Dalglish- Maxwell-Scott wedding 1897

I came across this a couple of years ago when I was tracking down a whole bunch of family weddings. It really just came across as a very grand society wedding. But rather pleasingly, the groom’s step-father is a Lescher cousin. But it’s all madly posh

Church of the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon

 

The marriage of Mr. Alexander Augustus Dalglish, eldest son of the late Mr. J. Campsie Dalglish, of Wandara, Goulburn, New South Wales, with Miss Mary Josephine Maxwell-Scott, daughter of the Hon. J. and Mrs. Maxwell-Scott, of Abbotsford, Melrose, N.B., and great-great-granddaughter of the novelist and poet, was celebrated on Tuesday forenoon at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father William Kerr, S.J. [First cousin once removed of the bride] The bridegroom was attended by Mr. Ralph Kerr as best man. There were eight bridesmaids : Miss Elsie and Miss Daisy Maxwell-Scott, sisters of the bride ; Miss Dalglish, Miss Dorothy Dalglish, the Hon. Gwendolen Maxwell, Miss Marcia Maxwell-Stuart, Miss Ida Bellingham, and Miss Cecile Kerr. The bridegroom’s gifts to them were pearl and turquoise heart brooches. The nuptial ceremony was followed by Mass, Father Kerr being the celebrant. At the offertory Gounod’s Ave Maria was sung with violin accompaniment. The bridal couple had the happiness of receiving the Papal Blessing. Breakfast was served at Germistoun, Wimbledon Common, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Rudd, and during the afternoon the newly-married pair left for Arundel Castle, placed at their disposal by the Duke of Norfolk.

Arundel Castle

Among the presents were : From the bridegroom, diamond and pearl pendant brooch ; the bride’s parents, diamond, ruby, and pearl necklace ; the bride’s brothers and sisters, the Border Edition of the Waverley Novels ; Mrs. Dalglish Bellasis,[groom’s mother] diamond star ; the Duke of Norfolk,[bride’s uncle] diamond necklace ; the Ladies Mary and Margaret Howard,[bride’s aunts] diamond and sapphire bracelet ; Lord and Lady Edmund Talbot,[bride’s uncle and aunt] enamel and moonstone bracelet ; the Marquis of Bute, diamond ring ; the Marchioness of Bute [bride’s second cousin], antique lace ; Lord and Lady Herries, [bride’s second cousin.Their daughter Gwendolen Maxwell became the 15th Duchess of Norfolk  in 1904, marrying her first cousin once-removed] Russia leather travelling bag, with ivory and silver fittings ; Mr. Walter Maxwell-Scott, silver buckle ; Mr. Michael Maxwell-Scott, R.N., Maltese lace ; the servants of Abbotsford, torquoise chain bracelet and gold pencil case ; Mr. and Mrs. James Hope, pearl and diamond crescent ; besides gifts from the Countess of Yarborough, the Countess of Powis, and many others.

The above text was found on p.27, 25th September 1897 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

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The Late Mr. Serjeant Bellasis – August 1893

A Serjeant-at-Law (SL), commonly known simply as a Serjeant, was a member of an order of barristers at the English bar.  The Serjeants were the oldest formally created order in England, having been brought into existence as a body by Henry II. There were rarely more than 40 Serjeants. The Judicature Act 1873, removed the need for common law judges to be appointed from the Serjeants-at-Law, removing the need to appoint judicial Serjeants. With this Act and the rise of the Queen’s Counsel, there was no longer any need to appoint Serjeants, and the order ceased after seven hundred years.

MEMORIALS OF MR. SERJEANT BELLASIS.

The lives of men who have lived well, or fought well, or studied well, must always possess some interest for the student of human nature. Their struggles are probably akin to his struggles, their joys and sorrows are identical. In all creative and dramatic art, as in all literature, the human element is the centre of interest, —the actors on life’s stage command our deepest attention.

Light has been shed broadly and powerfully on all the leaders of the great Oxford movement. Their motives and main-springs of action have been analysed and dissected until little is left to analyse or dissect. The battle-field is still whitened with innumerable relics of a doubtful battle. Profoundly interesting as were those times, and profoundly momentous the issues of them, it seems hardly possible to learn anything fresh about them. ” Tracts for the Times, “ “No. 90, “ the Gorham decision, the Anglo-Prussian bishopric, the Anglican succession,—it is inevitable that all biographers of men who lived in those times should describe the same well- known facts and repeat the same well-worn phrases. There seems hardly space for another biography of an individual who played a part, though a comparatively small one, in a movement of which Dean Church and Mr. W. Ward have so lately recounted to us the principal events, giving us such brilliant portraits of the principal actors.

In the preface to this Memoir of the late Mr. Serjeant Bellasis, we read:— ” It has been deemed that some notice of Mr. Serjeant Bellasis, beyond the two or three columns in the National Dictionary of Biography, would not be out of place among the memoirs of the time ; for the late Serjeant, although not one of the more conspicuous public men of his day, nevertheless played some part in the Tractarian Movement of 1833, in connection wherewith he has left papers of interest. He was also an able and, for nearly a quarter of a century, a notable member of the Catholic body. “

The Serjeant’s early life and legal career are dismissed in the first chapter ; the rest of the volume is chiefly taken up with theological arguments and writings on the questions of the day, and letters from well-known people. Some of these letters  have already appeared in Mr. R. Ornsby’s Memoir of James Hope-Scott. Edward Bellasis was born in 1800 at Basilden, a pretty village on the Thames, of which his father was the vicar. Dr. Bellasis died when his son was an infant, and shortly afterwards his widow married the Rev. Joseph Maude, a Low Churchman, whose intimate friends were chiefly Quakers and Evangelicals. The household was taught to pray against ” the machinations of Popery “ and the ” devices of the Bishop of Rome ; “  card-playing and theatre-going were forbidden. In spite of this prohibition, young Bellasis went to Drury Lane, and there ran against his step-father’s brother, the Rev. John Maude, in the pit, who remarked,—” If you tell of me, I’ll tell of you. “ He seems to have had a love of play-going all his life, and to have encouraged private theatricals in his children’s holidays. He was called to the Bar in 1824, and began a long and very successful career, being almost exclusively employed in Parliamentary business, often connected with railways, until his retirement in 1866. There is a graphic account of his receiving the ” degree of the Coif “ and the ancient forms and ceremonies attending the creation of a Serjeant-at-Law. His intimate friend, Mr. Badeley, was his ” colt, “ and presented the rings to the Lord Chancellor and the Judges. The Queen’s ring was ” large and massive enough to cover two joints of the finger. “ In conjunction with Mr. Hope-Scott, the Serjeant was appointed trustee of the Shrewsbury estates, a duty that both fulfilled with characteristic disinterestedness and high principle. ” There was a great deal in common in the dear Serjeant and Hope-Scott, “ wrote Dr. Newman; ” This similarity is what made them such great friends. “ The history of one is in great measure a counterpart of that of the other. Both were distinguished members of the Bar, both followed the Anglican revival with the greatest interest, finally both joined the Church of Rome, Bellasis in 1850, Hope-Scott in 1851, and Badeley, the third point in this friendly triangle, in 1852.  When the news of the conversion [of Mr. Serjeant Bellasis] reached Quernmore Park, the residence of Mr. Garnett,[his father-in-law] Mrs. Bellasis’ aunt, Miss Carson, as a sincere Evangelical, was naturally much distressed, and the old family cook, seeing her mistress in tears, inquired the cause.  ‘ Mr. Bellasis had gone over to Rome.’ Ah ! ‘ replied the cook, ” tis a pity. Isn’t it very cold there ? Hard nigh upon Rooshee, rye heard tell.’ “ Mr. Bellasis seems always to have had an inquiring mind in regard to religious matters, and to have started in life with a decided bias against ” Popery.” A visit to a Roman Catholic chapel in Moorfields in 1820 only ” impresses him with the superiority of the reformed Protestant religion. “ However, foreign travel corrected many of his ideas about the Roman Catholics. He notes the earnestness of the people at their prayers, and the admixture of devout observances with their ordinary daily occupations. He came home still a ” thorough Anglican,” but he could neither abuse, nor listen to abuse, of Catholicsor Catholicism. After his second marriage in 1835, Mr. Bellasis took a house in Bedford Square, and then began the intimacy with Mr. Oakeley, of Margaret Street Chapel, in whose footsteps, in religious matters, the Serjeant closely followed. Mr. Oakeley gave him letters of introduction to some of the most prominent leaders of the Oxford movement,—Newman, W. G. Ward, and J. B. Morris. He made several visits to Oxford, and got to know Hope-Scott, Badeley, Dr. Pusey, and Bounden Palmer ; he also stayed with the Yonges at Otterbourne, and met Keble and Wilberforce. ” We have had a rather pleasant, interesting man visiting us,” writes Canon James Mozley to his sister in January, 1840, ” a Mr. Bellasis, a barrister from London, very High Church, a friend of Ward of Balliol, who happens to be away just now, Newman and others have entertained him. It is amusing to see the variety of a Londoner in Oxford. Of the London element lie retains enough to make a change from what one commonly sees here ; though with none of the disagreeable features of it,—for example, he is so much more fluent, and can give regular narrations with spirit, showing a person who has been accustomed to argue and make speeches. “ In one of the Serjeant’s letters to his wife, there is a graphic account of Newman’s farewell sermon at Littlemore; he used to say afterwards that there was not a dry eye in the church, except Newman’s own. In 1845 the Serjeant wrote to his brother, ” I do not conceal from any one that I hold what you call ultra opinions; “ but he goes on to say, ” it has never occurred to me that it is the duty of persons holding such opinions to quit the Church of England. “ He had, however, thought much on the subject, as we read in the Memoir :—” The Serjeant himself had painfully gone through all stages, from Low Evangelicism to extreme High Churchmanship, until at length the time came when he found little of real difficulty in any Catholic doctrine. This is sufficiently illustrated, some time before his actual conversion, by a little paper of September, 1847, referring to Confession, perhaps a greater stumbling- block to Protestants inclined to Catholicism than anything else after Papal supremacy. “ The Serjeant was accustomed to weigh difficult questions, and to analyse the balance of evidence ; his excessive pains to get at the exact truth of Catholicism abroad gave Dr. Scholl, of Treves [Trier], the idea that he was too cautious ever to leave his own Church. “Ala, ce pauvre Monsieur Bellasis, it a taut de scrupules ; it n’entrera janmis dans l’Eglise.” Outward and visible signs and symbols. always attracted him—” believing himself to be a man without much sentiment or feeling, he said that he relied greatly upon externals in religion “—and he was always most exact in all outward observances. Much is said of his great industry and power of concentration. He writes of himself,—” It is my nature to be eager in whatever I take up, whether it is meteorology, geology, theology, or business ; “ but no recreation was ever allowed to interfere with business. His family life seems to have been particularly happy ; he was devoted to his children, and drew up many wise rules of conduct for their instruction, which are worth reading and copying. With one daughter, afterwards a nun, he kept up a playful warfare as to the amount of their mutual love. In 1871, he wrote to her:—” I have got a puzzle for you : St. Alphonsus says that of all love, paternal love is the strongest; now I think I have checkmated you.” There are many instances told of his unvarying kindness and courtesy to strangers, and to any one who served him or needed his help. Mr. Hope-Scott’s clerk, who saw him every day, said he never once knew the Serjeant ruffled or disturbed, and never heard him utter a harsh or unkind word. ” He died at Hyéres,” wrote his friend, Hope-Scott, during his own last illness, “l eaving an example to us all,” and Archbishop Manning and Dr. Newman echoed the words.

Such a life as the Serjeant’s does not contain much of deep interest to the general reader. His contributions to the literature of the day consisted of a few pamphlets, and the Memoir is naturally written from a devout Roman Catholic point of view ; but the surroundings of his life were interesting, and he was intimate with men whose names are written in Church history. It was probably Dr. Newman’s example and influence that finally led the Serjeant to abandon the Church of England. As Sir Francis Doyle has written,—” That great man’s ardent zeal and extraordinary genius drew all those within his sphere, like a magnet, to attach themselves to him and his doctrine.”

