29 March-Irish Times

The Irish Times is a newspaper which is published in Ireland. It is published every day of the week except Sundays. It has a circulation of about 80,000 per day and it is claimed that it is read by over 600,000 readers daily. As well as covering news stories of the day from Ireland and abroad, the Irish Times also reports on matters such as sport, business and property. Apart from expert opinion and analysis, the paper also carries a vast array of items catering for a huge range of interests.

Though a newspaper using the name Irish Times was published in 1823 the present publication was established in 1859 by Major Lawrence E. Knox. He was a supporter of Isaac Butt’s Home Rule League. The paper was based at 4 Lower Abbey Street in Dublin and for the first few months was published only on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The first editor of The Irish Times was Dr George Ferdinand Shaw, a journalist and Professor at trinity College Dublin.

The Irish Times was bought in 1873 by the Arnott family. The Arnott family were owners of a major department store in Dublin. In 1895 the paper moved its offices to D’Olier Street where it was to remain until it moved to its present location on Tara Street in 2006. Today, 156 years after it was first published, the Irish Times continues to be a popular and thriving Irish newspaper.

The Irish Times was first published in the year 1859 On This Day.

Irish Times

Irish Times photo

Irish Times Clock

Photo by Daniel Dudek-Corrigan



19 March-Chalk Sunday

Edmond Fitzpatrick A.H.R.A. was an artist who was a native of Kilkenny, Ireland. His ‘village belles of Kilkenny’ depicting ‘Chalk Sunday’ is an example of how he regularly exhibited subjects of Irish peasant life.

Chalk Sunday was the first Sunday of lent. In the past marriage during lent was not permitted in the Roman Catholic Church. Accordingly those who were not married before lent would have to remain single until after Easter, at least. During the first Sunday of lent those who should have been married but were not, had their coats marked with chalk by young boys and girls.

Edmund Fitzpatrick studied art in the School of the Royal Dublin Society where he was the winner of a medal in 1843. He exhibited with the Society of British Artists when he moved to London in 1848 for a brief period. Fitzpatrick was elected an Associate of the Royal Hibernian Academy on January 18th 1862. He returned to London in 1862 where he worked for the Illustrated London News. He returned to Kilkenny in 1870. Other examples of his work include ‘The Mountain Flower’ from Freshford, County Kilkenny and ‘The Irish Fortune-teller’.

‘Village belles of Kilkenny’ by Kilkenny artist Edmond Fitzpatrick depicting ‘Chalk Sunday’ appeared in Illustrated London News 1859 On This Day.

Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Illustrated London News, March 19, 1859




30 January-Edward Martyn

Edward Martyn was a dramatist and political activist who was a native of Co Galway, Ireland. He was born in 1859 into a family of Catholic landed gentry. Following the foundation of Sinn Féin by Arthur Griffithin 1905, Martyn was elected as the first president. He served as president of the organisation from 1905 to 1908. Martyn was related to the Unionist politician, Edward Carson

Edward Martyn was born at Tulira Castle near Gort in Co Galway in January 1859. He was educated at Belvedere College Dublin, Beaumont College London and Christ Church, Oxford. Martyn played a leading role in Ireland’s cultural renaissance. With Yeats, Lady Gregory, George Moore and others, he formed the Irish Literary Theatre which eventually became the Abbey Theatre. He also helped establish the Palestrina Choir and the Feis Ceoil. He died at the age of 64 on December 5th 1923.

Edward Martyn was born in the year 1859 On This Day.

Tulira Castle, Co Galway, Ireland

By Irish Aesthete

27 January-Kaiser Wilhelm II

Kaiser Wilhelm II was the last Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia. He reigned for thirty years until his abdication on November 9th 1918. Wilhelm was a grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Wilhelm was born in Berlin in January 1859. He became Kaiser in 1888 at the age of 29 on the death of his father Frederick III. He began a programme of naval expansion with the aim of having a naval force equal to Britain’s Royal Navy. He expanded German colonial territory and supported the Boers of South Africa against the British.

When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in June 1914, Wilhelm supported the Austrians. World War I followed and Russia and her allies, Britain and France entered the war against Germany and Austria. During the war Wilhelm was an ineffective leader. He was forced to abdicate in 1918 following Germany’s military collapse. He went into exile in the Netherlands. He died there during World War II on June 4th 1941.

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was born in the year 1859 On This Day.

Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1905. By Eric Bieber



24 November-Darwin

Charles Darwin was an English born naturalist and geologist. He is best known for developing the theory of evolution. His book, ‘On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection’ was published in 1859 following a five year voyage around the world. The voyage, which began on December 27th 1831, was an expedition to survey and chart the coastline of South America and other areas of the world.

Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England on February 12th 1809. He was educated at Anglican Shrewsbury School. At the age of sixteen in 1825 Darwin entered the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. Two years later he transferred to Christ’s College Cambridge where he studied natural history. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1831.

Darwin’s botany professor at Cambridge recommended him for the position of naturalist on board HMS Beagle. The voyage gave Darwin the opportunity to carry out observations and to collect a variety of natural specimens. He was particularly fascinated by what he found on the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. On return to England he began to write up his findings which eventually led him to publish ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’.

Samuel Haughton, the Carlow born professor at Trinity College Dublin, was the first person to comment on Darwin’s theories. At a meeting of the Geological Society of Dublin on February 9th 1859 he made a brief attack on the theories. Darwin later referred to Haughton’s observations in his autobiography saying ‘all that was new in them was false, and what was true was old’. Darwin’s book sold out rapidly but it took a long time before his theories became generally accepted. Darwin continued his research until his death, at the age of 73, on April 19th 1882. His theories cause controversy to this day.

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin was published in the year 1859 On This Day.

On the Origin of Species by Jeena Paradies on 2010-08-25 21:02:38