Historyrant's Blog

Photo of Cork burning down

Posted in Uncategorized by historyrant on November 18, 2009

I just got this from a friend who happens to have so many obscure photos of Cork from days gone by.  Thought it would be of interest.  Fascinating to see how utterly destroyed Cork was when it was burnt down…the sheer devastation is uncomprehensible.  I did upload other photos but for some reason cannot get them right now…as always, technology and I battle!

Finally…the recognition of Zotero wonders!

Posted in Uncategorized by historyrant on November 17, 2009

Finally got to grasp with the wonders of Zotero today; took long enough for my brain to process.  Must download it now and start using it.  Shame I won’t feel proficient enough to use it for this week’s essay but ce la vie! 

Haven’t made very much inroads in my thesis research yet…but once I get all the personal stuff sorted, I think I’ll actually have some time to start properly.  Well, I console myself daily that I have excellent notes and questions to look into…time will tell how wonderful they really are.

Found a fantastic blog on the net the other night dealing with International Relations but being me, that is a clueless novice techie…cannot now find it again!!  Typical.  A student in the States keeping a blog for a Digital History course who just happens to be doing IR as well…some of her stuff looked really good.

Well at least I know how to use google library, how I managed that one I will never know…one doesn’t question it though!

And now…must get this essay started………

Sarah Curran…famous daughter of Newmarket!

Posted in Uncategorized by historyrant on November 9, 2009

SDC10054Sarah Curran, was born in Rathfarnham, Dublin to the famous barrister and politician, John Philpott Curran.  She grew up in both Newmarket and Rathfarnham but the family moved permanently to Dublin after her sister Gertrude threw herself out of the window of their house in Priory, Newmarket.  Philpott Curran had been born and raised in Newmarket, and eventually attended Trinity University to read law.  He would become one the most famous Irish orators of the time.  So famous that both Byron and Shelley wrote of his amazing wit, and poetic language.  He was also known to have defended those arrested of membership of the United Irishmen.  It is through this link that Sarah Curran became famous.  She met, and became the secret fiancee of Robert Emmet.  When he was arrested in 1801, it was her father that defended him.  Emmet had passed love letters for Sarah to one of the prison guards he felt he could trust (was he mistaken on that!!), and the letters were given to the prosecution.  He was interrogated as to who the lady in question was but refused for quite some time to reveal her name.  The Curran family home was subsequently searched, but Sarah escaped conviction, possibly due to the quick thinking of one of her sisters who burnt the love letters from Emmet, and possibly because of who her father was.  Emmet was eventually sentenced to death.  Some years later, she married Captain Sturgeon, and was buried in Newmarket Protestant graveyard at her request.

Images of Aldworth House, Newmarket

Posted in Uncategorized by historyrant on November 9, 2009

Aldworth House

SDC10047
Aldworth House

These are photos of Aldworth House, Newmarket.  It is presently called ‘The James O’Keeffe Memorial Institute’ but I like its original name far better.  Rather than take photos of historical importance in Cork city, I decided instead to focus on my little village.  At first glance, the photos only seem to be further evidence of past British rule in Ireland but this house holds a certain important significance in Ireland, and one could argue, world wide.  It is here thatthe first female freemason came to live in the early 18th century.  Lady Elizabeth Aldworth had been born in Doneraile, Co Crk to Lord and Lady Doneraile (the St Ledger’s).  Her father was a freemason and held, at various times, the meetings of the local lodge.  There is conflicting evidence as to how, or indeed when, Elizabeth St Ledger became a freemason herself.  From the little bit of research I have done, I found a reference to her from a freemason in the late 19th century.  By all accounts, a meeting was taking place at Doneraile whilst renovations were taking place.  Elizabeth, it was said, went to the library to read, and perchance discovered light through one of the bricks in the wall where at the other side her father and other masons were conducting a meeting.  Startled, she left the room, but was discovered by the butler who was guarding the other door.  He informed her father etc, and it was decided that she should inducted.  How true this particular account is no one will ever really know.  A few years later she married Lord Aldoworth of Newmarket.  Her grandson, Richard Aldworth and his wife (name unknown) were said to be an unusually kind landlords.  During the famine years, they set up the Fever hospital, donated funds to the building of the R.C. Church, and Lady Aldworth funded and was patroness of two Catholic primary schools: one for boys and one for girls.  This may not seem like much now but considering there were very few fatalities during the famine years in Newmarket, it wold appear that they went out of their way to help the people of town.  The village of Scarteen, some 4 miles away, certainly didn’t fair so well.  The entire village was wiped out, and nothing remains to indicate that a thriving village once existed.