I am not usually paying much attention to the patrons of the traditional harpers, because it is enough work for me to simply track down the harpers themselves, who they were and what they were doing.
However I want to try and pin down Mary Kellett of Cornashesk, because she is mentioned in an anecdote from Patrick Byrne in the early 19th century, and we need to date the anecdote, so as to fit it in to Patrick Byrne’s life story.
Continue reading Mary Kellett of Cornashesk, patron of traditional harp music
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.
By the beginning of 1841, Patrick Byrne was in his mid 40s. His regular job at the Royal Hotel in Leamington Spa had given him access to high-ranking aristocratic patrons in England and Scotland, and he spent time visiting them at their houses around Warwickshire and near Edinburgh, as well as maintaining a circuit of patrons in Ireland. He seems to have deliberately built these networks of patronage, so that by the beginning of 1841 he got as high as he ever could, by performing for Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.
Continue reading Patrick Byrne part 4: 1841-4
Brady was a traditional Irish harper, but we know almost nothing about him. We only have records about him for one single day, mentioning him performing at two events, a parade and a tea party, on Wednesday 17th March 1841. This post is to discuss the reports of these events, to try and say something useful about him.
Continue reading Brady
John Wallace was learning to play the traditional Irish wire-strung harp in Belfast in 1810. We know basically nothing about him apart from that. This post is just to put down a marker for him. If we find any more information we can add it to the bottom.
Continue reading John Wallace
In Part 1, I wrote about Patrick Byrne’s early years and education. Then in Part 2, we looked at his early career, working for patrons in Ireland and England.
By the summer of 1837, Patrick Byrne was approximately 40 years old; he had made a lot of contacts amongst the English and Irish aristocracy, and he had proved himself by his regular job at the rather high-class Royal Hotel in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England.
We will continue the story on Wednesday 18th October 1837, when Patrick Byrne left Leamington Spa and began the journey North to Edinburgh.
Continue reading Patrick Byrne part 3: 1837-1840
Sally Moore was a blind traditional Irish harper in Belfast in the mid 19th century. We don’t have very much information about her. This post is to collate the references and to try and say something useful about her. Hopefully in time more references will be found.
Continue reading Sally Moore
Edward O’Neil was learning to play the traditional wire-strung Irish harp in Belfast in 1810. This post is to try and say something useful about him.
Continue reading Edward O’Neil
We have one single description of Hennesy, a traditional harper in Dundalk, which was printed and reprinted in many English newspapers in 1804. This post is to discuss this report and try to say something useful about Hennesy.
Continue reading Hennesy
Dennis Hampson (also known as Denis, Hempson, O’Hampsey, and other variants) was a traditional Irish harper in the 18th century. He lived through into the early 19th century and so he has a place in my “Long 19th Century” project.
Continue reading Dennis Hampson
Thomas Shea was a traditional Irish harper in County Kerry in the 18th century. He was still alive (though very old) in 1792 and so he gets a place in my Long 19th Century project, about harpers who were active between 1792 and 1909.
Header image courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.
Continue reading Thomas Shea