BURKE, Oliver J. The South Isles of Aran (County Galway)
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London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1887. Crown octavo. First edition. pp. x, 112, 44 (publisher’s list). Blue cloth, title in black on upper cover and in gilt on spine. Cranmore bookplate on front pastedown. Stamp of St. Ignatius, Lower Leeson St, Dublin on the title. Signature of Phillipa Knox on title. Fine copy. Rare. Oliver J. Burke, barrister and historian belonged to the ancient and illustrious family of Burkes of Castlehacket and later Ower, County Galway. Born at Ower, Headford, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin from 1841, graduating with a B.A. in 1854, the same year he was called to the Irish Bar. A member of this family, Don Estevan de Burke, a son of Ulick of Castlehacket was a Knight of Santiago in Spain. Oliver also wrote: ‘The Abbey of Ross’ and ‘Anecdotes of the Connaught Circuit’. This is undoubtedly the rarest of all Burke’s works. The author traces the history of this mystical island from the pre-Christian era to the 1880’s. There are chapters on: Druidism; Antiquities; Flora and Fauna; Families; Letters on the Islands by Dr. Petrie; Sir Francis Head, R.F. Mullery, etc.; Statistics;Forests, etc. Provenance: With Cranmore bookplate and signature of Philippa Knox. Cranmore House, Ballinrobe, County Mayo, reverted to the Knoxes immediately after the Famine and was used as a dower house by Colonel Charles Howe Cuff Knox for his mother initially. The Knox family were originally from County Donegal and in 1778 William Knox married Elizabeth Nesbitt of Scurmore, County Sligo. Their son Charles Nesbitt Knox married Jane Cuff, eventually heiress to the settled estates of her father James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley of Ballinrobe. Col.
Charles Knox (1817-1867) was the only son of Charles Nesbitt Knox and Jane Cuff and the first member of the Knox family to actually live in Ballinrobe at Cranmore. He married Lady Louisa Browne (1816-1891) sister of the Marquis of Sligo in 1839. There is a beautiful stained-glass window to their memory in the former Church of Ireland, St. Mary’s. Col. Knox was High Sheriff of Co. Mayo in 1860 and Colonel in the North Mayo Militia. Their children were: 1. Charles Howe Cuff Knox, 2. Howe James 1843-1910, lived at Cranmore House. 3. Hubert Thomas (1845-1921) the well-known Mayo historian, lived at Cranmore House. 4. Philippa (1848-1921) lived at Cranmore House. She contributed articles to the ‘Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead,’ and to further publications up to 1910. She recorded some of the gravestones from St. Mary’s Church of Ireland, Ballinrobe.
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