Philanthropy and an encounter with her future husband

On Saturday, April 18, 1896, the following headline appeared in the letters page of the Irish Times

Modern day ‘Kingstown’

The letter was from a Miss Emily Burke and with it was a sum of money collected from her fellow residents of Hotel Splendid in Meneton, France in aid of the families of the men who lost their lives in the Kingstown Lifeboat Disaster of 24th December 1895.

    December 1895 had begun with south-westerly gales which continued to blow without moderating as the wind direction backed around to southeast. This brought a trail of devastation in its wake on land and sea. The River Lee overflowed its banks in Cork and the towns of Skibbereen and Bandon were flooded. Clonmel in Tipperary suffered the same fate. The Blessington steam tram found the road impassable at Tallaght and a local man, Mr. Nicholson, was drowned in a flood in the same locality. Pedestrians had difficulty walking due to high winds and there was great damage to windows from flying slates. Rainstorms swept Dublin city for days… Read more:

RNLI Fundraiser, October 2016

It was from this address that the first hint of Emily’s meeting with her future husband, Edward Weddall was recorded. He made an ostentatious contribution to the fund. Young Emily must have been impressed with his generosity, and he with her concern for others. When their relationship is hard to pin down, but in 1896 his first wife also Emily was still alive so it was probably not then.

The Irish Times – Page 5 Saturday 18 April 1896