Lord Acton's Irish elections

Colin Charles Pope Barr

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4 Citations (Scopus)


From the age of twenty-three until his death at the age of sixty-eight, Lord Acton was or
sought to be a member of the United Kingdom parliament. Although Acton remains a subject of scholarly
interest, his political career has received relatively little attention. This article examines Acton’s search for an
Irish parliamentary seat, a search which was twice unsuccessful in 1857, but which resulted in May 1859 in
Acton’s return as the member for Carlow borough. Although Acton was pushed towards parliament by his
family – and particularly his stepfather, Lord Granville – a close examination of Acton’s campaigns reveals
more dedication to a political career than has previously been accepted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-114
Number of pages27
JournalThe Historical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Irish electoral politics
  • Paul Cullen
  • Lord Granville
  • Lord Acton Carlow


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