Sexuality and Social Control: Irish Presbyterians in the Atlantic World, 1717-1830.

Project: Research

Project Details


This project is a comparative investigation into the ways that Presbyterian sexuality was subject to social control in Ireland and North America, between the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries. Approximately one quarter of a million people migrated from Ireland to North America during this period, the overwhelming majority of whom (almost 70%) were Presbyterians from the province of Ulster. Motivated by a desire for greater economic opportunity, political and religious freedom, individuals, whole families and entire congregations travelled across the Atlantic. Once they arrived in the New World, these Presbyterian migrants reconstructed the communities that they left behind in Ireland, beginning with their system of church court discipline. Using the minutes of these church courts, this project explores the extent to which Presbyterian standards of behaviour were translated with this migration movement. In doing so, this project interrogates the relationship between sexuality, religion and migration.
Effective start/end date2/01/2030/06/21


  • E11 America (General)
  • D901 Europe (General)


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