“A people who don’t have a knowledge of their past is like a tree without roots”

Lissadell House, Coffin Ships, the Pomano and Sir Robert Gore-Booth

Irish times article July 16th 2005:
“...One Easter weekend I went to the restored Dunbrody Emigrant Ship in New Ross and listened to actors telling tales of the Famine and their passage to America. But there was nothing that I could detect, in the presentation, or in the visitor’s centre and gift shop, that attempted to communicate to visitors — foreign or Irish — the horror of it all. The cheery brochure said: ‘Purchase a passenger contract ticket and follow in the footsteps of a group of Famine Emigrants bound for New York .’ It all felt insufficiently serious (in a way that the Famine Museum at Strokestown doesn’t). It was a ‘day out’ and wasn’t trying to be much more and this seems a remarkable change in the way the Irish, or some at least, are presenting the experience and the history of the Famine...”

Brian O'Connell Irish Times
June 20th 2009:
"...Seeing corporate events on a ship like this — it's difficult to reconcile those events with what it is supposed to represent historically... even in calling it a Famine ship there are difficulties — the ship it is modelled on is famous for not losing any passengers. The Jeannie Johnston, therefore is nothing like the famine ships many compare it to..."

In many instances the Irish tend to sanitize, and in some cases to Disneyize, their history. Misguided perhaps, as with the case of the Dunbrody, (box left) promoters won't let the uglier aspects of our history interfere with a commercial prospect. Politically correct history however is not history. It need not be judgemental but it should be accurate. Revealed below are aspects of life on a landlords estate, in this case Lissadell House in Co. Sligo. As with the Dunbrody this is a record you will not hear on guided tours of the house:

History of the ordinary man
Many stories were taken down by the Department of Irish Folklore in the 1930s in an endeavour to record the lore of the countryside from the older generation. It was an inspired initiative by the newly formed Irish Freestate as these records now provide us with an extraordinary record of the lives and recollections of ordinary people stretching right back to the time of the Great Famine and beyond. The stories of the Kings and Chieftains, the Abbots and the warriors has been told but here for the first time the history of the ordinary man is recorded.

Cottage on Lissadell estate c1911

The following story was told by Michael Rooney of Ballinfull, Co. Sligo in 1938. It was related to him by Pat Rooney of Ardtrasna fifty years before that. Pat’s age then was eighty-seven which would give him a birth date of c1801:

“People complain about the hard times they live in at present but if they lived in my father’s and grandfathers time they would know something about hard times. In those days English landlords owned all the land and the people paid them the rent. If their rent was not paid on a certain day the poor tenant would be thrown out on the roadside and he could die there for all the landlord or his agents cared…

When Sir Robert Gore Booth was landlord over this part of Sligo the rents the people had to pay were very high. What was worse, if the people tried to improve the dirty wet patches of land they were trying to live on, the rents were raised. There was a tax put on every window in the house. As well as that every house that had a chimney had to pay tax on it as well. In order to avoid paying many poor people built up the windows and you would see cabins with no chimney at all.

Duty Days
The people of the countryside had also to do all the landlords work. The man who owned a horse and cart had to do carting and such work on a number of days every year. Those who hadn’t a horse or ass had to spend a long time working for the landlord. Of course it was always when the poor man was trying to do his own work that he had to throw all there and go off on the landlord’s business. It was no use for them to grumble as they had nothing to get for it and indeed they were too much afraid of Sir Robert to say anything.

All this trouble was to gather up the rent for him as best they could but in spite of all their efforts, owing to the hard times and the bad pieces of land on which they had to live, many people could not make up the rent and evictions were commonplace.

Evictions
The worst evictions that ever took place was that of the ‘Seven Cartrons’. Those townlands were in

Sir Robert Gore-Booth

the parish of Drumcliffe between Carney and Lissadell. In that area about one hundred families were evicted in the one operation by Sir Robert. Many of these poor people had their rents paid but the landlord wished to take over the land for a grazing ranch for his cattle. In order to get rid of them completely he got a ship to take them to America . Whole families went on this ship as they saw no hope for themselves had they remained.

Some did not go and they were lucky for the rotten old ship on which the unfortunate people were placed never reached America. All aboard were drowned when the ship sank on the way. The name of the ship was the Pomano and at the time there was a song composed by someone in this district about it. It was a living account and there were many verses. I cannot remember all the song but it began like this: "Bad luck to Captain Dodwell and likewise Jimmy Joe

My curse be on Sir Robert and that he may lie low
Our rent was paid we were not afraid
But still we were forced to go
When they banished the Roman Catholic
Aboard the Pomano.”

