13 April-F W Woolworth

Woolworth was an international retail company. It was founded by Frank Winfield Woolworth in Utica, New York on February 22nd 1878. During the 20th century it became one of the largest retail chains in the world. Woolworth’s had stores in Ireland, including one at 24/25 Tullow Street Carlow in Carlow town.

Frank Winfield Woolworth was born into a farming family in Rodman, New York in 1852. In 1873, he began working as a stock boy in a general store. He observed how a clearance by the store of leftover items at reduced prices was a success. He opened his own five-and-ten-cent stores which became very successful.

Following its foundation the Woolworth Corporation began to expand. By 1904 the corporation was operating stores across the US and Canada. Woolworth’s opened its first store in Great Britain in the city of Liverpool in 1909. The first Woolworth store in Ireland opened on Grafton Street in Dublin in 1914. F W Woolworth was one of the wealthiest people in the world at the time of his death on April 8th 1919

Following the opening of the store in Dublin in 1914 further Woolworth stores were opened across Ireland. These included stores at 24/25 Tullow Street Carlow and at 91/92 High Street Kilkenny. By the 1980’s the Woolworth business was in decline. All Woolworth stores in Ireland were closed down in 1984 and the company went out of business and ceased trading on July 17th 1997.

F W Woolworth founder of the Woolworth international retail business was born in New York in the year 1852 On This Day.




16 February-Jehovah’s Witnesses

Charles Russell was a native of America. He founded the International Bible Students Association from which developed Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christian denomination which does not believe in the Trinity. With a worldwide membership of over 8 million it has its headquarters in Warwick, New York.

Charles Taze Russell was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania in 1852. He was influenced by the Adventist movement begun by the Baptist preacher, William Miller. Miller had predicted that the world would end with the second coming of Christ on October 22nd 1844. Russell preached that the ‘invisible return’ of Christ had occurred in 1877. He predicted that what he called the Gentile times would end in 1914 after which Christ would rule the earth. Russell travelled widely preaching to his many congregations. He died on October 31st 1916.

Charles Taze Russell founder of the International Bible Students Association from which developed Jehovah’s Witnesses was born in Pennsylvania, USA in the year 1852 On This Day.

Jehovah Witness





25 February-Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore, Ireland’s National Bard, appeared on stage in Kilkenny City each year between 1808 and 1810, in charitable performances with the Kilkenny Players. Moore was a poet, satirist, composer and musician who was a close friend of Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. During his lifetime his writings, which are still popular today, aroused support in London for Irish nationalism.

Thomas Moore was born above his parents’ grocery shop on Aungier Street in Dublin on May 28th 1779. His father was a native of Moyvane, County Kerry and his mother was Anastasia Codd from Wexford town. Thomas Moore entered Trinity College Dublin in 1795 to study law. He was a contemporary of and friendly with Robert Emmett. However he was persuaded by his mother not to get involved in revolutionary activities.

Having graduated with a BA degree Moore moved to London in 1780 to study law at Middle Temple. He became a popular figure in London society and the publication of Odes of Anacreon established him as a poet. Lord Moira became a patron and through his influence Moore was appointed Admiralty Registrar in Bermuda in January 1803. However he did not enjoy the boredom and seclusion of Bermuda and moved to the United States after four months. He toured the United States and returned to London via Canada in November 1804.

Thomas Moore was a very close friend of Lord Byron. Byron entrusted his memoirs to Moore for publication after his death. However, Moore was persuaded by Byron’s family to destroy them. Moore later celebrated Byron’s life by editing and publishing his letters and journals. Moore wrote 130 original poems. Among his best known are poems such as ‘The Minstrel Boy’, ‘The Last Rose of Summer’ and ‘Oft, in the Stilly Night’, which are lyrics written to Irish tunes. As well as writing his melodies Moore also wrote biographies of United Irishman Lord Edward Fitzgerald and playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

Whilst performing in Kilkenny, Moore met the actress Elizabeth Dyke. They were married in 1811 and later settled in Bromham, Wiltshire in England. Regarded as a hero by Irish nationalists, Moore is reported not to have liked Daniel O Connell. Moore, who was a catholic himself, was a strong advocate of Catholic Emancipation. When emancipation was granted in 1829 he is reported to have said: ‘Now that the Paddies are happy, I consider my politics entirely at an end’.

Moore’s Melodies continue to be popular and are performed to this day. A version of the Minstrel Boy is performed on the soundtrack of the movie Black Hawk Down. Monuments to Moore can be found in several locations including in Dublin close to Trinity College, at The Meeting of the Waters near Avoca, County Wicklow and in Central Park, New York City.

