A political curiososity - bought from The Green Room, a great place for Irish political ephemera (and lots more besides) on Archway Road.
Graced with the Irish harp, this is a medal issued by the National Conservative League, founded in 1884. As the proprietor (himself Irish) remarked when making the sale, Irish Conservatives were an endangered species even in the 1880s. Sufficiently so, it seems, to embrace socialist-style slogans: 'Unity is Strength' and 'We Hold Together'
So what exactly was the National Conservative League? There's not much to go on on the 'net. I wondered whether it was a Northern Unionist organisation - but then it would be displaying the Ulster palmed hand rather than the harp.
My guess is that it was a response to the rise of Irish Home Rulers, followers of Parnell, who became such a powerful political force in Ireland from the mid-1880s. Anyone out there with any further info?
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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