Category Archives: People

Gerald Griffin, 1803-40

Extracted from Irish Literary Figures: William J. Maguire published 1945 – out of print.

Gerald Griffin, Irish Novelist, Poet and Dramatic writer, was born in Limerick. He received his early education at the School then conducted by Richard McElligott.

He made the acquaintance of John Banim (1798- I842), then working as a journalist in Limerick. This acquaintance ripened into a life-long friendship, and had a profound influence in shaping the subsequent course of Griffin’s life.

He developed a love of the great Roman poets, Virgil, Ovid and Horace, and of these, it was very natural that Virgil became an especial favourite.

In 1826 he became a Parliamentary reporter, and later obtained more or less permanent employment for such journals as the Literary Gazette, the News of Literature, the London Magazine, and the European Magazine.

In 1827 appeared Holland-.Tide Tales, a series of eight short stories and sketches, followed by Tales of the Munster Festivals (1827) ; The Collegians (1829), which Dion Boucicault adapted for the stage under the title of The Colleen Bawn, and the plot of which was suggested by a murder trial which he reported in 1820 ; The Invasion (1832) ; Tales of my Neighbourhood, The Duke.of Monmouth (1836) ; and Talis Qualis (1842).

The Collegians and the series of Tales of the Munster Festivals, acquired a widespread popularity in their day, and the author was placed, by general consent, as an Irish Novelist, by the side of Banim and Carleton.

His experiences as a journalist enabled him to write “with quickness and without much study,” and also supplied him with materials for some of his stories. He attached a great deal of importance to the experience which he gained as a reporter in the Courts. Here are his own words:

“By constantly attending the Courts, I acquired a considerable.facility in reporting, which is a very useful attainment in any situation almost, and the short time which I had spent to prepare an original article, obliged me to write with quickness and without much study.”

Describing, in The Collegians, a particular type of country witness, he writes: The peasantry of Ireland have for centuries been at war with the laws by which they are governed and watch their operation in every instance with a jealous eye. Even guilt itself, however naturally atrocious, obtains a commiseration in their regard, from the mere spirit of opposition to a system of government which they consider un-friendly. There is scarcely a cottage in the South of Ireland where the very circumstance of legal denunciation would not afford even to a murderer a certain passport to concealment and protection. To the same cause may be traced, in all likelihood, the shrewdness of disguise, the closeness, the affected dullness, the assumed simplicity, and all the inimitable subtleties of evasion and a wile which an Irish peasant can display when he is made to under-go a scene of judicial scrutiny, in which he will display a degree of gladiatorial dexterity which would throw the spirit of Machiavelli into ecstasies.

The plot of The Collegians is based on a horrible and brutal murder which shocked the citizens of Limerick in 1819. The facts are set forth in a pamphlet entitled ‘Ellen Hanly,’ or ‘The True Story of the Colleen Bawn’, published in Dublin in 1910. Súil Dhuv is admirable in its truthful portraiture of Irish life.

“Some passages in The Collegians and The Invasion,” observes one of his critics, “can hardly be surpassed in simple beauty; and where the style does not attain to absolute beauty, or even falls short of absolute correctness, it is never disfigured by fustian, it is always simple and of a crystalline clearness. The directness and simplicity of his narrative is one of the traits in which he most resembles Scott. There is quiet consciousness of power in his unpretending manner of telling a story, which at once lifts Gerald Griffin above the crowd of novel-writers to the dignity of a classic.”

During Griffin’s stay in Adare, with two sisters and an elder brother who was practising there as a Physician – his father and mother, with some others of the family, having emigrated and settled in Pennsylvania in 1820 – he often visited Limerick to witness the performances of the Thespian Society, a band of amateur players who produced pieces in the City theatre two or three times a week.

Influenced by their displays, he began to write Plays himself. He wrote a tragedy, ‘Aguire,’ founded upon an old Spanish story, but it was never produced. A second effort failed to produce results. ‘Gisippus, or the Forgotten Friend’, was his last attempt at Drama. It was evidently successful, but its success came too late to afford him any satisfaction.

In 1842, two years after Griffin’s death, Macready produced it at Drury Lane, London, where it drew crowded houses during its performance. The plot is founded on a popular version of a story by Boccaccio, which is. related in one of Goldsmith’s Essays. It bore little chance, however, of survival, because one considers ‘Gisippus’ as a Play suitable to be acted on the stage, or a literary Drama that satisfies when read in the study ; it fails to satisfy either test.

‘Aguire’ does not appear amongst his collected writings, nor do his other unsuccessful Dramas, nor the one or more Librettos which he wrote for Operas. In ‘Eileen Aroon’ and the ‘Sister of Charity’ he had sung the praises of Truth and Renunciation.

After the publication of ‘Tales of the jury Room, Rivals’, ‘Tracy’s Ambition,’ and ‘The Christian Physiologist’ , or ‘ Tales of the Five Senses’ ,Gerald Griffin’s enthusiasm for literature abated and his thoughts became more fixed on ending his life in the service of the Church. At first his thoughts turned to the Priesthood, and he wrote to his father “To say nothing of the arguments of faith, I do not know any station of life in which a man can do so much good to others and to himself as in that of a Catholic Priest.”

In August, 1838, he told his brother that he had made up his.mind to join the Congregation of Christian Brothers – a Society which, besides fulfilling all the pious exercises of the monastic state, devotes its best energies to the religious and moral instruction of the children of the poor.

He became a Brother in the following September. On entering the Order he wrote: “I have entered this house at the gracious call of God, to die to the world and to live to Him ; all is to be changed ; all my own pursuits hence- forward to be laid aside and those only embraced which He points out to me. Give me Grace, O my God, to close my mind against all that has been, or may be, in which Thou hast no part ; that it he not like a roofless building, where all kinds of birds, clean and unclean, fly in and but without hindrance ; but, like an enclosed tabernacle, devoted solely to Thy use and to Thy love.”

In his new life, he devoted himself zealously to all its duties. He says : “The more I see of the religious life, the more I feel the truth of what is said by one of the spiritual writers : “that if God did not please to keep its happiness secret the whole world would be running to it.”

He was transferred from Dublin to the North Monastery in Cork, in June, 1839. He wrote of his new borne as : “A very nice house, delightfully situated on the top of a hill, with the city lying in a valley at its foot, and Shandon steeple rising in front about to the level of our feet ; so that in returning from Mass or from school we can look down on the world in one of its busiest scenes, from a physical, if not from a moral or religious eminence. Between us and the city, at the foot of a lawn sloping down from the house, stands our school, a fine large building; and a nicely gravelled walk, winding between a close shorn hedge, and a line of trees that completely overshadows it, conducts us to the school. About half way down, on one side, close by the walk, stands a little burying ground, where the headstones of a few Brothers invite us to a de Profundis, and a thought or two on the end of all things as we are passing. ”

In a letter to America, Gerald Griffin wrote: “The holy end of the Institution I have embraced is the Christian education of the male children of the poor, in which charitable work, if the Almighty spare me health and life, I shall have an abundant opportunity of sending far better deeds before me, than I fear it would ever be my lot to perform amid the distractions and temptations of the world.

