Lever is born in Amiens Street, Dublin, on August 31, 1806. He is the second son of James Lever, an architect and builder, and is educated in private schools. His escapades at Trinity College, Dublin (1823–1828), where he earns a degree in medicine in 1831, are drawn on for the plots of some of his novels. The character Frank Webber in the novel Charles O’Malley is based on a college friend, Robert Boyle, who later becomes a clergyman. He and Boyle earn pocket-money singing ballads of their own composing in the streets of Dublin and play many other pranks which he embellishes in the novels Charles O’Malley, Con Cregan and Lord Kilgobbin.
Before seriously embarking upon his medical studies, Lever visits Canada as an unqualified surgeon on an emigrant ship. Arriving in Canada, he journeys into the backwoods, where he is affiliated to a tribe of Native Americans but has to flee because his life is in danger, as later his character Bagenal Daly does in his novel The Knight of Gwynne.
Back in Europe, Lever pretends he is a student from the University of Göttingen and travels to the University of Jena and then to Vienna. He loves German student life and several of his songs, such as “The Pope He Loved a Merry Life,” are based on student-song models. His medical degree earns him an appointment to the Board of Health in County Clare and then as a dispensary doctor in Portstewart, County Londonderry, but his conduct as a country doctor earns him the censure of the authorities.
In 1833 Lever marries his first love, Catherine Baker, and in February 1837, after varied experiences, he begins publishing The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer in the recently established Dublin University Magazine. Before Harry Lorrequer appears in volume form (1839), he has settled on the strength of a slight diplomatic connection as a fashionable physician in Brussels.
In 1842 Lever returns to Dublin to edit the Dublin University Magazine, and gathers round him a typical coterie of Irish wits. In June 1842 he welcomes William Makepeace Thackeray, the author of The Snob Papers, to Templeogue, four miles southwest of Dublin, on his Irish tour. The O’Donoghue and Arthur O’Leary (1845) make his native land an impossible place for Lever to continue in. Thackeray suggests London, but Lever requires a new field of literary observation and anecdote. His creative inspiration exhausted, he decides to renew it on the continent. In 1845 he resigns his editorship and goes back to Brussels, whence he starts upon an unlimited tour of central Europe in a family coach. Now and again, he halts for a few months, and entertains to the limit of his resources in some ducal castle or other which he hires for an off season.
Depressed in spirit as Lever is, his wit is unextinguished. He is still the delight of the salons with his stories, and in 1867, after a few years’ experience of a similar kind at La Spezia, he is cheered by a letter from Lord Derby offering him the more lucrative consulship of Trieste. The $600 annual salary does not atone to Lever for the lassitude of prolonged exile. Trieste, at first “all that I could desire,” became with characteristic abruptness “detestable and damnable.”
Lever’s depression, partly due to incipient heart disease, partly to the growing conviction that he is the victim of literary and critical conspiracy, is confirmed by the death of his wife on April 23, 1870, to whom he is tenderly attached. He visits Ireland in the following year and seems alternately in high and low spirits. Death had already given him one or two runaway knocks, and, after his return to Trieste, he fails gradually, dying suddenly, however, and almost painlessly, from heart failure on June 1, 1872 at his home, Villa Gasteiger. His daughters, one of whom, Sydney, is believed to have been the real author of A Rent in a Cloud (1869), are well provided for.
After the death of Richard Chenevix, Chenevix goes to live with her other grandfather, the Archdeacon Gervais. On October 31, 1786, she marries Colonel Richard St. George, who dies only four years later in Portugal, leaving one son, Charles Manners St. George, who becomes a diplomat.
After the breakdown of the Peace of Amiens, Richard Trench is detained in France by Napoleon‘s armies, and in August 1805 Melesina takes it upon herself to petition Napoleon in person and pleads for her husband’s release. Her husband is released in 1807 and the couple settles at Elm Lodge in Bursledon, Hampshire, England.
Trench corresponds with, amongst others, Mary Leadbeater, with whom she works to improve the lot of the peasantry at her estate at Ballybarney. She dies at the age of 59 in Malvern, Worcestershire on May 27, 1827.
Melesina Trench’s diaries and letters are compiled posthumously by Richard Chenevix Trench as The remains of the late Mrs. Richard Trench in 1861 with an engraving of her taken from a painting by George Romney. Another oil painting, The Evening Star by Sir Thomas Lawrence, has her as a subject, and she is reproduced in portrait miniatures – one in Paris by Jean-Baptiste Isabey and another by Hamilton that is copied by the engraver Francis Engleheart.
Richards is born to John William Richards, a lawyer, and Adelaide Roper, suffragist who had chained herself to the railings in St. Stephen’s Green. She goes to school at Alexandra College, Dublin, and after that she attends a finishing school in Paris. Though her family is not in the arts, her godmother is Beatrice Elvery. Shes attends Elvery’s salons with her parents as a child. She meets W. B. Yeats when she is sixteen. Her niece, Geraldine Fitzgerald, daughter of her sister, Edith Catherine Richards, is also one of Ireland’s pre-eminent actresses.
