St. Mary’s Church, Enniscorthy - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

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SEEN from the top of Vinegar Hill, the Churches of Enniscorthy are sufficiently far apart for each to retain its distinctive characteristics. St. Mary’s Church occupies a commanding position above Castle Hill, but the elevation is much lower than that of the Cathedral. It is a substantial and dignified structure, with a pinnacled tower, and spire of considerable height. In its yard are many interesting memorials of the past. The interior of the Church has lately been much improved, the chancel and space devoted to the pulpit and reading-desk having been increased, and a better position provided for the organ. There is a large seating capacity. The floor is tiled. A handsome casing of glazed tiles is set behind the Communion Table, above which is a triple window. A brass tablet records the fact that the tiled floor, roof, wall decorations, chancel rail, and chairs, the pulpit and reading-desk, were the gift of Thomas Edwards, of Clonhasten, “who fell asleep, May 19th, 1882.” It was through his munificence that the heating apparatus was supplied, and mainly through his efforts that several houses were removed, which formerly occupied the ground between the Church and the street. Three monuments, only, are inside the Church. One of them, on the eastern wall, is to the memory of Charles Caesar Cookman, Monart House, Captain of the Wexford Militia, 1859. It was erected by his widow, and represents a scroll, depending from a coat of arms, in white marble. On the opposite wall, a tablet commemorates Archibald Hamilton Jacob, Captain of Loyal Vinegar Hill Rangers, 1836. It was erected by his friends, and bears the inscription—“As a magistrate he was impartial; as a subject, loyal; and as a soldier, generous and brave.’’ The third monument is to the Very Rev. Denis Browne, M.A., Dean of Emly, an eloquent preacher, who, for twenty-two years was Rector of Enniscorthy, and greatly beloved by his parishioners. A practical tribute to his piety and worth took shape in the purchase of an organ, the same which once belonged to the Vice-Regal Chapel, Dublin. A portrait of the Dean hangs in the reading-room of the meeting-house of the Young Men’s Christian Association, in Church Street. The Association was founded by the late Rev. Edmond Trouton, Curate of the Parish, under his auspices, in 1857.

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