From The Spectator 5 August 1893, Page 18

Obituary of Eliza Jane Bellasis, 27 Oct 1898

I published the original version of this obituary almost two years ago, when it was simply a slight curiosity about some fairly well connected upper-class English Catholic converts. The Bellasis surname crops up every so often in some of the weddings, and more specifically so does that of Mrs. Dalglish-Bellasis. The Catholic Who’s Who and Year-Book of 1908 helped a little bit with its entry on Eliza Bellasis’s son William

Dalglish-Bellasis, William — son of Serjeant Bellasis and brother of the Lancaster Herald; educated at the Oratory School, Edgbaston; is a Director of the Cornbrook Brewery Company, Ltd.; married, first, Miss Mary Walmesley, and secondly, Mrs Dalglish, widow of J. Campsie Dalglish, of  Wandara, Goulburn, New South Wales. Mrs Dalglish- Bellasis is numbered with her husband among the “founders” of the new Cathedral. Her eldest son by her former marriage, Mr Alexander Dalglish, married (1897) Mary Josephine, daughter of the Hon. Joseph and Mrs Maxwell Scott, of Abbotsford, and great-granddaughter of Sir Walter.

What it didn’t throw up immediately was very slight family connections, and more to the point family connections from two very different branches that only became apparent nearly sixty years later. Amongst the mourners are members of the Bowring family, a Miss Lescher, [though which one is unspecified], and of course Mrs Dalglish- Bellasis. Lewin Bowring C.S.I. (son-in-law) is one of the sons of Sir John Bowring, and is a second cousin of Hugh Mulleneux (1841 – 1921)’s wife Fanny. Hugh is Adeline and Joshua Walmsley’s nephew. In one of those pleasing twists of fate, William Dalglish-Bellasis, Lewin Bowring’s brother-in-law turns out to be married to another cousin. In this case his first wife Mary Walmesley , who is completely un-related to Sir Joshua and Adeline Walmsley, but is the grand-daughter of Joseph Francis Lescher (1768 – 1827). He is Harriet Grehan [neé Lescher]’s uncle, and Harriet is of course 3x step-great Granny.

William Garnett was the Tory M.P. fo Lancaster between 1857 and 1864, and the family were Lancashire cotton merchants.

Obituary of Eliza Jane Bellasis, 27 Oct 1898

We regret to have to record the death of Mrs. Eliza Jane Bellasis, widow of Mr. Serjeant Bellasis, on Friday, the 21st inst., at her residence, 22, Prince of Wales -terrace, Kensington, W. The only daughter of William Garnett, of Quernmore Park, Lancaster, and Lark Hill (now Peel Park) Salford, she was born in 1815, and was consequently in her 84th year. She died on the 63rd anniversary of her wedding day, having been married on October 21, 1835, at St. Peter’s Collegiate Church (now Cathedral), Manchester.

Manchester Cathedral

After various conferences with Mr. (afterwards Cardinal) Manning, she followed her husband into the Church in 1851, being received by Father James Brownbill, of the Society of Jesus. During her brief last illness she was attended by Dom Sweeney, O.S.B., of Bath, and by her eldest and youngest sons, both priests. The funeral took place on Wednesday last, the 26th inst., at St. Mary Magdalen’s, Mortlake. High Mass of Requiem was sung at 11 a.m, by the Rev. Michael Fanning, Administrator of the Pro-Cathedral, the Rev. Richard Garnett Bellasis assisting as deacon, and the Rev. Henry Lewis Bellasis as sub-deacon. The Rev. Charles Cox conducted the choir ; Dom Sweeney and Father Hogan were also present in the sanctuary, and former acting as master of ceremonies. The mourners were Mr. Edward Bellasis (son), Mrs. Edward Charlton, Mrs. Lewin Bowring, and Miss Clara Bellasis (daughters), Mrs. Dalglish-Bellasis (daughter-in-law), Mr. L. B. Bowring, C.S.I. (son-in-law), Commander Edward F. B. Charlton, R.N., William L. S. Charlton, George V. B. Charlton and Lieutenant Vincent L. Bowring, R.N. (grandsons), Miss Mary T. Bellasis, Miss Elise J. Charlton, and Miss Edith M. Bowring (granddaughters), Mrs. W. J. Palmer (niece), and Messrs. R. Oliver, and C. Oliver (cousins). Among others present were Lady Clifford, Mrs. West, Miss O’Donnell, Mrs. Barry Farrell, Miss Lescher, and Mr. E. R. Crump. Mr. Dalglish-Bellasis was unable to be present owing to indisposition.

St. Mary Magdalen, Mortlake

The Rev. Father William Kerr, S.J., said a few words at the close of the Mass, taking for his text : ” Thou bast loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. “ The first thing that it occurred to him to say with regard to the excellent woman whose loss they deplored, was that hers had been a happy life and he for one could not grieve over so happy a death. God led souls to Him in divers ways. It was her lot to be blessed in her saintly husband, blessed in her family (no less than five of whom were in religion). Not that she never suffered. None could know what interior trials those whom the Lord loved underwent. It was suffering (the loss of a child) that led her and her husband into the church. Both had sprung from Protestant families in the North, of the old school, with no leanings to Catholicism, but with prejudices against it. Yet once a Catholic how zealous was she, as well as her husband, for Catholic interests. In season, and (one might almost say) out of season, she was the valiant woman, ever active in dissipating error and falsehood about the Church. Yet she could show herself the good Catholic she was without offence to those without the fold. A woman impatient of wrong-doing and sayings full of charity and alms deeds, one who did her duty lovingly and bravely in that station of life to which she was called, she aimed, as she told the Benedictine Father who knew her well in her later years, at making Almighty God the centre of all her actions.

And for 25 years a widow, she remained to the last the living centre of her family ; to her latest hour she was unselfish, and she thought of others rather than of herself. Her natural gifts and acquirements insured for her a wide influence beyond the circle of her home. That home his own parents had known and loved, and so he thought he had some sort of right to speak about her now that she was gone. What such a loss was he knew by experience, and he could confidently tell them that mourned that day what he had found in his own case, that very soon their sorrow would pass, and their joy remain. Joy was the key-note of her life, and they would meet her again joyfully, if they were worthy, ” among the spirits of the just made perfect. “ R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.27, 29th October 1898 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

King Dan’s speech- Convent Garden 12th March 1844

This is from The Times, on Wednesday 13th March, 1844. It’s a very long post, but worth it. To get a full sense of the power of Dan’s oratory, try reading it as though you are speaking it.  At the time of the speech, he had been arrested, charged with conspiracy, and sentenced to a year in prison and fined  £2,000., but not yet jailed.  The sentence was set aside after Dan had been in prison three months. He served his sentence at the Richmond Bridewell in Dublin, living in the Governor’s House with his own servants, and food brought in. He was released on 4th September 1844.

DINNER TO MR. O’CONNELL AT COVENT GARDEN THEATRE.

Last night a dinner was given at Covent Garden Theatre to Mr. O’Connell, ” to show,” as the announcement expressed it, ” the admiration entertained by Englishmen for his constant and consistent advocacy of the rights and privileges of Irishmen, for more than 40 years.”

The pit of the theatre was boarded over so as to make it level with the stage, and five long tables, with two slips occupying the bend of the boxes, making seven tables in all were spread in that part of the house. There were six cross tables and ten long tables spread on the stage, beside the grand table, at which sat the chairman, the guest (Mr. O’Connell), and several noblemen, members of Parliament, and others.

The decorations of the portion of the arena behind the proscenium remained the same as they were on the occasion of the late Bal Masqué, The chairman sat in the centre of the stage, with the chief guests on his right and left. At back of, and immediately over the chair, suspended from the ceiling, there was a brilliant illumination of variegated lamps, representing the rose, the thistle, and the shamrock, underneath which appeared, in front of the raised orchestra, the word ” O’Connell,” in variegated lamps. On the right of the device was the word ” Ireland,” and on the left the word ” Justice,” also in variegated lamps. At the back of the chair was the retiring-room, over which was the orchestra, containing 30 vocal and instrumental performers, under the direction of Mr. G. Stansbury. The great salle, formed by the boarded pit and the stage, was illuminated by 30 elegant ormolu chandeliers, in addition to the great chandelier suspended from the centre of the theatre, and the smaller chandeliers suspended over each box in the dress circle. The stage was adorned by mirrors at the centre and the sides. The whole of the boxes were appropriated to ladies, and every place was filled. The galleries were also densely crowded. About 1,100 persons sat down to dinner, and the effect of the whole theatre when thus brilliantly filled was most imposing. Owing to the excellence of the arrangements, no confusion whatever took place. At a few minutes before 6 o’clock, the chairman and the other chief guests entered the room, accompanied by Mr. O’Connell. On the hon. and learned gentleman’s appearance, he was received with a general burst of cheering from all parts of the house.

At 6 o’clock the chair was taken by Mr. T. Duncombe, M.P., supported on his right by Mr. O’Connell, and on his Ieft by the Earl of Shrewsbury. The following noblemen and gentlemen were among the principal guests : – Lord Camoys, the Earl of Dunboyne, the Hon. F. H. Berkeley M.P.; the Hon. Charles Langdale; Sir R.W. Bulkeley, M.P.; Sir John Easthope, M.P.; Mr. William Collins, M.P.; Mr. Serjeant Murphy, M.P.; Mr. W. H. Tancred, M.P.; Mr. Henry Metcalfe, M.P.; Mr. W. S. Crawford, M.P.; Mr. Wynne Ellis, M.P.; Mr. M. J. Blake, M.P.; Mr. Thomas Gisborne, M.P.; Mr. Charles Hindley, M.P.; Mr. James Pattison, M.P..; Mr. John Dennistoun, M.P.; -Mr. H. Elphinstone, M.P.; Mr. Robert Hollond, M.P.; Mr. Joshua Scholefield, M.P.; Mr. B. S. Butler, M.P.; Sir V. Blake, M P.; Mr. M. J. O’Connell, M.P.; Mr.W. Williams, M.P.; Dr. Bowring, M.P.; Sir B. Wray, the Hon. W. B. Nugent, Mr. Edward Weld, Mr. Rigby Wason, Mr. J. A. Yates, Major Revell, Mr. James Harmer, Senor Olozaga, General Washington Barron, Mr. Summers Harford, and Mr. John Travere.

Grace having been sung by the vocalists (Messrs. Stansbury, T. Cooke, Atkins, P. Bedford, and several others), the company sat down to dinner, which was very well provided by Mr. Rouse. During the dinner, the band, directed by Mr. Godfrey, played several national Irish airs. The cloth having been removed and grace sung.

