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"Let him be an Englishman": Irish and Scottish ministers in the Caribbean Church of England, 1610-1730

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)

Publication date1/05/2014
Host publication Jacobitism, Enlightenment and Empire, 1680–1820
EditorsDouglas Hamilton, Allan I Macinnes
PublisherPickering and Chatto
Number of pages18
ISBN (electronic)9781781440889
ISBN (print)9781848934665
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Based on extensive primary source research, this chapter reconstructs the ministry of nearly 400 people serving as ministers, schoolmasters and chaplains in the wider West Indies (Hatteras to Surinam) in the period 1610-1740.
It notes the remarkably high proportion of those servants whose origins or theological education (in the case of several Huguenots) was from Scotland and Ireland, and asks why this was so and what impact it might have on the Englishness of the Church of England in the colonies.
The chapter concludes that it was partially the reluctance of Englishmen to serve in the Caribbean (considered an ill/un paid, unrewarding posting), partly the opportunities for advancement for Irish and Scotsmen provided by the Empire that they would not receive in Britain (not affected by the Union), but also because the Irish and Scots (particularly the latter) were more highly regarded by the See of London, and considered more committed to a spiritual and pastoral ministry.