His brother visited him at the North Monastery in September, 1839. He was in excellent health and spirits. On the 31st May, 1840, he contracted what was thought at first to be a slight cold. It was found a week later that he had developed the symptoms of typhus fever, and he died on Friday, 12th June, 1840.

Sir Aubrey de Vere, a Limerick Poet and Dramatist, paid one of the noblest tributes to his memory soon after his death. He writes: “Neither can I forget Gerald Griffin whose writings illustrate so well that national character and scenery of our country ; too soon withdrawn from those literary labours which won a reputation beyond the limits of our own land, and destined to endure; a man of a most winning modesty, shrinking from praise, dreading his own gifts, lest they should not sufficiently conduce to his virtuous designs, and finally turning with conscientious firmness from the open path of fame, to that better retirement wherein he might dedicate his whole heart to God.

James Callan: Victim of Zeal and Heroism

Born about 1825, son of Thomas (originally from Newry or north Co. Louth area) and Margaret (nee O’Reilly from Knockbride) Callan. He spent some of his youth (apparently with his parents) at the residence of Rev. Peter O’ Reilly, PP Drung, who was his Uncle. He as a younger brother of Rev. John Callan, ordained in Maynooth for Dromore Diocese in June 1838 and spent nearly all his pastoral life in Newark Diocese, New Jersey where he died in June 1879; he was Uncle of Rev. Edward O’Reilly from Corravilla, Knockbride, who died as PP of Upper Drumreilly in 1920; he was also related to Philip Callan MP for Louth in the 1870′s (word of mouth claims them to be brothers) . James callanmatriculated in Maynooth on 26th August 1844 and was ordained there for Kilmore on 25th May 1850. he served as curate possibly in Annagh for some time, definitely from 1851 in Killenagh (Catholic Directory 1852 incorrectly lists him as John). In 1852 – he obtained from Bishop Browne an ‘exeat’ from the Diocese to America. He went to his brother john in Newark and having served in South Amboy to 1854, he was Pastor of St. James, Newark (1854-61), St. John’s Patterson 1863-64). In February 1864 he went to California and began pastoral work in Santa Barbara. He met his death on September 5th 1864.

The steamer on which he was returning to Santa Barbara (from a retreat in san Francisco) caught fire when its boiler exploded. Many were killed outright and many more mortally injured by the scalding steam. Although he was uninjured, Fr. Callan literally ‘walked into the jaws of death’ to administer the sacraments to the dying. “during these ministrations he inhaled the live steam, but despite the agony he endured, he persisted in the work of heroic charity” After all this was over – he succumbed, “a victim of zeal and heroism”.

Speranza, Ms. Jane Francesca Elgee

Speranza: Miss Jane Francesca Elgee (afterwards Lady Wilde).

“Speranza” was one of the best known and most popular of the writers of ‘The Nation’.

For some time the identity of a correspondent who used to send poems to the paper signed “Speranza” was unknown to Gavan Duffy, the Editor, who judging from the vigour of the verses, assumed that the writer was a man.

He was, therefore, very much surprised when, in reply to an invitation, he visited No. 34 Leeson Street one night and was, confronted by a young lady of striking and handsome appearance, whom he learned was his unknown correspondent. She was Miss Jane Francesca Elgee, the granddaughter – not daughter, as sometimes stated – of Archdeacon Elgee, the Rector of Wexford, whose eldest son was her father. (She wrote to D. J. O’Donoghue on the 10th August, 1893, correcting the statement that she was the daughter of a clergyman. “My Father,” she stated, “was the eldest son of Archdeacon Elgee, and he was not a clergyman.” O’Donoghue omitted making the correction in his edition of ‘The Poets of Ireland’ in 1912. In the announcement of her marriage it was stated that she was the youngest daughter of Charles Elgee and granddaughter of Archbishop Elgee)

Born in Wexford about the year 1826, Miss Elgee belonged to a strictly Protestant, and Conservative family who had no sympathy with national aspirations.

“Until my eighteenth year,”" she stated, “”I never wrote anything. Then one day a volume of ‘Ireland’s Library,’ issued from ‘The Nation’ office by Mr. Duffy, happened to come my way. I read it eagerly, and my patriotism was enkindled. Until then,” she continued, “I was quite indifferent to the national movement, and if I thought about it at all, I probably had a very bad opinion of the leaders. For my family was Protestant and Conservative, and there was no social intercourse between them and the Catholics and Nationalists. But once I had caught the national spirit the literature of Irish songs and sufferings had an enthralling interest for me. Then it was that I discovered that I could write poetry. In sending my verses to the editor of ‘The Nation’ I dared not have my name published, so I signed them ‘Speranza’, and my letters ‘John Fanshawe Ellis,’ instead of ‘Jane Francesca Elgee.’

She heard of Thomas Davis for the first time when she was told that the immense cortege she saw passing in the streets was his funeral.

“”Speranza’s “” first poem appeared in The Nation in 1846, not 1844, as stated by D. J. O’Donoghue, and was followed at short intervals by numerous others, which aroused the enthusiasm of the Young Ireland leaders and their supporters throughout the country.

“”No voice that was raised in the cause of the poor and oppressed,”" Martin MacDermott wrote, “”none that denounced political wrong-doing in Ireland was more eagerly listened to than that of the graceful ‘and accomplished woman known in literature, as ‘Speranza’ and in society as Lady Wilde.”"

“”Speranza”, wrote not only rousing, patriotic verse but revolutionary prose for ‘The Nation’. Her article, “”Jacta Alea Est “” (The Die is Cast), printed in the suppressed number of the paper for the 29th July, 1848, urged armed revolt in the cause of Irish freedom and showed that she had become a wholehearted disciple of John Mitchel, who was then in the hands of the enemy. The article was used as evidence against Gavan Duffy, who was in prison when it was written and never saw it.

“”Speranza”" boldly avowed the authorship from the gallery of the Courthouse in which she was sitting on the 21st February 1849 when the article was referred to by the Solicitor-General in ,the trial of Duffy

With the collapse of the 1848 Movement, following the arrest ,of the leaders and the suppression of their papers, “” Speranza”" was gradually drawn away from the national struggle; and the vigorous prose of “”John Fanshawe Ellis” or the patriotic verse of “Speranza” no longer delighted Irish readers.

After 1848, Gavan Duffy states, “”"”Speranza”" did not lose sympathy with the National Cause,but she not unnaturally lost hope and was indignant with the people at large ‘I don’t blame the leaders,’ she said, ‘in the least, but in Sicily, or Belgium; they would have been successful.’” What is not generally known is that Miss Elgee did write for The Nation after its revival on the 1st September, 1849, by Charles Gavan Duffy, but she cast aside old noms de plume, and Ireland’s wrongs and aspirations no longer inspired her muse. In 1849, beginning on the 15th December, and in 1850, there are translations from the Russian and Danish signed “”A,”" which are the work of Miss Elgee; and also a four-and-a-half column review with this same signature (on 30th November, 1850) under the heading “”Stella and Vanessa.”"

