Emily Weddall was fluent in French, a language that she would speak with anyone that would converse with her in it. She would have learned French as a schoolgirl at the Irish Clergy Daughter’s School. Her education there was geared towards finding employment as a governess, or a similar profession. At the time Emily attended the principal was Lady Mrs Danner. The subjects offered were; Holy scripture, English, French, German, Italian, Latin, geography, arithmetic, reading, needlework, pianoforte, vocal music and drawing.

Clergy Daughter’s School

Established in 1843 and incorporated by scheme of the Education Endowments Commissioners, 1894 the school was situated on Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin and shared premises with Alexandra College. Its object was to assist the clergymen and families of clergymen with limited means in the education of their children. The School catered for girls aged ten to eighteen whose fathers were Church of Ireland clergymen. The school closed in 1969. The site in Earlsfort Terrace was sold and the funds used to support boarding at Alexandra College and elsewhere.

Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin, where Emily attended school in the 1870’s and 80’s.

Emily did not pursue a career as a governess but instead as nurse. It was not necessary to have a second language to study nursing, but it did help to broaden her nursing options. Being a fluent French speaker helped her secure employment in France.

Clergy Daughter’s School Reports 1868 – 1886. Courtesy of Church of Ireland Library.