Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Upcoming Lecture 25 March 2022 : Eighteenth-Century Waterford: A Singular City? by Prof. David Dickson

 The next lecture of our 2021-2022 programme will be  on Friday, March 25th at 8:00pm in St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford (Eircode X91 YX61) when historian Prof. David Dickson will deliver a talk titled ‘Eighteenth-Century Waterford: A Singular City?’.


Prof. Dickson’s lecture will begin by reflecting on the emergence of the first cities in eighteenth-century Ireland, distinguishing them from what had come before –  walled towns, very modest by European standards, that had been repeatedly shattered in seventeenth-century warfare. In what respects were these new Irish cities similar to what was happening in Britain and Europe? In the second part of the lecture David will look more closely at 'the quays of the kingdom', Cork, Limerick and Waterford, and the common elements in the rise of the three Munster Atlantic ports; he will also touch on the common elements in the social and economic crisis that beset them in the 1820s. The third segment will focus on how far Waterford was an outlier, a singular city,  in the history of religious conflict and exclusion that was evident in most Irish cities of the period, and it will explore why this may been the case.  The lecture will conclude with a comparison of  the evolution of Waterford and Derry, which were each situated on broad-rivers and graced with their first bridges in the 1790s.  Both cities were very much influenced by the interventions of their Church of Ireland bishops and, more discreetly, by the shadowy influence of the Beresford family.  But was that all?

David Dickson is Emeritus Professor of Modern History in Trinity College Dublin, and was based in the History Department there for most of his career.  He has published very widely on eighteenth-century Irish social and economic history, on regional and urban development, and on the genesis of Irish radicalism. He has also had a lifelong interest in Sub-Saharan African history, and in Ireland's place in European imperial history.  His publications include Old World Colony: Cork and South Munster 1630-1830 (2005), Dublin: The Making of a Capital City (2014), and The First Irish Cities: An Eighteenth-century Transformation (2021).

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, Ireland.
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