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JOTTINGS ON THE KENRICK FAMILY.
By JOHN MCCALL, 25 Patrick Street, Dublin,
It is generally believed that Thomas Kenrick, father of the two great Archbishops, belonged to an old family of scriveners in Dublin, and though for a lengthened period he occupied the house, 6 York Street—then one of the leading dwelling streets of the city—as scrivenery offices, yet he resided in the old home, 16 Chancery Lane, up to the time of his death. In the early part of the present century Chancery Lane was not that impoverished locality as is represented by the poet, Mangan, or as it undoubtedly is at present, but a respectable thoroughfare, and a busy hive of industry, having builders, cabinetmakers, brass-founders, printers, public schools, etc., flourishing therein, as a reference to the several Dublin directories of the time will show. That standard work, “O'Reilly's Irish Dictionary,” was printed and published at the Minerva printing office, Chancery Lane, about the year 1828. The noted Classical and Mercantile Academy, conducted by the Rev. T. Reynolds and M. McCormick, was but two doors lower down (at number 14) from Mr. Kenrick's residence. [See "Deigan's Geography of Ireland,'' edition of 1810.) William Jones' two almanacs, Grant's, and the New Ladies' Almanacs show that about the year 1817 one of the Diarian writers, William Browne, who graduated in the Tullow School, County of Carlow, became principal of this classical seminary, and that the poet Mangan, who was then also a resident in the Lane, was for a short time a pupil therein. The Diaries also show that for three years in succession he and three other juveniles, M. and B. Devoy, of Arran Quay, and P. Mahon,
during their leisure hours, often amused themselves at solving intricate puzzles in “Jones' Almanacs." Might not the youthful Peter Richard, and Francis Patrick Kenrick have been also at the time pupils in said school, which was situated almost at their very door?
“D. C., a Scrivener," in a letter in the Nation, October 13, 1849, tells us that before the commencement of his studies, their uncle, the Reverend Richard Kenrick, P. P., was another scrivener. There is a marble monument with a good profile of this good pastor, erected by his successor, the Revd. M. Flanagan, P. P., to be seen in the Church of St. Nicholas of Myra, Francis Street, Dublin. From it we learn that Father Kenrick was born in the parish [likely in Chancery Lane) in 1780 ; became curate, very probably, after his ordination, in 1804 ; succeeded to the pastorship, in 1823, and died September 5, 1827, aged 47 years.
My Memoir of James Martin, the poet, of Millbrook, says: “ It is not now generally known that for five years or so, that is from 1820 to 1825, the facetious pair, Tighe and Mangan, were plying their nimble pens at the same double desk at Mrs. Kenrick's scrivenery offices, 6 York Street, her husband at the time, being some years dead, (he died in 1817,) and the two punsters were thus bound together in the closest bond of friendship. One of their fellow-workers then being no other than the late Peter Richard Kenrick, Archbishop of Saint Louis, America. The elder brother, Francis Patrick, the late Archbishop of Baltimore, having then only recently resigned the scrivenery business preparatory to entering college, with the view of being called to the sacred priesthood. From the time of their father's death, both boys were under the guidance of their uncle, the Reverend Richard Kenrick, Francis Street, Dublin, C. C. for nineteen years and P. P. four years. Mangan was only an apprentice to Mrs. Kenrick, and quite unknown to literary fame; he had not as yet assumed his well known nom-de-plume of ‘Clarence'; but Tighe had already distirguished himself in the puzzling field, and was now looked on as one of the guiding stars of the Diaries.”—The Irish Emerald, October 31, 1896.
That the two youngsters, James Mangan and Peter Richard Kenrick, worked together in the scrivenery offices, 6 York Street, we have the latter's own testimony, in a letter to the present writer, dated Saint Louis, October 19, 1887. The following is a copy :
“Dear Sir, I knew Mangan for several years very intimately, and highly esteemed him for his talents and virtue. My brother, the late Archbishop of Baltimore, had never any knowledge of him. After my father's death in 1817, his Office was continued for some years, in which both Mangan and myself were engaged. The office was in York Street, never on the Coombe. I am, dear Sir, your obedient servant in Xt. Peter Rich" Kenrick, Abp.
"Mr. John McCall, 25 Patrick Street, Dublin, Ireland."
James Mangan's younger brother, John, being another scrivener and law clerk, it is probable that he also may have served his apprenticeship in Kenrick's offices. In one of the poet's autobiographies, he tells us that during his absence on one occasion from the attorney's offices, through illness, his place was temporarily filled by his brother John.
