In 18th century Ireland, a band of rebels emerged whose name who not be soon forgotten. They dubbed themselves “fairies” but the name “whiteboys” stuck, as the sported while garb during their night raids. They fought against tithe collecting, excessive church dues and other unacceptable landowner demands. In the beginning the group responded only to specific complaints, but as they grew began to instill fear in all land owners as the severity of their acts grew. Loyalty was essential and it is said the members took an oath of service.
The original rebels: Ireland’s Infamous Whiteboys – IrishCentral.com.