1st Viscount Craigavon
James Craig was born in Sydenham, Belfast, 8 January 1871. He was son James Craig Senior. Who was a wealthy whiskey distiller. He was the sixth son and seventh child in total.
He enlisted in the 3rd (militia) regiment of the Royal Irish Rifles in 1900 to serve in the Second Boer War. He enjoyed military life but became impatient at the lack of professionalism and efficiency in the British Army. He made lieutenant and then captain but was taken prisoner in May 1900, but was ...view middle of the document...
On 29th July 1911, Carson wrote to Craig outlining his fear of uprisers in the South and among Unionists. Craig reassured Carson that Ulster Unionists would resist. On 23rd September 1911, Craig organized a demonstration at Craigavon in which he was introduced to the people he would lead over the next decade.
It was Craig who masterminded the Unionist campaign. Carson provided the speeches and Craig provided the organization. Craig organized the Balmoral demonstration on Easter Tuesday 1912 and the pre-Covenant demonstrations in September 1912. Originally Craig was responsible for the drafting of the text of the Covenant but that duty ultimately fell to Thomas Sinclair. However, Craig choreographed the signing of the Ulster Covenant. Afterwards, Carson admitted ‘It was James Craig who did most of the work, and I got most of the credit.’ During the signing of the Covenant, Craig showed support toward a discriminatory regime. He believed Southern Irish should stay in the South and Unionist Protestants should be employed above Catholics and Nationalists. He said “We are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State”.
Craig sacrificed a promising...