Monthly Archives: June 2015

Mary and Richard

The following entry appeared in the church records of St. Peter’s Church of Ireland, Aungier Street, Dublin:


Marriage of RICHARD MCARTHUR of CULLENSWOOD, DUBLIN and MARY GRACE BERRY [Graisberry] of BATCHELORS WALK on 4 August 1825

Marriage Announcement

Marriage Announcement

Mary was in her late twenties at the time and Richard was somewhat older than her. The marriage was most likely a match, however they may have known one another too. Richard was one half of the partnership Hodges & McArthur Booksellers of 21 College Green for some years. Mary’s family printed the books for Trinity College across the street, so it more than likely that their paths crossed a long time before.

 

Sources
http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/
Dublin Evening Post 04 August 1825. P 3

 

 

 

 

 

The Graisberry Girls: Mary II

Emily’s grandmother Mary was born about 1797/8 in Dublin. She was most likely, the eldest child of Ruth and Daniel Graisberry. Mary grew up in the printing industry where it was not uncommon for the whole family to be involved in the running of their business. Each generation of the Graisberry women either by design on necessity ended up working as printers.

The oldest building and trees in TCD. They were there when the Graisberry's were the official printers to the college

The oldest building and trees in TCD. They were there when the Graisberry’s were the official printers to the college

When her father died in 1822 Mary and her sisters probably helped their mother keep the business going. It was not uncommon back then for women to take over the busines, when their male relatives died. In the Graisberrys time a high percentage of women were registered in the print industry trade journals. 66.6 per cent of these were widows of printer/bookbinder/bookseller husbands. The main reason for this was  financial, as was in the case of Ruth Graisberry who pleaded poverty in her petition to Trinity College. Her daughters  may have been well skilled in the folding and sewing of pages, but Ruth was as good as anyone in the industry.

Despite her protestations of poverty Ruth Graisberry was, in fact, together with Harriet Colbert and Anne Watson, among the biggest master printers and booksellers in early nineteenth-century Dublin.

As is was common for widows to take over from their husbands so was it for the girls of the industry to marry the apprentices of the print, binding and publishing trades.

From the 1800’s into the mid-20th century, a set number of apprenticeships were always reserved for printer’s sons. Many of them married female workers and this led to the growth of print families or dynasties within the print, publishing and bindery trades.

It was through the book industry that Emily’s grandmother Mary Graisberry met and/or was matched with Richard McArthur, bookseller from Ardglass Co. Down.

Take a tour of Trinity College Dublin, where the Graisberry’s were the official printiers:
https://www.tcd.ie/Library/bookofkells/trinity-tours/
Thanks to:
Irish Print Museum
Sources
Irish Booklore: A Galley of Pie: Women in the Irish Book Trades Author(s): Vincent Kinane Source: The Linen Hall Review, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Winter, 1991), pp. 10-13 Published by: Linen Hall Library. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20534214
Dictionary of Irish Biography 9 Volume Set: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2002. Cambridge University Press 2009,James McGuire and James Quinn. Turlough O’Riordan. Vol 3 P 192

The Graisberry Girls (Sisters)

Daniel and Ruth Graisberry had five daughters, born between 1797 and 1917, Mary (Emily’s grandmother), Abigail, Charlotte, Sophia, and Emily completed the female bloodline. The couple had one son, William who was born in 1805 but must have died in infancy or early childhood, as when Ruth petitioned Trinity College to allow her to take over her husbands place as official printer in 1822, there was no mention of a son, only her five daughters and elderly mother.

All of Ruth’s daughters survived to adulthood and all married, ending the name Graisberry from that branch of the family. It is unclear whether Emily kept in touch with her cousins. Her aunt Charlotte married a Joshua Porter, who may have been related to Rev Samuel George Porter. Rev Porter was a good friend of her farther, Rev. Burke, there is no way of telling for sure, and it could easily be a coincidence.

 

 

The Graisberry Girls: Ruth (2)

When her husband Daniel Died Ruth Graisberry found herself alone with five daughters and a deaf blind mother to support. As her son Daniel was not of full age (21) at the time she was the heir to her late husband’s assets. Nowadays she could have just stepped into her de

ceased husband’s shoes and took up where he let off but it was not as simple back in 1822. Ruth had to make her case to Trinity College to be allowed to continue on as their official printer.

A printing press from the early 1800's, the kind the Graisberrys would have used. Curtesy of the National Print Museum, Dublin.

A printing press from the early 1800’s, the kind the Graisberrys would have used. Courtesy of the National Print Museum, Dublin.

A resourceful woman, she used her wiles to make she self indispensable to the college. In 1823 she made the following petition:

“Being possessed of the Presses, Types, and materials for Printing and having proper and respectable Work people in her employ, she feels herself fully capable with the aid and assistance of several of the most respectable Master Printers in Dublin, who have kindly and voluntarily come forward and signed a paper undertaking to aid and assist your Memorialist if necessary to carry on the business…”

 

Ruth Graisberry was not above mentioning her dependents (five daughters and her invalided mother), and the fate that would befall them if she were denied the position of college printer. Her pleading worked she given the contract. It was not wasted on her she she held on to the position until 1837, when an ongoing health complaint forced her to sell her part of the business to her once apprentice and eventual business partner Michael Gill.

 

Drawers of print typefaces used in the print trade. Curtesy of The National Print Museum

Drawers of print typefaces used in the print trade. Courtesy of The National Print Museum

Family Connections

Ruth was no stranger to the printing industry when she took over from her husband. She may have worked in the industry before she married. It was not uncommon for young female employees of print works to marry the apprentices and sons, like Ruth to Daniel Graisberry II.  Keeping it in the industry was common of the Graisberry family. Ruth’s sister in law Elizabeth, married the apprentice Richard Campbell, who later became a partner. Her daughter Emily, Emily’s mother married Richard McArthur a bookseller.

Ruth was a member of the McCormick family, who were stationers and paper sellers. There is an entry in the dictionary of members of the Dublin book trade 1550-1800, of a John McCormick who was a blind news hawker (early newspaper street vendors). He and a Patrick Smith murdered his wife and was sentenced to hanged and quartered, Smith was acquitted, but McCormick met his demise at Newgate Prison on December 16 1754. He may or may not have been related.

 

To find out more about the printing and book trade in Ireland visit the National Print Museum’s website. If you are in Dublin pay them a visit.

http://www.nationalprintmuseum.ie/

All photos courtesy of the National Print Museum

 

Sources
Irish Booklore: A Galley of Pie: Women in the Irish Book Trades Author(s): Vincent Kinane
Source: The Linen Hall Review, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Winter, 1991), pp. 10-13 Published by: Linen Hall LibraryStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20534214 Accessed: 07-05-2015 14:24 UTC
A dictionary of members of the Dublin book trade 1550-1800 :
Author: Pollard, M. (Mary)
Dictionary of Irish Biography 9 Volume Set: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2002. Cambridge University Press 2009,James McGuire and James Quinn. Turlough O’Riordan. Vol 3 P 192
http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/pages-in-history/early-dublin-newspapers/news-gathering/11/06/2015