He refuses to reduce rent by a penny, while the tenants had been asking for a thirty per cent reduction. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [20], In Belfast in early November 1880, The Boycott Relief Fund was established to arrange an armed expedition to Lough Mask. [12], Within days, the blacksmith, postman, and laundress were persuaded or volunteered to stop serving Boycott. [29] There was a negative reaction to the passing of the act in both England and Ireland. ", According to Joyce Marlow, the word was first used in print by Redpath in the Inter-Ocean on 12 October 1880. [18] The coining of the word, and its first use in print, came before Boycott and his situation was widely known outside County Mayo. "[18][21], William Edward Forster, Chief Secretary for Ireland made it clear in a communication with the proprietor of the Dublin Daily Express that he would not allow an armed expedition of hundreds of men, as the committee was planning, and that 50 unarmed men would be sufficient to harvest the crops. Needless to say, it was from Ireland: Captain Boycott shows up for a meeting and is not happy with the complaining tenants. Boycott himself said that he did not want such a large number of Ulstermen, as he had saved the grain harvest himself, and that only ten or fifteen labourers were needed to save the root crops. (Rating 8/10) Favourite Quotes. [23] He had intended to stay in Dublin for a week, but Boycott was advised to cut his stay short. "[33] The word also entered the lexicon of languages other than English, such as Dutch, French, German, Polish and Russian. A boycott can be as simple as an everyday decision not to … Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott In the autumn of 1880, Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott, a land agent for Lord Eme on his Co. Mayo estate, was called upon by the Land League to reduce rents after a bad harvest. This was the basis for the 1947 film Captain Boycott—directed by Frank Lauder and starred Stewart Granger, Kathleen Ryan, Alastair Sim, and Cecil Parker as Charles Boycott. "[10], During his time in Lough Mask before the controversy began, Boycott had become unpopular with the tenants. [13] Tenant farmers were generally on one-year leases, and could be evicted even if they paid their rents. He died at the age of 65 on 19 June 1897 in his home in Flixton, after an illness earlier that year. [18] The following is Redpath's account:[18], "Well," I said, "When the people ostracise a land-grabber we call it social excommunication, but we ought to have an entirely different word to signify ostracism applied to a landlord or land-agent like Boycott. Unfortunately for Boycott, this was during Ireland’s Land War of 1879-1882. [27] Parnell and Davitt received this news as a victory. He thought that the "land question" was the best way to get the support of the farmers for Irish independence. The British press go to the Boycott estate, followed by a squad of troopers to support him. Some were threatened with violence to ensure compliance. Captain boycott was barely a captain, his parents bottom a spot in the british Army and he quit after just two years at age. [27] The trial attracted thousands of people onto the streets outside the court. [10] He had also withdrawn privileges from the tenants, such as collecting wood from the estate. He was responsible for collecting rents from tenants and evicting those who couldn’t pay. [8] The local receiver had a right to a percentage of the sale and to keep whatever did not sell. Captain Charles Boycott was a British Army veteran who worked as a landlord's agent, a man whose job was to collect rents from tenant farmers on an estate in northwest Ireland. [12], In the nineteenth century, agriculture was the biggest industry in Ireland. [32] In 1888, the word was included in the first volume of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (later known as the Oxford English Dictionary). [13] Many small farmers worked as labourers on the larger farms. [12] The women of the area descended on the process server and the constabulary, and began throwing stones, mud, and manure at them, succeeding in driving them away to seek refuge in Lough Mask House. [12], The process server tried unsuccessfully to serve the notices the following day. The family changed the spelling of its name from Boycatt to Boycott in 1841. This speech set out the Land League's powerful weapon of social ostracism, which was first used against Charles Boycott. The survey found that almost all land was the property of just 10,000 people, or 0.2% of the population. In 1880, as part of its campaign for the Three Fs (fair rent, fixity of tenure, and free sale) and specifically in resistance to proposed evictions on the estate, local activists of the Irish National Land League encouraged Boycott's employees (including the seasonal workers required to harvest the crops on Lord Erne's estate) to withdraw their labour, and began a campaign of isolation against Boycott in the local community. He leased a farm in County Tipperary, where he acted as a landlord on a small scale. [36] He had a passion for horses and racing, and became secretary of the Bungay race committee. [10] He had become a magistrate and was an Englishman, which may have contributed to his unpopularity,[10] but according to Marlow it was due more to his personal temperament. [8], In 1873, Boycott moved to Lough Mask House, owned by Lord Erne, four miles (6 km) from Ballinrobe in County Mayo. [18][19] According