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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Carlow Free School

Chapel Lane, Carlow


Carlow Museum.

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 the Catholics.

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.

Average attendance:

a) Summer 1824 – Males 180, all Roman Catholics.
b) 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 spacious enough.

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 MacSUIBHNE, M.A.


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 - AN APPRECIATION


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