Bushe, of Kilfane. Related? Letter: Nehemiah Donellan to uncle Paul Amyas, Preesall - has clothes and material, from cousin Amyas Bushe, but does not know how to send them DDX 317/56 16 Feb. 1720/1 His sister? The Historical Journal (2000), 43:2:433-451 Cambridge University Press Copyright Ã 2000 Cambridge University Press A WOMAN'S LIFE IN MID-EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY IRELAND: THE CASE OF LETITIA BUSHE 1 S. J. CONNOLLY a1 a1 Queen's University, Belfast Abstract Letitia Bushe (c. 1705–57), daughter of a minor Irish landowner and one-time office- holder, was a member of the intellectual and cultural circle that included Swift's friend, the letter writer Mary Delany, the `proto-bluestocking' Anne Donnellan, and the `heretic' bishop Robert Clayton. The means by which, as a single woman of independent but limited means, Bushe maintained her position within this circle had elements of informal domestic servitude. At the same time a cache of unusually intimate letters reveals a determined individualist, consciously distancing herself from some of the official pieties of her society, and enjoying a greater freedom of thought, action, and speech than might at first sight have been expected. The letters also document Bushe's intense and tortured relationship with a younger woman, Lady Anne Bligh, an episode which raises important questions about the nature of women's friendships at this time.