The Chairman then rose to propose the health of Her Majesty. When he considered, he said, the importance of this occasion (hear), and the influence of individuals so distinguished for their abilities and their eloquence who were invited to meet their distinguished guest (hear), he could not but feel how inadequate he was to fill the chair. (” -No, no.”), In the discharge of the duty imposed on him, however, he stood there to propose the health of the Sovereign, who, let the faults and delinquencies of her Ministers be what they might (” hear” and laughter), held, he believed, a firmer place in the hearts and affections of the people, whether of Ireland or of England (hear), than it had ever been the fate of any Sovereign of this country to possess. (Cheers.) To be sure, he had heard, at the close of a long debate in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister express a wish that the Queen of England might set her foot on Irish ground, and, like some benignant spirit, restore peace and harmony to that distracted country. That wish, in his (Mr. Duncombe’s) opinion, implied disloyalty to the Irish people. (Hear.) Who was it that prevented the Queen from setting her foot in Ireland ! Was it Mr. O’Connell (Cries of ” No ! ” and cheers.) Was it the Irish people (“No ! ”) – a people whose loyalty was proverbial even to weakness! (A laugh.) No; it would be a libel on them to assert that it was they who prevented the Queen from going to Ireland. It was that faction (hear) – that faction which in 1330 prevented King William from enjoying the pleasure of witnessing the loyalty, and partaking the hospitality, of the citizens of London. (Cheers.) The real reason was, that those whose duty it would be to attend the Queen to Ireland were afraid to show their faces there among the people – a people whose origin and religion they had, so scandalously traduced, maligned, and insulted. (Cheers.) It was well known, that the Queen had intended to visit Ireland last year; but she did not, and Belgium and. France were favoured instead, while Ireland – poor Ireland was, as usual, neglected. (Hear.) To be sure, it was a gratifying sight to the friends of international peace to witness the Queen returning to her native shores, the standard of England and the French tricolour waving from the same mast and in the same breeze – an union which he trusted would never be interrupted; but how much more gratifying a sight would it have been to have seen the Queen returning from her Irish subjects, after having personally witnessed their loyalty, and investigated the manifold wrongs and oppressions which they had so long and so patiently endured, and, satisfied that their complaints were well founded, to the confusion of evil counsellors, declaring that the union between England and Ireland should no longer be an union in name, but should hereafter be based on equal laws, rights, and privileges (hear, hear) –that there should no longer be any preference for class, sect, country, or creed ! (Cheers.) He (Mr. Duncombe) trusted, that the day was not far distant when he might behold this state of things – he trusted that they might yet come to pass – and believing as he did that they had a Sovereign who was anxious to accomplish them, and knowing as he did that the people were determined to achieve them (Hear), it was with pride that he now proposed the health of  ” the Queen, and long may she reign over a happy, a free, and an united people.” (Cheers).

The toast was received with loud cheers, and the National Anthem having been sung The Chairman then gave, ” Prince Albert, and the rest of the Royal family,” which was also drunk with enthusiasm.

The neat toast was ” The Navy and Army.” After which, The Chairman rose and said, it was now his duty to propose “ Health and long life to Daniel O’Connell.” [At the mention of the hon. and learned gentleman’s name the whole audience rose and cheered. The ladies in the boxes rose, and waved their handkerchiefs, and the whole surface of the pit presented the same appearance of waving hand- kerchiefs. The mass of white, from the floor to the ceiling, reminded one of a snow-storm. This scene of excitement was continued, with frequent renewals, during considerably more than five minutes.] Yes ! although he knew that he should be incurring the displeasure of certain high persons at the Home-office (laughter), he asked them to join with him in wishing health and happiness to this convicted conspirator. [Here there there was a renewal of the previous scene.] He rejoiced to hear that hearty sympathetic cheer for the chosen representative of Ireland, and through him for the whole people of Ireland; and he was quite sure that no observations of his could induce the meeting to do additional honour to the toast which he was about to propose. But in justice to them, as well as in justice to the public feeling that he knew existed at present in this country (hear), he could not deprive himself of the gratification of assuring their distinguished guest (Cheers), that this sympathy, and this enthusiasm, was not confined to within these walls. (Loud cheers.) He could assure him, that this building, had it been ten times more spacious, would have been insufficient for those who were anxious to come forward, not only to testify their esteem and respect for him as a patriot and a man, but for the purpose of expressing, by their presence, their disgust and indignation (hear, hear) at the persecution and the injustice, at the treachery and meanness (hear) -the malignity and vindictiveness (hear, hear) – which had marked the recent State trials, as they were called, in Ireland, and of which he and others were attempted to be made the victims – The Attorney-General for Ireland (hisses) -the first law officer of the Crown in that country – he, at the onset of the proceedings, pledged himself that he would prove the existence of one of the foulest and one of the most wicked conspiracies that ever endangered the safety of an empire. He would not insult their understandings, by asking them. how he succeeded. All England, every honest man in England proclaimed his failure. (Cheers.) All England despised his attempts, and cried shame upon the Government proceedings. (Cheers, and cries of “Shame ?”) It was with much satisfaction that he heard the other evening, one who had been high in the councils of Her Majesty, a member of the late Government, and a leading member of the Opposition at the present moment – he meant Lord John Russell – it was with great satisfaction that he heard that noble lord express his opinion of Mr. O’Connell, that he had not had a fair trial (cheers)  and that if he had been tried by an English judge and an English jury, it was his opinion that he would have been acquitted. (Cheers). Was he not justified in stating to Mr O’Connell, that he must not judge of the whole feeling of this country by that which had been testified upon the present occasion, he must not believe that with this evening’s proceedings the enthusiasm would end ! No, he might depend upon it, they would not remain tongue-tied (hear) while they saw this prosecution pursuing its accursed way, and not make any attempt to rescue from its fangs that man in whom were centred the hopes and affections of the Irish people. (Cheers). If there was no stronger inducement than their attachment to the impartial administration of justice, he was sure the attempt would be made (hear); but let him remind them, that that which was Ireland’s fate today might be England’s tomorrow if they quietly looked on. (Cries of “No”) If they saw juries packed – if they allowed judges to become Ministerial partisans – if they allowed the law to be strained – if they allowed public meetings, legally convened – to be put to an end by proclamations – if they allowed the rights of petition to be abrogated by such proceedings – if they allowed it to be proclaimed that the sword and the bayonet were the just remedies, they might depend upon it that struggles of their ancestors for freedom would have been in vain, if their descendants acted with such pusillanimity. (Cheers) But had Mr O’Connell no other claims on their admiration and support ! Had they forgotten the Catholic Emancipation measure (cheers) which was his act, and his only? To him the Catholics were indebted for it. To him the Liberal Protestants owed their admiration. Had they forgotten, also, that to Mr O’Connell and the Irish members they were indebted for most valuable assistance in the struggle that took place for the Reform Bill ! (Cheers) True it was that the Reform Bill had disappointed – had sadly disappointed – them; but Mr O’Connell was not responsible for that. (Hear, hear) Had not Mr O’Connell made many sacrifices for the cause of liberty ! Had he not devoted his time, his services in his profession, and his fortune, to the cause of the people, and his services at the present moment were at the command of his country. (Loud cheers) He (Mr Duncombe) had heard Mr O’Connell in the House of Commons state to Ministers, that if they would bring in measures for the benefit of Ireland, his much-injured country, he care not how they treated him: he would forget it all in the prosperity of his country, and co-operate strenuously with them for the benefit of his native land. What return had these Ministers mad to the man? What was their reply to the proposition? Why, the reply was this – that concession had seen its utmost limits, and that condign punishment must be his reward. It was quite clear that the last act of that contemptible drama which had been played in Ireland had yet to be enacted, and that the Government, halloed on by the bloodhounds of the Tory press, meant to send the law officers of the Crown again into the Court of Queen’s bench in Dublin, there to demand the vengeance of the Court upon their victim. (“Never”) Nay, at this moment you could not go into any society, but if you met any persons who belonged to what was called the Orange faction, with that peculiar delicacy which invariably attached to all their proceedings, you heard them speculating as to the number of years for which Mr O’Connell was to be incarcerated. (Laughter). More than this, they might be heard speculating on the relative strength of the gaols of Kilmainham and Carrickfergus. (Hisses and derisive laughter.) Deluded and short-sighted men ! Did they think that by his incarceration in a prison they could conceal Mr O’Connell from the eyes of his countrymen ! – did they think that imprisoning such a man, that his virtues, and that his patriotism, would be lost to their memories ! No. He told them in their name, and he told them in the name of the people of England – yes, and in the name of the toiling millions of England, that how dark soever might be his cell – how strong soever might be his dungeon – how gross soever the indignities they might heap upon his head: and he told Mr O’Connell in that vast and gorgeous assembly, that he might lay his head in peace upon his pillow, for that the petitions, ay, and the remonstrances too of millions of the virtuous, the patriotic, and the good, would not only attest to his innocence, but would proclaim his liberation from within the very walls of Parliament itself. (Cheering) He told them before that he had already gone beyond the limits he had assigned to himself, and he was satisfied that nothing he could urge would strengthen the feelings they had towards their patriotic and illustrious guest; and he should, therefore, conclude his observations by saying that they, in honouring Mr O’Connell, did honour to themselves; and, farther, that they testified their sympathy and regard for a people whose rights and liberties, whose prosperity and happiness, ought to be, and he was sure were, as sacred to them as their own. (Cheers) He had now, therefore, only to propose – “ Health and long life to Daniel O’Connell. “

The toast was received with the same enthusiasm that attended the first mention of Mr O’Connell’s name. The cheering and waving of handkerchiefs continued for some minutes.

Mr O’Connell ( after the cheering with which he was greeted had subsided) rose, and spoke as follows: –

I protest to you this is the first time in a long and variegated life that, with truth I may say, I feel unmanned – I feel overpowered. The dungeon that my enemies and yours have prepared for me has no terrors to my mind (Cheers); and, if the scaffold and the rack could be added to it, they would not bring such overpowering sensations to my mind as the awful magnitude of the compliment you have paid to me today. (Cheers) Oh ! how ardent must be your love of justice. Oh ! how steady and severe your hatred for judicial partiality. How you must delight in seeing justice rendered with the same intensity that you hate the practice of partiality and injustice ! What are my claims on your sympathy? That I am the victim of injustice – simply because the  law has been violated in my person, simply because those in power have practised iniquity, and you, who have integrity and manliness, know how to hate them. (Cheers) Yes, you are able to turn defeat into victory, (Cheers) and to make conviction not a source of punishment but triumph. (Cheers) You make me glad that I have been convicted. It is no exaggeration to use that expression. I use it in all the sincerity of my heart, because you have shown a sympathy in England for Ireland; you have convinced me, not reluctantly to be sure, but with some difficulty, that there is a higher mind animating the masses of the middle classes, and the better part of the higher classes, in England, which teaches me that we were born to be united in affection and in interest – born to be combined against the world, and that we have on enemies but those who are enemies of both. (Cheers) Yes, I do delight in the events that have taken place. I think they will tend to great good in both branches of the country. I am sure of this, that the people of Ireland will hear with gratitude, to be extinguished only with their lives, of the manner in which I have been received lately in more popular assemblies than one, and in that brilliant assemblaze that is now before me. (Cheers) Oh ! what a scene is here tonight. When I see the rank and station, when I contemplate the wealth and importance, when I see the manly determination and the kindly glisten of the friendly eye, when I behold those beings that seem to turn it to fairy land, those sylphs and celestial beings animating and smiling upon us, I do rejoice that at any inconvenience to myself I have beheld such a transcendent spectacle. (Cheers) They have convicted me: but you ask how and of what ! I am here to tell you of what. They have convicted me not of a crime defined or definite – not of anything you can read in law books, but of something the judges have spelt out of those law books, and put together to form a monster indictment. It is literally so. – [Considerable interruption here took place owing to the great difficulty of hearing Mr O’Connell in the more distant parts of the house. The confusion continued until Mr O’Connell, advancing towards the centre of the house, mounted on a table, and thus continued his address]

