A manuscript volume entitled "Juvenile Poems of the Right Honourable Lady Cecelia Leeson";
compiled and transcribed by several hands but mainly by her grandmother Mrs. Douglas of Lyons, Co. Kildare;
|Main Creator:||Leeson, Cecelia Charlotte, 1801-1818|
Memorial mss. album celebrating the life and literary works of Lady Cecilia Charlotte Leeson, born 31 March 1801, died 24 August 1818. Cecelia, grand-daughter of Brice Leeson, third Earl of Milltown. Her father, Joseph, Viscount Russborough, 1766-1801, died a month before she was born and she was raised by her widowed mother, Emily, daughter of Archibald Douglas of Dornoch and her maternal grandmother Mary Douglas, née Crosbie, of Wicklow. They resided in Russborough House, seat of the Milltowns in Co. Wicklow. Emily subsequently married the second Lord Cloncurry in 1811, so for the second half of her short life Cecilia lived at Lyons, the Cloncurry estate in Co. Kildare–many of the letters transcribed here are dated from that address. Cloncurry 1773-1853 had divorced his first wife on grounds of adultery with Sir John Piers in a famous case which ruined his opponent but he is more famous in Irish history as a leading United Irishman in the 1790's and a passionate opponent of the Union and twice in the late 1790's he was arrested on suspicion of treason. He is mentioned several times here as encouraging his step-daughter, in whom it appears he took great pride. As her father had died before succeeding to his father's title, Cecilia Leeson was not born to the rank of an Earl's daughter and was not entitled to the honorific prefix 'Lady'. This privilege was however granted to her not long before she died, as "Blackwood's Magazine" noted when recording her death in its October 1818 number: "Her rank as an earl's daughter had only a few months ago been confirmed by order of the Prince Regent". The obituarist continued:"She was in her 17th year, and one of the most accomplished and admired ladies of her country".
|Citation:||National Library of Ireland. Department of Manuscripts.|
Manuscript in ink on wove paper. Fine contemporary tan straight-grained morocco binding, elaborately decorated in gilt and blind by George Mullen of Dublin: a roll of oakleaves and shamrocks appears to be exactly the same as is used on a binding of about the same date see The Earl of Castlehaven's Review, Dublin, 1815, [illustrated in Maggs catalogue 1212 - 1996, item 205] and on a less substantial Irish manuscript miscellany [illustrated in Maggs catalogue 1075 - 1987, item 270, which contains paper watermarked 1814; Maggs' remark of Mullen is that he is "one of the most skilful and imaginative nineteenth century binders"]. With the upper cover and spine lettered in gilt "Juvenile Poems of the Right Honourable Lady Cecelia C. Leeson"; engraved metal and stamped clasp still present and in good condition, pink silk endpapers and gilt turn-ins with gilt edges.
This album contains reminiscences of Lady Cecelia Leeson's accomplishments by her mother and other close relations and friends and preserves a substantial quantity of her literary labours –among them several brief plays in English, French and Italian, occasional verse, a translation from Tasso, historical essays and a highly imaginative "History of Rovalia", a fictional country she seems to have invented. Tipped in autograph signed mss. letter [2 pp.] written by Lady Cecilia Charlotte Leeson to "Cree", her pet name for her grandmother, dated Lyons 24 April 1814. Also includes two pen and ink designs for a funeral urn for Lady Cecelia Leeson on pp. 85-6 by Louisa Anne, Lady Aylmer dated December 1818.
Physical description: 1; manuscript volume [26 x 20.1 cm]
Varying form of title: 1 morrocco bound quarto manuscript volume entitled "Juvenile Poems of the right Honourable Lady Cecelia Leeson" compiled and transcribed by several hands but mainly by her grandmother Mrs. Douglas of Lyons, Co. Kildare 1818
Varying form of title: Juvenile Poems of the Right Honourable Lady Cecelia Leeson
|Call Number||View in||Collection|
|MS 42,102||Manuscripts Reading Room Special Access||Manuscripts|
Copyright owned by National Library of Ireland.