During the continuance of the satirical puzzling controversy in Jones' Almanacs for six years or so, between Tighe, Mangan, and Martin, of Millbrook (see my memoir of Martin), though the youthful Peter Richard Kenrick was never initiated into the intricacies of puzzledom, he must be cognizant of the literary quarrel, and it is likely entered into the spirit of the thing, and from time to time, had many a hearty laugh with his office companions at poor Martin's discomfitures. The late Cauon O'Rourke, of Maynooth, in a letter to the present writer (quoted further on) dubs the young Kenrick as “Peter the Second,” and it would be worth inquiring into, whether the “ Peter Puff,” of Tighe, and the “ Peter the Second,” of Mangan, of Jones' Diaries, 1820 to 1825, did not in some slight manner enigmatically represent their pen-associate in the office, Peter Richard Kenrick? Though we know the latter did not feel himself qualified to enter into the tilting arena, he perhaps, may have given tacit permission to the two archcynics to use his name in this figurative manner.
That before his entrance into college, Francis Patrick Kenrick, the future Archbishop of Baltimore, worked as a scrivener, we have the testimony of the previously mentioned “ D. C. a Scrivener in the Nation, as well as that of the late Canon O'Rourke, of Maynooth. The following is an extract from a letter of the latter to the present writer, and dated :
"ST. MARY'S, MAYNOOTH, Easter Sunday, 1883. Dear Sir, I have just read your Life of Poor Mangan. No book for a long time has given me so much pleasure. I never saw him to know him, but I know a good deal of him from others, and anı a great admirer of his poetry. As far as I know, his early life and struggles were unknown to his previous biographers. I learned early in life, from a schoolmaster of mine, that Mangan wrote for the Dublin Diaries, and he shewed me also, some of the poet's writings in them. He, the school-master, was at the time a contributor to Smyth's Belfast Almanac.
“Scrivener's Clerk." You do not say who the Scrivener was. I believe he was Mr. Kenrick, the father of two of the greatest Archbishops America has ever seen, with the exception of Doctor Hughes, of New York. [Francis] Patrick, the elder, died Archbishop of Baltimore. Peter the Second still lives, and is Archbishop of Saint Louis. These two great men must have known Mangan in their father's office, perhaps working at the same double-desk with him. The thing is easily verified by a reference to a Dublin Directory of the time. That [Francis) Patrick worked at the business there can be no doubt. When he was a student at Rome, he wrote many letters home to his brother ; part of these I saw, and the writing in them was like copper-plate ; no one but a Scrivener could have written them. It would be an interesting fact to prove that three of Ireland's great men worked at the mill-horse scrivenery business in that dingy office in York Street."
Francis Patrick, it would seem, was born in Chancery Lane, in 1797 ; he was thus Peter Richard's senior by nine years, and of Mangan by six; and we gather from the before quoted letter of the Archbishop of Saint Louis, that his elder brother did not work with cither him or Mangan, as he quitted the
office to prepare for the sacred priesthood some short time before their father's death, which occurred in 1817. In a sale of Mr. Edward Evan's Library, Corn Market, Dublin, in 1889, two lots sold, were, No. 1131. An autograph of the Most Rev. Francis Patrick, Bishop of Baltimore, and Archbishopelect of Baltimore, dated September 24, 1851, No. 1132. Seal of the Most Rev. Doctor Kenrick, Archbishop of Baltimore, America.
James Tighe was born at Dove Hill, Carrickmacross, in the year 1795; he was thus Mangan's senior by eight years. Tighe's tutor was old John McCabe, teacher of the Mathematics of the same town ; also a correspondent to the Almanacs for a number of years. Under such a good preceptor, Tighe received a good mercantile education, and having, in 1815, come up to Dublin, he temporarily located himself at Crane Street, contiguous to Guinness's Brewery, James' Gate. Being a clever penman, sometime about the death of Thomas Kenrick, he got employment in the offices, 6 York Street, then under the superintendence of the Rev. Richard Kenrick, P. P., when to be more convenient to the place of his employment, he shifted his abode to the present Lower Mercer Street.
Peter Richard Kenrick, we all know, was born at 16 Chancery Lane, August 17, 1806. As there was only a difference of three years between him and Mangan, it is probable that he, at least, and the poet may, for a short time, have been fellow pupils in William Browne's Classical Seminary, at 14 Chancery Lane. From the time of Mangan's entrance into the office in York Street he and the youthful Peter Richard were knit together in the closest friendship. According to an extended account of this great prelate's death in the Irish Catholic, March 21, 1896, it appears that “the first lessons in German he learned in Dublin were taught him by the celebrated and gifted poet, James Clarence Mangan; and in after life the Archbishop often spoke about his former tutor, for whose genius he had a most unbounded admiration, and who was so gentle and amiable in disposition."
All who have read Mangan's longer autobiography, published in the Irish Monthly Magazine, November, 1882, and