Category Archives: Family

English-Irish Dictionary

Today the first major English-Irish dictionary published since 1959. Produced by Fóras na Gaeilge, this up to date version contains 1,800 pages, over 30,000 entries, and 1.8 million words in contemporary English and Irish.

The first comprehensive Irish language dictionary ever printed was published in Paris, France in 1732. An English-Irish dictionary, it was a treasure trove of information, containing prologues in Latin, Irish, English and French, along with a guide to Irish grammar. A special typeface was designed for the dictionary called Cló Phárais (the Paris Typeface), closely resembled handwriting.

Emily’s ancestors the Graisberrys, who were counted among the chief printers of Dublin for generations printed an 1814 version, compiled by Thaddeus Connellan.

Almost one hundred years later, in Emily subscribed to a new updated Irish-English Dictionary. It was brought out when Irish was introduced as a university subject the previous year. Emily and members of the Gaelic League celebrated the occasion on Achill.

How the News Came to Achill

On the evening of Sunday, June 26th [1910] they insisted in carrying the great news to the top of Croughan Mountain. There on the highest summit we planted the official announcement of the victory while the swirl of O’Cathain’s pipes we built an air over it and before coming down we lit a beacon light that could be seen away in Galway or northward in Donegal…

An Cliamheadh Soluis; March 4th 1911. P 4



Irish Independent 29 April 1911

An Cliamheadh Soluis; March 4th 1911. P 4

A Quiet Resting Place

Dr. William Henry Emeris Burke was buried on December 3rd 1889 in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight. His death was announced by his solicitor, Mr. John Carrington.

Forename(s): William Henry Emeris

Surname: BURKE   Convict

Date of birth: 1845 (approx., calculated)

Date of death: 1889

Date of burial: 3 Dec 1889

Age at death: 44 years

Address: Parkhurst Prison, Parish of Carisbrooke

The church is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Probably begun by William Fitz-Osbert, it was originally attached to the Priory of St Mary the Virgin, which was occupied by monks from the Abbey of Lyra (now Lire) in Normandy.

Although reported in some papers, he was not brought back to Yorkshire but interred on the Isle of Wight. Sadly in the church records his last address was Parkhurst Prison and his status a convict. It may have been true of his last days but, long before his life took a turn for the worst, he was; “not a few recollect him in the old days, a happy, clever, handsome man.”

Dr Burke in happier times


Sheffield Independent 03 December 1889

Carlisle Patriot 06 December 1889

06 February 1888 – Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

The Death of Dr. William Henry Emeris Burke

The following announcement was made to the press in early December 1889:

“Mr. John Carrington solicitor, of Barnsley, who defended William Emeris Burke, surgeon of Monk Bretton, near Barnsley, at his trial, yesterday afternoon received a telegram from the Governor of her Majesty’s Convict Prison, Isle of Wight, announcing that Dr. Burke, who was confined there during her Majesty’s pleasure, died at half-past four o’clock on Saturday afternoon.”


Sheffield Independent 03 December 1889

Illustrated London News 10 December 1892

Delicate Health

After his his trial, conviction and subsequent reprieve, Dr. Burke was moved from Armley Gaol in Yorkshire and transported to her Majesty’s Convict Prison, Park Hurst, on the Isle of Wight. He remained there for over a year. His physical and indeed mental condition went from bad to worse. In November 1889 he went into rapid decline and had to be hospitalized.

The bullet wound, he inflicted on himself in a bid to end his life, had never fully healed. He also had pleurisy, making the condition of his lungs worse. It was perhaps becoming clear that he would not survive much longer, so he was released.

Sadly Dr. Burke did not enjoy any freedom.


30 November 1889 – York Herald – York, Yorkshire, England

Sheffield Evening Telegraph 10 February 1888. P2

Barnsley Chronicle, etc. 11 February 1888. P8

Sentence Commuted

No doubt the intervention of medics and the Church helped Dr. Burke’s case greatly. His sentence was commuted from the death sentence to life in prison. At the same time as Dr. Burke was on trial for the murder of his daughter, so was a man called William Richardson for the murder of another man. Richardson, who also gained public sympathy did not have the weight of the church or Doctors behind him hanged. It must have come as blow to Dr. Burke as he also spoke out against Richardson’s sentence.

Hi fellow medics, “after careful consideration” came to the conclusion that his action was that of a “drunken lunatic”, “without ‘malice aforethought'”, and not of a murderer. Six months later his name was “erased’ from the Register.

“Mr Burke’s kindness and charity to the poor were warmly praised…”

As Richardson hanged and Dr. Burke reprieved, there was great public outrage in Monk Bretton and the surrounding villages, the home of both men. It seemed unfair that Richardson suffered the full penalty of the law, where Dr. Burke was commuted to life in prison, advised by the Home Secretary to her Majesty, Queen Victoria. It did not seem fair to the locals that Dr. Burke was spared, due to his higher position in society to Richardson who hung. It might have been a cold comfort to him that his wife and remaining child did not have to suffer the stigma attached to the relatives of the executed. His wife, Katherine Jane Burke with her young son left Monk Bretton and went to live with relatives, far away from constant reminders of their loss.


Sheffield Independent 19 May 1888

Marshall, John. “General Council Of Medical Education And Registration. Session 1888.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 2, no. 1457, 1888, pp. 1229–1232. JSTOR,

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 02 June 1888