[Rev.] William Hickey

Life
?1787-1875 [pseud. ‘Martin Doyle’], b. Murragh, Cork; ed. TCD, and St. John’s Coll., Cambridge; curate of Bannow, Ferns, Co. Wexford, 1820; fnd., with Thomas Boyce, Wexford Agricultural Society; recot of Kilcormick, 1826; Wexford 1831; Milrankin, 1834; published for education of peasantry as Martin Doyle an extensive series of pamphlets and books on practical farming, such as Hints to Small Farmers (1830) and similar works; Illustrated Book of Domestic Poultry (1854), and ed. Irish Farmer’s and Gardener’s Mag., 1832-42; RDS gold medallist and pension from literary fund. also as Martin Doyle, State of the Poor in Ireland (?Dublin, 1817); other works include Address to Landlords of Ireland on … Melioration of the Lower Classes (1831). CAB ODNB PI DIB DIW DIH

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Works

  • Hints to Small Farmers (1830);
  • Irish Cottagers (1830) [details]
  • An Address to the Landlords of Ireland (1831);
  • The Flower Garden (1834);
  • A Cyclopaedia of Practical Husbandry (1839);
  • The Labouring Classes of Ireland (1846);
  • Tom Brady and Dick Smith: Two Stories (1847).
  • Agricultural class book; or, how to best cultivate a small farm and garden; together with hints on domestic economy (Dublin 1848);
  • The Illustrated Book of Domestic Poultry (1854).
  • Farm and Cottage Produce (1857);
  • Cottage Farming (1870);
Miscellaneous
  • ed., Irish Farmer’s and Gardeners’ Magazine (1834-42).

Collected editions

  • The Works of Martin Doyle (Curry 1832-33).

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Bibliographical details
Irish Cottagers, by Mr. Martin Doyle
[pseud. of William Hickey], Author of “Hints to Small Farmers” (Dublin: William Curry, Jun. and Co. 9, Upper Sackville-Street, Hurst, Chance, and Co. London, and Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1830), 137p. 12° [2s. 6d.; July 1830]; Preface (3pp.), dated ‘Ballyarley, June 1st 1830', notes that ‘some striking coincidences' between the present work and the recently published Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry by William Carleton are purely accidental, the author having not seen the prior work until after completing his own, as his ‘very respectable' publishers can vouch for. The object of the author ‘has been to convey sound practical advice to the rural population of his country […] free from the vulgar caricature, as well as the coarseness and blasphemies, with which too many Irish tales of the present day, so copiously and offensively abound […] In the occasional introduction of Anglo–Hibernian diction, phraseology, and pronunciation, he trusts he has not deviated from the faithful delineation of Irish character, in the South Eastern parts of the Province of Leinster.' Advert. as ‘Lately Published' (verso facing t.p.) for the same author's ‘Hints originally intended for the small farmers of the County of Wexford, but suited to most parts of Ireland […] a new edition, with Hints on the Cultivation of Tobacco.' Printer's mark of John S. Folds, 56, Great Strand Street. Further edns.: 3rd edn., enlarged (1833).

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Commentary
Rolf Loeber and Magda Stouthamer-Loebber, ‘Fiction available to and written for cottages and their children’, in Bernadette Cunningham and Máire Kennedy, eds., The Experience of Reading: Irish Historical Perspectives (Dublin: Rare Books Group [… &c.] 1999), pp.158-58 [ftn. 17]): ‘Martin Doyle’ [pseud. of William Hickey]: ‘When the idea of educating the lower classes was first entertained and considered, it was opposed by many, as likely to substitute vain and unsatisfying [158] knowledge, in the place of sober industry and necessary labour.’ (Hints addressed to the small holders and peasantry of Ireland on subjects connected with health, temperance, morals, &c., &c. [new edn.], Dublin 1833, p.71. Note further his remarks that some of the Kildare Place Society booklets were cast in ‘Anglo-Hibernian diction, phraseology, and pronunciation.’ (Pref. To Irish cottagers, 1833; p.149.)