to Becker, "Personally he is protected, but no woman in Ballinrobe would dream of washing him a cravat or making him a loaf. [4][5], Boycott's regiment transferred to Belfast shortly after his arrival. [36] Charles Boycott's widow, Annie, was subsequently sued over the funeral expenses and other debts, and had to sell some assets. [11] Lord Erne also owned properties in Dublin. "[34] The New York Times said, "For private reasons the visitor made the voyage incognito, being registered simply as 'Charles Cunningham. [13], Landlords generally divided their estates into smaller farms that they rented to tenant farmers. ORIGIN This verb is from the name of Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832-97), land agent for the Earl of Erne, County Mayo, Ireland, who, with … '"[19] Boycott had been advised to leave, but he told Becker that "I can hardly desert Lord Erne, and, moreover, my own property is sunk in this place. Boycott left Ireland on December 1, 1880, in disgrace, his name forever attached to a campaign to bring down tyrants. [36] In Brindisi, he became seriously ill, and had to return to England. [7], After receiving an inheritance, Boycott was persuaded by his friend, Murray McGregor Blacker, a local magistrate, to move to Achill Island, a large island off the coast of County Mayo. [14] In the 1870s, the Fenians tried to organise the tenant farmers in County Mayo to resist eviction. He is the eponym for … Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott was an unpopular English landlord who moved to the Ballinrobe area in 1873 after an inheritance allowed him to take a thirty-one year lease on three hundred acres near Lough Mask. The film Captain Boycott … [34], In 1886, Boycott became a land agent for Hugh Adair's Flixton estate in Suffolk, England. [11] He owned 40,386 acres (163.44 km2) of land in Ireland, of which 31,389 were in County Fermanagh, 4,826 in County Donegal, 1,996 in County Sligo, and 2,184 in County Mayo. "[8] Clarke later withdrew his allegations, and said that Boycott did not actually owe him any money. [18] Plans soon gained momentum, and within days, the fund had received many subscriptions. The campaign against Boycott became a cause célèbre in the British press after he wrote a letter to The Times. At the time, landlords, many of whom were British, were exploiting Irish tenant farmers. Captain Boycott listens to the arguments of his tenants but says he will not be dictated to. A Daily Express reporter wrote that the court reminded him "more of the stalls of the theatre on opera night". Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. [3], Boycott was educated at a boarding school in Blackheath, London. In 1880, prominent Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, President of the Irish Land League which represented tenants' rights, held a public speech against the landlords. Given the growing commercial boycott of Facebook as a result of the swelling volumes of hate speech and misinformation, I thought people might be interested in the story of where the word ‘boycott’ actually comes from. One of the more fervent examples of consumer empowerment can be found in the concept of the boycott. [32] According to Gary Minda in his book, Boycott in America: how imagination and ideology shape the legal mind, "Apparently there was no other word in the English language to describe this dispute. Corrections? [13] In 1876, the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland commissioned a survey to find who owned the land in Ireland. [17] On 14 October of that year, Boycott wrote a letter to The Times about his situation:[17]. Shown above is Captain Charles Boycott, apparently wearing a jacket derived from his Norfolk homeland. Fifty Orangemen from County Cavan and County Monaghan travelled to Lord Erne's estate to harvest the crops, while a regiment of the 19th Royal Hussars and more than 1,000 men of the Royal Irish Constabulary were deployed to protect the harvesters. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Cunningham-Boycott, History Ireland - Captain Boycott: man and myth, Charles Cunningham Boycott - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). [12] Boycott's young nephew volunteered to act as postman, but he was intercepted en route between Ballinrobe and Lough Mask, and told that he would be in danger if he continued. [30] According to The Annual Register, the act was "probably the most important measure introduced into the House of Commons since the passing of the Reform Bill". [30] The act set up the Irish Land Commission, a judicial body that would fix rents for a period of 15 years and guarantee fixity of tenure. Murphy. [13], In the 1850s, some tenant farmers formed associations to demand the three Fs: fair rent, fixity of tenure, and free sale. ", He looked down, tapped his big forehead, and said: "How would it do to call it to Boycott him? He had served in the British Army 39th Foot, which brought him to Ireland. [8], Both Boycott and McGregor Blacker were involved in a protracted dispute with Mr Carr, the agent for the Achill Church Mission Estate, from whom McGregor Blacker leased the lands, and Mr O'Donnell, Carr's bailiff. Boycott couldn’t get anyone to harvest the crops and, in the end, 50 members of the Protestant Orange Order volunteered to do the reaping. "[15] The crowd responded, "kill him", "shoot him". [13] The majority were small landlords, but the 750 richest landlords owned half of the country between them. [10] In August 1880, his labourers