Select O'Shaughnessy Miscellany
accounts over the years:
- Ardamullivan Castle
- William O’Shaughnessy, the Last O’Shaughnessy
- Robert O’Shaughnessy, Limerick Clockmaker
- The 1822 Trial of Thomas O’Shaughnessy in Limerick
- Thomas Shaughnessy, Undertaker
- We are the Music Makers
- The I.A. O’Shaughnessy Legend
lies about 8 kilometers south of Gort.
It was first mentioned in 1567 when claimed by Dermot ‘the
after the death of his brother Sir Roger O’Shaughnessy.
possession of the castle, Dermot fought his nephew William in a duel
the walls of Ardamullivan. Dermot killed
William. But William had managed to
wound his uncle to the extent that he died within about half an hour of
William O’Shaughnessy, the Last O’Shaughnessy
As the Jacobite rebellion against William of Orange
was taking shape in 1689, William
O’Shaughnessy was a captain of a company of one hundred members
clan and retainers.
In the spring of the
next year he left for France to serve in French colors in the regiment
Daniel O’Brien. July of that year saw
the defeat of the Jacobites at the Battle of the Boyne.
His own father, Captain Roger
O’Shaughnessy, was killed at that time.
He as a result became The
O’Shaughnessy. However, his
ancestral property was forfeited in 1697 and he was never
able to return home.
He served in the armies of France in the hope that Irish
support would enable James II or his successors to regain the British
throne. This never happened.
Opposing him at the Battle of Malplaquet in
1709 was Sir Thomas Prendergast who had been granted O’Shaughnessy’s
lands. Prendergast was killed in the
William O’Shaughnessy, appointed
a Marshal of France, died in 1744 and was buried at the church
Willibrord at Gravelines in France.
Robert O’Shaughnessy, Limerick Clockmaker
the Limerick Museum collection there stands simple long case clock with
the inscription ‘Robt. O’Shaughnessy/Limerick’ on the face.
Robert O’Shaughnessy was a Limerick watch and
clockmaker. He was born around 1778 and
by 1809 was operating his business out of 18 George Street.
continue to create watches and clocks in this building for over thirty
until his death in 1842. He was also the
creator of a new style of fishing hook.
He was apparently regarded favorably as his death notice record
upright conduct, and honorable principle in all his transactions in
endeared him to society.” After
O’Shaughnessy’s death his son Robert carried on at 18 George Street.
Conrad Cromer, a German watchmaker, married Jane O’Shaughnessy and he
continue the O’Shaughnessy watch and clock making business at the same
location. Conrad’s family carried on the
business after his death in 1903 and it continued in business for most
20th century. After 183 years in
business the O’Shaughnessy/Cromer finally closed its doors in 1999.
The 1822 Trial of
Thomas O;Shaughnessy in Limerick
Shaughnessy, a young ploughman from Adare in county Limerick, was put
to the bar, charged with being an “idle and disorderly” person under
the recently passed Insurrection Act. He had been out of his home
at half past ten in the evening, thereby breaking the curfew.
the trial a member of the Adare yeomanry testified that he had seen the
house belonging to Mr. Fosbury burning. A policeman had hastened
to the place. When he arrived there it was all in flames, being a
thatched house. There was one woman in the house at the time it
was set on fire and she was got out.
policemen then searched the adjoining houses to see if the inhabitants
were there. They went into the Shaughnessy house and saw an
old man sitting by the fire. While they were interrogating the
old man Thomas Shaughnessy rushed in from the back door in great haste,
as if after a chase. On being asked where he had been, he said
that he had been feeding the cow. This proved not to be the case
as the cow had not been fed.
was no evidence that Shaughnessy was at the burning of Mr. Fosbury’s
house; but the court and the magistrate were of the opinion that he
was. He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years
transportation. Perhaps as if to soften the blow the court averred that
New South Wales was as comfortable place to be transported to as could
was sent to the Cove of Cork and in June 1822 boarded the ship Mangles which arrived in Port Jackson in
the following November.
Thomas Shaughnessy, Undertaker
of May 8, 1837 contained the following notice:
Thomas Shaughnessy was by trade an undertaker. With a face of
lengthened gravity he joined it with a most sociable and
jocular disposition. He had the art of laughing inwardly. A nice observer, however, could discern in
the cast of his eye the merriment which, under a grave aspect, was
besides his love of humor, Shaughnessy was a man of singular
benevolence. The consequence was, that
unlike his brethren of the same craft, he was able neither to build
keep his carriage. Shaughnessy was not esteemed by the religious
religion consisted but little in external devotion.
It possessed instead the unequivocal stamp of
perpetual works of kindness and charity. Many a poor man has
worthy Tom buried
whose widowed wife and children never paid him; and what is still more,
good Christian’s credit, he was pretty certain at the very time he made
decent coffin and carried the dead to their long home, he would have to
job for free.
Savior advises his followers to lay up their treasures in
heaven. This was honest Tom’s opinion. So
he buried the corpses of worthy people at a risk. If he were
paid, well; if
not, he considered (no doubt) that the Savior of men would be as good
word and place it to his credit in another book kept by himself.
thy manes, honest Tom Shaughnessy! Thou wast a sympathizer with the
and especially with those in affliction!“
We are the Music Makers
O’Shaughnessy was an English poet of Irish
descent, not much remembered today but well-known in Victorian times
ode from his book Music and Moonlight published
in 1874 which began as follows:
are the music
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it
ode was set to music several times.
The term “movers and shakers” is with us today.
O’Shaughnessy himself was a delicate, Dresden-china looking
who, like other brilliant young men of the period, indulged in long
hair. As happened to many ‘world-dreamers’
‘world-forsakers,’ he died young. He
caught a cold on a night out in 1881 which developed into fatal
I.A. O’Shaughnessy legend in Minnesota is
well-known and has often been told.
was sixteen years old in 1902 when he and
two classmates at St. John’s University had skipped Sunday vespers and
for the woods and a hidden barrel of beer. They were nabbed upon their
to campus and expelled the next day.
was going to take the train
home to Stillwater but got off in downtown St. Paul and walked several
St. Thomas. There he met Father John
Foley, president of the college, who was on his evening stroll.
O’Shaughnessy for a meal, listened to his story, and accepted him as a
after he admitted he had done wrong.
went on to star on the
football team, serve as secretary to the president and graduate in 1907. Later, after he had grown rich from oil
refining, he became a benefactor to St. Thomas.
Thomas was the beginning of
dad’s philanthropy with education,” said his son Larry who has served
Board of Trustees. “It made sense he would turn first to St. Thomas
all the college had done for him.“
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