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Alexander the Coppersmith

Back to Richard Boles of Cork's Family Tree

A pamphlet called 'Remarks on the City of Corke' was published anonymously in Cork in 1737 using the pseudonym Alexander the Coppersmith.  The pamphlet complained about the Catholic merchants of Cork “whose diligence being more and luxury less than the Protestants will at last swallow up the whole of the trade and suck the marrow out of the city.”

The last section of Alexander's pamphlet was called a 'Critical Review of the Foregoing Work' by William Boles.  The publication of the two opinions together in the original pamphlet made it obvious that William Boles was actually Alexander as well.  He had publish the pamphlet in this way in order to give himself the opportunity to state his beliefs which were critical of both parties.

See the original brochure on Google Books.

See 6.3.3  William Boles in Richard Boles of Cork's Family Tree for the likely origin of this William Boles.

As it became known that William Boles real objective was to appear critical of the Catholic merchants while disguising his criticism of the Protestant merchants he would quite likely have alienated everyone around him equally.  There is no apparent  further trace of William in Ireland.  It is interesting though that accounts of Guillermo Bowles, the Irish born naturalist and geologist in Spain, mention that he was born in Cork about 1705 and that he was studying law at University but cut his studies short and moved on to Paris in 1740.  William Boles was born in Cork in 1707 and the reaction to his pamphlet in 1737 may well have led to his move to Paris in 1740.  The intellect shown in his analysis of the situation in Cork would also be consistent with the original work done by Guillermo Bowles in Spain.

The History of the County and City of Cork by Rev'd. C. B. Gibson, Vol. II, London 1861, pages 192 to 194 contain a commentary on the Catholic merchants of Cork in that time: (click on the page for a larger image)
















and on pages 377 to 378:


This site was last updated 10/19/18