The Shaws of Terenure
A nineteenth-century Dublin merchant family
Tony Mc Carthy
This book traces the emergence of a protestant middle class family in late eighteenth century Dublin. From relative obscurity, in just three generations, the Shaw family were to rise to the highest echelons of Dublin, business, political and social life.
The early nineteenth 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 capitalise 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 we gain an insight into how the family epitomised the protestant work ethic, their belief in the economic doctrine of laissez faire and their commitment to paternalism. They also help us better understand the attitude of a powerful Protestant family to the emerging Catholic political movement, to the Famine and other political and social movements in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Tony Mc Carthy runs his own investment and business consultancy business. He lives in Terenure, Dublin and is currently working on a history of the Terenure and Rathgar areas.