Once more, on the 6th February, 1869, the pen-name, “Speranza,”" appeared in The Nation under a poem on the Fenian prisoners, containing the lines:

“”Has not vengeance been gated at last?
Will the holy and beautiful chimes
Ring out the old wrongs of the past,
Ring in the new glories and times?”"

For years, ‘Speranza’ used to attend Viceregal functions in Dublin Castle as the wife of William Wilde (afterwards Sir William Wilde knighted 1864), the distinguished oculist and antiquary. She was a popular figure in the city, and as she drove through the streets she was loudly cheered by large crowds, who remembered her warm sympathy with the national movement when she was known as ‘Speranza’ and the writer of ‘Jacta Alea Est’.

After her marriage in 1851, she became a leader of fashion, first in Dublin and afterwards in London where she went to live shortly after her husbands death in 1876, as likely to afford a better outlet for her literary talents.

All the social, literary and artistic celebrities visited her “At Homes” in No. 1 Merrion Square, Dublin and at Park Street, Grosvenor Square, and 147 Oakely Street, Chelsea, London.

Her brilliant but dissolute son, Oscar Wilde, wrote: “My mother, who knew life as a whole, used often to quote to me Goethes lines – written by Carlyle in a book he had given her years ago, and translated by him, I fancy, also –

“Who never ate his bread in sorrow,
who never spent the midnight hours
weeping and wailing for the morrow –
He knows you not, ye heavenly powers”

These were the last lines which that noble Queen of Prussia, whom Napoleon treated with such coarse brutality used to quote in her humiliation and exile. These were the lines my mother often quoted early in the troubles of her later life.”

The first edition of her verses were published in 1864 by James Duffy as Poems by Speranza (Lady Wilde), showing that she still retained pride in the pen-name which had endeared her to the Irish people. Dedicated to her two sons, “” Willie and Oscar,”" it contained seventy-nine poems, including many of those which had appeared in The Nation. The volume opened with her fine poem on the Brothers Sheares.

In a review of her poems in the Fenian Irish People on the 25th February, 1835, it was stated:
“”No Irish writer of our time, except, perhaps, Thomas Davis, has been praised so highly, nearly all the Young Ireland leaders offered incense at her shrine. Doheny wrote an essay on her. Mitchel quoted her poetry in his Last Conquest. Meagher quoted it in his speeches, and called his boat ‘Speranza.’

This admiration, we fancy, was inspired as much by the woman and the poetry as the poet, and perhaps if she knew it was so it would not have been the less grateful to her. Her surroundings, we are told, were anti-Irish. She belonged to that class who were Irish only in name and whose boast it was that they garrisoned the land of their birth for a foreign country. A woman who, so circumstanced, could feel that Ireland was her country, must have been no ordinary woman. And it is no wonder that one so gifted as ‘Speranza’ was welcomed with enthusiasm both by dreamers and workers, who hoped to make Ireland ‘A Nation Once Again,’ and who relied so much upon intellect for the attainment of their end. Lady Wilde is generally on a lofty tower, and the words she rolls down, I may say, are often soul-stirring and always vigorous”

She also published a number of prose works; including ‘Driftwood from Scandinavia’ (London, 1864) ; Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland, with Sketches of Ireland’s Past (London, 1887) Ancient Cures, Charms and Usages of Ireland (London, 1890) ; Notes on Men, Women and Books (London, 1891), and Social Studies (London; 1893). In the latter volume is an interesting chapter on “Irish Leaders and Martyrs,”" from which I take the following extraction as showing Lady Wilde’s opinions many years after she had ceased to write for The Nation :
“”The fervent nationality evoked by Thomas Moore’s music and songs at the opening of the century, and formulated afterwards into an immense political force by Daniel O’Connell, rose to a fever of enthusiasm in 1846, when a madness of lyrical passion seemed to sweep over the heart of the Nation, and Young Ireland springing to manhood splendid in force and intellect, earnest in aim and stainless in life A delirium of patriotic excitement raged through the land as those, young orators and poets flashed the full light of their: genius in the wrongs, the hopes, and the old heroic memories of their country. Even the upper classes in Ireland awoke for the first time, to a sense of the nobleness of a Life devoted to national regeneration. The leaders spoke as inspired men, and their words, like the words of the spirit, gave new life and power to every lofty purpose and high resolve. Artizans also, many of whom were seized with the poetic frenzy, wrote and published verses of singular merit and strong rude power!’

During the Land League days, Lady Wilde was a warm, admirer of Parnell, who was then leading a united people. She said to one of her friends “”Parnell is the man of destiny. He will strike off the fetters and free, Ireland and throne her as Queen among the nations.”

George Bernard Shaw pays a tribute to the kindness he received from Lady Wilde in the early days of his career: “”Lady Wilde was nice to me in London, “” he stated, “during the desperate days between my arrival in 1876 and my earning of an income by my pen in 1885, or until a few years earlier when I threw myself into socialism and cut myself contemptuously loose from everything of which her “At Homes “ themselves desperate affairs enough ‘were part.”"

A woman writer (Catherine Jane Hamilton) described Lady Wilde as she appeared to her in her home in London in 1889 :
“”A tall woman, slightly bent with, rheumatism, fantastically dressed in a trained black and white checked silk gown. From her head floated long white streamers; mixed with ends of scarlet ribbon. What glorious dark eyes she had. Even then, and she was over sixty, she was a strikingly handsome woman, Her talent for talk was infectious; everyone talked their best; …’I cannot write,’ I heard her say, ‘about such things as Mrs. Green looked well in black and Mrs. Black looked very well in green!”

At this time Lady Wilde was not very well off. Indeed, she had a great difficulty in keeping up appearances. She had a small pension from the Civil List and her writings did not bring her in a fortune.

She wrote to W.J. Fitzpatrick describing an evening at her house, No. 1 Merrion Square, in 1874, with Mitchel as her guest. Mitchel, whom, she stated, “” was fated so soon after to end his sad brilliant life of genius, pain and suffering. His lovely daughter was with him. She was born when he was a prisoner and he called her ‘Isabel of the Fetters;’ but I said she was ‘The Angel of the Captivity.’ “”

“”Speranza “” was warm-hearted, generous, romantic and enthusiastic. She was a brilliant conversationalist and a fine linguist. “My favourite study,” she once stated, “was languages. I succeeded in mastering two European languages before I was eighteen.” She published translations from French, German, Spanish, Danish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Swedish writers in both prose and poetry.

On the 21st February 846, the pseudonym ‘Speranza’, with which readers of ‘The Nation’ were to become familiar until July 1848, appeared in the ‘Answers to Correspondents’ column under a poem translated from the German entitled “The Holy War.” There was an editorial note preceding the verses : “Non, mon ami. Ca Ira. But the Germans have ideas of freeing mankind on a vast scale too vast to be altogether practical. We have no idea how a crusade of nations would work.”

