Squire Wood's Lamentation on the Refusal of his Halfpence

On the 12th of July, 1772, oweing to an alledged shortage of copper money in Ireland, the English Government in London issued lettters patent to William Wood, a large mine owner and iron merchant, authorizing him to mint copper coinage for Ireland to the value of L 100,800.

This sum was out of all proportion to the requirements of the country, and the project was not free from the suspicion of bribary. The Irish Parliament was not even consulted. The reaction in Ireland was universal. Swift's famous Drapier Papers, his lampoons, and satirical verses gave the popular indignation a focus.

The Dublin Gazette for the 18th - 22nd August, 1724 contained a declaration by the Dublin merchants, refusing to import, receive or utter any of the Half-pence of Farthings coined by William Wood. Cork and Waterford followed. The government was forced to bow to the storm.

The scribe who authored these notations is unknown. The number 23 for this song does not correspond with O'Sullivan's 1958 edition.

Courtesy of Vivian and Jack Hennessey, IrishPage.com
Replay background music: Squire Woods Lament

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