Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2009

Books about Edenderry's History

Ciaran Reilly , Edenderry, County Offaly, and the Downshire estate, 1790-1800 (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2007) part of the NUI Maynooth, Studies in Local Irish History Series, no. 74. In the history of the 1798 rising in Ireland Offaly is regarded as the forgotten county. It was not the scene of major military activity but that does not mean that it was unaffected by the disturbances that afflicted the Irish midlands in that year. This study shows that in one part of the county, around the old Quaker settlement of Edenderry, the agrarian secret societies that underlay the rising were as active as in many other parts of Ireland. In particular problems between the landlord, the marquis of Downshire, and his tenants fed social tensions produced by more general economic conditions to ensure that Edenderry would be as disturbed as many other parts of the country during the years 1795-7. Why then did these problems not translate into more open violence during 1798 itself? This study answers…

Historic Houses of Offaly

As part of ongoing research into the lives and owners of historic houses in Offaly (formerly King's County) Ciaran Reilly would love to hear from any person who has information, sources or photographs of same.

In January 2009 Ciarán gave a very successful talk on the subject to the Offaly Historical & Arch. Society. In the talk Ciarán highlighted as many as sixty houses in the county; some of which are sadly no more.

Please contact if you can help with this project

Offaly Heritage Officer To Visit Edenderry Historical Society

On Friday 9 October 2009 (at 7.30pm) Amanda Pedlow, Offaly Heritage Officer will speak to the society at the Parish Centre.

Amanda has kindly offered to speak to the society regarding the projects that are being undertaken in the county by the Heritage Office and associated groups. The recent survey of Blundell Castle and the proposed project at Ballymacwilliam will be amongst the topics that Amanda will cover on the night.

Members of the public are welcome and Amanda will be free to answer any questions regarding history and heritage that you may have

Famous Sons & Daughters of Edenderry

Thomas Fry 1710-1762 born in Edenderry, King's County

Over the coming weeks we will post some information about famous sons and daughters of Edenderry & district.
These will include
* Thomas Dougherty (legal writer)
* Cornelius Heaney (founder of St Patrick's Cathedral, New York)
* Archbishop Henry Byrne (Bishop of Iba, Philipines)
* Archbishop Andrew Killian (Bishop of Adaleide)
* Thomas Fry (Artist)
* Thomas McCabe (USA statesman)
* Hugh Farrell (Poet)

If you have any further information about these people we would be delighted to recieve such and will credit fully any contributions. Below is information on the life of Archibald Nevins from Carbury, county Kildare.


Archibald Nevins: Carbury, county Kildare born merchant and ship-owner

Archibald Nevins was born at Arkill, Carbury in county Kildare in 1782, the second surviving son of Archibald Nevins, and his second wife Grace Penrose; married Jane____ and they had four children. He died 21 October 1812 in St Johns Newfoundland.

He was the fifth of eleven children; four of whom died as infants. He was the son of a substantial Quaker farmer, and his roots in his native county extend back to the early part of the eighteenth century when his great grand father moved from county Antrim to Edenderry, King’s County. In 1800 his father died and his mother took the family to Waterford, where a number of relatives lived. Before his debt his father had sublet a lot of land in King’s County and in Kildare. This rent and from other Nevin lands amounted to thousands and it was used to establish Thomas the eldest brother in Waterford’s extensive overseas trade, in which there uncle William Penrose was prominent since the 1770s.

In Waterford Nevins bought the most desirable property…

Hugh Smyth’s new website

Hugh Smyth’s new website

Best wishes are extended to society member and ‘Tour Guide’, Hugh Smyth who has recently set up a website offering his services as a tour guide. Among the many wonderful recommendations on the site is one from Mairead Evans who highlighted the success that the Edenderry Historical Society have had over the years using Hugh’s excellent tour guide services. Best of luck with the venture Hugh! The website can be accessed at

Images of Edenderry

On Friday August 14th last, Edenderry Historical Society launched their latest publication, ‘Images of Edenderry’ in Edenderry G.A.A. Centre, in front of a large crowd. This is the result of an appeal to the public in April and May 2008 for photographs. Over 600 images were scanned by Ciaran Reilly and Aisling O’Kelly over a six week period. They were assisted in this work by Mairead Evans, Catherine Watson, Patience Pollard, Eileen Hickey and Therese Abbott. One hundred years of Edenderry’s history is unfolded through the medium of Events, Personalities, Places, Sporting activities and the daily lives of Edenderry people in the twentieth century. The collection includes photos of the town before 1960 and towards the present day. Some newspaper articles detailing historic events are also quoted. Mr. Sean FitzGerald, who was M.C. for the night, recalled some of the characters who evoked particular memories for him and he said he had no doubt that every person reading the book would hav…


26 August 2009
‘Remembering the Great Famine and Edenderry workhouse’
An ecumenical service will be held at 6.30pm at St Vincent’s Paupers Graveyard, Edenderry (off Sr Senan Ave.). An exhibition of famine and workhouse material will then be opened at Edenderry Library. Ciaran Reilly will give a short talk on ‘The Great Famine in King’s County’.

Autumn/ Winter Lecture Series 2009
(All lectures will take place at 8pm in the Edenderry Parish Centre unless otherwise stated)

18 September 2009
Collette Jordan
‘The role of women in the Irish Big House’

9 October 2009 (at 7.30pm) ** Note Time**
Amanda Pedlow, Offaly Heritage Officer
Amanda has kindly offered to speak to the society regarding the projects that are been undertaken in the county by the Heritage office and associated groups. The recent survey of Blundell Castle and the proposed project at Ballymacwilliam will be amongst the topics that Amanda will cover on the night.

23 October 2009
Brian Casey IRCHSS, NUI Maynooth
‘A dangerously clever man:…