This was followed by a number of other translations during 1846, including ‘The Knight’s Pledge” (16th May), from Herwagh; “The Old Man’s Blessing,” from Heenrich Colin (30th May) and “Echoes of Foreign Songs” from the German of Baggesen (6th June).

Another poem, “Anticipations,” from Herwegh, was declined on the 11th July with the comment: “The translations of our new friend have always vigour and freedom, but this piece has essential faults of common-place and which a translation could scarcely cure. We would be glad to see ‘Speranza’.

On the 18th July, in reference to the translation of a sonnet from Herwagh, this editorial note appeared in the “Answers to Correspondents” column: “Our new contributor promises to rival Mangan in the melody and fullness of his phrases. This sonnet is exquisitely translated.” It bore no title, but is included in “Speranza’s” poems under the heading, “The Poet’s Destiny”. Other translations by “Speranza” appeared on August 15th (“Catarina” from the Portuguese of Camoens); on September 5th, “Misery is a Mystery” from the German of Nicholas Lenau); on October 10th (“Disillusion” from the German of Count Platen); on October 31st, (“Romance” from the Spanish) ; on December 19th, (“Opportunity” from the Italian of Machiavelle); on December 26th, (“Ignez de Castro” from the Portuguese of Bocage).

She also wrote two other poems which are not translations – “The Poet’s Mission” on the 19th September, and “A Lament” on the 5th December, of five verses, beginning:

“Gone from us, dead to us – he whom we worshipped so.
Low lies the altar we raised to his name;
Madly his own hand hath shattered and laid it low –
Madly his own proud breath hath blasted his fame.
He whose broad forehead was circled with might.
Sunk to a time-serving, drivelling inanity –
God! Why not spare our loved country the sight.”

Referring to the poem, an editorial comment states: “Late events must have made a deep and fatal impression when a true poet has drawn from them so sad a moral as we have here. And mark how you will find thrilling thoughts come out with a certain vehement irregularity like the stammering of bitter grief.”

In 1847 “Speranza” published (on January 23rd) “The Stricken Land”, the title of which was changed to “The Famine Year” in her collected poems; on March 6th, “The Brothers” – John and Henry Sheares – who were hanged in 1798 and interred in the vaults of St. Michan’s Church, Dublin, where the antiseptic quality of the clay preserved the bodies; on March 27th “France in ‘93” -a lesson from foreign history ; “Signs of the Times” (on April 3rd) ; on May 1st, “The Fate of the Lyrist”, from the German of Count Platen; on July 3rd “memory” ; on October 9th “The Mystic Tree” from Oebkebschlager; on October 16th “The Young Patriot Leader”, to which an editorial note was attached: “Who is the happy and illustrious original of this great picture?”; on October 23rd, “A Servian Song” from the Russian of Alexander Puschkin; on November 20th “The Fisherman” from Goethe; on November 27th “The Future”; on December 4th “Man’s Mission”; on Dec 24th, “Fatality” and “King Eric’s Death” from the German of Johann Seidle.

“Speranza” died at 147 Oakley Street, Chelsea on 3rd February, 1896, and was buried in Kensal Green.”

Extract from ‘The Young Irelanders’ by T.F. O’Sullivan. Published by The Kerryman Ltd., 1944.

Members of the Kildare Archaeological Society, 1895

PROCEEDINGS OF THE COUNTY KILDARE ARCHAELOLOGICAL SOCIETY

LIST OF HONORARY OFFICERS AND MEMBERS.
(Corrected to January 24, 1895)
President: THE EARL OF MAYO.

Vice-President : THE MOST REV. MICHAEL COMERFORD, D. D.,
Coadjutor Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

Council: (in order of Election)
THOMAS COOKE TRENCH, ESQ., D.L.
GEORGE MANSFIELD, ESQ., D.L.
THE REV. CANON SHERLOCK, M.A .
THE REV. DENIS MURPHY, S.J., LL.D., M.R.I.A.
THE REV. EDWARD O’LEARY, P.P. THOMAS J. DE . BURGH, ESQ., D.L .

Hon-Treasurer: HANS HENDRICK-AYLMER, ESQ., Kerdiffstown, Naas, (Co. Kildare)

Hon Secretaries:
LORD WALTER FITZGERALD, M.R.LA., Kilkea Castle, Mageney.
ARTHlJR VICARS, ESQ., F.S.A., Ulster, Clyde Road, Dublin.

Hon-Editor : THE REV. DENIS MURPHY, S.J., University College, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

MEMBERS
[Officers are indicated by heavy type; Life Members by an asterisk (*).]

Article: Adams, Rev. James, Kill Rectory, Straffan.
Archbold, Miss, Davidstown, Castledermot.
Aylmer, Miss, Donadea Castle, Co. Kildare.
Aylmer, Algernon, Rathmore, Naas.
AYLMER, H. HENDRICK-, Hon. Treasurer, Kerdiffstown, Naas.

*Barton, Major H. L., D.L., Straffan House. Straffan.
Bonham, Colonel J., Ballintaggart, Colbinstown, Co. Kildare.
Bird, Rev. John T., Curragh Camp.
Brooke, J. T., St. David’s, Naas.
Brown, Stephen J., Naas.
Browne, Rev. Hawtrey, Victoria Cottage, Fermoy. (Co. Cork)
Burke, Very Rev. E., P.P., Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow.
Burtchaell, G. D., M.A., 7, St. Stephen’s-green, Dublin.

Cane, Major Claude, St. Wolstan’s, Celbridge.
Carberry, Rev. Thomas, P.P., The Presbytery, Ballitore.

Carroll, Frederick, Moone Abbey, Moone.
Carroll, Rev. James, C.C., Howth, Co. Dublin.
*Clements, Colonel, Killadoon, Celbridge.
Clements, Mrs., Killadoon, Celbridge.
*Clements, Henry J. B., D.L., Killadoon, Celbridge.
Coady, D. P., M.D., Johnstown, Straffan.
Cochrane, Robert, F.S.A., M.R.I.A., Hon. Secretary R.S.A.I., 17, Highfield-road, Rathgar.
Cole, Rev. J. F., The Rectory, Portarlington (Queen’s County (aka Laois or Leix)
COMERFORD, Most Rev. M., D. D.,. Coadjutor Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Vice.President, Braganza, Carlow.
Conmee, Rev. J. F., S.J. , University College, Dublin.
Coote, Stanley, Arden, Dulwich, Surrey. (Great Britain)
Cowell, Very Rev. G. Y., Dean of Kildare, The Deanery, Kildare.
Crosby, Rev. E. Lewis, 36, Rutland-square, Dublin.

