Months into his first administration, William Ewart Gladstone begins the fraught political process of removing the Anglican Church of Ireland’s establishment status. Disestablishment ultimately achieved Royal Assent in July 1869, amid acrimony in both the House of Lords and House of Commons and the intervention of Queen Victoria, before being enacted on January 1st 1871. It ended the anomaly of Anglicanism being the dominant church in a mainly Catholic nation – a situation that had created Irish ire given the tithes the majority Catholic population had to pay to a church of which only a minority were members.