Vol. 2: Stewart, M.A.

Type: Article

Stewart, M.A. ‘John Smith and the Molesworth Circle’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 2 (1987), pp 89-102.

This article explores the 1722 controversy surrounding the Dublin printing of A Short Account of the Late Treatment of the Students of the University of G—w, which described a confrontation between rebel students of the University of Glasgow and the university’s Calvinist authorities. The students’ petition for the right to participate in the election of the university rector led to confrontations and to litigation, in which the university was eventually found to be in the wrong. However, Irishman John Smith had been expelled from the university for his role in the student movement and for writing the pamphlet, and shortly afterwards he moved to Dublin where he became an importer and publisher of books. Smith, like James Arbuckle, was a member of the circle of radicals and independents linked to Viscount Molesworth active in Dublin in the 1720s.