Dames, R. S. Longworth, 21, Herbert.street, Dublin.
Dane, J. Whiteside, Osberstown Hill, Naas.
Darby, M., M.D., Monasterevan.
Day, Robert, F.S.A., M.R.LA., 3, Sydney-place, Cork.
Dease, Colonel G., .Celbridge Abbey, Celbridge.
DE BURGH, THOMAS J., D.L., Oldtown, Naas.
Devitt, Rev. Mathew, S.J. , Clongowes Wood College, Sallins.
Doyle, Rev. J. J., Derrycappagh, Mountmellick, Queen’s County (aka Laois or Leix)
Drew, Thomas, R.H.A., M.R.I.A., P.R.S.A.I., Gortnadrew, Monkstown. (Co. Dublin)
Duncan, J. A., Athy.
Dunne, Rev. John, Clane.
Dunne, Laurence, J.P.,, Dollardstown House, Athy.

Elliott, Rev. William, The Manse, Naas.

Falkiner, F. J., M.D., Spring Gardens, Naas.
Ffrench, Rev. J. F. M., M.R.I. A., Ballyredmond House, Clonegal.
*FitzGerald, Lady Eva, Kilkea Castle, Mageney, Co. Kildare.
*FitzGerald, Lord Frederick, Kilkea Castle, Mageney, Co. Kildare.
*FitzGerald, Lord George, King’s House, Kingston, Jamaica.
*FITZ GERALD, LORD WALTER, M.R.I.A., Hon. Secretary, Kilkea Castle, Mageney, Co. Kildare.
FitzGerald, Rev. W., The Vicarage, Grange Con, Co. Wicklow.
Fogarty, Rev. M., Professor, Maynooth College.
Follis, Rev. C. W., Emily-square, Athy.

Ganly, Rev. C. W., Kilkea Rectory, Mageney, Co. Kildare.
Garrett, Rev. George, Kilmeague, Co. Kildare.
Garstin, J. Ribton, D.L., F.S.A., M.R.I.A., Braganstown, Castlebellingham, Co. Louth.
Glover, Edward, 19, Prince Patrick.terrace, North Circular.road, Dublin.
Greene, Thomas, LL.D., Millbrook, Mageney.

Hade, Arthur, O.E., Carlow.
Hannon, Thomas J., Millview House, Athy.
Higginson, Lady, Connellmore, Newbridge.
Hoguet, Madame Henry L., 48, West Twenty-eighth-street, New York .
Houston, Rev. B. C. Davidson, St. John’s Vicarage, Sydney Parade, Dublin.

Jessen, Rev. J. L., Castledermot, Co. Kildare.
Johnson, Miss, Prumplestown House, Castledermot, Co. Kildare.

Kennedy, Rev. H., St. David’s Rectory, Naas.
Kennedy, Robert R., R.M., Carlow.
Keogh, Surgeon-Major T. R., Castleroe, Mageney, Co. Kildare.
Kirkpatrick, William, Donacomper, Celbridge. (Co. Kildare)

Large, Rev. W. Somerville-, Carnalway Rectory, Kilcullen.
La Touche,.Mrs. John, Harristown, Brannoxtown.
Loch, J., C.I.R.I.C.., The Firs, Naas.
Long, Miss A. F., Woodfield, Kilcavan, Geashill.

McMahon, General, Craddockstown, Naas.
McMahon, Mrs., Craddockstown, Naas.
McSweeny, J. G., 18, Claremount-road, Sandymount, Dublin.
Maguire, Rev. E., D.D., Professor, Maynooth College.
Maguire, P. A. 2, Oldtown-terrace, Naas.
Mahony, David, D.L., Grange Con, Co. Wicklow.
Mahony, George.Gun, Grange Con, Co. Wicklow.
MANSFIELD, GEORGE, Morristown Lattin, Naas.
Mayo, Dowager Countess of, 20, Eaton.square, London, S.W.
MAYO, . The EARL OF, President, Palmerstown, Straffan.
Molloy, E., Abbeyfield, Naas.
Molloy, William R., M.R.I.A., 17, Brookfield-terrace, Donnybrook, Dublin.
Moran, His Eminence Cardinal, Sydney, N. S. Wales.
Morrin, Rev. Thomas, P.P., Naas.
MURPHY, Rev. DENIS, S.J., LL.D., M.R.I.A., Hon. Editor, University College, St. Stephen’s green, Dublin.
Murphy, Very Rev. Michael, P.P., St. Brigid’s, Kildare.

O’Ferrall, Ambrose More, D.L., Ballyna, Moyvalley.
O’Hanlon, Very Rev. Canon, 3, Leahy’s-terrace, Sandymount, Dublin.
O’LEARY, Rev. E., P.P., Ballyna, Moyvalley.
O’Leary, Rev. Patrick, Maynooth College.
O’Meagher, J. Casimir, M.R.I.A., 45, Mountjoy-square, S., Dublin.
Owen, Arthur, Blessington, Co. Wicklow.

Palmer, Charles Colley, D.L., Rahan, Edenderry.
Ponsonby, Hon. Gerald, Palmerstown, Straffan.
Ponsonby, Lady Maria, Pal~erstown, Straffan.

Pratt, Mrs., Glenheste, Manor Kilbride, Co. Dublin.

Rynd, Major R. F., mackhall, Naas.

Saunders, Colonel R., D.L., Saunders’ Grove, Stratford-on-Slaney.
Seaton, Lord, Bert House, Athy.
SHERLOCK, Rev. Canon, Sherlockstown, Naas.
Skuse, Rev. Richard D., Ballykean Rectory, Portarlington.
Steede, J., LL.D., Dundalk.
Stoney, Colonel, The Downs, Delgany.
Supple, K., D.i’R.I.C., Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow.
Sutcliffe, J. R.; Hibernian Bank, Naas.
Sweetman, E., Longtown, Naas.
Sweetman, Mrs., I,ongtown, Naas.
Synnott, Nicholas, 14, Herbert-crescent, Hans-place, London, S. W.

Taylor, Mark, Golden Fort, Baltinglass.
Thornhill, F. Evelyn, RathanganHouse, Rathangan.
TRENCH, THOMAS COOKE, D.L., Millicent, Naas.
Trench, Mrs. Cooke, Millicent, Naas.
Tynan, Rev. W., P.P., Newbridge.

VICARS, ARTHUR, F. S. A., Ulster King-of.Arms, Hon. Secretary, Clyde road, Dublin.
Vigors, Colonel P. D., Holloden, Bagenalstown. (Co. Carlow)

Wall, Colonel J., Knockareagh, Grange Con.
Wall, Mrs., Knockareagh, Grange Con.
Walsh, Rev. Martin, P.P., Castledermot, Co. Kildare.
Watt, David, 8tackallan, Navan.
Welch, Robert J., 49, Lonsdale-street, Belfast.
Weldon, General, Forenaughts, Naas.
Weldon, Captain A. A., Kilmorony, Athy.
Weldon, Lady, Kilmorony, Athy.
Wheeler, W. I., M..D., F.R.C.S.I., 32, Merrion-square, N., Dublin.
White, W. Grove, 13, Upper Ormond-quay, Dublin.
Willis, G. de L., 4, Kildare-street, Dublin.
Wilson, Colonel W. F., The Vicarage, Clane.
Wilson, Robert M., Coolcarrigan, Kilcock.
Wilson, Mrs. R. M., Coolcarrigan, Kilcock.
Wilson, Miss R. Dupre, Coolcarrigan, Kilcock.
Wolfe, George, Bishopsland, Ballymore-Eustace, Naas.
Woollcombe, Robert L., LL.D., M.R.I.A., 14, Waterloo-road, Dublin.
*Wright, Professor E. Perceval, M.D., Hon. Secretary R.I.A., 5, Trinity College, Dublin.

