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July 31, 2006

CELBRIDGE, LEIXLIP, LUCAN AND NEIGHBOURHOODS - 1846,Slater's Commerical Directory of Ireland

Celbridge, Leixlip, Lucan and Neighbourhoods
        Celbridge is a small market town, partly in the parish of Dunacomper, barony of south Salt, but chiefly in the parish of Celbridge, barony of North Salt, county of Kildare, 12 ½ miles W. by S. from Dublin, and 12 N. from Naas; seated on the banks of the river Liffey, over which is a handsome stone bridge of six arches. The town consists principally of one street, at the extremity of which stands the church. The woollen and cotton manufactures are extensively carried on here, and afford employment to a large number of the industrious class. The places of worship are the established church, and a Roman Catholic chapel, the former a neat modern stone building, with a good tower and painted window. A fever hospital, and a dispensary, as well as a Sunday and day school, supported by subscription, also a savings bank, are well sustained here; and, in 1841, a new union workhouse was erected. Lyons, the magnificent seat of Lord Cloncurry, within a short walk of the town, is well worth the attention of the visitor; and at Castle Town, not far distant, stands the beautiful mansion and residence of Colonel Connolly. Near to the house is Celbridge Abbey, a favourite retreat of Dean Swift’s, and the residence of the lady celebrated in his poem of Cadenus and Vanessa. The market is held on Saturday; and fairs on the last Tuesday in April, September 8th, and November 7th. Population in 1841, 1,289.
Leixlip is a small market town and parish, in the same county as Celbridge, three miles therefrom, and like that town situated near the Liffey, where a famous salmon-leap and waterfall are annually visited by great numbers of tourists. From the Dublin road a most delightful view is presented of the town, the Liffey and Rhy, the former being nearly surrounded by the two streams, which unite at the foot of Leixlip Castle. This edifice stands on a commanding eminence, majestically soaring above the town; it is the property of Colonel Conolly, but the residence of the Hon. Geo. Cavendish, who has modernized and greatly beautified it.
The places of worship are the established church and a Roman Catholic chapel, the latter a neat ornamental building, and very pleasantly situated. There are schools in connection with the board of education, and a public infants’ school. The market day is Saturday, and the fairs May 4th and October 9th. The population, in 1841, was 1.086.
Lucan is a village and parish, in the barony of Newcastle, county of Dublin, about 4 ½ miles N. E. from Celbridge, situated on the high road to Dublin and Galway, on the right bank of the Liffey, which is crossed by a neat stone bridge. The place is chiefly noticed for its chalybeate spa, efficacious in the cure of cutaneous complaints, and is resorted to, in the summer season, by many. A handsome spa-house has been erected, consisting of a centre and two wings, in one of which is an assembly-room, where concerts and balls are given. The magistrates sit in petty sessions here every Tuesday. Lucan gives the title of baron and earl to the noble family of Bingham. An extensive iron foundry here furnishes employment to many of the working inhabitants.
The parish church, erected in 1822, is a neat building with a spire. A Roman Catholic chapel and a place of worship for the Wesleyan Methodists, are the other religious edifices; and a dispensary, a savings’ bank, and a school for the sons of the Irish clergy, comprise the other two public buildings. Population, in 1841, 563.
POST OFFICE, CELBRIDGE, James Leslie, Post Master.- Letters from all parts arrive (From DUBLIN) every morning at seven and half-past nine, and are despatched for all parts (to DUBLIN by mail cart) every afternoon at half-past four.
POST OFFICE, LEIXLIP, Anthony Bacon, Post Master.- Letters from all parts arrive every morning at half-past nine and night at nine, and are despatched every morning at four and afternoon at three.
POST OFFICE, LUCAN, James Lynch, Post Master.- Letters from all parts arrive every morning at a quarter before nine and night at nine, and are despatched every morning at four and afternoon at a quarter before four.
And their Minsiters.
ESTABLISHED CHURCH, Celbridge- Rev. Robert Pakenham, rector; Rev. Samuel Grier, curate.
ESTABLISHED CHURCH, Leixlip- Rev. Henry Steward, rector.
ESTABLISHED CHURCH, Lucan- Rev. H.A. Prior, perpetual curate.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL, Celbridge-Rev. Patrick O’Rourke, parish priest, Rev. Patrick Woods, curate.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL, Leixlip- Rev. John Cainan, parish priest; Rev. Mr. Casson, curate, Lucan.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL, Lucan- Rev. M.B. Kelly, parish priest.
WESLEYAN METHODIST CHAPEL, Lucan- ministers various.
Through Lucan and Leixlip
To DUBLIN, the Royal Mail, every morning at four, a Coach, at the same hour, & others every evening at half-past five and half-past six, and a Car, every afternoon at half-past two, and another at three.
To BALLINASLOE, a Coach, every morning at a quarter past seven; goes through Maynooth, Enfield, Kinnegad, Moate, Athlone.
To BOYLE, a Coach (from Mullingar), every morning at twenty minutes past eight; goes through Maynooth, Enfield, Kinnegad, Mullingar and Longford.
To GALWAY, the Royal Mail, every night at nine; goes through Leixlip, Maynooth, Enfield, Kinnegad, Moate, Athlone and Ballinasloe.
To LONGFORD, by the Coach to Boyle
To MULLINGAR, a Coach (from Boyle), every morning at twenty minutes past eight-and a Car, every afternoon at half-past one.
To SLIGO, the Royal Mail, every night at nine; goes through Lucan, Leixlip, Maynooth, Enfield, Kinnegad, Mullingar, Longford and Boyle.
To TULLAMORE, a Car, every morning at ten.
DUBLIN is the nearest Station on the DUBLIN and DROGHEDA Line-to which there are Conveyances daily as stated in the preceding coach list.

A description of the towns of Celbridge, Leixlip, Lucan and Neighbourhoods, along with places of worship, public institutions and conveyances serving the area.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed and edited by Niamh McCabe; final edit Dee O'Brien]

July 27, 2006

A CURRAGH V.C.- The curious tale of an early V.C.

My visitor had a story to tell. He had been out for a Sunday afternoon walk on the Curragh plains near to a veterinary surgeons house, when he noticed something on the edge of a hoof-print in the soft ground. On picking it up, and cleaning off the mud he saw that it was an old army-type medal. At home he washed it in warm water, and the cross shape became clear. He wanted to know if it was of any interest or value.
The medal was very easy to identify as a Victoria cross without a cross bar or ribbon and slightly hollowed in its centre by some blow. The first question was if it was genuine. I contacted the British Embassy, and the military attaché gave me the address of Hancocks in London where the medals have always been made. They could verify it and give details of its age upon examination.
It turned out to be of very early vintage and was one of the 1850’s Indian Mutiny era. The next step was to visit the V.C. and G.C. Association offices, where records of awards are retained. V.C.’s had been fairly generously awarded at that time, but the location of most are known. Four medals were awarded to the 8th Royal Irish Hussars on one day for an outstanding charge which decided the outcome of an important battle; not to individuals. It was decided who was to get the award by drawing lots. Three of the crosses were accounted for, the other had been held by a Sgt. Ward. He returned to Ireland and served for a time on the Curragh! He was reduced to the ranks for drunkenness and sent to a militia in Cavan, where he died, age 45, and is buried.
The house near which the cross was found had been a public house at the time, and since soldiers then wore their medals at all times, it may have been lost on a dark and unsteady journey back to barracks of a winters night.
The agent in Ireland for the British Cavalry museum contacted me and came to view the medal. He had served in the 8th Hussars in Korea. They offered to buy it since they did not have a V.C. in their collection, but its owner did not accept their offer.
Some months went by and one afternoon the T.V. programme “Live at Three” was reporting on an antiques fair being held in Dublin. At the end of the show the most unusual item was unveiled from under a top hat and there in lone splendour was the Victoria Cross of farrier Sergeant Ward. It had been sold for over £5,000.
I have been told that all these crosses have been cast from captured bronze Russian cannon barrels taken in the Crimean War. The award was initiated by a then very young Queen Victoria at the time of that war.

An article from John Faulkner regarding an interesting find on the Curragh.

[Submitted by John Faulkner; edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]


July 26, 2006

NAAS LOCAL HISTORY GROUP-Programme Summer-Autumn 2006

Naas Local History Group
Programme: Summer‑ Autumn 2006
 27 July, 7.30pm: Walk, St. Corban's Cemetery, Dublin Road.
Meet at the Lych gate at the cemetery. Led by group members.
This late Victorian cemetery has an impressive inventory of headstones and
monuments which reveal much about the social character of Naas and its
environs in recent generations..
31 August, 8pm, Naas Town Hall: Reading ' From Norman Moat to the
Monread Ball' *Presented by group members ; a dramatised reading of the
story of Naas from earliest times to the present day in the atmospheric
surrounds of the Town Hall chamber (by kind permission Naas TC).
4 September, Naas Library, 7.45pm: Talk, 'from Nas na Riogh to Monte
Cassino.' Prolific Naas author James Durney will present his recent
researches of Kildare men involved in one of the bloodiest battles of WW2.
 2 October, Library, 7.45pm: Talk, 'A Holocaust child'; Zoltan
Zinn Collis was just five when he was rescued from the Nazi concentration
camp at Bergen‑Belsen. Now resident in Co. Kildare he will bring us
first‑hand witness of this terrible and epic time in the story of modern
6 November, Library, 7.45pm: Talk. 'A winter's tale'. Brian
McCabe will present his seasonal offering to ponder on as the nights draw
If you are new to Naas and want to find out more about our group contact:
Ronnie Kinane, chair at 045 876254 or Liam Kenny, vice‑chair at 087

From Liam Kenny-The programme of events for the Naas Local History group from July until November


July 24, 2006

BURGLARY AT KILLASHEE, a newpaper article reporting on the discovery by Colonel St. Leger Moore of a burglar in his home

Kildare Observer 14/7/1906
         At a special court on yesterday (Friday), before Colonel de Burgh, D.L, a man named Patrick Brophy, who stated he was from County Kilkenny, was charged with having unlawfully broken into and entered the dwelling house of Colonel St. Leger Moore, Kilashee, on the night of the 12th or morning of the 13th July.
   The following deposition was made by Colonel St. Leger Moore, in which he stated that on the evening of the 12th July he was out in the garden with his daughters. He came in about 9.30 o’clock by the conservatory door. Wm. Barr, the footman, shut and bolted the door. About one o’clock a.m., he was awakened by a noise as of doors slamming. It was raining at the time. He sat up and listened, but heard nothing further, dozed off to sleep. Soon after 3 o’clock a.m he heard a shuffling noise on the stairs, and somebody came quietly down the passage and turned the handle of the door. He got up and took an Zulu knobkerrie off the wall and went up the stairs. The blinds were down, and the light was very uncertain. He saw a man standing on the top of the stairs, and ran to meet him, and told him that if he made any resistance he would smash his head into jelly. He caught hold of him and pinned him against the wall, then brought him downstairs by the collar, and rang the bell, but there was no answer. He then dragged him across the hall and called the butler, John Rogers. He (butler) came up, and we brought the prisoner up to show us where he got in. We found the conservatory door smashed, and drawers and writing table in the library burst open, also sideboard in the drawingroom. The bedrooms were all upturned. We then brought the prisoner downstairs and locked him up in a cellar. He sent for the police and had him arrested. He (prisoner) must have been several hours in the house, as his boots and clothes were perfectly dry.
   Accused was remanded to the Naas Petty Sessions on Monday Next.   

