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15 Name results for Grand-Est

Aizier, Emmanuel, 1888-1974, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/870
  • Person
  • 20 June 1888-07 November 1974

Born: 20 June 1888, Le Val-d'Ajol, Grand Est, France
Entered: 09 October 1905, (HIB for Campaniae Province - CAMP)
Ordained: 29 August 1920
Final vows: 02 February 1924
Died: 07 November 1974, Mulhouse, Grand Est, France - Sinensis Province (CHN)

by 1954 came to Singapore (HIB) working - 1st group in Singapore with Patrick Joy

Cahill, Patrick, 1708-1766, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/997
  • Person
  • 06 March 1708-16 December 1766

Born: 06 March 1708, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 31 July 1730, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 23 September 1742, Tours, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1746
Died: 16 December 1766, France/Ireland - Campaniae Province (CAMP)

1737 Teaching Humanities at Sens
1741-1744 Studying Theology and Prefect of Boarders at Irish College Poitiers
1746 at Charleville (CAMP) teaching Humanities and Philosophy
1748 Sent to Poitiers and also is in Ireland. Back in Poitiers 1749
1752 Procurator at Poitiers
1763-1767 in Ireland
Some confusion over dates he was in Poitiers and in Ireland - including saying he was said to be still in Ireland in 1767

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1748 Taught Humanities for five years and Philosophy for three at Charleville (in pen)
1752 Procurator at Irish College Poitiers (in pen)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ General Notes
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Pont-à-Mousson (1733-1735) and then Theology at Grand Collège Poitiers. In the meantime he had spent seven years in regency at Épinal, Sens and Auxerre.
1740-1744 He was sent for Theology to Grand Collège Poitiers, whilst living at the Irish College there. He was Ordained at Tours 23/09/1742
1744-1747 After Ordination and completing his formation he held a Chair of Philosophy at Charleville CAMP
1748-1755 At Poitiers as Procurator of the Irish College for seven years, when it is thought he was to go to Ireland. he is mentioned in subsequent CATS as being in Ireland, but at that time this could also mean at one of the Irish Colleges or Mission

According to CAMP CAT he was living in Ireland up to 1767, but there is no evidence to support this. He may be identical with a Father Cahill living at Bordeaux in 1759, and could have been working with a large colony of Irish there. The date and place of his death are unknown.

Doyle, William X, 1716-1785, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1217
  • Person
  • 14 April 1716-15 January 1785

Born: 14 April 1716, Dunsoghly, County Dublin
Entered: 15 March 1735, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 22 September 1747, Rheims, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1752
Died: 15 January 1785, Cowley Hill, St Helens, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Transcribed to ANG 1771

Cousin of John Austin - RIP 1784
Ordained with John Austin (his cousin) at Rheims 22/09/1747 by Bishop Joppensi

1740 Teaching Humanities at Lyon College
1743-1746 Teaching Humanities at Rheims College and Studying Theology
1749 Is a Priest at Poitiers
1754 Is in Ireland
1758 At Autun College (AQUIT) as Missioner and Minister
1761 At Rheims, a Master of Arts, Missioner and Preacher; Also at College of Colmar
1762 At College of Strasbourg
1763 At Pont-à-Mousson
1764 At Residence of Saint-Michiel (CAMP)
1766 At Probation House Nancy

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
The CAMP Catalogue of 1766 gives the dates DOB 14 April 1717, and Ent 15 March 1735, and places him in Tertianship in Nancy in 1766 (perhaps there were two? - cf Foley’s Collectanea)
Taught Humanities; Prefect at Poitiers for one year
1750-1755 On the Dublin Mission as assistant PP
Subsequently transcribed to ANG
1771 At St Aloysius College in the Lancashire District

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he was sent for Philosophy and graduated MA at Pont-á-Mousson
He then spent time on regency in CAMP Colleges until 1744
1744 Studied Theology at Rheims and was Ordained there 22/09/1747
1747-1749 Two years as Prefect at Irish College Poitiers, and completing his studies at Grand Collège
1749-1750 Sent to Marennes for Tertianship
1750-1755 Sent to Ireland and was worked as an Assistant Priest in Dublin
1755-1757 Sent as Prefect at the Irish College Poitiers
1757-1768 Recalled to CAMP and worked as a Missioner for eleven years at Autun, Rheims, Strasbourg and Saint-Michel
1768 Most likely Transcribed to ANG working in the Lancashire Mission certainly by 1771 and remained there working around the Cowley Hill district, near St Helen’s until he died 15/01/1785

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DOYLE, WILLIAM, of Dublin was born on the 30th of May, 1717, and entered the Society in Champagne 12th of July, 1734. After teaching Humanities for five years, and filling the office of Prefect in the Seminary at Poitiers for one year, he came to the Mission at the age of 33, and for several years was assistant to a Parish Priest in Dublin. I find him labouring in the Lancashire Mission in 1771. This Rev. Father died at Cowley hill, near St. Helen s, on the 15th of January, 1785, and was buried at Windleshaw,

Galwey, James, d 1646, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/2323
  • Person
  • d 26 June 1646

Died: 26 June 1646, Schelistadt, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

◆ In Chronological Catalogue Sheet

◆ CATSJ A-H has RIP 26 July 1646 Schelistadt, Francs

Harnett, Philip, 1943-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/506
  • Person
  • 06 January 1943-20 December 1996

Born: 06 January 1943, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 10 October 1961, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 23 June 1972, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1982, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 20 December 1996, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola community, Eglinton Road, Dublin at the time of death.

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 31 July 1986-30 July 1992
1st President of the European Conference of Provincials 1992-1996

Cousin of Donal Doyle SJ (JPN)

by 1966 at Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain (TOLE) studying
by 1973 at Washington DC, USA (MAR) studying
PROVINCIAL 01 September 1986
by 1994 at Brussels Belgium (BEL S) President European Conference
by 1995 at Strasbourg France (GAL) President European Conference

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Harnett, Philip
by Peter McVerry
Harnett, Philip (1943–96), Jesuit priest, was born 6 January 1943 in Dublin, the third child of Patrick Harnett and Ursula Treacy. He had two brothers, John and Patrick, and three sisters, Anne, Catherine, and Mary. Following an education at Pembroke School, Ballsbridge, and Belvedere College, he joined the Jesuits on 10 October 1961 and studied arts at UCD, philosophy in the Jesuit College, Madrid, and theology in Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained a priest on 23 June 1972.

Harnett studied as a drugs counsellor in Washington, DC, in 1972 and worked for the Dublin diocese as a drugs advisor until 1974. He was then appointed parish priest in the inner-city Jesuit parish of Gardiner Street where, for six years, he coordinated a major community development programme. From 1980 to 1983 he worked in the central administration of the Irish Jesuits before being appointed to the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. During this time he lived in the socially deprived neighbourhood of Ballymun and sought to raise awareness of the structural injustices in Irish society; he also lectured and gave many workshops on this theme. He worked closely with residents in Ballymun to support their struggle to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhood.

