As it's International Women's day, here is a short account of one Sligo lady who was considered ahead of her time for highlighting social issues and provided literary inspiration for the gothic novel Dracula. Charlotte Blake Thornley Stoker (1818 - 1901) Charlotte was described as ambitious, intelligent, vivacious and a social reformer. Charlotte grew up… Continue reading Charlotte Thornley Stoker
Sligo convict transported to Van Diemen’s Land
Van Diemen’s Land was set up as a penal colony in 1803 by the British Empire. It is estimated that some 75,000 convicts were shipped there up until 1853 when the mass transportation of people ended. The most common crime that led to transportation was petty theft or larceny. Followed by burglary or housebreaking, highway robbery, stealing clothing, stealing animals, military offences, prostitution and crimes of fraud. Transportation on a large scale ended as the authorities mindful of the rebellion in the American colonies feared a similar uprising could occur on Van Diemen’s Land.
Although mass transportation ended in 1853, political prisoners were still transported. Many Irish Fenian prisoners continued to be transported to Van Diemen’s land, including Thomas Francis Meagher, leader of the Young Irelanders. Meagher managed to escape and went to the United States in 1852. He was also the Irishman who introduced the Tricolour, and which is now the…
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From the newspaper archives comes the late eighteenth-century story of two young boys herding cattle on Doomore mountain near Coolaney, County Sligo. Booleying farming was an agriculture practice carried out in Ireland. This is where younger members of the farming community usually a teenage girl or boy, would go uphill with cattle to higher pastures to… Continue reading Sligo Dark Tales – The perils of travelling alone in the 18th-Century