Timeline 1702-12: Ireland during the reign of Queen Anne

In 1530 Catholic Irish owned 100% of the land in Ireland. By 1703 they only owned 14% of the land in Ireland. Whether Gaelic Irish/Old English-owned, or New English-owned, the tenants were mostly subsistence farmers who struggled to pay predatory rents. Since the Elizabethan and various Stuart plantations and, more recently, the Cromwellian and Williamite confiscations, a new breed of immigrant arrived in Ireland – manufacturers and traders.

  • These people founded towns and industry
  • They brought in new skills and created new markets
  • Ireland went from feudal agricultural backwater to an industrial, capitalist society in less than a century
    • once jobs are being created, people have little time for revolt
    • once wealth is being created, proprietors have little appetite for it too and many of the old Gaelic order converted to Anglicanism in order to retain their lands and become wealthy
  • Jobs were being created but there still remained a deeply religious, conservative native population that were resistant to change
    • unlike in England, the Tories in Ireland maintained their dominance over the Whigs in the Irish Parliament
    • the Roman Catholic church was seen as ‘holding the people back’ and ‘preventing change’ therefore the Penal laws continued to evolve over time
  • The short and relatively peaceful reign of Queen Anne (in Ireland) is marked by ‘continued’ industrial and commercial improvement, and a further tightening of the Penal laws against the Roman Catholic religion

The 18th C marks the rise of the so-called Protestant Ascendancy, or Anglo-Irish Ascendancy. Its ranks were swelled by Irish families who converted to Protestantism for economic and social gain – the so-called ‘Improvenatii’

  • Although few rural landlords re-invested their profits in the improvement of agriculture, they did spend vast sums on building and maintaining their ‘big houses’ and this too created jobs
    • Although these jobs were poorly paid and offered little in terms of advancement, they equated to regular pay and relative peace prevailed
    • However, when some landlords mass-evicted small tillage-farming tenants to make way for more profitable pastoral farming, the seeds of future land wars were sown


  • March 8 – Death of William III (William of Orange)
    • By 1702, there were 721 listed Pensioners of William III’s Huguenot Regiments re-settled in Ireland and they brought with them new skills, methods and ideas that would revolutionise Ireland’s industry
  • March 8 – Anne becomes Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland upon the death of William III
  • Penal Laws (Ireland): Purchasers of Forfeited Estates, Ireland Act 1702 (“An act for the relief of the Protestant purchasers of the forfeited estates in Ireland”)
  • Shortage of silver and gold coins in Ireland
    • Archbishop King, Bishop of Derry wrote, “We have no money at all, nor like to have any without some vent for our commodities”
  • Complaints begin about the financial drain upon Ireland’s finances whereby “the vicious custom of giving nearly all profitable offices in the Government, Church, and Army to Englishmen who generally lived in England, and did little to discharge the duties of their offices. Nearly all civil and military salaries went to persons who hardly ever set foot in Ireland”
    • In 1702 Archbishop King, Bishop of Derry, complains of “all employments being in deputation. The Government, Chancery, Master of the Rolls, Clerk of the Council, Registrar of the Chancery, Protonotaries, Remembrancers, etc., by which the subject is oppressed and the money sent away.”
Source: History of the Commercial and Financial Relations between England and Ireland from the Period of the Restoration, 2006 (Alice Effie Murray)

Source: History of the Commercial and Financial Relations between England and Ireland from the Period of the Restoration, 2006 (Alice Effie Murray)

  • The root causes of 18th C Anglo-Irish opposition to Westminster and the call for Irish independence begins in the reign of Queen Anne – by 1725 Archbishop King writes that
    • “the people of this kingdom are in effect excluded from the Church, from the Revenue, from the Bench, from the Army, and all considerable offices, all which are in effect maintained by the public money, or that of the kingdom.”
    • He goes on to say “In consequence gentlemen were in great distress as to what to do with their sons, all those ways for providing for them being shut up against them; as an instance of this they observe that about seventeen thousand per annum has been given to gentlemen of England, and not five hundred (pounds) to all in Ireland, and that pittance has been disposed of by interest made there in Britain without regard to the Irish claims.”


  • June 11 – Charles Hickman is consecrated as Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry.
  • June 14 – Thomas Emlyn, a Unitarian minister, found guilty and fined £1,000 in Ireland’s earliest recorded blasphemy case.
    • Heresy had been removed from the statute books as a crime
    • Blasphemy had not
    • Ireland’s Penal laws applied to non-conforming Protestants as well as Roman Catholics
  • September 11 – A privateering expedition comprising the ships St George and Cinque Ports commanded by William Dampier leaves Kinsale for South America.
  • Parliament of Ireland assembles, the first under Anne, Queen of Great Britain, and the first for five years.
  • Popery Act (An Act to prevent the further Growth of Popery), enacted by the Parliament of Ireland
    • This arose from the scare of a Jacobite invasion
    • It also required all priests to swear the Act of Abjuration
    • Only 33 are known to have done so
    • It also reintroduce gavelkind: when a Roman Catholic dies, his estate is to be divided equally among his sons (legitimate or otherwise) if they retain their Catholic faith
  • Treason Act (Ireland) 1703, enacted by the Parliament of Ireland, enforces the Protestant line of succession to the British throne.
  • Sir Robert Doyne is appointed as Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas.
  • The Parliament of Ireland investigates the possibility of improving navigation on the rivers Shannon and Barrow and constructing a Newry Canal.