I was endeavouring to vindicate the judgement you had formed. My task, I may say, was that of vindicating you to yourselves, of endeavouring to prove that you are perfectly justified in the ardour of your enthusiasm in supporting my cause and that of the Irish people. (Cheers) The accusation that has been made against me, and on which I have been convicted is of that enormous nature, that it is interesting to every human being, whether he be himself liable to a similar machination or not, to understand distinctly its bearing, its form and its pressure. It is not a crime respecting the evidence for which there is any possible resort to law nooks, or to the conjurations of men of my trade. It is called, to be sure, a conspiracy; but there is nothing of private agreement – there is nothing of arrangement – there is nothing of plot or plan in it. It is something that the judges imagine when they dream, and make the public suffer when they are awake. (Cheers) One of our female authors of celebrity in the fulness of the feminine imagination has depicted to the world an imaginary being of extraordinary dimensions, and of voracious capacity, and denominated it Frankenstein. The conspiracy tried in Ireland was the Frankenstein of the law, uncouth of limb, unshaped in form, undefined and indefinite in manner, having nothing of humanity about it, having nothing of law but its monstrosity. (Cheers) How was it endeavoured to be supported ? By the history of nine months. What plot did it disclose ? Why a plot which was carefully committed to those cautious keepers of secrets, the public newspapers. (Cheers) Not one witness was produced to prove any fact except that A and B were proprietors of newspapers, and members of the association, and then the newspapers were read in detail against us; the judges determined that that was evidence of conspiracy, and here I stand before you a convicted conspirator. (Cheers) The history of nine months was given in this most satisfactory manner. The chronology of the newspapers, the dates of them were all varied one week from another. The history of 41 giant meetings was detailed as it appeared in the public prints, and was it alleged that any one of these meetings was illegal ? – that there was force, violence, tumult, or turbulence at any one of them ? There was not a particle of any such allegation that the magistracy or the constables, or the idle and the timid, were intimidated or frightened at any one of these meetings ? There was not a single allegation of the kind. They were peaceable. They were admitted to be legal. Each and every one of them were admitted to be legal. But by the dexterity of judicial magic, the 41, though each perfectly legal separately, when taken together formed a conspiracy. (Cheers). It is literally so. I am not mocking you when I tell you literally the fact, that 41 legal meetings were held to make an illegal one. Forty-one cyphers would not make a sum, and yet, in point of law, it was decided in our case that 41 nothings made a something, and we are to abide the event. Oh ! the scorn and indignation of mankind ought to be poured out on such an abomination of injustice. (Cheers) I arraign the men as conspirators who planned such a trial. I arraign, as the worst species of conspirators, the men who carried on this mock prosecution with all the trickery and chicanery of Old Bailey practitioners. (Cheers) What is fact today judges call precedent tomorrow, and, if this question be allowed to repose, if this precedent be once established, Englishmen, there is not one of you whose case it may not be tomorrow. (Cheers) I say not this to threaten or menace you. I say not this to instigate you to warmth in support of the people of Ireland; for I would be the most mistaken of human beings, if I were not aware already, from what I have seen in England, that it is unnecessary to animate you, or to give you any motives for acting, but your own generous feelings. (Cheers) I arraign, therefore that prosecution against me, and I tell you you are justified in arraigning it for want of anything like legal form or fixity, for want of anything that you can encounter; for it is a monstrous shadow that may be armed with deadly weapons by a miscreant administration of the law, but which has in it nothing that is tangible which a rational man can meet in fair conflict of argument or judicial discrimination. What is my next arraignment ? The conduct of the judge (Cheers) – and here I have one consolation, that no one human being attempts to justify the judge. (Cheers) The usual practice in Parliament is, when any man is arraigned for misconduct, the Ministry, if he happens to be a Ministerial man, and the Opposition, if he happens to be an Opposition man, suddenly discover that he really was endowed with all possible human virtues. They get up and eulogise him, never having discovered that he had so many good qualities till he was attacked – that is the usual course of Parliamentary proceeding. But there is one man of whom men of all classes are ashamed, a person no one praised, and that man is Chief-Justice Penefather. Nobody attempted to eulogise him. It is admitted that since the hideous days of Scroggs and Jefferys so one-sided a charge was never pronounced by judicial lips. (Cheers) He is taken back to the worst days of the history of the law. It is admitted – it was asserted and not denied – I saw it myself – he borrowed part of the prosecuting counsel’s brief to help him make his charge, and in addressing the jury he showed the bent of his mind – “ out of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh” – he talked of the counsel on the other side. (Shame) Let it be proclaimed throughout England – from the extremity of Cornwall to the highest part of Scotland – let it be known throughout the length and breadth of the land – that there has been a trial where a chief-justice presiding was admitted to have made the charge of an advocate, which was incapable of defence by any party or any government. (Loud cheers) You see how I am coaxing him to pass a lenient sentence on me. (Cheers and a laugh) What is my next impeachment of this proceeding ? I am here to vindicate myself and countrymen, and you for your sympathy and support. (Cheers) My next impeachment is the management of the jury panel. Out of 710 names, 63 slipped by accident. (Cheers) We had a lottery, out of 773, 710 alone remained; 63 were wanting. (Villainy) To be sure it was villainy; it would not be accident. (Cheers) Especially out of the 63, 27 were Roman Catholic. Perhaps you do not know that I am of that persuasion. (Cheers and a laugh) And here let me say, that when my esteemed and valued friend (your Chairman) awhile ago told you that the Roman Catholics were indebted to me for my exertion in favour of their emancipation, he might have added with truth – I add with pride – that I sought for that emancipation, not by the assertion of sectarian preference or party, but on the great and glorious principle that religion is a matter between man and his Creator (Cheers) and there is no freedom or justice in any country where a man is prohibited worshipping his God according to the dictates of his conscience. (Cheers) It was upon that principle that we petitioned for the Protestant Dissenters in England, and helped to obtain their emancipation. (Cheers) There is the hand that drew the petition that was signed by 28,000 Catholics praying for the emancipation of the Protestant Dissenters of England, and, within one fortnight after that petition was presented Lord John succeeded; and Peel was compelled to emancipate the Protestant Dissenters. (Cheers) pardon me for this digression; but it is important that we should understand each other well. The people of Ireland have waited for their own freedom of conscience; they were in power three times since the Reformation, and they never persecuted a single Protestant. (Cheers) Let us then contend with each other, in the good, the charitable, the benevolent generous flow of our feelings, and take no credit for particular sectarian advantages, and let us establish the liberty of all on the broad basis of Christian brotherhood. (Cheers)  I come back to the trial. The 63 names slipped out. Mark now, for one moment: there is something of technicality in what I am going to tell you, but I think you will easily comprehend me. We challenged the array on account of the 63 names which had been dropped. In that challenge – the document is on record – we alleged that those names were fraudulently spoliated from the list – we alleged that this was done to the detriment of the traversers. That plea was put on the record. The Attorney-general had it in his power to join issue and say the thing had not been fraudulently done. That question of fraud would have been tried by lawyers duly sworn; but he declined to do so. he left the allegation uncontroverted – it was uncontroverted  on the record to this day, and he relied on this, that he had judges who told him and told us that, as we did not know who it was that committed the fraud, we were without remedy. (Shame) It is literally true. I am here talking to the common sense of Englishmen – to their sense of honesty, and to that noble adherence to fair play, which above all things else is the highest and most dignified trait in the English character. It is a common saying all over the world, when two men are found fighting, people who come up are sure to take part with one or the other; but in England it is proverbial that no two people fight that those who come up don’t see fair play. I am telling you those things, and appealing to your fair play. There is no one word in any other language that can express such a character, and it deserves to have a word coined for itself. The fraud is uncontroverted till the present moment; the only answer we get, as I told you, was, “you don’t know who committed the fraud, and therefore there is no remedy.” Suppose a man is robbed and does not know the name of the thief, if he went before Sir Peter Laurie, or any other of your white witches, and said “ I caught this man escaping from my premises with my goods.” everybody would laugh at Sir Peter more than they do if he were to say “ I cannot listen to your complaint: you do not know the man’s name.” (A laugh) And yet on that most ridiculous assertion we were told that the fraud must go unpunished, and we must be punished for mentioning the fraud. (Cheers, and cries of “Shame”)

There remains one more impeachment, and that is my impeachment of the jury that was sworn. In point of law Protestant and Catholic have equal right to be on that jury. (Cheers.) In point of justice it ought to be so; in fair play it would be so. Chief-Justice Fairplay would have decided for me at once. Yet what was the first step ? Eleven Catholics were on the reduced list, every one of them was struck off by the Crown Solicitor. They say, to be sure, they were Repealers. In the first place it is not true: that is one answer. In the next place, if it were true it would be no reply; because, being a Repealer might be a great folly, but it is not a crime: it is not a crime which makes a man an outlaw (Cheers) ; and if being a Repealer would make a juror favourable to me, I ask you whether my most rancorous and violent opponents – men who had voted three times against me -could be considered a fair and impartial jury against me. This is their own argument. I convict them out of their own mouths. I appeal to common sense, if a Repealer would be favourable to me, is not your anti-Repealer necessarily favourable to another. (Cheers.) But recollect this, it was the more important to have a fair jury in this case, because the crime was not a distinct one. If it had been a charge of robbery, or murder, or forgery, any human intellect could have understood the nature of the crime, and would only have had to decide the fact whether the party charged was guilty or innocent. But here was an imaginary crime, participating more of ideality than reality – here was something that was to be spelled out of the recesses of the criminal law, and it emphatically called for a thoroughly impartial as well as a thoroughly intelligent jury to investigate it. (Cheers.)