In 1986 Harnett was appointed provincial of the Irish Jesuits. In this post he led the Jesuits through a period of rapid change in Irish society and the Irish church, and his leadership skills became very evident. Although he had to make difficult, and sometimes unpopular, decisions to respond to the changing circumstances, he retained the respect of those whom he led. He encouraged and supported the Irish Jesuits in their commitment to social justice, which he saw as a central thrust of their mission. In 1993 he was appointed to the newly created post of president of the Conference of European Jesuit Provincials, which reflected the high esteem in which he was held, and moved to Strasbourg. Three years later he was diagnosed with cancer, and despite a course of immuno-therapy in Strasbourg he became progressively weaker. He returned to Dublin, where he died 20 December 1996.

Irish Province Jesuit Archives; personal knowledge

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Fr Philip Harnett (1943-1996)

6th Jan. 1943: Born in Dublin
Early education: Pembroke School, Ballsbridge and Belvedere College
10th Oct. 1961: Entered the Society at Emo
11th Oct. 1963: First Vows at Emo
1963 - 1965: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1965 - 1967: Madrid, studying Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Crescent College Comprehensive, Teaching
1969 - 1972: Milltown Park, studying Theology
23rd June 1972: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1972 - 1973: Washington, Diploma in Drugs Abuse Training
1973 - 1974: Gardiner St - work for Archbishop on Drugs SFX
1974 - 77: Gardiner Street, Parish Priest
1977 - 1978: Tullabeg, Tertianship
1978 - 1980: SFX Gardiner St - Parish Priest
1980 - 1983: Loyola House - Special Secretariat
1983 - 1986: Arrupe, Ballymun Superior - work at CFJ
1986 - 1992: Loyola House, Provincial
1992 - 1993: Sabbatical
1993 - 1996 Brussels/Strasbourg: President of Conference of European Provincials

Philip was feeling a lack of energy after Christmas 1995. His doctors diagnosed cancer and this necessitated the removal of a kidney. Under medical supervision, he initially returned to work in Strasbourg but his doctors eventually prescribed a course in immuno-therapy that lasted several months during which time Philip was unable to work. On completion of the therapy he returned to Dublin to stay with his sister Anne for some weeks. After a fall, he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital and then to Cherryfield Lodge. He made very determined efforts to regain his health and members of the province prayed for him through the intercession of Fr. John Sullivan. Gradually, however, he became weaker and was more and more confined to bed. He died at 3am on Friday 20th December 1996.

Homily for Philip Harnett's funeral Mass, December 23rd, 1996
Can't you imagine Philip Harnett as Jesus asks him does he love him more than these others, and then asks him for a second and third time does he really love him? What I imagine is that Philip would be wondering what kind of manipulation and emotional blackmail all this was! I think he'd probably call for some kind of small group session in Ignatius' court of heaven, perhaps with himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, to facilitate the Lord's apparent insecurity!

In this, the end of John's gospel, we have played out before us the last act of the drama, which began with the invitation to the disciples in the first chapter of John to "come and see". This last act for Philip wasn't as he had either anticipated or wanted: somebody else was putting a belt around him and taking him where he would rather not go. This last journey and meeting with Jesus began last January with news of his serious illness, and intensified in September when he returned to Ireland and it became clear that his illness according to conventional medicine was terminal. It was mostly a journey through his memory, his mind and his heart. Philip the mountain climber, the hill walker, the marathon runner, that vibrant and handsome physical presence, went on this most important of all his journeys with disintegrating body, struggling for breath, but with spirit undiminished and even expanding, as he yearned for life and yearned to understand better the meaning of his and our lives.

What did he find out? Well: that, as always, he was held by the hand of Jesus. That was core and central: beneath all his banter and mockery, it was always clear that for Philip his relationship with Jesus Christ was the bedrock of his life, I heard him once as Provincial articulate this in an impassioned and unguarded way, confirming what I had always suspected was true. This came out so strongly in these last few months: if Jesus was leading him, even where he would himself not want to go, then it was alright. He might argue, protest, even rant and rave, but in the end, warts and all, it was alright. And this is what happened: Philip was able to say “I'm happy”, even as he continued to desire life and felt it ebbing out of him: all will be well, all manner of things will be well, because Jesus Christ, his life-time companion, was with him.

What he found out also was that as he got closer to Jesus and the next life, he got closer to his family, his friends, to his life. He pondered long the influence of his deceased mother and father, his relationship with his brothers and sisters, John, Anne, Catherine, Patrick and Mary, his extended family of in-laws, nephews, nieces and aunts. It was such a great joy to him to be able, after a characteristically honest, searching, and healing look-back, to embrace this network of relationships with heightened appreciation. I know, because he told me and others more than once, how deeply touched he was in particular by the palpable love he felt from his immediate family: he relished the directness of their affection, he was so pleased that it could be expressed so openly, and he wanted so much for them to understand how much they meant to him. Of course he was still capable of saying "God bless" if there was even a hint of mawkishness or false sentimentality in any of this: but he did, more than ever before, want to own and relax into the love he felt for an received from others. And he did so that last journey was simplifying and purifying in a way that surprised and made him very happy - through his prayer, his pondering and sifting, his talking it over with others in a characteristically open way, he found that in coming closer to Jesus Christ he became closer to the rest of us. As his body contracted, his heart expanded.

This applied also of course to his relationship with his friends - with Bernadette in Australia (whose brother Joseph is, I'm glad to say, with us this morning), Catherine in France, with his many friends, Jesuit and lay, from Ireland and different parts of the world, many of whom are here today. He was inclined in fact to dwell less on his achievements, and more on the people who had enriched his life: this was a bit different for a Jesuit, as he well realised! He appreciated so much the care he received in Strasbourg, in Elm Park, above al in Cherryfield. This included those who so generously offered him the help of various alternative medicines, as with typical whole heartedness he embraced every way to continue with life which he had such a huge desire for. And he was so pleased too that the Jesuit Province was praying through John Sullivan's intercession for a miracle cure: I think there may have to be another small group meeting in heaven, involving Philip. John Sullivan and a facilitator to sort out what exactly John Sullivan thought he was at, before the two of them can be the good pals Paul Cullen was talking about last Saturday!

But this was something that Philip also found out: that God, the Father, was not aloof, distant, judgmental, and to be feared. Rather, he marvelled to discover the infinite, inexhaustible patience of God, so open to taking all the anger, the fear, the rage that someone in Philip's terrible predicament felt, and yet there for Philip, as Jesus was. That again was wonderful: this after all is the God of life, and Philip again was reassured that against all the odds God, who is Father and Mother, was there for him, no matter what.

I have spoken of Philip through what I know of his own eyes. The reading from the Romans, with talk of the groaning of creation, gives us an opportunity to assess Philip through our own eyes, because this is also part of the truth of who it is. Creation groans because God's kingdom is being established against great opposition, and Philip had dedicated his life to this Kingdom. What are the kind of qualities which made his contribution so important, particularly in his life as priest in Gardiner Street, Special Secretariat in Loyola, work in Ballymun and the Centre for Faith and Justice, as Provincial and then as President of the Conference of European Provincials?

