Hugh Boulter

(1671—1742) Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh

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(1671–1742), political prelate. Born in London, Boulter was bishop of Bristol from 1719 before becoming Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh in 1724. His appointment, immediately following the Wood's Halfpence dispute, reflected the government's concern to tighten control of Irish affairs. Over the next two decades Boulter was a key figure in the management of the kingdom, working closely with a succession of lords lieutenant and serving regularly as lord justice in their absence. Throughout he remained committed to upholding what he considered the English interest in Ireland, pressing for the appointment of English-born office holders in both church and state and warning against what he saw as the national pretensions of Irish Protestants. He was at the same time a conscientious churchman, who promoted the reform of the church's finances and the raising of pastrol standards, and gave active support to the charter schools and other improving ventures. He contributed generously to famine relief in 1740–1, and left most of his fortune for the purchase of glebes and the augmentation of small benefices. His letters, edited in 1769–70 by his secretary Ambrose Philips, remain a much cited source.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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