Richards’s acting career starts while attending the Dublin drama league and she is asked at short notice to replace Eileen Crowe in Juno and the Paycock, playing the role of Mary Boyle in the Abbey Theatre production. Richards gets the role of Nora Clithero in the 1926 production of The Plough and the Stars, Seán O’Casey‘s next production. This role means that she ends up with police protection for the duration of the run due to the disturbances the play engenders. Another important role is to take on playing the lead in The Player Queen by Yeats. Maire O’Neill had previously made the role her own and Yeats had let no one perform the part since then so taking on such a challenge is intimidating. Richards continues to take on leading roles with the Abbey Theatre but in 1926 she also begins to direct.
In 1961 Ireland launches its first television service, Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Richards is one of the first producers, recommended to the station by Hilton Edwards. She is one of the few women in the new station. The first Irish play produced during the opening week is directed by her and she is nominated for a Best Actress award in another production, Inquiry at Lisieux. She works as producer on a wide number of programs for the station including documentaries, soap operas and religious programming. Both Tolka Row and The Riordans are produced by her as well as Denis Johnston’s The Moon on the Yellow River, George Bernard Shaw‘s Arms and the Man and John Millington Synge‘s Riders to the Sea.
Richards retires from her RTÉ career in the early 1970s though she continues to raise funds for the Gate Theatre through the Edwards–MacLiammóir Playhouse Society. In 1983, for her 80th birthday, the Abbey puts on a party for her which includes a special rendition of “Nora” from The Plough and the Stars. Richards is the last living member of the original 1926 cast. The song is repeated at her funeral in 1985. She died in Ballybrack, County Dublin, on January 19, 1985. Her funeral is held in St. Anne’s Church in Dublin and she is cremated in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Aer Lingus is founded with a capital of £100,000. Its first chairman is Seán Ó hUadhaigh. Pending legislation for Government investment through a parent company, Aer Lingus is associated with Blackpool and West Coast Air Services which advances the money for the first aircraft and operates with Aer Lingus under the common title “Irish Sea Airways.” Aer Lingus Teoranta is registered as an airline on May 22, 1936. The name Aer Lingus is proposed by Richard F. O’Connor, who is County Cork Surveyor, as well as an aviation enthusiast.
Later that year, the airline acquires its second aircraft, a four-engined biplane de Havilland DH.86 Express named Éire, with a capacity of 14 passengers. This aircraft provides the first air link between Dublin and London by extending the Bristol service to Croydon. At the same time, the DH.84 Dragon is used to inaugurate an Aer Lingus service on the Dublin-Liverpool route.
Aer Lingus is established as the national carrier under the Air Navigation and Transport Act (1936). In 1937, the Irish government creates Aer Rianta, now called Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), a company to assume financial responsibility for the new airline and the entire country’s civil aviation infrastructure. In April 1937, Aer Lingus becomes wholly owned by the Irish government via Aer Rianta.
Aer Lingus is privatised between 2006 and 2015. It is a former member of the Oneworld airline alliance, which it leaves on March 31, 2007.
Ryanair owns over 29% of Aer Lingus stock and the Irish state owns over 25% before being bought out by International Airlines Group (IAG) in 2015. The state had previously held an 85% shareholding until the Government’s decision to float the company on the Dublin and London stock exchanges on October 2, 2006. The principal group companies include Aer Lingus Limited, Aer Lingus Beachey Limited, Aer Lingus (Ireland) Limited and Dirnan Insurance Company Limited, all of which are wholly owned.
On May 26, 2015, after months of negotiations on a possible IAG takeover, the Irish government agrees to sell its stake in Aer Lingus. Ryanair retains a 30% stake in the company which it agrees to sell to IAG on July 10, 2015, for €2.55 per share. In August 2015, Aer Lingus’ shareholders officially accept IAG’s takeover offer. IAG subsequently assumed control of Aer Lingus on September 2, 2015.
After the takeover by IAG, it is expected that Aer Lingus would re-enter Oneworld, however, at a press briefing on November 15, 2017, the airline’s then CEO Stephen Kavanagh states that the airline has “no plans to join Oneworld.” The airline is now a wholly owned subsidiary of IAG.
References to Stephens’s early life, according to one of his biographers, Desmond Ryan, are obscure and limited to Stephens’s own vague autobiographical recollections. He is born at Lilac Cottage, Blackmill Street, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, on January 26, 1825 and spends his childhood there. No birth records have ever been located, but a baptismal record from St. Mary’s Parish is dated July 29, 1825. There is reason to believe that he is born out of wedlock in late July 1825. However, according to Stephens, his exact date of birth is January 26. He is educated at St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, for at least one quarter in 1838. He is later apprenticed to a civil engineer, and from 1844 onwards works for the Waterford–Limerick Railway Company.
When the Young Irelanders split from Daniel O’Connell‘s Repeal Association and found the Irish Confederation in January 1847, Stephens becomes involved in the activities of the Kilkenny Confederate clubs. After the government suspends habeas corpus and issues warrants of arrest against the Confederate leaders, William Smith O’Brien appears in Kilkenny on July 23, 1848, seeking support for a popular insurrection, and two days later Stephens joins him. For four days he follows O’Brien’s wanderings and takes part in all his encounters with government forces, including the affray at the home of Widow McCormack on July 29 when O’Brien’s followers besiege a party of policemen in a house near Ballingarry, County Tipperary. They are finally dispersed by gunfire and the arrival of reinforcements, thus ending O’Brien’s revolutionary efforts. Stephens reportedly receives two bullet wounds, but manages to hide and evade arrest.