Well: I think his leadership qualities were remarkable. I remember joking with him that as a leader of the pack on our rugby team he was remarkable for the fact that he could roar at the rest of us to get up first to the break-down point, while arriving himself half a yard behind everyone else to the next line-out! There was something here that was truly great: the ability to motivate others, to inspire, to empower, to make others believe in themselves, not to feel that he could or had to do everything himself. Some of this of course came from his great sense of vision: in many ways for us Irish Jesuits he personified what it was to be a Jesuit after our 32nd General Congregation in the 1970's, with our mission defined in terms of faith and justice, Some of it too came from his skill in management and group work - think of all those meetings, and he was still conducting them from his sick-bed! There was too his creativity: he displayed this perhaps to greatest effect in the last job he had in Europe, where he really was trying to get something very embryonic going in difficult circumstances and in a way which won the respect of all. He had a sharp mind, a shrewd intelligence, an original and critical reading of the world and the signs of the times. Allied to all this was his ability to challenge, in a way which brought the best out of others. As you heard at the start of the Mass, Fr. General himself obviously appreciated this quality in Philip, which leads me to believe that in their relationship of great mutual respect and not a little affection, there may also have been that Harnett push for the magis, the 110%, felt by Fr. General! And of course there was his terrific humanity, his openness in dialogue, his ability to respect the institution but never let this suppress the Spirit-led unorthodoxies in himself or others, his utterly irreverent wit. Very interesting, he would say, when bored stiff; the pious put-down, God bless; the hilarious, Inspector Clousseau grappling with French vowels, particularly of the eu variety, with corresponding facial grimaces.

The stories are legion, and most of them unrepeatable. An edited, maybe apochryphal one will have to act as catalyst for your own favourites: it tells of Philip, as Provincial, being driven in the back of a car up the Milltown drive to preside at an important Province meeting. On the way he passes a group of the younger men, and in self-mocking style waves to them airily, in truly regal and almost pontifical style. Then, as the car passes, they see the same Philip gesticulating at them wildly like a school-boy from the back window of the car. He could not be pompous: sacred cows were there to be slaughtered, the unsayable was suddenly sayable, and none of it was cruel because it was rooted in the ability to be contrite and laugh at himself ( I feel so guilty!) and to be deeply serious when it mattered. He made doing what was good seem adventurous, attractive - and just plain fun! Through all of this he achieved so much, and we may rightly assess this as of more significance than he himself was inclined to do in his illness. You will all have your own list of these achievements: I mention the Signs of the Times Seminar, the development of the Milltown Institute and the Irish School of Ecumenics, as examples of how to my certain first-hand knowledge his leadership has touched the lives of so many.

He was, then, a giant of a man and will be sorely missed. He meant so much to so many. We who are left behind, his family, his friends and colleagues, his brother Jesuits, have a right to ask why? Why now? A right to grieve, to be sorry, to be angry. In doing so we will be helped by the Spirit referred to in the reading from Romans, who helps us in our weakness. We will be helped too by the spirit of Philip, who trusted in God and Jesus, who would understand that we needed to grieve and be angry, but who might say to us in the future, when we might be tempted to use our grief in a maudlin way to block our own lives - well, he might say a gentle, God bless, and help us realise that his God is the God of life, and it is even deeper life that he now enjoys.

This is what the reading from Isaiah suggests I think - more mountains, food and drink, the heavenly banquet - all in continuity with this life. This is another of Philip's great gifts to us: dying, with all its terrible rupture and loss, is for the person of faith a passing to new life. Philip lived this rupture and this hope in an extraordinarily holistic way. He told me early on that he did not want to die well", in the sense of whatever conventional expectations might be there: he laughed often, even through those last few months, and when he got angry, he would say, in aside, Kubla-Ross/stages of dying! He wondered too what would happen if there was a miracle: would he become a bit of an exhibit, like Lazarus, and would he be asked to go to Rome as part of the evidence for the cause of John Sullivan?! This apparent gallows humour was in fact more of what I have already alluded to: he loved life, he loved Jesus who was utterly incarnate, of flesh, for Philip: and if he trusted Jesus and God to bring him through death to new life, then this new life was in continuity with all the fun, the love, the mountains, the food and drink of this life. This was not a denial of death: rather it was a hymn to life, the ultimate compliment to and praise of the God of life. A 10th Century Celtic poem captures some of this sentiment:

The heavenly banquet
I would like to have the men of Heaven
In my own house:
With vats of good cheer
Laid out for them.

I would like to have the three Marys,
Their fame is so great.
I would like people
From every corner of Heaven
I would like them to be cheerful
In their drinking,
I would like to have Jesus too
Here amongst them.

I would like a great lake of beer
For the King of Kings,
I would like to be watching Heaven's family
Drinking it through all eternity,

This symbolic picture of the heavenly banquet, so true for example to the great satisfaction experienced by Philip in his two trips to pubs for a drink with his brother John in the weeks before he died, is part of Philip's gift to us as he parts. It tells us to treasure life to the full; to seek its meaning in responsible love and in Jesus Christ; to hope with great realism and joy for a reunion of all creation at God's heavenly banquet. In his last few days when Philip, master of meetings, wanted a bit of time on his own he used to say, courteously, humorously: the meeting is over, you may go now! The meeting is indeed over now, Philip: and although it breaks our hearts, you may go: and we thank you and God for all you have meant to us, and for the hope that we may continue to make this world a better place and may enjoy life to the full with you in the future.

Peter Sexton, SJ


When Philip Harnett became Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Ireland, he automatically assumed a number of responsibilities relating to the Irish School of Ecumenics. Firstly he became the Roman Catholic Patron, secondly he became Trustee, and lastly he assumed the Presidency of the Academic Council. In this last role he quickly became aware much more fully of the work of ISE - its degree/diploma programmes in Dublin, its adult education courses on reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the research and outreach efforts of the academic staff. Already in ISE there was a growing realisation that the Irish Churches should take a more positive interest in ISE and Philip saw and endorsed this aim. He also learned of the precarious financial position of ISE and he realised the need for change and development in the school's administration. As time passed the Provincial felt a growing need to take a more constructively active role to help ISE - discerning that those who were running ISE - Executive Board and Director - were too close to the action and too fully involved to stand back and be objective. With the agreement therefore of those in ISE, of the other Patrons and the Trustees, Philip invited (to use a politically correct term which probably understates the nature of the 'invitation') two business men whom he could rely on to act as consultants to the Patrons and to draw up a report on ISE.

That report, when in due time it was presented to the Patrons, was comprehensive and in some areas radical. Its recommendations were accepted by the Patrons who left it to Philip to set up a 'task force' to work with ISE in implementing the recommendations.

This process has resulted in long term advantages and reforms, the outworking of some of these is still in progress. It developed a new relationship for ISE with the Irish churches. The Archbishop of Dublin (Roman Catholic) together with a nominee for the Episcopal Conference have become Patrons (in the place of the Jesuit provincial who remains President of the Academic Council and one of the Trustees together with the Patrons from the other larger churches in Ireland, Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian. Equally significantly the churches committed themselves to a programme of financial grants to ISE. This opened up the way for ISE to establish an Endowment Fund and to approach the corporate business sector for significant donations,

The Executive Board of ISE was given much greater responsibility and authority, making it possible for the Academic Council to concentrate on broad policy and the maintenance of Academic standards and research. These changes have been fundamental to the most recent development - albeit one not foreseen in the Consultants' report - that of grant-aid for ISE from the Minister for Education.

