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P. J. LENNOX. Liti.D.. 





CoPYWGHT, 1914, BY Phoenix, Limited 
All Rights Reserved 







'All thy life has been a symbol ; we can only read a part : 
God will flood thee yet with sunshine for the woes that 
drench thy heart." 

John BoyIvE O'Reilly. 


We had at first intended that this should be a book without 
a preface, and indeed it needs none, for it speaks in no uncer- 
tain tones for itself; but on reconsideration we decided that 
it would be more seemly to give a short explanation of our 
aim, our motives, and our methods. 

As a result of innumerable inquiries which have come to us 
during our experience as educators, we have been forced to 
the conclusion that the performances of the Irish race in many 
fields of endeavor are entirely unknown to most people, and 
that even to the elect they are not nearly so well known as they 
deserve to be. Hence there came to us the thought of placing 
on record, in an accessible, comprehensive, and permanent 
form, an outline of the whole range of Irish achievement dur- 
ing the last two thousand years. 

In undertaking this task we had a twofold motive. In the 
first place, we wished to give to people of Irish birth or 
descent substantial reason for that pride of race which we 
know is in them, by placing in their hands an authoritative 
and unassailable array of facts as telling as any nation in the 
world can show. Our second motive was that henceforward 
he who seeks to ignore or belittle the part taken by men and 
women of Irish birth or blood in promoting the spread of re- 
ligion, civilization, education, culture, and freedom should 
sin, not in ignorance, but against the light, and that from a 
thousand quarters at once champions armed with the panoply 
of knowledge should be able to spring to his confutation. 

To carry out in a satisfactory manner over a field so im- 
mense our lawfully ambitious aim was, as we realized at the 
outset, not possible to any two men who are primarily engaged, 
as we are, in other work of an exacting nature. Therefore, 
to render feasible the execution of our undertaking, we de- 
cided to invite the collaboration of many scholars and spe- 
cialists, each of whom could, out of the fullness of informa- 
tion, speak with authority on some particular phase of the 
general subject. We are glad to say that the eminent writers 


to whom we addressed ourselves answered with promptitude 
and alacrity to our call, and have supplied us with such a body 
of material as to enable us to bring out a book that is abso- 
lutely unique. 

From each contributor we asked nothing but a plain verifia- 
ble statement of facts, and that, we think, is exactly what they 
have given us, for, while we do not make ourselves personally 
responsible for everything set down in the following pages, 
we believe that what stands written therein bears every mark 
of careful research and of absolute reliability. 

Although on many of our subjects little more remains to be 
said than what appears in the text, yet the treatment on the 
whole does not claim to be exhaustive, and therefore each 
writer has, at our request, appended to his contribution a short 
and carefully selected bibliography, so that those who are in- 
terested may have a guide for further reading. For our part, 
we consider these lists of works of reference to be a highly 
useful feature. 

It is a glorious thing for us, who are proud, one of us of his 
Irish descent and the other of his Irish birth, to think that the 
sons and daughters of mother Erin have so conspicuously dis- 
tinguished themselves in such varied spheres of activity in 
every age and in so many lands, and that we were privileged 
to make public the record of their achievements in a form 
never before attempted. 

We have other works in contemplation, and some actually 
in preparation, which will go far to strengthen the claims put 
forward in this book. In the meantime, we trust that the 
reception accorded to it will be such as to encourage us to 
persevere in making still better known the Glories of Ireland. 

Joseph Dunn 
P. J. Lennox 
Catholic University of America, 
Washington, D. C. 

November, 1914 



Th^ Romance: of Irish History 1 

Sir Roger Casement, C.M.G. 

The: ISI.AND OF Saints and Scholars 9 

Very Rev. Canon D'Alton, M.R.I.A., LL.D. 

Irish Monks in Europe: 20 

Rev. Columba Edmonds, O.S.B. 

The: Irish and the: Sea 33 

William H. Babcock, LL.B. 

Irish Lovis of Learning 38 

Rev. P. S. Dinneen, M.A., R.U.I. 

Irish Me:n of Scie:nce 44 

Sir Bertram C. A. Windle, Sc.D., M.D. 

Law in Ireland 56 

Laurence Ginnell, B.L., M.P. 

Irish Music 71 

W. H. Grattan Flood, Mus.D. 

Irish Metal Work 78 

Diarmid Coffey 

Irish Manuscripts. . .. 84 

Louis Ely O'Carroll, B.A., B.L. 

The Ruins of Ireland 89 

Francis J. Bigger, M.R.I.A. 

Modern Irish Art. 95 

D. J. O'Donoghue 



Ireland at Play 1Q2 

Thomas E. Healy 

The Fighting Race 110 

Joseph I. C. Clarke 

The Sorrows of Ireland 145 

John Jerome Rooney, A.M., LL.D. 

Irish Leaders 153 

Shane Leslie 

Irish Heroines 163 

Alice Milligan 

Irish Nationality 170 

Lord Ashbourne 

Famous Irish Societies 176 

John O'Dea 

The Irish in the United States 184 

Michael J. O'Brien 

The Irish in Canada 221 

James J. Walsh, M.D. 

The Irish in South America 228 

Marion Mulhall 

The Irish in Australasia 245 

Brother Leo, F.S.C., M.A. 

The Irish in South Aerica 253 

A. Hilliard Atteridge 

The Irish Language and Letters 258 

Douglas Hyde, LL.D. 



Native Irish Poetry 265 

Georges Dottin 

Irish Heroic Sagas 270 

Eleanor Hull 

Irish Precursors of Dante 277 

Sidney Gunn, M.A. 

Irish Ini?luEnce on English Literature 283 

Edmund C. Quiggin, M.A. 

Irish Folk Lore 290 

Alfred Perceval Graves 

Irish Wit and Humor 298 

Charles L. Graves 

The Irish Theatre 304 

Joseph Holloway 

Irish Journalists 310 

Michael MacDonagh 

The Irish Literary Revival 317 

Horatio S. Krans, Ph.D. 

Irish Writers of English 396 

P. J. Lennox, B.A., Litt. D. 


By Sir Roger Casement, C. M. G. 

THE history of Ireland remains to be written, for the pur- 
pose of Irishmen remains yet to be achieved. 

The struggle for national realization, begun so many cen- 
turies ago, is not ended ; and if the long story offers a so fre- 
quent record of failure, it offers a continuous appeal to the 
highest motives and a constant exhibition of a most pathetic 
patriotism linked with the sternest courage. 

Irish wars, throughout all time, have been only against one 
enemy, the invader, and, ending so often in material disaster, 
they have conferred always a moral gain. Their memory up- 
lifts the Irish heart; for no nation, no people, can reproach 
Ireland with having wronged them. 

When, at the dawn of the Christian era, we first hear of 
Ireland from external sources, we learn of it as an island har- 
boring free men, whose indomitable love of freedom was hate- 
ful to the spirit of imperial exploitation. 

Agricola's advice to the empire-builders of his day was that 
Rome should "war down and take possession of Ireland, so 
that freedom might be put out of sight." 

It was to meet this challenge of despotism that the Scotic 
clans of Alba turned to their motherland for help, and the 
sea was "white with the hurrying oars" of the men of Erin 
speeding to the call of their Highland kinsmen, threatened 
with imperial servitude. 

The first external record we possess thus makes it clear that 
when the early Irish went forth to carry war abroad, it was 
not to impose their yoke on other peoples, or to found an 
empire, but to battle against the Empire of the World in the 
threatened cause they held so dear at home. 

In this early Roman reference to Ireland we get the key- 
note to all later Irish history — a warring down on the one 
hand, so that freedom might be put out of sight; an eternal 
resistance, on the other, so that it might be upheld. 

It was this struggle that Ireland sought to maintain against 
every form of attack, down through Danish, Norman, Tudor, 


Stuart, and Cromwellian assault, to the larger imperialism of 
the nineteenth century, when, as Thierry, the historian of the 
Norman Conquest, tells us, it still remained the one "lost 
cause" of history that refused to admit defeat. "This indom- 
itable persistency, this faculty of preserving through centuries 
of misery the remembrance of lost liberty and of never despair- 
ing of a cause always defeated, always fatal to those who 
dared to defend it, is perhaps the strangest and noblest ex- 
ample ever given by any nation.'* 

The resources Ireland opposed to her invaders have been 
unequal to the founding of a great state, but have preserved 
a great tradition. The weakness of Ireland lay in the absence 
of a central organization, a state machine that could mobilize 
the national resources to defend the national life. That life 
had to depend for its existence, under the stress of prolonged 
invasion, on the spontaneous patriotism and courage of indi- 
viduals. At times one clan alone, or two clans, maintained the 
struggle. Arrayed against them were all the resources of a 
mighty realm — shipping, arms, munitions of war, gold, state- 
craft, a widespread and calculating diplomacy, the prestige of a 
great Sovereign and a famous Court — and the Irish clan and 
its chieftain, by the sheer courage of its members, by their 
bodily strength and hardihood and feats of daring, for years 
kept the issue in doubt. 

When Hugh O'Neill, leagued with Red Hugh O'Donnell, 
challenged the might of Elizabeth, he had nothing to rely upon 
but the stout hearts and arms of the men of Tir-owen and 
Tir-Conail. Arms and armaments were far from Ulster. They 
could be procured only in Spain or elsewhere on the conti- 
nent. English shipping held the sea; the English mint the 
coinage. The purse of England, compared to that of the 
Ulster princes, was inexhaustible. Yet for nine years the 
courage, the chivalry, the daring and skill of these northern 
clansmen, perhaps 20,000 men in all, held all the might of 
England at bay. Had the Spanish king at any time during 
the contest made good his promise to lend effective aid to the 
Irish princes, O'Neill would have driven Elizabeth from Ire- 
land, and a sovereign State would today be the guardian of the 
freedom of the western seas for Europe and the world. It 


took "the best army in Europe" and a vast treasure, as Sir 
John Davies asserted, to conquer two Ulster clans three hun- 
dred years ago. The naked valor of the Irishman excelled the 
armed might of Tudor England; and the struggle that gave 
the empire of the seas to Britain was won not in the essay of 
battle, but in the assay of the mint. 

It is this aspect of the Irish fight for freedom that dignifies 
an otherwise lost cause. Ever defeated, yet undefeated, a 
long-remembering race believes that these native qualities must 
in the end prevail. The battle has been from the first one of 
manhood against might. The State Papers, the official record 
of English rule in Ireland, leave us rarely in doubt. We read 
in that record that, where the appeal was to the strength or 
courage of the opposing men, the Irish had nothing to fear 
from English arms. 

Thus the Earl of Essex, in a despatch to Elizabeth, ex- 
plained the failure of his great expedition in 1599 against 
O'Neill and O'Donnell. "These rebels . . . have 
(though I do unwillingly confess it) better bodies and per- 
fecter use of their arms than those men w^hom your Majesty 
sends over." The flight of the Earls in 1607 left Ireland 
leaderless, with nothing but the bodies and hearts of the people 
to depend on. In 1613 we read, in the same records, a candid 
admission that, although the clan system had been destroyed 
and the great chiefs expropriated, converted, or driven to 
flight, the people still trusted to their own stout arms and 
fearless hearts: 

"The next rebellion, whenever it shall happen, doth threaten 
more danger to the State than any heretofore, when the cities 
and walled towns were always faithful; (1) because they have 
the same bodies they ever had and therein they had and have 
advantage of us; (2) from infancy they have been and are 
exercised in the use of arms; (3) the realm by reason of the 
long peace was never so full of youths; (4) that they are 
better soldiers than heretofore their continental employment 
in wars abroad assures us, and they do conceive that their men 
are better than ours." 

And when that "next rebellion" came, the great uprising of 
the outraged race in 1641, what do we find? Back from 

4 TH]^ GIvORieS 01? IRELAND 

the continent sails the nephew of the great O'Neill, who had 
Jeft Ireland a little boy in the flight of the Earls, and the dis- 
possessed clansmen, robbed of all but their strength of body 
and heart, gathered to the summons of Owen Roe. 

Again it was the same issue: the courage and hardihood 
of the Irishman to set against the superior arms, equipment, 
and wealth of a united Britain. Irish valor won the battle; 
a great state organization won the campaign. England and 
Scotland combined to lay low a resurgent Ireland; and again 
the victory was not to the brave and skilled, but to the longer 
purse and the implacable mind. Perhaps the most vivid testi- 
mony to these innate qualities of the Irishman is to be found 
in a typically Irish challenge issued in the course of this ten 
years' war from 1641 to 1651. The document has a lasting 
interest, for it displays not only the "better body" of the Irish- 
man, but something of his better heart and chivalry of soul. 

One Parsons, an English settler in Ireland, had written to a 
friend to say, among other things, that the head of a colonel 
of an Irish regiment then in the field against the English would 
not be allowed to stick long on its shoulders. The letter was 
intercepted by the very regiment itself, and a captain in it, 
Felim O'Molloy, wrote back to Parsons : 

"I will doe this, if you please. I will pick out 60 men and 
fight against 100 of your choise men, if you do but pitch your 
campe one mile out of your towne, and then, if you have the 
victory, you may threaten my colonel ; otherwise do not reckon 
your chickens before they be hatched." 

It was this same spirit of daring, this innate belief in his 
own manhood, that for three hundred years made every Irish- 
man the custodian of his country's honor. 

An Irish state had not been born ; that battle had still to be 
fought; but the romantic effort to achieve it reveals ever an 
unstained record of personal courage. Freedom has not come 
to Ireland ; it has been "warred down and kept out of sight" ; 
but it has been kept in the Irish heart, from Brian Boru to 
Robert Emmet, by a long tale of blood shed always in the 
same cause. Freedom is kept alive in man's blood only by the 
shedding of that blood. It was this they were seeking, those 
splendid "scorners of death", the lads and young men of 

THEi romance: OI'^ IRISH HISTORY 5 

Mayo, who awaited with a fearless joy the advance of the 
English army fresh from the defeat of Humbert in 1798. 
Then, if ever, Irishmen might have run from a victorious and 
pitiless enemy, who having captured the French general and 
murdered, in cold blood, the hundreds of Killala peasants who 
were with his colors, were now come to Killala itself to wreak 
vengeance on the last stronghold of Irish rebellion. 

The ill-led and half-armed peasants, the last Irishmen in 
Ireland to stand in open, pitched fight for their country's free- 
dom, went to meet the army of General Lake, as the Protestant 
bishop who saw them says, "running upon death with as little 
appearance of reflection or concern as if they were hastening 
to a show." 

The influences that begot this reverence for freedom lie in 
the island itself no less than in the remote ancestry of the 
people. Whoever looks upon Ireland cannot conceive it as the 
parent of any but freemen. Climate and soil here unite to 
tell man that brotherhood, and not domination, constitutes the 
only nobility for those who call this fair shore their mother- 
land. The Irish struggle for liberty owes as much, perhaps, 
to the continuing influence of the same lakes and rivers and 
the same mountains as to the survival of any political frag- 
ments of the past. Irish history is inseparably the history of 
the land, rather than of a race; and in this it offers us a 
spectacle of a continuing national unity that long-continuing 
disaster has not been able wholly to efface or wholly to disrupt. 

To discover the Europe that existed before Rome we must 
turn to the East, Greece, and to the West, Ireland. 

Ireland alone among western lands preserves the recorded 
tradition, the native history, the continuity of mind, and, until 
yesterday, of speech and song, that connect the half of Europe 
with its ancestral past. For early Europe was very largely 
Celtic Europe, and nowhere can we trace the continuous influ- 
ence of Celtic culture and idealism, coming down to us from a 
remote past, save in Ireland only. 

To understand the intellect of pre-Roman Gaul, of Spain, 
of Portugal, and largely of Germany, and even of Italy, we 
must go to Ireland. Whoever visits Spain or Portugal, to 
investigate the past of those countries, will find that the record 


Stops where Rome began. Take England in further illustra- 
tion. The first record the inhabitants of England have of the 
past of their island comes from Roman invasion. They know 
of Boadicea, of Cassivelaunus, the earliest figures in their his- 
tory, from what a foreign destroyer tells them in an alien 

All the early life of Celtiberians and Lusitanians has passed 
away from the record of human endeavor, save only where 
we find it recorded by the Italian invaders in their own speech, 
and in such terms as imperial exploitation ever prescribes for 
its own advancement and the belittlement of those it assails. 
Ireland alone among all western nations knows her own 
past, from the very dawn of history and before the romance 
of Romulus began, down to the present day, in the tongue of 
her own island people and in the light of her own native 
mind. Early Irish history is not the record of the clan- 
strivings of a petty and remote population, far from the 
centre of civilization. It is the authentic story of all western 
civilization before the warm solvent of Mediterranean blood 
and iron melted and moulded it into another and rigid shape. 

The Irishman called O'Neill, O'Brien, O'Donnell, steps out 
of a past well-nigh co-eval with the heroisms and tragedies 
that uplifted Greece and laid Troy in ashes, and swept the 
Mediterranean with an Odyssey of romance that still gives its 
name to each chief island, cape, and promontory of the mother 
sea of Europe. Ireland, too, steps out of a story just as old. 
Well nigh every hill or mountain, every lake or river, bears the 
name today it bore a thousand, two thousand, years ago, and 
one recording some dramatic human or semi-divine event. 

The songs of the Munster and Connacht poets of the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries gave to every cottage in 
the land the ownership as well as the tale of an heroic ances- 
try. They linked the Ireland of yesterday with the Ireland of 
Finn and Oscar, of Diarmid and Grainne, of Deirdre and the 
Sons of Usnech, of Cuchulainn the Hound of Ulster. A people 
bred on such soul-stirring tales as these, linked by a language 
**the most expressive of any spoken on earth" in thought and 
verse and song with the very dawn of their history, wherein 
there moved, as familiar figures, men with the attributes of 
gods — ^great in battle, grand in danger, strong in loving, vehe- 


ment in death — such a people could never be vulgar, could 
never be mean, but must repeat, in their own time and in their 
own manhood, actions and efforts thus ascribed as a vital part 
of their very origin. Hence the inspiration that gave the 
name of Fenian, in the late nineteenth century, to a band of 
men who sought to achieve by arms the freedom of Ireland. 
The law of the Fenian of the days of Marcus Aurelius was 
the law of the Fenian in the reign of Victoria — to give all 
— mind, body, and strength of purpose — to the defense of his 
country, "to speak truth and harbor no greed in his heart." 

Some there are who may deny to Finn and his Fenians of 
the second and third centuries corporeal existence; yet noth- 
ing is surer than that Ireland claims these ancestral embodi- 
ments of an heroic tradition by a far surer title of native 
record than gives to the Germans Arminius, to the Gauls, 
Ariovistus, to the British, Caractacus. This conception of a 
national life, one with the land itself, was very clear to the 
ancient Irish, just as it has been and is the foundation of all 
later national effort. 

"If ever the idea of nationality becomes the subject of a 
thorough and honest study, it will be seen that among all the 
peoples of antiquity, not excluding the Hellenes and the He- 
brews, the Irish held the clearest and most conscious and con- 
stant grasp of that idea; and that their political divisions, 
instead of disproving the existence of the idea, in their case 
intensely strengthen the proof of its existence and emphasize 
its power. 

In the same way the remarkable absence of insular exclu- 
siveness, notwithstanding their geographical position, serves to 
bring their sense of nationality into higher relief. 

Though pride of race is evident in the dominant Gaelic stock, 
their national sentiment centres not in the race, but altogether 
in the country, which is constantly personified and made the 
object of a sort of cult. 

It is worth noting that just as the Brehon Laws are the 
laws of Ireland without distinction of province or district; 
as the language of Irish literature is the language of Ireland 
without distinction of dialects; as the Dindshenchus contains 
the topographical legends of all parts of Ireland, and the 
Festilogies commemorate the saints of all Ireland; so the 


Irish chronicles from first to last are histories of the Irish 
nation. The true view of the Book of Invasions is that it is 
the epic of Irish Nationality." (Professor Eoin MacNeill, in 
a letter to Mrs. A. S. Green, January, 1914.) 

The "Book of Invasions", which Professor MacNeill here 
speaks of, was compiled a thousand years ago. To write the 
history of later Ireland is merely to prolong the "Book of In- 
vasions", and thus bring the epic of Irish resistance down to 
our own day. All Irish valor and chivalry, whether of soul 
or of body, have been directed for a thousand years to this 
same end. It was for this that Sarsfield died at Landen no less 
than Brian at Clontarf. The monarch of Ireland at the head of 
a great Irish army driving back the leagued invaders from the 
shores of Dublin Bay in 1014, and the exiled leader in 1693, 
heading the charge that routed King William's cause in the 
Netherlands, fell on one and the same battlefield. They fought 
against the invader of Ireland. 

We are proudly told that the sun never sets on the British 
Empire. Wherever an Irishman has fought in the name of 
Ireland it has not been to acquire fortune, land, or fame, but 
to give all, even life itself, not to found an empire, but to 
strike a blow for an ancient land and assert the cause of a 
swordless people. Wherever Irishmen have gone, in exile or 
in fight, they have carried this image of Ireland with them. 
The cause of Ireland has found a hundred fields of foreign 
fame, where the dying Irishman might murmur with Sarsfield, 
"Would that this blood were shed for Ireland", and history 
records the sacrifice as made in no other cause. 

Ireland, too, owns an empire on which the sun never sets. 

References : 

Sigerson: Bards of the Gael and Gall; O'Callaghan: History of 
the Irish Brigades; Mitehel : Life of Hugh O'Neill; Green: The 
Making of Ireland and its Undoing, Irish Nationality, The Old Irish 
World ; Taylor : Life of Owen Roe O'Neill ; Todhunter : Life of Pat- 
rick Sarsfield; Hyde: Love Songs of Connacht, Religious Songs of 
Connacht; O'Grady: Bog of Stars, Flight of the Eagle; Ferguson: 
Hibernian Nights* Entertainment; Mitehel: History of Ireland, in 
continuation of MacGeoghegan's History. 


By Canon D'Ai^ton, M. R. I. A., LL.D. 

UNLIKE the natives of Britain and Scotland, the Irish in 
pre-Christian times were not brought into contact with 
Roman institutions or Roman culture. In consequence they 
created and developed a civilization of their own that was in 
some respects without equal. They were far advanced in the 
knowledge of metal-work and shipbuilding; they engaged in 
commerce; they loved music and had an acquaintance with 
letters ; and when disputes arose among them, these were settled 
in duly constituted courts of justice, presided over by a trained 
lawyer, called a brehon, instead of being settled by the stern 
arbitrament of force. Druidism was their pagan creed. They 
believed in the immortality and in the transmigration of souls ; 
they worshipped the sun and moon, and they venerated mount- 
ains, rivers, and wells; and it would be difficult to find any 
ministers of religion who were held in greater awe than the 

Commerce and war brought the Irish into contact with 
Britain and the continent, and thus was Christianity gradually 
introduced into the island. Though its progress at first was 
not rapid, there were, by 431, several Christian churches in 
existence, and in that year Palladius, a Briton and a bishop, 
was sent by Pope Celestine to the Irish who already believed 
in Christ. Discouraged and a failure, Palladius returned to 
Britain after a brief stay on his mission, and then, in 432, the 
same Pope sent St. Patrick, who became the Apostle of Ire- 

Because of the great work he did, St. Patrick is one of the 
prominent figures of history; and yet, to such an extent has. 
the dust of time settled down on his life and acts that the 
place and year of his birth, the schools in which he was edu- 
cated, and the year of his death, are all matters of dispute. 
There is, however, no good reason to depart from the tradi- 
tional account, which is, that the Apostle was born at Dum- 
barton in Scotland, in the year 372 ; that in 388 he was cap- 


tured by the Irish king Niall, who had gone on a plundering 
raid into Scotland ; that he was brought to Ireland and sold as a 
slave, and that as such he served a pagan chief named Milcho 
who lived in what is now the county of Antrim; that from 
Antrim he escaped and went back to his own country ; that he 
had many visions urging him to return to Ireland and preach 
the Gospel there ; that, believing these were from God, he went 
to France, and there was educated and ordained priest, and 
later consecrated bishop; and then, accompanied by several 
ecclesiastics, he was sent to Ireland. 

From Wicklow, where he landed, he proceeded north and 
endeavored, but in vain, to convert his old pagan master 
Milcho ; thence he proceeded south by Downpatrick and Dun- 
dalk to Slane in Meath, where, in sight of Tara, the high- 
king's seat, he lighted the paschal fire. At Tara he confounded 
the Druids in argument, baptized the high-king and the chief 
poet; and then, turning north and west, he crossed the Shan- 
non into Connacht, where he spent seven years. From Con- 
nacht he passed into Donegal, and thence through Tyrone and 
Antrim, after which he entered Munster, and remained there 
seven years. . Finally, he returned to Armagh, which he made 
his episcopal see, and died at Saul, near Downpatrick, in 493. 
St. Patrick wrote two short works, both of which have sur- 
vived, his Confession and his Epistle to Coroticus. In neither 
are there any graces of style, and the Latin is certainly not that 
of Cicero or Livy. But in the Confession the character of the 
author himself is completely revealed — his piety, his zeal, his 
self-sacrifice, his courage in face of every danger and every 
trial. Not less remarkable was the skill with which he handled 
men and used pagan institutions for the purposes of Christi- 
anity; and equally so was the success with which his bloodless 
apostolate was crowned. 

One great difficulty which St. Patrick had was to provide 
the people with a native ministry. At first he selected the 
chief men — princes, brehons, bards — and these, with little 
training and little education, he ordained. Thus, slenderly 
equipped with knowledge, the priest, with his ritual, missal, 
and a catechism, and the bishop, with his crozier and bell, went 
forth to do battle for the Lord. This condition of things was 


soon ended. In 450 a college was founded at Armagh, which 
in a short time grew to be a famous school, and attracted 
students from afar. Other schools were founded in the fifth 
century, at Noendrum, Louth, and Kildare. In the sixth cen- 
tury arose the famous monastic schools of Clonfert, Clonard, 
Clonmacnois, Arran, and Bangor; while the seventh century 
saw the rise of Glendalough and Lismore. 

St. Patrick was educated in Gaul, at the monasteries of 
Marmoutier and Lerins ; and, perhaps as a result, the monastic 
character of the early Irish church was one of its outstanding 
features; moreover it was to the prevalence of the monastic 
spirit, the desire for solitude and meditation, that so many of 
the great monastic establishments owed their existence. Flee- 
ing from society and its attractions, and wishing only for soli- 
tude and austerity, some holy man sought out a lonely retreat, 
and there lived a life of mortification and prayer. Others 
came to share his poverty and vigils ; a grant of land was then 
obtained from the ruling chief, the holy man became abbot and 
his followers his monks; and a religious community was 
formed destined soon to acquire fame. It was thus that St. 
Finnian established Clonard on the banks of the Boyne, and St. 
Kieran, Clonmacnois by the waters of the Shannon; and thus 
did St. Enda make the wind-swept Isles of Arran the home 
and the resting place of so many saints. Before the close of 
the sixth century, 3,000 monks followed the rule of St. *Com- 
gall at Bangor ; and in the seventh century, St. Carthage made 
Lismore famous and St. Kevin attracted pious men from afar 
to his lonely retreat in the picturesque valley of Glendalough. 

And there were holy women as well as holy men in Ireland. 
St. Brigid was held in such honor that she is often called the 
Mary of the Gael. Even in St. Patrick's day, she had founded 
a convent at Kildare, beside which was a monastery of which 
St. Conleth was superior; and she founded many other con- 
vents in addition to that at Kildare. Her example was fol- 
lowed by St. Ita, St. Fanchea, and many others ; and if at the 
close of the sixth century there were few districts which had 
not monasteries and monks, there were few also which had not 
convents and nuns. 

Nor was this all. Fired with missionary zeal, many men left 


Ireland to plant the faith in distant lands. Thus did St. Colum- 
cille settle in lona, whence he converted the Picts. Under his 
successors, St. Aidan and his friends went south to Lindis- 
f arne to convert Northumbria in England ; and the ninth abbot 
of lona was the saintly Adamnan, whose biography of St. 
Columcille has been declared by competent authority to be the 
best of its kind of which the whole Middle Ages can boast. 
Nor must it be forgotten that the monasteries of Luxeuil and 
Bobbio owed their origin to St. Columbanus ; that St. Gall gave 
his name to a town and canton in Switzerland; that St. Fri- 
dolin labored on the Rhine and St. Fursey on the Mame ; and 
that St. Cathaldus was Bishop of Tarentum, and is still ven- 
erated as the patron of that Italian see. 

And if we would know what was the character of the schools 
in which these men were trained, we have only to remember 
that Colgu, who had been educated at Clonmacnois, was the 
master of Alcuin; that Dicuil the Geographer came from the 
same school; that Cummian, Abbot and Bishop of Clonfert, 
combated the errors about the paschal computation with an 
extent of learning and a wealth of knowledge amazing in a 
monk of the seventh century; and that at the close of the 
eighth century two Irishmen went to the court of Charlemagne 
and were described by a monk of St. Gall as "men incompar- 
ably skilled in human learning". The once pagan Ireland had 
by that time become a citadel of Christianity, and was right- 
fully called the School of the West, the Island of Saints and 

With this state of progress and prosperity the Danes played 
sad havoc. Animated with the fiercest pagan fanaticism, they 
turned with fury against Christianity, and especially against 
monks and religious foundations. Armagh, Clonmacnois, 
Bangor, Kildare, and many other great monastic establish- 
ments thus fell before their fury. Ignorance, neglect of re- 
ligion, and corruption of manners followed, and from the 
eighth to the twelfth century there was a noted falling off in 
the number of Irish scholars. At home indeed were Cormac 
and Maelmurra, O'Hartigan and O'Flynn, and abroad was 
John Scotus Erigena, whose learning was so great that it ex- 
cited astonishment even at Rome. The love of learning and 


zeal for religion lived on through this long period of accumu- 
lated disasters. After the triumph of Brian Boru at Clontarf, 
there was a distinct revival of piety and learning; and, when a 
century of turmoil followed Brian^s fall and religion again 
suffered, nothing was wanted to bring the people back to a 
sense of their duty but the energy and reforming zeal of St. 

Gerald Barry, the notorious Anglo-Norman, who visited 
Ireland towards the close of the twelfth century, has been 
convicted out of his own mouth when he states that Ireland 
was a barbarous nation when his people came there. He for- 
got that a people who could illuminate the Book of Kells and 
build Cormac's Chapel could not be called savages, nor could 
a church be lost to a sense of decency and dignity that num- 
bered among its children such a man as St. Laurence O'Toole. 
Abuses there were, it is true, consequent on long continued 
war, though these abuses were increased rather than lessened 
by the coming of the Anglo-Normans, and to such an extent 
that for more than two centuries there is not a single great 
name among Irish scholars except Duns Scotus. 

The fame of Duns Scotus was European, and the Subtle 
Doctor, as he was called, became the great glory of the Fran- 
ciscan, as his rival St. Thomas was the great glory of the 
Dominican, order. But he left no successor, and from his 
death, at the opening of the fourteenth century, till the seven- 
teenth century the number of Irish scholars or recognized 
Irish saints was small. Yet, in the midst of disorders within, 
and despite oppression from without, at no time did the love of 
learning disappear In Ireland ; nor was there ever in the Irish 
church either heresy or schism. 

The attempted reformation by Henry VIII and his daughter 
Elizabeth produced martyrs like O'Hurley and O'Hely; and 
there were many more martyrs in the time of the Stuarts, and 
especially under the short but sanguinary rule of Cromwell. 

Those were the days of the penal laws, when they who 
clung to the old religion suffered much. But nothing could 
shake their faith ; neither the proclamations of Elizabeth and 
James, the massacres of Cromwell, nor the ferocious proscrip- 
tions of the eighteenth century. The priest said Mass, though 


his crime was punishable by death, and the people heard Mass, 
though theirs also was a criminal offence; and the school- 
master, driven from the school, taught under a sheltering 
hedge. The clerical student, denied education at home, crossed 
the sea, to be educated at Louvain or Salamanca or Seville, and 
then, perhaps loaded with academic honors, he returned home 
to face poverty and persecution and even death. The Catholic 
masses, socially ostracised, degraded, and impoverished, shut 
out from every avenue to ambition or enterprise, deprived of 
every civil right, knowing nothing of law except when it 
oppressed them and nothing of government except when it 
struck them down, yet clung to the religion in which they were 
born. And when, in the latter half of the eighteenth century, 
the tide turned and the first dawn of toleration appeared on 
the horizon, it was found that the vast majority of the people 
were unchanged, and that, after two centuries of the most 
relentless persecution since the days of Diocletian, Ireland was, 
in faith and practice, a strongly Catholic nation still. 

On a soil constantly wet with the blood and tears of its chil- 
dren, it would be vain to expect that scholarship could flourish. 
And yet the period had its distinguished Irish scholars both at 
home and abroad. At Louvain, in the sixteenth century, were 
Lombard and Creagh, who both became Archbishops of 
Armagh, and O'Hurley who became Archbishop of Cashel. 
An even greater scholar than these was Luke Wadding, the 
eminent Franciscan who founded the convent of St. Isidore at 
Rome. At Louvain was John Colgan, a Franciscan like Wadd- 
ing, a man who did much for Irish ecclesiastical history. And 
at home in Ireland, as parish priest of Tybrid in Tipperary, 
was the celebrated Dr. Geoffrey Keating the historian, once 
a student at Salamanca. John Lynch, the renowned opponent 
of Gerald Barry the Welshman, was Archdeacon of Tuam. 
And in the ruined Franciscan monastery of Donegal, the Four 
Masters, aided and encouraged by the Friars, labored long and 
patiently, and finally completed the work which we all know 
as the Annals of the Four Masters. This work, originally 
written in Irish, remained in manuscript in Louvain till the 
middle of the nineteenth century, when it was edited and 
translated into English by John O'Donovan, one of Ireland's 


greatest Irish scholars, with an abihty and completeness quite 
worthy of the original. 

On the Anglo-Irish side there were also some great names, 
and especially in the domain of history, notably Stanyhurst 
and Hammer, Moryson and Campion and Davies, and, above 
all, Ussher and Ware. James Ware died in 1666, and though 
a Protestant and an official of the Protestant government, and 
living in Ireland in an intolerant age and in an atmosphere 
charged with religious rancor, he was, to his credit be it said, 
to a large extent free from bigotry. He dealt with history 
and antiquities, and wrote in no party spirit, wishing only to 
be fair and impartial, and to set out the truth as he found it. 
James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, was a much abler man 
and a much greater scholar than Ware. His capacity for re- 
search, his profound scholarship, the variety and extent of his 
learning raised him far above his co-religionists, and he has 
been rightly called the Great Luminary of the Irish Protestant 
church. It is regrettable that his fine intellect was darkened 
by bigotry and intolerance. 

Far different was the character of another Protestant bishop, 
the great Berkeley, of Cloyne, a patriot, a philosopher, and a 
scholar, who afterwards left money and books for a scholar- 
ship, which is still in existence, at the then infant Yale College 
in New England. He lived in the first half of the eighteenth 
century, when the whole machinery of government was ruth- 
lessly used to crush the Catholics. But Berkeley had little 
sympathy with the penal laws ; he had words of kindness for 
the Catholics, and undoubtedly wished them well. Nor must 
Swift be forgotten, for though he took little pride in being an 
Irishman, he hated and despised those who oppressed Ireland, 
and is rightly regarded as one of the greatest of her sons. 

The short period during which Grattan's parliament existed 
was one of great prosperity. It was then that Maynooth Col- 
lege was established for the education of the Irish priesthood. 
But Catholics, though free to set up schools, were still shut 
out from the honors and emoluments of Trinity College, the 
one university at that time in Ireland. Still, Charles O'Connor, 
MacGeoghegan, and O'Flaherty were great Catholic scholars 
in the latter part of the eighteenth century. 


In the following century, while Protestant ascendancy was 
still maintained, the Catholics had greater scope. Away back 
in the days of Queen Elizabeth, Campion found Latin widely 
spoken among the peasantry, and Father Mooney met country 
lads familiar with Virgil and Homer. In 1670, Petty had a 
similar story to tell, in spite of all the savageries of Cromwell 
and the ruin which necessarily followed. And in the eighteenth 
century the schoolmaster, though a price was set on his head, 
was still active. With an inherited love of learning, the Irish 
in the nineteenth century would have made rapid progress had 
they been rich. But their impoverishment by the penal laws 
made it impossible for them to set up an effective system of 
primary education, and until the national school system came 
into existence in 1831, they had to rely on the hedge-schools? 
Secondary education fared better, for the bishops, relying 
with confidence on the generosity of their flocks, were soon 
able to establish diocesan colleges. And in higher education, 
equally determined efforts were made by the establishment of 
the Catholic University under Cardinal Newman. But in this 
field of intellectual effort, in spite of the energy and zeal of 
the bishops, in spite of the great generosity of the people, so 
many of whom were poor, and in spite of the fame of New- 
man, it is failure rather than success which the historian has 
to record. 

Nor has the love of the Irish for religion, any more than 
their love of learning, been lessened or enfeebled by time. The 
mountain side as the place for Mass in the penal days gradually 
gave way to the rude stone church without steeple or bell ; and 
when steeple and bell ceased to be proscribed, and the people 
were left free to erect suitable houses of sacrifice and prayer, 
the fine churches of the nineteenth century began gradually to 
appear. The unfettered exercise of freedom of religious wor- 
ship, the untiring efforts of a zealous clergy and episcopate, 
the unstinted support of a people, who out of their poverty 
grudged nothing to God or to God's house, formed an irre- 
sistible combination, and all over the country beautiful churches 
are now to be found. 

In every diocese in Ireland, with scarcely an exception, 
there is now a stately cathedral to perpetuate the renown of 


the patron saint of that diocese, and even parish churches have 
been built not unworthy to be the churches of an ancient see. 
At Armagh, a cathedral has been built which does honor 
to Irish architecture, and worthily commemorates the life 
and labors of St. Patrick, the founder of the primatial see; 
at Thurles, a cathedral stands, the chief church of the south- 
ern province, statelier far than any which ever stood on the 
Rock of Cashel; at Tuam, a noble building, associated with 
the memory of John MacHale, the Lion of the Fold of Judah, 
perpetuates the name of St. Jarlath ; at Queenstown, the trav- 
eller, going to America or returning from it to the old land, 
has his attention attracted to the splendid cathedral pile sacred 
to St. Colman, the patron saint of the diocese of Cloyne ; and 
if we would see how splendid even a parish church may be, let 
us visit the beautiful church in Drogheda, dedicated to the 
memory of Oliver Plunkett. 

Nor are these tilings the only evidence we have that zeal for 
religion among the Irish has survived centuries of persecu- 
tion. Columbanus and Columcille have still their successors, 
eager and ready as they were to bring the blessings of the 
Gospel to distant lands. In recent years an Irish-born Arch- 
bishop of Sydney has been succeeded by an Irish-born Arch- 
bishop; an Irishman rules the metropolitan see of Adelaide; 
and an Irish-born Archbishop of Melbourne has as his coad- 
jutor a former president of the College of Maynooth. In 
South Africa, the work of preaching and, teaching and ruling 
the church is largely the work of Irish-born men. In the 
great Republic of the West the three cardinal-archbishops at 
the head of the Catholic Church have the distinctively Irish 
names of Gibbons and Farley and O'Connell; and in every 
diocese throughout the United States the proportion of priests 
of Irish birth or descent is large. 

Nor must the poorer Irish be forgotten. How much does 
the Catholic Church, both in Ireland and in America, owe to 
the generosity of Irish- American laborers and servant girls! 
Out of their scanty and hard-earned pay they have contributed 
much not only towards the building of the plain wooden church 
in the rural parishes, but also of the stately cathedrals of Ameri- 
can cities. And many a church in old Ireland owes its com- 


pletion and its adornment to the dollars given by the poor but 
generous Irish exiles. 

And if the zeal of the Irish for religion has thus survived to 
the twentieth century, so also in an equally remarkable degree 
has their zeal for learning. We have evidence of this in the 
numerous primary schools In every parish, filled with eager 
pupils and presided over by hard working teachers; in the 
colleges where the sciences and the classics are studied with 
the same energy as in the ancient monastic schools; and in 
Maynooth College, which is the foremost ecclesiastical college in 
the world. And if there are now new universities, the National 
and the Queen^s, sturdy and vigorous in their youth, this does 
not imply that Trinity College suffers from the decreptitude of 
age. For among those whom she sent forth In recent times are 
Dowden and Mahaffy and Lecky, to name but three, and these 
would do credit to any university in Europe. 

It would be difficult to find In any age of Irish history a 
greater pulpit orator than the famous Dominican, Father Tom 
Burke, or a more delightful essayist than Father Joseph Far- 
rell; and who has depicted Irish clerical life more faithfully 
than the late Canon Sheehan, whose fame as a novelist has 
crossed continents and oceans? O'Connell was a great orator 
as well as a great political leader, and Dr. Doyle and Arch- 
bishop John MacHale were scholars as well as statesmen and 
bishops. We have thus an unbroken chain of great names, a 
series of Irishmen whom the succeeding ages have brought 
forth to enlighten and instruct lesser men ; and Ireland, In the 
twentieth century. Is not less attached to religion and learning 
than she was when Clonmacnols flourished and the saintly 
Carthage ruled at Lismore. 

Refeeences : 

Joyce : Social History of Ancient Ireland (Dublin, 1903) ; Lani- 
gan: Ecclesiastical History of Ireland (Dublin, 1822) ; Healy: Ire- 
land's Ancient Schools and Scholars (Dublin, 1896), Life and Writ- 
ings of St. Patrick (Dublin, 1905) ; Bury: St. Patrick and his Place 
in History (London, 1905) ; Ussher's Works (Dublin, 1847) ; Reeves t 
Adamnan's Life of St. Columba (Dublin, 1851) ; Worsae : The Danes 
in Ireland (London, 1852) ; Moran: Essays on the Early Irish Church 


(Dublin, 1864) ; Stokes: Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church (Lon- 
don, 1897) ; Mant: History of the Church of Ireland (London, 1841) ; 
Bagwell: Ireland under the Tudors (London, 1885-90) ; Moran: Per- 
secutions under the Puritans (Callan, 1903) ; Murphy: Our Martyrs 
(Dublin, 1896) ; Meehan: Franciscan Monasteries of the Seventeenth 
Century (Dublin, 1870) ; Lecky: History of Ireland in the Eighteenth 
Century (London, 1902) ; O'Connell's Correspondence (London, 
1888) ; Wyse: History of the Catholic Association (London, 1829) ; 
Boyle: Letters on the State of Ireland (Dublin, 1826); O'Rorke: 
Irish Famine (Dublin, 1902) ; Gavan Duffy: Young Ireland (London, 
1880); Plunkett: Ireland in the New Century (London, 1904); 
O'Riordan: Catholicity and Progress in Ireland (London, 1905); 
MacCaffery : History of the Church in the Nineteenth Century (Dub- 
lin, 1909) ; Healy: Centenary History of Maynooth College (Dublin, 
1905) ; D' Alton: History of Ireland (London, 1910). 



By fev. C01.UMBA Edmonds, O. S. B. 

ST. PATRICK'S work in Ireland was chiefly concerned 
with preaching the faith and establishing monasteries 
which served as centres of education. The great success that 
attended these efforts earned for Ireland the double title of 
Island of Saints and a Second Thebaid. 

The monastic institutions organized by St. Patrick were 
characterized from their commencement by an apostolic zeal 
that knew no bounds. Sufficient scope was not to be found at 
home, so it was impatient to diffuse itself abroad. 

SCOTLAND: Hence in the year 563 St. Columcille, a 
Donegal native of royal descent, accompanied by twelve com- 
panions, crossed the sea in currachs of wickerwork and hides, 
and sought to land in Caledonia. They reached the desolate 
Isle of lona on the day preceding Whitsunday. 

Many years before, colonies of Irishmen had settled along 
the western parts of the present Scotland. The settlement 
north of the Clyde received the name of the Kingdom of 
Dalriada. These Dalriadan Irish were Christian at least in 
name, but their neighbors in the Pictish Highlands were still 
pagans. Columcille's apostolate was to be among both these 
peoples. Adamnan says that Columcille came to Caledonia 
"for the love of Christ's name", and well did his after-life 
prove the truth of this statement. He had attained his forty- 
fourth year when King Conall, his kinsman, bestowed lona 
upon him and his brethren. The island, situated between the 
Dalriadans and the Picts of the Highlands, was conveniently 
placed for missionary work. A numerous community recruited 
from Ireland, with Columcille as its Abbot, soon caused lona 
to become a flourishing centre from which men could go forth 
to preach Christianity. Monasteries and hermitages rapidly 
sprang up in the adjacent islands and on the mainland. These, 
together with the Columban foundations in Ireland, formed 
one great religious federation, in which the Celtic apostles of 
the northern races were formed under the influence of the 
holy founder. 


St. Columcille recognized the need of securing permanence 
for his work by obtaining the conversion of the Pictish rulers, 
and thus he did not hesitate to approach King Brude in his 
castle on the banks of the River Ness. St. Comgall and St. 
Canice were Columcille's companions on his journey through 
the great glen, now famous for the Caledonian Canal. The 
royal convert Brude was baptized, and by degrees the people 
followed the example set them. Opposition, however, was 
keen and aggressive, and it came from the official representa- 
tives of Pictish paganism — the Druids. 

Success, too, attended Columcille's ministrations among the 
Dalriadans, and on the death of their king, Aidan Gabhran, 
who succeeded to the throne, sought regal consecration from 
the hands of Columcille. In 597 the saint died, but not before 
he had won a whole kingdom to Christ and covered the land 
with churches and monasteries. Today his name is held in 
honor not by Irishmen alone, but by the Catholics and non- 
Catholics of the land of his adoption. 

There are other saints who either labored in person with 
Columcille or perpetuated the work he accomplished in Cale- 
donia ; and their names add to the glory of Ireland, their birth- 
land. Thus St. Moluag (592) converted the people of Lis- 
more, and afterwards died at Rosemarkie; St. Drostan, St. 
Columcille's friend and disciple, established the faith in Aber- 
deenshire and became abbot of Deer; St. Kieran (548) evan- 
gelized Kintyre; St. Mun (635) labored in Argyleshire; St. 
Buite (521) did the same in Pictland; St. Maelrubha (722) 
preached in Ross-shire; St. Modan and St. Machar benefited 
the dwellers on the western and eastern coasts respectively; 
and St. Fergus irr the eighth century became apostle of Forfar, 
Buchan, and Caithness. 

DISTANT ISLANDS: But Irish monks were mariners as 
well as apostles. Their hide-covered currachs were often 
launched in the hope of discovering solitudes in the ocean. 
Adamnan records that Baitan set out with others in search of 
a desert in the sea. St. Cormac sought a similar retreat and 
arrived at the Orkneys. St. Molaise's holy isle guards Lam- 
lash Bay, off Arran. The island retreats of the Bass, Inch- 
keith, May, and Inchcolm, in the Firth of Forth, are associated 


with the Irish saints Baldred, Adamnan, Adrian, and Colum- 
cille. St. Maccaldus, a native of Down, became bishop of the 
Isle of Man. 

Remarkable, too, is the fact that Irish monks sailed by way 
of the Faroe Islands to distant Iceland. These sailor-clerics, 
who settled on the southeast of the island, were spoken of by 
later Norwegians as "papar." After their departure — they 
were probably driven away by Norwegian pagans — these Ice- 
landic apostles "left behind them Irish books, bells, and 
croziers, wherefrom one could understand they were Irish- 

But St. Brendan, the voyager, is the most wonderful of the 
mariner monks of Ireland. He accomplished apostolic work 
in both Wales and Scotland, but his seafaring instincts urged 
him to make missionary voyages to regions hitherto unknown. 
Some writers, not without reason, have actually maintained 
that he and his followers traveled as far as the American 
shore. Be this as it may, the tradition of the discoveries of 
this Irish monk kept in mind the possibly existing western 
land, and issued at last in the discovery of the great continent 
of America by Columbus. 

NORTHUMBRIA: Turn now to Northumbria. Adamnan 
writes that St. Columcille's name was honored not only in 
Gaul, Spain, and Italy, but in Rome itself. England, however, 
owes to it a special veneration, because of the widespread 
apostolic work accomplished within her borders by Colum- 
cille's Irish disciples. The facts are as follows : Northumbrian 
Christianity was well-nigh exterminated through the victory 
of Penda the pagan over Edwin the Christian, A. D. 633. St. 
Paulinus, its local Roman apostle, was driven permanently 
from his newly founded churches. Meanwhile Oswald and his 
brother Edwith sought refuge among the Irish monks of lona, 
and received baptism at their hands. Edwith died and Oswald 
became heir to the throne. A battle was fought. The day 
before he met the pagan army, between the Tyne and the 
Solway, Oswald beheld St. Columcille in vision saying to 
him : "Be strong and of good faith ; I will be with thee." The 
result of this vision of the abbot of lona was that a consider- 
able part of England received the true faith. Oswald was 


victorious ; he united the kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia, and 
became overlord of practically all England, withithe exception 
of Kent. There was evangelization to be done, and St. Oswald 
turned to lona. In response to his appeal, the Irish bishop, 
St. Aidan, was sent with several companions. They were 
established on the island of Lindisfarne, in sight of the royal 
residence at Bamborough. These monks labored in union 
with, and even seemed to exceed in zeal, the Roman mission- 
aries in the south under St. Augustine. However great the 
enthusiasm they had displayed for conversions in lona, they 
displayed still greater on the desolate isle of Lindisfarne. In 
the first instance St. Aidan and his monks evangelized North- 
umbria. Want of facility in preaching in the Anglo-Saxon 
tongue was at first an obstacle, but it was speedily overcome, 
for king Oswald himself, who knew both Gaelic and English, 
came forward and acted as interpreter. 

When St. Aidan died in 651, lona sent St. Finan, another 
Irish bishop, to succeed him. Finan spread the faith beyond 
the borders of Northumbria and succeeded so well that he 
himself baptized Penda, king of the Mid-Angles, and Sigebert, 
king of the East Saxons. Diuma and Cellach, Irish monks, 
assisted by three Anglo-Saxon disciples of St. Aidan, con- 
solidated the mission to the Mercians. 

ANGLIA: While Christianity was thus being restored in 
Northumbria, other Irish apostles were teaching it in East 
Anglia. St. Fursey, accompanied by his brother St. Foillan 
and St. Ultan and the priests Gobham and Dicuil, landed in 
England in 633, and began to labor in the eastern portions of 
Anglia. In his monastery at Burghcastle, in Suffolk, the con- 
vert king Sigebert made his monastic profession, and in the 
same house many heavenly visions were vouchsafed to its 

The South Saxons had in Dicuil an apostle who founded 
the monastery of Bosham in Sussex, whence originated the 
episcopal see of Chichester. Another Irish monk named 
Maeldubh settled among the West Saxons and became the 
founder of Malmesbury Abbey and the instructor of the well- 
known St. Aldhelm. 
Thus did Irish monks contribute to the conversion of Great 

24 the; gIvORii:s oi^ Ireland 

Britain and its many distant islands. They built up the faith 
by their holy lives, their preaching, and their enthusiasm, and 
wisely provided for its perpetuation by educating a native 
clergy and by the founding of monastic institutions. 

They were not yet satisfied, so they turned towards other 
lands to bring to other peoples the glad tidings af salvation. 

GAUL : In 590 St. Columbanus, a monk of Bangor in Ire- 
land, accompanied by twelve brethren, arrived in France, hav- 
ing passed through Britain. After the example of St. Colum- 
cille in Caledonia, they traveled to the court of Gontram, 
king of Burgundy, in order to secure his help and protection. 
During the course of the journey they preached to the people, 
and all were impressed with their modesty, patience, and devo- 
tion. At that epoch Gaul was sadly in need of such mission- 
aries, for, owing partly to the invasion of barbarians and 
partly to remissness on the part of the clergy, vice and impiety 
everywhere prevailed. Columbanus, because of his zeal, sanc- 
tity, and learning, was well fitted for the task that lay before 
him. One of his early works in Burgundy was the founding 
of the monastery of Luxeuil, which became the parent of 
many other monasteries founded either by himself or by his 
disciples. Many holy men came from Ireland to join the com- 
munity, and so numerous did the monks of Luxeuil become 
that separate choirs were formed to keep up perpetual praise — 
the "laus perennis". But Columbanus did not remain at 
Luxeuil. In his strict uncompromising preaching he spared 
not even kings, and he preferred to leave his flourishing mon- 
astery rather than pass over in silence the vices of the Mero- 
vingians. He escaped from the malice of Brunehaut, and, 
being banished from Burgundy, made his way to Neustria, and 
thence to Metz. Full of zeal, he resolved to preach the faith 
to the pagans along the Rhine, and with this purpose set out 
with a few of his followers. They proceeded as far as the 
Lake of Zurich, and finally established themselves at Bregentz, 
on the Lake of Constance. 

By this time his disciple St. Gall had learned the Alemannian 
dialect, which enabled him to push forward the work of evan- 
gelization. But Columbanus felt that he was called to labor 
in other lands while vigor remained to him, so, bidding his 


favorite follower farewell, he crossed the Alps and arrived at 
Milan in northern Italy. King Agilulph and his queen, Theo- 
delinda, gave the Irish abbot a reverent and kind welcome. 
His zeal was still unspent, and he worked much for the con- 
version of the Lombard Arians. Here he founded, between 
Milan and Genoa, the monastery of Bobbio, which as a centre 
of knowledge and piety was long the light of northern Italy. 
In this monastery he died in the year 615, but not before the 
arrival of messengers from King Clothaire, inviting him to 
return to Luxeuil, as his enemies were now no more. But he 
could not go ; all he asked was protection for his dear monks 
at Luxeuil. 

It has been said most truly that Ireland never sent a greater 
son to do God's work in foreign lands than Columbanus. The 
fruit of his labors remained; and for centuries after his death 
his influence was widely felt throughout Europe, especially in 
France and Italy. His zeal for the interests of God was un- 
bounded, and this was the secret of his immense power. Some 
of his writings have come down to us, and comprise his Rule 
for Monks, his Penitential, sixteen short sermons, six letters, 
and several poems, all in Latin. His letters are of much value 
as evidence of Ireland's ancient belief in papal supremacy. 

SWITZERLAND: Gall, Columbanus's disciple, remained 
in Switzerland. In a fertile valley, lying between two rivers 
and surrounded by hills, he laid the beginnings of the great 
abbey which afterwards bore his name and became one of 
the most famous monasteries in Christendom. St. Gall spent 
thirty years of his life in Helvetia, occupying himself in teach- 
ing, preaching, and prayer. He succeeded where others had 
failed, and that which was denied to Columbanus was reserved 
for Gall, his disciple, and the latter is entitled the Apostle of 

Other districts had their Irish missionaries and apostles. 
Not far from St. Gall, at Seckingen, near Basle, St. Fridolin 
was a pioneer in the work of evangelization. 

Towards the close of the seventh century St. Kilian, an 
Irishman, with his companions, Totnan and Colman, arrived 
in Franconia. He was martyred in Wiirtzburg, where he is 
honored as patron and apostle. 


Sigisbert, another Irish follower of St. Columbanus, spread 
the faith among the half-pagan people of eastern Helvetia, 
and founded the monastery of Dissentis in Rhaetia. 

St. Ursanne, a little town on the boundaries of Switzerland, 
took its origin from another disciple of St. Columbanus. 

tary life drew St. Fiacre to a hermitage near Meaux, where 
he transformed wooded glades into gardens to provide veg- 
etables for poor people. This charity has earned for Fiacre 
the title of patron saint of gardeners. 

St. Fursey, the illustrious apostle of East Anglia, crossed 
over to France, where he travelled and preached continuously. 
He built a monastery at Lagny-sur-Marne, and was about to 
return to East Anglia when he died at MezeroUes, near Doul- 
lens. St. Gobham followed his master's example, and like 
him evangelized and founded monasteries. St. Etto (Ze) acted 
in like manner. St. Foillan and St. Ultan, brothers of St. 
Fursey, became apostles in southern Brabant. 

The monastery of Honau, on an island near Strasburg, and 
that of Altomunster, in Bavaria, owe their foundation to the 
Irish monks Tuban and Alto, respectively. 

Not far from Luxeuil was the Abbey of Lure, another great 
Irish foundation, due to Deicolus (Desle, Dichuill), a brother 
of St. Gall and a disciple of St. Columbanus. So important 
was this house considered in later times that its abbot was 
numbered among the princes of the Holy Roman Empire. 

Rouen, in Normandy, felt the influence of the Irish monks 
through the instrumentality of St. Ouen ; and the monasteries 
of Jouarre, Rebais, Jumieges, Leuconaus, and St. Vandrille 
were due at least indirectly to Columbanus or his disciples. 

Turning to Belgium, it is recorded that St. Romold preached 
the faith in Mechlin, and St. Livinus in Ghent. Both came 
from Ireland. 

St. Virgilius, a voluntary exile from Erin, "for the love of 
Christ", established his monastery at Salzburg, in Austria. He 
became bishop there, and died in 781. 

Moreover, the Celtic Rule of Columbanus was carried into 
Picardy by St. Valery, St. Omer, St. Bertin, St. Mummolin, 
and St. Valdelenus; but the Irish Caidoc and Fricor had 


already preceded them, their work resulting in the foundation 
of the Abbey of St. Riquier. 

ITALY : Something yet remains to be said of the monks of 
Ireland in Italy. Anterior to St. Columbanus*s migration, his 
fellow countryman, St. Frigidian (or Fridian), had taken up 
his abode in Italy at Monte Pisana, not far from the city of 
Lucca, where he became famed for sanctity and wisdom. On 
the death of the bishop of Lucca, Frigidian was compelled to 
occupy the vacant see. St. Gregory the Great wrote of him 
that "he was a man of rare virtue". His teachings and holy 
life not only influenced the lives of his own flock, but brought 
to the faith many heretics and pagans. In Lucca this Celtic 
apostle is still honored under the name of St. Frediano. 

St. Pellegrinus is another Irish saint who sought solitude at 
Garfanana in the Apennines; and Cathaldus, a Waterford 
saint, in 680, became Bishop of Taranto, which he governed 
for many years with zeal and great wisdom. His co-worker 
was Donatus, his brother, who founded the church at Lecce 
in the Kingdom of Naples. 

Of the two learned Irishmen, Clemens and Albinus, who 
resided in France in the eighth century, Albinus was sent into 
Italy, where at Pavia he was placed at the head of the school 
attached to St. Augustine's monastery. Dungal, his compa- 
triot, was a famous teacher in the same city. Lothair thus 
ordained concerning him : "We desire that at Pavia, and under 
the superintendence of Dungal, all students should assemble 
from Milan, Brescia, Lodi, Bergamo, Novara, Vercelli, Tor- 
tona, Acqui, Genoa, Asti, Como." 

It was this same Dungal who presented the Bangor psalter 
to Bobbio ; therefore it may be reasonably conjectured that he 
came from the very monastery that produced Columbanus, 
Gall, and Comgall. 

Fiesole, in Tuscany, venerates two Irish eighth-century 
saints, Donatus and Andrew. The former was educated at 
Iniscaltra, and Andrew was his friend and disciple. After 
visiting Rome, they lingered at Fiesole. Donatus was received 
with great honor by clergy and people and was requested to 
fill their vacant bishopric. With much hesitation he took upon 
himself ihe burden, which he bore for many years. His 


biographer says of him that "he was liberal in almsgiving, 
sedulous in watching, devout in prayer, excellent in doctrine, 
ready in speech, holy in life." Andrew, who was his deacon, 
founded the church and monastery of St. Martin in Mensola, 
and is known in Fiesole as St. Andrew of Ireland, or St. 
Andrew the Scot, that is, the Irishman. 

HOSPITALIA: Thus Irish monks were to be found in 
France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, and even 
in Bulgaria. So numerous were they and so frequent their 
travels through the different countries of Europe that hospices 
were founded to befriend them. These institutions were 
known as "Hospitalia Scottorum ("Hospices for the Irish"), 
and their benefactors were not only pious laymen but the high- 
est ecclesiastical authorities. Sometimes the hospices were 
diverted to purposes other than those originally intended, and 
then Church Councils would intervene in favor of the lawful 
inheritors. Thus in 845 we read that the Council of Meaux 
ordered the hospices in France to be restored to the dispos- 
sessed Irishmen. In the tv/elfth century Ireland still continued 
to send forth a constant succession of monk-pilgrims, renowned 
for faith, austerity, and piety. 

RATISBON : Special monasteries were erected to be peo- 
pled by the Irish. The most renowned of these dates from 
1067, when Marianus Scotus ("Marianus the Irishman"), with 
his companions, John and Candidus, left his native land and 
arrived in Bavaria. These holy men were welcomed at Ratis- 
bon by the Bishop Otto ; and on the advice of Murcherat, an 
Irish recluse, took up their residence near St. Peter's church 
at the outskirts of the city. Novices flocked from Ireland to 
join them and a monastery was erected to receive the com- 
munity. In a short time this had to be replaced by a still 
larger one, which was known to future ages as the Abbey of 
St. James's of the Scots (that is, Irish) at Ratisbon. How 
prolific was this parent foundation is evidenced from its many 
offshoots, the only surviving monasteries on the continent for 
many centuries intended for Irish brethren. These, besides 
St. James's at Erfurt and St. Peter's at Ratisbon, comprised 
St. James's at Wiirtzburg, St. Giles's at Nuremberg, St. Mary's 
at Vienna, St. James's at Constance, St. Nicholas's at Mem- 


mingen, Holy Cross at Eichstatt, a Priory at Kelheim and 
another at Oels in Silesia, all of which were founded during 
the twelfth or thirteenth century, and formed a Benedictine 
congregation approved of by Pope Innocent III., and presided 
over by the Abbot of Ratisbon. These Irish houses, with their 
long lines of Celtic abbots, in the days of their prosperity did 
much work that was excellent and civilizing, and rightly de- 
serve a remembrance in the achievements of Ireland's ancient 

Ratisbon and its dependent abbeys, as is set forth in the 
papal briefs of 1248, possessed priories in Ireland, and, from 
these, novices were usually obtained. 

But evil days came for the Congregation of St. James, and 
now it is extinct. The subjugation of Ireland to England, says 
Wattenbach, contributed no doubt to the rapid decline of the 
Scotic (that is, Irish) monasteries. For from Ireland they 
had up till then been continually receiving fresh supplies of 
strength. In this their fatherland the root of their vitality 
was to be found. Loss of independence involved loss of 

not only apostles of souls, but also masters of intellectual life. 
Thus in the seventh century the Celtic monastery of Luxeuil 
became the most celebrated school in Christendom. Monks 
from other houses and sons of the nobility crowded to it. The 
latter were clearly not intended for the cloister, but destined 
for callings in the world. 

There were outstanding men among these missionaries from 
Ireland. St. Virgilius of Salzburg in the eighth century taught 
the sphericity of the earth and the existence of the Antipodes, 
It was this same teaching that Copernicus and later astrono- 
mers formulated into the system now in vogue. 

St. Columcille himself was a composer of Latin hymns and 
a penman of no mean order, as the Book of Kells, if written 
by him, sufficiently proves. In all the monasteries which he 
founded, provision was made for the pursuit of sacred learn- 
ing and the multiplication of books by transcription. The 
students of his schools were taught classics, mechanical arts, 
law, history, and physics. They improved the methods of hus- 


bandry and gardening; supplied the people, whom they helped 
to civilize, with implements of labor; and taught them the use 
of the forge, an accomplishment belonging to almost every 
Irish monk. 

The writings of Adamnan, who spent most of his life out- 
side his native land, show that he was familiar with the best 
Latin authors, and had a knowledge of Greek as well. His 
"Vita S. Columbae" ("Life of St. Columcille") has made his 
name immortal as a Latin writer. His book "De Locis Sanc- 
tis" ("On the Holy Places") contains information he received 
from the pilgrim bishop Arculfus, who had been driven by a 
tempest to take refuge with the monks of lona. On account 
of the importance of the writings of Adamnan and because 
of his influence in secular and ecclesiastical affairs of impor- 
tance, few will question his right to a distinguished place 
among the saintly scholars of the West. 

Irish monks, abroad as well as at home, were pre-eminently 
students and exponents of Holy Scripture. Sedulius wrote a 
commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul ; John Scotus Erigena 
composed a work, "De Praedestinatlone" ("Concerning Pre- 
destination") ; Dungal was not only an astronomer, but also an 
excellent theologian, as is clear from his defence of Catholic 
teaching on the invocation of saints and the veneration of their 
relics. His knowledge of Sacred Scripture and of the Fathers 
is exceedingly remarkable. 

St. Columbanus, besides other works, is said to have com- 
posed an exposition of the Psalms, which is mentioned in the 
catalogue of St. Gall's library, but which cannot now be 
identified with certainty. The writings of this abbot are said 
to have brought about a more frequent use of confession both 
in the world and in monasteries ; and his legislation regarding 
the Blessed Sacrament fostered eucharistic devotion. 

Marianus Scotus is the author of a commentary on the 
Psalms, so precious that rarely was it allowed to pass beyond 
the walls of the monastic library. His commentary on St. 
Paul's Epistles is regarded as his most famous production. 
Herein he shows acquaintance with Saints Jerome, Augustine, 
Gregory, and Leo, with Cassiodorus, Origen, Alcuin, Cassian, 
and Peter the Deacon. He completed the work on the 17th 


May, 1079, and ends the volume by asking the reader to pray 
for the salvation of his soul. 

TRANSCRIPTION : In all the monasteries a vast number 
of scribes were continually employed in multiplying copies of 
the Sacred Scriptures. These masterpieces of calligraphy, 
written by Irish hands, have been scattered throughout the 
libraries of Europe, and many fragments remain to the present 
day. The beauty of these manuscripts is praised by all, and 
the names of the best transcribers often find mention in monas- 
tic annals. The work was irksome, but it was looked upon as a 
privilege and meritorious. 

It remains to speak of that glorious monument of the Irish 
monks, the abbey of St. Gall, in Switzerland. It was here 
that Celtic influence was most felt and endured the longest. 
Within its walls for centuries the sacred sciences were taught 
and classic authors studied. Many of its monks excelled as 
musicians and poets, while others were noted for their skill 
in calligraphy and the fine arts. The library was only in its 
infancy in the eighth century, but gradually it grew, and even- 
tually became one of the largest and richest in the world. The 
brethren were in correspondence with all the learned houses 
of France and Italy, and there was constant mutual inter- 
change of books, sacred and scientific, between them. 

They manufactured their own parchment from the hides of 
the wild beasts that roamed in the forests around them, and 
bound their books in boards of wood clamped with iron or 

Such was the monastery of St. Gall, which owes its incep- 
tion to the journey through Europe of the great Columbanus 
and his monk-companions — men whose lives, according to 
Bede, procured for the religious habit great veneration, so that 
wherever they appeared they were received with joy, as God's 
own servants. *'And what will be the reward," asks the 
biographer of Marianus Scotus, "of these pilgrim-monks who 
left the sweet soil of their native land, its mountains and 
hills, its valleys and its groves, its rivers and pure fountains, 
and went like the children of Abraham without hesitation into 
the land which God had pointed out to them?" He answers 
thus: "They will dwell in the house of the Lord with the 


angels and archangels of God forever; they will behold the 
God of gods m Sion, to whom be honor and glory for ever and 

Refeeences ; 

Lanigan: Ecclesiastical History of Ireland (Dublin, 1829); 
Montalembert : Monks of the West (Edinburgh, 1861); Moran: 
Irish Saints in Great Britain (Dublin, 1903); Dalgairns: Apostles 
of Europe (London, 1876) ; Healy : Ireland's Ancient Schools and 
Scholars (Dublin, 1890); Barrett: A Calendar of Scottish Saints 
(Fort Augustus, 1904) ; Stokes: Six Months in the Apennines (Lon- 
don, 1892), Three Months in the Forests of France (London, 1895) ; 
Fowler: Vita S. Columbse (Oxford, 1894) ; Wattenbach : Articles in 
Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 7 (Belfast, 1859) ; Gougaud: Les 
Chretientes celtiques (Paris, 1911); Hogan: Articles in Irish Ec- 
clesiastical Record, 1894, 1895 ; Drane : Christian Schools and Schol- 
ars (London, 1881). 


By W11.UAM H. Babcock, LL.B. 

THE beginning of Irish navigation, like the beginning of 
everything else, is hidden in the mist of antiquity. Ves- 
sels of some kind obviously must have borne the successive 
waves of immigrants or invaders to the island. Naturally they 
would remain in use afterwards for trade, travel, exploration, 
and war. Irish ships may have been among those of the 
Breton fleet that Caesar dispersed at Vannes after an obstinate 
struggle. Two or three centuries later we find Niall of the 
Nine Hostages making nautical descents on the neighboring 
shores, especially Britain: and there is every probability that 
ships of the island conveyed some at least of the ''Scots" 
(Irish) whom Gildas in the sixth century describes as joining 
the Picts in furiously storming the Roman wall. 

The equally adventurous but more pacific work of explora- 
tion went on also, if we may judge by that extraordinary series 
of Irish sea-sagas, the Imrama, comprising the Voyages of 
Bran, Maelduin, the Hui Corra, and St. Brendan — the last- 
mentioned deservedly the most famous. These vary in their 
literary merits and in the merits of their several parts, for they 
have been successively rewritten at different periods, receiving 
always something of the color, belief, and adornment which be- 
longed to the writer's time ; but under all may be dimly traced, 
as in a palimpsest, the remote pagan original. At their best 
they embody a lofty and touching poetry very subtle and sig- 
nificant, as when we read of Bran's summoning by a visitant 
of supernatural beauty to the isles of undying delight, where a 
thousand years are but as a day; his return with a companion 
who had been overcome by longing for Ireland and home ; the 
man's falling to ashes at the first touch of the native soil, as 
though he had been long dead ; and the flight of Bran and his 
crew from the real living world to the islands of the blessed. 
At least equally fine and stirring is St. Brendan's interview with 
the exiled spirit of Heaven, whose "sin was but little", so that 
he and his fellows were given only the pleasing penance of sing- 
ing delightfully, in the guise of beautiful birds, the praises of 


the God who showed them mercy and grace, amid the charms 
of an earthly paradise. "Then all the birds sang evensong, so 
that it was an heavenly noise to hear." 

It is not very surprising that St. Brendan's legend, with such 
qualities in prose and verse, made itself at home in many 
lands and languages, and became for centuries a widespread 
popular favorite and matter of general belief, also influencing 
the most permanent literature of a high contemplative cast, 
which we might suppose to be out of touch with it altogether. 
Certain of its more unusual incidents are found even in Arab 
writings of romance founded on fact, as in Edrisi's narrative 
of the Magrurin explorers of Lisbon and the adventures of 
Sinbad related in the Arabian Nights; but perhaps here we 
have a case of reciprocal borrowing such as may well occur 
when ships' companies of different nations meet. 

The most conspicuous, insistent, and repeated feature of 
all these Imrama is a belief in Atlantic islands fair enough 
or wonderful enough to tempt the shore dwellers of Ire- 
land far away and hold them spell-bound for years. It is 
easy to ascribe these pictures to sunset on the ocean, or the 
wonders of mirage; but all the time, within long sailing dis- 
tance, there actually were islands of delightful climate and 
exceeding beauty. These had been occasionally reached from 
the Mediterranean ever since early Carthaginian times, as 
classical authors seem to tell us; why not also from Ireland, 
perhaps not quite so distant? It is undoubted that the 
Canary Islands were never really altogether forgotten, and the 
same is probably true of the Madeiras and all three groups of 
Azores, though the knowledge that lingered in Ireland was a 
distorted glimmering tradition of old voyages, occasionally 
inciting to new ventures in the same field. 

Some have supposed, though without sufficient evidence, that 
Saint Brendan even made his way to America, and parts of that 
shore line in several different latitudes have been selected as 
the scene of the exploit. His first entry into serious geography 
is in the fine maps of Dulcert, 1339, and the Pizigani, 1367, 
both of which plainly label Madeira, Porto Santo, and Las 
Desertas— "The Fortunate Islands of St. Brandan." That 
there may be no possibility of misunderstanding, the Pizigani 


brothers present a full-length portrait of the holy navigator 
himself bending over these islands with hands of benediction. 
The inscription, though not the picture, was common, thus 
applied, on the maps of the next century or two, and no other 
interpretation of his voyage found any place until a later time. 

Of course the fourteenth century was a long way from the 
sixth, when the voyage was supposed to have been made, and 
we cannot take so late a verdict as convincing proof of any 
fact. But it at least exhibits the current interpretation of the 
written narrative among geographers and mariners, the people 
best able to judge ; and here the interval was much less. The 
story itself seems to corroborate them in a general way, if read 
naturally. One would say that it tells of a voyage to the 
Canaries, of which one is unmistakably "the island under 
Mount Atlas", and that this was undertaken by way of the 
Azores and Madeira, with inevitable experience of great beauty 
in some islands and volcanic terrors in others. Madeira may 
well have been pitched upon by the interpreters as the suit- 
able scene of a particularly long tarrying by the way. Of 
course magic filled out all gaps of real knowledge, and wonders 
grew with each new rewriting. 

Whatever Brendan did, there is no doubt that Irish mariner- 
monks, incited by the great awakening which followed St. 
Patrick's mission, covered many seas in their frail vessels 
during the next three or four centuries. They set up a 
flourishing religious establishment in Orkney, made stepping 
stones of the intervening islands, and reached Iceland some 
time in the eighth century, if not earlier. The Norsemen, fol- 
lowing in their tracks as always, found them there, and the 
earliest Icelandic writings record their departure, leaving be- 
hind them books, bells, and other souvenirs on an islet off 
shore which still bears their name. 

Did they keep before the Norsemen to America too? At 
least the Norsemen thought so. For centuries the name Great 
Ireland or Whitemen's Land was accepted in Norse geography 
as meaning a region far west of Ireland, a parallel to Great 
Sweden (Russia), which lay far east of Sweden. The saga of 
Thorfinn Karlsefni, first to attempt colonizing America, makes 
it plain that his followers believed Great Ireland to be some- 



where in that region, and it is expHcitly located near Wineland 
by the twelfth century Landnamabok. Also there were spe- 
cific tales afloat of a distinguished Icelander lost at sea, who 
was afterward found in a western region by an Irish vessel 
long driven before the storm. The version most relied on came 
through one Rafn, who had dwelt in Limerick; also through 
Thorfinn, earl of the Orkneys. 

Brazil, the old Irish Breasail, was another name for land 
west of Ireland — where there is none short of America — on 
very many medieval maps, of which perhaps a dozen are 
older than the year 1400, the earliest yet found being that of 
Dalorto, 1325. Usually it appears as a nearly circular disc 
of land opposite Munster, at first altogether too near the Irish 
coast, as indeed the perfectly well-known Corvo was drawn 
much too near the coast of Spain, or as even in the sixteenth 
century, when Newfoundland had been repeatedly visited, that 
island was shifted by divers mapmakers eastward towards Ire- 
land, almost to the conventional station of Brazil. Also, not 
long afterwards, the maps of Nicolay and Zaltieri adopted the 
reverse treatment of transferring Brazil to Newfoundland 
waters, as if recognizing past error and restoring its proper 

The name Brazil appears not to have been adopted by the 
Norsemen, but there is one fifteenth century map, perhaps of 
1480, preserved in Milan, which shows this large disc-form 
"Brazil" just below Greenland ("Ilia Verde"), in such relation 
that the mapmaker really must have known of Labrador 
under the former name and believed that it could be readily 
reached from that Norse colony. 

It seems altogether likely that "Brazil" was applied to the 
entire outjutting region of America surrounding the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence — that part of this continent which is by far the 
nearest Ireland. Besides the facts above stated, certain coin- 
cidences of real geography and of these old maps favor that 
belief, and they are quite unlikely to have been guessed or 
invented. Thus certain maps, beginning with 1375, while keep- 
ing the circular external outline of Ireland, reduce the land 
area to a mere ring, enclosing an expanse of water dotted 
with islands; and certain other maps show it still nearly cir- 


cular externally, and solid, but divided into two parts by a 
curved channel nearly from north to south. The former ex- 
position is possible enough to one more concerned with the 
nearly enclosed Gulf of St. Lawrence and its islands than with 
its two comparatively narrow outlets; the second was after- 
ward repeated approximately by Gastoldi's map illustrating 
Ramusio when he was somehow moved to minimize the width 
of the Gulf, though well remembering the straits of Belle Isle 
and Cabot. There are some other coincidences, but it is un- 
necessary to dwell on them. Land west of Ireland must be 
either pure fancy or the very region in question, and it is 
hardly believable that fancy could guess so accurately as to 
two different interpretations of real though unusual geography 
and give them right latitude, with such an old Irish name 
(Brazil) as might naturally have been conferred in the early 
voyaging times. That an extensive region, chiefly mainland, 
should be represented as an island is no objection, as anyone 
will see by examining the maps which break up everything 
north of South America in the years next following the 
achievements of Columbus and Cabot. There was a natural 
tendency to expect nothing but islands short of Asia. 

It seems likely, therefore, that America was actually reached 
by the Irish even before the Norsemen and certainly long 
before all other Europeans. 

Refebences : 

Babcock: Early Norse Visits to North America, Smithsonian Pub- 
lication 2138 (1913); Baring-Gould; Curious Myths of the Middle 
Ages; Beauvois: The Discovery of the New World by the Irish; 
Cantwell : Pre-Columbian Discoveries of America ; Daly : The Legend 
of St. Brandan, Celtic Review, vol. I, A Sequel to the Voyage of St. 
Brandan, Celtic Review, Jan. 13, 1909; Hardiman: The History of 
Galway; Hull: Irish Episodes of Icelandic History; Joyce: The 
Voyage of Maelduin ; Nutt : The A^oyage of Bran ; Stokes : The Voyage 
of Maelduin (Revue Celtique, vol. 9), Voyage of Snedgus (Revue 
Celtique, vol. 9), Voyage of the Hui Corra (Revue Celtique, vol. 14) ; 
Moran: Brendaniana. 


By Rev. P. S. Dinneen, M. A., R. U. I. 

^ ^TTHE distinguishing property of man," says Cicero, "is to 
•*• search for and follow after truth. Therefore, when 
disengaged from our necessary cares and concerns, we desire 
to see, to hear, and to learn, and we esteem knowledge of 
things obscure or wonderful as indispensable to our happi- 
ness." {De Officiisl.,^). 

I claim for the Irish race that throughout their history they 
have cut down their bodily necessities to the quick, in order to 
devote time and energy to the pursuit of knowledge ; that they 
have engaged in intellectual pursuits, not infrequently of a 
high order, on a low basis of material comfort ; that they have 
persevered in the quest of learning under unparalleled hard- 
ships and difficulties, even in the dark night of "a nation's 
eclipse", when a school was an unlawful assembly and school- 
teaching a crime. I claim, moreover, that, when circumstances 
were favorable, no people have shown a more adventurous 
spirit or a more chivalrous devotion in the advancement and 
spread of learning. 

Love of learning implies more than a natural aptitude for 
acquiring information. It connotes a zest for knowledge that 
is recondite and attainable only at the expense of ease, of 
leisure, of the comforts and luxuries of life, and a zeal for 
the cultivation of the mental faculties. It is of the soul and 
not of the body; it refines, elevates, adorns. It is allied to 
sensibility, to keenness of vision, to the close observation of 
mental phenomena. Its possessor becomes a citizen of the 
known world. His mind broadens; he compares, contrasts, 
conciliates ; he brings together the new and the old, the near 
and the distant, the permanent and the transitory, and weaves 
from them all the web of systematized human thought. 

I am not here concerned with the extent of Ireland's con- 
tribution to the sum of human learning, nor with the career of 
her greatest scholars ; I am merely describing the love of learn- 
ing which IS characteristic of the race, and which it seems best 
to present in a brief study of distinct lypes drawn from 
various periods of Irish history. 


In the pre-Christian period the Druid was the chief repre- 
sentative of the learning of the race. He was the adviser of 
kings and princes, and the instructor of their children. His 
knowledge was of the recondite order and beyond the reach of 
ordinary persons. The esteem in which he was held by all 
classes of the people proves their love for the learning for 
which he stood. 

Patrick came : and with him came a wider horizon of learn- 
ing and greater facilities for the acquisition and diffusion of 
knowledge. Monastic schools sprang up in all directions — at 
Clonard, Armagh, Clonmacnois, Bangor, Lismore, Kildare, 
Innis fallen. These schools were celebrated throughout 
Europe in the earlier middle ages, and from the fifth to the 
ninth century Ireland led the nations of Europe in learning 
and deserved the title of the "Island of Saints and Scholars." 
Our type is the student in one of these monastic schools. He 
goes out from his parents and settles down to study in the 
environs of the monastery. He is not rich; he resides in a 
hut; his time is divided between study, prayer, and manual 
labor. He becomes a monk, only to increase in devotion to 
learning and to accentuate his privations. He copies and illu- 
minates manuscripts. He memorizes the Psalms. He glosses 
the Vulgate Scriptures with vernacular notes. He receives 
ordination, and, realizing that there are benighted countries 
ten times as large as his native land beyond the seas, and, 
burning with zeal for the spread of the Gospel and the ad- 
vancement of learning, sails for Britain, or passes into Gaul, 
or reaches the slopes of the Apennines, or the outskirts of the 
Black Forest. The rest of his life is devoted to the foundation 
of monasteries to which schools are attached, to the building 
of churches, and to the diffusion around him of every known 
branch of knowledge. He may have taken books from Ire- 
land over seas, and, of these, relics are now to be found among 
the treasures of the ancient libraries of Europe. Columcille, 
Columbanus, Adamnan, Gall, Virgilius occur to the mind in 
dwelling on this type. 

The hereditary seanchaidhe, who treasured up the tradi- 
tional lore of the clan and its chief, was held in high honor and 
enjoyed extraordinary privileges. He held a freehold. He 

40 the: glories of IRICI.AND 

was high in the graces of the chief, and officiated at his inaugu- 

An important type is the Irish ecclesiastical student abroad 
in the penal days. School teaching, unless at the sacrifice of 
Faith, was a crime in Ireland, and the training required for the 
priesthood had to be obtained on the continent. The Irish out 
of their poverty established colleges in Rome (1628), Sala- 
manca (1593), Seville (1612), Alcala (1590), Lisbon (1593), 
Louvain (1624), Antwerp (1629), Douai (1577), Lille (1610), 
Bordeaux (1603), Toulouse (1659), Paris (1605), and else- 
where. As late as 1795 these colleges contained 478 students, 
and some of them are still in existence. The young student in 
going abroad risked everything. He often returned watched by 
spies, with his life in danger. Yet the supply never failed ; the 
colleges flourished; and those who returned diffused around 
them not only learning but the urbanity and refinement which 
were a striking fruit and mark of their studies abroad. 

Another type is the Irish scribe. In the days of Ireland's 
fame and prosperity and of the flood-tide of her native lan- 
guage, he was a skilled craftsman, and the extant specimens of 
his work are unsurpassed of their kind. But I prefer to look 
at him at a later period, when he became our sole substitute 
for the printer and when his diligence preserved for us all that 
remains of a fading literature. He was miserably poor. He 
toiled through the day at the spade or the plough, or guided 
the shuttle through the loom. At night, by the flare of the 
turf-fire or the fitful light of a splinter of bogwood, he made 
his copy of poem or tract or tale, which but for him would 
have perished. The copies are often ill-spelt and ill-written, 
but with all their faults they are as noble a monument to 
national love of learning as any nation can boast of. 

In our gallery of types we must not forget the character 
wkom English writers contemptuously called the "hedge- 
schoolmaster." The hedge-school in its most elemental state 
was an open-air daily assemblage of youths in pursuit of 
knowledge. Inasmuch as the law had refused learning a 
fitting temple in which to abide and be honored, she was led 
by her votaries into the open, and there, beside the fragrant 
hedge, if you will, with the green sward for benches, and the 


canopy of heaven for dome, she was honored in Ireland, even 
as she had been honored ages before in Greece, in Palestine, 
and by our primordial Celtic ancestors themselves. The hedge- 
schoolmaster conducted the rites, and the air resounded with 
the sonorous hexameters of Virgil and the musical odes of 

In the Irish-speaking portions of the country the hedge- 
schoolmaster was often also a poet who wrote mellifluous 
songs in Irish, which were sung throughout the entire district, 
and sometimes earned him enduring fame. Eoghan Ruadh 
O'Sullivan and Andrew MacGrath, called An Mangaire Sugach 
or "the Jolly Pedlar," are well-known instances of this type. 

The poor scholar is another type that under varying forms 
and under various circumstances has ever trod the stage of 
Irish history. From an ancient Irish manuscript (See O'Curry, 
Manners and Customs, II, 79, 80) we learn that Adamnan, the 
biographer of St. Columcille, and some other youths studied 
at Clonard and were supported by the neighborhood. The 
poor scholar more than any other type embodies the love of 
learning of the Irish race. In the schools which preceded the 
National, he appeared in a most interesting stage of develop- 
ment. He came from a distance, attracted by the reputation 
of a good teacher and the regularity of a well-conducted school. 
He came, avowedly poor. His only claim on the generosity 
of his teacher and of the public was a marked aptitude for 
learning and an ardent desire for study and cultivation of 
mind. He did not look for luxuries. He was satisfied, if his 
bodily wants were reasonably supplied, even with the incon- 
veniences of frequent change of abode. A welcome was ex- 
tended to him on all sides. His hosts and patrons honored 
his thirst for knowledge and tenacity of purpose. He was 
expected to help the students in the house where he found 
entertainment, and it may not have been unpleasing to him on 
occasion to display his talents before his host. When school 
was over, it was not unusual to find him surrounded by a 
group of school-companions, each pressing his claim to enter- 
tain him for the night. 

Despite the hospitality of his patrons, the poor scholar often 
felt the bitterness of his dependent state, but he bore it with 


equanimity, his hand ever eagerly stretched out for the prize 
of learning. What did learning bring him? Why was he so 
eager to bear for its sake 

"all the thousand aches 
That patient merit of the unworthy takes"? 

Sometimes he became a priest; sometimes his life was pur- 
poseless and void. But he was ever urged onward by the fas- 
cination of learning and of the cultivation of the nobler part 
of his nature. 

As might have been expected, the Irish who have emigrated 
to the American and Australian continents have given touch- 
ing proof of their devotion to the cause of learning. I have 
space only for a few pathetic examples. 

An Irish workman in the United States, seeing my name in 
connection with an Irish Dictionary, wrote to me a few years 
ago to ask how he might procure one, as, he said, an Italian in 
the works had asked him the meaning of Erin go bragh, and 
he felt ashamed to be unable to explain it. 

A man who, at the age of three, had emigrated from Clare 
in the famine time, wrote to me recently from Australia in 
the Irish language and character. 

An old man named John O'Regan of New Zealand, who 
had been twelve years in exile in the United States and forty- 
eight on the Australian continent, with failing eyesight, in a 
letter that took him from January to June of the year 1906 to 
write, endeavored to set down scraps of Irish lore which he 
had carried with him from the old country and which had 
clung to his memory to the last. 

"In my digging life in the quarries," he says, "books were 
not a part of our swag (prayerbook excepted). In 1871, when 
I had a long seat of work before me, I sent for McCurtin's 
Dictionary to Melbourne. It is old and wanting in the intro- 
ductory part, but for all was splendid and I loved it as my 
life." (See Gaelic Journal, Dec, 1906.) 

