Maurice Lenihan Papers, 1759-1875

Reference code: IE LA P4

Extent: 2 Boxes

Scope & Content

Correspondence (1841 - 1862) which consists of letters regarding his work as a journalist, a historical researcher and highlight his relationship with the clergy and Irish nationalists.

Historical sources and research notes (1759-1864) which includes notes relating to the history of Limerick and Tipperary, including chapel in Grange, county Limerick.

Scrapbook (1857 - 1875) consists of newspaper cuttings and correspondence relating to historical sources and topics.

Reminiscences of Thomas Steele and of Libel Cases records Lenihan's personal memories of the nationalist politician Tom Steel and memories of Lenihan's own legal entanglements.

Practical Suggestions on the Improvement of the Navigation in the Shannon (1828)

Research Notes About Killaloe, County Clare

Subjects

Cashel, County Tipperary, Catholic Church, Clonmel Advertiser, Health, Historian, Irish Nationalism ,Journalist, Killaloe, County Clare, Leahy, Patrick,
Lenihan, Maurice, (1811-1895), historian, Limerick Corporation, Limerick History, Limerick Reporter, Mayors of Limerick,Newspaper proprietor, Oral traditions, Steele, Thomas, Tipperary Free Press, Tipperary Vindicator, Waterford Chronicler

Creator(s)

Maurice Lenihan

Biographical / Historical Note

Maurice Lenihan was born on 5 February 1811 in St. Patrick's parish, Waterford. His father was a woollen draper from Waterford, while his mother was from Carrick-on-Suir, although her family was originally from Limerick.

 

In 1823 he was sent to Carlow College as a lay-student, where he showed great ability in the classics and in modern languages, though not in history. In 1831 he spent his summer holiday with a Mr. Hackett of Clonmel, a cousin, who was the editor of the Tipperary Free Press, and it was in this newspaper where he started his career as a journalist.

 

In 1833 he joined the Waterford Chronicle and eight years later, in 1841, he moved to Limerick to join the Limerick Reporter. The Reporter was a journal of liberal views started by Rutherford Brown in 1829. Lenihan was the editor of the Limerick Reporter until 1843, when he started working for the Cork Examiner.

 

His stay in Cork lasted only a few months, because by the end of 1843 he had moved to Nenagh and established his own newspaper, the Tipperary Vindicator. The aims of the Tipperary Vindicator included the disestablishment of the State Church and the repeal of the Act of Union by constitutional means. It was also in Nenagh where he married Elizabeth Spain in November 1843. Lenihan amalgamated the Tipperary Vindicator with the Limerick Reporter, which he purchased in 1849.

 

In 1853, he decided to enter public life as a member of Limerick Municipal Council, and from 1854 to 1887 (with the exception of two years in the sixties) he represented the Custom House Ward division. In 1870 he was made Justice of the Peace and in December 1883 was unanimously elected as Mayor of the city.

 

However Lenihan is probably best known as a historian. His most famous work is The History of Limerick, which was published in 1864. The book treats of the history of Limerick from the earliest times to the 1860's. Lenihan had been encouraged to write this history of Limerick by friends such as Patrick Leahy, Archbishop of Cashel, and the Gaelic scholar, Eugene O'Curry. The book was academically a success. Lenihan's merits as a historian were recognised by the Royal Irish Academy, when he was elected to membership in 1869. However the book was not a financial success, and contributed to Lenihan's financial difficulties at the end of his life. Indeed, before his death, he was forced to sell many of the manuscripts he had gathered when writing The History of Limerick and when planning to write histories of Clare and Tipperary. Many of his manuscripts were purchased by the British Museum.

 

He died in 1895 and was survived by his wife and four of his nine sons and daughters.

Adminstrative Information

Access Restrictions: N.A.

Use Restrictions: N.A.

Related Materials: Finegan, Francis: ‘Maurice Lenihan, historian of Limerick', in The Old Limerick Journal, Nos. 17 - 20, 1984 - 1986


Collection Content


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1. Correspondence, 1841 - 1862                                                                      

 