Throughout this whole process Philip Harnett retained his interest in and enthusiasm for ISE and for the aims and principles of the school, He gave constant personal support to those of us involved within ISE, and his quiet encouragement and guidance were always available and freely given. His commitment to ecumencial co-operation was a practical and constructive involvement and his actions stemmed from genuine concern and spiritual motivation. He saw ecumenical action and co-operation as a natural part of his Christian life and witness, and he put this vision to good effect in relation to ISE.

Over the time span of history many people have contributed to the formation of ISE's structures, visions and programmes. The recent development of the School is no exception and while successive provincials and directors have made their contributions, it fell to Philip to be the School's Jesuit patron at a critical phase. Philip Harnett had the vision - a vision that combined ideas and imagination with gentleness and compassion, allied to an administrative experience and skill. These attributes enabled Philip to help the school, grown too large for its original “family structure, to develop into a well administered institution. His was a contribution that came at the right time and was made in the right way.

David Poole

David Poole who is a member of the religious Society of Friends, was Chair of ISE's Executive Board from 1987 to 1996.

◆ The Clongownian, 1997


Father Philip Harnett SJ

Fr Philip Harnett SJ, whose older brother John was at Clongowes (1954-57) but who himself attended Belvedere, served as a member of the Board of Governors on two separate occasions. The first time was for a year in 1979-80, when he was Parish Priest of Gardiner St. Later, he was ex officio President of the Board during his creative and memorable six-year term as Jesuit Provincial, 1986-92. He was appointed President of the Conference of European Provincials in 1993, with his base in Strasbourg, a task with which he grappled with characteristic energy and commitment. He fell ill at Christmas 1995. Despite a heroic battle to overcome his illness, to the very great grief of his family and his fellow-Jesuits, Philip died on 20 December 1996, aged 53.

Irwin, Walter, 1808-1836, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1471
  • Person
  • 03 December 1808-05 December 1836

Born: 03 December 1808, County Roscommon
Entered: 23 September 1826, Montrouge, France - Galliae Province (GALL)
Died: 05 December 1836, Chaumont, Haute Marne, France

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
An approved Scholastic of great promise.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
IRWIN, WALTER. This Scholastic died in France, in December,1836.

Maguire, Roger A, 1707-1770, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1656
  • Person
  • 15 June 1707-05 February 1770

Born: 15 June 1707, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 19 July 1722, Avignon, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1737, Strasbourg, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1740
Died: 05 February 1770, Speyer, Rhineland, Germany - Franciae Province (FRA)

Alias Louis de Magliore
Mission Superior 1761-1763 Missions at Martinique, Guadaloupe and Cayenne

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Taught Humanities for six years and Rhetoric for one, and was a Prefect of Studies for three. (Lyon)
1743 He left for the Mission to Martinique (FRA CAT 1746)

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
During studies he was at various Colleges inside and outside LUGD, finishing at Lyons
1743 Went to Martinique
1745-1755 At Guadaloupe, and in the latter part of this was Superior of that Mission
1755-1761 Returned to Martinique taking charge of a parish
1761-1763 Returned to Europe to report on the state of the Mission. The LUGD Provincial proposed sending him back as Socius to Fr John de la Marche with the right of Succession as Mission Superior of all the Missions at Martinique, Guadaloupe and Cayenne. He travelled back to the West Indies to carry out that task, but the Jesuits were expelled in 1763
1763 Returned to Europe and found refuge in Speyer and Baden in the Upper Rhine Province

◆ Fr Francis Finegan Sj :
He was probably brought up in France
1724-1727 After First Vows he was sent to study Rhetoric at Avignon and then Philosophy at Lyon and Dôle,
1727-1734 He was sent for six years Regency at Aix. he then studied completed his Philosophy at Dôle
1734-1737 He was sent to Dôle again for a year of Theology and then two at Strasbourg where he was Ordained 1737
1737-1739 Continued to study Theology at Strasbourg, probably with a view to teaching
1740-1743 Sent to teach Humanities at Vesoul and then at Irish College Poitiers
1743-1760 Volunteered for the Paris Mission in the West Indies and spent the next seventeen years in Martinique and Guadaloupe
1761 Returned to France as a result of a disagreement with Fr Lavalette, whose financial adventures had earned much condemnation for the Society. The Provincial in Paris, who had a high esteem for Maguire’s prudence and administrative ability, proposed to the General that he should become Superior in the West Indies but the dissolution of the Society in France and the confiscation of her possessions rendered this irrelevant.
1762 He found refuge at Speyer in the Upper Rhenish Province. He was in poor health there by 1770, but his date of death is not known

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Roger Maguire SJ 1707-1770
Fr Roger Maguire – usually called in French Louis de Magloire – was born in Ireland in 1707. He entered the Society at Avignon in 1722.

He went to Martinique in 1743 and then passed on to Guadaloupe where from 1745-1755 he was Superior of the Mission.

He returned t Europe in 1761 to report on affairs in the West Indies. He was sent back as Sociuus to the Superior Fr Jean de la Marche with right of succession. However, the French were expelled from the French islands in 1763, and Fr Maguire returned once again to Europe. Up to 1770, we have news of him working first in Spire and then in Baden.

Meade, Robert, 1633-1704, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1737
  • Person
  • 29 September 1633-29 May 1704

Born: 29 September 1633, Kinsale, County Cork
Entered: 24 December 1654, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 1664, Pont-à-Mousson, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1681
Died: 29 May 1704, St Anthony’s College, Lisbon, Portugal - Campaniae Province (CAMP)

1656-1658 At Pont-à-Mousson studying Logic and Physics
1658-1659 At Verdun teaching Grammar - capable of teaching and doing missionary work and many other things in due time
1659-1661 At Charleville teaching Grammar
1661-1664 At Pont-à-Mousson studying Theology and Prefect of Physicists in Boarding School and Rhetoricians
1664-1665 Went to FLA-BELG
Taught 3 years in CAMP. On Irish Mission 33 years (4 months in prison). Driven into exile to Lisbon

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1671 On the Irish Mission for may years; Imprisoned for eight months and deported; Zealous Preacher; Died of old age (Franco’s “Synopsis”)
1691 Preaching in Cork and Kinsale
1694 On Parochial duty in Cork, in great poverty
1714 In reporting his death, his Superior calls him “impiger concionator” (Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Educated by the Jesuits at Tournai before Ent 24 December 1654 CAMP
1656-1658 After First Vows at Nancy he studied Philosophy at Pont-à-Mousson
1658-1661 He was then sent for Regency at Verdun and Charleville
1661-1665 He was sent to Pont-à-Mousson for Theology and he was Ordained there 1664, and then did a further year of Theology at Douai.
1665-1666 In the Summer of 1665 the General wanted him to go to the ANG Tertianship at Ghent, in order to improve his proficiency in English, and therefore be more available for the Irish Mission. There was no space at Ghent, so he made his tertianship at Lierre instead.
1666-1669 He was sent as Operarius at Cambrai
1669 Sent to Ireland and Cork where he worked for the next 30 years. His command of Irish was put to good use there, and he was an able Preacher and undaunted by the poverty and hardship of his mission. In the mass arrests and enforced exile of the regular clergy of 1697/98 he was captured, imprisoned for eight months and then put on board ship bound for Portugal. He found temporary refuge at Irish College Lisbon, but on the General's orders he was received at the College of Évora. As there was nobody there to speak with him in Irish or French, he was allowed to settle at the College of St Anthony in Lisbon, a city which then had a sizeable population of Irish refugees. He died there 29 May 1704.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MEAD, ROBERT. The first time that I meet with him is in the Lent of 1671, when he gave Evening Instructions twice each week at Cork, and twice also at Kinsale. In a letter dated Waterford, the 25th of November, 1694, he is described as well acquainted with the Irish language, living in a very desolate part of the country, and in great poverty; but zealous and fruitfully engaged in the work of the Ministry. He died abroad, an exile for the Faith, and in advanced years, as I find by a letter written in 1714, and he is said to have been “impiger concionator”.

