Searching for Arms at Tralee Station and Chasing an Armed Peasant

Searching for Arms at Tralee Station and Chasing an Armed Peasant.

Searching for Arms at Tralee Station and Chasing an Armed Peasant

Presenting a part of the Murphy-Proud Collection of RARE 19th Century Illustrations from the original newspapers of the Illustrated London News (ILN).

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Murphy-Proud Introduction PDF

This LARGE framed and matted original print depicts the famous scene of Searching for Arms at Tralee Station and Chasing an Armed Peasant..

This scene evokes POWERFUL memories of the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood or Fenians) and the Land War that raged in Ireland during the 19th Century, after the Great Irish Potato Famine.

The scene was sketched and recorded by what the ILN and appeared on the Cover of the ILN Edition for the 4th December 1886.

The Print features 2 Sketches;

(!) Raid on a Third Class Railway Carriage at Tralee Station in Search of Arms, and

(2) Constabulary Chasing an Armed Peasant. 

Many Irish Tenant Farmers were evicted from their rented cottages by Local Landlords due to their inability to pay rent or tithe to the Lord. Most Tenant Farmers rented their cottage on an average holding of no more than a couple of acres from their local Landlord. During the Great Famine…..due to the complete failure of the potato crop over a few years in a row…..many tenant farmers could not afford to pay their rent and forcible evictions became commonplace. In reaction to these injustices the Land Wars began. Rebellion and insurection were the order of the day.

The Irish economy took generations to recover.

Left with quite literally ‘nothing’….. many of these people decided to make the hazardous trans-Atlantic crossing, to start a new life in the New World (America).

Many stayed to fight the oppression of the British Empire and its unfair laws as exemplified by the Coercion Acts..

Artist unknown.




1879-89 The Land War The agrarian agitators followed their own long tradition which had been firmly established in the Tithe War (1821). On the one hand landlords were shot and intimidated. On the other, security of tenure was maintained even against forced evictions by imposing a fierce discipline on local people. Those who attempted to take holdings from which people had been evicted and those who-when shortly afterwards a rent strike was declared-paid any rents at all were mercilessly intimidated-by boycott, by shooting (usually in the leg), by murder, by the maiming of animals.

Castleisland was a centre of really serious and prolonged disorder. The first outrage nearby occurred on 10 September 1879 when a band of armed men reinstated in her holding the evicted Widow Leary. The hated land agent Sam Hussey retorted, in future, by burning the houses of those evicted. Fire was met by fire. Eventually, in 1884, Hussey was himself burned out. As a foreshadowing of things to come, 11 policemen in the district, disgusted by the evictions, resigned. This agrarian disorder was the work of groups, in the Whiteboy tradition, called 'moonlighters'. It is claimed that the first group of moonlighters was formed in Castleisland in 1879. It was necessary to institute nightly patrols by some 140 soldiers and police to limit moonlighting in the area. A special police tax was imposed on the Castleisland area until the worst of the trouble had ceased early in 1884. (Discovering Kerry, p. 119)

While the Church generally strongly disapproved of this violence, especially the Bishop of Kerry, not all priests were so moved. One, in a sermon admonishing his parishioners on the evils of drink, lectured: "It's whiskey makes you "bate" your wives; it's whiskey makes your houses desolate; it's whiskey makes you shoot your landlords; and it's whiskey makes you miss them." (Discovering Kerry, p. 120)

1881- Land Commission established. Transfer of land to small owners. Parliamentary bills were passed in 1884 (the Ashbourne Lane Act) and 1903 (the Wyndham Act) which first allowed, but then financed, the purchase of property by tenants. It also provided for the establishment of fair rents for those who could not yet purchase the land they were living and working on. The result on one Co. Limerick piece of property was that the rent was first established as being 9£ and 1 Shilling per year. In 1906, the property was valued at £203 and it was sold to the new owner for a mortgage fee of £6 and 12 shillings annually. In 1834, the Landlord for that same parcel of land was charging £31 and 4 shillings annually for rent, with no guarantee that the lease would be renewed. (Toomey & Greensmyth, p. 123)

