"The King's Business": Letters on the Administration of Ireland, 1742-62 (AMS Studies in the Eighteenth-Century v. 22)
By: James Walton (editor)Hardback
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Sir Robert Wilmot served from 1740 to 1772 as private secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. His office in London was a locus of transactions between Whitehall, Dublin Castle, and the country seats of a series of viceroys, making "The Wilmot Papers" a remarkably intimate and continuous narrative of Anglo-Irish affairs. The present selection concentrates upon the most critical episode in Wilmot's tenure in office: the conflict between Castle and Commons, 1753-1756. The "Castle" here refers to Lord George Sackville, and to Sackville's friend, the precocious primate of the Church of Ireland, George Stone. To the opposition party the cold bravado of these "Ganymedes" presented a threat but also an opportunity. The contest that followed was marked by a scurrilous propaganda campaign and a series of public disorders in the course of which Government lost support, a protege of Stone's was disgraced and expelled from Parliament, and the Lord Lieutenant removed from office. Underrated by modern historians, these years were treated by contemporaries like Horace Walpole in great detail.
Burke called it the time when the Anglo-Irish ascendancy "began to recollect that they had a country". For Lord Clare this was the origin of "a system that would beat down the most powerful nation on earth".
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- ID: 9780404635220
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