Reverend William Hickey

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Hickey, William, Rev. ("Martin Doyle"), well known for his efforts to elevate the condition of the peasantry of Ireland, was eldest son of Rev. Ambrose Hickey, rector of Murragh, County of Cork. He was born about 1787, graduated at St. John's College, Cambridge, and subsequently took the degree of M. A. in the University of Dublin. He was ordained a clergyman of the Established Church in 1811, and appointed to the curacy of Dunleckny, County of Carlow. In 1820 he was inducted into the rectory of Bannow; in 1826 was transferred to that of Kilcormick, in 1831 to Wexford, and in 1834 to Mulrankin, where he ministered the remainder of his life. When at Bannow he started the South Wexford Agricultural Society and the Bannow Agricultural School, both of which flourished while under his superintendence. As a parochial clergyman he was esteemed alike by Catholics and Protestants. He commenced his career as a writer in 1817, his first work being a pamphlet on the State of the Poor in Ireland. Afterwards followed a series of letters under the pseudonym of "Martin Doyle," under which he continued to write.

Among his numerous works may be mentioned: Hints to Small Farmers, The Hurlers, Irish Cottagers, Plea for Small Farmers, Address to Landlords, The Kitchen Garden, The Flower Garden, Hints on Emigration to Canada, Hints on Health, Temperance and Morals, Book on Proverbs, Cyclopaedia of Practical Husbandry. He translated from the French Sermons by Monod, and for a length of time was a regular contributor to Blackwood's Agricultural Magazine, Chambers' Journal, and other periodicals. His latest production, published a few years before his death, was Notes and Gleanings of the County Wexford. In all his writings he took the broadest philanthropic views, studiously avoiding religious and political controversy. He was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Dublin Society, in recognition of his services to Ireland, and enjoyed a pension from the Literary Fund. He was a man of an eminently charitable and feeling nature, and died comparatively poor, 24th October 1875, aged 87. These particulars of his life have been furnished by George Griffiths, author of Chronicles of the County of Wexford, one of the best authorities upon biographical and archaeological lore of that part of Ireland.

Sources

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.

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