Hon. Member
Miss Margaret Stokes.

Patrick O’Donoghue

Patrick O’Donoghue, a Carlow man (born in Clonegall), who was employed as a Law Clerk in Dublin and who was one of the most active members of the Irish Confederation in the City, had the distinction of editing a paper, the ‘Irish Exile’, while undergoing a sentence of transportation in Van Dieman’s Land with Smith O’Brien, Mitchel, Meagher, Martin and McManus. He succeeded in escaping to the United States in 1852.

Michael Doheny in his ‘Felon’s Track’, explains how O’Donoghue became involved in the insurrectionary activities in Co. Tipperary in July 1848. “He was much relied on,” he states, “by his friends in the Confederation, and was entrusted with the dispatches to Mr. O’Brien. He proceeded on his mission to Kilkenny, and there applied to one of the clubs. He was known to none of the members, and became at once the object of suspicion. It was accordingly, determined to send him for the rest of the journey under arrest, and Stephens and another member were appointed to that duty. They proceeded in execution of their duty to Cashel, where O’Donoghue was warmly welcomed by Mr. O’Brien, whose fate he thenceforth determined to share. Mr. Stephens came to the same resolution.

With Mssrs. Stephens and O’Donoghue, their very desperation acted as the most ennobling and irresistible inducement. They clung to him to the last with a fidelity the more untiring in proportion as his circumstances portended imminent disaster and ruin.”

O’Donoghue was present at the meeting in Ballingarry on the 28th July with O’Brien, Dillon, Stephens, James Cantwell, Meagher, Leyne, Devin, Reilly, John O’Mahony, Doheny, MacManus, John Cavanagh J.D. Wright and D.P. Cunningham.

At his trial before the Special Commission at Clonmel in October 1848, he was defended by Butt and F. Maher. Evidence was given for the crown that he was associated with Smith O’Brien in the Co. Tipperary in the activities of July, and was present at Mullinahone, armed with a gun, when O’Brien vainly called on the police to give up their arms. It was also stated that he was at Killenaule where barricades were erected to prevent the march of a troop of dragoons, which were permitted to proceed only when the officer in charge gave his word that he was not about to arrest Smith O’Brien.

The Attorney General contended that having joined the ranks of the ‘rebel’ army, O’Donoghue was equally guilty with the leaders, and must be supposed to have the same objects in view and to have adopted their plans.

O’Donoghue, interrupting, exclaimed : “’Tis right for me to say that I don’t wish to escape upon the poor miserable pretexts which the Attorney General put into my mouth there”

Having been found guilty, O’Donoghue complained that a jury of political opponents had been empanelled to try him, and that the Judge when addressing the jury had enunciated the startling doctrine that if he assisted Smith O’Brien while the latter was engaged in a treasonable design, he was also guilty of treason, although he might not know of Mr. O’Brien’s intent. “It is not fit at this solemn moment,” he added, “to defend my opinions and conduct. I will, therefore, only say that these opinions have always been tolerant, sincere and consistent.”

O’Donoghue was sentenced to death like O’Brien, Meagher and MacManus. The sentence as in their case was commuted to transport for life.

On board the ‘Swift’ which carried him into exile, he kept a record of the chief incidents in the lives of his comrades and himself. “In these interesting notes,” Father Cullen wrote “we get glimpses of the exiles while studying the Greek and Latin classics, reading the masterpieces of English literature, at their devotions, or conversing about their beloved country. The writer himself loved the Sermon on the Mount and the Epistle of St. James; he read the Book of Maccabees to O’Meagher and MacManus; the times they were free every day for religious exercises they gave up to prayer and meditation. At less serious moments the had Irish reels and Scotch jigs.”

O’Donoghue endured more hardships that any of the political prisoners in Van Diemen’s Land. In Hobart Town, where he was permitted to reside, he tried to secure employment in a solicitor’s office, but failed to secure a position. He was in very poor circumstances, and offers of a home were made to him by Fathers Therry and Dunne and by John Regan. Bishop Willson gave orders that his house was to be open to him at all times and in a letter almost begged him to accept his hospitality for a few months. O’Donoghue “could not be the recipient of other men’s bounty,” and refused all offers of assistance. He started a weekly paper called ‘The Irish Exile’ in Hobart Town. Mitchel strongly disapproved of the project and Meagher and Martin tried to dissuade O’Donoghue from starting it. O’Donoghue said that this was the only channel open to him for the realisation of an honourable livelihood, and that he was bound to avail himself of it, regardless of all other considerations.

The first number of ‘The Irish Exile’ appeared on the 26th January 1850, and the paper for a time appears to have been successful. It contained articles of Irish history, several patriotic poem, and a series of papers on the Repeal movement contributed by John Martin. The tone of the paper, which was aggressively Irish, aroused the wrath of Sir William Denison, the anti-Irish Governor; and certain place-hunters, circulated statements that the Editor’s patriotism had not been put to the test in Ireland, that the other exiles would not associate with him, and that his conduct was calculated to make them blush with shame. These statements elicited strong testimonies to O’Donoghue’s patriotism from three of his colleagues.
“I know not one amongst us,” Mitchel wrote, “who engaged in our felony with a truer and more disinterested devotion that you, or more gallantly periled and lost his all.”
Martin wrote: “Among the many Irish patriots proscribed within the last two years, I know none more entirely devoted to out holy cause than yourself. You have sacrificed your property and family affections, and you offered your life in that cause.” Meagher also paid an eloquent tribute to O’Donoghue’s patriotism.

With O’Doherty and MacManus, O’Donoghue was sent to a convict station, compelled to wear convict dress and to work with chain gangs for going outside the district assigned to him. After the expiration of his sentence at the end of March 1851, he was returned to Hobart Town, where on renewing his parole for six months, he was ordered to leave the city within a week and reside in the interior. He decided to go to Richmond as the guest of Father Dunne, but Denison commanded that the prisoner go to Oatlands, where as O’Donoghue stated he “could starve at leisure” ‘The Irish Exile’ then ceased publication. There is a copy of the paper in the National Library in Dublin.

In September O’Donoghue withdrew his parole and made an unsuccessful attempt to escape. He afterwards, on renewing his parole a, became the guest of Father Butler at Launcestown, and for a time was comparatively happy. He got into trouble again when he threatened to publish certain information about an official who had made an uncomplimentary reference to Charles Gavan Duffy. Denison sent O’Donoghue to the Cascades Penal station, once more to wear prison garb, to herd within criminals and work in the chain gangs for three months. On the 1st November 1852, he was ordered to return to Launceston. He disappeared on the way. His friends had determined that the unfortunate prisoner would be free from the malignity of the Governor.