Part 2:
The Sligo Clearances
The incident referred to above concerns eight hundred acres of land in North Sligo comprising the townland of Ballygilgan. The Seven Cartrons, as it was known, had been acquired by Sir Robert Gore-Booth in a deal over the dinner table with Lord Lorton in 1833.

Reminiscent of the Highland Clearances in Scotland, when people were cleared to make way for sheep, the events of 1839 in Ballygilgan are well remembered. Having decided to make clearances on his newly acquired property Sir Robert secured the services of Captain Dodwell, who was even then notorious in the area for his ruthless evictions. Folk memory has it that the reason for the forced removals was that, ‘Lissadell House was just built. Ballygilgan was too close to it and his wife didn't like the smell of the turf-smoke coming from the cottages ’.

Summoned to appear before the Devon Commission in 1844 Sir Robert said that the reason for his decision was that the holdings were too small to be viable. Under cross-examination, however, he admitted that, having recently built Lissadell House, he wanted to expand his demesne. The forced emigration that followed is still etched deep in local minds and inextricably linked with stories of the Great Famine which occurred a few years later. In the relative security and comfort in which we live today, the horror of these evictions can hardly be imagined:

'The battering ram has done its work'

‘Houses were demolished, roofs torn off, walls thrown down. The scene was frightful; women running wailing with pieces of their property and clinging to door-posts from which they had to be forcibly torn; men cursing, children screaming with fright. That night the people slept in the ruins, next day they were driven out, the foundations of the house was torn up and razed.’

Amidst the fallen roof timbers and broken walls of her home an old woman went down on her knees to curse her persecutors. The 7 th Baronet will never reign, she swore, the Gore-Booths will melt from the face of the earth.

‘Sir Robert was the 4 th baronet, Sir Henry the 5 th and Josslyn was the 6 th,’ a local man who heard of the incident recalled. ‘Twas the widows curse’ he said ‘That was known in me father’s an’ in me grandfather’s time. They knew all about that from one generation to another. And it has come to pass! The 7 th Baronet was a Ward of Court; he suffered from mental illness his whole life, he never reigned. How d’ye explain that?’

With the sale of Lissadell House in 2003 the Gore-Booth presence in Sligo has indeed come to an end. It happened exactly as the distraught and destitute old woman predicted so many years before!

Refusing the emigrant ship, it was quite common for people to seek refuge in what was called a ‘scalp’. A hole, two to three feet deep, was dug in the earth, roofed over with pieces of sticks and turf, and in this burrow a family existed. Slightly larger was a scalpeen, a rather larger hole, often made within the ruins of a tumbled house. From both scalps and scalpeens, the evicted, when discovered, were remorselessly hunted out.

A local woman born in 1898, Maggie Mc Gowan, recalled seeing a family still living in one of these scalpeens in the early years of the 20 th century. It was dug into a bank of earth and had no windows. A ‘shakedown’ of straw and rushes was used as there was no bed. Maggie recalled a man named Jack McLean living in a similar sod house in Ballygilgan, ‘somewhere between Cooper’s and Frank Mc Gowan’s.’

The clearances left a deep and painful scar that only in recent times has begun to heal. There is to this day a place near Ballygilgan known as ‘Cats Corner’. It earned its name at the time of the evictions when, it is said, the cats of the area gathered there, also homeless. Desperate with hunger, their piteous cries could be heard for miles as they too sought vainly for something to eat or someone to feed them.

The existence of the coffin ship, the Pomano, which it is said carried the dispossessed families to a watery grave, is still the subject of controversy to this day. Apologists for the landlord regime claim it never happened, that a registered ship called the Pomana took some of the tenants overseas, made the return voyage, and plied the seas for many years afterwards. The ship we refer to, the Pomano, was unregistered. Variations of Pomono/Pomania/Pomano etc. were popular as ships names at the time, causing some confusion.

Bertie Mons was forthright in his views when I asked him about the incident:

Eviction scene

‘ That was the landlord for ye. An’ the Irishman was as bad. ‘Strappers’ me father used to call them. The landlord had these strappers under him, overseers and crowbar brigades to do the dirty work. They went up on the roof of the house an’ put it down on top of ye if ye didn’t get out. They wanted to get rid of tenants and make a big farm out of Lissadell House. 

