O'Brien, William

O'Brien, William, 1852–1928, Irish journalist and political leader. He became (1881) editor of a newspaper, United Ireland, which championed the Irish agrarian cause (see Irish Land Question). Imprisoned in the same year, he wrote, at the behest of Charles Parnell, the famous No Rent Manifesto. He sat in the British Parliament (1883–95, 1900–1918), initiated the United Irish League (1898), which helped to reunite the pro- and anti-Parnell factions of the nationalist movement, and helped shape the Wyndham Land Act of 1903. Later he founded the All-for-Ireland League, advocating a more conciliatory policy toward Britain. He wrote Recollections (1905), Evening Memories (1920), and The Irish Revolution (1923); his letters were edited by his wife, S. F. O'Brien, as Golden Memories (2 vol., 1929).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies