02 August-First Parachute Jump

The first parachute jump from a balloon in the United States was made in 1819 by Frenchman Charles Guille. His parachute jump was one of several which had been taking place following the development of balloon flight by the Montgolfier brothers in France in the 1780’s. Their flights brought about the development of the modern parachute. On October 22nd 1797 Andres-Jacques Garnerin made a successful parachute descent from about 1000m in Paris.

Although the exact origin of the parachute is unknown the idea dates back several centuries. In 852 Armen Firman sustained only minor injuries when he jumped from a tower in Cordoba, Spain using a makeshift parachute. A sketch of a parachute by Leonardo da Vinci dates back to 1485. Louis-Sébastien Lenormand made the first jump using a modern parachute from a building in France in 1783.

Charles Guille made the first parachute jump in the United States from 2,500m above New York in the year 1819 On This Day.





13 August-George Stokes

The Stokes building in Dublin City University is named after George Stokes who was a native of Co Sligo, Ireland. The building houses the School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering and most of the School of Electronic Engineering. Stokes was a mathematician and physicist who served as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in England for over 50 years.

George Gabriel Stokes was born at Skreen, Co Sligo in 1819. He was educated in Skreen and Dublin before entering Cambridge University in 1837. Following graduation he was elected to a fellowship at Cambridge. He remained at the University until his death in 1903. He also served as President of the Royal Society.

George Stokes mathematician and physicist who served as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in England for over 50 years was born in Sligo in the year 1819 On This Day.

George Gabriel Stokes 1874 by Lowes Dickinson



06 May-Holy Cross Church Killeshin

Holy Cross Church in Killeshin near Carlow town, Ireland, was completed in 1821 to the design of architect, Thomas Cobden. Cobden designed many public buildings, private residences and churches in the Carlow/Wexford area. In Carlow town these included the Roman Catholic Cathedral, St Mary’s Church of Ireland and Scott’s Church. Cobden lived in Carlow for a number of years.

Holy Cross Church is described as a modest but spacious building in stone and brick. Located at the foot of the Killeshin hills it was described by Lewis as standing on an artificial mound. Its windows are Gothic in style and there are octagonal towers on each corner of the building.

The church was dedicated by the then Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, Dr James Doyle, also known as JK L (James Kildare and Leighlin). He had served with Wellington’s army during the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. As bishop he was a campaigner for Catholic Emancipation. Catholic Emancipation came about when the Catholic Relief Act was passed by the Wellington Government in 1829, eight years after Doyle had dedicated the Holy Cross Church at Killeshin.

The foundation stone for Holy Cross Church, Killeshin was laid in the year 1819 On This Day.

                                               Holy Cross Church, Killeshin.




12 September-Scots Church, Carlow

The Scots’ Church, which is the Presbyterian Church in Carlow town, Ireland is located on the Athy Road in Carlow. Presbyterianism is a Christian religion which has its origins in the protestant reformation of the 16th century. John Calvin, the French theologian, led the development of Reformed theology. John Knox from Scotland studied with Calvin in Geneva and brought the teachings of Calvin back to Scotland. Presbyterianism was brought to Ireland in the early 1600’s and the Presbytery of Ulster was created in 1642. Today the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is an All-Ireland organisation with a membership of around 300,000 people.

Though a congregation may have existed in Carlow in the mid 1600’s it ceased to exist around 1750. A Mr Cox, who was a businessman in Carlow, brought about the re-establishment of a Presbyterian congregation in 1816. . At first the Methodist Church was used by the congregation as place of worship but in 1818 they decided to build their own church.

The new church was designed by Mr Thomas Cobden who also designed many public buildings, private residences and churches in the Carlow/Wexford area. These include Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow and the Church Of The Holy Cross, Killeshin. The foundation stone for the Scots Church, which would take over a year to build, was laid on June 18th 1818. The church had its own minister until 1936. On December 31st of that year Rev. James Black retired and this was followed by the union of the Carlow congregation with that of Athy, Co Kildare.

The Presbyterian Church in Carlow, Ireland, known locally as Scots Church, was opened for worship by the Rev James Homer in the year 1819 On This Day.


Scots’ Church Carlow

24 May-Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria visited the Dublin in 1853 to attend the Great Industrial Exhibition which had been sponsored by Carlow born engineer William Dargan. She visited Dargan at his home in Mount Anville in Dublin. Dargan had built most of Ireland’s railway network and several other infrastructure projects. She offered him a baronetcy in recognition of his services but Dargan declined her offer. By the time of her visit she had been queen for 18 years.

Queen Victoria was born Alexandrina Victoria in 1819. She became queen of the United Kingdom at the age of 18, on the death of her uncle William IV on 20 June 20th 1837. Queen Victoria reigned for over 63 years. She was a constitutional monarch with relatively little direct power but she did attempt to influence government policy. During her long reign, which is often referred to as the Victorian era, England went through a period of great change and expansion socially and economically. Her period as queen also saw a great expansion of the British Empire.

Eight years into her reign Ireland was hit by the Great Famine. During the following four years over a million Irish people died and as many more emigrated. Queen Victoria personally donated £2,000 to famine relief in Ireland. This was the largest private donation made and she encouraged others to contribute also.

Queen Victoria visited Ireland on four occasions. Her first visit lasted from 2nd to the 12th of August 1849. It was portrayed as the queen showing solidarity with the people in the aftermath of the famine. With her husband Prince Albert she visited Dublin Belfast and Cork and by all accounts was given an enthusiastic welcome. She herself wrote ‘The enthusiasm and excitement shown by the Irish people, was extreme’.


Her second visit to Ireland took place from August 30th to September 3rd 1853. She came to Dublin with her husband and two of their children to show her support for the Great Industrial Exhibition of 1853 which had been organised and sponsored by William Dargan. She visited the exhibition every day during her time in Ireland.

Queen Victoria Visited Ireland again from 21st to 29th of August 1861. The queen and her husband visited the Curragh where their son the Prince of Wales was doing military training. From there the royal party went to Kerry where they spent four days in Killarney.

The fourth and final visit by Queen Victoria to Ireland began on April 3rd 1900. She stayed for three weeks and visited schools and hospitals. Though greeted by large crowds her visit was objected to by some nationalists. Nine months after her final visit to Ireland Queen Victoria died aged of 81 at Osborne House, Isle of Wight on January 22nd 1901.

Queen Victoria was born at Kensington Palace, London in the year 1819 On This Day.

Queen Victoria and others by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1900-04-04 02:13:07

Queen Vic by jaqian on 2006-08-19 00:00:56