The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

IV. Swift

§ 12. Irish Politics

In the meantime, Swift had become an Irish patriot, though he viewed Ireland and the native population with contempt. His hatred of injustice was, no doubt, strengthened by pleasure in attacking the government in power; but he was certainly sincere in his convictions. More will be said below of A proposal for the universal use of Irish manufacture, published by him in 1720, in which he urged the Irish not to use English goods, and of the famous Drapier’s Letters, written between April and December, 1724, on the occasion of the granting of a patent to William Wood to supply Ireland with a copper coinage. In the former case, the printer was prosecuted, but no jury could be found to convict, and the prosecution was dropped. In the latter, amidst the greatest popular excitement, a crown jury in Dublin represented that Wood’s halfpence were a nuisance, and the government was beaten.