Some of the Protestants was hunted too! The Ewings an’ all them there where Gillen has now. Didn’t all them go on that oul’ boat that went down outside the lighthouse. The Pomano it was called. She was stink, red rotten. Crammed them into it an’ it was only to get rid of them. The fact that it’s not registered with Lloyds Registry of Shipping doesn’t mean anything. It wasn’t a paper bag that sent them out — although they might as well have sent them out in a paper bag, because it was only a hulk.  

The men that put the Pomano out were the men that had Lisadell, thou’ll landlords, they didn’t give a damn, they might have put a name on the boat, it could be any name at all. There’s no one to account for it now and ye’ll not find it in their records, they’re too cute for that.’

There is indeed no doubt in the minds of the people of the Lissadell/Maugherow district as to the chain of events that led to the tragedy. Etched into folk memory and popularised in a forbidden ballad of the time, the story of this infamous coffin ship still survives. The song, banned by the Gore-Booths and their agents, was sung only in private houses, never publicly, for to be heard singing it, or gathered in a home or rambling place where it was sung, meant instant reprisal, eviction or worse:

‘Manys the pleasant summer day I spent in Maugherow,
And many a cold hard winter day at the handling of a plough.
Our rent was paid, we were not afraid,
But still we were forced to go
When they banished the Seven Cartrons aboard of the Pomano.

Many’s the lad and pretty lass, that evening on the shore,
Lamenting for their own sweethearts, they’d never see them more.
They’re sailing on the ocean to a place they do not know
And they’ll mourn tonight for their heart’s delight
On board the Pomano.

The ship she was a rotten one, the truth to you I’ll tell
And they struck her on the Corraun Rock, right under Lisadell…’
And so it goes on.

Stories are still told by the older inhabitants of the cries of drowning men and women heard on the shore. In 1991 I spoke to Maugherow’s oldest inhabitant, 108 years old Peter Harte. He told me of two women washed ashore who were nursed back to health, at nearby Knocklane, by local families, Feeney and Mc Loughlin. Another man, John Kelly recalled ploughing up crooks and other household items in the 1900’s when he worked as a ploughman on the Lissadell estate. Once he unearthed a crowbar which he believed was used to pull down the houses.

Arthur Young, visited Ireland in the 18 th century and published his two volume ‘Tour of Ireland’, in 1780. His account is invaluable social history for anyone wishing to understand living conditions in Ireland at that time. Of the landlords this is what he observed:

‘A Landlord in Ireland can scarcely invent an order which a servant, labourer or cottier dares refuse to obey,’ he said. ‘Disrespect, or sauciness he may punish with his cane or his horsewhip with the most perfect security; a poor man would have his bones broken if he offered to lift his hands in his own defence. It must strike the most careless traveller to see whole strings of carts whipped into a ditch by a gentleman’s footman to make way for his carriage.

If a poor man lodges a complaint against a gentleman,’ he observed, ‘or any animal that chooses to call itself a gentleman, it is considered an affront and will infallibly be punished. With such a conspiracy against law, to whom are the oppressed people to have recourse.’

Mantrap used by landlords to catch trespassers

Given the inhuman treatment meted out by landlords to those under their control how then do we account for historians who today airbrush the misdeeds of Sir Robert Gore-Booth, and others like him, from the history books? Is it just historical revisionism, or is it that ‘decolonization of the mind can take generations’ as noted by Tom Mc Gurk in his column in The Sunday Business Post of August 7 2005 ?

Why do management of the famine ships Dunbrodie and Jeanie Johnston sanitize the Irish famine experience? Is it intentional, inadvertent, an attempt to Disneyize, or just plain ignorance of the facts?

Asenath Nicholson visited Ireland in the 1850s. Of his visit to Sligo recorded in ‘The Bible in Ireland ’ he writes that:

‘… the labouring classes, when I first speak to them, are ever praising their master. Just as in America, although the slaves may be often under the lash or in the stocks, yet to a stranger they durst not speak out, lest some “bird of the air should tell the matter”; so the peasantry of Ireland are in such suffering, that lest they should lose the sixpence or eightpence they occasionally get while employed, they will make an imperious landlord an angel to a stranger...’