An article from the Kildare Observer regarding the court case of an intruder found in the house of Colonel St. Leger Moore at Killashee, Naas.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed by Sarah Luttrell; edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

July 21, 2006

ATHY,Workhouse Infirmary-a newspaper article describing the Infirmary

Leinster Leader
Athy Workhouse Infirmary
         The Following is a report on the above from the British Medical Journal:- Athy is an important market town, and the workhouse, which is on its outskirts, draws its inmates from a large agricultural district. The medical officer, Dr. O’Neill, lives at some distance from the house, and we were unable to time our visit to coincide with his. The matron, however, kindly placed herself at our disposal. In this workhouse the sick have overflowed into the body of the house. The infirmary originally planned for 30 patients, has at the present time to accommodate 42, and there are besides over 80 beds for cases of chronic infirmity requiring nursing, which are placed in the infirm wards in the body of the house. There is an average of 95 inmates under treatment, exclusive of the lunatics, and this out of a total of 200, the number booked as being in the house on the night preceding our visit. The infirmary, consisting of a middle block and two wings, is given up to the cases which require most attention; in the middle portion is the operating room, on the first floor; below, the surgery, and the male side the kitchen, which occupies the space of two rooms. The walls throughout are whitewashed, the wall surface being smooth and the ceilings plastered. A match-board lining is carried round the walls at the height of the head of the beds. The windows are diamond poned, in heavy metal frames.; the upper half falls inwards, the lower turns on a pivot; there is no other ventilation. The bedsteads are principally the old harrow frame, with fibre mattresses, but on the male side; there are some spring beds. Between the beds were tables with a drawer on each side; there was a long table with benches for meals, and a few arm chairs. The ward crockery was kept in cupboards, and the linen store in a cupboard on the landing. In the operating room we were shown the instruments, which were creditably kept; this room contains a table, desk, and bed. On the female side the wards were not very full; an empty room was in use as a day room; in the second ward, of ten beds, was a child with acute chorea- we have seldom seen a worse case; another with phithis; a case of fractured thigg; anaemia; ulceration of the legs; a strumous child; and two women who were dressed. One these told us that she “had her chest bad,” and the other had some internal trouble. On this side there are ten beds more than on the men’s side. The lower ward was used as a sleeping room for any inmates whose services were required at night in the wards. The male patients also were few in number. In the first ward, of six beds, they were all up; in the second, containing ten beds, three were in bed-one with bronchitis, another with an ulcerated leg, and the third was a case of senility. As the visit was paid in the summer we found the sick department at its lowest. The wards were being scrubbed, which gave them a disorderly appearance. The lunatics in this union are kept in cells. There is accommodation for six on each side, in three cells. The so-called dayroom is the corridor outside the cells. These cells are bolted at night and there is no spyhole. On the male side were five patients; they were out in the exercise yard. On the female sides were two patients, seated on a bench in the corridor. An infant belonging to the wardswoman was in a cot in one of the cells. These divisions were clean, but unspeakably dreary and cheerless. The airing court on the female side, in which we were pleased to notice benches, is spacious and had growing flowers; it is used in common by hospital patients and by the idiots. The epileptics are in this class. The infirmary nursing is in the hands of three nuns who are not trained; they have the usual pauper helps, one to each ward. The nuns are also responsible for the lunatics, though on both sides an inmate was in charge. There is no night-nurse; if necessary inmates are placed on duty at night, and if more nurses are required by day, a larger number of inmates is sent from the house; quantity is not stinted if the quality be more than doubtful. The maternity ward is in the body of the house, close to the infirm wards. It is a large room, having, however, only four beds, one of which was occupied; there is no labour bed. The ward is not good-dark, badly ventilated, and difficult to warm in winter; the windows are placed high in the wall, and on one side only. The beds are straw on the “harrow” frames. A door leads to the nursery, a small room, and beyond is a small garden in which is an open shed with bath and cold water tap, a privy and a resceptacle for foul linen; the shed was much blocked with pails and odds and ends of lumber, making it practically useless for its original purpose. As previously mentioned, a large number of hospital patients are treated in the infirm wards, where 42 beds in two wards are assigned to them in each wing. These wards are fitted up as sick wards, and here we saw helpless cases-paralysis, old age, etc. On the male side there 20 in bed, on the female side only 8. The matron is responsible for the nursing of these patients, and has a wardsman or woman in each ward. These wards are locked at night on the outside; there are no bells to the officers’ quarters, and though they are termed convalescent wards, most of the patients treated in them will never reach the convalescent stage. Nor are there any appliances for nursing, no water supply, no offices, no proper ventilation, the only light and air coming through a large window at either end of the ward. More serious still is the great distance between these wards and the infirmary proper, and the absence of all supervision at night. The guardians have placed good stoves in the wards, and also by the provision of small tables, chairs, etc. have endeavoured to overcome some of the difficulties of nursing, but the structural defects still remain. The sunk portion of the floor has been levelled, so as to provide space for the iron-framed bedstead with fibre mattress. In some wards we saw a few “harrow” beds in use. The fever hospital is a separate building, standing on a higher level than the workhouse. It is better planned for the requirements of the sick, and as there is no fever, we were told that the doctor sends thither such patients as in his opinion require better air. It is nursed by two trained nurses and has its separate kitchen and laundry. In the girls’ and boys’ dormitories we were pleased to notice that the guardians had superseded the straw ticks on the floor by spring bedsteads, that they had levelled the floor, and on the girls’ side they had removed the partition, thus improving the light and increasing the cubic space. The fireplaces throughout are the old grates, except in the infirm wards. The kitchen is still in its primitive condition-huge boilers, with their separate furnaces, and no range. The water for house use is heated in the laundry. This laundry serves all departments, except the fever hospital. We are informed that the feeding troughs are still in use in the dining-hall for serving the stirabout to the able-bodied. In sanitary matters this house is on a level with others of its class.
The privies are on the trough system; they were not in a cleanly state, and in some cases we noticed great carelessness in placing the trough. There is one bath in the infirmary, with hot and cold water supply. There are no indoor conveniences. Soil buckets are used in the infirmary and infirm wards, and remain unemptied at night. The water supply is ample, and is pumped up daily. Recommendations-we observed in this house a strange mixture of enlightened administration in certain directions, and in others an unreasoning adherence to bad old customs, in curious contrast with some of the reforms introduced. It is evident that the problem of providing for the overflow of the sick has been a perplexing one, but we cannot regard the solution arrived at as satisfactory, and would suggest that all hospital patients (we mean those who require nursing and attention at night) should be placed under one roof. A new infirmary to accommodate 100 patients is the counsel of perfection, and this will have to be done in future. The body of the house might be converted into the infirmary, but it would be necessary then to provide for the children elsewhere, and there would be a large outlay for alteration and adaptation. A sanitary system in accordance with modern standards would be part of the new works. In the meantime we would advocate the employment of trained nurses by day and night, and if this qualification can be added to those already possessed by the nuns, we know of no body of women so fit to undertake the control of the workhouse, bringing as they do devotion and discipline into the work; but anything short of nursing throughout the 24 hours is neglect of duty to the sick.

The administration of Athy Workhouse typifies the collision of modern ideas and changed conditions with rules and buildings framed nearly seventy years ago to suit circumstances which exist no longer. Neither the general orders nor the buildings were made with a view to the treatment of the sick or the sheltering of the aged, yet these two classes now form two-thirds of the workhouse inmates; and the guardians have to provide for them as best they may, hampered by rules which are inapplicable and obsolete, and by all the difficulties involved in unsuitable buildings. At Athy the sick are divided among the “fever” hospital, the infirmary, and the body of the house, and are nursed respectively by trained nurses, by nuns, and by the matron, all assisted of course by paupers. The unfortunate sick in the body of the house are worst off, for though the guardians and the officers seem to do their duty for them, according to their lights, the wards are even more unsuitable for the nursing of the sick than those of the infirmary proper. The concentration of the sick under one roof is greatly to be desired, and also that they should be tended by trained nurses. It is too much to hope that ecclesiastical authorities will shortly remove the veto on hospital training and night duty which prevents the nuns from qualifying as sick nurses in the true sense of the term? It is surprising that among the reforms which have been introduced into workhouse at Athy the abolition of the cells for the insane has not found a place. These are neither more nor less than prison cells (6 feet by 10 feet) with small grated lights high in the walls, and their use ought no longer to be tolerated.

An extract from the Leinster Leader showing a report from the British Medical Journal on the Workhouse Infirmary in the town of Athy, 1896.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed and edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

July 19, 2006

RATHANGAN- 1846,Slater's Commerical Directory of Ireland

Is a small market town and parish, the latter partly in the barony of East Ophaly, but chiefly in that of west Ophaly, county of Kildare, 33 miles S.W. from Dublin, 10 S.E. from Edenderry, and 6 N. by W. from Kildare; situated on the eastern bank of the Grand Canal, and near the verge of the counties of Kildare and King’s. The town, which is the property of the Duke of Leinster, is tolerably well built, and is the residence, with the neighbourhood, of several respectable families. The place, however, enjoys but little trade, notwithstanding its eligibility of situation for that purpose. The magistrates, in whom the government of the town is vested, hold a petty sessions every Monday, and a stipendiary magistrate is here resident. The parish church, which is finely situated on an eminence, is rather a handsome building of stone, with a tower. The other places of worship are a beautiful Roman Catholic chapel and meeting-house for the Methodists and the Society of Friends. The charitable institutions are a dispensary for the sick poor and schools, under the national board, for children of either sex, with another supported by Viscount Harberton. The market, a well-supplied one, is held on Monday. Fairs, June 26th, August 26th, and November 12th. The town, which is entirely in the barony of East Ophaly, contained, in 1841, 1,040 inhabitants.
POST OFFICE, Michael Mylod, Post Master.- Letters from all parts arrive (from KILDARE) every morning at seven and are despatched thereto every evening at six.
And their Ministers.
PARISH CHURCH- Rev. William Bourne, rector, the Glebe; John Tottenham, curate.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL- Reverend Patrick Brennan, Kildare, parish priest; Rev. Andrew Mc Mahon, curate.
METHODIST MEETING HOUSE- ministers various
The nearest Town, to Rathangan, through which Coaches pass, is Kildare.
To DUBLIN, a Fly Boat passes every forenoon at half-past eleven; goes past Robertstown, Sallins and Hazelhatch.
To MOUNTMELLICK, a Fly Boat (from Dublin), passes daily at twenty-five minutes past twelve; goes past Monastereven and Portarlington.
*** There are Boats for the conveyance of Goods, but no fixed period of departure

A description of the town of Rathangan, along with places of worship, public institutions and conveyances serving the area.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed and edited by Niamh McCabe; final edit Dee O'Brien]


July 14, 2006

CARAGH AND DOWNINGS, PARISH OF - Comerford's "Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin"

         THE name, Caragh, may be derived from Carha, which signifies “a Pillar-Stone;” or from Carhoo, “a quarter.” The Vicarages of Kerogh, and of Donys, alias Downings, appear in the Taxation made, temp. Henry VIII. There are no traces of any ancient or mediaeval church in the vicinity of Caragh; but, very probably the present graveyard, in which the Protestant Church heretofore stood, occupies the ancient site. The Chapel of the penal times certainly stood hard by, part of the walls of which form the boundary of the present Church plot. In the Report made Nov. 4th, 1731 (see Vol. 1., p. 264), it is stated that “There is a large Mass-house within a few yards of the Church of Carogh, and another large one close upon the high road in the Parish of Downings, within less than two miles of the other;-the former repaired, and the latter built since 1st year of George I. Many Fryars come to preach in them. There is a popish school constantly kept in the Mass-house of Carogh. Besides this there is a private Popish Chapel in the house at Yeomanstown, said to be served by a person whose name I do not know. There is a house in Captain Eustace’s land of Yeomanstown, which goes by the name of the Fryary of Carogh, and has usually been said to be inhabited by Fryars. How many are now in it I cannot certainly tell.” The position of this Friary may still be traced in the grounds of Yeomanstown, beside the Liffey. The walls have quite disappeared, but old persons still living recollect the ruins. A grove hard by, called Willis’s wood, is said to have been planted by a Father Willis, of the Friary. It is probable that the Friars referred to were members of the Dominican Order, who appear never to have deserted the neighbourhood of their former house at Naas, and that, from this place they migrated to Newbridge, when, in 1756, it was determined to revive the Convent, under Father Hugh Reynolds as Prior. Tradition tells that, in the last century, a hermit named Shannon settled on the side of the river, directly opposite the Yeomanstown Friary; and the spot where he constantly knelt in prayer, his face turned towards the ruins, is pointed out, with the marks of his knees still indented in the sward.
In the graveyard adjoining the Catholic Church at Caragh, a former Pastor of the parish lies interred; his tombstone bears the following inscription:-“Here lyeth the Rev. Father Christopher Nuny, who serv’d this Parish devoutly 41 years. Died Nov. ye 9th, in the 78th year of his age, 1765.” Inside the Church three successive P.P.’s are buried, to whom mural tablets have been raised. “Here lieth the body of the Rev. Anthony Higgins, Parish Priest of Caragh and Downings for upwards of 40 years. He died 6 February, 1831, aged 92 years.”-“This Tablet has been erected by the Parishioners of Caragh and Downings, to testify their esteem of the late Revd. Mathew Tierney, who zealously discharged the duties of Parish Priest for a period of 26 years.”-“Of your charity, pray for the soul of the Rev. Denis Muldowney, who died on the 26h day of June, 1875. He was, for over 18 years, the Pastor of Caragh and Downings, and was loved and respected by the parishioner, who erected this monument to his memory. May he rest in peace. Amen.”
Father Clowry, Curate of this parish, is also interred here: “Have mercy, O Lord, on the soul of Rev. Patrick Clowry, who died August 27th, 1883. The High Altar was erected to his memory by the parishioners and Mr. Jeremiah Clowry.”

