Download Showdown at the Red Lion. The Life and Time of Jack by Charles Van Onselen PDF

By Charles Van Onselen

Johannesburg, South Africa, used to be ? and is ? the Frontier of cash. inside of months of its founding, the mining camp was once host to organised crime: the African 'Regiment of the Hills' and 'Irish Brigade' bandits. Bars, brothels, boarding homes and inns oozed testosterone and violence, and using fists and weapons was once typical.

Beyond the chaos have been transparent symptoms of one other fight, one to take care of keep an eye on, honour and order in the rising male and mining ruled tradition. within the underworld, the dictum of 'honour between thieves', in addition to a hatred of informers, testified to makes an attempt at self-regulation. A 'real guy' didn't make the most of an opponent through utilizing underhand strategies. It needed to be a 'fair struggle' if a guy was once to be revered.

This used to be the realm that 'One-armed Jack' McLoughlin ? brigand, soldier, sailor, mercenary, burglar, highwayman and safe-cracker – entered within the early Eighteen Nineties to turn into Johannesburg's such a lot notorious 'Irish' anti-hero and social...

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Additional resources for Showdown at the Red Lion. The Life and Time of Jack McLoughlin

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19 Male bonding and oath-taking, a feature of small communities within relatively settled societies in the nineteenth century, took on an added significance on the frontiers of the unknown. All-male associations, including criminal quasi-‘families’ such as the Mafia, built trust from within largely by excluding exotic elements. The unwritten codes of manliness – the need to display courage, fairness and fraternal solidarity – were often sealed with oaths of loyalty that formed the underpinnings of many Victorian working-class institutions, including some trade unions.

The resulting tensions, transmitted into Catholic France and Spain, which had political objectives of their own, fed inter-state conflicts that sometimes played themselves out on Irish shores. From the fifth to the seventeenth centuries much of Gaelic power, built around the O’Connell and O’Neill clans, was concentrated in the north and west of Ireland. Tyrconnell, to all intents and purposes an independent medieval state, embraced parts of contemporary Connaught and Ulster and its capital, Din na NGall, was to lend its name to County Donegal.

Just two years later, in 1798, and after a rebellion in the south-east of the country had been quashed, Tone launched yet another initiative when he led a second French fleet north, to the mouth of Lough Swilly. But, forewarned by spies, a far more formidable British force defeated the would-be invaders and Tone, taken prisoner, was bustled ashore at Buncrana. From there he was escorted to the castle at Dublin where he was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. 14 Two decades later some of Inishowen’s anger was channelled into Daniel O’Connell’s countrywide movement for political emancipation, which, when it triumphed in 1829, gave Catholics access to all military ranks and, as importantly, allowed them to serve in the parliament of Westminster.

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