14 January-Berkeley

Berkeley, California is named after Bishop George Berkeley who was a native of Thomastown Co Kilkenny, Ireland. Bishop Berkeley made great contributions to the fields of philosophy, mathematics, physics and economics. He developed the argument that, reality exists exclusively as it is perceived by the senses. His writings continue to be the subject of an increasing number of annual publications.

George Berkeley was born at Dysart Castle near Thomastown about 18km south of Kilkenny City on march 12th 1685. He was educated at Kilkenny College and entered Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in 1704. He was awarded a Master’s Degree in 1707 and remained at TCD as a tutor and lecturer in Greek until 1724. In 1724 he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity and appointed Dean of Derry. During his time in TCD he visited Britain and made a tour of Europe.

Following his marriage to Anne Foster in August 1728 George Berkeley and his wife moved to America. They settled near Newport, Rhode Island, purchased land and built a house called Whitehall. In 1970 Whitehall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in America. Berkeley intended to establish a seminary in Bermuda for the education of young American Indians. However, having failed to raise enough money for his project, he donated his property and library to Yale and Harvard. He returned to Europe in 1731 and settled London.

In London Berkeley helped establish a home (The Foundling Hospital) for abandoned children. He was consecrated Bishop Cloyne in Ireland in 1734 a post he retained for the rest of his life. In 1753, shortly before he died, Berkeley moved to Oxford in England where his son was a student. Several institutions such as The University of California Berkeley and Berkeley Library at Trinity College, Dublin are named in his honour.

Bishop George Berkeley, in whose honour University of California Berkeley and Berkeley Library at Trinity College are named, died at the age of 67 in the year 1753 On This Day.

 Berkeley, California (1959)

Bishop George Berkeley photo

Bishop George Berkeley by cliff1066™

Thomastown photo

Thomastown Main street by Bernie Goldbach


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