One Protestant they struck off – as respectable an individual as ever lived -almost the only liberal Protestant in the entire panel. The man whose intellect was of the highest order, the intelligent Protestant, they sent to keep company with the 11 Catholics. Yet they call this a fair trial. I call it not prosecution, but persecution. (Cheers.) I call it not a fair trial, but shifting, scheme, and management. (Cheers.) I say I am not the person convicted by the due course of law. In prison I shall feel that I am a victim, and in that prison I shall have the feeling at heart that will raise me superior to the punishment. (Loud cries of “Hear.”) Oh ! I see I have plenty here to open the prison door. (Loud cheers.) But it would be very idle to suppose that I am not thoroughly prepared for an event of that kind. Whatever I suffer for my country I rejoice in that suffering, and she is rendered doubly dearer to me by any infliction imposed on me for acting in defence of her freedom and happiness, and they mistake much who imagine that my influence will be diminished, or my power of persuasion over my countrymen will be lessened by any sentence they may possibly inflict on me. (Cheers.) However, I will not dispute with you on the nature of the sentence. I have shown you the culpability of the proceeding. I have arraigned the parties to it here, where my voice, unconfined by these walls, will reach all over the world wherever the English language is spoken: wherever the ear understands its accents my words will be conveyed on the wings of the press, and in presence of the congregrated civilization of the world, in the presence of America, of France and India, of every clime and country, I proclaim the proceedings against me a foul and dishonest persecution (Loud cheers), and I hurl at the tyrants of the law my merciless scorn and defiance. (Loud cheers.) But it will be asked what object I had in view at those meetings. You may say to me ” ’tis true you ought not to have been convicted, but you have an account still to render to us; you are accused of wishing to separate England from Ireland.” I have been accused of unnecessarily meddling with an enactment that took place 44 years ago, of needlessly reviving old causes of complaint, and accumulating new grievances to make them more unbearable. Now, I am quite ready to meet that charge, and I should be utterly unworthy of the magnificent compliment you have paid me this evening, if I were not ready here, in the presence of you Englishmen, to justify everything that I have done, and to rebut every imputation which has been cast upon me. (Loud cheers.) I will tell you why I have held these meetings, and I will abide by your disinterested judgment. They say there is a union between the two countries. I utterly deny it. There is a parchment enactment (Cheers), but there is no real union. (Cheers.) What is the meaning of a real union ? A perfect identification between the two countries (Cheers) – that there should be no difference between Englishmen and Irishmen, except a little in the accent (a laugh) – that Englishmen and Irishmen should possess the same rights, the same privileges, and the same franchises (cheers)-that there should be no difference between the men of Kent and the men of Cork (cheers) – between the men of Mayo and the men of Lancashire. (Renewed cheers.) That England and Ireland should be one nation, possessed precisely of the same rights, the same franchises, and the same privileges. Is not that the real meaning of a union ? (Cheers) I appealed to the imperial Parliament to make the union what I have described it, but I appealed in vain. TheTories, of course refused, and the Whigs were equally complimentary. (Cheers and laughter.) I do not wish to weary this assembly by the barrenness of statistics, I will, however, draw your attention to one or two statements. The county of Cork, which I have the honour to represent, has 710,000 inhabitants in its agricultural districts, and upwards of 140,000 inhabitants in its cities and towns, so that the population of Cork, taken together, amounts to 850,000 inhabitants. Now, the inhabitants of Wales are 800,000, being 50,000 less than the inhabitants of the county of Cork. The county of Cork, with its 850,000 inhabitants, returns just eight members to Parliament – and now many members do you think Wales returns with its 800,000 ? Why, just 28. (Hear, hear.) One Welshman is not able to beat five Irishmen. (Cheers and laughter.) The Welsh are a brave and perhaps sometimes ill-tempered race. (Cheers and laughter); but, at the same time, I respectfully submit that one Welshman is not worth five Irishmen. (A laugh.) Man for man,I am quite content to allow; but I cannot admit that, as compared with my own countrymen, they are worth five to one. (Loud cheers and laughter.) I cannot admit they are entitled to retain 28 members for the 800,000 inhabitants, while the county of Cork, with its 850,000 inhabitants, is only to return eight members to Parliament.(Cheers.) Ought that to last ? (Cries of “No, no.”) Is it not a thing that ought to be changed ? (Cries of” Yes, yes.”) They laughed at me when I called for the change. Then, again, let us look at the question in another point of view. The parliamentary returns, made seven years ago, on the registration of voters, showed that there were 4,000 registered voters for the county of Cork, with a population of 710,000 inhabitants, while in Wales there were 36,000 registered voters. I was looking over the Parliamentary returns this morning, and I find the number of registered voters for Cork is now 1,500 – only 1,500 ! (Hear, hear.) The votes for the largest county in Ireland are nearly extinguished by the operation of the Registration Act, while in Wales the number of voters has increased by 2,000. There are 38,000 registered voters in Wales, and 1,500 for the county of Cork. Now is that common sense ? Is that justice? Is that fairness, or is it honesty? (“No,no”) l have obtained the love and affection of my countrymen. (Hear, hear.) I know what it is to feel the delight of being borne along, as it were, on the breath of a people. (Cheers.) Oh ! if you saw the stalwart men leaving their work and flocking to the roadside as I pass by; if you saw them in the attitude of firmness, and watched their eye beaming with affection as they looked on me, and their hand outstretched, almost asking me, would you wish that we should strike the blow ?(hear, hear) – if you saw the aged woman greeting me as I passed by, and praying for my health and prosperity – if you saw the merry children and heard their chirping cry as I went along (cheers) praying for blessings on the head of him whom they called the father of their country (cheers);  – oh, if you had seen and felt this as I have seen and felt it; if you had seen the congregated hundreds and thousands – ay, more than a million – come at my call and dissolve with my breath, whom I have taught the lesson of which I am an apostle – that no political advantage can be of so much importance as to justify the shedding of one single drop of human blood (cheers) ; this is the lesson they have been taught; this is the lesson they practise (cheers); and this is the lesson they will continue to practise until the triumphant success of their efforts shall imprint the maxim upon the wise and good of all nations (Cheers); – if you had seen all this as I have experienced it you would think me, indeed, the basest of all mankind if I did not struggle to remedy the inequalities of which I have mentioned two, but of which I might cite a hundred, existing between the two countries. (Cheers.) The Irish nation, to be properly represented, ought to have 160 members at the least; and that is less even than her right. We would take less for a compromise: they will give us none; but set us at defiance and indict us for a conspiracy for endeavouring to obtain them. (Cheers.) Are you aware that the Corporate Reform Bill given to Ireland is most miserably defective in every respect. In England whoever is rated to the poor-rate is a burgess, and is entitled to vote at municipal elections; but, in Dublin, in order to be upon the burgess-lists it is necessary that a man should be rated at 10s., that is, he should occupy a 20s. house and that he should have paid no less than nine different rates. The consequence is, that in Dublin not above one-third of those who ought to be burgesses are on the list. (Hear hear.) I ask for equality with the English Corporate Reform Bill, and when I call the people together that they may insist on the desirable alterations in a peaceable, tranquil, and constitutional manner, I am indicted for  a conspiracy. (Cheers.) But there is another grievance in Ireland greater than all these. It may have the appearance of prejudice on my part, or of sectarian fanaticism, that I should advert to it now; but, as I have assailed it elsewhere, I am ready boldly to assail it here, and to take your judgment on it. I allude to the established church in Ireland. (Cheers.) Gentlemen, I appeal to you whether the church in England, that has the state emoluments, is not the church of the great majority of the people? (Cries of ” No.”) So much the worse; it ought to be. Well, that is a disputed question which I will not argue. The church of Scotland, until lately, was the church of the great majority; but the church in Ireland, which has the state emoluments, is not and never has been the church of the majority. (Hear.) I do not want the emoluments of that church for my church – I would not accept them. There does not live a Protestant who would be half so determined as I should be in throwing them aside from my church. I would scorn to have my church the vassal of the state, or connected with the state. I think such connexion is injurious to the state, and must be detrimental to the church. My opinion may be insignificant; but the Catholic prelates of Ireland have within the last six weeks proclaimed that they would never take one single farthing of public money, or any state endowment whatsoever. (Cheers.) I do not think that there is a greater crime on the face of the earth than that one man should be compelled to pay for the religion of another which he did not believe. Upon that principle, the great oppression of Ireland is the Established Church, and until this system is put an end to it will be in vain to expect tranquillity in lreland. My friends, I wish you had seen the Irish newspapers. A short time since a very respectable gentleman, named Archdeacon De Lacy died. He was the nephew of a Bishop, and according to the advertisement of the sale of his effects, he was an excellent man, he had 11 hunters, an excellent pack of hounds, and a splendid cellar of wine. (Laughter.) But it may be said that these grievances of Ireland are rather speculative than otherwise. I don’t think it will be said that the last is so. It is said, that we may be rich, happy, and contented without these political advantages. But is Ireland rich? That she is not contented is certain – has she a right to be happy ? Allow me to vindicate myself by telling you the real state of Ireland – In 1834, 40 years after the establishment of the union, the Commissioners on the Poor Law Inquiry reported that they found 2,385,000 in a state of destitution upon a population of 8,000,000 more than one fourth of the whole population; and Captain Larkom has reported that 70 per cent. of the rural population were living in huts in one room only – that 30 per cent. of the town population families were living in one room, and in some instances several families in that one room. ( Hear, hear.) Nothing shows greater misery than a decrease in the population. An increase in the population is a favourable sign, but the retrogression of a population of 70,000 a year is a most convincing proof of misery, distress, and wretchedness. Now, just to shows you that what I am stating is correct, I will read you the description of Mr. Kohl, a German, who has been travelling  all over Europe, who has visited Ireland, and lately published a book, in which is the following statement:- I remember, when I saw the poor Lettes in Livonia, I used to pity them for having to live in huts built of the un-hewn logs of trees, the crevices being stopped up with moss. I pitied them on account of their low doors and diminutive windows, and gladly would I have arranged their chimney for them in a more suitable manner. Well, Heaven pardon my ignorance. I knew not that I should ever see a people on whom Almighty God had imposed yet heavier privations. Now that I have seen Ireland, it seems to me that the Lettes, the Esthonians, and the Findianders, lead a life of comparative comfort, and poor Paddy would feel like a king with their houses, their haoilirrents, and their daily fare. (Cheers). A wooden house, with moss to stop up its crevices, would be a palace in the wild regions of Ireland. Paddy’s cabin is built of earth, one shovelful over the other, with a few stones mingled here and there, till the wall is high enough. But perhaps you will say, the roof is thatched or covered with bark. Ay, indeed ! A few sods of grass cut from a neighbouring bog are his only thatch. Well, but a window or two at least, if it be only a pane of glass fixed in the wall, or the bladder of some animal, or a piece of talc. as may often be seen in a Wallachian hut ! What idle luxury were this ! There are thousands of cabins in which not a trace of a window is to be seen. Nothing but a little square hole in front, which doubles the duty of door, window, and chimney – light, smoke, pigs, and children all must pass in and out of the same aperture !  A French author, Beaumont, who had seen the Irish peasant in his cabin, and the North American Indian in his wigwam, has assured us that the savage is better provided for than the poor man in Ireland. Indeed, the question may be raised, whether in the whole world a nation is to be found that is subjected to such physical privations as the peasantry in some parts of Ireland. This fact cannot be placed in too strong a light; for, if it can once be shown that the wretchedness of the Irish population is without a paralell example on the globe, surely every friend of humanity will feel himself called on to reflect whether means may not be found for remedying an evil of so astounding a magnitude !’ (Cheers.)

And, in Ennis, the following statement was made the other day at a meeting, at which Sir Lucius O’Brien presided: – ” At a meeting of the Guardians of the Ennis Poor Law Union on Wednesday, Sir Lucius O’Brien in the chair, Mr. Butler brought forward the resolutions of which he had given notice, relative to the exorbitant amount of Grand Jury Cess now leviable, and which he stated was entirely borne by the occupiers of land. His object in bringing forward the resolutions was, to call attention to, the matter, in the hope that the grievance would be redressed by the introduction of a provision into the grand jury laws, which would render the landlords liable for a moiety of the tax, in the same manner in which they are subject to poor-rates. The chairman and Mr. Carrick supported the landlords, attributing all their misfortunes to bad seasons, failures in the crops, &c. : while Mr. James Mahon, B. Butler, Mr. Finucane, Mr. Knox, and nearly the entire board were of opinion that the major part of the population were in a state of dreadful destitution – that pauperism was frightfully on the increase, and that nothing short of sound remedies should be considered.”   Why do I harrow you with these pictures ? Why ?  for the purpose of calling upon you to exert yourselves in the cause of my unhappy country, and to do all in your power to render her happy once again. Does this misery that I have pictured to you arise from the laziness of the people of Ireland ? No. Do they not travel far and near to obtain work ? Do they not crowd your streets and your villages in hopes of obtaining work ? (Loud cheers.) But then it may be said that Ireland it unproductive. Oh ! no, ’tis one of the greenest and the fairest isles of the globe. (Loud cheers) Its crops are abundant, and its produce magnificent. –(Cheers.) It has the best harbours and the finest estuaries in the world. It has all those advantages – and, added to this, it has in spite of all their misfortunes a cheerful, a gay, laborious and affectionate people. (Cheers.) Then why is it that this misery exists ! From bad government. It is impossible to give any other reason for it. (Great cheering.) Since the union, matters have become worse and worse in Ireland. They have given us a poor law, and that poor law, I will venture to say, will bring rebellion in Ireland if it exists for two years longer. (Hear, hear.). I stood alone in opposing it. I was attacked as hard-hearted for doing so. l said it could be no remedy – that Ireland was too poor for a poor-law. It is literally so, and now the country is breaking up in consequence of it. Let them send me to my dungeon, let them preclude me from intercourse with the people -the consequences will be awful They wait in the expectation that something will yet be done for them. They have learned from me that something may be done for them, and I have told them that he who commits a crime strengthens the enemy – that the only mode of obtaining justice is by being peaceable and quiet. (Cheers.) I have trespassed on you long; but how could I avoid expressing my gratitude and showing you that I deserve at least your good attention, your kindness, and support ? (Cheers.) I have never shrunk from standing by you in any contest, – I have always been at your side – (Cheers) – I have never given a vote that was calculated to Increase the burdens of the English people – (Cheers); but I have invariably supported every measure for the extension of civil and religious liberty. (Cheers.) I have advocated the cause of the slave in America, as well as the peasant in Ireland. I care not what a man’s creed, or caste, or colour may be; no matter, how incompatible with freedom, a southern sun may have burnt upon him – I care not whether the despotism of the Spanish tyrant or of the French mocker of liberty presses on any country, I am for freedom for every man, liberty for all, tyranny for none. (Cheers.) I stood by you in the Reform Bill, I formed one of your majority, and an influential one it was; for others voted with me. It promised much. It was spoiled in its management. Its nursing mothers were unkindly to their foster child. In another struggle for freedom I also joined you. I shall always be with you in giving the protection of the vote by ballot, and for the shortening of the duration of Parliaments, recollecting that short accounts make long friends. (Cheers.) I owe this statement to you; and now I solemnly assure you, that if I was not thoroughly convinced that the establishment of a domestic legislature was essential to the comfort of Ireland, and that it was necessary to keep up the connexion between this country and Ireland, I would advocate it no longer. If I did not apprehend that when I am gone some one else will do that which I never will do, countenance the separation of Ireland from England, I would not struggle for a local legislature. But to say that a local legislature must end in a separation is a mockery. Look at Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Canada, Barbadoes, even Botany Bay. (Cheers.) So that every dependency of England, except Ireland, has a local legislature. We don’t want to check or curb England. What we want is, that the laws, to be obeyed in Ireland, should be made in Ireland. It was so before the union; it will be so again when wise and good men understand the question as I do. And, in the mean time, I ask all to assist us in getting justice for Ireland, and they will draw away the repealing from me. Let us have equal franchises, equal representation, equal corporate reform, equal freedom of conscience from a church to which we do not belong. Let them try the experiment of kindness, and they will soon defeat any plan of further agitation. The life and soul of agitation is the injustice attempted to be done us; to crown which they come out now with a wicked perversion of the law, the scandalous partiality of the judge, the corrupt packing of the jury, and the insulting title of ” convicted conspirators.” (Cheers.) Convicted! convicted in their teeth, the renegades. Renegades who have forsaken every principle – who violently opposed emancipation one year, and carried it the next. (Hear, hear.) There is the renegade Stanley, who was the principal contriver of the Reform Bill in such a manner as to prevent it from working. (Hear, hear.) There is Graham, too, who was first on one side of the house, and now is on the other, and goes to the very extreme of renegadism. (Hear, hear.) These are the real conspirators; and let all those of both countries who wish for rational freedom, those who look for free trade and an unshackled commerce, cheap law, and a relief from the intolerable burden of debt, – let those who desire economical, practical reforms, join with old Ireland. (Cheers.) They will be sure of meeting grateful hearts. We will have no separation, but a perpetual friendship. The union would then, indeed, be rendered valuable by a domestic legislature and by a complete combination of a loyal, contented, and happy people. (The hon. and learned gentleman then retired amidst loud and general cheering.)

