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Irish Huguenot Archive

This month’s on–line presentation from the RCB Library is an introduction to the Irish Huguenot Archive and it may be viewed at www.ireland.anglican.org/library/archive

In 1993 the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland entered into an agreement with the RCB which would allow the RCB Library to host what was to be called the Irish Huguenot Archive. It was hoped that this new entity would develop as a centre for Huguenot studies in Ireland and so serve a similar purpose to the Huguenot Library in London. The choice of the RCB Library was logical for most of the Huguenot refugees to Ireland had, eventually, conformed to the discipline of the Church of Ireland, and so the RCB Library was already a place of resort for those interested in Huguenot families. The Library’s unrivalled collection of registers of baptisms, marriages and burials contained many entries with Huguenot names while the Library’s considerable collection of parish histories included many references to Huguenot families who had settled in various parts of Ireland.

As well, the Library also had some Huguenot material in its manuscript collection relating to families such as La Touches, the Ercks, who had intermarried with the Caillards in the 18th century, and the Lamillieres, one of whom became Archdeacon of Cork in 1796. And, of course, the clerical succession lists, largely complied by Canon J.B. Leslie, contained much biographical detail about Huguenot clergy who had conformed to the Church of Ireland, and their descendants.

Since 1993 this material has steadily been augmented by donations of archives, manuscripts, copies of family research papers, photographs, printed books, photocopies and printed ephemera and the Honorary Curator, Dr Susan Hood, will welcome more. The Irish Section of the Huguenot Society, chaired by Dr John Gilmartin, provides a forum for those interested in Huguenot history, and details of membership may be had from the Hon. Secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Bicker, at echohall@btinternet.com

Another Protestant minority which found sanctuary in Ireland were the Palatines, distinguished by names such as Hartrick, Switzer and Wyse. They are the subject of a new book by Bernard Browne, entitled, The German Palatine Settlement in County Wexford and Beyond in 1709.

This weekend, in Templepatrick, the Church of Ireland Marriage Council will host a retreat for clergy couples in the Connor and Down and Dromore Dioceses. The retreat will be facilitated by the Revd Jonny Campbell–Smyth, Rector of Ballynure, and his wife Alison.

Tomorrow (Sunday) BBC Radio Ulster’s Morning Service will be broadcast at 10.15am from St James’ church, Moy, Co. Tyrone. The preacher will be the rector, the Revd Aonghus Mayes. On RTE Radio 1 at 9pm Peter Browne’s Rolling Wave programme will feature Canon James Goodman who was Rector of Abbeystrewry, Co. Cork, from 1867 until his death, in his 68th year, in 1896. Largely ignored in Church of Ireland circles, Goodman was an important collector of Irish music, and an accomplished piper who may be the only Church of Ireland cleric who is memorialised by a public statue which stands in Skibbereen. His collection is the subject of an important two volume study, Tunes of the Munster Pipers, by the late Dr Hugh Shields which was published by the Irish Traditional Music Archive and supported by the General Synod Royalties Fund.

On Saturday 17 February, at 8pm in the Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin, the Mornington Singers and the Laetare Vocal Ensemble will present an evening of a cappella choral music featuring works by John Buckley, Sean Doherty and others.