Dublin after Dark: Glimpses of Life in an Early Modern City

Lord Merrick ladies and gentlemen imagine that you are a member of the watch on juicy on the western walls of Dublin behind bridge street the time is shortly after midnight early in the year 1642 it is a bitterly cold dark night with no sound except the occasional raucous shouts and laughter up some soldiers and in the streets below suddenly you hear a crash but you cannot identify what caused it in reality the sound you’ve heard is that of a man jumping from one of the upper back windows of a house in bridge street it is not just any man the person who has escaped is in fact a priest the head of one of the Catholic religious orders in the city and someone whom the authorities would dearly like to capture I shall return to the story of the priest later this short account whoever illustrates several of the nighttime problems which Dublin had to face in the 1640s for example the cold the 17th century was known as the mini ice age the darkness gas and electric lighting worth centuries in the future and the serious threat of attack from outside not from foreigners but from the needs of Irish most of whom were Catholics another difficulty which the citizens of this city had to face during the hours of darkness was the danger of fire enormous changes took place in our city during the 17th century in 1600 it was a small walled city with possibly 10,000 inhabitants by the end of the century the city had spread outside the walls in all directions and its population was in the region of 70,000 Dublin was fast becoming one of Europe’s great cities but there were other changes which affected the lives of the people the center city mainly Catholic at the beginning of the century was now largely Protestant new churches and other elegant buildings such as the royal hospital now graced the city the walls are what remained of them were no longer is secure barrier to entry to the city but perhaps the change that older people would have noticed most in their day-to-day lives was the great increase in traffic especially cultures with which the many narrow streets were ill equipped to cope before looking at some of the more dramatic events which took place at night during the early modern period and in particular the 17th century I should like to say something about the effects of darkness on the lives of the ordinary people the inhabitants of Dublin City were familiar with the measurement of time from the late Middle Ages as there had been a public talk on top of the tall zoo or city hall since at least 14 66 the bells of the many churches particularly those of christ church and st. audience rang out at regular intervals to cope with the long hours of darkness especially during the winter some form of lighting was needed at home and in the streets in the home as well as simple rush lights candles were used and these candles were made generally from tallow by craftsmen who were members of the guild of tallow Chandler’s soap boilers and wax light makers the guild was founded in 1583 but may have replaced an earlier guild unlike London which had separate gills for wax Chandler’s who made candles from bees wax for churches and further nobility and tallow Chandler is who made candles from tallow for general use both types of craftsmen and Dublin belong to the same guild Tala was the main commodity used for candle making in Dublin and as this was supplied by the butchers it became necessary to control their activities as well as those of the tallow Chandler’s to ensure that citizens paid a fair price for these essential commodities in the year 1600 for example the assembly imposed maximum prices of two shillings and fourpence sterling per stone of tallow and threepence per pound of candles formal street lighting seems to developed rather laois in dublin by public lighting was necessary for the

safety of citizens it is not clear how exactly this was provided in the early years a single reference in the Dublin assembly roles for 1585 may give us a clue as to how the system operated in that year Elise was made to Georgia sure for 41 years of a shop lately built near the hike hundred he to find a lantern with candle light from six to nine o’clock to light passengers this would suggest that householders or at least businesses were responsible for providing lights outside the premises the lanterns were probably affixed to brackets placed over or near the main door or two adjoining railings a perusal of a selection of leases suggests that this form of stipulation was unusual since it was clearly in the interests of shops and businesses to ensure that their premises were well lish it was probably also unnecessary however it may have been considered advisable to include it in the usher lease because the shop was newly built while the provision of street lighting during the early part of the 17th century seemed to have been the responsibility of individuals the city assembly provided candles in certain circumstances it did so for example for the courts of guard soldiers and armed citizens who guarded the city when there was a tragic attacked by the Ulster Irish during the nine years war and more particularly during the period 1597 to 1600 even after the threat of surprise had receded the practice of providing the watchman with fire and candles continued there were other problems associated with darkness and 1603 for example I quote the inhabitants of Cook Street complained that the lane leading from st. Michael’s lane to the key is abused by night by the inhabitants