Nugent, Gerard, 1615/19-1692, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1842
  • Person
  • 1615/19-08 April 1692

Born: 1615/19, Brackley, County Westmeath
Entered: 1639, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1645, Liege, Belgium
Final vows: 26 May 1657
Died: 08 April 1692, Maynooth, County Kildare

Studied at Charleville-Mézières and Lillie
WAS DISMISSED - DID HE RE-ENTER (might explain discrepancy in Ent dates?)
1642-1645 At Liège studying Theology
1646 (1650 Catalogue) Came to Mission - Teacher, Confessor, Preacher
1649 in Wexford
1666 Has lately returned to Ireland from France and has no fixed station. Was Operarius and will be a strenuous one. Missioner for 17 years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Had studied Humanities and Philosophy for two years before Ent
1646 Sent to Ireland. he knew Irish, English and Latin, and had both taught Humanities and been a Confessor for four years. (HIB CAT 1650 - at ARSI)
1666 He had lately returned from France and had no fixed station, but he promised to me a zealous Missioner. He has been in Ireland for one year, and was a Missioner elsewhere for seventeen years.
Ent 1637; Sent to English College Liège 1642, and in Third Year Theology in 1645 (HIB Catalogue);
1649 He was in Wexford - “A truly prudent and religious man” (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
RIP 08/09/1692 (Catalogue of Deceased SJ in Louvain University Library)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already studied Philosophy before Ent 1639 Watten
1641-1645 After First Vows he resumed his studies at Liège where he was Ordained 1645
1645 Sent to Ireland and Wexford Residence, where he taught Grammar and ministered until the fall of Wexford to Cromwell. During the “commonwealth” he ministered in Westmeath, and from the restoration was nominally attached to the Dublin Residence.
1663 With the General’s permission he went to Paris and stayed for two years
1665 Returned to Ireland he continues to work, and according to a State paper, he was PP of Maynooth in 1672
During the Titus Oates's Plot, Nicholas Netterville under examination stated that Gerard Nugent was “of Brackley in the County of Westmeath and now coming to reside in Dublin”. There is no evidence that this happened. According to Jesuit correspondence Gerard was of an illustrious family. He died at Maynooth 08/04/1692

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NUGENT, GERARD, After studying Philosophy “extra Societatem”, joined the Order in 1639, and commenced a course of Theology at Liege in 1642. Seven years later I meet him at Wexford, and bearing the character of “Vir vere prudens et religiosus”.

O'Connor, John Baptist, 1652-1706, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1895
  • Person
  • 28 June 1652-06 January 1706

Born: 28 June 1652, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 08 December 1674, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 1687, Arlesham (near Basel), France
Final Vows: 15 August 1694
Died: 06 January 1706, New Ross, County Wexford - Romanae Province (ROM)

1676-1678 At Épinal CAMP teaching Grammar at the Residence
1678-1680 At Pont-á-Mousson Studying Philosophy
1680-1681 Teaching Grammar at Langres CAMP
1681-1682 Teaching Grammar at Charleville CAMP
1682-1683 Teaching Humanities at Nancy
1683-1684 Teaching Grammar at Pont-á-Mousson
1684-1986 Theology at Rheims
1686-1688 Theology at Pont-á-Mousson
1690-1691 Not in CAMP Catalogue - gone to Scotia

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1693 Tertianship in Dublin
Was on Irish Mission 1669, 1674 and 1694; Skilled in Irish language (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1676-1680 After First Vows he was sent for a year of Regency to Épinal and then to Pont-à-Mousson for Philosophy.
1680-1684 There followed four more years of Regency at Langres, Charleville, Nancy and Pont-à-Mousson.
1684-1688 Sent to Rheims for Theology and was ordained at Arlesham (? Arles ?), near Basel 1687, and then back to Pont-à-Mousson to complete his studies
1688 Sent to Ireland and New Ross and was registered as PP there 11 July 1688 - having succeeded Bishop Wadding there. He died at New Ross 06 January 1706

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
O’CONNOR , JOHN. I meet with him in Champagne,in 1686, when his services were demanded for the Irish Mission. There I find him in November, 1694, labouring diligently and fruitfully in a country Parish. His skill in the Irish language rendered his services particularly valuable to a poor population.

O'Daly, John, 1663-1738, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1888
  • Person
  • 24 August 1663-09 December 1738

Born: 24 August 1663, Aghadoe, County Kerry
Entered: 20 May 1692, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1703
Died: 09 December 1738, Irish College, Poitiers, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)

Finished studies before entry and was a Dr of Theology (Aghada Diocese)
1696 Teacher Grammar at Pont-á-Mousson (CAMP) fit for teaching and Mission
1700-1705 In South America
1711 In Ireland
1711-1713 At Irish College Poitiers
1714 CAT was in French Indies Mission for alomost 10 years. Taught Philosophy. Strong and now Parish Priest. Strenuous worker, loves poverty and obedience. Esteemed by all for his great sincerity. Zealous in instructing young people. Undeterred by persecution. Not great prudence or public speaker. His zeal an simplicity makes up for any deficiencies.
Fr James Dailly : Infirmus at the Irish College Poitiers 1735-38, RIP 09 December 1738

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Was DD on Ent; Professor of Philosophy in CAMP;
A “hard-working Missioner; Open-hearted and fearless of persecution, the dangers of which did not prevent him from teaching children, a work in which he showed great zeal”
1699-1709 Missioner in West Indies
1717 In Ireland

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
He was already Ordained before entry
1694-1696 After First Vows he was sent to teach Humanities at Épinal and Pont-à-Mousson
1696-1698 Sent to teach Philosophy at Autun
1698-1699 He was sent teaching Theology at Ensisheim, France when he volunteered to go to the Irish exiles in West Indies, in part because it was not really possible for him to go to Ireland and work there, as Priests were being arrested and deported..
1699 Arrived in Martinque on Christmas Day accompanied by Fr James Galwey
1703-1704 On the island of Guadaloupe working with the native people and then returned to Martinique to instruct Scottish and English converts
1709-1714 Returned to France and was hooping to be sent to Ireland, and while waiting served on the Mission Staff at Irish College Poitiers.
1714-1735 At last by 1714 he was able to go to Ireland and was stationed at Cork. There he remained for almost twenty two years, and he re-established the Cork Residence, where he also set up an Oratory and a small School. Ill health forced him to retire to Poitiers where he died in 1738

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he taught Humanities at Épinal and Pont-à-Mousson
1696 Appointed Professor of Philosophy at Autun
1698 Sent to teach Moral Theology at Ensisheim
1699-1709 Volunteered to go to the West Indies Mission, not least because it was at the time impossible to get to Ireland, as all priests were being rounded up and deported. He arrived in Martinique on Christmas Day 1699 with James Galwey
1709 Returned to France hoping to be able to slip into the Ireland of the “Penal Laws”. While waiting to travel, he served on the Mission staff of the Irish College Poitiers.
1714-1736 Eventually he managed to get in and settle in Cork where he remained for twenty two years. He re-established the Cork Residence where he set up an oratory and a small school.
1736 He retired to Poitiers where he died 09 December 1738

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John O’Daly SJ 1663-1738
Fr John O’Daly was born in Kerry in 1663.

