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[notb.—Those marked * are by Members of the Society.]
* Through the Green Isle: a Gossiping Guide to the Districts traversed by the Waterford, Limerick, and Western Railway System. By M. J. Hurley, F.b.s.a. Illustrated from original sketches by T. O'Scully, B.a., B.b. (Waterford: N. Harvey & Co., 1895.)
Many of our railway companies have of late most wisely sought to attract public attention to the charms of scenery and association connected with the localities along their lines, by issuing illustrated Guide-books. One of the best of these we have seen is the little book now noticed.
It chattily describes the objects of interest as they are met in passing along the line of railway from Waterford to Tuam and its branches, and is well and brightly written. Almost every page has an illustration; the subjects being well chosen and cleverly drawn. Mr. O'Scully is most successful in his mountain sketches; his peasant-women seem much idealised. While the picturesque is the prominent motive in the choice of subjects, the artist has also done justice to many of the ancient buildings remaining in the district. The above view of Carrick Castle, one of the early seats of the Earls of Ormonde, is an example. It shows the side erected in the time of Queen Elizabeth by the 10th Earl, the towers of the earlier castle rising behind. Many other sketches are of equal or greater merit.
The book is an excellent sixpenny worth.
*Notes on the Crosi of Cong. By Margaret Stokes, Hon. Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. (Dublin: The University Press, 1895.)
The Cross of Cong has especial interest for Irish antiquaries and art lovers. The elegance of its form, and the beauty of its ornament, place it in the first rank of the remains of ancient Irish art; while the fact that its origin and history are clearly traceable, gives it an additional interest, greater than that of almost any other specimen of Irish art in metal work.
The Annals relate that, in 1123, a portion of the True Cross, which was believed to be the actual instrument of the Saviour's death, was brought to Ireland, and that Terlagh O'Conor, the king, commanded a shrine to be made to receive it. The inscription, still legible on the cross of Cong, fully corroborates the statement in the Annals; and this corroboration has all the appearance of being undesigned. The inscription tells us that the cross was made by command of King Terlagh; mentions two bishops who were his contemporaries; and, in reverent piety, explains its purpose in the line—
"Hac cruce crux tegitur qua passua Conditor orbis."
The evidence of the purpose of the cross and of its age are thus singularly complete.
The artist who designed and executed this beautiful work, though we know nothing more of him, deserves to be remembered.—Maelisu mao firatdan O'Echan.
Of the further history of the cross—we are told that it was made for Muredach O'Duffy, who was Bishop of Tuam. He, we learn, died at Cong, whither, no doubt, the cross accompanied him. There, in the abbey, it seems to have been preserved. When the abbey was dissolved the care of the cherished relic passed to humbler but not less reverent hands, by whom it was preserved until the present century, when it was wisely entrusted to Professor M'Cullagh.
Through the patriotic generosity of M'Cullagh, it was presented to the Royal Irish Academy, where it became practically the nucleus of that great collection of Irish antiquities, of which it may still claim to be the crowning gem.
The present book, with other illustrations, contains two beautiful pictures, admirably printed in colours. One shows the front of the cross, the other gives the lower part full size. Each plate is 14i by 11$ inches. To describe the beauty of these pictures, it is only necessary to say that they are from the pencil and brush of Miss Margaret Stokes, and that the process-engraver has done full justice to her work.
In the letterpress we would gladly have some fuller illustrations of a matter of much interest, on which the authoress touches lightly. The cross belongs to a later type of Irish work, and Miss Stokes hints that in the work of this period there is probably some trace of French influence; and she suggests comparison with French reliquaries of the same period. We much regret that Miss Stokes, than whom no one is so well fitted for such a work, has not herself undertaken this comparison, and given us details, which might have a very interesting bearing on the history of the development of Irish art.
We hope that Miss Stokes's beautiful pictures will become as widely known as the very limited issue of this book will permit ; for as only 200 copies are issued, the book should soon become very scarce.
