Monday 4 April 2022

Decade of Centenaries: RCB Library digitises 1922 memoir

April’s Archive of the Month from the RCB Library presents another of the repository's digitized sources as a further contribution to the Decade of Centenaries. This is the unpublished memoir of Emily Ussher, of Cappagh House, near Dungarvan in Co. Waterford, who described unfolding events from 1914 to 1924 inclusive, from the perspective of a landed Protestant family.

     Emily Ussher (née Jebb). Image courtesy of Henrietta,
      Lady Staples, via William Fraher, Waterford County Museum.
An accompanying introduction by local historian Pat McCarthy, author of a number of books on Waterford during the era, captures the value of this primary source (RCB Library Ms 70).

Emily Jubb was born in Ellesmere, Shropshire, England in 1872, and married Beverley Grant Ussher, an Inspector of Schools under the Board of Education. On Beverley’s retirement in 1914, the family moved to the Ussher family home, Cappagh House, when her journal begins.

The Usshers’ sympathy and support for Home Rule and the broader concerns of their nationalist friends and neighbours made them suspect to other landowners, while that very identity also made them suspect to nationalists and militant strikers.

This nuance makes the memoir of Emily Ussher all the more valuable, providing the historian with a unique insight into the trials and tribulations of a forgotten minority.

See the Archive of the Month for April - ‘The True Story of a Revolution’, the Unpublished Memoir of Emily Ussherhere.