Biography, Dublin History

De Valera in the Irish Census Records, 1901 & 1911

De Valera in the Irish Census Records, 1901 & 1911

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Éamon de Valera recorded his name into the history of twentieth century Ireland. But how did history record him in the years before 1916. History before 1916 didn’t know anybody called Éamon de Valera. Instead the documents knew him as Edward de Valera from County Limerick. On 1st April 1901 Edward de Valera was a boarder at a school in Williamstown Avenue in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. There were twenty-eight students in the school as recorded by headmaster, John Murphy. Edward de Valera was 18 years old and gave his place of birth as Co. Limerick. He could read and write but didn’t say what languages he could speak. 

Eamon and Jane (Sinead) de Valera

In 1901 Jane O’Flanagan (aged 22) was a national teacher who could speak Irish and English. Jane’s first teaching position was in Edenderry but by 1901 she was teaching in Dorset Street in Dublin. Her sister Brigid (aged 16) was also a national teacher at moniterse class. Brigid could also speak Irish and English as could their father, Laurence O’Flanagan, (aged 62) a carpenter from Co. Kildare. Laurence’s eldest daughter, Mary (aged 30), was born in New York and was a dress maker. His son, Laurence junior was a tailor. Laurence’s wife was Margaret O’Flanagan, nee Byrne (aged 58), was from County Dublin. In 1901 they lived at number 6 Richmond Cottages in the Mountjoy area of Dublin. Laurence and Margaret moved to New York before 1871 but returned to Ireland and Balbiggin, Co. Dublin in 1873.   

By 1911 Jane O’Flanagan had changed her name to the Irish form and thus became known as Sinéad O’Flanagan. On 8th January 1910 she married Edward de Valera of County Limerick and formerly of New York. Edward was then a math professor in Dublin. It would be awhile before Edward de Valera adopted the Irish form of his name and become the Éamon de Valera of fact and legend. On Sunday, 2nd April 1911 Sinéad de Valera filled up the census form and signed her name in the place reserved for the signature of the enumerator. Subsequently Patrick Lynch, the said enumerator, crossed out Sinéad’s name and wrote his own name above hers and filled in Edward de Valera in the place reserved for the signature of the head of the household. In 1911 the de Valera family were living at number 33 Morehampton Terrace, in the West Pembroke area of Dublin. Sinéad said that Edward de Valera was 28 years old, a Catholic, could read and write. Edward de Valera’s occupation was BA Dip in Education, Math Professor. Sinéad said that Edward could speak English and Irish while she wrote that she could speak Irish and English. They were married one year (8th January 1910) and had one son called Vivian de Valera, aged 3 months, who couldn’t read. Sinéad de Valera was 32 years old in 1911 and a Catholic and born in County Dublin. Sinéad said that Edward was born in New York. They had a female general domestic servant named Mary Coffey, aged 25 from County Dublin who couldn’t read. The house had nine rooms and three windows in the front elevation with no outbuildings.   

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Dublin History

Gresham Motor Hire Service

Gresham Motor Hire Service

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

The Gresham Motor Hire Service operated between 1924 and 1932, from premises at the back of the Gresham Hotel on Thomas Lane, off Upper O’Connell Street in Dublin. The proprietor was William Tobin, better known as Liam Tobin. Liam Tobin (1895-1963) was born at Cloughleafin near Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. In 1912 he got employment at the firm of Brook Thomas, Sackville Place, Dublin, in the hardware department. After the Howth gun running Tobin joined the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood. In 1916 he fought in the Four Courts garrison. After the Rising, Liam Tobin was sentenced to death but had his sentence commuted to ten years in prison. In June 1917 he was released as part of the general amnesty. In January 1918 he was one of the founding members of the New Ireland Assurance Company. In the War of Independence he worked as fund manager and intelligence officer for Michael Collins. After the 1921 Treaty, Liam Tobin briefly tried to form a detective unit for the new police force but the start of the civil war in June 1922 halted progress. Tobin served in the National Army council as a major general and was involved in the seaborne landings in Cork Harbour. Early in 1923 he was a founding member of the Irish Republican Army Organisation which wished to see the government adopt a more republican agenda and stop the demobilisation of the army. The government moved against Tobin and his associates and in March 1923 Tobin resigned from the army council. It was after that time, when a civilian for the first time in many years that Liam Tobin founded the Gresham Motor Hire Company. In 1929 Liam Tobin did return to public life when he helped establish the short lived political party called Clann na nGaedheal which sort to heal the civil war divisions. In 1930 he became involved with the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes and helped to do fund rising in the U.S.A. until he retired in 1939. Between November 1940 and December 1959 Liam Tobin was employed as the superintendent of the Oireachtas in Leinster house. In 1963 Liam Tobin died at his home called Cloliefin on Mount Merrion Avenue in Blackrock, Co. Dublin and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery.[1]

1925 Chrysler Landaulette

Gresham Motor Hire Company

In 1924 Liam Tobin established the Gresham Motor Hire Company. It is possible that in the early days Liam Tobin drove his own cars but as the business grew he employed chauffeurs to drive tourists around Dublin and around the country. Other motor hire companies such as that of Andrew Doyle of South King Street, Dublin, offered cars for hire with or without a chauffeur for any period of time from twelve hours to three months.[2] But in his advertisements Liam Tobin only offered a chauffeur driven service. In 1928 Liam Tobin advertised that the Gresham Motor Hire Service gives a ‘Service that Satisfies’. He informed the travelling public that his chauffeurs were most skilled at driving and courteous in manner to take people on tours of a mile or a thousand miles. Liam Tobin used advertising and the latest technology to reach his customers such as the telephone. In 1928 the company telephone number was Dublin 800.[3] The Gresham Motor Hire Company in Thomas Lane, off Upper O’Connell Street, was only a short distance from the new offices of the Irish Tourist Association.[4] Liam Tobin often advertised his business in the Association’s monthly publication, Irish Travel.

