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Charles Lucas

(1713—1771) politician and physician


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(1713–71), Co. Clare-born apothecary. Lucas was elected to the common council of the corporation of Dublin in 1741 and began a campaign, in alliance with James Digges Latouche of the Huguenot banking family (see la touche), against the oligarchic control of city politics by the lord mayor and aldermen. As a candidate in the Dublin by-election of October 1749 he published election addresses and a newspaper, the Censor, reviving Molyneux's arguments concerning the independence of the Irish parliament. A series of resolutions in the Irish House of Commons declared Lucas an enemy of his country, forcing him to flee to the Isle of Man, and subsequently to continental Europe, where he qualified as a doctor in 1752. He returned in 1760 to contest and win a Dublin seat, and became a leading figure in the emerging patriot opposition. He also assisted in the establishment of the initially liberal Freeman's Journal. Although recent work suggests that his anti-Catholicism has been exaggerated, his active support for the corporations in the quarterage dispute is a reminder that his definition of liberty was of the sectional variety characteristic of 18th-century patriotism.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.


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