1882 Arthur Herbert, related to the local landlord family who was given their land in 1580, and an unpopular magistrate is murdered just outside Castleisland. He was known for evictions and stiff sentences. On the day of his death, he had sentenced a John Casey to jail for one month for being drunk and disorderly. He was shot while walking home. No witnesses came forward and no one was convicted. A popular song was written about the event. (Flynn)

1883 Lord Headley (Baron Allanson and Winn of Aghadoe) one of the original proprietors in the Castleisland area, declares bankruptcy. The rentals from his English estates were insufficient to meet the charges on them, while receipts from the Irish estates "had latterly practically ceased to exist." As tenants ceased paying rents, the bankruptcy of the major estates became a common occurrence throughout Ireland, leading to numerous auctions of mansions of these "encumbered estates" and the subsequent breaking of the large parcels into manageable sized farmsteads for the Irish tenants.

September, 1891- Parnell, who had disbanded the Land League, was now concentrating on the gaining of Home Rule for Ireland. He held one of his last public meetings in Listowel campaigning in a by-election for a candidate. There, the Knocknagashel Gaelic football team presented their addresses of support, carrying the banner which has ever since been associated with the little community: "Arise, Knocknagashel and take your place among the nations of the earth." (O'Shea) The slogan dates back to Robert Emmet, one of the heroes of the failed Rising of 1803. He asked that no monument be erected to him until "Ireland had taken its place among the nations of the earth."

The main campaign issue was Parnell's personal honor as some time before his adulterous relationship with a woman named Kitty O'Shea had been exposed. The Church made this affair the issue of the election. Three weeks later, on October 16, he was dead of rheumatic fever, caught in the damp and cold of the campaign. (Flynn)(McCaffrey)

1893- Gaelic League Founded

1903- The Wyndham Land Act. An agreement was reached on the basis of the long term purchase of Irish estates which would secure the landlords against loss, and while making the purchase money of their farms higher to the tenants would enable them to secure money at a low rate of interest, and secure them their land at a fixed annuity which would be lower than the rent they had been paying. The English government financed the purchases. When the Irish Free State was finally formed in 1922, the repayment of this cash advance was one of the thorny issues to be resolved.

1905- Sinn Fein ("Ourselves Alone") formed.

1914- Home Rule granted. World War I begins, England becomes preoccupied and the implementation of Home Rule is postponed.

1914- Castleisland was a center of considerable bitterness and unrest from the Land War to the Civil War period. A large meeting in support of the Irish Volunteers was held in the town in April, 1914 and a local branch of the Volunteers was subsequently formed. The Irish Volunteers were raised as a result of the formation of Ulster Volunteers in that part of Ireland. In May 1916 the London Scottish regiment moved into Castleisland and arrested a number of men. Many ambushes and attacks were planned on the British forces in the area but most were not brought to fruition. (Flynn).




The Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór, [anˠ ˈgɔɾˠt̪ˠa mˠoːɾˠ]) or the Great Hunger was a period of mass starvation, disease, and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1852.[1] It is sometimes referred to, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine, because about two-fifths of the population was solely reliant on this cheap crop for a number of historical reasons.[2][3] During the famine, approximately one million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland,[4] causing the island's population to fall by between 20% and 25%.[5]

The proximate cause of famine was Phytophthora infestans, a potato disease commonly known as potato blight,[6] which ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s. However, the impact in Ireland was disproportionate, as one third of the population was dependent on the potato for a range of ethnic, religious, political, social, and economic reasons, such as land acquisition, absentee landlords, and the Corn Laws, which all contributed to the disaster to varying degrees and remain the subject of intense historical debate.

The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland.[1] Its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political, and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine entered folk memory[fn 1] and became a rallying point for various Irish Home Rule and United Ireland movements, as the whole island was then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The massive famine soured the already strained relations between many of the Irish people and the British Crown, heightening Irish republicanism, which eventually led to Irish independence in the next century.



Protection of Person and Property Act 1881  (Coercion Act of 1881)

The Protection of Person and Property Act 1881 was one of more than 100 Coercion Acts passed by the Parliament of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland between 1801 and 1922, in an attempt to establish law and order in Ireland.[1] The 1881 Act was passed by parliament [4] and introduced by Gladstone. It allowed for persons to be imprisoned without trial.[5] On 13 October 1881, the Act was used to arrest Charles Stewart Parnell [6] after his newspaper, the United Ireland, had attacked the Land Act.



