Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Fitzhenry schoolmasters of Coolroe, Co. Wicklow Part 1

This will be the first of a series of posts about Thomas Fitzhenry and his two sons, all schoolmasters.

I was idly googling various Fitzhenry themes, which led me to this digitised volume on Google books:

Report of the Society for Promoting Education of the Poor of Ireland (vols. 12-14)

As suggested by the title, it was the annual report of the charity with a list of subscribers, but also more importantly, listed the schools and schoolmasters and mistresses which the charity supported.
Rather confusingly the title page is for the Twelfth report dated 1824, but the rest of the volume refers to the Fifteenth Report of 1827, the Sixteenth Report of 1828 and the Seventeenth Report of 1829 which are all bound together.

It claimed to be a non sectarian charity, established in 1811 supporting those who were professed Christians but not differentiating between Catholic or Protestant schools. Their aim was to "educate Protestants and Roman Catholics in the same schools in a bond of peace and harmony"

Fifteenth Report (1827)
Appendix 5 (page 60) is a list of the "Teachers to whom gratuitaries have been paid during the past year, such Teachers appearing, from the Inspectors' reports of their schools, of being deserving of encouragement"

On page 65, is one Thomas Fitzhenry, the teacher at Coolroe, Co. Wicklow and his teaching assistant Enoch Fitzhenry.
For that year, there were 97 scholars on the roll, and the patron was the Rev. J. M. Symes (appendix 6, page 102)

The Sixteenth Report (1828) continues on from the end of the Fifteenth Report in this volume.
Enoch Fitzhenry was noted to be one of the trainee teachers who had passed through the Society's model school in Dublin from 3rd March to 9th June 1827. He had been recommended by the Rev J. M. Symes from the Coolroe school in County Wicklow. His age was given as 19. He had commenced teaching in 1826, and he was a Protestant. (pages 42 and 43).
Neither of the Fitzhenrys were mentioned in the Gratuity list.
The Coolroe school patron was now the Rev. P. Mooney and there were 98 pupils on the school roll.

Seventeenth Report (1829)
In appendix 5, both Thomas and Enoch were granted a gratuity for their work during 1827 (page 81), and this time Enoch was listed as a teacher. Thomas was listed separately for his gratuity in 1828 (page 82), and Enoch seemed to have moved on from Coolroe.
The patron of the school was still the Rev. P Mooney, and there were 89 pupils.

An Eliza Fitzhenry also appeared in both the Sixteenth (page 57) and Seventeenth (page 58) Reports, working in the Female School at Tanderagee, County Armargh. She also received a gratuity for her work., as did the teacher for the Male school James Gracey. Together there were 295 pupils at the schools, and their patrons were Lady Mandeville and William Loftie Esq. At present, I don't know where she fits in our Fitzhenry trees, and she will be the subject of another post.

References (all three volumes are reached by the same Google Books link)
The Fifteenth Report of the Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor of Ireland
To which the accounts for the year ending January 5th 1827... are subjoined.
Dublin 
Printed for the Society by Bentham and Hardy, Cecilia Street 1827

The Sixteenth Report of the Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor of Ireland
To which the accounts for the year ending January 5th 1828... are subjoined.
Dublin 

Printed for the Society by Bentham and Hardy, Cecilia Street 1828

The Seventeenth Report of the Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor of Ireland
To which the accounts for the year ending January 5th 1829... are subjoined.
Dublin 

Printed for the Society by Bentham and Hardy, Cecilia Street 1829

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