Two hundred years ago Daniel Graisberry’s obituary appeared in the London News. Daniel Graisberry was well respected and liked in the print trade and in his personal life. He often sat on committees and was a member of the City of Dublin Grand Jury.
Daniel Graisberry died at the relatively young age of forty three or four, leaving a wife and five daughters behind. Although his ancestors did well during the golden age of printing in the previous century the family fortune had waned over the years. After his death his wife, Ruth was thrown into turmoil over how to support her family. As mother of five yet to be married daughters, it was left to her to provide for them. But Ruth Graisberry was a resourceful woman. Wasting no time she petitioned Trinity College, where her late husband was official printer, to allow her to take up where he had left off. Her case was helped greatly by the backing of some of the well respected printers of the city, resulting in the college keeping her on as their chief printer. She took on an apprentice, Michael Gill, who eventually became her printing partner.
In the years that followed the five Graisberry sisters married. Mary her eldest married bookseller, Richard McArthur, whom were parents to Richard junior and Emily, Emily’s mother.
In the early summer of 1921 the Anglo Irish War was hurtling to an end, with the IRA depleted in ammunition and many of them in jail. The Crown forces could not quite call victory either as the IRA members still on the streets continued their guerrilla campaign will marginal success. There was no real end in sight until a truce was called at the beginning of July. Emily remained on active service with Cumman na mBan, still willing to fight for her country till the bitter end.
One hundred years earlier Emily’s great grandfather, Daniel Graisberry, Freeman of Dublin took his place on the city’s Grand Jury. Back in 1821 Daniel Graisberry, who did well out of the establishment of the time, could not have imagined that one of his female descendants would try to dismantle it.
One hundred years ago today, 3 May 1921 under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, the partition of Ireland took place. The then Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided Ireland into two self-governing zones, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Emily had Northern Irish family origins, in Ardglass, Co. Down when her maternal grandfather, Richard M’Arthur was born, as was her mother.
It is one hundred and five years since the first executions of the 1916 Rebels began, starting with Patrick Pearse.
Also one hundred years ago on this day the Tourmakeady Ambush took place in Co. Mayo. The South Mayo Flying Column, backed by local volunteers staged an attack on a convey of lorries carrying supplies to the RIC station there. Read more:
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  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…
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.”