Catholic Loyalty In The 1750s

Catholic Loyalty Essay by Cian Montague, 14470288 (Ivar McGrath’s class)

I do agree that the question of Catholic loyalty to the state was the key question in Ireland in the 1750s and 1760s. This had been an issue for some time, but now it seemed that the avenues to change had been opened. In 1756 Britain went to war with France and what was to be the Seven Years’ War gave rise to a pressing need for troops. Many leading Catholics saw this as an opportunity to negotiate the repeal of the Penal Laws. The first formal steps on both sides were at last made towards an agreement with regard to Catholic recruitment into the army and a way for them to prove their loyalty to the Hanoverian state without having to deny their own faith.
It had long been presumed by the Protestant rulers of Ireland that those who continued to recognise the pope’s authority were enemies of the state. Maureen Wall writes that Catholics had been attempting to prove their loyalty since the days of Henry VIII, but points out that Queen Elizabeth’s excommunication in 1570 and the aid given by the pope and by Catholic continental powers to the Irish during the wars of the
…show more content…
This can be seen in the strident efforts made by Irish Catholic leaders to prove their allegiance and it is evident from their own attempts to find a solution that this was the desired outcome for the Protestant authorities too. The Seven Years’ War provided a catalyst for change, and from this point on the issue would take centre stage. Bartlett notes: “By 1760 something called the catholic question had appeared on the Anglo-Irish political agenda; and by 1800 there was only the catholic question.” Though Lord Trimlestown’s recruitment scheme had broken down, a new era had been reached. At last the first serious steps had been taken on the road to repeal and relief for

Related Documents