Protestant Dissent in Ireland 1687-1780

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ISBN 9780571242757 Format Paperback
9780571242757
Paperback
Published 17/07/2008 Length 160 pages
160

About Book

During the Jacobite war of 1689-91 James II had no more determined enemies than the Irish presbyterians. But when protestant ascendancy in Ireland was restored under William III, they found that the privileged position of the established church was to remain intact. To English statesmen of the period it seemed that the only essential division of Irish society was that of 'protestant or papist'. But in fact the sub-division of the protestant minority into churchmen and dissenters was in some respects more important. It was a political and social as well as a religious division; and it was one of the forces which stimulated emigration from Ulster to North America during the half century preceding the war of independence.

This book is an attempt to explain why this division among protestants persisted in face of a hostile majority of Catholics, and to examine the extent to which the dissenters actually suffered under the penal laws directed against them.

During the Jacobite war of 1689-91 James II had no more determined enemies than the Irish presbyterians. But when protestant ascendancy in Ireland was restored under William III, they found that the privileged position of the established church was to remain intact. To English statesmen of the period it seemed that the only essential division of Irish society was that of 'protestant or papist'. But in fact the sub-division of the protestant minority into churchmen and dissenters was in some respects more important. It was a political and social as well as a religious division; and it was one of the forces which stimulated emigration from Ulster to North America during the half century preceding the war of independence.This book is an attempt to explain why this division among protestants persisted in face of a hostile majority of Catholics, and to examine the extent to which the dissenters actually suffered under the penal laws directed against them.
  • About J.C. Beckett

    Professor J. C. Beckett was born and educated in Belfast where he became a lecturer in Modern History at Queen's University; and in 1958 Professor of Irish History there. After his retirement from the chair in 1975 Professor Beckett spent 1976 as Cummings Lecturer at McGill University, Montreal and was visiting Professor at the Univeristy of Tulane, New Orleans in 1977. In 1980 he was awarded an honorary D. Litt. by Queen's University, Belfast.

    Professor Beckett died in 1996.

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