It is not known if Liam Tobin learnt to be a qualified mechanic for his vehicles but this wasn’t totally necessarily. Many chauffeurs seeking employment said they were ‘good’ mechanics while others said they could do running repairs.[5] In the 1920s and 1930s there were many different makes of cars on Irish roads such as Ford, Austin, Standard, Renault, Chrysler, Citroen, Rover, Hillman, Morris, Oxford, and Vauxhall. Some chauffeurs seeking employment said they preferred certain makes. In his 1931 advert seeking employment, A. Gilligan from Kildare said he preferred Ford cars while having knowledge of other makes.[6] 

Possibly due to his activities fighting for a free Ireland over many years Liam Tobin didn’t favour using English made cars. Instead he used American and German cars. In 1927 Liam Tobin offered for hire a Chrysler Landaulette with hydraulic brakes for safely and a livered driver. The car could be hired for a certain time or a given distance of a mile or a thousand miles.[7] In May 1928 Peter Kearney and a few friends hired a car from the Gresham Motor Hire Service for a tour of the south and west of Ireland. They first travelled from Dublin to Tramore and onto Glengarriff and Killarney. They then turned east to Adare and across the Shannon to Galway and north to Bundoran. After taking in the Atlantic sea air they returned to Dublin having completed 990 miles of motoring.[8] In 1931 Liam Tobin advertised that he had Dailmer cars for hire at his premises off Upper O’Connell Street. His 1931 phone number was Dublin 44800.[9]

By 1930 the Gresham Motor Hire Service was not the only hire company in Upper O’Connell Street with the Furey’s Motor Tours offering a service that was a leader where ‘others may follow’.[10] Yet the Gresham Motor Company was not distracted by such boasts by its competitors. Instead Liam Tobin was able to offer his customers experience drivers for his Chrysler and Daimler cars. It was providing a quality service that Liam Tobin and The Gresham Motor Hire Service were after. But after eight years in the business Liam Tobin wanted a chance of outlook. The economic war with Britain and the aftermath of the Great Depression had reduced the luxury tourist market. Shortly after 1932 Liam Tobin ceased trading and went to the U.S.A. to act as a fund raising agent for the newly established Irish Hospital Sweepstakes Company.

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[1] Long, Patrick, “Tobin, Liam”, in Dictionary of Irish Biography Online at dib.cambridge.org; Yeates, Pádraig, A City in Civil War – Dublin 1921–1924 (Dublin, 2915)

[2] Irish Travel, August 1931, Vol. 6, No. 12, p. 254

[3] Irish Travel, July 1928, Vol. 3, No. 11, p. 527

[4] Irish Travel, May 1932, Vol. 7, No. 9, pp. 191, 212

[5] The Irish Times, 15th July 1931, page 2

[6] The Irish Times, 15th July 1931, page 2

[7] Irish Travel, February 1927, Vol. 2, No. 6, p. 120

[8] Irish Travel, July 1928, Vol. 3, No. 11, pp. 512-514

[9] An Caman, October 1931, Vol. 1, Issue 5, page 4

[10] Irish Travel, August 1930, Vol. 5, No. 12, p. 281

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Cork history, Dublin History, General History, Political History

The road to an Irish national bank

The road to an Irish national bank

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Up until the end of the seventeenth century banks were often establishments that were attached to another principal business such as a merchant business. The first stand-alone bank was founded in Cork in 1680 by Edward and Joseph Hoare. The Hoare brothers were city merchants who were extensively involved in overseas trade and foreign exchange.[1]

About the same time a Huguenot refugee, David Digues La Touche settled in Dublin. There he developed a successful cloth dealership and merchant business. In the early 1690s David La Touche opened a bank with other partners. Through David’s business contacts the bank grew beyond its Dublin base.[2]

But this growing banking sector was without a head. In 1694 the Bank of England was established as the national bank of that country. This was followed in 1695 by the Bank of Scotland as the national bank of that country. Although great efforts were made in 1695 to establish a national bank in Ireland no such institution was founded.[3]

In 1692 the Irish House of Commons claimed ‘sole right’ to initiate financial legislation.[4]

In the years since 1680 many of the newly formed banks in Dublin, Cork and half a dozen other towns were both innovative and versatile in their business accruement. Among the activities of the banks was the remitting of large sums of money around the country, and between Ireland and England for merchants, landlords and government agencies. The banks also provided much needed short-term credit to merchants by issuing their own bank notes for bills of exchange prior to maturity.[5]

One characteristic of the early eighteenth century banks was their embodiment of merchant and landlord interest in mutual benefit.[6] The forthcoming debate on a national bank would test this mutual involvement.

Beginning in 1719 another attempt was made at forming a national bank. In 1720 about thirteen members of the House of Commons held senior positions within the Irish revenue service.[7] In December 1721 Lord Chancellor Midleton described a group of MPs as being ‘dependents on the Custom house’ during the final days of the national bank debate.[8] But the monetary interest in setting up a national bank was not as strong as the landed gentry block in the House of Commons.

On 9th December 1721 the Irish House of Commons voted on the issue of a national bank. The proposal for a national bank was defeated but the margin of the defeat is in some dispute. Two documents among the Rosse Papers give different votes. One document claims that one hundred and fifty members voted against and eighty voted for the bank but the other document said that one hundred and fifty-two voted against with ninety-eight for the proposal.[9] The divisional list among the Midleton papers at the Surrey History Centre (MS 1248/5, ff 105-6), records a different vote, but the same result.[10]

 

Parliament house dublin

Parliament House, Dublin and later HQ of the Bank of Ireland

The defeat of the national bank proposal was a telling display of the landed gentry’s dominance of parliament. There was no countervailing ‘moneyed interest’ as at Westminster.[11]

The failure to establish a national bank in Ireland was highlighted in a big way in 1722 with the granting of a royal patent to William Wood to coin copper halfpence pieces.[12] William Wood, a Wolverhampton manufacturer, was licenced to produce £100,800 worth of coins.[13] Lord Justice King and the Irish revenue commissioners separately wrote to the government with strong objects. They warned that the patent would be strongly opposed in Ireland because such a large production of copper coins would destroy the Irish economy.[14]

The political establishment in Ireland united in near one voice in opposition to the Wood patent. Both Houses of Parliament passed resolutions against it and members of the Privy Council and the revenue commissioners refused to use the coins in official receipts and payments.[15] When the Irish Parliament met in September 1732 opposition had become so strong that nobody would defend the patent in public. Even the government’s chief parliamentary manager, Speaker William Connolly, refused to defend the government’s position.[16] The London ministry of Sir Robert Walpole promised to reduce the amount of coins to £40,000 but the opposition remained firm. The patent was eventually cancelled in September 1725.[17]

In 1757 the Irish Parliament passed the Banking Act. One of the Act’s chief provisions was the exclusion of wholesale merchants from the business of private banking. This Act was possibly a reaction of fear by many Protestant landlords at the growing number of prosperous Catholic merchants across the country. Yet even after decades of economic growth by 1775 less than a third of Dublin merchants were Catholic and less the a quarter were so in Cork.[18] But, as in many other times and issues, perception is always a more powerful mover in times of fear than hard facts.