thereabouts by casting filth and excrements there and requested to have a great of timber made at either end to prevent the same it is therefore ordered that if the inhabitant shall consent to contribute to that charge that then the said great shall be made and that the keys of the lux there’ll be given into the custody of the inhabitants of that Lane to be kept every night by turns for the commodity of their own passages in and house at all times x 1600 nesib steer that this problem had not been solved Brutus agreed to make two greats at both the ends of rosemary lane to avoid the noise ohms thereof it seems that the difficulty arose to some extent because the two ends of the tiny Lane lay in different wards and this was necessary to assign responsibility both for building and for the nightly closing of the gates to do different sets of officials in 1616 the assembly decreed that I quote every 5th house throughout the city and suburbs shall of lantern and candle light set forth from six of the top to nine every dark night from All Hallows tied until Candlemas and a fortnight after and whosoever shall offend contrary to this law to be committed by mr. mayor and to pay 6th and sterling fine for every night’s default during the second half of the 17th century the city assembly gave the lead in providing lighting for its own premises when it erected a lantern knowing variously as the globe lamp to know the great Lantern it is not clear where the lamphun was placed but it seems likely that it was in corn market at the entrance to the tulsa the forerunner of the city hall between 1682 and the end of the century this Lambton had to be replaced twice and mended on several occasions so it cannot have been very sturdy are reliable responsibility for provision of street lighting still a primarily with individual citizens although it was no overseen by officials in 1687 the assembly modified this regulation when it specified that for prevention of many miss chips and inconveniences in the streets in the dark nights that lanterns and candles be hung out in the respective streets of this city every night during the winter season that is to say five inhabitants on one side of each street and five on the other to contribute to hang out at convenient distances one Lantern and candles to be done at the charge of ten of the said inhabitants of each Street and to be hung out from five of the talc

unto ten of the clock at night and such candles to be up the bigness of four to the pound at least the said lamp shins to be placed in such convenient places as the lord mayor and sheriffs for the time being shall direct and report we note that this regulation acknowledged the dark streets were a problem that the arse on which public lighting needed to be provided should be extended from three to five the candles of a certain size were required and that control of this form of lighting needed to be centralized the did that seem to be any attempt to deal with the provision of light on dark winter mornings the growth of the city brought with it its own problems and dangers in 1695 members of the assembly pointed out that the way from moment market to ormond bridge was very dangerous in the night time by reason of the key not being fenced with the wall from the said bridge down to the slip where a poor man lately fell and drowned himself later in the same year as emerged that the parishes were no longer able to cope with the responsibilities in relation to poor relief the records described the problem graphically as follows for as much as it was apparent that a great number of sturdy beggars both men and women did resort with their children which they sent in the night to beg at the doors and disguise it the inhabitants and particularly the most considerable persons crying at their doors in unseasonable hours and the night to excite them to give them a relief which if not prevented might occasion their leaders and other idlers and vagabonds to take an opportunity to rob and plunder houses when open to give relief to these troublesome children end quote the response of the assembly was to move a little closer to centralization by setting up a fund to deal with beggars not maintained by the parishes two years later a merchant Michael Cole came up with a proposal for an elaborate scheme of public lighting on the lines of those which already existed in Holland and parts of London he pointed out that fueled the existing lights and city continued burning after nine o’clock by which time as he said most mischiefs are done and suggested that the new system of lights which he proposed to introduce should Parliament agree to his proposal should burn from six o’clock until midnight from the 29th of September until the 25th of March if as he said it’d be so long dark the fee to be charged for the lights was to be three shillings a year per house in the main streets and two shillings a year in the lanes and alleys the city assembly accepted his proposal but the act of parliament passed later in the same year granting hold the Commission for Asian years specified that the lights should burn from five in the evening on to midnight or during so much time thereof I shall not be enlightened by the moon the citywide introduction of public lighting made socialising after nightfall in the capital very much easier half a century later the drawings of Joseph Tudor showed how elegant public lights had been installed in college green Sackville Street and on Essex bridge but his sketches of Trinity College and Dublin Castle suggests that there was