Search Results for 'Blake'

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Widow Wilkins and the delicate matter of her ‘breach of promise’

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The case of Blake v Wilkins in 1817 was so eagerly anticipated that every lodging house in Galway, ‘even the humblest in the town was' was filled to overflowing.

The power merchants who ruled Galway

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Under Norman rule Galway rapidly developed from an obscure village into an important seaport with trade contacts all over Europe. This transformation was entirely due to the merchant community who made themselves into an oligarchy who not only owned and directed the town’s trade, but completely controlled the municipal government, the election of mayors, and, uniquely, the appointment of priests and wardens to St Nicholas’ Collegiate church. They enjoyed total power. They lived in opulent houses, many of which had elaborately carved doorways, secure within the walls of the town, indifferent to the Gaelic natives who were kept firmly outside the gates.*

1917 - a beautiful, meaningful, exhausting ride

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I WOULD be very surprised if, next December, when putting together my Top 10 list of 2020, I do not feature two films released this week - Uncut Gems and the WWI set, 1917.

1917 - a beautiful, meaningful, exhausting ride

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I WOULD be very surprised if, next December, when putting together my Top 10 list of 2020, I do not feature two films released this week - Uncut Gems and the WWI set, 1917.

Tragedy at Menlo Castle

In the early hours of July 26 1910 Menlo Castle, on the bank of the river Corrib, was totally gutted by a fire. Sir Valentine and Lady Blake’s daughter, Ellen, was lost in the flames. The cook Delia Early, who lived on the attic floor, jumped to her death. Delia shared a room with housemaid Anne Browne, who waited until her clothes were in flames, before jumping. She landed on a pile of hay placed by other household staff to break her fall. Severely injured and burnt, Anne was driven on an open truck, slowly into the Galway Infirmary, lying on a door to ease her movement and pain. Local farmers gave her milk to drink to try to cool her down.

The priest who robbed the National Museum

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With March zooming off into the distance, our gratitude to St Patrick for giving us the opportunity to be an island of saints and scholars begins to wane. But no such relief was given to the saint himself. Our forebears couldn’t wait till he died before they were taking bits and pieces from his body and clothes for relics. As his teeth fell out they were snatched up, and given as sacred objects to make early Christian churches more attractive for a deeply spiritual and suspicious people, who had recently set aside their gods of nature, and embraced a more intangible Christ. An old holy tooth was just the sort of tangibility they could understand. At least one church, Cill Fiacail (‘The church of the tooth’) near the town of Tipperary, bears testimony to this bizarre but common practice.

The priest who robbed the National Museum

With March zooming off into the distance, our gratitude to St Patrick for giving us the opportunity to be an island of saints and scholars begins to wane. But no such relief was given to the saint himself. Our forebears couldn’t wait till he died before they were taking bits and pieces from his body and clothes for relics. As his teeth fell out they were snatched up, and given as sacred objects to make early Christian churches more attractive for a deeply spiritual and suspicious people, who had recently set aside their gods of nature, and embraced a more intangible Christ. An old holy tooth was just the sort of tangibility they could understand. At least one church, Cill Fiacail (‘The church of the tooth’) near the town of Tipperary, bears testimony to this bizarre but common practice.

 

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