Until recently, the history of the Irish Conservative party had been a neglected topic among Irish historians. As the main focus of Irish historiography has been on Nationalist political organisations and movements, the Irish Conservative party has received insufficient attention. As a result, this book provides the first detailed account of the party’s history in the mid-Victorian period. Throughout the book, the focus is, in general, on the elite of the Irish Conservative party and on their relationship with the party leadership at Westminster. The complex ways in which the Conservative party interacted with the other principal forces in Irish society, in particular, the Roman Catholic Church, are examined. The ambivalent relationship which existed between it and the Independent Irish party from 1852 onwards is also analysed. Through a series of detailed analyses of Conservative party attitudes and policies on the Land, National Education, and Church questions, the book examines whether an ‘indigenous’ Irish Conservatism existed, different both in tone and content from its English counterpart. The period between the Famine and the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland has been generally neglected in Irish historiography. This book attempts to redress that imbalance, while at the same time, restoring the central role played by the Irish Conservative party in those years to its proper significance.