still room for improving public lighting one of the most remarkable features of the 17th century in Northern Europe was the cold ireland in dublin did not escape a marginal joying on speeds map of dublin first published in 1610 suggests that all classes of the Irish dressed warmly as well as items relating to the provision of fuel there were occasional references to the weather in the city records in 1608 the city assembly voted money to repair the piles of the city’s only bridge which had been damaged by frost in 1665 the assembly sanctioned a request by the master of a free school for the provision of a chimney in the schoolhouse during the winter of 1680 45 a wall at Knox monton was destroyed by a hard frost in 1695 and again in 1697 payments were made for the removal of snow from the leds of the newly rebuilt halls oh the city fathers themselves felt the cold in 1618 they reported that a quote the comments have been humbled petitioners to the said assembly praying that the null water bailiffs might be tied to find three good fires on the two

winter assembly days and Easter assembly day in the upper room of the thousand being extreme cold for such as attend there and if they think it chargeable that others that are willing to take the same may be granted their places it is therefore ordered that the water bailiffs for the time being shall find three sufficient fires as is desired for the same allowance already given them otherwise the same to be taken from them the needs of the members continued to be looked after the cusp of a fire shovel tongues and a fork for the use of the thousand were included in the payment of two pounds nine and threepence made in 1651 to us Williams Smith Cole was either imported or brought to the capital from cake any the woods which had once been a great feature of the landscape had been largely depleted especially to the north of the city yet the demand for firing was very great not just for private households but for the courts of guard who guarded the walls and gates of the city during wartime and who continued to function long after the military danger was over for example the city treasurer’s accounts showed that the renting of a celeron merchants key for 34 weeks ending on the 22nd to februari 1651 to store of courland furs for those guards cost the city assembly two shillings and 6 pence a week about the same time a further payment of 16 pounds was made for renting a house also on merchants key for storing coals and fuel in the winter of 1689 90 when James the second was resident in Dublin it emerged the traders were reluctant to supply few into the city for fear their goods and horses and carriages would be seized by the military for the king service this applied in particular to cold coming from County Kilkenny the king was forced to issue a proclamation guaranteeing safety passes for such goods the danger of fire was intensified during the extremely cold nights responsibility for firefighting while generally left to the parishes was on occasion centralized as early as January 1547 the city assembly agreed to provide 12 graphs or grappling hooks of iron far as they put it pulling down of houses that shall chance to be a fire and 40 buckets of leather for carrying of water in 1560 that was further centralized attempt to cope with fires when the older men have breached the purchase of for yarn wrappers and 12 leather buckets in case of i er however in 1573 the assembly decreed as every parish within this city and suburbs of the same shall make upon their own proper costs and charges certain rappers with their chains and ropes and ladders to be within their parish churches and the same to be made by the oversight of the chief in every parish and the charge is therefore to be cest by them according to the hability of the parishioners and quote currently these measures were not successful for in the year 1596 when the threat of war was at its height the assembly issued much more precise instructions as follows whereas great danger happened at often times by the extremity of fire a little or no provision amongst us to prevent the same is it therefore ordered that the sum of 24 pounds sterling shall be presently levied and the same money to be bestowed with all speed in buying and providing threescore buckets six ladders of 30 feet long apiece or thereabouts– two crooks with our chains and ropes and prepared the two crooks which at present we have in 1610 the assembly moved to ban the building of patched houses in the suburbs later in the same year the assembly once again tried to centralize firefighting when at the request of the Commons decreed that in so much as John frankton printer at lately brought out of London one dozen of pockets it is therefore ordered that mr. treasurer shall by the said dozen of pockets to the use of this city and shall hang the same in the thousand and she’ll also prepare these ladders at the city costs and shall repair the hooks with expedition which latter’s and who shall be changed up under the new gate and the jailer to take charge there up and not to lend out the same upon any occasion but only the occasion of fire two years later the assembly reverted to the parish model of firefighting when it enacted that from henceforth the shall be forthwith made and provided in every parish throughout the city and suburbs

