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The Anglo-Irish Experience, 1680-1730

The Anglo-Irish Experience, 1680-1730: Religion, Identity and Patriotism

D. W. Hayton
Volume: 9
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    The Anglo-Irish Experience, 1680-1730
    Book Description:

    The wars and revolutions of seventeenth-century Ireland established in power a ruling class of Protestant landowners whose culture and connexions were traditionally English, but whose interests and political loyalties were increasingly Irish. At first unsure of their self-image and ambivalent in their loyalties, they gradually became more confident and developed a distinctive notion of 'Irishness'. ‘The Anglo-Irish Experience’ explores the religious, intellectual and political culture of this new elite during a period of change and adjustment. D.W. Hayton traces both the shifting sense of national identity characteristic of the period and the changing stereotype of the Irish in English popular literature - which did much to push the 'Anglo-Irish' to embrace their Irish heritage. He also argues for the emergence of a pragmatic, constructive form of political 'patriotism', linked closely to the prevailing ideology of economic 'improvement' and underpinned by the influence of evangelical Protestantism. A key feature of the book is the use made of case studies of individuals and families: the decay of the Ormond Butlers, undermined by debt and eventually driven into political exile; the rise and fall of the Brodricks, gentlemen lawyers with a strong provincial power-base; the political journey of the politician and political writer Henry Maxwell, from 'commonwealth whig' ideologue to ministerial hack; and the relationship between Sir John Rawdon, a pious and intellectual squire, and his estate agent Thomas Prior, pamphleteer and apostle of 'improvement'. These and other narratives illustrate the variety and complexity of the 'Anglo-Irish' experience in a period that witnessed the foundation of what would in due course come to be known as the 'Protestant nation'. Early modern British and Irish historians will find this book invaluable. D.W. Hayton is Professor of Early Modern Irish and British History at Queen's University Belfast, and the author of ‘Ruling Ireland, 1685-1742: Politics, Politicians and Parties’ (Boydell, 2004).

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-037-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  7. Note on dates and quotations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. 1 From Barbarian to Burlesque: The changing stereotype of the Irish
    (pp. 1-24)

    The Englishman’s offensive practice of creating adverse social stereotypes of supposedly inferior national or racial groups has proved most attractive as a subject for study when it can be depicted as a weapon of colonial or neo-colonial exploitation. This is particularly true in relation to the development of Irish stereotypes, where a moralistic tone often intrudes.¹ With the exception of the work of literary specialists,² research into popular English impressions of Ireland and the native Irish has tended to concentrate on the periods in which caricature can be shown to have facilitated the justification of coercive policies and ‘imperialist’ domination....

  9. 2 Anglo-Irish Attitudes: Shifting perceptions of national identity
    (pp. 25-48)

    In eighteenth-century Europe units of government tended to be ‘composite states’ rather than ‘nation states’, and political loyalties were often correspondingly local or dynastic. Thus where ‘national identity’ existed it was not necessarily ‘national’ in the modern sense of being ethnocentric and exclusive. In this political world splintered or overlapping identities were commonplace. The position of the Protestant elite of early eighteenth-century Ireland – caught between dependence on the English connexion, and dependence on Irish property – was not therefore unusual. It was, however, unusually delicate. These dual loyalties, though sometimes complementary, could pull in different directions. When English and...

  10. 3 Aristocratic decline: The fall of the house of Ormond
    (pp. 49-75)

    For the Irish landed aristocracy the Williamite Revolution marked an ebb tide. Rebellions and religious wars had destroyed or weakened many older noble dynasties, while families which would in later years come to dominate the political life of Hanoverian Ireland – the Ponsonbys, Hills, Beresfords and their ilk – were still clambering out of the ranks of the gentry. Of the magnates whose rivalries had determined the course of Irish politics during the conflicts of 1640–90, some, like the Bourkes and Talbots, had been expropriated because of their Catholic political loyalty; others, such as the Annesleys and the various...

  11. 4 A presence in the country: The Brodricks and their ‘interest’
    (pp. 76-103)

    A few miles to the south of the town of Midleton, in County Cork, near the shore of the Owenacurra estuary, may be found the remains of Ballyannan House, once the principal Irish residence of the Brodricks, in their time the greatest landed family in the district, and one of the most powerful political dynasties in Protestant Ireland. Alan Brodrick (c. 1655–1728) and his elder brother Thomas (1654–1730) emerged after the Williamite revolution as prominent members of the restored Irish parliament, at first alongside their father among the front rank of opposition speakers in the short-lived session of...

  12. 5 ‘Commonwealthman’, unionist and king’s servant: Henry Maxwell and the Whig imperative
    (pp. 104-123)

    Henry Maxwell, squire of Finnebrogue, County Down, who successively represented three Ulster boroughs – Bangor, Killybegs and Donegal town – in the Irish House of Commons from 1698 until his death in 1730 (from the effects of an ‘apoplectic fit’¹), has attracted rather more scholarly attention than is usual for an early eighteenth-century Irish M.P. This is not because of his importance in the Irish parliament, or in Irish politics generally, though he was by no means an insignificant figure, but because of his political writing, and in particular the pamphlet published anonymously in 1703 arguing the merits of an...

  13. 6 ‘Paltry underlings of state’? The character and aspirations of the ‘Castle’ party, 1715–32
    (pp. 124-148)

    In his writings, both public and private, Jonathan Swift voiced a low opinion of politicians. ‘I have conversed in some freedom with more ministers of state of all parties than usually happens to men of my level,’ he boasted to Alexander Pope in 1721,

    And I confess, in their capacity as ministers, I look upon them as a race of people whose acquaintance no man would court, otherwise than upon the score of vanity or ambition. The first quickly wears off (and is the vice of low minds, for a man of spirit is too proud to be vain) and...

  14. 7 Creating industrious Protestants: Charity schools and the enterprise of religious and social reformation
    (pp. 149-174)

    Of the many questions that might be asked about the course of the Protestant Reformation in early modern Ireland, one of the most popular, and in the long run probably the most important, is also the simplest: why, over several centuries, did proponents of the reformed religion not win over the hearts and minds of a majority of Irish men and women? Was it a failure of means, or of will, on the part of the reformers? Indeed, can it be properly described as a failure at all? For historians of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, these have been...

  15. 8 A question of upbringing: Thomas Prior, Sir John Rawdon, 3rd Bt, and the mentality and ideology of ‘improvement’
    (pp. 175-198)

    Although historians of eighteenth-century Ireland are aware of the association between the Irish economic writer Thomas Prior (1681–1751), the founder of the Dublin Society, and the Rawdon family of Moira, County Down, the connexion has only been remarked upon by scholars working on the Rawdons, and in particular by those interested in the life of John Rawdon, first earl of Moira, the pious, philanthropic intellectual (and husband of the blue-stocking Elizabeth), to whom Prior acted as a mentor.¹ Biographers of Prior have focused instead on his connexion with Bishop Berkeley.² But Prior’s primary working relationship, at least until the...

  16. Bibliography of secondary works
    (pp. 199-212)
  17. Index
    (pp. 213-226)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 227-227)