James Murphy

Life
1839-1921; b. Glynn, Co Carlow, teacher and school principal; local govt. educationalist and later Prof. of Maths. at the Catholic University, Dublin; six or more novels and collections; edited Irish Fireside, ‘an Irish literary weekly’ supported by the Freeman’s Journal in the early 1880s; novels, The Haunted Church (1889); Convict No. 25, or the Clearances of Westmeath (1883), concerning Kevin Moore, falsely sentenced to transportation on the evidence of former land-agent Keliff McNab; The Forge of Clohogue (1885); The House in the Rath (1886); The Shan Van Vocht (1889), set in 1798; The Fortunes of Maurice O’Donnell (1887); Hugh Roach, Ribbonman (1887); Luke Talbot (1890), The Flight from the Cliffs (1911); and The Inside Passenger (1913); his novels, though nationalist in spirit, urge responsible landlordism and sectarian harmony. PI JMC DIW IF/2 SUTH OCIL

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Works
  • Convict No. 25; or, the Clearances of Westmeath [1883] (Dublin: James Duffy 1913);
  • The Forge of Clohogue: A Story of the Rebellion of ’98 (Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker 1885), and Do. [2nd edn.] (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son 1912) [see details];
  • Hugh Roach, Ribbonman (Dublin: James Duffy [?1887]);
  • The Shan Van Vocht (Dublin: M. H. Gill 1889); Lays and Legends (Dublin: James Duffy 1912);
  • The Inside Passenger (Dublin: James Duffy 1913).

See also ‘The Advent of the Milesians, The Gift of the Gaelic Tongue’, in Gaelic Journal, Vol. 2 (1882-83), [p.73].

Bibliographical Details
The Forge of Clohogue: A Story of The Rebellion of ’98 [1885] (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son 1912), 332pp., by James Murphy, author of ‘Lays and Legends of Ireland’, ‘The Flight from the Cliffs’, ‘Hugh Roach, the Ribbonman’, ‘The House on the Rath’, ‘The Shan Van Vocht’, &c. [title-page]. CONTENTS (Chaps. I- XXIII): The Mysterious Visitor; Chrisimas Eve At The Crosses; The Ghost Of The Forge; The Two Travellers; The Overturned Mail; Watt Ov The Crosses; Grace Cottrell; The Accepted Suitor; Mehaul’s Adventures; Grace Cottrell’s Dream; Grace’s Engagement; Father John; Meeting Of Old Lovers; Before The Court Martial; The Mysterious Visitor; Grace Breaks The Engagement: The Escape; Old Friends Meet; Meeting The Soldiers; Kilbremmer; Grace’s Abduction; Searching For Grace; The Ride For Life; A Strange Meeting; The Burning Of Boolavogue; On Oulart Hill; On Oulart Hill (continued); After The Fight; Old Acquaintances Gather; The Battle Of Ross; Scullabogue; Conclusion.

The Forge of Clohogue: A Story of The Rebellion of ’98, by James Murphy, author of ‘Lays and Legends of Ireland’, ‘The Flight from the Cliffs’, ‘Hugh Roach, the Ribbonman’, ‘The House on the Rath’, ‘The Shan Van Vocht’, &c. (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son, Ltd [1st edn. 1885]), 332pp. CONTENTS (XXIII Chaps.) The Mysterious Visitor; Chrisimas Eve At The Crosses; The Ghost Of The Forge; The Two Travellers; The Overturned Mail; Watt Ov The Crosses; Grace Cottrell; The Accepted Suitor; Mehaul’s Adventures; Grace Cottrell’s Dream; Grace’s Engagement; Father John; Meeting Of Old Lovers; Before The Court Martial; The Mysterious Visitor; Grace Breaks The Engagement: The Escape; Old Friends Meet; Meeting The Soldiers; Kilbremmer; Grace’s Abduction; Searching For Grace; The Ride For Life; A Strange Meeting; The Burning Of Boolavogue; On Oulart Hill; On Oulart Hill (continued); After The Fight; Old Acquaintances Gather; The Battle Of Ross; Scullabogue; Conclusion. [See Preface - extract, infra.]

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Commentary
W. P. Ryan, The Irish Literary Revival (London: 1894), remarks: ‘James Murphy told stirring stories of Wexford and Wicklow in ’98 [9]; he was editor of Irish Fireside, an Irish literary weekly, started in the early eighties, by the proprietor of the Freeman’s Journal. It did much to encourage Irish writers, and for a long time was really racy of the soil’ (p.132).

James Calahan, The Irish Novel: A Critical History (Boston: Twayne Publishers 1988), remarks: ‘There appeared numerous historical novels by such as James Murphy, &c., &c., ... fed by the increasing strength of Irish nationalism at the end of the 19th century’

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References
Justin McCarthy
, gen. ed., Irish Literature (1904), gives bio-data: b. Glynn, Co. Carlow; Dublin Teacher Training College (St. Patrick’s); Princ. public schools in Bray; Prof. Math. St. Gall’s University, Dublin; contrib. hist. ballads to The Irishman, The Nation, et al.; novels inc. The Forge of Clohogue; The House on the Rath; Hugh Roach, the Ribbonman; The Shan Van Vocht, a Story of ‘98’, ‘still enjoying considerable vogue’ [the extract quoted is a court scene, turning on the appearance of the key-witness, ‘“My name is Castlereagh - Lord Castlereagh. All Ireland knows me.”]; selects ‘A Noble Lord’, extracted from The Shan Van Vocht.

Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919) lists The Haunted Church [1889]; The Shan Van Vocht [1883]; The Forge of Clohogue [1885]; The House in the Rath ([1886], 5th ed. 1909); Convict, or the Clearances of Westmeath ([1886], 5th ed. 1913), landlordism at its worst forty years ago; The Fortunes of Maurice O’Donnell ([1887], & eds.), the hero forced to flee to America where he participates in the Civil War returns to rescue his abducted betrothed in a lonely tower, in Connemara; Hugh Roach, Ribbonman (Duffy [c.1887], 4th ed. 1909); Luke Talbot ([1890), 6th ed. [1919], murder committed by wicked land agent; Hugh Roach, Ribbonman (Duffy [c.1887], The Flight from the Cliffs (Duffy 1911), Confederation days, featuring Luke Wadding; Lays and Legends (Duffy 1912), twelve in prose and five in verse; The Inside Passenger (Duffy 1913). NOTE, Fr. Brown is clearly partial to this writer, who has published 11 out of 25 novels and ‘hopes to publish (others) in the near future’. IF2 adds In the Days of Owen Roe (1920); The Priest Hunters (1924); In Emmet’s Days (1925), and quotes paraphrases evidently by Brown, with no further remarks. [BL lists 9 titles].

British Library holds [1-32: works of namesake authors] [32] Aodh De Róiste .i. ‘Hugh Roach, the Ribbonman’ ... Ar n-a a chur i nGaedhilg do Dhomhnall Ó Ceocháin agus Dómhnall Ó Céileachair. 386pp. Oifig Díolta Foillseacháin-Rialtais: Baile Átha Cliath, 1933. 8o. [33] [In Emmet's Days. ... etc.. 332pp. 1937. 8o. [34] In the Days of Owen Roe. A story, etc. 349pp. M. H. Gill & Son: Dublin, 1920. 8o. [35] The Fortunes of Maurice O'Donnell: an Irish-American story. 418pp. J. Falconer: Dublin, [1877.] 8o. [36] The Haunted Church. [A novel.]. iv. 367pp. Spencer Blackett: London, 1889. 8o. [37] [The Priest Hunters.] 308 pp. 1952. 8o. [38] The Priest Hunters, etc.. 125pp. Talbot Press: Dublin, [1926.] 8o. [39] The Shan Van Vocht. A story of the United Irishmen. New edition.. iv. 347pp. M. H. Gill & Son: Dublin, 1889. 8o. [40]. In the Days of Owen Roe … 522pp. 1935. 8o. [41-64: works by namesake authors] [65] Father John Murphy, famine priest. [With plates, including a portrait.]. 111pp. Clonmore & Reynolds: Dublin, 1963. 8o.

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Quotations
The Forge of Clohogue
(1885), Preface to 1st. Edn.: ‘The singular favour with which “Hugh Roach the Ribbonman” has been received by the Irish public has induced me to issue the present volume - the second of the series / It is intended to commemorate in attractive form the bravery and dauntlessness of the gallant Wexfordmen in the stormy days of ’98 The old people who bore the brunt of the struggle, and from whose lips I heard, around the winter fire, in earliest boyhood, the stories of the Rebellion, are dead and gone - and, I grieve to say it, with many in Ireland their high courage and manful bearing are fast becoming dim traditions. / Partly, my mind being thus filled with the scenes of the Rebellion, and more, I dare say, from the fact that the stories mine ears first hearkened to were associated with it, nearly all my novels have reference to that eventful period. The “Forge of Clohogue” is one of them. / Whether or not the freedom of our land can be achieved by peaceful means, or whether the exigencies of European conflict shall make it possible - or imperative - some day for Irishmen to stand with arms in their hands, is alone known to God; but in any case it can do no harm and much good to have the story of the bold uprising of the Wexfordmen told once more. The brave hearts, long laid to rest in the graveyards of their fair southern valleys - fairest and dearest to me of all that God’s sunlight shines down upon - taught by their lives two lessons worth some trouble to teach the youth of Ireland even now: - the great lessons of lofty unselfish patriotism and selfsacrificing dauntlessness. / The deeds of good men, it is said, live after them; and it is possible that the growing generation shall learn a brighter and bolder spirit of patriotism from the freshly-told story of those who conquered at Oulart Hill and stormed the Three Bullet Gate at Ross - nameless and forgotten though their graves may be. [1] / “The fields our fathers triumphed over a beaten foe,” though not rare in Ireland are not so numerous as to permit us to forget those whereon, less than ninety years ago, they displayed the unparalled bravery of their race and performed deeds of valour worthy of the proudest days of ancient Greece or Rome. If Irish History may not be taught in our schools, the next best thing is to teach it by way of story and romance; and if the “ Forge of Clohogue “ shall have contributed to this end - if it shall help to keep the memory of those times green in Irish hearts, or shall induce young people to read in more detail the lives of the true-hearted men who moved in them - it will have amply repaid the writer for his trouble. [signed] Feb., 1885.’

Preface to th 1912 edition: ‘The astonishing popularity with which the “Forge of Clohogue” has been received has never been equalled by any work published in Ireland. It is over a quarter of a century since it was first issued, and the demand continUes as great now as then. In particular is this the ease with America. I supply this continuous and ever-increasing demand the present Edition has been brought forth.’ JAMES MURPHY. May, 1912.

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Notes
The novel variously listed as Convict No. 25 (1883) and Convict, or the Clearances of Westmeath ([1886], 5th edn. 1913) appears to the same.

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