  • An act of January 1704 (2 Anne, c.3) subjected all incoming clergy to the terms of the Act of 1697. This extension of the Banishment Act was at first resisted by Queen Anne as being likely to be ‘construed to infringe the articles of Limerick by making it impossible in length of time for the Papists to exercise their religion’. Its operation was limited to 14 years.
  • Registration Act, an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of Ireland, one of a series of Penal Laws, requires all existing Roman Catholic priests to register in their local magistrates’ court by July 20, to pay two £50 surety bonds for good behavior, and to stay in the county where they registered, with a financial inducement to convert to the Church of Ireland.
    • 1,089 priests were in fact registered
    • It had the effect of legalising them and rendering them free to perform their sacerdotal functions
  • A House of Industry (workhouse) opens in Dublin to accommodate the the removal from the streets of objectionable objects such as the destitute and vagabonds.
    • It was located at the present site of St. James’s Hospital, James’s Street, and included 14 acres of land.
    • The upkeep of this institution was paid for through taxes levied on sedan chairs, hackney coaches and a property tax applied throughout the city
    • The food provided was soup ‘rendered’ from left-overs collected in a wheelbarrow from the wealthy
  • October 26 – Richard Levinge, member of the Irish House of Commons, is created 1st Levinge Baronet, of High Park, Co Westmeath.
  • Thomas Taylor, member of the Irish House of Commons, is created 1st Taylor Baronet, of Kells, Co Meath.


  • June 2 – The town of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh is virtually destroyed by an accidental fire. One hundred and fourteen families and their servants suffer severe losses, and the barracks sustains great damage
  • November 5 – The Dublin Gazette, the official newspaper of the British Government in Ireland, publishes its first edition.
  • Royal Mines Act enacted – prior to this, all minerals extracted from mines were deemed to be owned by the Crown. After this act, copper, tin, iron and lead were exempt, therefore leading to private investment and a surge in interest in mining in Ireland
  • The Ouzel Galley Society founded, with the aim of arbitrating in all disputes referred to them relating to trade and commerce
  • Louis Crommelin, a wealthy Huguenot (French Calvinist), penned “An Essay Towards Improving Cultivation of the Hempen and Flaxen Manufacturers in the Kingdom of Ireland.”
    • Crommelin reinvigorated the linen industry by introducing modern methods, skills and marketing, and for this reason, many call Louis Crommelin, the father of the Irish linen industry.
      • Huguenots were persecuted under the authority of Louis XIV and those who did not give up their beliefs were punished; men were sent to the galley as slaves on French fleets and women were imprisoned leaving many children orphaned and institutionalised.
      • They began to flee the country in the thousands.
      • Most went to the Netherlands, but many settled in England, Ireland and America
  • The Navigation Act of 1705 allowed the Irish Linen industry to expand when it allowed Irish linen to be directly exported ‘duty free to the colonies’


  • November 21 – The Cox Baronetcy, of Dunmanway, Co Cork, is created in the Baronetage of Ireland in favour of Richard Cox, Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
  • Ulster Scots clergyman Francis Makemie organises the first presbytery in British America.
  • John O’Heyne’s Epilogus chronologicus exponens (a history of the Dominican Order in Ireland) is published in Louvain.


  • April 14 (April 25 New Style) – At the Battle of Almansa (Spain) in the War of the Spanish Succession, the Bourbon army of Spain and France (with Irish mercenaries) under the French-born Englishman James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick, soundly defeats the allied forces of Portugal, England, and the Dutch Republic led by the French-born Huguenot in English service Henri de Massue, Earl of Galway.
  • October 24 – An Act of the Parliament of Ireland creates the Dublin Ballast Office to improve Dublin Port.


  • March 11 – The scholar Dr. Thomas Milles is appointed Church of Ireland Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, in which office he will serve until his death in 1740 (consecrated April 18 in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin).
  • March 25 – A registry of deeds begins operation in Ireland.
  • The original wooden Belfast Castle, the home of Sir Arthur Chichester, baron of Belfast, is burned down.
  • An Act of Parliament is passed, dividing the parish of St. Nicholas Without, Dublin, and giving part of it the denomination of St. Luke’s.


  • August 30 – The Parliament of Ireland passes an amending act which requires any adult male (including registered Roman Catholic priests) to take an oath of abjuration if required by a magistrate.
  • September 4–8 – Nearly 800 poor Protestant refugee families of German Palatines arrive in Dublin.
    • The Palatinate was repeatedly ravaged by attacks from France
    • 3,073 Palatines were re-settled in Limerick and Kerry
    • A total of 538 families were settled as agricultural tenants on the estates of Anglo-Irish landlords but, by 1712, more than two thirds of the Irish Palatine settlers left Ireland and returned to England or Germany
  • c. December – Start of Hougher disturbances against the extension of livestock rearing in Connacht including maiming of cattle.


  • John Smithwick begins brewing Smithwick’s ale at Kilkenny.


  • Conclusion of Islandmagee witch trial: Eight women from Islandmagee are convicted in the last known witch trial in Ireland.
  • December 15 – Penal Laws (Ireland): The Occasional Conformity Act (“An Act for preserving the Protestant Religion”), passed by the Parliament of Great Britain, bars Roman Catholics from public office.
  • Linen Board established to ‘promote’ the Irish linen industry


  • Bridge built over the River Bann at Banbridge.
  • A translation of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer into Irish, made by John Richardson (1664–1747), is published.

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