to revive the Repeal campaign, claiming he would achieve repeal in only six months. When this promise was not kept, O'Connell's power began to diminish. By 1846 the organization had lost its political influence as O'Connell's health declined and the Irish public turned its attention from Repeal to the economic and social catastrophe of the Great Famine.

Thomas Mathew Ray (1801-1881) was Secretary of Daniel O'Connell's Precursor Society, 1838-1840, and held the same post for the Loyal National Repeal Association throughout its existence, writing nearly all the association's correspondence. He was arrested and charged with sedition, along with O'Connell and several others, in 1843. He was convicted, but the decision was reversed on appeal the following year.


Boase, Frederic. Modern English Biography, Vol. 3. London: Frank Cass, 1965.

Connolly, S.J., ed. Oxford Companion to Irish History, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Crone, John S., ed. Concise Dictionary of Irish Biography. Dublin: The Talbot Press.

Fitzpatrick, William J. History of the Dublin Catholic Cemeteries. Dublin: 1900.

Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty, eds. New Dictionary of Irish History from 1800, 2 nd edition. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 2003

O'Connell, Maurice R., ed. Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell. Vol. 5, 1833-1836. Dublin: Irish University Press for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1972.


2.25 Linear Feet (2 containers)

Language of Materials



The Loyal National Repeal Association of Ireland scrapbook contains primarily ephemeral material relating to the operation of the association, including membership cards, tickets, broadsides, certificates, cards, and forms.


Arranged in four series: I. Membership cards, II. Tickets, III. Other ephemera, and IV. Preservation photocopies and original scrapbook pieces.

Custodial History

According to Helen Landreth, curator of the Irish Collection at Boston College from 1948 to 1978, this scrapbook was assembled by Thomas Mathew Ray (1801-1881), the Secretary of the Loyal National Repeal Association.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time. Notes on file indicate that this item may have been a gift of Mary Slattery, proprietor of the Irish Book Shop in New York in approximately 1949. It was transferred from the Burns Library cataloging department in 2003.

Related Materials

Daniel O'Connell Collection, MS.1995.011, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Processing Information

These materials were originally housed in a scrapbook, which was disassembled for preservation purposes. Photocopies of the scrapbook pages were made to document original order. These are included in the collection.

Loyal National Repeal Association of Ireland Scrapbook
Shelley Barber, 2010; Rachael Young
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States