The Third General Meeting of the Society, for the year 1895, was held at the Railway Hotel, Galway, on Monday, 8th July, 1895, at 8 o'clock, p.m.;
The Most Rev. John Healy, D.d., Ll.d., M.e.i.a., Coadjutor-Bishop of Clonfert, Vice-President, in the Chair.
The following took part in the proceedings :—
Fellows:—The Right Hon. The O'Conor Don, Ll.d., M.b.i.a., Vice-President; the Rev. George R. Buick, M.a., Ll.d., M.b.i.a., Moderator of the General Assembly, Vice-President; Lavens M. Ewart, M.b.i.a., Vice-President; William Gray, M.b.i.a., Vice-President; Seaton F. Milligan, M.b.i.a., Vice-President; Robert Cochrane, F.s.a., M.r.i.a., Hon. General Secretary and Treasurer; Julian G. Wandesford Butler; S. W. P. Cowan, M.a., M.b.i.a.; Patrick J. Donnelly; the Rev. J. F. M. ffrench, M.b.i.a.; W. E. Kelly, J.p., Hon. Secretary, South Mayo; W. P. Kelly, Solicitor; Deputy Surgeon-General King, M.b., M.a., M.b.i.a.; S. K. Kirker; James Mills, M.b.i.a.; William R. Molloy, M.b.i.a.; Robert Munro, M.a., M.d., Hon. M.b.i.a., Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Hon. Fellow; George Norman, M.d. ; the Rev. P. Power, c.c. ; George A. Stevenson, Commissioner of Public Works; Thomas J. Westropp, M.a., M.b.i.a.; William W. Wilson, M. Inst. C.e., M.b.i.a.; Edward Perceval Wright, M.a., M.d., Secretary, B.i.a.
Members:—Edward Martyn, D.l., Hon. Provincial Secretary for Connaught; the Very Rev. J. Fahey, P.p., V.p., Hon. Secretary for South Galway; R. J. Kelly, Hon. Secretary for North Galway; John Harris, Hon. Secretary for Galway Town ; Alexander Agnew; William Anderson, J.p.; the Rev. E. D. Atkinson, Ll.b. ; Miss Atkinson; Robirt Baile, M.a.; the Rev. Canon Baillie, M.a.; Joseph H. Bennett; Miss M. J. Bennett; Fleet-Surgeon Brereton; W. Law Bros; Michael Buggy; John Burgess, J.p.; the Rev. R. S. D.Campbell, D.d. ; the Rev. W. W. Campbell, M.a., R.n.; JohnCarolan, J.P.; M. Edwurd Conway; Samuel Cunningham; Miss Mary E. Cunningham; D.Griffith Davies, B.a., Bangor, North Wales; Frederick Franklin, P.u.i.a.i.; James Frost, M.b.i.a.; Michael Geoghegan; Thomas Greene, Ll.b.; Francis Guilbride ; the Very Rev. Dr. Hare, Dean of Ossory; the Rev. Canon Hogan, B.d.; the Rev. Canon Jones, M.a., Bangor, North Wales; the Rev. Canon Keene, M.a.; P. Kenny; Miss K. L. King; Miss K. Knox; the Rev. Alexander G. Lecky, M.a. ; the Rev. Alexander MacMullan, P.p.; the Rev. J. H. Maconachie, M.a.; Dr. G. U. MacNamara; the Very Rev. Owen M'Cartan, p.p., v.r.; John P. M'Knight; R. T. Martin; the Rev. David Mullan, M.a.; Sharman D. Neill; Dr. E. P. O'Farrell; Dr. George W. O'Flaherty; Goddard H. Orpen; J. E. Palmer; W. H. Patterson, M.b.i.a.; A. Patton, M.d.; James Perry, M.e., M. Inst. C.e.; Thomas Plunkett, M.r.i.a. ; the Rev. A. D. Purefoy, B.a.; S. A. Quan-Smith; T. W. Rolleston ; A. G. Ryder; Mrs. A. G. Ryder; Conway Scott, C.e.; Mrs. J. F. Shackluton; Michael Shanley, M.d.; Mrs. Simpson; John F. Small; the Rev. Canon Smith, D.d. ; E. Weber Smyth, J.p. i Miss Nora Steen; Mark Stirrup, P.o.s.l.; Alexander Tate, C.e.; Dr. H. P. Truell, D.l.; P. J. Tuohy, B.l., Secretary, Board of Works; Thomas Walpole; John S. Weir, j.p.; William J. Woodside; the Rev. A. Sadleir Woodward, M.a.; the Rev. Robert Workman; W. M. Campbell; William Henning Corker; the Rev. Robert M. M'C. Gilmour; Davys Bowman; Professor W. Boyd Dawkins, P.s.a., P.b.s., &c.; R. A. S. Macalister; James M'Connell; Miss Richardson; William Stirling, c.e., p.B.i.A.i.; Rev. Isaac Warren, M.a.