Here are the ruins of an old Church, measuring, according to Father O’ Hanlon (Lives I.S.S. 2, p. 564.) 42 ½ feet by 16. Tradition states that this Church occupies the site of the cell of St. Farnan, whose feast occurs in the Irish Calendar on the 15th of February. This saint flourished in the sixth century, and was descended from King Niall of the Nine Hostages. Beside the ancient cemetery is the Well of St. Farnan; and it possesses-so the local story goes-the valuable property, imparted to it by the blessing of the Saint, that those who drank of it never afterwards have any relish for intoxicating drinks. The Dun from which this place probably takes its name (Dooneens, “the little fort,”) may still be seen a short distance from the village of Prosperous, on the left of the road to Caragh. The only doubt about its being so arises from the fact that, instead of being small, it, on the contrary, is one of considerable dimensions. An Inquisition taken at Naas, 30th December, 1663, finds “that the town and lands of Downings, in the Co. Kildare, 176 acres, were, on the 23rd October, 1641, in the possession of William Wogan, of Downings, who was, in hillary tearme, in the 17th year of the raigne of Charles I., indicted and outlawed of high treason, whereby all the premises became forfeited to the said King, and were held from him, in custodiam, by the Lord of Kingstowne.”
(i.e., “The little Church or Wood.”)-The Knights Hospitallers had a Commandery here (Ware) of which we have no farther account (Archdall).
In Chancery Rolls (Morrin, Vol. 1, p. 321), we find a lease made by Sir John Rawson, Knight, Prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, and his brethren, to Nicholas Stanyhurst, of Dublin, of the Priory of Kylbegge, in the County of Kildare; to hold for 41 years, at a rent of £10 a year, payable at the Chapter-house of Kilmainham; and finding a Chaplain to perform divine service at the Parish Church of Kylbegge. June 20th, 1538.
An old Church in ruins stands here, surrounded by an extensive and still-used graveyard. The Church appears to have measured 64 feet by 18. The east and west gables, and portions of the side walls remain. In the east gable there is a small double-lancet window, and a belfry stands on the west gable. There are no remarkable monumental inscriptions here. A curiously-carved, octagonal, Baptismal font, with the escape orifice on one side, formerly belonging to this place, has been removed to the new Church at Prosperous. In the Martyrology of Tallaght, “Cronan Cille Bicci” is calendared at the 21st of February; and, in that of Donegal, “Cronan of Cill Beg” is given at the same date. There are no means for ascertaining whether or not these entries refer to this place. Very many of our Irish Saints bore the name of Cronan; and Kilbeg is a name common to many places throughout the kingdom.
An Inquisition, taken at Naas, 9th January, 1636, finds that William Dongan, of the City of Dublin, was seized-amongst many other places in the Co. Kildare-in the manor town and lands of Kilbegge, one house, ten messuages, and 180 acres, and of the annual tithes issuing out of the Parish of Killbegge, in the County aforesaid.

The remains of a small old Church are at this place. The east gable and part of the south wall are standing. There is a small Gothic window in the gable; a recess for cruets, etc., beside the place where the altar stood, and also a sedilium for the officiating priest. The dimensions of the Church are 24 feet by 12 ½. An old, rude, granite Baptismal font, formerly belonging to this place, was removed to Naas about 35 years ago, and is now in the garden attached to the parochial house. There are no monuments in the small graveyard attached. It would appear that this was a chapel belonging to the Commandery of Killibegs. A Grant from the King to John Eustace, Gent., dated 15th of May, 1st of James I., conveys to him the altarages, oblations, and profits of the Parish Church or Rectory of St. Bride, near Osbertstown, rent £2; parcel of the estate of the late Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. 
A.D. 1178. William FitzAndelm, in the presence of Cardinal Vivian, and of Laurence, the Archbishop of Dublin, gave on the King’s part, to the Abbey of St. Thomas the Martyr, Dublin, a carrucate of land in Dunovere (Dunore) with a mill and meadow, and all its appurtenances, in frankalmoign for the souls of Geoffry, Earl of Anjou, father to the King, his mother the Empress, and all his ancestors, and for the Kings himself and his sons.-Witnesses, Eugene, Bishop of Meath, Nehemiah, Bishop of Kildare, and Augustine, Bishop of Waterford. It is not known whether this Dunore, or another nearer Dublin, be the one here indicated.
A Patent Roll, April 6th, 4th of Edward VI., records Livery of the possessions of John FirzGerald to James FitzGerald of Donnowere, his brother and heir, for a fine of £6 13s. 4d.
It was from here that the young Gerald, afterwards Earl of Kildare, was carried away by Thomas Leverous, afterwards Bishop of Kildare. (See Vol. I., 24.) This event is thus quaintly related by Hollinshed:-“When Thomas and his uncles were taken, his second brother on the father his side, named Girald Fitzgirald (who after in the reigne of queene Marie restored to the earledome of Kildare, in which honour as yet he liveth) being at that time somewhat past twelve, and not full thirteene yeares of age, laie sicke of the small pocks in the countie of Kildare, at a towne named Donoare, then in the occupation of Girald Fitzgirald. Thomas Levrouse, who was the child his schoolmaster, and after became bishop of Kildare, mistrusting upon the apprehension of Thomas and his uncles, that all went not currant, wrapt the yoong patient as tenderlie as he could, and had him conveied in a cleefe with all speed to Ophalie, where sojourning for a short space with his sister the ladie Marie Fitzgirald, untill he had recovered his perfect health, his schoolmaster carried him to Odonel his countrie, where making his aboad for a quarter of a yeare, he travelled to Obren his countrie in Mountster, and having there remained for halfe a year, he repaired to his aunt the ladie Elenor Fitzgirald, who then kept in MacCartie Reagh hir late husband his territories. This noble woman was at that time a widow, alwaies kknowne and accounted of each man that was acquainted with hir conversation of life for a paragon of liberalitie and kinknesse, in all hir actions vertuous and godlie, and also in a good quarell rather stout than stiffe. To hir was Odoneil an importunate suiter. And though at sundrie times before she seemed to shake him off, yet considering the distresse of hir young innocent nephue, how he was forced to wander in pilgrimwise from house to house, eschuing the punishment that others deserved, smarted in his tender yeares with adversitie before he was of discretion to injoie anie prosperitie, she began to incline to hir wooer his request, to the end hir nephue should have beene the better by his countenance shouldered, and in fine indented to espouse him; with this caveat or proviso, that he should safelie shield and protect the said yoong gentleman in his calamitie. This condition agreed upon, she rode with hir nephue to Odoneil his countrie, and there had him safelie kept for the space of a yeare. But shortlie after, the gentlewoman either by some secret friend informed, or of wisedome gathering that hir late married husband intended some treacherie, had hir nephue disguised, storing him like a liberall and bountifull aunt with seven score porteguses, not only in valuar, but also in the selfe same coine, incontinentlie shipped him secretlie in a Britons vessel of saint Malouse, betaking him to God and to their charge that accompanied him, to wit, master Levrouse and Robert Walsh sometime servant to his father the earle. The ladie Elenor having thus to hir contentation bestowed his nephue, she expostulated verie sharplie with Odoneil as touching his villanie, protesting that the onlie cause of hir match with him proceeded of an especiall care to have her nephue countenanced: and now that he was out of his lash that minded to have betraied him, he should well understand, that as the feare of his danger mooved hir to annere to such a clownish curmudgen so the assurance of his safetie should cause hir to sequester hirselfe from so butcherlie a cutthrote, that would be like a pelting mercenarie match, hired to sell or betraie the innocent bloud of his nephue by affinitie, and hirs by consanguinite. And in this wise trussing up bag and baggage, she forsooke Odoneil and returned to hir countrie. The passengers with a prosperous gale arrived at saint Malouse, which notified to the governor of Britaine named monsieur de Chastean Brian, he sent for the yoong Fitzgirald, gave him verie hartie interteinement during one moneths space. In the meane season the governour posted a messenger to the court of France, advertising the king of the arrivall of this gentleman, who presentlie caused him to be sent for, and had him put to the Dolphine named Henrie, who after became King of France. Sir John Wallop (who was then the English ambassadour) understanding the cause of the Irish fugitive his repaire to France, demanded him of the French King, according to the new made league betweene both the princes: which was, that none should keepe the other his subject within his dominion, contrarie to either of their willes; adding further, that the boie was brother to one who of late, notorious for his rebellion in Ireland, was executed at London. To this answered the king, first that the ambassadour had no commission from his Prince to demand him, and upon his majestie his letter he should know more of his mind: secondlie that he did not deteine him, but the Dolphin staied him: lastlie, that how grievouslie soever his brother offended, he was well assured that the sillie boie neither was or could be a traitor, and therefore there rested no cause whie the ambassadour should in such wise crave him; not doubting that although he were delivered to his king, yet he would not so far swarve from the extreame rigor of justice, as to imbrue his hands in the innocent his bloud for the offense that his brother had perpetrated. Maister Wallop hereupon addressed his letters to England, specifieing unto the councell the French Kings answer. And in the meantime the young Fitzgirald having an inkling of the ambassadour his motion, fled secretlie to Flanders, scantilie reaching to Valencie, when James Sherelocke, one of maister Wallop his men, did not onlie pursue him, but also did overtake him as sojourned in the said towne. 

