This chapter examines the transmission of news in, through and about Newgate prison in the aftermath of the 1715 Jacobite rebellion. Although Newgate was not located in the provinces, the prison’s special structure of governance, its famously exotic customs, the difficulty of access to it and the high concentration of prisoners from Scotland and the northern counties that it housed after 1715 justify treating it conceptually as a ‘locality’. Newgate was at once psychologically distant from the coffee houses that comprised London's public sphere and yet seen by a wider public as the site and source of important political knowledge that impacted the legitimacy of the new regime. The news out of Newgate covered a wide range of topics: the alleged abuse of the ‘Jacobite Jew’ Frances Francia by Townsend to extort information, the general laxity or brutality of the prison wardens, the courage or cowardice or impudent debauchery of prisoners awaiting death or reprieve, the ‘truth’ about the Jacobite defeat at Preston. This chapter asks what news the denizens of Newgate had access to, and what news they themselves produced or recycled, and at why and how news about Newgate would reach a wider public.

in Connecting centre and locality

This chapter examines hitherto unknown sources relating to provincial popular mobilisation in support of the ‘Leveller’ agenda in 1648. One of the chief goals is to explore a little-studied phenomenon – rural support for the Leveller programme. It will do so by exploring a region, the south-west, that has been almost entirely neglected in scholarship on concerted radical political mobilisation (David Underdown, the region’s leading historian, overlooked this material, arguing that there was no discernible Leveller petitioning activity in the area). The chapter aims to work out the underlying sources of support for this agenda, and to map the connections between mobilisation in the localities and more familiar Leveller activities in London. More broadly, the chapter seeks to clarify the relationship between Leveller agitation and the broader political revolution of 1648–49. It will be demonstrated that the coalition of militant parliamentarians who supported the ‘Leveller’ agitation in the south-west was essentially coextensive with the constituency pushing for regicide and political revolution; moreover, after the regicide, this radical parliamentarian network supplied critical local infrastructure and backing for the republican and protectoral regimes of the 1650s. The chapter thus aims to explore the popular and local basis for political revolution and republicanism.

in Connecting centre and locality
English corporations, Atlantic plantations and literate order, 1557–1650

This chapter revisits the problem of political communication between centre and province in early modern England, using the records of an English corporation (a chartered urban community on the Welsh border) and of a plantation (a chartered commercial settlement on the Atlantic frontier) to analyse the nature of communication through charter as an early modern political project and its implications for beliefs about order and agency on the margins of this complex political society. It argues that models drawn from the study of literacy have more value for understanding the early modern experience of authority in this type of political communication than do the structural terms of centre and province or locality. Drawing from the books written by their officers, the chapter examines a range of practical political activities in the borough of Tewkesbury during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and in the Gloucester plantation from its inception in 1642.

in Connecting centre and locality

This chapter revisits and rethinks what might appear to be a classic instance of conflict between centre and locality: Laudian attempts to implement reforms in Puritan Ipswich in the 1630s. It does so by assessing Bishop Matthew Wren’s associations with the town, and by examining the spatial politics of Laudianism, in terms of the interior of Ipswich’s churches. It also does so by exploring the issue of communication, in terms of battles over the town’s most powerful minister, Samuel Ward, as well as over the town’s pulpits, and in terms of how the town’s affairs fed into controversial Puritan pamphleteering. The aim is to use a thorough investigation of episodes and events that took place in Ipswich – not least a riot in 1636 – in order to shed light on the relationship between the spatial politics of Laudianism and the wider reform programme of the Personal Rule.

in Connecting centre and locality
Political communication and the rise of the agent in seventeenth-century England

The historiography regarding communicative practices in the early modern period tends to involve overly neat trajectories, which map the supplanting of sociable networks by commercial relationships, and trace the decline of scribal culture in the face of a print revolution. At the very least, it has been possible to argue that print became a central mechanism for connecting centre and locality. Of course, scholars continue to debate how best to assess the relative importance of scribal and print genres, as well as the impact of the commercial revolution. What this chapter seeks to argue, however, is that there are other much less well recognised ways of challenging such Whiggish narratives, by questioning the degree to which print was an accessible and unmediated method for obtaining ideas and information, and by recognising the obstacles which continued to undermine the accessibility of print. As such, any appreciation of the significance of the ‘print revolution’ needs to investigate how these obstacles were overcome, and this chapter seeks to highlight the central importance of the professional agent in facilitating a shift from sociable scribal networks to a commercial culture of print, while at the same time making such a change seem much less stark.

in Connecting centre and locality
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Future directions

The history of marriage equality in Ireland concludes with a note for the future regarding Northern Ireland. The law extending marriage to same-sex couples came into effect in England and Wales on 29 March 2014. On 29 April, a third attempt was made to pass a bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The vote lost by 51 against to 43 in favour. The opposition once again was predominantly from by unionist parties including the Democratic Unionist Party, Ulster Unionist Party and Traditional Unionist Voice, with all nationalist MLAs voting in support of marriage equality. This afterword provides an assessment of the current situation.

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland

Chapter 9 provides a background to the formation of Yes Equality, a group dedicated to establishing marriage for same-sex couples. This chapter continues with the announcement of the referendum on marriage equality and an assessment of the campaign in the immediate run-up to the referendum.

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland

An overview of the first stages of seeking the introduction of a Civil Partnership Bill for same-sex couples in 2007. During the parliamentary debates on civil partnerships the issue of whether the Irish Constitution would need to be changed arose. This chapter describes how and why the focus on the Constitution would become the central issue in the legal and political debate surrounding the introduction of civil partnerships and later the extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples in Ireland.

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
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Philanthropy, the love of humankind, has expressed itself in many different ways. In the Conclusion I rehearse these and argue that it is only by close attention to context, to political, economic, social and cultural change, that it is possible both to understand how philanthropy has changed and how it has been part of the motor of change.

in The reputation of philanthropy since 1750

This chapter focuses on material dimensions, such as settlement, topography and access to resources, as well as on fundamental factors that define the position of individuals within local societies and groups. Drawing on recent settlement archaeology to present a synthetic overview of the shape, size and internal organisation of rural settlements, it highlights their dynamism and diversity across time and space. It provides examples of the topographic arrangement of landed property and of the constituents of individual farming units, thereby presenting concrete illustrations of ‘neighbourhood’. The socio-economic and legal stratification of local societies is discussed, revealing high levels of local and regional variation, but also some general tendencies. The problem of freedom and servitude as formal/legal and informal categories is emphasised. An analysis of the organisation of landownership is presented together with the different forms of aristocratic property and their relationship to the property of individuals with a lower status.

in Neighbours and strangers