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    The Military in Kilkenny 1800-1870


    Bolger, Liam (2005) The Military in Kilkenny 1800-1870. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis aims to portray the origin, growth and decline of the military in Kilkenny during the tumultuous period 1800-70. This presence was cyclical with hugely varying troop numbers stationed locally reflecting the exigencies of the moment and British government policies. The various benefits and losses attached to this military presence are analysed. Changes to Kilkenny’s political, social, cultural, economic and sporting life because of this influence are noted. The rich military architectural legacy inherited from this period has been highlighted. The responses to this presence contrasted from the wholehearted support of local loyalists to an open hostility of the army shown by sections of Kilkenny’s citizenry. Primarily, this is the story of the rank and file soldier and the brutalised, disciplinary regime under which he served. The cramped stuffy living conditions, the absence of proper sanitary facilities, an inadequate and monotonous diet, and little provision to occupy the soldier’s off duty hours further compounded the soldier’s lot. This situation contrasted fundamentally with the privileged life-style enjoyed by the officer class. The social strata from which Kilkenny’s typical recruit came from and the class from which locally-based soldiers selected their marriage partners are analysed. The nature of varying urban and rural recruitment patterns within county Kilkenny and the near-collapse o f recruitment numbers after 1840 are also discussed. Improving literacy skills following the introduction of a national schools system in the early 1830s was a contributory factor in this decline. Throughout this study the role of Kilkenny’s two newspapers, the nationalist Kilkenny Journal and the ascendancy Kilkenny Moderator, in influencing and moulding the sentiments of their readership is analysed. Kilkenny’s military experience though broadly in conformity with national trends was subtly different in the levels of toleration and accommodation between Catholic and Protestant.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Military; Kilkenny 1800-1870;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
    Item ID: 5279
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2014 11:45
    URI:

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