- Mercer County Community College
“The Rights of the Poor”: Poverty and Everyday Life in Eighteenth-Century Dublin
This project examines the experience of poverty in eighteenth-century Dublin and the agency of the poor in the face of attempts by authorities to discipline and police vagrant and marginal populations. It is part of a larger interdisciplinary project on the cultural history of poverty in Dublin, focusing on both how the poor were portrayed and the sectarian politics of poverty and poor relief, as well as on the survival strategies of marginal groups such as vagrants and prostitutes.
The Rights of the Poor: Poverty in Eighteenth-Century Dublin
This study offers a cultural and social history of eighteenth-century Dublin through an examination of the experiences of the poor and the survival strategies of marginal groups like vagrants and beggars. It builds on recent work on the history of poverty, while also offering new insights into topics such as the culture of begging, representations of the poor, and life in the eighteenth-century workhouse. At the same time, it attempts a comparative history of poverty that asks: how did Dublin resemble other cities in Europe and the Americas in its responses to poverty? What was distinctive about it? It argues that social policy was largely based on Protestant elite fears over the resilience of Catholicism as well as worries about the collapse of traditional social hierarchies.