Biographies A-Z

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Balfe, John Donnellan

Balfe, John Donnellan (1816–80), politician, journalist, and British government spy, was born in Co. Meath, son of James Balfe, gentleman, and Sara Balfe (née Sutherland). He was educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, and had a brief career in the British army, joining…

Balfe, Michael William

Balfe, Michael William (1808–70), composer and musician, was born 15 May 1808, at 10 Pitt Street, Dublin (renamed Balfe Street in 1917 by the Dublin Corporation, later demolished), and baptised in the parish church of St Ann, Dawson Street, Dublin. He was the third child and only…

Balfour, Arthur James

Balfour, Arthur James (1848–1930), chief secretary for Ireland (1887–91), was born 25 July 1848 at Whittingehame, East Lothian, Scotland, eldest son among five sons and three daughters of James Maitland Balfour (1820–56), country gentleman and MP, and Lady Blanche Harriet Cecil (…

Balfour, Gerald William

Balfour, Gerald William (1853–1945), chief secretary for Ireland, was born 9 April 1853 in Edinburgh, fourth son of James Maitland Balfour, country gentleman and MP, and Lady Blanche Harriet Cecil, daughter of the 2nd marquis of Salisbury. Educated at Eton and Trinity College,…

Balfour, Mary E.

Balfour, Mary E. (fl. 1789–1810), poet, was born on 24 January; one source gives the year as 1755. However, if – as seems likely – she was the eldest daughter of John Balfour (who seems to have been a doctor in Derry city before becoming a clergyman in 1789, and who…

Ballance, John

Ballance, John (1839–93), New Zealand politician, was born 27 March 1839, eldest among ten children surviving to adulthood of Samuel Ballance and Mary Ballance (née McNeice) of Ballypitmave near Glenavy, Co. Antrim; she was from a quaker background, while the Ballances were a…

Ball, Anna Maria

Ball, Anna Maria (1785–1871), philanthropist, was born at 5 Werburgh St., Dublin, second daughter among five children of John Ball (qv), a prosperous Dublin silk merchant, and his second wife, Mabel Clare Ball (née Bennett) of Eyrecourt, Co…

Ball, Edward

Ball, Edward (c.1579–1625), mayor of Dublin and merchant, was second son of Walter Ball (d. 8 December 1598), mayor of Dublin, and Eleanor (d. 5 December 1613), daughter of Robert Ussher senior of Santry, Co. Dublin. A member of a prominent merchant family in Dublin, he had…

Ball, Edward Francis Allen Preston

Ball, Edward Francis Allen Preston (1916–87?), murderer, was born on 9 May 1916 at 40 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, the younger son of Charles Preston Ball (d. 1957), a Dublin medical doctor who seems to have been the son of William James Ball (1830?–1895), clergyman, Indian…

Ball, Francis Elrington

Ball, Francis Elrington (1863–1928), antiquarian and historian, was born 18 July 1863 at Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, third and youngest son of John Thomas Ball (qv), later lord chancellor of Ireland, and Catherine Ball (née Elrington),…

Ball, John

Ball, John (1728–1804), silk manufacturer, was probably the John Ball who was the son of Richard and Abigail Ball of Dublin and was baptised at St Catherine's church in April 1728. Richard Ball's forebears lived at Ardee, Co. Louth, and were descended from a Cromwellian officer,…

Ball, John

Ball, John (1818–89), scientist, politician, and mountain traveller, was born 20 August 1818 in Dublin, eldest son among four children of Nicholas Ball (qv), politician and judge, and Jane Ball (neé Sherlock) of Butlerstown, Co.…

Ball, John Thomas

Ball, John Thomas (1815–98), lord chancellor of Ireland and MP, was born 24 July 1815 in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, eldest of six sons and four daughters of Maj. Benjamin Marcus Ball and Elizabeth Ball (née Feltus). He was educated at Dr Smith's school, Rutland Square, Dublin, and…

Ball, Margaret

Ball, Margaret (1515?–1584?), recusant and martyr, was born in Corballis in the barony of Skreen, Co. Meath, daughter of Nicholas Bermingham and his wife Katherine, daughter of Richard de la Hide of Drogheda, a descendant of Edward I. She married (1530) Bartholomew Ball, a…

Ball, Mary

Ball, Mary (1812–98), entomologist and conchologist, was born in Cobh, Co. Cork, on 15 February 1812, the younger of the two daughters of Robert Stawell Ball and his wife, Mary (née Green). Along with her siblings Robert Ball (qv) and Ann,…

Ball, Mary Teresa (Frances)

Ball, Mary Teresa (Frances) (1794–1861), nun, educator, and founder of the Loreto order in Ireland, was born 9 January 1794 in Eccles Street, Dublin, the youngest daughter of John Ball (qv), a wealthy Dublin silk merchant, and Mabel Clare…

Ball, Nicholas

Ball, Nicholas (c.1540–1610), merchant, mayor of Dublin, and MP, was born in Dublin about 1540, the second of the three sons of Bartholomew Ball, a merchant, and his wife, Margaret (qv) (née Bermingham). He had considerable…

Ball, Nicholas

Ball, Nicholas (1791–1865), lawyer and politician, was born 6 July 1791 in Dublin, only son of John Ball, a wealthy catholic silk merchant of Eccles St., Dublin, and his second wife, Mabel Bennett, of Eyrecourt, Co. Galway. Educated at the Jesuit college of Stonyhurst, Lancashire…

Ball, Robert

Ball, Robert (1802–57), naturalist, was born 1 April 1802 at Cove (Cobh), Co. Cork, eldest of four sons and third of nine children of Bob Stawell Ball, mayor of Youghal, and Mary Ball (née Green). Educated in Clonakilty, Co. Cork, and later at the quaker school, Ballitore, Co.…

Ball, Sir Charles Bent

Ball, Sir Charles Bent (1851–1916), surgeon, was born 21 February 1851 in Dublin, third and youngest son among seven children of Robert Ball (qv), naturalist, and Amelia Gresley Ball (née Hellicar). He entered…

Ball, Sir Robert Stawell

Ball, Sir Robert Stawell (1840–1913), astronomer and mathematician, was born 1 July 1840 at Granby Row, Dublin, son of Robert Ball (qv), LLD, curator of the museum at…

Ball, Valentine

Ball, Valentine (1843–95), geologist, was born in Dublin, second son and fourth child of Robert Ball (qv), naturalist, and Amelia Ball (née Hellicar). He was educated at a private school in Chester, at Rathmines School, and at…

Ball, Walter

Ball, Walter (c.1538–1598), merchant and philanthropist, was the eldest of the three sons of Bartholomew Ball (d. 1567?), merchant, and his wife, Margaret (qv) (née Bermingham). Prospering in business, Walter Ball drew income…

Balscot, Alexander

Balscot, Alexander of (c.1335–1400), bishop of Ossory, bishop of Meath, and treasurer, chancellor, and justiciar of Ireland, was born in Oxfordshire and first appears in the records when he was presented to the vicarage of Dungarvan in 1359. He was a prebend in the diocese…

Bambrick, James (Joe)

Bambrick, James (Joe) (1905–83), association footballer, was born 3 November 1905 at 20 Buckingham St., Belfast, son of Henry Bambrick, trunk-maker, and Elizabeth Bambrick (née Henning). After several years with local sides Rockville, Ulster Rangers, and Bridgemount, he joined (1926…