   P4/1. Letter from Maurice Lenihan to his father James Lenihan. (DjVu - 0.69 Mb)
    Letter from Maurice Lenihan to his father James Lenihan, undated, relating to family matters.
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/2. File of letters from P.R. Barron (proprietor of the Waterford Chronicle) to Lenihan, c. 28 March 1841-31 August 1841 (DjVu - 0.92 Mb)
    File of letters from P.R. Barron (proprietor of the Waterford Chronicle) to Lenihan. Topics discussed include Lenihan resigning from his position of editor of the Waterford Chronicle, Barron's career as a journalist, sale of Waterford Chronicle and the Dungarven musical band.
Extent: 5 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/3. Letter from John Fawcett (solicitor) to Maurice Lenihan, 25 November 1846 (DjVu - Mb)
    Letter from John Fawcett (solicitor) to Maurice Lenihan, relating to an affidavit on behalf of his client 'Mr. Birch' who was injured by an article published in Lenihan's newspaper
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/4. Letter from John Marnell to Maurice Lenihan, 12 August 1847 (DjVu - 0.27 Mb)
    Letter from John Marnell to Maurice Lenihan, requesting that an accompanying letter be published (not included).
Extent: 1p
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/5.  File of letters from John Ryan (curator, [Cashel]) to Maurice Lenihan, 14 October 1847-17 October 1847 (DjVu - 0.34 Mb)
    File of letters from John Ryan (curator, [Cashel]) to Maurice Lenihan. Topics include the Vindicator and Ryan's dispute with Dohenys and Lyttleton.
Extent: 2 Items
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/6. Incomplete letter from [Murray], 22 September 1856 (DjVu - 0.41 Mb)
    Incomplete letter from [Murray] 'the "sick" monkey-patriot in a fret' criticizing John Cashel Hoey's 'weekly butchery of reputations' in The Nation
Extent: 5pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/7. Letter from John [Dalton] to Maurice Lenihan, 3 May 1862 (DjVu - 0.10 Mb)
    Letter from John [Dalton] to Maurice Lenihan, related to the editing and publication of one of Lenihan's books.
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/8. Letter from N [Bu...raune] to Maurice Lenihan, 10 June [ ] (DjVu - 0.65 Mb)
    Letter from N [Bu...raune] to Maurice Lenihan relating to historical sources for Adare.
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


2. Historical Sources and Research Notes, 1759-1864


   P4/9. Letter from [Sam] Wyse(Waterford) to William Walsh, Carrick, 19 September 1759 (DjVu - 0.11 Mb)
    Letter from [Sam] Wyse(Waterford) to William Walsh, Carrick regarding the purchasing of casks.
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/10. Certificate in Latin from Fr. Joseph M. Castellani, 22 January 1846 (DjVu - 0.15 Mb)
    Certificate in Latin from Fr. Joseph M. Castellani to Joseph Caning Brua[cawith]
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/11. Circular letter from Henry Edward (Cardinal Archbishop), 28 September 1853 (DjVu - 0.55 Mb)
    Circular letter from Henry Edward (Cardinal Archbishop) with instructions for masses.
Extent: 1p
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/12. Newspaper cutting, Undated (DjVu - 0.71 Mb)
    Newspaper cutting with words of song titled 'Lines written on the Liberation of the Clergy'.
Extent: 1p
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/13. List of priests of Limerick Diocese who took Test Oath'. Undated (DjVu - 0.75 Mb)
    List of priests of Limerick Diocese who took Test Oath'. Includes date of the oath, age and name of the priest, parish and date of ordinance
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/14. Notes relating to the construction of new chapel in Grange, Limerick in 1838. Undated (DjVu - 0.29 Mb)
    Notes relating to the construction of new chapel in Grange, Limerick in 1838. Includes sketch of the old thatch chapel of grange.
Extent: 3pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/15. Notes for an address made to a Temperance Society. Undated (DjVu - 0.35 Mb)
    Notes for an address made to a Temperance Society. Discusses the history of Temperance in Glasgow. Author unknown.
Extent: 3pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/16. Notes [for sermon?]. Undated (DjVu - 0.10 Mb)
    Notes [for sermon?] on topic 'we have only to do our daily duties well to be saints'. Author unknown.
Extent: 2pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/17. Notes sent to Maurice Lenihan with extracts from historical sources relating to Limerick. Undated (DjVu - 0.13 Mb)
    Notes sent to Maurice Lenihan with extracts from historical sources relating to Limerick. Includes extracts relating to Edmond Sexton and Limerick Corporation.
Extent: 3pp
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/18. Fragmented report with details of prison treatment in Waterford gaol. Undated (DjVu - 0.12 Mb)
    Fragmented report with details of prison treatment in Waterford gaol, and types of offences committed
Extent: 1 Item
Access Rules: N.A.


   P4/19. Incomplete printed draft of preface to Lenihan's The History of Limerick. c.1864 (DjVu - 0.10 Mb)
    Incomplete printed draft of preface to Lenihan's The History of Limerick. Includes handwritten alterations.
Extent: 1p
Access Rules: N.A.


