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The extensive networks that developed between Ireland and French territories during the seventeenth century became of geopolitical significance with the eruption of the Nine Years’ War. These mercantile links, which had long offered Irish Catholics an education and a livelihood overseas, were first appropriated in support of the Jacobite cause and then outlawed entirely by the Williamite government, following the defeat of James II. This paper will explore how these events led to a reconstitution, rather than a severing of these networks. Franco-Irish exchange, in both Europe and the Caribbean, shifted instead into a gray economy, becoming both an economic lifeline for poor Catholics and a form of continuing Jacobite resistance. It will also explore attempts by the English Williamite government to suppress these “subversive” networks, which opened up intractable questions about Ireland’s commercial autonomy and whether it was even possible for them to control the mobility of Irish people overseas.


All welcome. This event is free to attend, but advance registration is required.


This will be a ‘hybrid’ seminar with a limited number of places available in person and a larger number of bookings for online attendance via Zoom. Those attending in person are asked to bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop, tablet or phone.