All posts by Richard

Public Lecture – Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society

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Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society Free Public Lecture: “Babylonian Astronomy and Modern Science” by Professor Richard Stephenson, University of Durham; in the Armagh County Museum at 7.30pm, Thursday 27th October. All Welcome.

The illustrated talk will explain how, from at least as early as 700 BC, Babylonian astronomers kept a regular watch for a wide variety of celestial events. Their observations included eclipses of the Sun and Moon, and conjunctions of the Moon with planets and bright stars, as well as occasional comets and meteors. The records of these phenomena, the prime sources of which are astronomical diaries, are inscribed on clay tablets using a cuneiform script; they are largely preserved in the British Museum. More than a thousand tablets are preserved. Most texts are in a fragmentary condition, but extensive studies have revealed much that is important in present-day science. For instance early sightings of Halley’s comet are helpful in studying the past orbit of the comet; while numerous timed observations of eclipses enable long-term changes in the Earth’s rate of rotation to be investigated with remarkable accuracy. Both of these aspects will be discussed in this talk.

This free public lecture is being held in memory of Dr Denis Gerard McCartan (1944-2014), a distinguished former pupil of St Patrick’s College (now St. Patrick’s Grammar School), Armagh. He was one of two sons of Denis McCartan, the former Assistant Postmaster of Armagh, and this lecture will celebrate his life in science and science communication at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne as teacher and research scientist. The lecture will be followed by a general discussion of the relationship between science, philosophy and religion, reflecting topics covered in a popular course co-delivered by Gerard McCartan at Newcastle University, namely “Faith, Reason and the Cosmos”. The proceedings will conclude with light refreshments in the Society’s Reading Room and there will be a retiring collection in aid of Cancer Research UK. The event is being held in association with the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.

Book Launch – Names Carved in Stone

 

The Mall Presbyterian Church, Armagh invite all to the launch of ‘Names Carved in Stone’ on Friday 4th November at 7.30pm.
The book contains the personal profiles of all 69 men and women whose names are carved in stone on the First World War, War Memorial and Roll of Honour.

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The profiles include their family background, early life and upbringing in Armagh, their role within the Mall Church as well as their contribution to the Great War.
The hard backed, full colour book has been researched and written by Fiona Berry, edited by Rev Ivor Smith of the Presbyterian Historical Society, designed by Jason McFarland of Artwork Army and printed by Trimprint of Armagh.

The book will be of interest to those who enjoy genealogy, the First World War, congregational life as well as local history.
It will be on sale on the night for £10. All profits will go to SASRA (The Soldiers and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association).

Everyone is welcome to attend this unique event.

October Meeting

Our next meeting will be held on 12th October in the Armagh County Museum at 7:30 p.m. As mentioned elsewhere on this site this new exhibition “Mad or Bad” is opening on October 4th at Armagh County Museum, and for our October meeting the history group will get a talk and guided tour of the exhibition by Sean Barden, the Curatorial Services Officer at the Museum.

The exhibition explores the history of crime, gender and mental illness in late nineteenth century Ireland, and will run until 18th February 2017.

joemckiernan_withtextThe topic is a difficult but fascinating one with a special relevance to Armagh because both the County Jail and District Lunatic Asylum (both now closed) were situated in the city.

Armagh Courthouse also played a part in this story because many of the decisions made at trials were influenced by the defendant’s sanity or gender. These life and death factors were always present but not always obvious.

The museum has used objects from its own collections as well as loans from other museums and archives to illustrate this challenging subject. Many of the items on display have poignant and often tragic stories to tell.

annebeech_withtextArmagh Jail was often the final destination for those that had broken the law and faced trial. Others less fortunate were sent to the gallows. However there was a third alternative; the Lunatic Asylum.

The exhibition addresses the question of why the accused’s gender and not just the nature of their crime often determined if they ended up in an asylum, prison or on the gallows.

The museum is working closely with staff and students from Queens University Belfast to research particular cases using original convict photos as a starting point. Each photograph is a tangible link to a lives lived in an era when law breaking often had life changing consequences.

The photos of the two above convicts appear by kind permission of Northern Ireland Prisons Museum, the copyright holders

New Exhibition opening at Armagh County Museum

A new exhibition is opening on October 4th at Armagh County Museum and it will explore the history of crime, gender and mental illness in late nineteenth century Ireland. Entitled “Mad or Bad” the exhibition runs until 18th February 2017.

joemckiernan_withtextThe topic is a difficult but fascinating one with a special relevance to Armagh because both the County Jail and District Lunatic Asylum (both now closed) were situated in the city.

Armagh Courthouse also played a part in this story because many of the decisions made at trials were influenced by the defendant’s sanity or gender. These life and death factors were always present but not always obvious.

The museum has used objects from its own collections as well as loans from other museums and archives to illustrate this challenging subject. Many of the items on display have poignant and often tragic stories to tell.

annebeech_withtextArmagh Jail was often the final destination for those that had broken the law and faced trial. Others less fortunate were sent to the gallows. However there was a third alternative; the Lunatic Asylum.

The exhibition addresses the question of why the accused’s gender and not just the nature of their crime often determined if they ended up in an asylum, prison or on the gallows.

The museum is working closely with staff and students from Queens University Belfast to research particular cases using original convict photos as a starting point. Each photograph is a tangible link to a lives lived in an era when law breaking often had life changing consequences.

The photos of the two above convicts appear by kind permission of Northern Ireland Prisons Museum, the copyright holders

Annual Outing – Glasnevin Cemetery and the Battle of the Boyne Centre

ANNUAL OUTING 2016 – GLASNEVIN AND THE BOYNE
Our monthly meeting took a different form in September with an outing on Friday 16th.
The outing was to Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin in the morning and to the Boyne Visitor Centre in the afternoon followed by an evening meal in the Lisdoo Arms, Dundalk

History Group and friends
History Group and friends

Photos from the trip, click on an icon to see the full picture

September Meeting

ANNUAL OUTING 2016 – GLASNEVIN AND THE BOYNE
Our monthly meeting took a different form in September with an outing on Friday 16th.
The outing was to Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin in the morning and to the Boyne Visitor Centre in the afternoon followed by an evening meal in the Lisdoo Arms, Dundalk

History Group and friends
History Group and friends

Photos from the trip, click on an icon to see the full picture

Dr Timothy Bowman – The Battle of the Somme

June Meeting

Our next meeting will be held on 8th June in the Irish and Local Studies Library at 7:30 p.m. as usual.

SignAs this is the last meeting before the summer break it will take the form of a light-hearted Quiz, to find out what you know about Armagh.  For example, do you know where this speed limit sign is located in the city centre? This and many other questions will be answered at the meeting.

May Meeting

Our speaker for May is Sr. Nora Smyth – and the title of her talk is “Call and response: a glimpse at the life and times of Janet Erskine Stuart”.

JEStuartThe following short biography is taken from website of the Network of Sacred Heart schools:

“Janet Erskine Stuart was born November 11, 1857 in the Anglican Rectory of Cottesmore, Rutland, England. As a child of thirteen, she set out on a solitary search for Truth, having been urged to this venture by a casual remark of one of her brothers that every rational creature must have a last end. The search for this last end took, she said, seven years and brought her to the Catholic Church at the age of twenty-one. In 1882, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton, outside of London, where she was to spend 30 years of her religious life. Named Mistress of Novices soon after her profession, she became Superior in 1894, and 17 years later was elected the sixth Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart.”

http://sofie.org/resources/founding-mothers/janet-erskine-stuart