Whereupon maister Levrouse, and such as accompanied the child, stept to the governour of Valencie, complaining that one Sherelocke, a sneaking spie, like a pikethanke promoting varlet, did dog their master from place to place, and presentlie pursued him to the towne: and therefore they besaught the governour, not to leave such apparent villanie unpunished, in that he was willing to betraie not onelie a guiltlesse child, but also his owne countriman, who rather ought for his innocencie to be pitied, than for the desert of others so egerlie to be pursued. The governour upon this complaint sore incensed, sent in all hast for Sherelocke, had him suddenlie examined, and finding him unable to color his lewd practise with anie warrantable defense, he laid him up by the heeles, rewarding his hot pursute with cold interteinment, and so remained in gaole, until the young Fitzgirald requiting the prisoner his unnaturall crueltie with undeserved courtesie, humblie besought the governour to set him at libertie. This brunt escaped, Fitzgirald travelled to Bruxels, where the emperour kept his court. Doctor Pates being ambassador in the lowe countries, demanded Fitzgirald of the emperour on his master the King of Englands behalfe. The emperour having answered that he had not to deal with the boie, and for ought that he knew was not minded to make anie great abode in that countrie, sent him to the bishop of Liege, allowing him for his pension an hundred crownes monethlie. The bishop interteined him varie honorablie, had him placed in an abbeie of moonks, and was so careful of his safetie, that if anie person suspected had travelled within the circuit of his gleebe, he should be streictlie examined whither he would, or from whense he came, or upon what occasion he travelled that waie. Having in this wise remained at Liege for halfe a yere, the cardinall Poole (Fitzgirald his kinsman) sent for him to Rome. Whereupon the gentleman as well with the emperor his licence, as with surrendering his pension, travelled to Italie, where the cardinall would not admit him to his companie until he had attained to some knowledge in the Italian toong. Wherefore allowing him an annuitie of three hundred crownes, he placed him with the bishop of Verona, and the cardinall of Mantua, and after with the duke of Mantua. Levrouse in the meane while was admitted through the cardinall Poole his procurement, to be one of the English house in Rome, called Saint Thomas his hospital. Robert Walsh upon his master repaire to Italie returned to Ireland. Fitzgirald having continued with the cardinall, and the duke of Mantua, a yeare and a halfe, was sent for by the cardinall Poole to Rome, at which time the duke of Mantua gave him for an annuall pension 300 crownes. The cardinall greatlie rejoised in his kinsman, had him carefullie trained up in his house, interlacing with such discretion his learning and studies with exercises of activitie, as he should not be after accounted of the learned for an ignorant idiot, nor taken of active gintlemen for a dead and dumpish meacocke. If he had committed anie fault, the cardinall would secretlie command his tutors to correct him, and all that notwithstanding, he would in presence dandle the boie, as though he were not privie to his punishment; and upon his complaint made, he used to checke Fitzgirald his master openlie for chastising so serevelie his prettie darling. In this wise he rested three yeares together in the cardinall his house, and by that time having stept so far in years (for he was pricking fast upon nineteene) as he began to know himselfe, the cardinall put him to his choise, either to continue his learning, or by travelling his adventures abrode. The young stripling (as usuallie kind dooth creepe) rather of nature addicted to valiantnes than wedded to bookishnesse, choosed to be a traveller: and presentlie with the cardinall his licence repaired to Naples, where falling acquaintance with Knights of the Rhodes, he accompanied them to Malta, from thense he sailed to Tripolie ( a fort appertaining to the aforesaid order, coasting upon Barbarie) and there he abode six weeks with Mounbrison, a commander of the Rhodes, who had the charge of that hold. At that time the knights served valiantlie against the Turks and miscreants, spoiled and sacked their villages and townes that laie neere the water side, took diverse of them prisoners and after sold them to the christians for bondslaves. The yoong Fitsgirald returned with a rich bootie to Malta, from thense to Rome, having spent in this voiage fullie one yeare. Proud was the cardinall to heare of his prosperous exploits; and for his further advancement he inhansed his pension of three hundred crownes to three hundred pounds, over and above three hundred crownes that the duke of Mantua allowed him. Shortlie after he preferred him to the service of the duke of Florence, named Cosmo, with whom he continued maister of his horsse three yeares, having also of the duke three hundred duckets for a yearelie pension during life, or until he were restored; in like maner as the cardinall Poole and the duke of Mantua in their annuities had granted him. During the time he was in service with the duke of Florence, he travelled to Rome a shrouing, of set purpose to be merrie; and as he rode on hunting with cardinall Ferneise the pope his nephue, it happened that in chasing the bucke he fell into a pit nine and twentie fathams deepe, and in the fall forsaking his horsse within two fathams of the bottom, he tooke hold of two or three roots, gripping them fast, until his arms were so wearie as he could hang no longer in that paine. Wherefore betaking himselfe to God, he let go his gripe by little and little and fell softlie on his horsse that in the bottom the pit laie starke dead, and there he stood up to the ancles in water for the space of three hours.  When the chase was ended, an exceeding good greihound of his named Grifhound, not finding his maister in the companie, followed his tract untill he came to the pit, and from thense would not depart but stood at the brim incessantlie howling. The cardinall Farneise and his traine missing Firzgirald, made towards the dog, and surveing the place, they were verelie persuaded that the gentleman was squised to death. Having therefore posted his servants in hast to a village hard by Rome (named Trecappan) for ropes and other necessaries, he caused one of the companie to glide in a basket downe to the bottome of the hole. Fitzgirald revived with his presence, and willing to be remooved from so darkesome a dongeon to the open aire, besought the other to lend him his roome, whereupon he was haled up in the basket: as well to the generall admiration of the whole companie as to the singular gratulation of the cardinall and his friends, rendering most hartie thankes unto God his divine majestie, for protecting the gentleman with his guerdon.”
A fine Gothic Church, with nave, aisles, and chancel, has been erected here, about fifteen years ago. A Parliamentary Return, made in 1731, refers to a large Mass-house close upon the high-road in the parish of Downings, within less than two miles of that of Caragh. The vestiges of this chapel remained up to some twenty years back, in Dermot Kirwin’s yard, in Goatstown.
Dr. Doyle, writing to a friend during his visitation of the diocese in May, 1823, thus refers to this locality:-“I came yesterday through a large part of the Bog of Allen, where a colony chiefly of Connaught people, have dug out habitations from the immense cliffs of turf, where fire and water seem to be the only elements given them for subsistence; yet they are healthful, and seemed to be blessed with a numerous progeny. Supported by some invisible food, and clothed by the hand of nature, they are like the sparrow and the bird of prey, fed by that Providence which neglects nothing it has made. A little removed from the extremity of the bog stands the town of Prosperous, proclaiming by its appearance the impropriety of its name, yet having an excellent chapel and a most ingenious population, who surpass their neighbours in intelligence, and are not inferior to them in virtue. They are all cotton-weavers, and for the last year or eighteen months have laid aside their combinations and regulated their temporal and spiritual concerns by some written directions which I then gave them. They were quite happy to see me, and the joy was reciprocal. I discoursed with them on the articles of the Creed, and found them highly edified by the new lights which seemed to be let in upon them.” (Life, Vol. I., P.242.)
Lewis (Top. Dict) thus writes of Prosperous:-“This place, which is situated near the Grand Canal, owes its origin to Mr. Robert Brooke, who, towards the close of the last century, expended a large fortune in attempting to establish the cotton manufacture here. In less than three years a town, consisting of 200 houses, was built, and establishments were completed for all the various branches of that manufacture, including the printing of linen and cotton goods, and also for making the requisite machinery connected with the works; and from the flattering prospect of success which grew from the attempt, the town rather prematurely derived its name. In pursuing this object, however, that gentleman exceeded the limit of his own private fortune, and upon application to parliament obtained a grant of £25,000; but in 1786, having again occasion to apply to parliament for assistance, his petition was rejected, and the works consequently were discontinued. Upon this occasion 1,400 looms were thrown out of employment, and every other branch of the manufacture, together with the making of the requisite machinery, ceased. Though the undertaking was never revived, still the manufacture was continued on a very limited scale till 1798, when during the disturbances of that year, a party of the insurgents attacked the town and surprised a party of the king’s troops, whom they put to the sword. Since that period the town has gradually declined in importance, and is at present little more than a pile of ruins; a very few weavers still find some employment, but its situation in a low and marshy spot, surrounded by bogs, and without water-power, affords neither advantages for the establishment of works of importance, nor reasonable hope of its revival. There is a small thatched Roman Catholic chapel here.” This was written in 1837.
A return made 11th April, 1766, by Rev. Simon Digby, (Protestant) Rector of Bridechurch, and Vicar of Caragh and Downings, supplies interesting statistics respecting these localities. (See Vol. I., p. 273)
All remains of the old parochial Church have completely disappeared; the site is marked by a still-used burial-ground, in which the only noteworthy object is a small, massive, stone-roofed building, 12 feet long by 6 wide, and arched inside. It appears to have been intended originally for a burial-vault or mausoleum, but to have been subsequently used as a place in which those employed in watching corpses sought shelter; accommodating it to whose use, a fireplace was added. Mr. W. M. Hennessy identifies Ladytown as most probably the Ballenamnamatha of Dr. MacGeoghegan’s list of churches (Vol. I., p. 259), which name signifies “Good woman’s town.” Here it will be proper to say, in connection with the list of churches referred to, that many of the identifications there noted, are due to this gentleman. This acknowledgement would have been made sooner but that the writer was, at the time, unaware of the fact. At Ladytown stood Allen’s Court, the residence of Lord Allen, the materials of which have been used in the erection of a modern dwelling-house hard-by.
Beside the Liffey is the burial-ground thus named; it was heretofore the site of a Church, as we learn from the list of Dr. MacGeoghegan, in which it appears as “Capella de Ballybarry, in Decanatu Claonensi.”
In the registry of Irish Parish Priests, anno 1704. there are two named as possessing parochial authority in this parish:-
1. JAMES FITZGERALD, residing at Landenstown aged 49, P.P. of Bride’s-church and Killibegs, ordained in 1679, at Frayne, Co. Meath, by Patrick Tyrrell, Bishop of Clogher, and his sureties were Laurence Toleg of Naas, innkeeper, and Christopher Moore of the same, innkeeper.
2. RICHARD POWER, residing at Denore, aged 49, P.P. of Caragh, ordained in 1679, at Cadiz, Spain, by John Deisla, Bishop of Cadiz, and his sureties were Captain Miler Hussey of Ladytown, and James Miler of Naas, merchant.
The next Parish Priest of whom we hear was FATHER NUNY. He succeeded to the charge of the parish in 1724, and died 9th November, 1765, aged 78.-(See Epitaph at Caragh)
FATHER DENIS BURNE succeeded. He is named in return of 1766, above referred to. Father Byrne appears to have died about the year 1790, as is shown by the epitaph of his successor.
FATHER ANTHONY HIGGINS succeeded, and died, 6th. Feb. 1831, having been P.P. of Caragh and Downings upwards of 40 years. (Monument at Caragh.)
REV. MATTHEW TIERNEY was the next P.P. He presided over the parish for 26 years, and died 20th December, 1857. (Monument at Caragh)
REV. DENIS MULLOWNEY succeeded; he died 26th of June, 1875, and is buried at Caragh.
The present respected P.P., REV. AUGUSTINE KINSELLA, succeeded.

A transcript of Rev. M. Comerford's 1883 History of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, relating to the R.C. Parish of Caragh and Downings.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed by Breid Kelly and Maria O'Reilly; edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

