[Sir] Robert Kane

Life
1809-1890 [Robert John]; b. Dublin; scientist, ed. TCD, and Paris; Elements of Practical Pharmacy (1931); King’s & Queen’s College of Physicians, licentiate, 1832; fnd. Dublin Journal of Medical Science in 1832; sec. to council of RIA, 1842; Prof. of National Philosophy, RDS, 1841-47; co-fnd. with William McCullough Torrens, the Mechanics Inst., Dublin, 1842; est. Museum of Science and Industry [var. Irish Industries], St. Stephen’s Green, 1846, and Director of same; mbr. of Commission on Potato Blight and relief, 1845; knighted, 1846; president RIA, 1877; FRS, 1849; first President of University College, Cork, 1877; Vice-Chancellor of Royal University of Ireland, 1880; contrib. to many journals and ed. The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine, with Sir D. Brewster et al., 1840; to issued Elements of Chemistry (1841-43); lectures collected as Industrial Resources of Ireland (1844, rep. 1845), adopted as an economic justification for Irish independence by the Young Irelanders and later cited by Eamon de Valera in Dáil Eireann. ODNB DIW DIB DIH

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Works
Elements of Practical Pharmacy
(Dublin 1831), 12o., pls.; The Industrial Resources of Ireland (Dublin: Hodges & Smith 1844; 2nd edn. [Figgis] 1845); The Irish Watering Places, their Climate, Scenery, and Accommodations, including Analyses of the Principal Mineral Springs (Dublin 1845), 8o.; Elements of Chemistry: Including the Most Recent Discoveries and Applications of the Science to Medicine and Pharmacy, and to the Arts (Dublin 1846; 1849), 8o.; ed., Government School of Science applied to Mining and the Arts, Museum of Irish Industry ... Programme of educational arrangements for the session of 1862-1863 [ &c.] Dublin, 1862. 8o.; The Statutes relating to the Law of Landlord and Tenant in Ireland [4th edn.] ed. F. Nolan (Dublin: E. Ponsonby 1892), 8o.; Do.[5th edn.], ed. by Richard J. Kelly (Dublin: E. Ponsonby 1898), lxviii. lxi. 1370pp., 8o. Also The Large and Small Farm Question Considered (1844)

Selected Addresses, The Address on the Opening of the Fifth Session of the Dublin Statistical Society. Delivered by Sir R. Kane, together with the Report of the Council read at the annual meeting, 19th November, 1851 (Dublin: Hodges & Smith 1851), 19pp.,. 8o.; The Queen's University in Ireland, and the Queen's Colleges: Their Progress and Present State: An Address (Dublin 1856), 8o.

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Criticism
[Q. auth.], Sir Robert Kane: First President of Queen's College, Cork [&c.] (Cork UP 1942), 43pp., 8o.m ill [with port.]; Cormac Grada, Ireland: A New Economic History 1780-1939 (Clarendon Press 1994), pp.315, 318. See also Thomas A. Boylan and Timothy P. Foley, Political Economy and Colonial Ireland: The Propagation and Ideological Function of Economic discourses in the 19th century (Routledge 1992), pp.5, 6, 12. 14, 114, 133, 137, 141-42.

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Commentary
F. S. Lyons, Ireland Since the Famine (1971), p.249, ‘[...] in the 1840s, Sir Robert Kane had published a massive - and excessively optimistic - survey of Ireland’s potential economic wealth and Parnell, who had include Kane’s book in his own sparse reading, had put industrial policy very high in the programme.’

Cormac Grada, Ireland: A New Economic History 1780-1939 (Clarendon Press 1994), cites Thomas Davis: ‘Dr Kane [Resources, 1845] shows that the precious baltic iron, for which from 15 to 35 per ton is given, could be equalled by Irish iron smelted by turf for six guineas per ton.’ (Rep. in Griffith, Thomas Davis, The Thinker and Teacher, 1916, p.182; Grada, p.315).Ó Grada remarks that Kane’s denial that a lack of natural resources explained Ireland’s failure to industrialise was ‘based […] in part on an over-sanguine assessment of the country’s coal and peat resources’ (p.315); according to Kane, the Munster coalfield was ‘the most extensive development of the coal strata in the British Empire’ but efforts at working it proved costly and fruitless (p.317); Kane also enthused about the value of copper, lead, and precious mineral deposits (p.318).

