Added on 04/08/2012
Thomas Leland Novel Re–Published
Thomas Leland, best remembered perhaps for his history of Ireland which was published in 1773, was a Vicar of St Ann’s, Dublin, a fellow of Trinity College, an editor and translator of the Greek classics, and the author of a novel, Longsword, earl of Salisbury, an historical romance.
Longsword is regarded as a rare example of a Gothic novel which precedes the first recognised example of the genre, The Castle of Otrantro by Horace Walpole, published in 1764, and in some ways it forshadows the work of that other Church of Ireland clergyman, Charles Robert Maturin, best known for Melmoth the Wanderer which was published when he was curate of St Peter’s Dublin. Longsword has recently been reprinted by the Swan River Press in a limited edition of 200 copies to mark the 250th anniversary of the original publication. This new edition has been edited by writer and Gothic scholar, Dr Albert Power, from Killiney, who has also written an introduction.
Details of the publication and information on ordering may be had at www.brianjshowers.com/swanriverpress.html
Thomas Leland was appointed as chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Townshend, in 1768 and Townshend’s influence also secured for him the positions of Vicar of Bray and Prebendary of Rathmichael in St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin. Coincidently, a collection of Townshend’s letters, relating to clerical appointments, is the subject of the August Archive of the Month on the Church of Ireland website.
As the king’s representative in Ireland, Townshend was the chief dispenser of considerable patronage in ecclesiastical life and was in receipt of constant requests for support principally from or on behalf of bishops and clergy for preferment in Ireland. As the contents of these letters show, the frank and unambiguous petitioning for positions in the Church, which was commonplace in the eighteenth century, is far removed from the discreet and confidential proceedings of the Church of Ireland today. In the eighteenth century if you wanted a position you asked for it or got someone of influence to ask for you.
And so, for example, Richard Marlay, through the good offices of Lady Louisa Connoly, was appointed as Dean of Ferns while Dennison Cumberland, Bishop of Clonfert advised of the death of the Bishop of Limerick and sought his position. Most striking of all, perhaps, was the Bishop of Cork, Jemmett Browne, who sought the archbishopric of Dublin even before the death of the incumbent Arthur Smyth.
In today’s Church of Ireland the proceedings of parochial boards of nominations and episcopal electoral colleges are swathed in secrecy and so succeeding generations will know little about how clergy and bishops were appointed.
Today (Saturday) the choir of St George’s church, Belfast will sing Evensong in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, where they will sing the services tomorow (Sunday).
On Wednesday Joon–Ho Park, winner of the 2011 Pipeworks organ competition, will give a rectial in Christ Church cathedral, Waterford, and on Thursday evening the final recital in the St Barrahane’s Festival of Church Music will be given in Castletownshend, Co. Cork, by Miriam Roycroft (cello) and Réamonn Keary (piano).
A series of weekly lunchtime recitals has begun in Sandford parish church, Dublin, where, on Friday, Tanya Sewell (mezzo–soprano) and Alison Young (piano) will perform woks by Schumann, Poulanc, Quilter. Admission is free but donations towards the Rectory Restoration Fund will be welcome. In St Luke’s church, Leskinfere, near Gorey, Co. Wexford, a Flower Festival will begin on Friday morning and continue until the following Sunday evening.
Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’