Unbought Tenants' Association

The Unbought Tenants' Association was an agrarian political party in Northern Ireland in the 1920s. Under the Irish Land Acts, most farmers in the preceding decades had acquired the freehold to their farms; the Association represented the interests of remaining tenant farmers.[1] It developed into the Northern Ireland Liberal Association, whose first president was Robert Nathaniel Boyd, previously president of the Unbought Tenants.[1]

In the 1925 Stormont election, George Henderson was elected under the Unbought Tenants label for Antrim, which Graham Walker attributes to a "strain of agrarian Presbyterian radicalism" antagonistic to the Ulster Unionist Party.[2] Henderson stood unsuccessfully for the Ulster Liberal Party in the 1929 Stormont election.[3] Ulster Unionist John Maginnis, opposing the use of the single transferable vote for the 1973 local elections, stated that in the 1920s '[i]t was discovered that under this system the "Don't knows" usually vote for some obscure person. One party which secured a seat in Parliament was the Unbought Tenants.'[4]


  1. 1 2 Farr, Berkley (Winter 2001–2002). "Liberalism in Unionist Northern Ireland" (PDF). Journal of Liberal Democrat History (33): 29.
  2. Walker, Graham (2004). A history of the Ulster Unionist Party: Protest, pragmatism and pessimism. Manchester University Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7190-6109-7. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  3. Boothroyd, David. "Biographies of Members of the Northern Ireland House of Commons". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  4. "Northern Ireland (Electoral Law)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 842. HC. 31 July 1972. col. 122.

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