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Were they too good for them?
Thomas Bartlett

9 The penal laws against Irish Catholics: were they too good for them? Thomas Bartlett I The question is not entirely facetious. At one time, the penal era of Irish history – roughly 1690 to 1770 – was denounced as a period during which, as an early twentieth-century Irish schoolbook had it, ‘Ireland lay in helpless misery, ground down by an inhuman tyranny – the blackest known to history’.1 During these decades, it was claimed that the Catholic religion was in effect proscribed while Catholic priests were ordered into exile or ruthlessly pursued by ‘priest

in Irish Catholic identities
The mental world of a seventeenth-century Catholic gentleman
Author: Geoff Baker

This book examines the activities of William Blundell, a seventeenth-century Catholic gentleman, and using the approaches of the history of reading provides a detailed analysis of his mindset. Blundell was neither the passive victim nor the entirely loyal subject that he and others have claimed. He actively defended his family from the penal laws and used the relative freedom that this gave him to patronise other Catholics. In his locality, Blundell ensured that the township of Little Crosby was populated almost entirely by his co-religionists, on a national level he constructed and circulated arguments supporting the removal of the penal laws, and on an international level he worked as an agent for the Poor Clares of Rouen. That he cannot be defined solely by his victimhood is further supported by his commonplace notes. Not only did Blundell rewrite the histories of recent civil conflicts to show that Protestants were prone to rebellion and Catholics to loyalty, but we also find a different perspective on his religious beliefs. His commonplaces suggest an underlying tension with aspects of Catholicism that is manifest throughout his notes on his practical engagement with the world, in which it is clear that he was wrestling with the various aspects of his identity. This examination of Blundell's political and cultural worlds complicates generalisations about early modern religious identities.

Geoff Baker

Chapter 1 . William Blundell’s family and friends W ith the exception of letters to close friends, the material that Blundell released into the public domain concentrated on his manifold sufferings under a Protestant state. However, these claims should not necessarily be taken at face value. Blundell developed defences that helped him to navigate the extremes of the penal laws, the most significant of which was the creation of Catholic and Protestant networks of friends and family who offered him protection. These networks had their limits, the most obvious

in Reading and politics in early modern England
Geoff Baker

he seek to alleviate the sufferings of English Catholics by offering both religious and practical support, but at risk to himself and his family he also provided charity for Irish Catholics. Furthermore, Blundell was a zealous supporter of English religious houses on the continent and by 1660 he was entrusted with vast sums of money to farm out on behalf of the Poor Clares of Rouen and became one of their foremost financial agents in England. Finally, in his writings he provided arguments for the removal of the penal laws and the admission of Catholics into every area

in Reading and politics in early modern England
The conversion of Irish Catholics, c.1721–34
Andrew Sneddon

financial burden on their congregations. Therefore, until made Protestant, Ireland would remain economically backward and underdeveloped.1 Early modern Irish Protestants took one of two approaches to the problem of conversion. The first mooted that Catholics would convert in large numbers if their religion was suppressed by penal legislation.2 By the time Hutchinson reached Ireland in January 1721, Catholics were able to practise their religion, primarily because those Penal Laws (passed piecemeal by the Irish Parliament between 1695 and 1750) that related specifically to

in Witchcraft and Whigs
Sophia Cross

colonial cultural dominance. Religion and nationality became synonymous after the introduction of the Penal Laws. 21 Furthermore religious and national identity became much more than cultural issues. Religion provided the pretext needed for a Protestant minority to ensure that it maintained its superior position in politics, society and land-ownership. The leniency with which William

in Cultural identities and the aesthetics of Britishness
Lisa Wynne Smith

–64. 92 H. MacMahon and P. J. Flanagan, ‘The diocese of Clogher in 1714 (continued)’, Clogher Record , 1 (1955), pp. 125–30; MacMahon and Flanagan, ‘The diocese of Clogher in 1714’, pp. 39–42. This resulted from the Penal Laws, which aimed to make it difficult for Catholics to practice. 93 MacMahon and Flanagan, ‘The diocese of Clogher in 1714’, p. 41. 94 MacMahon and Flanagan, ‘The diocese of Clogher in 1714 (continued)’, pp. 129

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine
Leslie C. Green

Occupying Power’s competence to amend either the local civil or the penal law is not unlimited, and it should not introduce any regulation that suspends, extinguishes or renders unenforceable the legal rights of enemy subjects. Where the local system does not measure up to current standards of the rule of law the Occupying Power may make the amendments necessary to remedy this. It

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
A brief survey
Éamonn Ó Ciardha

close relationship between Irish Jacobite poets and the Catholic clergy has obvious implications for the links between Jacobitism, Catholicism and the penal laws.62 Priest-poets such as Liam Inglis, Seán Ó Briain, Conchubhar Ó Briain, Domhnall Ó Colmáin and Uilliam Mac Néill Bhacaigh Ó hIarlaithe promoted the Stuart cause, which remained an intrinsic feature of Irish Catholic nationalist identity until at least 1760. The Catholic Church stepped into the breach created by the effective destruction of the Catholic aristocracy to patronise the Jacobite literati. Poets

in Irish Catholic identities
Joseph Webster

Order, as the Institution which claims to be the last real guardian of King Billy’s Glorious Revolution. The birth of Orangeism: warring peasants and the revival of the Williamite tradition Following William’s victory at the Boyne, a series of Irish Penal Laws, or ‘popery laws’ (O’Loughlin in Connolly 2007 : 462), were introduced in an attempt to cement Protestant gains – gains which later became known as the Protestant ascendancy. More specifically, this involved ‘the enactment from the 1690s of a series of discriminatory measures directed against Catholic

in The religion of Orange politics