Rathdrum Historical Society 3rd April 2017

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The Quakers in Wicklow

 ‘In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity’ are the principles by which members of the Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers live. Their origins in Ireland and in Wicklow will be the subject of Philip Geoghegan’s talk to the Rathdrum Historical Society on Monday 3rd April.

Philip’s talk will look at the Quakers who came to Ireland in the 1650s following the English Civil War and one family, the Judds who settled in Ballymurrin. Philip Geoghegan is very well placed to give this talk as he now lives in the Ballymurrin Quaker Farmstead which he and his wife Delphine, both conservation architects, have restored. It was built in 1668 by Ambrose Judd and has had continuous habitation for almost 350 years. Philip has spent many years researching the history of the Farmstead, the Quaker families associated with it and the adjoining burial ground. They run open days at the Farmstead when they welcome all comers.

The Society of Friends came about in the 17th century as an alternative to the organised religions. The Friends, known more commonly as Quakers, as they were said ‘to tremble in the way of the Lord’ have always been small in number but have carried considerable influence in many areas of life; the abolition of slavery, prison reform, equality for women and of course peace. They did not build churches or cathedrals but instead held meetings in their homes and Ballymurrin Farmstead was no exception.

The founding father of the state of Pennsylvania in the US was a Quaker and spent some time in Cork. His words ‘I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again,’ are indeed very worthy sentiments for all to follow.  

The legacy of the Quakers, especially in Wicklow, will be explored by Philip in his talk ‘The Quakers in County Wicklow - where they lived, where they came from, and some of the houses they lived in' at the lecture on Monday, 3rd April in Avondale Community College at 8 pm. All are welcome.

This page was added by Deirdre Burns on 27/03/2017.

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