James Hardiman

(1782—1855) historian and lawyer

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John D'Alton (1792—1867) historian

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(1782–1855), scholar. Born in Westport, Co. Mayo, he grew up in Galway and studied for the priesthood but did not proceed, owing to blindness in one eye. He worked in the Public Record Office in Dublin from 1811 until he returned to Galway in about 1830. In 1848 he was appointed Librarian at Queen's College, Galway [see universities]. Hardiman's History of the Town and County of Galway (1820) lists inhabitants during the period of the Rebellion of 1641. His Irish Minstrelsy, or Bardic Remains of Ireland (2 vols., 1831) is an anthology of Irish poetry from all periods, the contents ranging from relics attributed to mythological figures such as Tórna Éigeas to the contemporary Gaelic poet Antoine Raiftearaí, whom he knew. The object of the work was to attest the antiquity of Irish poetry and to show that it possessed a dignity equal to the classical literatures of Greece and Rome. He also edited Roderick O'Flaherty's Chorographical Description of West or h-Iar Connaught (1846). In Irish Minstrelsy, Hardiman enlisted a team of assistants including Thomas Furlong, John D'Alton, Edward Lawson, Henry Grattan Curran, and William Hamilton Drummond to render his prose translations in verse.

From The Concise Oxford Companion to Irish Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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