July 12, 2006

MARY LEADBEATER, A Memoir - from "The Leadbeater Papers", Vol.I

        MARY SHACKLETON, afterwards Leadbeater, was born in Ballitore in the county of Kildare, in the year 1758. Her father, Richard Shackleton, kept a boarding-school, which had been established in that village in the year 1726 by his father Abraham Shackleton, a native of Yorkshire, and a member of the Society of Friends, Abraham was a learned and good man, straightforward in all his dealings, and sincere in his converse with God and man. Such is the character handed down of the first of the Shackletons who settled in Ireland, His son Richard equalled him in wisdom, integrity and learning, whilst his abilities were more highly cultivated, every advantage having been bestowed upon him which was attainable at that period. Although the son of a strict Quaker, he completed his education at Trinity College, Dublin, at that time a very unusual step for one of that persuasion. His temper was lively, he had a ready wit, and he wrote with facility in several languages besides his own.
Mary Shackleton inherited a large portion of her father’s genius, and she evinced a turn for poetical composition at such an early age, that she might have been injured by the flattering attention paid to her on that account, had it not been for the extraordinary modesty and sweetness of her disposition, which were yet more remarkable than her many intellectual endowments.
   The high character which her father held in society for his learning and worth introduced her at a very early age to the notice of his friends, some of whom ranked high in the literary and political world. She easily won their friendship by her talents and amiability, and she never lost a friend except by death. Edmund Burke, whose first letter to Richard Shackleton was dated from his entrance at college, and who afterwards kept up with his old schoolfellow and friend a regular and most affectionate correspondence, dictated his last farewell to the daughter when he was sinking under bodily and mental afflictions, and could no longer guide the pen.
   In the year 1791 she was married to William Leadbearter, a descendant of the Huguenot families of Le Batre and Gilliard, which were compelled to fly from France by revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Being left an orphan when very young, he was placed at Ballitore school. Having completed his education there, although he had been destined by his father’s will to be brought up for the bar, his guardian, who proved unfaithful to his trust in this as well as in other respects, bound him to Mr. Roger North, a respectable attorney in Dublin, with a view to his following that profession. In the office of that gentleman he remained for the full term of his apprenticeship; but having at the end of his time become convinced of the principles of Quakerism, and at the same time being perhaps unconsciously attracted by an attachment he had formed while at school to the youthful subject of this memoir, he threw up his profession, sought and obtained admission into the Society of Friends, removed to Ballitore, and after some years obtained the hand of Mary Shackleton. In her society he spent thirty-five years of happiness, uninterrupted, we believe, save by those casualties which are the lot of the most fortunate, and by the calamities of war, followed by disease and famine, which in 1798 and the few following years so fearfully distracted and afflicted his native country. Having a turn for agricultural pursuits, he became an extensive farmer of large tracts of land in his own neighbourhood, and managed them so successfully that he realized a modest competence. He died about a year after his wife, to whom he was devotedly attached.
 Her first essay at authorship was in the year 1794, when she published anonymously a small volume of “Extracts and Original Anecdotes for the Improvement of Youth.” This little work attained considerable popularity: it was probably one of the first attempts to introduce literature of a lightsome and interesting yet instructive character into the juvenile libraries of “Friends,” from which works of an entertaining kind had been heretofore somewhat rigidly excluded. Like all her books for children, it contains many of those beautiful touches which proceed only from a tender and benevolent heart.
    Her name first came before the public in 1808, when a selection from her poems was published by subscription. With the exception of a “Translation of Maffeus’s Continuation of the Æneid,” these were all written on domestic occasions, and were addressed to the members of her own family, or to some of her most intimate friends; and, although perhaps now forgotten by the public, they are still precious to those who knew the writer, and the circumstances that called into action the susceptible feelings of her heart. They all breathe an innocent enjoyment of the pleasures of domestic affection, and of a retired and rural life; they are the unpretending effusions of a mind alive to the beauties of nature, overflowing with love to those around her, with charity to all men, and with gratitude to the Giver of those simple joys which made the happiness of her life.
   The first series of her “Cottage Dialogues of the Irish Peasantry” appeared in the year 1811, and was followed by a second series in 1813. In these Dialogues, with a felicity of language rarely equalled by any writer previous to her time, she has painted the virtues and the failings, the joys and the sorrows, the feelings and the prejudices of our impulsive and quick-witted countrymen. This is the work by which Mary Leadbeater is chiefly know, and its utility has been fully proved by the approbation of all who were at that time interested in the welfare of the Irish poor, and by their efforts to circulate them as widely as possible among the class for which they were intended. They were subsequently published in a larger form for the English public, and were enriched with notes illustrative of the character, manners &c. of the Irish peasantry by the author’s friend Mr. W. P. Lefanu, the founder and proprietor of the “Farmers Journal,” and by Miss Edgeworth, who interested herself warmly in the success of the work, and addressed several letters to Mary Leadbeater expressive of her esteem, and of her desire to do everything in her power to promote her benevolent views. A third series of the “Cottage Dialogues,” which remain in manuscript at the time of the author’s death, was published in a duodecimo volume along with the earlier series, (1) and has been pronounced by competent judges to be even superior to them in interest and simple pathos. In the “Dialogues,” we may observe that Rose, who is a model of excellence, always imparts advice or information to her idle neighbour with a mildness and diffidence far removed from the loquacious, self-important manner in which some of the perfect characters held up to our view are made to dictate to their misguided companions, and which almost disgusts the reader with perfection. They also afford an example of that lambent wit and humour which made the author’s conversation and correspondence so attractive.
The publication of the “Cottage Dialogues” was followed by the “Landlord’s Friends,” “Cottage Biography,” “Biographical Notices of Irish Friends,” “Memoirs of Richard and Elizabeth Shackleton;” besides which she wrote poems, essays, characters, and tales, some of which have found their way to various periodical publications.
The last work she lived to publish was a little book called “The Pedlars,” written for the Kildare-Street Education Society, consisting of dialogues descriptive of the natural and artificial curiosities of various parts of Ireland, and of what was always her favourite theme – the character of the Irish poor, their virtues, their sufferings, and the best mode of improving their condition.
    All these works, different as they are in subject and style, bear the stamp of a mind ever disposed to look at the favourable side of things and characters, to receive the good thankfully, and bear the evil with cheerful resignation.
   Amongst her literary performances may be reckoned a very extensive correspondence with people of different ranks and situations in life. She excelled in this department. She expressed herself with ease and conciseness, and related little domestic occurrences with spirit, accompanied by touches of the most gentle wit, which gave a charm to the merest trifle. If she were the messenger of sorrowful intelligence, it was delivered with tenderness and caution, accompanied by the balm of comfort which almost deprived the unwelcome tidings of their sting. Being known to hold the pen of a ready writer, she was frequently solicited to write letters on intricate subjects, where judgement and delicacy were required.
     Her power of turning in a moment from one occupation to another was amazing. In the midst of her long accounts, if she were asked to write a letter of kindness, a petition, or a recommendation, she immediately gave her thoughts to it, and put it into execution.
     Exposed to continual interruptions from friends, who found her always ready to sympathize in their tastes and pursuits, be they ever so different from her own; from visitors, whom her fame often brought from a distance to enjoy conversation; from the poor, who daily came to her for advice or help; she never seemed in a hurry, and with perfect regularity carried on her various occupations. She began to keep a diary in her eleventh year, and continued it till within a week of her death. She also kept a private journal of her own life, and compiled “The Annals of Ballitore,” extending from the year 1766 down to 1824, two years before her death. These two last works are interesting not only from the number and variety of characters, ludicrous or pathetic incidents, and anecdotes of celebrated individuals whom she met with in her travels or who visited Ballitore, but also on account of the faithful and lively picture which they present of her own home, and of the small but cultivated circle of which she was the ornament. In these volumes she lays open her whole heart, whose every thought seems to have been pure and dictated by love, and upon whose warmth years had no other effect than that of adding to it wisdom and experience. She was to the last youthful in her affections, of an open and unsuspicious disposition, and ready to hail with enthusiasm every improvement of later times.     
   She was for many years instrumental in assisting the enlightened efforts of the late Mrs. Richard Trench, mother of the present Dean of Westminster, to reclaim a numerous body of tenantry on one of her estates from misery and degradation to comfort and industry; and the inhabitants of the neat cottages of Ballybarney, a few miles from Ballitore, regarded Mary Leadbeater as a friend, a governor, and a judge, kind-hearted and beneficent in all these various capacities. Happy were the days when, accompanied by some of her friends, she visited the estate to decide on the merits of the tenants, and to distribute the premiums granted by the generous proprietress. She was always warmly received, her companions partook of the understudied welcome and the homely cheer which were so cordially offered. The cottagers familiarly recounted their successes, their misfortunes, and their future plans; and, when disputes arose among them, she calmly heard both sides, and neither party was afraid to lay the whole matter before her. She knew each one by name and character, and remembered from one year to another how they prospered. She admonished some, encouraged others; and her sympathy was often awakened by the lamentations of these warm-hearted people for their relatives who had died or emigrated. An expedition to Ballybarney in her company had the charm of a party of pleasure. In the course of her life she had many afflictions to endure. She was deprived by death of many relations and friends. She saw her native village almost destroyed by the calamities of civil war, and she was witness to the succeeding horrors of nightly robberies. No one felt these distresses more keenly than she did; but when she was deprived of one enjoyment, she clung the more closely to which remained.
    She was of a most unsuspicious nature, and was thus delivered from a host of distressing thoughts and conjectures; and jealousy, that fatal enemy to peace and friendship, found no place in her mind. She knew and felt that she was beloved.
      Her friends were numerous, and many of them, with whom she corresponded, were scattered over the face of the earth; but her extended friendship or extended usefulness did not deprive her family of her society or prevent the fulfilment of her domestic duties. She wrote a great deal while her friends were conversing around her, and sometimes joined in the conversation. One of her daughters generally read to her while she was transcribing, Her industry, perseverance, and energy were so remarkable, that her domestic performances exceeded those of many more active women. She had a familiar, persuasive manner about her household affairs, which induced her servants to enter into her views, and delight in doing what would please her.
     Many strangers who came to Ballitore wished to see her, either from admiration of her character and writings, or from mere curiosity. While she sat to be looked at by such people, the smile of politeness lighted up her countenance; yet her eyes were cast down, and she was generally more silent than usual on such occasions, and seemed merely an attentive listener to what the strangers had to say. If they praised her writings, she looked pleased, and perhaps thanked them for their approbation, with a modesty and simplicity seldom equalled. She spoke to her familiar friends of her own writings with as much ease and freedom as if they belonged to another person, and received their approbation or censure with equanimity.
   Although she looked back upon the days and the friends and the customs of her youth with tender regret, with love and veneration, she delighted to contemplate the improvements of modern society, the prison discipline, the schools, the savings’ banks, and the other means of bettering the condition of the poor. She used to speak of Dublin with enthusiasm, She admired its public buildings, its squares, its quays, and the surrounding scenery; but, above all, its charitable institutions. She never gave up the hope that the punishment of death would be abolished. Her horror at the idea of a human creature being led out to execution, for any crime whatever, was often expressed in conversation and in her writings.
    In her character she exemplified St.Paul’s inimitable definition of charity: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not: charity vaunteh not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.”
     Her humility rendered her averse to speaking of her religious experience, but her care to impress the hearts of her children with a feeling of reverend dependence on their heavenly Father, and the many expressions of her own trust in divine aid which her diary contains, show that she was favoured with a deep feeling of religious fear and love.
    About a year before her death she began to be afflicted with dropsy, which, in defiance of medical skill and the tender cares of her anxious family, gradually increased till she was confined to her chamber. Yet even there her mind seemed unchanged. She manifested the same anxiety for the welfare of all around her; and she was equally accessible to the many who came to consult her, or to enjoy her company once more. She continued her literary occupations to the very last week, preparing a volume of Essays, Tales, And Anecdotes for the Kildare Place Education Society.
    During the last few days she became rapidly worse. Her sufferings were great, and she feared that her patience would not hold out to the end, and that she could not part with perfect resignation from those blessings to which her heart clung with increased affection. But she was supported by Divine help through the trying close, and her death was indeed that of the just. She died on the 27th June, 1826.
(1) In 1841, by P. Kennedy, Anglesa-Street, Dublin

An extract from "The Leadbeater Papers: a selection from the mss. and correspondence of Mary Leadbeater" of Ballitore,  Vol. I, published in 1862.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed by Sarah Luttrell; edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

July 10, 2006

NAAS, 10/02/1917 - Newspaper article telling of an explosion at Carpet Factory

Leinster Leader 10/2/1917
           A rather serious accident occurred in the Naas Carpet Factory on Monday morning last resulting in injures to several of the girls employed there. The accident was due to the bursting of one of the pipes attached to a high pressure cylinder of a hot water apparatus which is installed on the ground floor, and is used for the purpose of heating the place. The apparatus it appears, is a rather antiquated one, having been installed shortly after the starting of the factory some years ago, and was only retained pending the erection of a new steam-heating system, which the present management has had under consideration. The apparatus consists of a round stove which is filled through the top with a coke fire. Around the outside of this stove the water pipes are coiled, and from thence branch off throughout the building. On Monday morning about nine o 'clock, eight or ten of the girls employed in the factory, were standing around the fire warming their hands when suddenly one of the pipes burst, the hot water immediately escaping around the place. At the same time the force of the explosion caused the removable top of the stove to fly off and the fire was scattered in all directions for a radius of about 20 yards. The Manager Mr. Boyce and all the available staff were immediately on the scene when it was discovered that all the girls had received more or less serious burns from the flying embers. Messengers were at one despatched for the priest and doctor, and in a few moments Very Rev. Father Norris P.P.; Rev. Father Hipwell, Dr. W.P Murphy and Nurse Mooney were on the scene. It was found that all the girls had received burns about the hands and arms, and were suffering from shock. All that was possible was done to alleviate their sufferings. In two cases, that of Maggie Quinn, and Maggie Kelly, the injuries were found to be more serious than in the other case, both having sustained burns about the neck and head, and being in a prostrate condition. Having attended to their injuries Dr. Murphy ordered their removal to hospital whence they were later conveyed by Lady Albreda Bourke’s motor car. Both girls are making satisfactory progress towards recovery. The management later closed the factory for the day. In addition to those mentioned above Mr. Boyce Manager, and Mrs. Boyce, with Miss Denny, were prompt in rendering assistance to those injured. No material damage was caused by the explosion the origin of which is attributed to the extremely frosty weather which is prevalent just now.
   On the same morning a pipe burst in the hot water apparatus used for heating the schools in the Mercy Convent. Luckily there was no one in the immediate vicinity at the time, so that the total injuries resulting from the explosion were confined to the apparatus itself.

A Newspaper article from the Leinster Leader reporting on an explosion in the carpet factory in Naas, and the consequences.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed by Sarah Luttrell; edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

July 07, 2006

THE CURRAGH, 14/05/1989 - Newspaper article about incidents involving Apprentice boys on the Curragh

