Divided Kingdom: Ireland 1630-1800 (Oxford History of Early by S.J. Connolly

By S.J. Connolly

For eire the 17th and eighteenth centuries have been an period marked by means of conflict, financial transformation, and the making and remaking of identities. by means of the 1630s the period of wars of conquest appeared firmly some time past. however the British civil wars of the mid-seventeenth century fractured either Protestant and Catholic eire alongside traces outlined through diverse combos of non secular and political allegiance. Later, after 1688, eire turned the battlefield for what used to be in a different way Britain's cold (and so excellent) Revolution. The eighteenth century, in contrast, was once a interval of peace, allowing eire to emerge, first as a dynamic actor within the starting to be Atlantic financial system, then because the breadbasket for industrialising Britain. yet on the finish of the century, opposed to a heritage of foreign revolution, new types of non secular and political clash got here jointly to provide one other interval of multi-sided clash. The Act of Union, rapidly brought within the aftermath of civil warfare, ensured that eire entered the 19th century nonetheless divided, yet not a kingdom.

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In 1631 the complaints of Dean Leslie, a Scottish client of Laud, had forced a reluctant Bishop Echlin of Down and Connor to suspend four clergymen, among them the two leading dissidents, Robert Blair and John Livingstone. An intervention by Ussher, a direct appeal to the crown, and the imminence of parliament, allowed the offenders to secure several reprieves. However Blair and another minister were finally deposed in 1634 and Livingstone in 1635. By this time Leslie had replaced Echlin as bishop, and he proceeded during 1636 to deprive a further five ministers for their refusal to subscribe to the new canons.

Five months later, in a more dramatic demonstration of the narrow limits of permitted dissent, the court of high commission sentenced Archibald Adair, bishop of Killala, to be deprived of his diocese, fined £2,000, and imprisoned during the king’s pleasure, for having allegedly expressed sympathy with the National Covenant. Wentworth himself had been in England since the previous September, where he became the king’s leading adviser on English and Scottish as well as Irish affairs. In January 1640 Charles created him earl of Strafford and promoted him from deputy to lord lieutenant of Ireland.

His most profitable venture, bringing him a total of some £35,000, was his share of the customs farm. In 1637 he took over what would probably, given time, have been a highly profitable monopoly of tobacco imports. In addition he acquired, by a combination of royal grants and purchase, more than 57,000 acres in Counties Wicklow and Kildare. By 1639 his income from Irish sources was £13,000 per year, as compared to £6,000 from his Yorkshire estates. None of this was necessarily unacceptable by the standards of the time.

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