An T-Ath., Peadar MacSuibhne, M.A.
The Carlow Museum was once housed in buildings which until recently
was the Irish Christian Brothers' Secondary School in the old Dean
Staunton's School in Chapel Lane. The older of these buildings was
founded in 1813 by Dean Staunton. The following is a return of this
school made in the autumn of 1824 for the bishop of Kildare and
Leighlin. Dr. James Doyle, the illustrious J.K.L. The return is taken
from Monsignor Martin Brenan's work, Schools of Kildare and Leighlin
1775-1835, p. 420.
Chapel Lane, Carlow (Free School)
Michael Wholohan. Opened in 1813, teaches every day in the week,
Sundays excepted, through the year; vacations of three weeks in Summer
and a fortnight at Christmas excepted. Roman Catholic: appointed by the
late Doctor Staunton, parish priest of Carlow and President of the
College. About 54 years of age; was educated at Carlow and trained at
Waterford at Mr. Rice's School. The School is supported by subscriptions
collected quarterly by four clergymen, assisted by the same number of
laymen. It is governed by a President, two Vice-Presidents and a
Committee of twenty-four taken from amongst the parishioners. The Master
has a salary of 30 guineas per annum with 3 guineas allowance for house
rent. The Assistant Master has £12 per annum.
The school consists of two
rooms, one above, the other below; that above is 30 feet by 20 feet;
that below is 23 feet by 20 feet. It is built of stone; the expenses of
building it exceeded £300, which same was raised by subscription among
It is not connected with any Association or Society, nor
has it any special Patron but the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese. The
superintendence which the Catholic Bishop exercises over it consists in
providing at the quarterly and annual meetings of the Committee, when
the reports of the school are read and persons appointed to the various
duties of visiting, collecting money etc., and of enquiring into the
applications of the money raised for the support of the school. Of the
wealthy visitors, two are Roman Catholic Clergymen and two laymen.
- a) Summer 1824 – Males 180, all Roman Catholics.
Last Winter, 150
- c) Summer 1823, 160.
80 readers; the Master would teach
a child to read in 12 months. Books - London and carpenters' Spelling
Books. History of the Old and New Testaments by Gaban; Spelling and
Reading on the Lancasterian System, the Common Course of Arithmetic and
Book-Keeping. The Roman Catholic Catechism is taught in the school, and
all the children are obliged to pray daily in the Parish Chapel.
Observations:- Though from the rules by which the school is conducted,
the school is open to every profession, it is attended by Roman
Catholics solely, and hence no attempt in the school to make proselytes.
There would be at least 100 children more educated in the school were it
Fr. Henry Staunton
Fr. Henry Staunton was born probably in 1746 in Kellymount,
Goresbridge Parish. Educated at Paris, he was ordained about 1770, and
was appointed parish priest of Graignamanagh. About March 1787 he became
parish priest of Carlow. He became first President of Carlow College,
which was built in 1782 and opened in 1793. It was he who appointed Fr.
James Doyle, O.S.A. Professor in Carlow College. Dean Staunton died 1st
September, 1814 and is buried in the college cemetery.
Mr. Edmund Ignatius Rice
Mr. Rice in the Return is Edmund Ignatius Rice, founder and first
Superior General of the Irish Christian Brothers. Born in 1762, he
obtained the approval of Rome for his congregation in 1809. He died.
29th August, 1844 and is buried at Mount Sion, Waterford.
The Irish Christian Brothers came to Carlow in 1856. Note the
democratic government of Dr. Staunton's Carlow School. The Parish Chapel
was built by Dean Staunton in 1792. It preceded the Cathedral which was
built in 1832 on the same site. Some of the parish chapel which lasted
only forty years is incorporated in the Cathedral.
Source: Originally published on p. 37 in the 1972
edition of the Carloviana and entitled CARLOW MUSEUM. An T-Ath., PEADAR
Carlow Morning Post Monday 1st 1822
Carlow Free School
[Partly transcribed] The names of those who subscribed for the clothing are
as follows:- Rev. Andrew Fitzgerald £5; Dr. Doyle, Messrs. P. Curran, Michael
Nowlan, John Coffery, Thomas Hughes, and P. Duane £1 each; Rev. P. McSwiney,
Rev. M. McDonnell, and Messrs. Plunket, Ivers, Warren, James Cullen, and Thomas
Coyle 10s. each; Rev. Messrs. Joyce O'Connell, James McDonnell, Kinsella, and
Mr. Muddowny, and J. Ryan 5s. each.
An tAthair Peadar Mac Suibhne 1896-1982 -