Three days later, Stephens proceeds to Ballyneale, near Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, in search of John O’Mahony. He accompanies O’Mahony to meet Michael Doheny, and for six weeks Stephens and Doheny avoid arrest by roaming around the south of Ireland, an adventure that Doheny records in The Felon’s Track (1849). On September 12, Stephens is smuggled out of Ireland by the family of the Skibbereen attorney McCarthy Downing, and four days later manages to reach Paris. O’Mahony and Doheny join him shortly afterwards, although Doheny soon emigrates to the United States.
From their exile Stephens and O’Mahony watch the failure of the ’49 conspiracy of James Fintan Lalor and Philip Gray, and witness the barricades against Louis Napoleon’s coup d’état in 1851. Stephens later claims to have joined the French republican insurgents, but according to O’Mahony this is merely a frustrated intention. Equally without foundation is the rumour that Stephens and O’Mahony at this time join a republican secret society as a training ground for their future Irish enterprise.
Stephens remains in Paris from 1848 to 1855, supporting himself by teaching English. He attends Sorbonne University and has plans to obtain a professorship that never materialises. Towards the close of his exile, he is employed by the Le Moniteur Universel, for which he allegedly translates Charles Dickens‘s Martin Chuzzlewit. Late in 1855 he returns to Ireland and undertakes a series of tours throughout the island. He later magnifies the venture as “the 3,000 miles’ walk” and reformulates it as an attempt to measure the country’s nationalist temperature. However, his primary intention at the time is to collect information for a book he is planning to write. The following autumn he returns to Dublin, becomes tutor of French to the children of several well-to-do families including that of the Young Irelander John Blake Dillon, and joins the nationalist circle of Thomas Clarke Luby, Philip Gray, and other veterans of the ’49 conspiracy.
When Gray dies in January 1857, Stephens asks O’Mahony, then living in New York, to collect funds for a funeral monument. This evidence of nationalist activity, coupled with the prospect of “England’s difficulty” awakened by the recent Crimean War and the insurrection in India, give life to O’Mahony’s and Doheny’s Emmet Monument Association (EMA). That autumn the EMA sends an envoy to Ireland with a proposal for Stephens to prepare the country for the arrival of a military expedition. Stephens offers to organise 10,000 men in three months, provided he is given at least £80 a month and absolute authority over the enterprise. On March 17, 1858, Saint Patrick’s Day, he receives the first installment and his appointment as “chief executive” of the Irish movement. The same day he and his associates take an oath to make Ireland “an independent democratic republic.” The nameless secret society thereby inaugurated eventually becomes known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). It is organised in cells, each led by a “centre” with Stephens being known as the “head centre.”
The EMA’s failure to send a second installment prompts Stephens to travel to New York in October 1858. While in America he attempts, and fails, to engage the support of the Young Irelanders John Mitchel and Thomas Francis Meagher, but succeeds in establishing a solid partnership with Irish nationalists based in New York. Late in 1858 the surviving members of the EMA reorganise themselves into a modified replica of the IRB, and under John O’Mahony’s inspiration adopt the name of the Fenian Brotherhood (FB). Eventually the label “Fenian” comes to be applied to the members of both organisations. As part of the new arrangements, Stephens obtains a new appointment as head of the movement “at home and abroad.”
Despite Stephens’s success, his labours in America and the secrecy of his own activities in Ireland are almost spoiled in December by the arrest of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa and other members of the Phoenix National and Literary Society of Skibbereen, which had been incorporated into the IRB the previous May. On his return from America in March 1859 Stephens takes refuge in Paris and delegates management of the organisation to Luby. He only returns to Dublin in April 1861 when O’Mahony, then on a tour of inspection, suggests establishing an executive council to share Stephens’s power. Stephens succeeds in frustrating this plan, but from the time of O’Mahony’s visit the tension between the two leaders never subsides.
In the autumn of 1861 Stephens takes lodgings on Charlemont Street at the house of John and Rossanna Hopper, owners of a small tailoring establishment, and soon falls in love with their daughter Jane, almost twenty years his junior. The two are married on January 24, 1864, at the church of SS Michael and John, Exchange Street. The marriage produces no children.
The first success for Stephens’s IRB comes on November 10, 1861, when the IRB-dominated National Brotherhood of Saint Patrick stages the funeral for the Young Irelander Terence MacManus after an intense tug-of-war with both the Catholic church and constitutional nationalism. Stephens plays a central role in promoting IRB control of the funeral arrangements and although the event lacks the mythical nationalist significance claimed by Fenian apologists, it serves to boost Fenian self-assertion and hasten the divorce between middle-class nationalist elites and a new militant republican working class which has different interests at stake in an independent Ireland.
Despite the McManus funeral success, the IRB continues to endure financial difficulties throughout 1862. In 1863, Stephens resolves to address these difficulties and consolidate the movement’s position by founding a newspaper. The Irish People is first issued on November 28, 1863. He contributes leading articles to its first three numbers, but finally abandons his literary efforts in favour of Luby, John O’Leary, and Charles J. Kickham, thereafter the paper’s leading writers and guiding spirits.
