NEALE, Samuel. Some Account of the Life, and Religious Labours of Samuel Neale [TIPPERARY QUAKER MEETINGS]


1 in stock

Dublin: Printed by Robert Napper; for John Gough, No. 20, Meath-Street, 1805. First edition. pp. v, [ii], 92. Contemporary full tree calf, Lacks letterpiece on spine. Bookplate on front pastedown ‘The Property of / Friends of the / Monthly Meeting / of County Tipperary’. C 28 in gilt on spine. A very good copy.
COPAC locates 6 copies only.
Samuel Neale (1729-1792), a Quaker, the son of Thomas and Martha Neale succeeded to an estate in County Kildare in his late teens, where he spent much of the time hunting, coursing and ‘frequenting the playhouse’. In his early twenties impressed by the preaching of Catherine Peyton and Mary Paisley he travelled with them to Bandon and Kinsale and returned a changed man becoming a Quaker minister in 1752. He travelled throughout Ireland, England, Scotland and America but made his home at Rathangan, County Kildare.
The Quaker connection with County Tipperary lasted from their arrival shortly after the middle of the seventeenth century to the closure of their last meeting houses in Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel in 1924. In 1681 a Six-Week Quaker Meeting was settled in Clonmel. After 1685 this Meeting was sometimes held at Kilcommonbeg. In 1699 “meetings having been settled early and kept at the house of George Collett at Clonmel for some years, the brothers Stephen and Joseph Collett this year gave a piece of ground to Friends in order to their building a meeting house there, and thirty pounds towards building it, which was soon accomplished” (Wight 1751, 349). The building appears in outline on Leahy’s Map of Clonmel of 1832, annotated as ‘formerly the Quakers MH’, and it was described and dimensioned in a deed of 1704. It was sited on a back-land plot between Peter Street and Main Street, from which it was approached by narrow lanes. The meeting house was a stone and slated building of 46 by 31 ft, beside it an attached block 20 by 10ft, perhaps a narrow women’s meeting room. This building was replaced in 1792 by a new meeting house on a larger and more central site next to the Butter Market. That meeting house stood for a long time after Friends left it (map of 1832), nothing now remains of it as the whole area has been re-developed. In 1787 Sarah Grubb established a boarding school for Quaker girls in Clonmel. It became one of the leading schools for Quaker girls in Ireland. The original school was located in Suir Island but moved in 1846 to Prior Park, built at a cost of £2,500. As the Quaker population declined the school closed in 1864 only a year after the closure of the charity school.
The Six-Week Meetings were discontinued in 1794 in favour of Monthly Meetings. Due to declining membership, the Tipperary Monthly Meeting was incorporated into the Waterford Monthly Meeting in 1910.
This thesis examines their history and attempts to evaluate the contribution they made to their adopted county. George Bancroft (1800- 89), an American historian, has stated that ‘the rise of the people called Quakers is one of the memorable events in the history of man’. However extravagant this claim, Voltaire, to whom religion meant leading a good and useful life, observed of the Quakers ‘the doctrines and history of such unusual people were worthy of the curiosity of a reasonable man’. Although he mocked their quaint speech and comical clothing, he was attracted to their plain lifestyle and to their simple moral and spiritual values. Previous studies of Irish Quakers have focused on communities that were either exclusively urban or rural. However, the Tipperary Quakers throughout their history always consisted of both fanners and traders. Hence this thesis, which examines that community, marks a new departure in Irish Quaker studies.

[L3 4A]


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