References : 

Joyce : A Social History of Ancient Ireland (2 vols., 2d ed., Dublin, 
1913); Healy: Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars (Dublin, 


1890), Maynooth College Centenary History (Dublin, 1895) ; 
O'Curry: Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, (3 vols., Dub- 
lin and London, 1873), Manuscript Materials of Irish History, re- 
issue (Dublin, 1873) ; Carleton : Traits and Stories of the Irish 
Peasantry, especially vol. 3, The Poor Scholar; Montalembert : The 
Monks of the West, authorized translation, (7 vols., London, 1861) ; 
Meyer: Learning in Ireland in the Fifth Century (Dublin, 1913); 
Dinneen: Poems of Eoghan Ruadh O'Sullivan, Introduction (Dub- 
lin, 1902), The Maigue Poets, Introduction (Dublin, 1906); Boyle: 
The Irish College in Paris 1578-1901, with a brief sketch of the 
other Irish Colleges in France (Dublin, 1901) ; Irish Ecclesiastical 
Record, new series, vol. VIII, 307, 465; 3rd series, vol. VII, 350, 
437, 641. 



By Sir Bertram C. A. Windi.^, Sc.D., M.D., 
President, University College, Cork. 

WE may divide our survey of the debt owed to Ireland by 
science into three periods : the earliest, the interme- 
diate, and the latest. 

In the earHest period the names which come before us are 
chiefly those of compilers such as Augustin, a monk and an 
Irishman who wrote at Carthage, in Africa, in the seventh 
century, a Latin treatise on The Wonderful Things of the 
Sacred Scripture, still extant, in which, in connection with 
Joshua's miracle, a very full account of the astronomical 
knowledge of the period, Ptolemaic, but in many ways remark- 
ably accurate, is given. There are, however, three distinguished 
names. Virgil the Geometer, i. e., Fergil (O'Farrell), was 
Abbot of Aghaboe, went to the continent in 741, and was after- 
wards Bishop of Salzburg. He died in 785. He is remem- 
bered by his controversies with St. Boniface, one of which is 
concerned with the question of the Antipodes. Virgil is sup- 
posed to have been the first to teach that the earth is spherical. 
So celebrated was he that it has been thought that a part of 
the favor in which the author of the Aeneid was held by 
medieval churchmen was due to a confusion between his name 
and that of the geometer, sometimes spoken of as St. Virgil. 

Dicuil, also an Irish monk, was the author of a remarkable 
work on geography, De Mensura Provinciarum Orbis Terrae, 
which was written in 825, and contains interesting references 
to Iceland and especially to the navigable canal which once 
connected the Nile with the Red Sea. He wrote between 814 
and 816 a work on astronomy which has never been published. 
It is probable, but not certain, that he belonged to Clonmacnois. 

Dungal, like the two others named above, was an astronomer. 
He probably belonged to Bangor, and left his native land early 
in the ninth century. In 811 he wrote a remarkable work, 
Dungali Reclusi Epistola de duplici solis eclipsi anno 8io ad 
Carolum 'Magnum. This letter, which is still extant, was 
written at the request of Charlemagne, who considered its 


author to be the most learned astronomer in existence and 
most likely to clear up the problem submitted to him. 

Before passing to the next period, a word should be said as 
to the medieval physicians, often if not usually belonging to 
families of medical men, such as the Leahys and O'Hickeys, 
and attached hereditarily to the greater clans. These men 
were chiefly compilers, but such works of theirs as we have 
throw light upon the state of medical knowledge in their day. 
Thus there is extant a treatise on Materia Medica (1459) J 
written by Cormac MacDuinntsleibhe (Dunleavy), hereditary 
physician to the clan of O'Donnell in Ulster. A more interest- 
ing work is the Ctirsus Medicus, consisting of six books on 
Physiology, three on Pathology, and four on Semeiotica, 
written in the reign of Charles I. of England by Nial O'Glacan, 
born in Donegal, and at one time physician to the king of 

O'Glacan's name introduces us to the middle period, if 
indeed it does not belong there. Inter arma silent leges, and 
it may be added, scientific work. The troublous state of Ireland 
for many long years fully explains the absence of men of 
science in any abundance until the end of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Still there are three names which can never be forgotten, 
belonging to the period in question. Sir Hans Sloane was 
born at Killileagh, in Ulster, in 1660. He studied medicine 
abroad, went to London where he settled, and was made a 
Fellow of the Royal Society. He published a work on the 
West Indies, but his claim to undying memory is the fact that 
it was the bequest of his most valuable and extensive collec- 
tions to the nation which was the beginning and foundation of 
the British Museum, perhaps the most celebrated institution 
of its kind in the world. Sloane's collection, it should be added, 
contained an immense number of valuable books and manu- 
scripts, as well as of objects more usually associated with the 
iaea of a museum. He died in 1753. 

The Hon. Robert Boyle was born at Lismore, in the county 
Waterford, in 1627, being the fourteenth child of the first 
Earl of Cork. On his tombstone he is described as "The 
Father of Chemistry and the Uncle of the Earl of Cork", and, 
indeed, in his Skyptical Chimist (1661), he assailed, and for 


the time overthrew, the idea of the alchemists that there was a 
materia prima, asserting as he did that theory of chemical 
"elements" which held good until the discoveries in connec- 
tion with radium led to a modification in chemical teaching! 
This may be said of Boyle, that his writings profoundly modi- 
fied scientific opinion, and his name will always stand in the 
forefront amongst those of chemists. He made important 
improvements in the air-pump, was one of the earliest Fellows 
of the Royal Society, and founded the "Boyle Lectures." He 
died in 1691. 

Sir Thomas Molyneux was born in Dublin, in 1661, of a 
family which had settled in Ireland about 1560-70. He prac- 
tised as a physician in his native city, was the first person to 
describe the Irish Elk and to demonstrate the fact that the 
Giant's Causeway was a natural and not, as had been pre- 
viously supposed, an artificial production. He was the author 
of many other scientific observations. He died in 1733. 

We may now turn to more recent times, and it will be con- 
venient to divide our subjects according to the branch of 
science in which they were distinguished, and to commence 


of whom Ireland may boast of a most distinguished galaxy. 
Sir William Rowan Hamilton (b. in Dublin 1805, d. 1865), 
belonged to a family, long settled in Ireland, but of Scottish 
extraction. He was a most precocious child. He read Hebrew 
at the age of seven, and at twelve, had studied Latin, Greek, 
and four leading continental languages, as well as Persian, 
Syriac, Arabic, Sanscrit, and other tongues. In 1819 he wrote 
a letter to the Persian ambassador in that magnate's own lan- 
guage. After these linguistic contests, he early turned to 
mathematics, in which he was apparently self-taught; yet, in 
his seventeenth year he discovered an error in Laplace's Meca- 
nique Celeste. He entered Trinity College where he won all 
kinds of distinctions, being famous not merely as a mathema- 
tician, but as a poet, a scholar, and a metaphysician. He was 
appointed Professor of Astronomy and Astronomer Royal 
whilst still an undergraduate. He predicted "conical refrac- 


tion," afterwards experimentally proved by another Irishman, 
Humphrey Lloyd. He twice received the Gold Medal of the 
Royal Society: (i) for optical discoveries; (ii) for his theory 
of a general method of dynamics, which resolves an extremely 
abstruse problem relative to a system of bodies in motion. He 
was the discoverer of a new calculus, that of Quaternions, 
which attracted the attention of Professor Tait of Edinburgh, 
and was by him made comprehensible to lesser mathematicians. 
It is far too abstruse for description here. 

Sir George Gabriel Stokes (born in Sligo 1819, d. 1903) 
was, if not the greatest mathematician, at least among the 
greatest, of the last hundred years. He was educated in Cam- 
bridge, where he spent the rest of his life, being appointed 
Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1849, and celebrating 
the jubilee of that appointment in 1899. He was member of 
parliament for his University, and for a time occupied the 
presidential chair of the Royal Society. He devoted himself, 
inter alia, to optical work, and is perhaps best known by those 
researches which deal with the undulatory theory of light. It 
was on this subject that he delivered the Burnett lectures in 
Aberdeen (1883-1885). 

James McCullagh, the son of a poor farmer, was born in 
Tyrone in 1809, d. 1847. His early death, due to his own 
hand in a fit of insanity, cut short his work, but enough re- 
mains to permit him to rank amongst the great mathematicians 
of all time, his most important work being his memoir on sur- 
faces of the second order. 

Humphrey Lloyd (b. in Dublin 1800, d. 1881), F. R. S. 
His father was Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, a position 
subsequently occupied also by the son. Lloyd's work was 
chiefly concerned with optics and magnetism, and it was in con- 
nection with the former that he carried out what was probably 
the most important single piece of work of his life, namely, 
the experimental proof of the phenomenon of conical refrac- 
tion which had been predicted by Sir William Hamilton. He 
was responsible for the erection of the Magnetic Observatory 
in Dublin, and the instruments used in it were constructed 
under his observation and sometimes from his designs or 
modifications. He was also a meteorologist of distinction. 

48 THt: GlvORIIvS 01^ IRELAND 

George Salmon (b. in Dublin 1819, d. 1904), like the last 
mentioned subject, was, at the time of his death, Provost of 
Trinity College, Dublin. Besides theological writings, he con- 
tributed much to mathematical science, especially in the direc- 
tions of conic sections, analytic geometry, higher plane curves, 
and the geometry of three dimensions. He was a Fellow of 
the Royal Society, and received the Copley and Royal medals, 
as well as distinctions from many universities and learned 

John Casey (b. Kilkenny 1820, d. 1891), F. R. S., was edu- 
cated at a National School and became a teacher in one in later 
years. Entirely self-taught as a mathematician, he raised him- 
self from the humble position which he occupied to be a uni- 
versity professor (in the Catholic University of Ireland, and 
afterwards in the Royal University), and earned the highest 
reputation as one of the greatest authorities on plane geometry. 
He was a correspondent of eminent mathematicians all over 
the world. 

Henry Hennessey (b. in Cork 1826, d. 1901), F. R. S., was 
also a professor in the Catholic University of Ireland and 
afterwards in the Royal College of Science in Dublin. He was 
a writer on mathematics, terrestrial physics, and climatology. 

Benjamin Williamson (b. in Cork 1827), F. R. S., is a 
Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and a distinguished 
writer on mathematical subjects, especially on the differen- 
tial, integral, and infinitesimal calculuses. 

Sir Joseph Larmor (b. in Antrim 1857), F. R. S., was edu- 
cated at Queen's College, Belfast, and in Cambridge, in which 
last place he has spent his life as a professor. He now repre- 
sents the University in parliament and is secretary to the 
Royal Society. He is well-known for his writings on the 
ether and on other physical as well as mathematical subjects. 


William Parsons, Earl of Rosse (b. in York 1800, d. 1867), 
F. R. S., was a very distinguished astronomer who experi- 
mented in fluid lenses and made great improvements in cast- 
ing specula for reflecting telescopes. From 1842-45 he was 
engaged upon the construction, in his park at Parsonstown, of 

IRISH mi:n o]? scie:nc£; 49 

his great reflecting telescope 58 feet long. This instrument, 
which cost £30,000, long remained the largest in the world. He 
was president of the Royal Society from 1848 to 1854. 

Sir Howard Grubb (b. 1844), F. R. S., is known all over 
the world for his telescopes and for the remarkable advances 
which he has made in the construction of lenses for instru- 
ments of the largest size. 

Sir Robert Ball (b. in Dublin 1840, d. 1913), F. R. S. Origi- 
nally Lord Rosse's astronomer at Parsonstown, he migrated 
as professor to Trinity College, Dublin, and subsequently 
became Lowndean Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge. He 
was a great authority on the mathematical theory of screws, 
and his popular works on astronomy have made him known 
to a far wider circle of readers than those who can grapple 
with his purely scientific treatises. 

William Edward Wilson (b. Co. Westmeath 1851, d. 1908), 
F. R. S. A man of independent means, he erected, with the 
help of his father, an astronomical observatory at his residence. 
In this well-equipped building he made many photographic 
researches, especially into the nature of nebulae. He also 
devoted himself to solar physics, and wrote some remarkable 
papers on the sudden appearance in 1902 of the star Nova 
Persei. He was the first to call attention to the probability 
that radium plays a part in the maintenance of solar heat. In 
fact, the science of radio-activity was engaging his keenest 
interest at the time of his early death. 

A. A. Rambaut (b. Waterford 1859), F. R. S., formerly 
Astronomer Royal for Ireland and now Radcliffe Observer 
at Oxford, is one of the leading astronomers of the day. 


Lord Kelvin, better known as Sir William Thompson (b. 
Belfast 1824, d. 1907), F. R. S. Amongst the greatest physi- 
cists who have ever lived, his name comes second only to that 
of Newton. He was educated at Cambridge, became professor 
of natural philosophy in Glasgow University in 1846, and cele- 
brated the jubilee of his appointment in 1896. To the public 
his greatest achievement was the electric cabling of the Atlantic 
Ocean, for which he was knighted in 1866, His electrometers 


and electric meters, his sounding apparatus, and his mariners* 
compass are all well-known and highly valued instruments. To 
his scientific fellows, however, his greatest achievements were 
in the field of pure science, especially in connection with his 
thermodynamic researches, including the doctrine of the dis- 
sipation or degradation of energy. To this brief statement 
may be added mention of his work in connection with hydro- 
dynamics and his magnetic and electric discoveries. His 
papers in connection with wave and vortex movements are also 
most remarkable. He was awarded the Royal and Copley 
medals and was an original member of the Order of Merit. 
He received distinctions from many universities and learned 

George Francis Fitzgerald (b. Dublin 1851, d. 1901), F. R. S., 
was fellow and professor of natural philosophy in Trinity Col- 
lege, Dublin, where he was educated. He was the first person 
to call the attention of the world to the importance of Hertz's 
experiment. Perhaps his most important work, interrupted by 
his labors in connection with education and terminated by his 
early death, was that in connection with the nature of the ether. 

George Johnston Stoney (b. King's Co. 1826, d. 1911), 
F. R. S., after being astronomer at Parsonstown and professor 
of natural philosophy at Galway, became secretary to the 
Queen's University and occupied that position until the dissolu- 
tion of the university in 1882. He wrote many papers on 
geometrical optics and on molecular physics, but his great claim 
to remembrance is that he first suggested, "on the basis of 
Faraday's law of Electrolysis, that an absolute unit of quantity 
of electricity exists in that amount of it which attends each 
chemical bond or valency and gave the name, now generally 
adopted, of electron to this small quantity." He proposed the 
electronic theory of the origin of the complex ether vibrations 
which proceed from a molecule emitting light. 

John Tyndall (b. Leighlin Bridge, Co. Carlow, 1820, d. 
1893), F. R. S., professor at the Royal Institution and a fellow- 
worker in many ways with Huxley, especially on the subject of 
glaciers. He wrote also on heat as a mode of motion and was 
the author of many scientific papers, but will, perhaps, be best 
remembered as the author of a Presidential Address to the 
British Association in Belfast (1874), which was the high- 

IRISH ME:N of science 51 

water mark of the mid- Victorian materialism at its most trium- 
phant moment. 


Richard Kirwan (b. Galway 1733, d. 1812), F. R. S. A man 
of independent means, he devoted himself to the study of chem- 
istry and mineralogy and was awarded the Copley medal of 
the Royal Society. He published works on mineralogy and on 
the analysis of mineral waters, and was the first in Ireland to 
publish analyses of soils for agricultural purposes, a research 
which laid the foundation of scientific agriculture in Great 
Britain and Ireland. 

Maxwell Simpson (b. Armagh 1815, d. 1902), F. R. S., held 
the chair of chemistry in Queen's College, Cork, for twenty 
years and published a number of papers in connection with 
his subject and especially with the behavior of cyanides, with 
the study of which compounds his name is most associated. 

Cornelius O'Sullivan (b. Brandon, 1841, d. 1897), F. R. S., 
was for many years chemist to the great firm of Bass & Co., 
brewers at Burton-on-Trent, and in that capacity became one 
of the leading exponents of the chemistry of fermentation in 
the world. 

James Emerson Reynolds (b. Dublin 1844), F. R. S., pro- 
fessor of chemistry. Trinity College, Dublin, for many years, 
discovered the primary thiocarbamide and a number of other 
chemical substances, including a new class of colloids and 
several groups of organic and other compounds of the element 

Among others only the names of the following can be men- 
tioned : — 

Sir Robert Kane (b. Dublin 1809, d. 1890), professor of 
chemistry in Dublin and founder and first director of the 
Museum of Industry, now the National Museum. He was 
president of Queen's College, Cork, as was William K. Sulli- 
van (b. Cork 1822, d. 1890), formerly professor of chemistry 
in the Catholic University. Sir William O'Shaughnessy Brooke, 
F. R. S. (b. Limerick 1809, d. 1889), professor of chemistry 
and assay master in Calcutta, is better known as the intro- 
ducer of the telegraphic system into India and its first superin- 




William Henry Harvey (b. Limerick 1814, d. 1866), F. R. S., 
was a botanist of very great distinction. During a lengthy 
residence in South Africa, he made a careful study of the 
flora of the Cape of Good Hope and published The Genera of 
South African Plants. After this he was made keeper of the 
Herbarium, Trinity College, Dublin, but, obtaining leave of 
absence, travelled in North and South America, exploring the 
coast from Halifax to the Keys of Florida, in order to collect 
materials for his great work, Nereis B or eali- Americana, pub- 
lished by the Smithsonian Institution. Subsequently he visited 
Ceylon, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Friendly 
and Fiji Islands, collecting algae. The results were published 
in his Phycologia Australis. At the time of his death he was 
engaged on his Flora Capensis, and was generally considered 
the first authority on algae in the world. 

William Archer (b. Co. Down 1827, d. 1897), F. R. S., de- 
voted his life to the microscopic examination of freshwater 
organisms, especially desmids and diatoms. He attained a 
very prominent place in this branch of work among men of 
science. Perhaps his most remarkable discovery was that of 
Chlamydomyxa labyrinthuloides (in 1868), "one of the most 
remarkable and enigmatical of all known microscopic organ- 

George James Allman (b. Cork 1812, d. 1898), F. R. S., pro- 
fessor of botany in Trinity College, Dublin, and afterwarls 
Regius Professor of natural history in the University of Edin- 
burgh, published many papers on botanical and zoological 
subjects, but his great work was that on the gymnoblastic 
Hydrozoa, "without doubt the most important systematic work 
dealing with the group of Coelenterata that has ever been pro- 

Amongst eminent living members of the class under con- 
sideration may be mentioned Alexander Macalister (b. Dub- 
lin 1844), F. R. S., professor of anatomy, first in Dublin and 
now in Cambridge, an eminent morphologist and anthropol- 
ogist, and Henry Horatio Dixon (b. Dublin), F. R. S., pro- 
fessor of botany in Trinity College, an authority on vegetable 
physiology, especially problems dealing with the sap. 

irish me^n of sci^nc^ 53 


Samuel Haughton (b. Carlow 1821, d. 1897), F. R. S., after 
earning a considerable reputation as a mathematician and a 
geologist, and taking Anglican orders, determined to study 
medicine and entered the school of that subject in Trinity 
College. After graduating he became the reformer, it might 
even be said the re-founder, of that school. He devoted ten 
years to the study of the mechanical principles of muscular 
action, and published his Animal Mechanism, probably his 
greatest work. He will long be remembered as the introducer 
of the "long drop'* as a method of capital execution. He 
might have been placed in several of the categories which have 
been dealt with, but that of geologist has been selected, since 
in the later part of his most versatile career he was professor 
of geology in Trinity College, Dublin. 

Valentine Ball (b. Dublin 1843, d. 1894), F. R. S., a brother 
of Sir Robert, joined the Geological Survey of India, and in 
that capacity became an authority not only on geology but also 
on ornithology and anthropology. His best known work is 
Jungle-Life in India. In later life he was director of the Na- 
tional Museum, Dublin. 

Medical Science. 

Very brief note can be taken of the many shining lights in 
Irish medical science. Robert James Graves (1796-1853), F. 
R. S., after whom is named "Graves's Disease", was one of the 
greatest of clinical physicians. His System of Clinical Medi- 
cine was a standard work and was extolled by Trousseau, the 
greatest physician that France has ever had, in the highest 
terms of appreciation. 

William Stokes (1804-1878), Regius Professor of Medicine 
in Trinity College, and the author of a Theory and Practice of 
Medicine, known all over the civilized world, was equally cele- 

To these must be added Sir Dominic Corrigan (1802-1880), 
the first Catholic to occupy the position of President of the 
College of Physicians in Dublin, an authority on heart disease, 
and the first adequate describer of aortic patency, a form of 
ailment long called "Corrigan's Disease". "Colles's Fracture" 
is a familiar term in the mouths of surgeons. It derives its 


name from Abraham Colles (1773-1843), the first surgeon in 
the world to tie the innominate artery, as "Butcher's Saw", a 
well-known implement, does from another eminent surgeon,* 
Richard Butcher, Regius Professor in Trinity College in the 
seventies of the last century. 

Sir Rupert Boyce (1863-1911), F. R. S., though born in 
London, had an Irish father and mother. Entering the medi- 
cal profession, he was assistant professor of pathology at 
University College, London, and subsequently professor of 
pathology in University College, Liverpool, which he was 
largely instrumental in turning into the University of Liver- 
pool. He was foremost in launching and directing the Liver- 
pool School of Tropical Medicine, which has had such wide- 
spread results all over the world in elucidating the problems 
and checking the ravages of the diseases peculiar to hot coun- 
tries. It was for his services in this direction that he was 
knighted in 1906. 

Sir Richard Quain (b. Mallow 1816, d. 1898), F. R. S., 
spent most of his life in London, where he was for years the 
most prominent physician. He wrote on many subjects, but 
the Dictionary of Medicine, which he edited and which bears 
his name, has made itself and its editor known all over the 

Sir Almrbth Wright (b. 1861), F. R. S., is the greatest living 
authority on the important subject of vaccino-therapy, which, 
indeed, may be said to owe its origin to his researches, as do 
the methods for measuring the protective substances in the 
human blood. He was the discoverer of the anti-typhoid in- 
jection which has done so much to stay the ravages of that 


Bindon Blood Stoney (1828-1909), F. R. S., made his repu- 
tation first as an astronomer by discovering the spiral character 
of the great nebula in Andromeda. Turning to engineering, 
he was responsible for the construction of many important 
works, especially in connection with the port of Dublin. He 
was brother of G. J. Stoney. 

Sir Charles Parsons (b. 1854), F. R. S., fourth son of the 
third Earl of Rosse, is the engineer who developed the steam 


turbine system and made it suitable for the generation of 
electricity, and for the propulsion of war and mercantile 
vessels. If he has revolutionized traffic on the water, so on 
the land has John Boyd Dunlop (still living), who discovered 
the pneumatic tire with such wide-spread results for motor- 
cars, bicycles, and such means of locomotion. 


Admiral Sir Leopold McClintock (b. Dundalk 1819, d. 1907), 
F. R. S., was one of the great Arctic explorers, having 
spent eleven navigable seasons and six winters in those regions. 
He was the chief leader and organizer of the Franklin searches. 
From the scientific point of view he made a valuable collec- 
tion of miocene fossils from Greenland, and enabled Haughton 
to prepare the geological map and memoir of the Parry Archi- 

John Ball (b. Dublin 1818, d. 1889), F. R. S., educated 
at Oscott, passed the examination for ^ high degree at Cam- 
bridge, but, being a Catholic, was excluded from the degree 
itself and any other honors which a Protestant might have 
attained to. He travelled widely and published many works 
on the natural history of Europe and South America from 
Panama to Tierra del Fuego. He was the first to suggest the 
utilization of the electric telegraph for meteorological pur- 
poses connected with storm warnings. 

Space ought to be found for a cursory mention of that 
strange person, Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859), who by his 
Lardne/s Cyclopaedia in 132 vols., his Cabinet Library, and 
his Museum of Science and Art, did much to popularize science 
in an unscientific day. 

References : 

The principal sources of information are tlie National Dictionary 
of Biography; the Obituary Notices of the Royal Society (passages 
in inverted commas are from these) ; "Who's Who" (for living per- 
sons) ; Healy : Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars ; Hyde : Lit- 
erary History of Ireland ; Joyce : Social History of Ancient Ireland ; 
Moore: Medicine in the British Isles. 


By Laure^nce^ Ginnell, B. L., M. P. 

A DISTINCTION. Ireland having been a self-ruled coun- 
try for a stretch of some two thousand years, then vio- 
lently brought under subjection to foreign rule, regaining leg- 
islative independence for a brief period toward the close of the 
eighteenth century, then by violence and corruption deprived 
of that independence and again brought under the same foreign 
rule, to which it is still subject, the expression "Law in Ire- 
land" comprises the native and the foreign, the laws devised 
by the Irish Nation for its own governance and the laws im- 
posed upon it from without : two sets, codes, or systems proper 
to two entirely distinct social structures having no relation 
and but little resemblance to each other. Whatever may be 
thought of either as law, the former is Irish in every sense, 
and vastly the more interesting historically, archseologically, 
philologically, and in many other ways ; the latter being Eng- 
lish law in Ireland, and not truly Irish in any sense. 

chus agus Feineachus na hEireann = Hiherniae Antiquitates et 
Sanctiones Legates = The Ancient Laws and Decisions of the 
Feini, of Ireland. Sen or sean (pronounced shan) ="old," 
differs from most Gaelic adjectives in preceding the noun it 
qualifies. It also tends to coalesce and become a prefix. 
Seanchus (shanech-us) = "ancient law." Feineachus (fainech- 
us) ==the law of the Feini, who were the Milesian farmers, 
free members of the clans, the most important class in the an- 
cient Irish community. Their laws were composed in their con- 
temporary language, the Bearla Feini, a distinct form of 
Gaelic. Several nations of the Aryan race are known to have 
cast into metre or rhythmical prose their laws and such other 
knowledge as they desired to communicate, preserve, and trans- 
mit, before writing came into use. The Irish went further and, 
for greater facility in committing to memory and retaining 
there, put their laws into a kind of rhymed verse, of which they 
may have been the inventors. By this device, aided by the iso- 
lated geographical position of Ireland, the sanctity of age, and 


the apprehension that any change of word or phrase might 
change the law itself, these archaic laws, when subsequently 
committed to writing, were largely preserved from the progres- 
sive changes to which all spoken languages are subject, with the 
result that we have today, embedded in the Gaelic text and 
commentaries of the Senchus M6r, the Book of Aicill, and 
other law works, available in English translations made under 
^ Royal Commission appointed by Government in 1852, and 
published, at intervals extending over forty years, in six vol- 
umes of "Ancient Laws and Institutions of Ireland," a mass 
of archaic words, phrases, law, literature, and information on 
the habits and manners of the people, not equalled in antiquity, 
quantity, or authenticity in any other Celtic source. In Eng- 
lish they are commonly called Brehon Laws, from the genitive 
case singular of Brethem == "judge", genitive Brethemain (pro- 
nounced brehun), as Erin is an oblique case of Eire, and as 
Latin words are sometimes adopted in the genitive in modern 
languages which themselves have no case distinctions. It is 
not to be inferred from this name that the laws are judge- 
made. They are rather case law, in parts possibly enacted by 
some of the various assemblies at which the laws were pro- 
mulgated or rehearsed, but for the most part simple declara- 
tions of law originating in custom and moral justice, and rec- 
ords of judgments based upon "the precedents and commenta- 
ries", in the sort of cases common to agricultural communities 
of the time, many of the provisions being as inapplicable to 
modern life as modern laws would be to ancient life. A reader 
is impressed by the extraordinary number and variety of 
cases with their still more numerous details and circumstances 
accumulated in the course of long ages, the manner in which 
the laws are inextricably interwoven with the interlocking 
clan system, and the absence of scientific arrangement or 
guiding principle except those of moral justice, clemency, and 
the good of the community. This defect in arrangement is 
natural in writings intended, as these were, for the use of 
judges and professors, experts in the subjects with which they 
deal, but makes the task of presenting a concise statement of 
them difficult and uncertain. 


SOCIETY LAW. The law and the social system were 
inseparable parts of a complicated whole, mutually cause and 
consequence of each other. Tuath, clann, cm el, cine, and fine 
(pronounced thooah, clong, kinnel, kineh, and fin-yeh) were 
terms used to denote a tribe or set of relatives, in reality or 
by adoption, claiming descent from a common ancestor, form- 
ing a community occupying and owning a given territory. 
Tuath in course of time came to be applied indifferently to the 
people and to their territory. Fine, sometimes designating a 
whole tribe, more frequently meant a part of it, occupying a 
distinct portion of the territory, a potential microcosm or 
nucleus of a clan, having limited autonomy in the conduct of 
its own immediate affairs. The constitution of this organism, 
whether as contemplated by the law or in the less perfect 
actual practice, is alike elusive, and underwent changes. For 
the purpose of illustration, the fine may be said to consist, theo- 
retically, of the "seventeen men" frequently mentioned 
throughout the laws, namely, the flaithfine == chief of the fine; 
the geil fine = h\s four fullgrown sons or other nearest male 
relatives; the deirbhfine, tar fine, and innfine, each consisting 
of four heads of families in wider concentric circles of kin- 
ship, say first, second, and third cousins of the flaithfine. The 
fine was liable, in measure determined by those circles, for 
contracts, fines, and damages incurred by any of its members 
so far as his own property was insufficient, and was in the 
same degree entitled to share advantages of a like kind accru- 
ing. Intermarriage within this fine was prohibited. The 
modern term "sept" is applied sometimes to this group and 
sometimes to a wider group united under a flaith (flah) = 
"chief", elected by the flaithfines and provided, for his public 
services, with free land proportionate to the area of the dis- 
trict and the number of clansmen in it. Clann might mean the 
whole Irish nation, or an intermediate homogeneous group of 
fines having for wider purposes a flaith or ri-tuatha = king 
of one tuath, elected by the flaiths and flaithfines, subject to 
elaborate qualifications as to person, character, and training, 
which limited their choice, and provided with a larger portion 
of free land. This was the lowest chief to whom the title 
ri, righ (both pr. ree) == rex, or "king", was applied. A 


group of these kinglets connected by blood or territory or 
policy, and their flaiths, elected, from a still narrower circle of 
specially trained men within their own rank, the ri-mor- 
tuatha = king of the territory so composed, to whose office a 
still larger area of free land was attached. In turn, kings of 
this class, with their respective sub-kings and ftaiths, elected 
from among the riogh-dhamhna (ree-uch-dhowna) == materia 
principum or "king-timber", a royal fine specially educated and 
trained, a ri-cuighidh (ree coo-ee-hee) supreme over five n- 
mor-tuathas = roughly, a fourth of Ireland. These, with their 
respective principal supporters, elected the ard-ri = "supreme 
king", of Ireland, who for ages held his court and national 
assemblies at Tara and enjoyed the kingdom of Meath for his 
mensal land. Usually the election was not direct to the king- 
ship, but to the position of tanaiste == " second" (in authority), 
heir-apparent to the kingship. This was also the rule in the 
learned professions and "noble" arts, which were similarly 
endowed wth free land. The most competent among those 
specially trained, whether son or outsider, should succeed to 
the position and land. All such land was legally indivisible 
and inalienable and descended in its entirety to the successor, 
who might, or might not, be a relative of the occupant. The 
beneficiaries were, however, free to retain any land that be- 
longed to them as private individuals. 

Membership of the clan was an essential qualification for 
every position; but occasionally two clans amalgamated, or a 
small fine, or desirable Individual, was co-opted into the clan — 
in other words, naturalized. The rules of kinship determined 
eineachlann (ain-yach-long) = "honor value", the assessed 
value of status, with its correlative rights, obligations, and lia- 
bilities in connection with all matters civil and criminal ; largely 
supplied the place of contract; endowed members of the clan 
with birthrights ; and bound them into a compact social, politi- 
cal, and mutual insurance copartnership, self-controlled and 
self-reliant. Eineachlann rested on the two-fold basis of kin- 
ship and property, expanding as a clansman by acquisition of 
property and effluxion of time progressed upward from one 
grade to another; diminishing if he sank; vanishing if for 
crime he was expelled from the clan. 

60 the: gi.orie:s of irei^and 

FOSTERAGE. To our minds, one of the most curious cus- 
toms prevalent among the ancient Irish was that of iarrad, 
called also altar = "fosterage" — curious in itself and in the fact 
that in all the abundance of law and literature relating to it 
no logically valid reason is given why wealthy parents nor- 
mally put out their children, from one year old to fifteen in 
the case of a daughter and to seventeen in the case of a son, to 
be reared in another family, while perhaps receiving and rear- 
ing children of other parents sent to them. As modern life 
does not comprise either the custom or a reason for it, we 
may assume that fosterage was a consequence of the clan 
system, and that its practice strengthened the ties of kinship 
and sympathy. This conjecture is corroborated by the numer- 
ous instances in history and in story of fosterage affection 
proving, when tested, stronger than the natural affection of 
relatives by birth. What is more, long after the dissolution 
of the clans, fosterage has continued stealthily in certain dis- 
tricts in which the old race of chiefs and clansmen contrived 
to cling together to the old sod; and the affection generated 
by it has been demonstrated, down to the middle of the nine- 
teenth century. The present writer has heard it spoken of 
lovingly, in half-Irish, by simple old people, whom to question 
would be cruel and irreverent. 

LAND LAW. The entire territory was originally, and 
always continued to be, the absolute property of the entire 
clan. Not even the private residence of a clansman, with its 
maighin digona = little lawn or precinct of sanctuary, within 
which himself and his family and property were inviolable, 
could be sold to an outsider. Private ownership, though rather 
favored in the administration of the law, was prevented from 
becoming general by the fundamental ownership of the clan 
and the birthright of every free-born clansman to a sufficiency 
of the land of his native territory for his subsistence. The 
land officially held as described was not, until the population 
became numerous, a serious encroachment upon this right. 
What remained outside this and the residential patches of 
private land was classified as cultivable and uncultivable. The 
former was the common property of the clansmen, but was 
held and used in severalty for the time being, subject to 


gabhail-cine (gowal-kinneh) = clan-resumption and redistribu- 
tion by authority of an assembly of the clan or fine at intervals 
of from one to three years, according to local customs and 
circumstances, for the purpose of satisfying the rights of 
yoimg clansmen and dealing with any land left derelict by 
de^th or forfeiture, compensation being paid for any unex- 
hausted improvements. The clansmen, being owners in this 
limited sense, and the only owners, had no rent to pay. They 
paid tribute for public purposes, such as the making of roads, 
to the flaith as a public officer, as they were bound to render, 
or had the privilege of rendering — according to how they re- 
garded it — military service when required, not to the flaith as 
a feudal lord, which he was not, but to the clan, of which the 
flaith was head and representative. 

The uncultivable, unreclaimed forest, mountain, and bog- 
land was common property in the wider sense that there was 
no several appropriation of it even temporarily by Individuals. 
It was used promiscuously by the clansmen for grazing stock, 
procuring fuel, pursuing game, or any other advantage yielded 
by it in its natural state. 

Kings and flaiths were great stock-owners, and were allowed 
to let for short terms portions of their official lands. What 
they more usually let to clansmen was cattle to graze either on 
private land or on a specified part of the official land, not 
measured, but calculated according to the number of beasts It 
was able to support. A flaith whose stock for letting ran short 
hired some from a king and sublet them to his own people. A 
feine, aithech, or ceile (kallyeh), as a farmer was generally 
called, might hire stock In one of two distinct ways: saer=- 
''free", which was regulated by the law, left his status unim- 
paired, could not be terminated arbitrarily or unjustly, under 
which he paid one-third of the value of the stock yearly for 
seven years, at the end of which time what remained of the 
stock became his property, and In any dispute relating to 
which he was competent to sue or defend even though the 
flaith gave evidence ; or daer = "bond", which was matter of 
bargain and not of law, was subject to onerous conditions and 
contingencies, including maintenance of kings, flaiths, or bre- 
hons, with their retinues, on visitations, of disbanded soldiers, 

62 the: glorias of ire:i.and 

etc., under which the stock always remained the property of 
the fiaith, regarding which the ceile could not give evidence 
against that of the flaith, which degraded the ceile and his fine 
and impaired their status; a bargain therefore which could 
not be entered into without the sanction of the fine. This 
prohibition was rendered operative by the legal provision that 
in case of default the flaith could not recover from the fine 
unless their consent had been obtained. The letting of stock, 
especially of c?a^r-stock, increased the flaith's power as a lender 
over borrowers, subject, however, to the check that his rank 
and eineachlann depended on the number of independent clans- 
men in his district. 

Though workers in precious metals, as their ornaments 
show, -the ancient Irish did not coin or use money. Sales 
were by barter. All payments, tribute, rent, fulfilment of 
contract, fine, damages, wages, or however else arising, were 
made in kind — horses, cows, store cattle, sheep, pigs, corn, 
meal, malt, bacon, salt beef, geese, butter, honey, wool, flax, 
yarn, cloth, dye-plants, leather, manufactured articles of use 
or ornament, gold, and silver — whatever one party could spare 
and the other find a use for. 

Tributes and rent, being alike paid in kind and to the same 
person, were easily confused. This tempted the flaith, as the 
system relaxed, to extend his official power in the direction of 
ownership ; but never to the extent of enabling him to evict a 
clansman. For a crime a clansman might be expelled from 
clan and territory ; but, apart from crime, the idea of eviction 
from one's homestead was inconceivable. Not even when a 
daer-ceile, or "unfree peasant", failed to make the stipulated 
payments could the flaith do more than sue as for any other 
debt ; and, if successful, he was bound, in seizing, to leave the 
family food-material and implements necessary for living and 

LAW OF DISTRAINING. Athgabail (ah-gowil)= "dis- 
tress", was the universal legal mode of obtaining anything due, 
or justice or redress in any matter, whether civil or criminal, 
contract or tort. Every command or prohibition of the law, if 
not obeyed, was enforced by athgabail. The brehons reduced 
all liabilities of whatsoever origin to material value to be re- 


covered by this means. Hence its great importance, the vast 
amount of space devoted to it in the laws, and the fact that 
the law of distress deals incidentally with every other branch 
of law and reveals best the customs, habits, and character of 
the people. A claimant in a civil case might either summon his 
debtor before a brehon, get a judgment, and seize the amount 
adjudged, or, by distraining first at his own risk, force the 
defendant either to pay or stop the seizure by submitting the 
matter in dispute to trial before a brehon, whom he then could 
choose. There was no officer corresponding to a sheriff to 
distrain and realize the amount adjudged; the person entitled 
had to do it himself, accompanied by a law-agent and wit- 
nesses, after, in "distress with time", elaborate notices at 
intervals of time sufficient to allow the defendant to consider 
his position and find means of satisfying the claim if he could. 
In a proper case his hands were strengthened by very explicit 
provisions of the law. "If a man who is sued evades justice, 
knowing the debt to be due of him, double the debt is payable 
by him." In urgent cases "immediate distress" was allowed. 
In either case the property seized — usually cattle — was not 
taken to the plaintiff's home, but put into a pound, and by 
similar easy stages became his property to the amount of the 
debt. The costs were paid out of what remained, and any ulti- 
mate remainder was returned. On a fuidir (foodyir) = serf 
or other unfree person resident in the territory incurring lia- 
bility to a clansman, the latter might proceed against the flaith 
on whose land the defendant lived, or might seize immediately 
any property the defendant owned, and if he owned none, 
might seize him and make him work off the debt in slavery. 

Seizure of property of a person of higher rank than the 
plaintiff had to be preceded by troscead (truscah) = fasting 
upon him. This consisted in waiting at the door of the de- 
fendant's residence without food until the debt was paid or a 
pledge given. The laws contained no process more strongly 
enforced than this. A defendant who allowed a plaintiff prop- 
erly fasting to die of hunger was held by law and by public 
opinion guilty of murder, and completely lost his eineachlamu 
Both text and commentary declare that whoever refuses fo 
cede a just demand when fasted upon shall pay double that 


amount. If the faster, having accepted a pledge, did not in 
due course receive satisfaction of his claim, he forthwith dis- 
trained, taking and keeping double the amount of the debt. 
The law did not allow those whom it at first respected to trifle 
with justice. 

Troscead is believed to have been of druldical origin, and 
it retained throughout, even in Christian times, a sort of super- 
natural significance. Whoever disregarded it became an out- 
cast and incurred risks and dangers too grave to be lightly 
faced. Besides being a legal process, it was resorted to as a 
species of elaborate prayer, or curse, — a kind of magic for 
achieving some difficult purpose. This mysterious character 
enhanced its value in a legal system deficient in executive 

NON-CITIZENS. From what precedes it will be under- 
stood that there were in ancient Ireland from prehistoric 
times people not comprised in the clan organization, and there- 
fore not enjoying its rights and advantages or entitled to any 
of its land, some of whom were otherwise free within certain 
areas, while some were serfs and some slaves. Those out- 
siders are conjectured to have originated in the earlier colo- 
nists subdued by the Milesians and reduced to an inferior con- 
dition. But the distinction did not wholly follow racial lines. 
Persons of pre-Milesian race are known to have risen to emi- 
nence, while Milesians are known to have sunk, from crime 
or other causes, to the lowest rank of the unfree. Here and 
there a daer-tuath = "bond community", of an earlier race 
held together down to the Middle Ages in districts in which 
conquest had left them and to which they were restricted. 
Beyond that restriction, exclusion from the clan and its power, 
some peculiarities of dialect, dress, and manners, and a tradi- 
tion of inferiority such as still exists in certain parishes, they 
were not molested, provided they paid tribute, which may have 
been heavy. 

There were also hothachs = cottiers, and sen-cleithes == 
old adherents of a flaith, accustomed to serve him and obtain 
benefits from him. If they had resided in the territory for 
three generations, and been industrious, thrifty, and orderly, 
on a few of them joining their property together to the num- 


ber of one hundred head of cattle, they could emancipate them- 
selves by appointing a flaithfine and getting admitted to the 
clan. Till this was done, they could neither sue nor defend 
nor inherit, and the flaith was answerable for their conduct. 

There being no prisons or convict settlements, any person of 
whatever race convicted of grave crime, or of cowardice on 
the field of battle, and unable to pay the fines imposed, cap- 
tives taken in foreign wars, fugitives from other clans, and 
tramps, fell into the lowest ranks of the fuidre = "serfs." It 
was as a captive that Saint Patrick was brought in his youth 
to Ireland. The law allowed, rather than entitled, a flaith to 
keep unfree people for servile occupations and the perform- 
ance of unskilled labor for the public benefit. In reality they 
worked for his personal profit, oftentimes at the expense of 
the clan. They lived on his land, and he was responsible for 
their conduct. By analogy, the distinctions saer and daer were 
recognized among them, according to origin, character, and 
means. Where these elements continued to be favorable for 
three generations, progress upward was made ; and ultimately 
a number of them could club together, appoint a flaithfine, and 
apply to be admitted to the clan. 

A mog was a slave in the strict sense, usually purchased as 
such from abroad, and legally and socially lower than the 
lowest fuidir. GIraldus Cambrensis, writing towards the close 
of the twelfth century, tells us that English parents then fre- 
quently sold their surplus children and other persons to the 
Irish as slaves. The Church repeatedly intervened for the 
release of captives and mitigation of their condition. The 
whole institution of slavery was strongly condemned as un- 
christian by the Synod held in Armagh in 1171. 

CRIMINAL LAW. Though there are numerous laws re- 
lating to crime, to be found chiefly in the Book of Aicill, crimi- 
nal law in the sense of a code of punishment there was none. 
The law took cognizance of crime and wrong of every descrip- 
tion against person, character, and property; and its function 
was to prevent and restrict crime, and when committed to de- 
termine, according to the facts of the case and the respective 
ranks of the parties, the value of the compensation or repara- 
tion that should be made. It treated crime as a mode of 


incurring liability; entitled the sufferer, or, if he was mur- 
dered, his fine, to bring the matter before a brehon, who, on 
hearing the case, made the complicated calculations and ad- 
justments rendered necessary by the facts proved and by the 
grades to which the respective parties belonged, arrived at and 
gave judgment for the amount of the compensation, armed 
with which judgment, the plaintiff could immediately distrain 
for that amount the property of the criminal, and, in his de- 
fault, that of his fine. The fine could escape part of its liabil- 
ity by arresting and giving up the convict, or by expelling him 
and giving substantial security against his future misdeeds. 

From the number of elements that entered into the calcula- 
tion of a fine, it necessarily resulted that like fines by no 
means followed like crimes. Fines, like all other payments, 
were adjudged and paid in kind, being, in some cases of the 
destruction of property, generic — a quantity of that kind of 
property. Large fines were usually adjudged to be paid in 
three species, one-third in each, the plaintiff taking care to 
inform correctly the brehon of the kinds of property the de- 
fendant possessed, because he could seize only that named, and 
if the defendant did not possess it, the judgment was "a blind 
nut." Crime against the State or community, such as wilful 
disturbance of an assembly, was punished severely. These 
were the only cases to which the law attached a sentence of 
death or other corporal punishment. For nothing whatsoever 
between parties did the law recognize any duty of revenge, 
retaliation, or the infliction of personal punishment, but only 
the payment of compensation. Personal punishment was re- 
garded as the commission of a second crime on account of a 
first. There was no duty to do this; but the right to do it 
was tacitly recognized if a criminal resisted or evaded payment 
of an adjudged compensation. Criminal were distinguished 
from civil cases only by the moral element, the sufferer's right 
in all cases to choose a brehon, the loss of eineachlann, partial 
or whole according to the magnitude of the crime, the elements 
used in calculating the amount of fine, and the technical terms 
employed. Dire (djeereh) was a general name for a fine, and 
there were specific names for classes of fines. Eric = repara- 
tion, redemption, was the fine for killing a human being, the 

I.AW IN IR^r<AND 67 

amount being affected by the distinction between murder and 
manslaughter and by other circumstances ; but in no case was 
a violent death, however innocent, allowed to pass without 
reparation being made. A fine was awarded out of the prop- 
erty of the convict or of his fine to the fine of the person slain, 
in the proportions in which they "were entitled to inherit his 
property, that being also according to their degrees of kinship 
and the degrees in which they were really sufferers. This 
gave every clan and every clansman, in addition to their moral 
interest, a direct monetary interest in the prevention and sup- 
pression of crime. Hence the whole public feeling of the 
country was entirely in support of the law, the honor and 
interest of community and individual being involved in its 
maintenance. The injured person or fine, if unable to recover 
the fine, might, in capital cases, seize and enslave, or even kill, 
the convict. Probably restrained by the fact that, there being 
no officers of criminal law, they had to inflict punishment 
themselves, they sometimes imprisoned a convict in a small 
island, or sent him adrift on the sea in a currach or boat of 
hide. Law supported by public opinion, powerful because so 
inspired, powerful because unanimous, was difficult to evade 
or resist. It so strongly armed an injured person, and so 
utterly paralyzed a criminal, that escape from justice was 
hardly possible. The only way in which it was possible was 
by flight, leaving all one's property behind, and sinking into 
slavery in a strange place; and this in effect was a severe 
punishment rather than an escape. 

FOREIGN LAW. The Danes and other Norsemen were 
the buccaneers of northwestern Europe from the eighth to 
the eleventh century. They conquered and settled perma- 
nently in Neustria, from them called Normandy, and con- 
quered and ruled for a considerable time England and part of 
Scotland and the Isles. In Ireland they were little more than 
marauders, having permanent colonies only round the coast ; al- 
ways subject, nominally at least, to the ard-ri or to the local 
chief ; paying him tribute when he was strong, raiding his terri- 
tory when he was weak, and fomenting recurrent disorder 
highly prejudicial to law, religion, and civilization. They never 
made any pretence of extending their laws to Ireland, and their 



attempt to conquer the country was finally frustrated at Qon- 
tarf in 1014. 

The Anglo-Norman invaders also seized the seaports. The 
earlier of them who went inland partially adopted in the 
second generation the Gaelic language, laws, and customs; as 
many non-Celtic Lowlanders of Scotland about the same 
period adopted the Gaelic language, laws, and customs of the 
Highlanders. Hence they did not make much impression on 
the Gaelic system, beyond the disintegrating effect of their 
imperfect adoption of it. 

Into the eastern parts of Ireland, however, a fresh stream 
of English adventurers continued to flow, as aggressive and 
covetous as their means and prudence permitted; calling so 
much of the country as they were able to wrench from the 
Irish **the English Pale", which fluctuated in extent with their 
fortunes; and, when compelled to pay tribute to Irish chiefs, 
calling it "black rent", to indicate how they regarded it. Their 
greatest difficulty was to counteract the tendency of the earlier 
colonists to become Hibernicized — a most unwilling tribute to 
the superiority of the Irish race. They, and still more those 
in England who supported them, knew nothing of the Irish 
language, laws, and institutions but that they should all be 
impartially hated, uprooted, and supplanted by English people 
and everything English as soon as means enabled this to be 
done. This was the amiable purpose of the pompously-named 
"Statute of Kilkenny", passed by about a score of these colo- 
nists in 1367. Presuming to speak in the name of Ireland, the 
statute prohibited the English colonists from becoming Irish 
in the numerous ways they were accustomed to do, and ex- 
cluded all Irish priests from preferment in the Church, partly 
because their superior virtue would by contrast amount to a 
censure. The purpose was not completely successful even 
within the Pale. Outside that precinct, the mass of the Irish 
were wholly unconscious of the existence of the "Statute of 
Kilkenny." But expressing, as the statute did correctly, the 
views of fresh adventurers, it became, in arrogance and in the 
pretension to speak for the whole of Ireland, a model for their 
future legislation and policy. 


Under King Henry VI. of England, Richard, Duke of York, 
being Lord Deputy, the ParHament of the Pale, assembled in 
Dublin, repudiated the authority of the English Parliament in 
Ireland, established a mint, and assumed an attitude of almost 
complete independence. On the other hand, in 1494, under 
Henry VH., the Parliament of the Pale, assembled at Drog- 
heda, passed Poyning's Act, extending all English laws to 
Ireland and subjecting all laws passed in Ireland to revision 
by the English Council. This, extended to the whole of Ire- 
land as English power extended, remained in force until 1782. 
Henry VIII. was the first English sovereign to take practical 
measures for the pacific and diplomatic conquest of the whole 
of Ireland and the substitution of English for Irish institu- 
tions and methods. His daughter, Queen Elizabeth, continued 
and completed the conquest ; but it was by drenching the coun- 
try in blood, by more than decimating the Irish people, and by 
reducing the remnant to something like the condition of the 
ancient fuidre. Her policy prepared the ground for her suc- 
cessor, James I., to exterminate the Irish from large tracts, in 
which he planted Englishmen and Scotchmen, and to extend 
all English laws to Ireland and abolish all other laws. James's 
English attorney-general in Ireland, Sir John Davies, in his 
work, A Discoverie of the True Causes, etc., says : 

"For there is no nation of people under the sunne that doth 
love equall and indifferent [= impartial] justice better than 
the Irish; or will rest better satisfied with the execution 
thereof, although it bee against themselves; so as they may 
have the protection and benefit of the law, when uppon just 
cause they do desire it." 

The ancient Irish loved their laws and took pride in obeying 
and enforcing them. The different attitude of the modern 
Irish towards foreign laws and administration is amply ex- 
plained by the morally indefensible character of those laws 
and that administration, to be read in English statutes and 
ordinances and in the history of English rule in Ireland — a 
subject too vast and harrowing, and in every sense foreign to 
what has gone before, to be entered upon here. Though the 
Parliament of 1782-1800 was little more than a Pale Parlia- 

70 the; gIvORies of Ireland 

ment, in which the mass of the Irish people had no representa- 
tion whatever, one of its Acts, to its credit be it said, was an 
attempt to mitigate the Penal Laws and emancipate the op- 
pressed Gaelic and Catholic population of Ireland. With the 
partial exception of that brief interval, law in Ireland has, 
during the last 360 years, meant English laws specially enacted 
for the destruction of any Irish trade or industry that entered 
into competition with a corresponding English trade or indus- 
try. In later times those crude barbarities have been gradually 
superseded by the more defensible laws now in force in Ire- 
land, all of which can be studied in statutes passed by the 
Parliament, since the Union with Scotland, called British. 

Refeeences : 

Pending the desirable work of a more competent Brehon Law 
Commission and translators, tlie subject must be .studied in the six 
volumes of Ancient Laws of Ireland, produced by the first Commis- 
sion, from 1865 to 1901, ignoring the long introductions and many 
of the notes. Whitley Stokes: Criticism of Atkinson's Glossary 
(London, 1903); R. Dareste: Etudes d'histoire de droit (Paris, 
1889) ; d'Arbois de Jubainville and Paul CoUinet: Etudes sur le droit 
celtique, 2 vols. (Paris, 1895) ; Joyce: Social History of Ancient 
Ireland, 2 vols. (London, 1913); Laurence Ginnell: The Brehon 
Laws (London, 1894). 


By W. H. Grattan Flood, Mus. D., M. R. I. A., K. S. G. 

PERHAPS nothing so strikingly brings home the associa- 
tion of Ireland with music as the fact that the harp is 
emblazoned on the national arms. Ireland, "the mother of 
sweet singers", as Pope writes ; Ireland, "where", according to 
St. Columcille, "the clerics sing like the birds"; Ireland can 
proudly point to a musical history of over 2,000 years. The 
Milesians, the De Dananns, and other pre-Christian colonists 
were musical. Hecataeus (B. C. 540-475) describes the Celts 
of Ireland as singing songs to the harp in praise of Apollo, 
and Aethicus of Istria, a Christian philosopher of the early 
fourth century, describes the culture of the Irish. Certain it 
is that, even before the coming of St. Patrick, the Irish were 
a highly cultured nation, and the national Apostle utilized 
music and song in his work of conversion. In the early Lives 
of the Irish Saints musical references abound, and the Irish 
school of music attracted foreign scholars from the sixth to 
the ninth century. 

Hymnologists are familiar with the hymns written by early 
Irish saints and laics, e. g., St. Sechnall, St. Columcille, St. 
Molaise, St. Cuchuimne, St. Columbanus, St. Ultan, St. Col- 
man, St. Cummain, St. Aengus, Dungal, Sedulius, Moengal, 
and others. Who has not heard of the great music school of 
San Gallen, founded by St. Gall, "the wonder and de- 
light of Europe," whither flocked German students? One 
of the Irish monks, Tuathal (Tutilo), composed numerous 
sacred pieces, including the famous farced Kyrie, "Pons boni- 
tatis", included in the Vatican edition of the Kyriale (1906). 
Not alone did Irish monks propagate sacred and secular music 
throughout France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and 
the far North, but they made their influence felt in Lindis- 
larne, Malmesbury, Glastonbury, and other cities in England, 
as also in Scotland. St. Aldhelm, one of the pupils of St. 
Maeldubh, tells us that at the close of the seventh century, 
"Ireland, synonymous with learning, literally blazed like the 
stars of the firmament with the glory of her scholars." 

73 THI$ GlvORI^S 01^ IR^I^AND 

During the ninth century we meet with twelve different 
forms of instruments in use by the Irish, namely: — the Cruit 
and Clairseach (small and large harp) ; Timpan (Rotta or 
bowed cruit) ; Buinne (oboe or bassoon); Bennbuabhal and 
Corn (horn) ; Cuisleanna and Piob (bagpipes) ; Feadan (flute 
or fife) ; Guthbuinne (bass horn) ; Stoc and Sturgan (trum- 
pet) ; Pipai (single and double pipes) ; Craoibh cuil and Crann 
cuil (cymbalum) ; Cnamha (castanet) ; and Fidil (fiddle). The 
so-called "Brian Boru's Harp" really dates from the thirteenth 
century, and is now in Trinity College, Dublin, but there are 
numerous sculptured harps of the ninth and tenth centuries on 
the crosses at Graig, Ullard, Clonmacnois, Durrow, and Monas- 

Donnchadh, an Irish bishop of the ninth century, who died 
as abbot of St. Remigius, wrote a commentary on Martianus 
Capella, a well-known musical text book. Towering above all 
his fellows, John Scotus Erigena, in 867, wrote a tract De 
Divisione Naturae, in which he expounds organum or discant, 
nearly a hundred years before the appearance of the Scholia 
Enchiriadis and the Musica Enchiriadis. He also wrote a com- 
mentary on Martianus Capella, now in a Paris MS. of the 
ninth century. 

The eulogy of Giraldus Cambrensis, or Gerald Barry, who 
came to Ireland in 1183, on Irish harpers and minstrels is too 
well known to be repeated, but Brompton and John of Salis- 
bury are equally enthusiastic. Ground bass, or pedal point, 
and singing in parts, as well as bands of harpers and pipers, 
were in vogue in Ireland before the coming of the English. 
Dante, quoted by Galilei, testifies to the fact that Italy received 
the harp from Ireland ; and, it may be added, the Irish harp 
suggested the pianoforte. In the Anglo-Norman ballad, "The 
Entrenchment of New Ross" — in 1265 — allusion is made to 
pipes and flutes, and carols and dancing. Another poem, dating 
from about 1320, refers to Irish dances in a flattering manner. 

John Garland (1190-1264) wrote a treatise on Organum, 
and outlined a scheme of dividing the interval, which developed 
into ornamentation, passing notes, and grace notes. The Dub- 
lin Troper of the thirteenth century has a number of farced 
Kyries and Glorias, also a collection of Sequences. A Dublin 


Processionale of the fourteenth century contains the most 
elaborate form of the Officium Sepulchri, with musical nota- 
tion on a four-line stave — the foundation of the Miracle Play 
of the Resurrection. Another Dublin Troper dates from 1360 
and was used in St. Patrick's Cathedral. It contains the hymn, 
''Angelus ad Virginem", alluded to by Chaucer. The Christ 
Church Psaltery, about 1370, has musical notation and is ex- 
quisitely illuminated. Lionel Power, an Anglo-Irishman, wrote 
the first English treatise on music in 1395. Exactly a century 
later, in 1495, a music school was founded in Christ Church 
Cathedral, Dublin. 

The Irish Annals of the thirteenth to the fifteenth century 
have numerous references to distinguished harpers and singers, 
and there are still sung many beautiful airs of this period, 
including "The Coulin" and "Eibhlin a ruin." John Lawless 
was a famous Irish organ-builder of the second half of the 
fifteenth century, and his successor, James Dempsey, built 
many fine organs between the years 1530 and 1565. 

Notwithstanding the many penal enactments against Irish 
minstrels, all the great Anglo-Itish nobles of the Pale retained 
an Irish harper and piper in their service. Under date of 
1480, we find Chief Justice Bermingham having an Irish harper 
to teach his family, as also "to harp and to dance." A cen- 
tury later "Blind Cruise, the harper" — Richard Cruise — com- 
posed a lamentation song on the fall of the Baron of Slane, 
the air of which is still popular. It is to the credit of the 
Irishman, William Bathe (who subsequently became a Jesuit), 
that he wrote the first printed English treatise on music, pub- 
lished in 1584 — thus ante-dating by thirteen years Morley's 
work. Bathe wrote a second musical treatise in 1587, and he 
was the first to call measures by the name of bars. He also 
formulated methods of transposition and sight reading that 
may still be studied with profit. 

Thomas Campion, the poet and composer, was born in Dub- 
lin in 1567, but spent nearly all his life in England. Other 
Irish composers, to mention only the most distinguished, were 
William Costello (madrigalist), Richard Gillie, Edward Sher- 
gold, and Walter Kennedy. Strange as it may seem, Queen 
Elizabeth retained in her service an Irish harper, Cormac Mac- 


Dermot, from 1591 to 1603, and on the death of the queen he 
was given an annual pension of £16 10s. lOd. — nearly i500 
a year of our present money. 

Shakespeare refers to eleven Irish tunes, of which the 
famous **Callino Casturame" {Cailin og a stuir me) is still 
fresh. Irish dances were extremely popular at the English 
court from 1600 to 1603 and were introduced into the Masks. 
Shakespeare's "intrinsic friend," John Dowland of Dublin, 
was one of the greatest lutenists in Europe from 1590 to 1626. 
In the dedication of a song "to my loving countryman, Mr. 
John Foster the Younger, merchant of Dublin in Ireland," 
Dowland sufficiently indicates his nationality, and his compo- 
sitions betray all the charm and grace of Irish melody. It is 
of interest to add that the earliest printed "Irish Dance" is in 
Parthenia Inviolata, of which work, published in 1613-4, there 
is only one copy known — now in the New York Public Library. 
From 1600-1602, Charles O'Reilly was harpist to the court of 
Denmark at 200 thalers a year. His successor was Donal 
Dubh ("the black") O'Cahill (1602-1610), who followed Anne 
of Denmark to the English court. Walter Quin of Dublin was 
music master to King James's eldest son. Prince Henry, from 
1608 to 1611. Other noted harpers of the first half of the seven- 
teenth century are : Rory dall ("the blind") O'Cahan ; Nicholas 
dall Pierce; Tadhg MacRory; John, Rory, and Henry Scott; 
Owen MacKeenan; Owen MacDermot; Tadhg O'Coffey; and 
Father Robert Nugent, S. J. Darby Scott was harper to the 
Danish Court from 1621 till his death, at Copenhagen, on De- 
cember 19, 1634. Pierce Ferriter, a "gentleman harper", was 
executed at Killarney in 1652. Myles O'Reilly and the two 
Connellans were famous harpers between the years 1660-1680. 
Evelyn, the English diarist, in 1668, praises the excellent per- 
formance on the harp of Sir Edward Sutton, who, in the fol- 
lowing year, was granted by King Charles II. the lands of 
Confey, Co. Kildare. Two beautiful harps of this period 
are still preserved— the Fitzgerald Harp and the Fogarty 

There are many exquisite airs of the seventeenth century, 
some of which have been incorporated in Moore's Irish Melo- 
dies. The titles of several airs of this epoch are of historical 


interest, e. g., "Sarsfield's Lament," "Lament for Owen Roe 
O'Neill," "MacAlistrum's March," "Ned of the Hill," "The 
Breach of Aughrim," "Limerick's Lamentation," "Lilli- 
burlero," "Ballinamona," "The Boyne Water," and "The Wild 
Geese." Irish tunes abound in the various editions of Play- 
ford's Country Dances from 1651 to 1720. 

Turlogh O'Carolan (1670-1738), wlio has been styled "the 
last of the Irish bards", wrote and composed innumerable 
songs, also Planxties, Plearacas, and Lamentations. It is here 
merely necessary to note that twenty-six of O'Carolan's airs 
are included in Moore's Irish Melodies, although his claim to 
them has only recently been proved by the present writer. 
Goldsmith's eulogy of O'Carolan is well known. 

The Jacobite period from 1710 to 1750 considerably in- 
fluenced Irish minstrelsy, and some of the most delightful airs 
were adapted to Jacobite lyrics. "Seaghan buidhe," "An Sean 
duine," "Lament for Kilcash," "Ormonde's Lament," "Morin 
ni Chullenain," "All the Way to Galway" (the air of "Yankee 
Doodle"), "Caitlin ni Houlihan," "Balance a straw" ("The 
Wearing of the Green"), "St. Patrick's Day," "Plancam Peirb- 
hig," are amongst the tunes in vogue at this period. 

As early as 1685 the Hibernian Catch Club was established 
and still flourishes. Cecilian celebrations were held from 1727 
to 1732, and a Dublin Academy of Music was founded in 1728. 
The Charitable and Musical Society (founded in 1723) built 
the Fishamble Street Music Hall in 1741, and assisted at the 
first performance of The Messiah, conducted by Handel him- 
self, on 13th April, 1742. Kitty Clive, Peg Woffington, and 
Daniel Sullivan were noted Irish singers of this epoch, while 
John Clegg, Dr. Murphy, and Burke Thumoth were famous 
instrumentalists. In 1741 Richard Pockrich invented the Mu- 
sical Glasses, for which Gluck wrote some pieces : it was after- 
wards improved by Benjamin Franklin. On the continent, 
Henry Madden was music director of the Chapel Royal at 
Versailles in 1744 (in succession to Campra), and was also 
canon of St. Quentin. 

In 1764 the Earl of Mornington, Mus. D., was appointed 
first professor of music in Dublin University. A few years 
later Charles Clagget invented the valve-horn. Michael Kelly 


of Dublin was specially selected by Mozart to create the parts 
of Basilio and Don Curzio at the first performance of the opera 
of Figaro, on May 1st, 1786. Kane O'Hara, Samuel Lee, 
Owenson, Neale, Baron Dillon, Dr. Doyle, T. A. Geary, 
Mahon, and the Earl of Westmeath were distinguished musi- 
cians — while the fame of Carter, Mountain, Moorehead, and 
Dr. Cogan was not confined to Ireland. 

Among native minstrels, Jerome Duigenan, Dominic Mon- 
gan, Denis Hempson, Charles Byrne, James Duncan, Arthur 
Victory, and Arthur O'Neill were celebrated as harpers. The 
Belfast meeting of 1792 revived the vogue of the national 
instrument. Nor was the bagpipe neglected. Even in America, 
in 1778, Lord Rawdon had a band of pipers, with Barney 
Thomson as Pipe Major. At home. Sterling, Jackson, Mac- 
Donnell, Moorehead, Kennedy, and Macklin sustained the 
reputation of this ancient instrument. 

Ere the close of the eighteenth century John Field of Dub- 
lin was a distinguished pianist. He subsequently (1814) in- 
vented the nocturne, developed by Chopin. Sir John Steven- 
son (the arranger of the Irish Melodies) y Tom Cooke, William 
Southwell (inventor of the damper action for pianofortes)^ 
Henry Mountain, Andrew Ashe (flautist). Barton, Rooke, 
and Bunting were world-famed. 

Among the Irish musicians of the last century the following 
names are typical : Thomas Moore, J. A. Wade, Balfe {Bohe- 
mian Girl), Wallace (Maritana), Osborne, Sir Frederick 
Ouseley, Scotson Clarke, Howard Glover, Horncastle, J. W. 
Glover, Sir Robert Stewart, Augusta Holmes, R. M. Levey, 
Joseph Robinson, Forde, Lover, Kearns, Allen, Barker, Tor- 
rance, Molloy, Guernsey, Gilmore, Thunder, Harvey, Good- 
man, Sir Arthur Sullivan (Pinafore, Mikado), Miss Davis, 
Halliday (inventor of the Kent bugle), Latham, Duggan, Gas- 
kin, Lacy, Pontet (Piccolomini), Hudson, Pigot, Horan, 
Marks, and W. C. Levey. Famous vocalists like Catherine 
Hayes, Mrs. Scott Fennell, Signor Foli (Foley), Barton Mc- 
Guckin, Denis O'Sullivan, and William Ludwig deserve in- 

In our own day, it is only necessary to mention composers 
like Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Dr. C. Woods, Victor Her- 


bert, Mrs. Needham, Dr. Sinclair, Norman O'Neill, and Arthur 
O'Leary ; singers like Egan, Burke, Plunket Greene, John Mac- 
Cormack, P. O'Shea, Charles Manners, and Joseph O'Mara; 
violinists like Maud McCarthy, Emily Keady, Arthur Darley, 
and Patrick Delaney; organists like Dr. Charles Marchant, 
Brendan Rogers, Dr. Joze, and Professor Buck; writers like 
Mrs. Curwen, Dr. Annie Patterson, Mrs. Milligan Fox, Pro- 
fessor Mahaffy, A. P. Graves, Dr. Collison, and G. B. Shaw; 
and conductors like Hamilton Harty and James Glover. 

References : 

Walker : Irish Bards (1786) ; O'Curry : Lectures (1870) ; Ilardiman : 
Irish Mistrelsy (2 vols., 1834) ; The Complete Petrie Collection 
(3 vols., 1902-1904) ; Grattan Flood: History of Irish Music (3rd ed., 
1913), Story of the Harp (1906), Story of the Bagpipe (1911) ; 
Mrs. Milligan Fox: Annals of the Irish Harpers (1911); Mason: 
Song Lore of Ireland (1910); Armstrong: Musical Instruments 
(2 vols., 1904-1908) ; O'Neill: Irish Folk Music (1911), Irish Mins- 
trels and Musicians (1913). 


By Diarmid Go^?e:y. 

FROM the earliest times in the history of western Europe 
Ireland has been renowned for her work in metal. The 
first metal used was copper, and copper weapons are found in 
Ireland dating from 2,000 B. C, or even earlier, the beautiful 
designs of which show that the early inhabitants of the coun- 
try were skilled workers in metal. Fields of copper exist all 
along the southern seaboard of Ireland. Numbers of flat 
copper celts, or axes, have been found modelled on the still 
earlier stone implements. By degrees the influence of the 
early stone axe disappears and axes of a true metal type are 
developed. Primitive copper knives and awls are also abun- 
dant. The fineness of the early Irish copper work is seen at its 
best in the numerous copper halberd blades found in Ireland. 
These blades, varying from nine to sixteen inches in length, 
were fastened at right angles by rivets into wooden shafts. 
The blades show a slight sickle-like curve and are of the high- 
est workmanship. Halberds somewhat similar in type have 
been found in Spain, North Germany, and Scandinavia. 

Between the years 2000 and 1800 B. C. the primitive metal- 
workers discovered that bronze, a mixture of tin and copper, 
was a more suitable metal than pure copper for the manufac- 
ture of weapons ; and the first period of the bronze age may be 
dated from 1800 to 1500 B. C. The bronze celts at first dif- 
fered little from those made of copper, but gradually the type 
developed from the plain wedge-shaped celt to the beautiful 
socketed celt, which appears on the scene in the last, or fifth, 
division of the bronze age (900-350 B. C). It was during 
the age of bronze that spears came into general use, as did 
the sword and rapier. The early spear-heads were simply 
knife-shaped bronze weapons riveted to the ends of shafts, 
but by degrees the graceful socketed spear-heads of the late 
bronze age were developed. 

Stone moulds for casting the early forms of weapons have 
been found, but, as the art of metalworking became perfected, 
the use of sand moulds was discovered, with the result that 

IRISH me:tai^ work 79 

there are no extant examples of moulds for casting the more 
developed forms of weapons. The bronze weapons — celts, 
swords, and spear-heads — are often highly decorated. In these 
decorations can be traced the connection between the early 
Irish civilization and that of the eastern Mediterranean. The 
bronze age civilization in Europe spread westward from the 
eastern Mediterranean either by the southern route of Italy, 
Spain, France, and thence to Ireland, or, as seems more prob- 
able, up the river Danube, then down the Elbe, and so to 
Scandinavia, whence traders by the north of Scotland intro- 
duced the motives and patterns of the Aegean into Ireland. 
Whichever way the eastern civilization penetrated into Ireland, 
it left England practically untouched in her primitive bar- 

Of gold work, for which Ireland is especially famous, the 
principal feature in the bronze age was the lunula, a crescent- 
shaped flat gold ornament generally decorated at the ends of 
the crescent. These lunulae are found in profusion all over 
Ireland. A few have been found in Cornwall and Brittany, 
and a few in Scotland and Denmark. One has been found in 
Luxemburg and one in Hanover. 

Gold collars are numerous in Ireland and also date from the 
bronze age. The earliest form of collar is the "tore" of twisted 
gold. Another type, later in date than the tore, is the gold 
ring-shaped collar. Two splendid examples of this latter type 
were found at Clonmacnois, the decoration of which, in La 
Tene, or trumpet, pattern, shows the connection between the 
Irish and continental designs. 

A find of prehistoric gold ornaments in county Clare should 
be mentioned. An immense number was there discovered in 
1854 hidden together in a cist, the value of the whole being 
estimated at over £3,000. 

Aftei the bronze age comes the iron age. The introduc- 
tion of iron wrought a great change in metal working, but, as 
iron is a metal very subject to oxidization, comparatively few 
early iron remains are found. There are some swords of an 
early pattern in the National Museum at Dublin. 

It has been shown that the pre-Christian metalwork of Ire- 
and is well worthy of attention, but it is to the early Christian 

80 the: GIvORIE^S o^ ir^i^and 

metalworkers that Ireland owes her pre-eminent fame in this 
field. In early Christian Ireland metalworking was brought 
to a pitch rarely equalled and never excelled. The remains 
found, such as the Tara Brooch, the Cross of Cong, and the 
Ardagh Chalice, are among the most beautiful metalwork in 
the world. The wonderful interlaced patterns, which are typ- 
ically Celtic, bewildering in their intricacy, and fascinating in 
the freedom and boldness of their execution, lend themselves 
readily to metal work. 

The connecting link between the metalwork of the late pagan 
period and that of early Christian times is chiefly exempli- 
fied by the penannular brooches, of which great numbers 
have been found in Ireland. Examples of this characteris- 
tically Celtic ornament may be seen in all Celtic countries. 

In its earliest form this brooch is simply a ring, with a gap 
in it, to which a pin is loosely attached by a smaller ring. 
Gradually the open ends of the ring, which need some enlarge- 
ment in order to prevent the pin slipping off, became larger 
and ornamented. In time these became regular trumpet- 
shaped ends, generally ornamented with characteristic "trum- 
pet" patterns. The next stage was to close the gap, leaving 
a ring with a crescent-shaped disc at one side. Space does 
not permit of the description of the numerous brooches found. 
It will be sufificient to describe the Tara Brooch, which is 
the crowning glory not only of the Irish but of any metal- 
worker's art. 

The Tara Brooch, whose only connection with Tara is its 
name, was found near Drogheda; it is about seven inches in 
diameter and the pin about fifteen inches long. It is made of 
bronze covered with the most elaborate interlaced ornament in 
gold. The fineness of the interlaced work may be compared 
with, and is quite equal to, that of the best illuminated manu- 
scripts; the freedom of its execution is amazing. Besides 
panels of ribbon ornament, which include spirals, plaited work, 
human heads, and animal forms, the front of the brooch is 
decorated with enamel and settings of amber and colored glass. 
The back of the brooch is, as is often the case in Irish work, 
decorated in a bolder manner than the front, and the "trumpet" 
pattern is there very marked. The head of the pin is also 


elaborately decorated. The minute and intricate style of the 
work is strikingly shown by the fact that, even after prolonged 
study, some patterns escaped notice and have only lately been 
discovered. Further, each of the gold lines is made of tiny 
gold balls, so small as only to be seen by means of a magnify- 
ing glass. 

With the introduction of Christianity, the attention of artifi- 
cers was turned to the manufacture of church vessels and 
shrines. Of these perhaps the most beautiful are the Ardagh 
Chalice, the Cross of Cong, and the Shrine of St. Patrick's 
Bell, though great numbers of other sacred ornaments, such 
as the Shrine of St. Lactan's Arm and the numerous bell 
shrines, are also fine examples of the work of an unsurpassed 
school of metalworkers. 

The date of the Tara Brooch is not easy to determine, but 
it may probably be placed in the eighth century of our era. 
The Ardagh Chalice belongs probably to about the same date. 
It was found in a rath at Ardagh, county Limerick, in 1868. 
It measures 7 inches in height and 9}^ in diameter. Around 
the cup is a band of fine filigree interlaced ornament in the 
form of panels divided by half beads of enamel. Below this 
are the names of the twelve Apostles in faint Celtic lettering. 
The two handles are beautifully decorated with panels of inter- 
woven ornament, and on the sides are two circular discs di- 
vided into ornamented panels. The under side of the foot of 
the Chalice is also very beautifully decorated. 

The shrines of the bells of the Irish saints are interesting 
examples of Irish metal work. As is fitting, the finest of these 
is the Shrine of St. Patrick's Bell. This was made by order of 
King Domnall O'Lachlainn between the years 1091 and 1105 
to contain St. Patrick's bell, a square iron bell made of two 
plates of sheet iron riveted together. The shrine is made of 
bronze plates, to which gold filigree work and stones are riv- 
eted. The top of the shrine, curved to receive the handle of 
the bell, is of silver elaborately decorated. The back is over- 
laid with a plate of silver cut in cruciform pattern. Around 
the margin of the back is engraved the following inscription in 
Irish: "A prayer for Domnall Ua Lachlainn, by whom this 

82 the: GI.0RIE:S O^ IRE^IvAND 

bell [shrine] was made, and for Domnall, successor of Pat- 
rick, by whom it was made, and for Cathalan Ua Maelchal- 
lann, the keeper of the bell, and for Cudulig Ua Inmainen 
with his sons, who fashioned it." The whole is executed in 
a very fine manner and is the most beautiful object of its 
kind in existence. Another beautiful shrine, known as the 
Cross of Cong, made to enshrine a piece of the true cross 
presented by the pope in 1123, was made for King Turlogh 
O'Conor at about that date. It is 2 feet 6 inches high and 1 
foot 6}i inches wide. It is made of oak cased with copper 
and enriched with ornaments of gilded bronze. The ornamen- 
tation is of the typical Irish type, as on the Ardagh Chalice 
and the Shrine of St. Patrick's Bell. A quartz crystal set in 
the centre of the front of the cross probably held the relic. 

It is clear from the succession of beautiful work executed 
from the eighth to the twelfth century, that there must 
have existed in Ireland during that period a school of 
workers in metal such as has seldom been equalled by any 
individual worker or guild before or since, and never excelled. 
The examples described are only the more famous of the re- 
mains of early Irish Christian art in metal, but they are sur- 
rounded by numerous examples of pins, brooches, and shrines, 
each worthy to rank with the finest productions of the metal- 
worker. The Shrine of St. Moedoc (date uncertain) ought 
perhaps to be mentioned. On it are found several figures, in- 
cluding three nuns, men with books, sceptres, and swords, and 
a lifelike figure of a harper. 

Besides articles of ornament, articles of use, such as bits 
for horses and household utensils, have been found, which 
show that the Irish smiths were as well able to produce articles 
for every-day use as the artificers were to create works of art 
in metal. 

With the landing of the English in 1169 the arts and sci- 
ences in Ireland declined. Indeed, from that time on and for 
long afterwards, almost the only metalworkers needed were 
makers of arms and weapons of offense and defense. 


References : 

British Museum, Bronze Age Guide; Coffey; Bronze Age in Ire- 
land; Allen: Celtic Art; Abererombie : Bronze Age Pottery; Wilde: 
Catalogue of the Royal Irish Academy's Collection ; Allen : Christian 
Symbolism ; Stokes : Christian Art in Ireland ; Petrie : Ecclesiastical 
Architecture in Ireland; Coffey: Guide to the Celtic Antiquities of 
the Christian Period perserved in the National Museum, Dublin; 
Kane : Industrial Resources of Ireland ; O'Curry : Manners and Cus- 
toms of the Ancient Irish; Coffey: New Grange and other incised 
Tumuli in Ireland ; Dechelette : Manuel d'Arch^ologie pr6-historique ; 
Eidgeway: Origin of Currency and Weight Standards. 


By Louis Ei.y O'Carroli^^ B. A., B. L. 

IN the dark ages of Europe, whilst new civilizations were in 
the making and all was unrest, art and religion, like the 
lamp of the sanctuary, burned brightly and steadily in Ireland, 
and their rays penetrated the outer gloom. Scattered through 
the libraries of Europe are the priceless manuscripts limned 
by Irish scribes. The earliest missionaries to the continent, 
disciples of St. Columbanus and St. Gall, doubtless brought 
with them into exile beautiful books which they or their 
brothers of the parent monastery had wrought in a labor of 
love; or mayhap many a monk crossed the seas bearing the 
treasured volumes into hiding from the spoiling hands of the 
Dane. Yet, fortunately, in the island home where their beauty 
was born the most superb volumes still remain. 

From almost prehistoric times the Irish were skilled artifi- 
cers in gold and bronze, and, at the advent of Christianity, 
had already evolved and perfected that unique system of geo- 
metrical ornament which is known as Celtic design. The 
original and essential features of this system consisted in the 
use of spirals and interlacing strapwork, but later on this type 
was developed by transforming the geometrical fret into a 
scheme of imaginary or nondescript animals, portions of which, 
such as the tails and ears, were prolonged and woven in ex- 
quisite fancy through the border. The artistic features of 
Celtic book decoration consist chiefly of initial letters of this 
nature embellished with color. Amongst the ancient Irish 
there was a keen knowledge of color and an exceptional appre- 
ciation of color values. Thus it was that in the early centuries 
of Christian Ireland the learned monks, transcribing the Gos- 
pels and longing to make the book beautiful, were able to bring 
to their task an artistic skill which was hereditary and almost 
instinctive. The colors which they used were mostly derived 
from mineral substances and the black was carbon, made, it is 
conjectured, from charred fish-bones ; but with them was com- 
bined some gummy material which made them cling softly to 
the vellum and has held for us their lustre for more than a 


thousand years. It is noteworthy that neither gold nor silver 
was used for book decoration, and this would appear to be a 
deliberate avoidance of the glitter and glare which distinguish 
eastern art. 

The Book of Durrow (in the Library of Trinity College, 
Dublin) is the oldest specimen of Celtic illumination and, if 
not the work of St. Columcille, is certainly of as early a date. 
Each of the Gospels opens with a beautiful initial succeeded 
by letters of gradually diminishing size, and there are full page 
decorations embodying such subjects as the symbols of the 
Evangelists. The colors are rich and vivid and all the designs 
are of the purest and most Celtic character. 

The Gospels of MacRegol (now in the Bodleian Library, 
Oxford) is the work of an Abbot of Birr who died A. D. 820. 
It is a volume of unusually large size, copiously ornamented 
with masterly designs and containing illuminated portraits of 
Saints Mark, Luke, and John. The first part of the book 
with the portrait of St. Matthew is missing. 

The Book of Kelts (in the Library of T. C. D.) is the all- 
surpassing masterpiece of Celtic illuminative art and is ac- 
knowledged to be the most beautiful book in the world. This 
copy of the four Gospels was long deemed to have been made 
by the saintly hands of Columcille, though it probably belongs 
to the eighth century. Into its pages are woven such a wealth 
of ornament, such an ecstasy of art, and such a miracle of 
design that the book is today not only one of Ireland's greatest 
glories but one of the world's wonders. After twelve cen- 
turies the ink is as black and lustrous and the colors are as 
fresh and soft as though but the work of yesterday. The 
whole range of colors is there — green, blue, crimson, scarlet, 
yellow, purple, violet — and the same color is at times varied 
in tone and depth and shade, thereby achieving a more ex- 
quisite combination and effect. In addition to the numerous 
decorative pages and marvellous initials, there are portraits 
of the Evangelists and full-page miniatures of the Temptation 
of Christ, His Seizure by the Jews, and the Madonna and 
Child surrounded by Angels with censers. Exceptionally 
beautiful are these angels and other angelic figures throughout 
the book, their wings shining with glowing colors amid woven 

SC) the: gIvORIKs of IRE:IvAND 

patterns of graceful design. The portraits and miniatures and 
the numerous faces centred in initial letters are not to be 
adjudged by the standard of anatomical drawing and delinea- 
tion of the human figure, but rather by their effect as part of 
a scheme of ornamentation; for the Celtic illuminator was im- 
aginative rather than realistic, and aimed altogether at 
achieving beauty by means of color and design. The Book of 
Kells is the Mecca of the illuminative artist, but it is the 
despair of the copyist. The patience and skill of the olden 
scribe have baffled the imitator ; for, on an examination with a 
magnifying glass, it has been found that, in a space of a quarter 
of an inch, there are no fewer than a hundred and fifty-eight 
interlacements of a ribbon pattern of- white lines edged by 
black ones on a black ground. Surely this is the manuscript 
which was shown to Giraldus Cambrensis towards the close 
of the twelfth century and of whose illuminations he speaks 
with glowing enthusiasm; "they were," he says, "supposed to 
have been produced by the direction of an angel at the prayer 
of St. Brigid." 

The Gospels of MacDurnan (now in the Archbishop's 
Library at Lambeth) is a small and beautiful volume which 
was executed by an abbot of Armagh who died in the year 891. 
A full-page picture of the Evangelist precedes each Gospel, and 
a composite border frames each miniature in a bewildering pat- 
tern of intertwining strapwork and wonderful designs of im- 
aginary beasts. Ornamental capitals and rich borders give a 
special beauty to the initial pages of the Gospels. 

T,he Book of Armagh (in the Library of T. C. D.) was 
carefully guarded and specially venerated through the ages in 
the erroneous belief that it was in part the handiwork of St. 
Patrick. It was written about the year 800, and would appear 
to have been copied from documents actually written by the 
patron saint of Ireland. The book is exceptionally interest- 
ing by reason of the fact that it contains St. Patrick's Con- 
fession, that beautiful story of how he found his mission, how 
the captive grew to love his captors, and how, after his escape, 
he came back to them bearing the lamp of Holy Faith. 
Although the ornamentation of the manuscript is infrequent. 


there are occasional beautiful examples which compare in rich- 
ness with those in the Book of Kells. 

The Liber Hymnorum (in the Franciscan Monastery, Dub- 
lin) contains a number of hymns associated with the names of 
Irish saints. The ornamentation consists of colored initials, 
designed with a striking use of fanciful animal figures inter- 
laced and twined with delightful freedom around the main 
structural body. 

The Garland of Howth and the Stowe Missal (both in 
Trinity College Library) belong to the eighth century and 
are beautiful examples of early illuminative art. The former, 
which is very incomplete, has only two ornamental pages left, 
each containing figure-representations inserted in the decora- 
tive work. 

The Gospels of St. Chad (in the Cathedral Library at Lich- 
field) and the Gospels of Lindisfarne, which are "the glory of 
the British Museum", form striking examples of the influence 
of Celtic art. St. Chad was educated in Ireland in the school 
of St. Finian, where he acquired his training in book decora- 
tion. The Gospels of Lindisfarne were produced by the monks 
of lona, where St. Columcille founded his great school of 
religion, art, and learning. This latter manuscript is second 
only to the Book of Kells in its glory of illuminative design, 
and, from its distinctive scheme of colors, the tones of which 
are light and bright and gay, it forms a contrast to the quieter 
shades and the solemn dignity of the more famous volume. 

The Book of the Dun Cow, The Book of Leinster, and the 
other great manuscripts of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth 
centuries are interesting as literature rather than as art, for 
they tell the history of ancient Erin and have garnered her 
olden legends and romantic tales. It is only the Gospels and 
other manuscripts of religious subjects that are illuminated. 
In the apparel of the ancient Irish, the number of colors 
marked the social rank: the king might wear seven colors, 
poets and learned men six; five colors were permitted in the 
clothes of chieftains, and thus grading down to the servant, 
who might wear but one. All this the scribe knew well. We 
can picture the humble servant of God, clad in a coarse robe of 
a single color, deep in his chosen labor of recording the life 


and teachings of his Master, and striving to endow this record 
with the glory of the seven colors which were rightly due to a 
King alone. As we gaze on his work today its beauty is 
instinct with life, and the patient love that gave it birth seems 
to cling to it still. The white magic of the artist's holy hands 
has bridged the span of a thousand years. 

References : 

O'Curry: Lectures on tlie Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish 
History (Dublin, 1861); Bruun: An Enquiry into the Art of the 
Illuminated Manuscripts of the Middle Ages, Part I, Celtic Illu- 
minated Manuscripts (Edinburgh, 1897) ; Robinson: Celtic Illumina- 
tive Art in the Gospels of Durrow, Lindisfarne, and Kells (Dublin, 
1908) ; Westwood : The Book of Kells, a lecture given in Oxford, 
November, 1886 (Dublin, 1887) ; Gougaud: Repertoire des fac-similes 
des manuscripts irlandais (Paris, 1913). 


By Francis JosivPH Bigge:r, M. R. I. A. 

