The signing of the Ulster Covenant in Manchester

28th September 1912

 The Ulster Covenant Opposed Home Rule in Ireland
On Ulster Day, 28 September 1912, the Ulster Covenant was signed in Manchester.  Among the 350 men who signed on Ulster Day were Alderman Jason Thompson, the Manchester Provincial Grand Treasurer, who had been born in Enniskillen, and who was a member of Earl of Enniskillen LOL 557, an Oldham lodge, James Jackson, District Master of Manchester District who lived at 57 Albert Street, Bradford, Manchester, a member of Affability LOL 256 and had been born in Clones, County Monaghan, and the District Treasurer, Richard Quinton who had been born in Enniskillen and was a member of Earl of Roden LOL 184. The District Master of Oldham District, George Keast, who had been born in Newry, the district chaplain, Edward Brooks, born in Armagh, the district treasurer John Bladd, born in County Fermanagh, James Wardle the master of LOL 11, who had been born in Belfast, and Charles H Ashton, the secretary of LOL 564, who had also been born in Belfast; all signed the Covenant.


Ulster Covenant Signing, Manchester (Oldham Rd)
The following report appeared in the Belfast News Letter:


Many Signatories to Covenant and Petition

The solemn signing of the Ulster Covenant began in Manchester at ten o’clock on the 28th inst at the head office of the Unionist Association of Ireland at 20 Bryenuse Street and a large Union Jack hung out of the window to signify to passers by in this quiet street something of the nature of the proceedings witnessed within.

These offices are being used for the convenience of Ulster men in Manchester and Salford, but Mr H Crowe, the organiser has arranged 17 other centres so as to facilitate the collection of signatories in Oldham, Bolton, Blackburn, Bury and other places.  Forms have also been sent to Blackpool and Southport.  The Manchester office will remain open for a fortnight for signatures.

In the first half hour almost 50 signatures were received.  Afterwards the number of callers slackened considerably, but there was another rush between twelve and one o’clock.  At one time there were about seventeen Ulstermen at the offices, and they were photographed in a group.  Most of the callers also signed the petition asking the King ‘to determine whether it be a wise and beneficent use of your Royal prerogative to refuse to give your Royal assent to any Bill for the separate government of Ireland, irrespective of its merits or demerits until such time as it has been submitted to the electors of Great Britain and Ireland for their decision’.

Already over 2,000 signatures have been sent in from Manchester, and by the time it is closed it is expected that the number will reach 3,000.


 A page from the Manchester Ulster Covenant with a signature from a member of LOL184.

A copy of a page from the Ulster Covenant that was signed in Manchester. See signature from Richard Quinton who was a member of LOL 184 at the time. © Crown Copyright 2007.

Did you know? That the entire Ulster Covenant Petition has been digitized and is available online to search for names of your ancestors. Visit the Public Records for Northern Ireland (PRONI) Ulster Covenant website here: The Ulster Covenant


Related historical pages:

Sergeant Charles Brett - the cowardly killing of a Manchester Policeman

John Bradford, Manchester's Protestant Martyr - Brief introduction 
William John Austin - Notable Victorian Manchester Orangeman
William Touchstone - Prominant Manchester Orangeman
Reverend Thomas Dickinson - Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of England from 1905-1920.


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