Ulster Day

Ulster Day

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Belfast, Liverpool




28/09/1912 (of event)


01min 20sec




35mm, intertitles, nitrate film

black and white


National Film and Television Archive


British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


The newsreel starts at 01:07. Saturday 28th September when all men who could prove Ulster birth were invited to sign the Solemn League and Covenant to pledge that they would use ´all means which may be found necessary´ to prevent the setting up of a Home Rule parliament in Dublin. The Bill had already been introduced into the House of Commons in the spring. Women signed their own separate declaration. Altogether 471,414 men and women signed either the Covenant or the declaration, over 30,000 more women in fact than men. This film shows scenes from the day in Belfast including Orange lodges marching towards the City Hall, cheered by enthusiastic crowds held back by stewards (some wearing bowler hats) appointed by the organisers, the Ulster Unionist Council. The Ulster Unionist leader, Sir Edward Carson, is seen signing the Covenant in the City Hall. Carson returned from Belfast to Britain on board the ´Patriotic´ (the captain was Captain Paisley) to Liverpool where he was greeted by the local Conservative MP, F. E. Smith - Smith (known as ´Carson´s galloper´ because of his devotion to the cause) later became Lord Birkenhead and was a signatory of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty. There is poor quality footage of Carson addressing a crowd at the dock.


There is nitrate damage from 2:06.

Shot List

'Ulster Day. Impressive scenes in the capital. Sir Edward Carson signs Covenant. March of the Orange Battalions 58-1' (78) Orangemen march through crowded street to cheers (116). Still photograph of Sir Edward Carson and others signing the Ulster Covenant [28/09/1912] rejecting Irish Home Rule (120). Crowds held back by Orangemen (143). 'Arrival of Sir Carson and Mr FE Smith at Liverpool 58-1' (146). Travelling shot from ship of crowded docks as ship comes into dock (165). Head and shoulders of Carson, just visible, addressing crowd at dock. (174ft) Source: SIFT - NFTVA database.


Produced by Warwick Bioscope Chronicle, No 58


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