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Quotations
The Works of Martin Doyle
, containing I. Hints to Small Farmers on Land, Fences, Cottages, Ptatoes, Mangel Wurzel, Turnips, Manures, &c. [1831] II. Hints on Road-Work, Ventilations, Health, Dress, Temperance, Education, &c.. III. Hints [to Small Holders] on Planting Cattle, Fowls, Fisheries, Agricultural Implements, Flax, &c. [2nd edn. 1832] IV. Irish Cottagers. Dublin: William Curray, Jun. and Company, 9 Upper Sackville-street 1831. Sold by every bookseller in Great Britain and Ireland. Preface to the First Edition: ‘Our varous essays upon Agriculture are often more suited to the taste of the Gentleman Farmer, than to the wants of the practical Husbandman; they are too expensive for the purse, and too learned for the unlettered mind of the humble peasant. It has been my object to supply such information as my own judgement and experience, and the published observations of much better Agriculturists, have suggested./ The Agricultural Societies of the County of Exford, by their zeal and liberality, have already effected so great an improvemet in the habits and practices of the Small Farmers of their Couty, that it give me great pleasure to co-operate with them in promoting the comforts of that class, as well as gratification in extending to the Farmers, on a greater scale, the information I have been able to collect.’ [signed] Martin Doyle, Ballyorley, Aguust 1828.; verse preface to fifth edition, ‘To My kind countrymena nd readers’ [‘When to my humble country neighbours/I some time since addresse’d my labours/Solicitous their state to men,/And shew myself the poor man’s friend … when tuhus, I say, I first essayed/To write - to me a novel trade./And dared in public print appear/Tho’ not, I own, without some fear;/I little thought my humble boo/Would travel far beyond this nook/Or that my lessons, widely spread/In other regions would be read;/Still less did martin Doyle’s ambition/Eier dream to see a Fifth Edition/Clear proof that when a subject’s fit/Intention good may stand for wit … So here I make my humble bow;/God speed the Irish Farmer’s plough.’ (Ballyorley, Feb. 1830). Contents incl. Condition and quality of land; preparation of soil; arrangement of the farm; cottage cleanliness, personal tidiness, Jenny Dempster; Milk, capital necesssary, prudence, Tim Delany [&c.]. Quot: ‘But probabl you don't know who Jenny Dempster is; so it is but civil of me to inform you. She is a tenant’s daughter of mind, who was married about four years ago to a man called The Hurler. I gave them four acres of land at £1 an acre, with a snug well-thatched cabin, besides a small cow-house, dairy and pig-style (quite enough for the size of the farm), lime and sand for dashing, bricks for a chimney, cottage windows, that open and shut on hinges, and paint for them and the two doors - back and front, every thing was as nice as you please. … Thinks I to myself, what a fine example to tht rest of my tenants this family will be! But I am very sorry to tell you that Jenny disappointed me after all. I went there six weeks afterwards, and found the pig splashing and dashing the potato wash about the floor [21] of the kitchen […&c.]; the Measles [In this case, the eyes look red and inflamed, and the skin grows foul, rising in pimples, and running into scales. It may be cured by the following method:-/Put into a god warm meal of victuals, half a table-spoonful of spirits of hartshorn, and two ounces of bole armoniac, keeping him fasting from five o’clock in the afternoon, till the next morning, then give it to him and he will eat it greedily. [Small Holders, 1832, p.32.] NOTE separate title pages in each series, viz, Hints Address to the Small Holders and Peasantry of Ireland, on Road-Making, and on Ventilation, &c. &c., by Martin Doyl,e author of Hints to Small Farmers, Irish Cottages, &c.; 1830, with pref. verses, ‘Before the closing of the year,/Must Martin once again appear/In truth ’twixt Mrs Doyle’s orations/and many other botherations/He scarcely ever has had time/To write in either prose or rhyme;/some leisure now and then he gains/And when he does he spares no pains/To serve and please his humble friends/So read with care what now he sends;/And first, he begs no more delays-/Pray mend your roads, and all your ways./He hates to see your rugged lanes/They prove to him you take no pains./The precept says, “Thou shalt not rob”,/Tis breaking on road to job./Admit pure air, ’twill aid your health/In that, you know, consists your wealth./When fever lurks leay not cure/But haste some medicine to procure/.In every chapter, if you’ll mind/Instruction you will surely find/There’s nought in earth, in sea, or air,/But you will find a lesson there:/… then raise your thoughts, enlarge your mind/And greater happiness you’ll find/So end these lines, with kind adieu!/May plenty rest on Erin’s soil/So pray you faithful, MARTIN DOYLE. Section on ‘Good Morals’ tells how Doyle saves a child from being beaten by an irate father for not having left a rope where he found it, harsh proof of honesty which Doyle moderates but admires. Irish Cottates, by Martin Doyle, Curry 1830 [his second work]; Preface remarks ‘some striking coincides between certain pasages in the following pages, and some parts of the Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry, lately published’, such that ‘the author deems it necessary to state, that he had not even seen the Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry until after be had completed and sold the Irish cottagers to his very respectable publishers’; further, ‘the author’s object has been to convey sound practical advice to the rural population of his coutnry, throug a familiar and entertaining medium …’l; further, ‘In the occasional introduction of Anglo-Hibernian didtction, phraseology, and pronunciation, he trusts he had not deviated from the faithful lelineation of Irish Character, in the South Eastern parts of th Province of Leinster. Some of the prototypes of his impersonations, are, indeed, living objects of his every-day contemplation.’ [END] (Ballyorley, 1 June 1830).Chaps.; the Marriage of Mick Kinshella and Joanny Brady; The comencement of Mick Kinshella’s farm management under his landlord’s directions - the building and occupation of his house; Nick Moran, his character, and that of his wife - Nick sells a pony to a quaker at a fair - the sudden improvement of his house - the house-warming - the riot which suceeded - its results; Scene at the Petty Session of Farmashesher - Nick Moran and some of his company sent to the tread mill; characters of the Schoolmaster and his wife [&c. to Chap. XV, ‘The horse race - Dennis the jockey - the steeple chase - Nick Moran engages in another riot - and emigrates to Canada.’

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References
Library of Herbert Bell
, Belfast, holds Martin Doyle, An Address To The Landlords of Ireland (Dublin 1831); Martin Doyle, Tom Brady and Dick Smith: Two Stories (Dublin 1847).

University of Ulster Library, Morris Collection holds The Works of Martin Doyle (Curry 1832-33).

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Notes
Benedict Kiely, in Poor Scholar (1947; 1972), p.113, indicates that Carleton borrowed some hints from Martin Doyle’s ‘admirable little work’ (Carleton) for inclusion as an appendix to his own story of Paddy and Nancy in Parra Sastha.

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