Irish Catholic culture in the nineteenth century
A study in perjury
in Irish Catholic identities
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

The Irish Catholic nineteenth century might seem comfortably to begin on traditional target with the Act of Union of 1800. De Tocqueville's Irish experience threw a different light on perjury. The French Catholic aristocrat and fellow traveller with de Tocqueville, Gustave de Beaumont took the interesting view that the penal code itself was a form of perjury in its vagaries of practice. Perjury by its nature rejects honesty, whatever its motives, and we can only deduce motivation and rationalisation in most cases. The perjury which sealed Nicholas Sheehy's fate invited obvious Catholic replication. The witnesses against Nicholas Sheehy seem to have included two if not four converts to Protestantism, as well as two female prostitutes. The penal code in Ireland, whatever its leniency in operation or lacunae in legislation, invited perjury for moral reasons, arising out of the perjurer's religious fidelity.


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 46 25 2
Full Text Views 36 0 0
PDF Downloads 29 2 0