upon the charge of the inhab of the said parish one dozen of buckets true fair large letters and one hook the same to be marked with true letters which are to remain in the parish church of every of the said parishes in the charge and custody of the church Morton’s of said church and that the same shall not be lent to any person or persons whatsoever was when occasion shall be to prevent the like accidents of fire in 1623 apparently as a result of local fires the assembly bands the melting of tallow within the city and imposed that then enormous penalty of 40 pounds from breaches of this law in 1653 during the Commonwealth members of the city assembly requests with purchase of engines for firefighting the city treasurer his accounts record to payments made in the following year one of 13 shillings and fourpence to Simon tool carpenter and the other of five shillings to William Lowe Smith for repairing the engine which was broken in quenching the late fire and sympatric Street in the same year responsibility was once more transferred to the parishes in the city and the liberties it was agreed that mr. mayor give or directly the inhabitants of every parish within the city and suburbs of Dublin to provide two dozen of buckets for each parish and a good long ladder and two hooks with her chains and chain ropes in each parish for prevention of mischief by fire to be kept for that juice in or near the respective churches the parishes aforesaid and forth with the same to be provided at the charge of each parish respectively in 1657 a further danger came to light when it was discovered that the cistern at the pillory was dry the assembly decided to acquire a large pump and repaired pipes perhaps the most serious fire threat to the city occurred as one o’clock in the morning of the 7th of April 1684 when not for the first time a fire broke out in Dublin Castle were Richard but there are 11 then lord deputy was resident Thanks sent by the city assembly to the Lord deputy on the following day shows an interesting set of priorities it stated that by her Excellency’s great presence of mind care and conduct in the midst of the devouring flames which encompassed you not only the remaining part of the buildings in the castle the great magazine of powder to which the fire had within few steps approach was wonderfully preserved and the ancient records of this kingdom then also in the castle rescued from those flames by which not only the city now remains in being which otherwise in few minutes had been a heap of rubbish mingled with the lives and fortunes of very many of his Majesty’s loyal subjects but also those ancient records had been destroyed which now a live as monuments of your Excellencies care of them and your own deliverance to the Grace and general benefit of the whole kingdom historians had cause to be grateful for Richard Butler’s intervention on that fateful night in 1684 in the following year the assembly moved against another potential source of fire when it enacted that whereas great danger often happens by fire and great similar occasions in this city by chimneys which are so much neglected to be swept and kept clean it is therefore ordered that the inhabitants of this city to from henceforth keep their chimneys Julie swept and cleaned from such and whoever neglect to do so that their chimneys take fire everyone and occupier thereof to forfeit the sum of twenty shilling sterling to be paid to the churchwardens of the parish where such virus shall happen to the use of the poor of such parish end of quote during the late 16th and early seventeenth centuries and particularly from 1594 to sixteen hundred and three the citizens of dublin feared attack by gaelic irish forces the watchman who guarded the city walls or under the control of constables appointed and paid for by the individual rewards the constables were required to carry metal style called tips touts in 1584 the regulations specified that a quote no constable being sent for a night time to come before mr. mayor for the time being to execute anything that concerns his office shall repair without the said tip staff in his hand and seemly attire as the time and calls sheriff fire and that the armsby session golden oil at the price of asian pen sterling each staff

and of course in june 1591 as the political situation became even more serious the assembly became very worried about the state of the posturing gates on the walls feeling that they might be seen to public jected their duty to queen elizabeth the assemblymen resolved that i quote all and every such person that have any posture indoors upon the city walls shall before back home you day next cause to be made upon severn posturing gates great sword roars environment such so strong and sensible i shall be to the good contentment of mr. mayor and aldermen otherwise that mr. mayor who caused the same doors to be shut up and closed with Lyman stone and so to remain forever hereafter and in the meantime that every of them that had juice of these posterous shall nightly at nine of the top locked the sad past wounds and bring the keys onto mr. mayor and there to remain to six of the clock in the morning an inventory of the arms and ammunitions carried out early in 1594 showed that the city was heir protected in the event of an attack the situation deteriorated to the extent in 1596 that the archbishop Adam Loftus order the people in the liberty of saints epic are outside the walls to join the watch in October 1597 the Nights Watch was intensified both in the city and the suburbs guarding the suburbs became a major problem a situation worsened the assembly decided in 1598 the two men should be on guard the city gates by day and two others by night if any alarms should happen in the suburbs the wicket