From Patriots to Unionists: Dublin Civic Politics and Irish Protestant Patriotism, 1660-1840

Eighteenth-century Dublin contained the largest concentration of Protestants (c.70,000) in Ireland. Freemen of the guilds alone - who were entitled to a parliamentary vote - were almost as numerous as the entire landed class. These merchants, master craftsmen, and shopkeepers, most of them members of the established church, became firm supporters of the Patriot movement that culminated in the winning of legislative independence in 1782. Dr Jacqueline Hill draws on an extensive range of pamphlet and other sources, in order to examine the freemen's contribution to Irish Patriotism. She considers their challenge to oligarchy, their attitudes to Britain, and, crucially, their attitudes to Catholics. Offering the first detailed analysis of the ideological nature of Irish Patriotism in its wider British, American, and European context, Dr Hill also provides a fresh perspective on the transformation of eighteenth-century Patriots into nineteenth-century Unionists.