THE ruins of Ireland are her proudest monuments. They 
stand as a lasting revelation to all mankind — a distinct 
and definite proclamation that the Irish people, century after 
century, were able to raise and adorn some of the fi;nest build- 
ings in stone that western civilization has seen or known. It 
is recognized the world over that Irish art has a beauty and 
distinction all its own, in its own Irish setting unrivalled, 
throned in its own land, in its own natural surroundings. The 
shrines and gospels, the reliquaries and missals, the crosses 
and bells that are still existent, many in Ireland, others in 
every country in the world, attest beyond any dispute that 
Irish art-workers held a preeminent place in the early middle 
ages, and that works of Irish art are still treasured as unique 
in their day and time. No country has been plundered and 
desolated as Ireland has been. Dane, Norman, English — each 
in turn swept across the fair face of Ireland, carrying destruc- 
tion in their train, yet withal Ireland has her art treasures 
and her ruins that bear favorable comparison with those of 
other civilizations. 

In Dublin and in many private Irish collections can be found 
hand-written books of parchment, illuminated with glowing 
colors that time has scarce affected or the years caused 
to fade. On one page alone of the Book of Kells, ornament 
and writing can be seen penned and painted in lines too 
numerous even to count. They are there by the thousand: 
a magnifying glass is required to reveal even a fragment of 
them. Ireland produced these in endless number — every great 
library or collection in Europe possesses one or more examples. 

As with books, so with reliquaries, crosses, and bells. When 
the Island of Saints and Scholars could produce books, it 
could make shrines and everything necessary to stimulate and 
hand down the piety and the patient skill of a people steeped 
in art-craft and religious feeling. What they could do on 
parchment — like the Books of Kells and Durrow — what they 
could produce in bronze and precious metals — like the Cross 

90 the: GI.ORIES 01? IREI.AND 

of Cong, the Shrine of Saint Patrick's Bell, the Tara Brooch, 
and the Chalice of Ardagh — not to write of the numberless 
bronze and gold articles of an age centuries long preceding 
their production — they could certainly vie with in stone. 

Of this earlier work a word must go down. In Ireland still 
at the present day, after all the years of plunder she has under- 
gone, more ancient gold art-treasures remain than in any other 
country, museum, or collection, most of them pre-Christian, 
and what the other countries do possess are largely Irish or of 
Celtic origin. We must have this borne into the minds of 
every one of Irish birth or origin, that this great treasure 
was battered into shape by Irish hands on Irish anvils, de- 
signed in Irish studios, ornamented with Irish skill for Irish 

With such workmen, having such instincts and training, 
what of the housing and surroundings to contain them and 
give them a fit and suitable setting? The earliest stone struc- 
tures in Ireland still remaining are the great stone cashels or 
circular walls enclosing large spaces — walls of great thickness, 
unmortared, in which there are vast quantities of masonry. 
Around their summits a chariot might be driven, inside their 
spaces horse races might be run. As a few examples, there 
are Staigue, in Kerry; Dun Angus, in Aran, off Galway; Ail- 
each, above the walls of Derry. Of the earliest churches, 
Cyclopean in construction and primitive in character, built of 
stone, with thick sloping walls from foundation to ridge, Gal- 
lerus still remains, and the Skelligs, those wondrous sea-girt 
rocks, preserve both church and cell almost perfect. There 
are many other examples, some of a later date, such as Temple 
Cronan and Maghera and Banagher in Derry, St. Finan's 
oratory in county Cork, St. Fechin's at Fore, and St. Molaise's 
at Devenish. 

From the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries, there are 
innumerable examples of oratories, some with stone roofs, 
others with roofs not so permanent, but all having the common 
features of an altar window facing the east, through which the 
sun fell at the beginning of the day to tell the early missioner 
that his hour of devotion had arrived, and a west door, through 
which the rays of the declining sun fell across the altar steps, 


Speaking of a day that was closing. A south window was 
added close to the east end, and it, too, was a sun-dial ; it told 
the hour of angelus, the mid-day, when the bell was rung and a 
calm reverence fell on all within its hearing. Such churches 
can still be seen at Aran and Inismurray, on the islands of 
Lough Derg, Lough Ri, and in many other places. 

A few years later these oratories were too small for the 
growing faith, and larger churches were built, some using the 
older structure as chancels. Where the west door was built a 
circular arch was made and the new and old united. This can 
well be seen at Inis-na-ghoill in Lough Corrib, on the Aran 
Islands off Galway, at Glendalough, at Inis-cleraun in Lough 
Ri, at Clonmacnois, at Iniscaltra, and on many another island 
and promontory of the south and west. 

During this time, and after, we find the most elaborate 
carvings on door and arch and window, equal in skill to what 
is found in book or metal work. 

It must have been at this time that the Galls, or strangers, 
first invaded Ireland, bearing havoc in their train, for then it 
was that the cloicteach, or Round Towers, were built. It is 
now admitted by all Irish authorities of any repute, and that 
beyond dispute, that the Round Towers, the glory of Ireland, 
were built by Irish people as Christian monuments from which 
the bells might be rung, and as places of strength for the 
preservation of the valued articles used in Christian worship ; 
here they might be safely stored. They were also used for the 
preservation of life in case of sudden attack and onslaught by 
unexpected enemies. All the towers are on ecclesiastical sites, 
many are incorporated in church buildings, such as those of 
Glendalough in Wicklow and Clonmacnois on the Shannon. 
The records of the construction of some of them in the tenth 
and eleventh centuries are still extant, and this is conclusive. 
There are today about seventy Round Towers in Ireland, and 
many have been destroyed. 

The pillar towers of Ireland, how wondrously they stand 
By the lakes and rushing rivers through the valleys of our land; 
In mystic file, through the isle, they lift their heads sublime. 
These gray old pillar temples — these conquerors of time. 


Here was placed the holy chalice that held the sacred wine, 
And the gold cross from the altar, and the relics from the shrine. 
And the mitre shining brighter with its diamonds than the east, 
And the crozier of the pontiff, and the vestments of the priest. 

D. F. MacCarthy. 

This was the time when the High Crosses of Ireland were 
carved and set up. They vie with the Round Towers in inter- 
est and in the display of skill. What the towers have in per- 
fection, masonry and construction, the crosses have in artistic 
carving and symbolic design. No two crosses are alike; they 
are as varied as the clouds in an Irish sky or the pebbles on the 
beach or the flowers in a garden. They were carved in rever- 
ence by those who knew and esteemed their art, and lavished all 
their skill and knowledge on what they most valued and treas- 
ured. They were not set up as grave-marks merely — theirs was 
a higher and loftier mission. They were raised in places where 
some great event or period was to be commemorated — they 
were erected where some early disciple of the Cross could stand 
beside one of them and from any panel could tell the founda- 
tion of the Faith, for there in stone was story after story, from 
the Old Testament and the New, that gave him his text, and 
so, as at the Cross of the Scriptures at Clonmacnois, a mis- 
sioner could preach on every recurring holy day from Christ- 
mas to Christmas, with ever his text in stone before him. 
Many a broken and mutilated cross has been set up in Ire- 
land in recent years, proving that the heart of the Gael, no 
matter how rent and broken, is still inclined to bind up the 
broken wounds of her past glories. 

With the religious orders there came to Ireland a wide- 
spread desire to add something to the older sanctuaries of the 
Gael, to widen their borders and strengthen their cords, and so 
the abbeys were founded. Here and there we find them still — 
by winding rivers, on rich meadows, in glens and glades, 
by the sea margin, or on the slopes of the rugged mountain. 
Their crumbling walls and broken windows can still be traced, 
their towers are still to be seen over tree tops and in the centre 
of many a slumbering town. By the shores of Donegal Bay 
the old Franciscan house, where the Four Masters compiled 

the: ruins of ire:land 93 

what is perhaps the most remarkable record possessed by any 
nation, is still clothed in ivy. At Kilconnell, in Galway, their 
old place is almost as they left it, but roofless, with the tears 
of the friars upon the altar steps. Clare Galway has a tower 
worth travelling half a continent to see. By the Boniet River, 
at Drumahaire, on the banks of Lough Gill, are the mason 
marks of the cloister builders, and the figure of St. Francis 
talking to the birds is still there. The abbey is roofless and 
empty, and so the birds of the air are his constant companions. 

Space forbids, or endless abbeys might be described. The 
Black Abbey at Kilkenny, with its long row of Butler effigies, 
or the Cathedral of Saint Canice, still perfect, with its soaring 
round tower beside it, or the mystical seven light window of 
the Franciscan friary by the Nore, with the old mill-weirs 
running free to this day. How long could we ponder by the 
east window of Kilcooley, with tracery like a spider's web, and 
listen to the mystical bells, or gaze at the beautiful oriel at 
Feenagh, or stand at Jerpoint, with its spacious cloisters and 
stone-groined choir, with Saint Christopher in Irish marble 
beside us. 

Cashel, one of the wonders of the world, grows up sud- 
denly into sight on a high rock rising from level land crowned 
with buildings. A great abbey dominates ; beside it clings that 
carved gem of a stone-roofed church, Cormac*s Chapel. 
Round Tower and Cross are there, and many a sculptured 

Not far from Cashel is the Abbey of Holy Cross, with its 
lovely mitred windows, shadowed in the river passing at its 
feet. The circular pillars and arches of Boyle Abbey are 
splendidly proportioned, whilst the cloisters of Sligo display 
in their long, shadowy recesses and ornamented pillars great 
dignity and beauty. The windows and monuments of Ennis 
Friary, founded by the O'Briens, are of unusual interest, the 
carving of figure-subjects being equal to the best of their age. 

We have Thomastown and Callan, Dunbrody and Tintern, 
all having an individual charm and interest that not only dim 
the eye and make the blood course freely in every one of Irish 
stock when he looks upon what is and thinks of what was, 
but even in the coldest light give food for thought to every one 


desirous of knowing something of the growth and civilization 
of a great people. 

Of the many castles and stout Irish strongholds it is hard 
to write in such a short paper as this. Those on the Boyne, 
such as Trim, for strong building and extent, excel in many 
ways. Carlingford, Carrickfergus, and Dunluce have by thefr 
size and picturesque situations ever appealed to visitors. They 
are each built on rocks jutting into the sea, Dunluce on a great 
perpendicular height, the Atlantic dashing below. Dunamace, 
near Maryborough, in the O'More country, appears like Cashel, 
but is entirely military. The famed walled cities of Kells, in 
Kilkenny, and Fore, in Westmeath, are remarkable. Each has 
an abbey, many towers, gates, and stout bastions. The great 
keeps of the midland lords, the towers of Granuaile on the 
west coast, and the traders' towers on the east coast, especially 
those of Down, afford ample material for a study of the early 
colonizing efforts of different invaders, as well as providing 
incidents of heroism and romance. These square battlemented 
towers can be seen here and there in every district. 

Every portion of Ireland has its ruins. Earthworks, stone 
forts, prehistoric monuments, circular stone huts, early 
churches, abbeys, crosses, round towers, castles of every size 
and shape are to be found in every county, some one in every 
parish, all over Ireland. It is almost invidious to name any in 
particular where the number is so great. 

References : 

Proceedings of Royal Irish Academy (Dublin); Proceedings of 
Society of Antiquaries (Dublin) ; Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 
Old Series and New Series, edited by F. J. Bigger, Belfast; Wake- 
man: Handbook of Irish Antiquities (Dublin, 1891); Stokes: Early 
Christian Art in Ireland (Dublin, 1887); Petrie: Round Towers and 
Ancient Architecture of Ireland (Dublin, 1845). 


By D. J. O'DoNOGHuf^, 
Librarian, University College, Dublin. 

IT would be difficult to dispute, in view of her innumerable 
and excellent artists, that there has always been in modem 
times an art consciousness in Ireland, but it is impossible to 
assert that there has been any artistic unity in her people. She 
has produced no school, but merely a great number of brilliant 
painters, sculptors, and engravers, chiefly for export. With 
all our acknowledged artistic capacity, we have not, except in 
one notable instance, produced a cumulative art effect. The 
history of Irish art is almost uniformly a depressing narrative. 
During a comparatively brief period in the eighteenth cen- 
tury — significantly enough, it was while the country enjoyed a 
short spell of national life — there was something like a national 
patronage of the artist, and the result is visible in the noble 
public buildings and beautiful houses of the Irish capital, with 
their universally admired mantelpieces, doors, ceilings, fan- 
lights, ironwork, and carvings. In short, while Ireland had 
even a partly unfettered control of her own concerns, the arts 
were generously encouraged by her government .and by the 
wealthy individual. When other European capitals were mere 
congeries of rookeries, Dublin, the centre of Irish political 
life, possessed splendid streets, grandly planned. But there 
was little solidarity among the artistic fraternity. Various 
associations of artists were formed^ which held together fairly 
well until the flight of the resident town gentry after the 
Union, and many admirable artists were trained in the schools 
of the Royal Dublin Society, but, since the opening of the 
nineteenth century, there has been almost no visible art effort 
in Dublin. True, there have been many fine artists, who have 
made a struggle to fix themselves in Dublin, but, as with the 
Royal Hibernian Academy, of which the best of them were 
members, the struggle has been a painful agony. Usually the 
artist migrated to London to join the large group of Irishmen 
working there; a few others went to America and obtained 
an honored place in her art annals. Those who went to 


England secured in many cases the highest rewards of the 
profession. Several, like Barry, Hone, Barrett, and Cotes, 
were founders or early members of the Royal Academy; one, 
Sir Martin Shee, became its President. Nevertheless, many 
distinguished artists remained in Dublin, where the arts of 
portrait-painting and engraving were carried to a high pitch 
of excellence. 

This record must necessarily be of a chronological character, 
and can only take note of those whose works hav.e actual value 
and interest, historical or other. Edward Luttrell (1650- 
1710) did some excellent work in crayon or pastel, while 
Garrett Murphy (fl. 1650-1716), Stephen Slaughter (d. 1765), 
Francis Bindon (d. 1765), and James Latham (1696-1747), 
have each left us notable portraits of the great Irish person- 
ages of their day. To fellow countrymen in London, Charles 
Jervas (1675?-1739), Thomas Hickey (d. 1816?), and Francis 
Cotes, R. A. (1725-1770), we owe presentments of other 
famous people. George Barrett, R. A. (1728-1784), one of 
the greatest landscapists of his time; Nathaniel Hone, R. A. 
(1718-1784), an eccentric but gifted painter, with an indi- 
viduality displayed in all his portraits; James Barry, R. A. 
(1741-1806), still more eccentric, with grand conceptions im- 
perfectly carried out in his great historical and allegorical 
pictures: — these, with Henry Tresham, R. A. (1749P1814), 
and Matthew Peters, R. A. (1742-1814), historical painters of 
considerable merit, upheld the Irish claim to a high place in 
English eighteenth century art. A little later, miniaturists 
such as Horace Plone, A. R. A. (1756-1825), George Chinnery 
(1774-1852), and Adam Buck (1759-1844), also worked with 
remarkable success in London. Among resident Irish artists, 
the highest praise can be given to the miniature painters, John 
Comerford (1770?1832) and Charles Robertson (1760-1821), 
and to the portrait-painters, Robert Hunter (fl. 1750-1803) 
and (especially) Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1739-1808), of 
whose work Ireland possesses many distinguished examples. 
Some day Hamilton's pictures will appeal to a far wider public 
than his countrymen can provide. One must omit the names of 
many clever Irish artists like the Wests, Francis and Robert, 
who were the most successful teachers of perhaps any time 


in Ireland, and come at once to that branch of art in which 
Ireland stands second to none — mezzotint-engraving. 

One of the earliest engravers in this style was Edward 
Luttrell, already named as a painter, but it was John Brooks 
(fl. 1730-1756) who is justly considered the real founder of 
that remarkable group of Irish engravers whose work may be 
more correctly described as belonging to a school than any 
other of the period. For many years in Dublin, and after- 
wards in London, a succession of first-rate artists of Irish 
birth produced work which remains and always must remain 
one of the glories of Ireland. Limits of space allow only 
the bare mention of the names of James McArdell (1728?- 
1765), Charles Spooner (d. 1767), Thomas Beard (fl. 1728), 
Thomas Frye (1710-1762), Edward Fisher (1722-1785?), 
Michael Ford (d. 1765), John Dixon (1740?-1811), Richard 
Purcell (fl. 1746-1766), Richard Houston (1721?-1775), John 
Murphy (1748?-1820), Thomas Burke (1749-1815), Charles 
Exshaw (fl. 1747-1771), and Luke Sullivan (1705-1771)— 
artists of whom any country might be proud, and whose works 
have in most cases outlasted the remembrance of the persons 
whose likenesses they sought to reproduce. Separate mono- 
graphs might be justifiably written on most of the gifted 
artists here enumerated, and one can only regret not being 
able in short space to compare and estimate their various 
qualities. Thomas Chambers, A. R. A. (1724?-1784), William 
Nelson Gardiner (1766-1814), James Egan (1799-1842), and 
William Humphreys (1794-1865) are other Irish engravers 
who cannot be overlooked in a survey of the art of the late 
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. 

Contemporaneously with the remarkable development of the 
art of engraving arose a group of Irish architects. Rather 
earlier in point of time was Sir Edward Lovat Pearce (d. 
1733), who was one of the chief architects of the Irish Parlia- 
ment House, and Thomas 'Burgh (d. 1730), to whom we owe 
the Library of Trinity College, Dublin; but Thomas Cooley 
(1740-1784), designer of the handsome Royal Exchange of 
that city; Richard Castle (d. 1751), a foreigner who. settled in 
Ireland and built a number of beautiful Irish residences; 
Francis Johnston (1761-1829), an excellent architect whose 


chief claim to remembrance, however, is as founder of the 
Royal Hibernian Academy; and, above all, James Gandon 
(1743-1823), whose superb Custom House, Four Courts, and 
part of the Irish Parliament House will perpetuate his name in 
Dublin while that city lasts — each helped to make the capital, 
even in its decay, one of the most interesting in Europe. Nor 
should we forget Thomas Ivory (d. 1786), whose Foundling 
Hospital is another of Dublin's many graceful edifices; nor 
Sir Richard Morrison (1767-1849) and his son William (1794- 
1838), much of whose work remains to testify to their skill 
and ingenuity. 

Ecclesiastical architecture in Ireland is indebted to Patrick 
Byrne (fl. 1840), James J. McCarthy (d. 1882), J. B. Keane 
(d. 1859), and James Murray (1831-1863), for many well 
designed churches and chapels throughout Ireland; but the 
great names in modern Irish architecture are those of Benja- 
min Woodward (1815-1861), whose premature death was a 
serious loss to Irish art; Sir Thomas Deane (1792-1871) ; and 
his son. Sir Thomas Newenham Deane (1828-1899). The 
elder Deane was, with Woodward, the architect of the Oxford 
Museum and of the splendid Engineering Hall of Trinity 
College, Dublin, buildings which have elicited enthusiastic 
praise from John Ruskin and other eminent critics. Deserving 
of respectful mention, too, to come down to our own days, are 
Sir Thomas Drew (1838-1910) and William H. Lynn, who is 
still living. 

In sculpture, again, Ireland has done memorable work. In 
the eighteenth century she gave us admirable craftsmen like 
Edward Smyth (1749-1812), John Hickey (1756-1795), and 
Christopher Hewitson (fl. 1772-1794), whose dignified monu- 
ment of Bishop Baldwin is one of the most distinguished 
pieces of sculpture in Trinity College, Dublin. But it was not 
till the appearance of a later group of sculptors, including 
John Hogan (1800-1858), John Edward Carew (1785-1868), 
John Henry Foley, R. A. (1818-1874), and Patrick Mac- 
Dowell, R. A. (1799-1870), that Irish sculpture obtained more 
than local renown. Fortunately, most of the best work of 
Hogan and Foley remains in Ireland; that of Carew and 
MacDowell is chiefly to be found in the Houses of Parlia- 


ment and other institutions in London. The incomparable 
"Goldsmith," "Burke," "Grattan," and other statues by Foley, 
together with an almost complete collection of casts of his other 
works, are in his native country. Hogan is represented in 
Dublin by his "Thomas Davis" and his "Dead Christ," to name 
but two of his principal works. The names at least of James 
Heffernan (1785-1847), of John Edward Jones (1806-1872), 
of Terence Farrell (1798-1876), of Samuel F. Lynn (1834- 
1876), and perhaps of Christopher Moore (1790-1863), an 
excellent sculptor of busts, may be set down here. Sir Thomas 
Farrell (1827-1900) and the living sculptors, John Hughes, 
Oliver Sheppard, and Albert Bruce Joy, are responsible for 
some of the more admirable of the public monuments of 
Dublin. It is much to be deplored that of the work of one of 
the greatest of Dublin-born artists, Augustus Saint Gaudens, 
we have only one example — the statue of Parnell. Ireland 
may surely claim him as one of her most gifted sons. And 
perhaps a word might be said in this place of some of the 
other Irishmen who made their home in America: of Hoban 
the architect who designed the White House at Washington, 
modelling it after Leinster House in Dublin; of painters like 
Charles Ingham, W. G. Wall, William MagratH, the Morans, 
James Hamilton, and Thomas Hovenden; and of sculptors 
like John Donoghue, John Flanagan, Andrew O'Connor, John 
F. Kelly, Jerome Connor, John J. Boyle, and Martin Milmore. 
But they belong rather to the history of American art than 
to that of Ireland. 

Before leaving the subject of Irish sculpture, the work of 
the medallists, an allied branch of the art in which Irishmen 
did much valued work, should not be overlooked. The medals 
of William Mossop (1751-1805), of his son, William Stephen 
Mossop (1788-1827), and of John Woodhouse (1835-1892), 
to mention only three of its chief representatives in Ireland, 
are greatly prized by collectors. 

Most modern Irish art of high importance has been largely 
produced out of Ireland, which has been perforce abandoned 
by those artists who have learned how little encouragement is 
to be met with at home. One can blame neither the artist nor 
the Irish public for this unfortunate result; there is sufficient 


100 THE Gi,ORiJi:s o:p irdi^and 

reason in the political and economic condition of Ireland 
since the Union to explain the fact. But for this cause men 
like Daniel Maclise, R. A. (1806-1870), William Mul- 
ready, R. A. (1786-1863), Francis Danby, A. R. A. (1793- 
1861), and Alfred Elmore, R. A. (1815-1881), might 
have endeavored to emulate the spirit of James O'Connor 
(1792-1841), the landscapist, Richard Rothwell (1800-1868), 
a charming subject painter, and Sir Frederic W. Burton (1816- 
1900), one of the most distinguished artists of his time, who 
at least spent some of their active working career in their 
native land. The same words apply to artists who succeeded 
in other branches of the profession, men like John Doyle 
(1797-1868), a caricaturist with all the power, without the 
coarseness, of his predecessors; his son, Richard Doyle (1824- 
1883), a refined and delicate artist; John Leech (1817-1864), 
the humorist, a member of an Irish Catholic family ; Paul Gray 
(1842-1866), who died before his powers had fully matured; 
and Matthew James Lawless (1837-1864), who also died too 
early. William Collins, R. A. (1788-1847) and Clarkson 
Stanfield, R. A. (1793-1867), both eminent representatives of 
English art, though of Irish extraction, more properly belong 
to England than to Ireland. 

Not discouraged by the melancholy history of many gifted 
Irish artists, Ireland still produces men who are not unworthy 
of association with the best who have gone before. Our most 
recent losses have been heavy — notably those of Walter F. 
Osborne (1859-1903) and Patrick Vincent Duffy (1832-1909), 
but we still have artists of genius in the persons of Nathaniel 
Hone, a direct descendant of his famous namesake; John 
Butler Yeats; John Lavery, A. R. A.; and William Orpen, 
A. R. A. Many other names might be given, but already this 
attempt at a survey suffers by its enumeration of artists, who, 
however, could hardly be neglected in such a record. 

Crowded as the list may be, it is a careful selection, and it 
demonstrates that, notwithstanding all the disadvantages under 
which Ireland suffers, the country has an almost unlimited 
capacity for fine achievement, and that, with prosperity and 
contentment, she may be expected to rival the most illustrious 
of art centres. It is only within living memory that any 


attempt has been made to direct the known artistic skill of the 
Irish people to industrial effort. But the remarkable success 
achieved in the modern designs for Irish lace in the English 
art competitions is an instance of what might be done generally 
in the applied arts. Though they are in their infancy, the new 
carpet and stained glass industries in Ireland also hold out 
considerable hope for the future. But one can only barely 
indicate what has been and might be done in the furtherance 
of Irish art. If we only had under one roof a judiciously 
made collection of all the best work done by Irish artists of all 
styles and periods, it would more eloquently justify our claim 
than endless columns of praise. 

References : 

Anthony Pasquin [John Williams]: History of Professors of 
Painting in Ireland (1795); T. J. Mulvany: Life of James GaDdon; 
John O'Keeffe: Reminiscences, vol. I; Taft: American Sculpture; 
W. G. Strickland: Dictionary of Irish Artists (2 vols., 1913). 


By Thomas E. Heai<y, 
Editor of "Sport;' Dublin. 

ON the face of the earth there is no nation in which the 
love of clean and wholesome sport is more strongly 
developed than in the Irish. Against us it cannot be urged that 
we take our pleasures sadly. We enter into them with entire 
self-abandon, whole-hearted enthusiasm, and genuine exuber- 
ance of spirit. There is nothing counterfeit about the Irish- 
man in his play. His one keen desire is to win, be the contest 
what it may ; and towards the achievement of that end he will 
strain nerve and muscle even to the point of utter exhaustion. 
And how the onlookers applaud at the spectacle of a desper- 
ately contested race, whether between horses, men, motor- 
cars, bicycles, or boats, or of a match between football, hurl- 
ing, or cricket teams ! It matters not which horse, man, car, 
cycle, boat, or team is successful: the sport is the thing that 
counts ; the strenuousness of the contest is what stimulates and 
evokes the rapturous applause. At such a moment it is good 
to be alive. Scenes similar to those hinted at may be witnessed 
on any sports-field or racetrack in our dear little Emerald Isle 
almost any day of the year. All is good fellowship ; all is in 
the cause of sport. 

No one can question that in some departments of horse- 
racing Ireland is today supreme. The Irish devotion to the 
horse is of no recent growth. Everybody knows how, in the 
dim and distant days when King Conor macNessa ruled at 
Emain, the war-steeds of the Ultonians neighed loudly in their 
stalls on the first dramatic appearance of Cuchulainn of Muir- 
themne at the northern court. Cuchulainn's own two steeds, 
Liath Macha, "the Roan of Macha", and Dub Sainglenn, "Black 
Sanglan", are celebrated in story and song : 

Never hoofs like them shall ring. 
Rapid as the winds of spring. 

To read of the performances of Cuchulainn and his war- 
horses and his charioteer and friend, Laeg macRiangabra, at 


the famous battle of Rosnaree, and again at the last fight be- 
tween the Red Branch Knights and the forces of Queen Medb 
of Connacht, does truly, in the words used by Sir Philip Sidney 
in another connection, stir the heart like the sound of a 

As time went on, the Irish war-horse became more and more 
famous, and always carried his rider in gallant style. Stout 
was the steed that, bestridden by Godfrey O'Donnell at the 
battle of Credan-Kille, withstood the shock of Lord Maurice 
Fitzgerald's desperate onslaught, and by his steadiness enabled 
the Tyrconnell chieftain to strike senseless and unhorse his 
fierce Norman foe. More celebrated still was the high-spirited 
animal which Art MacMurrogh rode in 1399 to his ineffectual 
parley with King Richard the Second's representative, the 
Earl of Gloucester. The French chronicler who was a witness 
of that historic scene tells us that a horse more exquisitely 
beautiful, more marvellously fleet, he had never seen. "In 
coming down," he says, "it galloped so hard that, in my opin- 
ion, I never saw hare, deer, sheep, or any other animal, I 
declare to you for a certainty, run with such speed as it did." 
Edmund Spenser, the poet of The Faerie Queene, writing in 
1596, bears this striking testimony to the Irish horse-soldier 
and inferentially to the Irish horse: "I have hearde some 
greate warriours say, that, in all the services which they had 
scene abroade in forrayne countreys, they never sawe a more 
comely horseman than the Irish man, nor that cometh on more 
bravely in his charge." The feats performed at the Battle of 
the Boyne, in 1690, by the Irish horse-soldiers under Hamilton 
and Berwick were really wonderful, and well-nigh turned dis- 
aster into victory on that memorable day which decided the 
fate of nations as well as of dynasties. And surely those were 
fleet and stout-hearted steeds that, on August 12, 1690, car- 
ried Sarsfield and his chosen five hundred on their dare-devil 
midnight ride from the Keeper Hills to Ballyneety, where in 
the dim morning twilight they captured and destroyed William 
of Orange's wonderful siege-train, and thereby heartened the 
defenders of beleaguered Limerick. 

Writing in 1809, Lawrence, in his History and Delineation 
of the Horse, said: "From Ireland alone we import [into 


England] many saddle horses, as many perhaps as 1,500 in a 
year; upwards in some years. The Irish are the highest and 
steadiest leapers in the world. Ireland has bred some good 
racers, and the generality of Irish horses are, it appears, 
warmer tempered than our own; and, to use the expression, 
sharper and more frigate-built." 

It is not to be wondered at therefore if in such a country 
there developed an ardent love of the noble sport of horse- 
racing. The Curragh of Kildare, the long-standing head- 
quarters of the Irish Turf Club, was celebrated far back in 
the eighteenth century as the venue of some great equine con- 
tests; and to this day, with its five important fixtures every 
year, it still holds pride of place. There are numerous other 
race-courses all over the country, from Punchestown, Leop- 
ardstown. Phoenix Park, and Baldoyle in the east to Galway 
in the west, and from The Maze in the north to rebel Cork in 
the south. Horse-racing has not inappropriately been termed 
the national pastime of Ireland. The number of people now 
giving their attention to it has called for a notable increase in 
the number of race-meetings, and stake-money is being put up 
on a more generous scale than at any previous time in the 
history of the sport. For example, the Irish Derby, run at 
the Curragh, was in 1914 worth £2,500 ; and there are besides 
several stakes of £1,500 and £1,000. The result of this for- 
ward policy is that increasing numbers come to our race- 
meetings and that the turf has never been more popular than 
it is today. Men and women of wealth and position find in 
the national pastime a pleasant method of employing their 
leisure, and in expending their surplus wealth in its pursuit 
and in the raising of horses of the highest class they realize 
that they confer a real benefit on the country. 

It is, of course, now universally known that Ireland has an 
international reputation as a country eminently fitted for horse- 
breeding. If proof were needed, it would be found in the 
extensive purchases effected by English, French, Italian, Ger- 
man, Russian, and American buyers at the great Dublin Horse 
Show held in August every year. Horses bought in Ireland 
have seldom failed to realize their promise. The English 
classic races and many of the principal handicaps on the flat 


have been often won by Irish-bred horses, such as Galtee 
More, Ard Patrick, Orby, Kilwarlin, Barcaldine, Umpire, 
Master Kildare, Kilsallaghan, Bendigo, Philomel, The Re- 
jected, Comedy, Winkfield's- Pride, Bellevin, Royal Flush, 
Victor Wild, Bachelor's Button, Irish Ivy, and Hackler's 
Pride. If only a few of the star performers are here set 
down, it is not from lack of means to continue, but merely 
from a desire to avoid the compilation of a mere string of 
names. In France, too, the Irish racer has made his mark. 
It is, however, in the four-and-a-half miles' Liverpool Grand 
National Steeplechase, the greatest cross-country race in the 
world, the supreme test of the leaper, galloper, and stayer, 
that Irish-bred horses have made perhaps the most wonderful 
record. The list of winners of that great event demonstrates 
in an unmistakable manner that we are second to none in the 
art of breeding steeplechase horses. Among many other noted 
Irish-bred winners of this race there stand boldly forth the 
names of The Lamb, Empress, Woodbrook, Frigate, Come 
Away, Cloister, Wild Man from Borneo, and Manifesto. In 
fact, it is the exception when another than an Irish-bred horse 
annexes the blue riband of steeplechasing. 

Closely allied to horse-racing is fox-hunting, and fox- 
hunting, as well as the hunting of the stag and of the hare, has 
flourished exceedingly in Ireland for a long time past. A 
great deal of needed employment is one of the results. Dogs 
are specially bred and trained for each of these branches of 
sport. Irish foxhounds, staghounds, harriers, and beagles have 
a high reputation. More native to the soil, and so interwoven 
with the history of the country that it is often used as one of 
its symbols, is the Irish wolfhound. This is probably the 
animal to which Aurelius Symmachus, a Roman consul in 
Britain, referred when, writing to his brother in Ireland in 
A. D. 391, he acknowledged the receipt of seven Irish hounds. 
The wolfhound played a sinister part in the Irish history of the 
eighteenth century, for, as Davis says in his poem, "The 
Penal Days": 

Their dogs were taught alike to run 
Upon the scent of wolf and friar. 


The Irish wolfhound is now very scarce, and a genuine 
specimen is a valued and highly coveted possession. The 
greyhound, too, figures prominently in present-day sport, and 
in many parts of the country are held coursing meetings, 
which frequently result in several spirited contests. A famous 
Irish greyhound was Lord Lurgan's black and white dog. 
Master McGrath. Master McGrath achieved the rare dis- 
tinction of winning the Waterloo Cup three times, in 1868, 
1869, and 1871. When it is remembered that the Waterloo 
Cup is to coursing what the Liverpool Grand National is to 
steeplechasing, or the Epsom Derby to flat racing, the merit 
of this triple performance will at once be apparent. 

Compared with the sports in which horse and hound par- 
ticipate, all other outdoor pastimes in Ireland take rather a 
minor place. Still, the Irishman's love of sport is diversified. 
Few there are who have not many inclinations, and as a nation 
our taste in sport is catholic. We take part in nearly every 
pastime; in many we excel. The prize ring has fallen from 
its high estate, nor is it the intention here to try to cast any 
glamour over it. The vSubject is introduced, in a passing way, 
for the sole purpose of showing that, in what at least used to be 
the manly art of self-defense, Ireland in days gone by as well 
as at the present time has more than held her own. The most 
conspicuous of the representatives of her race in this depart- 
ment are perhaps Heenan, Ryan, Sullivan, Corbett, Maher, 
McAuliffe, McFarland, and McGoorty. There is one other 
prize-fighter, Dan Donnelly by name, who became a sort of 
national hero, of whom all Irishmen of his day were not a 
little proud, because he laid the English champion low, and 
whose performance, now haloed by the antiquity of more than 
a hundred years, we may with equanimity, as without offense, 
contemplate, with perhaps a sigh for the good old times. The 
famous encounter between Donnell yand Cooper took place on 
the Curragh, and after eleven rounds of scientific boxing Don- 
nelly knocked his opponent over the ropes and won the world's 
championship for the Emerald Isle. The spot where the battle 
came off has ever since been known as Donnelly's Hollow, and 
a neat monument there erected commemorates the Dublin 
man's pluck and skill. A ballad recounting the incidents of the 


fight and, as ballads go, not badly composed, had a wonderful 
vogue, and was sung at fair and market and other meeting 
place within the memory of men who are not now more than 

A search in other domains of sport will be by no means 
barren of results. Take running, for instance. Who has not 
heard of the wondrous little Thomas Conneff from the short- 
grass county of Kildare? Who does not know of his brilliant 
performances on the track? We in Ireland, who had seen 
him defeat Carter, the great Canadian, over the four-mile 
course at Ballsbridge one summer's eve now nearly twenty 
golden years ago, knew his worth before he crossed the broad 
Atlantic to show to thousands of admiring spectators in 
America that Ireland was the breeder of fleet-footed sons, 
who lacked neither the courage, nor the thews and sinews, nor 
the staying power, to carry them at high speed over any dis- 
tance of ground. May the earth lie light on Conneff, for in a 
small body he had a great heart ! Then there was the mighty 
runner, James J. Daly, a true hero from Galway, the idol of 
the crowd in his native land as well as in the United States. 
Daly was the champion long distance cross-country runner of 
his day at home, and he showed before various nationalities 
in the Greater Ireland beyond the seas that he could success- 
fully compete with the best from all countries. 

In high jumping, Patrick Davin, P. Leahy, and Peter O'Con- 
nor were for long in the foremost rank; Daniel Ahearne was 
famous for his hop-step-and-jump performance; Maurice 
Davin, Matthew McGrath, and Patrick Ryan have, each in his 
own day, thrown the 16-pound hammer to record distance; in 
shot-putting there are Sheridan, Horgan, John Flanagan, and 
others bearing true Irish names, who are right in front; and 
before their time we had a redoubted champion in W. J. M. 
Barry. All previous performances in the shot-putting line 
have, however, been recently eclipsed by Patrick J. McDonald, 
of the Irish-American Club, who at Celtic Park, Long Island, 
on May 30, 1914, made a new world's record by putting the 
18-pound shot 46 feet 2^ inches. The climax of achievement 
was reached when T. F. Kiely won the all-round championship 
of the world at New York. The distinguished part taken by 


Irishmen or sons of Irishmen in all departments of the Olym- 
pic games is so recent and so well known as to call for no 
comment. Ireland is far indeed from being degenerate in her 

In international strife with England, Scotland, Wales, and 
France at Rugby football, Ireland has likewise won her spurs. 
She has never been beaten by the representatives of Gaul; 
and though for long enough she had invariably to succumb in 
competition with the other three countries, such is not the case 
nowadays, nor has it been for many years past. The Irish 
team has ever to be reckoned with. In Association football, 
too, Ireland is coming into her own. This branch of the game 
has developed enormously within a comparatively few seasons. 
The people flock in their thousands to witness matches for the 
principal league contests or cup ties. But the greatest crowds 
of all go to see Gaelic football, the national game ; and to hurl- 
ing, also distinctively Irish, they foregather in serried masses. 
Since the Gaelic Athletic Association was founded both foot- 
ball and hurling have prospered exceedingly. They are essen- 
tially popular forms of sport, and the muscular manhood of 
city and country finds in them a natural outlet for their char- 
acteristic Celtic vigor. The Gaelic Association has fostered 
and developed these sports, and has organized them on so 
sound a basis that interest in them is not confined to any par- 
ticular district but spreads throughout the length and breadth 
of Ireland. 

When the America Cup was to be challenged for, into the 
breach stepped the Earl of Dunraven and flung his gage to 
the holders of the trophy. This distinguished Irish nobleman 
furnished a contender in his Valkyrie II. in the fall of 1893, 
and his patriotic spirit in doing so stirred the sport-loving 
Irish nation to the greatest enthusiasm. His lordship was not 
successful, but he was not disheartened. He tried again with 
Valkyrie III., but again he was only second best, for, though 
his yacht sailed to victory in home waters, she proved unequal 
to the task of lifting the cup. No Englishman was prepared 
to tempt fortune, but not so that sterling Irishman, Sir Thomas 
Lipton, who, win or lose, would not have it laid to the charge 
of Ireland that an attempt should not be made. His Sham- 


rock, Shamrock II., and Shamrock III. — surely a deep sense 
of patriotism prompted nomenclature such as that — each in 
succession went down to defeat; but Sir Thomas has not done 
yet. Like King Bruce, he is going to try again, and Sham- 
rock IV. is to do battle with the best that America can range 
against her. All honor to Lord Dunraven and to Sir Thomas 
Lipton for their persistent efforts to engage in generous rivalry 
with the yachtsmen across the sea. 

Lawn-tennis, cricket, and golf we play, and play well; to 
rowing many of us are enthusiastically devoted ; and at hand- 
ball our young men — and some not so young — are signally 
expert. The champion handball player has always been of 
Irish blood. Baseball we invented — and called it rounders. It 
is significant that the great American ball game is still played 
according to a code which is scarcely modified from that which 
may be seen in force any summer day on an Irish school field 
or village green. Perhaps something of hereditary instinct is 
to be traced in the fact that many of the best exponents of 
American baseball are the bearers of fine old Irish names. 

This brief and cursory review of Ireland at Play must now 
conclude. It is scarcely more than a glossary, and not a com- 
plete one at that. It may, however, serve to show that Ire- 
land's record in sport, like her record in so many other things 
set forth in this book, is great and glorious enough to warrant 
the insertion of this short chapter among those which tell of 
old achievements and feats of high emprize. 

Hefebences : 

Racing — Irish Racing Calendar: 1790-1914, 124 vols. (Dublin, 
Brindley and Son); The Racing Calendar: 1774-1914 (London, 
Weatherby and Sons). Breeding— The General Stud Book: 1908-1913, 
22 vols. (London, Weatherby and Sons). Racing and Breeding Gen- 
erally — Cox : Notes on the History of the Irish Horse (Dublin, 1897), 
Boxing and Athletics — Files of Sport and Freeman's Journal, 


By Joseph I. C. Clarke, 
President, American Irish Historical Society. 

I. — The Fighting Race at Home. 

*'War was the ruling passion of this people," says Mac- 
Geoghegan, meaning the Milesians who were the latest of the 
peoples that overran ancient Ireland up to the coming of 
Christ. How many races had preceded them remains an enig- 
ma of history not profitable to examine here, but whoever they 
were, or in what succession they arrived, they must, like all 
migrating people, have been prepared to establish themselves 
at the point of the spear and the edge of the sword. Two races 
certainly were mingled in the ancient Irish, the fair or auburn 
haired with blue eyes, and the dark haired with eyes of gray or 
brown. The Milesians appear to have reached Ireland 
through Spain. They came swiftly to power, more than a 
thousand years before our Lord, and divided the country into 
four provinces or kingdoms, with an ard-ri, or high-king, 
ruling all in a loose way as to service, taxes, and allegiance. 
The economic life was almost entirely pastoral. Riches were 
counted in herds of cattle. "Robustness of frame, vehemence 
of passion, elevated imagination," Dr. Leland says, signalized 
this people. Robust, they became athletic and vigorous and 
excelled in the use of deadly weapons ; passionate, they easily 
went from litigation to blows; imaginative, they leaned to- 
ward poetry and song and were strong for whatever religion 
they practised. The latter was a polytheism brought close 
to the people through the Druids. Some stone weapons were 
doubtless still used; they had also brazen or bronze swords, 
and spears, axes, and maces of various alloys of copper and 
tin. Socially they remained tribal. Heads of tribes were 
petty kings, each with his stronghold of a primitive character, 
each with his tribal warriors, bards, harpers, and druids, and 
the whole male population more or less ready to take part in 

The great heroes whose names have come down to us, such 


as Finn, son of Cumhal, and Cuchulainn, were reared in a 
school of arms. Bravery was the sign of true manhood. A 
law of chivalry moderated the excess of combat. A trained 
militia, the Fianna, gave character to an era; the Knights 
of the Red Branch were the distinguishing order of chevaliers. 
The songs of the bards were songs of battle; the great Irish 
epic of antiquity was the Tain Bo Cualnge, or Cooley Cattle- 
raid, and it is full of combats and feats of strength and 
prowess. High character meant high pride, always ready to 
give account of itself and strike for its ideals : "Irritable and 
bold", as one historian has it. They were jealous and quick 
to anger, but light-hearted laughter came easily to the lips 
of the ancient Irish. They worked cheerfully, prayed fer- 
vently to their gods, loved their women and children de- 
votedly, clung passionately to their clan, and fought at the 
call with alacrity. 

Nothing, it will be seen, could be further from the minds 
of such a people than submission to what they deemed in- 
justice. The habit of a proud freedom was ingrained. Their 
little island of 32,000 square miles in the Atlantic Ocean, the 
outpost of Europe, lay isolated save for occasional forays to 
and from the coasts of Scotland and Ensfland. The Roman 
invasions of western Europe never reached it. England the 
Romans overran, but never Scotland or Ireland. Self-con- 
tained, Ireland developed a civilization peculiarly its own, the 
product of an intense, imaginative, fighting race. War was 
not constant among them by any means, an'd occupied only 
small portions of the island at a time, but, since the bards* 
best work was war songs and war histories, with much brag- 
gadocio doubtless intermixed, a different impression might 
prevail. Half of their kings may have ISeen killed in broil or 
battle, and yet great wars were 'few. It is undoubted that 
Scotic, that is, Irish, invasion and immigration peopled the 
western shores of Scotland and gave a name to the country. 
In the first centuries of the Christian era they were fhe men 
who with the Picts fousfht the Romans at the wall of Sev- 
erus. The Britons, it will be remembered, enervated by Ro- 
man dominance, had failed to defend their "border" when 
Rome first withdrew V^er legions. 


At this time, too, began the first appearance of Ireland as a 
power on the sea. In the fourth century the high-king, Niall 
of the Hostages, commanding a large fleet of war galleys, in- 
vaded Scotland, ravaged the English coasts, and conquered 
Armorica (Brittany), penetrating as far as the banks of the 
Loire, where, according to the legend, he was slain by an 
arrow shot by one of his own men. One of the captives he 
brought from abroad on one of his early expeditions was 
a youth named Patrick, afterwards to be the Apostle of Ire- 
land. Niall's nephew, Dathi, also ard-ri, was a great sea 
king. He invaded England, crossed to Gaul, and marched 
as far as the Alps, where he was killed by lightning. He was 
the last pagan king of Ireland. In perhaps a score of years 
after the death of Dathi, all Ireland had been converted to 
Christianity, and its old religion of a thousand years buried so 
deep that scholars find the greatest difficulty in recovering 
anything about it. This conservative, obstinate, jealous people 
overturned its pagan altars in a night, and, ever since, has never 
put into anything else the devotion, soul and body, of its sacri- 
fices for religion. Christianity profoundly modified Irish 
life, softened manners, and stimulated learning. Not that the 
fighting propensities were obliterated. There were indeed 
many long and peaceful reigns, but the historians record neat 
little wars, seductive forays and *'hostings", to use the new-old 
word, to the heart's content. The Irish character remained 
fixed in its essentials, but, under the influence of religious en- 
thusiasm, Ireland progressed and prospered in the arts of 
peace. It would undoubtedly have shared the full progress of 
western Europe from this time on, but for its insularity. 
Hitherto its protection, it was now to be its downfall. A hos- 
tile power was growing of which it knew nothing. 

The Norsemen — the hardy vikings of Norway, Sweden, and 
Denmark — had become a nation of pirates. Undaunted fight- 
ers and able mariners, they built their shapely long ships and 
galleys of the northern pine and oak, and swept hardily down 
on the coasts of England, Ireland, France, Spain, and Italy, 
and the lands of the Levant, surprising, massacring, plundering. 
In France (Normandy), in England, and lastly in Ireland they 
planted colonies. Their greatest success was in England, which 


they conquered, Canute becoming king. Their greatest battles 
and final defeat were in Ireland. From the end of the eighth 
century to the beginning of the eleventh the four shores of 
Erin were attacked in turn, and sometimes all together, by 
successive fleets of the Norsemen. The waters that had been 
Ireland's protection now became the high roads of the in- 
vaders. By the river Shannon they pushed their conquests 
into the heart of the country. Dublin Bay, Waterford Har- 
bor, Belfast Lough, and the Cove of Cork offered shelter to 
their vessels. They established themselves in Dublin and 
raided the country around. Churches and monasteries were 
sacked and burned. To the end these Norsemen were rob- 
bers rather than settlers. To these onslaughts by the myriad 
wasps of the northern seas, again and again renewed, the 
Irish responded manfully. In 812 they drove off the invaders 
with great slaughter, only to find fresh hordes descending a 
year or two later. In the tenth century, Turgesius, the Danish 
leader, called himself monarch of Ireland, but he was driven 
out by the Irish king, Malachi. The great effort which really 
broke the Danish power forever in Ireland was at the bat- 
tle of Clontarf, on Dublin Bay, Good Friday, 1014, when King 
Brian Boru, at the head of 30,000 men, utterly defeated the 
Danes of Dublin and the Danes of oversea. Fragments of 
the Northmen remained all over Ireland, but henceforth they 
gradually merged with the Irish people, adding a notable ele- 
ment to itis blood. One of the most grievous chapters of 
Irish history, the period of Norse invasion, literally shines 
with Irish valor and tenacity, undimmed through six fight- 
ing generations. As Plowden says : 

"Ireland stands conspicuous among the nations of the uni- 
verse, a solitary instance in which neither the destructive hand 
of time, nor the devastating arm of oppression, nor the widest 
variety of changes in the political system of government 
could alter or subdue, much less wholly extinguish, the na- 
tional genius, spirit, and character of its inhabitants.'* This 
is true not only of the Danish wars v/hich ended nine hundred 
years ago, but of many a dreadful century since and to this 
very day. 

Now followed a troubled period, Ireland weakened by loss 


of blood and treasure, its government failing of authority 
through the defects of its virtues. It was inevitable, sooner or 
later, that England, as it became consolidated after its con- 
quest by William the Norman, should turn greedy eyes on ths 
fair land across the Irish sea. It was in 1169 that "Strong- 
bow" — Richard, earl of Pembroke — came from England at 
the invitation of a discontented Irish chieftain and began the 
conquest of Ireland. Three years later came Henry 11. with 
more troops and a Papal bull. After a campaign in Leinster, 
he set himself up as overlord of Ireland, and then returned to 
London. It was the beginning only. An English Lord Deputy 
ruled the "Pale", or portion of Ireland that England held 
more or less securely, and from that vantage ground made 
spasmodic war upon the rest of Ireland, and was forever 
warred on, in large attacks and small, by Irish chieftains. 

The Irish were the fighting race now if ever. Without 
hope of outside assistance, facing a foe ever reinforced from 
a stronger, richer, more fully organized country, nothing but 
their stubborn character and their fighting genius kept them in 
the field. And century out and century in, they stayed, holding 
back the foreign foe four hundred years. It is worthy of 
note that it was the Norman English, racial cousins, as it 
were, of the Norsemen, who first wrought at the English 
conquest of Ireland. When some of these were seated in 
Irish places of pride, when a Butler was made Earl of Or- 
mond and a Fitzgerald, Earl of Klldare, it was soon seen that 
they were merging rapidly in the Irish mass, becoming, as it 
was said, "more Irish than the Irish themselves." Many were 
the individual heroic efforts to strike down the English power. 
Here and there small Irish chiefs accepted the English rule, 
offsetting the Norman Irish families who at times were 
"loyal" and at times "rebel." The state of war became con- 
tinuous and internecine, but three-fourths of Ireland re- 
mained unconquered. The Idea of a united Ireland against 
England had, however, been lost except in a few exalted and 
a few desperate breasts. A gleam of hope came in 1316, 
when, two years after the great defeat of England by the 
Scotch under Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, Edward, 
the victor-king's brother, came at the invitation of the north- 


ern Irish to Ireland with 6,000 Scots, landing near Carrick- 
fergus. He was proclaimed king of Ireland by the Irish who 
joined him. Battle after battle was won by the allies. Ed- 
ward was a brilliant soldier, lacking, however, the prudence 
of his great brother, Robert. The story of his two years of 
fighting, ravaging, and slaying, is hard at this distance to 
reconcile with intelh'gible strategy. In the end, in 1318, the 
gallant Scot fell in battle near Dundalk, losing at the same 
time two- thirds of his army. For two years Scot and Irish 
had fought victoriously side by side. That is the fact of 
moment that comes out of this dark period. 

The following century, like that which had gone before, was 
full of fighting. In 1399, on Richard II.'s second visit to Ire- 
land, he met fierce opposition from the Irish septs. IMacMor- 
rough, fighting, harassing the king's army from the shelter 
of the Wicklow woods, fairly drove the king to Dublin. The 
sanguinar)'' "Wars of the Roses" — ^that thirty years* struggle 
for the crown of England between the royal houses of York 
and Lancaster, 1455 to 1485 — ^gave Ireland a long opportunity, 
which, however, she was too weak to turn to advantage; but 
fighting between Irish and English went on just the same, 
now in one province, now in another. 

In the reign of Henry VIII. a revolt against England 
started within the Pale itself, when Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, 
known as Silken Thomas, went before the Council in Dublin 
and publicly renounced his allegiance. He took the field — a 
brave, striking figure — in protest against the king's bad faith 
in dealing with his father, the Earl of Kildare. At one time 
it looked as if the rebellion (it was the first real Irish rebel- 
lion) would prosper. Lord Thomas made combinations with 
Irish chieftains hi the north and west, and was victor in sev- 
eral engagements. He finally surrendered with assurances of 
pardon, but, as in many similar cases, was treacherously sent 
a prisoner to I^ndon, where he was executed. 

Queen Mary's reign was one of comparative quiet in Ire- 
land. Her policy towards the Catliolics was held to be of good 
augury for Ireland. The English garrison was reduced with 
impunity to 500 foot and a few horse; but another and darker 
day came with Elizabeth. Her coming to the throne, to- 


gcther with her fanatic devotion to the Reiciniation and an 
equal hatred of the old rehgion and all who clung to it, ushered 
in for Ireland two and a half centuries of almost unbroken 
misfortune. You cannot make people over. Some may take 
their opinions with their interest; others prefer to die rather 
than surrender theirs, and glory in the sacrifice. The procla- 
mations of Elizabeth had no persuasion in them for the Irish. 
Her proscriptions were only another English sword at Ire- 
land's throat. The disdain of the Irish maddened her. During 
her long reign one campaign after another was launched 
against them. Always fresh soldier hordes came pouring in 
under able commanders and marched forth from the Pale, gen- 
erally to return shattered and w^orn down by constant harry- 
ing, sometimes utterly defeated with great slaughter. So of 
Henry Sidney's campaign, and so of the ill-fated Essex. 
Ulster, the stronghold of the O'Neilis and the O'Donnells, re- 
mained unconquered down to the last years of Elizabeth's 
reign, although most of the greater battles were fought there. 
In Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and "Red" Hugh O'Don- 
ncll, prince of Tyrconnell, Ireland had two really great soldiers 
on her side. The bravery, generalship, prudence, and strat- 
egy of O'Neill were worthy of all praise, and Red Hugh fell 
little short of his great compatriot. In battle after battle for 
ivventy years they defeated the English with slaughter. Ire- 
land, if more and more devastated by campaigns and forays, 
became the grave of tens of thousands of English soldiers and 
scores of high reputations. Writing from Cork, the Earl of 
Essex, after a disastrous march through Leinster and Mun- 
ster, says: 

*T am confined in Cork .... but still I have been unsuc- 
cessful; my undertakings have been attended with misfor- 
tune .... The Irish are stronger and handle their arms 
with more skill than our people ; they differ from us also in 
point of discipline. They likewise avoid pitched battles where 
order must be observed, and prefer skirmishes and petty war- 
fare .... and are obstinately opposed to the English govern- 

They did not like attacking or defending fortified places, he 
ti^RO believed, It v/a.s only his experience. The campaigns of 


Shane O'Neill, a bold but ill-balanced warrior, were full of 
such attacks, but one potent cause for Irish reluctance to make 
sieges a strong point of their strategy was that the strongest 
fortresses were on the sea. An inexhaustible, powerful enemy 
who held the sea was not in the end to be denied on sea or 
land, but the Irish in stubborn despair or supreme indifference 
to fate fought on. Religious rancor was added to racial hate. 
Most of the English settlers, or "garrison," as they came to 
be called, had become Protestants at the royal order. Ruin 
perched upon Ireland's hills and made a wilderness of her fer- 
tile valleys. The Irish chieftains with their faithful follow- 
ers moved from place to place in woods and hollows of the 
hills. English colonists were settled on confiscated lands, 
and were harried by those who had been driven from their 
homes. It was war among graves. At last O'Neill made 
composition with the government when all was lost in the 
field, but the passionate Irish resolve never to submit still 
stalked like a ghost, as if it could not perish. 

When Elizabeth died it was thought that better things were 
coming to Ireland with James I., the son of Mary, Queen of 
Scots. Nothing of the kind. That curiously minded creature 
at once made an ingenuous proclamation : 

*'Whereas his Majesty was informed that his subjects of 
Ireland had been deceived by a false report that his Majesty 
was disposed to allow them liberty of conscience and the free 
choice of religion, now, etc." Fresh "transplanting" of Eng- 
lish and Scotch settlers on the lands of the Irish was the gist 
of his answer to the "false reports." So again the war of sur- 
prise, ambush, raid, and foray went on in a hundred places at 
once, but the result was that the English power was even more 
firmly seated than before. 

In the time of Charles I. there were terrible slaughters 
both of Protestants and Catholics. Patriotism and loyalty as 
moving causes had disappeared, but religion fiercely took their 
place. With Cromwell, the religious persecution took on an 
apocalyptic note of massacre, but the Irish were still showing: 
that they were there with arms in their hands. The names of 
Owen Roe O'Neill and his splendid victory, in 1646, at Ben- 
burb over the English and Scotch, where he slew more than 


3,000 men, and of another Hugh O'Neill, who made such a 
brilliant defense at Clonmel against Cromwell, shine brightly 
out of the darkness. But Ireland, parcelled out among the 
victors, was always the weaker after every campaign. Waves 
of war swept over her. She became mixed up in the rivalries 
of the English royal families, religion playing the most im- 
portant part in the differences. It had armed Henry and Eliz- 
abeth, James and Charles against her. It gave tdgt to Crom- 
well's sword, and it led her into a great effort on behalf of 
James II. When W^illiam of Orange crossed the Boyne, all 
that followed for a century was symbolized. Athlone, Augh- 
rim, Limerick, all places of great and fierce contests, were de- 
cided against her. French support of a kind had James, but 
not enough. Bravery and enthusiasm may win battles, but 
they do not carry through great campaigns. Once again God 
marched with the heaviest, best-fed, best-armed battalions. 
The great Tyrone dying in exile at Rome, .Red Hugh O'Don- 
nell perishing in Spain in the early days of the seventeenth 
century, were to prefigure the fighting and dying of half a 
million Irish warriors on continental soil for a hundred years 
after the fall of Limerick as the seventeenth century neared 
its close. 

During that period the scattered bands of the Rapparees, 
half patriots, half robbers, hiding in mountain fastnesses, dis- 
persing, reassembling, descending on the English estates for 
rapine or the killing of "objectionables," represented the only 
armed resistance of the Irish. It was generally futile although 

After the close of the Revolutionary War in America, Ire- 
land received a new stimulation. The success of the patriots of 
Ihe Irish parliament under Grattan, backed as they were by 
100,000 volunteers and 130 pieces of cannon, in freeing Irish 
industry and commerce from their trammels, evoked the ut- 
most malignity in England. Ireland almost at once sprang to 
prosperity, but it was destined to be short lived. A great con- 
spiracy, which did not at first show above the surface, was set 
on foot to destroy the Irish parliament. This is not the place to 
follow the sinister machinations of the English, save to note 
that they forced both the Presbyterians and the Catholics of 


the north into preparations for revolt. The Society of IJnite^l 
Irishmen was formed, and drew many of the brightest and 
most cuUivated men in Ireland into its councils. It niimbere(i 
over 70,000 adherents in Ulster alone. The government was 
alarmed, and began a systematic persecution of the peasantry 
all over Ireland. English regiments were put at "free quarters,*' 
that is, they forced themselves under order into the houses and 
cabins of the people with demands for bed and board. The 
hapless people were driven to fury. Brutal murders and bar- 
barous tortures of men and women by the soldiers, savage re- 
venges by the peasantry, and every form of violent crime all at 
once prevailed in the lately peaceful valleys. Prosecutions of 
United Irishmen and executions were many. It was all done 
deliberately to provoke revolt. In 1798 the revolt came. In 
the greater part of Ulster and Munster the uprising failed, but 
a great insurrection of the peasantry of Wexford shocked the 
country. Poorly armed, utterly undisciplined, without muni- 
tions of war, but 40,000 strong, they literally flung themselves 
pike in hand on the English regiments, sweeping everything 
before them for a time. Father John Murphy, a priest and 
patriot, was one of their leaders, but Beauchamp Bagenal 
Harvey was soon their commander-in-chief. At one time the 
"rebels" dominated the entire county save for a fort in the 
harbor and a small town or two, but it was natural that the 
commissariat should soon be in difficulties and their ammuni- 
tion give out. The British general. Lake, with an army of 
20,000 men and a moving column of 13,000, attacked the 
rebels on Vinegar Hill, and although the fight was heroic and 
bloody while it lasted, it was soon over and the British army 
was victorious. The rest was retreat, dispersal, and wide- 
spread cruelties and burnings and a long succession of mur- 
ders. The "Boys of Wexford'* under great difficulties had 
given a great account of themselves. Dark as was that page 
of history, it has been a glowing lamp to Irish disaffection 
ever since. It is the soul of the effort that counts, and the 
disasters do not discredit *98 in Irish eyes. 

Voltaire, in his Century of Louts XIV. y made his reflec- 
tion on the Irish soldier out of his limited knowledge of the 
Williamite war in Ireland, He says, "The Irish, whom we 


have seen such good soldiers in France and Spain, have aU 
ways fought poorly at home"! They had not fought poorly 
at home. It took four hundred years of English effort to 
complete, merely on its face, the conquest of Ireland, and 
all of that long sweep of the sword of Time was a time ©f 
battle. The Irish were fought with every appliance of war, 
backed by the riches of a prospering, strongly organized coun- 
try, and impelled persistently by the greed of land and love of 
mastery; but there was not a mountain pass in Ireland, not a 
square mile of plain, not a river-ford, scarce a hill that had not 
been piled high with English dead in that four hundred years 
at the hands of the Irish wielders of sword and spear and pike. 

The Irish had not made their enviror^ment or their natures, 
and no power on earth could change them. Over greater Eng- 
land had swept the Romans, the Jutes, the Saxons, the Angles, 
the Norsemen, and the Normans. All found lodgm.ent and all 
went to the making of England. Well, "one might say, it had 
been for Ireland if she had developed that assimilating power 
which made her successive conquerors in pro'^ess of time the 
feeders of her greatness, but the Tr*^h would not and could 
not. Instead, they developed the pride of race that no mo- 
mentary defeat could down. They became inured to battle 
and dreamt of battle when the ne^ce of an hour was given 
them. When the four kings of Ireland were feasted in Dublin 
by King Richard II. of England, an Eno-lish chronicler re- 
marked, "Never were men of ruder manners"; but neither 
the silken array and golden glitter of Richard's peripatetic 
court nor the brave display of his thousand knights and 
thirty thousand archers filled them with longing for the 
one or fear of the other. They went back to their Irish 
hills and plains and fastnesses as obstinately Irish as even 

They fought well at home, if unfortunatelv, the wonder 
being that they continued to fight. The heavens and the earth 
seemed combined against them. 

II. — The Fighting Race Abroad. 

We next see Irish soldiers fighting abroad. The blood they 
had shed so freely for the Stuarts at the Boyne, at Athlone, 


at Aughrim, at Limerick was in vain. The king of France, 
if he sent armies to Ireland, demanded Irish troops in re- 
turn. The transports that brought the French regiments 
over in May, 1690, took back over five thousand officers and 
men from Ireland, who formed the first Irish Brigade in the 
service of France. This, remember, was before the battle of 
the Boyne. The men were formed on their arrival in France 
into three regiments, those of Mountcashel, O'Brien, and 
Dillon, named after their commanders, and were sent to 
Savoy. The French aid to James in Ireland helped best in 
giving confidence to the raw Irish levies, but it was more than 
offset by the German troops brought over by William. The 
weakness, indecision, or worse, of James before Derry, his 
chicken-hearted failure to overwhelm Schomberg when he 
lay at his mercy before the arrival of William, ruined his 
chances. Remember that the Irish army, if defeated at the 
Boyne, was not broken, and was strong enough, when pursued 
by William, to repulse him with 500 killed and 1,000 wounded 
and to compel him to raise the siege of Limerick. The dash 
and skill of Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, backed by Irish 
desperation, won the day. The French troops sailed home 
after William's, retreat. In the next year's campaign occurred 
the crowning disasters of the war, but in any other country 
or with any other people than the English the terms of capitula- 
tion at Limerick, which were formulated by Ginkel and 
showed a soldier's respect for a brave and still powerful foe, 
would have ushered in an era of peace. 

The Irish soldiers' distrust of the conquerors was shown in 
the fact that, since the stipulations allowed the free departure 
of the garrison with honors of war, 19,059 officers and men 
took service with France, and sailed in October, 1691, on the 
French fleet, which by the irony of fate had arrived in the 
Shannon too late, on the very day after the signing of the 
treaty of Limerick. Never in the whole course of the his- 
tory of nations has more hideous treachery been shown than 
in the immediate breaking of that treaty ; and dearly has Eng- 
land paid for it ever since, although, for the hundred years 
that followed, Ireland sank to the very depths under the penal 
laws, with her trade iniined, her lands stolen, her religion per- 

122 Tiir, cLORiivS or irklanj^ 

scented, and all education and enlightenment forbidden by 
abominable, drastic la\v;i. 

If, as has been computed, 450,000 Irish fought and died in 
the service of France between 1690 and 1745, a further 30,000 
are to be added down to 1792. A French writer estimates the 
whole Irish contingent at 750,000, but, for a roster of seekers 
of glory from an impoverished people, the more reasonable 
half-million should surely suffice. 

Long would be the story to follow the fighting fortunes of 
the Irish Brigades. Officered by Irish gentlemen and drilled 
to perfection, they soon came to hold in the French service 
the esteem that later was given to Irish regiments in the 
service of England. King Louis welcom.ed them heartily and 
paid them a higher wage than his native soldiers. No duty 
was too arduous or too dangerous for the Irish Brigades. 
Seldom were they left to rust in idleness. Europe was a cal- 
dron of wars of high ambitions. 

The Irish regiments fought through the war in Flanders. 
At Landen, July 29, 1693, the French under the duke of Lux- 
embourg defeated the English under William III. with a 
slaughter of 10,473 men, losing 8,000 men themselves. In the 
retreat, Ginkel, William*s general in the Irish campaign, was 
almost drowned in the river Greete. The Irish Royal Regi- 
ment of Footguards, that of Dorrington, was the first corps to 
break through the English intrenchments, its gallant leader, 
Colonel Barrett, falling as he headed the charge. Here also 
was stricken Lieutenant-Colonel Nugent of Sheldon's Irish 
Regiment. Here also fell — saddest loss of all — Patrick Sars- 
field. Earl of Lucan, brave, resourceful, a true unfaltering 
soldier and lover of his country. The legend of his life blood 
flowing before his eyes and his utterance, "Would it had been 
shed for Ireland", may and should be true, although he lived 
three days after the battle. Would, indeed, it had been shed 
for Ireland — after such a day! 

It was in 1703 that the celebrated defence of Cremona lifted 
Irish renown to great heights throughout Europe. There were 
but 600 Irish troopers all told in that long day's work, and from 
the break of day till nightfall they held at bay Prince Eugene's 
army of 10,000 men. The two battalions of Bourke and 


Dillon were surprised at early morn to learn that the Austrians 
— and there were Irish officers among- them — were in the tov/n. 
Major O'Mahony and his men ran from their beds to the 
gates, and neither the foes without nor the foes within could 
make them budge. Terribly they suffered under concentrated 
attacks, but a withering fire from the Irish met every assault. 
It was nightfall before relief came, and then the sons of Ire- 
land who had held Cremona for the French were acclaimed 
by all, but of their 600 they had lost nearly 350. Small won- 
der that the honor list that day was long. In Bourke*s bat- 
talion the specially distinguished were Captains Wauchop, 
Plunkett, Donnellan, MacAuliffe, Carrin, Power, Nugent, and 
Ivers; in Dillon's, Major O'Mahony, Captains Dillon, Lynch, 
MacDonough, and Magee, and Lieutenants Dillon and Gib- 
bon, John Bourke and Thomas Dillon. Major O'Mahony 
was sent to Paris to carry the news of the victory to the king, 
who presented him with a purse of 1,000 louis d'or, a pen- 
sion of 1,000 livres, and the brevet of colonel. 

So the history proceeds, the Irish regiments lost in the 
array of the French forces, but showing here and there a 
glint of charging bayonets, captured trenches, and gushes of 
Irish blood. In 1703 the brigade regiments fought in Italy 
and Germany under the Due de Vendome. We hear of the 
regiments of Berwick, Bourke, Dillon, Galmoy, and Fitzgerald 
vigorously engaged. In Germany the story is of Sheldon's 
Horse and two battalions of the regiments of Dorrington and 
Clare. At the first battle of Blenheim, September 20, 1703, 
the regiment of Clare lost one of its colors, rallied, charged 
with the bayonet and recovered it, taking two colors from the 
enemy. This was a French victory. Not so the great battle 
of Blenheim, August, 1704, when Marlborough and Prince 
Eugene severely defeated the French and Bavarians. Three 
Irish battalions shared in the disaster. In 1705 at Cassano 
in Italy an Irish regiment, finding itself badly galled by ar- 
tillery fire from the opposite bank of the Adda, declared they 
could stand it no longer, and thereupon Jumped in, swam the 
river, and captured the battery. In 1705 Colonel O'Mahony 
of Cremona fame distinguished himself in Spain. In the 
next year at the battle of Ramillies, in which Marlborough 

i2'l THlt GLORIES 01- iimiAND 

with the Dutch defeated the French under Vill,eroi, Lord 
Clare's regiment captured the colors of the English Churchill 
regiment and cf the Scottish regiment in the Dutch service. In 
the same year and the next, the Irish Brigade fought many 
battles in Spain. One cannot pursue the details of the en- 
gagements. Regiments ever decimated were ever recruited by 
the "Wild Geese" from Ireland — the adventurous Catholic 
youth of the country who sought congenial outlet for their 
love of adventure and glory. Many Irish also joined the 
French army after deserting from the English forces in 

It was, however, at Fontenoy, May 11, 1745, that the Irish 
Brigade rendered their most signal service to France. The 
English under the Duke of Cumberland, son of George II., 
with 55,000 men including a large German and Dutch auxil- 
iary, met the French under Marshal Saxe, and in the pres- 
ence of the French king Louis XV., near Tournai in Bel- 
gium. Saxe had 40,000 men in action and 24,000 around Tour- 
nai, which town was the objective of the English advance. 
Among the troops on the field were the six Irish regiments 
of Clare, Dillon, Bulkeley, Roth, Berwick, and Lally, all un- 
der Charles O'Brien, Viscount Clare, afterwards Marshal 
Thomond of France. After fierce cannonading on both sides 
and a check to the allies on their right and left, a great column 
of English veterans advanced on the French centre, breaking 
through with sheer force. They had thus reached high ground 
when some cannonading halted them. It was at this moment 
of gravest peril to the French that the Irish regiments with 
unshotted guns charged headlong up the slope on their ancient 
enemies, crying, "Remember Limerick and British Faith!'* 
The great English column, already roughly handled by the 
cannon, broke and fled in wild disorder before that irre- 
sistible onslaught, and France had won a priceless victory, but 
the six Irish regiments lost one-third of their gallant men by 
a single volley as they followed their steel into the English 

When Charles Edward, the Stuart Pretender, landed in 
Scotland in 1745, he was followed by a small French force, 
including 500 Irishmen from the Brigade. Colonel John 


O'SuIlivan was much relied on by the prince in his extra- 
ordinary campaign- Sir Thomas Sheridan also distinguished 
himself. There were 475 Irish at the battle of Culloden, that 
foredoomed defeat of the Stuart cause, and two days later 
a score of Irish officers were among those who surrendered 
at Inverness. 

In Spain at the beginning of the 18th century there were 
hundreds of Irish officers in the military service, and eight 
Irish regiments. Among the officers were thirteen Kellys, thir- 
teen Burkes, and four Sheas. It seemed that Ireland had sol- 
diers for the world. Don Patricio, Don Miguel, Don Carlos, 
Don Tadeo took the place of Patrick, Michael, Charles, and 
Thadeus. O'Hart gives a list of sixty descendants of the "Wild 
Geese" in places of honor in Spain. General Prim was a descen- 
dant of the Princes of Inisnage in Kilkenny. An O'Donnell 
was Duke of Tetuan and field marshal of Spain. Ambrose 
O'Higgins, born in county Meath, Ireland, was the foremost 
Spanish soldier in Chile and Peru ; Admiral Patricio Lynch was 
one of its most distinguished sailors; and James McKenna its 
greatest military engineer. The son of O'Higgins was fore- 
most among those who fought for Chilean independence and 
gained it, and one of his ablest lieutenants was Colonel Charles 
Patrick O'Madden of Maryland. 

In Austria the Irish soldiers were particularly welcome. 
They count forty-one field-marshals, major-generals, gen- 
erals of cavalry, and masters of ordnance of Irish birth in the 
Austrian service. O'Callaghan relates that on March 17, 1766, 
His Excellency Count Mahony (son of the O'Mahony of 
Cremona), ambassador from Spain to the court of Vienna, 
gave a grand entertainment in honor of St. Patrick, to which 
he invited all persons of condition who were of Irish de- 
scent. Among many others, there were present Count Lacy, 
President of the Council at War, the generals O'Donnell, Mc- 
Guire, O'Kelly, Browne, Plunkett, and MacElligot, four 
chiefs of the Grand Cross, two governors, several knights 
military, six staff officers, and four privy councillors, with 
the principal officers of State. All wore Patrick's crosses in 
honor of the Irish nation, as did the whole court that day. 
Emperor Francis I. said : "The more Irish officers in the Aus- 


trian service the better; bravery will not be wanting; our 
troops will alwaj^s be well disciplined." The Austrian 
O'Reillys and Taciffes were famous. It was the dragoon reg- 
iment of Count O'Reilly that by a splendid charge saved the 
remnant of the Austrian army at Austerlitz. 

In the American war of the Revolution, General Charles 
Geoghegan of the Irish Brigade made the campaigns of 
Rochambeau and Lafayette. He received the order of the 
Cincinnati from Washington and was ever proud of it. Lieu- 
tenant General O'Moran also served in America. He was 
afterwards executed in the French Revolution, for the "Bri- 
gade" remained royalist to the end. General Arthur Dillon, 
who served in the Brigade, was also guillotined in 1794, cry- 
ing, ''Vive le voir At the foot of the scaffold a woman, prob- 
ably Mme. Hebert, also condemned, stood beside him. The 
executioner told her to mount the steps. "Oh, Monsieur Dil- 
lon," she said, "pray go first." "Anything to oblige a lady," 
he answered gaily, and so faced his God. 

Lord Macaulay, commenting upon these things and de- 
ploring the policies that brought them about, says with great 
significance : 

"There were Irish Catholics of great ability, but they were 
to be found everywhere except in Ireland — at Versailles, at 
St. Ildefonso, in the armies of Frederic, in the armies of Maria 
Theresa. One exile (Lord Clare) became a marshal of 
France, another (General Wall) became Prime Minister of 
Spain .... Scattered all over Europe were to be found 
brave Irish generals, dexterous Irish diplomatists, Irish counts, 
Irish barons, Irish knights of St. Louis and St. Leopold, of the 
White Eagle, and of the Golden Fleece, who if they remained 
in the house of bondage, could not have been ensigns of march- 
ing regiments or freemen of petty corporations." 

The old Irish brigades ended with the French monarchy. 
Battalions of the regiments of Dillon and Walsh were with 
the French fleet in the West Indies at Grenada and St. Eus- 
tache, also at Savannah, and under Rochambeau at Yorktown, 
but, except as to the officers, the surviving regiments of Ber- 
wick, Dillon, and Walsh were largely French. With the bet- 


ter times under Grattan*s Parliament in Ireland, the soldier 
emigration to France had all but ceased. The Irish Volun- 
teers of 1782 numbered 100,000 men, of whom an appre- 
ciable proportion were Catholics. Many Irish went into the 
English army and navy, but there was another stream of fight- 
ing emigrants, that which flocked to the standard of revolt 
against England in America, of which much was to be heard 

In the American colonies before the Revolution there were 
thousands of descendants of the Catholic Irish who had set- 
tled in Maryland and Pennsylvania during the seventeenth 
century, as well as hardy Irish Presbyterians from Ulster, 
who came in great multitudes during the first half of the 
eighteenth century. They had suffered persecution in Ireland 
for conscience sake from their fellow-Protestants. In Maine, 
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the Caro- 
linas they constituted entire communities. The emigration of 
the Catholic or purely Celtic Irish to America in the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries was often compulsory. At 
any rate, after the middle of the eighteenth century it was 
large and became continuous — a true drift. Catholics and 
Presbyterians alike brought hostility to the English govern- 
ment with them, and their voices fed the storm of discontent. 
The Irish schoolmasters, of w4iom there were hundreds, were 
especially efficient in this. They came in every ship to the 
colonies. They had no love for England, for they had ex- 
perienced in Ireland the tyranny of English law, and they 
would be more than human if they did not imbue the minds of 
the American children under their care with their own hatred 
of oppression and wrong and English domination. The log 
schoolhouse of the Irish teacher became the nursery of revo- 
lution. They were a very important factor, therefore, in the 
making of the Revolution, and many of them took an active 
part as soldiers in the field. 

The Irish, both Catholics and Protestants, poured into the 
patriot ranks once the standard of revolt was raised in 1775. 
The Pennsylvania line, which General Lee called "the line of 
Ireland," was almost entirely Irish, and the rostera of several 
of the Maryland and Virginia regiments contain a remarkably 


large proportion of Irish names, in some cases running as high 
as 60 per cent. It is computed that the Irish furnished not less 
than a third of the whole American forces. A common cause 
blotted out all old religious prejudices between Irishmen in the 
American service. It was John Sullivan, of New Hampshire, 
son of a Limerick schoolmaster, who began the revolt by seiz- 
ing the fort of William and Mary and its storehouses filled with 
that powder which charged the guns at Bunker Hill in the fol- 
lowing year. It was Captain Jeremiah O'Brien, with his broth- 
ers, who made the first sea attack on the British off Machias, 
Maine, in May, 1775, an engagement which Fenimore Cooper 
calls "the Lexington of the Seas." There were fifteen Celtic 
Irish names among the Minute Men at the Battle of Lexington. 
Colonel Barrett, who commanded at Concord, was Irish. There 
were 258 Celtic Irish names on the rosters of the American 
forces at the battle of Bunker Hill. John Sullivan had been 
made a major-general, thereafter to be a notable figure in 
the war at Princeton, Trenton, Newport, and in his Indian 
campaign. The Connecticut line was thick with Irish names. 
Around Washington himself was a circle of brilliant Irish- 
men: Adjutant-General Edward Hand leading his rifles, 
Stephen Moylan his dragoons, General Henry Knox and 
Colonel Proctor at the head of his artillery, John Dunlop his 
body-g^ard, Andrew Lewis his brigadier-general, Ephraim 
Blaine his quartermaster, all of Irish birth or ancestry. Com-' 
modore John Barry, born in Wexford in 1739 and bred to the 
sea, w^as a ship captain in his early twenties, trading from 
Philadelphia. When the Continental Congress met, he at once 
volunteered, and was given command of the Lexington, the 
first American ship to capture a British war vessel. Later, 
after gallant fighting on sea and land, he was given command 
of the U. S. frigate Alliance, in which he crossed the Atlantic 
to France, and fought and captured in a rattling battle two 
British warships, the Atlanta and the Trepasay. He was the 
Father of the American navy, holding captain's certificate No. 
1, signed by Washington himself — ^the highest rank then issued. 
General Richard Montgomery, the brave and able soldier 
who fell at Quebec as he charged the heights, was an Irish- 
man. General George Clinton, son of an Irishman, was a 


brigadier-general, governor of New York and twice Vice- 
President of the United States. Fifty-seven officers of New 
York regiments in the Revolution were Irish, and a large 
number of the officers in the Southern regiments of the line, 
as well as of the militia, were native Irish or of Irish descent. 
The rosters of the enlisted Irishmen of the New York regi- 
ments run into the thousands. Hundreds of Irish soldiers 
suffered in the prison ships of New York, the horrors of 
which served so conspicuously to stimulate American deter- 
mination to carry the war to the only rightful conclusion. 
Washington always recognized America's debt to the Irish. 
"St. Patrick" he made the watchword in the patriot lines the 
night before the English evacuated Boston forever on the 
memorable 17th of March, 1776. After the war he was made, 
with his own consent, an honorary member of the Friendly 
Sons of St. Patrick. Major-General Richard Butler and his 
four brothers, all officers, and Brigadier-Generals John Arm- 
strong, William Irvine, William Thompson, James Smith, and 
Griffith Rutherford all fought with distinction. All of these 
officers were Irish-born. It was in truth an Irish war, so far 
as Irish sentiment and whole-hearted service could make it. 
The record of Irish soldiers* names alone would fill volumes. 

The thirst of the Irish race for the glory of war is shown in 
the large enlistments in the last quarter of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, and since, in the English army and navy. Grattan, in 
pleading for Ireland, claimed that a large percentage of the 
British forces were Irish. Wolfe Tone avers that there were 
210 Irishmen out of 220 in the crew of a British frigate that 
overhauled his ship on its way to America. Bonaparte had in 
his armies an Irish Legion that did good service in Holland, 
Spain, Portugal, and Germany. Marshal Clarke, Duke of 
Feltre, French Minister of War in 1809, was Irish. Up and 
down the Spanish Peninsula, Irish blood was shed in abun- 
dance in the armies of Wellington. Never was more brilliant 
fighting done than that which stands to Irish credit from the 
lines of Torres Vedras to Badajos and Toulouse. Of the 
Waterloo campaign volumes have been written in praise of 
Irish valor. As Maxwell says in his Tales of Waterloo: — 
"The victors of Marengo and Austerlitr reeled before the 


charge of the Connaught Rangers." Wellington himself was 
Irish, as in the later wars of England Lord Gough, Lord 
Wolseley, Lord Roberts, Lord Kitchener, and General French 
came from Ireland. The Irish soldiers in the English service 
by a pitiful irony of fate helped materially to fasten the 
chains of English domination on the peoples of India in a 
long series of wars. 

In America, the War of 1813 once more gave opportunity 
to the Fighting Race. The commanding figure of the war, 
which opened so inauspiciously for the United States, was 
General Andrew Jackson, the hero of the battle of New Or- 
leans, and afterwards twice elected President of the United 
States. "Old Hickory", as he came to be lovingly called, was 
proud of his Irish father, and sympathized with the national 
longings of the Irish people. He was a splendid soldier, and 
his defeat of the English general, Pakenham, on January S, 
1815, which meant the control of the mouths of the Missis- 
sippi, as well as safeguarding the city of New Orleans, re- 
flected the highest credit on his skill and unflagging energ)*. 
The English had superior numbers, between 8,000 and 9,000 
men, against a scant 6,000 under Jackson, and their force was 
made up of veterans of the European wars. In command of 
the left of his line Jackson placed the gallant general William 
Carroll, born in Philadelphia, but of Irish blood, who was 
afterwards twice governor of Tennessee. The British gen- 
eral made the mistake of despising the soldier value of his 
enemy, yet before evening of that day he saw his artillery 
silenced and his lines broken, as he died of a wound on the 
field. The battle was actually fought after the signing of 
the treaty of peace at Ghent; it annihilated British preten- 
sions in this part of the world, anyway. 

After Commodore Perry, the victor in the battle of Lake 
Erie, and himself the son of an Irish mother, the northern 
naval glory of the War of 1813 falls to Lieutenant Thomas 
MacDonough, of Irish descent, whose victory on Lake Cham- 
plain over the British squadron was almost as important as 
Perry's. Admiral Charles L. Stewart ("Old Ironsides"), who 
commanded th« frigate Constitution v/hen she captured the 
Cyane and the Lev(mt, fighting them by moonlight, was a 


great and renowned figure. His parents came from Ireland, and 
Charles Stewart Parneirs mother was the great sea-fighter's 
daughter. Lieutenant Stephen Cassin commanded the Ticon- 
deroga and fought her well. Captain Johnston Blakely, who 
was bom in Ireland, captured in the Wasp of 18 guns the much 
larger British Reindeer of 20 guns and 175 men in a splendid 
fight, and later sank the Avon, an 18-gun brig. After cap- 
turing a great prize, which he sent to Savannah, he sailed for 
the Spanish main and was never heard of more. Captain 
Boyle, in the privateer Comet of Baltimore, fought the Hihernia, 
of 18 guns, and later in the Chasseur, known as the phantom 
ship, so fast she sailed, took eighty prizes on the high seas. 
General A. E. Maccomb, who commanded victoriously at 
Plattsburg, was of Irish descent, and Colonel Robert Carr, who 
distinguished himself in the same campaign, was born in Ire- 
land. Major George Croghan of Kentucky, the hero of Fort 
Stephenson, was the son of an Irish father who had been a 
soldier in the Revolution. Colonel Hugh Brady, of the 22nd 
Infantry, commanded at Niagara. He remained in the army 
and fought in Mexico. William McRee, of Irish descent, was 
General Browne's chief engineer in laying out the military 
works of the American army at Niagara. 

Let it not be forgotten that in this memorable company 
brave Mrs. Doyle has a place. Her husband, Patrick Doyle, 
an Irish artilleryman, had been taken prisoner by the British 
in the affair at Queenston and had been refused a parole. 
Accordingly, when the guns were trained on the English lines 
before Fort Niagara, Mary, emulating the example of her 
countrywoman, "Molly" Pitcher, at Monmouth, determined 
to take her husband's place, and, regardless of flying British 
balls, tended a blacksmith's bellows all day, providing red-hot 
shot for the American gun battery, and sending a prayer with 
every shot into the British lines. 

After the Queenston affair, it is well to note, the English 
doctrine of perpetual allegiance was abated. Twenty-three 
Irish-born men were among the captives of the English in that 
engagement. They were manacled to be sent to Ireland to be 
tried for treason, not as enemies taken in the field. Winfield 
Scott, then lieutenant-colonel, was also a prisoner with them. 



He protested loudly against this infamous course. Upon his 
release he laid aside twenty-three British prisoners to bo 
treated like the Irishmen, eye for eye and tooth for tooth. 
As a result, the Irish prisoners were exchanged. 

Colonel John Allen, who fell at the head of the First Regi- 
ment of Kentucky Riflemen at the battle of the river Raisin 
on January 21, 1813, was one of the Irish Aliens of Ken- 
tucky. His father and mother were natives of Ireland. 