Having entered the Society at Nantes in 1682, while Moral Professor at Ensisheim, his offer to minister to the Irish exiles in the West Indies was accepted. He arrived at Martinique in 1703, where he looked after the Irish, and instructed English and Scotch converts.

He came back to the home Mission in 1709 and laboured in Cork until 1735. He then retired in ill health to Poitiers, where he died in 1738.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DALY, JOHN. When in Priest’s Orders joined the Society and taught Philosophy in France, Towards the latter end of 1699, it seems he was allowed to accompany Pere Farganel to the Mission of Martinique.

O'Leary, William J, 1869-1939, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/339
  • Person
  • 19 March 1869-16 April 1939

Born: 19 March 1869, Ranelagh,Dublin
Entered: 30 October 1886, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 27 July 1902, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 16 April 1939, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg & Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1891 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
O'Leary, William J.
by David Murphy

O'Leary, William J. (1869–1939), Jesuit priest and scientist, was born 19 March 1869 in Dublin, son of Dr William H. O'Leary (qv), MP for Drogheda 1874–80, surgeon, and professor of anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Rosina O'Leary (née Rogers). Educated at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly), and Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1886, completing his noviciate at Dromore, Co. Down. He studied philosophy and astronomy at Louvain and theology in Dublin, and then taught science at Clongowes. In 1908 he travelled to Strasbourg and studied seismology under Prof. Meinka, and on his return to Ireland he set up a meteorological and seismological observatory at Mungret College, Co. Limerick, remaining as its director until 1915. At the request of a joint committee of the British Association and the Royal Meteorological Society, he carried out a series of upper-air investigations using sounding balloons (1911–14). This was the most westerly series of observations taken in Europe, and the results of O'Leary's research were published in the journals of both societies. By 1911 he had also completed a new seismograph, and this instrument was later praised by the astrophysicist and cosmologist, (Edward) Arthur Milne (1896–1950).

In 1915 he moved to the Jesuit community at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, and founded a seismological observatory there. He constructed his own seismograph, which had a moving mass of one-and-a-half tons. This instrument was still giving excellent service in the 1940s. He had also become aware of the need for extremely accurate timing in seismology and, turning his attention to chronometry, developed a free-pendulum clock which he patented in 1918.

In 1929 he went to Australia, where he became director of the observatory at Riverview College, New South Wales. In conjunction with the Lembang observatory in Java, he began a programme of photographic research on variable stars. He discovered several new variable stars, and the results of his research were published in the journals of the Riverview and Lembang observatories and also in the Astronomische Nachrichten. An accomplished and humorous speaker, he was extremely popular as a lecturer at scientific and public meetings. He supervised (1933–4) the construction of one of his free-pendulum clocks for Georgetown University. The clock was built by E. Esdaile & Sons in Sydney and shipped to Washington DC in August 1934, and O'Leary visited Georgetown in 1938. He was a leading member of several scientific societies, including the RIA (elected 1919), the Royal Society of New South Wales, the Société Astronomique de France, and the Seismological Society of America. He was also a member of the Australian National Committee on Astronomy and was elected (January 1938) a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

He collapsed and died of a heart attack while playing golf (16 April 1939), and was buried at the Gore Hill cemetery, Sydney. There is a collection of his papers in the Irish Jesuit archives in Dublin, including seismological journals that he kept while at Rathfarnham. In February 1959 Georgetown University donated to the Smithsonian Institution its O'Leary free-pendulum clock and the collection of letters relating to its construction.

Fr William J. O'Leary, SJ, files in Irish Jesuit Archives, Dublin; The Catholic Press, 20 April 1939; Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 100, no. 4, February 1940; Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, vol. 28, no. 240, February 1986, 44–51

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: Earth-shakers
In the days when Rathfarnham Castle was still a residence for Jesuit university students, there was a seismograph (pictured here) housed in a small building off the drive. It was the creation of Fr William O’Leary, a Jesuit scientist with an avid interest in pendulums, who had already constructed a seismograph in Mungret in 1909. He had to keep air currents and spiders at bay, since their delicate vibrations could simulate the effect of major earthquakes on the sensitive instrument. He had dreadful luck in September 1923 when his seismograph was temporarily out of order during a catastrophic (over 100,000 dead) earthquake in Japan. But his pioneering work introduced generations of Jesuit students to the rigorous measurement and technical skill required in scientific research.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William O'Leary was educated at Tullabeg and Clongowes; his father was a surgeon and a Member of Parliament. While at Tullabeg he developed an interest in science. He entered the Society at Dromore, 30 October 1886, did his juniorate at Tullabeg, 1888-90, studied philosophy at Louvain, 1890-93, where he did much experimental work with the inverted pendulum. He later taught mathematics and physics at Clongowes, 1893-99, studied theology at Milltown Park, 1899-03, and finished his studies with tertianship at Mold, Wales, 1904-05. In 1900 he published a textbook on mechanics.
In an obituary notice in the “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 100, No. 4,” 1940, it said that O'Leary's “mind ran on original lines. He was never content with stereotyped textbook solutions, he had to work out each problem for himself from first principles. In this way he was able to study many questions from a fresh angle and to develop original lines of research various branches of science. Combined with this was a highly developed inventive talent and the ability to design new instruments and the skill to construct them”.
After studies, O'Leary taught physics, chemistry and mathematics, and was assistant prefect of studies at Mungret, 1905-15, as well as director of the seismological and meteorological observatory At the request of a Joint Committee of the British Association and the Royal Meteorological Society he carried out a series of upper-air investigations by means of sounding balloons. These were the farthest west observations had been made in Europe at the time.
One problem in seismometry was to obtain an instrument with a fairly long period and consequent high sensitivity O'Leary provided a satisfactory solution by constructing a two
component horizontal seismometer with trifilar suspension. One of these instruments was completed in Mungret in 1911. Later, he lectured in mathematics to the juniors at Rathfarnham, 1915-18, and started seismological observatory His “O’Leary Seismograph” was at that time the first and only one in the world. He also worked with Professor John Milne at the Shide Observatory in the Isle of Wight, and from whom he acquired the Milne-Shaw seismograph for his own seismography station at Rathfarnham. With these two seismographs, O'Leary was able to supply earthquake information to the whole country. The need for accurate timing in seismology turned O'Leary's attention to chronometry He saw that the secret of precision timing was to be sought in a free pendulum. He was one of true pioneers in the development of the free-pendulum clock in 1918.
O’Leary was minister, procurator and teacher at Belvedere, 1918-19, and then lectured mathematics and physics to the philosophers at Milltown Park, 1919-29.
He was was appointed to the Riverview observatory in July 1929. Besides introducing various improvements in the seismological department, he initiated a programme of photographic research on variable stars in collaboration with the Boscha Observatory, Lembang. He also invented and built a blink comparator, which proved successful in searching for new variable stars. He discovered many new variable stars and published several papers on variables in “Publications” of the Riverview and Ban Len Observatories and in the “Astronomisrlne Nachrichten”. Other inventions included a recording anemometer and a petrol gas plant.
Scientists and the general public appreciated O’Leary's lectures on astronomy and seismology His light and humorous touch combined with his clarity of exposition to render topics intelligible and interesting. Together with his scientific work, he found time to do good work as a priest. Many found him a wise counselor, and a humble and lovable priest and colleague. He was a little man, happy, charming, and quite unassuming in spite of his deep knowledge and high reputation.
He remained at Riverview until his death in 1939, directing the observatory until 1937 when Daniel O'Connell became director. The end of his life occurred when he collapsed and died on the golf course just after driving off. The suddenness of his death was a shock to the community, but he had had a heart condition for some time. This did not prevent him from planning fresh research and for new instruments. The day before he died he discovered a number of new variable stars with his newly completed comparator, and that night worked at the telescope taking star photographs. O'Leary was a member of the Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Society of NSW, the Société Astronomique de France, the Seismological Society of America, Past President of the NSW Branch of the British Astronomical Association, and a fellow of the Australian National Committee on Astronomy.