This is an ORIGINAL copy of the print or illustration and is from the London Illustrated News edition of the 4th December 1886.



The Illustrated London News was the world's first illustrated weekly news magazine; its inaugural issue appeared on Saturday, 14 May 1842. The magazine was published weekly until 1971, and less frequently thereafter. Publication ceased in 2003. The company continues today as Illustrated London News Ltd., a publishing, content and digital agency in London, England. The publication and business archives of The Illustrated London News and the Great Eight Publications are held by Illustrated London News Ltd.

llustrated London News founder Herbert Ingram was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1811, and opened a printing, newsagent and bookselling business in Nottingham around 1834 in partnership with his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Cooke.[1] As a newsagent, Ingram was struck by the reliable increase in newspaper sales when they featured pictures and shocking stories. Ingram began to plan a weekly newspaper that would contain pictures in every edition.[2]

Ingram rented an office, recruited artists and reporters, and employed as his editor Frederick William Naylor Bayley (1808–1853), formerly editor of the National Omnibus. The first issue of The Illustrated London News appeared on Saturday, 14 May 1842, timed to report on the young Queen Victoria's first masquerade ball.[3] Its 16 pages and 32 wood engravings covered topics such as the war in Afghanistan, a train crash in France, a survey of the candidates for the US presidential election, extensive crime reports, theatre and book reviews, and a list of births, marriages and deaths. Ingram hired 200 men to carry placards through the streets of London promoting the first edition of his new newspaper.[4]

Costing sixpence, the first issue sold 26,000 copies. Despite this initial success, sales of the second and subsequent editions were disappointing. However, Ingram was determined to make his newspaper a success, and sent every clergyman in the country a copy of the edition which contained illustrations of the installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by this means secured a great many new subscribers.

Its circulation soon increased to 40,000 and by the end of its first year was 60,000. In 1851, after the newspaper published Joseph Paxton's designs for the Crystal Palace before even Prince Albert had seen them, the circulation rose to 130,000. In 1852, when it produced a special edition covering the funeral of the Duke of Wellington, sales increased to 150,000; and in 1855, mainly due to the newspaper reproducing some of Roger Fenton's pioneering photographs of the Crimean War (and also due to the abolition of the Stamp Act that taxed newspapers), it sold 200,000 copies per week.[4]

Competitors soon began to appear: Lloyd’s Illustrated Paper was founded later that year, while Reynold's Newspaper'' opened in 1850; both were successful Victorian publications, albeit less successful than The Illustrated London News.[5] Andrew Spottiswoode's Pictorial Times lost £20,000 before it was sold to Ingram by Henry Vizetelly, who had left the ILN to found it.[6] Ingram folded it into another purchase, The Lady's Newspaper, which became The Lady's Newspaper and Pictorial Times. Vitezelly was also behind a later competitor, The Illustrated Times in 1855, which was similarly bought out by Ingram in 1859.[5]

Ingram's other early collaborators left the business in the 1850s. Nathanial Cooke, his business partner and brother-in-law, found himself in a subordinate role in the business and parted on bad terms around 1854. 1858 saw the departure of William Little, who, in addition to providing a loan of £10,000, was printer and publisher of the paper for 15 years. Little's relationship with Ingram deteriorated over Ingram's harassment of their mutual sister-in-law.[1]

Herbert Ingram died on 8 September 1860 in a paddle-steamer accident on Lake Michigan, and he was succeeded as proprietor by his youngest son, William, who in turn was succeeded by his son, Sir Bruce Ingram (1877–1963) in 1900, who remained as editor until his death.

1860–1900: William and Charles Ingram

By 1863 The Illustrated London News was selling more than 300,000 copies every week, enormous figures in comparison to other British newspapers of the time. The death of Herbert and his eldest son left the company without a director and manager. Control passed to Ingram's widow Ann, and his friend Sir Edward William Watkin, who managed the business for twelve years. Once Ingram's two younger sons, William and Charles, were old enough, they took over as managing directors, although it was William who took the lead.[1]

It was also a period of expansion and increased competition for the ILN. As reading habits and the illustrated news market changed, the ILN bought or established a number of new publications, evolving from a single newspaper to a larger-scale publishing business. As with Herbert Ingram's purchases in the 1850s, this expansion was also an effective way of managing competition: dominating markets and buying out competing ventures. As too with the acquisitions of the 1850s, several similar illustrated publications were established in this period by former employees of The Illustrated London News.

