Charles Hubert Oldham (1860-1920)

Life
[C. H. Oldham; var. 1926], grad. TCD in mathematics and physics, with gold medals; became nationalist at TCD; bar, and Northern Circuit; first principal of Rathmines School of Commerce; fnd. Contemporary Club, with Douglas Hyde and others, 1885; fnd. with others and ed. Dublin University Review, 1885; founded Protestant Home Rule Association, 1886; appt. professor of Commerce at National Univ.of Ireland, 1909; promoted to chair of economics in 1916 [at death of Kettle], till his death; chaired first meeting of Irish Volunteers [var. Citizen Army], held in college rooms of R. M. Gwynn, FTCD, 1913; published works include notably Economic Development in Ireland (1900);
 
also Technical Education for Commerce (1902); The Economic and Industrial Condition of Ireland (1909); The History of Belfast Shipbuilding (1910); The Public Finances of Ireland (1911); The Keystone The Woollen Industry of Ireland (1909); The Keystone of Irish Finance (1912); Some Perplexities in Regard to the Agricultural Statistics of Ireland (1924); collaborated with Maud Gonne in published Ellen O’Leary’s posthumous verse, Lays of Country, Home and Friends; in 1908 his wife founded the Irish Women's Franchise League, with Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Margaret Cousins, et. al.; their dg. Edith, a musician, m. R. I. Best in 1906; DIH

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Works
The Present “Taxable Capacity” of Ireland: A paper read to the Statistical and social inquiry society of Ireland, on Tuesday, 28th June, 1921 (Dublin, Messrs. E. Ponsonby, Ltd), 30pp. [pamphlet held in Harvard (Hollis Lib.) notified by Ed Hagan, Irish List 1997.]

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Commentary
Dominic Daly, The Young Douglas Hyde (1974): He established the Contemporary Club, and collaborated with Maud Gonne in published Ellen O’Leary’s posthumous verse, Lays of Country, Home and Friends. His Dublin University, Review ‘had the crowning glory of introducing W. B. Yeats to the world’, according to Katherine Tynan, who was actually introduced to Yeats by Oldham (see Tynan, Memories, London 1924, p.276, and Twenty-five Years, London 1918, pp.140-43.) [n., 203.] Yeats gives an account of the Contemporary Club in Autobiographies (Macmillan 1955): ‘In Ireland harsh argument which had gone out of fashion in England was still the manner of our conversation, and at this club Unionist and Nationalist could interrupt one another and insult one another without the formal and traditional restraint of public speech. Sometimes they change subject and discuss Socialism, or a philosophical question, to discover their old passions under a new shape.’ (p.93; here p.69.) Maud Gonne likewise described in A Servant of the Queen (pp.84-99), writing: ‘I felt sorry for him, but soon realised I need not; attacks, even personal ones, rolled off him like water from a duck’s back as he smilingly put on the kettle ...’. A further account is given by Prof. Mary Macken, in an article in Studies, March 1939, p.138. (Daly, p.56.) Contemporary Club guests included William Morris, whose address caused a riotous protest from hyper-Catholic workers on the floor of a public meeting [78], and Sydney Webb [n. 218]. See also A. N. Jeffares, W. B. Yeats, A New Biography (1988). Daly supplied the bio-dates 1860-1920 (p.203, n.)

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Notes
Kith & Kin: his dg. Edith married R. I. Best [q.v.]; there is a portrait of her by Sarah Celia Harrison in the National Gallery of Ireland. See also under Best, where Oldham is placed at UCD.

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