In the meantime, the relationship between Stephens and O’Mahony continues to deteriorate. In November 1863 O’Mahony has turned the tables and persuaded the FB to acknowledge Stephens merely as “its representative in Europe.” In March 1864 Stephens again travels to the United States in order to stimulate the flow of funds towards the IRB and regain some hold on the FB. As part of his new policies he makes the sensational announcement that 1865, at latest, is to be the movement’s “year of action.” After the end of the American Civil War in April 1865, Fenian activity increases spectacularly, and demobilised soldiers travel to Ireland. However, on September 15, 1865, the government takes action, suppresses The Irish People, and arrests most of Stephens’s closest collaborators, including Luby, O’Leary and O’Donovan Rossa. Stephens himself is arrested on November 11 but, in a daring operation that proves a propaganda coup for the Fenians, is rescued from Richmond Bridewell penitentiary thirteen days later and eventually makes his way to America via Britain and France. By the time he arrives in the United States, the FB has split into two “wings,” the partisans of John O’Mahony and those of William R. Roberts, the president of the Fenian “senate,” who advocate shifting military efforts towards invading Canada. The split ends Stephens’s already slender chances of launching a successful rising before the end of December, and he calls a postponement.
On February 17, 1866, the government suspends habeas corpus in Ireland and arrests multiply. Stephens braves the members’ impatience, calls a new postponement, and in May travels to New York in order to try and solve the American crisis in the IRB’s favour. He accepts O’Mahony’s resignation, takes control of his wing, and starts an intensive campaign of propaganda and fund-raising. Again, he proclaims 1866 as the “year of action,” but by December the movement is weaker than ever, and he tries to call a new postponement. This time his lieutenants, led by Col. Thomas J. Kelly, lose patience, depose him from leadership and prepare to launch the insurrection themselves. The result is the ill-fated Fenian Rising of March 5-6, 1867.
After his deposition, Stephens spends most of his remaining years in France, in dire financial distress, but still hoping against hope to regain his position at the head of the movement. However, the IRB is now under the control of the anti-Stephens supreme council, and the FB is quickly losing its influence to the newly emerged Clan na Gael. His reputation, always tainted by his controversial personality and autocratic management, had been ruined forever by the 1866 events and his repeated failure to order the rising. With the exception of a small core of diehard partisans, the majority of his former associates and followers have grown resentful of his leadership and are vehemently opposed to his return.
Apart from occasional English tutoring and a ruinous venture as a wine merchant that takes him to the United States from 1871 to 1874, Stephens’s post-Fenian years are mainly spent in poverty while awaiting the next opportunity to resume leadership of the IRB. In 1880, after a last unsuccessful trip to the United States and a crushing defeat by John Devoy and Clan na Gael, he gives up hope, returns to Paris, and settles down to earn a living as an occasional newspaper contributor. In 1885 he is expelled from France under the unfounded suspicion of involvement in dynamiting activities with his cousins Joseph and Patrick Casey and the journalist Eugene Davis. He then takes up residence in Brussels but is able to return to Paris two years later. Finally, through Charles Stewart Parnell‘s intervention in 1891, he is allowed to return to Ireland. He moves into a cottage in Sutton, near Howth, and settles into retirement. After his wife’s death in 1895 he moves to the house of his in-laws in Blackrock, County Dublin, where he dies on March 29, 1901. Two days later he is given a solemn nationalist funeral and is interred in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Stephens’s controversial historical reputation never accords him a comfortable place in the post-independence nationalist pantheon. His egotism and defects as a leader overshadow the credit he is given as a founder and organiser. Yet his notorious personality is arguably the key to his success and ultimate historical significance. His obsessive self-confidence and single-mindedness turn the EMA’s half-matured proposal into a solid partnership that inaugurates an enduring pattern of American involvement in Irish nationalism. At the same time, by impressing the IRB with his own assertiveness he enables it to break the tacit monopoly of the middle classes on Irish political life. By the time of his downfall, Irish republicanism has acquired a definite shape and a marginal but stable position in the Irish political scene.
Stephens’s name has been incorporated into Kilkenny local heritage in institutions as diverse as a swimming pool, a military barracks, and a hurling team. In 1967 a plaque is unveiled at the site of his childhood home on Blackmill Street. The main collections of his documents are the James Stephens papers, MSS 10491–2, in the National Library of Ireland, and the Michael Davitt papers addenda, MS 9659d, in Trinity College Dublin.
(From: “Stephens, James” by Marta Ramón, Dictionary of Irish Biography, http://www.dib.ie, last revised March 2021)
Lynch’s father, who is a committed, non-violent Fenian, dies when she is young. Her mother, Anna Theresa Calderwood, is married twice. She grows up in a cultivated, literary, very female household with her mother and ten sisters and half-sisters. Her stepfather is James Cantwell, also a Fenian, who runs the Star and Garter Hotel. From her early childhood she is familiar with many leading political agitators and writers in Dublin. Having been educated at a convent school in France, she considers training as a doctor and later as a concert pianist. However, economic circumstances lead to her to work as a sub-editor for a provincial paper and as a governess in Europe.
A nationalist like her father and stepfather, Lynch is an executive member of the Ladies’ Land League and as a result closely associates with Fanny Parnell. She writes extensively, producing short stories and satirical sketches, as well as Land War fiction, travel writing, translations and literary criticism. Her satirical pieces include “A Dublin Literary Coterie Sketched by a Non-Pretentious Observer” (1888) and “My Friend Arcanieva” (1895). She publishes William O’Brien‘s paper United Ireland from France, after it is suppressed in Ireland. She disagrees with William Butler Yeats on the literary merit of Emily Lawless, calling her work “highly polished literary stories.”
