Eighteenth Century

The first half of the eighteenth century was a period of recovery for the city after the destruction of the sieges. This had been achieved by mid-century when the walls were demolished and new public buildings erected. A new courthouse was constructed in Quay Lane, the Exchange was rebuilt in Nicholas St and a new jail erected on the site of the medieval Tholsel on Mary St. A new bridge linking the medieval island city with the area known as South Prior’s land in 1762 was the prelude to the erection of a new Palladian-style Custom House in 1769, itself the first step in the creation of a new, planned, Georgian city. This quickly became known as Newtownpery in honour of Edmund Sexten-Pery who organised and oversaw its development. It soon became the centre of trade and commerce as well as the fashionable place to live, resulting in the gradual decline of the twin medieval cities.

In the county the surviving Catholic landowners tended to convert to the Established Church in order to preserve their estates most notably the Quins of Adare, eventually raised to the peerage as Earls of Dunraven and the Fitzgerald Knights of Glin. A strong Catholic middle-class emerged both as merchants in the towns and as middlemen while the Catholic church reorganised as a powerful force as the penal laws were gradually allowed to fall into abeyance.


previousPrevious - Williamite-Jacobite War
Next - Nineteenth Centurynext