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For New English settlers, seventeenth-century Ireland offered opportunities for career advancement and economic reward. But moving to Ireland also entailed the establishment of new social connections. For members of the planter class, writing was a means of building networks and consolidating a minority community that was often diffuse and spread across the country. Equally, the act of imagining community prompted their writing. The letters of Susan Montgomery, who arrived in Ulster on her husband's appointment as bishop of Derry, are a primary example of the aspiration to ideal community, envisaged in epistolary writing. The community available to Montgomery in Ulster and its evolution through the petitionary writing of the next generation are discussed. This is then related to the literary strategies of the poet, Anne Southwell, whose construction of ideal community is illuminated by new research on her friend, Cicely, Lady Ridgeway.