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‘Bishop Francis Hutchinson: a Case Study in the Culture of Eighteenth-Century Improvement’

Sneddon, Andrew (2007) ‘Bishop Francis Hutchinson: a Case Study in the Culture of Eighteenth-Century Improvement’. Irish Historical Studies, 35 (139). pp. 289-310. [Journal article]

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This article is a study of the attempts by the Bishop of Down and Connor, Bishop Francis Hutchinson (1660-1739), to bring about the social, economic and cultural ‘improvement’ of mid-eighteenth-century Ireland. Hutchinson had achieved enough by the time of his death, on his Portglenone estate, as a member of the Dublin Society, and with his pen, to be regarded as the exemplar of the improving clergymen. The idea of improvement fitted perfectly into Hutchinson’s world view, an outlook closely associated with Latitudinarianism and Whiggism in post Revolution England and which embraced Newtonian science, the new moral and mental values of sociability and politeness, as well as reasonable religion. Ireland, a severely under-developed country, regularly caught in the grip of economic crisis, provided Hutchinson with the opportunity and resources to demonstrate his support of improvement ideology in a practical way for the first time. The fact that it complemented his other main concern of the period, the political pacification of Irish Catholics by means of mass conversion, only served to increase this support.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Social and economic, improvement, Dublin Society, Bishop Francis Hutchinson,
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Arts > School of English and History
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Arts and Humanities Research Institute > History
ID Code:16436
Deposited By: Dr Andrew Sneddon
Deposited On:23 Nov 2010 13:17
Last Modified:09 May 2016 11:05

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