A talk by Joan Johnson
Date: Sunday 30th April
Venue: Tullycross Church
This lecture will focus on some aspects of individual Quakers who settled in or visited Co. Galway and Co Mayo during 18th and 19th century, specifically concentrating on the area of Newport and Letterfrack, where Quaker activities were evident then.
These include Quaker Weavers in Newport, Co Mayo (1720-1740); Jonathan Pim MP at Rosbarnagh, near Newport, Co Mayo, (1854-1883); James and Mary Ellis at Letterfrack (1849-1857); Sofia Sturge and basket making at Letterfrack (1888- 1905); Investigative tours by James Hack Tuke and other Quakers during the Famine in 1846/1847 and later Tuke’s assisted emigration scheme in the 1880s in Connaught.
Interesting elements of Quaker life, practices and work emerge, revealing what their hopes and aspirations were and the contribution they tried to make during their time in Connaught.
Joan Johnson (nee Willoughby) was born in Dublin and attended Wesley College. Her interest in history began at school and extended to Irish Quaker history when she married into an Irish Quaker family and moved to Waterford in 1965.
She is a current member of the Friends’ Historical Committee and has served as a member of the National Archives Advisory Council. She wrote a chapter on Quaker famine relief in The Famine in Waterford (1995).This publication revealed for the first time significant Quaker relief at Ring. She was responsible for and contributed to the re-publication of Transactions of the Society of Friends during the Famine in Ireland (1996). She published James and Mary Ellis, Background and Quaker Famine Relief in Letterfrack (2000) and Early Quaker Burial Grounds in Waterford 1689-1826 (Decies 2000).
She is responsible for Waterford (Quaker) Meeting Archives and also serves as convenor of the Archives’ Committee at Newtown School, Waterford. During Newtown’s Bicentenary celebrations in 1998 she helped to produce and contributed to a catalogue on the life and work of artist Hilda Roberts, to accompany a touring retrospective exhibition of her work. She also provided photographs for Maurice Wigham’s History of Newtown School (1998) and other publications, drawing from the extensive photographic collection held in the school archives. She is currently researching 19th century Quaker merchants in Waterford.
During the last number of years she has given talks on various aspects of local Quaker history in Clifden, Westport, Dublin, Letterfrack and in Waterford, including Dungarvan and Ring.