A consequence of this Act was that the surviving older banks and the small number of new banks founded after 1757 were primarily ‘conservative money-moving agencies’ and very reluctant providers of merchant credit.[19]

The old proposal for a national bank resurfaced amidst the economic crisis of 1778-1780. In 1778 three leading Dublin banks had gone bankrupt. Yet the supporters of the new proposal view the established of the bank as a patriotic measure. By 1781 the government came to see the national bank, along the lines of the Bank of England, as a necessary economic measure. In contrast to the 1720 proposal the landed gentry supported the 1780 scheme.[20] The pockets of the gentry had suffered during the crisis of 1778-1780 and money or even the lack of it always talks and persuades the most reluctant of people.

In 1783 Ireland finally got a national bank when the Bank of Ireland was established by royal charter. One of the Bank’s perks was that it was the only bank within a 50-mile radius with a licence to print its own bank notes. The Bank soon became the government’s banker as well as forming a number of public and commercial functions. Yet it did not establish branches within or outside Dublin.[21] After the Act of Union of 1800 ended the independent Irish parliament, the Bank of Ireland purchased the disused parliament building in College Green for its own headquarter. Yet a fully fledged central bank did not come into existence until 1943 with the formation of the Central Bank of Ireland.[22]

 

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[1] Ollerenshaw, P., ‘Banking’, in Connolly, S.J. (ed.), The Oxford companion to Irish History (Oxford, 1998), p. 36

[2] Ollerenshaw, ‘Banking’, in The Oxford companion to Irish History, p. 36

[3] Ollerenshaw, ‘Banking’, in The Oxford companion to Irish History, p. 36

[4] McNally, P., Parties, Patriots & Undertakers: parliamentary politics in early Hanoverian Ireland (Dublin, 1997), p. 191 accessed 3rd March 2014

[5] Dickson, D., New Foundations: Ireland 1660-1800 (Dublin, 2000), p. 135

[6] Dickson, New Foundations: Ireland 1660-1800, p. 135

[7] McNally, Parties, Patriots & Undertakers, p. 114

[8] McNally, Parties, Patriots & Undertakers, p. 114

[9] Malcomson, A.P.W. (ed.), Calendar of the Rosse Papers (Dublin, 2008), pp. 235-38

[10] Malcomson (ed.), Calendar of the Rosse Papers, p. 235

[11] Dickson, New Foundations: Ireland 1660-1800, p. 86

[12] McNally, Parties, Patriots & Undertakers, p. 127

[13] Anon, ‘Wood’s Halfpence controversy (1722-5)’, in Connolly, S.J. (ed.), The Oxford companion to Irish History, p. 598

[14] McNally, Parties, Patriots & Undertakers, p. 127

[15] Anon, ‘Wood’s Halfpence controversy (1722-5)’, in The Oxford companion to Irish History, p. 598

[16] McNally, Parties, Patriots & Undertakers, p. 127

[17] Anon, ‘Wood’s Halfpence controversy (1722-5)’, in The Oxford companion to Irish History, p. 598

[18] Dickson, New Foundations: Ireland 1660-1800, pp. 86, 134

[19] Dickson, New Foundations: Ireland 1660-1800, pp. 86, 135-6

[20] Dickson, New Foundations: Ireland 1660-1800, pp. 184-5

[21] Ollerenshaw, ‘Banking’, in The Oxford companion to Irish History, p. 36

[22] Ollerenshaw, ‘Banking’, in The Oxford companion to Irish History, p. 37

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Biography, Cork history, Dublin History

As I was going down Sackville Street in the 18th Century

As I was going down Sackville Street in the 18th Century

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

Sackville Street, or O’Connell Street as it is known today, was built about 1750 as part of a redevelopment of the area by Luke Gardiner who, in 1714, had acquired ownership of the St. Mary’s abbey estate from Viscount Moore, Earl of Drogheda. Luke Gardiner demolished the existing houses on the west side of Drogheda Street and widened the street by 150 feet creating a green mall down the centre known as Gardiner’s Mall.[1] The new street was named for Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1731-37 and again in 1751-55. Fine quality houses were built on the east side for professional people and members of parliament. In 1752 Nathaniel Clements was an early investor in the Sackville Street project and built a fine town house on the street (later known as Leitrim House) on a plot he leased from Luke Gardiner. Nathaniel Clements later brought the fee simple of the property for £722 and lived in the house until 1765. Nathaniel Clements also owned two other houses in Sackville Street one of which he leased out while the other was occupied by Clement’s son, Robert Clements. In 1755 Luke Gardiner made Nathaniel Clements the sole trustee of Gardiner’s Mall. Sometime before 1754 Nathaniel Clements was offered the option of buying two houses on the east side of Sackville Street by Robert Handcock of Westmeath (the houses were designed by John Ensor), for £3,080 but declined.[2]

In the beginning Sackville Street was an enclosed rectangular street. In 1777 the Wide Streets Commission got a grant to extend the street to the River Liffey by knocking down the row of houses blocking the south end of the street. In 1782 the Commissioners got a grant of £15,000 to build Sackville Bridge (now O’Connell Bridge). The new bridge was completed in 1795 but extending Sackville Street (known as Lower Sackville Street) was still to be finished.[3] The quality of the houses in Lower Sackville Street didn’t match those of Upper Sackville Street. The army used some of these houses as a barracks but in 1802 the buildings collapsed, fortunately without loss of life.[4] The houses that occupied the site of the later GPO were so shaky that they could fall down without their residents having time to escape.[5]

The article recounts the story of some of the people who lived in Sackville Street in the eighteenth century using principally the information contained in the parish registers of St. Thomas.