The Mexican War (1846-48) again showed Irish valor at 
the front. It was not a great war, though brilliantly fought 
and rich in territorial accessions. The campaigning comprised 
the work of two main expeditions and a subsidiary movement 
in California. One column, under General Zachary Taylor, 
penetrated northern Mexico and fought the battles of Mata- 
moras, Palo Alto, and Resaca de la Palma, in May, 1846, with 
a force of 2,200 men; forced the evacuation of Monterey in 
September, his army swelled to 5,000 ; and defeated Santa Anna 
at Buena Vista in February, 1847. General Winfield Scott, 
with a naval expediton, attacked Vera Cruz from the sea in 
March, 1847, and took up the march, 13,000 strong, to Mexico 
City, fighting the battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churu- 
busco, Molmo del Rey, and Chapultepec, and entered Mexico 
City on September 14. General James Shields, born in 
Tyrone, Ireland, in 1810, was in command with his brigade 
under Scott. A brilliant soldier, he was severely wounded 
at Cerro Gordo and again at Chapultepec. He served 
as United States Senator after the war and again took the 
field in the Civil War, his forces defeating Stonewall Jackson 
at the first battle of Winchester in 1862. The glamour of chiv- 
alry lights the name of Phil Kearney. Here was a born sol- 
dier. He was a volunteer with the French in Algiers in 
1839-40. He also commanded under Scott with brilliant 
bravery, and was brevetted major on the field for "gallant 
and meritorious conduct" at the battles of Contreras and 
Churubusco. In the French war with Austria in 1859-60, 
Kearney fought with the French, distinguishing himself at the 
decisive and bloody battle of Solferino. In the Civil War he 
was brigadier-general of New Jersey troops in 1861 and 
major-general in 1862, taking distinguished part in the bat- 


ties of the Peninsula and second Bull Run, and was killed 
while reconnoitring at Chantilly. General Stephen W. Kear- 
ney, with the Army of the West, by dint of long marches, se- 
cured California among the fruits of the war. General Ben- 
net Riley, born in Maryland of Irish ancestry, commanded a 
brigade at Contreras, making a wonderful charge, and also 
fought brilliantly at Cerro Gordo and Churubusco, and was 
brevetted brigadier-general. He attained the army rank in 
1858. Major-General William O. Butler, under Zachary 
Taylor, was one of the heroes of Monterey. Born in Ken- 
tucky, son of Percival Butler of Kilkenny, who was one of 
the famous five Butler brothers of the Revolutionary War 
whom Washington once toasted as "The Butlers and their 
five sons," General Butler succeeded General Scott in com- 
mand of the entire American army in Mexico in February, 
1848. Another of clear Irish descent who fought under 
Zachary Taylor was Major-General George Croghan, whose 
father, born in Sligo, Ireland, had fought in the Revolution. 
He himself took part, as we have seen, in the War of 1812, 
and now was at the front before Monterey. Once, when a 
Tennessee regiment wavered under a hot converging fire, 
Croghan rushed to the front and, taking off his hat, shouted, 
"Men of Tennessee, your fathers conquered with Jackson at 
New Orleans. Come, follow me!" and they followed in a 
successful assault. Major-General Robert Paterson, who 
was born at Strabane, Ireland, and was the son of a *98 man, 
saw service in 1813, and became major-general of militia 
in Pennsylvania, whence he went to the Mexican War. He 
also lived to serve in the War of the States. 

Among Irish-named officers mentioned honorably in official 
despatches arc Major Edward H. Fitzgerald, Major Patrick 
J. O'Brien; Captain Casey, chosen to lead the first storming 
party at Chapultepec; Captains Hogan, Byrne, Kane, Mc- 
Elvin, McGill, Burke, Barny, O'Sullivan, McCarthy, Mc- 
Garry, and McKeon. Captain Mayne Reid, the novelist, a 
native of Ireland, was in the storming of Chapultepec. Theo- 
dore O'Hara, the poet, served with the Kentucky troops and 
was brevetted major for gallantry at Contreras and Churu- 
busco, while on the staff of General Franklin Pierce (after- 

134 TH]^ GLORIieS 0^ IRfiLAND 

wards President of the United States). O'Hara's magnifi- 
cent poem, "The Bivouac of the Dead," has made his name 
immortal. It was written on the occasion of the interment 
at Frankfort, Ky., of the Kentucky dead of the Mexican 
War, where 

"Glory guards with solemn round 
The bivouac of the dead." 

Irwin C. McDowell, who was brevetted captain at Buena 
Vista, commanded a corps in the Civil War. George A. Mc- 
Call, brevetted lieutenant-colonel at Palo Alto, was a major- 
general in the Civil War. Francis T. Bryan was a hero of 
Buena Vista. Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas P. Moore and 
Captain James Hogan both won fame in the 3rd Dragoons. 
Lieutenant Thomas Claiborn of the Mounted Rifles became a 
colonel in the Confederate Army. Lieutenant-Colonel J. W. 
Geary fought brilliantly and was to be heard from later with 

. Colonel John F. Reynolds of the 3rd Artillery lived to be 
major-general in the Civil War, and to fall gloriously at Get- 
tysburg. Nor must we forget Major Folliot Lally*s bravery 
at Cerro Gordo; Second Lieutenant Thomas W. Sweeny, a 
brigadier-general of the Civil War ^nd the planner of the 
Fenian invasion of Canada in 1866; Lieutenant Henry B. 
Kelly of the 2nd Infantry, afterwards a Confederate colonel ; 
Captain Martin Burke of the 1st Artillery, killed at Churu- 
busco ; nor Lieutenant William F. Barry of the 2nd Artillery, 
a brigadier-general in the Civil War. There were scores of 
other Irish named officers. In the whole American force of 
30,000 engaged, the Irish born and Irish descended troops of 
all arms were numbered by thousands. 

It was, however, in the Civil War that the flood of IrisH 
valor and loyalty to the American Republic was at its height. 
The 2,800,000 enlistments on the Northern side stood probably 
for 1,800,000 individual soldiers serving during the four years 
of the war. Not less than 40 per cent, of these were Irish 
born or of Irish descent. Of the 337,800 men furnished by 
the State of New York, 51,206 were natives of Ireland out of 
the total of 134,178 foreign born, or 38 per cent, of the latter, 
while not less than 80,000 of Irish descent figured among the 


203,600 native born soldiers. Of the 2,261 engagements in 
the war, few there were that saw no Irishmen in arms, and 
certainly, in every one of the 519 engagements that made Vir- 
ginia a great graveyard, the Irish figured largely. Of the 
1,000,516 mustered out in 1865, not less than 150,000 were 
natives of Ireland, while those of Irish descent numbered hun- 
dreds of thousands. They fought well everywhere, and it 
would require volumes to give the names and deeds of those 
who distinguished themselves more than their fellows. 

One name, however, shines with a great blaze above them 
all, the name of Philip H. Sheridan, one of the three supreme 
soldiers of the Union, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecum- 
seh Sherman being the others. Had Ireland furnished only 
Sheridan to the Union cause, her service would be beyond 
reward. He was born in Albany, N. Y., in March, 1831, ths 
year after his parents, John and Mary Sheridan, arrived 
there from the Co. Cavan, in Ireland. The family moved to 
Somerset, Perry Co., Ohio, the following year. There Philip 
began village life. How he gained the beginning of an educa- 
tion ; worked in a grocery store ; became a bookkeeper ; longed 
for a West Point nomination and got it; how he worked 
through the Academy in 1853; served as lieutenant on the 
frontier, in Texas, California, and Oregon, until the outbreak 
of the Civil War, when he was promoted captain and ordered 
east, can be quickly told. His history until the fall of the 
Confederacy would need many long chapters. His military 
genius included all the requirements of a great captain, and 
his opportunties of exhibiting all his qualities in action came 
in rapid succession. In every service from quartermaster to 
army commander his talents shone. His tremendous vigor, 
incredible mental alertness, and genius for detail, added to 
his skill and outreach, continually set him forward. He stood 
6 feet 5 inches high, but somehow looked taller, owing to his 
erect, splendid bearing. There was something in the full 
chest, the thick muscular neck, the heavy head, the dark blaz- 
ing eyes, and the quick bodily movements that arrested atten- 
tion. His name has come down to this generation mainly as 
a great cavalry leader, but he was a natural commander of all 
arms, a great tactician, a bom strategist. His campaign of 


the Shenandoah Valley was a whirlwind of success. His great 
battles around Richmond were wonderful. General Grant's 
opinion of Sheridan, given thirteen years after the war, sums 
up the man. It is here quoted from J. R. Young's book, 
Around the World with General Grant, It runs, in part, 
as follows: 

"As a soldier, as a commander of troops, as a man capable 
of doing all that is possible with any number of men, there 
is no man living greater than Sheridan. He belongs to the 
very first rank of soldiers, not only of our country but of 
the world. I rank Sheridan with Napoleon and Frederick 
and the great commanders in history. No man ever had such 
a faculty of finding things out as Sheridan, of knowing all 
about the enemy. He was always the best informed of his 
command as to the enemy. Then he had that magnetic qual- 
ity of swaying men, which I wish I had, a rare quality in a 
general. I don't think anyone can give Sheridan too high 

Praise from U. S. Grant is praise indeed. A peculiar fea- 
ture of the Civil War was the growth of the generals : Grant, 
Sherman, Sheridan, Thomas, Meade, all conspicuously exper- 
ienced it. With Sheridan, however, one point is notable, 
namely, that Ke triumphed in every branch in each successive 
extension of the field of his duties, and he went from captain 
to major-general in three years of the regular army. His 
care for his men was constant. His troops were always the 
best fed, best clothed, best rested in the armies on either side, 
but on no troops was there more constant call for endeavor, 
and they were never found to fail him. In action he is de- 
scribed as severe, peremptory, dominating, but his determina- 
tions were mighty things, not to be interfered with. He 
wanted things done and done at once. His men of all grades 
soon conceded that he knew best what to do, and set about 
doing it accordingly. Out of action he was joyous of spirit, 
but, in fight or out of it, his alertness and his lightning-like 
decisions marked him apart from every other commander. His 
career in the Tennessee campaign was meteoric. Of his score 
and more of great conflicts, the most picturesque was his 
wonderful battle at Cedar Creek, to fight which he rode at 


breakneck speed "from Winchester twenty miles away" 
through the dust and debris of a broken army to the extreme 
front, rallying the scattered regiments and turning a defeat 
into a crushing victory, which recovered* all that had been 
lost, taking 25 cannon and 1,200 prisoners, and driving for 
miles the lately victorious enemy under Early. Captain P. J. 
O'Keefe was one of the two who made the ride beside him. 
The battles of Waynesboro, Five Forks, and Sailor's Creek 
showed the same brilliant generalship on the part of Sheridan. 
His hold on the affection of the army and the admiration of 
the people continued to the day of his death, August 5, 1888, 
when he held the headship of the United States army as gen- 
eral in succession to the great Sherman. 

General Sheridan, towards the end of the war, had a soldier's 
difference with Major-General George G. Meade, commander 
of the Army of the Potomac, but that did not blind "Little 
Phil" to the real merit of the victor in the tremendous three 
days' battle of Gettysburg, handling an army new to his hand 
against Robert E. Lee. The Meade family is of Irish descent. 
George Meade, the grandfather, came from Dublin and was 
a patriot in the American Revolutionary War. General Meade 
commanded a division at Antietam and a corps at Fredericks- 
burg, and held command of the Army of the Potomac to the 
end of the war. He was a fine soldier and gentleman. Of 
quiet manners at most times, he was most Irascible in the hour 
of battle, but his temper did not becloud his judgment. Gen- 
eral James Shields and General Irwin McDowell, both fine 
Irish soldiers, have already been mentioned. 

It would be hard to compass in a brief article even the names 
of the general officers of Irish blood in the Civil War. General 
John Logan, who fought with the western armies, is worthy of 
high and honorable mention, as is General Thomas Francis 
Meagher, a patriot in Ireland, a prisoner in Australia, a soldier 
of dash in the Civil War. Meagher's Irish Brigade left a record 
of valor unsurpassed : their charge at Fredericksburg up Marye's 
Heights alone should give them full meed of fame. General 
Michael Corcoran, a native of Ireland, commanded the wholly 
Irish 69th Regiment when it departed for the war in 1861, and 
after his exchange from a Confederate prison raised and 


organized the Corcoran Legion. Major-General McDowell 
McCook commanded brilliantly in the western campaigns. 
Who has not heard of the Fighting McCooks?— a family of 
splendid men and hardy warriors. Brigadier-General Thomas 
C. Devin was a superb cavalry commander, who led the first 
division of Sheridan's Shenandoah army through all its great 
operations. General James Mulligan of Illinois was of the 
true fighting breed. Colonel Timothy O'Meara led his superb 
Irish Legion from Illinois up Missionary Ridge. Brigadier- 
General C. C. Sullivan of western army fame was one of the 
five generals, headed by Rosecrans, who recommended Phil 
Sheridan for promotion to brigadier-general after the battle 
of Booneville as **worth his weight in gold." General Bran- 
nan was a gallant division commander in the Middle Tennes- 
see campaign. Colonel William P. Carlin made a name at 
Stone River. General James T. Boyle, of the Army of the 
Ohio under Buell, was the brave man whose promotion to 
division commander left a vacancy for "Little Phil", that was 
to be an immediate stepping stone to higher opportunity. Brig- 
adier-General McMillan, who commanded the second brigade 
at Cedar Creek ; Colonel Thomas W. Cahill, 9th Connecticut ; 
Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Neafie of the 156th New York; 
Captain Charles McCarthy of the 175th New York ; Lieutenant- 
Colonel Alex. J. Kenny of the 8th Indiana; Lieutenant Ter- 
rence Reilly of the Horse Artillery, all won distinction in the 
Shenandoah Valley. Such splendid fighters as General James 
R. O'Beirne, Colonel Guiney, Colonel Cavanagh, Colonel John 
P. Byron, Colonel Patrick Gleason, General Denis F. Burke, 
wrote their names red over a score of battle fields, but one can- 
not hope to cover more than a fraction of the brilliant men of 
Irish blood who led and bled in the long, hard, and strenuous 
struggle. The 69th New York Regiment was the mother of a 
dozen Irish regiments, including the Irish Brigade of Mea- 
gher and the Corcoran Legion. The 9th, 28th, and 29th regi- 
ments of Massachusetts were all Irish. A gallant Irishman, 
born at Fermoy, was Brigadier-General Thomas Smyth, who 
made a name and died in the battles around Richmond. There 
was not a regiment from the middle western and western 
States that did not hold its quota of Irishmen and sons of the 


Irish. After the names of Porter and Farragut in the Navy 
stands next highest in honor that of Vice- Admiral Stephen C. 
Rowan, born in Dublin, of the famous family that produced 
Hamilton Rowan, one of the foremost of the United Irishmen. 
It was the son of the vice-admiral, a lieutenant in the army, 
who carried "the message to Garcia" from the United States 
War Department to the Cuban commander in the eastern 
jungle of Cuba, before the outbreak of the war with Spain, 
and did it so well and bravely through such difficulties and 
dangers that his name will stand for "the faithful messenger" 

As a consequence of their stand with the American people 
in the Civil War, the position of the whole mass of the Irish 
and Irish-American people was vastly uplifted in American 
eyes. The unlettered poverty of scores of thousands of Irish 
immigrants, who came in multitudes from 1846 on, had made 
an unfavorable and false impression; their red blood on the 
battle field washed it out. 

On the southern side as well, Irish valor shone. While 
the great flood of the mid-century Irish immigration had spread 
itself mainly north, east, and west, the larger cities of the 
South also received a share. The slave system precluded the 
entry of free labor into the cotton, corn, lumber, and sugar 
lands of the South, but such cities as New Orleans, Mobile, 
Charleston, Savannah, Vicksburg, and Richmond gave varied 
employment to many of the Irish who made their homes in the 
Southland, and so they came to furnish thousands of recruits 
to the local Confederate levies. The "Louisiana Tigers", who 
fought so valiantly at Gettysburg on the Southern side, in- 
cluded many Irish. The Georgia brigade, that held the Con- 
federate line atop of Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, up 
which the Irish brigade so heroically charged, had whole com- 
panies of Irish. There were scores of Irish in many of the 
regiments that made Pickett's memorable charge at Gettys- 
burg. All through the Confederate armies were valiant de- 
scendants of the earlier Irish immigration that settled the 
uplands of the Carolinas and Virginia and the blue grass re- 
gion of Kentucky. Most famous, most glorious of these was 
"Stonewall" Jackson — Lieutenant-General Thomas Jonathan 


Jackson — next to Robert E. Lee the greatest soldier on the 
southern side. No more splendid soldier-figure rises out of 
the contest. Educated at West Point, serving in Mexico, 
then a professor of philosophy — and artillery — next a volun- 
teer with his State when Virginia took arms against the Union, 
his long and brilliant service included a large share in the vic- 
tories at Bull Run, Gaines Mill, Malvern Hill, Cedar Moun- 
tain, Harper's Ferry, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancel- 
lorsville, where he was accidentally wounded by his own men. 
He was once defeated by General Shields, as has been noted. 
The piety and purity of his life belie the supposed necessity 
for the coarser traits that are thought to go with the terrible 
trade. General Patrick R. Cleburne was born in 1828, near 
Cork, Ireland. He was in the English army three years, and, 
coming to the United States, became a lawyer at Helena, Ark. 
He enlisted in the Confederate army as a private, rose rapidly 
to the command of a brigade, and made a great name at 
Shiloh. As major-general he led divisions at Murfreesboro 
and Chickamauga, and was thanked by the Confederate Con- 
gress. He fell at the battle of Franklin — a soldier of com- 
manding presence, skill, and daring, beloved by the whole 
Army of the West. The gallant colonel Thomas Claiborne 
was a striking cavalryman. It was Lieutenant Thomas A. 
Claiborne of the 1st South Carolina who, with Corporal B. 
Brannan, lashed the broken flagstaff on Fort Sumter in June, 
1864, when, under a withering fire, the flag of the Confederacy 
had been shot away. The fighting of Major-General Gary of 
South Carolina around Richmond was desperate. He was the 
last to leave the city when it fell, as told by Captain Sullivan : 
"He galloped at night through the burning city, and at the 
bridge over the James cried out, 'We are the rear guard. It 
is all over; blow the bridge to h — ^1!' and went on into the 

The story of the Civil War Is a mine of honor to the Irish, 
and Irishmen should set it forth at length. Here it can be 
merely glanced at. 

The war of 1898 with Spain — that great patriotic efflores- 
cence — was brief in its campaigning. Immediately provoked 
by the blowing up of the U. S. S. Maine in Havana harbor on 


February 15, war was declared on April 19. Admiral Dewey 
sank the Spanish fleet in Manila Harbor, May 1. The first 
troops landed on Cuban soil June 1. The first — and last — real 
land battle before Santiago occurred on July 1-2, with 13,500 
troops on the American side against an available Spanish 
force somewhat less in number, but holding strongly for- 
tified and entrenched positions around the town. The advance 
and charges uphill necessary to capture El Caney and the steep 
heights of San Juan called for desperate courage. It was 
there, however, and the Irish in the army exhibited dash and 
persistence, as duty demanded. In the second day's fighting 
the Spanish assaults on the American positions were repelled, 
and the land fighting was over. The Americans in the two 
days lost over 10 per cent killed and wounded. The destruc- 
tion of Cervera's fleet on its attempt to escape from Santiago 
on July 3 ended the struggle. With the regiment of Rough 
Riders, under Theodore Roosevelt — who says he reckons "an 
O'Brien, a Redmond, and a man from Ulster'* among his for- 
bears — were many gallant Irishmen — Kellys, Murphys, Burkes, 
and Doyles, for instance. His favorite captain, "Bucky" 
O'Neill of Arizona, fell at the foot of San Juan. The white 
regiments of the regular army had their quota of Irish, as had 
most of the volunteers. The 9th Massachusetts was all Irish. 
The 69th New York, all Irish, never reached the front in the 
war, but shared the fate of the 150,000 troops cantoned 
through the Southern States, their only effective enemies being 
dysentery, typhoid, and malaria. 

A little splash of Irish blood came with the Fenian dash into 
Canada on June 1, 1866. There had been active preparations 
for a real invasion by some 50,000 Irish-born or Irish-fathered 
soldiers who had served in the Civil War. The American 
government, using its army force, intervened to prevent the 
bellicose movement, not, however, before Colonel John O'Neill, 
who had served in the cavalry with Sherman on his march to 
the sea, with Captain Starr, one of Kilpatrick's cavalry, Cap- 
tain O'Brien, and about 700 well-armed men, all Civil War vet- 
erans, had slipped across the Niagara River at Fort Erie. They 
mad«^ short work of all in sight, threw out a couple of hun- 
dred men who burned a bridge and tore up the railroad tracks. 


Their scouts fired on a small British detachment, which ran. 
On the morning of June 2 news came of a larger Canadian 
force advancing, and O'Neill went out to meet them. Deploy- 
ing his men in a field near the high road at a place called Ridg- 
way, he sent his pickets forward. They found heavy ground 
in front and about three-quarters of a mile away some 1,400 
men of the "Queen's Own" of Toronto and the Hamilton Vol- 
unteers advancing rapidly in line. O'Neill, after a few rounds, 
withdrew his pickets, and the Canadians, taking the move- 
ment for flight, came briskly on. As soon ias they were clear 
of cover, O'Neill, firing a volley, gave orders for a charge. 
At it they went with a cheer, and the whole Canadian line gave 
way. They ran as fast as their legs could carry them, leaving 
some fifty killed and wounded. After chasing them for two 
miles, O'Neill halted his men and brought them back to Fort 
Erie, where they intrenched. The Canadians did not stop 
until they reached Colburne, eighteen miles away. The Fenian 
loss was twenty-five. In the night O'Neill learned that no 
help was coming from the United States* side, while news 
reached him that a force of 5,000 Canadian and British regu- 
lars was advancing on Fort Erie. Accordingly, at 2 a. m. on 
June 3, he surrendered to the United States forces with 400 of 
his men, who were detained for a few days on the U. S. S. 
Michigan and then let go. The balance of his force, about 250 
men, escaped in groups across the river. There was another 
little victorious skirmish with the Canadians lower down under 
Captain Spear, who also slipped back over the border unpur- 
sued. What fighting took place was workmanlike and cred- 

There was a flicker of Irish fighting spirit in the Boer War. 
Many thousands, no doubt, were in the English army of 
250,000 men brought against the 30,000 Boers, but there was a 
small "Irish Brigade" that fought on the Boer side, and was 
notably engaged at Spion Kop, where the English were driven 
so sweepingly from their position by desperate charges. 

In the War of 1870, between France and Prussia, the good 
wishes of the Irish went with France, foi* the sake of the old 
friendship, largely helped, no doubt, by the fact that at the 
summit of army command was Marshal MacMahon, a de- 


sccndant of a warrior of the old Irish Brigade. His service in 
Algiers; his skill and daring in the Crimean War before Se- 
bastopol, where he led the division which stormed the Mala- 
koff ; his victories in the Italian War of 1859 against Austria, 
including the great battle of Magenta, all made him a striking, 
romantic figure. He failed in 1870 against the Prussians at 
Worth, and was made prisoner with his army at Sedan, but 
he suppressed the Commune after the war and was President 
of France from 1873 to 1879. The device by which 300 Irish- 
men took part on the French side in the war with Germany has 
a grim humor. They went as aides in an ambulance corps 
fitted out in Dublin by subscription, but, once on French soil, 
enlisted in the army. "Maybe we can kill as well as we can 
cure," said one of them. The Compagnie irlandaise, as it 
was called, did creditable work, and was in the last combat 
with the Prussians at Montbellard. Their captain, M. W. 
Kirwan, was offered a Cross of the Legion of Honor, but for 
some reason declined it. Dr. Constantine J. McGuire, who 
won the decoration for bravery before Paris during the siege 
of the Commune, did, however, accept it, receiving the cross 
from the hands of Marshal MacMahon, and, hale and hearty, 
wears the red ribbon on occasion in New York today. 

Even as this chronicle of daring deeds and daring doers is 
being penned, in the ranks and as commanding officers on the 
side of the allies in the far-flung battle lines of the great Euro- 
pean war, are men of Irish birth, and, let it not be forgotten, 
not a few of the opposing side are the descendants of the Irish 
military geniuses who, in days gone by, fought so gallantly 
across the continent "from Dunkirk to Belgrade". They are 
all, every man of them, bearing bravely, as of yore, their own 
part amid the dangers and chances of the fray. 

If the inspiring story is of necessity here barely sketched 
in outline, it nevertheless clearly indicates that, as it has been 
for two thousand years of Irish history, so it will be to the 
end of the human chapter — the Irish race is the Fighting Race, 
and willing, even eager, to risk life itself for vital issues. 


Refeeences : 

Keating's, MacGeoghegan's, Mitchel's Histories of Ireland; J. C. 
O'Callagliau : The Irish Brigades in the Service of France, The Green 
Book; Lossiug: Field Book of the Revolution, Field Book of the 
War of 1812; Several Mexican War Histories; Battles and Leaders 
of the Civil War; The Irish at Home and Abroad (New Yerk, 1856) ; 
Canon O'Hanlon: Irish-American History of the United States; 
O'Hart; Irish Pedigrees; Martin I. Griffin: Life of Commodore 
Barry ; John D. Crimmins : Irish Miscellany ; Joseph Denieffe : Fenian 
Recollections; Plowden: Historical Review of the State of Ireland 
(London, 1803); Hays: History of the Irish (1798) Rebellion; 
Macaulay : History of England ; J. R. Young : Around the World with 
General Grant; several valuable articles and records of research by 
Michael J. O'Brien of New York. 


By John Jerome: Rooney, A. M., LL.D. 

4<nnHE Sorrows of Ireland"! What a vision of woe the 
X words conjure up. The late Goldwin Smith, himself 
an Englishman and a Unionist, in his Irish History and the 
Irish Question, finds that "of all histories, the history of Ire- 
land is the saddest. For nearly seven centuries it was a 
course of strife between races, bloodshed, massacre, misgov- 
ernment, civil war, oppression, and misery." 

The first of the great scourges of Erin was the coming of 
the Danes, the bloodthirsty and conquest-loving Vikings of 
the North, the worshipers of Thor and Odin, the gods of 
thunder and of strife. These warriors, in never-ending inva- 
sions, had for four hundred years overrun Britain and finally 
conquered the northern provinces of Gaul. Until the end of 
the eighth century Ireland had been free from the Scandi- 
navian scourge. About this time the invaders made lodg- 
ments along the coasts, passed inward through the island, 
burned and looted religious houses and schools of learning, 
levied tribute upon the inhabitants, and at length established 
themselves firmly at Limerick, Waterford, Dublin, Wex- 
ford, and Carlingford. Fortified towns were built, trad- 
ing communications with Britain and the continent were 
set up, and the Northman, though not in actual possession of 
the interior of the island, was apparently in substantial con- 
trol of its destinies. Brian Borumha, or Boru, brother of 
the king of Munster, of the Dalcassian race of O'Brien, re- 
fused to submit, roused his brother, fought the Danes of 
Limerick at Sulchoid (A. D. 9G8), and captured Limerick. 
Brian later succeeded his brother, became sovereign of all 
Ireland (A. D. 1001), and, on Good Friday, A. D. 1014, joined 
battle with the Danes upon the famous field of Clontarf. 
Here the power of the Northmen was forever broken, Brian 
falling at the moment of victory, while in his tent, by thf 
hand of a fugitive Dane. 

With the death of Brian the united government dissolved. 
The provincial kings, or princes, resumed separate authority 


and a struggle arose among them, with varying success, for the 
national sovereignty. The central government never had been 
strong, as the nation was organized on a tribal or family basis. 
In this weakened condition Dermot MacMurrough, king of 
Leinster, abducted the wife of O'Rourke, prince of Breffni, 
while the latter was on a pilgrimage. MacMurrough was com- 
pelled to fly to England. He sought the protection of the An- 
gevin English king, Henry Plantagenet. As a result of this ap- 
peal, a small expedition, headed by Strongbow (A. D. 1169), 
was sent to Ireland, and Waterford, Wexford, and Dublin were 
taken. Then came Henry himself, in 1171, with a fleet of 240 
ships, 400 knights, and 4,000 men, landing at Waterford. This 
expedition was the beginning of the English attempted conquest 
of Ireland — a proceeding that, through all the ruin and blood- 
shed of 800 years, is not yet accomplished. Henry's first act was 
to introduce the feudal system into that southern half of the is- 
land which he controlled ; he seized great tracts of land, which 
he in turn granted to his followers under feudal customs; he 
introduced the offices of the English feudal system and the 
English laws, and placed his followers in all the positions of 
power, holding their lands and authority under the feudal 
conditions of rendering him homage and military service. 

This was the root of the alien "landlordism" and foreign 
political control of future times which became the chief curses 
of Ireland, the prolific source of innumerable woes. The suc- 
ceeding years till the reign of Henry VIII. witnessed the ex- 
tension, and at times the decline, of the Anglo-Norman rule. 
When Henry VII. became king of England the Anglo-Norman 
colony or "Pale" had shrunk to two counties and a half 
around Dublin, defended by a ditch. Many of the original 
Norman knights had become "more Irish than the Irish them- 
selves." Such was the great family of the Geraldines or 
Fitzgerald— the most powerful, with the O'Neills of the North, 
in Ireland. A united attack at this time would most certainly 
have driven out the invader; for it must be remembered that 
Dublin, the "Pale"— "the Castle government" of later times- 
was the citadel of the English foreign power, and before a 
united nation would most certainly have succumbed. 

When Henry VIII. ascended the throne of England, the 
policy of peace in Ireland was continued during the early por- 

tm« SORROWS 0^ IRSI,AN» 147 

tion of his reign. Then came Henry's break with the Pope 
over the royal divorce. The Irish beyond the Pale, and 
many within it, were loyal to the Church of their fathers, to 
the faith of Patrick, the faith of the Roman See. To Henry 
and his daughter Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne Boleyn, who 
displaced Henry's lawful wife, this was treason. Henceforth, 
to the bitterness of race hatred and the pride of the con- 
queror were to be added the blackest of religious feuds, the 
most cruel of religious persecutions in the history of the 
world. Again let Goldwin Smith, the English Unionist, de- 
scribe the result: "Of all the wars waged by a civilized on a 
barbarous (sic) and despised race these wars waged by the 
English on the Irish seem to have been the most hideous. No 
quarter was given by the invader to man, woman, or child. 
The butchering of women and children is repeatedly and bru- 
tally avowed. Nothing can be more horrible than the cool 
satisfaction with which English commanders report their mas- 
sacres." Famine was deliberately added to the other horrors. 
What was called law was more cruel than war: it was death 
without the opportunity for defense and with the hypocrisy of 
the forms of justice added. 

Out of this situation came the infamous Penal Code, which, 
by the period of William the Third, about 1692, became a 
finished system. This is the "Irish Code" of which Lord 
Brougham said: "It was so ingeniously contrived that an 
Irish Catholic could not lift his hand without breaking it.'* 
And Edmund Burke said: "The wit of man never devised a 
machine to disgrace a realm or destroy a kingdom so perfect 
as this." Montesquieu, the great French jurist-philosopher, 
the author of the epoch-making Spirit of the Lazvs, com- 
mented: "It must have been contrived by devils; it ought to 
have been written in blood; and the only place to register it 
is in hell.'* Yet for two hundred years this code of death, 
national and individual, was the supreme law of Ireland. 

Wendell Phillips, the great American orator, in his lecture 
on "Daniel O'Connell," summed up this Penal Code in words 
that will not soon be forgotten by the world. His reference 
to Mr. Froude is to James Anthony Froude, the English his- 
torian. He says : 

"You know that, under it, an Irish Catholic could not sit in 



the House of Commons; he could not hold any commission 
from the Crown, either civil or military ; he could be a common 
soldier — nothing more. He could neither vote, nor sit on a 
jury, nor stand on a witness stand, nor bring a suit, nor be a 
doctor, nor be a lawyer, nor travel five miles from his own 
home without a permit from a justice of the peace. The near- 
est approach that ever was made to him was a South Carolina 
negro before the war. He had no rights that a Protestant 
needed to respect. If he was a land-holder, if all his children 
were Catholics, he was obliged to divide the land equally be- 
tween them. This was the English plan for eliminating the 
Catholic tenure of the land and letting it slip out of their 
hands. Then, if any of the children, during their father's life, 
concluded to become Protestants, in such case they took the 
whole estate; or, indeed, they might compel the father to put 
his estate in trust for their benefit. So, if the Catholic wife 
would not go to an Episcopalian church once a month — which 
she deemed it a sin to do— she forfeited her dower. But if 
she went regularly, she could have all the estate. If a Catholic 
had a lease, and it rose one-quarter in value, any Protestant 
could take it from him by bringing that fact to the notice of a 
justice of the peace. Three justices of the peace might sum- 
mon any Catholic before them, and oblige him to give up his 
faith, or quit the realm. Four justices could oblige him to 
abjure his faith or sell his estates. If a Protestant paid one 
dollar tax, the Catholic paid two. If a Protestant lost a ship, 
when at war with a Catholic power — and at the time there was 
only one Protestant power in Europe, besides Great Britain; 
that was Holland : so that the chances were nine to one that, in 
case of war. Great Britain would be at war with a Catholic 
power — in such a case, if a Protestant lost a ship, he went 
home and assessed the value on his Catholic neighbors, and 
was reimbursed. So, of education. We fret a great deal on 
account of a class of Irishmen who come to our shores and 
are lacking in education, in culture, and refinement. But you 
must remember the bad laws, you must remember the malig- 
nant legislation, that sentenced them to a life of ignorance, and 
made education a felony in Catholic Ireland. If an Irishman 
sent his child to a Protestant schoolmaster, all right; but if 
the parent would not do so, and sent him to a Catholic school. 


the father was fined ten pounds a week ; and the schoolmaster 
was fined five pounds a week; and for the third offense he 
was hung! But, if the father determined that his child should 
be educated, and sent him across the Channel to France, the 
boy forfeited his citizenship and became an alien ; and, if dis- 
covered, the father was fined one hundred pounds; and any- 
body, except the father, who harbored him, forfeited all civil 
rights — that is, he could not sue in a court of law, nor could 
he vote. Indeed, a Catholic could not marry! If he married 
a Protestant, the marriage was void; the children were ille- 
gitimate. And, if one Catholic married another, it required 
the presence of a priest, and if a priest landed in Ireland for 
twenty minutes, it was death! To this ferocious *Code', Sir 
Robert Peel, in our own day, added the climax, that no Catholic 
should quit his dwelling between the hours of sunset and sun- 
rise, an exaggeration of the 'Curfew Law' of William the 
Conqueror. Now, you will hardly believe that this was enacted 
as a law. But Mr. Froude alludes to this code. Yes ; he was 
very honest ; he would paint England as black as she deserved. 
He said of Queen Elizabeth that she failed in her duty as a 
magistrate; she failed towards Ireland in her capability of 
being a great ruler. And then he proceeded, after passing 
sentence, to give us the history of her reign, and showed that, 
in very many cases, she could not have done any different. 
For instance — oh! it is the saddest, blackest, most horrible 
statement of all history; it makes you doubt the very possi- 
bility of human nature — when you read that Spenser, the poet, 
who had the most ardent, most perfect ideas in English 
poetry — Spenser sat at the council board that ordered the 
wholesale butchery of a Spanish regiment captured in Ireland, 
and, to execute the order, he chose Sir Walter Raleigh, the 
scholar, the gentleman, the poet, the author, and the most splen- 
did Englishman of his age! And Norris, a captain under 
Sidney, in whose veins flowed the blood of Sir Philip, writing 
home to Elizabeth, begs and persuades her to believe in 
O'Neill's crimes, and asks for leave to send a hired man to 
poison him ! And the Virgin Queen makes no objection! Mr. 
Froude quotes a letter from Captain Norris, in which he states 
that he found himself in an island where five hundred Irish 


(all women and children; not a man among them) had taken 
refuge from the war; and he deliberately butchered every 
living soul! And Queen Elizabeth, in a letter still extant, 
answers by saying: Tell my good servant that I will not 
forget his good services.* He tells us that 'The English nobil- 
ity and gentry would take a gun as unhesitatingly as a fowler, 
and go out to shoot an Irishman as an Indian would a buf- 
falo.* Then he tells us, with amazement, that you never could 
make an Irishman respect an Englishman ! He points to some 
unhappy Kildare, the sole relic of a noble house, whose four 
uncles were slaughtered in cold blood — that is the only word 
for this kind of execution, slaughtered — and he, left alone, a 
boy, grows up characterless and kills an archbishop. Every im- 
petuous, impatient act is dragged before the prejudiced mind. 
But when Mr. Froude is painting Sir Walter and Spenser, 
blind no longer, he says: 'I regret — it is very sad to think — 
that such things should ever have been !' *' 

Such was the cup from which Ireland drank even into the 
days of men now living. Nor was this all. The rise of Eng- 
lish manufactures brought a new chapter of woes to Ireland. 
The Irish cattle trade had been killed by an Act of Charles II. 
for the benefit of English farmers. The Irish then took up 
the raising of wool and woolen manufactures. A flourishing 
trade grew up. An English law destroyed it. In succession 
the same greed killed the cotton, the glovemaking, the glass- 
making, and the brewing trades. These were reserved for the 
English maker and merchant. These crimes upon Irish indus- 
try surpassed a thousand-fold the later English attempts upon 
the industries of the American colonies. 

Under the Code, and through the extreme poverty pro- 
duced thereby, substantially all the land of Ireland passed out 
of the hands of the people. They became mere serfs upon the 
soil. Their tribute was paid through a rapacious agent to a 
foreign landlord. The improvement of the land by the labor 
of the tenant brought increase of rent. There was no fixity 
of tenure of the land. It was held at the will of the agent, 
reflecting the rapacity of the non-resident landlord. Upon 
these holdings the principal crop was the potato. A failure 
of this crop was a failure to pay rent, eviction on the roadside, 


and starvation. The results, after the enactment of the 
Penal Code, and during the greater part of the eighteenth 
century, are thus described by Goldwin Smith: "On such a 
scene of misery as the abodes of the Irish cotters the sun has 
rarely looked down. Their homes were the most miserable 
hovels, chimneyless, filthy. Of decent clothing they were 
destitute. Their food was the potato; sometimes they bled 
their cattle and mixed the blood with sorrel. The old and 
sick were everywhere dying by cold and hunger, and rotting 
amidst filth and vermin. When the potato failed, as it often 
did, came famine, with disease in its train. Want and misery 
were in every face, the roads were spread with dead and 
dying, there was sometimes none to bear the dead to the 
grave, and they were buried in the fields and ditches where 
they perished. Fluxes and malignant fevers followed, laying 
these villages waste. *I have seen,* says a contemporaneous 
witness, 'the laborer endeavoring to work at his spade, but 
fainting for want of food and forced to quit it. I have seen 
the helpless orphan exposed on the dunghill, and none to take 
him in for fear of infection. And I have seen the hungry 
infant sucking at the breast of the already expired parent.* " 

All these are not only the horrors of a hundred or two 
hundred years ago ; they were repeated in ten thousand forms 
in the awful famine days of 1847. In 1841 the population of 
Ireland was 8,796,545 persons. In 1851, after four years of 
famine, the population was 6,551,970, leaving 2,244,575 per- 
sons to be accounted for, and taking no account of the natural 
increase of the population during the ten years. Not less than 
a million and a half of these died of starvation and the fevers 
brought on by famine. The remainder emigrated to foreign lands. 

In this account of the Sorrows of Ireland nothing has been 
said of the vast emigrations, thousands upon thousands of per- 
sons in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries leaving Ireland 
under forced deportations, in a practical selling into slavery. 
The sum total of this loss to Ireland cannot be less than 
5,000,000 souls. The earlier deportations were carried out un- 
der the most atrocious circumstances. Families were broken 
up and scattered to distant and separate colonies, such as Bar- 
bados, the New England States, and lat«r to the South Pacific. 


This is but a glance at some of the wrongs to Ireland's 
religious, intellectual, and material welfare, wrongs that have 
plunged her into an age-long poverty. But one of the greatest 
of all her sorrows has been the denial of her national life, the 
attempt to strangle her rightful aspirations as a free people. 
Her autonomy was taken from her ; her smallest legislative act 
was the act of a stranger; in fine, every mark of political sla- 
very was put upon her. A foreign soldiery was, and still is, 
quartered upon her soil. The control of her revenues, of the 
system of taxation, was wrested from her. These became the 
function of a hateful resident oligarchy, alien in everything to 
the Irish people, and of the English parliament, to which she 
was not admitted until the days of Daniel O'Connell. And 
then she was admitted only through fear of revolution. 

The dawn has come. The dark night is almost past; the 
heroic struggle of Ireland is about to close in triumph. Her 
loyalty to her ideals of freedom and religion is to meet its 
reward. The epitaph of Robert Emmet will soon be written, 
for at last Ireland is certain of "taking her place among the 
nations of the earth." 

References : 

D'Alton : History of Ireland ; J. P. Prendergast : Cromwellian Set- 
tlement ; Barrington : Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation ; McNevin : 
Confiscation of Ulster; R. R. Madden: History of the Penal Laws; 
Murphy : Cromwell in Ireland ; T. A. Emmet : Ireland under English 
Rule, 2 vols. ; Mrs. J. R. Green : Irish Nationality ; Walpole : A Short 
History of the Kingdom of Ireland; A. M. Sullivan: Story of Ire- 
land; Thomas Moore: History of Ireland; Edmund Spenser: View 
of the State of Ireland ; C. Gavan Duffy : Four Years of Irish History, 
1845-49 ; Isaac Butt : Land Tenure in Ireland ; Justin McCarthy : His- 
tory of our own Times; Johnston and Spencer: Ireland's Story; 
MacGeoghegan's History of Ireland and its continuation by John 
Mitchel; William Sampson: Memoirs of an Irish Exile, 1832; John 
Curry : A Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland 
(1775); John Boyle: The Battlefields of Ireland (1879); Speeches 
of Edmund Burke, Daniel O'Connell, Henry Grattan; Wendell 
Phillips's Speech on Daniel O'Connell; Father Tom Burke: Lectures 
on Ireland. 


By Shane Leslie. 

IRISH leaders have proved far-famed but not long-lived. 
Their short and strenuous careers have burnt out in their 
prime, and their ends have been such as attend conflagrations. 
More often they have left a pall than a light in the heavens, 
for the most brilliant lives in Irish history have led to the 
most tragic deaths. The Destiny which allotted them impos- 
sible tasks has given them immortality on the scenes of their 
glorious failure. 

They differ from leaders of other countries, v^^ho divide the 
average pittances of success or ill success on the road to hon- 
ored retirement. Few of the heroes among modern nations 
have left such vivid and lasting memory as "the strong men 
of Ireland." During the nineteenth century their lore and cult 
have traversed the whole world in the wake of the great emi- 
grations. Whether they failed or succeeded in wresting the 
independence and ideals of Ireland for a while from the fell 
clutch of circumstance, they live with their race forever. 

Under Plantagenet and Tudor rule, the Irish leaders pre- 
sented a sullen but armed resistance. A never completed inva- 
sion was met by sporadic raids and successive risings. A race 
of military outlaws was fashioned, which accounts for much 
in Irish character today. Previously the Irish, like all Celtic 
civilization, was founded on the arts, on speech, and on law, 
rather than on war and feudalism. 

Even Irish militancy was crushed in the Williamite wars, 
and the race, deprived of its original subsistence as well as of 
its acquired defense, sank into the stupor of penal times. Those 
who should have been leaders of Ireland became marshals of 
Austria and France. 

Gradually it was learnt that the pen is mightier than the 
sword and the human voice more potent than the sound of 
cannon — and the constitutional struggle developed, not without 
relapse and reverse. To Dean Swift must be attributed the 
change in the national weapon and the initiation of a leader- 
ship of resistance within the law, which has lasted into modern 


times. Accident made Swift an Irishman, and a chance 
attempt to circulate debased coins in Ireland for the benefit of 
a debased but royal favorite made him a patriot. Swift drove 
out Wood's halfpence at the pen-point. He shamed the gov- 
ernment, he checked the all-powerful Walpole, and he roused 
the manhood of Ireland towards independence in legislation. 
He never realized what a position history would give him. To 
himself he seemed a gloomy failure, to his contemporaries a 
popular pamphleteer, but to posterity he is the creator of public 
conscience in Ireland. He was the father of patriotic journal- 
ism, and the first to defend Ireland's rights through literature. 
Though his popularity was quenched in lunacy, his impress 
upon Irish politics remains as powerful and lasting as upon 
English literature. 

Within the so-called Irish parliament sprang forth the first 
of a long line of orators, Henry Flood. He was the first to 
study the Constitution for purposes of opposition. He 
attacked vice-regal , government in its own audit-house. Pen- 
sion and corruption he laid bare, and upon the people he 
breathed a spirit of independence. Unfortunately he was not 
content with personal prominence. He accepted office, hoping 
thereby to benefit Ireland. His voice became lost to the 
higher cause, and another man rose in his stead, Henry 
Grattan. The American war tested the rival champions of 
Liberty. Flood favored sending Irish troops, "armed negotia- 
tors" he called them, to deal with the revolted colonists. Grat- 
tan nobly reviled him for standing — "with a metaphor in his 
mouth and a bribe in his pocket, a champion against the rights 
of America, the only hope of Ireland and the only refuge of 
the liberties of mankind." Flood collapsed under his ignoble 
honors. He was not restored by returning to patriotic oppo- 
sition. Grattan's leadership proved permanent politically and 
historically. His name connotes the high water-mark of Irish 
statesmanship. The parliament which he created and whose 
rights he defined became a standard, and his name a talisman 
and a challenge to succeeding generations. The comparative 
oratory of Grattan and Flood is still debated. Both after a 
manner were unique and unsurpassed. Flood possessed stay- 
ing power in sheer invective and sustained reasoning. Grattan 


was fluent in epigram and most inspiring when condensed, and 
he had an immense moral advantage. The parHament which 
made him a grant was independent, but it was from one of 
subservience that Flood drew his salary. Henceforth Grattan 
was haunted by the jealous and discredited herald of himself. 
A great genius. Flood lacked the keen judgment and careless 
magnanimity without which leadership in Ireland brings mis- 
understanding and disaster. In the English House he achieved 
total failure. Grattan followed him after the Union, but re- 
tained the attention if not the power of Dublin days. Neither 
influenced English affairs, and their eloquence curiously was 
considered cold and sententious. Their rhapsody appeared 
artificial, and their exposition labored. The failure of these 
men was no stigma. What is called "Irish oratory" arose with 
the inclusion of the Celtic under strata in politics. 

Burke's speeches were delivered to an empty house. Though 
he lived out of Ireland and never became an Irish leader in 
Ireland, Burke had an influence in England greater than that of 
any Irishman before or since. The beauty and diction of his 
speech fostered future parliamentary speaking. Macaulay, 
Gladstone, Peel, and Brougham were suckled on him. His 
farthest reaching achievement was his treatment of the French 
Revolution. His single voice rolled back that storm in Europe. 
But no words could retard revolution in Ireland herself. Venal 
government made the noblest conservative thinking seem trea- 
son to the highest interests of the country. The temporary 
success of Grattan's parliament had been largely won by the 
Volunteers. They had been drilled, ostensibly against foreign 
invasion, but virtually to secure reforms at home. Their 
power became one with which England had to reckon, and 
which she never forgave. Lord Charlemont, their president, 
was an estimable country gentleman, but not a national leader. 
A more dashing figure appeared in the singular Earl of Bristol. 
Though an Irish bishop and an English peer, he set himself 
in the front rank of the movement, assuming with general 
consent the demeanor and trappings of royalty. He would 
not have hesitated to plunge Ireland into war, had he obtained 
Charlemont's position. But it was not so fated. 

After forcing parliamentary independence the Volunteers 


meekly disbanded, and the United Irishmen took their place. 
The brilliancy of Grattan's parliament never fulfilled national 
aspirations. Bristol was succeeded by another recruit from 
the aristocracy — Lord Edward Fitzgerald. With Wolfe Tone 
and Robert Emmet he has become legendary. All three at- 
tained popular canonization, for all three sealed their brief 
leadership with death. 

Lord Edward was a dreamer, an Irish Bayard, too chival- 
rous to conspire successfully and too frankly courageous to 
match a government of guile. Tone was far more dangerous. 
He realized that foreign invasion was necessary to successful 
rebellion, and he allowed no scruple or obstacle in his path. 
He washed his hands of law and politics entirely. To divert 
Napoleon to Ireland was his object and the total separation 
of Ireland his ambition. The United Irishmen favored the 
invasion, which the Volunteers had been formed to repel. 
The feud between moral and physical force broke out. The 
failure of the sterner policy in 1798 did not daunt Emmet 
from his ill-starred attempt in 1803. He combined Lord Ed- 
ward's chivalry with some abilities worthy of Tone, but he 
failed. The failure he redeemed by a swan-song from the dock 
and a demeanor on the scaffold which have become part of 
Irish tradition. 

After the Union, Irish leaders sprang up in the English 
House, which Pitt had unwittingly made the cockpit of the 
racial struggle. Far from absorbing the Irish element, the 
Commons found themselves forced to resist, rally, and finally 

The Irish House cannot be dismissed without mention of 
Curran. He was a brilliant enemy of corruption and servility. 
O'Connell said "there was never so honest an Irishman," 
which may account for his greater success as a lawyer than a 
politician. To be an Irish leader and a successful lawyer is 
given to no man. For the former the sacrifice of a great career 
is needed. This sacrifice Daniel O'Connell was prepared to 
make. His place in history will never be estimated, for few 
have been so loved or hated, or for stronger reasons. Never 
did a tribune rising to power lift his people to such sudden 
hope and success. Never did a champion leave his followers 


at his death and decline to more terrible despair. Friend and 
foe admit his immensity. He was the greatest Irishman that 
ever lived or seemingly could live. In his own person he con- 
tained the whole genius of the Celt. Ireland could not hold his 
emotions, which overflowed into the world for expression. He 
rose on the crest of a religious agitation, but. Emancipation 
won, he had the foresight to associate the Irish cause with the 
advent of Reform and Liberalism throughout Europe. He 
sounded the notes of free-trade and anti-slavery. What he said 
in parliament one day, Ireland re-echoed the next. To her he 
was all in all, her hero and her prophet, her Messias and her 
strong deliverer. On the continent he roughly personified 
Christian Democracy. 

In public oratory O'Connell introduced a new style. Torren- 
tial and overwhelming as Flood and Grattan had never been, he 
proved more successful if less polished. The exaggerations of 
Gaelic speech found outburst in his English. Peel's smile was 
"the silver plate on a coffin", Wellington "a stunted corporal", 
and Disraeli "the lineal descendant of the impenitent thief." 

It sounds bombastic, but in those feudal forties it rang more 
magnificent than war. Single-voiced he overawed the host of 
bigots, dullards, and reactionaries. Unhappily, he let his 
people abandon their native tongue, while teaching them how to 
balance the rival parties in England, the latter a policy that has 
proved Ireland's fortune since. He loosed the spirit of sec- 
tarianism in the tithe war, and he crushed the Young Ireland 
movement, which bred Fenianism in its death agony. But he 
made the Catholic a citizen. Results stupendous as far-reach- 
ing sprang from his steps every way. 

The finest pen-sketch of O'Connell is by Mitchel, who says, 
"besides superhuman and subterhuman passions, yet withal, a 
boundless fund of masterly affectation and consummate his- 
trionism, hating and loving heartily, outrageous in his merri- 
ment and passionate in his lamentation, he had the power to 
make other men hate or love, laugh or weep, at his good 

Yet during his lifetime there lived others worthy of national 
leadership. O'Brien, Duffy, and Davis played their part in 
England as well as in Ireland. Father Mathew founded the 


Temperance, as Feargus O'Conor the Chartist, movement. And 
there- was an orator who fascinated Gladstone — Sheil. 

Father Mathew succeeded in keeping many millions of men 
sober during the forties until the great Famine engulfed his 
work as it did O'Connell's. To him is due, as a feature of 
Irish life, the .brass band with banners, which he originally 
organized as a counter-intoxicant. 

Feargus O'Conor founded Radical Socialism in England. 
As the Lion of Freedom, he enjoyed a popularity with English 
workmen approaching that of O'Connell in Ireland. He ended 
in lunacy, but he had the credit of forwarding peasant pro- 
prietorship far in advance of his times. 

Sheil was a tragic orator — "an iambic rhapsodist", O'Con- 
nell called him — who might have been leader, did not a greater 
tragedian occupy the stage. And Sheil was content to be 
O'Connell's organizer. Without O'Connell's voice or pres- 
ence, he was his rhetorical superior, excelling in irony and the 
by-plays of speech for which O'Connell was too exuberant. 
Sheil's speeches touch exquisite though not the deep notes of 
O'Connell, whom he criticized for "throwing out broods of 
sturdy young ideas upon the world without a rag to cover 
them." He discredited his master and his cause by taking 
office. The fruits of Emancipation were tempting to those 
who had borne the heat of the day, but there was a rising 
school of patriots who refused acquiescence to anything less 
than total freedom. 

The Young Irelanders reincarnated the men of "ninety- 
eight." They were neither too late nor too soon. They 
snatched the sacred torch of Liberty from the dying hands of 
O'Connell, who summoned in vain old Ireland against his 
young rivals. But men like Davis and Duffy appealed to types 
0!Connell never swayed. He could carry the mob, but poet, 
journalist, and idealist were enrolled with Young Ireland. For 
this reason the .history of their failure is brighter in literature 
than the tale of O'Connell's triumphs. To read Duffy's "Young 
Ireland" and.Mitchel's "Jail Journal", with draughts from the 
Spirit of the Kation, is to relive the period. Without the Young 
Irelanders, Irish Nationalism imight not have survived the 


Mitchel, as open advocate of physical force, became father 
to Fenianism. An honest conspirator and brilliant writer, he 
proved that the pen of journalism was sharper than the Irish 
pike. Carlyle described him as "a fine elastic-spirited young 
fellow, whom I grieved to see rushing on destruction palpable, 
by attack of windmills." Destruction came surely, but coupled 
with immortality. He was transported as a felon before the 
insurrection, while his writings sprang up in angry but un- 
armed men. 

Mitchel and O'Connell both sought the liberation of Ire- 
land, but their viewpoint differed. Mitchel thought only of 
Liberty; O'Connell not unnaturally considered the "Libera- 
tor." His refusal to allow a drop of blood to be shed caused 
Young Ireland to secede. Only when death removed his influ- 
ence could the pent-up feelings of the country break out under 
Smith O'Brien. If Mitchel was an Irish Robespierre, O'Brien 
was their Lafayette. His advance from the level of dead aris- 
tocracy had been rapid. From defending Whigs in Parlia- 
ment he passed to opposition and "contempt of the House." 
He resigned from the Bench from which O'Connell had been 
dismissed, became a Repealer, adding the words "no compro- 
mise," and finally gloried in his treason before the House. His 
next step brought a price upon his head. 

Grave and frigid, but inwardly warmhearted and passionate, 
O'Brien had little aptitude for rebellion. But the death pen- 
alty (commuted to transportation) which he incurred went far 
to redeem his forlorn failure. Mitchel, who shared his Aus- 
tralian imprisonment, left a fine picture of "this noblest of 
Irishmen, thrust in among the off-scourings of England's gaols, 
with his home desolated and his hopes ruined, and defeated 
life falling into the sere and yellow leaf. A man, who cannot 
be crushed, or bowed, or broken; anchored immovably upon 
his own brave heart within; his clear eye and soul open as 
ever to all the melodies and splendors of heaven and earth, and 
calmly waiting for the angel, Death." 

The Irish cause was not revived until the Fenian move- 
ment. Disgust with the politicians drove the noblest into their 
ranks. In Stephens they found an organizing chief, in Boyle 

16# mt GLORItS 01^ IRELAND 

O'Reilly a poet, and in John O'Leary a political thinker, men 
who under other conditions had achieved mundane success. 
The Fenians were defended by Isaac Butt, a *)ig-hearted, broad- 
minded lawyer, who afterwards organized a party to convince 
Englishmen that Repeal was innocuous, when called "Home 
Rule." The people stood his patient ways patiently, but when a 
more desperate leader arrived they transferred allegiance, and 
Butt died of a broken heart. 

Parnell took his place and began to marshal the broken forces 
of Irish democracy against his own class. Butt had been a 
polite parliamentarian, reverencing the courtesy of debate and 
at heart loving the British Constitution. Parnell felt that hi? 
mission lay in breaking rather than interpreting the law. The 
well-bred House stared and protested when he defied their 
chosen six hundred. Parnell faced them with their own mar- 
ble callousness. He outdid them in political cynicism and out- 
bowed them in frigid courtesy, while maintaining a policy be- 
fore which tradition melted and a time-honored system col- 
lapsed. In one stormy decade he tore the cloak from the 
Mother of Parliaments, reducing her to a plain-speaking demo- 
cratic machine. Through the breach he made, the English 
labor party has since entered. 

He united priest and peasant, physical and moral force, 
under him. He could lay Ireland under storm or lull at his 
pleasure. His achievement e:[ualled his self-confidence. He 
reversed the Irish land system and threw English politics out of 
gear. With the balance of power in his hand, he made Tory 
and Radical outbid each other for his support. He was no 
organizer or orator, but he fascinated able nen to conduct his 
schemes, as Napoleon used his marshals. On .1 pregnant day 
he equaled the achievement of St. Paul and converted Glad- 
stone, who had once been his gaoler. Gladstone became a 
Home Ruler, and henceforth English politics knew no peace. 

Parnell stood for the fall and rise of many. Under his 
banner Irish peasants became human beings with human rights. 
He felled the feudal class in Ireland and undermined them in 
England, incalculable forces were set to destroy him. A 
forged letter in the Times classed him with assassins, while an 

Ul^gol Commission was sent to try his whole movement. It 
is history that his triumphant vindication was followed by a 
greater fall. The happiness of Ireland was sucked into the 
maelstrom of his ruin. He refused to retire from leadership 
at Gladstone's bidding, and Ireland staggered into civil war. 
The end is known — Parnell died as he had lived. Of his moral 
fault there is no palliation, but it may be said he held his 
country's honor dearer than his own, for he could not bear to 
see her win even independence by obeying the word of an 

Rhferences I 

Lecky : Leaders of Irish Opinion ; Mitchel ; Jail Journal ; Duffy : 
Young Ireland; O'Brien: Life of Parnell; D'Alton: History of Ire- 


By Alice; Milligan. 

THE worth and glory of a nation may well be measured 
and adjudged by the typical character of its woman- 
hood: not so much, I would say, by the eminence attained to 
by rarely gifted, exceptionally developed individuals, as by the 
prevalence of noble types at every period, and amongst all 
classes of the community, and by their recurrence from age to 
age under varying circumstances of national fortune. 

Judged by such a standard, Ireland emerges triumphant and 
points to the roll of her chequered history, the story of her 
ancient race, with confidence and pride. Gaze into the farthest 
vistas of her legendary past, into the remotest eras of which 
tradition preserves a misty memory, and the figure of some 
fair, noble woman stands forth glimmering like a white statue 
against the gloom. At every period of stern endeavor, through 
all the generations of recorded time, the pages of our annals 
are inscribed with the names of mothers, sisters, wives, not 
unworthy to stand there beside those of the world-renowned 
heroes of the Gael. 

In the ancient tales of Ireland we read of great female 
physicians and distinguished female lawyers and judges. 
There were ban-file, or women-poets, who, like the file, were 
at the same time soothsayers and poetesses, and there are other 
evidences of the high esteem in which women were held. 
There can be no doubt, to judge by the elaborate descriptions 
of garments in the saga-texts, that the women were very skil- 
ful in weaving and needlework. The Irish peasant girls ©£ 
today inherit from them not a little of their gift for lace- 
making and linen-embroidery. Ladies of the highest rank 
practiced needlework as an accomplishment and a recreation. 
Some of the scissors and shears they used have come to light 
in excavations. 

In the stories of the loves of the ancient Irish, whether 
immortals or mortals, the woman's role is the more accentu- 
ated, while in Teutonic tradition man plays the chief part 
Ag^ain, it has often been remarked that the feminine interest 


is absent from the earlier heroic forms of some literatures. 
Not so, however, in the earliest saga-texts of the Irish. Many 
are the famous women to whom the old tales introduce us and 
who stand out and compel attention like the characters of the 
Greek drama. Everyone knows of the faithful Deirdre, the 
heroine of the touching story of the "Exile of the Sons of 
Usnech", and of her death; of the proud and selfish Medb. 
the ambitious queen of Connacht, the most warlike and most 
expert in the use of weapons of the women of the Gael — far 
superior in combat and counsel to her husband, Ailill; of 
Emer, the faithful wife of Cuchulainn ; of Etain of the Horses 
(that was her name in Fairyland) ; and of many others too 
numerous to mention. 

It is with the introduction of Christianity into Ireland that 
the Irish woman came into her rightful place, and attained the 
preponderating influence which she, ever since, has held among 
the Celtic people. In the period which followed the evangeli- 
zation of the island many were the "women of worth" who 
upheld the honor and glory of "Inisfail the Fair'*, and women 
were neither the less numerous nor the less ardent who hung 
upon the lips of the Apostle of Ireland. 

Amid the galaxy of the saints, how lustrous, how divinely 
fair, shines the star of Brigid, the shepherd maiden of Faug- 
hard, the disciple of Patrick the Apostle, the guardian of the 
holy light that burned beneath the oak-trees of Kildare ! Over 
all Ireland and through the Hebridean Isles, she is renowned 
above any other. We think of her, moreover, not alone, but 
as the centre of a great company of cloistered maidens, the 
refuge and helper of the sinful and sorrowful, who found in 
the gospel that Patrick preached a message of consolation and 
deliverance. Let it be remembered that the shroud of Patrick 
is deemed to have been woven by Brigid's hand; that when 
she died, in 525, Columcille, the future apostle of Scotland, was 
a child of four. So she stands midmost of that trilogy of saints 
whose dust is said to rest in Down. 

Who that hears of Columcille will forget How He won that 

name, "dove of the Church", because of his early piety, and 

that surely bespeaks a mother's guiding care. Ethne, mother 

of Columcille, remains a vague but picturesque figure, seen 


164: THE GL0RIE:S of IRieivAND 

against the background of the rugged heath-clad hills of Tir- 
Conal by the bright blue waters of Gartan's triple lake. Her 
hearth-stone or couch is shown there to this day, where once 
in slumber, before the birth of her son, she saw in a glorious 
visionary dream a symbol of his future greatness. A vast 
veil woven of sunshine and flowers seemed to float down 
upon her from heaven: an exquisitely poetic thought, which 
gives us warrant to believe that Columcille's poetic skill was 
inherited from his mother. 

Ronnat, the mother of his biographer, St. Adamnan, plays a 
more notable part in history, for, according to an ancient Gaelic 
text recently published, it was to her that the women of Ire- 
land owed the royal decree which liberated them from mili- 
tary service. The story goes that once, as she walked beside the 
Boyne, after some sanguinary conflict, she came upon the 
bodies of two women who had fallen in battle. One grasped 
a reaping hook, the other a sword, and dreadful wounds dis- 
figured them. Horrified at the sight, she brought strong 
pressure to bear upon her son, and his influence in the councils 
of the land availed to bring about the promulgation of the 
decree which freed women from war-service. 

Our warrior kings had noble queens to rule their house- 
holds, and of these none stands out so distinctly after long 
lapse of time as Gormlai, the daughter of Flann Siona, and 
wife of Nial Glondubh. Her story has in it that element of 
romance which touches the heart and wins the sympathy of 
all who hear it. 

Her father was king of the Meathan branch of the Clan 
Nial, and ard-ri of Ireland for thirty-seven years. Nial 
Glondubh was king of Tir-Eoghain, and heir of Flann in the 
high kingship, for at that era it was the custom for the kings 
of Meatk and of Tyrone to hold the supreme power alternately. 
In order to knit north and south, Flann betrothed his beau- 
tiful daughter to Cormac macCuillenan, king of Cashel, an 
ideal husband, one would have thought, for a poetess like 
Gormlai, for Cormac was the foremost scholar of the day; 
but his mind was so set on learning and religion that he took 
holy orders and became bishop-king of Cashel, repudiating 
his destined bride. Gormlai was then given as wife to Cearbh- 


ail, king of Leinster, and was was waged against Cormac 
who was killed in the battle of Ballymoon. Coming home 
wounded, Cearbhail lay on his couch, and while tended by 
Gormlai and her ladies told the story of the battle and boasted 
of having insulted the dead body of King Cormac. Gormlai 
reproached him for his ignoble conduct in such terms that his 
anger and jealousy flamed up, and striking her with his fist 
he hurled her to the ground. 

Gormlai rose indignant and left his house forever, returning 
to the palace of King Flann, and on Cearbhail's death she at 
last found a true lover and worthy mate in Nial Glondub^, 
who brought her northward to rule over the famous palace of 
Aileach. In 916 Nial became high king, but the place 
of honor was also the place of danger, and soon he led the 
mustered hosts of the north against the pagan foreigners, who 
held Dublin and Fingal, and he fell in battle at Rathf arnham. 

A poem, preserved for us ever since, tells us that Gormlai 
was present at his burial and chanted a funeral ode. Her 
long widowhood was a period of disconsolate mourning. At 
length it is said she had a dream or vision, in which King Nial 
appeared to her in such life-like shape that she spread her 
arms to embrace him, and thus wounded her breast against 
the carven head-post of her couch, and of that wound she died. 

Many saintly, many noble, many hospitable and learned 
women lightened the darkness that fell over Ireland after the 
coming of the Normans. 

I pass to the time when a sovereign lady filled the throne 
of England, "the spacious days of great Elizabeth," which 
were also the period of Ireland's greatest, sternest struggle 
against a policy of extermination towards her nobles and sup- 
pression of her ancient faith. Amid all the heroes and leaders 
of that wondrous age in Ireland, there appears, like a reincar- 
nation of legendary Medb, a warlike queen in Connacht, 
Grace O'Malley, "Granuaile" of the ballads.**^ Instead of. a 
chariot, she mounts to the prow of a swift-sailing galley, and 
sweeps over the wild Atlantic billows, from isle to isle, from 
coast to coast, taking tribute (or is it plunder?) from the clans. 
First an O'Flaherty is her husband, then a Norman Burke. In 
Clare Island they show her castle tower, with a hole in the 


wall, through which they say she tied a cable from her ship, 
ready by day or night for a summons from her seamen. She 
voyaged as far as London town, and stood face to fa-ce with 
the ruffed and hooped Elizabeth, meeting her offer of an Eng- 
lish title with the assertion that she was a princess in her own 

The mother of Red Hugh O'Donnell, Ineen-dubh, though 
daughter of the Scottish Lord of the Isles, was none the less 
of the old Irish stock. Her character is finely sketched for 
us by the Franciscan chronicler who wrote the story of the 
captivity and mighty deeds of her son. When the clans of 
Tir-Conal assembled to elect the youthful chieftain, he writes : 
**It was an advantage that she came to the ga hcriii.^j, for she 
was the head of the advice and counsel of the Cinel-Conail, 
and, though she was slow and deliberate and much praised 
for her womanly qualities, she had the heart of a hero and 
the soul of a soldier.'* Her daughter, Nuala, is the "woman 
of the piercing wail" in Mangan's translation of the bard's 
lament for the death of the Ulster chieftains in Rome. 

Modern critics like to interpret the ''Dark Rosaleen" poem 
as ar. expression of Red Hugh's devotion to Ireland, but I 
think that Rose, O'Doherty's daughter, wife of the peerless 
Owen Roe, deserves recognition as she whose 

"Holy delicate white hands should girdle him with steel." 

The record has come down to us that she prompted and 
encouraged her husband to return from the low-countries and 
a position of dignity in a foreign court to command the war 
in Ireland, and in her first letter, ere she followed him over 
sea, she asked eagerly: "How stands Tir-Conal?" True 
daughter of Ulster was Owen's wife, so let us henceforth 
acknowledge her as the Roisin dubh, "dark Rosaleen", of the 
sublimest of all patriot songs. 

In the Cromwellian and Williamite wars, we see the mourn- 
ful mothers and daughters of the Gaeldom passing in sad 
procession to Connacht, or wailing on Shannon banks for 
the flight of the "Wild Geese." But what of Limerick wall, 
what of the valorous rush of the women of the beleaguered city 
to stem the inroads of the besiegers and rally the defenders 


to the breach? The decree of St. Adamnan was quite for- 
gotten then, and when manly courage for a moment was 
daunted, woman's fortitude replaced and reinspired it. 

And fortitude was sorely needed through the black years 
that followed — the penal days, when Ireland, crushed in the 
dust, bereft of arms, achieved a sublimer victory than did 
even King Brian himself, champion of the Cross, against the 
last muster of European heathendom. 

Yes, her women have done their share in making Ireland 
what she is, a heroic land, unconquered by long centuries of 
wrath and wrong, a land that has not abandoned its Faith 
through stress of direst persecution or bartered it for the lure 
of worldly dominion; no — nor ever yielded to despair in face 
of repeated national disaster. 

It was this fidelity to principle on the part of the Irish 
Catholic people which won for them the alliance of all that 
were worthiest among the Protestants of north and south in 
the days of the Volunteers and the United Irishmen. What 
interesting and pathetic portraits of Irishwomen are added 
to our roll at this period! None is more tenderly mournful 
than that of Sarah Curran, the beloved of Robert Emmet. 
The graceful prose of Washington Irving, the poignant verses 
of Moore, have enshrined the memory of her, weeping for 
him in the shadow of the scaffold, dying of heart-break at 
last in a far-off land. No more need be said of her, for whom 
the pity of the whole world has been awakened by song allied 
to sweetest, saddest music. What of Anne Devlin, Emmet's 
faithful servant, helping in his preparations for insurrection, 
aiding his flight, shielding him in hiding, even when tortured, 
scourged, half-hanged by a brutal soldiery, with ste*-*"-shut 
lips refusing to utter a word to compromise her "Master 

What of the sister of Henry Joy McCracken, Mary, the 
friend and fellow-worker with the Belfast United Irishmen? 
An independent, self-reliant business woman, she earned the 
money which she gave so liberally in the good cause, or to 
help the poor and distressed, through the whole period of a 
long life. Some still living have seen Mary passing along the 
streets of Belfast, an aged woman, clad in sombre gown, to 


whom Catholic»artisans raised their caps reverently, remember- 
ing how. in '98 she had walked hand in hand with her brother to 
the steps of the scaffold, and how, in 1803, she had aided 
Thomas Russell in his escape from the north after Emmet's 
failure, had bribed his captors after arrest, provided for his 
defence, and preserved for futurity a record of his dying 
words. Madden's History of the United Irishmen, as far as 
It tells of the north, is mainly the record that she kept as a 
sacred trust in letters, papers, long-treasured memories of the 
men who fought and died to make Ireland a united nation. 

And now a scene in America: comes last to my mind. Wolfe 
Tone, a political fugitive who has served Ireland well and 
come •through danger to safety, is busy laying the foundations 
of a happy and prosperous future, with a beloved wife and 
sister and young children to brighten his home. An estate 
near Princeton, New Jersey, has been all but bought, possi- 
bilities 'of g Career in the new republic open before him, when 
a letter conies 'Trom Belfast, asking him to return to the post 
of danger, to undertake a mission to France for the sake of 
Ireland. Let his own pen describe what happened : "I handed 
the letter to my wife and' sister and desired their opinion. . . . 
My wife especially, whose courage and whose zeal for my 
honor and interest were not in the least abated by all her past 
sufferings, supplicated me to let no consideration of her or our 
children .stand for a moment in the way of my duty to our 
country, adding that she would answer for our family during 
my absence and that the same Providence which had so often, 
as it were, miraculously preserved us would not desert us now." 
Inspired by the fortitude of this noble woman. Tone went 
forth on his perilous mission, and similarly the Young Ireland 
leaders, Mitchel and Smith O'Brien, were sustained by the 
courage of their nearest and dearest. "Eva," the poetess of 
the 'Nation, gave her troth-plight to one who had prison and 
exile to face ere he could claim her hand. Other names recur 
to me — "Speranza", with her lyric fire ; Ellen O'Leary, fervent 
and still patient and wise ; Fanny Parnell and her sister. 

And wEa! of the women of Ireland today? Shall they 
come short of the high ideal of the past, falter and fail, if 
devotion and sacrifice are required of them? Never: whilst 


they keep in memory and honor the illustrious ones of whom 
I have written. The name of Irishwoman today stands for 
steadfast virtue, for hospitality, for simple piety, for cheerful 
endurance, and in a changing world let us trust it is the will of 
God that in this there will be no change. 

Refeeences : 

On Ethne, mother of St. Columcille: The Visions, Miracles, and 
Prophecies of St. Columba (Clarendon Press Series). On Ronnat: 
S. Mac an Bhaird, Life (in Irish) of Adamnan (Letterkenny) ; 
Reeves, St. Adamnan's Life of St. Columba; The Mother of St. 
Adamnan, an old Gaelic text, ed. by Kuno Meyer (Berlin). On 
Gormlai: Thomas Concannon, Gormfiath (in Irish; The Gaelic 
League, Dublin). On Granuaile: Elizabethan State Papers (Record 
Office Series) ; William O'Brien, A Queen of Men. On Ineen-Duibh: 
O'Clery's Life of Red Hugh (contemporary), ed. by Denis Murphy, 
S. J. (Dublin, 1894) ; Standish O'Grady, The Flight of the Eagle, 
or Red Hugh's Captivity. On Rose, wife of Owen Roe O'Neill, se« 
references in Father Meehan's The Plight of the Earls, and in Sir 
John Gilbert's History of the Confederate War (Dublin, 1885). On 
the wife of Wolfe Tone, see Wolfe Tone's Autobiography, ed. by 
R. Barry O'Brien (London, 1894). The American edition has a fuller 
account of Tone's wife, her courage and devotion in educating her 
son, and her interviews with Napoleon, and life in America. The 
women of the United Irish period are fully dealt with In H. U. 
Madden's Lives and Times of the United Irishmen. On Mary Mc- 
Cracken, see Mrs. Milligan Fox, The Annals of the Irish Harpers. 
On the women of the Young Ireland period, see C. Gavan Duffy's 
Young Ireland (Dublin), and John O'Leary's Fenians and Fenian- 
ism. On the women of Limerick, see Rev. James Dowd, Limerick 
and its Sieges (Limerick, 1890). For the women under Cromwellian 
Plantation persecutions and the Penal Laws, see Prendergast'a 
Cromwellian Settlement, Rev. Denis Murphy's Cromwell in Ireland, 
and R. R. Madden's History of the Penal Laws. 


By Lord Ashbourni:. 

[Note. — This chapter was written by Lord Ashbourne in French, 
because he is so strong an Irishman that he objects to write in Enghsh. 
The translation has been made by the Editors.] 

TO those of us who are interested in the future of our 
country there is at this very moment presented a really 
serious problem. The political struggle of the last century 
has been so intense that many of our people have come to 
have none but a political solution in view. For them the 
whole question is one of politics, and they will continue to 
believe that Ireland will have found salvation the moment we 
get Home Rule or something like it. Such an attitude seems 
natural enough when we remember what our people have 
suffered in the past. Nevertheless, on a little reflection, this 
error — for error it is, and an enormous one, too — will be 
quickly dissipated. In the first place, the political struggle of 
today is only the continuation of a conflict which has lasted 
seven hundred years, and in point of fact we have a right to be 
proud that after so many trials there still remains to us any- 
thing of our national inheritance. We find ourselves indeed on 
the battlefield somxCVv^hat seriously bruised, but we can console 
ourselves with the thought that our opponent is in equally dole- 
ful case, that he is beginning to suffer from a fatal weariness, 
and that he is anxious to make peace with us. 

In order to place the present political situation in its true 
light and to take into account its comparatively limited impor- 
tance, we must not lose sight of the fundamental fact that 
what Llome Rule connotes is rather a tender of peace on the 
part of Ireland than a gift which England presents us of her 
own free will. In fact, our neighbor across the Channel has 
as much interest as ourselves, and perhaps even more, in 
bringing the struggle to an end. Through us, England has 
already lost much prestige, and that famous British Consti- 
tiition, which in times past everyone admired while trying in 
vain to imitate it, has lost caste considerably. I am not now 
speaking of the danger which an Ireland discontented, and 


even hostile, and having nothing to lose, would constitute for 
England in case of war. It is especially from our neighbor's 
point of view that we can cry up Home Rule or any other 
solution that will bring peace. But let us leave to Great 
Britain the task of getting out of trouble as best she may. 
On our side, what shall we say of it? 

In our conflict with the English we are not wearied ; rather 
are we hardened for the fray. We have acquired the habit of 
fighting, and many of us can now scarcely regulate our con- 
duct in a manner suitable to a state of peace with England. 
Nevertheless, as I have already said, we have not emerged 
unscathed from this war of the centuries. National sentiment 
remains with us, no doubt, and our traditions are not wholly 
lost, especially among the country people of the West. But our 
commerce is almost ruined and the national language is no 
longer spoken throughout the greater part of the country. It 
is true that a continuation of the hitherto existing state of war 
cannot do us much more harm; that for purposes of mere 
destruction all the advantages are on our side; and that on 
the other hand we can begin a reconstruction at home without 
waiting for a treaty of peace to be signed. But we have some 
things to do for which a home government would be useful 
to us, and further, in the absence of such a government, it 
would be difficult to imagine what means could be employed 
to turn the people away from their too exclusive absorption 
in Anglo-Irish politics. 

It is, then, from a practical point of view that we wish for 
peace. But, we may lawfully ask, will not this peace bring 
with it a special danger, against which we ought to take pre- 
cautions? As a matter of fact, there is such a danger, and it 
lies in the fact that the people have been to so great an extent 
obsessed by the political struggle that they run the risk, once 
their end is attained, of collapsing and of losing interest in 
the national question. Let us not forget that that question is 
to save our language and our civilization; without that, it is 
all over with our nationality. Let us endeavor to turn our 
parliament to account in order to work seriously on the recon- 
struction of our national life, and it is certain that Ireland will 
find therein her salvation. 


We can, therefore, take advantage either of England's pro- 
longed resistance or of peace. If England decides to con- 
tinue the contest, she will suffer more from it than we. Her 
empire, her institutions, her safety, will be more and more 
impaired, while, as for us, there will result a strong growth 
in patriotism and in anti-British bitterness. What we have 
to do, right now, is to take our bearings in such a way that, 
no matter what happens to England, our own future shiall be 
assured. We can do it if we wish it: the question is, shall 
we wish it ? 

Here it may be objected, Cut bono? The English language 
is quite enough for us. We have it now and we speak it, 
sometimes, even better than the English people themselves. 
We are proud of using the same language as Sheridan, Burke, 
and Grattan used. Such an opinion has its modicum of truth, 
though less now than a hundred years ago. Formerly there 
was in Ireland, and especially around Dublin, a little colony 
of Anglo-Irish. The members of this colony spoke a very 
pure and classic English, and this fact is largely responsible 
for the place which Ireland at one time held in English litera- 
ture. But during the last century the remains of this colony 
have been swamped beneath a flood of half-Anglicized people, 
of Irishmen from the country districts, who were formerly 
excluded, and who brought with them such a mixture of 
expressions and of phonetic tendencies derived from the 
Gaelic that the language of Grattan, Sheridan, and Burke has 
well-nigh gone out of existence. The reason of this is that 
since i\it date of Catholic emancipation, most careers are open 
to everybody. The result has been that the newly enfran- 
chised majority has ultimately absorbed the minority, and that 
the atmosphere of culture, of which we Have just spoken, has 
disappeared. We thus reach an Ireland which, in a sense, has 
neither culture nor language, a country in which the Gaelic 
spoken by a people humiliated and deeply demoralized by an 
anti-Catholic legislation, which was both savage and degrading, 
tended to ^coalesce with an English already condemned to 
death. It is from the moment when the Catholics had finally 
triumnhed over persecution that we must date the beginning 
of that political struggle with which we are familiar, a struggle 


which has resulted in absorbing all the energies of a great part 
of the population. That is why this tremendous problem pre- 
sents itself to us, at the very time when we should be justified 
in feeling ourselves elated by triumph because of our victories 
in parliament. And let not England rejoice too much at our 
dilemma. If we are doomed to die, she will die with us, for 
before disappearing we shall prove to be a great destructive 
force, and out of the ruins of the British power we shall raise 
such a monument that future generations will know what it 
costs to murder a nation. 

But, if possible, we must live and let live. The elements of 
reconstruction are always at hand. Anglo-Irish culture is 
indeed dead, but Gaelic culture is only seriously sick, and on 
that side there is always room for hope. Sooth to say, its 
sickness consists above all in the fact that the Irish language 
is no longer spoken in a great part of the country. But, on 
the other hand, where it is preserved, that same language is 
spoken in all its purity. By going there to find it all Ireland 
will gradually become Gaelic. 

But, It will be objected, what a loss of time and energy! 
If it is a question of languages, why not learn one of the more 
useful ones? To this we may reply that, while English de- 
forms the mouth and makes it incapable of pronouncing any 
language which is not spoken from the tip of the lips, Gaelic, 
on the contrary, so exercises the organs of speech that it 
renders easy the acquisition and the practice of most European 
idioms. Let us add, by way of example, that French, which 
is usually difficult for strangers, is much more within the 
compass of Irishmen who speak Irish, no less because of cer- 
tain linguistic customs than from the original relationship 
between the two languages. 

This remark brings us to another objection which is often 
lodged against our movement. It is urged that Ireland is 
already isolated enough, and that by making it a Gaelic- 
speaking nation, we shall make that state of affairs still worse. 
English, say the objectors, is spoken more or less everywhere, 
while Gaelic will never be able to claim the position of a 
quasi-universal language. To this line of reasoning it might 
be answered, for one thing, that no ojie can tell how far 


Gaelic will go, in case our movement is a success, and that 
many a language formerly "universal" is today as dead as a 
door-nail. But we must look at the question from another 
point of view. John Bull's language is spread everywhere, 
while he himself retains the most exclusive insularity. He 
travels to every land and there finds his own language and 
his own customs. Now it goes without saying that from this 
very universalization his language is corrupted and becomes 
vulgarized. The idiom of Shakespeare and Milton gives place 
gradually to the idiom of the seaports. Furthermore, far from 
isolating us, Gaelic will tend to put us in touch with the civili- 
zation of the West. As a people Anglicised, and badly Angli- 
cised at that, we share, and even exaggerate, the faults which 
I have just described. It is Anglo-Saxon speech which isolates 
us, and we wish on this ground to break with it and to hold out 
our hand to our brothers of the continent. 

But, it may be said, what a pity to dig yet another abyss 
between Ireland and Great Britain, for it is with the latter 
that our geographical position will always link us for common 
defense. For, while it is true that history does not show us a 
single case of an empire which has not sooner or later fallen to 
pieces, nevertheless, whatever happens, the two islands will be 
necessarily forced to co-operate for the common good. Well, let 
us take it that things will so fall out, and let us suppose an An- 
glicised Ireland called upon to face such a situation. It would 
be a revolutionary Ireland, a restless Ireland, an Ireland seek- 
ing vaguely for revenge on someone, deprived of really national 
character, and, in a general way, suspecting England of re- 
sponsibility for the disappearance from our country of every- 
thing that constitutes the idea of nationality. And let us 
remark that we are no longer living in those good old times 
when entire nations allowed themselves to be absorbed by their 
conquerors. The art of printing has changed all that. Today 
a ''suppressed" nation is one that will sooner or later have its 
revenge. Thus let us suppose that we are destined to make 
political peace with England and to enter of our own accord 
into a Hiberno-Britannic confederation. From our point of 
view, what would be the result of that arrangement? The re- 
sult would be strange. Here again, as in the case of Home 


Rule, it is rather we who offer advantages to England than she 
who offers them to us. Only, in this latter case, the result de- 
pends on ourselves alone. If we die, it will be because we have 
wished it. Our language is not dead ; on the contrary, although 
not widely spread, it is in itself much more alive than English, 
which as a literary language is in full decay. We may con- 
gratulate ourselves that our idiom is intact. Our civilization 
is old, but it has not yet lived its full life. If we wish, the 
future is ours. And let us truly believe that that is worth 
while, for the race which has produced epics like those of 
Ossian and all that magnificent literature which has been pre- 
served for us through the ages, the race that gave to Europe 
that great impulse of missionary activity which is associated 
with the names of Columcille, Brendan, Columbanus, and Gall, 
not to mention men like the famous Scotus Erigena — ^that race 
is certainly called upon to play an important part in the modem 
world. But — ^let us repeat it — it must have the wish. 


By John O'D^a, 
National Historian, A. O. H, 

IN the social organization of no nation of antiquity were 
societies of greater influence than in pagan Ireland. During 
many centuries these societies, composed of the bards, ollamhs, 
brehons, druids, and knights, contended for precedence. In 
no country did the literary societies display greater vigor and 
exercise a more beneficent power than in pagan Ireland. 
Although the Hebrews and other Asiatic nations had societies 
organized from among the professions, yet in Ireland alone 
these societies seem to have been constructed with a patriotic 
purpose, and in Ireland alone they seem to have had ceremonies 
of initiation, with constitutions and laws. These societies 
existed from the earliest times until after the coming of St. 
Patrick. Traces of them are visible during all the centuries 
from the conversion of Ireland down to the Anglo-Norman 
epoch, and it is apparent that the clan system and the intro- 
duction of the feudal system by the English failed to eliminate 
completely their influence. 

When the Irish emigration flowed towards the American 
colonics in the eighteenth century, the social instinct early 
found expression in societies. One of the earliest of these was 
founded in Boston, where, in 1737, twenty-six "gentlemen 
merchants and others, natives of Ireland or of Irish extrac- 
tion", organized the Charitable Irish Society. In Pennsyl- 
vania, where the Irish emigration had been larger than in any 
other colony, the Hibernian Fire Company was organized in 
1751. The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick was founded in Phila- 
delphia in 1771, and about that time societies bearing this 
name were founded in Boston and New York, as convivial 
clubs welcoming Irish emigrants to their festive boards. These 
societies were formed upon the model of the Friendly Brothers 
of St. Patrick, which had existed in Dublin and other Irish 
cities a generation before, and was well and favorably known 
throughout Ireland. 

The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Phila- 


delphia contained some of the most prominent merchants and 
leading citizens of the city, and in 1780 they subscribed 
£103,000, or one-third of the sum collected, to supply the 
Continental army with food. Among its members were Com- 
modore Barry, the Father of the American Navy; General 
Stephen Moylan ; General Anthony Wayne ; and the great mer- 
chants, Blair McClenachan, Thomas Fitzsimons, and Robert 
Morris. Washington, who was an honorary member, described 
it "as a society distinguished for the firm adherence of its mem- 
bers to the glorious cause in which we are embarked." Whether 
upon the field or upon the sea, in council or in the sacrifice of 
their wealth, their names are foremost in the crisis of the Revo- 

The Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants from 
Ireland was founded in Philadelphia on March 3, 1790. Other 
Hibernian Societies, with the same title and organized for the 
same purpose, were founded In other cities along the Atlantic 
coast in the early years of the nineteenth century, but the 
Philadelphia Hibernian Society was, from the character of its 
members, the extent of its beneficence, and the length of its 
existence, the most famous. The emigrants from Ireland 
during the eighteenth century had pushed on to the frontier, 
or, in some instances, remained in the cities and engaged suc- 
cessfully in mercantile pursuits. The emigration which came 
after the Revolution was, however, in great part composed 
of families almost without means. Unable to subsist while 
clearing farms In the virgin forest, thousands were congested 
in the cities. The Hibernian Society extended a ready and 
strong hand to these helpless people, and not only aided the 
emigrants with gifts of money, but also secured for them em- 
ployment, disseminated among them useful information, and 
provided them with medical attendance. While the Hibernian 
Society was regarded as the successor of the Friendly Sons 
of St. Patrick, yet the two societies, which contained 
largely a membership roll bearing the same names, flourished, 
in the work of patriotism, side by side. The first officers of 
the Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants from Ire- 
land were: President, Chief Justice Thomas McKean; Vice- 
President, General Walter Stewart ; Secretary, Matthew Carey, 


the historian; Treasurer, John Taylor. It was said that no 
other society in America contained so many men distinguished 
in civil, military, and official life as the Hibernian Society. In 
almost every city where the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and 
the Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants were found, 
there was a close and intimate connection between them, which 
ultimately resulted in amalgamation. 

The Ancient Order of Hibernians traces its origin to those 
orders which flourished in pagan Ireland, and which exercised 
so potent an influence upon the history of the Celtic race. The 
order of knighthood was the first of these orders to be founded. 
It existed from the earliest times, and is visible in the annals 
of the nation, until the Anglo-Normans invaded the land in 
the twelfth century. In pagan Ireland the knightly orders 
became provincial standing armies, and there are many glorious 
pages describing the feats of the Clanna Deagha of Munster, 
the Clanna Morna of Connacht, the Feni of Leinster, and the 
Knights of the Red Branch of Ulster. When the island was 
Christianized, these knightly orders were among the staunchest 
supporters of the missionary priests, and were consecrated to 
the service of the church in the sixth century, assuming the 
cross as their distinctive emblem, and becoming the defenders 
of religion. 

