Where’s me niece?

On this day in 1695, a long time ago now, Narcissus Marsh, Protestant Archbishop of Dublin wrote in his journal:
“This evening betwixt 8 and 9 of the clock at night my niece Grace Marsh (not having the fear of God before her eyes) stole privately out of my house at St. Sepulchre’s and (as is reported) was that night married to Chas. Proby vicar of Castleknock in a Tavern and was bedded there with him – Lord consider my affliction.”
Narcissus lived as a bachelor in the Palace of St Sepulchre beside the Cathedral.
He had arranged for his niece, Grace Marsh, to keep house for him.
Grace (19) wished to enjoy life as a young woman might in seventeenth-century Dublin. She may have found her new surroundings, lifestyle, and the strict discipline of the archbishop’s domain constricting and sought excitement from another gentleman of her acquaintance.
She was, according to Narcissus, married to Charles before they were bedded, and he was, it appears, an ordained minister of some Protestant persuasion, else he could not have married at all. ­
The fear of God might be read as fear of the archbishop as representative of God, a fear which Grace seemed to have had none of at all. Or perhaps, she believed that if she had informed Narcissus of her plan to marry the vicar of Castleknock the archbishop might have demurred.
A consequence is that while Grace left a note for her Uncle Narcissus in a book in his home before she eloped, telling him of her proposed course of action, the learned man did not find that note in time, and never did.
Or so it would appear from his subsequent ghostly peregrinations through his huge collection of books in Marsh’s Library; to this day.
Extracted from Folk Tales of Dublin

The Dollacher walks again

Storymap, the online collection of Dublin stories told in situ has assembled Dubline a ramble of stories along selected routes.
My telling of The Dollacher story is included in the Christchurch section.
Enjoy

 

Full House for Stories of Dublin

The final night of three storytelling nights in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin was sold out, last night.
There was a waiting list for cancellations to see the ghost strand of Stories of Dublin. Imagine that. A full theatre and a waiting list for storytelling to an adult audience.
Seven storytellers told stories old and new, personal and received.
New storytellers found their wings and flew before a willing audience.
Marvellous.

 

Fiery head and freezing feet

Last night saw the introduction of the Milk & Cookies blankets in the new venue in the Chocolate Factory on King’s Inn Street.
The building is undergoing renovation and as yet heating is not seen as a priority.
Nonetheless, we were warmed by conviviality.
Though some tellers told in their overcoats, while some listeners wrapped the blankets about them.
For myself, I told the story of the head on fire in an Irish court from Dublin Folk Tales and went home to warm up.
Great night, once more.
All hail.

 

Snake stories in Dublin

When adults shout out answers before the assembled children manage to say anything, you know the storytelling session has caught fire.
All hail the children who brought their parents to my storytelling on the Storybus as part of Dublin’s St Patrick’s Festival.
We chased the snakes out once more, to much noise and hilarity.
Mighty.

One day by the Barrow

All hail listeners and tellers at the Pan Celtic festival in Carlow last week.
It was good to be see and hear people from the Celtic nations wandering about the town.
Some stayed to listen to the tellers from Dublin Yarnspinners on Tour.
I contributed a medley of stories depending on who remained as listener at any time.
Great fun and very funny.

Sailing stories

Congratulations to Sea Speak on a great launch of the new monthly storytelling sessions in Howth.
I told the chainless cycle story with the slow letter writer, the mysterious ship that sailed into a Wexford harbour and the tale of the drowned ghost on the sea shore.
Sessions will continue in Krugers pub, Main Street on the third Thursday of a month

Scaring Dubliners for Hallowe’en

We started our scary storytelling in Marino yesterday where we marvelled at how a cat can turn from a pet to a mankiller at the drop of a few words; how the spectre of a drowned woman could appear at a window three storeys up to cry revenge for a wrongful death; how a houseful of card players were evicted to make room for returning spirits on Hallowe’en and how a man began to terrorise his neighbourhood after he made a false ghost flee in frustration. It was daylight; but still some listeners shivered on their way out into the coming twilight.  Enough.