History Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

This collection is made up of doctoral and master theses by research, which have been received in accordance with university regulations.

For more information, please visit the UCD Library Theses Information guide.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Sport in Dublin in the nineteenth century
    (University College Dublin. School of History, 2022) ;
    Despite the recent growth of academic interest in Irish sport history, the emergence of formally organized sport in nineteenth-century Irish urban areas has received scant attention. This thesis addresses such a gap and maps out the transition from a traditional world of play to a modern sporting scene in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city. It is argued that the development of a modern capitalist society in the eighteenth century and the resulting emergence of an associational culture, the bureaucratisation of state apparel, the development of faster and cheaper means of transportation, and the dissemination of information contributed to the nineteenth-century codification, commercialisation, and internationalisation of sport. Such change was especially observed among elite pastimes in the earliest part of the century, but as living standards increased from mid-century, the model spread to the city’s middle class and eventually reached the working class by the 1880s. Drawing extensively from contemporary newspapers and archival material, this thesis stresses the roles of social class, gender, education, urbanisation, religion, and politics in shaping the modern sporting scene in Dublin. Conversely, it emphasises how sport was central to the evolution of the nineteenth-century city and its importance to the everyday life of its inhabitants. By correlating such findings with broader evolutions then taking place in Britain and Ireland, the present research assesses the extent to which the development of sport in Dublin fitted national and international trends but also highlights its original features. In so doing, it enriches our understanding of Ireland’s sporting past.
  • Publication
    Historical Truth or Literary Embellishment? Uncovering the voices of historical queens in medieval Irish sources
    (University College Dublin. School of History, 2022) ;
    The purpose of this dissertation is to analyse the roles and representations of Irish queens in early medieval Ireland, systematically bringing together historical and literary sources on this topic for the first time. This thesis is a re-examination of Irish queenship, the main aim being to locate the experiences of Irish historical queens and to examine their position in society and how this changed over time between the seventh and tenth centuries. This will be underpinned by an analysis as to whether the sources allow us to think of queenship as forming a distinct institution and /or title or role. A secondary but important aim is to identify the disparity between Irish and contemporary Frankish and English queenship, for the first time placing Irish queens in a European context. While the sources are wide-ranging in subject matter and genre, specific details relating to queens are scarce and as a result an array of sources will be examined. The first chapter will introduce the research aims, provide a literature review, and discuss the theoretical framework and key concepts of the thesis. The second chapter will examine the wide range of sources relevant to this study including law tracts, annals, genealogies, literature and material culture. The third chapter will explore the queen in society establishing the position of queens through an analysis of status and marriage laws, with a particular focus on royal marriage practices. The fourth chapter will examine the evolution of how Irish queens are recorded in the Irish annals while also extrapolating aspects of their role within society through the use of social network analysis. The chapter will also address the questions concerning whether Irish queenship was perceived as an institution that was more than a royal marriage. Chapter five will look to the literary representation of queens in the form of the sovereignty figure and explore what it meant in the Irish imagination. The chapter will disentangle the legendary representation of Irish queenship from the historical reality. Chapter six will provide a comparative chapter in which Irish queenship is placed in the context of European queenship. Together these chapters enable the thesis to develop its questions and arguments in order to demonstrate the roles of Irish queens and their growth in importance over time.
  • Publication
    The Blakes of Ballyglunin: Catholic merchants and landowners of Galway town and county in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
    (University College Dublin. School of History , 2017)
    This thesis examines the experience of the Blakes of Ballyglunin from 1641 until 1777. It presents a reinterpretation of a minor gentry Catholic landowning and merchant family from the mid-seventeenth century until the eve of the repeal of the penal laws. It places the family firmly in its local and national context in terms of landownership, economic affairs and confessional identity. Two themes dominate the text: in the second half of the seventeenth century the family became part of the Catholic ‘new interest’, those who prospered under the Restoration land settlement; and in the eighteenth century they survived and consolidated their estate in the face of the penal laws. It examines the defeat, transplantation, survival, expansion, consolidation, resistance and endurance of a Catholic landed family in the period c.1641-1777.Chapters 2 to 5 present a chronological examination of the family in relation to its wealth and landownership. Tracing the family’s expulsion from Galway town, transplantation to County Galway, the re-establishment of their wealth and land during the Restoration and their survival and consolidation during the penal era. Their religious identity and the effects of the penal laws on the estate and the family are explored in Chapter 6. The family remained ‘Galway townsmen’ at heart and this is examined in Chapter 7. While they were expelled from Galway town in the early 1650s, they returned to trade and live in the town as early as they could in the Restoration and, ultimately, purchased a house in the town in 1677. They were again forced to leave Galway town in the early 1690s but they never completely severed their ties with the town. The changing experience of urban Catholics under the penal laws is illuminated and eventually their changed situation by the mid-eighteenth century enabled the family to return to live, for part of the year, in the town. A vital role in the survival of Catholic landownership was played by younger children and they are surveyed in Chapter 8.