The patent for coining copper money granted by King George I to the English manufacturer William Wood aroused nationwide protest in Ireland. It led to the publication of Jonathan Swift’s «Drapier’s Letters», in which the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, attacked both the patent and England’s Irish policy. But this is not the whole story. This annotated edition contains more than 100 pamphlets, declarations, poems, and songs that were published during the dispute. Most of the reproduced texts are extremely rare and have hitherto lain dormant in various libraries. They illustrate that the protest was in fact carried on by the Irish population at large, who regarded the coinage scheme as a severe intrusion into the nation’s circulating cash which threatened to ruin the country’s economy.
<p>Sabine Baltes-Ellermann studied English, History, and Economics at the University of Münster, Germany. Her academic interests are Irish studies and eighteenth-century literature. Publications include a monograph on the Wood’s Halfpence dispute as well as various articles on Swift and his contemporaries, eighteenth-century drama, and popular culture.</p>