of the case was to be opened to let in the women and children but no men were to be admitted they were expected to remain outside to strengthen suburbs it was decided that the six city gates must be locked by named aldermen at six o’clock each evening in October and a five in November and all the gate keys must be brought immediately to the mayor during the following months the regulations were tightened still further and more men were recruited to guard the city by night additional detailed regulations made in May 1600 included arrangements to monitor Irish men lodging within the city and to prevent cattle stealing in the suburbs the Night Watch was relaxed somewhat in March 1601 which was reestablished in the following October for the winter of 1600 and 12 the walls of Dublin had stood firm by night and by day for eight years but the ordinary citizens must have suffered greatly as a result of these severe restrictions when the next really serious threat of attack occurred in 1641 the walls of Dublin were in no condition to a stand an attack in any event the city had by then extended when beyond the medieval walls but as has happened the principal threat came from conspirators were already in the city one of these oh no Connolly who went to betrayus colleagues may daddy position in which he described a visit to a tavern in wine tavern Street a ten at night he described the night as being very dark as he escaped from his of companions this suggests that by ten o’clock the lighting even in one of the main streets was inadequate as might have been expected jailbreaks often took place at night in terms of national history probably the most famous escape occurred in 1591 when Hugh O’Donnell with some companions left Dublin Council on such refuge in the Wicklow is somewhat less celebration as a historic event but perhaps more newsworthy among contemporary Dubliners was the escape of Richard Nugent Byron Devlin in 1607 ugent was a popular young member of the Anglo Irish community who had been accused of high treason and despite special precautions he managed to escape over the wall of Dublin Castle on the night of 21st of November by means of a rope 30 or 35 yards long and to reach safety in county cabin in one of his letters Sir Arthur Chichester then deputy said that such escapes from the castle had often occurred in the past all those was the first time that he himself had experienced such an event Nugent later surrendered and was received back into favor was really upset the city assembly or that Nugent had been aided and abetted by a man called Rafe miles free men of the city however apart from letting the feelings be known the only sanction the city

fathers could employ was to deprive miles and his posterity of the privileges of freemen forever an escape of a different kind was affected by Rory or more on the twenty-third of October 1641 following the betrayal on previous night connor maguire Aronov enniskillen Carlile Hugh McMahon and both 30 other members of the conspiracy to see his Dublin Castle were arrested another conspirator rodeo more fledged while and bridged by boat and then proceeded up the Liffey to the relative safety of his wife’s family home at Lucan during the following night two of the most dramatic events which occurred during the 17th century were associated with Saint audience steeple the first of these occurred in 1647 when Watchers on the steeple witnessed more than 200 fires to the north in Fingal while own row need was attempting to destroy the pale the second was the collapse of the spire joining a first storm in February 1668 causing considerable damage to the Med in church but perhaps the best-known nocturnal incident in Dublin during the early modern period took place on the first of July 1690 following the battle of the boyne when Kings James the second arrived in the city late at night his reported conversations with Lady tirconnaill and others ensured that his memory would survive not just in rural folk lore but in that of the city itself we shall probably never know if these conversations really took place there were other pleasanter aspects to life after dark in Dublin the mayor’s and Lords mayor were expected to entertain lavishly and were compensated for so doing Stanley Hearst described the morality of Patrick Sauvage who held office in the year fifteen fifty four to five as follows over this he did at the same time protest with oath that he spent that year in housekeeping 20 tons of terrace wine over and above twice wine sack mom’s brie musketeer etc and in very Jesus was not to be marvelled for during his murti his house was so open as commonly from five of the talk in the morning to ten at night his pottery and sellers were with one crew or other frequented end of quote more than a century later the city assembly was still entertaining lavishly when the new council building was completed in 1683 the assembly gave an entertainment in the form of a banquet for the Duke of almond which probably extended into the night as among the large number of items supplied for the event was one dozen large candles the whole affair cost 141 pounds Asian and threepence which is put into perspective when one realizes that the remuneration paid to the 10-city musicians in 1685 20 to 20 pounds it is interesting to discover the compensation was paid to suppliers for a silver spoon and some pewter dishes and other things lost during the event but expenses did not end there there was a follow up trees at the tavern when the committee met there for calling in the bills and