3. Scrapbook, 1857 - 1875

 

   P4/20. Maurice Lenihan's scrapbook, 1857 - 1875 (DjVu - 24.9 Mb)
    Maurice Lenihan's scrapbook containing miscellaneous notes, newspaper cuttings, articles and correspondence relating to various subjects including Patrick Leahy (Archbishop of Cashel), the Rock of Cashel, and historical sources. Correspondents include Patrick Leahy (Archbishop of Cashel), Cardinal Paul Cullen, Bishop Kirby and Father John O'Hanlon. Includes letter from Patrick Leahy regarding his appointment as Archbishop(30 March 1857), and material relating to Leahy's death such as obituaries, death notices and pictures of the burial. Includes correspondence with James Lenigan [Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for Tipperary] of Castle Fogarty 'the lineal descendent and representative of the O'Fogarty Family', regarding ownership of the original M.S. of the Triumphalia which had been deposited with the Most Rev. Dr. Bray, Lord Archbishop of Cashel and Emly in 1812. Includes letter referring to the publication of the Fee-Book of Dr Thomas Arthur (a Catholic physician who practised from 1619 until 1663) by Lenihan in the Kilkenny Archaeological Journal in 1867 (26 October 1868). Includes also newspaper cuttings such as 'Irish Families' and articles published by Lenihan in The Vindicator and The Reporter. Articles include 'The Abbey of the Holycross of Tipperary', 'A Visit to Scattery Island' (26 August 1872), 'Contemporary Portrait of Luke Wadding'. Includes also material relating to The Rock of Cashel such as drawings, pictures, sketches, cuttings and notes, mainly dating from the early eighteen-seventies. Some documents in Latin.
Extent: 355pp
Access Rules: N.A.


4. Reminiscences of Thomas Steele and of Libel Cases

   P4/21. Volume recording Maurcie Lenihan's personal reminiscences of Thomas Steele. Undated (DjVu - 10.9 Mb)
    Volume recording Maurcie Lenihan's personal reminiscences of Thomas Steele, and his memories of libel disputes with John Kempston (proprietor Clonmel Advertiser), John O'Donnell (attorney), William O' Brien and Francis Counihan. Also enclosed are various letters and printed items, which relate to legal cases discussed in the volume. Includes comments such as 'of Steele's opinion on politics there can be no mistake. Of his opinions on religion, I had my misgivings. I was shocked indeed to hear him at all times profess himself an infidel...'. In describing various disputes and libel cases, Maurice comments 'it is no degradation to make an apology; and there are very few journalists who, at sometime or other in their career have not made or received an apology...'. Includes letter from John Kempston (former proprietor of Clonmel Advertiser) to Maurice Lenihan, thanking Lenihan for not pursuing a libel claim against him for an article Kempston published in the Clonmel Advertiser with comment 'You have now, Sir, with the magnamity of the man and the forbearsome of the Christian, waived your claim ... For this, Sir, you have my thanks and eternal gratitude' (20 March 1841)
Extent: 191pp
Access Rules: N.A.


5. Practical Suggestions on the Improvement of the Navigation in theShannon, 1828

 

   P4/22. Photocopy of 'Practical Suggestions on the General Improvement of the Navigation of the Shannon between Limerick and the Atlantic', by Thomas Steele, 1828 (DjVu - 4.62 Mb)
    Photocopy of 'Practical Suggestions on the General Improvement of the Navigation of the Shannon between Limerick and the Atlantic', by Thomas Steele, published in London. It includes sketches and drawings.
Extent: 69pp
Access Rules: N.A.


6. Research Notes About Killaloe, County Clare

   P4/23. Volume of handwritten research notes relating to the history of Killaloe, county Clare., c. 1867 (DjVu - 15.7 Mb)
    Volume of handwritten research notes relating to the history of Killaloe, county Clare. Topics include oral traditions, St. Senan's Well, St. John's Chapel, remains of forts, inscriptions on church graveyards, St. Flanan's Cathedral, the Manor Mill, and legends of Lake Deiheen, and other topics . Includes sketches and poems, and related correspondence. Also includes loose material such as notes relating to the Bell of St. Patrick, Tara Brooch, and Chalice of Ardagh. Includes also printed circular from the Emigrants Protection Society (29 July 1852); copy of The Tipperary Free Press (30 July 1867); printed copy of the great speech of Richard O' Gorman at Cooper Institute. New York, (December 1863)
Extent: 173pp
Access Rules: N.A.


Last update:22/02/2013

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