State of the Irish

Gustave de Beaumont (b. February 6, 1802 in Beaumont-la-Chartre, France, d. March 30, 1865 in Paris, France) was a French magistrate, prison reformer, and travel companion to the famed philosopher and politician Alexis de Tocqueville. He visited Ireland in the mid-1830s. In his "Ireland: Social, Political and Religious", 1839 he writes about the state of the Irish. As an objective observer, neither English nor Irish, his observations are invaluable for an unbiased view of living conditions in Ireland at that time:
"I have seen the Indian in his forests, and the negro in his chains, and thought, as I contemplated their pitiable condition, that I saw the very extreme of human wretchedness; but I did not then know the condition of unfortunate Ireland. Like the Indian, the Irishman is poor and naked; but he lives in the midst of a society where luxury is eagerly sought, and where wealth is honoured. Like the Indian, he is destitute of the physical comforts which human industry and the commerce of nations procure; but he sees a part of his fellows enjoying the comforts to which he cannot aspire. In the midst of his greatest distress, the Indian preserves a certain independence, which has its dignity and its charms. Though indigent and famished, he is still free in his deserts, and the sense of this liberty alleviates many of his sufferings: the Irishman undergoes the same destitution without possessing the same liberty; he is subject to rules and restrictions of every sort: he is dying of hunger, and restrained by law; a sad condition, which unites all the vices of civilization to all those of savage life. Without doubt, the Irishman who is about to break his chains, and has faith in futurity, is not quite so much to be bewailed as the Indian or the slave. Still, at the present day, he has neither the liberty of the savage, nor the bread of servitude.

I will not undertake to describe all the circumstances and all the phases of Irish misery; from the condition of the small farmer, who starves himself that his children may have something to eat, down to the labourer, who, less miserable but more degraded, has recourse to mendicancy - from resigned indigence, which is silent in the midst of its sufferings, and sacrifices to that which revolts, and in its violence proceeds to crime.
Irish poverty has a special and exceptional character, which renders its definition difficult, because it can be compared with no other indigence. Irish misery forms a type by itself, of which neither the model nor the imitation can be found anywhere else.
In all countries, more or less, paupers may be discovered; but an entire nation of paupers is what was never seen until it was shown in Ireland. To explain the social condition of such a country, it would be only necessary to recount its miseries and its sufferings; the history of the poor is the history of Ireland."

A Better Day

In famine times, huddled for warmth in the sand of Johnsport, near Lissadell, Co. Sligo, and guarded by soldiers, the ragged wretches of the Gore-Booth estate awaited their fate. At low tide they were shepherded secretly across the shore to be herded on to unregistered coffin ships in Sligo harbour. You will look in vain through official archives for information on this or many other such incidents.

History is recorded by the victors. The vanquished merely endure. We, blood of their blood, must keep faith with these unfortunate men and women who endured such degradation but, clinging to that precious spark of life, survived so their children might live to see a better day.

The Famine

What the British PM said in 1997

This statement from the British Prime Minister Tony Blair was read at the Great Irish Famine Event weekend at Millstreet Cork on June 1st, 1997, the 150th anniversary of 'Black '47', :

“The Famine was a defining event in the history of Ireland and Britain . It has left deep scars. That one million people should have died in what was then part of the richest and most powerful nation in the world is something that still causes pain as we reflect on it today.

“Those who governed in London at the time failed their people through standing by while a crop failure turned into a massive human tragedy. We must not forget such a tragic event.

“It is also right that that we should pay tribute to ways in which the Irish people have triumphed in the face of this catastrophe..."

Ships in Grosse Isle 9 August 1847

Name of ship Departure port Number of Passengers Death Sick
Bark Ellen Simpson
Limerick
184
4
-
Brig Anna Maria
Limerick
119
1
1
Bark Amy
Bremen
289
-
-
Brig Watchful
Hamburg
145
-
-
Ship Ganges
Liverpool
393
45
80
Bark Corea
Liverpool
501
18
7
Bark Larch
Sligo
440
108
150
Bark Naparima
Dublin
226
7
17
Bark Britannia
Greenock
386
4
25
Bark Trinity
Limerick
86
-
-
Bark Lilias
Dublin
219
5
6
Bark Brothers
Dublin
318
6
-

The tableabove shows the vessels at the Canadian immigration point and quarantine station of Grosse Isle, on 9 August 1847. The coffin ships from Ireland are easy enough to spot.
Compare them with the German ships from Hamburg and Bremen whose emigrants reportedly arrived 'healthy, robust and cheerful'. These statistics provide a snap shot of just one day in that dreadful year when so many coffin ships sailed to North America.

Other immigration ships for whom records survive include the Sir Henry Pottinger from Cork which sailed with 399, lost 98 during the voyage and arrived with 112 sick. The Bark Wellington sailed from Liverpool with 435, buried 26 at sea and arrived with 30 sick. The Bark Sir Robert Peel sailed from the same port with 458, buried 24 en route and arrived with 12 sick.

