The Shaws of Terenure
This work traces the emergence of a Protestant middle class family in late 18th century Dublin. From relative obscurity, in just three generations, the Shaw family was to rise to the highest echelons of Dublin business, political, and social life. The early 19th century saw a shift in the balance of political power from the landed gentry to the emerging entrepreneurial class. The Shaws were one the families to capitalize on this change. Their story affords an opportunity to explore a relatively unchronicled aspect of Irish history. Through the lives of four family patriarchs covered in this study, insight is gained into how the family epitomized the Protestant work ethic, their belief in the economic doctrine of laissez faire, and their commitment to paternalism. They also help to better understand the attitude of a powerful Protestant family to the emerging Catholic political movement, to the Famine, and to other political and social movements in the late 18th and 19th centuries.
Publication Date: 10/28/2010