“A Discussion Between Church and Chapel”


Singer overhears Cork chapel and Shandon Church arguing. Church blames chapel for convincing people to leave Ireland. Chapel blames Church for "tithes and taxes" and prophesizes "tithes and taxes will be defeated" and freedom will return after 500 years


Zimmermann, quoting _English As We Speak it in Ireland_ by Joyce: "All through Ireland it is customary to call a Protestant place of worship a 'church', and that belonging to Roman Catholics a 'chapel'." [This presumably because the Anglican faith was the official and legal Church of Ireland; Catholic services were often held in any place they could find. - RBW]

The context is "The Tithe War": O'Connell's Catholic Association was formed in 1823 to resist the requirement that Irish Catholics pay tithes to the Anglican Church of Ireland. The "war" was passive for most of the period 1823-1836, though there were violent incidents in 1831 (source: _The Irish Tithe War 1831_ at the OnWar.com site). [In the Index, see "The Battle of Carrickshock" for more on the Tithe War.]

Zimmermann prints a variant of the prophecy in which "base heresy" is defeated and freedom will return after 300 years. The Bodliean broadsides illustrate both prophecies. - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Firth c.26(159), "Church and Chapel," J.O. Bebbington (Manchester), 1855-1858; also 2806 b.10(162), 2806 b.10(46), Firth b.25(326), "A Discussion Between the Church and Chapel"; Harding B 26(136), "A Discussion Between a Church and a Chapel"


  1. Zimmermann 37, "A Discussion Between Church and Chapel" (2 texts)
  2. BI, Zimm037


Alternate titles: “A Dialogue Between Church and Chapel”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: c.1830 (Zimmermann)