Tuesday 20 August 2019

Five honoured by historical society



FIVE WEXFORD history lovers were honoured at the annual Sunday lunch of Wexford Historical Society last weekend when their outstanding service to the group earned them honorary life memberships.

Billy Colfer, Celestine Rafferty, Jarlath Glynn, James Maguire and Eithne Scallan were each singled out for their complete dedication to the group, and for their ongoing commitment to protecting Wexford's rich historical past.

After the lunch Liam Gaul, musician historian and author, gave an illustrated talk on the life, times and famous melodies of Thomas Moore (1779-1852) with recorded musical inserts of some of Moore's Melodies.

A Dublinlier with strong Wexford connections, Moore's mother was formerly Anastasia Jane Codd from Cornmarket, who married John Moore a Kerryman. Moore was a student at Trinity College from where he graduated in 1799 and moved on to London to read for the Bar. A prolific writer, author and poet, Moore set 124 of his poems to ancient Irish melodies many of which had been collected by Edward Bunting and published in ten volumes between 1808 and 1834. They became known collectively as Moore's Melodies.

A friend of Lord Byron, Thomas Moore came to Wexford in 1835 visiting his mother's homeplace in Cornmarket then to Bannow House, the residence of Thomas Boyse. On his return to Wexford town he planted a myrtle tree in the grounds of the Presentation Convent and finally returned to his home in Wiltshire.

Thomas Moore married Betsy Dyke in 1811 and they had five children all of whom pre-deceased Moore and his wife.. The losses of his five children took their toll on Moore's health and he fell into senile dementia in 1849 and died at his Wiltshire home on the 25 February 1852 in his seventy-third year.

He is buried in the churchyard of St. Nicholas' Church at Bromham, Wiltshire.

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