adjusting the accounts which cost the city more money one of the leisure activities most associated with Dublin today as the theater rather surprisingly in the 17th century plays were generally performed in the afternoon possibly due to the perceived danger of the Dublin streets before the introduction of public street lighting however towards the beginning of the 18th century the combination of better lighting and a great increase in the number of coaches for hire made it possible to start performances somewhat later music on the other hand was often performed at night abandoned musicians was employed by the assembly and the conditions of service specified that they must perform at night as well as during the day in 1669 for example the assembly ordered that the musicians to go in and through the city and suburbs with the city weights every usual night in the fifth of October to the fifth day of every year Lee another indoor activity which was popular with a certain section of the population was the book option thanks to the efforts of John dunton and documenting the actions he held in Dublin in 1698 we know a little about these events while they began of three in the afternoon they went on for several nerds entering well

after dark in winter during the early modern period there were many more public holidays than there are today people worked long hours on working days made the most of the public holidays when they could the distinction between working days and public or religious holidays may have meant more than the distinction between working hours and evening measure time and an ordinary working day while making d positions following the 1641 rising a number of people spoke about early-morning visits to taverns in Cook Street and Castle Street on All Saints Day much earlier in the century Barnaby rich grows a diatribe against Ale House and tavern keepers especially women who served wine beer and ale during the forenoon on Sundays the city assembly took a poor view of the debauchery that was believed to exist in taverns in which women were managers or employees and from time to time took action against them whoever the seems to be little evidence the taverns were more dangerous at night than during the day while many of the fun activities of the periods such as pageants dramas monsters and outings to place during daylight others took place at night fireworks displays and bonfires despite the obvious dangers were very popular in 1584 Thomas Fitzsimmons alderman was paid for 100 pounds of powder expanded on midsummer’s night the butcher’s were expected to keep lights and the flesh ambles on Midsummer’s Eve and the fishmonger said the similar duty on st Peter’s Eve and both groups were reprimanded in 1563 for failing to do so these lights as they were called were probably bonfires in a later example a London source reported that the citizens of Dublin celebrated the birth of Henry Cromwell’s son in their city on the 19th of April 1656 by several bonfires throughout the city some days later there were further celebrations when the child was baptized in christchurch the same source reported that the day being thus spent as if that time had been through sure to express the greatness of their joy the good people began their nocturnal mirth making such piles in all the streets that when fired the whole city seemed as one bonfire it was rather surprising to discover that the man who made the fireworks for the night show at the time of the installation of Henry Cromwell as Lord deputy in 1657 was a goldsmith edward harris he received a payment of 10 pounds for the display we know from the city records and the treasurer’s accounts that he continued to provide fireworks on a fairly regular basis to mark state occasions such as the anniversary of the Kings restoration and the arrival of a new Lord deputy to the city in 1665 harris was appointed city marshal a post which he held on till 1683 he continued to work as a goldsmith and carried out the task of repairing and gilding the greatness of the city and 1685 he served as warden asst of the guild of Goldsmith’s in 1659 1660 and 1662 and his master of the guild in 1663 and again in 1683 he provided fireworks as late as 16 86 during the reign of james the second was he perhaps responsible for the accident described as follows in the treasures account for the year and at Michaelmas 1686 paid thomas graves for the repair of a house at the castle gate the sum of forty six shillings the said house was broken and the window shattered when the fireworks were made in Castle Street two pounds six shillings end of quote the Year 1686 seems to be in the last during which Harris made the fireworks he died in her before 1689 as his will was proved in that year he had undoubtedly given a great deal of pleasure to his fellow citizens during his lifetime having made fireworks during the Cromwellian period and in the reigns of charles the second and james the second following the victories of the william ice army citizens of dublin felt able to relax once again the anniversary of the 1641 rising was celebrated with great solemnity and the day was ended with ringing of bells bonfires and other demonstrations of public joy less than a fortnight later there was an even more elaborate nighttime celebration described as follows his majesty’s birthday which was the fourth of

