O'Connor, Fergus Edward

BORN 18 Jul 1794, Connorville, Cork - DIED 30 Aug 1855, London: 18 Albert Terrace, Notting Hill Gate
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (031/3 (12687))

Feargus O'Connor was a chartist leader and he advocated the Land Plan, that aimed to provide smallholdings for the labouring classes. He father was the nationalist politician Roger O'Connor (1762-1834). Fergus studied law at Trinity College, Dublin unttil he inherited his uncle's estate in 1820. Even without a degree he was called to the Irish bar.

In 1822 he held his first public speech and he wrote a pamphlet named "State of Ireland". After a fight with soldiers he moved to London, where he unsuccessfully tried his hand as an author. During the 1830s he spoke in favour of Irish rights and he criticised the British government policies. In 1832 he was elected into the British House of Commons for County Cork. In 1835 he was re-elected but he lost his seat because the properties he owned were insufficient, which was doubtful.

In 1837 he founded the newspaper "Northern Star" at Leeds. In 1845 he founded the Chartist Cooperative Land Company that aimed to acquire land that would be divided into smallholdings to be let to individuals. But there was too little land for all subscribers resulting in the company to be regarded as a lottery and to be declared illegal in 1851. In 1847 he had been elected as an MP for Nottingham and in 1848 he organised a Chartist meeting in London.

By 1850 the Northern Star lost money, O'Connor's drank heavily and his health was failing. In 1852 he visited the USA but his behaviour their suggested that he was going insane, possibly caused by syphilis. After he hit three MPs in the House of Commons in 1852 he was sent to Manor House Asylum in Chiswick. In 1854 he moved to his sister's house. He died in 1855 In London and his funeral procession to Kensal Green Cemetery was witnessed by 40,000 people.


The grave of Fergus O'Connor at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (02 Aug 2019)


Paths of Glory, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 1997
Feargus O'Connor - Wikipedia

Odilon, Helene

Published: 15 Jan 2022
Last update: 27 Apr 2024