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Title: The roles of élite women in Ireland, c. 1690-1745
Author: Wilson , Rachel May
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the public and private lives of elite women in Ireland at the close of the seventeenth century and during the first half of the eighteenth. It uses a wide range of primary sources including manuscripts, contemporary publications and primary printed material and is divided into six chapters. First to be considered are the ways in which the marriages of such women came about and how they dealt with the situation, if and when their marriage failed. The thesis then moves on to look at their role as wives, mothers and household managers, before examining the experiences of widows who were faced with the task of managing the estates of their minor children. The fourth chapter focus on elite women's interest and involvement in politics, including the limitations they faced due to their gender, before the thesis concludes with studies of its subjects social and philanthropic activities. Throughout, the focus is on the women of five of Ireland's most prominent political or landowning .families, the Bro~cks, Boyles, Butlers, Conollys and O'Briens, all of whom are represented by substantial surviving archives. However, the lives of women from other families are also utilised if and when they have something of value to add to the argument and in particular, the role of the wives of Ireland's lords lieutenant, the vicereines, are examined. Lastly, there are comparisons drawn between the lives of elite women in Ireland and their English counterparts, in order to ascertain any major similarities or differences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available