Married Life

Emily was Captain Weddall’s second wife. The retired mariner had been widowed over a decade, when he married Emily. From the scant accounts of his life that had been documented, it appeared that he was a reticent man who liked routine, somewhat opposite in character to his more gregarious wife. What the couple had in common was their lack of practically around money, which they frittered away without much thought. Both were quite generous and were happy to help out local causes.

One such example was for the St. Patrick’s Day concert of 1907 and 1908 Edward Weddall treated the cast and crew of the show as well as those who traveled long distances to refreshments afterwards. His wife for her part worked tirelessly behind the scenes to put the show on. Edward Weddall, a stoic man was probably proud of his enthusiastic and energetic wife.

Emily’s involvement with the St. Patrick’s Day concert and her work with the local Gaelic League, would helped integrate the Weddall’s somewhat into the local community. It is impossible to tell nowadays how well the couple were received into the community. They would have stood out among the local people. He an older man and she much younger, both dressed in fashionable rather than functional clothes and speaking with accents much different from the local. They were not completely out of place, Englishmen and daughters of clergymen like Emily had made the island their home before.

The couple’s generosity may have won people over too. Emily was always on hand to help where needed and gave freely to any cause that touched her heart.  The writer Sean O’Longain, who was an Irish traveling teacher in the early 1900’s remembers the Weddall’s;

“They [The Weddalls] lived in a beautiful bungalow and were very comfortable and happy in the little village called Pollach, overlooking an inlet of Clew Bay. This Russian [he was in fact English] captain was a man of large statute, great avoirdupois, corpulent, of a retiring disposition and not very communicative.

Mrs Weddall, his wife was quite the opposite; she was in the first place an ardent Gaelic League, charitable to the poor of the Island, always on the move seeking out those who may be in need of help.”

Emily in her earlier days on Achill. No known photo of Edward Weddall exists

Mayo News, March 30 1907. Page 4
April 04 1908. Page 3
Connaught Telegraph 1830-current, 19.05.1956, page 4
Photo courtesy of John ‘Twin’ McNamara