went on strike in a dispute over a wage increase. Boycott also acted as estate agent for Lord Erne, who was an absentee landlord.. One of Boycott's responsibilities was to collect rents from tenant farmers on the land,[10] for which he earned ten per cent of the total rent due to Lord Erne, which was £500 each year. [18] The Freeman's Journal denounced the organisers of the expedition, and asked, "How is it that this Government do not consider it necessary to prosecute the promoters of these warlike expeditions? By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. When a man takes a farm from which another has been evicted, you must shun him on the roadside when you meet him – you must shun him in the streets of the town – you must shun him in the shop – you must shun him on the fair green and in the market place, and even in the place of worship, by leaving him alone, by putting him in moral Coventry,[note 1] by isolating him from the rest of the country, as if he were the leper of old – you must show him your detestation of the crime he committed. [29], William Edward Forster argued that a Coercion Act—which would punish those participated in events like those at Lough Mask, and would include the suspension of habeas corpus—should be introduced before any Land Act. portrait of Captain Boycott – from The Illustrated London News – 10 th July 1897. [8] With money from another inheritance and profits from farming, he built a large house near Dooagh. I say nothing about the danger to my own life, which is apparent to anybody who knows the country. Ostracism won't do – the peasantry would not know the meaning of the word – and I can't think of any other. Boycott responds in 1880 by serving eviction notices. [8] In response to this accusation, Boycott sued Carr for libel and claimed £500 in damages. Editorial - IN the various subdued discussions in corners of all the places where we drink quietly, about what we do next, we sometimes hear the word "boycott". Facebook and Captain Boycott. [36], In early 1897, Boycott's health became very poor. [14], Michael Davitt was the son of a small tenant farmer in County Mayo who became a journalist and joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood. [23] A carriage had been hired for the family, but no driver could be found for it, and an army ambulance and driver had to be used. All the people have to say is that they are sorry, but that they 'dare not. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. [18] On 29 October, the Dublin Daily Express published a letter proposing a fund to finance a party of men to go to County Mayo to save Boycott's crops. [33], After leaving Ireland, Boycott and his family visited the United States. Robert Donat makes a cameo appearance as the Irish nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell.. Charles Boycott, an Englishman by birth, rented a farm from Lord Erne three miles from Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. Local suppliers of goods and services declined to do business with Boycott. The tenants didn’t like that very much. The process server successfully delivered notices to three of the tenants, but a fourth, Mrs Fitzmorris, refused to accept the notice and began waving a red flag to alert other tenants that the notices were being served. [27] On 24 January 1881, the judge dismissed the jury, it having been hung ten to two in favour of acquittal. [18] Between them, the Daily Express, The Daily Telegraph, Daily News, and News Letter raised £2,000 to fund the relief expedition. [18] In November 1880, an article in the Birmingham Daily Post referred to the word as a local term in connection to the boycotting of a Ballinrobe merchant. [11], Boycott agreed to be Lord Erne's agent for 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) he owned in County Mayo. [14] Charles Stewart Parnell, then Member of Parliament for Meath and member of the Home Rule League, arranged to have Davitt released on probation. The boycott garnered national attention when the Captain wrote a letter to the London Times as to his situation. robert-donat Captain Boycott retired from the army to become a land agent in Ireland. [27], On 28 December 1880, Parnell and other Land League leaders were put on trial on charges of conspiracy to prevent the payment of rent. [38], English land agent who operated in Lough Mask, "Captain Boycott" redirects here. [34] Boycott returned to England after some months. [4] He was discharged from the academy in 1849 after failing a periodic exam,[4] and the following year his family bought him a commission in the 39th Foot regiment for £450. [36] His health continued to deteriorate, and on 19 June 1897 he died at his home in Flixton, aged 65. In September 1880, after Boycott had attempted to serve writs of eviction, Charles Stewart Parnell, the president of the Land League and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party (commonly called the Irish Nationalist Party), urged that, without resort to violence, the tenants should avoid any communication with those who refused their demand for lower rents. [12] He then issued demands for the outstanding rents, and obtained eviction notices against eleven tenants. [10] Joyce Marlow wrote that Boycott had become set in his mode of thought, and that his twenty years on Achill had "...strengthened his innate belief in the divine right of the masters, and the tendency to behave as he saw fit, without regard to other people's point of view or feelings. The harvest that year wasn’t turning out well for many farmers, so as a concession to tenants, Boycott decided to reduce their rent by 10%. [22], The expedition experienced hostile protests on their route through County Mayo, but there was no violence, and they harvested the crops without incident. Boycott, who has always denied the assault, later questioned why the issue had been raised by the media. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. [29], In April 1881, Gladstone introduced the Land Law (Ireland) Act 1881, in which the principle of the dual ownership of the land between landlords and tenants was established, and the three Fs introduced. More recently the story was the subject of the 2012 novel Boycott, by Colin C. Murphy. When I was in school my favorite subjects were history and languages. Based on real events, this historical drama is set in 19th-century Ireland, when poverty-stricken tenants dispossessed by greedy landowner Capt. [15] He asked the crowd, "What do you do with a tenant who bids for a farm from which his neighbour has been evicted? Captain Boycott is a 1947 British historical drama film directed by Frank Launder and starring Stewart Granger, Kathleen Ryan, Mervyn Johns, Alastair Sim and Cecil Parker. My blacksmith has received a letter threatening him with murder if he does any more work for me, and my laundress has also been ordered to give up my washing. He refused to do so. [12] Boycott said that many of his servants were forced to leave "under threat of ulterior consequences". [18] The committee had arranged with the Midland Great Western Railway for special trains to transport the expedition from Ulster to County Mayo. In some ways, it’s actually quite a funny story. [12], Before October 1880, Boycott's situation was little known outside County Mayo. In an attempt to improve his health, he and his wife went on a cruise to Malta. [25], Boycotting had strengthened the power of the peasants,[26] and by the end of 1880 there were reports of boycotting from all over Ireland. [30], According to James Redpath, the verb "to boycott" was coined by Father O'Malley in a discussion between them on 23 September 1880. [15] Parnell replied:[16]. Charles Cunningham Boycott (12 March 1832 – 19 June 1897) was an English land agent whose ostracism by his local community in Ireland gave the English language the verb "to boycott".He had served in the British Army 39th Foot, which brought him to Ireland.After retiring from the army, Boycott worked as a land agent for Lord Erne (John Crichton, 3rd Earl Erne), a landowner in the … MEANING to boycott: to refuse to have dealings with a person, organisation, etc., or to refuse to buy a product, as a protest or means of coercion. [29] Eventually, the Speaker of the house intervened, and a measure was introduced whereby the Speaker could control the house if there was a three to one majority in favour of the business being urgent. My farm is public property; the people wander over it with impunity. Patriotic farmer Hugh Davin (Stewart Granger) leads the rebels. Denness was sacked after the first Test of the series against Australia in 1975, but Boycott did not care much for Tony Greig, the next captain, either. [29] When Forster attempted to introduce the Protection of Person and Property Act 1881, Parnell and other Land League MPs attempted to obstruct its passage with tactics such as filibustering. [29] This was the first time that a check was placed on a debate in a British parliament. [8][9], Boycott was involved in a number of disputes while on Achill. Captain Boycott is a 1947 British historical drama film directed by Frank Launder and starring Stewart Granger, Kathleen Ryan, Mervyn Johns, Alastair Sim and Cecil Parker. Captain Boycott (1947) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. [31] Still in 1880, The Illustrated London News described how "To 'Boycott' has already become a verb active, signifying to 'ratten', to intimidate, to 'send to Coventry', and to 'taboo'". He also became an agent on the nearly one thousand five hundred acres estate of Lord Erne. Boycott remained in Mayo as Lord Erne’s agent until 1886, when he became an agent for estates in Suffolk. [8] In 1860 Carr wrote a letter to the Official Receiver of Wrecks stating that Boycott and his men had illegally broken up a wreck and moved the salvage to Boycott's property. Charles Cunningham Boycott was born in 1832 to Reverend William Boycatt and his wife Georgiana. [12] He had agreed to a 10 per cent reduction owing to a poor harvest, but all except two of his tenants demanded a 25 per cent reduction. [8] Two years after his arrival, he was unsuccessfully sued for assault by Thomas Clarke, a local man. He feared that a large number of Ulstermen would lead to sectarian violence. Conditions in Ireland quickly eased after William Ewart Gladstone’s Land Act of 1881 instituted fair-rent tribunals. His employees stopped working, local businesses wouldn’t take his money, and even … Captain Boycott is a 1947 British historical drama film directed by Frank Launder and starring Stewart Granger, Kathleen Ryan, Mervyn Johns, Alastair Sim and Cecil Parker. If you guessed that at a certain point Captain Boycott became quite unpopular with the masses, you’re correct. Charles Cunningham Boycott, (born March 12, 1832, Burgh St. Peter, Norfolk, Eng.—died June 19, 1897, Flixton, Suffolk), retired British army captain who was an estate manager in Ireland during the agitation over the Irish land question.
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