Among the names which are upon the rolls of the ancient 
orders of knighthood are those of most of the kings, bards, 
saints, and statesmen, and in the long list there was no family 
of greater renown than that of Roderick the Great, to which 
belonged Conall Cearnach and Lugaidh, who, according to 
MacGeoghegan and others, were the direct ancestors of the 
O'Mores of Leix. In this family the ancient splendor of the 
knightly orders was a tradition which survived for centuries, 
and they were in almost continual rebellion against the Eng- 
Hsh, from the siege of Dublin by Roderick O'Connor until 
the rebellion against Queen Elizabeth, led by Rory Oge O'More 
and his son Owen in the latter part of the sixteenth and the 
early seventeenth century. A nephew of Rory Oge, the saga- 
cious and statesmanlike Rory O'More, revived the ancient 
orders in the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny in 1642. A 
grandson of Rory O'More, Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, 


was the most distinguished commander of Irish armies who 
opposed, in Ireland, the forces of William of Orange. 

There is no stranger story in all history than the intimate 
connection of the O'More family with the annals of the 
Ancient Order of Hibernians. The lineage of this family 
furnishes the links connecting the ancient orders of pagan 
Ireland through the centuries with the Ancient Order in mod- 
ern times. Under the names of Rapparees, Whiteboys, De- 
fenders, Ribbonmen, etc., the Confederation of Kilkenny was 
carried on through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 
until the nineteenth. At various times the duties of these 
organizations were subject to local conditions. Thus the 
Defenders were occupied in protecting themselves and their 
priests against the hostility of the Penal Laws, engaging in 
armed conflict with the Orangemen in the north, while the 
Whiteboys were waging war against the atrocities of land- 
lordism in the south. Between these two organizations there 
was a secret code, which operated until they were combined, 
under the name of Ribbonmen, in the early nineteenth century. 
The contentions of the Whiteboys regarding Irish landlordism 
have since been acknowledged to be just, and have been enacted 
into statutes. The Defenders joined with Wolfe Tone in the 
formation of the United Irishmen. 

About 1825 the Ribbonmen changed their name to St. Pat- 
rick's Fraternal Society, and branches were established in Eng- 
land and Scotland under the name of the Hibernian Funeral 
Society. In 1836 a charter was received by members in New 
York City, and in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The head- 
quarters were for some years in Pennsylvania, but in 1851 a 
charter was granted to the New York Divisions under the 
name of "The Ancient Order of Hibernians." New York thus 
became the American headquarters. National conventions 
were held there until 1878, since which year they have been 
held in many other cities biennially. Many of the most distin- 
guished leaders of the Irish race in America have been mem- 
bers of the Order, and from a humble beginning, with a few 
emigrants gathered together in a strange land, the member^ 
ship has grown to nearly 200,000. General Thomas Francis 
^agher. Colonel Michael Doheny, General Michael Cwcoran, 



and Colonel John O'Mahony were among the members in the 
late '50's. 

Among the organizations which have sprung from the ranks 
of the A. O. H. were the powerful Fenian Brotherhood, the 
Emmet Monument Association, and scores of smaller associa- 
tions in all sections of the United States and Canada. During 
the Know Nothing riots, the Order furnished armed defenders 
for the Catholic churches in New York, Philadelphia, and 
Charleston, and it has ever been foremost in preserving its 
position as the hereditary defender of the faith. In 1894, the 
Ladies' Auxiliary was founded, and this body of women num- 
bered in 1914 over 63,000, and had donated great sums to 
charity, education, and religion. The A. O. H. had, in 1914, 
assets of $2,230,000. It pays annually, for charity, sick and 
death benefits, and maintenance, over $1,000,000, and during 
its existence in America has donated nearly $20,000,000 to 
works of beneficence. One of the most celebrated of the 
gifts of the Order was the endowment of the Chair of Celtic 
in the Catholic University of America, and one of its greatest 
gifts to charity was its contribution of $40,000 to the sufferers 
from the San Francisco earthquake. 

The Clan-na-Gael is a society organized to secure the inde- 
pendence of Ireland by armed revolution. Its organization is 
secret and it is the successor of the Irish Revolutionary 
Brotherhood, called in America the Fenian Brotherhood, 
which promoted many daring raids and risings in Ireland in 
1867. The I. R. B. was perfected by James Stephens in Ire- 
land, and by John O'Mahony in America, from 1857 to 1867. 
An invasion of Canada was made in great force under the 
general direction of Colonel William R. Roberts, president of 
the Fenian Brotherhood, but was unsuccessful owing to the 
attitude of the United States Government, which declared 
that the Fenians were violating the principles of neutrality. 
After the disorganization of the Fenian Brotherhood, the idea 
of revolution languished until revived by the founding of the 
Clan-na-Gael by Jerome J. Collins in 1869, and the member- 
ship during the twenty years from 1880 to 1900 included almost 
fifty thousand of the flower of the men of Irish blood in 
America. The principle of revolution was first given organized 


public expression in America through the formation in 1848 
of the Irish Republican Union, which was succeeded by the 
Emmet Monument Association, these societies influencing the 
creation of the Sixty-Ninth and Seventy-Fifth Regiments of 
the New York State Militia, and the Ninth Massachusetts, 
which became so famous for valor during the Civil War. Al- 
though not putting forth all its strength, so as to allow full 
scope to the parliamentary efforts to ameliorate the state of 
the Irish people, the Clan-na-Gael is as vigorous a section as 
ever of the forces organized for the service of patriotism. 

The Land League, founded in Ireland in 1879, was trans- 
planted to America in 1880, when the first branch was estab- 
lished in New York City through the efforts of Patrick Ford, 
John Boyle O'Reilly, John Devoy, and others. Michael Davitt 
soon after came to America and travelled through the country 
founding branches of the League. In a few years the whole 
American continent was organized, and in this organization 
Michael Davitt declared that the members of the Ancient Order 
of Hibernians and the Clan-na-Gael were everywhere foremost. 
To the enormous sums collected by the League in this country, 
and to the magnificent labors of Parnell, Davitt, Redmond, Fer- 
guson, Dillon, Kettle, Webb, and others in Ireland, is due in a 
large measure the present improved state of the people, result- 
ing from the sacrifices made by those who supported this great- 
est of leagues devoted to the amelioration of unbearable eco- 
nomic conditions. A Ladies' Auxiliary to the Land League 
was established by the sisters of Parnell, and was for some 
years a brilliant vindication of the power and justice of femi- 
nine participation in public questions. 

The Land League, the name of which was changed to the 
Irish National League in the early '80's, having prepared the 
path to eventual victory, declined in potency after the political 
movement was divided into Parnellites and Anti-Parnellites in 
1890. The elements composing these rival parties were, through 
the initiative of William O'Brien, M. P., and in commemora- 
tion of the one hundredth anniversary of the United Irishmen 
of Wolfe Tone's day, joined in 1898 under the name of 
the United Irish League, John E. Redmond becoming the first 
president, and also the chairman of the Parliamentary Party 

182 the: glories O^ IRELAND 

which it had been instrumental in uniting. This organization 
is now a Hving, vital force in the affairs of Ireland on both 
sides of the Atlantic, Mr. Redmond being still its head, with 
Michael J. Ryan, of Philadelphia, as president of the Ameri- 
can Branch. 

The Knights of Columbus were organized in 1881 by Rev. 
Michael McGivney, in New Haven, Connecticut, and a charter 
was granted by the Connecticut Legislature on March 29, 1882. 
At first the activity of the organization was confined to Con- 
necticut, but the time was ripe for its mission, and it soon 
spread rapidly throughout New England. In 1896 it began to 
attract the attention of Catholic young men in other parts of 
the nation, and during the next few years its appeal was made 
irresistibly in almost every State. It now exists in all the 
States of the Union, the Dominion of Canada, Nova Scotia, 
Newfoundland, Panama, Porto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, and the 
Philippine Islands, with a total membership of 328,000, of 
whom 108,000 are insurance members and 220,000 associate 
members. Its mortuary reserve fund is $4,500,000, being over 
$1,000,000 more than is required by law. It is one of the most 
successful fraternal societies ever organized, and the Irish- 
American Catholics have given to it the full strength of their 
enthusiasm and purpose. 

The temperance movement among Catholics was, from the 
visit of Father Mathew in 1849, largely Irish. The societies 
first formed were united by no bond until 1871, when the Con- 
necticut societies formed a State Union. Other States formed 
unions and a national convention in Baltimore in 1872 created 
a National Union. In 1878 there were 90,000 priests, laymen, 
women, and children in the Catholic Total Abstinence Benevo- 
lent Union. In 1883 the Union was introduced into Canada, 
and in 1895 there were 150,000 members on the American 
continent. From the C. T. A. B. U. were formed the Knights 
of Father Mathew, a total abstinence and semi-military body, 
first instituted in St. Louis in 1872. 

The Catholic Knights of America, with a membership chiefly 
Irish-American, were organized in Memphis, Tennessee, in 
1877, and the advantages offered for insurance soon attracted 
20,000 members. The decade of the ^70's was prolific of Irish 


Catholic associations. The Catholic Benevolent Legion was 
founded in 1873, shortly followed by the Catholic Mutual Ben- 
evolent Association, the Catholic Order of Foresters (which 
started in Massachusetts and spread to other States), the Irish 
Catholic Benevolent Union, and the Society of the Holy Name, 
which latter, although tracing its origin to Lisbon in 1432, is 
yet dominantly Irish in America. 

In the large industrial centres there are scores of Irish 
county and other societies composed of Irishmen and Irish- 
Americans, organized for the service of country and faith, 
beneficence and education, and all dedicated to the uplifting 
of humanity and to the progress of civilization. The ancient 
genius for organization has not been lost, the spirit of brother- 
hood pulsates strongly in the Irish heart, and through its 
powerful societies the race retains its place in the advance 
of mankind. 

Refeeences : 

John M. Campbell: History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick 
and Hibernian Society ; Maguire : Tlie Irish in America ; McGee : 
Irish Settlers in America ; John O'Dea : History of the Ancient Order 
of Hibernians and Ladies' Auxiliary in America; Michael Davitt: 
The Fall of Feudalism in Ireland ; Cashman : Life of Michael Davitt ; 
T. P. O'Connor: The Parnell Movement; Joseph Denieffe; Recollec- 
tions of the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood ; Articles in the Cath- 
olic Encyclopedia; Report of the Knights of Columbus, 1914; Th« 
Tidings, Los Angeles, 7th annual edition. 


By Michaei. J. O'Brien, 
Historiographer, American Irish Historical Society, 

STUDENTS of early American history will find in the 
Colonial records abundant evidence to justify the state- 
ment of Ramsay, the historian of South Carolina, when he 
wrote in 1789, that: 

"The Colonies which now form the United States may be 
considered as Europe transplanted. Ireland, England, Scot- 
land, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, 
and Italy furnished the original stock of the present popula- 
tion, and are generally supposed to have contributed to it in 
the order named. For the last seventy or eighty years, no 
nation has contributed so much to the population of America 
as Ireland." 

It will be astonishing to one who looks into the question 
to find that, in face of all the evidence that abounds in Ameri- 
can annals, showing that our people were here on this soil 
fighting the battles of the colonists, and in a later day of the 
infant Republic, thus proving our claim to the gratitude of 
this nation, America has produced men so ignoble and disin- 
genuous as to say that the Irish who were here in Revolutionary 
days "were for the most part heartily loyal," that "the com- 
batants were of the same race and blood", and that the great 
uprising became, in fact, "a contest between brothers" ! 

Although many writers have made inquiries into this sub- 
ject, nearly all have confined themselves to the period of the 
Revolution. We are of "the fighting race", and in our enthus- 
iasm for the fighting man the fact seems to have been over- 
looked that in other noble fields of endeavor, and in some 
respects infinitely more important, men of Irish blood have 
occupied prominent places in American history, for which they 
have received but scant recognition. The pioneers before 
whose hands the primeval forests fell prostrate; the builders, 
by whose magic touch have sprung into existence flourishing 
towns and cities, where once no sounds were heard save those 
of nature and her wildest offspring; the orators who roused 


the colonists into activity and showed them the way to achieve 
their independence; the schoolmasters who imparted to the 
American youth their first lessons in intellectuality and patriot- 
ism ; all have their place in history, and of these we can claim 
that Ireland furnished her full quota to the American colonies. 
It must now be accepted as an indisputable fact that a very 
large proportion of the earliest settlers in the American colonies 
were of Irish blood, for the Irish have been coming here since 
the beginning of the English colonization. It has been esti- 
mated by competent authorities that in the middle of the 
seventeenth century the English-speaking colonists numbered 
50,000. Sir William Petty, the English statistician, tells us 
that during the decade from 1649 to 1659 the annual emigra- 
tion from Ireland to the western continent was upwards of 
6000, thus making, in that space of time, 60,000 souls, or about 
one-half of what the whole population must have been in 1659. 
And from 1659 to 1672 there emigrated from Ireland to 
America the yearly number of 3000 (Dobbs, on Irish Trade, 
Dublin, 1729). Prendergast, another noted authority, in the 
Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, furnishes ample verifi- 
cation of this by the statistics which he quotes from the Eng- 
lish records. Richard Hakluyt, the chronicler of the first Vir- 
ginia expeditions, in his Voyages, Navigations, Traffiques, and 
Discoveries of the English Nation (London, 1600), shows 
that Irishmen came with Raleigh to Virginia in 1587 and, in 
fact, the ubiquitous Celts were with Sir John Hawkins in his 
voyage to (he Gulf of Mexico twenty years earlier. The 
famous work of John Camden Hotten, entitled "The Original 
Lists of Persons of Quality, Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Polit- 
ical Rebels, Serving Men sold for a term of years," etc., who 
were brought to the Virginia plantations between 1600 and 
1700, as well as his "List of the Livinge and the Dead in Vir- 
ginia in 1623," contains numerous Celtic names, and further 
evidence of these continuous migrations of the Irish is con- 
tained in "A Booke of Entrie for Passengers passing beyond 
the Seas", in the year 1632. The Virginia records also show 
that as early as 1621 a colony of Irish people sailed from Cork 
in the Flying Harte under the patronage of Sir William Newce 
and located at what is now Newport News, and some few years 

186 THl^ GLORIi:S OF IRi:i.AND 

later Daniel Gookin, a merchant of Cork, transported hither 
"great multitudes of people and cattle" from England and 

In the "William and Mary College Quarterly," in the tran- 
scripts of the original records published by the Virginia His- 
torical Society, and in all County histories of Virginia, there are 
numerous references to the Irish "redemptioners" who were 
brought to that colony during the seventeenth century. But the 
redemptioners were not the only class who came, for the 
colonial records also contain many references to Irishmen of 
good birth and education who received grants of land in the 
colony and who, in turn, induced many of their countrymen to 
emigrate. Planters named McCarty, Lynch, O'Neill, Sullivan, 
Farrell, McDonnell, O'Brien, and others denoting an ancient 
Irish lineage appear frequently in the early records. Much that 
is romantic is found in the lives of these men and their descen- 
dants. Some of them served in the Council chamber and the 
field, their sons and daughters were educated to hold place, 
with elegance and dignity, with the foremost of the Cavaliers, 
and when in after years the great conflict with England be- 
gan, Virginians of Irish blood were among the first and the 
most eager to answer the call. Those historians who claim 
that the South was exclusively an "Anglo-Saxon" heritage 
would be completely disillusioned were they to examine the 
lists of Colonial and Revolutionary troops of Celtic name who 
held the Indians and the British at bay, and who helped in 
those "troublous times" to lay the foundations of a great Re- 

There is no portion of the Atlantic seaboard that did not 
profit by the Irish immigrations of the seventeenth century. 
We learn from the "Irish State Papers" of the year 1595 
that ships were regularly plying between Ireland and New- 
foundland, and so important was the trade between Ireland and 
the far-distant fishing banks that "all English ships bound out 
always made provisions that the convoy out should remain 48 
hours in Cork." In some of Lord Baltimore's accounts of his 
voyages to Newfoundland he refers to his having "sailed from 
Ireland" and to his "return to Ireland," and so it is highly 
probable that he settled Irishmen on his Avalon plantations. 


After Baltimore's departure, Lord Falkland also sent out a 
number of Irish colonists, and "at a later date they were so 
largely reinforced by settlers from Ireland that the Celtic part 
of the population at this day is not far short of equahty in num- 
bers with the Saxon portion" — (Hatton and Harvey, History 
of Newfoundland, page 32). Pedley attributes the large pro- 
portion of Irishmen and the influence of the Catholics in New- 
foundland to Lord Falkland's company, and Prowse, in his 
History (pp. 200-201), refers to "the large number of Irish- 
men" in that colony who fled from Waterford and Cork "dur- 
ing the troubled times" which preceded the Williamite war 
(1688). Many of these in after years are known to have set- 
tled in New England. 

But it was to Maryland and Pennsylvania that the greatest 
flow of Irish immigration directed its course. In the cele- 
brated "Account of the Voyage to Maryland," written in the 
year 1634 by Mutius Vitellestis, the general of the Jesuit 
Order, it is related that when the Arke and the Dove arrived 
in the West Indies in that year, they found "the island of 
Montserrat inhabited by a colony of Irishmen who had been 
banished from Virginia on account of their professing the 
Catholic faith." It is known also that there were many fami- 
lies in Ireland of substance and good social standing who, 
at their own expense, took venture in the enterprise of Lord 
Baltimore and afterwards in that of William Penn, and who 
applied for and received grants of land, which, as the deeds 
on record show, were afterwards divided into farms bought 
and settled by O'Briens, McCarthys, O'Connors, and many 
others of the ancient Gaelic race, the descendants of those 
heroic men whose passion for liberty, while causing their ruin, 
inspired and impelled their sons to follow westward "the star 
of empire." 

After the first English colonies in Maryland were founded, 
we find in all the proclamations concerning these settlements 
by the proprietary government, that they were limited to 
"persons of British or Irish descent." The religious liberty 
established in Maryland was the magnet which attracted Irish 
Catholics to that Province, and so they came in large numbers 
in search of peace and comfort and freedom from the turmoil 


produced by religious animosities in their native land. The 
major part of this Irish immigration seems to have come in 
through the ports of Philadelphia and Charleston and a portion 
through Chesapeake Bay, whence they passed on to Pennsyl- 
vania and the southern colonies. 

The "Certificates of Land Grants" in Maryland show that 
it was customary for those Irish colonists to name their lands 
after places in their native country, and I find that there is 
hardly a town or city in the old Gaelic strongholds in Ireland 
that is not represented in the nomenclature of the early 
Maryland grants. One entire section of the Province, named 
the "County of New Ireland" by proclamation of Lord Balti- 
more in the year 1684, was occupied wholly by Irish families. 
This section is now embraced in Cecil and Harford Counties. 
New Ireland County was divided into three parts, known as 
New Connaught, New Munster, and New Leinster. New Con- 
naught was founded by George Talbot from Roscommon, who 
was surveyor-general of the Province; New Munster, by 
Edward O'Dwyer from Tipperary; and New Leinster, by 
Bryan O'Daly from Wicklow, all of whom were in Maryland 
prior to 1683. Among the prominent men in the Province may 
be mentioned Charles O'Carroll, who was secretary to the 
proprietor; John Hart from county Cavan, who was governor 
of Maryland from 1714 to 1720 ; Phillip Conner from Kerry, 
known in history as the "Last Commander of Old Kent"; 
Daniel Dulany of the O'Delaney family from Queen's County, 
one of the most famous lawyers in the American Colonies; 
Michael Tawney or Taney, ancestor of the cele'brated judge, 
Roger Brooke Taney; the Courseys from Cork, one of the 
oldest families in the State; the Kings from Dublin; and 
many others. 

The only place in the State bearing a genuine Irish name 
which has reached any prominence is Baltimore. Not alone 
has the "Monumental City" received its name from Ireland, 
but the tract of land on which the city is now situate was 
originally named (in 1695) "Ely O'Carroll," after the barony 
of that name in King's and Tipperary counties, the ancient 
home of the Clan O'Carroll. To subdivisions of the tract 
were given such names as Dublin, Waterford, Tralee, Raphoe, 


Tramore, Mallow, Kinsale, Lurgan, Coleraine, Tipperary, An- 
trim, Belfast, Derry, Kildare, Enniskillen, Wexford, Letter- 
kenny, Lifford, Birr, Galway, Limerick, and so on, all indi- 
cating the nationality of the patentees, as well as the places 
from which they came. 

From such sources is the evidence available of the com- 
ing of the Irish to Maryland in large numbers, and so it is 
that we are not surprised to find on the rosters of the Maryland 
Revolutionary regiments 4633 distinctive Irish names, exclu- 
sive of the large numbers who joined the navy and the militia, 
as well as those who were held to guard the frontier from 
Indian raids, whose names are not on record. However, it is 
not possible now to determine the proportion of the Revo- 
lutionary soldiers who were of Irish birth or descent, for 
where the nationality is not stated in the rosters all non-Irish 
names must be left out of the reckoning. The first census 
of Maryland (1790), published by the United States Govern- 
ment, enumerates the names of all "Heads of Families" and 
the number of persons in each family. A count of the Irish 
names shows approximately 21,000 persons. This does not take 
into account the great number of people who could not be re- 
corded under that head, as it is known there were many thous- 
and Irish "redemptioners" in Maryland prior to the taking of 
the census, and while no precise data exist to indicate the num- 
ber of Irish immigrants who settled in Maryland, I estimate 
that the number of people of Irish descent in the State in 1790 
was not far short of 40,000. 

The Land Records and Council Journals of Georgia of the 
last half of the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth 
century afford like testimony to the presence of the Irish, who 
crossed the sea and colonized the waste places of that wild ter- 
ritory, and whose descendants in after years contributed much 
of the strength of the patriot forces who confronted the armed 
cohorts of Carleton and Cornwallis. From the Colonial Rec< 
ords of Georgia, published under the auspices of the State 
Legislature, I have extracted a long list of people of Irish 
name and blood who received grants of land in that colony. 
They came with Oglethorpe as early as 1735 and continued to 


arrive for many years. It was an Irishman named Mitchell 
who laid out the site of Atlanta, the metropolis of the South ; 
an O'Brien founded the city of Augusta; and a McCormick 
named the city of Dublin, Georgia. 

From the records of the Carolinas we obtain similar data, 
many of an absorbingly interesting character, and the number 
of places in that section bearing names of a decidedly Celtic 
flavor is striking evidence of the presence of Irish people, the 
line of whose settlements across the whole State of North 
Carolina may be traced on the high roads leading from Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia. Hawk, one of the historians of North 
Carolina, refers to the "Irish Romanists" who were resident 
in that Province as early as 1700, and Williamson says that 
"the most numerous settlers in the northwestern part of the 
Province during the first half of the eighteenth century were 
from Ireland." The manuscript records in the office of the Sec- 
retary of State refer to "a ship load of immigrants" who, in 
the year 1761, came to the CaroHnas from Dublin. The names 
of the Irish pioneers in the Carolinas are found in every con- 
ceivable connection, in the parochial and court records, in the 
will books, in the minutes of the general Assembly, in the quaint 
old records of the Land and Registers' offices, in the patents 
granted by the colonial Government, and in sundry other offi- 
cial records. In public affairs they seem to have had the same 
adaptability for politics which, among other things, has in later 
days brought their countrymen into prominence. Florence 
O'Sullivan from Kerry was surveyor-general of South Caro- 
lina in 1671. James Moore, a native of Ireland and a descen- 
dant of the famous Irish chieftain, Rory O'More, was gover- 
nor of South Carolina in 1700 ; Matthew Rowan from Carrick- 
fergus was president of the North Carolina Council during the 
term of office of his townsman. Governor Arthur Dobbs (1754 
to 1764) ; John Connor was attorney-general of the Province 
in 1730, and was succeeded in turn by David O'Sheall and 
Thomas McGuire. Cornelius Hartnett, Hugh Waddell, and 
Terence Sweeny, all Irishmen, were members of the Court, and 
among the members of the provincial assembly I find such 
names as Murphy, Leary, Kearney, McLewean, Dunn, Keenan, 


McManus, Ryan, Bourke, Logan, and others showing an 
Irish origin. And, in this connection, we must not overlook 
Thomas Burke, a native of ''the City of the Tribes", distin- 
guished as lawyer, soldier, and statesman, who became gover- 
nor of North Carolina in 1781, as did his cousin Aedanus 
Burke, also from Galway, who was judge of the Supreme 
Court of South Carolina in 1778. John Rutledge, son of Dr. 
John Rutledge from Ireland, was governor of South Carolina 
in 1776 and his brother Edward became governor of the State 
in 1788. 

But there were Irishmen in the Carolinas long before the 
advent of these, and indeed Irish names arc found occasionally 
as far back as the records of those colonies reach. They are 
scattered profusely through the will books and records of deeds 
as early as 1676 and down to the end of the century, and in 
a list of immigrants from Barbados in the year 1678, quoted 
by John Camden Hotten in the work already alluded to, 
we find about 120 persons of Irish name who settled in 
the Carolinas in that year. In 1719, 500 persons from 
Ireland transported themselves to Carolina to take the benefit 
of an Act passed by the Assembly by which the lands of the 
Yemmassee Indians were thrown open to settlers, and Ramsay 
(History of South Carolina, vol. I, page 20) says: "Of all 
countries none has furnished the Province with so many in- 
habitants as Ireland." 

In the Pennsylvania records one is also struck with the very 
frequent mention of Irish names. William Penn had lived in 
Ireland for several years and was acquainted with the sturdy 
character of its people, and when he arrived on board The 
Welcome in 1682 he had with him a number of Irishmen, 
who are described as '^people of property and people of con- 
sequence." In 1699 he brought over a brilliant young Irish- 
man, James Logan from Lurgan, who for nearly half a century 
occupied a leading position in the Province and for some time 
was its governor. But the first Irish immigration to Penn- 
sylvania of any numerical importance came in the year 1717. 
They settled in Lancaster County. "They and their descen- 
dants," says Rupp, an impartial historian, "have always been 

192 TH:e GLORIES o:f Ireland 

justly regarded as among the most intelligent people in the 
County and their progress will be found to be but little behind 
the boasted efforts of the Colony of Plymouth." In 1727, as 
the records show, 1155 Irish people arrived in Philadelphia and 
in 1728 the number reached the high total of 5600. "It looks 
as if Ireland is to send all her inhabitants hither," wrote Sec- 
retary Logan to the provincial proprietors in 1729, "for last 
week not less than six ships arrived. The common fear is 
that if they continue to come they will make themselves pro- 
prietors of the Province" (Rupp's History of Dauphin 

The continuous stream of Irish immigration was viewed with 
so much alarm by the Legislature, that in 1728 a law was 
passed "against these crowds of Irish papists and convicts who 
are yearly powr'd upon us" — (the "convicts" being the politi- 
cal refugees who fled from the persecutions of the English 
Government!). But the operations of this statute were wholly 
nullified by the captains of the vessels landing their passen- 
gers at Newcastle, Del., and Burlington, N. J., and, as one 
instance of this, I find in the Philadelphia American Weekly 
Mercury of August 14, 1729, a statement to this effect: 
"It is reported from Newcastle that there arrived there this 
last week about 2000 Irish and an abundance more daily ex- 
pected." This expectation was realized, for according to "An 
Account of Passengers and Servants landed in Philadelphia 
between December 25, 1728, and December 25, 1729", which 
I find in the New England Weekly Journal for March 30, 
1730, the number of Irish who came in via the Delaware river 
in that year was 5655, while the total number of all other 
Europeans who arrived during the same period was only 553. 
Holmes, in his Annals of America, corroborates this. The Phil- 
adelphia newspapers down to the year 1741 also contained 
many similar references, indicating that the flood of Irish im- 
migration was unceasing and that it was at all times in excess 
of that from other European countries. Later issues of the 
Mercury also published accounts of the number of ships from 
Ireland which arrived in the Delaware, and from these it ap- 
pears that from 1735 to 1738 "e>& vessels entered Philadelphia 
from Ireland and 50 cleared thereto." And in the New York 


Gazette and Weekly Post-Boy of the years 1750 to 1752, I 
find under the caption, "Vessels Registered at the Philadel- 
phia Custom House," a total of 183 ships destined from or to 
Ireland, or an average of five sailings per month between Irish 
ports and the port of Philadelphia alone. A careful search 
fails to disclose any record of the number of persons who came 
in these ships, but, from the fact that it is stated that all carried 
passengers as well as merchandise from Irish ports, we may 
safely assume that the "human freight" must have been very 

Spencer, in his History of the United States, says: "In 
the years 1771 and 1773 the number of emigrants to America 
from Ireland was 17,350, almost all of whom emigrated at their 
own expense. A great majority of them consisted of persons 
employed in the linen manufacture or farmers possessed of 
some property, which they converted into money and brought 
with them. Within the first fortnight of August, 1773, there 
arrived at Philadelphia 3500 immigrants from Ireland. As 
most of the emigrants, particularly those from Ireland and 
Scotland, were personally discontent with their treatment in 
Europe, their accession to the colonial population, it might 
reasonably be supposed, had no tendency to diminish or coun- 
teract the hostile sentiments toward Britain which were daily 
gathering force in America." Marmion, in his Ancient and 
Modern History of the Maritime Ports of Ireland, verifies this. 
He says that the number of Irish who came during the years 
1771, 1772, and 1773 was 25,000. The bulk of these came in by 
way of Philadelphia and settled in Pennsylvania and the Vir- 

The Irish were arriving in the Province in such great num- 
bers during this period as to be the cause of considerable 
jealousy on the part of other settlers from continental Eu- 
rope. They were a vigorous and aggressive element. Eager 
for that freedom which was denied them at home, large num- 
bers of them went out on the frontier. While the war-whoop of 
the savage still echoed within the surrounding valleys and his 
council fires blazed upon the hills, those daring adventurers 
penetrated the hitherto pathless wilderness and passed through 
unexampled hardships with heroic endurance. They opened 


up the roads, bridged the streams, and cut down the forests, 
turning the wilderness into a place fit for man's abode. With 
their sturdy sons, they constituted the skirmish line of civiliza- 
tion, standing as a bulwark against Indian incursions into the 
more prosperous and populous settlements between them and 
the coast. From 1740 down to the period of the Revolution, 
hardly a year passed without a fresh infusion of Irish blood 
into the existing population, and, as an indication that they 
distributed themselves all over the Province, I find, in every 
Town and County history of Pennsylvania and in the land 
records of every section, Irish names in the greatest pro- 
fusion. They settled in great numbers chiefly along the Sus- 
quehanna and its tributaries; they laid out many pros- 
perous settlements in the wilderness of western Pennsylvania, 
and in these sections Irishmen are seen occupying some of the 
foremost and most coveted positions, and their sons in after 
years contributed much to the power and commercial great- 
ness of the Commonwealth. They are mentioned prominently 
as manufacturers, merchants, and farmers, and in the profes- 
sions they occupied a place second to none among the natives 
of the State. In several sections, they were numerous enough 
to establish their own independent settlements, to which they 
gave the names of their Irish home places, several of which 
are preserved to this day. It is not to be wondered at then 
that General Harry Lee named the Pennsylvania line of the 
Continental army, "the Line of Ireland" ! 

Ireland gave many eminent men to the Commonwealth, 
among whom may be mentioned : John Burns, its first gover- 
nor after the adoption of the Constitution, who was born in 
Dublin; George Bryan, also a native of Dublin, who was its 
governor in 1788; James O'Hara, one of the founders of 
Pittsburgh ; Thomas FitzSimmons, a native of Limerick, mem- 
ber of the first Congress under the Constitution which began 
the United States Government and father of the policy of 
protection to American industries ; Matthew Carey from Dub- 
lin, the famous political economist; and many others who 
were prominent as nation-builders in the early (Jays of the 
"Keyst®»e State." 


While the historians usually give all the credit to England 
and to Englishmen for the early colonization of New Eng- 
land, whose results have been attended with such important 
consequences to America and the civilized world, Ireland and 
her sons can also claim a large part in the development of 
this territory, as is evidenced by the town, land, church, and 
other colonial records, and the names of the pioneers, as well 
as the names given to several of the early settlements. That 
the Irish had been coming to New England almost from 
the beginning of the English colonization is indicated by an 
"Order" entered in the Massachusetts record under date of 
September 25, 1634, granting liberty to "the Scottishe and 
Irishe gentlemen who intend to come hither, to sitt down in 
any place upp Merimacke river." This, doubtless, referred to 
a Scotch and Irish company which, about that time, had an- 
nounced its intention of founding a settlement on the Merrimac. 
It comprised in all 140 passengers, who embarked in the Eagle 
Wing, from Carrickfergus in September, 1636, bringing with 
them a considerable quantity of equipment and merchandise to 
meet the exigencies of their settlement in the new country. 
The vessel, however, never reached its destination and was 
obliged to return to Ireland on account of the Atlantic storms, 
and there is no record of a renewal of the attempt. In the 
Massachusetts records of the year 1640 (vol. I, p. 295) is 
another entry relating to "the persons come from Ireland," and 
in the Town Books of Boston may be seen references to Irish- 
men who were residents of the town in that year. 

From local histories, which in many cases are but verbatim 
copies of the original entries in the Town Books, we get occa- 
sional glimpses of the Irish who were in the colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay between this period and the end of the century. 
For example, between 1640 and 1660, such names as O'Neill, 
Sexton, Gibbons, Lynch, Keeney, Kelly, and Hogan appear 
on the Town records of Hartford, and one of the first school- 
masters who taught the children of the Puritans in New Haven 
was an Irishman named William Collins, who, in the year 1640, 
came there with a number of Irish refugees from Barbados 
Island. An Irishman named Joseph Collins with his wife and 
family came to Lynn, Mass., in 1635. Richard Duffy and 


196 "fH^ glorie:s of ire;i.and 

Matthias Curran were at Ipswich in 1633. John Kelly came 
to Newbury in 1635 with the first English settlers of the town. 
David O'Killia (or O'Kelly) was a resident of Old Yarmouth 
in 1657, and I find on various records of that section a great 
number of people named Kelley, who probably were descended 
from David O'Killia. Peter O'Kelly and his family are men- 
tioned as of Dorchester in 1696. At Springfield in 1656 there 
were families named Riley and O'Dea; and Richard Burke, 
said to be of the Mayo family of that name, is mentioned prom- 
inently in Middlesex County as early as 1670. , The first legal 
instrument of record in Hampden County was a deed of con- 
veyance in the year 1683 to one Patrick Riley of lands in 
Chicopee. With a number of his countrymen, Riley located in 
this vicinity and gave the name of "Ireland Parish" to their 
settlement. John Molooney and Daniel MacGuinnes were at 
Woburn in 1676, and Michael Bacon, "an Irishman", of Wo- 
burn, fought in King Philip's war in 1675. John Joyce was at 
Lynn in 1637, and I find the names of Willyam Heally, William 
Reyle, William Barrett, and Roger Burke signed to a petition 
to the General Court of Massachusetts on August 17, 1664. 
Such names as Maccarty, Gleason, Coggan, Lawler, Kelly, 
Hurley, MackQuade, and McCleary also appear on the Cam- 
bridge Church records down to 1690. These are but desultory 
instances of the first comers among the Irish to Massachusetts, 
selected from a great mass of similar data. 

In the early history of every town in Massachusetts, with- 
out exception, I find mention of Irish people, and while the 
majority came originally as "poor redemptioners", yet, in 
course of time and despite Puritanical prejudices, not a few 
of them rose to positions of worth and independence. Perhaps 
the most noted of these was Matthew Lyon of Vermont, known 
as "the Hampden of Congress," who, on his arrival in New 
York in 1765, was sold as a "redemptioner" to pay his passage- 
money. This distinguished American was a native of county 
Wicklow. Other notable examples of Irish redemptioners who 
attained eminence in America were George Taylor, a native of 
Dublin, one of Pennsylvania's signers of the Declaration of 
Independence; Charles Thompson, a native of county Tyrone, 
"the perennial Secretary of the Continental Congress", and 

the; IRISH IN the: unite;d states 197 

William Killen, who became chief justice and chancellor of 
Delaware. Some of the descendants of the Irish redemptioners 
in Massachusetts are found among the prominent New Eng- 
landers of the past hundred years. The Puritans of Massa- 
chusetts extended no welcoming hand to the Irish who had 
the temerity to come among them, yet, as an historical writer 
has truly said, "by one of those strange transformations which 
time occasionally works, it has come to pass that Massachu- 
setts today contains more people of Irish blood in proportion 
to the total population than any other State in the Union." 

So great and so continuous was Irish immigration to Massa- 
chusetts during the early part of the eighteenth century that on 
Saint Patrick's Day in the year 1737 a number of merchants, 
who described themselves as "of the Irish Nation residing in 
Boston," formed the Charitable Irish Society, an organization 
which exists even to the present day. It was provided that the 
officers should be "natives of Ireland or of Irish extraction," 
and they announced that the Society was organized "in an 
affectionate and Compassionate concern for their countrymen 
in these Parts who may be reduced by Sickness, Shipwrack, 
Old Age, and other Infirmities and unforeseen Accidents." I 
have copied from the Town Books, as reproduced by the City 
of Boston, 1600 Irish names of persons who were married or 
had declared their intentions of marriage in Boston be- 
tween the years 1710 and 1790, exclusive of 956 other Irish 
names which appear on the minutes between 1720 and 1775. 

In 1718, one of the largest single colonies of Irish arrived in 
Boston. It consisted of one hundred families, who settled at 
different places in Massachusetts. One contingent, headed by 
Edward Fitzgerald, located at Worcester and another at Pal- 
mer under the leadership of Robert Farrell, while a number 
went to the already established settlement at Londonderry, 
N. H. About the same time a colony of fishermen from the 
west coast of Ireland settled on the Cape Cod peninsula, and I 
find a number of them recorded on the marriage registers of 
the towns in this vicinity between 1719 and 1743. In 1720, a 
number of families from county Tyrone came to Shrewsbury, 
and eight years later another large contingent came to Leicester 
County from the same neighborhood, who gave the name of 


Dublin to the section where they located. The annals of Leices- 
ter County are rich in Irish names. On the Town Books of 
various places in this vicinity and on the rosters of the troops 
enrolled for the Indian war. Irishmen are recorded, and we 
learn from the records that not a few of them were important 
and useful men, active in the development of the settlements, 
and often chosen as selectmen or representatives. On the 
minutes of the meetings of the selectmen of Pelham, Spencer, 
Sutton, Charlestown, Canton, Scituate, Stoughton, Salem, 
Amesbury, Stoneham, and other Massachusetts towns, Irish 
names are recorded many years before the Revolution. In local 
histories these people are usually called "Scotch-Irish," a racial 
misnomer that has been very much overworked by a certain 
class of historical writers who seem to be unable to understand 
that a non-Catholic native of Ireland can be an Irishman. In an 
exhaustive study of American history, I cannot find any other 
race where such a distinction is drawn as in the case of the 
non-Catholic, or so-called "Scotch," Irish. In many instances, 
this hybrid racial designation obviously springs from preju- 
dice and a desire to withhold from Ireland any credit that 
may belong to her, although, in some cases, the writers are 
genuinely mistaken in their belief that the Scotch as a race are 
the antithesis of the Irish and that whatever commendable 
qualities the non-Catholic Irish are possessed of naturally 
spring from the Scotch. 

The first recorded Irish settlement in Maine was made by 
families named Kelly and Haley from Galway, who located on 
the Isles of Shoals about the year 1653. In 1693, Roger Kelly 
was a representative from the Isles to the General Court of 
Massachusetts, and is described in local annals as "King of the 
Isles." The large number of islands, bays, and promontories 
on the Maine coast bearing distinctive Celtic names attests the 
presence and influence of Irish people in this section in colonial 
times. In 1720, Robert Temple from Cork brought to Maine 
five shiploads of people, mostly from the province of Munster. 
They landed at the junction of the Kennebec and Eastern 
rivers, where they established the town of Cork, which, how- 
ever, after a precarious existence of only six years, was entirely 


destroyed by the Indians. For nearly a century the place was 
familiarly known to the residents of the locality as ''Ireland." 
The records of York, Lincoln, and Cumberland counties con- 
tain references to large numbers of Irish people who settled in 
those localities during the early years of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. The Town Books of Georgetown, Kittery, and Kenne- 
bunkport, of the period 1740 to 1775, are especially rich in 
Irish names, and in the Saco Valley numerous settlements 
were made by Irish immigrants, not a few of whom are re- 
ferred to by local historians as "men of wealth and social 
standing." In the marriage and other records of Limerick, 
Me., as published by the Maine Historical and Genealogical 
Recorder, in the marriage registers of the First Congregational 
Church of Scarborough, and in other similarly unquestionable 
records, I find a surprisingly large number of Irish names at 
various periods during the seventeenth and eighteenth centu- 
ries. In fact, there is not one town in the Province that did not 
have its quota of Irish people, who came either direct from 
Ireland or migrated from other sections of New England. 

The records of New Hampshire and Rhode Island are also 
a fruitful source of information on this subject, and the Pro- 
vincial papers indicate an almost unbroken tide of Irish immi- 
gration to this section, beginning as early as the year 1640. 
One of the most noted of Exeter's pioneer settlers was an 
Irishman named Darby Field, who came to that place in 1631 
and who has been credited by Governor Winthrop as "the 
first European who witnessed the White Mountains." He is 
also recorded as "an Irish soldier for discovery," and I find 
his name in the annals of Exeter as one of the grantees of an 
Indian deed dated April 3, 1638, as well as several other Irish 
names down to the year 1664. In examining the town regis- 
ters, gazeteers, and genealogies, as well as the local histories 
of New Hampshire, in which are embodied copies of the origi- 
nal entries made by the Town Clerks, I find numerous refer- 
ences to the Irish pioneers, and in many instances they are 
written down, among others, as "the first settlers." Some are 
mentioned as selectmen, town clerks, representatives, or 
colonial soldiers, and it is indeed remarkable that there is 


not one of these authorities that I have examined, out of more 
than two hundred, that does not contain Irish names. From 
these Irish pioneers sprang many men who attained prominence 
in New Hampshire, in the legislature, the professions, the mili- 
tary, the arts and crafts, and in all departments of civil life, 
down to the present time. In the marriage registers of Ports- 
mouth, Boscawen, New Boston, Antrim, Londonderry, and 
other New Hampshir*^ ^owns, are recorded, in some cases as 
early as 1716, names of Irish persons, with the places of their 
nativity, indicating that they came from all parts of Ireland. 
At Hamnton, T find Humohrey Sullivan teaching school in 
171i, while the name of John Sullivan from Limerick, school- 
master at Dover and at Berwiclc, Me., for upwards of fifty 
years, is one of the most Honored in early New Hampshire 

This John Sullivan was surely one of the grandest charac- 
ters in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, and the record of 
his descendants serves as an all-sufficient reply to the anti- 
Irish prejudices of some American historians. He was the 
father of a governor of New Hampshire and of a governor 
of Massachusetts ; of an attorney-general of New Hampshire 
and of an attorney-general of Massachusetts ; of New Hamp- 
shire's only major-general in the Continental army; of the 
first judge appointed by Washington in New Hampshire ; and 
of four sons who were officers in the Continental army. He 
was grandfather of an attorney-general of New Hampshire, 
of a governor of Maine, and of a United States Senator from 
New Hampshire. He was great-grandfather of an attorney- 
generil of New Hampshire, and great-great-grandfather of 
an officer in the Thirteenth New Hampshire regiment in the 
Civil War. 

In Rhode Island, Irish people are on record as far back 
as 1640, and for m^ny years after that date they continued to 
come. Edward Larkin was an esteemed citizen of Newport 
in 1655. Charles McCarthv was one of the founders of the 
town of East Greenwich in 16'rr, while in this vicinity as 
early as 1680 are found such names as Casey, Higgins, Magen- 
nis. Kelley, Murphy, Reylie, Maloney, Healy, Delaney, Walsh. 


and others of Irish origin. On the rosters of the Colonial 
militia who fought in King Philip's war (1675) are found 
the names of 110 soldiers of Irish birth or descent, some of 
whom, for their services at the battle of Narragansett, re- 
ceived grants of land in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 
The New England Historical and Genealogical Register for 
1848 contains some remarkable testimony of the sympathy of 
the people of Ireland for the sufferers in this cruel war, and 
the "Irish Donation," sent out from Dublin in the year 1676, 
will always stand in history to Ireland's credit and as an 
instance of her intimate familiarity with American affairs, one 
hundred years prior to that Revolution which emancipated the 
people of this land from the same tyranny under which she 
herself has groaned. And yet, what a cruel travesty on history 
it reads like now, when we scan the official records of the 
New England colonies and find that the Irish were often 
called ''convicts", and it was thought that measures should 
be taken to prevent their landing on the soil where they and 
their sons afterwards shed their blood in the cause of their 
fellow colonists! In the minutes of the provincial Assemblies 
and in the reports rendered to the General Court, as well as in 
other official documents of the period, are found expressions of 
fche sentiment which prevailed against the natives of the "Is- 
land of Sorrows." Only twenty years before the outbreak of 
King Philip's war, the government of England was asked to 
provide a law "to prevent the importation of Irish Papists 
and convicts that are yearly pow'rd upon us and to make pro- 
vision against the growth of this pernicious evil." And the 
colonial Courts themselves, on account of what they called 
"the cruel and malignant spirit that has from time to time been 
manifest in the Irish nation against the English nation," pro- 
hibited "the bringing over of any Irish men, women, or chil- 
dren into this jurisdiction on the penalty of fifty pounds sterling 
to each inhabitant who shall buy of any merchant, shipmaster, 
or other agent any such person or persons so transported by 
them." This order was promulgated by the General Court of 
Massachusetts in October, 1654, and is given in full in the 
American Historical Review for October, 1896. 
With the "convicts" and the "redemptioners" came the Irish 


schoolmaster, the man then most needed in America. And 
the fighting man, he too was to the fore, for when the colo- 
nies in after years called for volunteers to resist the tyranny of 
the British, the descendants of the Irish "convicts" were among 
the first and the most eager to answer the call. 

Although it does not appear that Irish immigrants settled 
in the Province of New York in such large numbers as in 
other sections, yet, as far back as the third quarter of the seven- 
teenth century, Irish names are found on the records of the 
Colony. O'Callaghan, the eminent archivist and historian, re- 
fers to "Dr. William Hayes, formerly of Barry's Court, Ire- 
land," as one of New York's physicians in the year 1647, and 
from the same authority we learn that there were "settlers and 
Indian fighters in New Netherland" named Barrett, Fitzgerald, 
Dowdall, Collins, and Quinn in 1657. In records relating to the 
war with the Esopus Indians (1663), and in fact as early as 
1658, frequent references are made to "Thomas the Irishman", 
whose name was Thomas Lewis, a refugee from Ireland to 
Holland after the Cromwellian war. Lewis is on record in 
1683 as one of the wealthiest merchants of New York and a 
large owner of real estate in the present downtown portion 
of the city. Such names as Patrick Hayes, John Daly, John 
Quigly, and Dennis McKarty appear among its business men 
between 1666 and 1672, and in a "Census of the City of New 
York of the year 1703" we find people named Flynn, Walsh, 
Dooley, Gillen, Carroll, Kenne, Gurney, Hart, Mooney, Moran, 
Lynch, Kearney, and others, all "Freemen of the City of New 
York." In the "Poll List" of the city from 1741 to 1761, more 
than one hundred such names appear, while among the adver- 
tisers in the New York newspapers all through the eighteenth 
century I find a large number of characteristic Irish names. 

One would scarcely expect to find an Irishman in the old 
Dutch settlement of Beverwyck as early as 1645. Yet such is 
the case, for "Jan Andriessen, de lersman van Dublingh" — 
(John Anderson, the Irishman from Dublin) — is mentioned as 
the owner of considerable landed property in the neighborhood 
of Albany and Catskill, and in every mention of this ancient 
pioneer he is referred to as "the Irishman." At Albany, be- 


tween 1666 and 1690, we find people named Connell, Daly, 
Larkin, Shaw, Hogan, and Finn, all Irishmen, and in Jonathan 
Pearson's "Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Ancient 
County of Albany" and* in his "Genealogies of the First Settlers 
of the Patent and City of Schenectady", I find 135 distinctive 
Irish names. These were mostly merchants, farmers, artisans, 
millers, and backwoodsmen, the pioneers, who, with their Dutch 
neighbors, blazed the trail of civilization through that section, 
rolled back the savage redman, and marked along the banks of 
the Hudson and Mohawk rivers the sites of future towns and 
cities. In the rate lists of Long Island between 1638 and 
1675. I find Kelly, Dalton, Whelan, Condon, Barry, Powers, 
Quin, Kane. Sweeney, Murphy, Reilly, as well as Norman- 
Irish and Anglo-Frish names that are common to Irish nomen- 
clature. Hugh O'Neale was a prominent resident of Newtown, 
L. L, in 1655. In a "Report to the Lord President," dated 
September 6, 1687, Governor Dongan recommended "that 
natives of Ireland be sent to colonize here where they may 
live and be very happy." Numbers of them evidently ac- 
cepted the invitation, for many Irishmen are mentioned in the 
public documents of the Province during the succeeding twenty 

That the Irish continued to settle in the Province all through 
the eighteenth century may be seen from the announcements 
in the New York newspapers of the time and other authentic 
records. The most important of these, in point of numbers and 
character of the immigrants, were those made in Orange 
County in 1729 under the leadership of James Clinton from 
Longford, and at Cherry Valley, in Otsego County, twelve 
years later. On the Orange County assessment and Revo- 
lutionary rolls, and down to the year 1800, there is a very large 
number of Irisli names, and in some sections they constituted 
nearly the entire population. In the northwestern part of 
New York, Irishmen are also found about the time of the 
Franco-English war. They were not only among those settlers 
who followed the peaceful pursuits of tilling and building, but 
they were "the men behind the guns" who held the marauding 
Indians m clieck an(f repelled the advances of the French 
through that territory. In this war, Irish soldiers fought on 


both sides, and in the "Journals of the Marquis of Montcalm" 
may be seen references to the English garrison at Oswego, 
which, in August, 1756, surrendered to that same Irish Brigade 
by which they had been defeated eleven years before on the 
battlefield of Fontenoy. In the "Manuscripts of Sir William 
Johnson", are also found some interesting items indicating that 
Irishmen were active participants in the frontier fighting about 
that time, and In one report to him, dated May 28, 1756, from 
the commandant of an English regiment, reference is made to 
"the great numbers of Irish Papists among the Delaware and 
Susquehanna Indians who have done a world of prejudice to 
English interests." 

The early records, with hardly an exception, contain 
Irish names, showing that the "Exiles from Erin" came to the 
Province of New York in considerable numbers during the 
eighteenth century. The baptismal and marriage records of 
the Dutch Reformed and Protestant churches of New York 
City ; of the Dutch churches at Kingston, Albany, Schenectady, 
and other towns ; the muster rolls of the troops enrolled for the 
French, Indian, and Revolutionary wars ; the Land Grants and 
other provincial records at Albany ; the newspapers ; the Town, 
County, and family histories, and other early chronicles, sup- 
plemented by authoritative publications such as those of the 
New York Historical and Genealogical and Biographical Socie- 
ties — these are the depositories of the evidence that thousands 
of Irish people settled in the Province of New York and con- 
stituted no inconsiderable "proportion of the total population. 

The majority of the Irish residents of New York whose mar- 
riages ari; recorded in the Dutch Reformed church were, 
doubtless, of the Catholic faith, but, as it was necessary to 
comply with the established law, and also so that their ofiF- 
spring might be legitimate, they could be bound in wedlock 
only by a recognized Minister of the Gospel. As there was no 
Catholic church in New York prior to 1786, the ceremony had 
to be performed in the Dutch Reformed or Protestant church. 
Mafiy of these Catholics were refugees from Ireland on ac- 
count of the religious persecutions. Like the people of Ireland 
in all ages, they were devoted to their religion, and while, no 
doubt, they eschewed for a while association with the estab- 


lished churches, yet, as time went on, they and their children 
were gradually drawn into religious intercourse with the other 
sects, until eventually they became regular communicants of 
those churches. The variations which from time to time were 
wrought in their names brought them further and further 
away from what they had been ; in their new surroundings, both 
social and religious, they themselves changed, so that their chil- 
dren, who in many cases married into the neighboring Dutch 
and French families, became as wholly un-Irish in manner 
and sentiment as if they had sprung from an entirely different 
race. That fact, however, does not admit of their being now 
included in the category "Anglo-Saxon." 

In a work entitled "Names of Persons for whom Marriage 
Licenses were issued by the Secretary of the Province of 
New York, previous to 1784," compiled by Gideon J. Tucker 
(when Secretary of State), and taken from the early records of 
the office of the Secretary of State at Albany, we find ample 
corroboration of the church records. Page after page of this 
book looks more like some record of the Province of Munster 
than of the Province of New York. It is a quarto volume print- 
ed in small type in double columns, and there are eleven pages 
wholly devoted to persons whose names commence with "Mac" 
and three to the "O's." Nearly every name common to Ireland 
is here represented. 

New York, as a Province and as a State, is much indebted to 
Irish genius. Ireland gave the Province its most noted gover- 
nor in the person of Thomas Dongan from Co. Kildare, and in 
later years Sir William Johnson from Co. Meath, governor 
of the Indians from New York to the Mississippi. It gave the 
State its first governor, George Clinton, son of an immigrant 
from Co. Longford, and to the city its first mayor after the 
Revolution, James Duane, son of Anthony Duane from Co, 
Galway. Fulton, an Irishman's son, gave America priority in 
the "conquest of the seas." Christopher Colles, a native of 
Cork, was the originator of the grand scheme which united the 
waters of the Atlantic and the Lakes — one of the greatest 
works of internal improvement ever effected in the United 
States — while the gigantic project was carried to a successful 


end through the influence and direction of Governor DeWitt 
Clinton, the grandson of* an Irishman. 

Many of the pioneer settlers of New Jersey were Irish. 
As early as 1683' "a colony from Tipperary in Ireland" located 
at Cohansey in Salem County, and in the same year a number 
of settlers, also described as "from Tipperary, Ireland," located 
in Monmouth County. In the County records of New Jersey, 
Irish names are met with frequently between the years 1676 
and 1698. Several of the local historians testify to the presence 
and influence of Irishmen in the early days of the colony, and 
in the voluminous *'New Jersey Archives" may be found ref- 
erences to the large numbers of Irish "redemptioners," some 
of whom, after their terms of service had expired, received 
grants of land and in time became prosperous farmers and 
merchants. Perhaps the most noted Irishman in New Jersey 
in colonial days was Michael Kearney, a native of Cork and 
ancestor of General Philip Kearney of Civil War fame, who 
was secretary and treasurer of the Province in 1723. 

All through the west and southwest. Irishmen are found in 
the» earliest days of authentic history. Along the Ohio, Ken- 
tucky, Wabash, and Tennessee rivers they were with the 
pioneers who first trod the wilderness of that vast territory. 
As early as- 1690, an Irish trader named Doherty crossed the 
mountains into what is. now Kentucky, and we are told by 
Filson, the noted French historian and explorer of Kentucky, 
that '''the first white man who discovered this region" (1754) 
was one James McBride, who, in all probability, was an Irish- 
man. The first white child born in Cincinnati was a son of 
an Irish settler named John Cummins ; the first house built on 
its site was erected by Captain Hugh McGarry, while "the 
Mc'Garrys,. Dentons, and Hogans formed the first domestic 
circle jn Kentucky." Prior to the Revolution, Indian traders 
from \vestern Pennsylvania had penetrated into this region, 
and we learn from authentic sources that no small percentage 
of ttiose Itinerant merchants of the west were Irishmen. 
Among the leading and earliest colonists of the "Blue Grass 
State" who accompanied Daniel Boone, the ubiquitous Irish 


were represented by men bearing such names as Mooney, Mc- 
Manus, Sullivan, Drennon, Logan, Casey, Fitzpatrick, Dun- 
levy, Cassidy, Doran, Dougherty, Lynch, Ryan, McNeill, Mc- 
Gee, Reilly, Flinn, and the noted McAfee brothers, all natives 
of Ireland or sons of Irish immigrants. 

Irishmen and their sons figured prominently in the field of 
early v^restern politics. In the Kentucky legislature, I find 
such names as Connor, Cassidy, Cleary, Conway, Casey, 
Cavan, Dulin, Dougherty, Geohegan, Maher, Morrison, Moran, 
McMahon, McFall, McClanahan, O'Bannon, Powers, and a 
number of others evidently of Irish origin. On the bench 
we find O'Hara, Boyle, and Barry. Among the many dis- 
tinguished men who reflecte d honor upon the west, Judge 
William T. Barry of Lexington ranks high for great ability 
and lofty virtues. Simon Kenton, famed in song and story, 
who "battled with the Indians in a hundred encounters and 
wrested Kentucky from the savage," was an Irishman's son, 
while among its famous Indian fighters were Colonels Andrew 
Hynes, William Casey, and John O'Bannon; Majors Bulger, 
McMullin, McGarry, McBride, Butler, and Cassidy; and Cap- 
tains McMahon, Malarkie, Doyle, Phelon, and Brady. Allen, 
Butler, Campbell, Montgomery, and Rowan counties, Ky., are 
named after natives of Ireland, and Boyle, Breckinridge, Car- 
roll, Casey, Daviess, Magoffin, Kenton, McCracken, Meade, 
Menifee, Clinton, and Fulton counties were named in honor 
of descendants of Irish settlers. 

In the councils of the first territorial legislature of Mis- 
souri were Sullivan, Cassidy, Murphy, McDermid, McGrady, 
Flaugherty, McGuire, Dunn, and Hogan, and among the 
merchants, lawyers, and bankers in the pioneer days of St. 
Louis there were a number of Irishmen, the most noted of 
whom were MuUanphy, Gilhuly, O'Fallon, Connor, O'Hara, 
Dillon, Ranken, Magennis, and Walsh. In all early histories 
of Missouri towns and counties, Irish names are mentioned, 
and in many instances they are on record as "the first settlers." 

And so it was all through the west. In Ohio, Indiana, 
Iowa, and Illinois, across the rolling prairies and the 


mountains, beyond the Mississippi and the Missouri, in the 
earliest days of colonization of that vast territory, we can fol- 
low the Irish "trek" in quest of new homes and fortunes. They 
were part of that irresistible human current that swept beyond 
the ranges of Colorado and Kansas and across the Sierra 
Nevada until it reached the Pacific, and in the forefront of 
those pathfinders and pioneers we find Martin Murphy, the 
first to open a wagon trail to California from the East. The 
names of Don Timoteo Murphy, of Jasper O'Farrell, of 
Dolans, Burkes, Breens, and Hallorins are linked with the an- 
nals of the coast while that territory was still under Spanish 
rule, and when Fremont crossed the plains and planted the 
"Bear flag" beyond the Sierras, we find Irishmen among his 
trusted lieutenants. An Irishman, Captain Patrick Connor, first 
penetrated the wilderness of Utah; a descendant of an Irish- 
man, Hall J. Kelly, was the explorer of Oregon ; Philip Nolan 
and Thomas O'Connor were foremost among those brave spirits 
"whose daring and persistency finally added the Lone Star 
State to the American Union"; and the famous Arctic ex- 
plorer, scientist, and scholar. Dr. Elisha Kent Kane, was a 
descendant of John O'Kane who came from Ireland to the 
Province of New York in 1752. 

To form any reliable estimate of the numerical strength of 
the Irish and their descendants in the United States would, I 
believe, be a hopeless task, and while several have attempted 
to do so, I am of the opinion that all such estimates should 
be discarded as mere conjecture. Indeed, there is no standard, 
or fixed rule or principle, by which a correct judgment of the 
racial composition of the early inhabitants of the United States 
can now be formed, and the available statistics on the subject 
are incomplete and confusing. The greatest obstacle in de- 
termining this question is found in the names of the immi- 
grants themselves. With names such as Smith, Mason, Car- 
penter, and Taylor ; White, Brown, Black, and Gray ; Forrest, 
Wood, Mountain, and Vail, and other names that are sim- 
ilarly derived, the first thought is that they are of English 
origin. Yet we know that for centuries past such names 
have been numerous in Ireland, and there are many Irish 


families so named who are of as pure Celtic blood as any 
bearing the old Gaelic patronymics. By a law passed in the 
second year of the reign of Edward IV., natives of Ireland 
were forced to adopt English surnames. This Act was, sub- 
stantially, as follows : "An Act that Irishmen dwelling in the 

Counties of, etc shall go appareled like Englishmen 

and wear their beards in English manner, swear allegiance 
and take English sirnames, which sirnames shall be of one 
towne, as Sutton, Chester, Trim, Skryne, Cork, Kinsale; or 
colours, as white, black, brown; or arts, or sciences, as smith 
or carpenter; or office, as cook, butler, etc., and it is enacted 
that he and his issue shall use his name under pain of for- 
feyting of his goods yearly", etc. 

This Act could be enforced only upon those Irish families 
who dwelt within the reach of English law, and as emigrants 
from those districts, deprived of their pure Celtic names, came 
to America in an English guise and in English vessels, they 
were officially recorded as "English." Moreover, numbers of 
Irish frequently crossed the channel and began their voyage 
from English ports, where they had to take on new names, 
sometimes arbitrarily, and sometimes voluntarily for purposes 
of concealment, either by transforming their original names 
into English or adopting names similar to those above referred 
to. These names were generally retained on this side of the 
Atlantic so as not to arouse the prejudice of their English 
neighbors. In complying vith the statute above quoted, some 
Irish families accepted the rather doubtful privilege of trans- 
lating their names into their English equivalents. We have 
examples of this in such names as Somers, anglicised from 
McGauran (presumably derived from the Gaelic word signify- 
ing "summer") ; Smith from McGowan (meaning "the son of 
the smith") ; Jackson and Johnson, a literal translation from 
MacShane (meaning "the son of John") ; and Whitcomb from 
Kiernan (meaning, literally, "a white comb"). 

In addition to this, in the case of some of those Irish Immi- 
grants whose family names were not changed in Ireland, their 
descendants appear In a much disguised form In the colonial 
records. Through the mistakes of clergymen, court clerks, 
registrars, and others who had difficulty in pronouncing Gaelic 

310 the; glories o? irkland 

names, letters became inserted or dropped and the names were 
written down phonetically. In the mutations of time, even 
these names became still further changed, and we find that the 
descendants of the Irish themselves, after the lapse of a gen- 
eration or two, deliberately changed their names, usually by 
suppressing the Milesian prefixes, "Mac" and **0". Thus 
we have the Laflin and Claflin families, who are descended 
from a McLaughlin, an Irish settler in Massachusetts in the 
seventeenth century; the Bryans from William O'Brian, a 
captain in Sarsfield's army, who, after the fall of Limerick 
in 1691, settled in Pasquetank County, N. C, and one of 
whose descendants is William Jennings Bryan, now Secretary 
of State; the Dunnels of Maine, from an O'Donnell who 
located in the Saco Valley; and at the Land Office at Annap- 
olis I have found the descendants of Roger O'Dewe, who 
came to Maryland about 1665, recorded under the surnames 
of "Roger", "Dew", and "Dewey". I find Dennis O'Deeve or 
O'Deere written down on the Talbot County (Md.) records 
of the year 1667 with his name reversed, and today his des- 
cendants are known as "Dennis". Many such instances ap- 
pear in the early records, and when we find a New England 
family rejoicing in the name of "Navillus" we know that the 
limit has been reached, and while we cannot admire the at- 
tempt to disguise an ancient and honorable name, we are 
amused at the obvious transposition of "Sullivan". 

Thus we see, that, numerous though the old Irish names are 
on American records, they do not by any means indicate the 
extent of the Celtic element which established itself in the 
colonies, so that there is really no means of determining ex- 
actly what Ireland has contributed to the American Common- 
wealth. We only know that a steady stream of Irish immi- 
grants has crossed the seas to the American continent, be- 
ginning with the middle of the seventeenth century, and that 
many of those "Exiles from Erin", or their sons, became prom- 
inent as leaders in every station in life in the new country. 

Nor is the "First Census of the United States" any criterion 
in this regard, for the obvious reason that the enumerators 
made no returns of unmarried persons. This fact is im- 
portant when we consider that the Irish exodus of the eigh- 


teenth century was largely comprised of the youth of the 
country. Although the First Census was made in 1790, the 
first regular record of immigration was not begun until thirty 
years later, and it is only from the records kept after that time 
that we can depend upon actual official figures. During the 
decade following 1820, Ireland contributed more than forty 
per cent, of the entire immigration to America from all 
Ewropean countries, and the Irish Emigration Statistics show 
that between 1830 and 1907 the number of people who left 
Ireland was 6,049,432, the majority of whom came to America. 
The Westminster Review (vol. 133, p. 293), in an article 
on "The Irish-Americans", puts a series of questions as fol- 
lows : 'Ts the American Republic in any way indebted to those 
Irish citizens? Have they with their large numbers, high 
social standing, great places of trust, contributed aught to 
her glory or added aught to her commercial greatness, refined 
her social taste or assisted in laying the foundations of the 
real happiness of her people, the real security of her laws, 
the influence of her civic virtues, which more than anything 
else give power and permanency to a naissant and mighty 
nation? The answer is unquestionably affirmative. We have 
only to look back on the past, and to scan ihe present state 
of American affairs, to feel certain of this." If it be further 
asked : "Does this statement stand the test of strict investiga- 
tion ?" the answer must also be in the affirmative, for in almost 
every line of progress the Irish in America have contributed 
their share of leaders and pioneers, thus proving that there 
are characteristics among even the poor Irish driven to emi- 
gration for an existence that are as capable of development 
as those possessed by any other race. When we scan the 
intellectual horizon, we see many men of great force of char- 
acter: preachers and teachers; statesmen and scholars; phil- 
anthropists and founders of institutions; scientists and en- 
gineers; historians and journalists; artists and authors; law- 
yers and doctors, of Celtic race and blood, while, in the in- 
dustrial field, as builders of steamships and railroads and 
promoters of public works, as merchants, manufacturers, and 
bankers, and in all other fields of endeavor, we find the 



American Irish controlling factors in the upbuilding of the 

Of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Thorn- 
ton, Taylor, and Smith were natives of Ireland; McKean, 
Read, and Rutledge were of Irish parentage ; Lynch and Car- 
roll were grandsons of Irishmen ; Whipple and Hancock were 
of Irish descent on the maternal side; and O'Hart (Irish 
Pedigrees) declares that Robert Treat Paine was a great- 
grandson of Henry O'Neill, hereditary prince of Ulster, who 
"changed his name to that of one of his maternal ancestors so 
as to save his estates". It was an Irishman who first read 
the immortal Document to the public ; an Irishman first printed 
it; and an Irishman published it for the first time with fac- 
similes of the signatures. 

At least six American Presidents had more or less of the 
Celtic strain. President Jackson, whose parents* came from 
Co. Down, more than once expressed his pride in his Irish 
ancestry. Arthur's parents were from Antrim, Buchanan's 
from Donegal, and McKinley's grandparents came from the 
same vicinity. Theodore Roosevelt boasts among his an- 
cestors two direct lines from Ireland, and the first American 
ancestor of President Polk was a Pollock from Donegal. The 
present occupant of the White House, Woodrow Wilson, is 
also of Irish descent. Among the distinguished Vice- 
Presidents of the United States were George Clinton and 
John C. Calhoun, sons of immigrants from Longford and 
Donegal respectively, and Calhoun's successor as chairman of 
the committee on foreign relations was John Smilie, a native 
of Newtownards, Co. Down. 

Among American governors since 1800, we find such names 
as Barry, Brady, Butler, Carroll, Clinton, Conway, Carney, 
Connolly, Curtin, Collins, Donaghey, Downey, Early, Fitz- 
patrick, Flannegan, Geary, Gorman, Hannegan, Kavanagh, 
Kearney, Logan, Lynch, Murphy, Moore, McKinley, McGill, 
Meagher, McGrath, Mahone, McCormick, O'Neal, O'Ferrall, 
Orr, Roane, Filey, Sullivan, Sharkey, Smith, Talbot, and 
Welsh, all of Irish descent. Today we have as governors of 
States, Glynn in New York, Dunne in Illinois, Walsh in Mas- 
sachusetts, O'Neal in Alabama, Burke in North Carolina, 


Carey in Wyoming, McGovern in Wisconsin, McCreary in 
Kentucky, and Tener in Pennsylvania, and not alone is the 
governor of the last-mentioned State a native of Ireland, but 
so also are its junior United States Senator, the secretary of 
the Commonwealth, and its adjutant-general. 

In the political life of America, many of the sons of Ireland 
have risen to eminence, and in the legislative halls at the 
National Capital, the names of Kelly, Fitzpatrick, Broderick, 
Casserly, Farley, Logan, Harlan, Hannegan, Adair, Barry, 
Rowan, Gorman, Kennedy, Lyon, Fitzgerald, Fair, Sewall, 
Kernan, Butler, Moore, Regan, Mahone, Walsh, and Flanne- 
gan, are still spoken of with respect among the lawmakers of 
the nation. William Darrah Kelly served in Congress for 
fifty years, and it remained for James Shields to hold the uni- 
que distinction of representing three different States, at dif- 
ferent times, in the Senate of the United States. Senator 
Shields was a native of Co. Tyrone. 

In the judiciary have been many shining lights of Irish 
origin. The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme 
Court is Edward D. White, grandson of a '98 rebel, and one 
of his ablest associates is Joseph McKenna. No more erudite 
or profound lawyer than Charles O'Conor has adorned his 
profession and it can be said with truth that his career has 
remained unrivalled in American history. James T. Brady, 
Daniel Dougherty, Thomas Addis Emmet, and Charles O'Neill 
were among the most eminent lawyers America has known, 
while the names of Dennis O'Brien, Chief Justice of the New 
York Court of Appeals, John D. O'Neill, who occupied a like 
elevated place on the bench of South Carolina, John D. Phelan 
of the Alabama Supreme Court, Richard O'Gorman, Charles 
P. Daly, Hugh Rutledge, Morgan J. O'Brien, and others of 
like origin, are household words in the legal annals of America. 
There is no State in the Union where an Irish-American 
lawyer has not distinguished himself. 

The history of medicine in the United States is adorned* 
with the names of many physicians of Irish birth or blood. 
Several Irish surgeons rendered valuable services in the army 
of the Revolution, among whom are found Drs. McDonough, 
McHenry, McCloskey, McCalla, Burke, Irvine, and William- 

■^14 TH]^ glories 01? IRELAND 

ion. Dr. John Cochran was appointed by Washington sur- 
geon-general of the army. Dr. James Lynah of Charleston, a 
native of Ireland, became surgeon-general of South Carolina 
in recognition of his valuable services to the patriot army. Dr. 
John McKinley, a native of Ireland, who was a famous phy- 
sician in his day, became the first governor of Delaware. Dr. 
Ephraim McDowell is known in the profession as the "Father 
of Ovariotomy", as is Dr. William J. McNevin the "Father 
of American Chemistry". Dr. John Byrne of New York had 
a world-wide fame, and his papers on gynecology have been 
pronounced by the medical press as "the best printed in any 
language". One of the most conspicuous figures in medicine 
in the United States was Dr. Jerome Cochran of Alabama. 
Drs. Junius F. Lynch of Florida; Charles McCreery of Ken- 
tucky ; Hugh McGuire and Hunter McGuire of Virginia ; Mat- 
thew C. McGannon of Tennessee; and James Lynch, Charles 
J. O'Hagan, and James McBride of South Carolina are men- 
tioned prominently in the histories of their respective localities 
as the foremost medical men of their times, while in Wisconsin 
the pioneer physician was Dr. William H. Fox, and in Oregon, 
Dr. John McLoughlin. Among New York physicians who 
achieved high reputations in their profession were Drs. Thomas 
Addis Emmet, Frank A. McGuire, Daniel E. O'Neill, Charles 
McBumey, Isaac H. Reiley, Alfred L. Carroll, Howard A. 
Kelly, Joseph O'Dwyer, and James J. Walsh. These and 
many others of Irish descent have been honored by medical 
societies as leaders and specialists, while it can be said that no 
surgeon of the present day Has achieved such a world-wide 
reputation as Dr. John B. Murphy of Chicago. Among ex- 
perts in medico-legal science, the names of Drs. Benjamin 
W. McCreedy and William J. O'Sullivan of New York stand 
out prominently, and among the most noted contributors to 
medical journals in the United States, and recognized as men 
of great professional skill and authorities in their respective 
specialties, have been Drs. F. D. Mooney of St. Louis ; Thomas 
Fitzgibbon of Milwaukee; John D. Hanrahan of Rutland; 
James McCann and James H. McClelland of Pittsburgh ; John 
A. Murphy and John McCurdy of Cincinnati ; John Keating of 
Philadelphia; John H. Murphy of St. Paul; John W. C. 


O'Neal of Gettysburg; and Arthur O'Neill of Meadville, Pa. 
Indeed, it can be said that American medical science owes 
an incalculable debt to Irish genius. 

Theodore Vail, the presiding genius of the greatest tele- 
phone system in the world, is Irish, and so is Carty, its chief 
engineer. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, was the 
grandson of an Irishman ; Henry O'Reilly built the first tele- 
graph line in the United States; and John W. Mackey was 
the president of the Commercial Cable Company. John P. 
Holland, the inventor of the submarine torpedo boat, was a 
native of Co. Clare; and McCormick, the inventor of the 
reaping and mowing machine, was an Irishman's grandson. 

Sons of Irishmen have stood in the front rank of American 
statesmen and diplomats who represented their country abroad. 
To mention but a few : Richard O'Brien, appointed by Jeffer- 
son American representative at Algiers; James Kavanagh, 
Minister to Portugal ; and Louis McLane, Minister to England 
in 1829 and afterwards Secretary of State in 1832. In recent 
years, an O'Brien has represented American interests in Italy 
and Japan ; a Kerens in Austria ; an Egan in Chili and another 
of the same name in Denmark ; an O'Shaughnessy in Mexico ; 
a Sullivan in Santo Dorhingo ; and an O'Rear in Bolivia. 

Among historians were John Gilmary Shea, author of num- 
erous historical works ; Dr. Robert Walsh, a learned historian 
and journalist of the last century, whose literary labors were 
extensive; McMahon and McSherry, historians of Maryland; 
Burk, of Virginia; O'Callaghan, Hastings, and Murphy of 
New York; Ramsay of South Carolina; and Williamson of 
North Carolina, all native Irishmen or sons of Irish immi- 

In the field of American journalism have been many able 
and forcible writers of Irish birth or descent. Hugh Gaine, 
a Belfast man, founded the New York Mercury in 1775. John 
Dunlap founded the first daily paper in Philadelphia, John 
Daly Burk published the first daily paper in Boston, and Wil- 
liam Duane edited the Aurora of Philadelphia in 1795. All 
these were born in Ireland. William Coleman, founder of 
the New York Evening Post in 1801, was the son of an Irish 
rebel of 1798; Thomas Fitzgerald founded the Philadelphia 


Item; Thomas Gill, the New York Evening Star; Patrick 
Walsh, the Augusta Chronicle; Joseph Medill, the Chicago 
Tribune. Henry W. Grady edited the Atlanta Constitution; 
Michael Dee edited the Detroit Evening News for nearly 
fifty years; Richard Smith, the Cincinnati Gazette; Edward 
L. Godkin, the New York Evening Post; William Laffan, 
the New York Sun; and Horace Greeley, the New York 
Tribune. All of these were either natives of Ireland or 
sprung from immigrant Irishmen, as were Oliver of the Pitts- 
burgh Gazette, O'Neill of the Pittsburgh Despatch, John 
Keating of Memphis, William D. O'Connor, and many other 
shining lights of American journalism during the last century. 
Fitz James O'Brien was "a bright, particular star" in the 
journalistic firmament; John MacGahan achieved fame as a 
war correspondent ; Patrick Barry of Rochester, an extensive 
writer on horticultural and kindred subjects, was the recog- 
nized leader of his craft in the United States; and William 
Darby, son of Patrick and Mary Darby, and Michael Twomey 
were the ablest American geographers and writers on ab- 
struse scientific subjects. 

In the field of poetry, we have had Theodore O'Hara, the 
author of that immortal poem, "The Bivouac of the Dead"; 
John Boyle O'Reilly; Thomas Dunn English, author of "Ben 
Bolt"; Father Abram Ryan, "the poet priest of the South"; 
James Whitcomb Riley ; Eleanor Donnelly ; M. F. Egan ; T. A. 
Daly ; and Joseph I. C. Clarke, president of the American Irish 
Historical Society. 

To recount the successful men of affairs of Irish origin it 
would be necessary to mention every branch of business and 
every profession. Recalling but a few, Daniel O'Day, Patrick 
Farrelly, John and William O'Brien, Alexander T. Stewart, 
John Castree, Joseph J. O'Donohue, William R. Grace, John 
McConville, Hugh O'Neill, Alexander E. Orr, William Con- 
stable, Daniel McCormick, and Dominick Lynch, all of New 
York, were dominant figures in the world of business. Thomas 
Mellon of Pittsburgh; John R. Walsh and the Cudahy 
brothers of Chicago; James Phelan, Peter Donahue, Joseph 
A. Donohoe, and John Sullivan of San Francisco ; William A. 
Clark and Marcus Daly of Montana; George Meade, the 

TH]^ IRISH IN the: united STATKS 217 

Meases and the Nesbits, Thomas FitzSimmons and Thomas 
Dolan of Philadelphia ; Columbus O'Donnell and Luke Tiernan 
of Baltimore, all these have been leading merchants in their 
day. Few American financiers occupy a more conspicuous 
place than Thomas F. Ryan, and no great industrial leader has 
reached the pinnacle of success upon which stands the com- 
manding figure of James J. Hill, both sons of Irishmen. The 
names of Anthony N. Brady, Eugene Kelly, James S. Strana- 
han, and James A. Farrell, president of the United States Steel 
Corporation, are household words in business and financial 

John Keating, the first paper manufacturer in New York 
(1775) ; Thomas Faye, the first to manufacture wall-paper by 
machinery, who won for this distinction the first gold 
medal of the American Institute; John and Edward Mc- 
Loughlin of New York, for many years the leading publishers 
of illustrated books ; and John Banigan of Providence, one of 
the largest manufacturers of rubber goods in America, were 
natives of Ireland. John O'Fallon and Bryan Mullanphy of 
St. Louis, and John McDonough of Baltimore, who amassed 
great wealth as merchants, were large contributors to charita- 
ble and educational institutions ; William W. Corcoran, whose 
name is enshrined in the famous Art Gallery at Washington, 
contributed during his lifetime over five million dollars to 
various philanthropic institutions; and one of the most noted 
philanthropists in American history, and the first woman in 
America to whorn a public monument was erected, was an 
Irishwoman, Margaret Haughery of New Orleans. 

Jrishmen have shown a remarkable aptitude for the handling 
of large contracts, and in this field have been prominent John 
H^O'Rourke, James D. Leary, James Coleman, Oliver Byrne, 
and John D. Crimmins in New York; John B. McDonald, 
the builder of New York's subways; George Law, projector 
and promoter of public works, steamship and railroad builder ; 
and John Roach, the famous ship-builder of Chester, Pa. John 
Sullivan, a noted American engineer one hundred years ago, 
compieted the Middlesex Canal; and John McL. Murphy, 
whosd ability as a constructing engineer was universally 
recognized, rendered valuable service to the United States 


during the Civil War. Among pioneer ship-builders in 
America are noted Patrick Tracy from Wexford and Simon 
Forrester from Cork, who were both at Salem, Mass., during 
the period of the Revolution and rendered most valuable ser- 
vice to the patriot cause; and the O'Briens, Kavanaghs, and 
Sewalls in Maine. 

But it is not in the material things of life alone that the 
Irish have been in the van. Thousands of Americans have 
been charmed by the operas of Victor Herbert, a grandson 
of Samuel Lover, and with lovers of music the strains of 
Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore's band still linger as a pleasant 
memory. Edward A. MacDowell, America's most famous com- 
poser, was of Irish descent. The colossal statute of "America" 
on the dome of the National Capitol was executed by Thomas 
Crawford, who was born in New York of Irish parents in 
1814 ; Henry Inman, one of the very best of portrait painters, 
was also born in New York of Irish parents ; John Singleton 
Copley, the distinguished artist, came to Boston from Co. Clare 
in 173.6 ; Thompson, the sculptor, was born in Queen's Co. ; 
another noted sculptor was William D. O'Donovan of Vir- 
ginia ; and Augustus Saint Gaudens, one of the greatest sculp- 
tors of modern times, was born in Dublin. Other sculptors of 
Irish race have been elsewhere mentioned. Among America's 
most talented artists and portrait painters may be mentioned 
George P. Healy, William J. Hennessy, Thomas Moran, Henry 
Pelham, Henry Murray, John Neagle, and William Magrath, 
all of Irish birth or descent. 

Ireland has given many eminent churchmen to the United 
States. The three American Cardinals, Gibbons, Farley, and 
O'Connell, stand out prominently, as do Archbishops Carroll, 
Hughes, McCloskey, Kenrick, Ryan, Ireland, Glennon, Corri- 
gan, and Keane, all of whom have shed lustre on the Church. 
History has given to an Irishman, Francis Makemie of Done- 
gal, the credit of founding Presbyterianism in America, while 
among noted Presbyterian divines of Irish birth were James 
Waddell, known as "the blind preacher of the wilderness," 
Thomas Smyth, John Hall, Francis Allison, William Tennant, 
and James McGrady, all men of great ability and influence in 
their day. Samuel Finley, President of Princeton College in 


1761, was a native of Armagh, and John Blair Smith, famous as 
a preacher throughout the Shenandoah Valley and the first 
president of Union College (1795), was of Irish descent. 
Among the pioneer preachers of the western wilderness were 
McMahon, Dougherty, Quinn, Burke, O'Cool, Delaney, Mc- 
Gee, and many others of Irish origin. 

Irishmen and their sons have founded American towns and 
cities, and the capital of the State of Colorado takes its name 
from General James Denver, son of Patrick Denver, an emi- 
grant from county Down in the year 1795. Sixty-five places 
in the United States are named after people bearing the Irish 
prefix "O" and upwards of 1000 after the "Macs", and there 
are 253 counties of the United States and approximately 7000 
places called by Irish family or place names. There are 24 
DubHns, 21 Waterfords, 18 Belfasts, 16 Tyrones, 10 Limericks, 
9 Antrims, 8 Sligos, 7 Derrys, 6 Corks, 5 Kildares, and so on. 

Immigrant Irishmen have also been the founders of promi- 
nent American families. One of the most ancient of Irish pa- 
tronymics, McCarthy, is found in the records of Virginia as 
early as 1635 and in Massachusetts in 1675, and all down 
through the successive generations descendants of this sept 
were among the leading families of the communities where 
they located. In Virginia, the McCormick, Meade, Lewis, 
Preston, and Lynch families; in the Carolinas, the Canteys, 
Nealls, Bryans, and Butlers ; and in Maryland, the CarroUs and 
Dulanys are all descended from successful Irish colonizers. 

Even from this very incomplete summary, we can see that 
Irish blood, brain, and brawn have been a valuable acquisition 
to the building of the fabric of American institutions, and 
that the sons of Ireland merit more prominent recognition than 
has been accorded them in the pages of American history. 
The Pharisees of history may have withheld from Ireland the 
credit that is her due, but, thanks to the never-failing guidance 
of the records, we are able to show that at all times, whether 
they came as voluntary exiles or were driven from their homes 
by the persecutions of government, her sons have had an hon- 
orable part in every upward movement in American life. Tes- 
timony adduced from the sources fro'm which this imperfect 
sketch is drawn cannot be called into question, and its perusal 


by those who so amusingly glorify the "Anglo-Saxon" as the 
founder of the American race and American institutions 
would have a chastening influence on their ignorance of early 
American history, and would reopen the long vista of the years, 
at the very beginning of which they would see Celt and 
Teuton, Saxon and Gaul, working side by side solidifying 
the fulcrum of the structure on which this great nation rests. 

References : 

The archives, registers, records, reports, and other official docu- 
ments mentioned in the text; the various Town, County, and State 
Histories ; the collections and publications of the following societies : 
Massachusetts Historical Society, Genealogical Society of Pennsyl- 
vania, New York Historical Society (34 vols.), New York Genea- 
logical and Biographical Society (44 vols.), Maine Historical Society, 
Rhode Island Historical Society, Connecticut Historical Society, 
South Carolina Historical Society, and American Historical Society; 
New England Historical and Genealogical Register (67 vols., Boston, 
1847-1913); New England Historical and Biographical Record; 
Hakluyt: Voyages, Navigations, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the 
English Nation (London, 1607); Dobbs: The Trade and Improve- 
ment of Ireland (Dublin, 1729); Hutchinson: History of Massa- 
chusetts from the First Settlement in 1628 until 1750 (Salem, 1795) ; 
Proud: History of Pennsylvania, 1681-1770 (Philadelphia, 1797- 
1798) ; Savage : Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New 
England (Boston, 1860-1862) ; Morris (ed.) : The Makers of New- 
York (Philadelphia, 1895); Pope: The Pioneers of Massachusetts 
(Boston, 1900), The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire (Boston, 
1908); Richardson: Side-lights on Maryland History (Baltimore, 
1913) ; Spencer: History of the United States; Ramsay: History of 
the United States; Prendergast: Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland. 


By Jame:s J. WAI.SH, M.D., Ph.D., Litt.D., Sc.D. 

WHEN Wolfe captured Quebec and Canada came under 
British rule, some of the best known of his officers and 
several of his men were Irish. After the Peace was signed 
many of them settled in Canada, not a few of them marrying 
French wives, and as a consequence there are numerous Irish, 
Scotch, and English names among the French speaking in- 
habitants of Lower Canada. Two of Wolfe's officers. Colonel 
Guy Carleton, born at Strabane in the county Tyrone, and 
General Richard Montgomery, born only seven miles away 
at Convoy, in the same county, were destined to play an 
important role in the future history of Canada. Montgomery 
was in command of the Revolutionary Army from the Colo- 
nies, when it attempted to take Quebec, and Carleton, who had 
been a trusted friend of General Wolfe, was in command of 
the Canadian forces. The two men were the lives of their 
respective commands, and with the death of Montgomery 
Carleton's victory was assured. 

Carleton was made Governor-in-Chief of Canada, and dur- 
ing the trying years of the early British rule of New France 
and the American Revolution, his tact did more than anything 
else to save Canada for the British. Bibaud, the French 
historian, says, "the man to whom the administration of the 
government was entrusted had known how to make the 
Canadians love him, and this contributed not a little to retain 
at least within the bounds of neutrality those among them 
who might have been able, or who believed themselves able, 
to ameliorate their lot by making common cause with the 
insurgent colonies." Shortly after being made governor, Carle- 
ton went to England and secured the passage of the Quebec 
Act through the English parliament, which gave the Canadian 
French assurance that they were to be ruled without oppression 
by the British Government. Subsequently, in 1786, Carleton, 
as Lord Dorchester, became the first governor-general of 
Canada, being given jurisdiction over Nova Scotia and New 
Brunswick as well as Upper and Lower Canada, and to him 


more than to any other is due the early loyalty to the British 
crown in the Dominion. 

