P. Fitzpatrick was a traditional Irish harper in the mid 19th century. I only have a couple of references to him but they contain some hints that can help us start to describe his life and work. Hopefully in time more references to him will be found.Continue reading P. Fitzpatrick
Tag: Irish Harp Society
John McCotter was a student at the Belfast harp school in 1820. However he seems to have dropped out and I have not seen any trace of him after that.
This post is just to get his name down so that we can tick him off the list and move on.Continue reading John McCotter
Harp Society House, Cromac Street, Belfast
The Irish Harp Society in Belfast was based at a few different addresses from the beginning of the first Harp School in 1808 until the finish of the second Harp School in 1840. I have references to the Harp Society House being in three different Belfast streets at different dates: Pottinger’s Entry, Cromac Street, and Talbot Street.
This post is to collate as many references as I can, to try and work out where the house in Cromac Street was.Continue reading Harp Society House, Cromac Street, Belfast
Valentine Rennie was a traditional Irish harper and tradition-bearer in the first half of the 19th century. He taught the harp in Belfast for fifteen years, passing on the inherited tradition to perhaps twenty or more young harpers in the next generation. We have loads of information about him including two different portraits (header image courtesy of National Museums NI)
In this post I am going to try and cover everything so it will be very long. We will start by going through his life in order, and then after that we will look at things like his harps and his portaits.Continue reading Valentine Rennie
William Gorman was a traditional Irish harper at the beginning of the 19th century. He learned the harp from Arthur O’Neil, at the Belfast harp school, but he was expelled before he had completed his eduction. This post is to try and say something useful about him.Continue reading William Gorman
Hamilton Gillespie was a traditional Irish harper in the first half of the 19th century. This post draws together information about his life.Continue reading Hamilton Gillespie
John MacLoughlin was a traditional Irish harper in the first half of the 19th century. He had an interesting working life in Dublin, playing before the King, working in taverns and ending up in poverty. This post is to gather together the different scattered references to him, to build a picture of his life and work.Continue reading John MacLoughlin
Patrick O’Neil was a young traditional Irish harper at the beginning of the 19th century. We have very little information about him, but I am putting him here on his own post so that we can start to think about who he was, and so that we can add more information as and when it turns up.Continue reading Patrick O’Neil
One of the problems with trying to trace these harpers in the 19th century records, is when there are multiple variant spellings of names. Sometimes it becomes unclear if we are dealing with two different people or not. This is a big problem if we are trying to reconstruct the life story of an individual.
Sometimes there is direct evidence that helps us to divide one name into two people (e.g. concerts by Mr. Rennie after the death of Valentine Rennie). Other times the record-keeping helps us to be sure that two names belong to one person (Hamilton Graham / Hamilton Gillespie in the Harp Society minutes, 1820-21). But often we just have to guess based on circumstantial evidence or hints.
We have references to James MacMonagal, and also to James McMolaghan. I really don’t know if they are two different people, or two different versions of the same name. This post is to draw together the references we have so far, and then to be a place where further references can be added in the future.Continue reading James MacMonagal
Mr O’Connor was a traditional Irish harper in the mid 19th century. He was originally from Limerick; he was blind, and was enrolled into the Irish Harp Society school in Belfast some time in the late 1820s or early 1830s. He had a very good performing career, touring and playing concerts usually with other traditional harpers, and also playing at private functions at the big houses of the nobility. Most of his work was in the South-East of Ireland.
This post is to draw together references and information about him, to try to piece together his life story.Continue reading O’Connor