Note from Daniel O’Connell Entry
At this time he came under the influence of William O'Leary, the Irish Jesuit astronomer and seismologist, who at that time was director of Rathfarnham Castle Observatory in Dublin. While at the Riverview Observatory, working under William O'Leary.........

Note from Edward Pigot Entry
His extremely high standards of scientific accuracy and integrity made it difficult for him to find an assistant he could work with, or who could work with him. George Downey, Robert McCarthy, and Wilfred Ryan, all failed to satisfy. However, when he met the young scholastic Daniel O'Connell he found a man after his own heart. When he found death approaching he was afraid, not of death, but because O’Connell was still only a theologian and not ready to take over the observatory. Happily, the Irish province was willing to release his other great friend, William O'Leary to fill the gap.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926

1909 Seismological observatory established at Mungret
1910 New type of seismograph invented and constructed at Mungret; A meteorological station in connection with the Meteorological Office established at Mungret; A complete set of recording instruments was installed; New type of anemometer, recording average and wind direction, invented and erected.
1912 The systematic investigation, by sounding balloons of the upper atmosphere over Ireland was begun. This important work was entrusted to Mungret by a joint committee of the Royal Meteorological Society and the British Association, as representing the International Upper Air Investigation Society, with headquarters at Strasburg. Mungret was the only Irish station entrusted with this work; The Erin Petrol Gas Generator invented by Messrs Maguire & Gatchell took over the construction of those machines, and erected a large number of them throughout Ireland.
1916 The Rathfarnham Seismological Station was established. The instrument, of the Mungret type, but of an improved design, was constructed at Rathfarnham.
1918 Precision clock invented, embodying the principle of a free pendulum. A model of a “Vertical Component” Seismograph invented some 3 years previously, was exhibited at the British Association Meeting at Edinburgh.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934
An Australian contemporary gives the following welcome news :
The Rev William O'Leary, SJ., Director of Riverview Observatory has been elected President of the New South Wales branch of the British Astronomical Association. in succession to Mr. W. F. Gale. Father O'Leary is a famous scientist, with a special knowledge of earthquakes. He studied astronomy in Louvain, Belgium, and succeeded the late Father Pigot to the charge of Riverview Observatory in July, 1929. Formerly he was Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the Jesuit College, Milltown Park, Dublin.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937

Rathfarnham :
Seismological Station : A change was made in the method of recording un the O'Leary seismograph. The records are now made on smoked paper by a stylus which gives a very clear, delicate trace. This method replaces the former ink inscriptions and is calculated to give much greater sensitivity, The improvement was carried out at the suggestion of Father O'Leary, Director of Riverview College Observatory, who sent all the necessary detail of construction. On January 7th the first big earthquake of the year was recorded and the success of the new method was assured.

Irish Province News 14th Year No 3 1939
Obituary :
Father William O’Leary
Born, Dublin, 19th March , Educated Tullabeg, Clongowes
1886 Entered, Dromore, 30th October
1887 Dromore, Novice
1888-89 Tullabeg, Junior
1890-1892 Louvain, Philosophy
1893-1898 Clongowes, Doc
1899-1902 1899-1902 Milltown, Theology
1903 Clongowes, Doc
1904 Mold, Tertian
1905-07 Mungret, Doc. Adj. Praef. stud, Cons. dom.
1908-09 Mungret, Doc. Doc. Praes. Sod. B.V.M., Cons. dom.
1910-12 Mungret, Doc. Doc. Praes. Sod. B.V.M., Cons. dom.; Dir obser, seismol, et meteorology
1913-14 Munget, Doc an 17, Praes. Sod. SS Angel; Dir obser, seismol, et meteorology
1915 Rathfarnham, Lect. Math., Conf. N.N. ; Cons. dom. an 1
1916 Rathfarnham, Praef Spir, Lect. Math.; Cons. dom an 2.; seismol
1917 Rathfarnham, Praef Spir, Lect. Math.; Cons. dom an 3.; Dir obser
1918 Belvedere, Minister. Doc..' Cons. dom.
1919-23 Milltown, Lect. Math. et Phys. , Conf. dom.
1924 Milltown, Lect. Math. et Phys.; Conf. N.N.
1925-26 Milltown, Lect. Math. et Phys.; Praef ton; Theol et Phil
19277-28 Milltown, Lect. Math. et Phys.; Praef ton; Theol et Phil; Conf. dom.
1929 Australia, Riverview, Dir obser, seismol; Astron meteor
1930-37 Australia, Riverview, Dir obser, seismol; Astron meteor; Conf dom
1938-1939 Australia, Riverview, Adj Dir Spec; Dir sect seismol; Conf dom