Associates.—Henry J. Boyd, M.d.; William Brown; Mrs. Cochrane; Robert Crawford; Mrs. Carlisle; Bryan Corcoran; Miss J. R. Corcoran; Miss Hazlett; Philip Kermode; Joseph Lockhart; Miss Milligan; Mrs. M'Connell; Charles L. M'Lorinan, Ll.d.; the Rev. Arthur Neeson, c.c.; Colonel R. T. Orpen, B.e.; Miss Orpen; the Rev. Arthur Rose; J. F. Shackleton; Mrs. Conway Scott; Mrs. W. J. Woodside; Miss Nora Workman; W. H. Warren; William Webster; Miss Baillie; Miss Tate; Miss Patton (Finglas, Co. Dublin); the Misses Patton (2) (Morehamptonroad, Dublin); Mrs. P. J. Tuohy; W. H. Wilson, Jun.; Mrs. Anderson; the Rev. A. F. Hogan; Mrs. Puref oy; Mrs. Hare; Miss Blanche Fitz Gibbon; Miss Edith Fits Gibbon.
The Chairman, in opening the Meeting, welcomed the Society to Connaught.
The Minutes of the last Meeting were read by the Hon. General Secretary, and confirmed.
The following Candidates, recommended by the Council, were declared duly elected:—
The Rev. Canon Beresford, M.a., Inistioge Rectory, Co. Kilkenny: proposed by the Rev. Canon Hewson, Hon. Secretary, South Kilkenny.
Mrs. Emily Betham, 9, Belgrave-square, Monkstown, Co. Dublin: proposed by Thomas Drew, B.h.a., President.
John Burke, J.p., Consul for Mexico and Uruguay, Corporation-street, Belfast: proposed by Seaton F. Milligan, M.b.i.a., Vice-President.
John F. Calderwood, J.p., 51, Mountjoy-square, Dublin: proposed by P. Kenny.
William Marshall Campbell, 69, Fitzroy-avenue, Belfast: proposed by Seaton F. Milligan, Vice-President.
William Henning Corker, Solicitor, 52, Grand-parade, Cork: proposed by J. J. Mahony.
R. B. Fair, Rosetta House, Rosetta Park, Belfast: proposed by Seaton FMilligan, M.b.i.a., Vice-President.
The Rev. Robert M. M'C. Gilmour, The Manse, Ballymena, Co. Antrim: proposed by the Rev. Mr. Maconachie.
Edwin Hall, J.p., D.l., Blackrock, Cork: proposed by Robert Day, F.s.a., Vice-President.
The Rev. Frederic Hartley, B.a., B.i.a., Wellington-square, Kilkenny: proposed by the Rev. Canon Hewson, B.a., Hon. Local Secretary, Kilkenny East.
William Healy, J.p., Donard View, Downpatrick: proposed by J. B. Skeffington,
T. H. Holding, 7, Maddox-street, London, W.: proposed by the Rev. W. W. Campbell, M.a., B.n.
The Rev. Hugo R. Huband, M.a. (Cantab.), Killiskey Rectory, Ashford, Co. Wicklow : proposed by H. P. Truell, D.l.
Thomas Hugh Kenny, Solicitor, Limerick: proposed by H. C. Cullinan, Ll.u., Fellow.