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Ruling Ireland, 1685-1742

Ruling Ireland, 1685-1742: Politics, Politicians and Parties

D. W. Hayton
Volume: 1
Copyright Date: 2004
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 318
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  • Book Info
    Ruling Ireland, 1685-1742
    Book Description:

    In a series of studies, David Hayton offers a comprehensive account of the government of Ireland during the period of transformation from "New English" colonialism to Anglo-Irish "patriotism", providing a chronological survey of the development of English policy towards Ireland and an account of the changing political structure of Ireland; particular attention is paid to the emergence of an English-style party system under Queen Anne. The Anglo-Irish dimension is also explored, through crises of high politics, and through an examination of the role played by Irish issues at Westminster. In his introduction Professor Hayton provides historical perspective, and establishes Irish political developments firmly in their British context. Professor D.W. HAYTON is Reader in Modern History at Queen's University, Belfast.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-148-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Editorial note
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. List of principal abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-7)

    During the past twenty years a transformation has occurred in our knowledge and understanding of the history of Ireland in the first half of the eighteenth century. Once badly neglected, the period now attracts considerable and continuing scholarly interest. New fields of research have been opened up; traditional assumptions challenged; ‘revisionist’ interpretations advanced. Yet in one important area – politics and government – a great deal is still unknown and unexplained. This book represents the summation of three decades of research into political thought and practice in Ireland, and the development of English policy, between the reign of James II and the...

  7. 1 Two revolutions: jacobite and Williamite
    (pp. 8-34)

    The traditional whig interpretation of English constitutional history depicted the Glorious Revolution as a reassertion of the liberties of the individual against the encroachments of arbitrary monarchy. However, these heroic simplicities have tended to dissolve on close examination of the evidence. Modern scholarship has enabled ‘revisionist’ historians of various kinds to reassemble the picture in different ways. Some, indeed, have gone so far in their enthusiasm as to turn the old image upside down. The most radical revision, in effect an anti-history of the revolution, casts King James II in the role of proto-liberal and William III as the would-be...

  8. 2 Anglo-Irish politics, 1692–1704: the rise of party
    (pp. 35-105)

    Throughout the seventeenth century the protestant landowning elites of England and Ireland remained not only very much alike in composition and outlook, but closely interlinked. Their common cultural inheritance was reflected in similar attitudes and prejudices, while connexions between individuals and families were maintained and extended by marriage, friendship and shared experience. A few ‘Anglo-Irish’ dynasties possessed estates and interests on both sides of the Irish Sea, and participated in the social and political life of both kingdoms. But for all this, English and Irish politics, even when developing in the same general direction, seldom followed precisely parallel lines. The...

  9. 3 The beginnings of the ‘undertaker system’
    (pp. 106-130)

    By 1714 the Irish parliament had become firmly established as an indispensable institution of government: a development of such importance that it might even qualify for the title of a ‘constitutional revolution’.¹ One consequence was that parliamentary management became a prime concern of the administration in Dublin Castle. To rule Ireland successfully required the achievement of cohesion between the English-appointed executive and the Irish propertied elite, and for successive viceroys and their immediate advisers this problem was expressed most frequently and most urgently within a parliamentary context. In 1692, as we have seen, ministers and M.P.s were hopelessly out of...

  10. 4 High churchmen in the Irish convocation
    (pp. 131-158)

    Until comparatively recently, historical writing on the Church of Ireland in the eighteenth century concentrated on the problems – material, cultural and intellectual – with which churchmen were beset: lack of resources, in terms of personnel, finance, land and buildings; the corrosive effects of patronage in undermining the commitment of the clergy to pastoral duties; the hostility of catholics towards the established church, and the mutual incomprehension of settler and native, which defeated attempts at conversion. Consequently, the clergymen who attracted historians and biographers were the minority of aspiring problem-solvers: ecclesiastical ‘reformers’, among whom the formidable figure of William King, successively bishop...

  11. 5 The crisis in Ireland and the disintegration of Queen Anne’s last ministry
    (pp. 159-185)

    During the winter of 1713–14 the tory ministry in England began to disintegrate. Despite a massive tory victory at the English general election of 1713, the new parliament which met at Westminster in the following spring did not furnish the court with a reliable majority in either house. The tory party had fallen into disarray. Queen Anne’s deteriorating health was the root cause, giving rise to panic among tories. It was clear that there was little hope for them at Hanover, where Prince George, angry at the peace of Utrecht, was committed to the whigs. Some tories actively considered...

  12. 6 Exclusion, conformity and parliamentary representation: the impact of the sacramental test on Irish dissenting politics
    (pp. 186-208)

    Various political issues were raised by the presence in early eighteenth-century Ireland of substantial numbers of protestant dissenters, but the most persistently and vigorously debated was the propriety of maintaining the ‘test clause’ imposed by the Irish popery act of 1704, which required all holders of civil and military office under the crown to receive holy communion once a year in the established church. Such were the perceived effects, on employment opportunities for dissenters and on the composition of borough corporations (which also came within the scope of the act), that very soon the test came to be regarded by...

  13. 7 British whig ministers and the Irish question, 1714–25
    (pp. 209-236)

    Such discussion as there has been of the development of British policy towards Ireland in the early eighteenth century¹ has tended to focus upon the extraordinary events surrounding the coinage of ‘Wood’s halfpence’ in 1722–5: the bitter opposition of Irish ‘patriots’; the rage of public opinion, inspired by Swift’s Drapier’s letters; the parliamentary difficulties encountered by administration; and the démarche signalled by the appointment of Lord Carteret as viceroy in 1724. Despite differences of interpretation, there is agreement that the affair provoked British ministers into a reappraisal of their Irish policy. The traditional view held that the failure of...

  14. 8 ‘A remote part of the king’s dominions’: Sir Robert Walpole’s administration and the government of Ireland, c. 1725–42
    (pp. 237-275)

    Sir Robert Walpole, in common with most other English politicians in the first half of the eighteenth century, usually accorded Irish business a low priority. Even at the height of the gravest crisis in Anglo–Irish relations during his period in office, namely the affair of ‘Wood’s halfpence’, he displayed the superciliousness that characterised the fashionable Englishman’s attitude to all things Hibernian. ‘I have weathered great storms before now,’ he wrote, ‘and I hope I shall not be lost at last in an Irish hurricane.’¹ Once the agitation against the halfpence had been defused, he became complacent in his confidence...

  15. Conclusion
    (pp. 276-281)

    The most noticeable characteristic of Anglo–Irish relations in the halfcentury following the treaty of Limerick is their underlying stability: certainly in comparison with what had gone before, and what was to come after. Conflict between protestant and catholic political interests had been resolved beyond the prospect of reversal. At the same time the protestant propertied élite, confirmed in its control of land, government and representative institutions, was not yet sufficiently confident as to assert a claim to a separate and substantially independent political existence. The religious and ethnic wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were over; the sustained...

  16. Manuscript sources cited
    (pp. 282-290)
  17. Index
    (pp. 291-306)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 307-307)