St. Francis’ Chapel - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

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THE Church of St. Francis, commonly known as the Friary Chapel, with its neat and ample grounds, is in School Street, on the way between the Churches of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. It is possessed of a fine and solid square tower, from whose height an extensive view may be obtained. A broad gravelled courtyard, with trees, extends along the front of the Friary buildings. On entering the Chapel door an impression of light and cheerfulness is the most striking characteristic. The window's are large, and of clear glass, and the sunlight streams in and displays to great advantage the clean and fresh coloured appointments. Dove-coloured panels set on cream-tinted ground, enriched with gilding and fretwork, ornament the ceiling, which is an unbroken arch over the nave.

Solid round pillars support the roof and organ loft, which is circular in form, and contains an organ of good size and tone. In the right aisle, near the pulpit, is the monument erected by subscription of the people to the Rev. John Corrin, who was parish priest of Wexford forty-four years, and who died 1835. The monument is of Caen stone, the canopy richly carved with sacred emblems and figures. Under this lies a figure in likeness of the Rev. Father, with hands folded as if in prayer. The countenance is massive, and marked with the kindliness which distinguished his character. At the feet is a dog. The three altars are of white marble. Beneath the one in the south aisle are the relics of the martyred Saint Adiutor, enclosed in wax, clothed in glistening white, and partly covered with crimson velvet. In the hand is a branch of palm, and a gash in the forehead attests the manner of martyrdoM. A phial, enclosing some of the Saint’s blood is within the casket, which is protected by plate glass and a wire screen. This relic was presented to Dr. Devereux upon his departure from Rome. The grand altar, which, in the season, is decorated with natural flowers, is panelled with green and carved white marble in grapes, leaves, wheat, and the sacramental cup. On the altar of the Virgin, the name “Maria,” in white, is delicately set on a creamy pink ground. Upon it is a crucifix in beaten silver, and over it a large oil painting of the Madonna.

In the wall, at the right of the altars, is a monument in black marble to the Very Rev. John Sinnott, P.P., who for years filled the position of Professor and President of St. Peter’s college, and was mainly instrumental in the improvements and building of that institution. A bust in relievo of Carrara marble, is a spirited likeness, and the tablet recording his death and virtues is also white. Near this is a monument to the memory of Bishop Caulfield, of Ferns, with crozier, mitre, and cross in white upon a black tablet. On the opposite side of the tower door, a tablet records the death of R. R. Patrick Lambert, Bishop of Newfoundland, in 1816. It was erected by his sister, Margaret Rea. At the stations are well executed reliefs in stucco, framed in substantial gilt. At the back of the Friary the gardens are prettily laid out in shapely beds, and, in the season, tall white lilies of great size nod over the window sills. Beside the garden is the burial place of the Church. In a small enclosure near the gate, a large tablet records the names of the priests lying beneath, among them R. Rev. Dr. Henry Hughes, of Gibraltar, aged 72. Near by is a tomb of granite, belonging to Dr. Crean. A monument, erected by Philip Pierce in memory of his father, mother, brothers and sister, is a polished granite shaft, surmounted by an ornamented cross, the plot being surrounded by a cut stone enclosure. A monument commemorates James Hayes and his daughter, who, it is said, died of grief for the loss of her father.

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