Biographies A-Z

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Atthill, Lombe

Atthill, Lombe (1827–1910), obstetrician and gynaecologist, was born 3 December 1827 in Ardess Glebe, Co. Fermanagh, youngest of ten surviving children of the Rev. William Atthill (qv), rector (1818–47) of Magheraculmony, Co.…

Atthill, William

Atthill, William (1774–1847), clergyman, was baptised 17 April 1774, only son and heir of Anthony Atthill and Sara Atthill (née Howlett) of Brandiston Hall, Norfolk, England; he had one sister. His father died when he was four, and he was brought up by an uncle, who sent him to…

Attracht (Adrochta, Attracta)

Attracht (Adrochta, Attracta) (7th century?), saint in the Irish tradition and founder and first abbess of Cell Sáile, was according to the genealogies of the saints a daughter of Tigernach (probably to be identifed with Tigernach son of Muiredach, an early representative of the…

Audley, James

Audley, James (c.1220–1272), justiciar of Ireland, was the eldest son of Henry de Audley, marcher baron of Shropshire and Staffordshire, and Bertred, daughter of Ralph Mainwaring, seneschal of Chester. He rose to prominence during the 1250s, received a number of royal…

Augaire

Augaire (d. 1024), son of Dúnlaing and overking of Leinster, belonged to the Uí Muiredaig lineage of the Uí Dúnlainge dynasty. During the reign of his father Dúnlaing (qv) (d. 1014), king of Uí Muiredaig and briefly overking of the province…

Augustinus (Pseudo-)

Augustinus (Pseudo-) (fl. mid 7th cent.) was author of the tract ‘De mirabilibus sacrae [or ‘sanctae’] scripturae’, internally datable to 655. It deals in an unusually rationalistic fashion – for the medieval period – with the ‘wonders’ or miracles related in Scripture.…

Aungier, Francis

Aungier, Francis (c.1632–1700), 1st earl of Longford , politician and property developer, was the eldest son of Ambrose Aungier (c.1597–1654), chancellor of St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin, and of Grisel, younger daughter of…

Aungier, Gerald

Aungier, Gerald (c.1640–77), governor of Bombay, was probably born in Dublin, the second son of Ambrose Aungier (d. 1654), chancellor of St Patrick's cathedral, and a younger brother of Francis Aungier (c.1632–1700), 1st earl of…

Aungier, Sir Francis

Aungier, Sir Francis (1558–1632), lawyer and administrator, eldest son of Richard Aungier of Cambridgeshire, barrister and treasurer of Gray's Inn, and Rose Aungier (née Stewart/Steward) of Ely, was baptised 14 May 1558 at Coton, Cambs. He was a queen's scholar at Westminster School…

Austin, John

Austin, John (1717–84), Jesuit priest, was born off Kevin Street, Dublin, on 12 April 1717. He showed promise as a youth, and was said to have come to the attention of Jonathan Swift (qv). He went to France and joined the Society of…

Auxilius (Auxilinus, Ausaille, Usaille)

Auxilius (Auxilinus, Ausaille, Usaille) (d. c.459), saint, missionary bishop and confrère of St Patrick (qv), was, according to one tradition, sent by Amatorex, bishop of Auxerre, to assist Patrick in his…

Avaux, Jean-Antoine de Mesmes

Avaux, Jean-Antoine de Mesmes (1640–1709), Comte d'Avaux , French ambassador to the Jacobite court in Ireland, was born into a noble Béarnais family. He became the most skilled French diplomat of his day, acting as Louis XIV's plenipotentiary at Nijmegen in 1675–8, and then as his…

Averell, Adam

Averell, Adam (1754–1847), Primitive Wesleyan clergyman, was born 7 May 1754 at Mullan, Co. Tyrone, son of Adam Averell and Mary Averell (née Johnston). He spent some time in his childhood with his grandmother Johnston. His relation John Averell, bishop of Limerick, for whom his…

Axtell, Daniel

Axtell, Daniel (d. 1660), military governor of Kilkenny, was almost certainly born in southern England, and was apprenticed to a grocer in Watling St. (London). In the English civil war he joined the parliamentary army from religious conviction, rose to be lieutenant-colonel,…

Aylmer, Charles

Aylmer, Charles (1786–1847), Jesuit priest, was born 29 August 1786 at Painstown, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare, the seat of his father, Charles Aylmer (1720?–1801), one of the county's representatives at the Catholic Convention held in 1792, and said in 1798 to be worth £1,600 p.a.…

Aylmer, Matthew

Aylmer, Matthew (c.1650–1720), 1st Baron Aylmer of Balrath , admiral, and commander-in-chief of the fleet, was second child and second son among three sons and one daughter of Christopher Aylmer (d. 1671), 1st baronet, of Balrath, Co. Meath, and his wife Margaret, third…

Aylmer, Sir Gerald

Aylmer, Sir Gerald (1484?–1560), lawyer and administrator, was one of nine children of Bartholomew Aylmer of Lyons, Co. Kildare, and Margaret Aylmer (née Chevers) of Macetown, Co. Meath, a granddaughter of William Welles (qv), lord…

Aylmer, Sir Gerald

Aylmer, Sir Gerald (d. 1634), 1st baronet, landowner, was third son of Richard Aylmer of Lyons, Co. Kildare, and his wife Elinor, daughter of George Fleming. By 1582 he had travelled to London in pursuit of property claims, carrying commendations of his conduct during the recent…

Aylmer, William

Aylmer, William (1778–1820), United Irish commander and officer in the Austrian army, was born in March 1778 at Painstown, Co. Kildare, the second son of Charles Aylmer (1720?–1801) but the first son of his second marriage, to Esmay, daughter of William Piers of Castletown, Co.…

Aylward, Alfred

Aylward, Alfred (1843–89), Fenian, was born in New Ross, Co. Wexford, son of a school inspector based in Enniscorthy. A police report later stated that his father died in Westport, Co. Mayo, in 1847. During the course of his life, Aylward used numerous aliases and told many exotic…

Aylward, Margaret Louisa

Aylward, Margaret Louisa (1810–89), philanthropist and founder of a religious congregation, was born 23 November 1810 in Waterford city, fifth among ten children of William Aylward (d. 1840), merchant, and Ellen Aylward (née Murphy), who also had a son from her first marriage. The…

Aylward, Richard

Aylward, Richard (1872–1954), Celticist, priest, and professor of Irish, was born in Aylwardstown, Glenmore, Co. Kilkenny, son of Edmond Aylward, farmer, and Johanna Aylward (née Phelan). He was educated in the Old Classical College, Kilmacow, and at St Kieran's College, Kilkenny…

Ayton, Alexander

Ayton, Alexander (1829–1900), professional photographer, was born in Scotland but in the early 1860s came to Ireland, where he set up in business in Derry city, first at an address in the Crescent, then (1864) moving to a purpose-built studio in Kennedy Place. Thirty years later he…