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    The Nature and Development of Liberal Protestantism in Waterford 1800-42


    Heggs, Elizabeth Anne (2008) The Nature and Development of Liberal Protestantism in Waterford 1800-42. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis examines the development of liberal Protestantism in Waterford between 1800 and 1842. Waterford liberal Protestants had much in common with their British Whig counterparts, but their ideology had been fundamentally altered by the experience of the late eighteenth century. This thesis focuses on the development of liberalism among the Protestant political élite at local level, examining in particular the liberal values among a section of Waterford Corporation and Waterford Chamber of Commerce. The parliamentary activities of Waterford’s Whig representatives are an important theme, and the peculiarly Irish Whiggism of Sir John Newport, an important parliamentary figure in this period, is examined. The most important and defining feature of Irish liberal Protestantism in these years was their support for the removal of political disabilities affecting Irish Catholics. There was a strong tradition of support among Waterford Protestants for Catholic relief, and this support grew in the early decades of the nineteenth century, despite the friction caused by the question of ‘securities’. This support endured into the 1820s, and liberal Protestants played an indispensable role in the famous 1826 election in County Waterford. Despite this, some Waterford liberal Protestants were wary of what they perceived as O’Connell’s demagogic strategies for advancing the Catholic question, and felt marginalised when the political impetus passed into Catholic hands after 1828. Few supported the campaign for a repeal of the union in the 1830s, which left them with few allies on the Catholic side, save for those Catholics who resisted O’Connell’s call for repeal. This greatly reduced the prospects for a non-confessional approach to politics. The 1830s was a difficult decade for Irish liberal Protestants, and this thesis examines the responses of Waterford liberal Protestants to challenges posed by Catholic and pariiamentaiy politics in this decade. Liberal Protestants in Waterford responded to these challenges in a variety of ways, with some maintaining close relations with Irish Catholics and others moving into a closer alliance with a revitalised Irish Toryism, and others retreated from the political scene.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Liberal Protestantism; Waterford 1800-42;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
    Item ID: 5307
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2014 09:24
    URI:

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