Leinster Leader
‘Prentice Boys
Dancing at the Curragh
And the result
          At the Newbridge Petty Sessions on Thursday, before Colonel the Hon W. Forbes, R. M. (in the chair); Mr. W. Pallin, and Mr. T. B. Beeves, a case was heard in which a good deal of local interest was felt. It was brought by Charles Igoe, Brownstown, against Henry Beasley, trainer, Eyrefield House, for having while in his employment as apprentice, assaulted him on the morning of the 25th April. Mr. Beasley had Igoe summoned for leaving his employment on the same date, he being indentured to serve a certain number of years to him, and sought an order to compel Igoe to return and fulfil his term of apprenticeship.
Mr. S. J. Brown, Solicitor, Naas appeared for Mr. Beasley, and Mr. Frank Burke, Solicitor, Newbridge, for Mr. Igoe.
The case of Igoe against Beasley having been called first, Mr. Brown said there was an error in the order of the summons, as the case against Igoe was entered first, and should be first heard.
Mr. Burke suggested that the two cases be heard together.
Mr. Brown asked liberty to examine his client first. He said the facts were that Igoe was duly indentured to serve his apprenticeship to Mr. Beasley on the 19th July 1897. On the 24th April the defendant stayed out and did not return until the following morning at 2 a.m., without having asked permission from Mr. Beasley. Next morning Mr. Beasley found him in bed instead of being at his work, and naturally enough gave him a few strokes of a cane. Igoe left and went home to his father’s place, and had not since returned to his work.
Henry Beasley, in reply to Mr. Brown, said Igoe was in his service as an apprentice up to the 25th April. On the night of Sunday, the 24th April, at 12.30 p.m., he found the door and window of Igoe’s room open. He had not given him permission to absent himself. He went back again at 1.30 p.m. and found he had returned. Igoe in coming in had to pass through the saddle room, where there were 10 or 12 saddles and a quantity of horse clothing, which might as well have been set on fire if there were any matches lit and thrown about in entering. He went out at 6 a.m. and found defendant in bed with his clothes on. He then gave him three of four strokes of a cane (produced) down the shoulders. Igoe afterwards did his work that morning, but when the bell rung for breakfast he was nowhere to be found. He then went to his father’s, and asked him to send his son back. Igoe then told his father that he was in at 10 o’clock on the night mentioned. He had taken out a licence for Igoe to ride last April, and was going to give him a mount at the next meeting. He had several times absented himself before, and he had let him off. He was supposed to be in at 9.30 p.m. every night.
Cross-examined by Mr. Burke-Was he able to ride when he came to you? He was, a little. -Were there not other boys out along with him? There were. -Was not your head man, Timmons, out with him? I believe he was. -Did you punish him? I did not. -Did you know that they were at a dance? I heard so. -Was there a boy named Smith out on the same occasion? There was. -When Smith’s father brought him back did you not return his indentures? I did. -How many times did you strike Igoe? I gave him one stroke in the bedroom and two or three in the stable.
Mr. Brown said that was his case. The terms of the indenture bound the master to correct his apprentice when necessary at his own discretion. If apprentices were allowed to run away when they willed the principle governing the relations of master and servant would be entirely upset.
Mr. Burke said he was proceeding under the 25th of George II, chap 8, sec. 3, which detailed that a complaint of ill-treatment by the master could be brought before one or more justices, who if necessary could entreat the indentures in such a case.
Charles Igoe, a boy of about 14 years, was examined by Mr. Burke, and stated that on Sunday 24th, he went home to his father’s place, which he left about 9 o’clock that night. He and a boy named Whelan then went down to Knox’s corner, where they met Smith, another apprentice of Mr. Beasley’s. They all then came to Whelan’s house at Eyrefield, about a quarter of a mile from Mr. Beasley’s, where there was a dance going on, and there met Timmons, Mr. Beasley’s head lad. He (Igoe) stopped at the dance until 12.30 o’clock, and then returned home, Timmons and Smith accompanying him. Timmons called him the next morning at 6 o’clock. He did not take off his trousers or socks going to bed. Mr. Beasley came up to his room at six o’clock and beat him with a bamboo cane on the back. He dressed himself, and Mr. Beasley then beat him again, and followed him over to the stable and put him in a corner, and made him leave down a basket which he was using, and beat him again with a big cane-bigger than the one produced in court. He (witness) had to bed his mare. He then heard the boy Smith roaring, and saw Smith and Timmons, whom he showed the marks of the beating he had got to. Timmons told him to go home. Smith also lived on the Curragh; and he then went home across the fields, and his father then examined him. Mr. Beasley came shortly afterwards to my father’s house and said that he was sorry for beating me, and that he did not think he would hurt me. His father then brought him to Dr. Rowan, Newbridge, and he had to stay in bed from the effects of the beating.
Cross-examined by Mr. Brown-Where were you before you went to Mr. Beasley’s? At Mr. Parkinson’s. -Why did you leave Mr. Parkinson-did you not run away from him? I told him I would not stop with him. -Did not your father and mother beg of Mr. Beasley to take you after that? I don’t know about that. - Did you not do up your horse that morning before you left Mr. Beasley? I did. -Had you not your shirt on as well as your trousers and socks, because that would make a difference? I had. Had you your coat on in the stable? I had not. My father brought me to the doctor.
Sergeant Patk O’Brien, Brownstown police station, in reply to Mr. Burke, said that he heard on the 25th April that an assault had been committed on Igoe, in consequence of which he sent for the lad and examined him, and found eleven marks in all on him-four on the left side of the body from the shoulders to the hips, and three on the right side, three on the left arm and shoulder, and one on the left hip.
By Mr. Brown-The boy would not let me touch them as they were so sore.
To Mr. Reeves-They seemed to have been inflicted by a cane or stick.
Mr. Brown-Was the skin broken? No.
Dr. L.F. Rowan, in reply to Mr. Burke, said that about two o’clock on the 25th April Igoe and his father came to him. He examined the boy and found in all nineteen linear marks on the shoulders and down to the loins. They were purple coloured. Three or four were on the back part of the arm, the rest at different angles on the back.
By Mr. Brown-I could not say that the boy’s health was injured in consequence. They seemed to have been inflicted by a cane or stick.
To Mr. Reeves-I saw him 14 hours after the occurrence. I would say that the mark of a cane, moderately used, would not last more than one or two hours.
Mr. Brown –Do you give it as your professional opinion that the mark of a stroke of a cane would not last more than one or two hours? Sometimes it would leave none. -Did you apply any application? I did not because, although necessary, I did not think it advisable. -Did you consider treatment necessary and you did not apply it? -I ordered treatment; I ordered him rest. Do you call rest treatment? Certainly. How long did you order it for? I saw him on Thursday, when the marks had all disappeared. The skin was not broken. The reason I did not give the application was because it would have done harm at the time.
You do not allege that the boy’s health was in any way injured? I do not.
Michael Igoe, the boy’s father, was examined by Mr. Burke, and said he remembered his son coming home on the 25th April. Mr. Beasley came afterwards and asked was Charlie there. He replied that he was, and asked him to come in and look at the boy’s back. He said he was sorry.
To Mr. Reeves-The boy left home at nine o’clock the previous evening, Whelan’s house where the dance was is opposite Captain Loders’ gate.
By Mr. Brown-I understand he was going home to Mr. Beasley’s. He said nothing about going to the dance.
Do you consider that chastisement was necessary under the circumstances? Yes, if properly administered.
Mr. Reeves-Were you over boys yourself in a training establishment? I was.
Used you chastise them? I often chastised them in a proper manner.
By Mr. Brown-There was a son of mine in Mr. Beasley’s employment before for 5 years. I signed the indentures. I never asked Mr. Beasley to take the boy.
Mr. Brown-Did not your wife go several times to Mr. Beasley to ask him to take the boy? She went once.
Mr. Brown said he did not think, under the circumstances, it was necessary for him to make any observation to the bench at all. If a master was not entitled-in fact it was his duty to do so when necessary-to chastise his apprentice, and that apprentices could at any time run away, as in this case there would be an end to the principle governing the duties of master to servant. Imagine this little boy away from his master’s house at 1.30 a.m., in the morning without his knowledge or consent. It was certainly quite time enough for the lad to enter into that kind of amusement. And again he had to pass through the saddle room where saddles, clothing and other valuable goods were deposited, possibly, he would say, having drink taken. It was a very serious offence. He was not in any way injured by the couple of strokes of the cane administered by Mr. Beasley, as he was able as stableman to afterwards do his duty that morning. It was impossible to measure precisely what could be called punishment moderately administered as in this case. Every punishment implied pain to the person who received it. This boy’s brother had lived five years with Mr. Beasley, and there was evidently no complaint. Then again there was the fact of the boy leaving Mr. Parkinson without that gentleman’s consent. Mrs. Igoe, the boy’s mother, went and begged Mr. Beasley to take him. (Igoe’s father from the body of the court-“She did not”). He would ask their worships to make an order that the boy return to his service.
Mr. Burke was here about to address the bench, but Mr. Brown interposed and said he had asked Mr. Burke before if he had wished to add anything, and that he had replied in the negative. He, therefore, now, at the close of the case, could not expect to be heard.
Mr. Burke did not persevere in his address.
Mr. Reeves here asked Igoe how many times Mr. Beasley had beaten him in the morning mentioned, and he replied three-twice in the bedroom and once in the stable.
Dr. Rowan was also further questioned by Mr. Reeves, and stated that he considered that if the full strength of a man were exercised in giving the strokes of the cane the skin would have been knocked off.
Mr. Beasley, in reply to Mr. Reeves, said the boy did not cry on the occasion, if he did he would have ceased to cane him at once. He was able to do his duty as usual. He had often to threaten him for staying out, but never chastised him before, any more than to give him a slap in the ear.
Mr. Reeves-He does not seem to be a satisfactory apprentice.
Mr. Brown said it was a matter of principle. If a boy was allowed to run away for a mere caneing it would do away with the whole system.
After a long deliberation Colonel Forbes said the bench were of opinion that unnecessary violence had been used on the occasion. They did not, however, wish to break the indentures, and an order would accordingly be made that the boy should return to Mr. Beasley’s service. The other case would be dismissed.
Igoe, sen-Make an order that he is not to beat him.
Colonel Forbes-We have expressed our opinion on that.

An article from the Leinster Leader telling the story of a court-case case between Mr. Beasley and Mr. Igoe following a series of events.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed and edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

July 06, 2006

CARBURY, PARISH OF - Comerford's "Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin"