Serious competition for the ILN appeared in 1869, with the establishment of The Graphic, a weekly illustrated paper founded by W. L. Thomas. Thomas was a former wood engraver for The Illustrated London News, and brought his expertise in illustrated publishing to his new magazine. The Graphic was highly popular, particularly for its coverage of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, and was well regarded among artists: Vincent van Gogh was a particular admirer.[7]

William Ingram became chief proprietor of The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (est. 1874), and The Lady's Pictorial, which may have been a later title of The Lady's Newspaper and Pictorial Times.[3] The Penny Illustrated Paper, aimed at a working-class readership, was established by the news company shortly after Ingram's death in 1861. This was in response to the abolition of stamp and paper taxes, which made cheaper publications possible. The Penny Illustrated Paper ran until 1913.[8]

In 1893 the ILN established The Sketch, a sister publication which covered lighter news and society events with the same focus on illustration. From this point the name of the company changed to the Illustrated London News and Sketch Ltd.

In 1899, ILN editor Clement Shorter left the paper to found his own publication, The Sphere, which published its first issue on 27 January 1900. Ingram and The Illustrated London News responded by establishing a competing magazine, The Spear, which appeared two days before The Sphere on 25 January 1900. The name was deliberately chosen to confuse and siphon off readers, and advertisements for The Sphere emphasised the difference between the magazines: “S-P-H-E-R-E… you may be offered something else you don’t want”[9][10] While editor of the ILN, Clement Shorter had been instrumental in the establishment and publication of The Sketch. In 1903 he established The Tatler as a similar sister publication for The Sphere, with a similar focus on illustrated culture and society news. With the departure of Shorter, the role of editor of the ILN was taken over by Bruce Ingram, the 23-year-old grandson of the paper's founder.





This Book deals with the Artist....Mr. Aloysius O’Kelly.


The Murphy-Proud Collection is a large Privately acquired and held collection of ORIGINAL Illustrated London News illustrations from the 19th and early 20th centuries........all featuring Irish related stories, themes and illustrations. They have been in the family's ownership and possession for some time and are only now being released for sale.

What makes these illustrations ALL THE MORE INTERESTING historically, is the fact that they view the 'Irish Problem" from a distinctly British point of view. After all, the Illustrated London News was a London publication. The illustrations can even be categorized as being British propaganda pieces. You will note that many of the descriptions of the Irish and the events unfolding are dealt with in a manner that is 'less sympathetic' to the Irish point of view and much more leaning towards the 'troublemaker', 'vagabond' depiction of the Irish !! They are Historically accurate in that the events did happen......but distinctly 'biased' in their interpretations of what was happening !!! This makes them an ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING historical record.

In these 2 sketches....2 interesting observations can be made.....In the first sketch it is notable that it is a Third Class carriage that is being this was the only fare an ordinary Irish person could afford and in the Second Sketch.....the depiction of the Running Peasant is a classic stereotype of how the English viewed the Irish at that time......vagabonds with almost subhuman facial features.........running away from the police in an almost mocking fashion.

Searching for Arms at Tralee Station and Chasing an Armed Peasant.

This is your chance to acquire an ORIGINAL piece of Irish History from the dates when the events were ACTUALLY OCCURRING !!

These are not to be confused with reprints that are available to buy online.


Certificate of Authenticity Illustrations

If you are Irish, Irish-American, Anglo-Irish or just a lover of all things historic then these prints are for you !!

Check out the Murphy-Proud Collection in greater detail on our Website and see the vast array of Irish related topics dealt with by these are BOUND to find one or more that you will love and MUST HAVE !!

Searching for Arms at Tralee Station and Chasing an Armed Peasant.

Condition: Overall in excellent condition. 

Provenance: From the Murphy-Proud Family

The Framing and Matting alone is worth $150.00.

Dimensions: 20.2" x  15.75" in Frame

We have 2 of these prints.

Price: $550.00 SALE PRICE NOW: $480.00