Charles Stewart Parnell 1846Back to List
Charles Stewart Parnell was a leader of Irish Nationalism. He was born in Avondale House, County Wicklow and related to the aristocracy through the Powerscourts.
- The Parnells of Avondale were descended from a Protestant English merchant family, which came to prominence in Congleton, Cheshire, early in the 17th century whereas Baron Congleton two generations held the office of Mayor of Congleton before moving to Ireland.
- The family produced a number of notable figures, including Thomas Parnell (1679–1718), the Irish poet, and Henry Parnell, 1st Baron Congleton (1776–1842), the Irish politician.
- Parnell's grandfather William Parnell (1780–1821), who inherited the Avondale Estate in 1795, was an Irish liberal Party MP for Wicklow from 1817–1820.
Parnell's parents separated when he was six and so he was sent to different schools in England as a boy. When his father died in 1859, he inherited the Avondale estate, while his older brother John inherited another estate in County Armagh.
- The young Parnell studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge (1865–69) but, due to the troubled financial circumstances of the estate he inherited, he was absent a great deal and never completed his degree.
- In 1871, he joined his elder brother John Howard Parnell (1843–1923), who farmed in Alabama (later an Irish Parnellite MP and heir to the Avondale estate), on an extended tour of the United States. Their travels took them mostly through the South and apparently the brothers neither spent much time in centres of Irish immigration nor sought out Irish-Americans.
In 1874, he became High Sheriff of Wicklow, his home county in which he was also an officer in the Wicklow militia. He was noted as an improving landowner who played an important part in opening the south Wicklow area to industrialisation.
His attention was drawn to the theme dominating the Irish political scene of the mid-1870s, Isaac Butt's Home Rule League formed in 1873 to campaign for a moderate degree of self-government. It was in support of this movement that Parnell first tried to stand for election in Wicklow.
|Date of Birth||1st Jan 1846|
|Date of Death||1st Jan 1891|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Delia Tudor Stewart (1816–1898) of Bordentown, New Jersey, daughter of the American naval hero, Admiral Charles Stewart (the stepson of one of George Washington's bodyguards.|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||John Henry Parnell (1811–1859), a wealthy Anglo-Irish Anglican landowner|
|Townland born||Avondale Co Wicklow|
|Number of Siblings||There were eleven children in all: five boys and six girls.|