The first lecture of our Spring 2024 Lecture Series took place at the Lalor Centre on Thursday 15 February. Our guest lecturer Ida Milne shared glimpses into certain letters of her grandmother’s family the Elmes, who lived near Old Ross until the 1970s. The Elmes Letters, which were collected by Ida’s father King Milne and his uncle Sam Elmes, were written intermittently between the years 1785 and 1817. The principal correspondents, including Samuel Elmes senior and his eldest son Thomas, provide valuable insights into the complex social and economic landscape of this part of county Wexford in the period prior to the 1798 rebellion. The correspondence also throws light on the events in and around New Ross and Old Ross in late May and early June 1798, the Protestant experience during these troubled times and the divided loyalties of Samuel Elmes’s sons, one a yeoman and another implicated with the rebels. We are indebted to Ida for providing this thought-provoking and important lecture, which was very well received.

Photo (L to R): Paul Gorry (WWHS chairperson), Ida Milne and Louise Humphries-Byrne (WWHS committee member) pictured at the Lalor Centre on 15 February 2024.

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