The first people we find in the register of the parish of St. Thomas as living on Sackville Street were Michael and Sarah Ternan. On 28th September 1764 they presented their daughter, Jennet, for baptism in the parish church.[6]

Beatty

On 26th May 1773 Richard, son of Richard and Elizabeth Beatty of Sackville Street, was baptised in the church of St. Thomas.[7] This is the last reference to anybody living in Sackville Street in the parish of St. Thomas as the parish scribe didn’t record the address of later parishioners in the register. Over the next few years Richard and Elizabeth Beatty had other children called James, Ralph and Elizabeth but with address unknown. Like others on Sackville Street the Beatty family had possibly moved on. Their first recorded child in the register of St. Thomas in 1767 was made in Henry Street and in 1768 the family was living in Granby Row.[8] In 1799, a widow called Elizabeth Beatty of Dublin left a will.[9]

Clements

On 28th June 1769 William Thomas, son of Robert Clements of Sackville Street was baptised. Robert Clements was the son of Nathaniel Clements, MP and long term Vice-Treasurer of Ireland. In 1795 Robert Clements was made 1st Earl of Leitrim. It would appear that William Thomas Clements didn’t live long as he is not listed in the published pedigrees of Robert Clements. In 1758 William Clements (2nd son of Nathaniel Clements) had carpentry work done on the Sackville Street house. In 1807 the 2nd Earl of Leitrim let Leitrim House in Sackville Street and in 1807 sold the property to Josiah Wedgwood of Staffordshire.[10]

 

sackville street and mall by Joseph Tudor

Sackville Street by Joseph Tudor

Devenish

On 26th June 1769 the daughter of William and Ann Devonish of Sackville Street, Elizabeth, was baptised. This was possibly William Devenish, a Dublin attorney in 1765.[11]

Digby

In 1770 John Digby, son of John Digby, lived in Sackville Street. In April 1770 he was asked by his father to sit on the Navigation Board as the father was too old to attend. The Digby family had a country seat at Landestown in Kildare and were the ground landlords of the Aran Islands.[12]

French

On 9th November 1764 George French, esquire, and Martha, his wife, presented their son Robert for baptism. On 14th December 1771 George French, son of Arthur and Alicia French of Sackville Street, was baptised at the church of St. Thomas by Rev. Thomas Paul while the churchwardens Arthur Ormsby and Charles Willington looked on.[13]

Gill

On 18th March 1768 Elizier and Jane Gill of Sackville Street brought two children, Elizier and Ann, to the church of St. Thomas for baptism. Three years before (January 1765), Thomas Gill of Sackville Street was buried in the graveyard of St. Thomas. His relationship with Elizier Gill is unclear as in 1766 the Gill family were living in Cavendish Street.[14]

 

Gilmore

In October 1771 John and Marjory Gilmore lived in Sackville Street as did Charles and Elinor Craven along with Oliver and Jane McCasland.[15] In 1789, Anne Jane McCasland of Richmond, Co. Dublin left her will.[16]

Gore

In 1757 Sir Ralph Gore had a house in Sackville Street. He was the second son of Sir Ralph Gore (d.1733), Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. In 1772 Sir Ralph Gore was made 1st Earl of Ross. In 1771 Gore married Alicia, daughter of Nathaniel Clements, his first cousin.[17]

Harrick

On 31st July 1765 Joseph Harrick, son of Dudley and Jane Harrick of Sackville Street, was baptised in the parish church of St. Thomas. This Joseph Harrick must have soon died as on 1st March 1769 Dudley and Jane Harrick of Sackville Street, presented another Joseph Harrick for baptism in the church of St. Thomas.[18] In 1786 Dudley Harrick of Onagh, Co. Wicklow left his will while in 1802 Joseph Harrick of Ballybow, Co. Wexford left his will.[19] It is very possible that these are the same people that were in Sackville Street.

Hyde

In November 1767 John and Sarah Hyde lived on Sackville Street with their new daughter, Anne. By December 1772 the Hyde family had moved to nearby Earl Street.[20] John Hyde’s country house was Castlehyde, near Fermoy, Co. Cork (in 2014 home of the celebrated Irish dancer, Michael Flatley). John Hyde was the third son of Arthur Hyde and Anne, daughter and heiress of Richard Price of Ardmayle, Co. Tipperary. In 1763 John Hyde married Sarah, daughter of Rt. Hon. Benjamin Burton of Burton Hall, Co. Carlow. In 1772 John Hyde succeeded his brother in ownership of Castlehyde. The Anne Hyde, baptised in 1767, married Col. William Stewart, 89th Regt., second son of Sir Annesley Stewart of Ramelton, Co. Donegal. The first President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde, descended from the second wife of John Hyde’s grandfather, Arthur Hyde, while John was descended from the first wife. The Hyde family came from Berkshire and settled in Ireland in the time of Queen Elizabeth.[21]

Jurgens

In January 1770 Charles and Elizabeth Jurgens lived on Sackville Street. When Charles Jurgens and Elizabeth Darley were married in March 1769 their address was given as Mecklenburg Street. In January 1766 a woman called Elizabeth Jurgens of Sackville Street died at age sixty. This Elizabeth may have been the mother of Charles but this is still to be established. By August 1771 Charles and Elizabeth Jurgens were living on The Strand. One year later the family was living on Batchelor’s Walk. Over the next few years the family faced joy and sadness. A son called Charles Jurgens was baptised in July 1773 but was dead by September 1773. Another son, Charles Henry Jurgens was baptised in July 1775 but again was dead by September of the same year. In September 1788 Charles Jurgens died at the age of sixty-nine years.[22]

Loftus

In 1766 Edward Loftus of Sackville Street made a lease to George Roth of Dublin of lands at Powerstown (254 acres) in County Kilkenny for three lives at £21 per year. Edward Loftus had a county seat at Richfield in County Wexford where he was appointed High Sherriff in 1784. Edward Loftus was the husband of Anne Loftus and father of Nicholas Loftus of Loftus Hall, Co. Wexford.[23]

Madden

In January 1771 Malachy and Rebecca Madden lived in Sackville Street with their new daughter, Elizabeth as did John and Mary Reade was their new son, Richard.[24] In 1791 and 1799 wills were proven for John and Mary Reade of Dublin, respectively.[25]

Murray

On 18th June 1769 John, son of Francis and Margaret Murray of Sackville Street, was baptised in St. Thomas church.[26] In 1790 Margaret Murray, a widow, of Rainsford Street, Dublin, left her will.[27]

Newenham

In May 1766 Sir Edward Newenham and his wife, Lady Grace lived on Sackville Street with their new son, William Thomas. By September 1767 the family had moved to Henry Street where they were joined by their new son, Charles Burton.[28] Over the full length of their marriage the Newenham family had eighteen children one of whom was Robert O’Callaghan Newenham, editor of Sketches of Ireland. Sir Edward Newenham was the third son of William Newenham of Coolmore, Co. Cork and Dorothy Worth, daughter and heiress of Edward Worth of Rathfarnham Castle, Co. Dublin.

