Samuel McSkimin

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

« William James MacNevin | Index | Samuel Madden »

McSkimin, Samuel, a writer on the affairs of 1798-1803, was born at Carrickfergus in 1775. He kept a small huxter's shop in a back street of his native town — a little room behind serving him at once for bedroom, parlour, and library. The latter consisted of not more than about fifty volumes; yet in this humble position, and with these poor appliances he made some valuable contributions to Irish literature. Besides a History of Carrickfergus, he contributed papers to the Gentleman's Magazine on extinct birds and the round towers, and to Fraser's Magazine on the emeute of 1803.

He died 17th February 1843, aged about 68. Dr. Reeves says: "He possessed a marvellous taste and faculty for archaeological pursuits. His History of Carrickfergus is a book of great merit, and especially rich in family history. When he died, his son, a carpenter, became possessed of all his MS. collections, and instead of selling them as a whole, to be deposited in some public library, they were broken up and scattered. A manuscript containing his experiences of the United Irishmen in the County of Antrim subsequently fell into the hands of the late John Mullen, a bookseller of Belfast, who printed it in a neat 12mo (Belfast, 1849), under the title, Annals of Ulster, or Ireland Fifty Years Ago."

Sources

331. United Irishmen, their Lives and Times: Robert R. Madden, M.D. 4 vols. London, 1858-'60.

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.

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