Great Orange Demonstration of 1871 in Manchester


The following report of a Great Orange Demonstration in Manchester was printed in the Belfast Newsletter, 19 July 1871.


The Orangemen connected with the Orange lodges of Manchester and Salford celebrated their July anniversary on Saturday last, the 15th inst.  The members, to the number of about 2,000, assembled in Stevenson Square at half-past three o’clock, where a very large crowd had collected, and a procession was formed.  Among the lodges represented were Nos. 1, 40, 107, 56, 88, 103, 128, 129, 141, 142, 153, 156, 158, 161, 164, 165, 185, 187, 188, 236, 300, 1022, 1025, and 1040.  Representatives of lodges in Liverpool, Oldham, Warrington, Ashton, and other towns were also present.  The Harpurhey Brass Brand, the Openshaw Drum and Fife Band, and St Clement’s Conservative Association Band attended in the procession, and played a large number of ‘Orange’ tunes.  Two splendid banners belonging to the district lodges, and two lodge banners, were carried in the procession.  On the procession being completely formed at four o’clock, a carriage, drawn by four grey horses, drove into the square, in which were seated Mr W Johnston MP DGM; Mr Booth Mason, DGM; the Rev S G Potter (Sheffield), DGC; the Rev Robert Dignum (Glasgow) , PGC; Mr R Kean (Warrington), PGM; Mr G Thomas (Liverpool), GS; and Mr D T m’Cullagh, MGC.  Their arrival was greeted with loud and prolonged cheering.  In the carriage were the regalia of the Grand Lodge of England and the silver medallion of the Order of Orangemen.  On the regalia was the following inscription : - ‘Most Grand Orange Lodge of England; established in Manchester, February 16 1807.  Established for the promotion of loyalty, brotherly love, and benevolence.  The regalia was presented to the lodge by Ernest, King of Hanover’.  The carriage headed the procession which then proceeded to the Pomona Gardens.  The procession passed in a most orderly manner.  A large body of police were in attendance on the route, but their services were but seldom called into requisition, and indeed, as far as the processionists were concerned, were never required.  The streets through which the procession passed were densely crowded.  The police made several arrests, principally for people being drunk and disorderly, and annoying the processionists.  On arriving at the Pomona Gardens, the leaders of the party proceeded to a platform which had been erected in the grounds, and a public meeting was held.  Mr Booth Mason presided, and he was supported by the principal Orangemen present.

The Chairman having addressed the meeting, the Rev Robert Dignum, of Glasgow, moved the first resolution – ‘That, whilst Republicans, Communists, and others are trying to destroy our civil and religious institutions, it is no less the duty than the privilege of all true Britons to rally round and defend them by all lawful means in their power’.
Mr G Thomas, of Liverpool, seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.

The Reverend S G Potter of Sheffield 
The Rev S G Potter, of Sheffield, moved the second resolution : - ‘That, so long as our good old Church of England is attacked by those who desire to destroy it, to gratify their own personal views and ambition, it is the absolute duty of every true Orangeman and Churchman to rally round and defend it to the last extremity’.

Mr Richard Kean, of Warrington, seconded the motion, which was also carried unanimously.
Mr William Johnston, MP for Belfast, who on rising was received with much cheering, next proposed the third resolution : - ‘That liberty and freedom of speech, are the inheritance of every British subject: we therefore call upon the Government to preserve inviolate that inheritance, and not allow either mobs or disloyal subjects to rob us of it’.  He said that liberty and freedom of speech could not be understood or possessed in any country that did not esteem and value Protestantism.  British liberty as founded upon the Bible.  They learned from it to cherish civil and religious liberty, to claim for themselves perfect freedom to all those who differed from them.  Protestantism was not a narrow creed either in religion or politics.  It was a grand progressive principle adapted to human progress, to the march of intellect, to the expansion of thought, to the achievements of science, to the progress of trade, and to the welfare of the world.  Were it a narrow creed in religion or politics they could not be there that day to advance its claims.  (Hear, hear.)