For six weeks O’Donoghue remained in concealment, and on the 19th December, 1852, he was stowed away on the Yarra Yarra. Three days later he reached Melbourne, and after a time reached San Francisco. He died on the 22nd of January 1854. These passages are from the obituary notice written by John Mitchel in his paper, the ‘Citizen’, on the 28th January 11854.

“One victim of English ‘justice’ has found rest in the grave. Patrick O’Donoghue died in Brooklyn after five days illness, on Sunday morning last (22nd January); and it is sad to relate that on that very evening his wife and daughter arrived in New York too late to see him alive. Every since his removal from his home and family, under a fraudulent pretence of trial and conviction, nearly six years ago, his life has been a wild and varied one – now editing a newspaper in Hobart town, now cutting timber with the convict gangs in Port Arthur, now living penniless in Launcestown, and goaded almost to madness by the mean persecution of English officials.

He was of an ardent and excitable temperament originally, and that was what drove him to the hills of Tipperary, pike in his hand, in the train of O’Brien. The same warm temperament made him affectionate to his friends, bitter against those whom he believed his enemies; and if that excitable disposition, stung by insolent injustice, ever hurried him into error, we lay his errors, and we lay his blood at the door of the Liberal and ameliorative statesmen of England. If the day of retribution come in our time, and we believe it will, the name of O’Donoghue shall be heard of in England yet. His wife, we have reason to know, is in very poor circumstances, and the raising of a fund for her support will be the first thought of his fellow-countrymen in America.”

A fund was raised for the widow and daughter, with John Kavanagh as Chairman of the organising committee, and Michael Doheny was one of the secretaries.

In the appeal issued for subscriptions it was stated:
“He was improvident, reckless, perhaps, of his means; reckless assuredly of his life. He was not one of those the world calls great and gifted, but his courage and devotion to a desperate cause at a desperate crisis were undoubted, were unsurpassed ; no one questions them.
……….If he had faults let them lie with him. He was lowered into a deep, deep grave in a strange land. He had few mourners; the prosperous and the proud are seldom seen in the funeral cortege of the poor.”

Robert Emmet

Of all the heroic martyrs to be found in Irish history, none can compare in popularity with the romantic martyrdom of ‘the bould Robert Emmet, the darlin’ of Erin’.

His, was probably one of the greatest speeches made from the dock by a condemned prisoner. He ended it thus: ”Let no man write my epitaph…….Let my memory be left in oblivion and my tomb remain uninscribed until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written.

Robert Emmet was the seventeenth and youngest child of Dr. Robert Emmet and Elizabeth Mason of Dublin. They lived at 124, St. Steven’s Green, Dublin. Five previous sons had been called Robert and of the seventeen children only three boys and one girl survived.

Robert was educated in Samuel Whyte’s academy in Grafton Street (located where Bewleys Cafe now stands). He entered Trinity College at the age of seventeen and there began two great friendships. The first with Thomas Moore, who later immortalised him in poetry and song, and the second with Richard Curran, to whose sister, Sarah, he became bethrothed. He was expelled from Trinity College in 1798 for holding radical political views and he then joined the newly formed United Irishmen.

To the ordinary people, Robert Emmet was a hero, but to the civil authorities of the time, he was another young Irish traitor, a misguided young man of respectable background who had chosen to challenge Dublin castle by appearing one night in Patrick Street dressed in a General’s uniform and making himself the centre-piece of a crowd (of thugs and drunks!). One victim that night was a humanitarian, Lord Kilwarden who was the Lord Chief Justice. His coach was surrounded by the mob and he was piked to death! Emmet did not know of this until later. Thirty people lost their lives that night.

The British authorities later admitted that his so-called rebellion was ‘as formidable in it’s preparation and means of doing mischief as any in history.’ It has been said that if it were not for a series of unfortunate set-backs, Emmet’s valient effort of July 23rd, 1803, might well have changed the course of Irish history.

Denny Lane

Denny Lane, one of the most popular of the young Ireland leaders, and the writer of the two well-known poems, “Kate of Araglen” and ” Lament of the Irish Maiden,” was born in Cork on the 7th of December, 1818, the only child of Maurice Lane, proprietor of the Glyntown Distillery, Riverstown, Cork.

The two poems mentioned appeared in The Nation- the first on the 12th October, 1844, and the second on the 15th February, 1845, over the signature “Donall Na Glanna” and “Doinnall Na Glenna.” “Kate of Arraglen” became his wife. Lane received his early education at Hamblin and Porter’s well-known school in Queen’s Street, Cork. Entering Trinity College on the 18th January , 1836, he took out his B.A. degree in 1839, and was called to the Bar in the Trinity Term 1840, when he was living at No.8 Hume Street, Dublin.

Lane, who had been a member of the Repeal Association, and intimately associated with Thomas Davis, identified himself with the Young Irelanders after the secession from Conciliation Hall in 1846, and when the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended in July, 1848, he was arrested and imprisoned. After four months’ confinement he was released without trial. For many years he took a prominent part in literary movements in his native city; and also interested himself in promoting industrial development. For many years he was Managing Director of the Cork Gas Company, and also filled the position of President of the Institute of Gas Engineers in 1887 and 1893. On one occasion he addressed a body of French engineers in their own tongue.

Lane was deeply interested in Science and Art. He was Chairman of the School of Science, and frequently lectured to Art students in the city. “Then and Now” was the title of an address which he delivered as President of the Cork Literary and Scientific Society at the opening of the 52nd session in 1885. It was described as “a luminous survey of general literature as it existed during the years which witnessed the establishment of, the Society, with special references to the literary genius of Cork.”

Throwing in his lot with the Home Rule Party, Lane stood as a Parliamentary candidate, but was defeated in a triangular contest owing to the splitting of the Nationalist vote between himself and John Daly. He filled the positions of Chairman of the Macroom Railway Co, and Director of the Blackrock and Passage Railway Co.

Denny Lane died in his 77th year, a highly respected citizen of Cork, at his residence, No.72 South Mall, on the 29th November, 1895, and was buried in the Matehy cemetery, near Blarney.

Arthur Gerald Geoghegan

Arthur Gerald Geoghegan, who was born in Dublin on the 1st of June 1810 entered into the Civil Service on June 12th 1830. He wrote poems for the ‘Dublin Journal of Temperance’; ‘Science and Literature’; the ‘Irish Penny Journal’; the ‘Dublin University Magazine’; the ‘Irish Monhtly’ and in its early years The Nation. He normally signed his poems with three asterisks and sometimes with the figure of a hand. He wrote a ballad poem “The Monks of Kilcrea which appeared in the Temperance Journal and this was published in book form a few times. An ardent antiquary, he was one of the earliest members of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, and contributed to its journal. He exhibited a collection of his own antiquities on one occasion in London.