           THE present parochial district of this name comprises the ancient parishes of Carbury, Dunfierth, Arkill, and the Fews. Carbury parish has obtained its name from the circumstance of the old parochial Church having its situation in the country called in Irish, Cairbre, which might be supposed to have been co-extensive with the present Barony of Carbury. At a short distance to the north of Carbury village is an old graveyard, with the ruins of a Church, and close to it, to the N.E., stand the extensive ruins of the castle of Carbury, nearly on the extremity of a hill, skirted by Carbury bog. In the north part of Clonkeen townland, in this parish, there is pointed out the site of an old castle. There is an old graveyard in the S.W. part of the townland, called Templedooath. If this Church could be proved to have retained this denomination in a corrupted form, from St. Muadhnat (Virgin), it would establish that the place in which it lies is that called Caille, according to Colgan. Marian adds, that “St Muadhnat was venerated in a place called Caille, in the country of Cairbre.” O’Donovan then proceeds to show the stages through which Temple Muahadnat would become Temple Mhudhat-sounded, “Templewooath,”- which, in the Anglicised form, might easily be written, Templedooth. Sir W. Wilde has no hesitation in fixing this as the true derivation of the name; vide infra.
“We know of no locality so celebrated as the barony and hill of Carbery or Carbury” writes Sir W. Wilde in The Boyne and Blackwater, “ about which there has been so much discussion, and concerning which there is much discrepancy among Irish writers. There are, at least, four districts of the name in Ireland. The investigation carried on by Mr. O’Donovan and his assistants, in connection with the Ordnance Survey, has thrown new light upon the subject, and settled the question of the topography of that Carbury most celebrated in Irish writings, and decided that this barony in Kildare was the Cairbre-na-Ciardha of our most trustworthy historians, and that particularly alluded to by the Irish poets O’Dugan and O’Herrin;- of whom, the former flourished in the latter part of the 14th, and the latter in the beginning of the 15th century;-and gave topographical and historical descriptions of some of our most memorable localities. O’Dugan says that O’Kiery was lord of this territory, and the only chief of the descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages,-King of Ireland in the 5th century,-located in Leinster. The translation of the passage referred to runs thus:-
“O’Kiery, o’er Carbury of the Clergy,
Of the tribes of Niall of the Nine Hostages;-
                         There are but themselves ( i.e., O’Kierys) there to the east,
Of the descendants of Niall in Leinster.”
This locality has many historical recollections connected with it. O’Heerin, the topographical historian and poet, thus alludes to it:-
“Over Carbury, of Leinster, of the plains,
 Rules O’Keary, -of the red-handed swords,-
          The scion of Almhain, without scarcity in the east,
      By whom battles were kindled round Croghan.”
Carbury was named from Cairbre, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, whose descendants, called the Cinel Cairbre, or race of Cairbre, settled here. Carbury hill was previously called Sidh Nechtain, i.e., the Fairy-hill of Nechtain.(1)
Regarding this personage, the Annals of Ireland record that in the year of the age of the world, 5090, Nuadha Neacht, son of Sedna Sithbhaic, after having spent a year in the sovereignty of Ireland, fell in the battle of Cliach, in Ui Drona (Barony of Idrone, Co. Carlow), by Conaire Mor. Trinity Well is at the foot of the hill of Carbury, in which the River Boyne has its source; and relating to which the following legend is told in the Book of Ballymote. We give the graceful parapharase of Sir W. Wilde:-
“There was a celebrated poet and king of Leinster, called Nechtain. Or Nuadha-Neacht, in the first century, who had a secret well in his garden, one of the miraculous virtues of which was, that anyone who approached it, except the monarch and his three cup-bearers, Flesg, Lesg, and Luan, was instantly deprived of sight,- their eyes bursting, as the MSS. describe it. Female curiosity, however, was not to be disappointed, and Boan, the queen, was determined to test the mystical powers of its waters; she, therefore, arrogantly, not only approached the well and defied its terrors to mar her beauty, but passed three times round it to the left, as was customary in several of the ancient incantations. Upon the completion of the third round, the charm was broken, the spring rose, and three enormous waves burst over the helpless lady, mutilating her sadly, and, says the original, breaking one of her eyes. She then fled towards the sea to hide her deformity, but the waters, now loosened from their source, still followed till she reached the Inbher, or present mouth of the river, and was swept on the rushing waters of the Boyne into the sea. Such is the death assigned to queen Boan by Kenneth O’Hartigan, in the Book of Ballymote; and the name of the river is thus derived from hers”- Boyne and Blackwater.
The following are some of the entries in the Annals of Ireland which refer to this locality:-
A.D.458.  “After Laeghaire, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, had been 30 years in the sovereignty of Ireland, he died by the side of Caissi, between Eire and Alba, i.e., two hills which are in Ui-Faelain; and (it was) the sun and the wind that killed him, because he had violated them”- Four Masters. In the Borumha Leagan it is stated that Leaghaire, in two years and a half after swearing by the elements that he would never again demand the Borumha, made an excursion into Leinster and seized a prey of cows at Sidh-Niachtain, where the Boyne has its source; but as he advanced to the side of Caissi, the elements wreaked their vengeance upon him; that is, the air forsook him, the sun burned him, and the earth swallowed him.
The Annals of Tighernach and Ulster state that he met his death at Greallach Gaiffil (or Daphill), in Campo-Life, between the hills of Ere and Alba.
A.D.952. A great slaughter was made of the people of Cairbre and Teathbha, by Ua Ruairc, on which occasion Ua Cairdha, lord of Cairbre, was slain.
A.D.992. Maelruanaidh Ua Ciardha, lord of Cairbre, was slain by the men of Teathbha.
A.D.1012. A great depredation was committed by Ualgharg Ua Ciardha, lord of Cairbre, and the son of Niall O’Ruairc, and the men of Teathbha in Gaileanga (in Meath); but a few good men of the household of Maelseachlainn overtook them, and being at the time intoxicated after drinking, they (imprudently) gave the battle through pride. There were slain in it Donnchadh, son of Maelseachlainn; Dubhtaichligh Ua Maelchallann (Mulholland), lord of Dealbhna Beag; Donnchadh, son of Donnchadh Finn, royal heir of Teamhair (Tara); Cearnachan, son of Flann, lord of Luighne; Seanan Ua Leochain, lord of Gaileanga, and many others along with them. Maelseachlainn afterwards overtook them (with his forces), and the spoils were left behind to him; and Ualharg Ua Ciardha, lord Cairbre, and many others beside him, were slain.
A.D. 1162. A predatory irruption was made by Tighearnan Ua-Ruairc, upon the Carbri-Ua-Ciardha, on which occasion the grandson of Finn- bharr Ua-Gearadhan was slain by the Cairbri……A predatory incursion was made by Maelseachlainn Ua-Ruairc into Cairbre-Ua-Ciardha; but the men of Cairbre defeated him, and he left behind a slaughter of his people.
A.D. 1165. Sitric O’Ruairc, Tanist of Breifne, was killed by O’Keary and the people of Carbury… A great depredation was committed by Rory O’Conor and the people of all the province of Connaught, upon the people of Carbury, in revenge of Sitric
“The Hill of Carbury,” writes Sir W. Wilde, “ which rises to a considerable height above the surrounding plains, forms a conspicuous object from all sides; and the ruins of the ancient castle, which still rest on its north-eastern shoulder, are some of the finest of their kind in Ireland. The elevation, the total want of surrounding wood, and the tall, graceful chimneys and gables of the modern or Elizabethan portion of this edifice, give to it an air at once tasteful and commanding. It is now a complete ruin; the length of the line of the southern wall is, alone, 100 feet; and the general view of the castle, with its chimneys, narrow-pointed gables, and large stone-sashed windows, is that of one of the best specimens of the castellated mansions, of about the time of James I., which we know of in this country, combining lightness, taste, and comfort, with strength and durability. The eastern front, which measures 60 feet, still remains, with several of its mullioned windows, even yet perfect; and upon a gentle slope leading down from its walls, on this side, may still be traced the vestiges of a garden, with a few of its flowers, now wild and neglected, mingling with the rank fiorin-grass with which it is surrounded. In fact, everything about this ruin bears evidence of ladies fair as well as valiant knights having inhabited it. Upon a clearer inspection, and an internal examination, we perceive from the character of the masonry, the massive walls, the deep, stone-roofed donjons, the principal of which runs 85 feet underneath the great keep, from south to north, the manifest antiquity of the entire of the western end, and the general arrangement of the whole, that the present ruin consists of the remains of structures very much older than the early part or middle of the 16th century; indeed some of them would appear to be as old as the 12th century; and there are remains of walls of great thickness, built with rubble masonry, and grouted, extending even beyond the confines of the present ruin to the north-west. The modern additions all exists on the opposite side, and their later date is at once manifest. Four of the chimneys, three of which are in the east front, have sixteen sides, and are like some of the chimneys of English castles built about the year 1530, being beautifully wrought and moulded at top. Owing to the various additions at different ages, the plan of Carbury Castle is very irregular, and its history will, in some measure, account for the various erections manifested in the ruins. This castle was originally built by the family of Bermingham, the descendants of Pierce De Bermingham, one of the early English settlers in Ireland. It suffered greatly at the time of the civil wars in Ireland, particularly during the 15th century, and was constantly the scene of strife in those forays which took place between the English barons within the pale, and the western Irish chieftains. In 1447 “Castle Carbury was re-edified by the lord ffurnival.” In 1466 Meath was the seat of war; and in one of the skirmishes between Teige O’Conor and the Earl of Desmond, the latter was taken prisoner and conveyed by that chieftain, his captor and kinsman, to Castle Carbury, together with several of the English nobles and ecclesiastics. The celebrated Red Hugh O’Donnell, when laying waste Meath and Leinster in 1475, demolished and burned Castle Carbury and the neighbouring castle of Ballymeyler ( Meylerstown ). So late as 1546, we read that ‘the plains of Cairbre and Castle Carbury were plundered and burned by some of the Irish insurgents, particularly the O’Kelly’s the O’Maddens, and O’Conors. The mode in which this outrage was punished by the high legal functionary of the Government, is highly characteristic of the time. ‘When’ says the Annals, ‘the Lord Justice, Anthony St. Leger, heard of this, he came into Offaly, and plundered and burned the country as far as the Togher of Cruoghan.’ And, again, ‘the Lord Justice came a second time into Offaly, and remained fifteen days in the country, plundering and spoiling it, burning Churches and Monasteries, and destroying crops and corn.”
In 1541, Sir William Bermingham was created Baron of Carbury. (2) In 1561, on the death of the younger Walter Bermingham, the castle passed to Sir Robert Preston, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, brother-in-law of Bermingham, and ancestor of Lord Gormanstown. In the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, the castle was in the possession of Sir Henry Colley, or Cowley, the ancestor of the Duke of Wellington, and through several subsequent generations, it was the seat of Sir Henry’s descendents. In April, 1595, as appears from Sir W. Russell’s Journal, “Lieutenant Greemes brought in one Hall, a priest, taken at the Lady Colie’s house; he was committed prisoner to the Castle of Dublin.” In 1747, Anthony Pomeroy, Esq., married Mary, daughter of Henry Colley, and in 1783 and 1791, he was created successively Baron Harberton of Carbury, and Viscount Harberton.
On the hill of Carbury are some pagan remains which seem to have escaped the attention of our modern antiquarians. It appears to have been the Tara of North Leinster, and is well worthy of attention. Upon its top we find a small sepulchral mound, and to the north west of this, two remarkable military forts or raths, both very perfect, and one of considerable extent; they are not marked on the Ordnance map. South of the castle, towards the Edenderry road, we light upon the old church and grave-yard of Temple Doath, or Caille, probably the site of the ancient church of St. Muadnat, Virgin, mentioned by Colgan, ( AA.SS., p. 339; Boyne and Blackwater ).The festival of this Saint, who lived in the 6th century, is set down in the Martyrology of Donegal, at the 6th of January. “ Muadhnat, Virgin. Caille is the name of her place, in Cairbre of Drum Cliabh.” Carbury of Drumcliff is in the county of Sligo, so, unless this entry be erroneous, Sir W.Wilde is mistaken in assigning Carbury, in county of Kildare, as the habitation of this Saint.
The chapel of Carbury of the penal times, which, according to the Return of December, 1731. (see Vol. 1.,p264 ) was built subsequent to the accession of George I., stood not far from the present one, but on the opposite side of the road. A holy-water font belonging to it, still remaining at the parochial house, bears the initial I.D., and the date, 1731. In the present Church of the Blessed Trinity, four previous pastors lie interred, over whose graves appear tablets notifying that they are erected to the memory –(1) Of the Rev. Edward Earl, late Parish Priest of Carbury and Dunfierth, which he governed for 25 years, and died on the 29th September,1846, aged 72 years; (2) The Rev. James Phelan P.P. of Carbury and Dunfierth, died, 25th of May,1857, in the 54th year of his age; (3) The Rev Edward Byrne, P.P. of Carbury and Dunfierth, died, February 18th ,1869, aged 64; (4) The Rev. Henry Dunne, P.P. of Carbury and Dunfierth, died, 16th September,1879, aged 59 years.
This name seems to have taken its first part from a square fort or Dun in the S.W. of Dunfierth townland. (O’D.) The old parochial Church of Dunfierth still exists in ruins surrounded by an extensive burial-ground; it was of considerable dimensions, and has connected with it a second edifice, having a separate entrance, which appears to have been designed as a mortuary chapel of the Bermingham family. A handsomely-sculptured alter-tomb formerly occupied the centre of this chapel, as may be judged from the portions that still remain; and which are found built into the walls of the vault which surrounds the Bermingham tomb, appropriated since 1815 by the family of Frederick Hamilton. The figure which formed the recumbent effigy on the original tomb, is now placed in an upright position within this structure; it represents a knight in a suit of plate armour, having a crucifix on the breast attached round the neck by a chain. The sides of the tomb were carved into Gothic niches, six on each side, and had figures representing the twelve apostles, known to be such by the accompanying emblems, and by having their names in contracted form carved overhead. The head of the tomb had a carved representation of the crucifixion, and at the foot were armorial bearings. The portions which formed the head and sides are now built into the wall of the vault on the outside, and the foot portion is placed over the entrance-door to the chapel.
Within the ruins of this mortuary chapel are monuments with the following inscriptions:-“Rev. James Morrin, Dean of Kildare, departed this life the 25th of March, 1748, aged 55 years.”
“I. H. S. Here lieth the body of the Rev. John Kenny, who lived 14 years rector of this parish, and died the 6th day of January in the year of our Lord 1790, aged 48 years.”
In the townland of Dunfierth there stood an old castle, none of which remains. No patron saint is remembered.
St. Carthach, Bishop, pupil and successor of St. Kieran of Saigir, appears to have preached Christianity in this locality. The Martyrology of Donegal, at 5th of March, has the following record;-“Carthach, Bishop, alumnus of Ciaran of Saighir. One of his places was Druimfertain, and in Cairbre Ua Ciarda is Druim-fertain.”
In the Feilire of Aengus, too, at the same date, we find this passage;-“Unsilently his renown sprang over (the)eastern sea, Carthach, royal, roman.” On which the gloss in Leabhar Breac adds:-“ i.e., descendant of a king of Munster. Ruamach, i.e., to Rome Ciaran sent him for having come into a woman’s company. Carthach, now a pupil of Ciaran of Saigir, and son of Eoghanacht of Caisel, and in Cairpre Hua-Ciarda his place (is), and Druim-Fertain, and Inis-Uachtair on Loch Silenn (are) his also”
The Mart. Donegal connects another Saint with this district, whose feast was observed on the 6th of June :-“ Maelaithghen of Tigh Maelaithghen, in Ua Ciarda;” of whom the Feil. Aeng. says :-“ Moelaithgen, with pure goodness went underground to a shelter.”
The remains of an old Church, consisting of nave and chancel, are here, of which a considerable portion of the north and south walls and east gable are still standing. The window in east end is roundheaded and deeply splayed within; two other narrow windows appear in south wall of chancel. A Gothic doorway is placed in the south wall; a sedilium recess, Gothic also, is in the usual place, and also provision for the cruets, etc.
In the grave-yard of Ticknevin there is a stone having the impress of a human foot; this is said to have been made by St. Brigid. Dr. O’Donovan expresses his belief that this Ticknevin could be identified with that mentioned by Colgan in the Life of St. Fechin. This, according to the author of Loca Patr., p. 113, is the Teach Mic Neecnain, where Aedh Roin, king of Ui-Failghe, was slain, A.D.604.
In the S.E. part of the townland of Ardkill are the ruins of the old Church and of a castle. This name is given in Dr.Rosse MacGeoghegan’s list as Ardchoil, i.e. “the high wood.” Of the Church, the east gable and some portions of the side walls remain; dimensions, interiorly, 40 feet by 19. There is a window 5 feet by 2, in the east gable, and a belfry at top. The wall is 4 feet in thickness. The earliest date of interment visible is March 26th, 1710. There is a field on the south-east part of Collinstown called Churchyard field, from having a church formerly situated on it, of which there is not a vestige now remaining.  Kilcooney Church is shown in the engraved map from Sir W. Petty’s survey, and some old people call the portion of Collinstown south of Kilcooney river, Kilcooney townland. The only feature in this part of the country retaining the denomination of Kilcooney is a stream, the source of which is in the south part of Ardkill townland, about 200 yards S.W. of the old church, flows east, 500 yards, and then north-east. This is the Ecclesia parochialis de Killycogny, mentioned in Dr. MacGeoghegan’s. (Vide Vol. I., p.261.)
This name, which, if it be the same anglicised form of all the Fews in other parts of the country, must, in Irish, sound Feada, i.e., Sylva, -is known in this country by no other name than Fews. Fews is not looked upon as representing a townland; and is said to be the name of the extent of land comprised in Kilpatrick, Ballinakill, Killina, and Drummmona townlands, to which is added part of the lands of Killcaskin. The Fews extend about three miles in length, and in breadth, one mile in one part and two miles in another, lying between the bog of Allen and the Grand Canal. In ecclesiastical documents Fews is considered as a sub-denomination of Ardkill, and not a distinct parish. In the graveyard of Kilpatrick, in townland of the same name, there is no trace of a church remaining; it is said in the locality that this was not at any time the site of a church, but that it was made the substitute for an older place of interment (probably Ticknevin) at the commencement of the 18th century. Amongst the inscriptions, which range from 1715 there is none worthy of note.
Doctor John Dempsey, appointed Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in 1694, appears to have been a native of this Parish, and also to have resided in it. In the Return of Parish Priests, made in 1704, is the following:-“ John Dempsey, residing at Kilmurry, aged 63, P.P. of Kilraney, ordained on Whit Sunday, 1664, at Clonkeene, King’s County, by Anthony Geoghegan, Bishop of Meath; having for his sureties, Robert Daly of Calvesland,Gent., and Colonel John Wogan of Rathcoffy.” This entry most probably refers to the Bishop, (see Vol. I., p. 72 for corresponding dates.)   The Dempseys have continued to reside at Kilmurry up to our own times.
In the return of 1704 is found MICHAEL CORMACK, residing at Dunfierth, aged 55, Parish Priest of Carbury, Ardkill, Dunfierth and Fion; ordained in 1673, at Dublin, by Patrick Plunkett, Bishop of Meath; sureties- Patrick Dempsey of Kilmurry, farmer, and John Halyan of Leixlip, farmer.
A Return dated 10th December, 1731, (see Vol. I., p. 264.), combines the two parishes of Carbury and Balyna, in which three priests then resided, viz: John Delahunty, Lewis Dempsey and Robert Cormack. There are reasons for concluding that JOHN DELAHUNTY was the P.P. of Carbury; his initials, J.D. with the date 1733, appear on an old Holy-Water vat still in existence at Carbury.
JAMES MORRIN was probably the successor to Father Delahunty. At Dunfierth is his grave, with an inscription notifying that he was Dean of Kildare, and that he died on the 25th of March, 1748, aged 55. After his death there is a period of 28 years unaccounted for; it may have been that during this time the P.P. of Balyna had care also of this parish.
JOHN KENNY is the next on record; his tomb at Dunfierth sets forth that he was rector of this parish for 14 years, and died on the 6th of January 1790, aged 48. The I.H.S. at the top of the tomb-stone is the only indication-and it appears to be a satisfactory one-that this was the Catholic Rector of Carbury. 
PATRICK MURPHY was P.P. up to 1794; he is interred at Arles, where the following inscription is found over his grave:- “Here lie interred the remains of the Rev. Patrick Murphy, Parish Priest of Castle Carbury, county Kildare, who departed this life the 2nd March, 1794, aged 52. Requiescat in pace.”
REV. ---KEARNEY is the next P.P. of whom we have an account; if he was the immediate successor of Father Murphy-of which there exists a doubt- he governed the Parish for 27 years, dying in 1821.
REV. EDWARD EARL succeeded; he died on the 29th of September 1846, and had as successor,
REV. JAMES PHELAN. This amiable priest died on the 25th of May 1857.
REV. EDWARD BYRNE succeeded; he died, February 18th, 1869.
REV. HENRY DUNNE succeeded; he died, September 16th 1879, and had as successor the present Pastor,
Page 341 Supplemental Notes.
In the succession of Pastors (P. 97) it is mentioned that Father Kennedy was appointed P.P., in 1794; he died in or before 1809.
Roger Molony succeeded; he erected Trinity Chapel in 1809. In 1816, Father Malony was translated to the parish of Ballinakill, Queen’s County; and was succeeded by,
Maurice Kearney, who was afterwards translated to Clane, where he died, in 1842.
(1)Fantastical spirits are by the Irish called men of the sidh, because the are seen, as it were, to come out of the beautiful hills to infest men; and hence the vulgar believe that they reside in certain subterraneous habitations within these hills; and these habitations, and sometimes the hills themselves, are called by the Irish sidha.-Colgan quoted by Dr.Joyce.
(2) Grant to Sir William Bermingham and the heirs male of his body, of the title and dignity of Baron of Carbury, in the County of Kildare; with a grant of the site of the late priory of Ballybogan and the late abbey of Clonard, with all the messuages adjacent, etc. ( Pat. Roll, 33 Henry VIII., June 17,1542 )

