Saturday, 22 October 2011

Forthcoming lectures

Next talk is on Dunmore fishing industry
On November 24th, John Molloy, former fisheries officer at Dunmore will introduce the recent documentary  'The Dunmore Fishery of the 1960s' and give a talk based on his own extensive research and experiences of the Irish Fishery.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The History of Education in the Barony of Gaultier by John Burke N.T.

Having researched the history of Passage East Boys and Girls schools during his tenure there Mr Burke wondered how to access the roll books and inspector’s reports of the other schools as few of these had been retained, especially of those schools that subsequently went out of existence.

Then he was made aware of the fact that Matthew Butler, author of a History of Gaultier had also written a series of articles in the Waterford News from 1932 to 1938 in which he gave an account of the schools of the Barony using registers, roll books etc.
What he discovered was a treasury of information about the efforts the local people made to have their children educated from the early years of the penal laws when teaching catholic children was illegal up to modern times.
Due to the amount of material and detail discovered, John had to limit his talk to education in Gaultier from 1786 to 1900.
The Government reports on the state of education in 1821
revealed a list of eight schools from 
Waterford School 1860-1895, National Library of ireland

Licaun to Kilcop, from Ballinaboola to Callaghane.
The report of  1825 revealed a list of 20 schools including seven in the Passage area, five  in Dunmore/Killea and others in areas like Leperstown, Kilmacomb and Monemintra.
However , the majority of Mr Burke’s talk centered on the schools which were recognised by the Board of Education after 1832 . The schools of Drumrusk, Ballyglan/ Bellelake, Woodstown, Corbally/Summerville, Dunmore East Church Of Ireland and Castletown were remembered. The progress of the various schools in  Faithlegg, Passage East, Ballygunner, Killea and Dunmore East Girls schools was examined and some troubled histories revealed. We were introduced to excellent teachers and larger than life characters such as,
John Lancaster's Monotorial system of education
Robert Power, Mary Anne Kirwan, Michael Power, Patrick J Power, Edmund Pyne, Ellen Delaney, John Hearne, Ellen (Nelty) Woods, Margaret M Byrne, Margaret O Regan, Emily Adams, Thomas Gallagher,  John O Neill, and many others. We learned about  The Lancaster/Bell Monitorial system and how classes were conducted in small rooms with large numbers.
The overall impression given was one of a community of people who with their Clergy (Catholic and Protestant), a number of interested local landlords and parish committees made every effort to make sure that the children of Gaultier received the best education they could provide.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Knights Templar in Gaultier

Dr Dr Niall Byrne opens the BGHS  lecture season with his talk
The Knights Templar in Gaultier.

Knights' Seal -  horse shared  indicating poverty
An audience of over 50 people was present at the Ocean Hotel, Dunmore East on September 27 to hear Dr Niall Byrne give the opening talk of the Barony of Gaultier Historical Society’s  2010-11 lecture season.  Dr Byrne’ s topic was the story of the Knights Templar in Gaultier,  particularly their connections to Crooke and Leperstown.   Dr Byrne’s scholarship came through in his detailed and well illustrated presentation which was very well received by the audience.  The talk was followed by refreshments generously provided by the Ocean Hotel.  This was a great start to our season and really whetted the appetite for the talks to come over the next  seven months. 

The story of the Templars is a  gripping, multilayered slice of history reaching across almost all the countries of Europe and into the Middle East during the time of the Crusades.  The Templars although outlawed by the principal monarchs of Europe in the early 1300s morphed into other quasi military orders such as the Knights Hospitallers and even coming down to the present day in the origins of the Knights of Malta.  They are mostly remembered for their presence in the Middle East during the wars of conquest  between Europeans and Muslims, always  in the guise of saviours  under their respective religious banners. 
The Templars were granted lands on either side of Waterford Harbour by a grant of Henry 11 soon after his arrival here in Gaultier in 1171,  Crooke being the site of a substantial  manor of thousands of acres.  No doubt they had a military presence in Waterford  Harbour but their main recorded contribution seems to have been in agriculture, the 1328 audit of their Crook lands giving detailed testimony to this.  They grew large quantities of cereals , probably bringing much of Gaultier under cultivation.  It is thought that this was grown as feed for the horses used by the Knights across Europe and especially in the Holy Lands.  This opens up a fascinating story of shipping and trade that would have been an important part of Gaultier life in those years.

Dr Byrne concluded his talk by tracing the origins of Waterford County and City Infirmary in Leperstown with the rents and produce of this area going to finance the Leper Hospital of the medieval period, it s successor, the Fever Hospital of Waterford which eventually became the Infirmary. 

The Society wishes to thank Dr Byrne for this fascinating and important contribution to the history of Gaultier and to a great start to our current season.

More information on the knights in Ireland here