Vol. 4: Sherry, T.F.

Type: Article

Sherry, T.F. ‘The Present Horrid Conspiracy: Dublin Press Coverage of Two Political Trials in the Early 1720s.’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 4 (1989), pp 143-157.

This article examines how the Dublin newspapers reported two political trials in London in the early 1720s, the treason trial of Christopher Layer and the Bill of Pains and Penalties against Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester. Dublin newspapers at the time reprinted news from London papers and, in the case of these trials, worked at “maintaining and disseminating an account of proceedings which served to justify the actions of the Whig government”. Surrounding the trials was a frenzy of hostility between the Tory and Whig factions in the Irish parliament, and wild anti-papist rhetoric. “Anti-Jacobite and anti-Papist action by the authorities was reproduced with relish.” According to Sherry, the newspapers and journal articles of eighteenth-century Ireland need to be reassessed in order to gain a better understanding of Irish domestic politics at the time.