More on famine emigration to Canada:
http://www.newirelandnb.ca/Early-Settlement/early-settlement-in-nb.html

Information on the Carricks shipwreck: Click HERE

September 14th 2005

Paul Burns, in response to the article on "Lissadell, Coffin Ships, the Pomano and Sir Robert Gore-Booth" (above), has sent me this compelling account of his ancestors struggle for survival, and eventual emigration, in famine times. It is a microcosm of the epic struggle for survival of countless individuals and families in 19th century Ireland. It illustrates too the repercussions that flowed from disobeying a landlords wish, the consequences of which are felt even to this day.

Paul now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, USA:

Prologue

Patrick Burns (1824-1902) wrote his genealogical memoir in the year 1900, shortly before he died. On it he traced his Sligo origins back five generations to a Jacobite cavalry officer, Patrick O'Byrne, from Co. Wicklow who fled north after the 1601 battle of Aughrim in Galway and settled near the Glenree River in Co. Mayo near the Sligo border. His son moved further north to Easkey parish, where all subsequent generations lived until the move to America.
The family achieved relative prosperity as small farmers. Patrick's father, Thomas, had a 21-year lease on a farm of sufficient quality to entitle him to a "ten pound" vote. In 1841 there was an election between Alexander Perceval of Templehouse, a Tory, and Daniel Jones of Banada, a Liberal and a Catholic. Thomas's landlord, Robert Jones of Fortland, supported Perceval and undoubtedly instructed his tenants to do likewise. In a brave but rather questionable move (equaling his ancestor's flight north from Aughrim deep into Protestant-controlled Sligo), Thomas voted for Jones, the Liberal candidate. Consequently, when his lease expired it was not renewed and the family was ejected. 
They then moved from Ballybeg to nearby Cooga where Thomas rented an inferior farm from Thomas Howley, a Catholic landlord.  The Great Famine began soon afterwards, and in 1847 second son Patrick (Michael the oldest could not be spared from the farm), and oldest unmarried daughter Margaret were sent to America as "advance scouts." Two  years later, the rest of the family followed:

THE STORY OF THE VOYAGE OF PATRICK BURNS AND MARGARET BURNS TO AMERICA – AS PENNED BY PATRICK BURNS FEBRUARY 12th, 1900 , WATERTOWN , NY

"My sister Margaret and myself sailed from Sligo on the 27th May 1847 and after a very troublesome and turbulent voyage landed in Quebec, on the 11th day of July, 1847. The ships name was Ellen and was commanded by Capt. Thomas Hood an Englishman and a very efficient and good man.

Shortly after leaving Sligo with about three hundred and fifty passengers the deadly “ship fever”, a violent form of typhus fever, raged among the passengers and fully one third of the passengers died of this dread disease. The disease was of generally short duration in most cases. Sometimes a person would be alright in the evening and would be taken sick at night and be dead by day break.

Last rites administered to a dying man aboard a coffin ship at Grosse Ille

The method of burying was the wrapping of the body in sail cloth and placing it on a plank on the rail of the ship, then weighing it down with sand or stones and cast into the water. As there was no clergyman on board I read the De Profundis over each before the body was cast into the sea and such heartrending scenes I have never before or since witnessed.

At arriving at Quarantine outside of Quebec a great many of the passengers affected with the fever were detained there. But Margaret and myself with many others were allowed to proceed to Quebec . We stayed there about two weeks in Quebec at a street or locality called Diamond Harbour, and visited with a friend and neighbour, a man by the name of Anthoney Conoley, who lived in the same townland with me in Ireland .

We sailed up the river to Montreal in steam boat called the “John Munn” and stayed in Montreal about three weeks, I working about two week on the La Chene Cannal Bason lock. My sister Margaret was stopping at a lodging house. We then went up the La Chene Canal to Otawa then called Bytown. We only stayed a few hours. We then went down toward Kempville and was accompanied by Catherine McGill an Emigrant girl whom we met in Montreal who was on the way to her friends in Kempville.

Before arriving in Kempville the boat became disabled at a place called Beckwith Landing, and Margaret and Miss McGill becoming sick with the fever we were obliged to leave the boat at that place and took refuge at the house of one Patrick Mullin a very kind and good man who contracted the disease from us and died of it.

