Hugh Cunningham

This chapter draws primarily on periodical literature to show the meanings attached to philanthropy in the second half of the eighteenth century. Philanthropy was a feeling of love for humanity that brought pleasure, even rapture, to those who experienced it, all the more so as it was envisaged as universal in extent, covering all humans in the globe. The word was not used to describe what are often considered to be the hallmarks of eighteenth-century philanthropy, the voluntary hospitals, the Marine Society and other institutions. There was criticism, for example by Adam Smith, of the claim that mere humans could love all other humans, even some suggestions that misanthropy was more characteristic of humanity than philanthropy. But in the vast majority of references philanthropy was a sensation experienced in the body; it was not something that urged you to do anything or to spend money.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750
A social revolution begins
Author: Sonja Tiernan

Ireland was the first country to extend marriage to same-sex couples through a public vote. This book records the political campaign and strategy that led to this momentous event in 2015, from the origins of a gay rights movement in a repressive Ireland through to the establishment of the Yes Equality campaign. The story traces how, for perhaps the first time in the history of the Irish State, the country shed its conservative Catholic image. Ultimately, this is the account of how a new wave of activism was successfully introduced in Ireland which led to a social revolution that is being fully realised in 2019 and beyond through subsequent campaigns, activism and further referenda. The marriage equality movement is best explored through the stories of the main campaigners, including those already well known in the Irish movement, such as David Norris, Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan, as well as individuals who inspired the founding of vibrant new groups such as NOISE and Marriage Equality, or reactivated established groups such as GLEN. This social revolution is detailed through accounts of how political lobbying was used and court cases launched that brought about necessary legal and political change which now showcases Ireland as a progressive country continually working towards achieving full equality.

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Philanthropy and crime
Hugh Cunningham

Howard’s fame meant that philanthropy, prison and crime were inextricably linked after his death. The foundation of the Philanthropic Society in 1788, aiming to rescue children likely to fall into crime, further strengthened the link. Robert Young, its founder, had far-reaching ideas for what philanthropy could achieve, testament to the impact of the Enlightenment. On a practical level, the movement for reform of prisons revived in the 1810s, spearheaded by Quakers. One of them, William Allen, started a periodical, The Philanthropist, to advance his ideas and to lament the failure to sustain reform after Howard’s death. Quakers founded the Prison Discipline Society and in the harsher mood of the early nineteenth century promoted use of the treadwheel. By the mid-1830s the state had effectively taken over control of prison, but critics continued to focus their attention on philanthropy for its failures, either because, with solitary confinement, prison was too harsh or because it was too comfortable for prisoners. The chapter ends with a section on the Howard Association, founded in 1866, again with Quaker support. It was the main pressure group though by the end of the century it was being challenged as too conservative.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock

Using the evidence of normative texts, such as capitularies, as well as charters and estate records, this chapter studies the aims of interventions by political authorities and the dynamics of outside intervention within local society and their influence on social cohesion locally. With a focus on the three fields of war, justice and landownership, it demonstrates (where possible) the effects on the local of intervention from outside and demonstrates that such intervention was part of the regular experience of local people – whether from invaders, in court cases or as tenants. Moreover, individual members of local residential groups could often find supporters and mediators outside their small worlds, and factions within a community could use external agencies against their neighbours: external intervention into the local in the early Middle Ages could be an opportunity as well as a threat.

in Neighbours and strangers
Lower office holders
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock

Local societies were also influenced by other kinds of landowner, who may have been absentees or have had a wide spread of interests beyond that of a single local group. This chapter treats the ways in which outside authorities, office holders and aristocrats intervened in local society. On the one hand, members of these elites were themselves part of local societies; on the other, office holders acted as mediators linking local societies to higher levels such as the kingdom, the county or distant landowners. They therefore occupied a double position: they were themselves members of a local society and at the same time they were legitimised and commissioned by outside authorities. Numerous different types of secular office holder, from both the public and the private sphere, are referenced. However, the frequency of their appearance varies: lower-level office holders are extremely well documented in some parts of northern Italy, are less common in the Frankish and Anglo-Saxon world, and are rare in the Iberian peninsula.

in Neighbours and strangers
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A social revolution begins
Sonja Tiernan

Recounting the historic referendum results announced on Saturday 23 May 2015, this chapter introduces how Ireland shot onto the global stage as the first country to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples through a popular vote. Televisions across the world beamed images of people taking to the streets of the capital city and across the twenty-six counties in celebration, in tears and in solidarity.

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
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Hugh Cunningham

The chapter starts by introducing the book’s two key themes: that philanthropy has been criticised as much as it has been praised, and that the meaning attached to the word has been in constant flux. It was only in the later twentieth century that a monetised definition took precedence over others. After outlining the methodology with its focus on usage of the words ‘philanthropy’ and ‘philanthropist’, the chapter outlines the ways they have changed over time, linking these changes to wider forces, chiefly the Enlightenment, Romanticism, evangelicalism and capitalism, and arguing that philanthropy can be understood only through its relationship with poverty and the Poor Laws, slavery and anti-slavery, political radicalism, mutualism, national identity, voluntary societies and volunteering, citizenship and the welfare state. Short chapter descriptions form a conclusion.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750
Sonja Tiernan

Discussing the background of the gay rights movement in Ireland, this chapter opens on 24 July 1975, when David Norris, Chairman of the first national gay rights organisation, appeared on national television to discuss why gay people should have equality. This chapter describes how Ireland was then the last remaining member of the European Economic Community to retain criminal penalties against male homosexual activity.

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
Hugh Cunningham

John Howard, the prison reformer, was the first person to be consistently described as a ‘philanthropist’. He visited prisons throughout Britain and Europe, counting the steps down to ‘dungeons’, lambasting the sins of gaolers. In doing so he put his own life constantly at risk as gaol fever was endemic. The chapter centres on a proposal in 1786 to collect funds for a statue to Howard, even though the proposers knew that Howard would disapprove. From this point on philanthropy became a public, not simply a private, virtue. The aristocracy, William Pitt the prime minister, William Wilberforce and many other famous names contributed to the appeal for funds. Those raising money congratulated themselves on their own philanthropy: it was an expression of their own good feelings and above that of the nation. Howard put a stop to the proposal, but on his death in 1790 it was revived and in 1796 his statue, the first in the body of St Paul’s Cathedral, was unveiled. Howard was described as ‘the philanthropist’, his ‘god-like’ life celebrated. For a century future philanthropists were measured against Howard and found wanting. He himself counted the miles he travelled, not the considerable amount of money he gave.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750
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Collective action in rural settlements
Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Wendy Davies and Miriam Czock

Access to resources and conflicts over resources provide many of the contexts for collective action by local groups. This chapter investigates the evidence for collaboration in basic agricultural tasks and other economic activities, as well as that for more political forms of cooperation, for instance in jointly building churches, running local courts, attesting land transactions; and it looks at the evidence for the role of conflict in defining discrete groups. Our focus examines how collective action brought together people of widely varying wealth, social standing and even different legal status. The chapter also considers the labels people used of themselves and those that others used of them, as well as attitudes to outsiders, such as non-residents, people culturally marked as foreign, and those excluded from the social group for lack of conformity or otherwise, as well as the conscious identification of some within the group, such as Jews, as 'other'.

in Neighbours and strangers