The Blakes of Ballyglunin: Catholic merchants and landowners of Galway town and county in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

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Title: The Blakes of Ballyglunin: Catholic merchants and landowners of Galway town and county in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Authors: Walsh, Philip
Advisor: O'Flaherty, Dr Eamon
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Date: 2017
Abstract: 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.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of History 
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Copyright (published version): 2017 the author
Keywords: Early Modern IrelandIrish abroadLandownershipPenal LawsTransplantationUrban history
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:History Theses

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