Biographies A-Z

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Sewell, William

Sewell, William (1804–74), clergyman, was born 23 January 1804 at Newport, Isle of Wight, second son among six sons and six daughters of Thomas Sewell, solicitor, and Jane Sewell (née Edwards). His parents were first cousins, from a prominent family; several siblings were…

Sexton, Thomas

Sexton, Thomas (1847–1932), politician, was born in Waterford city, eldest son and second among six children of John Sexton, constable in the RIC, and Mary Sexton (née Phelan). Educated by the Christian Brothers at Mount Sion school,…

Seymour, Michael Hobart

Seymour, Michael Hobart (1800–74), clergyman and controversialist, was born 29 September 1800, sixth son of the Rev. John Crossley Seymour (d. May 1831), vicar of Caherelly, Co. Limerick, and his wife, Catherine, eldest daughter of the Rev. Edward Wight, rector of Meelick, Co.…

Seymour, St John Drelincourt

Seymour, St John Drelincourt (1880–1950), clergyman and historian, was the youngest son of Elizabeth Seymour (née Topp), and of the Rev. William F. Seymour, Church of Ireland clergyman in the united dioceses of Cashel and Emly, and was born 15 April 1880 at Abington rectory, Co.…

Seymour, William Digby

Seymour, William Digby (1822–95), politician and judge, was born 22 September 1822 at Kilronan, Co. Roscommon, second of two sons of the Rev. Charles Seymour, vicar of Kilronan, and Beata Seymour (née Langley). Educated at TCD, he…

Shackleton, Abraham

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Shackleton, Abraham

Shackleton, Abraham (1696–1771), schoolmaster, was born in 1696 at Shackleton House, Bingley, Yorkshire, youngest of six children born to Abraham Shackleton and his wife Sarah Briggs, quakers. His mother died when he was six, his father when he was eight. Abraham suffered from a…

Shackleton, Francis Richard (‘Frank’)

Shackleton, Francis Richard (‘Frank’) (1876–1941), Dublin Herald of Arms (1905–7), was born 19 September 1876 at Kilkea House, Kilkea, Co. Kildare, second son of Henry Shackleton and Henrietta Letitia Sophia Shackleton (née Gavan). His elder brother was Sir…

Shackleton, Lydia

Shackleton, Lydia (1828–1914), botanical artist, teacher, and poet, was born 22 November 1828, at Griesemount, Ballitore, Co. Kildare, the third eldest of thirteen children of George Shackleton, a miller, and Hannah Shackleton (née Fisher). Her forebear…

Shackleton, Richard

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Shackleton, Sir Ernest Henry

Shackleton, Sir Ernest Henry (1874–1922), sailor and Antarctic explorer, was born 15 February 1874 at Kilkea House, Kilkea, Co. Kildare, second child and eldest son of Henry Shackleton, gentleman farmer and later a physician, and his wife Henrietta Letitia Sophia, daughter of Henry…

Shadwell, Charles

Shadwell, Charles (c.1675–1726), playwright, was born in London, the son of the English poet laureate and playwright Thomas Shadwell (c.1640–1692). Charles Shadwell served in the army in Portugal under Major-General Newton and in 1710 was appointed supervisor of…

Shaen, Sir James

Shaen, Sir James (a.1629–1695), 1st baronet, revenue farmer, and politician, was the eldest son and heir of either Patrick or Francis Shaen, but his origins are otherwise obscure. He married, in 1650, Frances, fifth daughter of

Shanahan, Joseph

Shanahan, Joseph (1871–1943), missionary bishop, was born 4 June 1871 in Glankeen, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, third son among ten children of Daniel Shanahan, herdsman, and Margaret Shanahan (neé Walsh). He attended Templederry national school, Co. Tipperary, and Rockwell…

Shanks, James

Shanks, James (1854–1912), farmer, agrarian activist, and self-taught naturalist and historian, was born 4 November 1854 on Ballyfounder farm, two miles south of Portaferry on the Ards peninsula, Co. Down. A presbyterian, after attending Portaferry no. 2 national school until age…

Shanley, John Patrick

Shanley, John Patrick (1895–1996), paediatric surgeon and Dublin city coroner, was born 17 September 1895 in Dublin, eldest child among two sons and two daughters of Peter Shanley, commercial traveller and later draper, of 37 Goldsmith St., Dublin, and Mary Shanley (née Kelly) of…

Share, Bernard Vivian

Share, Bernard Vivian (1930–2013), writer and editor, was born on 31 May 1930 in London to Irish parents Frederick Share, a civil servant, and May Share, who had emigrated there from Dublin. He lived in England until he was seventeen, attending school in Pinner, Middlesex, before…

Sharkey, Thomas Joseph (‘Tom’; ‘Sailor’)

Sharkey, Thomas Joseph (‘Tom’; ‘Sailor’) (1873–1953), bare-knuckle heavyweight boxer, was born 26 November 1873 in Mill St., Dundalk, Co. Louth, son of James Sharkey, labourer, and Margaret Sharkey (née Kelly). Little is known of his early life except that he spent a decade at sea (…

Sharman, William

Sharman, William (1730?–1803), Volunteer colonel, landlord, and MP, was the elder son among two sons and three daughters of John Sharman of Grange, Co. Antrim; nothing is known of his mother. He entered TCD (26 May 1748), was called to…

Sharp, Anthony

Sharp, Anthony (1643–1707), Dublin woollen merchant and leading quaker, was born in January 1643 in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, son of Thomas Sharp, woollen manufacturer, and his wife Elizabeth. He probably attended the local grammar school founded by Sir William Romney (d. 1611) and…

Shaw, Bob (Robert)

Shaw, Bob (Robert) (1931–96), science fiction writer, was born 31 December 1931 in Belfast, the eldest of three sons of Robert William Shaw, a policeman, and his wife Elizabeth (née Megaw). As a child he developed a lasting enthusiasm for science fiction as ‘an escape from the…

Shaw, Flora

Shaw, Flora (1852–1929), Lady Lugard , journalist, was born in December 1852 in Kimmage, Co. Dublin, third among fourteen children of Gen. George Shaw and his wife, Marie de la Fontaine, daughter of the governor of Mauritius. Gen. Shaw was stationed at…

Shaw, Francis

Shaw, Francis (1907–70), Jesuit priest, Celtic scholar and historical polemicist, was born 26 March 1907 in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, the fourth child among four sons and two daughters of Patrick Walter Shaw (1872–1940), merchant, and his wife Mary 'Minnie' (née Galligan). The Shaws…

Shaw, George Bernard

Shaw, George Bernard (1856–1950), playwright, was born 26 July 1856 at 3 Upper Synge Street, Dublin, third child and only son of George Carr Shaw (1814–85) of Synge Street, clerk, Four Courts official, then corn merchant, whose English ancestor (of originally Scottish descent) had been…

Shaw, George Ferdinand

Shaw, George Ferdinand (1821–99), journalist and academic, was born 26 June 1821 in Dublin, a son of William Shaw, printer. Educated in Dublin, he entered Trinity College in 1838, aged seventeen, as a sizar, which would indicate that he was not from a wealthy family. He later won a…