By David Ryan

Prostitutes, pimps, cutpurses, murderers, and bawdy houses...What have been the hellfire golf equipment of 18th-century eire? have been they honestly elite teams who engaged in obscene orgies, satan worship, and the ritual homicide of servants? those questions have intrigued nearly every body who has visited the intended hellfire membership assembly position within the Dublin Mountains, or heard the lurid tales which are linked to it. slicing via this veil of fantasy and legend, Blasphemers & Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire golf equipment finds the reality approximately those mysterious societies. The e-book uncovers impressive new information regarding the outrageous actions of those golf equipment - provocative blasphemy, taboo sexual actions, atrocities (most shockingly, the ritualistic homicide of a servant), and the golf equipment' behavior of toasting the satan. *** "...this is a well-researched booklet that demanding situations a few of the renowned misconceptions approximately Irish hellfire golf equipment. Ryan has no longer been content material to easily reproduce the mythologies of this tradition for a normal viewers, yet has delved deep into the data to provide a readable and convincing account on a topic of tolerating renowned curiosity. - H-Net reports within the Humanities & Social Sciences, September 2013 *** "Ryan grants the truth of early eighteenth-century Dublin, a urban that used to be 'more a relic of the medieval period than a harbinger of modernity: chaotically deliberate, socially risky and poorly policed.' Readers will see a few similarities among the hellfire golf equipment and a few of modern filthy rich, organized-crime syndicates. (However, modern felony cartels have monetary pursuits, while the hellfire golf equipment' goals have been cruelty and mayhem for the joys of it all.) - The Celtic Connection, March 2014˜

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Described as ‘eccentric and vicious, but clever and accomplished’,23 he was interested in arcane lore and mysterious practices, not to mention entertaining himself in sociable settings. It seemed inevitable, therefore, that he would become involved in a convivial and pseudo-mystical movement that was then sweeping through Britain and Ireland. Freemasonry had spread rapidly following the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Although Freemasons consorted with one another mainly for convivial purposes, there was a strong esoteric element to their practices.

30 • Blasphemers & Blackguards Portrait of a Hellfire Club Sometime in 1737 or 1738, five men gathered around a table in a house in Dublin or its immediate vicinity. As was evident from their splendid attire and carefully powdered wigs, they were high-ranking members of the nobility and gentry. They were members of the city’s most notorious society, the Hellfire Club, and they had come together in order to pose for a group portrait. Although the Earl of Rosse was a notable absentee from the scene, most of the other members were present and the artist who was about to commit their likenesses to canvas was none other than James Worsdale.

41 Their militaristic origins frequently induced an aggressive approach to social interaction. On the whole, the Anglo-Irish gentry proved to be more willing to engage in violent altercations and encounters than their English counterparts. One of the strongest indications of this was in the fondness for duelling. Motivated by firmly held notions of honour and social prestige, duels occurred with increasing regularity as the eighteenth century progressed. 42 It could as easily have been said that they were extravagant and quarrelsome, and many of those who deemed themselves gentlemen were justifiably criticized for coarse and ungentlemanly behaviour.

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