- Boycott, Charles Cunningham
▪ British estate managerborn March 12, 1832, Burgh St. Peter, Norfolk, Eng.died June 19, 1897, Flixton, Suffolkretired British army captain who was an estate manager in Ireland during the agitation over the Irish land question. He is the eponym for the verb and common noun boycott (q.v.).After retiring from the army, Boycott in 1873 became agent for the 3rd Earl of Erne's estates in County Mayo. The Land League, formed in Ireland in 1879 when bad harvests made a famine likely, told Boycott in 1880 that he must reduce rents by 25 percent. In September 1880, after Boycott had attempted to serve writs of eviction, the president of the Land League, Irish nationalist statesman Charles Stewart Parnell (Parnell, Charles Stewart), urged that, without resort to violence, the tenants should avoid any communication with those who refused their demand for lower rents. Parnell's policy was first used against Boycott, who, consequently, was forced to employ workers from Ulster, guarded by soldiers, to harvest his crops. He left Ireland the same year and eventually became an agent for estates in Suffolk. Conditions in Ireland quickly eased after William Ewart Gladstone's Land Act of 1881 instituted fair-rent tribunals.
* * *