Edward Newenham was born on 5th November 1734. He served as M.P. for Dublin in the Irish Parliament and in February 1764 was knighted. On 4th February 1754 Edward Newenham married Grace Anne, daughter of Sir Charles Burton, 1st Bt., of Pollacton, Co. Carlow. Sir Edward Newenham died in 1814.[29]

O’Malley (Mealy)

In 1772 Michael Mealy lived in Sackville Street where he was one of the deponents for Sir Lucius O’Brien and his family in a law suit against Poole Hickman.[30]

Ormsby

In September 1770 Arthur and Elizabeth Ormsby lived in Sackville Street. Arthur Ormsby was a church warden at St. Thomas Parish. In 1809 Arthur Ormsby, late of Dublin, died at Bath. In 1761 Sarah Donnellan, nee Ormsby, had a house in Sackville Street and landed property in Co. Limerick and Westmeath.[31]

Pery

On 20th November 1764 Edmund Sexton Pery, esquire, and his wife Elizabeth presented their baby girl, Diana Jane, for baptism.[32] Edmund Pery and family didn’t stay long in Sackville Street as by April 1766 they were living in Abbey Street. Edmund Sexton Pery was MP for Limerick and Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. He was the uncle of Edmond Henry Pery, 1st Earl of Limerick.[33]

Badham Thornhill

Later, on 27th May 1768, Edward Badham Thornhill and Mary, his wife, of Sackville Street presented their daughter, Barbara for baptism. By May 1772 Edward Badham Thornhill was living in Drogheda Street. Edward Badham Thornhill held an number of properties around Kanturk. His country seat was at Castle Kevin near Killavullen, Co. Cork.[34]

Power Trench

In May 1766 William Keating Power Trench and his wife Ann lived on Sackville Street with their new daughter, also called Ann (married 1789 William Gregory). Ann Trench was formerly Ann Gardiner and sister of Luke Gardiner, 1st Viscount Mountjoy and daughter of Charles Gardiner. William Trench was the son of Richard Trench, MP of Garbally, Co. Galway. William Trench, MP for Galway (1768-97), was made 1st Viscount Dunlo (1801) and later 1st earl of Clancarty (1803). In June 1767 a son, Richard Power joined the Trench family on Sackville Street. In 1805 Richard Power became 2nd Earl of Clancarty.[35]

Younghusband

On 26th October 1765 two couples from Sackville Street presented their children for baptism at St. Thomas’ church. Joseph and Elizabeth Younghusband had their daughter, Sarah while William and Mary Evatt had their son, William, baptised. By June 1768 Joseph Younghusband and family had moved to Montgomery Street.[36] Later the Younghusband family would be recommended to move again as Montgomery Street became the centre of Dublin’s “red light district”. Between 1800 and 1925 Montgomery Street (Monto) was one of the most notorious areas for prostitution in Europe.[37] It would seem that the family did have ideas of the future for by November 1769 Joseph Younghusband was back living in Sackville Street.[38] A person called Joseph Younghusband of Whitehaven, Cumberland, mariner, left his will in 1796 but it is unclear if he was the same man as that in Sackville Street.[39]

Other people in Sackville Street

On 22nd May 1765 William Wilde, esquire, of Sackville Street and Ann, his wife, presented their new boy, Charles, for baptism at the parish church of St. Thomas.[40] On 18th August 1765 George and Jane Raferty of Sackville Street had their son, Thomas Sexton, baptised in St. Thomas’ church.[41]

On 26th April 1766 Jane Gallagher, daughter of John and Catherine Gallagher of Sackville Street, was baptised in the parish church of St. Thomas which was located on Marlborough Street.[42] On 4th May 1766 James Fortescue, esquire, and his wife, Mary Henrietta of Sackville Street presented their new daughter, Charlotte for baptism.[43] On 7th October 1766 Benjamin Paget, son of Benjamin and Ann Paget of Sackville Street, was baptised in St. Thomas’ church.[44]

On 26th April 1767 Ann Cathery, daughter of Charles and Ann Cathery of Sackville Street, was baptised.[45] In June 1767 John and Elizabeth Eyre lived on Sackville Street with their new son, Thomas.[46] On 27th September 1767 Henry Thomas, son of Lewis and Mary Thomas of Sackville Street, was baptised in St. Thomas’ church. On 23rd April 1769 another son of Lewis Thomas called Francis Edward was baptised.[47] On 23rd December 1767 Robert Creamer and his wife, Elizabeth Carter, presented their daughter Elizabeth for baptism in the church of St. Thomas.[48]

In February 1768 Abraham and Elinor Smyth lived on Sackville Street with their daughter, Mary.[49] In April 1768 William and Elizabeth Noble lived on Sackville Street with their son, Joseph.[50] On 22nd May 1768 Bernard and Jane Donelson of Sackville Street had their daughter, Jane, baptised on St. Thomas’ church.[51] On 5th June 1768 James and Henrietta Hunt of Sackville Street had their son, James, baptised in St. Thomas’ church by the Rev. Lewis Burroughs while P.H. Talbot and John Smyth, churchwardens looked on.[52] In September 1768 Nevil and Catherine Forth lived in Sackville Street with their daughter Catherine Matilda. Further along Sackville Street in November 1768 lived Francis and Margaret Ryan as did William and Elizabeth Donkin.[53]

In February 1769 Peter and Rebacca Murphy along with Henry Westenra and his wife, Harriot, lived in Sackville Street.[54] In March 1769 Walter and Hesther Taylor along with William and Ann Hawkins lived in Sackville Street.[55] On 8th August 1769 William, son of John and Ann Catherine Warburton, was baptised at the church of St. Thomas.[56] In December 1769 John and Lydia Semple lived on Sackville Street with their new daughter, Martha.[57]

In September 1770 Michael and Mary Coglan lived in Sackville Street.[58] In November 1770 Simon and Frances Vierpyl lived in Sackville Street. In 1765 they were living on the Strand.[59]

In June 1772 Daniel and Ann Heatly lived in Sackville Street with their new daughter, Everina Ann.[60] In October 1772 John and Mary Walsh along with Stephen and Frances Fitzgerald lived in Sackville Street.[61]

In 1793 Elizabeth Poole, widow, gave her share in a house on Sackville Street to her son John Poole. The house was lately occupied by Mrs. Teresa Gleadore.[62]

Later Sackville Street

At first Sackville Street was mostly a residential street. The extension to the river and the bridge over the Liffey turned it into a through street. In 1808-9 Nelson’s Pillar (134 feet tall) was built in the centre of Lower Sackville Street.[63] In 1814-8 the General Post Office (by Francis Johnson) was built on the middle of the west side. At 200 feet long by 56 feet wide it dominated Sackville Street.[64] Other businesses and hotels followed such that by the end of the nineteenth century Sackville Street was a commercial street. During the 1916 Rebellion and later in the Civil War (1922-3) much of Sackville Street was destroyed. In the twentieth century, the Street, now renamed O’Connell Street, continued to change with fast food outlets in the 1960s all but eliminating the eighteenth century grandeur. Today only number 42 Upper O’Connell Street (built in 1752) survives in near original condition.[65]