Thomas Moore poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer died at the age of 72 in the year 1852 On This Day.

Image taken from page 10 of ‘[The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore,

Moore Monument, Westmoreland Street (looking to O’Connell Bridge, including a tram), Dublin City.



22 December-Patrick O’Donoghue

Patrick O’Donoghue from Clonegal, Co Carlow, Ireland was a member of the Young Ireland Movement. The Young Ireland Movement was an Irish nationalist, political and social movement which was active in the mid nineteenth century. The Movement had grown out a split with Daniel O’Connell over the methods being used by O’Connell to achieve the repeal of the Act of Union. The Young Irelanders were especially opposed to O’Connell’s attempts to form an alliance with the Whig Party in England.

Patrick O’Donoghue was born in 1810. He attended Trinity College Dublin and was working as law clerk in Dublin when he joined the Young Ireland Movement. Following the failure of the Young Ireland uprising at Ballingarry in Co Tipperary in 1848 O’Donoghue was found guilty of treason by a special commission in Clonmel Co Tipperary. He was sentenced to death but this was later commuted to transportation for life to Van Diemen’s Land, now the island of Tasmania.

Shortly after arriving in Hobart, O’Donoghue established a weekly newspaper which he called the Irish Exile. The first edition was published on January 26th 1850. The paper was suppressed by the Governor and O’Donoghue was arrested. He was sentenced to hard labour for one year. On release he began publishing the Irish Exile again. He was arrested once more and sentenced again for a year to hard labour. He was released after a few months and sent to Launcetown in northern Tasmania in 1852. He escaped and in December 1852 boarded a ship bound for Melbourne.

From Melbourne O’Donoghue travelled via Sydney and Tahiti to San Francisco and from there to New York. By 1854 he was described as being often depressed, in poor health and estranged from many members of the Young Ireland movement who were also living in America. Following his arrival in America his wife and daughter and his brother sailed from Dublin to join him in New York. On arrival at New York however, they were unable to disembark immediately due to adverse weather conditions. O’Donoghue died on January 22nd 1854 shortly before his family were able to disembark.

Patrick O’Donoghue having escaped from Tasmania arrived in Melbourne enroute to America in the year 1852 On This Day.

Plaque on the House in Clonegal, Carlow where Patrick O’Donoghue was born



14 September-Duke of Wellington

Erindale, a house near Carlow on the Kilkenny road, Ireland, was once the home of the Duke of Wellington. It is said that the Duke, whose name is on the deeds, bought the house as a residence for his Irish mistress. The house stands on 12 hectares of parkland overlooking the river Barrow.

Arthur Wellesley the 1st duke of Wellington was born in Dublin on May 1st 1769. He grew up at the family home in Dublin and at Dangan Castle near Trim in County Meath. He attended school in Trim and in Dublin before being enrolled at Eton College in England. Wellesley felt lonely and hated his time in Eton. He moved with his mother to Brussels in 1785. He attended the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Angers where he excelled at horsemanship and learned French.

Wellesley served as a member of the Irish Parliament from 1790 for five years. He joined the army and served in the Netherlands, India and in the Peninsular Campaign (1806-1808) of the Napoleonic wars. During the Peninsular Campaign Dr James Doyle, who was later installed in Carlow as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin (JKL), was studying at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. He joined the British Army at Coimbra and accompanied Wellesley to Lisbon as an interpreter.

Wellesley married Kitty Pakenham, the daughter of Lord Longford, in 1806. He had been a frequent visitor to her home in Dublin and had asked to marry her in 1796. However her family did not approve of the marriage at that stage, because they felt Wellesley prospects were poor.

In 1814 when Napoleon was exiled to Elba, Wellesley was bestowed with the title Duke of Wellington and was appointed as ambassador to France. However Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815. He returned to lead the French Government and shortly thereafter, found himself at war with a coalition of nations, including Great Britain and Prussia. On June 18th 1815 the Seventh Coalition of Nations which was led by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard von Blücher decisively defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

The Duke of Wellington later served a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on two occasions, from 1828 to 1830 and again for a period of two months in 1834. He played a leading role in the introduction of the Catholic Relief Act (Catholic Emancipation). The act was finally passed in 1829 while Wellington was Prime Minister and Dr Doyle, a close ally and supporter of Daniel O’Connell, was Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. Wellington continued as a leading politician in the British House of Lords. He remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.

Arthur Wellesley the 1st duke of Wellington died at Walmer Castle Kent, England at the age of 83 in the year 1852 On This Day.

Duke of Wellington by davidshort on 2016-04-21 15:48:16

Richard, Duke of Wellington by adactio on 2006-01-20 23:06:37