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11 The ‘British Establishments’, the Irish college in Paris and Restoration France, 1814–30

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Chapter Summary

The closure of the Irish, English, and Scots colleges in France in the early 1790s disrupted ancien régime patterns of student mobility from Britain and Ireland to the Continent and encouraged the development of alternative educational provision for Catholics at home. As this essay shows, however, Irish, English, and Scottish Catholics regained access to the infrastructure and investments created over earlier centuries. Under the Empire, they were united into the ‘British Establishments’ which re-opened the Irish college in Paris in 1805. This article addresses the conflict which ensued during the Restoration period as competing interests in France, Britain, and Ireland struggled for control of what remained of the colleges and their finances. The essay argues that Paul Long, a Dublin priest sent to Paris by the Irish bishops in 1814, played a key role in asserting their claims over the Irish college. The essay traces the means by which Irish, English, and Scottish Catholic interests assumed control of infrastructure (at least in the Irish case) and finances during the Restoration period by drawing on a wealth of new archival material.



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