 

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[1] Bennett, D., Encyclopaedia of Dublin (Dublin, 1994), p. 56

[2] Malcomson, A.P.W., Nathaniel Clements: Government and the Governing Elite in Ireland, 1725-75 (Dublin, 2005), pp. 203, 380, 414; Malcomson, A.P.W. (ed.), The Clements Archive (Dublin, 2010), pp. 24, 266

[3] Bennett, Encyclopaedia of Dublin, p. 184

[4] Malcomson, A.P.W. (ed.), The Clements Archive (Dublin, 2010), p. xxxiv

[5] Ferguson, S., The GPO 20 years of history (Cork, 2014), p. 25

[6] Refaussé, R. (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791 (Dublin, 1994), p. 31

[7] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 58

[8] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 39, 43, 61, 64, 65

[9] Vicars, Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810, p. 28

[10] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 46; http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/leitrim1795.htm [accessed on 8th December 2018]; Malcomson (ed.), The Clements Archive, pp. lii, 24, 193, 863

[11] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 46; Keane, Ed., & Phair, P.B., & Sadleir, T.U. (eds.), King’s Inns Admission Papers 1607-1867 (Dublin, 1982), p. 130

[12] Ainsworth, J. (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts (Dublin, 1961), nos. 682, 695; Malcomson (ed.), The Clements Archive, p. 227

[13] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 31, 54

[14] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 36, 41, 79

[15] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 53, 54

[16] Vicars, Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810, p. 300

[17] Ainsworth, J. (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts (Dublin, 1961), no. 554; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Gore,_1st_Earl_of_Ross [accessed on 8th December 2018]; Malcomson, Nathaniel Clements: Government and the Governing Elite in Ireland, 1725-75, p. 464

[18] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 33, 44

[19] Vicars, Sir A., Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 (Dublin, 1897), p. 218

[20] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 39, 57, 58

[21] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 2007, pp. 617, 618, 619

[22] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 48, 53, 59, 62, 80, 90, 93, 98, 109, 123

[23] Ainsworth, J. (ed.), ‘Survey of Documents in Private Keeping, third series’, in Analecta Hibernica, No. 25 (1967), nos. 158, 165, 168

[24] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 51

[25] Vicars, Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810, p. 393

[26] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 45

[27] Vicars, Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810, p. 343

[28] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 35, 39

[29] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 2007, p. 881

[30] Ainsworth, J. (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts (Dublin, 1961), no. 1468; Malcomson (ed.), The Clements Archive, p. 227

[31] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 50; Vicars, Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810, p. 238; Eustace, P.B. (ed.), Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Abstracts of Wills, Vol. II, 1746-85 (Dublin, 1954), no. 271

[32] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 31

[33] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 34, 35; Malcomson, Nathaniel Clements: Government and the Governing Elite in Ireland, 1725-75, p. 197; Malcomson (ed.), The Clements Archive, p. 863

[34] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 42, 55, 56; Hajba, A.M., Houses of Cork, Vol. 1 – North (Whitegate, Co. Clare, 2002), pp. 105, 249, 314

[35] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 35, 38; Debrett’s Peerage, 1901, p. 181; http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/clancarty1803.htm [accessed on 7th December 2018]

[36] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 33, 42

[37] Bennett, Encyclopaedia of Dublin, p. 139

[38] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 47

[39] Vicars, Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810, p. 503

[40] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 32

[41] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 33

[42] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 8, 35

[43] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 35

[44] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 36

[45] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 38

[46] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 38

[47] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 39, 45

[48] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 40

[49] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 40

[50] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 41

[51] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 41

[52] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 42

[53] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 43

[54] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 44

[55] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 45

[56] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 46

[57] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 47

[58] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 50

[59] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, pp. 31, 51

[60] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 56

[61] Refaussé (ed.), Register of the Parish of St. Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791, p. 57

[62] Ellis, E., & Eustace, P.B. (eds.), Registry of Deeds, Dublin: Abstracts of Wills, Vol. III, 1785-1832 (Dublin, 1984), no. 221

[63] Ferguson, S., The GPO 20 years of history (Cork, 2014), p. 27

[64] Bennett, Encyclopaedia of Dublin, p. 83

[65] Bennett, Encyclopaedia of Dublin, pp. 184, 185

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Dublin History

The Gilberts and the Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin

The Gilberts and the Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

In June 1865 the Dublin town clerk, W.J. Henry, wrote a letter of invitation to John Thomas Gilbert, a thirty-six year old author and campaigner for the better care of archive documents, to inspect the archives of Dublin Corporation. Four years previously Gilbert was the author of The History of the City of Dublin which work was well received. In this book, and in his other works, John Gilbert was a pioneer in a new form of historical research whereby the words of the original documents were used to tell the story rather than biased impressions of the past.[1]

This letter of invitation began a working relationship between John Gilbert and Dublin City Council which continued after his death in the person of his wife and was not finally completed until 1944. Apart from organising, arranging and supervising the proper storage of the city records, the relationship produced the Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin, nineteen volumes of published archives recording the business of the city authorities from 1171 to 1841. The volumes provided historians, geographers and family researchers with much accessible information to begin to record the life of the city and the people within and they continue to help researchers of today and will help those of tomorrow. 

History over division

The mixed ancestry John T. Gilbert was part of the person and part of his mission. His father was an English Protestant while his mother was an Irish Catholic. The subject of this article, the Calendar of the Ancient Records of Dublin is mainly from 1600 the records of a Protestant council over a Catholic city yet this did not stop John Gilbert from publishing the records of the Corporation, in fact, it inspired him to press on.

As a Catholic John Gilbert feared that any history that he wrote would be dismissed by the powers that be as Catholic nationalism at the expense of Protestant unionism. Therefore Gilbert from the start vowed to accompany each statement by an original document of proof “so nothing could be rejected as partisan, or Jacobite or Romanist”.[2] Editing original texts became his overriding interest to open the facts of history to interpretation by others.