After leaving Mullins we went to Kempville where I rented some rooms, but in a short time after sister Margaret got a relapse of the Typhus fever, and after doctors care and my attendance got well. At the same time I got a job on a building of Mr. Jones M.P., at Kempville on his new building. My first part of the job was on trial, was to build some Eliptic Arches over the front entrance and sides, but after some time I was taken sick with the Typhus fever and by this time sister Margaret was recovering so she could attend to my wants and in about three weeks I was able to sit up alone in a chair.

I gained strength fast, and I being anxious to go to work, my next was in building a cellar for a black smith by the name of Foster and he cheated me out of a large portion of my pay. But when I was about putting on the last finishing touches, there came a heavy rain storm gave me a severe drenching. I was scarce able to go home and after I got home I lay down with a relapse and racking pains and aches, that I almost despaired of ever standing on green grass again. But I still got to be able to go around again and my Eyesight became so weak and effected that when I approached an object, it appeared to my vision that there were two in place of one…

…On February 9 th 1848 I came to Prescott and crossed the St Lawrence to United States , but in crossing there was some difficulty it being a cold night. I hired a skiff to take me over. There was a woman passenger along with us and I think would weigh 250 lbs avoirdupois, and she sat in the stern of the boat which afterwards became a very useful balance. Whereas the ice was in many places from ½ inch to 1 ½ inch thick, and in getting the bow of the boat on the ice like a sleigh runner, and the stern in the water. And by means of a long gaff used by the man in the bow, and at the same time the man in the center of the boat paddled with his oar with all his might to drive the boat ahead.

During this time the corpulent woman kept a rocking in the stern through and fro in order to keep the bows in the water and break the ice at the stern, but after some cold time and difficulty we landed in Ogdensburg. Next morning I started in search of a job and I dandered in to a marble shop kept by a man of the name of Whitney, which was about hireing me and gave orders to draw out by pencil, the portrait of St Patrick, which I did as I was well versed on that subject. I mad a very good attempt. He was called away on some business and told me to remain in the shop until his return, but as my purse being light and night approaching, I did not wait for his return, and went to the suburbs of the city where I happened on a job that lasted a few weeks.

I was sent on an errand and happened to meet a team going to Ogdensburg for coal, and asked me to ride. He went into a tavern to refresh and water his horses and after arriving there, there were several persons in the bar room, and amongst them were two contractors of different sections of the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain R. Road . These happened to have a letter written by some C. Engineer and all in the room was puzzled to read it, but I have been glancing over their shoulders and had a good idea of the words and contents and corrected them several times. They handed me the letter which I read to the satisfaction of all in the room, and after asking me had I a trade I said I was a mason, and both men offered me a job as both of them had two large bridges to build. And I remained there for the summer and fall of 1848 with one of them.

Patrick, Michael and John Burns in a painting 'The Raffle' by George Taggart (1886)

After I got settled in work I went back to Canada for my sister Margaret, and started back toward Potsdam again where I was working on a bridge that crosses the Racquette River and secured a place for my sister with a family of Daniel Bellis about four miles from Potsdam, and some time after went to work for Attorney Knowles, where she remained until she came to Watertown with her parents, brothers and sisters on corner of Washington and Haley Sts, Watertown, N. York.

On this above named bridge the contracter broke down and owed some money, but after going through a process of law only a small portion remained to my share. My father and mother and family came then from Ireland May 13 th 1849 to Potsdam and came to Watertown where they remained on Gotham St where they both died. Mother Sept 26 1867, Father Oct 13 1867 at the house of their son Patrick Burns 35 Gotham St Watertown N.Y., and buried in Calvary cemetery Watertown where there is erected a monument 22 feet high cut and erected by their children and carved and lettered by their sons John and Patrick. May they rest in peace."

Epilogue

The family prospered and multiplied in its new northern New York home. The three sons and two daughters who married all had large families that, today, are spread around the United States. Patrick himself became a general contractor and built numerous churches, bridges, and commercial buildings in various northern states and Canada. Ironically, he also became a landlord, eventually owning nine houses that he divided into flats and rooms to rent, mostly to other Irish immigrants. However, his rents were reasonable averaging about $1.75 per week.

Is this copy by Kavanagh?

A question from a correspondent regarding the likeness between the two paintings above has elicited the following responses from Paul Burns

(1) Michael,

   Joe forwarded your query to me. The three men shaking dice for the goose (some say duck) are Patrick, Michael, and John Burns, all born in Easkey and died in Watertown, NY.

 

 
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