Pearse Papers,

1870-1932

Papers of the Pearse family containing a wealth of biographical information on all aspects of family members' various endeavors. Includes papers pertaining to: James Pearse's sculpting business at 27 New Brunswick Street, Dublin; financial and administrative records pertaining to St. Enda's School, run by Mrs. Margaret Pearse following the execution of her sons in 1916; papers relating to the Leinster Stage Society, founded by, amongst others, William Pearse; and a wealth of papers pertaining to Padraic Pearse's involvement in the Gaelic League.

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Main Creator: Pearse, Padraic, 1879-1916
Contributors: Bulfin, William, 1862-1910
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Format: MANUSCRIPT
Language:English
Subjects:
Notes:James Pearse (1839-1900), sculptor, originally from London, moved from Birmingham to Ireland in the 1860s to start his own business in Dublin. He converted to Catholicism at St. Argus Church in Dublin and in October 1877, he married his second wife, Margaret Brady (1857-1932), a shop assistant, at the Church of St. Agatha, North William Street, Dublin. They had four children, Margaret Mary (1878-1968), Patrick Henry (1879-1916), William (1881-1916), and Mary Bridget (1888-1947).

Physical description: 119 folders.

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Arrangement:Fonds
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Pearse Papers,

1870-1932
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In Collection: Pearse Papers, 1870-1932
Description:Papers of the Pearse family containing a wealth of biographical information on all aspects of family members' various endeavors. Includes papers pertaining to: James Pearse's sculpting business at 27 New Brunswick Street, Dublin; financial and administrative records pertaining to St. Enda's School, run by Mrs. Margaret Pearse following the execution of her sons in 1916; papers relating to the Leinster Stage Society, founded by, amongst others, William Pearse; and a wealth of papers pertaining to Padraic Pearse's involvement in the Gaelic League.
Patrick Henry Pearse (1879-1916) was born at 27 Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street), Dublin, the son of James Pearse, an Englishman with a stone-carving business, and his wife Margaret Brady. Brought up as a devout Catholic, he is supposed to have been influenced in his childhood by his maternal aunt Margaret who regaled him with stories of mythological Irish heroes and patriot revolutionaries such as Theobald Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet. During his years at the Christian Brothers’ secondary school in Westland Row, he developed an intense interest in the Irish language and Irish literature, in furtherance of which he joined the Gaelic League at the age of seventeen. The Gaelic League became practically a way of life for Pearse. He was active on various committees and contributed articles to An Claidheamh Soluis on a wide range of topics—literature, history, education, emigration, politics, religion. At this stage of his career his concern was more with cultural than political nationalism. He took on the editorship of An Claidheamh Soluis in a paid capacity for the period 1903-9, giving it a more literary orientation. Meanwhile, he wrote poems and stories of considerable literary quality in Irish and English. In 1908 he established a bilingual boys’ school, Saint Enda’s (Sgoil Éanna), at Cullenswood House in Ranelagh, transferring it two years later to a mansion set in fifty acres of parkland at Rathfarnham, where it operated as a boarding school. Politically, Pearse was a moderate nationalist, supporting the Home Rule bill as late as 1912, but threatening revolution if it were not enacted. In November 1913, he was one of the twelve-member steering committee that set up the Irish Volunteers; he later held the important office of director of military operations. In December 1914 he was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood by Bulmer Hobson. While on a lecture tour for St Enda’s in the United States, he came under the influence of John Devoy and Joseph McGarrity who completed his conversion to extreme republicanism. In September 1915 he was elected to the Supreme Council of the IRB and co-opted to the Military Council where he had a major role in planning the Rising. Pearse drafted the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, some of the content being suggested by others, particularly James Connolly and Thomas MacDonagh. Because of his rank in the Volunteers and because he was widely respected, his fellow signatories of the Proclamation nominated him president of the Provisional Government. His title of commandant general was nominal as James Connolly was in charge of military operations. As president, Pearse read the Proclamation outside the General Post Office on Easter Monday. At the meeting of the five available members of the Provisional Government in 16 Moore Street on Saturday morning, Pearse urged that they surrender to prevent further loss of life. He was tried by court-martial and executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Jail on 3 May. He was unmarried.
Main Creator: Pearse, Padraic, 1879-1916
Citation:National Library of Ireland. Department of Manuscripts.
Language:English
Extent:119 folders.
Format:Manuscript
Call Number: MS 21,046-21,097 (Manuscripts Reading Room)
Rights:Copyright owned by the National Library of Ireland.