Early scholarship

From a very early age John Gilbert was collecting books and old documents along with transcribed those documents he could not get. As a young man Gilbert did much f his reading in Marsh’s Library and in the library of the Royal Dublin Society. At the age of nineteen he joined the Celtic Society which gave him entry into the world of scholars and academia. The Society had as its aim the preservation and publication of original documents illustrative of Irish history, literature and antiquities.[3]

John Gilbert would go on to edit many works of original documents such as the Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland, A.D. 1172-1320 from the archives of the City of Dublin (1870); Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland, five volumes (1874-1884); History of the Irish Confederation and the War in Ireland, 1641-1653, seven volumes (1882-1891), Chartularies of St. Mary’s Abbey, Dublin, with the Register of its house at Dunbrody and Annals of Ireland, two volumes (1884) and ‘Crede Mihi’, the most ancient register of the Archbishops of Dublin before the Reformation (1897) to name but a very small few of his many works. The publication of many of these works opened the door to historians previously unknown or highly inaccessible.

John Gilbert

John Thomas Gilbert

Fighting for public records

In the preface to his History of the City of Dublin (1854) John Gilbert complained of the difficulty in accessing public records. He asked that the government “adopt measures for the publication of the ancient unpublished Anglo-Irish public records … [which were] moulding to decay; while the unindexed and unclassified condition of those in better preservation renders their contents almost unavailable to literary investigators”.[4]

This was his opening salvo in the fight for public records. Over the following years he campaigned for the establishment of the Public Record Office of Ireland which was finally achieved in 1867. Gilbert had hopes of heading the new office and lobbied hard, may be too hard, as his academic rival, Sir Samuel Ferguson was put in charge. John Gilbert got the job as secretary but had to give up his family business. In 1874 the secretary job was abolished and Gilbert was left with little income.

Yet he continued to work for public records through his work for the Historical Manuscripts Commission and the Royal Irish Academy. During the 1870s Gilbert saw through the press the publication of some of the finest manuscripts belonging to the Academy.

The Ancient Records of Dublin

In 1870 John Gilbert edited a book of documents coving the years 1171 to 1320 from the archives of Dublin Corporation under the Master of the Rolls series which was funded by the British Treasury. Gilbert hoped that the Treasury would fund further volumes from the Corporation archives but it was not to be.[5] Instead Gilbert produced thirty-nine volumes of transcripts for the Corporation which today form part of the Gilbert Library in the Dublin City Library on Pearse Street.

These transcript volumes were the result from Gilbert’s work in arranging the Corporation’s archives to which he was asked to do in 1865 by the town clerk. During the 1860s special strong rooms were made for the archives while the documents were arranged, repaired and classified. In his report to the Corporation in June 1866 Gilbert proposed the publication of the records as of public good and as an aid to the preservation of the original documents. Nothing was done with the recommendation.

In 1884 John Gilbert again approached Dublin Corporation about the publication of their records. Up until that time Dublin Corporation viewed their records as an instrument for internal administration and for the protection of its legal entitlements to property around the city. One example, among many, for the use of the archives was in the court case between Dublin Corporation and Tedcastle’s coal merchants. The Corporation used its archives to show its right to levy dues on every coal entering the city. John Gilbert gave background assist to the Corporation in the case which they won in June 1887. Three weeks later, on 11th July 1887, the Corporation approved the idea of publishing the archives and the Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin was born.[6]

Publication of the Ancient Records

The work done by John Gilbert over the years with the Corporation’s archives meant that he lost little time in commencing the work. A committee was established to supervise the work and the first volume of the Ancient Records appeared in 1889. John Gilbert included selected royal charters along with extracts from two medieval manuscripts, the Chain Book and the White Book with further extracts from the franchise roll and complete transcripts of the Assembly roll from 1447 up to 1730 in the first seven volumes which he edited. Gilbert was working on the eighth volume when he died suddenly in May 1898. The Ancient Records project was the biggest publishing project undertaken by an Irish local authority and helped to restore Gilbert’s reputation following the battles of the Public Record Office. In 1897 John Gilbert received a knighthood and the Ancient Records were a strong contributing factor in getting the honour.

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Some volumes of the Ancient Records

Lady Gilbert

On 29th May 1891 John T. Gilbert married Rosa Mulholland, daughter of Dr. Joseph Stevenson Mulholland of Belfast. He was sixty-two and she was fifty-one. Rosa Mulholland was a writer of novels and stories for children with some forty published titles. Rosa was a great support for John Gilbert and after his death she wrote a biography on him to maintain and establish his record.[7] She also continued some of the projects let incomplete by the death of Gilbert in 1898. One of these was to see the second volume on the Ormond papers in Kilkenny Castle through the press as part of the Historical Manuscripts Commission series.[8]

The biggest project left incomplete in May 1898 was the Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin. Rosa Mulholland Gilbert finished volume eight which was left unfinished by Gilbert. She appears in the title page as Rosa Mulholland Gilbert, editor. At the end of the preface we are told that she was assisted by John Francis Weldrick. Together they would edit the next ten volumes with Lady Gilbert in the title page from volume nine onwards and John Weldrick at the end of the preface.  

Lady Gilbert died on 21st April 1921 while working on volume eighteen. After the death of Lady Gilbert her assistant editor since 1901, John Francis Weldrick was entrusted with finishing volume eighteen and with the production and editing of the final volume, number nineteen. In 1922 volume eighteen was published with Lady Gilbert on the title page and John Weldrick in the preface.

John Francis Weldrick was a gentleman scholar with a private income which allowed him to pursue literary and antiquarian interests.[9] In the 1901 census John Francis Weldrick was living on Booterstown Avenue with his wife, Mary Ellen and three of their four children. These children were John Francis, junior, accountant (aged 19), Brendan Charles (aged 12) and Mary Elizabeth (aged 15). All the family were Roman Catholics. John Francis Weldrick senior was aged 52 in 1901 and born in Dublin. John Francis Weldrick described himself as a publisher who could speak Irish and English. The family appear to be modest in their wealth as no servants were listed as living in the house.[10] In 1911 John Francis Weldrick described himself as a literary editor with the Ancient Records of Dublin as one of his chief editor jobs. The same census tells us that John Francis married his wife, Mary Ellen some thirty years before in about 1881.

Volume nineteen would cover the period up to the passing of the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act, 1840 and thus bring the ancient records of Dublin Corporation up to the major changes which the 1840 Act brought – one could say with a good deal of firmness that the Act marked the end of the medieval and early modern Corporation.

But unfortunately for those waiting for the final volume their wait was extended by the death of John Weldrick before the volume had gone to press. His daughter, Miss Mary Weldrick was now entrusted with the legacy of three deceased editors and the task of concluding the project began in 1887. Yet it was not to be as Mary Weldrick died with volume nineteen at the book proof stage with extensive revision need to have the volume in a presentable state.

Changes in technology were now to leave the volume in the “to do” box as the original type fount was no longer available much like changes in computer technology render old computers as antique pieces and their programmes unreadable. There the volume rested until in the 1940s Dollard Limited, the Dublin printing-house that had been with the series since first day, found themselves without much work as the World War and the Irish Emergency meant people had other things to do than print books.

