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The Orange Order in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Perspective from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Newfoundland and Ontario.

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Presentation on theme: "The Orange Order in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Perspective from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Newfoundland and Ontario."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Orange Order in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Perspective from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Newfoundland and Ontario

2 The Orange Order Formed 1795 in Northern Ireland Stands for loyalty to British Crown & Protestantism Associative cornerstone of British dominant ethnicity in Canada, N.I., west-central Scotland Rapidly spread internationally


4 Lord Nelson Loyal Orange Lodge #149 in Woody Point, Bonne Bay, St. Barbe

5 Political Influence in N. Ireland Helped found Ulster Unionist Party Guaranteed 15% of seats on Ulster Unionist Council Virtually all Official Unionist MPs are, and have been, Orange members Orange Order an influential lobby

6 Social & Political Influence- Canada Politically influential by 1867 Many Tory MPs and several PMs were members Involved in most national issues 1/3 of Ontario legislature was Orange in 1915 50% of Newfoundland Protestant MLAs Orange in 1885 1/3 of Ontario males were members at some point in their lifetime during 1870-1920 Hundreds of thousands in the wider Orange fraternity as late as the 1950's

7 Orange Political Influence: Scotland 1870s – WC Scotland Tory links First MP, Wm Whitelaw, 1892 Tories appear at Orange rallies, 1890s Orange MPs generally follow party line in twentieth century and fail to shape Tory party policy



10 International Orange Strength Newfoundland the strongest Orange jurisdiction, similar to Ulster border counties Belfast area and Ontario similar WC Scotland and NW England much weaker





15 20th c. International Orange Membership Trends Ontario declines first, 1920 Newfoundland and Northern Ireland decline after 1960, though faster in NF Scotland declines from 1982, but from smaller base

16 Orange Order Lodges, Northern Ireland, 1991

17 Male Orange Density, N.I., 1971

18 Orange Order Density 1991

19 Scottish Orange Lodges, 2001

20 Roman Catholic Percentage, Scottish Counties, 1961

21 Masonic Lodges, Scotland, 2001

22 Male Orange Density Scotland, 1961

23 Male Orange Lodges, Southern Ontario, c. 1975





28 Causes of Orange Membership Change Ethnic and Religious changes key (%Irish Protestants, %Catholics, %Established Church) Economic change less important, though urbanization has a role in Northern Ireland and Ontario Events lie in between cultural shifts and economic changes in importance

29 Orangeism & Masonry: Class Basis, Scotland, 2002


31 Order 'goes native' in Canada but less so in Scotland In 1881, 3/4 of 256 lodge masters in Scotland are Irish-born; Thought of as an Irish organisation into the 1930s In 1901, just 7% of Ontario sample of 340 masters and few Newfoundland members are Irish-born Numerical success and class profile higher in Canada Irish Methodists vastly overrepresented in Ontario: a new world adaptation

32 Political Influence: Northern Ireland Generally ensure Protestant advantage in education, housing, electoral system, marching Dungiven controversy, 1953-4: exposes UUP vs Independent Unionist rifts O Neill, Faulkner, Trimble: Reform is resisted, often successfully, except under Direct Rule Orange vote divides between UUP and DUP. No strong pattern in recent research to indicate one or the other

33 Orange Victories: Canada Refusal to yield to Prince of Wales desire for no Orange demonstration, Kingston, 1860 Manitoba Schools Question, 1890 Orange incorporation, 1891 Overturning of Hepburns Ontario Separate School bill, 1936

34 Orange Division: Canada Orange-Green-Bleu alliance, 1830s-1890s, inc. Ogle Gowan. No Orange incorporation. Jesuit Estates Act. 1888. Conservatives fail to disallow act. Mackenzie Bowell, and Nest of Traitors, Manitoba Separate School Board, 1890 Newfoundland Confederation Vote, 1948 Leslie Frost and Ontario Separate School Funding, 1960

35 The 'Orange Letter' Incident 1948 'Orange Letter' warns of Catholic conspiracy, driven by Catholic paper, 'The Monitor' Resolution was first proposed by men's and women's lodges in Little Catalina: –'We..have come to the conclusion that the Roman Catholic Church is endeavouring to dominate Newfoundland. We have reached this conclusion after careful consideration of the results of votes from the various RC settlements during the National Referendum' (1948 report of proceedings)


37 Political Division: Scotland Sir John Gilmour, Secretary of State for Scotland in 1920s. Opposed Presbyterian clergy over the restriction of Irish immigration Fail to stop Orange Incorporation, 1878, despite success of Orange candidates in Glasgow school board elections Generally do not affect policy

38 Conclusion: Political Influence Order influence tied to membership, but only loosely (can lead or lag) Order most 'liberal' in Newfoundland, conservative elsewhere Orange vote is hard to mobilise behind one party – especially in party systems with cross-cutting cleavages Politicians and parties use the Order and their Orange membership far more than the reverse (esp. Scotland and Canada, less so N. Ireland)

39 Conclusion: An Adaptive Organization Irish diaspora ethnicity more important than anti-Catholicism in explaining membership patterns in Canada and Scotland Convivial, dominant-ethnic, religious and political roles Adapts most successfully in Newfoundland, followed by Ontario, Liverpool and then Scotland

40 Canadian Orangeism First parades in the 1810s Grand Lodge formed - 1830 Originally immigrant, later native Not Irish - a mixture of several British ethnic groups and some others

41 Quantitative Research Based on Previously Restricted Membership Data Previous research has only tracked the number of lodges Membership data highlights different patterns, contrasts with census and other data I will look at patterns of membership over time and place

42 Concentrated in Ontario, NB & Nfld, but strength Nationwide


44 N.I. Counties, by Protestant Percentage, 1971

45 Church of Ireland Protestants, N.I. Counties, 1971





50 Newfoundland Male Orange Lodges, 1961

51 Lodges Cluster in Protestant Areas? Protestant areas, but: –Scotland and Ontario see heavier Orange presence in areas of Irish-Protestant settlement –Northern Ireland counties with higher Church of Ireland proportions have more Orange Protestants –Towns and cities have fewer Orangemen in Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland and less so in Canada

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