Friday, December 21, 2012

In the fifty-sixth year of her age: Jane Grogan, 1789

In St. Michan's Churchyard, Dublin, stands this small stone dating to May of 1789. It reads:

Memento Mori
The Stone was Erected by Pat.k
Grogan of Church Street Grocer
for him and his Policrity Here
lyeth the Body of his wife Jane
Grogan who Departed this life
the 5th day of May 1789 in the Fifty
Sixth Year of her age.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

John Hayden Crozier: Music Master of the 85th Regiment

Erected by
Mary to the memory of her beloved
Husband John Hayden Crozier late
Music Master to the 85th Reg. King's
light infantry who departed this life 27th
March 1848 aged 30 years.
This stone, erected to the memory of John Hayden Crozier, stands in St. Michan's Churchyard, Dublin. Not much history is available about this music master of the 85th Regiment of the King's Light Infantry; however, it is known that John and his wife Mary lived on Blackhall Street, a short distance away from where his regiment was quartered in the Royal Barracks (now Collins Barracks), and he died intestate.

The history of John Hayden Crozier's regiment during its time in Ireland is an interesting one. The infantry served in Ireland from 1846 until around 1851, during the time of An Gorta Mór, the Great Famine.

In the Spring of 1846, six divisions of the 85th Regiment arrived in Ireland, having been called from the West Indies and Barbados. Between March and May they landed at the Cove of Cork (once Queenstown, now Cobh).  From Cove they were marched to Buttevant, County Cork, where they were joined by depot companies under the command of Major French.  From there all divisions marched to Limerick and beyond, with attachments settling in such places as Birr, Loughrea, Banagher, Shannon Harbour, Portumna and Ballinasloe.

In September of 1847, the headquarters and detachments were moved from Buttevant to Dublin, where they occupied the Royal Barracks. The regiment remained in Ireland until April of 1851, at which point it departed to Preston Barracks, Lancashire, England. The history of the regiment makes no mention of the fact that they were assigned to the country of Ireland to ensure there was no civil unrest during An Gorta Mór, the Great Famine, although it is noted that they were called to Thurles, County Tipperary, in July of 1848 “to quell a rebellion expected to break out”.

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Crowley, John, William J. Smyth & Michael Murphy, editors. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, New York University Press, 2012.

Smith, Henry Stooks. An alphabetical list of the officers of the Eighty-fifth, the King's light infantry regiment, from 1800 to 1850, Simpkin Marshall, England, 1851.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday, almost: Number Please!

Among the markers in the cemetery at the Maynooth Seminary in County Kildare, stand these iron crosses. The crosses are unique because, instead of bearing the name of the person interred within, each marker bears a number which corresponds to a list carved in stone on the archway entrance to the graveyard. The stone list provides all the particulars for each man: his name in its Latin form, his date of birth into the religious life, and his date of death.

The markers.
The 'List'
Cross #18

The entry for cross #18, in translation: Thomas McGuinness of the diocese of Ardagh 1806-1830

Copyright©irisheyesjg2012. All Rights Reserved.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Just beyond a 'Cathedral' of trees

In Maynooth, County Kildare, at the site of Maynooth Cathedral and Seminary School, there is a simple unadorned graveyard, in which priests and others who were once members of the seminary community are interred. It is in an area behind the school and the church, so if you do not know where to look for it, you will not find it. The tops of the trees have been grown so that they knit together in such a way that a sort of beautiful 'Cathedral' of trees is created. The entranceway is obscured, although it is marked by an icon of the crucified Christ, and the gate into the cemetery is just behind it.

Copyright©irisheyesjg2012. All Rights Reserved.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Remembering Michael Collins on the 90th Anniversary of his death

The grave of Michael Collins, Glasnevin, Dublin
The vases are never empty of flowers, and there are often wreaths or other floral tributes along the sides.
Bronze statue erected to the memory of Michael Collins in Clonakilty, County Cork.
On the Collins' family gravestone in Rosscarbery, West Cork, their youngest son is remembered in a far more simple way.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: By the book...

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All photographs Copyright© J. Geraghty-Gorman 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dora Sigerson Shorter, Poet & Sculptor, 1866-1918: a tomb with a secret

Dublin born Dora Sigerson was a prolific writer, as well as a self taught painter and sculptor. She produced two novels and more than 20 collections of poetry. One of the most important figures of the Irish Literary Revival, Sigerson produced poetry known for its nationalist bent, and published such titles as The Tri-colour: Poems of the Irish Revolution, The Fairy Changeling, and Madge Linsey and Love of Ireland: Poems and Ballads. In 1895 Dora Sigerson married journalist Clement King Shorter, thereafter publishing under the name Dora Sigerson Shorter. With Clement Shorter she lived out her life in London; however, as per her wishes, her body was returned to Ireland for interment.

In addition to producing written work, Dora Sigerson was also a gifted sculptor. Sigerson designed the memorial to the rebel dead which stands at the center of her own monument, and bequeathed funds in her will for its erection. The white Carrera marble statue is evocative of the Pieta, the depiction of Christ lying dead across his mother Mary's lap, which stands in the Basilica in Rome. The female figure in Sigerson's statue is Mother Ireland and lying across her lap is one of Ireland's lost warriors. The uniform of the warrior figure is clearly that of a 1916 rebel, and his face bears a striking resemblance to that of Pádraig Pearse, perhaps the best known of the executed leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.

A secret discovered within

The monument now stands just inside the front gates of Glasnevin Cemetery. As part of the renovation project at Glasnevin the decision was made to restore the memorial; it was in poor condition with weeds growing out of its roof.

A very old, and unfortunately poor quality,  photo of the tomb as it looked originally
During the process of dismantling the monument workers made a very interesting discovery when they removed the canopy which stands over the statue. A long lead cylinder was built into the masonry. The sealed cylinder is a time capsule entombed with Dora Sigerson at the time of her interment. It is purported to contain important documents and ephemera germane to the history of her day. The cylinder was handed over to the Irish government. The contents of the time capsule have not yet been revealed, but may be released at "a more appropriate time" (perhaps 2016, the 100th anniversary of The Rising) or it may be reinterred and left for future generations to discover and open.

*Click on photos to view larger version

The Irish Times, September 2007
Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, Voices on the Wind, Women Poets of the Celtic Twilight, New Island Books, 1995.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

'Oh for the touch of a vanished hand...': Alice Stuart 1852 - 1892

The stone reads:
S.W. Stuart, Dublin
In Affectionate
And Loving Memory of
His Beloved Wife
Who died 27th March 1892.
Aged 40 years

Oh for the touch of a vanished hand
and the sound of a voice that is still.

I heard the voice of Jesus say
Come unto me and rest,
Lay down thou weary one lay down
Thy head upon my breast.

Copyright©irisheyesjg2008-2012. All Rights Reserved.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Leaving three young children to mourn her loss...

Often I am drawn to stones such as this one, not purely for the look of the stone, but for the message on it. Although the angel which stands atop this stone is spectacular, it is the reference to the three young children who were left to mourn the loss of their young mother which leaves the greatest mark.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Child of our heart's best love farewell...

The stone reads:

In Affectionate Remembrance
Mary Margaret
Beloved Daughter Of
Catherine Lynch
16 Annavilla North Circular Road
Died 17th June 1865
Aged 11 Years.

Child of our heart's best love farewell,
On earth adieu to thee,
Thy sweet young happy form and face,
Live but in memory.

Mary Catherine, John & Francis
Who died young.

Erected by their fond mother.

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