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Protestants who had been in Ireland pre bought land from the Cromwellian grantees. The settlers pre and post bonded together with the concern of maintaining a political order. His faithful followers were rewarded by having their Irish lands returned ; however, the disposed Catholic landowners, including Old English, were to be generally disappointed.

Religious persecution faded. Catholic clergy returned from the Continent.


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There were occasional acts of persecution like the execution of Archbishop Oliver Plunkett of Armagh, but the breathing space from to helped Catholicism re-establish itself. The Catholics themselves however felt defeated. He began restoring public office to Catholics and to mobilise a Catholic army. He planned a primarily Catholic parliament at Dublin. Protestants in Britain and Ireland were alarmed. A Catholic-dominated Irish parliament revoked the Cromwellian land settlement, but the succession of William of Orange , who usurped the crown from James together with his wife Mary , was to trigger a split in Ireland.

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James sought support from the Irish; the French came to Ireland to help. Catholics in Ireland responded to the call, frightening the Protestants. Late in the autumn of , rumours began to spread that Irish Catholics loyal to James II were massacring Protestants. News came that a Catholic regiment was to be sent to Londonderry to relieve the old garrison. The people of Londonderry thought it unwise to have Catholic troops protect them. The siege began, reaching its full intensity for six weeks in the summer. Thousands died of starvation and disease.

The besieging army were ill-trained and badly equipped; there was only one attempt to breach the walls. Eventually 10, non-combatants were let out. Once, the besieging commander tried to break the siege by rounding up local Protestants and threatening to let them starve to death in the open.

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The Derry citizens erected gallows and threatened to execute Catholic prisoners, forcing the release of the Protestant prisoners. British ships in the Foyle broke the boom and relieved Derry. Their previous hesitation had left the northern Protestants with the awareness that they were on their own.

The Battle of the Boyne is now marked by Protestants on July 12th every year. William's army moved towards Dublin, pushing James' forces onto the defensive. There was stern resistance to the Williamite army , but it ended in in defeat at Aughrim on 12th July. All Catholic armies surrendered at Limerick under Patrick Sarsfield. After Catholic surrender there was more confiscation of their property and a rigid anti-Catholic penal code was introduced.

The Protestants were feeling insecure after the recent dramatic Catholicisation of the army and law. A Catholic landlord had to bequeath his inheritance equally to his children unless one turned Protestant, in which case he got the lot. Parish priests could still practise, but friars, bishops and archbishops could not. However, the laws were applied loosely enough to allow bishops etc to exist furtively, and so new priests could be ordained.

This laxness was because the vast majority were Catholic; it was easier not to suppress them. Sometimes, as in Galway, the friars would bribe the authorities who had been ordered to crack down on them. The principle exports were textiles and meat.


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  7. Powerful landlords and the church owned most of the land. Huge homes were built. From the s, the fundamental question over the Irish parliament was whether the Dublin assembly could originate legislation without it being adapted in London. This was sharpened by British attempts to restrict the Irish wool trade. They were insecure, having survived a threat to the property settlement in Protestants looked back in bitterness to and ; the Catholics to the Treaty of Limerick. The Church of Ireland at this time was undermanned but backed by huge reserves of landed property.

    From the s, Irish MPs took an oath denying Catholic beliefs. Dublin the Castle became the political centre and grew in importance. By Dublin had a population of 50, It boasted two ancient cathedrals and various learned societies. There was an affluent leisured class and a wide trading network.

    The country was being integrated into a single coherent unit with interrelated local economies and a common law. There was also a chain of garrison towns for maintaining a standing army. The principle landed families frequently intermarried. Dublin had a viceroy — most English rulers never visited it. It had inferior constitutional status to England. Although members of the Irish political nation were not content with this, they were still swayed by English fashion, having their sons educated in England when they could afford it.

    The wealthiest married into English families, but Ireland as a whole was dogged by comparative poverty and a lack of cultural development. Landowners relied on rent alone instead of diversifying into commerce.

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    Income from rent depended on exports, and these were unreliable. There was a growing dependence on British overseas markets.

    Governing Hibernia : British politicians and Ireland 1800-1921

    Ireland was becoming more of a subsistence economy with its growing population. All classes suffered. Ireland's striking difference to the rest of Europe lay in the fact that most landowners and senior officials were of a different race and religion to the general population. Around , most of the social elite were first generation English settlers or descendants of English people who had come over in the last couple of centuries. There were also many landowners of Old English or Gaelic origin.

    They were all Protestants and all believed in the advantages of the English way of life. However, there was no strategy for converting the Catholic, mainly Gaelic population to Protestantism. The most extreme divisions were to be seen in Connacht , where the land was less fertile.

    The Irish language continued; many natives were becoming bilingual. It was the previously privileged groups like priests and poets who had lost status, and who now fostered a myth of a lost golden age. Votes were determined by land ownership. A comparatively small number of landowners could control many seats.

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    After family connections became the cement of politics. Both officials and polemicists resented this. Irish Toryism differed from English; it was hard-line Protestant and anti-English. Irish Whiggery was seen as too pro-English and soft on Catholics. Protestant insecurity was such that they kept a huge army for their protection against foreign invasion and native insurrection, especially through the agrarian secret societies.

    Anti-Catholic legislation was being pushed more by Irish Protestants than by the English, although some Protestants did aid Catholic gentry to retain their lands. Catholics continued to practise their faith and their rights were gradually returned to them.