Lynch also writes fiction on the subject of political and cultural affairs in Ireland, sometimes meeting controversy. Her first novel, Through Troubled Waters (1885), is a fictionalised version of a real-life incident in Galway in which the daughters of a prosperous landowning family are murdered to make way for the sons to inherit the land. The novel also depicts the rural clergy as complicit, by denouncing the victims from the pulpit. The newspaper United Ireland strongly criticises the novel, claiming it peddles in anti-Irish stereotypes for a British audience. She responds by stating that she had intended the book for an Irish publisher and audience, and that she should not be asked “to prove my patriotism at the expense of truth.”
Lynch publishes across Ireland, the United Kingdom and from Paris. Her political work eventually leads to a breakdown in her health, after which she spends a period recuperating on the Isle of Wight. By 1896, she has settled in Paris, having also lived in both Spain and Greece. She speaks Greek and French. She then returns to lecture in Ireland and is a part of the salons of Paris in the Belle Époque as well as the Irish Literary Revival in Dublin. She is friends with the historian, biographer and literary critic Arvède Barine (pseudonym of Louise-Cécile Vincens), the writers Mabel and Mary Robinson, and the medievalist Gaston Paris. Her work however does not bring significant income and she is forced to apply to the Royal Literary Fund for help on multiple occasions. Eventually it takes a toll on her health. She spends time in hospital in Margate in England in 1903.
Lynch dies at 60 Rue de Breteuil in Paris on January 9, 1904, where she spends much of her working life.
Devoted from his earliest years to riding horses, Eddery has little interest in school. He begins his career on his fourteenth birthday as an apprentice jockey in Ireland (1966–67) with the stable of Seamus McGrath. In 1967, he moves to England where he is apprenticed to Frenchie Nicholson until 1972. After riding for more than a season without success, he records his first win on April 24, 1969, at Epsom Downs Racecourse on a horse named Alvaro, trained by Major Michael Pope. Alvaro provides Eddery with six wins in succession during the 1969 season.
Eddery finishes the 1971 season as champion apprentice with seventy-one winners, and in 1972 has his first Derby ride, the 50–1 chance Pentland Firth, who finishes third behind Roberto and Rheingold. In 1972 he also has his first victory in a Group 1 race via Erimo Hawk, when awarded the Ascot Gold Cup following the disqualification of Rock Roi for interference.
Eddery rides for the Newmarket trainer Geoffrey Barling in 1972 before becoming the stable jockey for leading trainer, Peter Walwyn, later that year. For Walwyn, he wins his first two English classic races on Polygamy (Oaks) and Grundy (Derby) and is Champion Jockey in four consecutive seasons from 1974 to 1977. While under retainer with Walwyn, he clinches the first of these titles when just twenty-two years old, a record in the post-war era. In 1975, after winning the Irish Derby on Grundy, he rides the horse to a hard-fought victory over Bustino in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in what is described by many at the time as “the race of the century.”
The O’Brien–Eddery combination experiences controversial defeat in the 1984 Epsom Derby when Eddery rides then unbeaten 2000 Guineas Stakes-winner El Gran Senor and seems to be cruising to victory in the final furlong, only to be caught on the line and beaten by a short head by Secreto, trained by O’Brien’s son David. He later admits that he should have won the race, but when the horses in front of him fell away early in the straight he was left in front too soon and was unable to repel Secreto’s late challenge. He later wins the Irish Derby on El Gran Senor, beating the subsequent Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe winner, Rainbow Quest. During 1984, he also partners the O’Brien-trained and subsequent outstanding stallion, Sadler’s Wells, to two of his three Group 1 successes.
Rainbow Quest and Dancing Brave are both owned by the Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah, whose Juddmonte Farms is by then one of the world’s largest racing and breeding organisations. In 1987, Eddery becomes Abdullah’s retained jockey. Highlights of their association, which lasts until 1994, include Quest for Fame winning the 1990 Epsom Derby, and Zafonic, winner of the 1993 2000 Guineas Stakes.
Meanwhile, Eddery continues to win the jockeys’ championships, a task made easier by being retained by Juddmonte in England rather than commuting regularly to Ireland to ride for Vincent O’Brien. His highest seasonal total of wins is 209 in 1990, which is the first time a jockey has exceeded 200 since Sir Gordon Richards in 1952. His epic battle for the championship in 1987 with American Steve Cauthen is particularly intense, with Cauthen securing the title with 197 winners and Eddery coming close at 195. The title would have been shared at 196 winners apiece but for a successful objection by the rider of the third horse to the winner after the last definitive race between Eddery and Cauthen when they finished first and second, respectively. In 1988, Eddery regains the title with 183 winners from just over 480 rides, a remarkable strike rate of over thirty-eight per cent. He wins the championship for the eleventh and final time in 1996. His final classic win is on Silver Patriarch in the St. Leger Stakes of 1997.
Eddery rides major winners outside Europe and the United States, including Jupiter Island in the 1986 Japan Cup, and French Glory in the Canadian International Stakes. He teams up with Lester Piggott, Joe Mercer and French jockeys Freddie Head and Yves Saint-Martin to take part in a series of challenge races under the Ritz Club Challenge Trophy at Singapore and other Asian cities starting in 1983 for several years. His overall total of winners in the UK, Ireland, mainland Europe and overseas, exceeds 6,000. Although fiercely competitive on the racetrack, he is popular with fellow jockeys, trainers, owners and racegoers, who respond to his good-natured personality, courtesy and sense of humour.