The Earl of SHREWSBURY came forward to propose the next toast-” The People.”

He could not tell them how extremely he felt the disadvantage he laboured under, in having so immediately to follow after the eloquent and instructive speech which had been delivered to them by their illustrious guest: but on this, as on other grounds, he felt he should receive what he so much needed, their kindest consideration. (Hear, hear.) The toast which had been assigned to him to propose was that of ” the People,” and in proposing it he was sure that the first idea which presented itself to their minds was the cause of the people of Ireland. That was a great and generous cause, for it was the cause of humanity – the cause of right as opposed to that of wrong. (Cheers.) They had arrived at a new era in the history of that cause, for they had at length embodied in it the sympathies and the feelings of the people of England. (Hear, hear.) The time was when the people of England were foolish enough to imagine that their political rights and their commercial prosperity were distinct from those of Ireland. This delusion had been done away with, and they were now beginning to see that the way to make her own empire secure was to make Ireland her happy, her trusted, and, therefore, her prosperous ally. (Hear, hear.) They now were beginning to find out that the prosperity of England would never be stable and deep-seated – that there never would be security for herself, unless she shared all her privileges and franchises fairly and equally with Ireland. Ireland was now universally acknowledged to be one of the finest countries in the world, but she had been governed by persons blinded by prejudice; and thus her great natural advantages had never been fairly developed. (Cheers.) For, with every natural advantage in a superior degree, the natural resources of Ireland remained unproductive, while the great mass of her population were in a state of misery and destitution unparalleled in any country in Europe. Why should there be this difference between England and Ireland ? It was because England was governed by another law, and in another spirit. We were comparatively happy and prosperous ; they were doomed to poverty and misery; and so it would continue until the people of Ireland enjoyed equal rights and privileges with ourselves. (Hear, hear.) But Ireland must no longer be allowed to fight her battle for justice single-handed. The people of England must come in as a generous or even as an interested auxiliary. (Hear.) Ireland deserved every assistance in her hour of need. She was deprived of half her strength. The liberties of the people had been invaded; the weapon with which the constitution had armed her for the attainment of her rights, and which she had wielded with such astounding effect under the guidance of him whose courage and prowess they were there to commemorate, had been rudely wrested from her grasp. Had Ireland sought to attain her object by the display of physical force, without a just and paramount necessity – he spoke of that sort which came in the spirit of law and order, and he should say of the constitution, for in these days it was necessary to distinguish between legal and constitutional means (Hear) – and had Ireland sought redress by the display of physical strength, without a just necessity for it, she would have exceeded the true prerogative of the people ; but where there was that necessity the people were justified in resorting to those means. Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights were our title-deeds. Yes, when the moral was at hand to guide the physical power of a nation, their union became a duty where their object was to alleviate sorrow and resist injustice (Cheers); but that union was for the present dissolved. Let them not, however, be dismayed. Ireland had gained more than she had lost. She had gained the sympathies of the people of England. Let Ireland then never cease to struggle, though hitherto in vain till she had conquered injustice; ” and,” continued the noble Earl, “may he who is so truly styled the Liberator of his country (cheers) – he who first snapped our bonds asunder, may he live to see Ireland rise from poverty and oppression, and as the reward of his own untiring energy, may he live to see her enjoy the proper fruit of freedom – fair and equal justice, and fair and equal rights with the people of England.” (Loud cheers.)

The toast having been received with cheers.

The Hon. Mr. LANGDALE came forward to acknowledge the toast, and proposed,

” The 78 peers who supported Lord Normanby’s motion, and the 227 members of the House of Commons who supported Lord John Russell’s motion.” He said he felt personally bound to come forward and welcome the Liberator of Ireland on this occasion, because had it not been for the exertions of Mr. O’Connell, he would in all probability have not been now (as a Catholic) entitled to address an assembly of freemen, conscious of an equality of rights and privileges with those whom he addressed. (Hear.) With respect to the late trial, if ever there was an instance in which vengeance seemed to have taken the place of justice, it was on that occasion. However, it was a source of deep consolation that in the Upper House there should have been 78 peers to redeem the character of the House of Lords, among whom were some of the first blood of the land. He knew too how repugnant it was to the feelings of his noble friend (Lord Shrewsbury) to come forward on such a public occasion, but it was gratifying to see the head of the house of Talbot stand forth as be had done tonight on behalf of the insulted rights of his Irish fellow-countrymen. (Hear, hear.)

The CHAIRMAN returned thanks as a member of the House of Commons, and then read letters from the Earl of Radnor and Lord Kinnaird, expressive of their approval of the objects of the meeting.

Lord CAMOYS said he was proud of being one of those 78 Peers who had formed the minority on the occasion referred to. Had not the division taken place so early, the number would have been much augmented. As it was, however, that minority comprised some of the most ancient and patriotic blood in the House of Lords. He (Lord Camoys) was especially bound to be present on this occasion, for to whom was it that he was indebted for being one of that number of 78, but to the eminent individual whom they had that night met to honour. He had come there to express his indignation at those recent proceedings in Ireland which had covered the judicature of that country with contempt. Such things ought not to be allowed to continue; and he trusted that such a demonstration as this, and others which had taken place, and would take place in this country, would totally remove from the public mind that ignorance and prejudice with respect to Ireland without which no power on earth could have induced the people of England to withhold redress of the grievances of Ireland. (Hear, hear.)

Sir R. BULKELEY, M,P., also acknowledged the toast. He felt it to be the duty of every friend of civil and religious liberty to come forward on this occasion. The magnificent assembly of that evening would suffice to assure Mr. O’Connell of the sympathy of the English people, and to convince him of what was the fact, that the interference with the right of trial by jury had thoroughly aroused them, to an extent far beyond any effect that had been produced by all that had been written for many years. As a Protestant he gloried in the revolution of 1688, but far be it from him to wish to perpetuate in Ireland those wrongs for which that settlement was made the pretext. (Cheers.)

The Hon. F. H. BERKELEY M.P., then came forward to propose ” Justice to Ireland”. He could not, however, flatter the meeting, with the hope that justice would come soon, while there was the present overweening majority in the two houses of Parliament. (Hear, hear.) Nor could he say he believed that another election would restore the power to the people. (No.) Nothing would effect that but an extension of the franchise, which was now a mere mockery. There would be no good done until the House of Lords had less to do with the House of Commons, (Hear, hear,) and until the House of Commons had less power over the constituents; until such a day arrived, he despaired of seeing the peopIe of England wishing to assist the people of Ireland in the way their hearts and feelings would prompt them. (Hear, hear)

Mr M.J. O’CONNELL, M.P., begged to acknowledge with pride and gratification the humour they had done his country by the practical pledge of justice to Ireland they had given that night, and on so many former occasions since the late state trials. it was a source of pride and gratification to him to see the people of England throwing off that apathy which seemed to have hung over them, however much they might be inclined to feel for the people of Ireland. It arose, however, from the feeling which always done the people of England humour – the feeling of fair play – the feeling which prompted them to take the part of an injured person at once, without inquiring whether his previous conduct had ‘er had not deserved approbation. (Hear) If there had been alienation, jealousies, and heart-burnings between the two people, he hoped they would now close on both sides. (Hear.) They might differ as to what justice to Ireland consisted in, but they were all agreed that there must be an identity of rights and privileges between the people of the two countries. (Cheers.)

MR GISBOURNE M.P., rose to propose the next toast. He had said to a member in the house that evening that he was coming to this dinner. “Oh,” said he “then you are going to a dinner given to a Repealer, and presided over by a Chartist,” to which he (Mr Gisborne) replied, “ that if the chairman believed in witchcraft, and the guest was a believer in mesmerism, it would not deter him from going for his object was to do honour to Mr O’Connell, and to express the deep conviction he felt, after having heard the nine nights’ debate in the House of Commons, that the late trials in Ireland had been a tyranny perpetrated under the form of law. He desired to express most emphatically his detestation of the whole course of the proceedings. “(Cheers.) The hon. member proposed “Trial by jury, without fraud.” (Cheers.)

Mr. Serjeant Murphy acknowledged the toast.

The health of the ladies having  been drunk,

The Chairman’s health was pronosed by Mr. O’Connell,.

The Chairman returned thanks, and

The company separated at a few minutes to 12 o’clock.

Originally  from The Times, on Wednesday 13th March, 1844. This was reprinted in The Morning Chronicle in Sydney, NSW, on Wed 10th July, 1844,  on Page 1, and I imagine a lot of other papers around the world.

The family go to see Daniel O’Connell at Convent Garden in 1844

Alright quite distant family.

This is mostly an extract from the biography of Sister Mary of St. Philip published in 1920. Sister Mary of St. Philip [Fanny Lescher (1825 – 1904)] spent almost fifty years running the Teacher Training College at Mount Pleasant in Liverpool. She seems to have been a formidable woman as this quote from her obituary indicates: “She is a woman,” said Sir Francis Sandford, then Secretary of the Education Department, “who might fearlessly place her hand even on the helm of the State.”. But what is fascinating in the biography, compiled from letters, diaries, and her papers, is a picture of wealthy English Catholic life between 1830 and the mid-1850’s.  Fanny Lescher is the niece of 3x great grandmother Harriet Grehan, and Fanny Grehan is a 3x great-aunt [the wife of Paddy Grehan III]. The Fannys are second cousins to each other. This is a companion piece to the ” King Dan’s speech- Convent Garden 13 March 1844″ post.

Daniel O’Connell

Both Fanny and young Mrs. Grehan had deep reverence and esteem for Daniel O’Connell. The proudest page in Fanny Grehan’s album was that on which the Liberator had inscribed his appreciation of Miss Agnew’s novel, Geraldine. Mrs. Grehan’s first son was born just at the time of the great blow struck at the Repeal agitation when the monster meeting at Clontarf was proclaimed.[1843]  A little later Fanny Lescher writes to her that O’Connell himself is in gaol. 