A transcript of Rev. M. Comerford's 1883 History of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, relating to the R.C. Parish of Carbury.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed by Breid Kelly and Maria O'Reilly; edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

July 03, 2006

ARCHAEOLOGY - Kingship and Sacrifice Exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland, Archaeology and History, Kildare St.

Kingship and Sacrifice
Exhibition was opened by Mr. John O’Donoghue, T.D., Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism at the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 on Tuesday, 20th June 2006 at 3 p.m.

The exhibition is centred on the findings of the National Museum of Ireland’s Bog Bodies Research Project. Following the discoveries of Iron Age bog bodies at Oldcroghan, Co. Offaly and Clonycavan, Co. Meath in 2003, a team of international specialists worked with Irish Antiquities and the Conservation Department of the National Museum to examine these human remains. Now a major exhibition gives an overview of the results of the analysis and, along with other bog bodies from the collections of the National Museum, offers an opportunity to literally come ‘face to face’ with the past.

The exhibition also highlights a theory based on the observation that the bog bodies were placed along significant boundaries linking them with sovereignty and kingship rituals during the Iron Age. Research also indicates that other related material is connected with inauguration rituals of kings and that these rituals can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Many of these objects, such as kingly regalia, horse trappings, weapons, feasting utensils, textiles and boundary markers are on display.

The National Museum of Archaeology (Kildare Street) is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday and from 2pm to 5pm on Sundays.

Admission to all exhibitions at The National Museum is free of charge.

Details of the recently opened Iron Age Exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland, based around the uncovering of two Bog Bodies of excellent preservation, and the Research project initiated by their discovery.

FASHIONS, for July-An newspaper article detailing the fashions for the Summer of 1906!

Kildare Observer 14/7/1906
Fashions for July.
          This summer’s fashions are characterised in every direction by the widest liberty and variety. There is the clinging Empire style so well suited to the slender ethereal girl, and from which wide picture hat, Gainsborough or Romney, with falling ribbons and the long, soft scarf, are inseparable. The Victorian sloping shoulder effect is again produced by the new taffetas cape with long stole ends, worn in conjunction with a flowered or spotted muslin, much be-frilled as to the skirt, and held out by a feather-boned petticoat. Nor is the more severe type of elegance neglected, and tailor-made linen garments with pleated trottoir skirts and mannish little coatees or paletots are much seen.
 The range of colour is also very wide. White is at the height of favour, black and white being more than over considered an impeccable combination. There is no doubt that with an all-white costume, a hat trimming of large bows of black and white striped linen is decidedly striking, and also in good taste, although we do not care so much for this ubiquitous striped ribbon in other colours. Crushed or faded tints in greens, pinks, purples and mauves are exploited, and besides the usual sky-blue and pale turquoise, innumerable shades of blue are much in evidence. Powder blue, periwinkle, hyacinth, and forget-me-not are some of these, and are at their best when forming the whole costume or united with white.
   Muslins in rather original shades as, mole, mustard, apricot, and dull greys and greens have been worn at fashionable resorts and all shades of the latter are popular.
   White, however, must for a month or two claim our primary consideration, representing, as it does, not only the charming and the seasonable, but the economical. An embroidered linen, for instance will stand several summers’ wear, and wash each time as good as new, whereas its price expended on chiffon, flowers, muslins, and similar fabrics is soon frittered away. White washing blouses and shirts are greatly to be preferred to coloured ones, as there is no risk of that washed-out effect, which so often follows a visit to the laundry, and a well-cut white shirt will last for a very long period.
   There is quite a rage for afternoon blouses of lace, and their principal cachet is certainly the novel combination of several kinds of lace. A comparatively short length of Valenciennes piece lace makes up beautifully into a puffy bodice, with short elbow sleeves, provided the yoke is supplemented with motifs and empressements of guipure; and white Irish crochet – made up preferably over a foundation of net – should be trimmed with insertions and frillings of narrow Valenciennes. Money spent on lace is never wasted, a matter in which French are so superior to Englishwomen, who squander too many shillings on chiffon and tulle, which must sooner or later be consigned to the rag bag, while lace – and this refers not only to real, but also to the better kinds of imitation- lives in indefinitely.
 The lingerie hats retain their attraction for their river and seaside girl. Some very pretty specimens have cambric motifs embroidered in coloured ribbon work; and muslin, embroidery, and lace, edged with frillings of all kinds are used, and should be such as to bear washing when a shady hat of this sort becomes a veritable economy. Eylet-hole work and embroidered cambric are much to the fore, both fore dresses and also for underwear. A slightly worn white petticoat, or one whose frills leave something to be desired, can be brought into shape by a fresh flounce of broiderie anglaise of twelve or more inches in depth, which can be produced at quite a moderate price put on with a wide embroidered heading, to be threaded with a satin ribbon. This same deep broidery makes a charming evening cache corset, with a narrow ribbon-threaded heading for shoulder straps and wristband. 
   A white embroidered parasol is decidedly attractive, whilst still in its first freshness; but it can hardly be recommended as a good investment from the point of view of durability. A silk shade, with a detachable lace cover, on the contrary, is admirable, as a cover can be removed for cleaning or transferred later, and will outlive several parasols. Certain picturesque society women have revived the Directoire parasol, carried, when not up, by the point.
   The most fashionable ruffle reaches only to the shoulder, and has long velvet bows and ends. Ostrich feather and chiffon are sold in this length, and the less expensive coque, though up to the present only seen in the more commonplace long shape, can be very easily adapted by cutting to the length required. We had grown, perhaps, somewhat weary of the shoulder scarf with its rather irritating limpness and slipping propensities, but the vogue for the Spanish mantilla since the recent Royal wedding has given it a fresh impulse. The lace of Spain is much in demand for these accessories, and a graceful wrap can also be made from several yards of double width chiffon with the sides joined lengthwise, and circular tucks run and drawn at intervals, with a deep hem at either end. Large hats have been re-instated for the nonce, notably Leghorns trimmed simply with roses and velvet ribbon streamers. Others are wreathed in corn, oats or barley. There are shady hats of every conceivable period and design, bizarre and picturesque effects dominating. For duller days the very small toques or brimless hats worn on one side at an angle and balanced by enormous bows of striped or flowered ribbon, these, and the high-crowned sailor and flat “boater” are very chic.
   One word as to sleeves. Though it is safe to order the elbow length on all summer dresses and blouses, for some time to come, the run of the short sleeve for tailor costumes in practically doomed. The newest cloth coat has a sleeve reaching to the wrist, fitting the arm closely, and with a very modified shoulder puff. This will come as a welcome relief after the cut effect occasioned by the elbow length, and later on long sleeves will probably creep back to gowns of all descriptions. - “Mrs Leach’s Family Dressmaker”.

For the fashion enthusiast.....An article from the Leinster Leader describing the trends for the Summer, one hundred years ago!


[Compiled by Niamh Mc Cabe; typed by Sarah Luttrell; edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

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