After the army the next important source of Irish popula- 
tion in Canada were the loyalists who after the Revolution 
removed from the United States to the British Dominions in 
America. There were probably many thousands of them, 
more than enough to make up for the French who left Canada 
for France when the territory passed over to England. Among 
the Irish loyalists who went to Canada was the Rev. John 
Stuart, who had become very well known as a missionary in 
the Mohawk Valley before the Revolution, and who, though 
born a Presbyterian, was destined to win the title of the 
"Father of the Church of England in Upper Canada." When 
the first Canadian parliament met in December 1793, Edward 
O'Hara was returned for Gaspe, in Lower Canada, and D'Arcy 
McGee could boast that henceforward Lower Canada was 
never without an Irish representative in its legislative councils. 

When the question of settling Upper Canada with British 
colonists came up, Colonel Talbot, a county Dublin man, was 
the most important factor. He obtained a large grant of land 
near what is now London and attracted settlers into what was 
at that time a wilderness. The tract settled under his super- 
intendence now comprises twenty-nine townships in the most 
prosperous part of Canada. 

The maritime Provinces had been under British rule before 
the fall of Quebec and contained a large element of Irish 
population. In Newfoundland in 1753 out of a total popula- 
tion of some thirteen thousand, Davin says that there were 
nearly five thousand Catholics, chiefly Irish. In 1784 a great 
new stimulus to Irish immigration to Newfoundland was 
given by Father O'Connell, who in 1796 was made Catholic 
bishop of the island. Newfoundland, for its verdure, the 
absence of reptiles, and its Irish inhabitants, was called at 
this time "Transatlantic Ireland", and Bonnycastle says that 
more than one half of the population was Irish. 

In 1749 Governor Cornwallis brought some 4,000 disbanded 
soldiers to Nova Scotia and founded Halifax. Ten years 
later it was described as divided into Halifax proper, Irish- 
town or the southern, and Dutchtown or the northern, suburbs. 


The inhabitants numbered 3,000, one-third of whom were 
Irish. They were among the most prominent men of the 
city and province. In the Privy Council for 1789 were 
Thomas Corcoran and Charles Morris. Morris was president 
of the Irish Society and Matthew Cahill the sheriff of Halifax 
in that year. A large number of Irish from the north of 
Ireland settled in Nova Scotia in 1763, calling their settle- 
ment Londonderry. They provided a fortunate refuge for 
the large numbers of Irish Presbyterians who were expelled 
from New England by the intolerant Puritans the following 
year. They also welcomed many loyalists who came from New 
York and the New England States after the acknowledgment 
of the independence of the American Colonies by Great Brit- 
ain. Between the more eastern settlers around Halifax and 
those in the interior, the greater part of the population of 
Nova Scotia was probably Irish in origin. 

It was in the Maritime Provinces that the first step in politi- 
cal emancipation for Catholics under British rule was made. 
In 1821 Lawrence Cavanaugh, a Roman Catholic, was re- 
turned to the Assembly of the Province for Cape Breton. 
He would not subscribe to the declaration on Transubstantia- 
tion in the oath of office tendered him, and as a consequence 
was refused admittance to the Assembly. But he was elected 
again and again, and six years afterwards Judge Haliburton, 
better known by his nom de plume of "Sam Slick", in an able 
speech, seconded the motion to dispense with the declaration, 
and Cavanaugh was permitted to take the oath without the 

The War of 1812 brought over from Ireland a number of 
Irish soldiers serving in the British army, many of whom 
after the war settled down and became inhabitants of the 
country. They were allotted farm lands and added much to 
Canada's prosperity. A type of their descendants was Sir 
William Hingston, whose father was at this time a lieutenant 
adjutant in the Royal 100th Regiment, "the Dublins." Sir 
William's father died when his son was a mere boy, but the 
lad supported his mother, worked his way through the med- 
ical school, saved enough money to give himself two years 
in Europe, and became a great surgeon. He was elected three 
times mayor of Montreal, serving one term with great pres- 


tige under the most trying circumstances. He afterwards be- 
came a senator of the Dominion and was knighted by Queen 

Prince Edward Island was settled mainly by the Scotch and 
French, and yet many Irish names are to be found among its 
old families. It was ceded to Great Britain in 1763, and the 
first Governor appointed was Captain Walter Patterson, whose 
niece, Elizabeth Patterson, was married to Jerome Bonaparte 
in Baltimore in 1803. Captain Patterson was so ardent an 
Irishman that through his influence he had an act passed by 
the Assembly changing the name of the island to New Ireland, 
but the home Government refused to countenance the change. 
At this time the island was known as St. John's, and the name 
Prince Edward was given to it in honor of the Duke of Kent 
in 1789. One of the most popular governors of the island was 
Sir Dominick Daly, knighted while in office. He was a mem- 
ber of a well known Galway family, and first came to America 
as secretary to one of the governors. He afterwards became 
provincial secretary for Lower Canada. 

Canada suffered from the aftermath of the revolutions 
which took place in Europe during the early part of the nine- 
teenth century. The year 1837 saw two revolutions, one in 
Upper, the other in Lower, Canada, though neither of them 
amounted to more than a flash in the pan. As might be ex- 
pected, there were not a few Irish among the disaffected spirits 
who fostered these revolutions. Their experience at home 
led them to know how little oppressed people were likely to 
obtain from the British Government except by a demonstra- 
tion of force. There were serious abuses, especially "the 
Family Compact", the lack of anything approaching constitu- 
tional guarantees in government, and political disabilities on 
the score of religion. However, most of the Irish in Canada 
were ranged on the side of the government. Sir Richard Bon- 
nycastle, writing in 1846, said "The Catholic Irish who have 
been long settled in the country are by no means the worst sub- 
jects in this transatlantic realm, as I can personally testify, 
having had the command of large bodies of them during the 
border troubles of 1837-8. They are all loyal and true." Above 
all Bonnycastle pledged himself for the loyalty of the Irish 
Catholic priesthood. 


One of the Irishmen who came into prominence in the 
rebelHons of 1837 was Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan, the editor 
of the Vindicator, the newspaper by means of which Papineau 
succeeded in arousing much f eeUng among the people of Lower 
Canada and fomented the Revolution. O'Callaghan escaped 
to the United States and settled at Albany, where he became 
the historian of New York State. To him, more than to any 
other, we owe the preservation of the historical materials out 
of which the early history of the State can be constructed. 
Rare volumes of the Jesuit Relations, to the value of which 
for historical purposes he had called special attention, were 
secured from his library for the Canadian library at Ottawa. 

Towards the middle of the nineteenth century, when the popu- 
lation of Ireland reached its highest point of over 8,000,000, 
the pressure on the people caused them to emigrate in large 
numbers, and then the famine came to drive out great crowds 
of those who survived. In proportion to its population Canada 
received a great many more of these Irish emigrants than did 
the United States. Unfortunately the conditions on board 
the emigrant sailing vessels in those days cost many lives. 
They were often becalmed and took months to cross the ocean. 
My grandmother coming in the thirties was ninety-three days 
in crossing, landing at Quebec after seven weeks on half 
rations, part of the time living on nothing but oatmeal and 
water. Ship fever, the dreaded typhus, broke out on her ves- 
sel as on so many others, and more than half the passengers 
perished. Many, many thousands of the Irish emigrants thus 
died on ship-board or shortly after landing. In 1912, the 
Ancient Order of Hibernians erected near Quebec a monu- 
ment to the victims. In spite of the untoward conditions, 
emigration continued unabated, and in 1875, in the population 
of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, it was 
calculated that the Irish numbered 846,414 as compared with' 
706,369 English and 549,946 Scotch (Hatton, quoted by Davin 
in The Irishman in Canada). 

It had become clear that Canada would prosper more if 
united than in separate provinces jealous of each other. The 
first move in this direction came from the Maritime Provinces, 
where the Irish element was so much stronger than elsewhere, 
and when a conference of the leading statesmen of these 


Provinces was appointed to be held at Charlottetown, P. E. I., 
September 1864, representatives of Upper and Lov^er Canada 
asked to be allowed to be present to bring forward a plan for 
a Federation of all the British Provinces in North America. 
The British North America Act was passed, and received the 
royal assent, the queen appointing July 1, 1867 as the formal 
beginning of the Dominion of Canada. 

Among the men who were most prominent in bringing about 
federation and who came to be known as the Fathers of Con- 
federation were several distinguished Irishmen. Thomas 
D'Arcy McGee was the best known and probably did more 
than any other Canadian to make the idea of confederation 
popular by his writings and speeches. He had come to Canada 
as a stranger, edited a newspaper in Montreal, and was elected 
to the Assembly after a brief residence, in spite of the opposi- 
tion cries of "Irish adventurer" and "stranger from abroad," 
was subsequently elected four times by acclamation, and was 
Minister of Agriculture and Education and Canadian Commis- 
sioner to the Paris Exposition of 1867. His letters to the Earl 
of Mayo, pleading for the betterment of conditions in Ireland, 
were quoted by Gladstone during the Home Rule movement as 
"a prophetic voice from the dead coming from beyond the At- 

Another of the Fathers of Confederation was the Honorable 
Edward Whalen, born in the county Mayo, who as a young 
man went to Prince Edward Island, where he gained great 
influence as a popular journalist. He was an orator as well as 
an editor, and came to have the confidence of the people of the 
island, and hence was able to do very much for federation. 
A third of the Fathers of Confederation from the Maritime 
Provinces was the Honorable, afterwards Sir, Edward Kenny, 
who, when the first Cabinet of the New Dominion was formed,, 
was offered and accepted one of the portfolios in recognition 
of the influence which he had wielded for Canadian union. 

At all times in the history of Canada the Catholic hierarchy 
has been looked up to as thoroughly conservative factors for 
the progress and development of the country. After the Irish 
immigration most of the higher ecclesiastics were Irish by 
birth or descent, and they all exerted a deep influence not only 
on their own people but on their city and province. One of 


the Fathers of Confederation was Archbishop Connolly, of 
Halifax, of whom the most distinguished Presbyterian clergy- 
man of the Lower Provinces said the day after his death : *'I 
feel that I have not only lost a friend, but as if Canada had 
lost a patriot ; in all his big-hearted Irish fashion he was ever 
at heart, in mind, and deed, a true Canadian." Among his 
colleagues of the hierarchy were such men as his predecessor 
Archbishop Walsh, Archbishop Lynch, the first Metropolitan 
of Upper Canada when Toronto was erected into an arch- 
bishopric, Bishop Hogan of Kingston, Archbishop Hannan of 
Halifax, Archbishop Walsh of Toronto, and Archbishop 
O'Brien of Halifax, all of whom were esteemed as faithful 
Canadians working for the benefit of their own people more 
especially, but always with the larger view of good for the 
whole commonwealth of Canada. 

The Irish continued to furnish great representative men to 
Canada. The first governor, Guy Carleton, was Irish, and 
his subsequent governor-generalship as Lord Dorchester did 
much to make Canada loyal to Great Britain. During the 
difficult times of the Civil War in the United States, Lord 
Monck, a Tipperary man, was the tactful governor-general, 
"like other Irish Governors singularly successful in winning 
golden opinions" (Davin). Probably the most popular and 
influential of Canada's governors-general was Lord Dufferin, 
another Irishman. Some of the most distinguished of Cana- 
dian jurists, editors, and politicians have been Irishmen, and 
Irishmen have been among her great merchants, contractors, 
and professional men. In our own time Sir William Plingston 
among the physicians, Sir Charles Fitzpatrick among the jurists, 
and Sir Thomas George Shaughnessy among the administra- 
tive financiers are fine types of Irish character. 

Refeeences : 

Davin: The Irishman in Canada (Toronto, 1877) ; McGee: "Works; 
Tracy: The Tercentenary History of Canada (New York, 190S) ; 
Walsii .- Sir William Kingston, in the Amer. Catholic Quarterly ( Jan- 
uary, 1911), Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan, in the Records of the 
Amer. Catholic Historical Society (1907); McKenna: A Century of 
Catholicity in Canada, in the Catholic World, toI. 1, p. 229. 


By Marion Mulhall. 

I. — From the Spanish Conquest to the War of 

SOUTH AMERICA, although comparatively little known 
until recent times to the outside world, contains much to 
interest the missionary, the scientist, the historian, the traveler, 
and the financier. The twentieth century will probably see hun- 
dreds following in the footsteps of their predecessors. In the 
meantime, the brilliant achievements of numerous Irish merj 
and women in that part of the world are falling into oblivion, 
and call for a friendly hand to collect the fragments of histor- 
ical lore connected with their exploits. 

This paper will cover three periods : — 

(1). From the Spanish Conquest to the War of Independ- 
ence: here the principal actors were maritime explorers, buc- 
caneers, and mercantile adventurers; 

(2). The War of Independence from 1810 to 1826: in this 
period Irishmen performed feats of valor worthy to rank 
with those in Greek or Roman history. 

(3). Since the Independence; a period of commercial and 
industrial development, in which Irishmen have played a 
foremost part. 

It has been said that George Barlow, the companion of Se- 
bastian Cabot, was an Irishman. Cabot was the first Britisher 
to sail up the Rio de la Plata, and gave it its name just thirty- 
five years after the discovery of America. Barlow was in the 
service of the king of Spain, and in that country met Cabot» 
who had been appointed Pilot Major to his Majesty in the 
year 1518. In 1577 we read of the famous Admiral Drake*s 
expedition to the River Plate, which he reached on April 14, 
1578. Evidently it was a successful one in the opinion of 
Queen Elizabeth, for on Drake's return to Plymouth, Septem- 
ber 26, 1580, she came aboard his ship and knighted hint 
There seem to have been three Irishmen on this expedition. 


Fenton, Merrick, and Ward. Fenton, who was in command 
of two vessels, was attacked by a Spanish squadron between 
Brazil and the River Plate, and the battle continued by moon- 
light until one of the Spaniards was sunk. The Spanish his- 
torian adds that Fenton might have sunk another of the ene- 
my's ships, but refrained because there were several women 
on board. 

Lozana in his History mentions a revolution in Paraguay 
in 1555, which was headed by an Irishman named Nicholas 
Colman. This revolution was quickly suppressed by the Span- 
ish viceroy, Yrala, but Colman led a second revolution in 1570, 
when Captain Rigueline was governor of Guayra. The muti- 
neers named Colman for their chief, put their treasures into 
canoes, and floated down the Parana until their boats were 
capsized by some rapids, probably the falls of Apipe in Mis- 
iones. The viceroy, on hearing of the revolt, sent troops to 
bring back the fugitives, and the latter were treated with 
unusual clemency. Lozana describes Colman as a daring, tur- 
bulent buccaneer. For fifteen years he seems to have played 
an important part in Guayra ; his subsequent fate is unknown. 

In 1G26 an expedition commanded by James Purcell, an 
Irishman, established itself on the island of Tocujos, in the 
mouth of the Amazon. 

Captain Charles O'Hara was sent by Governor Arana from 
Montevideo in March, 1761, to destroy the old landmarks of 
Rio Negro and Ching between the dominions of Portugal and 
Spain. The officer next under him was Lieutenant Charles 
Murphy, afterwards governor of Paraguay. This expedition 
suffered great hardships. 

Several of the expeditions of the privateers of the eighteenth 
century sailed from Ireland. Dampier, a skilful navigator, 
went on a cruise to intercept the Spanish galleons returning 
from the River Plate with booty supposed to be worth 
£{)00,000 sterling. He sailed from Kinsale in September, 1703, 
with two vessels, and no doubt amongst the crews were many 
Irishmen. It was on this expedition that Alexander Selkirk, 
a Scotch sailor, was put on shore at Juan Fernandez in 170-1, 
where he remained until rescued by Captain Rogers, who com- 
manded the Duke, a vessel of 330 tons, which sailed from 


Cork on September 1, 1708, touched by chance at Juan Fer- 
nandez, and found the original of Defoe's remarkable story, 
Robinson Crusoe, who presented a wild appearance dressed in 
his goatskins. 

In 1765 Captain Macnamara, with two vessels called the 
Lord Clive and the Ambuscade, mounting between them 104 
guns, attempted to take Colonia, in front of Buenos Ayres, 
from the Spaniards. Having shelled the place for four hours, 
Macnamara expected every moment to see a white flag hoisted, 
when, by some mishap, the Lord Clive took fire, and 2G2 per- 
sons perished. The Spaniards fired upon the poor fellows in 
the water, only 78 escaping to land. Macnamara was seen 
to sink. His sword was found a few years ago by a Colonia 
fisherman, who presented it to the British consul at Monte- 
video. Most of the Irish names still extant in the Argentine 
provinces, such as Sarsfield, Carrol, and Butler, are probably 
derived from these captives. Among the descendants of the 
survivors of Macnamara's expedition may be mentioned the 
ablest lawyer ever known in Buenos Ayres and for many years 
Prime Minister, the late Dr. Velez Sarsfield, and also Governor 

The year 1586 saw an expedition of a very different char- 
acter, consisting of the first Jesuits sent to convert Paraguay, 
under the direction of Father Thomas Field, an Irishman, and 
son of a Limerick doctor. Their vessel fell into the hands of 
English privateers off the Brazilian coast, but the sea rovers 
respected their captives, and after sundry adventures the latter 
landed at Buenos Ayres, whence they proceeded over land to 
Cordoba. The year following they set out for Paraguay, 
where Father Field and his companions laid the foundation of 
the Jesuit commonwealth of Misiones, which had such won- 
derful development in the following two centuries as to cause 
Voltaire to admit that "the Jesuit establishment in Paraguay 
seems to be the triumph of humanity." 

Another Irish Jesuit, Father Thaddeus Ennis, appears in 
authority in Misiones shortly before the downfall. In 1756, 
when Spain ceded San Miguel and other missions to Portugal, 
Father Ennis was entrusted with the removal lower down to 


Parana of such tribes as refused to become Portuguese sub-^ 

Yet another Jesuit, Father Falkiner, son of an Irish Prot- 
estant doctor in Manchester, who had himself studied medi- 
cine, was one of the most successful travellers and mission- 
aries of the 18th century. Among his friends in London was 
a ship-captain who traded from the coast of Guinea to Brazil, 
carrying slaves for the company recently established by Queen 
Anne's patent, and he it doubtless was who prevailed on the 
young physician to try a seafaring life. In one of his voyages 
as ship surgeon, from Guinea to Buenos Ayres, he fell ill at 
the latter port, and, there being no hotels, he had the good 
fortune to enjoy the hospitality of the Jesuit superior, Father 
Mahony, whose name proclaims his Irish nationality. Such 
was the impression made on Falkiner by the kindness of the 
Jesuits that he shortly afterwards was received into the 
Church and entered as a novice in the College of St. Igna- 
tius at Buenos Ayres, He spent the first years of his mission- 
ary career in Misiones and Tucuman. Later on he was 
despatched by his superior to Patagonia, and his success there 
during 27 years was almost equal to what has already been 
mentioned of Father Field in Paraguay. He converted many 
tribes, and traversed nearly every part of Patagonia from Rio 
Negro to Magellan's Straits, and as far inland as the Andes. 
He knew most of the Indian tongues, and by his winning man- 
ners and knowledge of medicine gained a great influence over 
the savages. When he published his life and travels, such was 
the effect of his book upon the kmg of Spain that he at once 
ordered surveys and settlements to be made along the Pata- 
gonian coast, which Father Falkiner represented as exposed 
to seizure by the first adventurer who should land there. 
Father Falkiner's book has been translated into French, Ger- 
man, and Spanish. He returned to England and died at 
Spetchly, Worcestershire, near the end of the ISth century. 

In 1774 the bishop of Ayachucho was Dr. James O'Phelan, 
who rebuilt the old Cathedral of Pasco. His father was an 
Irish officer in the Spanish army. 


II. — The War o^ iNDUPENDENCit. 

Towards the close of the 18th century the Pitt administra- 
tion lent a wilHng ear to a Venezuelan patriot, General 
Miranda, who proposed that Great Britain should aid South 
America to expel the Spanish rulers and set up a number of 
independent states. Spain being the ally of France and paying 
an annual subsidy to Napoleon, it became moreover the object 
of England to seize the treasure-ships periodically arriving 
from the River Plate. 

Hostilities having broken out in Europe in 1803, an English 
squadron under an Irish commander. Captain Moore, captured 
in the following year some Spanish galleons laden with treas- 
ure at the mouth, of the River Plate. In June, 180G, Major 
General William Carr Beresford with a British squadron cast 
anchor about twelve miles from Buenos Ayres, and with a 
force of only 1G35 men took possession of that city of 60,000 
inhabitants. The indignation which such a humiliation at 
first caused among the people was in large measure calmed by 
the manifesto which the conquering commander issued on the 
occasion. In the Memoirs of General Belgrano we read : 'Tt 
grieved me to see my country subjugated in this manner, but 
I shall always admire the gallantry of the brave and honorable 
Beresford in ;>o daring an enterprise." Beresford was, how- 
ever, unable to hold his ground, for the Spaniards got together 
an army of 10,000 men, and re-took the city. Beresford was 
made prisoner, but after five months* detention he and his 
brother-officers, among whom was another Irishman, Major 
Fahy, managed to escape. Thus ended the expedition of this 
brave general, who nevertheless had covered himself and his 
little army with glory, for he held Buenos Ayres as a British 
colony for 45 days, and had he been properly supported from 
home the result would in all probability have been vastly 

General Beresford was one of the most distinguished men 
of his time. He was the illegitimate son of the Marquis of 
Water ford, entered the army at 16, and served in every quarter 
of the globe. After his defeat at Buenos Ayres he captured 
Madeira, and was made governor of that island. In 1808 he 


successfully covered the retreat of Sir John Moore to Corunna, 
a difficult feat, for which he received a marshal's baton, and 
was made commander-in-chief in Portugal. In 1811 he de- 
feated Marshal Soult at Albuera, and subsequently took part 
in the victories of Salamanca and Vittoria. For these services 
he was made Duke of Elvas, and the British government con- 
ferred on him in 1814 the title of Baron Beresford of Albuera 
and Dungannon. The same year he was sent as minister to 
Brazil, and on his return was created viscount. He married 
the widow of Thomas Hope the banker, and settled down on 
his estates in Kent, where he died in 1854. 

The brilliancy of Beresford's achievement in capturing 
Buenos Ayres with a handful of men had dazzled the minds 
of English statesmen, who felt that 10,000 British troops were 
enough to subdue the whole of the vast continent of South 
America. In May, 1807, an expedition comprising several 
frigates and transports with 5,000 troops appeared off Monte- 
video from England. A month later Lieutenant-General 
Whitelock arrived with orders to assume the chief command, 
and among his officers were the gallant Irishmen, Major 
Vandeleur, who commanded a wing of the 88th Regiment, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Nugent, of the 38th. Whitelock en- 
deavored, but failed, to retake Buenos Ayres. During the 
siege a small det'-^.chment of Spanish troops under Colonel 
James Butler, after a terrific conflict, in which they sold their 
lives dearly, were all killed Agreeably to Colonel Butler's 
request his remains were burled on the spot he had so valiantly 
defended, and his tombstone was visible there until 1818. 

It is a remarkable fact that several of the South American 
countries, Mexico, Peru, and Chile, were governed by viceroys 
of Irish birth in the critical period preceding the Independence, 
although Spanish law forbade such office to any but Spaniards 
born. It was in recognition of gallant services in Spain, in 
combination with the Duke of Wellington, that General O'Don- 
o^fhue was made viceroy of Mexico in 1821, but the elevation 
cf the great viceroy of Peru, Ambrose O'Higgins, was due 
to the splendid talents of administration already displayed by during twenty years of service in Chile. He was born 
at Summerhill, Co. Meath, about 1730. An uncle of his was 


one of the chaplains at the court of Madrid, and at his expense 
O Higgins was educated at a college in Cadiz, lie tiien 
entered the Spanish engineer corps, and in 17G9 was given the 
command of the commission sent to Chile to strengthen the 
fortifications of Valdivia. He was made captain-general of 
Chile in 1788, was subsequently created marquis of Osorno, 
and in 1796 was nominated viceroy of Peru, a position which 
he held until his death in 1801. 

The great viceroy left only one son, Bernard O'Higgins, 
who succeeded General Carreras in the supreme command of 
the patriot army against the Spaniards in 1813. In 1817 
O'Higgins took a principal part in the victory of Chacabuco, 
and was almost immediately appointed supreme director of 
Chile, with dictatorial powers. During his administration, 
which lasted six years, he gave every proof of his fitness for 
the position. But, alas ! it was the misfortune of South Amer- 
ica to surpass the republics of antiquity in the ingratitude 
shown towards its greatest benefactors. It is then not sur- 
prising to find that the Father of his Country, as O'Higgins is 
affectionately styled, was deposed by a military revolution, and 
obliged to take refuge in Peru, from which country he never 
returned. General Miller and Lord Cochrane, in their Me- 
moirs, give frequent testimony to the honesty and zeal of Ber- 
nard O'Higgins. Pie was always treated as an honored guest 
in Lima, in which city he died on October 21, 1842. He left 
a son, Demetrio O'Higgins, a wealthy land-owner, who con- 
tr'buted large sums for the patriot army against Spain. 

Among other Irish commanders in Chile and Peru, who, dur- 
ing the War of Independence, fought their way to dignity 
and rank, was General MacKenna, the hero of Membrillar. 
He was born in 1771, at Clogher, Co. Tyrone; his mother be- 
longed to the ancient Irish sept of O'Reilly, whose estates were 
confiscated after the fall of Limerick in 1691. 

General Thomond O'Brien, who won his spurs at the battle 
of Chacabuco, seems to have been born in the south of Ireland 
about 1790. He joined the army of San Martin, and accom- 
panied that general through the campaigns of Chile and Peru 
until the overthrow of the Spanish regime and the proclama- 
tion of San Martin as protector of Peru. On the day (July 


28, 1821) when independence was declared at Lima, the pro- 
tector took in his hand the standard of Pizarro and said, 
"This is my portion of the trophies." Then, taking the state 
canopy of Pizarro, a kind of umbrella always borne over the 
viceroys in processions, he presented it to General O'Brien, 
saying, "This is for the gallant comrade who fought so many 
years by my side in the cause of South America." The inscrip- 
tion on the canopy, in O'Brien's hand, says that it was brought 
to Peru on Pizarro's second journey from Spain. Little did 
the viceroys think that its last owner would be an Irishman. 

General O'Connor, one of the most distinguished soldiers of 
the War of Independence, played an important jfert in the final 
victory of Ayachucho. For his gallantry on that day he was 
promoted to the rank of general by the commander-in-chief. 
General Bolivar. After the War of Independence he became 
Minister of War in Bolivia. General O'Connor went to South 
America as an ensign in the Irish Legion under General 
Devereux. He claimed direct descent from Roderic O'Conor, 
last king of Ireland, 1186. 

Captain Esmonde also fought in the War of Independence. 
He was brother to the then baronet. Sir Thomas Esmonde, 
of Co. Wexford. In later years Captain Esmonde was em- 
ployed by the Peruvian government to report on some pro- 
posed canals at Tarapaca. The vessel in which he embarked 
was never more heard of. 

Colonel Charles Carroll had served in Spain, but joined the 
Chilian army after independence was gained. He was one of 
the most popular officers in the army, and met with a sad fate. 
Being sent with too small a detachment against the savage 
Indians, their commander, Benavides, cut his forces in pieces 
and murdered all the officers in a most cruel manner. O'Car- 
roU had his tongue cut out and was then butchered. 

Lieutenant Colonel Moran, who commanded the Colombian 
legion at the battle of Ayachucho, probably came out in the 
legion of General Devereux. 

Colonel (afterwards General) O'Leary was first aide-de- 
camp to General Bolivar, the Liberator, and received his last 
breath. He was nephew to the famous Father Arthur 
©'Leary. Bolivar employed him on various missions of great 


trust and says "he acquitted himself with great ability." After 
the war, General O'Leary was appointed British charge 
d'affaires at Bogota, and died in Rome in 1868. General 
Arthur Sandes, a native of Dublin, was entrusted with an 
important garrison in Peru on the close of the War of Inde- 

Admiral Brown, the distinguished commander and hero of 
the War of Independence, whose exploits may be ranked, like 
those of Nelson, "above all Greek, above all Roman fame," 
was born at Foxford, Co. Mayo, Ireland, on the 22nd of 
June, 1777. His father emigrated with his family to 
Pennsylvania. A ship captain who was about to sail from 
Philadelphia offered to take the intelligent Irish boy with him; 
and the offer was promptly accepted. During twenty years 
he seems to have voyaged to many countries ; at one time we 
find him at Archangel. Brown had been in Buenos Ayres 
just two years when the patriot government offered him com- 
mand of a squadron to commence hostilities against the Span- 
ish navy, then mistress of all the coasts and waters of South 
America. On the memorable 8th of March, 1814, Brown 
sailed out of the port of Buenos Ayres with three ships to 
commence a campaign, which was destined to destroy the 
Spanish navy in this part of the waters of the New World. 
With him went his fellow-countrymen. Captains Seaver and 
Kearney. Brown's next exploits were against Spanish ship- 
ping in the Pacific, and his entirely successful campaign at sea 
against Brazil, in which he gained the mastery by his won- 
derful skill, courage, and perseverance, keeping at bay the 
great naval power of that country (which consisted at one 
time of fifty war vessels) with his few, small, ill-supplied, and 
ill-armed craft. After these great exploits Brown spent some 
months among the wild scenery of Mayo, so dear to him in 
boyhood, and, returning to Buenos Ayres, devoted himself to 
the quiet life of a country gentleman. He died surrounded 
by his family and friends on May 3, 1857, and the day of his 
funeral was one of national mourning. His widow erected a 
monument to his memory in the Recoleta cemetery, and in 
1872 the municipality of Buenos Ayres granted a site for a 
public statu* on the Paseo Julio, which so often rang with 


the plaudits of the people as they welcomed this great Irish- 
man returning from victory. 

No brighter pages occur in the history of the New World 
than those which commemorate the gallantry and self-devo- 
tion of the Irish soldiers who aided South Americans to throw 
off the yoke of Spain. In 1819 an Irish Legion of 1729 men 
arrived under the command of General Devereux, a Wexford 
landowner, called the Lafayette of South America, to fight in 
the campaign of General Bolivar. Devereux was distinguished 
for his great bravery. After the War of Independence he 
returned to Europe, being commissioned to form a company 
for mining operations in Colombia, which country had ap- 
pointed him envoy extraordinary to various European courts. 

Colonel Ferguson and Captain Talbot were both Irishmen 
and among the last survivors of Devereux's Legion. It is 
computed that one-third of the Irish who came out under 
General Devereux died in hospital. It was this legion which 
won the decisive battle of Carabobo, June 26, 1821, going into 
action 1100 strong and leaving 600 on that hard-fought field. 

Among the officers who composed Bolivar's Albion Rifles 
we find the Irish names of Pigott, Tallon, Peacock, Phelan, 
O'Connell, McNamara, Fetherstonhaugh, French, Reynolds, 
Byrne, and Haig, and the medical officer was Dr. O'Reilly. 
We find mention in General Millar's Memoirs of Dr. Moore, 
an Irishman, who attended Bolivar in most of his campaigns 
and was devotedly attached to the person of the Liberator. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Hughes, Major Maurice Hogan, Lieuten- 
ant William Keogh, Captain Laurence McGuire, Lieutenant- 
Colonel S. Collins also served in the struggle for independence. 

The period of independence found a small number of Irish 
residents in Buenos Ayres, mostly patrician families, such as 
Dillon, MacMurrough, Murphy, French, O'Gorman, Orr, But- 
ler, O'Shee, who had been exiled or had fled from Ireland 
and obtained the king of Spain's permission to settle in Span- 
ish America. The descendants of these families are now so 
intermarried in the country that they have mostly forgotten 
the langua^^e and traditions of the^T ancestors ; but they occupy 
high positions in political, legal, and commercial circles. 


III. — The Period After the Declaration of Independence. 

A remarkable influx of settlers from Ireland occurred 
between 1825 and 1830, to work in the saladeros, or salt 
mines, of the Irish merchants, Brown, Dowdall, and Arm- 
strong. Previous to this a few Irish mechanics and others had 
come from the United States. In 1813 Bernard Kiernan came 
from New Brunswick. He seems to have devoted himself to 
science, as the papers mention his discovery of a comet in 
the Magellan clouds on March 19, 1830. His son, James 
Kiernan, became editor of the government paper, Gaceta Mer- 
cantU, in 1823, and held this post for twenty years ; his death 
occurred in 1857. There is reason to believe that the first 
Irishman who landed in Buenos Ayres in the 19th century, 
exclusive of Beresford's soldiers, was James Coyle, a native 
of Tyrone, who came in the Agreahle in 1807, and died in 1876 
at the age of 86. 

In 1830 some survivors of an Irish colony of 300 persons 
in Brazil made their way to Buenos Ayres. They had come 
out from Europe in the barque Rezvard in 1839. 

The banker, Thomas Armstrong, who arrived in Buenos 
Ayres in 1817, occupied the foremost place for half a cen- 
tury in the commerce of that city. He was of the ancient 
family of Armstrong in the King's county, one of whose mem- 
bers was General Sir John Armstrong, founder of Woolwich 
arsenal. Having married into the wealthy family of Villa- 
nueva he became intimately connected v/ith all the leading 
enterprises of the day, such as railways, banks, loans, etc. He 
took no part in politics, but interested himself in charities of 
every kind. 

In 1865 another Irishman, James P. Cahill, introduced into 
Peru from the United States the first complete machinery for 
sugar growing and refining. 

Still another Irishman, Peter Sheridan, was one of the 
chief founders of the sheep farming industry in Argentina. 
His family claimed descent from the same stock in Co. Cavan 
as Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the great statesman and dra^ 
matist. Sheridan died at the age of 52, in 1844, and was sue- 
•««ded in the estancia or sheep- farming business by his nephew, 


James, whose brother Dr. Hugh Sheridan had served under 
Admiral Brown. 

The number and wealth of the Irish estancieros, or sheep- 
farmers, in Argentina have never been exactly ascertained, 
but after the old Spanish families they are the most import- 
ant. It would be impossible to give all the Irish names to be 
met with. Some of them own immense tracts of land. Men 
whose fathers arrived in Argentina without a shilling are to- 
day worth millions. Their estancia houses display all the 
comforts of an American or English home; their hospitality 
is proverbial; and most of them have built on their land fine 
schools and beautiful little chapels, in which the nearest Irish 
priest officiates. 

Many of the partidos or districts of the various provinces 
of Argentina may be compared to Irish counties, the railway 
stations being called after the owners of the land on which 
they are situated. Among the earliest families settled in 
Argentina in the farming industries, we find Duggans, Tor- 
neys, Harringtons, O'Briens, Bowlings, Gaynors, Murphys, 
Moores, Dillons, O'Rorkes, Kennys, Raths, Caseys, Norrises, 
O'Farrells, Brownes, Hams, Duffys, Ballestys, Gahans, and 

Dr. Santiago O'Farrell, son of one of the earliest Irish 
pioneers, holds a foremost position among the distinguished 
lawyers of the present day. An Irish engineer, Mr. John 
Coghlan, gave Buenos Ayres its first waterworks. The Brit- 
ish hospital has at present for its leading surgeon a dis- 
tinguished Irishman, Dr. Luke O'Connor. A son of Peter 
Sheridan, educated in England, has left the finest landscapes 
of South America by any artist born in America. He died 
at Buenos Ayres in his 27th year, 1861. Among the public 
men of Irish descent, fifty years ago, in Buenos Ayres, 
are to be mentioned the distinguished lawyer and politician, 
Dalmacio Velez Sarsfield, and John Dillon, commissioner of 
immigration. Dillon was the first to start a brewery in 
Buenos Ayres, for which purpose he brought out workmen 
and machinery from Europe. AH of his sons occupied dis- 
tinguished positions. Richard O'Shee, president of the Cham- 
ber of Commerce in Buenos Ayres, was born at Seville of 


an old Irish family banished by William III. Among th« 
many valuable citizens of Buenos Ayres who perished dur- 
ing the cholera of 18G8 was Dr. Leslie, a native of Cavan, 
whose benevolence to the poor was unceasing. Henry O'Gor- 
man, for some years chief of police in Buenos Ayres and 
afterwards governor of the penitentiary, was descended from 
an Irish family which went to Buenos Ayres in the eighteenth 
century. His brother, Canon O'Gorman, was one of the dig- 
nitaries of the archdiocese, and director of the boys' reform- 
atory. General Donovan, son of an Irish Dr. Donovan of 
Buenos Ayres, had command of one of the sections of the 
new Indian frontier. 

The first Irish chaplain was Father Burke, a venerable friar 
mentioned by Mr. Love in 1820 as over 70 years of age and 
much esteemed. When Rivadavia suppressed the Orders in 
1822, he allowed Father Burke to remain in the convent of 
Santo Domingo. After his death the Irish residents, in 1828, 
petitioned Archbishop Murray of Dublin for a chaplain. Ac- 
cordingly the Rev. Patrick Moran was selected, and he ar- 
rived in Buenos Ayres in 1829. He died in the following year, 
and was succeeded by the Rev. Patrick O'Gorman from Dub- 
lin, who continued as chaplain during 16 years till his death 
in 1847. 

The year 1843 is memorable for the arrival of Rev. An- 
thony Fahy, with whose name the advancement of the Irish 
in Argentina will be forever identified. This great patriarch 
was born at Loughrea, Co. Galway, in 1804, and made his 
ecclesiastical studies at St. Clement's convent of Irish Domin- 
icans at Rome. Being sent to the western states of America, 
he passed ten years in Ohio and Kentucky, after which, on 
the invitation of the Irish community of Buenos Ayres and 
by permission of the superior of his Order, he came to the 
river Plate at a time when the prospects of the country and 
of the Irish residents were far from promising. The history 
of the Irish community since that time is in some measure a 
recital of the labors of Father Fahy. He it was who helped 
his countrymen to choose and buy their lands which now are 
of such enormous value. Their increasing numbers and pros- 
perity in the camp districts obliged him to endow each of the 


provincial partidos was a resident chaplain. Most of these 
clergymen were educated in Dublin, and soon showed their 
zeal not merely in religious, but also in social spheres. Irish 
reading-roaaii, libraries, and schools sprang up and laid the 
foundation for the refined Irish life of the present day in those 
districts. Among other services, Father Fahy founded the 
Irish convent, bringing out some Sisters of Mercy under Mrs. 
Mary Evangelist Fitzpatrick from Dublin, to whom he gave 
it in charge. Father Fahy died in harness in 1871 of yellow 
fever; he attended a poor Italian woman and on returning 
home was at once taken ill. He lasted only three days and 
expired peacefully, a martyr to his sacred calling. He died 
so poor that Mr. Armstrong had to discharge for him some 
small debts, and five others of his countrymen paid his funeral 
expenses. A fitting memorial of the deceased priest, the Fahy 
College for Irish orphan boys in Argentina, has been erected 
in Buenos Ayres, and a magnificent monument of Irish mar- 
ble, carved in Ireland, also perpetuates his fame. 

The priests, still living, who were co-workers with Father 
Fahy and appointed by him to various partidos, are Mon- 
signor Samuel O'Reilly, deservedly beloved by his parish- 
ioners, and the Rev. Father Flannery, whose appointment to 
San Pedro brought a great influx of Irish farmers into that 
district. Among those who have gone to enjoy their eternal 
reward are the brothers, Rev. Michael and Rev. John Leahy,- 
both of whom were indefatigable during the yellow fever in 
Buenos Ayres. Rev. Father Mulleady, Rev. Patrick Lynch, 
Rev. James Curran, and Monslgnor Curley were also among 
the Irish priests of that time. 

The Fahy College is entrusted to the care of the Marlst 
Brothers, who are largely Irish. The community of Holy Cross 
of the Passionist Fathers, who have as provincial the distin- 
guished North American scholar Father FIdelis Kent Stone, 
is almost entirely composed of Irish and Irish-Americans. 
They have several establishments in various provinces of Ar- 
gentina. Irish priests are to be met with all over the countr3\ 
In Patagonia and the Chaco we also find a number of Prot- 
estant missionaries sent out by the Irish branch of the South 
American Missionary Society. 


Archdeacon Dillon succeeded Father Fahy as Irish chap- 
lain in Buenos Ayres, and, although by birth and education 
an Irishman, he became one of the principal dignitaries of the 
archdiocese. He was for some time professor of theology in 
the ecclesiastical seminary of Buenos Ayres, and accompanied 
Archbishop Escalada as theologian to the Vatican Council in 
1869. He was the founder of the Southern Cross in 1874, the 
Irish weekly paper which is now so ably edited by the gifted 
Irishman, Mr. Gerald Foley. 

The first daily paper to appear in English in South America 
was the Standard, founded in 1861 by Michael G. Mulhall, 
the distinguished statistician, and it is still one of the leadin':^ 
papers in the country. In conducting it Michael G. Mulhall 
was joined by his brother, Edward T. Mulhall, in 1862, and 
for many years it was continuously under their care. The 
Standard still remains in the Mulhall family, and has for 
its editor a cousin of the former editor's, Mr. John Mulhall, 
who wisely directs its course. The Argentina, an important 
paper in Spanish, was founded a few years since by Edward 
T. Mulhall, Jr., a brilliant son of the late Edward Mulhall of 
the Standard. The Hyherno- Argentine Review, a new Irish 
weekly, is edited by another able Irishman, James B. Sheri- 
dan. In Rio Janeiro the Anglo-Brazilian Times was founded 
in 1864 by an Irishman, Mr. Scully, who also wrote an im- 
portant book on Brazil. 

Ireland had also its representatives in South American 
diplomacy and the making of treaties. As early as 1809 Col- 
onel James Burke was sent by Lord Strangford, British min- 
ister at Rio, on a confidential mission to Buenos Ayres to 
negotiate the establishment of a separate kingdom on the river 
Plate, with the Princess Charlotte as queen. In 1867 Mr. 
Gould, an Irishman, British charge d'affaires, endeavored 
to mediate between the allies, Brazil and Argentina, and 
President Lopez of Paraguay, but without success. Stephen 
H. Sullivan, British charge d'affaires for Chile, signed the 
treaty of commerce and navigation between England and 
Chile on the 10th of May, 1853. He was afterwards appointed 
British minister at Lima, where he was murdered. The late 
Chilian ministers to Buenos Ayres and London, William 
Blest Gana and Albert Blest Gana, were the sons of an Irish 


Doctor Blest from Sligo, who settled in Chile. In 1859 George 
Fagan signed a treaty with General Guido for compensation 
of losses to British subjects during the civil wars after the 

The mining industry had among its pioneers brave sons of 
Erin. J. O. French went to Buenos Ayres in 1826, and 
after an arduous mountain journey arrived at the foot of the 
Cerro Morado, where he found auriferous ores. Chevalier Ed- 
mond Temple, an Irish gentleman who had served in Spain 
in a dragoon regiment, also landed in Buenos Ayres in 182G, 
and started across the Pampas, then almost uninhabited, until 
he came to the mountainous country where the Potosi mines 
were situated. In one of the defiles he lost his favorite horse, 
and in his book he bids a touching farewell to the friendly 
steed which had shared with him so many toils and dangers. 
Temple's successor in the Argentine mining provinces was 
Major Rickard Seaver, a member of an old Co. Dublin family. 

Several books of travel in South America have been pub- 
lished by Irish writers during the last fifty years. MacCann's 
Travels in the Argentine Provinces, 1846-49, contains much 
that is valuable concerning the history and manners of the 
country. Major Rickard Seaver issued in 1863 an interest- 
ing narrative of his crossing the Andes. Consul Hutchinson, 
an Irishman, published in 1864 his book Argentine Gleanings, 
which was followed by another in 1869 called South Ameri- 
can Recollections. Robert Crawford, an Irish engineer, 
led an expedition from Buenos Ayres in November, 1871, 
across the Indian Pampas and over the pass of the Planchon 
in the Andes, to survey an overland route to Chile, and sub- 
sequently published an interesting account of his journey. 
The first book printed and published in English, in South 
America, was the Handbook of the River Plate, written by 
Michael G. Mulhall and published by the Standard, in 1861. 
The same author also published the Rural Code of Buenos 
Ayres in 1867, and the Handbook of Brazil in 1877. In 1871 
he published an account of his travels among the German 
colonies in Rio Grande do Sul. Twenty years ago the writer 
of this sketch published Between the Amazon and the Andes 
and the Story of the Jesuit Missions of Paraguay. These 
books derive special interest from the fact that she was the 


first foreign woman ever seen in Cuyaba, the capital of Matto 
Grosso, whither she accompanied her husband, 2500 miles from 
either the Atlantic or the Pacific seaboard. They arrived as 
far as the Diamantina Mountains, beyond Cuyaba, and saw the 
little rivers which form the sources of the mighty Amazon. 

Casting a glance over South America, we see in every coun- 
try and province evidences of Irish genius employed not only 
in fighting but in the development of natural resources. To 
quote Consul Cowper's report to the Foreign Office in London : 
*'The progress of Buenos Ayres is mainly due to the indus- 
trious Irish sheep farmers." No other nationality contributed 
so largely to the export trade of the country. At one time 
it was shown by the tables of Mr. Duggan and other wool ex- 
porters that the quantity of this staple industry yearly sold by 
Irishmen in Buenos Ayres exceeded that sold by all other na- 
tionalities. In later years the Irish sheep farmers in the prov- 
ince of Buenos Ayres have turned their lands into wheat lands, 
and the great industries of the country, sheep and cattle, have 
been moved to the outside camps, especially to that wonderfiif 
grazing region in the Andine valleys recently visited by Col, 
Roosevelt and his party. It may be interesting to mention that 
at the first English races ever held in South America, on No- 
vember 6, 1826, the principal event, in which ten horses ran, 
was easily won by an Irish horse with the appropriate name of 

Refeeences : 

Beaumont: Travels in Buenos Ajres (1S2S) ; Wilson: Travels in 
South America (1796); Pinkerton: Travels (1808)^ Captain Wed- 
(lell : Cape Horn and South Atlantic Surveys ; Major Gillespie : 
Buenos Ayres and Provinces; Mrs. Williams, on Humboldt's Travels 
(1826); Captain Master: At Home with the Patagonians (1891); 
Hadfield : Notes of Travel in Brazil and La plata (1863) ; Hinchcliff : 
South American Sketches (1862); Captain Burton: Highlands of 
Brazil; Ross Johnston: A Vacation in the Argentine Alps (1867); 
HacCann: Travels in the Argentine Provinces (1846-1849) ; Hutchin- 
son: Argentine Gleanings and South American Recollections; Major 
Seaver: Crossing the Andes; Crawford: Across the Pampas; V, 
MacKenna: Life of O'Higgins; Life of Diego Rimagro; History of 
Santiago; History of Valparaiso ; MacKenna: Archives of Spanish 
America, 60 vols.; Miller: Memoirs; J Axes of Belgrano and San 
r^Iartin; Mulhall: English in South America. 



By Brother Leo, F.S.C, M.A. 

SHOULD one be called upon to give in brief the history of 
the Irish in the land of the Southern Cross, he could do 
nothing more to the purpose than to relate the story of the 
"Holy House of Australia." The episode, indeed, is charac- 
teristic, not merely of the Irish in Australia, but of the Irish in 
every land and clime where they have striven and conquered. 

On the fourteenth of November, 1817, there landed in Syd- 
ney an Irish Cistercian Father, Jeremiah F. Flynn. He had 
heard in Rome of the spiritual destitution of the Irish Catho- 
lics in Australia, and he secured the permission of his superiors 
to minister to the needs of his compatriots in the Antipodes. 
Shortly after his arrival he celebrated Mass in the house of an 
Irishman named William Davis, who had been transported for 
making pikes for the insurgents in the days of '98, and then, 
on the first opportunity that presented itself, he sought the 
authorization of the colonial governor to exercise the func- 
tions of his sacred ministry. Far from hospitable was the re- 
ception accorded him by Governor Macquarie. The priest was 
told, with the bluntness characteristic of British officialdom, 
that the presence of no "popish missionary" would be tolerated 
in the settlement, and that the profession of the Protestant 
form of belief was obligatory on every person in the penal 

With the example of the "priesthood hunted down like 
wolves" before him. Father Flynn saw but one consistent 
course to pursue. His fellow Catholics, his fellow Irishmen, 
were in sore need of his help ; that help they must receive, even 
though the civil powers refused their sanction. So for sev- 
eral months he went about as secretly as he could, hearing con- 
fessions, offering the Holy Sacrifice, and breaking the bread 
of good counsel. During this trying period, Davis was his 
host and defender and friend. Eventually the presence of 
the priest was detected; he was arrested and promptly sent 
back to England. Before the ship sailed he tried repeatedly 
to return to the house of Davis where the Blessed Sacramen": 


was preserved in a cedar clothes-press, but the surveillance 
of his captors was strict and unsleeping. So in the dwelling 
of the convict Irishman the Sacred Species remained. Before 
this unwonted repository Davis kept a light ever burning 
day and night; and day and night crept the loyal Irishmen 
of the settlement to kneel in prayer before the improvised 
shrine. The "Holy House of Australia", as the Davis dwell- 
ing came to be known, remained the only Catholic church in 
the colony until 1821, when two Irish priests, Father John 
Joseph Therry of Cork and Father Philip Connolly of Kildare, 
were permitted to attend to the spiritual needs of the Irish 
Catholics. Their coming marked the beginning of religious 
toleration in Australia and the termination of the sufferings 
and sacrifices of the Irish colonists, several of whom had had to 
pay dearly for their religious convictions. Davis himself had 
been twice flogged and once imprisoned for refusing to attend 
Protestant service. 

Today, on the site of the "Holy House of Australia", stands 
the church of St. Patrick. Davis gave the land and the sum 
of one thousand pounds to the church, and his fellow exiles 
contributed according to their means. This episode in the 
history of the Irish in Australia pays a touchingly eloquent 
tribute to the spirit of loyalty to God and country which has 
characterized the sons and daughters of St. Patrick everywhere 
whither their feet have strayed. It is the spirit which has 
embodied itself in the imposing cathedral of St. Patrick in 
Melbourne and the splendidly equipped college of St. Patrick 
in Sydney. It is the spirit which has made the. Irish play so 
conspicuous a role in the civic and commercial history of Aus- 

Originally known as New Holland, Australia became an 
English penal colony after the outbreak of the Revolutionary 
War in the United States of America. An Irish element came 
into the colony in the last decade of the eighteenth century 
when, during the Orange reign of terror, upwards of a thous- 
and people from the west of Ireland were deported by the 
Ulster magistrates and by Lord Carhampton, the notorious 
''Satanides", who was chars^ed with the pacification of Con- 
nacht. And during the first three decades of th? nineteenth 


century the stream of Irish transportation flowed on. As a 
result of the Tithes agitation, the Charter and Reform move- 
ments, the Combination Laws and the Corn Laws, many more 
Irishmen were forced across the sea. It was not until 1868 
that the convict system was permanently abolished. 

It is difficult for us of a later day to realize the meaning of 
that word, transportation. Let us form some conception of 
what the Irish exiles suffered from the graphic picture painted 
in colors, somber but not untrue, by one who knew from first- 
hand experience the lot of the political prisoner. Writes Dr. 
Ullathorne in The Horrors of Transportation: 

"Take any one of you, my dear readers ; separate him from 
his wife, from his children, from all those whose conversation 
makes life dear to him ; cast him on the ends of the earth ; let 
him there fall amongst reprobates who are the last stain and 
disgrace of our common nature; give him those obscene- 
mouthed monsters for his constant companions and consolers ; 
let the daily vision of their progress from infamy to infamy, 
until the demon that inspires them has exhausted invention and 
the powers of nature together, be his only example; house 
him, at night, in a bark hut on a mud floor, where he has less 
comfort than your cattle in their stalls ; awake him from the 
troubled dreams of his wretched wife and outcast children, to 
feel how far he is from their help, and take him out at sun- 
rise ; work him under a burning sun, and a heartless overseer, 
and the threat of the lash until the night fall ; give him not a 
penny's wages but sorrow; leave him no hope but the same 
dull, dreary round of endless drudgery for many years to 
come ; let him see no opening by which to escape, but through 
a long, narrow prospect of police courts, of gaols, of triangles, 
of death cells, and of penal settlements ; let him all the while 
be clothed in a dress of shame, that shows to every living soul 
his degradation ; and if he dare to sell any part of that cloth- 
ing, then flog him worse than any dog! And thus, whilst 
severed from all kindness and all love, whilst the stern harsh 
voice of his task-master is grating in incessant jars within his 


car, take all rest out of his flesh, and plant the thorn ; take all 
feeling out of his heart, and leave the withered core; take 
all peace out of his conscience, and leave the worm of re- 
morse ; and then let any one come and dare to tell me that the 
man is happy because he has bread and meat. Is it not here, if 
ever there was such a case, where the taste of bread is a taste 
of misery, and where to feed and prolong life is to feed and 
lengthen our sorrow? And in pondering these things, do not 
those strong words of Sacred Scripture bring down their load 
of truth in heavy trouble to our thoughts, that, 'Their bread 
is loathsome to their eye, and their meat unto their soul.' " 

But the bright side of the story of the Irish in Australia and 
New Zealand unfolds in the subsequent years. The men who 
had been sent forth from Erin with the brand of the convict 
upon them became the founders of a new commonwealth. To 
them were joined the numerous voluntary settlers who, at- 
tracted by the natural resources of the island-continent and 
especially by the gold discoveries of the fifties, migrated to 
Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales. When in 1858 
William E. Gladstone sought to establish a new colony to be 
known as North Australia, he opened a fresh field for Irish 
initiative. As a result of his effort there stands today, on a 
terrace overlooking Port Curtis, the city of Gladstone, the 
terminal of the Australian railway system. It was here, ac- 
cording to Cardinal Moran, that in 1606, Mass was first cele- 
brated in Australia, when the Spaniards sought shelter in the 
''Harbor of the Holy Cross." The first government resident 
at Gladstone was Sir Maurice Charles O'Connell, a relative 
of the great Liberator; he was four times acting-governor 
of Queensland. 

The list of Irish pioneer settlers in Australasia is a lengthy 
one. The name of Thomas Poynton stands out prominently. 
He was a New Zealand pioneer who had married an Irish 
girl in Sydney. The devotion of Poynton and his wife to the 
faith of their fathers is evidenced by the fact that he several 
times made the long journey from his home to Sydney to in- 


terest the church authorities in the wants of the New Zealand 
Irish Catholics, and that she twice made the same arduous trip 
to have her children baptized. Thomas Mooney has the dis- 
tinction of being the first Irish pioneer in Western Australia ; 
and yet another Irishman, Cassidy by name, carried out a 
policy of benevolent assimilation by marrying the daughter 
of a Maori chief. 

Among the pioneer ecclesiastics were Father William Kelly 
of Melbourne and Father John McEncroe, a native of Tip- 
perary and a Maynooth man, who for thirty years and more 
was a prominent figure in the religious and civic life of New 
South Wales. Father John Brady, another pioneer priest, be- 
came Bishop of Perth. Irish names occupy a conspicuous and 
honored place in the roster of the Australian episcopate. 
Notable on the list are Bishop Francis Murphy of Adelaide, who 
was born in Co. Meath, and Archbishop Daniel Murphy of 
Sydney, a native of Cork, the man who delivered the eulogy 
on the occasion of Daniel O'Connell's funeral at Rome. But 
scant reference can here be made to the illustrious primate of 
Australia, Cardinal Moran, archbishop of Sydney from 1884 
to 1911, who was such a potent force in the land of his adoption, 
and whose masterly History of the Catholic Church in Aus- 
tralasia puts him in the forefront of ecclesiastical historians. 
On his death he was succeeded in the see of Sydney by an- 
other Irishman, Archbishop Michael Kelly of Waterford. 
Archbishop O'Reily of Adelaide is a recognized authority on 
music, and has written several pamphlets on that subject. A 
Galway man. Dr. T. J. Carr, a great educator, is now (1914) 
archbishop of Melbourne, and a Clare man, Dr. J. P. Clune, 
holds sway in Perth. 

Irishmen in Australia have figured largely in the iron and 
coal industries, in the irrigation projects, in the manufacturing 
activities, and in the working of the gold mines. But they 
have likewise distinguished themselves in other fields of en- 
deavor. Prominent on the beadroll of Australian fame stand 
the names of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (1816-1903), founder 


of the Nation newspaper in Dublin, member of the British 
house of commons, and afterwards premier of Victoria and 
speaker of the le^^islative assembly, and his sons, John Gavan 
Duffy and Frank Gavan Duffy, public-spirited citizens and 
authorities on legal matters. The Currans, father and son, ac- 
tive in the public life of Sydney, were afterwards members of 
the British parliament. Distinguished in the records of the 
Australian judiciary are Judges Quinlan, Casey, Brennan, and 
O'Dowd. The Rev. J. Milne Curran, F.G.S., is a geologist 
who has achieved more than local fame. Other Irishmen who 
have loomed large in Australasian affairs are Daniel Brophy, 
John Curnin, Augustus Leo Kenny, James Coghlan, Sir Pat- 
rick Buckley, Sir John O'Shannessy, and Nicholas Fitzgerald. 
Louis C. Brennan, C.B., who was born in Ireland in 1852, 
emigrated to Australia when a boy and while working in a civil 
engineer's office in Melbourne conceived the idea of the "Bren- 
nan Torpedo'*, which he afterwards perfected, and then in 
1897 sold the invention to the British Admiralty for £110,000. 
Another Brennan, Frank by name, is president of the Knights 
of Our Lady of the Southern Cross and has been a labor 
member of the federal parliament since 1911 ; a third, Chris- 
topher John, is assistant lecturer in modern literature in the 
University of Sydney; and a fourth, James, of the diocese of 
Perth, was made a Knight of St. Silvester by Pius X. in 1913. 
Young Australia and New Zealand may be as the world goes, 
but already both have much to their credit in the domains of 
music, art, and literature; and here, as usual, the Irish have 
been to the fore. In the writing of poetry, history, and fiction 
the Celtic element has been especially distinguished. Not to 
speak of the writers mentioned elsewhere in this sketch, scores 
of Irish men and women have been identified with the de- 
velopment of an Australian literature which, though delight- 
fully redolent of the land whence it sprang, nevertheless pos- 
sesses the universal note which makes it a truly human pro- 
duct. Many years ago one of the most gifted of Irish-Aus- 
tralian singers, "Eva" of the Nation, voiced a tentative plaint ; 


"O barren land! O blank, bright sky! 

Methinks it were a noble duty 
To kindle in that vacant eye 

The light of spirit-beauty — 
To fill with airy shapes divine 

Thy lonely plains and mountains, 
The orange grove, the bower of vine, 

The silvery lakes and fountains; 
To wake the voiceless, silent air 

To soft, melodious numbers; 
To raise thy lifeless form so fair 

From those deep, spell-bound slumbers. 
Oh, whose shall be the potent hand 

To give that touch informing. 
And make thee rise, O Southern Land, 

To life and poesy warming?" 

Mrs. O'Doherty herself, who long lived in that Queensland 
which she thus apostrophized, helped in no uncertain way to 
answer her own question. So did John Farrell, the author of 
the truly remarkable "Jubilee Ode" of 1897 and of a collection 
of poems which include the well known "How He Died." And 
so, long before, had the non-Catholic Irishman, Edward 
O'Shaughnessy, who went to Australia as a convict, but who 
laughed in lockstep and made music with his chains. 

James Francis Hogan, author and journalist, was born in 
Tipperary in 1855 and shortly afterward was brought by his 
parents to Melbourne where he received his education. On 
his return to Ireland he was elected to represent his native 
county in parliament. He is an authority on Australian history 
and in his book on The Gladstone Colony has given us a fine 
specimen of modern historical method. With him must be 
mentioned Roderick Flanagan, whose History of New South 
Wales appeared in 18G2. 

Other Irish names distinguished in Australasian literature 
are those of the New Zealand poet, Thomas Bracken ; Roderick 
Quinn ; Desmond Byrne ; J. B. O'Hara ; the eccentric convict- 
writer, George "Barrington" Waldron; Victor J. Daley; Ber- 
nard O'Dowd; Edwin J. Brady; the Rev. J. J. Malone; and 
the Rev. W. Kelly. 

Finally, the Irish in Australia have done more than their 
share in the work of education and social service. Under 

252 fas GLORIES 0^ IimtANO 

Irish auspices several of the CathoHc teaching congregations, 
including the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Nuns, 
were introduced, and their work has borne goodly fruit. A 
mighty power for good is the Hibernian Australasian Benefit 
Society. The organization, which was founded in 1871, has 
spread rapidly and has a large active membership. 

Truly the land of the Southern Cross is not the dimmest 
jewel in the coronet of Ireland*s glories. 

References : 

Hogan: The Irish in Australia (18SS), The Gladstone Colony 
(1898); Meimell: Dictionary of Australian Biography (1892); 
Duffy: Life in Two Hemispheres (1903); aienny: The Catholic 
Chufch in Australia to the Year 1840; Moran: History of the 
Catholic Church in Australasia (1898) ; Davitt: Life and Progress in 
Australasia (1898) ; Bon wick: The First Twenty Years of Australia 
(1883); Flanagan: History of New South Wales (1862); Byrne: 
Australian Writers (1896); Wilson: The Church in New Zealand 
(1910) ; Hocken: A Bibliography of the Literature Relating to New 
Zealand (1909), 


By A. HiLUARD Atteridge. 

THE tide of emigration from Ireland has set chiefly towards 
America and Australia. In South Africa, therefore, the 
Irish element among the colonists has never been a large one. 
But, despite its comparatively small numbers, it has been an 
important factor in the life of South Africa. Here, as in so 
many other countries, it has been the glory of the sons of Erin 
to be a missionary people. To their coming is due the very 
existence of the Catholic Church in these southern lands. 

When Dr. Ullathorne touched at the Cape on his way to 
Australia in 1833, he found at Cape Town "a single priest 
for the whole of South Africa," an English Benedictine, who 
soon afterwards returned to Europe in broken health. Few 
Irish immigrants had by that time found their way to the 
Cape. They began to arrive in numbers only after the famine 

The founder of the Catholic hierarchy in South Africa was 
the Irish Dominican, Patrick R. Griffith, who, in 1837, was 
sent to Cape Town by Gregory XVI. as the first Vicar Apos- 
tolic of Cape Colony. His successors at the Cape, Bishops 
Grimley, Leonard, and Rooney, have all been Irishmen, and 
nine in every ten of their flock have from the first been Irish 
by birth or descent. In the earlier years of Bishop Griffith's 
episcopate there was a large garrison in South Africa on ac- 
count of the Kaffir wars. Many of these soldiers were Irish- 
men. At Grahamstown in 1844 the soldiers of an Irish regi- 
ment stationed there did most of the work of building St. 
Patrick's Church, one of the oldest Catholic churches in South 
Africa. They worked without wages or reward of any kind, 
purely out of their devotion to their Faith, giving up most of 
their leisure to this voluntary labor. 

Ten years after Bishop Griffith's appointment, Pius IX. sepa- 
rated Natal and the eastern districts of Cape Colony from 
Cape Town, and erected the Eastern Vicariate Apostolic. Once 
more an Irish prelate was the first Bishop — Aidan Devereux, 
who was consecrated by Bishop Griffith at Cape Town in the 


Christmas week of 1847. The great emigration from Ireland 
had now begun, and a stream of immigrants was arriving at 
the Cape. Bishop Devereux fixed his residence at Port Eliza- 
beth, and of his four successors up to the present day three 
have been Irish. Bishop Moran, who went out to Port Eliza- 
beth in 1854, was consecrated at Carlow in Ireland by Arch- 
bishop (afterwards Cardinal) Cullen. The third Vicar Apos- 
tolic was Bishop Ricards, and the present bishop is another 
Irishman, Dr. Hugh McSherry, who received his consecration 
from the hands of Cardinal Logue in St. Patrick's Cathedral 
at Armagh. 

Until the discovery of the diamond deposits in what is now 
the Kimberley district, some forty years ago, the Irish immi- 
grants had chiefly settled in the ports and along the coast. 
But among the crowds who went to seek their fortunes at 
the diamond fields were large numbers of adventurous Irish- 
men. The mission church established at Kimberley be- 
came the centre of a new bishopric in 1886, when the Vicariate 
of Kimberley, which for some time included the Orange Free 
State, was established, and an Irish Oblate, Father Anthony 
Gaughran, was appointed its first bishop. He was succeeded 
in 1901 by his namesake and fellow countryman, the present 
Bishop Matthew Gaughran. 

The gold discoveries on the Witwatersrand about Johannes- 
burg produced another rush into the interior in the days after 
the first Transvaal war. A great city of foreign immigrants — 
the "Uitlanders" — ^grew up rapidly on the upland, where a 
few months before there had been only a few scattered Boer 
farms. Irishmen from Cape Colony and Natal, from Ireland 
itself, and from the United States formed a large element in 
the local mining and trading community. They were mostly 
workers. Few of them found their way into the controlling 
financier class, which was largely Jewish. The Irish were 
better out of this circle of international gamblers, whose in- 
trigues finally produced the terrible two years* bloodshed of 
the great South African war. Many engineers of the mines 
were Irish-Americans. Hujre consienments of mining ma- 
chinery arrived from the United States, and many of the 
engineers who came to fit it up remained in the employ of the 


mining companies. Until after the war, the Transvaal and 
Johannesburg had depended ecclesiastically on the Vicar Apos- 
tolic of Natal, but in 1004 a Transvaal Vicariate was erected, 
and once more the first bishop was an Irishman, Dr. William 
Miller, O. M. I. 

We have seen hov/ Irish the South African episcopate has 
been from the very outset. Most of the clergy belong to the 
same missionary race, as also do the nuns of the various con- 
vents, and the Christian Brothers, who are in charge of many 
of the schools. Of the white Catholic population of the vari- 
ous states of the South African Union, the greater part are 
Irish. There are about 25,000 Irish in Cape Colony in a total 
population of over two millions. There are some 7,000 in 
Natal, 1,500 in Kimberley, and about 2,000 in the Orange 
River Colony. In the Transvaal, chiefly in and about Johan- 
nesburg, there are some 12,000 Irish. A few thousand more 
are to be found scattered in Griqualand and Rhodesia. 

As has been already said, the total numbers are not large 
in proportion to that of the population generally, and they 
belong chiefly to the industrial and trading classes. The most 
notable names among them are those of prelates, priests, and 
missionaries, who have founded and built up the organization 
of the Catholic Church in South Africa. But there are some 
names of note also in civil life. Sir Michael Gallwey was for 
many years Chief Justice of Natal ; the Hon. A. Wilmot, who 
has not only held high official posts, but has also done much 
to clear up the early history of South Africa, is Irish on the 
mother's side ; Mr. Justice Shiel is a judge of the Cape Courts ; 
Eyre and Woodbyrne are Irish names among the makers of 
Rhodesia ; and amongst those who have done remarkable work 
in official life may also be named Sir Geoffrey Lagden, Sir 
William St. John Carr, and the Hon. John Daverin. Lagden 
was for many years British Resident in Basutoland, the Switz- 
erland of South Africa, where the native tribes are practically 
independent under a British protectorate. Griffith, the para- 
mount chief of the Basuto nation, has been a Catholic since 
1911, Sir Geoffrey's tactful policy and wise counsels did much 
to promote the prosperity of this native state, and during the 


trying days of the South African War, he was able to secure 
the neutrality of the tribesmen. 

In the Boer wars, Irishmen fought with distinction on both 
sides. General Colley, who fell at Majuba in the first Boer 
War, was a distinguished Irish soldier. Another great Irish- 
man, General Sir William Butler, has written the story of 
Colley's life. Butler himself was in command of the troops 
at the Cape before the great war. If his wise counsels had 
been followed by the Government, the war would undoubtedly 
have been avoided. He refused to have any part in the war- 
provoking policy of Rhodes and Chamberlain, and warned the 
Home Government that an attack on the Dutch republics 
would be a serious and perilous enterprise. When the war 
came, England owed much to the enduring valor of Irish sol- 
diers and to the leadership of Irish generals. One need only 
name General Hart, of the Irish Brigade; General French, 
who relieved Kimberley, and who is now (1914) Field-Marshal 
and Commander-in-Chief of the British army in France; Gen- 
eral Mahon, who raised the siege of Maf eking; Colonel Moore, 
of the famous Connaught Rangers, now (191J:) commandant 
and chief military organizer of the Irish National Volunteers; 
and, finally, Lord Roberts, who took over the chief command 
and saved the situation after the early disasters. Lord Kitch- 
ener, who acted as Roberts's chief-of-staff, succeeded him in 
the command, and brought the war to an end by an honor- 
able treaty with the Boer leaders, is a native of Ireland, but 
of English descent, and he passed most of his boyhood in 
Ireland, in Co. Kerry, where his father had bought a small 
property. I used to know an Irish Franciscan lay brother 
who told me he had taught the future soldier "many games" 
when he was quite a little fellow. 

Of the regiments which took part in the war none won a 
higher fame than the Munster and the Dublin Fusiliers and 
the Connaught Rangers. It was in recognition of their splen- 
did valor that the new regiment of Irish Guards was added 
to the British Army. 

But the majority of Irishmen sympathized with the Boer 
republics, and many of them fought under the Boer flag. 
Some of these were legally British subjects, but many were 


naturalized burghers of the Transvaal, and many more were 
United States citizens, Irish-Americans from the Rand gold 
mines. There were two small Irish brigades under the Boer 
flag, those of McBride and Lynch (the latter now a member 
of the British House of Commons), and an engineer corps 
commanded by Colonel Blake, an American. At the first 
battle before Ladysmith it was one of the Irish brigades that 
kept the Boer guns in action, bringing up ammunition under a 
rain of shellfire. During the Boer retreat and Roberts's ad- 
vance on Pretoria, Blake's engineers were always with the 
Boer rearguard and successfully destroyed every mile of the 
railway as they went back. Blake had served in the United 
States cavalry, had learned mining while on duty in Nevada, 
and had then gone to seek his fortune at Johannesburg. The 
great leader of the Boer armies, now the Prime Minister of 
the new South Africa which has happily arisen out of the 
storm of war, has Irish connections. Louis Botha lived be- 
fore the war in the southeast Transvaal, not far from Laings 
Nek, and near neighbors of his were a family of Irish settlers 
bearing the honored name of Emmet. The Emmets and the 
Eothas were united by ties of friendship and intermarriage, 
and one of the Emmets served with Louis Botha during the 

The Irish colonists of South Africa keep their love for faith 
and fatherland, but, as in the United States, they have thor- 
oughly and loyally thrown in their lot with the new country 
of which they have become citizens. Few in number though 
they are, they are an important factor in the new Dominion, 
for their national tradition inspires them with civic patriot- 
ism, and their religion gives them a high standard of conduct 
and puts before them, as guides in the work of life and the 
solution of the problems of the day, the Christian principles 
of justice and charity. 

References : 

Government Census Returns, South Africa; Catholic Directory for 
British South Africa (Cape Town, since 1904) ; The Catholic Maga- 
xlne. Cape Town; Wilmot and Chase: History of Cape Colony 
(London, 1896); Theal: History of South Africa (5 vols., London, 
1888-1893) ; for the war period, the Times History of the South 
African War, and the British Ofilclal History, 


By Douglas Hyde, LL.D., M. R. I. A. 

THE Celtic languages consist of two divisions, (a) the 
Gaelic or Irish division, and (b) the Kymric or Welsh 
division. Between them they comprise (a) Irish, Scotch- 
Gaelic, and Manx, and (b) Welsh, Armorican, and Cornish. 
All these languages are still alive except Cornish, which died 
out about a hundred years ago. 

Of all these languages Irish is the best preserved, and it is 
possible to follow its written literature back into the past for 
some thirteen hundred years; while much of the most inter- 
esting matter has come down to us from pagan times. It has 
left behind it the longest, the most luminous, and the most 
consecutive literary track of any of the vernacular languages 
of Europe, except Greek alone. 

For centuries the Irish and their language were regarded by 
the English as something strange and foreign to Europe. It 
was not recognized that they had any relationship with the 
Greeks or Romans, the French, the Germans, or the English. 
The once well-known statesman, Lord Lyndhurst, in the Brit- 
ish parliament denounced the Irish as aliens in religion, in 
blood, and in language. Bopp, in his great Comparative Gram- 
mar, refused them recognition as Indo-Europeans, and Pott 
in 1856 also denied their European connection. It was left 
for the great Bavarian scholar, John Caspar Zeuss, to prove 
to the world in his epoch-making "Grammatica Celtica" (pub- 
lished in Latin in 1853) that the Celts were really Indo-Euro- 
peans, and that their language was of the highest possible 
value and interest. From that day to the present it is safe to 
say that the value set upon the Irish language and literature 
has been steadily growing amongst the scholars of the world, 
and that in the domain of philology Old Irish now ranks close 
to Sanscrit for its truly marvellous and complicated scheme of 
word-forms and inflections, and its whole verbal system. 

The exact place which the Celtic languages (of which Irish 
is philologically far the most important) hold in the Indo- 
European group has often been discussed. It is now generally 


agreed upon that, although both the Celtic and Teutonic lan- 
guages may claim a certain kinship with each other as being 
both of them Indo-European, still the Celtic is much more 
nearly related to the Greek and the Latin groups, especially 
to the Latin. 

All the Indo-European languages are more or less related 
to one another. We Irish must acknowledge a relationship, 
or rather a very distant connecting tie, with English. But, to 
trace this home, Irish must be followed back to the very oldest 
form of its words, and English must be followed back to 
Anglo-Saxon and when possible to Gothic. The hard mutes 
(p, t, c) of Celtic (and, for that matter, of Sanscrit, Zend, 
Greek, Latin, Slavonic, and Lithuanian) will be represented 
in Gothic by the corresponding soft mutes (b, d, g), and the 
soft mutes in Celtic by the corresponding hard mutes in 
Gothic. Thus we find the Irish dia (god) in the Anglo- 
Saxon tiw, the god of war, whose name is perpetuated for all 
time in Tiwes-dag, now "Tuesday", and we find the Irish dead 
in the Anglo-Saxon "toth", now "tooth", and so on. But of 
all the Indo-European languages Old Irish possesses by far 
the nearest affinity to Latin, and this is shown in a great many 
ways, not in the vocabulary' merely, but in the grammar, 
which for philologists is of far more importance, — as, for ex- 
ample, the 6-future, the passive in-r, the genitive singular and 
nominative plural of "o stems", etc. Thus the Old Irish for 
"man", nom. fer, gen. fir, dat. fiur, ace. fer n — , plur. nom. 
fir, gen. fer n — , is derived from the older forms viros, viri, 
viro, viron, nom. plur. viri, gen. plur. viron, which everyone 
who knows Latin can see at a glance correspond very closely 
to the Latin inflections, vir, viri, viro, virum, nom. plur. viri, 

So much for the language. When did this language begin 
to be used in literature ? This question depends upon another — 
When did the Irish begin to have a knowledge of letters; 
when did they begin to commit their Hterature to writing ; and 
whence did they borrow their knowledge of this art? 

The oldest alphabet used in Ireland of which remains exist 
appears to have been the Ogam, which is found in numbers of 
stone inscriptions dating from about the third century of our 

(18) . , 


era on. About 300 such inscriptions have already been found, 
most of them in the southwest of Ireland, but some also in 
Scotland and Wales, and even in Devon and Cornwall. 
Wherever the Irish Gael planted a colony, he seems to have 
brought his Ogam writing with him. 

The Irishman who first invented the Ogam character was 
probably a pagan who obtained a knowledge of Roman letters. 
He brought back to Ireland his invention, or, as is most likely, 
invented it on Irish soil. Indeed, the fact that no certain 
trace of Ogam writing has been found upon the European 
continent indicates that the alphabet was invented in Ireland 
itself. An inscription at Killeen Cormac, Co. Kildare, sur- 
vives which seems to show that the Roman alphabet was 
known in Ireland in pagan times. Ogam is an alphabet suit- 
able enough for chiselling upon stones, but too cumbrous for 
the purposes of literature. For this the Roman alphabet 
must have been used. The Ogam script consists of a number 
of short lines straight or slanting, and drawn either below, 
above, or through one long stem-line. This stem-line is gen- 
erally the sharp angle between two faces or sides of a long 
upright rectangular stone. Thus four cuts to the right of the 
long line stand for S; to the left of it they mean C; passing 
through it, half on one side and half on the other, they mean Z. 
The device was rude, but it was applied with considerable skill, 
and it was undoubtedly framed with much ingenuity. The 
vowels occurring most often are also the easiest to cut, being 
scarcely more than notches on the edge of the stone. The 
inscription generally contains the name of the dead warrior 
over whom the memorial was raised ; it usually begins on the 
left corner of the stone facing the reader and is to be read 
upwards, and it is often continued down on the right hand 
angular line as well. 

The language of the Ogam inscriptions is very ancient and 
nearly the same forms occur as in what we know of Old 
Gaulish. The language, in fact, seems to have been an antique 
survival even when it was first engraved, in the third or fourth 
century. The word-forms are probably far older than those 
used in the spoken language of the time. This is a very impor- 
tant conclusion, and it must have a far-reaching bearing upon 


the history of the earliest epic literature. Because if forms of 
language much more ancient than any that were then current 
were employed on pillar-stones in the third or fourth century, 
it follows that this obsolescent language must have survived 
either in a written or a regularly recited form. This imme- 
diately raises the probability that the substance of Irish epic 
literature (which was written down on parchment in the sixth 
or seventh century) really dates from a period much more 
remote, and that all that is purely pagan in it was preserved 
for us in the same antique language as the Ogam inscriptions 
before it was translated into what we now call "Old Irish." 

The following is the Ogam alphabet as preserved on some 
300 ancient pillars and stones, in the probably ninth-century 
treatise in the Book of Ballymote, and elsewhere: 





























There are a great many allusions to this Ogam writing in 
the ancient epics, especially in those that are purely pagan in 
form and conception, and there can be no doubt that the 
knowledge of letters must have reached Ireland before the 
island became Christianized. With the introduction of Chris- 
tianity and of Roman letters, the old Ogam inscriptions, which 
were no doubt looked upon as flavoring of paganism, quickly 
fell into disuse and disappeared, but some inscriptions at least 
are as late as the year 600 or even 800. In the thoroughly 
pagan poem. The Voyage of Bran, which such authorities as 
Zimmer and Kuno Meyer both consider to have been com- 


mitted to parchment in the seventh century, we find it stated 
that Bran wrote the fifty or sixty quatrains of the poem in 
Ogam. Cuchulainn constantly used Ogam writing, which he 
cut upon wands and trees and standing stones for Queen 
Medb's army to read, and these were always brought to his 
friend Fergus to decipher. Cormac, king of Cashel, in his 
glossary tells us that the pagan Irish used to inscribe the wand 
they kept for measuring corpses and graves with Ogam charac- 
ters, and that it was a source of horror to anyone even to take 
it in his hand. St. Patrick in his Confession, the authenticity 
of which no one doubts, describes how he dreamt that a man 
from Ireland came to him with innumerable letters. 

In Irish legend Ogma, one of the Tuatha De Danann who 
was skilled in dialects and poetry, seems to be credited with 
the invention of the Ogam alphabet, and he probably was the 
equivalent of the Gaulish god Ogmios, the god of eloquence, so 
interestingly described by Lucian. 

We may take it then that the Irish pagans knew sufficient 
letters to hand down to Irish Christians the substance of their 
pagan epics, sagas, and poems. We may take it for granted 
also that the greater Irish epics (purely pagan in character, 
utterly untouched in substance by that Christianity which so 
early conquered the country) really represent the thoughts, 
manners, feelings, and customs of pagan Ireland. 

The effect of this conclusion must be startling indeed to 
those who know the ancient world only through the medium 
of Greek and Roman literature. To the Greek and to his 
admiring master, the Roman, all outside races were simply 
barbarians, at once despised, misinterpreted, and misunder- 
stood. We have no possible means of reconstructing the 
ancient world as it was lived in by the ancestors of some of 
the leading races in Europe, the Gauls, Spaniards, Britons, and 
the people of all those countries which trace themselves back 
to a Celtic ancestry, because these races have left no literature 
or records behind them, and the Greeks and Romans, who tell 
us about them, saw everything through the false medium of 
their own prejudices. But now since the discovery and pub- 
lication of the Irish sagas and epics, the descendants of these 
great races no longer find it necessary to view their own past 


through the colored and distorting glasses of the Greek or 
the Roman, since there has now opened for them, where they 
least expected to find it, a window through which they can 
look steadily at the life of their race, or of one of its leading 
offshoots, in one of its strongholds, and reconstruct for them- 
selves with tolerable accuracy the life of their own ancestors. 
It is impossible to overrate the importance of this for the 
history of Europe, because neither Teutons nor Slavs have 
preserved pictures of their own heroic past, dating from pagan 
times. It is only the Celts, and of these the Irish, who 
have handed down such pictures drawn with all the fond 
intimacy of romance, and descriptions which exhibit the life 
of western Europeans at an even earlier culture-stage in the 
evolution of humanity than do the poems of Homer. 

This conclusion, to which a study of the literature invites 
us, falls in exactly with that arrived at from purely archaeo- 
logical sources. Professor Ridgeway of Cambridge Univer- 
sity, working on archaeological lines, expresses himself as 
follows: "From this survey of the material remains of the 
la Tene period found actually in Ireland, and from the striking 
correspondence between this culture and that depicted in the 
Tain Bo Cualnge, and from the circumstance that the race 
who are represented in the epic as possessing this form of 
culture resemble in their physique the tall, fair-haired, grey- 
eyed Celts of Britain and the continent, we are justified in 
inferring (1) that there was an invasion (or invasions) of 
such peoples from Gaul in the centuries immediately before 
Christ, as is ascribed by the Irish traditions, and (3) that the 
poems themselves originally took shape when the la Tene 
culture was still flourishing in Ireland. But as this could 
hardly have continued much later than A. D. 100, we may 
place the first shaping of the poems not much later than that 
date and possibly a century earlier." 

This conclusion would make the earliest putting together of 
the Irish epics almost contemporaneous with Augustus Caesar. 

So much for the history and growth of Irish letters. 


Kefebences : 

Brash : Ogam inscribed Monuments of the Gaedhil (1879) ; Mac- 
Alister: Studies in Irish Epigraphy, vol. 1 (1897), voL 2 (1902), voL 
3 (1907) ; Rhys: in Proceedings of the Scottish Society of Antiqua- 
ries (Edinburgh, 1892) ; Ridgeway: Date of the First Shaping of tho 
Cuchulain Saga (1905), in Proceedings of the British Academy, voL 
II ; Joyce : Social History of Ancient Ireland, vol. I, Chap. 2 ; Preface 
to fac-simile edition of the Book of Ballymote. 


By Professor Georges Dottin. 

[Note. — This chapter was written in French by M. Dottin, who is 
a distinguished professor and dean at the University of Rennes, France. 
The translation into English has been made by the Editors.] 

BY the year 1200 of the Christian era, a time at which the 
other national literatures of Europe were scarcely begin- 
ning to develop, Ireland possessed, and had possessed for sev- 
eral centuries, a Gaelic poetry, which was either the creation 
of the soul of the people or else was the work of the courtly 
bards. This poetry was at first expressed in rhythmical verses, 
each containing a fixed number of accented syllables and 
hemistichs separated by a pause : 

Crist Mm, 
Crist indium 

Crist reuw, 

Crist issum 

Crist dessuw 

Crist in degaid 
Crist uasum 
Crist uasuw 

This versification, one of the elements of which was the 
repetition of words or sounds at regular intervals, was trans- 
formed about the eighth century into a 'more learned system. 
Thenceforward alliteration, assonance, rhyme, and a fixed 
number of syllables constituted the characteristics of Irish 
verse : 

Messe ocus Pangur bAN 

cechtar nathar fria saindAN 

bith a menma sam fri seilgg 

mu minma cein im sainchEiRDD. 

As we see, the consonants in the rhyme-words were merely 
related: /, r, n, ng, m, dh, gh, hh, mh, ch, th, f could rime 
together just as could gg, dd, hh. Soon the poets did not 
limit themselves to end-rhymes, which ran the risk of becoming 
monotonous, but introduced also internal rhyme, which set up 
what we may call a continuous chain of melody: 

is aire caralm Doire 
ar a reidhe ar a ghloiNE 
*s ar iomad a aingel fiND 
6 *n ciND go soich aroiLi. 


This harmonious versification was replaced in the seven- 
teenth century by a system in which account was no longer 
taken of consonantal rhyme or of the number of syllables. 

The rules of Irish verse have nothing in common with clas- 
sical Latin metres, which were based on the combination of 
short and long syllables. In Low-Latin, indeed, we find occa- 
sionally alliteration, rhyme, and a fixed number of syllables, 
but these novelties are obviously of foreign origin, and date 
from the time when the Romans borrowed them from the 
nations which they called barbarous. We cannot prove beyond 
yea or nay that they are of Celtic origin, but it is extremely 
probable that they are, for it is among the Celts both of Ireland 
and of Wales that the harmonizing of vowels and of conso- 
nants has been carried to the highest degree of perfection. 

This learned art was not acquired without long study. The 
training of a poet (file) lasted twelve years, or more. The 
poets had a regular hierarchy. The highest in rank, the 
ollamh, knew 350 kinds of verse and could recite 250 principal 
and 100 secondary stories. The ollamhs lived at the court of 
the kings and the nobles, who granted them freehold lands; 
their persons and their property were sacred; and they had 
established in Ireland schools in which the people might learn 
history, poetry, and law. The bards formed a numerous class, 
of a rank inferior to the file; they did not enjoy the same 
honors and privileges ; some of them even were slaves ; accord- 
ing to their standing, different kinds of verse were assigned 
to them as a monopoly. 

The Danish invasions in the ninth century set back for some 
time the development of Irish poetry, but, when the Irish had 
driven the fierce and aggressive sea-rovers from their country, 
there was a literary renascence. This was in turn checked by 
the Anglo-Norman invasion in the twelfth century, and there- 
after the art of versification was no longer so refined as it had 
formerly been. Nevertheless, the bardic schools still existed 
in the seventeenth century, more than four hundred years after 
the landing of Strongbow, and, in them, students followed the 
lectures of the ollamhs for six months each year, or until the 
coming of spring, exercising both their talents for composition 
and their memory. 


A catalogue of Irish poets, which has recently been made 
cut, shows that there were more than a thousand of them. We 
have lost many of the oldest poems, but the Irish scribes often 
modernized the texts which they were copying. Hence the 
language is not always a sufficient indication of date, and it is 
possible that, under a comparatively modern form, some very 
ancient pieces may have been preserved. Even if the poems 
attributed to Amergin do not go back to the tenth century 
B. C, as has been claimed for them, they are in any case old 
enough to be archaic, and certain poems of the mythological 
cycle are undoubtedly anterior to the Christian era. 