Eddery has a distinctive riding style that is not classically elegant but undoubtedly effective and strong in a finish. He rides a number of truly outstanding racehorses including Dancing Brave, El Gran Senor and Pebbles, but maintains that the brilliant and undefeated Derby winner, Golden Fleece, is the greatest of all the horses he partnered throughout his career.
Eddery continues to ride into his fifties, finally retiring in 2003. He is appointed an honorary Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005. He sets up an owners’ syndication business and takes out a training licence but has difficulty adjusting to life out of the saddle and becomes increasingly dependent upon alcohol. His training career meets with limited success, though he does train Hearts of Fire to win the Group 1 Gran Criterium of Italy in 2009.
Eddery marries Carolyn Mercer in November 1978. She is the daughter of flat jockey Manny Mercer, niece of jockey Joe Mercer, and granddaughter of jockey Harry Wragg. They have two daughters, Nichola and Natasha, and a son Harry. He has a son from an extramarital relationship, Toby Atkinson, who also becomes a jockey. The marriage with Carolyn breaks down in 2008 and the couple divorces in 2009.
Shortly after his marriage breaks down, Eddery begins living with Emma Owen, a former stable employee, at his 100-acre Musk Hill stud farm near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He becomes progressively estranged from his children due to his continued alcoholism.
Eddery dies of a heart attack at the age of 63 on November 10, 2015. He leaves his £1.3 million estate to Emma Owen. His funeral takes place on December 8, 2015, and his remains are cremated at Oxford. Throughout his career, Eddery rode the winners of 4,632 British flat races, a figure exceeded only by Sir Gordon Richards and was UK Champion Jockey on eleven occasions and Irish Champion Jockey once. A plaque in his honour is unveiled by his children Nichola, Natasha and Harry at Ascot Racecourse in 2016, where he had been champion jockey at the Royal meeting on six occasions. He is inducted into the Qipco British Champions Series Hall of Fame in 2021, the second jockey after Lester Piggott to be so honoured.
(From: “Eddery, Patrick (Pat) James John” by P. Gerry McKenna, Dictionary of Irish Biography, http://www.dib.ie, September 2022)
Berkeley is the eldest son of William Berkeley, a cadet of the noble family of Berkeley whose ancestry can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon period and who had served as feudal lords and landowners in Gloucester, England. Little is known of his mother. He is educated at Kilkenny College and attends Trinity College Dublin, where he is elected a Scholar in 1702, being awarded BA in 1704 and MA and a Fellowship in 1707. He remains at Trinity College after completion of his degree as a tutor and Greek lecturer.
Berkeley’s earliest publication is on mathematics, but the first that brings him notice is his An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision, first published in 1709. In the essay, he examines visual distance, magnitude, position and problems of sight and touch. While this work raises much controversy at the time, its conclusions are now accepted as an established part of the theory of optics.
For this theory, the Principles gives the exposition and the Dialogues the defence. One of his main objectives is to combat the prevailing materialism of his time. The theory is largely received with ridicule, while even those such as Samuel Clarke and William Whiston, who do acknowledge his “extraordinary genius,” are nevertheless convinced that his first principles are false.
Shortly afterwards, Berkeley visits England and is received into the circle of Joseph Addison, Alexander Pope and Richard Steele. In the period between 1714 and 1720, he intersperses his academic endeavours with periods of extensive travel in Europe, including one of the most extensive Grand Tours of the length and breadth of Italy ever undertaken. In 1721, he takes holy orders in the Church of Ireland, earning his doctorate in divinity, and once again chooses to remain at Trinity College Dublin, lecturing this time in Divinity and in Hebrew. In 1721-22 he is made Dean of Dromore and, in 1724, Dean of Derry.
In 1723, following her violent quarrel with Jonathan Swift, who had been her intimate friend for many years, Esther Vanhomrigh names Berkeley her co-heir along with the barrister Robert Marshall. Her choice of legatees causes a good deal of surprise since she does not know either of them well, although Berkeley as a very young man had known her father. Swift says generously that he does not grudge Berkeley his inheritance, much of which vanishes in a lawsuit in any event. A story that Berkeley and Marshall disregarded a condition of the inheritance that they must publish the correspondence between Swift and Vanhomrigh is probably untrue.
In 1725, Berkeley begins the project of founding a college in Bermuda for training ministers and missionaries in the colony, in pursuit of which he gives up his deanery with its income of £1100.
In 1728, Berkeley marries Anne Forster, daughter of John Forster, Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas, and his first wife Rebecca Monck. He then goes to America on a salary of £100 per annum. He lands near Newport, Rhode Island, where he buys a plantation at Middletown – the famous “Whitehall.” He purchases several enslaved Africans to work on the plantation. He also brings John Smibert to New England, the Scottish artist he “discovered” in Italy, who is generally regarded as the founding father of American portrait painting. Meanwhile, he draws up plans for the ideal city he plans to build on Bermuda. He lives at the plantation while he waits for funds for his college to arrive. The funds, however, are not forthcoming and he leaves America and returns to London in 1732.
Berkeley and his wife have four children who survive infancy: Henry, George, William and Julia, and at least two other children who die in infancy. William’s death in 1751 is a great cause of grief to his father.
