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Whiteboys

Whiteboys, members of small illegal, largely Roman Catholic, peasant bands in 18th-century Ireland. First organized (c.1759) in protest against the large-scale enclosure of common lands and other causes of agrarian distress, they were so called because on their nocturnal raids they often wore white disguises. They were heavily suppressed (1765), but outbreaks of similar activity recurred during periods of extreme agricultural hardship. Hostility (1775–85) was largely aimed at tithe collectors. There were similar, although shortlived, Protestant groups in Ulster, the Oakboys (1763) and the Steelboys (1770). Terrorist activity hastened the establishment of the Irish Parliament (1782), in which Henry Grattan attempted to reform the system of tithes. Although the Whiteboys were suppressed, they set a pattern for agrarian unrest that continued under various names and later became politicized.

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"Whiteboys." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Whiteboys." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whiteboys

"Whiteboys." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whiteboys

Whiteboys

Whiteboys was the name adopted by agrarian rebels in Ireland from 1761 onwards. The immediate cause of the outrages seems to have been the enclosure of common land for pasture, but grievances soon included tithes and extortionate leases. Bands of armed men rode at night with comparative impunity, levelling walls, maiming cattle, and burning houses. The centre of the movement was Munster, where the native Irish were poorest. Supported by widespread intimidation, it was difficult to deal with and continued for some decades.

J. A. Cannon

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"Whiteboys." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Whiteboys." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whiteboys

"Whiteboys." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whiteboys