Davis Coakley, Irish Masters of Medicine (Town House ?1993), remarks that that De Valera looked on Kane and his Industrial Resources as an economic mentor.

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References
Brian Cleeve & Ann Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers (Dublin: Lilliput 1985), mentions that he studied medicine, then chemistry; fnd. Dublin Journal of Medical Science (1832); president QUC, 1845; fnd. Museum of Irish Industry, St. Stephen’s Green, 1846, and knighthood. Elements of Chemistry (1842); his Industrial Resources (1844) used by Young Ireland to justify Irish independence. Cf. Thomas Newenham (‘wrote on resources of Ireland’ acc. ODNB).

British Library holds Government School of Science applied to Mining and the Arts, Museum of Irish Industry ... Programme of educational arrangements for the session of 1862-1863, etc. [Edited by Sir R. J. Kane.]. Dublin, 1862. 8o.; The Address on the Opening of the Fifth Session of the Dublin Statistical Society. Delivered by Sir R. Kane. Together with the Report of the Council read at the annual meeting, 19th November, 1851.. pp. 19. Hodges & Smith: Dublin, 1851. 8o.; Address delivered at the Public Distribution of Prizes ... By Sir R. K.; Elements of Chemistry: including the most recent discoveries and applications of the science to medicine and pharmacy, and to the arts. Illustrated by ... woodcuts. Second edition. [Another copy.]. Dublin, 1846. 8o. Dublin, 1849. 8o.; Elements of Practical Pharmacy. [With Plates.]. Dublin, 1831. 12o.; [General descriptive notice of the Museum of Irish Industry, etc. [Edited by Sir R. J. K.]; Inaugural Address delivered at the Opening of Queen's College, Cork. By Sir R. K.; The industrial resources of Ireland. Second edition.. Dublin, 1844. 8o. Dublin, 1845. 8o.; The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine. Conducted by Sir D. Brewster, ... R. K., etc.; The Queen's University in Ireland, and the Queen's Colleges; their progress and present state. An address. [Another copy.] The Queen's University in Ireland, and the Queen's Colleges, etc.. Dublin, 1856. 8o. Dublin, 1856. 8o.; The Irish Watering places, their climate, scenery, and accommodations, including analyses of the principal mineral springs, by Dr. R. Kane, etc.. Dublin, 1845. 8o.; The Statutes relating to the Law of Landlord and Tenant ... Fifth edition by Richard J. Kelly.. pp. lxviii. lxi. 1370. E. Ponsonby: Dublin, 1898. 8o.; [27] The Statutes relating to the Law of Landlord and Tenant in Ireland ... Fourth edition by F. Nolan.. E. Ponsonby: Dublin, 1892, etc. 8o.;] Sir Robert Kane, first President of Queen's College, Cork, etc. [With illustrations, including portraits.]. pp. 43. Cork University Press: [Cork,] 1942. 8o.; also lists The Dublin Journal of Medical and Chemical Science. [Edited by Sir R. J. Kane, Dr. R. J. Graves and W. Stokes, up to 1834. From 1834-1842 by R. J. Graves and W. Stokes and subsequently by J. Hamilton and J. MacDonnell. [Continued under the of:] The Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science. vol. 1-52. [Continued as:] The Dublin Journal of Medical Science. vol. 53-149. Jan. 1872-Feb. 1920. Fourth series. no. 1-24. March 1920-Feb. 1922. [Continued as:] The Irish Journal of Medical Science, etc. Fifth series.. 28 vol. Dublin, 1832-45. 8o. Dublin, 1846-71, etc. 8o. Dublin, 1872-1920. 8o. Dublin, 1920-22. 8o. Dublin, 1922, etc. 8o.

University of Ulster (Morris Collection) holds Industrial Resources of Ireland (1844).

Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast) holds The Industrial Resources of Ireland (Hodges & Smith 1844), and Do. [another edn.] (Dublin 1845).

Cathach Books (1996/97) lists Industrial Resources of Ireland [2nd edn.] (Dublin: Figgis 1845), 438pp.

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