Berkeley is nominated to be the Bishop of Cloyne in the Church of Ireland on January 18, 1734. He is consecrated as such on May 19, 1734. He is the Bishop of Cloyne until his death on January 14, 1753, although he dies at Oxford.
While living in London’s Saville Street, Berkeley takes part in efforts to create a home for the city’s abandoned children. The Foundling Hospital is founded by royal charter in 1739, and Berkeley is listed as one of its original governors.
Berkeley’s last two publications are Siris: A Chain of Philosophical Reflexions and Inquiries Concerning the Virtues of Tarwater, And divers other Subjects connected together and arising one from another (1744) and Further Thoughts on Tar-water (1752). Pine tar is an effective antiseptic and disinfectant when applied to cuts on the skin, but he argues for the use of pine tar as a broad panacea for diseases. His 1744 work on tar-water sells more copies than any of his other books during Berkeley’s lifetime.
Berkeley remains at Cloyne until 1752, when he retires. With his wife and daughter Julia, he goes to Oxford to live with his son George and supervise his education. He dies soon afterwards and is buried in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. His affectionate disposition and genial manners make him much loved and held in warm regard by many of his contemporaries. Anne outlives her husband by many years, dying in 1786.
(Pictured: “Bishop George Berkeley,” oil on canvas portrait by John Smibert, c. 1727)
Rinuccini departs France from Saint-Martin-de-Ré near La Rochelle on October 18, 1645, on the frigate San Pietro and arrives in Kenmare, County Kerry, on October 21, 1645, with a retinue of twenty-six Italians, several Irish officers, and the Confederation’s secretary, Richard Bellings. He proceeds to Kilkenny, the Confederate capital, where Richard Butler, 3rd Viscount Mountgarret, the president of the Confederation, receives him at the castle. He speaks Latin to Montgarret, but all the official business of the Confederates is done in English. He asserts in his discourse that the object of his mission is to sustain the King, but above all to help the Catholic people of Ireland in securing the free and public exercise of their religion, and the restoration of the churches and church property to the Catholic Church.
Rinuccini had sent ahead arms and ammunition: 1,000 braces of pistols, 4,000 cartridge belts, 2,000 swords, 500 muskets and 20,000 pounds of gunpowder. He arrives twelve days later with a further two thousand muskets and cartridge-belts, four thousand swords, four hundred braces of pistols, two thousand pike-heads, and twenty thousand pounds of gunpowder, fully equipped soldiers and sailors and 150,658 livres tournois to finance the Irish Catholic war effort. These supplies give him a huge input into the Confederate’s internal politics because he doles out the money and arms for specific military projects, rather than handing them over to the Confederate government, or Supreme Council.
Rinuccini hopes that by doing so he can influence the Confederates’ strategic policy away from making a deal with Charles I and the Royalists in the English Civil War and towards the foundation of an independent Catholic-ruled Ireland. In particular, he wants to ensure that churches and lands taken in the rebellion would remain in Catholic hands. This is consistent with what happened in Catholic-controlled areas during the Thirty Years’ War in Germany. His mission can be seen as part of the Counter-Reformation in Europe. He also has unrealistic hopes of using Ireland as a base to re-establish Catholicism in England. However, apart from some military successes such as the Battle of Benburb on June 5, 1646, the main result of his efforts is to aggravate the infighting between factions within the Confederates.
The Confederates’ Supreme Council is dominated by wealthy landed magnates, predominantly of “Old English” origin, who are anxious to come to a deal with the Stuart monarchy that will guarantee them their land ownership, full civil rights for Catholics, and toleration of Catholicism. They form the moderate faction, which is opposed by those within the Confederation, who want better terms, including self-government for Ireland, a reversal of the land confiscations of the plantations of Ireland and establishment of Catholicism as the state religion. A particularly sore point in the negotiations with the English Royalists is the insistence of some Irish Catholics on keeping in Catholic hands the churches taken in the war. Rinuccini accepts the assurances of the Supreme Council that such concerns will be addressed in the peace treaty negotiated with James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond, negotiated in 1646, now known as the First Ormond Peace.
However, when the terms are published, they grant only the private practice of Catholicism. Alleging that he had been deliberately deceived, Rinuccini publicly backs the militant faction, which includes most of the Catholic clergy and some Irish military commanders such as Owen Roe O’Neill. On the other side there are the Franciscans Pierre Marchant, and later Raymond Caron. In 1646, when the Supreme Council tries to get the Ormond Peace ratified, Rinuccini excommunicates them and helps to get the Treaty voted down in the Confederate General Assembly. The Assembly has the members of the Supreme Council arrested for treason and elects a new Supreme Council.
However, the following year, the Confederates’ attempts to drive the remaining English (mainly Parliamentarian) armies from Ireland meets with disaster at the battles of Dungan’s Hill on August 8, 1647 and Knocknanuss on November 13, 1647. As a result, the chastened Confederates hastily conclude a new deal with the English Royalists to try to prevent a Parliamentarian conquest of Ireland in 1648. Although the terms of this second deal are better than those of the first one, Rinuccini again tries to overturn the treaty. However, on this occasion, the Catholic clergy are split on whether to accept the deal, as are the Confederate military commanders and the General Assembly. Ultimately, the treaty is accepted by the Confederacy, which then dissolves itself and joins a Royalist coalition. Rinuccini backs Owen Roe O’Neill, who used his Ulster army to fight against his former comrades who had accepted the deal. He tries in vain to repeat his success of 1646 by excommunicating those who support the peace. However, the Irish bishops are split on the issue and so his authority is diluted. Militarily, Owen Roe O’Neill is unable to reverse the political balance.
