Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

29/12/2004

The 1766 Religious Census Of Ireland

– Sherry Irvine, CGRS, FSA (Scot)
Concerns about the loyalty of Irish Catholics declined through the 1700s; they did not support the Stuart cause led by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 and many served loyally in the army during the Seven Years War (French and Indian War), 1756-63. The authorities nevertheless retained an interest in religion and took a long time to relax the Penal Laws. In 1766, the Irish Parliament ordered all Church of Ireland ministers in their respective parishes to prepare a list of householders and their religious affiliation (church of Ireland, Catholic or Presbyterian). In addition the ministers were required to include information about any Catholic priests or friars active in the area.

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