Dollard looked at volume nineteen as something to hand which it could print without much work or so they thought. But because of the technology changes volume nineteen would need a lot of work as it would have to be totally reset to be ready for publication. The General Purposes Committee of Dublin City Council were not excited by a heavy bill to reset the volume. Instead they proposed that volume nineteen would be printed as it stood on the death of John Weldrick. This was accepted as the best of a bad lot solution and in the foreword that then city manager, P.J. Hernon, told readers that the volume was printed with known infirmities.[11]

Weldrick and Kearney families

The first eighteen volumes of the Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin, which I recently purchased, came from the estate of Peter Kearney (volume nineteen, the rare volume, came from a different source). Inside the cover Peter Kearney wrote that he received the volumes in two parts from John J. Murphy, town clerk of Dublin in 1921 and 1927. It is not known who this Peter Kearney was but in the 1901 census, Thomas Kearney of the North Circular Road, letter press printer, listed one Joseph Weldrick (aged 14) as his son.[12] In 1911 Thomas Kearney listed William M. Weldrick as his step son.[13] This William Weldrick appears in 1901 in the house of William Harwood of Arbour Hill, his grandfather.[14]

I do not have information to establish how the various people of the surname of Weldrick were related to each other in the first decade of the twentieth century. There were two main families called Weldrick, one Protestant, and the other Catholic. Yet it is possible that John Francis Weldrick, assistant editor of the Ancient Records was connected with Peter Kearney who received the volumes from the Dublin town clerk in the 1920s. If this is so these volumes of Ancient Records may reach back into that age of adventure when the archives of Ireland, so long closed to general access, even to scholars of note, were opened for the public to come in and for people like John T. Gilbert to published those records for the people who lived far from the new archive centres.

A history for all

John T. Gilbert regarded himself as a nationalist and in 1884 the then Dublin City Council was dominated by the nationalist Home Rule Party. Yet Gilbert presented the publication of the Ancient Records of Dublin on their own merit. The documents should speak for themselves without any apology or censorship. John Gilbert wished the documents to speak the truth without fear or favour.[15] In this project, as in his other publications, the documents were the key that opened the door of historical exploration and they continue to open new doors as historians of different times see history from a different angle, a different interpretation and different values.

Many historians have pointed out failings in the Ancient Records of Dublin – the absence of an index – documents too strictly edited as to leave their real meaning shrouded in darkness – further documents cut short like the franchise roll halted in the Calendar in 1485 with no explanation when the actual roll continued until 1512. Yet these mistakes and omissions are as nothing if the documents were left unpublished. The destruction of so many medieval and modern documents in the fire at the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922 shows the importance of publishing documents, even with errors – let he without sin cast the first stone – and John T. Gilbert published many documents and his work continues to inspire others to continue the work and start new projects.  

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Volume one – edited by John T. Gilbert LL.D., F.S.A. M.R.I.A. – published in 1889 – 1171 to 1558

Volume two – edited by John T. Gilbert LL.D., F.S.A. M.R.I.A. – published in 1891 – 1558 to 1610

Volume three – edited by John T. Gilbert F.S.A. M.R.I.A. – published in 1892 – 1610 to 1651

Volume four – edited by John T. Gilbert LL.D., F.S.A. M.R.I.A. – published in 1894 – 1651 to 1671

Volume five – edited by John T. Gilbert LL.D., F.S.A. M.R.I.A. – published in 1895 – 1671 to 1692

Volume six – edited by John T. Gilbert LL.D., F.S.A. M.R.I.A. – published in 1896 – 1692 to 1716

Volume seven – edited by Sir John T. Gilbert LL.D., F.S.A. – published in 1898 – 1716 to 1730

Volume eight – edited by Rosa Mulholland Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1901 – 1730 to 1740

Volume nine – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1902 – 1740 to 1751

Volume ten – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1903 – 1752 to 1760

Volume eleven – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1904 – 1761 to 1768

Volume twelve – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1905 – 1769 to 1778

Volume thirteen – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1907 – 1778 to 1786

Volume fourteen – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1909 – 1787 to 1796

Volume fifteen – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1911 – 1797 to 1806

Volume sixteen – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1913 – 1807 to 1814

Volume seventeen – edited by Lady Gilbert – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1916 – 1814 to 1822

Volume eighteen – edited by Lady Gilbert  – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – published in 1922 – 1832 to 1841

Volume nineteen – edited by Lady Gilbert  – assistant editor John Francis Weldrick – arranged by Miss Mary Weldrick – publishing arranged by P.J. Hernon – published in 1944 – 1832 to 1841

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[1] Mary Clark, ‘Local archives and Gilbertian reforms’, in Mary Clark, Yvonne Desmond & Nodlaig P. Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert 1829-1898, Historian, Archivist and Librarian (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1999), p. 79

[2] Toby Bernard, ‘Sir John Gilbert and Irish historiography’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, p. 100

[3] Nodlaig P. Hardiman, ‘The entire Gilbert: the life and times of John T. Gilbert’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, p. 17

[4] Nodlaig P. Hardiman, ‘The entire Gilbert: the life and times of John T. Gilbert’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, p. 19

[5] Nodlaig P. Hardiman, ‘The entire Gilbert: the life and times of John T. Gilbert’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, p. 22

[6] Mary Clark, ‘Local archives and Gilbertian reforms’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, pp. 82, 85

[7] Nodlaig P. Hardiman, ‘The entire Gilbert: the life and times of John T. Gilbert’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, p. 22

[8] Toby Bernard, ‘Sir John Gilbert and Irish historiography’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, pp. 104-5

[9] Mary Clark, ‘Local archives and Gilbertian reforms’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, p. 90, note 37

[10] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Dublin/Blackrock/Booterstown_Avenue/1313255/ accessed on 25 August 2014

[11] Lady Gilbert (ed.), Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin, volume XIX (Dollard, Dublin, 1944), pp. v, vi

[12] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Dublin/Glasnevin/Rosevilla__N_C_R_/1273714/ accessed on 25 August 2014

[13] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Dublin/Arran_Quay/Phibsboro_Avenue/46736/ accessed on 25 August 2014

[14] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Dublin/Arran_Quay/Arbour_Hill/1337628/ accessed on 25 August 2014

[15] Mary Clark, ‘Local archives and Gilbertian reforms’, in Clark, Desmond & Hardiman (eds.), Sir John T. Gilbert, p. 91

 

 

 

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