‘Such unjustificable practices’?: Irish trade, settlement, and society in France, 1688–1715

Siobhan Talbott
Published Online:
26 Feb 2014
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 67 Issue 2

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This article explores Irish migration, settlement, and commerce in the Atlantic coast ports of France in the period between the Glorious Revolution of 1688–9 and the Jacobite uprising of 1715. Drawing on extensive archival material and using current methodologies, this study suggests that the composition of society was vital in the development of international associations. This is particularly pertinent in a period characterized by warfare, religious fervour, and the rise of Jacobitism. Common allegiance to Catholicism and support for the Stuart dynasty in both Ireland and France provided a framework conducive to international cooperation, but the Irish who settled in France held both Catholic and Reformed beliefs, and were not necessarily products of the Jacobite movement. Migration and integration, and commercial practices and successes, were not determined solely by religious or political affiliation, but were influenced by the composition of society and the support and acceptance received by immigrants and traders therein. Through an analysis of the Franco‐Irish case study, it is concluded here that the social context of mercantile activity was just as responsible as the political or religious climate in governing the development of international commercial relationships in this period.

© Economic History Society 2014

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