Geoghegan became collector of the Inland Revenue in 1857 and retired from the service in 1877. Charles Gavan Duffy states that on the eve of his (Duffy’s) emigration to Australia: – “Some practical men insisted that before seeing me for the last time there ought to be some permanent testimony of good will…….Arthur Geoghegan, then a young Protestant Nationalist in the Excise Department, afterwards one of the four officials called ‘The Kings of Somerset House’, wrote to offer me (Duffy) all the savings that he had accumulated to be repaid without interest, and at my absolute convenience……..It adds a flavour of rare magnanimity to Mr. Geoghegan’s offer, that he did not agree with me in the contest which had brought about my exile. ‘There is not on the face of God’s earth,’ he wrote (Geoghegan), ‘a more pious and self sacrificing priesthood than yours and as an Irishman I am proud of them……I differ from you on many points, but on none more so than that it is neither desirable or expedient for the Clergymen of your Church to take an active share in politics. O’Connell hastened emancipation some years ago by their assistance, there is no doubt equally true is it that they have most habitually checked and retarded, either directly or indirectly, the growth of a free and manly opinion in Ireland ever since”

Geoghegan settled down in London in 1869. Two of his poems “The Mountain Fern” and “After Aughrim” have been published in several anthologies

He died in Kensington, London, England on November 29th, 1889, 79 years old….and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery…….

Thomas Osborne Davis

Having shown the steps taken in France to protect National Monuments Davis wrote:

And has Ireland no monuments of her history to guard, has she no tables of stone, no pictures, no temples, no weapons? Are there no Brehon chairs on her hills to tell more clearly than Vallancey, or Davis, how justice was administered here, ? Do you not meet the Druid’s altar and the Gueber’s tower in every barony almost, and the Ogham stones in many a sequestered spot; and shall we spend time and money to see, to guard, or to decipher Indian topes and Tuscan graves and Egyptian hieroglyphics, and shall every nation in Europe shelter and study the remains of what it once was, even as one guards the tomb of a parent, and shall Ireland let all go to ruin?

We have seen pigs housed in the piled friezes of a broken church, cows stabled in the palaces of the Desmonds, and corn threshed on the floors of abbeys and the sheep and the tearing wind tenant the corridors of Aileach.

Daily are more and more of our crosses broken, of our tombs effaced, of our abbeys shattered, of our castles torn down, or of our cairns sacrilegiously pierced, of our urns broken up, and of our coins melted down. All classes, creeds and politics are to blame for this…

How our children will despise us for all this! Why shall we seek for histories, why make museums, why study the manners of the dead, when we foully neglect or barbarously spoil their homes, their castles, their temples, their colleges, their courts, their graves? He who tramples on the past does not create for the future. The same ignorant and vagabond spirit which made him destructive prohibits him from creating for posterity.

Thomas Moore

There is an abridged version of Thomas Moore’s life in W. Howitt’s “Homes and Haunts of the English Poets” which is quoted in a small eight-volume edition entitled Poetical Works by Thomas Moore. There is a manuscript dedication which is dated Sept 1875.

Howitt writes: ‘Moore was not ashamed of his humble birthplace. “Be sure” he said to me, “when you go to Dublin, to visit the old shop in Aungier Street.” I did visit it, and the landlord insisted that I should drink a glass of whiskey in honour of Tom Moore’s being born there.

Moore declared that he knew very little of his ancestry. On his father’s side, his uncle, Garret Moore, was the only one whom he knew. He was a Kerry man. His mother was an Anastasia Codd, the daughter of “my gouty old grandfather, Tom Codd,” as Moore familiarly names him, “who lived in the corn market, Wexford,” and who was in the provision trade, and as Moore believed, from his recollection of machinery, had been a weaver. Moore was born on the 29th of May 1779. He was first sent to school at a very early age, to a man of the name of Malone, in the same street; “a wild odd fellow” he says, “of whose cocked hat I have still a clear remembrance, and who used to pass the greater part of his nights in drinking at public-houses and was hardly ever able to make his appearance in the school before noon. He would then generally whip the boys all round for disturbing his slumbers.” He was then sent to the grammar school of the well known Samuel Whyte, to whom in his fourteenth year he addressed a sonnet, which was published in the Dublin Magazine, called the ‘Anthologia’ In this periodical he also first published is amatory effusions, addressed by him under the cognomen of Romeo to a Miss Hannah Byrne, who bore the name Zelia. This Mr Whyte was fond of poetry and dramatic representation, and is mentioned by Moore as having superintended private theatricals at different gentlemen’s and noblemen’s houses, as at the Duke of Leinster’s, at Marly, the seat of the Latouches &c, where he supplied prologues. Sheridan had been a pupil of Whye’s, and it is further stated by Mr. Moore, that many parents were alarmed at the danger of his instilling a love of these things into his scholars. Can there be doubt that he did so with Sheridan and Moore?

Moore was sent to university in Dublin in 1795 where the unfortunate Robert Emmet was at the time. Moore soon formed an acquaintance with him and became a member of a debating society, at which Emmet and other young patriots assembled to prepare themselves for public life. on the approach to the frightful explosion of 1798 the university was visited by Lord Fitzgibbon, it’s vice chancellor, with a rigorous examination, Government having become aware of the students being deeply engaged in the organisations of the Irish Union. Amongst those found to be thus implicated were Emmet, John Brown and others. They became marked men. Moore himself underwent examination but came clear off. From the connections and early impressions , however, we may date his steady adherence to liberal and patriotic sentiments.”

Moore’s Irish melodies (1807-1834) were songs of his own composition set to traditional Irish airs and they achieved great popularity. His Lalla Rookh (1817) is a series of oriental tales in verse which also enjoyed great popularity.

He was a friend of Byron who praised him extravagantly, and it was to Moore that Byron gave his unpublished memoirs which were subsequently bought and burned by their publisher, John Murray, because of their sexually explicit content. Moore died in 1852.

His works include:
The odes of Amereon translated, A Candid Appeal to public Confidence, or Considerations on the Dangers of the Present Crisis, 1803, Corruption and Intolerance, two poems. Epistles, Odes and other Poems, 1806, Little’s Poems 1808, A Letter to the Roman Catholics of Dublin,1810, M.P. or the Blue Stocking, a comic opera in three parts performed at the Lyceum, 1811, Intercepted letters or the Twopenny Post Bag, by Thomas Browne the Younger, 1812, (this went through upward of fourteen editions). Irish melodies, Arthur Murphy’s Translation of Sallust, completed. The Sceptic, a philosophical satire. Lalla Rookh, 1817. The Fudge Family in Paris, 1818 Ballads, Songs, &c. Tom Cribbs Memorial to Congress in verse. Trifles reprinted in verse. Love of the Angels. Rhymes on the Road. Miscellaneous Poems by Members of the Pococurante Society. Fables for the Holy Alliance, Ballads, Songs, Miscellaneous Poems &c. Memoirs of Captain Rock, Life of Sheridan, The Epicurean,, Odes on Cash, Corn, Catholics &c., Evenings in Greece, Life and Letters of Lord Byron in 17 vols. History of Ireland &c., &c. &c.