We have reason to believe that there have been preserved 
some genuine poems of Finn macCumaill (third century), a 
hymn by St. Patrick (d. 461), some greatly altered verses of 
St. Columcille (d. 597), and certain h3^mns written by saints 
who lived from the seventh to the ninth century. The main 
object of the most celebrated of the ancient poets up to the 
end of the twelfth century was to render history, genealogy, 
toponomy, and lives of saints readier of access and easier to 
retain by putting them into verse- form ; and it is the names of 
those scholars that have been rescued from oblivion, while 
lyric poetry, having as its basis nothing more than sentiment, 
has remained for the most part anonymous. After the Anglo- 
Norman invasion, the best poet seems to have been Donn- 
chadh Mor O'Daly (d. 1244). Of later date were Teig Mac- 
Daire (1570-1652), Teig Dall O'Higinn (d. 1615), and 
Eochaidh O'Hussey, who belonged to the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. The new school, which abandoned the 
old rules and whose inspiration is now personal, now patriotic, 
is represented by caoine (keens or laments), abran (hymns), 
or aislingi (visions), composed, among others, by Geoffrey 
Keating (d. c. 1650), David O'Bruadair (c. 1625-1698), Egan 
O'Rahilly (c. 1670-c. 1734), John MacDonnell (1691-1754), 
William O'Heffernan (fl. 1750), John O'Tuomy (1706-1775), 
and Andrew MacGrath (d. c. 1790). The greatest of the 
eighteenth century Irish poets was Owen Roe O'Sullivan (c. 
1748-1784), whose songs were sung everywhere, and who, in 
the opinion of his editor, Father Dinneen, is the literary glory 


of his country and deserves to be ranked among the few 
supreme lyric poets of all time. 

If, in order to study the subjects treated by the poets, we 
lay aside didactic poetry and confine ourselves to the ancient 
poems from the seventh to the eleventh century, we shall find 
in the latter a singular variety. They were at first dialogues 
or monologues, now found incorporated with the sagas, of 
which they may have formed the original nucleus. Thus, in 
the Voyage of Bran, we have the account of the Isles of the 
Blessed and the discourse of the King of the Sea; in the Expe- 
dition of Loegaire MacCrimthainn, the brilliant description of 
the fairy hosts; in The Death of the Sons of Usnech, the 
touching farewell of Delrdre to the land of Scotland and her 
lamentation over the dead bodies of the three warriors; and 
in the Lay of Fothard Canann, the strange and thrilling speech 
of the dead lover, returning after the battle to the tryst 
appointed by his sweetheart. Other poems seem never to have 
figured in a saga, like the Song of Crede, daughter of Guaire, 
in which she extols the memory of her friend Dinertach, and 
the affecting love-scenes between Liadin and Curithir ; or like 
the bardic songs designed to distribute praise or blame: the 
funeral panegyric on King Niall, in alternate verses, the song 
of the sword of Carroll, and the satire of MacConglinne 
against the monks of Cork. 

Religious poetry comprised lyric fragments, which were 
introduced into the lives of the saints and there formed a kind 
of Christian saga, or else were based on Holy Writ, like the 
Lamentation of Eve; hymns in honor of the saints, like The 
Hymn to St. Michael, by Mael Isu ; pieces such as the famous 
Hymn of St. Patrick; and philosophic poems like that keen 
analysis of the flight of thought which dates from the tenth 

At a time when the poets of other lands seem wholly 
engrossed in the recital of the dfeeds of men, one of the great 
and constant distinguishing marks of poetry in Ireland, whether 
we have to do with a short note set down by a scribe on the 
margin of a manuscript or with a religious or profane poem, 
IS a deep, personal, and intimate love of nature expressed 
not by detailed description, but more often by a single pic- 


turcsque and telling epithet. Thus we have the hermit who 
prays God to give him a hut in a lonely place beside a clear 
spring in the wood, with a little lark to sing overhead ; or we 
have Marban, who, rich in nuts, crab-apples, sloes, v/ater- 
cress, and honey, refuses to go back to the court to which the 
king, his brother, presses him to return. Now, we have the 
description of the summer scene, in which the blackbird sings 
and the sun smiles ; now, the song of the sea and of the wind, 
which blows tempestuously from the four quarters of the sky; 
again, the winter song, when the snow covers the hills, when 
every furrow is a streamlet and the wolves range restlessly 
abroad, while the birds, numbed to the heart, are silent; or 
yet again the recluse in his cell, humorously comparing his 
quest of ideas to the pursuit of the mice by his pet cat. This 
deep love of inanimate and animate things becomes individual- 
ized in those poems in which every tree, every spring, every 
bird is described with its own special features. 

If we remember that these original poems, which, before 
the twelfth century, expressed thoughts that were scarcely 
known to the literature of Europe before the eighteenth, are, 
besides, clothed in the rich garb of a subtle harmony, what 
admiration, what respect, and what love ought we not to show 
to that ancient Ireland which, in the darkest ages of western 
civilization, not only became the depositary of Latin knowl- 
edge and spread it over the continent, but also had been able 
to create for herself new artistic and poetic forms ! 

Befeeences : 

Hyde: Love Songs of Connacht (Dublin, 1893), Irish Poetry, an 
Essay in Irish with Translation in English and a Vocabulary (Dub- 
lin, 1902), The Religious Songs of Connacht (London, 1906) ; Meyer: 
Ancient Gaelic Poetry (Glasgow, 1906), a Primer of Irish Metrics 
with a Glossary and an Appendix containing an Alphabetical List 
of the Poets of Ireland (Dublin, 1909); Dottin-Dunn: The Gaelic 
Literature of Ireland (Washington, 1906); Meyer: Selections from 
Ancient Irish Poetry (2d edition, London, 1913) ; Best: Bibliography 
of Irish Philology and of Printed Irish Literature (Dublin, 1913) ; 
Loth: La miltrique galloise (Paris, 1902) ; Thurneysen: Mittelirische 
Vcrslehren, Irische Texte III.; Buile Suibhne (Dublin, 1910). 


By Eleanor Hulu 

IRELAND has the unique distinction of having presented 
for mankind a full and vivid literary record of a period 
otherwise, so far as native memorials are concerned, clouded in 
obscurity. A few fragmentary suggestions, derived from 
ancient stone monuments or from diggings in tumuli and 
graves, are all that Gaul or Britain have to contribute to a 
knowledge of that important period just before and just after 
the beginning of our era, when the armies of Rome were over- 
running western Europe and were brought, for the first time, 
into direct contact with the Celtic peoples of the West. Almost 
all that we know of the early inhabitants of these countries 
comes to us from the pens of Roman writers and soldiers — 
Poseidonius, Caesar, Diodorus, Tacitus. We may give these 
observers credit for a desire to oe fair to peoples they some- 
times admired and often dreaded, but conquerors are not 
always the best judges of the races they are engaged in sub- 
duing, especially when they are ignorant of their language, 
unversed in their lore and customs, and unused to their ways. 
Valuable as are the reports of Roman authorities, we feel at 
every point the need of checking them by native records; but 
the native records of Gaul, and in large part also those of 
Britain and Wales, have been swept away. Csesar is probably 
right in saying that the Druids, who were the learned men of 
their race and day, committed nothing to writing; if they did, 
whatever they wrote has been irrecoverably lost. 

But Ireland was exempt from the sweeping changes brought 
about through long periods of Roman and Saxon occupation; 
no great upheaval from without disturbed the native political 
and social conditions up to the coming of the Norse and 
Danes about the beginning of the ninth century. Agricola, 
standing on the western coast of Britain, looked across the 
dividing channel, and reflected upon "the beneficial connection 
that the conquest of Ireland would have formed between the 
most powerful parts of the Roman Empire," but, fortunately 
for the literature of Ireland, if not for her history, he never 

IRISH he;roic sagas 271 

came. The early incursions of the Scotti or Irish were east- 
ward into England, Wales, and Gaul, and there seem to have 
been few return movements towards the west. Ireland pur- 
sued her path of native development undisturbed. It is to 
this circumstance that she owes the preservation of so much 
of her native literature, a great body of material, historical, 
religious, poetic, romantic, showing marks of having originated 
at a very early time, and of great variety and interest. 

At what period this literature first began to be written 
down we do not know. Orosius tells us that a traveler named 
Aethicus spent a considerable time in Ireland early in the fifth 
century "examining their volumes", which tends to prove that 
there was writing in Ireland before St. Patrick. But the 
native bard must have made writing superfluous. The man 
who could, at a moment's notice, recite any one out of the 350 
stories which might be called for, besides poetry, genealogies, 
and tribal records, was worth many books. Only a few were 
expert enough to read his writings, but all could enjoy his 

The earliest written records that we have now existing date 
from the seventh or eighth century; but undoubtedly there 
is preserved for us, in these materials, a picture of social con- 
ditions going back to the very beginning of our era, and coeval 
with the stage of civilization known in archaeology as La 
Tkne or "Late Celtic". 

To help his memory the early "shanachie" or story-teller 
grouped his romantic story-store under different heads, such 
as "Tains" or Cattle-spoils, Feasts, Elopements, Sieges, Bat- 
tles, Destructions, Tragical Deaths ; but it is easier for us now 
to group them in another way, and to class together the series 
of tales referring to the Tuatha De Danann or ancient deities, 
those belonging to the Red Branch cycle of King Conchobar 
and Cuchulainn, those relating to Finn, and the Legends of 
the Kings. The hundred or more tales belonging to the second 
group are especially valuable for social history on account of 
the detailed descriptions they give of customs, dress, weapons, 
habits of life, and ethical ideas. To the historian, folklorist, 
and student of primitive civilizations they are documents of 
the highest importance, 


It seems likely that the Red Branch cycle of tales, including 
the epic tale of the Tain or Cattle-spoil of Cualnge, which 
has gathered round itself a number of minor tales, had some 
basis of historical fact, and arose in the period of Ulster's pre- 
dominance to celebrate the deeds of a band of warlike cham- 
pions who flourished in the north about the beginning of the 
Christian era. No one who has visited the raths of Emain 
Macha, near Armagh, where stood the traditional site of the 
ancient capital of Ulster, or has followed the well-defined and 
massive outworks of Rath Celtchair and the forts of the other 
heroes whose deeds the tales embody, could doubt that they 
had their origin in great events that once happened there. The 
topography of the tales is absolutely correct. Or again, when 
we cross over into Connacht, the remains at Rath Croghan, 
near the ancient palace of the Amazonian queen, Medb, tes- 
tify to similar events. She it was who in her "Pillow Talk'* 
with her husband Ailill declared that she had married him only 
because in him did she find the "strange bride-gift" which her 
imperious nature demanded, "a man without stinginess, with- 
out jealousy, without fear." It was in her desire to surpass 
her husband in wealth that she sent the combined armies of the 
south and west into Ulster to carry off a famous bull, the 
Brown Bull of Cooley, the only match in Ireland for one pos- 
sessed by her spouse. This raid forms the central subject of 
the Tain Bo Cualnge. The motif of the tale and the kind of 
life described in it alike show the primitive conditions out 
of which it had its rise. It belongs to a time when land was 
plenty for the scattered inhabitants to dwell upon, but stock 
to place upon it was scarce. The possession of herds was nec- 
essary, not only for food and the provisioning of troops, but as 
a standard of wealth, a proof of position, and a means of ex- 
change. Everything was estimated, before the use of money, by 
its value in kine or herds. When Mcdb and Ailill compare 
their possessions, to find out which of them is better than the 
other, their herds of cattle, swine, and horses are driven in, 
their ornaments and jewels, their garments and vats and house- 
hold appliances are displayed. The pursuit of the cattle of 
neighboring tribes was the prime cause of the innumerable 
raids which made every man's life one of perpetual war- 


fare, much more so than the acquisition of land or the aveng- 
ing of wrongs. Hence a motif that may seem to us insufficient 
and remote as the subject of a great epic arose out of the 
necessities of actual life. Cattle-driving is the oldest of all 
occupations in Ireland. 

The conditions we find described in these tales show us an 
open country, generally unenclosed by hedges or walls. The 
chariots can drive straight across the province. There are no 
towns, and the stopping places are the large farmers* dwell- 
ings, open inns known as "houses of hospitality", fortified by 
surrounding raths or earthen walls, the only private property 
in land, in a time when the tribe-land was common, that we 
hear of at this period. Within these borders lay the pleasure 
grounds and gardens and the cattle-sheds for the herds, which 
the great landowner or chief loaned out to the smaller men 
in return for services rendered. Here were trained in arts of 
industry and fine needlework the daughters of the chief men of 
the tribe and their foster-sisters, drawn from the humbler 
families around them. The rivers as a rule formed the bounda- 
ries of the provinces, and the fords were constantly guarded by 
champions who challenged every wayfarer to single combat, 
if he could not show sufficient reason for crossing the border- 
land. These combats were fought actually in the ford itself, 
and all wars began in a long series of single hand-to-hand com- 
bats between equal champions before the armies as a whole 
engaged each other. 

To fight was every man's prime duty, and the man who had 
slain the largest number of his fellows was acclaimed as the 
greatest hero. It was the proud boast of Conall Cernach, "the 
Victorious", that seldom had a day passed in which he had 
not challenged a Connachtman, and few nights in which a Con- 
nachtman's head had not formed his pillow. It shows the 
primitive savagery of the period that skulls of enemies were 
worn dangling from the belt, and were stored up in one of 
the palaces of Emain Macha as trophies of valor. So war- 
like were the heroes that even during friendly feasts their 
weapons had to be hung up in a separate house, lest they 
should spring to arms in rivalry with their own fellows. 


Yet in spite of this rude barbarism of outward life, the war- 
riors had formed for themselves a high and exacting code of 
honor, which may be regarded as the first steps toward what 
in later times and other countries became known as "chivalry" ; 
save that there is in the acts of the Irish heroes a simplicity 
and sincerity which puts them on a higher level than the 
obligatory courtesies of more artificial ages. Generosity be- 
tween enemies was carried to an extraordinary pitch. Twice 
over in fights with different foes, Conall Cernach binds his 
right hand to his side in order that his enemy, who had lost 
one hand, may fight on equal terms with him. The two 
severest combats sustained by Cuchulainn, the youthful Ulster 
champion, in the long war of the Tain are those with Loch the 
Great and Ferdiad, both first-rate warriors, who had been 
forced by the wiles of Medb into unwilling conflict against 
their young antagonist. In their youth they had been fellow- 
pupils in the school of the Amazon Scathach, who had taught 
them both alike the arts of war. When Loch the Great, as a 
dying request, prays Cuchulainn to permit him to rise, ''so that 
he may fall on his face and not backwards towards the men of 
Erin," lest hereafter it should be said that he fell in flight, 
Cuchulainn replies: "That will I surely, for it is a warrior's 
boon thou cravest," and he steps back to allow the wounded 
man to reverse his position in the ford. The tale of Cuchu- 
lainn's combat with Ferdiad has become classic ; nothing more 
pathetic or more full of the true spirit of chivalry is to be 
found in any literature. Each warrior estimates nobly the 
prowess of the other, each sorrowfully recalls the memory of 
old friendships and expeditions made together. When Ferdiad 
falls, his ancient comrade pours out over him a passionate 
lament. Each night, when the day's combat is over, they 
throw their arms round each other's neck and embrace. Their 
horses are put up in the same paddock and their charioteers 
sleep beside the same fire ; each night Cuchulainn sends to his 
wounded friend a share of the herbs that are applied to his 
own wounds, while to Cuchulainn Ferdiad sends a fair half of 
the pleasant delicate food supplied to him by the men of Erin. 
We may recall, too, Cuchulainn's act of compassion towards 
Queen Medb near the close of the Tain. Her army is flying 

IRISH he;roic sagas 275 

in rout homeward across the Shannon, closely pursued by 
Cuchulainn. As he approaches the ford he finds Queen Medb 
lying prostrate on the bank, unable any longer to guard the 
retreat of her army. She appeals to her enemy to aid her; 
and Cuchulainn, with that lovable boyish delight in acts of 
supreme generosity which is always ascribed to him, under- 
takes to shield the retreat of the disordered host from his own 
troops and to see them safely across the river, while Medb 
reposes peacefully in a field hard by. The spirit which actu- 
ates the heroes is well expressed by Cuchulainn when his 
friends would restrain him from going forth to his last fight, 
knowing that in that battle he must fall : "I had rather than the 
whole world's gold and than the earth's riches that death had 
ere now befallen me, so would not this shame and testimony 
of reproach now stand recorded against me; for in every 
tongue this noble old saying is remenjbered, 'Fame outlives 
life/ " 

The Irish tales surpass those of the Arthurian cycle in sim- 
plicity, in humor, and in human interest; the characters are 
not mere types of fixed virtues and vices, they have each a 
strongly marked individuality, consistently adhered to through 
the multitude of different stories in which they play a part. 
This is especially the case with regard to the female charac- 
ters. Emer, Deirdre, Etain, Grainne may be said to have 
introduced into European literature new types of womanhood, 
quite unlike, in their sprightliness and humor, their passionate 
affection and heroic qualities, to anything found elsewhere. 
Stories about women play a large part in ancient Irish litera- 
ture ; their elopements, their marriages, their griefs and trage- 
dies, form the subject of a large number of tales. Among the 
list of tales that any bard might be called upon to recite, the 
"Courtships" or "Wooings" probably formed a favorite group ; 
they are of great variety and beauty. The Irish, indeed, may 
be called the inventors of the love-tale for modern Europe. 

The gravest defect of this literature (a defect which is com- 
mon to all early literature before coming under the chastening 
hand of the master) is undoubtedly its tendency to extrava- 
gance; though much depended upon the individual writer, 
some being stylists and some not, all were prone to frequent 

(19) \ 

276 the: glories OIF IRELAND 

and grotesque exaggerations. The lack of restraint and self- 
criticism is everywhere apparent; the old Irish writer seems 
incapable of judging how to shape his material with a view to 
presenting it in its best form. Thus, we have the feeling, even 
with regard to the Tain Bo Cualnge, that what has come down 
to us is rather the rough-shaped material of an epic than a 
completed design. The single stories and the groups of stories 
have been handled and rehandled at different times, but only 
occasionally, as in the Story of Deirdre (the "Sorrowful Tale 
of the Sons of Usnech"), or in the later versions of the "Woo- 
ing of Emer", or the Book of Leinster version of the "Woo- 
ing of Ferb", do we feel that a competent artist has so formed 
his story that the best possible value has been extracted from it. 
Yet, in spite of their defects, the old heroic sagas of Ireland 
have in them a stimulating force and energy, and an element 
of fine and healthy optimism, which is strangely at variance 
with the popular conception of the melancholy of Irish litera- 
ture, and which, wherever they are known, make them the 
fountain-head of a fr^sh creative inspiration. This stimulating 
of the imagination is perhaps the best gift that a revived inter- 
est in the old native romance of Ireland has to bestow. 

References : 

The originals of many of the Tales of the Cuchulainn cycle of 
romances will be found, usually accompanied by English or German 
translations, in the volumes of Irische Texte; Revue Celtique; 
Zeitschrift fur Celt. Phil; Eriu; Irish Texts Society, vol. II ; Atlantis; 
Proceed, of the R. Irish Academy (Irish MSS. Series and Todd Lec- 
ture Series). English translations : of the Tain Bo Cualnge (LU. and 
Y.B.L. versions), by Miss Winifred Faraday (1904); (LL. ver- 
sion with conflate readings), by Joseph Dunn (1914) ; of various 
stories: E. Hull, The Cuchulain Saga in Irish Literature (1898); 
A. H. Leahy, Heroic Romances of Ireland (1905-6), the Courtship 
of Ferb (1902). French translations in Arbois de Jubainville's 
Epopee celtique en Irlande; German translations in Thurneysen's 
Sagen aus dem alien Irland (1901) ; free rendering by S. O'Grady 
in The Coming of Cuchullain (1904), and in his History of Ireland, 
the Heroic Period (1878). For full bibliography, see R.I. Best's Bib- 
liography of Irish Philology and Printed Literature (1913), and 
Joseph Dunn's T6in B6 Ciialnge, pp. xxxii-xxxvi (1914), 


By Sidney Gunn, M. A. 

ONE of the supreme creations of the human mind is the 
Divine Comedy of Dante, and undoubtedly one of its 
chief sources is the Hterature of ancient Ireland. Dante 
himself was a native of Florence, Italy, and lived from 1265 to 
1321. Like many great men, he incurred the hatred of his 
countrymen, and he spent, as a result, the last twenty years 
of his life in exile with a price on his head. He had been 
falsely accused of theft and treachery, and his indignation at 
the wrong thus done him and at the evil conduct of his con- 
temporaries led him to write his poem, in which he visits 
Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, and learns how God punishes 
bad actions, and how He rewards those who do His will. 

To the writing of his poem Dante brought all the learning 
of his time, all its science, and an art that has never been sur- 
passed, perhaps never equalled. Of course, he did not know 
any Irish, but he knew Italian and the then universal tongue 
of the learned — Latin, in both of which were tales of visits 
to the other world ; and the greater part of these tales, as well 
as those most resembling Dante's work in form and spirit, 
were Irish in origin. 

All peoples have traditions of persons visiting the realms of 
the dead. Homer tells of Odysseus going there; Virgil does 
the same of Aeneas ; and the Oriental peoples, as well as the 
Germanic races, have similar tales; but no people have so 
many or such finished accounts of this sort as the ancient 
Irish. In pagan times in Ireland one of the commonest ad- 
ventures attributed to a hero was a visit to "tir na m-beo," 
the land of the living, or to "tir na n-6g," the land of the 
young ; and this supernatural world was reached in some cases 
by entering a fairy mound and going beneath the ground to it, 
and in others by sailing over the ocean. 

Of the literature of pagan Ireland, though much has come 
down to us, we have only a very small fraction of what once 
existed, and what we have has been transmitted and modified 
by persons of later times and different culture, who, both con- 


sciously and unconsciously, have changed it, so that it is very 
different from what it was in its original form; but the subject 
and the main outlines still remain, and we have many accounts 
of both voyages and underground journeys to the other world. 

The oldest voyage is, perhaps, that of Maelduin, whicl^ 
Tennyson has transmuted into English under the title The 
Voyage of Maeldime. This is a voyage undertaken for 
revenge; but vengeance, as Sir Walter Scott has pointed out 
in his preface to The Two Drovers, springs in a barbarous 
society from a passion for justice; and it is this instinct for 
justice that inspires the Irish hero to endure and to achieve 
what he does. Christianity has preserved this legend and 
added to it its own peculiar quality of mercy; and this illus- 
trates one of the characteristics of Ireland's pagan literature — 
it is imperfectly Christian and can readily be made to express 
the Christian point of view. 

Another voyage of pagan Irish literature is the Voyage of 
Bran. In this tale idealism is the inspiration that leads the 
hero into the unknown world. A woman appears who is 
invisible to all but Bran, and whose song of the beauteous 
supernatural land beyond the wave is heard by none but him ; 
so that, after refusing to go with her the first time she appears, 
at length he steps into her boat of glass and sails away to view 
the wonders and taste the joys of the other world. 

In these tales we have two main elements, one real and one 
ideal. The real element is the fact that the ancient Irish 
unquestionably made voyages and visited lands which the 
fervid Celtic imagination and the lapse of time transformed 
into the wonderful regions of the legends. The stories are 
thus early geographies, and they show unmistakably a knowl- 
edge of western Europe and of the Canary Islands or some 
other tropical regions; perhaps also, some have gone so far 
as to claim, they are reminiscent of voyages to America. 

The ideal element is no less important as indicating achieve- 
ment, for it shows that the Irish poets of pagan times had not 
only realized, but had succeeded in making their national tra- 
ditions embody, the fact that love of justice and aspiration 
for knowledge are the foundations of all enduring human 
achievement and all perfect human joy. Christianity there- 


fore found moral and spiritual ideas of a highly developed 
order in pagan Ireland, and it did not hesitate to adopt what- 
ever in the literature of the country illustrated its own teach- 
ings, and not only were these stories of visits to the other 
world full of suggestions as to ways of enforcing Christian 
doctrine, but the Irish church and men of Irish birth were the 
most active in spreading the faith in the early centuries of its 
conquest of western Europe. 

For these reasons it is not strange that all the earliest Chris- 
tian visions of the spirit-world were of Irish origin. We find 
the earliest in the Ecclesiastical History of the "Venerable 
Bede," who died in 735. It is the story of how an Irishman 
of great sanctity, Furseus by name, was taken in spirit by 
three angels to a place from which he looked down and saw 
the four fires that are to consume the world: those of false- 
hood, avarice, discord, fraud and impiety. In this there is 
the germ of some very fundamental things in Dante's poem, 
and we know that Dante knew Bede and had probably read 
his history, for he places him in Paradise and mentions him 
elsewhere in his works. 

In Bede's work there is also another vision, and though in 
this second case the man who visits the spirit-world is not an 
Irishman, but a Saxon named Drithelm, yet the story came to 
Bede through an Irish monk named Haemgils; so it, too, is 
connected with Ireland, and it also contains much that is 
developed further in the Divine Comedy. 

One of the most celebrated of the works belonging to this 
class of so-called "visionary" writings is the Fis or "Vision" 
which goes under the name of the famous Irish saint, Adam- 
nan, who was poetically entitled the "High Scholar of the 
Western World." This particular vision, the Fis Adamndin, is 
remarkable among other things for its literary quality, which is 
far superior to anything of the time, and for the fact that it rep- 
resents "the highest level of the school to which it belonged," 
and that it is "the most important contribution made to the 
growth of the legend within the Christian Church prior to the 
advent of Dante." 

Another Irish vision of great popularity all over Europe in 
the Middle Ages is the Voyage of Saint Brendan. This is 


known as the Irish Odyssey, and it is similar to the pagan 
tales of Maelduin and Bran, except that instead of its hero 
being a dauntless warrior seeking vengeance or a noble youth 
seeking happiness, he is a Christian saint in quest of peace; 
and instead of the perils of the way being overcome by physical 
force or the favor of some capricious pagan deity, they are 
averted by the power of faith and virtue. 

The Voyage of Saint Brendan, like its pagan predecessors, 
has a real and an ideal basis ; and in both respects it shows an 
advancement over its prototypes. It contains some very poetic 
touches, and is credited with being the source of some of the 
most effective features of Dante's poem. Its great popularity 
Ms shown by the fact that Caxton, the first English printer, 
published a translation of it in 1483 ; so that it was among the 
first books printed in English, and for that reason must have 
been one of the best-known works of the time. Dante un- 
doubtedly knew it, for he was a great scholar in the learning 
of his day, and especially in ecclesiastical history and the 
biography of saints. 

Another vision of Irish origin that Dante and other writers 
have borrowed from is that of an Irish soldier named Tun- 
dale. He is said to have been a very wicked and proud man, 
who refused to a friend who owed him for three horses an ex- 
tension of time in which to pay for them. For this he was 
struck down by an invisible hand so that he remained apparently 
dead from Wednesday till Saturday, when he revived and told 
a story of a visit to the world of the dead that has many 
features later embodied in the Divine Comedy. Tundale's 
vision is said to have taken place in 1149; Dante probably 
wrote his poem between 1314 and 1321. 

The Irish also produced another legend of this sort that was 
enormously and universally popular, and became the chief 
authority on the nature of heaven and hell, in the story of 
Saint Patrick's Purgatory. Saint Patrick was said to have 
been granted a view of heaven and hell, and a certain island in 
Lough Derg in Donegal was reputed to be the spot in which he 
had begun his journey; and there, it was said, those who 
desired to purge themselves of their sins could enter as he 


had entered and come back to the world again, provided their 
faith was strong enough. 

This legend was probably known in Ireland from a very 
early time, but it had spread over all western Europe by the 
twelfth century. Henry of Saltrey, a Benedictine monk of 
the Abbey of that name in England, wrote an account in Latin 
of the descent of an Irish soldier named Owen into Saint 
Patrick's Purgatory in 1153; and this story soon became the 
subject of poetic treatment all over Europe. We have several 
French versions, one by the celebrated French poetess Marie 
de France, who lived about 1200; and there are others in all 
the languages of Europe, besides evidence of its wide circula- 
tion in the original Latin. Its importance is shown by the 
fact that it is mentioned by Matthew Paris, the chief English 
historian of the thirteenth century, and also by Froissart, the 
well-known French annalist of the fourteenth ; while Calderon, 
the great Spanish dramatist, has written a play based on the 
legend. Dante undoubtedly knew of Marie de France's ver- 
sion as well as the original of Henry of Saltrey and probably 
others besides. 

From what has been said it will be seen that Dante's master- 
piece is largely based on literature of Irish origin; but there 
are other superlative exhibitions of human genius of which 
the same is true. One of these is the story of Tristan and 
Isolde. Tristan is the paragon of all knightly accomplish- 
ments, the most versatile figure in the entire literature of chiv- 
alry; while Isolde is an Irish princess. By a trick of fate 
these two drink a love potion inadvertently and become irre- 
sistibly enamored of each other, although Isolde is betrothed 
to King Mark of Cornwall, and Tristan is his nephew and 
ambassador. The story that follows is infinitely varied, in- 
tensely dramatic, delicately beautiful, and tenderly pathetic. 
It has been treated by several poets of great genius, among 
them Gottfried of Strassburg, the greatest German poet of 
his time, and Richard Wagner; but all the beauty and power 
in the works of these men existed in the original Celtic form 
of the tale, and the later writers have only discovered it and 
brought it to light. 


The same thing is true of the Arthurian Legend and the 
story of the Holy Grail. Dante knew of King Arthur's fame, 
and mentions him in the Inferno. To Dante he was a Chris- 
tian hero, and the historical Arthur may have been a Christian ; 
but much in the story goes back to the pagan Celtic religion. 
We can find in Irish literature many references that indicate a 
belief in a self-sustaining, miraculous object similar to the 
Holy Grail, and the fact that this object was developed into a 
symbol of some of the deepest and most beautiful Christian 
truths shows the high character of the civilization and litera- 
ture of ancient Ireland. 

Refeeences : 

Wright: St. Patrick's Purgatory (London, 1844); Krapp: The 
Legend of St. Patrick's Purgatory (Baltimore, 1900) ; Becker: Me- 
diaeval Visions of Heaven and Hell (Baltimore, 1899) ; Shackford: 
Legends and Satires (Boston, 1913) ; Meyer and Nutt: The Voyage 
of Bran, edited and translated by K. Meyer, with an Essay on the 
Irish Version of the Happy Other World and the Celtic Doctrine of 
Rebirth, by A. Nutt, 2 vols. (London, 1895); Boswell: An Irish 
Precursor of Dante (London, 1908). 


By E. C. Quiggin, M.A. 

AMONG the literary peoples of the west of Europe, the 
Irish, in late medieval and early modern times, were 
singularly little affected by the frequent innovations in taste 
and theme which influenced Romance and Teutonic nations 
alike. To such an extent is this true, that one is often inclined 
to think that far-off Iceland was to a greater degree in the 
general European current than the much more accessible Erin. 
During the age of chivalry, conditions in Ireland were not cal- 
culated to promote the growth of epic and lyric poetry after 
the continental manner. Some considerable time elapsed be- 
fore the Norman barons became fully Hibernicised, previous 
to which their interest may be assumed to have turned to the 
compositions of the trouveres. In the early Norman period, 
the poets of Ireland might well have begun to imitate Romance 
models. But, strange to say, they did not, and, for this, various 
reasons might be assigned. The flowing verses of the Anglo- 
Norman were impossible for men who delighted in the tram- 
mels of the native prosody; and in the heyday of French 
influence, the patrons of letters in Ireland probably insisted 
on hearing the foreign compositions in their original dress, as 
these nobles were doubtless sufficiently versed in Norman- 
French to be able to appreciate them. But a still more potent 
factor was the conservatism of the hereditary Irish poet fami- 
lies. A close corporation, they appear to have resented every 
innovation, and were content to continue the tradition of their 
ancestors. The direct consequence of this tenacious clinging 
to the fashions of by-gone days rendered it impossible, nay 
almost inconceivable, that the literary men of Ireland should 
have exerted any profound or immediate influence upon Eng- 
land or western Europe. Yet, nowadays, few serious scholars 
will be prepared to deny that the island contributed in con- 
siderable measure to the common literary stock of the Middle 


We might expect to find that direct influence, as a general 
rule, can be most easily traced in the case of religious themes. 
Here, in the literature of vision, so popular in Ireland, a chord 
was struck which continued to vibrate powerfully until tha 
time of the Reformation. In this branch the riotous fancy of 
the Celtic monk caught the medieval imagination from an 
early period. Bede has preserved for us the story of Fursey 
an Irish hermit who died in France, A. D. G50. The greatest 
Irish composition of this class with which we are acquainted, 
the Vision of Adamnan, does not appear to have been known 
outside the island, but a later work of a similar nature met 
with striking success. This was the Vision of Tundale (Tnud- 
gal), written in Latin by an Irishman named Marcus at 
Regensburg, about the middle of the twelfth century. It seems 
probable that this work was known to Dante, and, in addition 
to the numerous continental versions, there is a rendering of 
the story into Middle English verse. 

Closely allied to the Visions are the Imrama or "voyages" 
(Lat. navigationes) , The earliest romances of this class are 
secular, e. g., Imram Maelduin, which provided Tennyson with 
the frame-work of his well-known poem. However, the notor- 
ious love of adventure on the part of the Irish monks inevitably 
led to the composition of religious romances of a similar kind. 
The most famous story of this description, the Voyage of St. 
Brendan, found its way into every Christian country in Europe, 
and consequently figures in the South English Legendary, a col- 
lection of versified lives of saints made in the neighborhood 
of Gloucester towards the end of the thirteenth century. The 
episode of St. Brendan and the whale, moreover, was probably 
the ultimate source of one of Milton's best known similes in 
his description of Satan. Equally popular was the visit of Sir 
Owayn to the Purgatory of St. Patrick, which is also included 
in the same Middle English Legendary. Ireland further con- 
tributed in some measure to the common stock of medieval 
stories which were used as illustrations by the preachers and 
in works of an edifying character. 

When we turn to purely secular themes, we find ourselves 
on much less certain ground. Though the discussion as to the 
origins of the "romance of Uther's son", Arthur, continues with 


unabated vigor, many scholars have come to think that the 
Cehic background of these stories contains much that is de- 
rived from Hiberniari sources. Some writers in the past have 
argued in favor of an independent survival of common Celtic 
features .in Wales and Ireland, but now the tendency is to 
regard all such coincidences as borrowings on the part of 
Cymric craftsmen. At the beginning of the twelfth century a 
new impulse seems to have been imparted to native minstrelsy 
in Wales under 'the patronage of Gruff ydd ap Cynan, a prince 
of Gwynedd, who had spent many years in exile -at the court of 
Dublin. Some of the Welsh rhapsodists apparently served a 
kind of apprenticeship with their Irish brethren, and many 
things Irishiwere assimilated at this time which, through this 
channel, were shortly to find their way into Anglo-French. 
Thus it may now be regarded as certain that the name of the 
"fair sword" Excalibur, by Geoffrey called Caliburnus (Welsh 
caletfwlch) , is taken from Caladbolg, the far-famed broad- 
sword of Fergus macRoig. It does not appear that the whole 
framework of the Irish sagas was taken over, but, as Windisch 
pomts out, episodes were borrowed as well as^tricks of imagery. 
So, to mention but one, the central incident of Syr Gawayn and 
the Grene. Knyght is doubtless taken from the similar adven- 
ture of Cuchulainn in Bricriu's Feast. The share assigned to 
Irish influence in the matiere de Bretagne is likely to grow 
considerably with the progress of research. 

The fairy lore of Great Britain undoubtedly owes much to 
Celtic phantasy. Of this Chaucer, at any rate, had little doubt, 
as he writes: 

In th* olde dayes of the King Arthour, 
Of which that Britons speken greet honour, 
Al was this land fulfild of fayerye; 
The elf-queen, with hir joly companye, 
Daunced ful ofte in many a grene med. 

And here again there is a reasonable probability that certain 
features were borrowed from the wealth of story current in 
the neighboring isle. -Otherwise it is difficult to understand 
why the queen of fayerye should bear an Irish name (Mab, 
from Irish Medb), and curiously enough the form of the name 
rathef suggests that it was borrowed through a written medium 


and not by oral tradition. On the other hand it is incorrect 
to derive Puck from Irish puca, as the latter is undoubtedly 
borrowed from some torm of Teutonic speech. 

So all embracing a mind as that of the greatest* English 
dramatist could not fail to be interested in the gossip that must 
have been current in London at the time of the wars in Ulster. 
References to kerns and gallowglasses are fairly frequent. He 
had evidently heard of the marvellous powers with which the 
Irish 'bards were credited, for, in As You Like It, Rosalind 
exclaims : 

"I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras* time, that I 
was an Irish rat, which I can hardly remember.'* 

Similarly, in King Richard III, mention is made of the pro- 
phetic utterance of an Irish bard, a trait whicti does not appear 
in the poet's source. Any statements as to Irish influence in 
Shakespeare that go beyond this belong to the realm of con- 
jecture. Professor Kittredge has attempted to show that in Syr 
Orfeo, upon which the poet drew for portions of the plot of 
A Midsummer tNighfs Dream, the Irish story of Etain and 
Mider was fused with the medieval form of the classical tale of 
Orpheus and Eurydice. Direct influence is entirely wanting, 
and it is difficult to see how it could have been otherwise. 

Even in the case of the Elizabethan poet who spent many 
years in the south of Ireland, there is no trace of Hibernian 
lore or legend. Spenser, indeed, tells us himself that he had 
caused some of the native poetry to be translated to him, and 
had found that it "savoured' of sweet wit and good invention." 
But Ireland plays an infinitesimal part in the Faerie Queene. 
The scenery round Kilcolman Castle forms the background of 
much of the incident in Book V. "Marble far from Ireland 
brought" is mentioned in a simile in the second Book, where 
we also read: 

As when a swarme of gnats at eventide 
Out of the fennes of Allan do arise. 

But Ireland supplied no further inspiration. 

The various plantations of the seventeenth century pro- 
duced an Anglo-Irish stock which soon asserted itself in liter- 
ature. As a typical example, we may take the author of The 


Vicar of Wakeiield. At his first school at Lissoy, Oliver Gold- 
smith came under Thomas Byrne, a regular shanachie, pos- 
sessed of all the traditional lore, with a remarkable gift for 
versifying. It was under this man that the boy made his first 
attempts at verse, and his memory is celebrated (n The Deserted 
Village : 

There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, 
The village master taught his little school. 
A man severe he was, and stern to view. 

Unfortunately Goldsmith was removed to Elphin at the age of 
nine, and although he retained an affection for Irish music all 
his life, his intimate connection with Irish Ireland apparently 
ceased at this point. "Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the 
plain" is doubtless full of reminiscences of the poet's early 
years in Westmeath, but the sentiments, the rhythm, and the 
language are entirely cast in an English mould. We may 
mention, in passing, that it has been suggested that Swift de- 
rived the idea of the kingdom of Lilliput from the Irish story 
of the Adventures of Fergus macLeide amongst the lepre- 
chauns. All that can be said is that this derivation is not im- 
possible, though the fact that the tale is preserved only in a 
single manuscript rather points to the conclusion that the story 
did not enjoy great popularity in the seventeenth and eighteenth 

We have seen that Goldsmith was removed from an Irish 
atmosphere at a tender age, and this is not the only instance of 
the frowning of fortune upon the native literature. When the 
fame of the ancient bards of the Gael was noised from end to 
end of Europe, it was through the medium of Macpherson's 
forgeries. Fingal caught the fleeting fancy of the moment in 
a manner never achieved by the true Ossianic lays of Ireland. 
The Reliques of Irish Poetry, published by Miss Brooke by 
subscription in Dublin in 1789 to vindicate the antiquity of the 
literature of Erin, never went into a second edition. And 
although some of the pieces contained in that volume have 
been reprinted in such undertakings of a learned character as 
the volumes of the Dublin Ossianic Society, J. F. Campbell's 
Leabhar na Feinne, and Cameron's Reliquiae Celticae, they 


have aroused little interest amongst those ignorant of the Irish 

During the nineteenth century, the number of poets who 
drew upon Ireland's past for their themes increased consid- 
erably. The most popular of all is unquestionably the author 
of the Irish Melodies. But, here again, the poet owes little 
or nothing to vernacular poetry, the mould is English, the 
sentiments are those of the poet's age. Moore's acquaintance 
with the native language can have been but of the slightest, and 
in the case of Mangan we are told that he had to rely upon 
literal versions of Irish pieces furnished him by O'Donovan 
or O'Curry. Of the numerous attempts to reproduce the over- 
elaboration of rhyme to which Irish verse has ever been prone, 
Father Front's Bells of Shandon is perhaps the only one that 
is at all widely known. When the legendary lore of Ireland 
became accessible to men of letters, owing to the labors of 
O'Curry, O'Donovan, and Hennessy, and the publication of 
various ancient texts by the Irish Archaeological Society, it 
was to be expected that an attempt would be made by some 
poet of Erin to do for his native land what the Wizard of the 
North had accomplished for Scotland. The task was under- 
taken by Sir Samuel Ferguson, who met with conspicuous suc- 
cess. His most ambitious effort, Congal, deals in epic fashion 
with the story of the battle of Moyra. Others in similar strain 
treat the story of Conaire Mor and Deirdre, whilst others 
such as the Tain-Quest are more in the nature of ballads. 
Ferguson did more to introduce the English reading pub- 
lic to Irish story than would have been accomplished by 
any number of bald translations. His diction is little affected 
by the originals, and he sometimes treats his materials with 
great freedom, but his achievement was a notable one, and he 
has not infrequently been acclaimed as the national poet. 

Is it perhaps invidious to single out any living author for 
special mention, but this brief survey cannot close without 
noticing the dramatic poems of W. B. Yeats, the latest poet 
who attempts to present the old stories in an English dress. 
His plays On Baile's Strand, Deirdre, and others, have become 
familiar to English audiences through the excellent acting of 
the members of the Abbey Theatre Company. The original 


texts are now much better known than they were in Fergu- 
son's day, and Mr. Yeats consequently cannot permit himself 
the same liberties. Similarly, it is only during the last twenty- 
five years that the language of Irish poetry has been carefully 
studied, and Mr. Yeats has this advantage over his prede- 
cessors that on occasion, e. g., in certain passages in The King's 
Threshold, he is able to introduce with great effect reminis- 
cences of the characteristic epithets and imagery which formed 
so large a part of the stock-in-trade of the medieval bard. 

References ; 

Friedel and Meyer: La Vision de Tondale (Paris, 1907); Bos- 
well: An Irish Precursor of Dante (London, 1908) ; Cambridge His- 
tory of English Literature, vol. I, chaps, xii and xvi ; Windisch : Das 
Keltische Brittannien (Leipzig, 1912), more especially chap, xxxvii; 
Dictionary of National Biography; Gwynn: Thos. Moore ("English 
Men •f Letters" Series, London, 1905). 


By Alfrkd PercevaIv Graves. 

AMONG savage peoples there is at first no distinction of a 
definite kind between good and bad spirits, and when a 
distinction has been reached, a great advance in a spiritual 
direction has been made. For the key to the religion of sav- 
ages is fear, and until such terror has been counteracted by 
behef in beneficent powers, civilization will not follow. But 
the elimination of the fear of the unseen is a slow process: 
indeed, it will exist side by side with the belief in Christianity 
itself, after a modification through various stages of better 
pagan belief. 

Ireland still presents, in its more out-of-the-way districts, 
evidence of that strong persistence in the belief in maleficent 
or malicious influences of the pre-Christian powers of the air, 
which it seems difficult to eradicate from the Celtic imagina- 
tion. In the celebrated poem entitled The Breastplate of St 
Patrick, there is much the same attitude on the part of Patrick 
towards the Druids and their powers of concealing and 
changing, of paralyzing and cursing, as was shown by Moses 
towards the magicians of Egypt. Indeed, in Patrick's time a 
belief in a world of fairies existed even in the king's house- 
hold, for "when the two daughters of King Leary of Ireland, 
Ethnea the fair and Fedelma the ruddy, came early one morn- 
ing to the well of Clebach to wash, they found there a synod of 
holy bishops with Patrick. And they knew not whence they 
came, or in what form, or from what people, or from what 
country ; but they supposed them to be Duine Sidh, or gods of 
the earth, or a phantasm." 

Colgan explains the term Didne Sidh thus: "Fantastical 
spirits," he writes, "are by the Irish called men of the Sidh, 
because they are seen, as It were, to come out of the beautiful 
hills to infest men, and hence the vulgar belief that they reside 
in certain subterranean habitations: and sometimes the hills 
themselves are called, by the Irish, Sidhe or Siodhaf 

No doubt, when the princesses spoke of the gods of the 
earth, reference was made to such pagan deities as Beal; 

IRISH ]!^OI.KLOR^ 391 

Dagda the great or the good god ; Aine, the Moon, goddess of 
the water and of wisdom; Manannan macLir, the Irish Nep- 
tune ; Crom, the Irish Ceres ; and Iphinn, the benevolent, whose 
relations to the Irish Oirfidh resembled those of Apollo to- 
wards Orpheus; and to the allegiance they owed to the Ele- 
ments, the Wind, and the Stars. But besides these pagan 
divinities and powers, and quite apart from them, the early 
Irish believed in two classes of fairies: in the first place, a 
hierarchy of fairy beings, well and ill disposed, not differing 
in appearance, to any great degree at any rate, from human 
beings — good spirits and demons, rarely visible during the day- 
time; and, in the second place, there was the magic race of 
the De Danann, who, after conquest by the Milesians, trans- 
formed themselves into fairies, and in that guise continued to 
inhabit the underworld of the Irish hills, and to issue thence 
in support of Irish heroes, or to give their aid against other 
fairy adversaries. 

There is another theory to account for the fairy race. It 
is that they are angels who revolted with Satan and were ex- 
cluded from heaven for their unworthiness, but were not 
found evil enough for hell, and therefore were allowed to 
occupy that intermediate space which has been called "the 
Other World." It is still a moot point with the Irish peas- 
antry, as it was with the Irish saints of old, whether, after 
being compelled to dwell without death among rocks and hills, 
lakes and seas, bushes and forest, till the day of judgment, the 
fairies then have the chance of salvation. Indeed, the fairies 
are themselves believed to have great doubts of a future exist- 
ence, though, like many men, entertaining undefined hopes of 
happiness ; and hence the enmity which some of them have for 
mankind, who, they acknowledge, will live eternally. Thus 
their actions are balanced between generosity and vindictivc- 
ness towards the human race. 

Mr. W. Y. Evans Wentz, A. M., of Leland Stanford Uni- 
versity, California, and Jesus College, Oxford, has received an 
honorary degree from the latter university for his thesis, 
"The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries: Its Psychical Origin 
and Nature", a most laborious as well as ingenious work, whose 
object is to prove "that the origin of the fairy faith is psy- 


chical, and that fairyland, being thought of as an invisible 
world within which the visible world is immersed as an island 
in an unexplored ocean, actually exists, and that it is peopled 
by more species of living beings than this world, because in- 
comparably more vast and varied in its possibilities." This 
may be added as a fourth theory to account for the existence 
of fairies, and it may be further stated here that the Irish 
popular belief in ghosts attributes to some of their departed 
spirits much of the same violence and malice with which 
fairies are credited. Mr. Jeremiah Curtin gives striking in- 
stances of this kind in his book, the Folk Lore of West Kerry, 
It became necessary, therefore, for the Gaels who believed 
in the preternatural powers of the fairies for good and ill to 
propitiate them as far as possible. On May eve, accordingly^ 
cattle were driven into raths and bled there, some of the blood 
being tasted, the rest poured out in sacrifice. Men and women 
were also bled on these occasions. The seekers for buried 
treasure, over which fairies were supposed to have influence, 
immolated a black cock or a black cat to propitiate them. 
Again, a cow, suffering from sickness believed to be due to 
fairy malice, was bled and then devoted to St. Martin. If it 
recovered, it was never sold or killed. The first new milk of a 
cow was poured out on the ground to propitiate the fairies, 
and especially on the ground within a fairy rath. The first 
drop of any drink is also thrown out by old Irish people. If 
a child spills milk, the mother says, "that's for the fairies, 
leave it to them and welcome." Slops should never be thrown 
out of doors without the warning, "Take care of water !" lest 
fairies should be passing invisibly and get soiled by the dis- 
charge. Eddies of dust upon the road are supposed to be 
caused by the fairies, and tufts of grass, sticks, and pebbles 
are thrown into the centre of the eddy to propitiate the unseen 
beings. Some fairies of life size, who live within the green 
hills or under the raths, are supposed to carry oft' healthy 
babes to be made fairy children, their abstractors leaving weak 
changelings in their place. Similarly, nursing mothers are 
sometimes supposed to be carried off to give the breast to 
fairy babes, and handsome young men are spirited away to 
become bridegrooms to fairy brides. Again, folk suffering 


from falling sickness are supposed to be in that condition 
owing to the fatigue caused by nocturnal rides through the air 
with the fairies, whose steeds are bewitched rushes, blades of 
grass, straws, fern roots, and cabbage stalks. The latter, to be 
serviceable for the purpose, should be cut into the rude shapes 
of horses before the metamorphosis can takxi place. 

Iron of every kind keeps away malignant fairies: thus, a 
horseshoe nailed to the bottom of the churn prevents butter 
from being bewitched. Here is a form of charm against the 
fairies who have bewitched the butter : "Every window should 
be barred, a great turf fire should be lit upon which nine irons 
should be placed, the bystanders chanting twice over in Irish, 
'Come, butter, come; Peter stands at the gate waiting for a 
buttered cake.' As the irons become heated the witch will 
try to break in, asking the people to take the irons, which are 
burning her, off the fire. On their refusing, she will go and 
bring back the butter to the churn. The irons may then be 
removed from the fire and all will go well." 

If a neighbor or stranger should enter a cottage during the 
churning, he should put his hand to the dash, or the butter 
will not come. A small piece of iron should be sewed into an 
infant's clothes and kept there until the child is baptized, and 
salt should be sprinkled over his cradle to preserve the babe 
from abduction. The fairies are supposed to have been con- 
quered by an iron-weaponed race, and hence their dread of 
the metal. 

To recover a spell-bound friend, stand on All Hallows' eve 
at cross roads or at a spot pointed out by a wise woman or 
fairy doctor. When you have rubbed fairy ointment on your 
eyelids, the fairies will become visible as the host sweeps by 
with its captive, whom the gazer will then be able to recog- 
nize. A sudden gust announces their approach. Stooping 
down, you will then throw dust or milk at the procession, 
whose members are then obliged to surrender your spell- 
bound friend. If a man leaves home after his wife's confine- 
ment, some of his clothes should be spread over the mother 
and infant, or the fairies may carry them off. It is good for a 
woman, but bad for a man, to dream of fairies. It betokens 


marriage for a girl, misfortune for a man, who should not 
undertake serious business for some time after such dreaming*. 

Fairy chang-clings may be recognized by tricky habits, 
constant crying, and other unusual characteristics. It was 
customary to recover the true child m the following 
way; The changeling was placed upon an iron shovel over 
the fire, when it would go shrieking up the chimney, and the 
bona fide human child would be restored. It was believed that 
fairy changelings often produced a set of small bagpipes from 
under the clothes and played dance music upon them, till the 
inmates of the cottage dropped with exhaustion from the 
effects of the step dancing they were compelled to engage in. 

On Samain eve, the night before the first of November, 
or, as it is now called. All Hallows* night or Hallowe'en, all 
the fairy hills or shees are thrown wide open and the fairy host 
issues forth, as mortals who are bold enough to venture near 
may see. Naturally therefore people keep indoors so as not to 
encounter the spectral host. The superstition that the fairies 
are abroad on Samain night still exists m Ireland and Scot- 
land, and there is a further belief, no doubt derived from it, 
that the graves are open on that night and that the spirits of 
the dead are abroad. 

Salt, as already suggested, is regarded to be so lucky that 
if a child falls, it should always be given three pinches of salt, 
and if a neighbor calls to borrow salt, it should not be refused, 
even though it be the last grain in the houso* 

An infant born with teeth should have them drawn by the 
nearest smith, and the first teeth when shed should be thrown 
into the fire, lest the fairies should get hold of what had been 
part of you. 

Those who hear fairy music are supposed to be haunted by 
the melody, and many are believed to go mad or commit sui- 
cide in consequence. 

The fairies are thought to engage in warfare with one an- 
other, and in the year 1800 a specially sanguinary battle was 
believed to have been fought between two clans of the fairies 
in county Kilkenny. In the morning the hawthorns along 
the fences were found crushed to pieces and drenched with 

IRISH roi,KLOR:a 295 

In popular belief fairies often go hunting, and faint sounds 
of fairy horns, the baying of fairy hounds, and the cracking 
of fairy whips are supposed to be heard on these occasions, 
while the flight of the hunters is said to resemble in sound the 
humming of bees. 

Besides the life-sized fairies who are reputed to have these 
direct dealings with human beings, there are diminutive pre- 
ternatural beings who are also supposed to come into close 
touch with men. Among these is the Luchryman (Leith- 
phrogan)y or brogue maker, otherwise known as Leprechaun. 
He is always found mending or making a shoe, and, if grasped 
firmly and kept constantly in view, will disclose hidden treas- 
ure to you, or render up his sparan na sgillinge, or purse of the 
(inexhaustible) shilling. He can only be bound by a plough 
chain or woolen thread. He is the symbol of industry which, 
if steadily faced, leads to fortune, but, if lost sight of, is fol- 
lowed by its forfeiture. 

Love in idleness is personified by another pigmy, the Gean- 
canach (love-talker). He does not appear, like the Leprechaun, 
with a purse in one of his pockets, but with his hands in both 
of them, and a dudeen (short pipe) in his mouth, as he lazily 
strolls through lonely valleys making love to the foolish coun- 
try lasses and "gostering" with the idle "boys." To meet him 
meant bad luck, and whoever was ruined by ill-judged love was 
said to have been with the Geancanach. 

Another evil sprite was the Clobher-ceann, "a jolly, red- 
faced, drunken little fellow," always "found astride of a wine- 
butt" singing and drinking from a full tankard in a hard 
drinker's cellar, and bound by his appearance to bring its owner 
to speedy ruin. 

Then there were the Leannan-sighes, or native Muses, to be 
found in every place of note to inspire the local bard, and the 
Beansighes (Banshees, fairy women) attached to each of the 
old Irish families and giving warning of the death of one of 
its members with piteous lamentations. 

Black Joanna of the Boyne (Siubhan Dubh na Boinne) ap- 
peared on Hallowe'en in the shape of a great black fowl, 
bringing luck to the home whose Banithee (woman %{ th« 
house) kept the dwelling constantly clean and n^at. 


The Pooka, who appeared in the shape of a horse, and whom 
Shakespeare is by many beheved to have adapted as "Puck," 
was a gobhn who combined "horse-play" with viciousness, but 
also at times helped with the housework. 

The Dullaghan was a churchyard demon whose head was of 
a movable kind. Dr. Joyce writes: "You generally meet 
him with his head in his pocket, under his arm, or absent 
altogether; or if you have the fortune to light upon a number 
of Dullaghans, you may see them amusing themselves by fling- 
ing their heads at one another or kicking them for footballs." 

An even more terrible churchyard demon is the fascinating 
phantom that waylays the widower at his wife's very tomb, 
and poisons him by her kiss when he has yielded to her blan- 

Of monsters the Irish had, and still believe in, the Piast 
(Latin bestia), a huge dragon or serpent confined to lakes by 
St. Patrick till the day of judgment, but still occasionally seen 
in their waters. In old Fenian times, namely, the days of Finn 
and his companion knights, the Piasts, however, roamed the 
country, devouring men and women and cattle in large num- 
bers, and some of the early heroes are recorded to have been 
swallowed alive by them and then to have hewed their way 
out of their entrails. 

Merrows, or Mermaids, are also still believed in, and many 
folk tales exist describing their intermarriage with mortals. 

According to Nicholas O'Kearney, "It is the general opinion 
of many old persons versed in native traditional lore, that, be- 
fore the introduction of Christianity, all animals possessed the 
faculties of human reason and speech; and old story-tellers 
will gravely inform you that every beast could speak before 
the arrival of St. Patrick, but that the saint having expelled 
the demons from the land by the sound of his bell, all the ani- 
mals that, before that time, had possessed the power of fore- 
telling future events, such as the Black Steed of Binn-each- 
lahhra, the Royal Cat of Cloughmagh-righ-cat (Clough), and 
others, became mute, and many of them fled to Egypt and 
other foreign countries." 

Cats are said to have been appointed to guard hidden treas- 
ures; and there are few who have not heard old Irish people 


tell about strange meetings of cats and violent battles fought 
by them in the neighborhood. "It was believed," adds O'Kear- 
ney, **that an evil spirit in the shape of a cat assumed com- 
mand over these animals in various districts, and that when 
those wicked beings pleased they could compel all the cats be- 
longing to their division to attack those of some other district. 
The same was said of rats ; and rat-expellers, when command- 
ing a colony of those troublesome and destructive animals to 
emigrate to some other place, used to address their 'billet' to 
the infernal rat supposed to hold command over the rest. In a 
curious pamphlet on the power of bardic compositions to charm 
and expel rats, lately published, Mr. Eugene O'Curry states 
that a degraded priest, who was descended from an ancient 
family of hereditary bards, was enabled to expel a colony of 
rats by the force of satire !" 

Hence, of course, Shakespeare's reference to rhyming Irish 
rats to death. 

It will thus be seen that Irish Fairy Lore well deserves to 
have been called by Mr. Alfred Nutt, one of the leading 
authorities on the subject, "as fair and bounteous a harvest of 
myth and romance as ever flourished among any race." 

References : 

Alex. Carmichael: Carmina Gadelica; David Comyn: The Boyish 
Exploits of Finn; the Periodical, "Folklore"; Lady Gregory: Cuchu- 
lain of Muirthemne, Gods and Fighting Men ; Miss Eleanor Hull : The 
Cuchulain Saga in Irish Literature ; Douglas Hyde : Beside the Fire, 
(a collection of Irish Gaelic Folk Stories), Leal)har Sgeulaicheachta, 
(Folk Stories in Irish); "Irish Penny Journal"; Patrick Kennedy: 
The Fireside Stories of Ireland, Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celt ; 
Standish Hayes O'Grady: Silva Gadelica; Wood-Martin: Traces of 
the Elder Faiths in Ireland, Pagan Ireland; W. Y. Wentz: The 
Fairy Faith In Celtic Countries ; Lady Wilde : Charms, Incantations, 
etc. ; Celtic articles in Hastings* Dictionary of Religion and Ethics. 


By Chari^s L. Graves. 

NO record of the glories of Ireland would be complete 
without an effort, however inadequate, to analyze and 
illustrate her wit and humor. Often misunderstood, misrep- 
resented, and misinterpreted, they arc nevertheless universally 
admitted to be racial traits, and for an excellent reason. Other 
nations exhibit these qualities in their literature, and Ireland 
herself is rich in writers who have furnished food for mirth. 
But her special pre-eminence resides in the possession of what, 
to adapt a famous phrase, may be called an anima naturaliter 
jocosa. Irish wit and Irish humor are a national inheritance. 
They are inherent in the race as a whole, independent of edu- 
cation or culture or comfort. The best Irish sayings are 
the sayings of the people; the greatest Irish humorists are the 
nameless multitude who have never written books or found a 
place in national dictionaries of biography. None but an 
Irishman could have coined that supreme expression of con- 
tempt: *'I wouldn't be seen dead with him at a pig- fair," or 
rebuked a young barrister because he did not "squandhcr his 
carcass" {i. e., gesticulate) enough. But we cannot trace the 
paternity of these sayings any more than we can that of the 
lightning retort of the man to whom one of the "quality" had 
given a glass of whisky. "That's made another man of you. 
Patsy," remarked the donor. " 'Deed an' it has, sor," Patsy 
flashed back, "an' that other man would be glad of another 
glass." It is enough for our purpose to note that such sayings 
are typically Irish and that their peculiar felicity consists in 
their combining both wit and humor. 

To what element in the Irish nature are we to attribute this 
joyous and illuminating gift? No one who is not a Gaelic 
scholar can venture to dogmatize on this thorny subject. But, 
setting philology and politics aside, it is hard to avoid the 
conclusion that Ireland has gained rather than lost in this 
respect by the clash of races and languages. Gaiety, we are 
told, is not the predominating characteristic of the Celtic tem- 
perament, nor is it reflected in the prose and verse of the "old 


ancient days" that have come down to us. Glamowr and magic 
and passion abound in the lays and legends of the ancient Gael, 
but there is more melancholy than mirth in these tales of long 
ago. Indeed, it is interesting to note in connection with this 
subject that the younger school of Irish writers associated with 
what is called the Celtic Renascence have, with very few excep- 
tions, sedulously eschewed anything approaching to jocosity, 
preferring the paths of crepuscular mysticism or sombre real- 
ism, and openly avowing their distaste for what they consider 
to be the denationalized sentiment of Moore, Lever, and Lover. 
To say this is not to disparage the genius of Yeats and Synge; 
it is merely a statement of fact and an illustration of the eternal 
dualism of the Irish temperament, which Moore himself 
realized when he wrote of "Erin, the tear and the smile in 
thine eye." 

A reaction against the Donnybrook tradition was inevitable 
and to a great extent wholesome, since the stage Irishman of the 
transpontine drama or the music-halls was for the most part a 
gross and unlovely caricature, but, like all reactions, it has 
tended to obscure the real merits and services of those who 
showed the other side of the medal. Lever did not exagger- 
ate more than Dickens, and his portraits of Galway fox- 
liunters and duellists, of soldiers of fortune, and of Dublin 
undergraduates were largely based on fact. At his best he 
was a most exhilarating companion, and his pictures of Irish 
life, if partial, were not misleading. He held no brief for the 
landlords, and in his later novels showed a keen sense of their 
shortcomings. The plain fact is that, in considering the literary 
glories of Ireland, we cannot possibly overlook the work of 
those Irishmen who were affected by English influences or 
wrote for an English audience. 

Anglo-Irish humorous literature was a comparatively late 
product, but its efflorescence was rapid and triumphant. The 
first great name is that of Goldsmith, and, though deeply in- 
fluenced in technique and choice of subjects by his association 
with English men of letters and by his residence in Eng- 
land, in spirit he remained Irish to the end — generous, im- 
pulsive, and improvident in his life; genial, gay, and tender- 
hearted in his works. The Victr of Wakefield was Dr. 


Primrose, but he might just as well have been called Dr. 
Shamrock. No surer proof of the pre-eminence of Irish 
wit and humor can be found than in the fact that, Shakespeare 
alone excepted, no writers of comedy have held the boards 
longer or more triumphantly than Goldsmith and his brother 
Irishman, Sheridan. She Stoops to Conquer, The Rivals, The 
School for Scandal, and The Critic represent the sunny side 
of the Irish genius to perfection. They illustrate, in the most 
convincing way possible, how the debt of the world to Ireland 
has been increased by the fate which ordained that her choicest 
spirits should express themselves in a language of wider appeal 
than the ancient speech of Erin. 

On the other hand, English literature and the English tongue 
have gained greatly from the influence exerted by writers famil- 
iar from their childhood with turns of speech and modes of ex- 
pression which, even when they are not translations from the 
Gaelic, are characteristic of the Hibernian temper. The late 
Dr. P. W. Joyce, in his admirable treatise on English as spoken 
in Ireland, has illustrated not only the essentially bilingual char- 
acter of the Anglo-Irish dialect, but the modes of thought 
which it enshrines. There is no better known form of Irish 
humor than that commonly called the "Irish bull," which is too 
often set down to lax thinking and faulty logic. But it is the 
rarest thing to encounter a genuine Irish "bull" which is not 
picturesque and at the same time highly suggestive. Take, for 
example, the saying of an old Kerry doctor who, when con- 
versing with a friend on the high rate of mortality, observed, 
"Bedad, there's people dyin* who never died before." Here a 
truly illuminating result was attained by the simple device of 
using the indicative for the conditional mood — as in Juvenal's 
famous comment on Cicero's second Philippic : Antoni gladios 
potuit contemnere si sic omnia dixisset. The Irish "bull" is a 
heroic and sometimes successful attempt to sit upon two stools 
at once, or, as an Irishman put it, "Englishmen often make 
'bulls,' but the Irish 'bull' is always pregnant." 

Though no names of such outstanding distinction as those 
of Goldsmith and Sheridan occur in the early decades of the 
nineteenth century, the spirit of Irish comedy was kept vigor- 
ously alive by Maria Edgeworth, William Ma|flnn, Francifc 


Mahony (Father Prout), and William Carleton. Sir Walter 
Scott's splendid tribute to the genius of Maria Edgeworth is 
regarded by some critics as extravagant, but it is largely con- 
firmed in a most unexpected quarter. Turgenief, the great 
Russian novelist, proclaimed himself her disciple, and has left 
it on record that but for her example he might never have 
attempted to give literary form to his impressions of the classes 
in Russia corresponding to the poor Irish and the squireens and 
the squires of county Longford. Maginn and Mahony were 
both scholars — the latter happily called himself "an Irish 
potato seasoned with Attic salt" — wrote largely for English 
periodicals, and spent most of their lives out of Ireland. In 
the writings of all three an element of the grotesque is ob- 
servable, tempered, however, in the case of Mahony, with a 
vein of tender pathos which emerges in his delightful "Bells of 
Shandon." Maginn was a wit, Mahony was the hedge-school- 
master in excelsis, and Carleton was the first realist in Irish 
peasant fiction. But all alike drew their best inspiration from 
essentially Irish themes. The pendulum has swung back 
slowly but steadily since the days when Irish men of letters 
found it necessary to accommodate their genius to purely Eng- 
lish literary standards. Even Lever, though he wrote for the 
English public, wrote mainly about Ireland. So, too, with his 
contemporary Le Fanu, whose reputation rests on a double 
basis. He made some wonderful excursions into the realm 
of the bizarre, the uncanny, and the gruesome. But in the 
collection known as The Purcell Papers will be found three 
short stories which for exuberant drollery and "diversion" 
have never been excelled. That the same man could have 
written Uncle Silas and The Quare Gander is yet another proof 
of the strange dualism of the Irish character. 

The record of the last fifty years shows an uninterrupted 
progress in the invasion of English belles lettres by Irish 
writers. Outside literature, perhaps the most famous sayer 
of good things of our times was a simple Irish parish priest, 
the late Father Healy. Of his humorous sayings the number 
is legion; his wit may be illustrated by a less familiar ex- 
ample — his comment on a very tall young lady named Lynch : 
"Nature g^avc her an inch and she took an ell." In the House 


of Commons today there is no greater master of irony and 
sardonic humor than his namesake, Mr. Tim Hcaly. On one 
occasion he remarked that Lord Rosebery was not a man to 
go tiger-shooting with — except at the Zoo. On another, being 
anxious to bring an indictment against the "Castle" regime in 
Dublin and finding the way blocked by a debate on Uganda, 
he successfully accomplished his purpose by a judicious geo- 
graphical transference of names, and convulsed the House by 
a speech in which the nomenclature of Central Africa was 
applied to the government of Ireland. 

But wit and humor are the monopoly of no class or calling 
in Ireland. They flourish ahke among car-drivers and K. C.*s, 
publicans and policemen, priests and parsons, beggars and 
peers. It is a commonplace of criticism to deny these qualities 
in their highest form to women. But this is emphatically 
untrue of Ireland, and was never more conclusively disproved 
than by the recent literary achievements of her daughters. 
The partnership of two Irish ladies, Miss Edith Somerville 
and Miss Violet Martin, has given us, in Some Experiences of 
an Irish R. M. {%. e., Resident Magistrate), the most delicious 
comedy, and in The Real Charlotte the finest tragi-comedy, 
that have come out of Great Britain in the last thirty years. 
The R. M., as it is familiarly called, is already a classic, but 
the Irish comedie humaine — to use the phrase in the sense 
of Balzac — is even more vividly portrayed in the pages ©f 
The Real Charlotte. Humor, genuine though intermittent, 
irradiates the autumnal talent of Miss Jane Barlow, and the 
long roll of gifted Irishwomen who have contributed to the 
gaiety of nations may be closed with the names of Miss Hunt, 
author of Folk Tales of Breffny; of Miss Purdon and Miss 
Winifred Letts, who in prose and verse, respectively, have 
moved us to tears and laughter by their studies of Leinster 
peasant life; and of "Moira O'Neill" (Mrs. Skrine), the incom- 
parable singer of the Glens of Antrim. To give a full list of 
the living Irish writers, male and female, who are engaged in 
the benevolent work of driving dull care away would be im- 
possible within the space at our command. But we cannot end 
without recognition of the exhilarating extravaganzas of 


"George A. Birmingham" (Canon Hannay), the freakish and 
elnn muse of James Stephens, and the coruscating wit of F. P. 
Dunne, the famous Irish- American humorist, whose "Mr. 
Dooley" is a household word on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Refebencsb : 

Goldsmith : Vicar of Wakefield, She Stoops to Conquer ; Sheridan : 
The Rivals, The School for Scandal, The Critic; R. Edgeworth: 
Essay on Irish Bulls; M. Edgeworth: Castle Rackrent, The Ab- 
sentee; Maginn: Miscellanies in Prose and Verse; Carleton: Traits 
and Stories of the Irish Peasantry; Mahony (Father Prout) : Re- 
liques of Father Prout; John and Michael Banim: Tales of the 
O'Hara Family; Lover: Legends and Stories of Ireland, Handy 
Andy ; Lever : Harry Lorrequer, Charles O'Malley, Lord Kilgobbin ; Le 
Fanu: The Purcell Papers; Barlow: Bogland Studies, Irish Idylls, 
Irish Neighbours ; Birmingham : The Seething Pot, Spanish Gold, The 
Major's Niece, The Red Hand of Ulster, General John Regan ; Steph- 
ens: The Crock of Gold, Here are Ladies; Hunt: The Folk Tales 
of Breffny; Purdon: The Folk of Furry Farm; Somerville and 
Ross : The Real Charlotte, Some Experiences of an Irish R. M., All 
on the Irish Shore, Dan Russel the Fox. 


By Joseph Holloway, 

THE Irish theatre and secular drama may be said to begin 
with the production of James Shirley's historical play, 
St. Patrick for Ireland, in Werburgh Street Theatre, about 
1636-7; and though Dublin was a great school for acting, and 
supplied many of the best players to the English stage, such 
as Quin, Macklin, Peg Woffington, Miss O'Neill, and hosts of 
others, it never really possessed a creative theatre (save at 
the Capel Street Theatre for a few years during the Grattan 
Parliament) until the modern movement in Ireland came into 
being and the Abbey Theatre became its headquarters. 

Of course, innumerable plays by Irish writers were written, 
but most of them were not distinctively Irish in character; 
and the names of Goldsmith, Sheridan, O'Keeffe, Farquhar, 
Sheridan Knowles, Oscar Wilde, and dozens of others will 
always be remembered as great Irish writers for the stage. 
And when fine impersonators of Irish character like Tyrone 
Power, John Drew, or Barney Williams arrived, there were 
always to be found several clever writers to fit them with 
parts, the demand always creating the supply. 

Even before Dion Boucicault took to writing Irish dramas 
of a more palatable and less "stage-Irish" character than those 
of his immediate predecessors, some excellent plays, Irish in 
character and tone, had from time to time found their way to 
the stage. However, Boucicault sweetened our stage by the 
production of The Colleen Bawn, Arrah-na-Pogue, and The 
Shaughraun, and showed by his rollicking impersonations of 
Myles, Shan, and Conn, how good-humored, hearty, and self- 
sacrificing Irish boys in humble life can be. ' He had great 
technical knowledge of stagecraft, and that has helped to 
make his Irish plays live in the popular goodwill right up 
to today. 

A revolt against Boucicault*s Irish boys, all fun and frolic, 
and charming colleens, who could do no wrong, has made our 
modern playwrights go to the other extreme; so that now wc 
find our stage peopled with peasants, cruel, hard, and for- 


bidding for the most part, and with colleens who are the 
reverse of lovable in thought or act Neither picture is quite 
true of our people. What is really wanted is the happy 
medium, which few, if any, of our new playwrights have yet 
given us. 

If our great popular Irish drama has yet to come, I think 
the Fays have made it possible to say that a distinct and 
really fine dramatic school has arisen in Ireland, evolved out 
of their wonderful skill in teaching, producing, and acting; 
and if we are not always really delighted with what our play- 
wrights give us, the almost perfect way in which the plays are 
served up by the actors invariably wholly satisfies. It is the 
actors who have made the Abbey Theatre famous, and not the 
plays. Such acting as theirs cast a spell over all who see them. 
What pleasing memories do the names of W. G. Fay, Frank 
J. Fay, Dudley Digges, Sara Allgood, Arthur Sinclair, Maire 
O'Neill, Maire ni Shuiblaigh, J. M. Kerrigan, Fred O'Dono- 
van, Eileen O'Doherty, Una O'Connor, Eithne Magee, Nora 
Desmond, and John Connolly recall ! 

With the production of W. B. Yeats*s poetic one-act play. 
The Land of Heart's Desire, at the Avenue Theatre, London, 
on March 29, 1894, began the modern Irish dramatic move- 
ment. When the poet had tasted the joys of the footlights, he 
longed to see an Irish Literary Theatre realized in Ireland. 
Five years later, in the Antient Concert Rooms, Dublin, on 
May 9, 1899, his play, The Countess Cathleen, was produced, 
and his desire gratified. The experiment was tried for three 
years and then dropped; plays by Yeats, Edward Martyn, 
George Moore, and Alice Milligan were staged with English- 
trained actors in the casts; and a Gaelic play — the first ever 
presented in a theatre in Ireland — was also given during the 
third season. It was The Tzvisting of the Rope, by Dr. Douglas 
Hyde, and was played at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, on Octo- 
ber 21, 1901, by a Gaelic Amateur Dramatic Society coached 
by W. G. Fay. The author filled the principal part with 

It was while rehearsing this play that the thought came to 
Fay : "Why not have my little company of Irish-born actors — 
the Ormond Dramatic Society — appear in plays by Irish writers 


instead of in the ones they have been giving for years?*' 
And the thought soon ripened into realization. Hi» brother, 
Frank, had dreamed of such a company since he read of 
the small beginnings out of which the Norwegian Theatre had 
grown; and just then, seeing some of "^'s" (George Russell's) 
play, Deirdre, in the All Ireland Review, he asked the author if 
he would allow them to produce it, and, consent being given, 
the company put it into rehearsal at once. *'M" got for them 
from Yeats Kathleen-Ni-Houlihan, to make up the programme. 
Thus it was that this company of amateurs and poets, now 
known as the Abbey Players, came into existence, and at St. 
Teresa's Hall, Clarendon Street, Dublin, gave their first per- 
formance on April 2, 1902. 

Shortly afterwards they took a hall at the back of a shop 
in Camden Street, where they rehearsed and gave a few public 
performances. On "M" declining to be their president, Frank 
Fay suggested the name of W. B. Yeats, and he was elected, 
and in that way came again into the movement in which he has 
figured so largely ever since. 

The company played occasionally in the Molesworth Hall, 
and produced there, amongi other pieces, Synge's In the 
Shadow of the Glen (October 8, 1903) and Riders to the Sea 
(February 25, 1904) ; Yeats's The Hour Glass (March 14, 
1903) and The King's Threshold (October 8, 1903); Lady 
Gregory's Twenty- five (March 14, 1903) ; and Padraic Colum's 
Broken Soil (December 3, 1903). 

On March 26, 1904, the company paid a flying one-day visit 
to the Royalty, London, and Miss A. E. F. Horniman, who 
had given Shaw, Yeats, and Dr. John Todhunter their first 
real start as playwrights at the Avenue, London, in March- 
April, 1894 (Shaw had had his first play, Widowers' Houses, 
played by the Independent Theatre in 1892), saw the perform- 
ance, and was so impressed that she thought she would like to 
find a suitable home for such talent in Dublin, and fixed upon 
the old Mechanics* Institute and its surrounding buildings, 
and there the Abbey Theatre soon aftcrwardu — on December 
87, 1904 — came into existence. 

In writing of this Irish dramatic movement, one must 
always bear in mind that it was Yeats who first conceived the 


idea of such a movement; the Fays who founded the school 
of Irish acting; and Miss Horniman who, Hke a fairy god- 
mother, waved the wand, and gave it a habitation and a 
name — the Abbey Theatre — and endowed it for six years. 

Play followed play with great rapidity, and dramatic socie- 
ties sprang up all over the country, playing home-made pro- 
ductions in Gaelic and English. All Ireland seemed to be 
play-acting and play-writing; so much so that Frank Fay was 
heard to say that "he thought everyone had a play in his 
pocket, and that anyone in the street could be picked up and 
shaped into an actor or actress with a little training, Ireland 
was so teeming with talent !" 

Dramatic Ireland had slumbered for a long while, and 
awoke with tremendous vigor for work. New dramatists 
sprang up in all parts of Ireland; The Ulster Literary Theatre 
started in Belfast; The Cork Dramatic Society, in Cork; The 
Theatre of Ireland, in Dublin; and others in Galway and 
Waterford soon followed. In Dublin at present more than 
half a dozen dramatic societies are continually producing new 
plays and discovering new acting talent. There are also two 
Gaelic dramatic societies. And nearly every town in Ireland 
now has its own dramatic class and its own dramatists. All 
this activity has come about within the last ten or twelve 
years, where, before, in many places, drama and acting were 
almost unknown. 

Many Gaelic societies throughout the country put on Gaelic 
plays by Dr. Douglas Hyde, Pierce Beasley, Thomas Haynes, 
Canon Peter O'Leary, and others; and the Oireachtas (the 
Gaelic musical and literary festival) held each year in Dublin 
usually presents several Irish plays and offers prizes for new 
ones at each festival. 

Of all the Irish playwrights who have arisen in recent years, 
Lady Gregory has produced most and W. B. Yeats is the most 
poetic. He is more a lyric poet than a dramatist, and is never 
satisfied with his work for the stage, but keeps eternally chop- 
ping and changing it. His Kathleen-Ni-Houlihan, though a 
dream-play, always appeals to an audience of Irish people. 
Perhaps his one-act Deirdre is the nearest approach to real 
drama he has done. Some of Lady Gregory's earlier one-act 



farces, such as The Workhouse-Ward, are very amusing ; The 
Rising of the Moon is a little dramatic gem, and The Gaol Gate 
is touched with genuine tragedy. Synge wrote only one play — 
Riders to the Sea — that acts well. The others are admired by 
critics for the strangeness of their diction and the beauty of 
the nature-pictures scattered through them. His much-dis- 
cussed Playboy of the Western World has become famous for 
the rows it has created at home and abroad from its very first 
production on January 26, 1907. William Boyle, who gets 
to the heart of those he writes about, has produced the most 
popular play of the movement in The Eloquent Dempsey, 
and a perfectly constructed one in The Building Fund. 
W. F. Casey's two plays — The Man Who Missed the Tide 
and The Suburban Groove — are both popular and actable. 
Padraic Colum's plays — The Land and Broken Soil (the 
latter rewritten and renamed The Fiddler* s House) — are 
almost . idyllic scenes of country life. Lennox Robinson's 
plays are harsh in tone, but dramatically effective, and T. C. 
Murray's Birthright and Maurice Harte are fine dramas, well 
constructed and full of true knowledge of the people he 
writes about. Seumas O'Kelly has written two strong dramas 
in The Shuiler's Child and The Bribe, and Seumas O'Brien 
one of the funniest Irish farces ever staged in Duty. R. J. 
Ray's play, The Casting Out of Martin Whelan, is the best 
this dramatist has as yet given us, and George Fitzmaurice's 
The Country Dressmaker has the elements of good drama 
in it. St. John G. Ervine has written a very human 
drama in Mixed Marriage. He hails from the north of Ire- 
land ; but Rutherford Mayne is the best of the Northern play- 
wrights, and his plays. The Drone and The Turn of the Road, 
are splendid homely county Down comedies. 

Bernard Shaw's John Bull's Other Island, as Irish plays go, 
is a fine specimen ; Canon Hannay has written two successful 
comedies, Eleanor's Enterprise and General John Regan — the 
latter not wholly to the taste of the people of the west. 
James Stephens and Jane Barlow have also tried their hands 
at playwriting, with but moderate success. Perhaps the mod- 
ern drama that made the most impression when first played 
was The Heather Fiela, by Edward Martyn. It gripped and 


remains a lasting memory with all who saw it in 1899. But I 
think I have written enough to show that the Irish Theatre of 
today is in a very alive condition, and that if the great National 
Dramatist has not yet arrived, he is sure to emerge. When 
that time comes, the actors are here ready to interpret such 
work to perfection. 

An article, however brief, on the Irish Theatre, would be 
incomplete without mention of the world-famous tragedians, 
John Edward MacCullough, Lawrence Patrick Barrett, and 
Barry Sullivan; of genial comedians like Charles Sullivan and 
Hubert O'Grady; of sterling actors like Shiel Barry, John 
Brougham, Leonard Boyne, J. D. Beveridge, and Thomas Ner- 
ney; or of operatic artists like Denis O'Sullivan and Joseph 
O'Mara — many of whom have passed away, but some, for- 
tunately, are with us still. 

Hefebences : 

John Genest : Some Account of the English Stage from the Restora- 
tion to 1830 (1832; vol. 10 is devoted to the Irish Stage) ; Chetwood: 
General History of the Stage, more particularly of the Irish Theatre 
(Dublin, 1749); Molloy: Romance of the Irish Stage; Baker: Bio- 
graphia Dramatica (Dublin, 1782); Hitchcock: An Historical View 
of the Irish Stage from its Earliest Period down to the Season of 
1788; Doran: Their Majesties* Servants, or Annals of the English 
Stage (London, 1865) ; Hughes: The Pre- Victorian Drama in Dublin; 
The History of the Theatre Royal, Dublin (Dublin, 1870) ; Levey 
and O'Rourke: Annals of the Theatre Royal (Dublin, 1880) ; O'Neill : 
Irish Theatrical History (Dublin, 1910) ; Brown: A Guide to Books 
on Ireland (Dublin, 1912) ; Lawrence: The Abbey Theatre (in the 
Weekly Freeman, Dublin, Dec., 1912), Origin of the Abbey Theatre 
(in Sinn Fein, Dublin, Feb. 14, 1914); Weygandt: Irish Plays and 
Playwrights (London, 1913) ; Lady Gregory: Our Irish Theatre (Lon- 
don. 1914) ; Bourgeois: John M. Synge and the Irish Theatre (Lon- 
don, 1913) ; Moore: Hail and Farewell, 3 vols. (London, 1911-1914) ; 
Esmore: The Ulster Literary Theatre (in the Lady of the House, 
DuMin, Nov. 15, 1913) ; the Reviews, Beltaine (1899-1900) and 
Samhain (1901-1903). 


By Michael MacDonagh. 

THE most splendid testimony to the Irish genius in jour- 
nalism is afforded by the London press of the opening 
decades of the twentieth century. One of th^ greatest news- 
paper organizers of modern times is Lord Northcliffe. As 
the principal proprietor and guiding mind of both the Times 
and the Daily Mail, he directly influences public opinion, from 
the steps of the Throne and the door of the Cabinet, to the 
errand boy and the servant maid. T. P. O'Connor, M. P., is 
the most popular writer on current social and political topics, 
and so amazing is his versatility that every subject he touches 
is illumined by those fine qualities, vision and sincerity. 
The most renowned of political writers is J. L. Garvin of the 
Pall Mall Gazette and the Observer. By his leading articles he 
has done as much as the late Joseph Chamberlain by his 
speeches to democratize and humanize the old Tory party of 
England. The authoritative special correspondent, studying 
at first hand all the problems which divide the nations of 
Europe, and knowing personally most of its rulers and states- 
men, is E. J. Dillon of the Daily Telegraph. And when the 
quarrels of nations are transferred from the chancelleries to 
the stricken field there is no one among the war correspond- 
ents more enterprising and intrepid in his methods, or more 
picturesque and vivid with his pen, than M. H. Donohoe of 
the Daily Chronicle. All these men are Irish. Could there be 
more striking proof of the natural bent and aptitude of the 
Irish mind for journalism? 

Dean Swift was the mightiest journalist that ever stirred 
the sluggish soul of humanity. Were he alive today and had 
he at his command the enormous circulation of a great daily 
newspaper, he would keep millions in a perpetual mental fer- 
ment, such was the ferocious indignation into which he was 
aroused by wrong and injustice and his gift of savage ironical 
expression. Swift, as a young student in Trinity College, 
Dublin, saw the birth of the first offspring of the Irish mind 
in journalism. The Dublin News Letter made its appearance 


in June, 1685, and was published every three or four days for 
the circulation of news and advertisements. Only one copy of 
the first issue of this, the earliest of Irish newspapers, is extant. 
It is included in the Thorpe collection of tracts in the Royal 
Dublin Society. Dated August 26, 1685, it consists of a single 
leaf of paper printed on both sides, and contains just one item 
of news, a letter brought by the English packet from London, 
and two local advertisements. As I reverently handled it, I 
was thrilled by the thought that from this insignificant little 
seed sprang the great national organ, the Freeman's Journal; 
the Press of the United Irishmen; the Nation of the Young 
Irelanders ; the United Ireland of the Land League ; the Irish 
World and the Boston Pilot of the American Irish; and the 
Irish Independent, the first half-penny Dublin morning paper, 
and the most widely circulated of Irish journals. If Swift 
did not write for the Dublin News Letter, he certainly wrote 
for the Examiner, a weekly miscellany published in the Irish 
capital from 1710 to 1713, and the first journal that endeav- 
ored to create public opinion in Ireland. It was at Swift's 
instigation that this paper was started, and he was doubtless 
encouraged to suggest it by the success that attended his arti- 
cles in the contemporary London publication of the same name, 
the Tory Examiner, in which his journalistic genius was fully 
revealed. As it has been expressively put, he wrote his friends, 
Harley and St. John, into a firm grip of power, and thus, as in 
other ways, contributed his share to the inauguration and 
maintenance of that policy which in the last four years of 
Queen Anne so materially recast the whole European situation. 
About the same time there appeared in London the earliest 
forms of the periodical essay in the Tatler and the Spectator, 
which exhibit the comprehensiveness of the Irish temperament 
in writing by affording a contrast between the Irish force and 
vehemence of Swift and the Irish play of kindly wit and 
tender pathos in the deft and dainty periods of Richard Steele. 
Dr. Charles Lucas was, even more than Swift perhaps, the 
precursor of that type of Irish publicist and journalist, of 
which there have been many splendid examples since then in 
Ireland, England, and America. Lucas first started the 
Censor, a weekly journal, in 1748. Within two years his paper 


was suppressed for exciting discontent with the government, 
and to avoid a prosecution he fled to England. In 1763 the 
Freeman's Journal was estabHshed by three DubHn merchants. 
Lucas, who had returned from a long exile and was a member 
of the Irish parliament, contributed to it, sometimes anony- 
mously but generally over the signature of "A Citizen" or 
"Civis." The editor was Henry Brooks, novelist, poet, and 
playwright. His novel, The Fool of Quality, is still read. His 
tragedy, The Earl of Essex, was, wrongly, supposed to contain 
a precept, "Who rules o'er freemen should himself be free," 
which led to the more famous parody of Dr. Samuel Johnson, 
"Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat." The object of 
Lucas and Brooke, as journalists, was to awaken national senti- 
ment, by teaching that Ireland had an individuality of her own 
independently of England. But they were more concerned with 
the assertion of the constitutional rights of the parliament of 
the Protestant colony as against the domination of England. 
Therefore, the first organ of Irish Nationality, representative of 
all creeds and classes, was the Press, the newspaper of the 
United Irishmen, which was started in Dublin in 1797, by 
Arthur O'Connor, the son of a rich merchant who had made 
his money in London. Its editor was Peter Finnerty, born of 
humble parentage at Loughrea, afterwards a famous parlia- 
mentary reporter for the London Morning Chronicle, and its 
most famous contributor was Dr. William Drennan, the poet, 
who first called Ireland "the Emerald Isle." 

