I have often said, and written, it is Famine which must consume [the Irish]; our swords and other endeavours work not that speedy effect which is expected for their overthrow.
- English Viceroy Arthur Chichester writing to Elizabeth I's chief advisor, Nov. 1601
Ireland is like a half-starved rat that crosses the path of an elephant. What must the elephant do? Squelch it - by heavens - squelch it.
- Thomas Carlyle, British essayist, 1840s
...being altogether beyond the power of man, the cure had been applied by the direct stroke of an all-wise Providence in a manner as unexpected and as unthought of as it is likely to be effectual.
The judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson, that calamity must not be too much mitigated. …The real evil with which we have to contend is not the physical evil of the Famine, but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the people.
Charles Trevelyan, head of administration for famine relief, 1840s
[existing policies] will not kill more than one million Irish in 1848 and that will scarcely be enough to do much good.
- Queen Victoria's economist, Nassau Senior
A Celt will soon be as rare on the banks of the Shannon as the red man on the banks of Manhattan.
- The Times, editorial, 1848
I am haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country...to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black one would not see it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours.
- Cambridge historian Charles Kingsley, letter to his wife from Ireland, 1860
A creature manifestly between the Gorilla and the Negro is to be met with in some of the lowest districts of London and Liverpool by adventurous explorers. It comes from Ireland, whence it has contrived to migrate; it belongs in fact to a tribe of Irish savages: the lowest species of Irish Yahoo. When conversing with its kind it talks a sort of gibberish. It is, moreover, a climbing animal, and may sometimes be seen ascending a ladder ladden with a hod of bricks.
Satire entitled "The Missing Link", from the British magazine Punch, 1862
This would be a grand land if only every Irishman would kill a Negro, and be hanged for it. I find this sentiment generally approved - sometimes with the qualification that they want Irish and Negroes for servants, not being able to get any other.
- British historian Edward Freeman, writing on his return from America, about 1881
...more like squalid apes than human beings. ...unstable as water. ...only efficient military despotism [can succeed in Ireland] ...the wild Irish understand only force.
- James Anthony Froude, Professor of history, Oxford