Despairing of the Catholic cause in Ireland, Rinnuccini leaves the country on February 23, 1649, embarking at Galway on the ship that had brought him to Ireland, the frigate San Pietro. In the same year, Oliver Cromwell leads a Parliamentarian re-conquest of the country, after which Catholicism is thoroughly repressed. Roman Catholic worship is banned, Irish Catholic-owned land is widely confiscated east of the River Shannon, and captured Catholic clergy are executed.
Rinuccini returns to Rome, where he writes an extensive account of his time in Ireland, the Commentarius Rinuccinanus. His account blames personal vainglory and tribal divisions for the Catholic disunity in Ireland. In particular, he blames the Old English for the eventual Catholic defeat. The Gaelic Irish, he writes, despite being less civilised, are more sincere Catholics.
Rinuccini returns to his diocese in Fermo in June 1650 and dies there on December 13, 1653.
King is the son of Henry King, businessman, of Rathdrum, and Susan King (née Crowe). He is educated at the Church of Ireland Ranelagh School, Athlone, and at Mountjoy School, Clontarf, Dublin (1936–39). Subsequently he joins the printing firm of W. & S. McGowan in Dundalk, where he goes on to become a director. During the 1940s his interest in amateur drama leads him to take classes at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, where his fellow students include Milo O’Shea and Eamonn Andrews. Around this time, he is also involved in An Óige (the Irish Youth Hostel Association), in which he serves as honorary national secretary and honorary treasurer. This involvement leads him to travel extensively from the late 1940s around Europe, where he visits many major art museums and galleries.
King begins to acquire works of art, by both European and Irish artists, and by the mid-1950s he has amassed one of the most important collections of modern art in Ireland. Around 1954 he himself begins to paint, under the guidance of Barbara Warren and the English artist Neville Johnson. In his early work he focuses on urban scenes, often based on the area of Ringsend, Dublin, where he uses subdued tones to produce poetic images of a sombre mood. Even here his interest in the formal qualities of painting – such as the flatness of the picture surface and the juxtaposition of areas of colour on it, which becomes a defining feature of his art – is evident. In 1964 he leaves his successful business career behind in order to devote himself entirely to art, a bold move considering the limited audience for modern art that exists in Ireland at the time. In his own words he recalls how “Painting was what I wanted to do, I realised I didn’t need a car. I could do without an awful lot of things.” (Sunday Independent, November 7, 1982)
By this time, King is working in a fully abstract style. However, he still draws his inspiration from the external world, particularly the milieu of the circus. A painting such as Trapeze (1976; Allied Irish Bank collection) shows how he responds to acrobatic performance, not in any literal or figurative sense, but to the tensions and balances inherent within it. The overall effect is to convey to the viewer the essence of anticipation of the performance. Indeed, his works can create an almost physical sense of involvement on the part of the viewer. This is especially true of his Berlin Suite, a series of screen-prints produced as a result of a visit to East Berlin and published by Editions Alecto of London (1970). He is also inspired to produce a number of paintings on this theme of the claustrophobia of the divided city. Ultimately, he aspires to create works which, with their economy and restraint, achieve a meticulously balanced harmony. This concern leads him, in such works as the Baggot Street Series, to move away from even the most veiled figurative references, evidence for the fact that he constantly strives to further his artistic explorations.
King often works seven days a week. This quiet determination contributes in no small part to the international standing he soon achieves, as does his prolific record as an exhibitor. Writing a foreword to an exhibition of his work at Kilkenny in 1975, the critic William Packer finds that King’s art “confounds the expectations we might have of Irish art, for it is far from local in ambition, accomplishment, and seriousness.” He mounts over twenty-five one-man exhibitions and contributes to a large number of group shows in Ireland and abroad. A significant proportion of his output is to be found in galleries in Europe and the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Tate Gallery, London. He is also represented in the major public and corporate collections in Ireland, such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ulster Museum, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Crawford Municipal Gallery, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Arts Council, Aer Lingus, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank, and ESB. In fact, King, with his hard-edge abstract style, is one of the very few artists working in Ireland at the time whose work is comparable to that of the major (principally American) international exponents of abstraction. The term “hard-edge,” applied to King’s style, may however belie the subtlety he could achieve in terms of his handling of colour and texture. This is particularly true of his works in the media of pastel and tapestry, while his last paintings show a tendency towards more expressive brushwork and a more complex approach to colour.
King enjoys a happy relationship with Oliver Dowling from 1960 to the time of his death, at Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, on April 7, 1986, having suffered a heart attack just three days before an exhibition of his work is due to open in Dublin at the Oliver Dowling Gallery. His legacy is not alone artistic: he also makes a significant contribution to the promotion of modern art in Ireland in his capacity as a member of the organising committee for the Rosc exhibition since its inception in the 1960s, where his wide knowledge of international art is much respected. A member of Aosdána, he twice serves as commissioner for the Department of Foreign Affairs cultural committee. He is also generous in his encouragement of young artists, whose work he regularly adds to his own collection.
(From: “King, Cecil” by Rebecca Minch, Dictionary of Irish Biography, http://www.dib.ie, May 2012 | Pictured: Abstract, Oil on Canvas by Cecil King)