november 1690 was observed here with all the splendor this city could afford in the evening there was a very fine firework before the Lord’s justices house on college green during which a hogshead of klaris set out in the street by order of the Lord’s justices was by the people drunk out in their Majesties Health’s most of the nobility and gentry inner about the city were invited by the Lord’s justices to a splendid entertainment and banquet and the day ended with the ringing of bells bonfires and old parts of the city and all other demonstrations of public joy the next day being the anniversary of the Popish powder plus the great guns were discharged at the same time as the word the day before and that common people might share in the satisfaction of this day the Lord’s justices ordered an ox to be roasted whole which with the hogshead of strong beer was given among them and at night the public joy was expressed by bonfires with all other demonstrations that becoming the occasion in 1662 and mr Swan probably the Goldsmith David Swann was paid 11 pounds ten shillings for fireworks but at this period municipal fireworks are either become less frequent or were included in the accounts with other expenses finally I would like to return to the story of the priest which I began this talk born in Shanghai Lord el guinea in the year 1589 and named Christopher he was the son of AB aldol father the lawyer George Archibald and a Skerries mother a member of the Husky family following his father’s early death he was cared for by his maternal uncle for the James Ozzy as a teenager he left Ireland with his cousins Luke bath and Humphrey warned of drumcondra for do I where he was educated like his cousins he joined the Capetian order and was ordained under the name of father Nicholas he returned to Dublin in 1625 and eventually took charge of the fiery in that city he has left us wonderful accounts largely on published of many of the events which took place in Dublin and its surroundings in the 1620s 16 thirties and early 1640s following the outbreak of the rising of 1641 life became very difficult for the members of religious orders in the city and many of them were forced to leave father Nicholas’s own narrative of the happenings on one night early in 1642 was written down only a year or so after the events which he so vividly described he wrote one certain night about midnight that came about half a dozen unruly Protestants armed and would have broken the door but they were let in by the good man of the house they made up directly to our quarter and struck strongly brother Simon being in this habit gets up out of his bed and opens the door to them at a site they were astonished and began to feel mouth what did will have we here once said shall I run him through the other shall I shoot him the one had a sword naked the other a musket and out as they had done some mischief but that the good man of the house being constable and another audacious man by him dissuaded them from violence one take it brother Simon by the cord his girdle and pulled him down the stairs to the great door to deliver him up to the court of guard that watched at the bridge gate and said that he was carried about a miss Corder to hang him but being removed by the constable who entered in bonds for them despaired to do any other hurt only they snatched away some cloaks and hats and some other such things during the noise beneath father Nicholas who lay in a higher room assuming that doubtless they would mount up through on his toes in haste went out the window of his chamber and from the leads of the house adjoining leap down into a backside paved with stone the nite was extreme dark it being in dead of winter and not so much as a star appearing a man could not see his own hand from him the height the belief was tired to any man that the elders as God would the leaper received no hurt a little raising him one of his ties by a table frame that lay under on the ground this he attempted not dreaming that the place was half so high as it was and he Brooks not by any means to be put in prison because that in that place he could do no good to the distress Catholics yet brother Simon being afterwards taken in

our house at home by one captain Emsley and led away father Nicholas occurring on to them voluntarily in the street joined himself companion and both were LED and laid in prison yet favourably dismissed by the captain but with promise that they should appear when so every cent for them wherein they fails not an hour finally being delivered until the Lord lambert’s hands the governor of the city they were after weeks imprisonment by order of the Protestant stage embarked for France with other priests and religious to the number of 20 and of course the ship that Dublin for La Rochelle on pentacle sunday the 29th of May 1642 but before the priests departed a kinsman of the narrator alderman Carberry of Dublin and Donna base supplied the party with what father Nicholas described as vittles for see in abundance and great earthen jugs are burned sack and claret which no doubt during the dark nights on board and in exile or of some consolation to the party and reminded them of similar nights and their beloved Dublin archbold added an interesting post group to the story our residence was rifled at her books taken away by captain hips Lee administer some the first two days he took no notice of the place where and we put them and had never come to the knowledge of them but that we were betrayed as he told us by one who revealed the matter on to him one who doubtless seeing the house before took notice of our biblioteca in this beautiful library it is perhaps appropriate to conclude with the question does anyone know what happened to these books