Patrick Byrne part 5: Scotland, 1845

In Part 1, I wrote about Patrick Byrne’s early years and education, down to his discharge from harp school in 1822. Then in Part 2, we looked at his early career, working for patrons in Ireland and England from 1822 to 1837. Part 3 covered his first visit to Scotland over the winter of 1837-8, and his tour of Ireland in 1839-40. Then in Part 4 we looked at him playing for Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle, and then touring mostly in Ireland and a bit in England in 1841-4.

Since I posted part 4, John Scully has published his book Ah how d’you do sir (Carrickmacross, 2024) which gathers records of Byrne’s life, including many that I have included in my posts but also some that I had not found. I will refer to his book when he has found things that I didn’t know about. I have a few copies of John’s book in my shop.

By 1845, Patrick Byrne must have been around 50 years old. He was working hard, buoyed by his Royal patronage and his extensive networks of aristocratic patrons. At the beginning of 1845, he set off for his second trip to Scotland. It was a busy trip, and so this post will follow him for about six months, from when he went over at the beginning of 1845, until he headed back to Belfast on 25th June.

Continue reading Patrick Byrne part 5: Scotland, 1845

Michael Deigan

Michael Deigan was a harp maker, player and teacher in the south-west of Ireland in the 1840s. We have a huge problem because at the moment we don’t know if he was a classical harpist, or if he had learned to play the traditional wire-strung Irish harp in the inherited tradition. This post is to try and say something useful about him.

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Kate Martin

Kate Martin was a traditional Irish harper in the 18th century. We have only a few references to her, and they are all retrospective. Some of them imply or state that she was still alive at the beginning of our Long 19th Century study period, but I think this is not reliable information. This post is to discuss the information we have to see if we can say anything useful about Kate Martin from 1792 onwards.

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Dominic O’Donnell

Dominic O’Donnell was a traditional Irish harper who was alive and active towards the end of the 18th century and apparently into the beginning of the 19th century. We have very little information about him. This post is to gather together the different references to see if we can say anything useful about what he was doing during our Long 19th Century study period (1792 onwards).

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