When in the following year O’Connell came to London to protest against the political trials, Mr. Lescher took his eldest daughter to hear him speak at the Anti-Corn Law League. A few days later a dinner was given to the great man in Covent Garden theatre. Caroleen Pitchford notes the event in her diary:

“ Mamma , Catherine, Cousin Caroline, Fanny (Lescher), Annie (Lescher), and myself were in the dress circle. We had capital places and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There were glee- singers, and a fine band playing Irish airs. When that dear holy man’s health was proposed by the Chairman there was tremendous enthusiasm. I shall never forget the cheering — the gentlemen hurrahing, and the ladies waving handkerchiefs till it was like a snowstorm. O’Connell’s speech was beautiful, in some parts quite affecting. He is looking, I think, rather careworn. Cousin William (Lescher) had the honour of being introduced, and shaking hands with him. It was a delightful evening. Long life to blessed Daniel O’Connell, ‘ the convicted conspirator,’ as he calls himself.”

The Interior of the second Theatre Royal, Convent Garden. It was built in 1810, and burnt down in 1856.

Fanny Lescher is the niece of 3x great grandmother Harriet Grehan (neé Lescher), and Fanny Grehan is a 3x great-aunt [the wife of Paddy Grehan III]. The Fannys are second cousins to each other.

Caroleen Pitchford, the author of the diary is a second cousin of Fanny Lescher, and Catherine (Kate Pitchford) is her sister.

Mamma is Susan Pitchford (neé Nyren) whose grandfather Richard “Dick” Nyren (c. 1734–1797) was one of the earliest professional cricketers playing first-class cricket during the 1760s and 1770s at the Hambledon Club.

Annie (Lescher) is Fanny’s younger sister who also became a nun. Annie and Kate Pitchford were at school together

Cousin William (Lescher) is Fanny and Annie’s father, and when he was widowed in 1836, at the age of 37, his unmarried sister, Caroline (Cousin Caroline) took charge of the household. She stayed with the family until 1848 when she left to join the Benedictine convent in Winchester.

The Late Sister Mary of St. Philip (Frances Mary Lescher). 1825 – 1904

The name which heads this article (writes a correspondent) was dear and familiar to thousands, and the shadow which her loss has cast over the great Convent and College of Mount Pleasant falls indeed over the whole of Catholic England. Frances Mary Lescher was the eldest child of William Joseph Lescher of London, and his wife Mary, daughter of John Hoy, of Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk. The Leschers were of German descent, and had preserved the Catholic faith unsullied since pre-Reformation times. So, too, had the Hoys; and their ancestors, the Daveys, and the Cruises, were well-known ” Papists “ in Oxfordshire. There seems to have been in both families something of the old Chivalry of the Knights of the Middle Ages—their warlike spirit, enthusiastic devotion to a great cause, the exquisite tenderness and finished courtesy. And all these things were inherited to the full by Frances Mary, the child who came into the world on May 8, 1825.

Her first education was confided to the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, New Hall, where she remained till the age of 14, bearing away the gold medal, the highest prize for excellence in the school. From this time onwards she pursued her studies under the supervision of her father, whose constant companion she now became, reading with him and travelling with him on the Continent.

The Oxford Movement aroused her keenest interest, and her sympathy with the converts, to whom the Leschers’ house in Nottingham-place stood always open, was unbounded. Frances threw herself heart and soul into the great movement of revival among English Catholics, which had been set on foot immediately after the Catholic Emancipation Act, and with which the names of Bishop Wiseman, Dr.Gentili, Father Spencer, Frederick Lucas, and the elder Pugin are intimately connected, and gave in her own generation all the support a woman could give to those anxious to devote themselves to the furtherance of the Catholic cause in England. Her wide reading, brilliant conversation, and personal attraction charmed all, and she was as wise and practical as she was accomplished and ardent. The teaching of poor children—that work with which the name of Sister Mary of St. Philip is indissolubly connected—found early a place in her life; she made a classroom of the coach-house and there taught them their catechism, and more than once led the ragged waifs and strays, who formed her Sunday school class, through the streets of the city to church. This passion of her heart, for in truth it was nothing else, eventually drew her into the institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, which is wholly devoted to the education of girls, more especially of the poor. About the time of Miss Lescher’s entrance into the order, Father James Nugent (now Mgr. Nugent), Father James Carr (now Mgr. Carr), and others of the Liverpool clergy, had invited the Sisters to take charge of some of the elementary schools in the town.

Mount Pleasant.

In 1856 they opened in Mount Pleasant a training college for schoolmistresses, and Frances Lescher, immediately on the completion of her novitiate, came to fill the post of Mistress of Studies. From that moment her name was identified with the work; the training college was what it was, and is, because of Sister Mary of St. Philip—and from that Feast of Candlemas, when she gave her first lessons to the little band of 21 students, to the last day when she sat among the 160 girls gathered round her in the splendid new hall, it has been her spirit and her heart which have been the life and light of the place. All, Catholics or Protestants, inspectors, clergy, university professors, admired her superiority of mind, respected her judgment and her counsel, and recognised her influence. “She is a woman,” said Sir Francis Sandford, then Secretary of the Education Department, “who might fearlessly place her hand even on the helm of the State.” His appreciation of her was ratified by that of his successors in office, and by many men eminent in the educational world, who from time to time visited the College. Such, in the early days, were Sir James Kaye Shuttleworth, Earl Granville (who in 1861 was President of the Committee of Council on Education), the Marquis of Ripon, and in later years Mr. Mundella and Sir G. Kekewich. MM. Inspectors of Training Colleges, Mr. Tinling and Mr. Warburton, both Canons of the Church of England, Sir Joshua Fitch, and Mr. Scott Coward, regarded Mount Pleasant as a model institution, unique in its organisation and work, and the local inspectors have not been less warm in their praise. It may be fitting to remark here that the home and centre for pupil teachers at Mount Pleasant paved the way for the foundation of similar centres for the collective teaching of pupil-teachers, first in Liverpool, then in the metropolis and other large towns. Mr. Sadler, in his recent report, says : “There is, so far as I am aware, no educational institution in England exactly comparable to that which, by the patience and foresight of the Sister Superior, has gradually been built up at Mount Pleasant. here in one long range of buildings, the slowly achieved outcome of half a century of work, every grade of girls’ education is provided for, from the primary school upwards, including the professional education of girls preparing themselves for the work of teaching in elementary or in secondary schools. Nor, in spite of the magnitude of the undertaking, is it the impression of mere size or numbers that dwells in the recollection of the visitor. It is rather the sense of quiet, cheerful, untiring, labour and of care for each individual pupil that lingers in his mind, and comes back vividly to his thoughts as he recalls what he heard and saw.” This appreciative and sympathetic report of Mr. Sadler’s was one of her last human consolations. In the beginning of December she caught a serious internal chill, and from the first, on account of her advanced age, the doctor entertained grave apprehensions as to the issue. From her sick bed she took the keenest interest in the College celebrations of the jubilee of the Immaculate Conception, arranging for the solemn Act of Consecration, and listened to the notes of the hymns borne up from the procession winding along the corridors below. On the morrow she received the Last Sacraments in great peace, and from that moment she laid aside completely, with the simplicity of a little child, the burden of her solicitous work, to give all her thought and care to the last great journey. But her splendid constitution, the widespread and incessant prayer sent up to God for her dear life, and, above all, her own extreme clearness of mind and freshness of memory made her sisters and children hope against hope. A serious crisis on the afternoon of Friday the fifth took away all illusion; it was repeated on Saturday, and on Sunday night at about 11 p.m. she gave up her soul into the hands of God, very tranquilly and gently. Her noble life had closed nobly, fittingly. All that the Church could give her she had; and two days before the end the Bishop had brought her the supreme consolation of the Holy Father’s blessing. To the last she kept an unclouded mind, visibly uniting herself to ‘the prayers and hymns, pressing the crucifix to her lips, lifting her feeble hand to make one of her old large signs of the Cross as she received her frequent absolutions—to the very end her own sweet, simple, great self.

She was laid out in the community-room in all religious simplicity with no other pomp than that of the kneeling Sisters, who watched her night and day, and the never-ceasing influx of her dearly loved and faithful “old students,” whose grief was pitiful to behold.

The Funeral.

On Thursday last Bishop Whiteside sang the Solemn Requiem in the beautiful convent chapel, whose sanctuary was entirely draped in black. The Mass was admirably chanted by the diocesan choir, conducted by the Rev T. A. Walmsley. The Right Rev. Mgr. Carr, V.G., acted as assistant priest ; Canon Gordon, of Birkdale as deacon; Canon Banks, of St. Edward’s College as subdeacon. The deacons at the throne were Canon Kennedy and Canon Cosgrave ; the masters of ceremonies the Revv. J. Clarkson and W. Slattery. More than 80 priests were present in the chapel amongst them Provost Clegg, Mgr. Marsden, Canons Beggan, O’Toole Barry, Singleton, Richardson, Chisholm ;the Rev. T. J. Walshe, chaplain to the community; Father Hayes, Rector of St. Francis Xavier’s; the Rectors of the churches of Liverpool and the outlying district, and representatives of different religious orders.

Immediately after the absolutions the cortege passed from the chapel down the main staircase and along the spacious corridor to the door of the new wing in Hope-street, where a long line of coaches awaited the mourners—clergy, sisters, and former students with other friends, all anxious to give this last testimony of esteem and affection to her whom they had loved and venerated in life. But the most touching part of the funeral was the assemblage of poor children drawn up at intervals along the route in front of each school with their parents and teachers, patiently standing in frost and fog, the boys with raised caps, girls with joined hands and bowed heads. Some 40 coaches reached the Great Crosby Cemetery, where the procession formed and passed through lines of teachers and former students proving by their presence and their sorrowful demeanour that she whom they mourned had been their best and truest friend.

Expressions of sympathy and condolence have flooded in upon the Sisters from all quarters ; telegrams were received from the Marquis of Ripon, from H. M. Inspectors, from the Professors of the Liverpool University ; letters from his Grace the Archbishop of Westminster and the bishops and clergy all over the British Isles. A vote of sympathy was passed by the Association of Principals of Training Colleges holding their annual Conference in London, and “carried in silence,” wrote the President, “by the whole body of members rising in their places.” A deputation from the University conveyed expressions of esteem and regret from that body ; and the Liverpool Education Committee passed a unanimous resolution : “That this Committee desire to express their deep regret at the death of Miss F. M. Lescher, Principal of the Mount Pleasant Training College ; to place on record their high appreciation of the services rendered to the cause of education in the city ; and to convey their sympathy with the authoritieS of the college in the loss they have sustained.”

The main lines, large and simple, of Sister Mary of St. Philip’s striking personality were apparent to all who came into even passing contact with her. A countenance, noble and eminently good, and easy dignity of presence that was far removed from stiffness or condescension, and above all the genuine and unaffected interest which she took in the doings, plans, joys and sorrows of the most casual visitor, and what someone has happily called “that princely gift of making herself all in all,” these things charmed and won multitudes. Multitudes too, recognised and admired her royal gifts of mind—her quick and sure judgment, her wise and temperate counsel, her quite exceptional capacity for organisation and. administration and few who knew her ever so little, but felt the charm of the freshness, the enthusiasm, the youngness of heart which were so beautiful and harmonious a contradiction of her ripe years. Others have been privileged to see more— the grand simplicity of her daily life, devoting to others, without suspicion of heroism, time, talents, labour ; the large sympathy that went out to the smallest the most trivial of sorrows ; the ever-growing gentleness and forbearance and long patience ; and that lowliness of spirit which was so marked and beautiful a trait in one so great. The fragrance of all these things and many more is with those who immediately lived and loved and laboured under one roof with Sister Mary of St. Philip, and they are to them part of her very name. Yet not to them alone does that name belong, but to the whole Catholic Church in England, to the poor of Christ and the priests of Christ, wherever they suffer and toil between its three seas. R.I.P.

The Sisters of Notre Dame, Mount Pleasant, desire to thank most warmly all those who have written to express sympathy with them in their sorrow. Owing to the large number of letters received from friends and from students, past and present, it is impossible to write an individual acknowledgment.

The above text was found on p.26, 31st December 1904 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

A couple of weddings in 1900

SCROPE – O’SULLIVAN.