They advocated its claims, and propounded those views, believing that they were best, not for them alone, but for all; that they were the principles upon which alone safety for the crown and safety for the people could be established and the welfare of the people and the rights of the Crown duly and properly upheld.  Those were the principles, or else he greatly mistook them, of Orange institutions, which they stood there that day to support.  Those were the principles for which they had contended in Ireland on many a field of fight – those were the principles for which tens of thousands went forth to advocate on Wednesday last, the ever memorable 12th of July.  (Applause.)  Not hostility to their Roman Catholic countrymen brought them there, but a resolute determination, God being their helper, to maintain that civil and religious liberty which their forefathers gained in the days of William.  Yet he should not say that they gained them alone in those days, for the struggle for liberty and freedom of speech had been a long struggle in these lands.  Time after time their ancestors had gone forth, sometimes obeying the mandates of a king, and sometimes the behests of a mob, to destroy liberty and freedom in these lands.  Time after time their ancestors had gone forth to rally round the banner of freedom; one time under an Oliver Cromwell, another time under a William of Orange, but ever determined to place the basis of their freedom upon the Word of the living God.  It was that that gave the courage to Cromwell’s Ironsides – it was that that gave courage to William’s hosts as they were ranged upon the banks of the Boyne - inspired the Apprentice Boys as they shut the gates of Derry – it was that that gave Orangemen courage to send back the shout they had raised of ‘No Surrender’. (Loud applause.)  

They must not think the crisis was over, the battle was won; that liberty and freedom of speech were no longer imperilled in their midst.  If the education of the children of England, of Ireland, and of Scotland was entrusted to the Jesuits, there would be no liberty or freedom of speech.  (Hear, hear.)   Gambetta had declared, the other day, that the disasters of the French were owing to their education; and since ever the Huguenots were banished from France, since the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the education of the children of France had been entirely in the hands of the Jesuits. (Hear, hear).  Castelar, Spain’s greatest orator, had declared that for fifteen centuries the education of Spain had been in the hands of the Catholic Church, and therefore she was the degraded nation she was.  (Hear, hear).  Thank God, Spain and they trusted France, would rise from that degrading slavery, and that they would see their children were properly educated in the truth which alone could make them free.  (Applause).  

The Emperor of Germany, on the 21st October, 1869, fixed the 10th November, the birthday of Martin Luther, as a special day to implore God to protect the Protestant Church from all dangers that threatened them, and to strengthen each Church, and the Church universal.  (Cheers).  Before another year had passed the Pope had propounded his declaration of infallibility.  (Laughter).  The Emperor of France went forth in the strength of the Pope with his battalions, some of them withdrawn from Rome, to range themselves against William of Prussia; but he who put his trust in God went forth conquering and to conquer, and the Protestant boys carried the day.  (Applause.)    

Bro. William Johnston

He (Mr. Johnston) came there in the name of many thousands of the Protestants and Orangemen of Ulster to tell them they were determined in Ulster not to be separated from the Protestants of England.  (Hear, hear).  A delusive cry had gone forth raised by some who were, he was afraid, not gifted with much foresight, of what was called ‘home rule’, or a Federal Parliament.  He protested against home rule in Ireland.  He stood up for the integrity of the British Empire, the unity of the British nation, the rights of the Crown,  and the people of this great and glorious land; and upon the working classes of Great Britain and Ireland mainly depended now the welfare of this kingdom.  (Hear, hear).  He believed in the working classes of England; he believed that they would be true to the Protestant cause, and he called upon the clergy, the gentry and the aristocracy to stand by the working classes of England (Cheers).  They had encountered disasters, and might have others to encounter: yet he believed that the banner that waved over them would be ultimately victorious; he believed they would see the downfall of every form of tyranny and superstition; he believed they would see liberty and freedom progressing and triumphant, and that the Protestant cause everywhere would bless the day that Orangemen rallied round the flag that bore upon it the noble motto ‘The Protestant religion and the liberties of England we will maintain.  (Loud cheering).
Mr W Touchstone, seconded the resolution, which was also unanimously carried.
The proceedings then terminated.
In the evening the annual dinner of the members of the district lodge was held at the Olympic Hotel, Stevenson Square, Manchester.  Upward of 100 sat down.

Manchester Orange

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William III, Prince of Orange

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