The Protestant Orphan Society became a social bridge that linked together throughout the Church of Ireland the humble poor and the wealthy and the great. This book examines the work of the Protestant Orphan Society in Dublin (DPOS) against the background of over a century of political, religious and social upheaval from Catholic emancipation, the Great Famine, social reforms to Independence. It first identifies the founders and supporters of the DPOS and their motivation for doing so. It asks why the Church of Ireland invested in the children of the church at this time. The book then analyses the Society's development, the grounds for support of private versus public poor relief for Protestant widows and children and stresses the crucial role that women played in the Societies' work. It examines the child welfare system implemented by the DPOS, and the extent to which its policies were forward thinking and child and family centred. The opposing views of the extensive social service carried out by PO Societies and the meaning of the charity for the Church of Ireland laity, particularly women, are explored. The book further examines applicant profiles, widows' reduced circumstances and health, attitudes to children's health, and bereavement and the attendant emotional effects. Using individual case histories the chapter examines applicant case histories which include Sean O'Casey's sister.

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’s development, the grounds for support of private versus public poor relief for Protestant widows and children and stresses the crucial role that women played in the Societies’ work. Chapter 3 examines the child welfare system implemented by the DPOS, and the extent to which its policies were forward thinking and child and family centred. Chapter 4 highlights the opposing views of the extensive social service carried out by PO Societies and the meaning of the charity for the Church of Ireland laity, particularly women. Chapter 5 examines applicant profiles, widows’ reduced

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940

, respectable Protestant widows with dependents sought and were encouraged to seek private rather than public assistance. This chapter explores the Protestant mindset p ­ ost-emancipation and argues that religious rivalry accounted for the growing support of PO Societies pre-Poor Law and that the charity was self-promoted as a superior alternative to workhouses post-Poor Law on the basis that its system had succeeded where the Poor Law failed: it maintained widows and children’s health, well-being, respectability and future prospects. Preserving a Protestant presence in

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940

, for good objects and for beneficial results.160 The Earl of Roden went on to say that he had witnessed children who had remained in workhouses for numerous years without any hope of a future as ‘respectable, independent citizens’.161 Through the DPOS, Protestants laid the groundwork for an alternative to workhouses for Protestant widows and children, one which did not perpetuate stigma but rather promoted respectability, social mobility and independence. In 1868 Florence Davenport Hill commended the DPOS for its careful supervision of the orphans whilst boarded out

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940
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persons not in a sound state of health’, was situated at No. 1 Eden Quay, Sackville Street, Dublin.101 It too granted annuities and endowments for children; however, these safeguards were out of reach for most. A Society such as the DPOS afforded the artisans the opportunity to contribute to a fund which would pay out after their deaths. It was all the more significant because artisans had founded the Society. It was essentially a family strategy designed to maintain the respectability of Protestant widows and orphans. It was also envisaged that the Society would act as

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940

-old Protestant widow. She later died in the hospital from severe burns.29 Although this attack was targeted at Catholics, because a Protestant woman died the act was taken for one of Catholic aggression. Two weeks after the bombing, on 21 May 1966, The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary organization that formed in response to a perceived revival of the Irish R ­ epublican Army (IRA), and to prime minister Terence O’Neill’s promise of reform for Northern Ireland’s minority Catholic population, issued a declaration of war: ‘From this day, we declare war

in Haunted historiographies

returning with fish generally carried on her head. By the sale of eggs and fruit she earned a few pence for her family’.45 The rector stated as the weather had been ‘very cold and wet’, he had ‘forewarned’ her to slow down and that she would become ill if she persisted. He said ‘during the late snow the family would have starved except for some aid I supplied and I am now ­employing one of the girls about the yard’.46 The same year, Bereaved families and boarded-out children, 1850–98 117 another Protestant widow was ‘in consumption scarcely able to leave her bed’. She

in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940