Irishmen did not become prominently associated with Ameri- 
can journalism until after the Famine and the collapse of the 
Young Ireland movement in 1848. The journalist whom I 
regard as having exercised the most fateful influence on the 
destinies of Ireland was Charles Gavan Duffy, the founder 
and first editor of the Nation, a newspaper of which it was 
truly and finely said that it brought a new soul into Erin. 
Among its contributors, who afterwards added lustre to the 
journalism of the United States, was John Mitchel. In the 
Southern Citizen and the Richmond Enquirer he supported the 
South against the North in the Civil War. The Rev. Abram 
Joseph Ryan, who was associated with journalism in New 
Orleans, not only acted as a Catholic chaplain with the Con- 


federate army, but sang of its hopes and aspirations in tuneful 
verse. Serving in the army of the North was Charles G. 
Halpine, v/hose songs signed "Private Miles O'Reilly" were 
very popular in those days of national convulsion in the 
United States. Halpine's father had edited the Tory news- 
paper, the Dublin Evening Mail; and Halpine himself, after 
the war, edited the Citizen of New York, famous for its 
advocacy of reforms in civic administration. Perhaps the two 
most renowned men in Irish- American journalism were John 
Boyle O'Reilly of the Boston Pilot and Patrick Ford of the 
Irish World. O'Reilly was a troop-sergeant in the 10th 
Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own), and during the Fenian 
troubles of 1866 had eighty of his men ready armed and 
mounted to take out of Island Bridge Barracks, Dublin, at a 
given signal, to aid the projected insurrection. Detected, he 
was brought to trial, summarily convicted, and sentenced to be 
shot. This sentence was commuted to twenty-five years' penal 
servitude; but O'Reilly survived it all to become a brilliant 
man of letters and make the Boston Pilot one of the most 
influential Irish and Catholic newspapers in the United States. 
Ford, who had served his apprenticeship as a compositor in 
the office of William Lloyd Garrison at Boston, founded the 
Irish World in 1870. This newspaper gave powerful aid to 
the Land League. A special issue of 1,650,000 copies of the 
Irish World was printed on January 11, 1879, for circulation 
in Ireland; and money to the amount of $600,000 altogether 
was sent by Ford to the headquarters of the agitation in 
Dublin. A journalist of a totally different kind was Edwin 
Lawrence Godkin. Born in County Wicklow, the son of a 
Presbyterian clergyman, Godkin in 1865 established the Nation 
in New York as an organ of independent thought; and for 
thirty-five years he filled a unique position, standing aside 
from all parties, sects, and bodies, and yet permeating them all 
with his sane and restraining philosophy. 

In Canada, Thomas D'Arcy Magee won fame as a journal- 
ist on the New Era before he became even more distinguished 
as a parliamentarian. When the history of Australian jour- 
nalism is written it will contain two outstanding Irish names : 
Daniel Henry Deniehy, who died in 1865, was called by Bui- 


wer Lytton "the Australian Macaulay" on account of his 
brilliant writings as critic and reviewer in the press of Vic- 
toria. Gerald Henry Supple, another Dublin man, is also 
remembered for his contributions to the Age and the Argus 
of Melbourne. In India one of the first — if not the first — 
English newspapers was founded by a Limerick man, named 
Charles Johnstone, who had previously attained fame as the 
author of Chrysal, or the Adventures of a Guinea, and who 
died at Calcutta about 1800. 

Stirring memories of battle and adventure leap to the mind 
at the names of those renowned war correspondents, William 
Howard Russell, Edmond O'Donovan, and James J. O'Kelly. 
Russell, a Dublin man, was the first newspaper representative 
to accompany an army into the field. He saw all the mighty 
engagements of the Crimea — Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman, 
Sebastopol — not from a distance of 60 or 80 miles, which is 
the nearest that correspondents are now allowed to approach 
the front, but at the closest quarters, riding through the lines 
on his mule, and seeing the engagements vividly, so that he 
was able to describe them in moving detail for readers of 
the Times, O'Donovan — son of Dr. John O'Donovan, the 
distinguished Irish scholar and archaeologist — was in the 
service of the London Daily News. That dashing cam- 
paigner — as his famous book, The Merv Oasis, shows him 
to have been — perished 'with Hicks Pasha's Army in the Sudan 
in November, 1883. At the same time James O'Kelly, also 
of the Daily News, was lost in the desert, trying to join the 
forces of the victorious Sudanese under the Madhi. Ten 
years before that he had accomplished, for the New York 
Herald, the equally daring and hazardous feat of joining the 
Cuban rebels in revolt against Spain. He escaped the perils 
of the Mambi Land and the Sudan, and survived to serve Ire- 
land for many years as a Nationalist member in the British 
parliament. John Augustus O'Shea, better known, perhaps, 
as "The Irish Bohemian", also deserves remembrance for his 
quarter of a century's work as special correspondent in 
Europe — including Paris during the siege — for the London 


Indeed, no matter to what side of journalism we turn, we 
find Irishmen filling the foremost and the highest places. John 
Thaddeus Delane, under whose editorship the Times became 
for a time the most influential newspaper in the world, was 
of Irish parentage. The first editor of the Illustrated London 
News (1842) — one of the pioneers in the elucidation of news 
by means of pictures — was an Irishman, Frederick Bayley. 
Among the projectors of Punch, and one of its earliest con- 
tributors, was a King's county man, Joseph Sterling Coyne. 
The founder of the Liverpool Daily Post (1855), the first 
penny daily paper in Great Britain, was Michael Joseph 
Whitty, a Wexford man. His son, Edward M. Whitty, was 
the originator of that interesting feature of English and Irish 
journalism, the sketch of personalities and proceedings in par- 
liament. Of the editors of the Athenaeum — for many years 
the leading English organ of literary criticism — one of the 
most famous was Dr. John Doran, who was of Irish parent- 
age. "Dod" is a familiar household word in the British Par- 
liament. It is the name of the recognized guide to the careers 
and political opinions of Lords and Commons. Its founder 
was an Irishman, Charles Roger Dod, who for twenty-three 
years was a parliamentary reporter for the Times. And what 
name sheds a brighter light on the annals of British journal- 
ism for intellectual and imaginative force than that of Justin 
MacCarthy, novelist and historian, as well as newspaper 
writer ? 

At home in Ireland the name of Gray is inseparably asso- 
ciated with the Freeman's Journal. Under the direction of 
Dr. John Gray this newspaper became in the sixties and seven- 
ties the most powerful organ of public opinion in Ireland ; and 
in the eighties it was raised still higher in ability and influence 
by his son and successor, Edmund Dwyer Gray. In the south of 
Ireland the most influential daily newspaper is the Cork Ex- 
aminer, which was founded in 1841 by John Francis Maguire, 
who wrote in 1868 The Irish in America. It is doubtful 
whether any country ever produced a more militant and able 
political journal than wa» United Ireland in the stormy years 
during which it was edited by William O'Brien as the organ 
of the Land League. 

316 Tut Gi.ORic;s oi^ irei^nd 

The Irish mood is gregarious, expansive, glowing, and eager 
to keep in intimate touch with the movements and affairs of 
humanity. That, I think, is the secret of its success in 

Refebences : 

Madden: Irish Periodical Literature (1867); Andrews: English 
Journalism (1855); North: Newspaper and Periodical Press of the 
United States (1884) ; MacDonagh; The Reporter's Gallery (1913). 


By Horatio S. Krans, Ph. D. 

IN the closing decade of the nineteenth century and in the 
opening years of the twentieth, no literary movement has 
awakened a livelier interest than the Irish Literary Revival, a 
movement which, by its singleness and solidarity of purpose, 
stood alone in a time of confused literary aims and tendencies. 
Movements, like individuals, have their ancestry, and that of 
the Irish Literary Revival is easily traced. It descends from 
Callanan and Walsh, and from the writers of '48. It is to this 
descent that the lines in William Butler Yeats's "To Ireland in 
Coming Times" allude : 

Know that I would accounted be 
True brother of that company. 
Who sang to sweeten Ireland's wrong, 
Ballad and story, rann and song. 

With the passing of the mid-nineteenth-century writers, the 
old movement waned, and in the field of Irish letters there 
was, in the phrase of a famous bull, nothing stirring but stag- 
nation. A witty critic of the period, commenting upon this 
unhappy state of affairs, declared that, though the love of 
learning in Ireland might still be, as the saying went, inde- 
structible, it was certainly imperceptible. But after the fall 
of Parnell a new spirit was stirring. Politics no longer 
absorbed the whole energy of the nation. Groups of men 
inspired with a love of the arts sprang up here and there. In 
1890 Yeats proved himself a real prophet when he wrote: 
"A true literary consciousness — national to the centre — seems 
gradually to be forming out of all this disguising and pretti- 
fying, this penumbra of half-culture. We are preparing likely 
enough for a new Irish literary movement — like that of '48 — 
that will show itself in the first lull in politics." 

Responsive to the need of the young writers associated with 
Yeats, the National Literary Society was founded in Dublin in 
1892, and a year later London Irishmen, among them men 
already distinguished in letters, founded in the English 


metropolis the Irish Literary Society. From the presses in 
Dublin, in London, and in New York as well, books began to 
appear in rapid succession — slender volumes of verse, novels, 
short stories, essays, plays, translations, and remakings of 
Irish myths and legends, all inspired by, and closely related 
to, the past or the present of Ireland, voicing an essentially 
national spirit and presenting the noblest traits of Irish life 
and character. 

Not content with the organization of the two literary socie- 
ties, Yeats, with courage and relentless tenacity, cast about to 
realize his long-cherished dream of a theatre that should 
embody the ideals of the Revival. In Lady Gregory, and in 
Edward Martyn, an Irishman of large means, who with both 
pen and purse lent a willing hand, he found two ardent 
laborers for his vineyard. George Moore, who in the event 
proved a fish out of water in Ireland, Yeats and Martyn con- 
trived to lure from his London lodgings and his cosmopolitan 
ways, and to enlist in the theatrical enterprise. The practical 
knowledge of the stage which this gifted enfant terrible of 
literature contributed was doubtless of great value in the early 
days of the dramatic adventure, though Moore's free thoughts, 
frank speech, and mordant irony brought an element of dis- 
cord into Dublin literary circles, which may well have left 
Yeats and his associates with a feeling that they had paid too 
dear for a piper to whose tunes they refused to dance. Be 
that as it may, in 1899 Yeats's dream was measurably realized, 
and the Irish Literary Theatre established, to be succeeded a 
little later by the Irish National Theatre Society. Enough, 
however, of the dramatic aspect of the Revival, which receives 
separate treatment elsewhere in these pages, as does also the 
dramatic work of certain of the authors considered here. 

From what has already been said, it should be plain that in 
the last decade of the last century the ranks of the Irish Lit- 
erary Revivalists filled rapidly, and that the movement was 
really under way. The renascent spirit took varioiis forms. 
To one group of poets the humor, pathos, and tragedy of 
peasant life deeply appealed, and found expression in a poetry 
distinctively and unmistakably national, from which a kind of 
pleasure could be drawn unlike anything else in other litera- 


tures. In this group Alfred Perceval Graves and Moira 
O'Neill cannot pass unmentioned. Who would ask anything 
racier in its kind than the former's "Father O'Flynn" ? 

Of priests we can offer a charmin* variety, 
Far renowned for larnin* and piety, 
Still I'd advance you without impropriety. 
Father O'Flynn as the flower of them all. 
Here's a health to you, Father O'Flynn, 
Slainte,* and slainte, and slaintc agin. 
Powerfullest preacher. 
And tinderest teacher, 
And kindliest creature in Old Donegal. 

Or was the homing instinct, the homesick longing for the 
old sod, ever more truly rendered than in Moira O'Neill's 
song of the Irish laborer in England? 

Over here in England I'm helpin' wi' the hay. 
An' I wish I was in Ireland the livelong day; 
Weary on the EngHsh, an' sorra take the wheat ! 
Och ! Corrymeela an* the blue sky over it 

D'ye mind me now, the song at night is mortial hard to raise, 
The girls are heavy-goin' here, the boys are ill to plase ; 
When ones't I'm out this workin' hive, 'tis I'll be back again — 
Aye, Corrymeela in the same soft rain. 

Here, too, should be named Jane Barlow, whose poems and 
stories are faithful imaginative transcripts of the face of 
nature and the hearts of men as she knew them in Connemara. 
Finally there is William Butler Yeats, who, on the whole, 
is the representative man of the Revival. Except in the trans- 
lator's sphere, his writings have given him a place in almost 
all the activities of this movement. As a lyric poet, he has 
expressed the moods of peasant and patriot, of mystic, sym- 
bolist, and quietist, and it is safe to say that in lyric poetry 
no one of his generation writing in English is his superior. 
We cannot resist the pleasure of quoting here from his "Innis- 
free", which won the praise of Robert Louis Stevenson, and 

♦"Your health.' 


which, if not the high mark of Yeats's achievement, is still a 
flawless thing in its way: 

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, 
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; 

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee. 
And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow. 
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings ; 

There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, 
And evening full of the linnets' wings. 

In this place, and for convenience sake, it may be permitted 
to speak of aspects of Yeats's work other than that by virtue 
of which he is to be classed with the group we have just con- 
sidered. In his narrative poem, "The Wanderings of Usheen", 
as well as in his plays and lyrics, he is of the best of those — 
among them we may mention by the way Dr. John Todhunter, 
Nora Hopper (Mrs. W. H. Chesson), and William Larminie — 
who have revealed to our day the strange beauty of the. 
ancient creations of the Gaelic imagination. In prose he 
has written short stories, a novelette, John Sherman and 
Dhoya, and essays that reveal a subtle critical insight, and 
a style of beautiful finish and grace, suggestive of the style of 
Shelley's Defence of Poetry. Yeats's plays constitute a con- 
siderable and an important part of his work, but these must be 
reserved for treatment elsewhere in this book. In prefaces to 
anthologies of prose and verse of his editing, in the pages of 
reviews, and elsewhere, he appears as the chief apologist of 
the aims of the Literary Revival, and in particular of the 
methods of the dramatists of the Revival. Whatever he has 
touched he has lifted into the realm of poetry, and this is in 
large measure true of his prose, which proceeds from the 
poet's point of view and breathes the poetic spirit. A man of 
rare versatility, a finished artist with a scrupulous artistic con- 
science, he has done work of high and sustained quality, and 
is certain to exert a good and lasting influence upon the litera- 
ture of his country. 

In a literary movement in the "Isle of Saints", we look 
naturally for religious poetry, and we do not look in vain. 


This poetry, chiefly Catholic, has a quahty of its own as dis- 
tinctive as that of the writers of the group we have just left. 
Now it voices a naive, devoted simplicity of Christian faith; 
now it attains to a high and keen spirituality ; now it is mystic 
and pagan. Among the religious poets, Lionel Johnson easily 
stands first — perhaps the Irish poet of firmest fibre and most 
resonant voice of his generation. A note of high courage and 
of spiritual triumph rings through his verse, even from the 
shadow of the wings of the dark angel that gives a title to one 
of the saddest of his poems. Often he strikes a note of 
genuine religious ecstasy and exaltation rarely heard in Eng- 
lish, as in "Te Martyrum Candidatus" : 

Ah, see the fair chivalry come, the companions of Christ! 

White Horsemen, who ride on white horses, the Knights of God ! 
They, for their Lord and their Lover who sacrificed 

All, save the pleasure of treading where He first trod. 

T) ese through the darkness of death, the dominion of night, 
Swept, and they woke in white places at morning tide: 

They saw with their eyes, and sang for joy of the sight. 
They saw with their eyes the Eyes of the Crucified. 

Among the men of the Revival, no personality is stronger 
or more attractive than that of G. W. Russell — ''JE'\ as he 
is always called — who may be regarded as the hero of George 
Moore's Hail and Farewell, and who alone in that gallery of 
wonderful pen-portraits looks forth with complete amiability. 
He is a pantheist, a mystic, and a visionary, with what would 
seem a literal and living faith in many gods, though strongly 
prepossessed in favor of the ancient divinities of the Gael, now 
long since in exile. Impressive and striking by a certain spir- 
itual integrity, so to say, "JE" unites gifts and faculties 
seldom combined. He is a poet of rare subtlety, a painter in 
whose genius so good a judge as George Moore believed, and 
a most practical man of afifairs, who, as assistant to Sir Horace 
Plunkett, held up the latter's hands in his labors on behalf of 
co-operative dairies and the like. His poems have their roots 
in a pantheism which half reveals the secrets of an indwelling 
spirit, speaking alike "from the dumb brown lips of earth" 
and from the passions of the heart of man. 


Of novelists, both men and women, the Irish Revival can, in 
the words of "Father O'Flynn", offer a charming variety, and 
among their novels and short stories are some books of high 
quality and not a few in a high degree interesting and enter- 
taining. To Standish O'Grady we turn for tales, with a kind 
of bardic afflatus about them, of the hero age of legendary 
Ireland — tales which drew attention to the romantic Celtic past 
of myth and saga, and must have been an inspiration to more 
than one writer of the younger generation. In contrast to the 
broad epic sweep and remote romantic backgrounds of 
O'Grady, are the stories of Jane Barlow, whose genre pictures 
of peasant life in the west of Ireland, like her poems men- 
tioned above, show how sympathetically she understands the 
ways of thinking, feeling, and acting of her humble com- 
patriots. A like minute and faithful knowledge is evident in 
the work of two story-tellers of the north, Seumas Mac- 
Manus and Shan Bullock. The former's outlook is humorous 
and pathetic. He tells fairy and folk tales well, and is a past 
master of the dialect and idiom that combine to give his old- 
wives* yarns an honest smack of the soil. Let him who doubts 
it read Through the Turf Smoke or Donegal Fairy Stories. If 
Shan Bullock walks the same fields as Seumas MacManus, he 
does so with a different air and with a more definite purpose. 
Sometimes he turns to the squireens, small farmers, or small 
country gentry, and lays bare the hardness and narrowness 
that are a part of their life. Or, again, in pictures whose sad- 
ness and gloom are lightened, to be sure, with humor or 
warmed with love, he studies the necessitous life of the poor. 
The Squireen, The Barrys, and Irish Pastorals are some of his 
representative books. 

In the novel as in poetry the ladies have worked side by 
side with their literary brethren. Miss Hermione Templeton, 
in her Darby O'Gill, and elsewhere, has written pleasantly and 
gracefully of the fairies. In a very different vein are the 
novels of the collaborators, Miss Somerville and "Martin Ross'* 
(Miss Violet Martin), over which English and American read- 
ers have laughed as heartily as their own fellow countrymen. 
The Experiences of an Irish R. M. remains, perhaps, their best 


book. The work of these ladies, be it said by the way, is in the 
Hne of descent from that group of older Irish novelists who 
wrote in the spirit of the devil-may-care gentry, the novelists 
from Maxwell to Lover and Lever, who were ever questing 
"divilment and divarshion," and who in their moods of boister- 
ous fun forgot the real Irishman, and presented in his place a 
caricature — him of the Celtic screech and the exhilarating 
whack of the shillelagh, the famous stage Irishman who has 
made occasional appearances in English literature from the 
time of Shakespeare's Henry V., on through the works of 
Fielding and the plays of Sheridan, to the present moment of 

Of a very different stripe from the work of the collabo- 
rating ladies just mentioned are the novels of the recently 
deceased Canon Sheehan — notable among them Luke Delmege 
and My New Curate — rambling, diffuse, and a trifle provincial 
from the artistic standpoint, but interesting as studies of man- 
ners, and for the pictures they afford of the priesthood of 
modern Ireland in the pleasantest light. If the stories of Miss 
Somerville and "Martin Ross" are related to the comic stories 
of the old novelists of the gentry, those of Canon Sheehan must 
be associated with the work of the older novelists who wrote 
more or less in the spirit of the peasantry, that is, with Gerald 
Griffin, the Banim brothers, and William Carleton, less famous 
than he deserves to be by his Traits and Stories and a long 
line of novels and tales. 

No survey of Irish novelists, however brief, can afford 
to forget the Rev. James Owen Hannay ("George A. Bir- 
mingham"), canon of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, whose 
work is as distinctively Protestant in its point of view as 
Father Sheehan's is Catholic. His more substantial novels are 
a careful transcript of the actualities of Irish life today, and 
in them one meets, incognito but easily recognizable, many 
Irishmen now prominent in literature or politics in Ireland. 
Of his numerous books may be mentioned The Seething Pot, 
Hyacinth, and Northern Iron. 

Finally there is George Moore, whose enlistment in the 
Revival was responsible for the novel The Lake and the short 
stories of The Untilled Field, and for a largely autobiographic 



and entirely indiscreet trilogy entitled Hail and Farewell, the 
separate volumes appearing as Ave, Salve, Vale, and the 
last of them as late as 1914. George Moore's anti-Catholic 
bias is strong, but his is the pen of an accomplished artist. He 
has the story-teller's beguiling gift, and he bristles with ideas 
which his books cleverly embody and to which the dramatic 
moments of his novels give point and relief. 

Not the least important work of the Irish Literary Revival 
has been done by translators, who have put into English the 
old Gaelic romances and the folklore still current among the 
little remnant of Irish-speaking country folk. Dr. Douglas 
Hyde is in the forefront of this group. He it was who organ- 
ized the Gaelic League, a band of enthusiasts zealous for the 
revival of the Irish language both as a spoken tongue and as the 
medium for a national literature, and eager, also, to breed up a 
race of Celtic scholars. The lyrics in his Love Songs of Con- 
nacht are full of grace, tenderness, and fire, and indicate the 
kind of gems which he and his fellow laborers have added to 
the treasury of poetry in English. But it is Lady Gregory, espe- 
cially in her Ciichulain of Muirthemne and Gods and Fighting 
Men, who more than any other has found a way to stir the 
blood of readers of to-day by the romantic hero tales of Ire- 
land. From the racy idiom of the dwellers on or about her 
own estate in Galway, she happily framed a style that gave her 
narratives freshness, novelty, and a flavor of the soil. Upon 
the work of scholars she drew heavily in making her own ren- 
derings, but she has justified all borrowings by breathing into 
her books the breath and the warmth of life, and her adapta- 
tion to epic purposes of the dialect of those who still retain the 
expiring habit of thinking in Gaelic was a real literary achieve- 
ment. She has, indeed, in sins of commission and of omission, 
taken liberties with the old legends, but this may render them 
not less, and perhaps more, delightful to the general reader, 
however just complaints may be from the standpoint of the 

Even so brief a sketch as this may suffice to bring home to 
those not already aware of it a realization of the delights to be 
drawn from the creations of a living literary movement, which 


is perhaps the most notable of its generation, and which has 
gathered together a remarkable group of poets, novelists, and 
dramatists, who, as men and women, are a most interesting 
company — a fact to which even George Moore's Hail and Fare- 
well, with its quick eye for defects and foibles and its ironic 
wit, bears abundant testimony. 

Refebencei : 

Brooke and RoUeston: Treasury of Irish Poetry (New York and 
London, 1900) ; Krans : William Butler Yeats and the Irish Literary 
Revival (New York and London, 1904); Yeats: Ideas of Good 
and Evil (London, 1903) ; Moore: Hail and Farewell, 3 vols. (Lon- 
don and New York, 1912-1914); Lady Gregory: Our Irish Theatre 
(New York and London, 1918); Weygandt: Irish Plays and Play- 
wrights (New York, 1913) ; Yeats: Introduction to Fairy and Folk 
Tales of the Irish Peasantry (London, 1889), Representative Irish 
Tales (London, 1890), Book of Irish Verse (London, 1895). There 
is much of interest, though chiefly as regards the drama, in the 
reviews, Beltaine (London and Dublin, 1899-1900) and Samhain 
(London and Dublin, 1901-1903). 


By P. J. Lennox, B.A., Litt.D. 

THE Gaelic literature of Ireland is not only of wonderful 
volume and priceless worth, but is also of great antiquity, 
whereas the English literature of Ireland, while also of con- 
siderable extent and high value, is of comparatively modern 
origin. The explanation of this fact is that for more than six 
centuries after the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169 the Irish 
language continued to be both the spoken and, with Latin, the 
written organ of the great mass of the Irish people, and that 
for nearly the whole of that period those English settlers who 
did not become, as the well-known phrase has it, more Irish 
than the Irish themselves by adopting the native language, 
customs, and sentiments, were kept too busy in holding, de- 
fending, and extending their territory to devote themselves 
to literary pursuits. Hence we need not wonder if, leaving 
out of account merely technical works like Lionel Power's 
treatise on music, written in 1395, we find that the English 
literature of Ireland takes its comparatively humble origin late 
in the sixteenth century. For more than two centuries there- 
after, owing to the fact that the native Irish, because they were 
CathoHcs, were debarred by law from an education, the writing 
of English remained almost exclusively in the hands of mem- 
bers or descendants of the Anglo-Irish colony, who, with scarce- 
ly an exception, were Protestants and had as their principal 
Irish seat of learning the then essentially Protestant institu- 
tion, Trinity College, Dublin. Alien in race and creed though 
these writers mainly were, they have nevertheless spread a halo 
of glory around their adopted country, and have won the ad- 
miration, and often the affection, of Irishmen of every shade 
of religious and political belief. For example, there is no Irish- 
man who is not proud of Molyneux and Swift, of Goldsmith 
and Burke, of Grattan and Sheridan. From the nineteenth 
century onward Irish Catholics have taken their full share in 
the production of English literature. Here, however, it will 
be necessary to consider the writers of none but the sixteenth, 
seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, as in other pages of 


this volume considerable attention has been given to those of 
later date. 

I. Sixteenth Century. 

Richard Stanyhurst (1547-1618), born in Dublin but edu- 
cated at Oxford, is the first representative of the sixteenth 
century with whom we are called upon to deal. He belonged 
to a family long settled in or near Dublin and of some note in 
municipal annals. Under the direction of the Jesuit martyr, 
Edmund Campion, Stanyhurst wrote a Description, as well as 
a portion of the History, of Ireland for Holinshed's Chroni- 
cles, published in 1577. He also translated (1582) the first 
four books of Virgil his Aeneis into quantitative hexameters, 
on the unsound pedantic principles which Gabriel Harvey was 
at that time trying so hard to establish in English prosody; 
but the experiment, which turned out so badly in the master's 
hands, fared even worse in those of the disciple, and Stany- 
hurst's lines will always stand as a noted specimen of inept 
translation and ridiculous versification. Equally inartistic was 
his version of some of the Psalms in the same metre. In Latin 
he wrote a profound commentary on Porphyry, the Neo-PIa- 
tonic mystic. Stanyhurst, who was uncle to James Ussher, the 
celebrated Protestant archbishop of Armagh, was himself a 
convert to Catholicity, and on the death of his second wife be- 
came a priest and wrote in Latin some edifying books of devo- 
tion. Two of his sons joined the Jesuit order. He died at 
Brussels in 1618. Stanyhurst viewed Ireland entirely from the 
English standpoint, and in his Description and History is, con- 
sciously or unconsciously, greatly biased against the native 

If we may take it as certain that modern investigation is 
correct in asserting that Thomas Campion was a native of 
Dublin, a notable addition will have been made to the ranks of 
Irish-born writers of English at this period. Thomas Campion 
(1567-1620), wherever born, spent most of his life in London. 
He was a versatile genius, for, after studying law, he took up 
medicine, and, although practising as a physician, he yet found 
time to write four masques and many lyrics and to compose a 


goodly quantity of music. Some of his songs appeared as 
early as 1591. Among his works is a treatise entitled Observa- 
tions in the Art of English Poesie (1602), in which, strange 
to say, he, a born lyrist, advocated unrhymed verse and quanti- 
tative measures, but fortunately his practice did not usually 
square with his theory. His masques were written for occa- 
sions, such as the marriage of Lord Hayes (1607), the nuptials 
of the Princess Elizabeth and the Elector Palatine (1613), and 
the ill-starred wedding of Somerset and the quondam Countess 
of Essex in the same year. In these masques are embedded 
some of his best songs ; others of his lyrics appeared in several 
Bookes of Ayres between 1601 and 1617. Many of them were 
written to music, sometimes music of his composing. Such 
dainty things as "Now hath Flora robbed her bowers" and 
"Harke, all you ladies that do sleep" possess the charms of 
freshness and spontaneity, and his devotional poetry, especially 
"Awake, awake, thou heavy Spright" and "Never weather- 
beaten Saile more willing bent to shore", makes almost as 
wide an appeal. 

II. Seventieth Century. 

Passing by with regret the illustrious seventeenth century 
names of Philip O'Sullivan Beare, Sir James Ware, Luke Wad- 
ding, Hugh Ward, John Colgan, and John Lynch, because their 
bearers wrote in Latin, and those of "The Four Masters" and 
Geoffrey Keating, because they wrote in Irish, we are first 
brought to a pause in the seventeenth century by the imposing 
figure of him, whom, in a later day, Johnson justly called the 
"great luminary of the Irish [Protestant] church", none other 
than the archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland, James 
Ussher himself. James Ussher (1581-1656), bom in Dublin 
and among the earliest students of the newly-founded Trinity 
College, was in intellect and scholarship one of the greatest 
men that Ireland has ever produced. Selden describes him 
as "learned to a miracle" {ad miraculum doctus), and Canon 
D'Alton in his History of Ireland says of him that "he was not 
unworthy to rank even with Duns Scotus, and when he died 
he left in his own Church neither an equal nor a second." De- 


dining the high office of provost of Trinity, Ussher was made 
bishop of Meath and was afterwards promoted to the primatial 
see. His fine intellect was unfortunately marred by narrow 
religious views, and in many ways he displayed his animus 
against those of his countrymen who did not see eye to eye with 
him in matters of faith and doctrine. For example, it was he 
who in 1626 drew up the Irish Protestant bishops* protest 
against toleration for Catholics, therein showing a bigotry 
which consorted badly with his reputation as a scholar. On ac- 
count of his well-known attitude towards Catholicism, he was 
naturally unpopular with those who professed the ancient 
creed, and hence, when the rebellion of 1641 broke out, much of 
his property was destroyed by the enraged insurgents. His per- 
son escaped violence, for he happened to be in England at the 
time engaged in the vain task of trying to effect an accommoda- 
tion between Charles I. and the English parliament. He never 
returned to his see and died in London. 

Ussher's collected works fill seventeen stately volumes. His 
magnum opus is undoubtedly the Annales Veteris et Novi 
Testamenti, It is written in Latin, and is a chronological com- 
pendium of the history of the world from the Creation to the 
dispersion of the Jews under Vespasian. Published at Leyden, 
London, Paris, and Oxford, it gained for its author a Euro- 
pean fame. His books written in English deal mostly with 
theological or controversial subjects, and while they display 
wide reading, great acumen, and keen powers of argumenta- 
tion, they yet do not do full justice to his genius. Those which 
he published in Dublin are A Discourse of the Religion ancient- 
ly professed by the Irish and British (1622), in which he tried 
to show that the ritual and discipline of the Church as origi- 
nally established in the British Isles were in agreement with 
the Church of England and opposed to the Catholic Church 
on the matters in dispute between them ; An Answer to a Chal- 
lenge made by a Jesuite in Ireland (1624), in which his aim 
was to disprove the contention set forth earlier in the same 
year by a Jesuit that uniformity of doctrine had always been 
maintained by the Catholic Church; and Immanuel, or the 
Mysterie of the Incarnation. He published in England The 
Originall of Bishops, A Body of Divinitie, The Principles of 

330 the: glories o^ ire:land 

Christian Religion, and other works. So great was Ussher's 
reputation that when he died Cromwell relaxed in his favor 
one of the strictest laws of the Puritans and allowed him to be 
buried with the full service of the Church of England, and with 
great pomp, in Westminster Abbey. 

Among Ussher's other claims to distinction, it should be noted 
that it was he who in 1621 discovered the celebrated Book of 
Kells, which had long been lost. This marvel of the illu- 
minator's art passed with the remainder of his collection of 
books and manuscripts to Trinity College, Dublin, in 1661, and 
to this day it remains one of the most treasured possessions 
of the noble library of that institution. 

Sir John Denham (1615-1669), a Dublin man l5y birth, took 
an active part on the side of Charles I. against the parliament 
during the Civil War, and subsequently was conspicuous in the 
intrigues that led to the restoration of Charles II. In his own 
day he had a great reputation as a poet. His tragedy. The 
Sophy, and his translation of the Psalms are now forgotten, 
but he is still remembered for one piece, Cooper's Hill, in 
which occur the well-known lines addressed to the River 
Thames : 

O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream 
My great example, as it is my theme ! 
Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull; 
Strong, without rage; without o'erflowing, full. 

Another Dublin-born man was Wentworth Dillon, Earl 
of Roscommon (1633-1684). He had the good fortune to 
win encomiums both from Dryden and from Pope. One of 
his merits, as pointed out by the latter, is that 

In all Charles's days 
Roscommon only boasts unspotted bays. 

He translated from Virgil, Lucan, Horace, and Guarini ; wrote 
prologues, epilogues, and other occasional verses; but is now 
principally remembered for his poetical Essay on Translated 
Verse (1681), in which he develops principles previously laid 
down by Cowley and Denham. To his credit be it said, he 
condemns indecency, both as want of sense and bad taste. He 


was honored with a funeral in Westminster Abbey. Johnson 
records that, at the moment of his death, Roscommon uttered 
with great energy and devotion the following two lines from 
his own translation of the Dies Irae : 

My God, my Father, and my Friend, 
Do not forsake me in my end ! 

Robert Boyle (1627-1691), one of the founders of the Royal 
Society (1662), was son of the ''great" Earl of Cork and was 
born at Lismore, Co. Waterford. He takes rank among the 
principal experimental philosophers of his age, and he cer- 
tainly rendered valuable services to the advancement of science. 
Most of his writings, which are very voluminous, are naturally 
of a technical character and therefore do not properly belong 
to literature; but his Occasional Reflections on Several Sub^ 
jects (1665), a strange mixture of triviality and seriousness, 
was germinal in this sense that it led to two celebrated jeux 
d'esprit, namely, Butler's Occasional Reflection on Dr. Charl- 
ton's feeling a Dog's Pulse at Gresham College and Swift's 
Pious Meditation upon a Broomstick, in the Style of the 
Honourable Mr. Boyle. Indeed, one of Boyle's Reflections, 
that "Upon the Eating of Oysters", is reputed to have rendered 
a still more signal service to literature, for in its two concluding 
paragraphs is contained the idea which, under the transform- 
ing hand of the master satirist, eventually took the world by 
storm when it appeared, fully developed, as Gulliver's Travels. 

His brother, Roger Boyle (1621-1679), who figures largely 
as a soldier and a statesman in Irish and English history under 
his title of Lord Broghill, was an alumnus of Trinity College, 
Dublin. During the Civil War he was a royalist until the 
death of Charles I., when he changed sides and aided Crom- 
well materially in his Irish campaign. When the Lord Protec- 
tor died, Broghill made another right-about-face, and cross- 
ing to his native country worked so energetically and success- 
fully that he made Ireland solid for the restoration of Charles 
II. For this service he was rewarded by being created Earl 
of Orrery. He was the author of six tragedies and two come- 
dies, some of which when produced proved gratifyingly popu- 
lar. He is noted for having been the first to write tragedy in 


rhyme, thereby setting an example that was followed with 
avidity for a time by Dryden and others. He also wrote 
poems, a romance called Parthenissa (1654), and a Treatise on 
the Art of War (1677). From whatever point of view con- 
sidered. Lord Orrery was a remarkable member of a remark- 
able family. His son, John Boyle, Earl of Cork and Orrery 
(1707-1762), in virtue of his translation of Pliny's Letters, 
his Remarks on the Life and Writings of Swift, and his Letters 
from Italy, has some claims to recognition in the field of litera- 

Charles Leslie (1650-1722), a Dubliner by birth, was son of 
that John Leslie, bishop of Raphoe and Clogher, who lived 
through a whole century, from 1571 to 1671, and who was 79 
years of age when Charles, his sixth son, was born. Educated 
first at Enniskillen and afterwards at Trinity College, Dublin, 
Charles Leslie studied law in London, but eventually aban- 
doned that profession and entered the ministry. He was of 
a disputatious character and in particular went to great lengths 
in opposing the pro-Catholic activities of James IL Never- 
theless, when the Revolution of 1688 came, he took the side of 
the deposed monarch, and loyally adhered to his Jacobite 
principles for the remainder of his life. He even joined the 
Old Pretender on the continent, and endeavored to convert 
him to Protestantism, but, failing therein, he returned to Ire- 
land, where he died at Glasslough in county Monaghan. Many 
years of Leslie's life were devoted to disputes with Catholics, 
Quakers, Socinians, and Deists, and the seven volumes which 
his writings fill prove that he was an extremely able contro- 
versialist. His best known work is the famous treatise, A 
Short and Easy Method with the Deists, published in 1698. 

The Irish note, tone, or temper is not conspicuous in any 
of the writings so far named unless when it is conspicuous by 
its absence ; but it appears plainly, for the first time, in Moly- 
neux's Case of Ireland being bound by Laws [made] in Eng- 
land Stated (1698). William Molyneux (1656-1698) has al- 
ways ranked as an Irish patriot. His was one of the spirits 
invoked by Grattan in his great speech (1782) on the occa- 
sion on which he carried his celebrated Declaration of Inde- 
pendence in the Irish parliament. When the English Act of 


1G98, which was meant to destroy, and did destroy, the Irish 
woolen industry, came before the Irish house of commons 
for ratification, Molyneux's was the only voice raised against 
its adoption. His protest was followed by the publication of 
his Case Stated, which is a classic on the general relations be- 
tween Ireland and England, and contained arguments so irre- 
futable that it drove the English parliament to fury and was 
by that body ordered to be burned by the common hangman. 
It is a remarkable coincidence that Molyneux opens his argu- 
ment by laying down in almost identical words the principles 
which stand at the beginning of the American Declaration 
of Independence. 

John Toland (1669-1722) was born near Redcastle, in Co. 
Derry, and was at first a Catholic but subsequently became a 
free-thinker. His Christianity not Mysterious (1696) marks 
an epoch in religious disputes, for it started the deistical con- 
troversy which was so distinctive a feature of the first half of 
the eighteenth century. It shared a similar fate to that of the 
Case Stated, though on very different grounds, and was ordered 
by the Irish parliament to be burned by the hangman. Toland 
wrote many other books, among which are Amyntor (1699) ; 
Nasarenus (1702); Pantheistic on; History of the Druids; 
and Hypatia. All his books show versatility and wide reading 
and are characterized by a pointed, vigorous, and aggressive 

George Farquhar (1678-1707), a Derry man, and Thomas 
Southerne (1660-1746), born near Dublin, were distinguished 
playwrights, who began their respective careers in the seven- 
teenth century. Farquhar left Trinity College, Dublin, as an 
undergraduate and became an actor, but owing to his acci- 
dental killing of another player he left the stage and secured 
a commission in the army. He soon turned his attention to 
the writing of plays, and was responsible in all for eight come- 
dies. He has left us some characters that are very humorous 
and at the same time true to life, such as Scrub the servant 
in The Beaux' Stratagem and Sergeant Kite in The Recruiting 
Officer. His Boniface, the landlord in the former of these two 
plays, has become the type, as well as the ordinary quasi- 
facetious nickname, of an innkeeper. He was advancing in his 


art, for his last comedy, The Beaux' Stratagem (1707), is 
undoubtedly his best, and had he lived longer — he died before 
he was thirty — he might have bequeathed to posterity 
something even more noteworthy. As Leigh Hunt says of 
him: "He was becoming gayer and gayer, when death, in 
the shape of a sore anxiety, called him away as if from a pleas- 
ant party, and left the house ringing with his jest." 

Southerne was also a student of Trinity College, Dublin. At 
the age of eighteen, however, he left his alma mater, and went 
to London to study law. This profession he in turn abandoned 
for the drama. His first play. The Persian Prince, or the 
Loyal Brother, had remarkable success when performed, and 
secured him an ensign's commission in the army (1685). 
Here promotion came to him rapidly and by 1688 he had risen 
to captain's rank. The Revolution of that year, however, cut 
off all further hope of advancement, and he once more turned 
his attention to the writing of plays. His productions number 
ten. His tragedies Isabella, or the Fatal Marriage (1694) and 
Oroonoko (1696), both founded on tales by Mrs. Aphra 
Behn, are powerful presentations of human suffering. His 
comedies are amusing, but gross. Southerne had business 
ability enough to make play-writing pay, and the amounts 
he received for his productions fairly staggered his friend Dry- 
den. It is to this faculty that Pope alludes when he says that 
Southerne was one whom 

heaven sent down to raise 
The price of prologues and of plays. 

He was apparently of amiable and estimable character, for he 
secured and retained the friendship not only of Dryden — a 
comparatively easy matter — but also that of Pope, a much more 
difficult task. Known as "the poets' Nestor", Southerne spent 
his declining years in peaceful retirement and in the enjoy- 
ment of the fortune which he had amassed by his pen. 

Nahum Tate (1652-1715), a Dubliner by birth, and Nicho- 
las Brady (1659-1726), a Bandon man, have secured a certain 
sort of twin immortality by their authorized metrical version 
of the Psalms (1696), which gradually took the place of the 
older rendering by Sternhold and Hopkins. Tate became poet- 


laureate in 1690 in succession to Shadwell and was ap- 
pointed historiographer-royal in 1702. He wrote the bulk of 
the second part of Absalom and Achitophel with a wonderfully 
close imitation of Dryden's manner, besides several dramatic 
pieces and poems. Between Tate, Shadwell, Eusden, and 
Pye Hes the unenviable distinction of being the worst of the 
laureates of England. Brady was a clergyman who, after 
the pleasant fashion of that day, was a pluralist on a small 
scale, for he had the living of Richmond for thirty years from 
1696, and while holding that held also in succession the liv- 
ings of Stratford-on-Avon and Clapham. He added further 
to his income, and doubtless to his anxieties, by keeping a 
school at Richmond. He wrote a tragedy entitled The Rape, 
a History of the Goths and Vandals, a translation of the Aeneid 
into blank verse, and an Ode for St. Cecilia's Day; but, unless 
for his share in the version of the Psalms, his literary reputa- 
tion is well nigh as dead as the dodo. 

Ireland somewhat doubtfully claims to have given birth to 
Mrs. Susannah Centlivre (c. 1667-1723), who, after a rather 
wild youth, settled down to literary pursuits and domestic 
contentment when, in 1706, she married Queen Anne's head- 
cook, Joseph Centlivre, with whom she lived happily ever after. 
Her first play, The Provoked Husband, a tragedy, was pro- 
duced in 1700, and then she went on the stage as an actress. 
She wrote in all nineteen dramatic pieces, some of which had 
the honor of being translated into French and German. Her 
most original play was A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1717). 

in. Eighteenth Century. 

We have now fairly crossed the border of the eighteenth 
century, and, as we met Ussher early in the seventeenth, so 
we are here confronted with the colossal intellect and impres- 
sive personality of Swift, one of the greatest, most peculiar, 
and most original geniuses to be found in the whole domain of 
English literature. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), born in 
Dublin, was educated at Trinity College, where he succeeded 
in graduating only by special favor. After some years 
spent in the household of Sir William Temple in England, 
he entered the ministry of the Irish Church. During the 

336 the: glories of irfxand 

early years of the century he spent much time in London, 
and took an active part in bringing about that poHtical revolu- 
tion which seated the Tories firmly in power during the last 
four years of the reign of Queen Anne. His services in that 
connection on the Examiner newspaper were so great that it 
would be difficult to dispute the assertion, which has been 
made, that he was one of the mightiest journalists that ever 
wielded a pen. He also stood loyally by his party in his great 
pamphlets. The Conduct of the Allies (1711), The Barrier 
Treaty (1712), and The Public Spirit of the Whigs (1714). 
When the time came for his reward, he received not, as he 
had hoped, an English bishopric, but the deanery of St. Pat- 
rick's in Dublin. On resuming his residence in Ireland he 
was at first very unpopular, but his patriotic spirit as shown 
in the Drapier Letters (1723-1724), written in connection with 
a coinage scheme known as "Wood's halfpence", not only 
caused the withdrawal of the obnoxious project but also made 
Swift the idol of all classes of his countrymen. In many 
others of his writings he showed that pro-Irish leaning which 
caused Grattan to invoke his spirit along with that of Molyneux 
on the occasion already referred to. Nothing more mordant 
than the irony contained in his Modest Proposal has ever been 
penned. In his plea for native manufactures he struck a key- 
note that has vibrated down the ages when he advised Irish- 
men to burn everything English except coal! 

Swift's greater works are The Battle of the Books, his con- 
tribution to the controversy concerning the relative merits of 
the ancients and the moderns ; the Tale of a Tub, in which he 
attacked the three leading forms of Christianity ; and, above all, 
Gulliver's Travels. In this last work he let loose the full flood 
of his merciless satire and lashed the folly and vices of man- 
kind in the most unsparing way. He also wrote verses which 
are highly characteristic and some of them not without consid- 
erable merit. His life was unhappy and for the last five years of 
it he was to all intents and purposes insane. His relations with 
Stella (Hester Johnson) and Vanessa (Esther Vanhomrigh) 
have never been quite satisfactorily explained. The weight of 
evidence would seem to show that he was secretly married to 
Stella, but that they never lived together as husband and wife. 


Many novels and plays have been written round those en- 
tanglements. He lies buried in his own cathedral, St. Patrick's, 
Dublin, and beside him lies Stella. Over his tomb there is an 
epitaph in Latin, written by himself, in which, after speaking 
of the saeva indignatio which tore his heart, he bids the way- 
farer go and imitate, if he can, the energetic defender of his 
native land. 

Contemporary with the Dean there was another Anglo-Irish- 
man, who fills a large space in the history of English literature, 
and of whom his countrymen are justly proud. Sir Richard 
Steele (1672-1729), who was born in Dublin and educated at 
the Charterhouse in London and afterwards at Oxford, started 
the Tatler in 1709, and thereby popularized, though he did 
not exactly originate, the periodical essay. Aided by his friend, 
Addison, he carried the work to perfection in the Spectator 
(1711-1712) and the Guardian (1713). Since then these es- 
says have enlightened and amused each succeeding genera- 
tion. Of the two, Addison's is the greater name, but Steele 
was the more innovating spirit, for it is to him, and not to 
Addison, that the conception and initiation of the plan of the 
celebrated papers is due. Steele had had a predecessor in Defoe, 
whose Review had been in existence since 1704, but the more 
airy graces which characterized the Tatler and the Spectator 
gave the "lucubrations" of "Isaac Bickerstaffe" and of "Mr. 
Spectator" a greater hold on the public than Defoe's paper 
was ever able to establish.. Steele was responsible for many 
more periodicals, such as the Englishman, the Lover, the 
Reader, Town Talk, the Tea^TaUe, Chit-Chat, the Plebeian, 
and the Theatre, most of which had a rather ephemeral ex- 
istence. Among his other services to literature he helped to 
purify the stage of some of its grossness, and he became the 
founder of that sentimental comedy which in the days of the 
early Georges took the place of the immoral comedy of the 
Restoration period, when, in Johnson's famous phrase, 

Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit. 

Steele's four comedies are The Funeral; or Grief a la mode 
(1701); The Lying Lover (1703); The Tender Husband 
(1705); and The Conscious Lovers (1722). Although he 


held various lucrative offices, Steele was never really pros- 
perous and was frequently in debt; like most of the con- 
temporary Englishmen with whom his lot was thrown, he was 
rather addicted to the bottle; but, on the whole, it may fairly 
be advanced that unnecessary stress has been laid on these as- 
pects of his life by Macaulay, Thackeray, and others. After 
a chequered career, he died near Carmarthen, in Wales, on Sep- 
tember 1, 1739. 

Member of a family and bearer of a name destined to 
secure immense fame in later Irish history, Thomas Parnell 
(1679-1718) was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity Col- 
lege. Entering the ministry in 1700, he was rapidly promoted 
to be archdeacon of Clogher and some years later was made 
rector of Finglas. An accomplished scholar and a delightful 
companion, he was one of the original members of the famous 
Scriblerus Club and wrote or helped to write several of its 
papers, he contributed to the Spectator and the Guardian, and 
he rendered sterling assistance to Pope in the translation of 
Homer. As will be inferred, he spent much of his time in 
England, and on one of his journeys to Ireland he died in 
his thirty-ninth year at Chester, where he was buried. He 
wrote a great deal of verse — songs, hymns, epistles, eclogues, 
translations, tales, and occasional trifles; but three poems, 
A Hymn to Contentment, which is fanciful and melodious, 
A Night-piece on Death, in which inquisitorial research seems 
to have found the first faint dawn of Romanticism, and The 
Hermit, which has been not inaptly styled "the apex and chef 
d'ceuvre of Augustan poetry in England", constitute his chief 
claim to present remembrance. 

Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746), the son of a Presbyterian 
minister, was born at Armagh, and studied at Glasgow Uni- 
versity. He opened in Dublin a private academy, which suc- 
ceeded beyond expectation. The publication of his Inquiry 
into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1720) and 
his Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions (1728) 
brought him great fame, and in 1729 he was elected to the pro- 
fessorship of moral philosophy in the University of Glasgow. 
Others of his works are a treatise on Logic and A System 
of Moral Philosophy, the latter not published till 1755, nine 


years after his death. Hutcheson fills a large space in the 
history of philosophy, both as a metaphysician and as a moral- 
ist. He is in some respects a pioneer of the "Scotch school" 
and of "common sense" philosophy. He greatly developed the 
doctrine of "moral sense", a term first used by the third Earl 
of Shaftesbury ; indeed, much of his whole moral system may 
be traced to Shaftesbury. Hutcheson's influence was widely 
felt: it is plainly perceptible in Hume, Adam Smith, and 
Reid. He was greater as a speaker even than as a writer, and 
his lectures evoked much enthusiasm. 

George Berkeley (1685-1753), bishop of Cloyne, was born 
at Dysert Castle, near Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, and was 
educated first at Kilkenny school and afterwards at Trinity 
College, Dublin. Having taken Anglican orders, he visited 
London, where he wrote nine papers for the Giuirdian and was 
admitted to the companionship and friendship of the leading 
literary men of the age — Swift, Pope, Addison, Steele, 
and Arbuthnot. This connection proved of great assistance to 
him, for Pope not only celebrated him as possessing "every 
virtue under heaven", but also recommended him to the Duke 
of Grafton, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, who appointed him 
his chaplain and subsequently obtained for him the deanery of 
Derry. In furtherance of a great scheme for "converting the 
savage Americans to Christianity", Berkeley and some friends, 
armed with a royal charter, came to this country, landing at 
Newport in Rhode Island in January, 1729. All went well for 
a while : Berkeley bought a farm and built a house ; but when 
the hard-hearted prime minister refused to forward the £20,000 
which had been promised, the project came to an end, 
and Berkeley returned to London in February, 1732. In 1734 
he was appointed bishop of Cloyne, and later refused the see 
of Clogher, though its income was fully double that of his 
own diocese. In 1752 he resigned his bishopric and settled 
at Oxford, where he died in 1753. 

Berkeley's works are very numerous. His Essay towards a 
Nezv Theory of Vision (1709), which was long regarded in 
the light of a philosophical romance, in reality contains specu- 
lations which have been incorporated in modern scientific 
optics. In his Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous 


(1713) he sets forth his famous demonstration of the im- 
niateriaHty of the external world, of the spiritual nature of the 
soul, and of the all-ruling and direct providence of God. His 
tenets on immateriality have always been rejected by "com- 
mon-sense" philosophers ; but it should be remembered that the 
whole work was written at a time when the English- 
speaking world was disturbed by the theories of sceptics and 
deists, whose doctrines the pious divine sought as best he could 
to confute. In 1732 appeared his Alciphron, or the Minute 
Philosopher, in which, dialogue-wise, he presents nature from 
a religious point of view and in particular gives many pleas- 
ing pictures of American scenery and life. These dialogues 
have frequently been compared to the dialogues of Plato. To 
Berkeley's credit be it said that while he ruled in Cloyne he 
devoted much thought to the amelioration of conditions in his 
native land. Many acute suggestions in that direction are 
found in the Querist (1735-1737). By some extraordinary 
ratiocinative process he convinced himself that tar-water was a 
panacea for human ills, and in 1744 he set forth his views on 
that subject in the tract called Siris, and returned to the charge 
in 1752 in his Further Thoughts on Tar-Water. Whatever 
may be thought of the value of Berkeley's philosophical or 
practical speculations, there is only one opinion of his style. 
It is distinguished by lucidity, ease, and charm ; it has the sav- 
ing grace of humor ; and it is shot through with imagination. 
Taken all in all, this eighteenth century bishop is a notable 
figure in literary annals. 

Charles Macklin (c. 1697-1797), whose real name was Mac- 
Laughlin, was a Westmeath man, who took to the stage in 
early life and remained on the boards with considerable and 
undiminished reputation for some seventy years, not retiring 
until 1789 when he was at least 92 years old. To him we are 
indebted for what is now the accepted presentation of the 
character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. He wrote 
a tragedy and many comedies and farces : those by which he is 
now best remembered are the farce, Love-a-la-Mode (1760), 
and his masterpiece, the farcical comedy. The Man of the 
World (1764). In Sir Pertinax MacSycophant, Macklin has 


given us one of the traditional burlesque characters of the 
English stage. 

Thomas Amory (1691? — 1788), if not born in Ireland, was 
at least of Irish descent and was educated in Dublin. He is 
known in literature for two books. The first, with the very 
mixed title of Memoirs containing the Lives of several Ladies 
of Great Britain; A History of Antiquities; Observations on 
the Christian Religion, was published in 1755, and the second. 
The Life of John Buncle, Esq., came out in two volumes in 
1756-1766. It appears to have been the author's aim in both 
works to give us a hotch-potch in which he discourses de omni- 
bus rebus et quibusdam aliis. We have dissertations on the 
cause of earthquakes and of muscular motion, on the Athana- 
sian Creed, on fluxions, on phlogiston, on the physical cause 
of the Deluge, on Irish literature, on the origin of language, 
on the evidences for Christianity, and on all other sorts of 
unrelated topics. Hazlitt thought that the soul of Rabelais 
had passed into Amory, while a more recent critic can see in 
his long-winded discussions naught but the "light-headed ramb- 
lings of delirium." If we try to read John Buncle consecu- 
tively, the result is boredom ; but if we open the book at ran- 
dom, we are pretty sure to be interested and even sometimes 
agreeably entertained. 

The bizarre figure of Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) next 
claims our attention. The son of a captain in the British 
army, he was born at Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Of him almost 
more than of any of the writers so far dealt with, it may be 
said that he was Irish only by the accident of birth. His par- 
ents were English on both sides, and practically the whole 
life of their son was spent out of Ireland. He was sent to 
school at Halifax, in Yorkshire, and thence went to Cam- 
bridge University, where he graduated in due season. Taking 
Anglican orders in 1738, he was immediately appointed to the 
benefice of Sutton-in-the- Forest, near York, and on his mar- 
riage in 1741 with Elizabeth Lumley he received the addi- 
tional living of Stillington. He was also given sundry pre- 
bendal and other appointments in connection with the chapter 
of the archdiocese of York. He spent nearly twenty years 
in the discharge of his not very onerous duties and in reading. 

342 the; gIvOries of irhi^and 

painting, shooting, and fiddling, without showing the least sign 
of any literary leanings. Then suddenly, in 1760, he took the 
world by storm with the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy. 
He at once became the lion of the hour, was feted and dined to 
his heart's content, and had his nostrils tickled with the daily 
incense of praise from his numerous worshippers. He re- 
peated the experiment with equal success the following year 
with two more volumes of Tristram, and so at intervals until 
1767, when he pubHshed the ninth and last volume of this most 
peculiar story. In 1768 he brought out A Sentimental Journey, 
and within three v/eeks he died in his lodgings in London. His 
other publications include Sermons and Letters. Tristram 
SJiandy is unique in English literature— it stands sui generis 
for all time. There is scarcely any consecutive narrative, and 
what there is is used merely as a peg on which to hang endless 
digressions. But while there are many faults of taste and 
morals, there are also genuine humor and pathos, and without 
Walter Shandy, Dr. Slop, the Widow Wadman, Yorick, Uncle 
Toby, and Corporal Trim, English literature would certainly 
be very much the poorer. 

Hugh Kelly (1739-1777), born in Dublin, was the son of a 
publican and himself became a staymaker, a trade from which 
he developed through the successive stages of attorney's clerk, 
newspaper-writer, theatrical critic, and essayist, into a novelist 
and playwright. His novel. Memoirs of a Magdalen (1'7 61!), 
was translated into French. His first comedy, a sentimental 
one entitled False Delicacy (1768), achieved a remarkable 
success on the stage and was even a greater success in book 
form, 10,000 copies being sold in a year, so that its author 
was raised from poverty to comparative affluence. In addition, 
it gave him a European reputation, for it was translated into 
German, French, and Portuguese. Strange to say, his later 
comedies, A Word to the Wise, A School for Wives, and The 
Man of Reason, were practically failures, and the same is 
true of his tragedy, Clementina. Kelly ultimately withdrew 
from stage work, and for the last three years of his life prac- 
tised as a barrister without, howeve^r^ achieving much dis- 
tinction in his new profession. 

IRISH WRITERS OF e;ngush 343 

Charles Coffey (d. 1745), an Irishman, was the author of 
several farces, operas, ballad operas, ballad farces, and farcical 
operas, the best known of which was The Devil to Pay, or the 
Wives Metamorphosed (1731). 

Henry Brooke (1703? — 1783), a county Cavan man and the 
son of a clergyman, was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, 
and afterwards studied law in London. Becoming guardian 
to his cousin, a girl of twelve, he put her to school for two 
years and then secretly married her. Of his large family 
of twenty-two children, three of whom were born before their 
mother was eighteen years old, but one survived him. Ap- 
pointed by Lord Chesterfield barrack-master at Mullingar, 
Brooke afterwards settled in Co. Kildare. It was there that 
he wrote his celebrated work, The Fool of Quality, or the His- 
tory of the Earl of Moreland (5 vols., 1766-1770), which won 
the commendations of men so widely different as John Wesley 
and Charles Kingsley. It is, indeed, a remarkable book, com- 
bining, as it does, many of the characteristics of Sterne, 
Mackenzie, Borrow, and George Meredith. It is not very well 
known nowadays, but it will always bear, and will well repay, 
perusal. Brooke also wrote a poem on Universal Beauty 
(1735) and the tragedies Gustavus Vasa (1739), the produc- 
tion of which was forbidden in London but which was after- 
wards staged in Dublin as The Patriot, and The Earl of Essex 
(1749), which was played both in London and in Dublin, and 
has been made famous by the parody of one line in it by Samuel 
Johnson. Another novel, Juliet Grenville, or the History of 
the Human Heart, published in 1774, was not nearly up to the 
standard of The Fool of Quality. Brooke was a busy literary 
man. He made a translation of part of Tasso, drafted plans 
for a History of Ireland, projected a series of old Irish tales, 
wrote one fragment in a style very like that subsequently 
adopted by Macpherson in his Ossian, and for a while was 
editor of the Freeman*s Journal. In the beginning, Brooke 
was violently anti-Catholic ; but, as time progressed, he became 
more liberal-minded, and advocated the relaxation of the penal 
laws and a more humane treatment of his Catholic fellow- 
countrymen. Like Swift and Steele, he fell into a state of 
mental debility for some years before his death. His daughter. 

344 THE GivORii^s OF ire:i^nd 

Charlotte Brooke (1740-1793), deserves mention as a pioneer 
of the Irish literary revival, for she devoted herself to the 
saving of the stores of Irish literature v^hich in her time were 
rapidly disappearing. One of the fruits of her labors was The 
Reliques of Irish Poetry, published in 1789. She also wrote 
Emma, or the Foundling of the Wood, a novel, and Belisarius, 
2l tragedy. 

Charles Johnstone (c. 1719-1800), a Co. Limerick man, 
was educated in Dublin and called to the English bar, but 
owing to deafness was more successful as a chamber counsel 
than as a pleader. Emigrating to India in 1782, he became 
joint proprietor of a newspaper in Calcutta, and there he 
died. He wrote several satirical romances, such as Chrysal, 
or the Adventures of a Guinea; The Reverie, or a Flight to 
the Paradise of Fools; and The History of Arsaces, Prince 
of Betlis. Of these the first was the best. Samuel Johnson, 
who read it in manuscript, advised its publication, and his 
opinion was vindicated, for it proved a huge success. Sir 
Walter Scott afterwards said that the author of Chrysal de- 
served to rank as a prose Juvenal. Johnstone also wrote The 
Pilgrim, or a Picture of Life and a picaresque novel. The His- 
tory of John Juniper, Esquire, alias Juniper Jack. 

Arthur Murphy (1727-1805), born at Cloonquin, Co. Ros- 
common, was educated at St. Omer. At first an actor, he 
afterwards studied law and was called to the English bar in 
1762. He made a translation of Tacitus, and wrote several 
farces and comedies, among which may be mentioned The 
Apprentice; The Spouter; The Upholsterer; The Way to Keep 
Him; and All in the Wrong. He also wrote three tragedies, 
namely, The Orphan of China; The Grecian Daughter; and 
Arminius. For the last-named, which was produced in 1798, 
and which had a strongly political cast, he received a pension 
of £200 a year. His plays long held the stage. 

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), essayist, poet, novelist, play- 
wright, historian, biographer, and editor, was a many-sided 
genius, who, as Johnson said in his epitaph, left scarcely any 
kind of writing untouched, and touched none that he did not 
adorn. Born, probably, in Co. Longford, the son of a poor 
clergyman, he was educated at various country schools until, 


in 1744, he secured a sizarship in Trinity College, Dublin. 
There he had a somewhat stormy career, but eventually took 
his degree in 1749. He then lounged at home for a while in 
his widowed mother's cottage at Ballymahon, until he was 
persuaded to take orders, but spoiled his already sufficiently 
poor chances of ordination by appearing before the bishop of 
Elphin in scarlet breeches. After other adventures in search 
of a profession, he went to Edinburgh in 1752 to study medi- 
cine, and two years later transferred himself to Leyden for the 
same purpose. It was from Leyden that, with one guinea in 
his pocket, one shirt on his person, and a flute in his hand, he 
started on his celebrated walking tour of Europe, during which 
he gained those impressions which he was afterwards to em- 
body in some of his greater works. In 1756 he arrived in 
England, where for three years he had very varied experiences 
— as a strolling player, an apothecary's journeyman, a prac- 
tising physician, a reader for the press, an usher in an academy, 
and a hack-writer. In 1759 he published anonymously his 
Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe, 
which was well received and helped him to other literary work. 
The Be-e, a volume of essays and verses, appeared in the same 
year. He was made editor of the Lady's Magazine; he pub- 
lished Memoirs of Voltaire (1761), a History of Mecklen- 
burgh (1762), and a Life of Richard Nash (1762). In 1762 
also he brought out his Citizen of the World, a collection of 
essciys, which takes an extremely high rank. In 1764 his 
poem. The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society, made its ap- 
pearance; and in 1766 he gave to the world his famous novel, 
The Vicar of Wakefield. His reputation as a 'writer was now 
established; he was received into Johnson's circle and was a 
member of the Literary Club; Reynolds and Burke were proud 
to call him friend. In 1768 he had his comedy, The Good 
Matured Man, produced at Covent Garden Theatre, where it 
achieved a fair measure of success and brought him in £lOO. 
In 1770 he repeated his triumph as a poet with The Deserted 
Village. He wrote a History of Animated Nature, a History 
of England, and a History of Rome, all compilations couched 
in that easy style of which he was master. He also wrote a 
Life of Parnell and a Life of Bolingbroke. Finally, in 1773, 


his great comedy, She Stoops to Conquer, was staged at 
Covent Garden, and met with wonderful success. A little more 
than a year later Goldsmith died of a nervous fever, the re- 
sult of overwork and anxiety, and was buried in the burial 
ground of the Temple Church. His unfinished poem. Retalia- 
tion, a series of epigrams in epitaph form on some of his distin- 
guished literary and artistic friends, was issued a few days 
after his death, and added greatly to his reputation as a 
wit and humorist, a reputation which was still further en- 
hanced when, in 1776, The Haunch of Venison made its ap- 
pearance. In the latter year a monument, with a medallion 
and Johnson's celebrated Latin epitaph attached, was erected 
to his memory in Westminster Abbey. 

Goldsmith's renown, great in his own day, has never since 
diminished. His essays, his novel, and his poems are still 
read with avidity and pleasure ; his comedy is still acted. It is 
his statue that stands along with Burke's at the entrance 
gate to Trinity College, Dublin, the alma mater seeking to 
commemorate in a striking manner two of her most distin- 
guished sons by placing their effigies thus in the forefront of 
her possessions and in full view of all the world. Personally, 
Goldsmith was a very amiable and good-hearted man, dear to 
his own circle and dear to that "Mr. Posterity" to whom he 
once addressed a humorous dedication. He had his faults, it 
is true, but they are hidden amid his many perfections. Every- 
one will be disposed to agree with what Johnson wrote of 
him: "Let not his frailties be remembered; he was a very 
great man." 

Edmund Burke (1729-1797), born in Dublin, the son of 
a Protestant father and a Catholic mother whose name was 
Nagle, was educated first at a Quaker school in Ballitore, Co. 
Kildare, and afterwards at Trinity College, Dublin. He be- 
came a law student in London, but he did not eventually adopt 
the law as a profession. He brought out in 1756 a Vindication 
of Natural Society, in which he so skilfully imitated the style 
and the paradoxical reasoning of Bolingbroke that many were 
deceived into the belief that the Vindication was a post- 
humously published production of the viscount's pen. In the 
following year Burke published in his own name A 


Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the 
Sublime and Beautiful, which attracted widespread attention, 
was translated into German and French, and brought its 
author into touch with all the leading literary men of London. 
He was instrumental with Dodsley the publisher in starting the 
Annual Register in 1759, and for close on thirty years he 
continued to supply it with the "Survey of Events." He en- 
tered public life in 1760 by accompanying "Single- Speech" 
Hamilton to Dublin when the latter was appointed Chief Secre- 
tary for Ireland. In 1765 he was made private secretary to the 
prime minister, the Marquis of Rockingham, and, as member 
for Wendover, entered parliament, where he speedily made a 
name for himself. During Lord North's long tenure of office 
(1770-1782) Burke was one of the minority and opposed the 
splendid force of his genius to the corruption, extravagance, 
and mal-administration of the government. To this period 
belong, in addition to lesser works, his great speeches On 
American Taxation (1774) and On Conciliation with America 
(1775), as well as his spirited Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 
(1777). He had been elected member of parliament for Bris- 
tol in 1774, but he lost his seat in 1780 because he had ad- 
vocated the relaxation of the restrictions on the trade of Ire- 
land with Great Britain and of the penal laws against Catho- 
lics. In the second administration of Rockingham (1783) and 
in that of Portland (1783) he was paymaster of the forces, 
a position which he lost on the downfall of the Whigs in the 
latter year, and he never again held public office. His speech 
on the impeachment of Warren Hastings in 1788 is universally 
and justly ranked as a masterpiece of eloquence. When the 
French Revolution broke out, he opposed it with might and 
main. His Reflections on the French Revolution (1790) had 
an enormous circulation, reached an eleventh edition inside 
of a year, was read all over the continent as well as in the 
British Isles, and helped materially not only to keep England 
steady in the crisis, but also to incite the other powers to 
continue their resistance to French aggression. He continued 
his campaign in Thoughts on French Affairs and Letters on a 
Regicide Peace. He was given two pensions in 1794, and 
would have been raised to the peerage as Lord Beaconsfield, 

348 the; glories of irui^and 

had not the succession to the title been cut off by the premature 
death of his only son. He himself died in 1797 and was buried 
at Beaconsfield, where, as far back as 1768, he had purchased 
a small estate. 

As an orator and a deep political thinker, Burke holds a 
foremost place among those of all time who distinguished 
themselves in the British parliament. His keen intellect, his 
powerful imagination, his sympathy with the fallen, the down- 
trodden, and the oppressed, and his matchless power of ut- 
terance of the thoughts that were in him have made an im- 
pression that can never be effaced. His wise and statesman- 
like views on questions affecting the colonies ought to endear 
him to all Americans, although, if his counsels had been heark- 
ened to, it is probable that the separation from the mother 
country would not have occurred as soon as it did. For his 
native land he used his best endeavors when and how he could, 
and although, as her defender, he was faced by obloquy as 
well as by the loss of that parliamentary position which was 
as dear to him as the breath of his nostrils, he did not flinch 
or shrink from supporting her material and spiritual interests 
in his own generous, manly, whole-hearted way. Trinity Col- 
lege, Dublin, has done^well in placing his statue at her outer 
gates as representing the greatest Irishman of his generation. 

A political associate of Burke's for many years was Richard 
Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816). Of Co. Cavan descent, Sheri- 
dan was born in Dublin, and was educated partly in his native 
city and partly at Harrow, and the remainder of his life was 
spent in England. He was distinguished first as a playwright 
and afterwards as a parliamentary orator. In 1775 his comedy. 
The Rivals, was produced at Co vent Garden Theatre ; his farce, 
St. Patrick's Day, or the Scheming Lieutenant, and his comic 
opera. The Duenna, were staged in the same year. His greatest 
comedy, The School for Scandal, was acted at Drury Lane 
Theatre in 1777, and it was followed in 1779 by The Critic. 
His last dramatic composition was the tragedy, Pisarro, pro- 
duced in 1799. Elected to parliament in 1780, Sheridan was 
made under-secretary for foreign affairs in the Rockingham 
administration of 1782, and in 1783 he was secretary to the 
treasury in the Coalition Ministry. He sprang into repute as 


a brilliant orator during the impeachment of Warren Hastings, 
1787-1794. His speech on the Begums of Oude was one of the 
greatest ever delivered within the walls of the British parlia- 
ment. In 1806, on the return of the Whigs to power, he was 
appointed treasurer in the navy. In 1813 his long parliamentary 
career came to a close when he was defeated for the borough of 
Westminster. He died in 1816, and was honored with a mag- 
nificent funeral in Westminster Abbey. 

To give an idea as to how Sheridan's oratorical powers im- 
pressed his contemporaries, it is perhaps enough to repeat 
what Burke said of his second speech against Warren Hast- 
ings, namely, that it was "the most astonishing eifort of elo- 
quence, argument, and wit united of which there is any record 
or tradition", and to add that when, after three hours of im- 
passioned pleading, he brought his first speech against Hastings 
to an end, the effect produced was so great that it was agreed 
to adjourn the house immediately and defer the final decision 
until the members should be in a less excited mood. As a 
dramatist Sheridan is second in popularity to Shakespeare 
alone. The School for Scandal and The Rivals are as fresh 
and as eagerly welcomed today as they were a hundred and 
forty years ago. Like Burke, he was true to the land of his 
birth and his oppressed Catholic fellow-countrymen. Almost 
his last words in the house of commons were these: "Be just 
to Ireland. I will never give my vote to any administration 
that opposes the question of Catholic emancipation." 

SJieridan belonged to a family that was exceptionally dis- 
tinguished in English literature. Among those who preceded 
him as litterateurs were his grandfather, the Rev. Thomas 
Sheridan, D.D. ; his father, Thomas Sheridan ; and his mother, 
Frances Sheridan. Rev. Dr. Sheridan (1684-1738), the friend 
and confidant of Dean Swift, kept a fashionable school in 
Dublin, edited the Satires of Persius in 1728, wrote a treatise 
on The Art of Punning, and figures largely in Swift's corre- 
spondence. Thomas Sheridan (1721-1788) was at first *an 
actor*of considerable reputation, both in Dublin and in Lon- 
don ; was next a teacher of elocution ; and finally came forward 
with an improved system of education, in which oratory was 
to have a conspicuous part. In this connection he published 


an elaborate Plan of Education in 1769, but his ideas, some 
of which are in accord with modern practice, were not taken 
up. He also compiled a pronouncing Dictionary of the Eng- 
lish Language, with a prosodic grammar, and in 1784 pub- 
lished an entertaining Life of Swift. Frances Sheridan ( 1724- 
1766), wife of Thomas and mother of Richard Brinsley, who 
as Frances Chamberlaine had been known as a poetess, wrote 
after her marriage two plays. The Discovery and The Dupe, 
and two novels, The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Biddulph, which 
was a great success and was translated by the Abbe Prevost 
into French, and The History of Nourjahad, an Oriental tale. 
In 1775 the singular spectacle was presented of the son's play 
running at Covent Garden while the mother's was being acted 
at Drury Lane. 

Among Sheridan's descendants who earned a niche in the 
temple of literary fame were his grand-daughters, the Coun- 
tess of Dufferin (1807-1867) and the Hon. Mrs. Norton, after- 
wards Lady Stirling Maxwell (1808-1877), and his great- 
grandson, the first Marquis of Dufferin and Ava (1826-1902). 
Lady Dufferin's Lament of the Irish Emigrant ("I'm sittin' 
on the style, Mary") has moved the hearts and brought tears 
to the eyes of countless thousands since it was published 
more than fifty years ago. 

Sir Philip Francis (1740-1818), born in Dublin, was the 
son of a clergyman of like name who attained some literary 
eminence as the translator of Horace and as a political writer. 
After filling various important government positions, Philip 
Francis, the son, was in 1773 made a member of the Council of 
Bengal, where fiis relations with the governor-general, War- 
ren Hastings, were of an extremely strained character, amount- 
ing at times almost to a public scandal. He returned to Eng- 
land in 1781, entered parliament, made a name as a speaker, 
took part in the impeachment of Hastings, and composed 
numerous political pamphlets. He is generally supposed to 
have been the writer of the celebrated Letters of Junius, which 
appeared at intervals in the Public Advertiser between Jan- 
uary 21, 1769, and January 21, 1772. These letters are dis- 
tinguished for their polished style, their power of invective, 
their galling sarcasm, their knowledge of state secrets, and 


their unparalleled boldness. Every prominent man connected 
with the government was attacked: even the king himself 
was not spared. As revised by their pseudonymous writer in 
a reprint made in 1772, they number 70 ; a later edition, in 1812, 
contained 113 more. Their authorship has been the subject 
of much controversy, nor is the question yet finally settled. In 
his Essay on Warren Hastings, written in 1841, Macaulay went 
to considerable trouble to prove, by the cumulative method, 
that Francis was the writer, and since then that opinion has 
been generally, but not universally, maintained. 

Isaac Bickerstaffe (c. 1735 — c. 1812) was an Irishman, whose 
name, strange to say, had no connection with the nom de guerre 
of the same style under which Swift had masqueraded in his 
outrageously satirical attacks on Partridge the almanac maker, 
or with the more celebrated imaginary Isaac Bickerstaffe 
under cover of whose personality Steele conducted the Tatler, 
The real Bickerstaffe was a prolific playwright. His best 
known pieces are The Sultan, The Maid of the Mill, Lionel 
and Clarissa, and Love in a Village. In the last-mentioned 
occurs the famous song, beginning "We all love a pretty girl- 
under the rose." 

William Drennan (1754-1820), who has been called the 
Tyrtaeus of the United Irishmen, was the son of a Presbyterian 
clergyman, was born in Belfast, and was educated at Glasgow 
and Edinburgh universities, taking a medical degree from the 
latter. He practised his profession in the north of Ireland, 
When the Irish Volunteers were established, Drennan entered 
heart and soul into the movement. Removing to Dublin in 
1789, he associated with Tone and other revolutionary spirits, 
and became one of the founders of the Society of United 
Irishmen, the first statement of whose objects was the pro- 
duct of his pen. His Letters of Orellana helped materially to 
enlist the men of Ulster in the ranks of the Society. He also 
wrote a series of stirring lyrics which, voicing as they did the 
general sentiment in Ireland at the time, became extremely 
popular and had a widespread effect. These were afterwards 
(1815) collected under the title of Fugitive Pieces. All his 
political hopes being blasted with the failure of the rebellion 
of 1798 and of Emmet's insurrection in 1803, Drennan re- 


turned in 1807 to Belfast and there founded the Belfast 
Magazine. "The Wake of William Orr", a series of noble and 
affecting stanzas commemorating the judicial murder of a 
young Presbyterian Irish patriot in 1798, is one of his best 
known pieces. He also celebrated the ill-fated brothers Sheares. 
His song "Erin" was considered by Moore to be one of the 
most perfect of modern songs. It was in this piece that he 
fixed upon Ireland the title of the Emerald Isle: 

When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood, 
God bless'd the green island, and saw it was good; 
The em'rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone — 
In the ring of the world the most precious stone. 

Mary Tighe (1772-1810), whose maiden name was Blach- 
ford, was born, the daughter of a clergyman, in Co. Wicklow. 
She contracted an unhappy marriage with her cousin who 
represented Kilkenny in the Irish house of commons. By all 
accounts she was of great beauty and numerous accomplish- 
ments. She wrote many poems: her best, and best known, 
is Psyche, or the Legend of Love, an adaptation of the story of 
Cupid and Psyche from the Golden Ass of Apuleius. The 
metre she employed in this piece was the Spenserian stanza, 
which she handled with great power, freedom, and melody. 
Psyche, which first appeared in 1795, had a wonderful vogue^ 
running rapidly through edition after edition. Among others 
to whom it appealed and who were influenced by it was Keats. 
Mrs. Tighe's talent drew from Moore a delicate compliment in 
"Tell me the witching tale again"; and in "The Grave of a 
Poetess" and "I stood where the life of song lay low", Mrs. 
Hemans bewailed her untimely death. 

Edmund Malone (1741-1812), the son of an Irish judge, 
was born in Dublin and studied at Trinity College. He was 
called to the Irish bar in 1767, but coming into a fortune, he 
abandoned his profession and gave himself over to literary 
work. In 1790 he brought out an edition of Shakespeare which 
was deservedly praised for its learning and research. His 
critical acumen led him to doubt the genuineness of Chatter- 
ton's Rowley Poems, and he was one of the first to expose 
Ireland's Shakespearean forgeries in 1796. Among other ser- 


vices to literature he wrote a Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds and 
edited Dryden. He also left a quantity of materials after- 
wards utilized for the "Variorum Shakespeare" by James 
Boswell the younger in 1821. 

John O'Keeffe (1747-1833), a Dublin man, was at first an 
art student, but soon became an actor, and then developed into 
a playwright. His pen was most prolific; he published a col- 
lection of over fifty pieces in 1798. His plays are mostly comic 
operas or farces, and some of them had great success. Lingo, 
the schoolmaster in The Agreeable Surprise, is a very amusing 
character. The Positive Man, The Son-in-Law, Wild Oats, 
Love in a Camp, and The Poor Soldier are among his com- 
positions. His songs are well known, such as "I am a friar 
of orders grey", and there are few schoolboys who have not 
sooner or later made the acquaintance of his "Amo, amas, I 
loved a lass". For the last fifty-two years of his life O'Keefte 
was blind, an affliction which he bore with unfailing cheerful- 
ness. In 1826 he was given a pension of one hundred guineas 
a year from the king's privy purse. 

George Canning (1770-1827), prinie minister of England, 
properly belongs here, for, although born in London, he was a 
member of an Irish family long settled at Garvagh in Co. 
Derry. Entering parliament on the side of Pitt in 1796, he was 
made secretary of the navy in 1804 and in 1812 secretary 
of State for foreign affairs. He became prime minister in 
1827, but died within six months, leaving a record for scarcely 
surpassed eloquence. In addition to his speeches, he is known 
in literature for his contributions to the Anti-Jacobin, or 
Weekly Examiner, which ran its satirical and energetic career 
for eight months (November, 1797— July, 1798.) Some of 
the best things that appeared in this ultra-conservative organ 
were from Canning*s pen. Few there are who have not 
laughed at his Loves of the Triangles, in which he caricatured 
Erasmus Darwin's Loves of the Plants; at The Needy Knife- 
Grinder; or at the song of Rogero in The Rovers, with its 
comic refrain of the 

niverslty of Gottingen. 

354 TH^ GI.ORIES 0^ IRl^I^ND 

Like most of the great Anglo-Irishmen of his time, Canning 
favored Catholic emancipation. It is interesting to note that 
it was a letter of Canning's that led to the formulation of the 
Monroe Doctrine. 

Henry Grattan (1746-1820), the hero of Grattan's parlia- 
ment, was born in Dublin and studied at Trinity College. His 
history belongs to that of his country. Suffice it here to say 
that not only did he by great eloquence and real statesman- 
ship secure a free parliament for Ireland in 1782, but also 
that he fought energetically, if unavailingly, against the aboli- 
tion of that parliament in 1800, and that thenceforward he 
devoted his abilities to promoting the cause of Catholic eman- 
cipation. Dying in London, he was honored by being buried in 
Westminster Abbey. In an age of great orators he stands 
out among the very foremost. His speeches have become 
classics, and are constantly quoted. 

Another brilliant Irish orator, as well as an eminent wit, 
of this period, was John Philpot Curran (1750-1817), who, 
born at Newmarket, Co. Cork, and educated at Trinity College, 
Dublin, achieved a wonderful success at the Irish bar. He 
defended with rare insight, eloquence, and patriotism those 
who were accused of complicity in the rebellion of 1798. As 
a member of Grattan's parliament, he voiced the most liberal 
principles, and, though a Protestant himself, he worked hard 
in the Catholic cause. He held the great office of Master of 
the Rolls in Ireland from 1806 to 1814. The memory of few 
Irish orators, wits, or patriots is greener today than that of 
Curran. His daughter Sarah, whose fate is so inextricably 
blended with that of the ill-starred Robert Emmet, has been 
rendered immortal by Moore in his beautiful song, "She is far 
from the land where her young hero sleeps". 

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (1759-1797), the first advocate 
of the rights of women, though born in London, was of 
Irish extraction. Into the details of her extraordinary and 
chequered career it is not possible, or necessary, here to enter. 
Her published works include Thoughts on the Education of 
Daughters (1787) ; Answer to Burke's Reflections on the 
French Revolution (1791) ; Vindication of the Rights of 
Women (1792) : and an unfinished Historical and Moral View 


of the French Revolution (Vol. I., 1794). Having in August, 
1797, borne to her husband, William Godwin, a daughter who 
afterwards became Shelley's second wife, Mary Godwin died 
in the following month. Whatever her faults — -and they were 
perhaps not greater than her misfortunes — she had something 
of the divine touch of genius, and, in a different environment, 
might easily have left some great literary memento which the 
world would not willingly let die. 

Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849), though born at Blackbourton 
in England, belonged to a family which had been settled in 
different parts of Ireland and finally at Edgeworthstown, Co. 
Longford, for nearly two hundred years. She was the daughter 
of Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744-1817), who was distin- 
guished for his inventions, for his eccentricity, and for his 
varied matrimonial experiences, and who himself figures in 
literature as the author of Memoirs, posthumously published 
in 1820, and as the partner with his daughter in Practical Ed- 
ucation (1798) and in an Essay on Irish Bulls (1802). Maria 
had a busy literary career and was before the public for fifty- 
two years from 1795 to 1847. She wrote Moral Tales; Popu- 
lar Tales; Tales from Fashionable Life; and Harrington; but 
she is now best remembered for her three masterpieces dealing 
with Irish life and conditions, namely. Castle Rackrent (1800) ; 
The Absentee (1812) ; and Ormond (1817). By these works 
she inspired Scott, as he himself tells us, to attempt for his 
own country something "of the same kind with that which she 
had so fortunately achieved for Ireland", and in a later day 
she inspired Turgenlef to do similarly for Russia. She excels 
in wit and pathos and gives a true and vivid presentation of the 
times and conditions as she viewed them. 

Andrew Cherry (1762-1821), born in Limerick, became an 
actor, a theatrical manager, and a playwright. He wrote nine 
or ten plays, several of which were moderately successful. The 
one that is now remembered is The Soldier^s Daughter. Some 
of his songs, such as "The Bay of Biscay'*, "Tom Moody, the 
Whipper-in", and, especially, "The Green Little Shamrock of 
Ireland", bid fair to be immortal. 

Other Irish song-writers were Thomas Duffet (fl. 1676), 
author of "Come all you pale lovers"; Arthur Dawson (1700?- 


1775), author of "Bumpers, Squire Jones" ; George Ogle (1742- 
1814), author of "Molly Asthore"; Richard Alfred Millikin 
(1767-1815), author of the grotesque "Groves of Blarney"; 
Edward Lysaght (1763-1811), author of "Our Ireland", "The 
Gallant Man who led the van Of the Irish Volunteers", and 
"Kate of Garnavilla"; George Nugent Reynolds (1770?-1802), 
author of "Kathleen O'More"; Thomas Dermody (1775- 
1802), author of the collection of poems and songs known 
as The Harp of Erin; James Orr (1770-1816), author of "The 
Irishman"; Henry Brereton Code (d. 1830), author of "The 
Sprig of Shillelah"; Charles Wolfe (1791-1823), author of 
"If I had thought thou couldst have died", and of "The Burial 
of Sir John Moore"; and Charles Dawson Shanly (1811-1875), 
author of "Kitty of Coleraine". 

Theobald Wolfe Tone (1763-1798), born in Dublin, edu- 
cated at Trinity College, and called to the Irish bar in 1789, 
fills a large space in the history of his country from 1790 to 
his death in 1798. Intrepid, daring, and resourceful, he was 
one of the most dangerous of the enemies to English domina- 
tion in Ireland that arose at any time during the troubled rela- 
tions between the two countries. Taken prisoner on board 
a French ship of the line bound for Ireland on a mission of 
freedom, he committed suicide in prison rather than submit to 
the ignominy of being hanged to which he had been condemned. 
He sleeps his last sleep in Bodenstown churchyard, in that 
county of Kildare to which he was connected by many ties. 
His grave is still the Mecca of many a pilgrimage, and the 
corner-stone of a statue to his memory has been laid for some 
years on a commanding site in the city of his birth. He is 
known in literature for his Journals and his Autobiography, 
both containing sad, but inspiring, reading for the Irishman 
of today. 

Here this rapid survey of Irish writers of English must close. 
To tell in any sort of appropriate detail the story of the Eng- 
lish literature of Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth cen- 
turies would require a separate volume — a volume which is 


now under way and will, it is hoped, be speedily forthcoming. 
There is all the less need to attempt the agreeable task here, 
because in other portions of this book much more than pass- 
ing reference is made to the chief Irish authors who, in the 
last hundred and fifteen years, have distinguished themselves 
and shed lustre on their country. During that period Irish 
poets, playwrights, novelists, essayists, historians, biographers, 
humorists, critics, and scholars Have fully held their own both 
in the quantity and the quality of the work produced, and have 
left an impression of power and personality, of graceful style 
and vivifying imagination, that in itself constitutes, and must 
for ever constitute, one of the distinctive Glories of Ireland. 

References : 

Irish Literature (10 vols.. New York, 1904) ; Chambers's Cyclo- 
paedia of English Literature (3 vols., Philadelphia and London, 1902- 
1904) ; Dictionary of National Biography; Encyclopaedia Britannica; 
Cambridge History of English Literature; D'Alton: History of Ire- 
land (London, 1910) ; Lennox : Early Printing in Ireland (Wash- 
ington, 1909), Addison and the Modern Essay (Washington, 1912), 
Lessons in English Literature (21st edition, Baltimore, 1913) ; 
Macaulay: Essays, History of England; Brown: A Reader's Guide 
to Irish Fiction (London, 1910), A Guide to Books on Ireland (Dub- 
lin, 1912),