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Irish LondonMiddle-Class Migration in the Global Eighteenth Century$
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Craig Bailey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318818

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318818.001.0001

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The City: Counting Irish Houses

The City: Counting Irish Houses

(p.161) 5 The City: Counting Irish Houses
Irish London

Craig Bailey

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the relationships between Irish merchants in the City of London. Analysis of trade directories allows for an assessment of 135 Irish houses in the City. Mapping out where Irish merchants resided raises questions about the meanings of geographic proximity and suggests that ‘shapes on the ground’ only partially capture the relationships that existed between Irish merchants. Recourse to probate records makes it possible to fill in some of these gaps. Both emotional and practical considerations went into the writing of a will, and as a result, the testator often included personal details not recorded in other documents. This evidence shows that Irish merchants in London were a diverse group in terms of where they came from, religious affiliations, and business interests, but also indicates that they formed meaningful ties to each other despite their differences. Yet, the analysis here does not support the conclusion that all Irish merchants in London belonged to a single, unified, commercial community. While Irish merchants tended to know or were at least aware of one another, they had closer links to some than others. Significantly, these tighter-knit groups did not form exclusively around specific affiliations such as religion or business interests.

Keywords:   Merchant, Partnerships, City of London, Irish Houses, Wills, Probate, Commercial Community

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