Political and Tribal postcards have been around for a long time and there’s no sign of them slowing down any time soon.

Click on images to enlarge.

Page updated 3/3/2022

King William .III. Crossing the Boyne, 1690

Orange Order King William III Crossing Boyne 1690 Wm Bridgett & Sons Belfast

Published by Wm. Bridgett & Sons, Belfast, and printed in Scotland.

The Protestant Boys will carry the Drums

Unknown publisher but no doubting their allegiances.

Defeat of The Spanish Armada

Published by Protestant Postcards, Belfast.

Northern Irish Unionists have long memories and love commemorating events that most of us have long forgotten.

The Royal Visit, Dublin, July, 1903

Published by Lawrence.

State Entry of the New Irish Viceroy – Dublin – February 3rd 1906

Another from ‘the past is a foreign country‘ – no publisher indicated

No doubt about the point being made here!

An anti-Home Rule card – no publisher indicated.

Partition Jim, but not as we know it!

An overly optimistic card showing all 9 Ulster counties as part of the new Northern Ireland state.

World War.I. recruitment propaganda card

Designed and issued by Andrew L Neeson.

Vote early and often…

The dead have voted for decades on the island of Ireland and nowhere more so than in the six northeastern counties. Unknown publisher.

R.I.C lampooned

Humourous card from an unknown publisher.

Sir Edward Carson

Published by the Ulster Publishing Co., 20 Rosemary Street, Belfast.

South Camp Frongoch

Frongoch in north Wales formerly housed German POWs but was hurriedly converted to accommodate Irish Republicans rounded up after the Easter Rising. Unknown publisher.

More here: www.easter-rising-frongoch.wales

Dublin Riots: Arrest of Jim Larkin

A really interesting card published by Valentines showing Labour activist Jim Larkin being led away from the Imperial Hotel after his arrest on Sackville (O’Connell) Street, 31st August 1913. It was this event that sparked the now infamous riot and police baton charge – more here: RTE Century Ireland

Sir Edward Carson

No Home Rule

Colourful card by J.Johnston, William Street South, Belfast – printed in Scotland – and sold on eBay 26/4/17 for £32.00.

The Ulster Gun

Another from the Loyalist camp with quite a well-written poem. No publisher indicated.

Sold on eBay – 30/3/17 for £39.90.

Ulster Volunteer Nursing Corps at Glasslough, Co.Monaghan

A rather nondescript card, in poor condition, of the Ulster Volunteer Nursing Corps at Glasslough in July 1914 which sold for an incredible £142.00 on eBay on the 28/3/2017. Scarcity rather than quality I presume. No publisher indicated.

The Apprentice Boys of Derry

December 1689 and the Rev.George Walker urges the Protestant Apprentice Boys to shut the gates of the city against the Catholic King James II. Publisher unknown.

Signing of the Ulster Covenant  – 1912


The Ulster Covenant, also known as Ulster’s Solemn League and Covenant, was signed by just under half a million men and women from Ulster, on and before the 28th September 1912, in protest against the Third Home Rule Bill, introduced by the British Government in that same year.

More here: Ulster Covenant

Card published by Walton, Royal Avenue, Belfast.

St.Patrick’s Day card with a clear message!


Published by Browne & Nolan (?), Dublin.

Captain Karl Skindler and the ill-fated “Aud” Gun Running – April 1916


An undated German published postcard featuring  Captain Karl Spindler (1887-1951).

An interesting account of the “Aud” incident can be found here.

The Relief of Derry – 28th July, 1689

No 7 The Relief of Derry  No 3 Relief of Derry

Two colourful cards depicting the breaking of the boom at Londonderry which brought an end to the 105-day siege of the city by forces loyal to King James II.

Wexford Bridge in 1798

Image (4)

I recently picked up this interesting card on eBay for just under £20.00. It dates from the early 1900s and was obviously published for Unionist consumption, using as it does the horrific George Cruikshank illustration of the massacre of Protestants on Wexford bridge. It was one of a pair offered on eBay – the other by the same artist depicting the burning of Scullabogue Barn by rebels in the aftermath of the Battle of New Ross. I’m fascinated by the whole 1798 era, and the two incidents in particular, as an ancestor was murdered on Wexford Bridge and two other ancestors (children at the time) were rescued from the Scullabogue Barn before the massacre there.

The National Volunteers at College Green in 1782

National Volunteers College Green FRONT

From the Dungannon Club Series  – printed in Ireland but no publisher indicated. The card is a reproduction of the original painting by artist Francis Wheatley (1747-1801) but there are various discrepancies in the description including the date. The original painting now hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Home Rule at Carrickfergus


So, it wasn’t just local publishers that produced anti-Home Rule cards – this one is from mainstream firm Valentines. No less crude than the Baird example below.

Home Rule again: King John .I. of Ireland


R.G.Baird Ltd., of Belfast have nailed their colours to the mast with this card. Ironically, King John (Redmond) .I. would have been a doddle compared to what was to come throughout the remainder of the 20th century.

The Curragh Mutiny and General Sir Arthur Paget

General Sir Arthur Paget Rotary Series

Background to the Curragh Mutiny here.

Postcard from the Rotary Series.

Landing of King William III at Carrickfergus


A fine art card commemorating the arrival of King William III at Carrickfergus in 1690 by J.W.Carey and published by Valentines.

No question about this one.


Anti-Home Rule card by Johnson’s Postcard House, Belfast.

‘Remember Castledawson’ refers to an incident on the 29th June 1912 when an Ancient Order of Hibernians parade attacked a parade of Presbyterian school children.

Anti-Home Rule card

Valentines Home Rule card dated July 1916

Published by Valentines. Dated on back – July 1916.

King William III arrives at Carrickfergus 14th June, 1690

King William at Carrickfergus 1690 FINAL

Card published by W.Johnston, North Street, Belfast and postally used in June 1962.

The 1916 Easter Rising/Sinn Fein Rebellion

Pearse at GPO FRONTInside the GPO 1916 frontCasement card - Copy

Time dulls the memory and the colourful, heroic cards (above) – produced by Irish Art Publications Ltd., Dublin in 1966 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ‘The Rising’ – contrast greatly with the cards showing the destruction of the city that were published by Valentines, Hely’s and Eason & Son shortly after the event.

More about cards relating to the Rising here.

The Loyalist Perspective

Whatever your politics there’s great colour in these Unionist cards.

1690 VALENTINESKing Billy - Copy

Ulster Prayer1920s Troubles


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