The marriage of Mr. Gervase Scrope, youngest son of the late Mr. Scrope, of Danby [ Simon Thomas Scrope (1822-1896) was Philip O’Bryen’s god-father ]  and Miss Juanita O’Sullivan, only daughter of the late Mr. John O’Sullivan and Señora Francisca Lozano O’Sullivan, of Saltillo, Mexico, was solemnised at St. James’s Church, Spanish-place, at eleven o’clock on Wednesday.[24th October] The ceremony was performed by the Right Rev. Bishop Brindle, assisted by the Rev. Joseph Browne, S.J., the Rector of Stonyhurst, and the Hon. and Rev. Basil Feilding. The church was decorated with ferns, palms, and Bermuda lilies. During the nuptial Mass Gounod’s Ave Maria, and Mendelssohn’s ” Coronation March,” were rendered. Bishop Brindle afterwards gave a short address.

The bride’s wedding dress was ivory satin duchesse, trimmed with flounces of Brussels lace and wreaths of orange blossom, and Brussels lace veil, surmounted by a pearl and diamond tiara, the gift of the bridegroom. She wore a pearl and diamond necklace, the gift of her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Purcell, and a pearl and diamond bracelet, the gift of her cousins, the Misses Purcell. She was attended by six bridesmaids : Miss Kathleen Orde-Powlett, Lady Agnes Noel, Miss Fitzherbert-Brockholes, Miss Mabel Lawson, Miss Helena Purcell, and Miss Anita Purcell. the bridesmaids’ dresses were cream satin skirts, lace boleros, with front of cream crepe de chine, sashes of turquoise blue crepe de chine, black velvet picture hats lined with white chiffon, and trimmed with black ostrich feathers and turquoise blue panne. They wore pearl and turquoise butterfly brooches, the gift of the bridegroom, and carried bouquets of white lilies tied with turquoise blue ribbons. Mr. Charles Vaughan acted as best man. A reception was held at the Coburg Hotel after the wedding. Later in the day the bride and bridegroom left for Danby Hall, where the honeymoon will be spent. The bride travelled in a dress of pale blue cloth embroidered in gold, and trimmed with bands of chincilla, toque of grey velvet trimmed with grey ostrich feathers and blue panne, and a chincilla cape.

The following accepted invitations to be present : Mr. and Mrs. Purcell, the Misses Purcell, Mr. James Purcell, Mr. Scrope of Danby, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Scrope, Mr. Geoffrey Scrope, Mr. Stephen Scrope, Mr. and the Misses Scrope, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lord, Madame de Laski, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell Lyte, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Radcliffe and Miss Radcliffe, Mr. Philip Chesney Yorke, Mr. Andrew Berkeley, Mr. Dwyer, the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Orde-Pawlett and the Misses Orde-Pawlett, Mrs. Holmes, Miss Charlton, Sir John, Lady, and Miss Lawson of Brough, Mr. Charles Vaughan, Mrs. Duff Baker, Dowager Countess of Denbigh, Major, Mrs., and Miss Berkeley, the Rev. Eric W. Leslie, S.J., the Rev. Joseph Browne, S.J. Mrs. and Miss Foster, Mr., Mrs., and the Misses Fitzherbert-Brockholes, Miss Weld of Leagram, the Earl and Countess of Denbigh, the Hon. Mrs. A. Fitzmaurice, the Right Rev. Bishop Brindle, the Hon. and Rev. Basil Feilding, Miss Stone, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Marshall, Mrs. Philip Gordon, Mr. Francis Gurdon, Mrs. Malony, Miss Lily and Miss Flora Weld, Miss O’Sullivan, Sir Walter and Lady Smythe of Acton Burnell, Miss Clifford, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Berkeley, the Hon. George Savile, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Kelly, the Misses Blount, Count and Countess de Torre Diaz, the Misses Zulueta, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Colgrave, the Misses Macfarlane, Mr. de Laski, Mr. Clement Young, Lady Isabella Keane, Mrs. William Langdale, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Langdale, Mrs. and Miss Stanley Cary-Caddell, Lady Catherine and the Misses Berkeley, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Heaven, Mr. and Mrs. Edenborough, Mrs. Charles Riddell, Miss Teresa Riddell, the Earl and Countess of Gainsborough, the Ladies Agnes, Norah, and Clare Noel, Captain C. E. Wegg-Prosser, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, the Hon. Marcia Maxwell, Mr. and Mrs. MacDonnell. Mr. and Mrs. William Malony, Mr. and Lady Agnes de Trafford, the Misses Leopold, William Malony, Mrs. Randolph, the Hon. Everard Feilding, Mr. Leonard Lindsay, Mrs. Meynell, the Duc, Duchesse, and Mlles. de Boson, Mr. add Mrs. Vincent Acton, Mr. Gervase and Lady Winefride Cary-Elwes, Mrs. Bagnall, Mr. Maurice Berkeley, Mr. Wulstan Berkeley, Baron and Baroness Jacques de Gunzburg, Lady Mary Harris, Mr. and Mrs. Berkeley of Spetchley, Miss Pope, Mrs. Herman Lescher, Mr. and Miss Acton, Mr. Herbert Colegrave, Mr. Oswald Colegrave, Miss M’Cann Gordon, Major Fletcher Gordon, Mr. and Mrs. Snead Cox, Mrs. and the Misses Blount, Mr. Joseph Oates, Mrs. F. B. Stapleton Bretherton, Miss Lily Stourton, Miss Blundell, Mr. 0. Zauch Palmer, the Hon. Laura Lane-Fox.

BLOUNT—MACKENZIE.

The marriage of Mr. George Blount, eldest son of Mr. Alfred John Blount, and Miss Melesina Mackenzie, second daughter of the late Major A. C. Mackenzie, Royal Engineers, and of Mrs. Mackenzie, of 7, Ormond road, Richmond, was celebrated at the Oratory, Brompton, at 11 on the 18th inst. The bride and bridegroom received the Papal Blessing. The bridegroom was supported by his brother, Mr. Edward Blount, as best man. The bride was given away by her brother, Captain Mackenzie, Royal Engineers, and was attended by Miss Margaret Mackenzie, her sister, and Miss Ethel Blount, sister of the bridegroom as bridesmaids. The bride wore a dress of white duchesse satin and crêpe de chine, trimmed with Brussels lace, lent by her mother, and orange blossoms ; her court train was of crêpe de chine, lined with brocade. The bridesmaids wore black picture hats and white mousseline de soie dresses, and carried pink bouquets, which, with gold and turquoise brooches, were the gift of the bridegroom. The Very Rev. John Bennett, Provincial C.SS.R., uncle of the bridegroom, assisted by the Revv. Charles and Edgar Blount, S.J., uncles of the bridegroom, performed the ceremony. The Rev. Charles Blount said the Nuptial Mass, which was served by Masters Cecil and Francis Blount, brothers of the bridegroom. The wedding ceremony took place at the lady altar, which was decorated with flowers. Owing to mourning in the bride’s family, only relations were asked to the reception, which was held at 19, Cranley place, the residence of Mrs. Woodward, grandmother of the bride. Nevertheless many friends were present in the church.

The bride and bridegroom’s presents numerous, and included a half-hoop diamond ring, muff-chain, pearl earrings, &c., &c., from the bridegroom to the bride ; silver-fitted suitcase, &c., &c., from the bride to the bridegroom ; from Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Blount, chest of plate, dining-room furniture, cheque, and diamond and pearl pendant ; Mrs. A. C. Mackenzie cheque and silver tea set ; Mrs. Woodward, cheque ; Madame Melville, tea-pot and milk jug in Breton ware ; Miss Elphinstone, 4 bon-bon dishes in case; Mr. C. Fleming, silver and ivory bread-fork ; Sir Robert and Lady Egerton, silver cream-jug ; Lady Stephen, china; Mrs. Buckmaster and family, silver smelling salts; Mr. and Mrs. Palliser, silver patience case ; Mrs. Meynell, silver frame; Colonel and Mrs. Woodward, cheque ; Mr. and Mrs. George Lynch, case of silver and silver-gilt fruit spoons and sugar-sifter ; Miss Jennings jewel-case ; Miss Ethel Mackenzie, house linen ; Mrs. Henry Crofton silver Eau de Cologne bottle ; Lady Vavasour, picture of “The Last Supper “ in frame ; Mr. P. Lynch, silver salt-cellars ; Miss Griffin picture of Madonna in frame; Mrs. Macdonald, cheque ; Captain R. J. Mackenzie, cheque ; Mrs Mason, cushion ; Miss Angela and Mr. Cecil and Mr. Francis Blount, cut-glass and silver mounted scent-bottles, aneroid barometer ; Miss Dorchill, silver-mounted claret jug ; Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, antique silver mounted cut-glass bottles; Mrs. and Miss Bigges Miller, cut-glass vases; Mr. and Mrs. Schiller, entrée dishes ; Mrs. and Miss Whicher, Russian-leather purse ; Mr. Stephen Scrope, silver apostle tea-spoons ; the Misses Tegart, brass inkstand ; Mrs. Webber and Miss Tottenham, apostle spoons ; Miss Ethel and Mr. Edward Blount, silver bowl ; Colonel Charles Woodward, cheque ; the Misses Smith-Pigott, brass ink-stand and candlesticks ; Miss Ella Wood, umbrella ; Miss Ashford, silver-mounted leather purse ; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, picture in frame; Dr. and Mrs. Ball, silver flower-bowl on stand ; Miss Polenghi, glass and silver vase ; Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Petre, silver candlesticks ; Mrs. Barton, silver-mounted blotter ; the clerks of Messrs. Blount, Lynch and Petre, case of table silver; Miss Margaret Mackenzie, diamond brooch, copy of Browning ; Mr. Patrick Lynch, silver coffee-pot ; Mrs. Wray, cheque ; Mrs. F. Woodward, dinner-set and dessert-set ; Mrs. Henry Lynch, frame; Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy and Miss Helena McCarthy, pictures in frame ; Mrs. Privet, pair of glass vases ; Colonel Wetherall, silver frame ; Mrs. Wetherall, silver cream jug ; Mr. and Mrs. Payne, sachet ; Colonel and the Hon.Mrs. Tredcroft, breakfast-service ; Miss McCarthy O’Leary, toast-rack ; Mrs. Daly, Irish lace fichu ; Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Hill, flower-bowl ; Mr. and Mrs. Eustace Lonergan, fan ; Mr. Reginald Colley, silver cigar-case ; Major and Mrs. Fletcher Gordon, rosewood revolving book-case; Mr. and Mrs. Eric Bruce, silver match-box ; Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, silver and glass match-stand ; Messrs. F. and A. Mackenzie, silver and ivory paper-knife ; Major and Mrs. Crowe, silver dessert-knives and forks ; Mr. E. Kennedy, china statuettes ; Mrs. and Miss Hood, silver frame ; Mr. and Mrs. John Talbot, brass reading-lamp ; Sir Henry and the Hon. Lady Cunningham, silver lamp-candlesticks ; Mr. and Mrs. G. Wray, Missal bound in silver ; Miss Ada Keene, opal ; the Rev. J. W. Cunningham Foot and Mrs. Foot, topaz cross ; Dr. and Mrs. Gillespie, silver frame ; Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, brass kettle ; Miss Margaret Broder, silver bowl ; Dr. and Mrs. Baker, breakfast-dish ; Mr. and Mrs. A. G. F. Francis, silver-mounted claret-jug; Mrs. H. Lescher, travelling-clock : Miss F. Woodward, silver-backed hair-brushes ; Messrs. F. and A. Mackenzie, silver-mounted manicure case; Redemptorist Convent (Clapham), hand-painted statue of the Holy Family ; the Misses Williams, china tea-set; Lady Annabel Kerr, table-linen; Mr. Charles and Mr. Edgar Payne, card-table ; Mrs. Carr, pair of Dresden candlesticks; Lieut. Foot, R.N., and Mrs. Foot, silver telegraph-form case.

The above text was found on p.28,27th October 1900 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .