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

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.

Telling stories in the lounge

As part of the YARN festival in Bray last evening we told stories in Holland’s fine lounge which developed into a storytelling session with audience members telling stories.
We heard of the mad woman seeking sun in a sieve, four brothers who could not find their missing member, the queen’s cigarettes, Matt Talbot’s wardrobe, the goose woman who declared her own demise, the go-kart rivals, and the tale of the bald men and the beguiling woman.
A great night.