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Photograph displays Carson placing a flag into the holster of an unidentified man, having completed this process with two additional unidentified men, surrounded by a large crowd of troops, some carrying guns.
Title is typed on seperate piece of paper and attached on verso.
Physical description: 1 photographic print : in mylar. b&w ; 21.2 x 25.3 cm ;
Carson, Edward Henry (1854–1935), Baron Carson of Duncairn, lawyer and politician, was born 9 February 1854 at 4 Harcourt St., Dublin.
In the summer of 1887 Carson was appointed as counsel to the attorney general for Ireland, and for the following years served Dublin Castle in the fight against the Plan of Campaign. He was a crown prosecutor in some of the most celebrated trials of the period, and forged a reputation that he carried for the rest of his career.
He entered politics in the mid-1880s as a liberal. His early legal reputation had been founded on his defence of the farming community and its claims. He grew more conservative with age, however; and by the 1890s he had emerged as the single most gifted champion of the landed establishment. Later he defended the constitutional rights of the house of lords, and led the Ulster unionist fight against home rule; at the end of his life he came out of retirement to champion the cause of British India. In the course of his long career he reversed his stand on women's suffrage. It is well known that he had strong associations, through his mother's family, with the landed interest; but he had also connections through his wife's family with the tenant cause.
Carson was appointed to the solicitor generalship for England in 1900. By 1906-1907, out of office, Carson spent much of the later Edwardian period in the courts, where he had the greatest successes of his legal career.
In February 1910 Carson was invited to assume the chairmanship of the Irish unionist parliamentary party, a position that gave him some claims to lead the wider Irish unionist movement. Carson's new role placed him at the head of the campaign against the third home rule bill. He was a central figure in all the different aspects of Ulster unionist strategy: he was the key speaker at momentous public demonstrations such as that at Craigavon House in September 1911. He was the centrepiece of the speaking tour that culminated in Ulster Day (28 September 1912), when just under half a million men and women signed a covenant pledging to use ‘all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a home rule parliament in Dublin’. He was also the generalissimo in charge of the unionists’ parliamentary and high political assault on the home rule bill. In January 1913 he proposed the exclusion of the nine counties of Ulster from the operation of the bill. In July 1914, on the eve of WWI, he attended the Buckingham Palace conference, where he argued for the permanent exclusion of six counties from the home rule bill.
After January 1914 it is arguable that the relationship between Carson and his militant support changed, and that the disciplined paramilitarism that he had helped to fashion and sought to control now obtained a momentum and vitality of its own
Carson was more cautious and pragmatic than has often been grasped. Carson seems to have believed in the political usefulness of paramilitary menace; but he also seems to have believed in the potentially disastrous nature of paramilitary violence.
By 1916 Carson was at the peak of his parliamentary influence, with nomination to the premiership a clear, if still remote, possibility. Carson's ministerial preoccupations meant a declining interest in Irish politics. He was involved in the Lloyd George negotiations of May–July 1916, and succeeded in winning support in Belfast for the enactment of home rule beyond the six north-eastern counties of Ulster: but the wider initiative was rejected by southern unionist sympathisers within the cabinet. He resigned from the war cabinet in January 1918.
In the December 1918 general election he stood for the newly formed Duncairn division of Belfast, and was returned with a majority of some 9,200 votes over his nearest nationalist rival. But on the whole these were years of disengagement from Ulster unionism and indeed from mainstream politics.
He resigned from the leadership of Ulster unionism on 4 February 1921. In 1921 Carson accepted a lordship, and took the title of Lord Carson of Duncairn. He served as a law lord till November 1929, when ill health and old age compelled his resignation. An abiding concern here was the condition of the community into which he had been born – the loyalists of the south of Ireland, and their travails under the Free State dispensation. He died 22 October 1935 at his home in Kent.
(Biographical Information: Alvin Jackson. 'Carson, Edward Henry'. Dicitionary of Irish Biography)