Father O'Leary died in Australia, Sunday, April 16th, 1939
Father O'Leary was born in Dublin, 1869. His father William O'Leary, well known for his medical ability, and for time a Home Rule M.P. in the party of Isaac Butt. Father O'Leary was educated at Tullabeg and Clongowes. He was best known as a teacher of physics and astronomy in the Colleges and Scholasticates, and for his work on seismology. His scientific work tends to make us forget his other gifts as a preacher and Retreat-giver, in which he was remarkably successful. As student at Louvain he developed an interest in pendulums, which was the basis of his seismological activities. A full account of his work in that department has been given in the “Irish Jesuit Directory” for 1938. A visit to Prof. J, Milne's observatory at Shide, Isle of Wight, was the occasion of his applying his knowledge of pendulums to the construction of his first instrument at Mungret. During the following years he constructed and equipped a really good seismological and meteorological station there, which he left behind him as a monument to his energy and activity when he was transferred
to Rathfarnham. Here, with characteristic perseverance, he continued his work, and set about designing and constructing the instrument now in use at Rathfarnharn, in conjunction with a standard Milne-Shaw seismograph added to the Observatory in 1932. This instrument was not meant to replace the “O'Leary Seismograph”, but to give greater accuracy in the recording of earthquakes. The horizontal pendulum of the latter has a mass of 1 lb. , the O'Leary pendulum has a mass of 1.5 tons. This is the only instrument of its kind in existence, and gives an exceedingly large and clear record.
An essential element in the recording of earthquakes is a very accurate clock, which enables the exact time to be recorded on the chart. Father O'Leary designed such a clock, which includes features of great novelty. In connection with this instrument Father O'Leary paid a visit to the United States. The clock has been described by the director of a well-known observatory as “a piece of first-class and most original work”. It is of interest to put on record that Father O'Leary not only designed both clock and seismograph, but made almost every part of each, and erected them himself. In addition to these instruments he designed a system of supplying petrol-gas for laboratories far from a supply of coal gas. This apparatus had a considerable success, and for some years was on the market, until trade difficulties stopped the sale. In addition to the records of his observations, Father O'Leary wrote a text-book on mechanics.
When Father Pigot died in Australia, in 1929, then a portion of the Irish Province, Father O'Leary was chosen to succeed him as director of the Riverview College Observatory, which included astronomy, seismology and meteorology, where his knowledge and experience enabled him to do much valuable work.
His death came suddenly and unexpectedly, as he had been working in the observatory only the night before. The Australian and home newspapers contained most appreciative notices of his work. An indication of the esteem in which he was held may be gathered from the Press account of his funeral. Archbishop Gilroy presided at the Mass, at which were present Archbishop Duhig and Bishops Coleman, Dwyer and Henscke, together with some 200 priests and many representatives of Catholic schools. The laity included many distinguished scientists and representative men, such as the Attorney-General, etc. Father O'Leary was an F.R.A.S., and past-President of the British Astronomical Association.
Those who knew Father O'Leary will miss him not only as a worker, but still more for his great charm and his many gifts, which made him an excellent community man and endeared him to all by his cheerful companionship and great sense of humour. He was noted for his punctilious observance of all his spiritual duties, and died as he had lived, working for God. RIP
The following came from an Irish priest :
"During the last few weeks I have felt that I would like to write and offer to you and your distinguished Order my sympathy on the death of Father O'Leary. Many, I am sure, have written many others, too, better equipped than I, shall write about him but as a humble priest, I would like to add my humble tribute to the memory of a saintly priest and a learned Jesuit.
When I took up the paper a few weeks ago and read the cabled account of his death, I could read no further. I was truly grieved, for I felt I had lost a great friend, a friend who was, I thought, in perfect health, when I met him only a few months ago. Our friendship began ten years ago on the emigrant ship that was relentlessly taking both of us to Australia. He, fairly advanced in years, I, a young priest just ordained. He, the eminent scientist and inventor, on his way to take up one of the highest and most important positions in Australia, I an obscure priest, to take up duty as a curate in some parish in the Diocese of Sydney. None of us young priests realised that we were travelling with such a distinguished man. There was nothing that led us even to suspect it. He moved among us, spoke freely to us offered us his sympathy for he knew our hearts were full. His heart, too, was full, for he felt then that he would never see again his beloved Ireland. I often thought it was a pity that he should have to leave Ireland at his time of life, for he loved Ireland with a love that was passionate, yet tender. Whenever I visited him at Riverview, that College so beautifully situated on an eminence overlooking Sydney's wondrous harbour, his thoughts ever wandered back to Ireland. Like every exile. as he wrote himself, he hankered for the green hills of holy Ireland. Others shall appraise his work as a scientist and astronomer - to me he was always the humble, sympathetic, priestly friend. With his passing I have lost a great friend, and Australia has most certainly lost an able and scholarly Jesuit, and saintly priest.
I am sure that his soul passed through Ireland on its way to Eternity. May he rest in peace".

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William O’Leary SJ 1869-1939
The name of Fr William O’Leary will go down in the Province as the founder of the seismograph at Rathfarnham Castle. He was also the inventor an ingenious clock and numerous other scientific devices, as well as author of a textbook on mechanics. But these achievements as a scientific inventor were hardly half the man.

He had a remarkable oratorical ability, and many a priest of the Province will recall his elocution classes … “O Mary, call the cattle home, call the cattle home across the sands of Dee”. He was a preacher and retreat giver of no mean order,

In 1939 he was appointed to the Directorship of the Observatory at Riverview, Australia. His end came suddenly on April 16th 1939, but found him not unprepared, for he was a religious of punctilious observance and scrupulous even to a fault in the matter of poverty.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 109 : Summer/Autumn 2001


Kevin A Laheen

There is a rumour doing the rounds in Rathfarnham at present that the building that once housed the seismograph will shortly be used as a snack-bar and tea room. Just in case there may be some truth in this rumour it would seem opportune to recall the name of Fr William O'Leary, SJ whose pioneer work in recording earthquakes won international acclaim for the seismograph station at Rathfarnham Castle.

Willie O'Leary was born in Dublin on 19 March 1869. The O'Leary family lived in Ranelagh. His father was a distinguished doctor, a Member of Parliament, and a personal friend of Isaac Butt. Willie spent the early years of his schooling in Tullabeg and then moved off to Clongowes when the two colleges were amalgamated in 1886. After his novitiate in Dromore he moved, back to Tullabeg to begin his Juniorate studies. In Tullabeg he manifested a great interest in and aptitude for science. It was during his philosophy years at Louvain that he did some experimental work on the inverted pendulum. This was the beginning of a lifelong work in the study of seismology which won for him an eminence in that science and in meteorology, and also, to a lesser degree, in astronomy.

During his years in Mungret College, 1905-15, his theories about earthquakes began to take practical shape. He built a house of solid stone some distance from the main building and in it he continued his study and experiments. His work during those years is well documented in the MUNGRET ANNUAL. However, it was in Rathfarnham Castle during the years 1915 17 that he built his own seismograph and the clock that recorded the time at which an earthquake took place. The famous “O'Leary Seismograph” was the only one of its kind in the world at that time and widespread interest in it was evident in international science circles.

He was on personal friendly terms with Professor John Milne, whose observatory in Shide, the Isle of Wight, he had visited on more than one occasion. Through this contact he acquired the Milne-Shaw seismograph for the station in Rathfarnham Castle. This instrument was not a substitute for Fr O'Leary's one, but both worked in tandem, recording the same earthquake though by different methods. The O'Leary seismograph recorded the quakes on a sheet of smoked paper on a large revolving drum, while the Milne-Shaw instrument recorded them by photography. It was interesting to watch the white lines being traced on the smoked paper as the drum revolved slowly while every minute the two glass pen nibs gave a tiny kick to the right in order to record the time.

Fr O'Leary's work received widespread notice in scientific publications. He was a Feilow of the Royal College of Science, and also a President of the British Astronomical Association. His reputation was so outstanding that when Fr Edward Pigot, SJ died in Australia in 1929, Fr O'Leary was requested to take his place as Director of the Observatory at Riverview College - “one of the highest and most important positions in Australia”. It was there during his early sixties that his work was highly appreciated and where at the same time he had an opportunity to further his own knowledge of astronomy.

Research and experimental work such as was done by Father O'Leary, is a very lonely occupation, and few people outside the researcher's field will manifest much interest. Fr O'Leary was fortunate in the fact that Fr Thomas V Nolan, SJ who was his Rector in Mungret College, appreciated his work and gave him every encouragement and support. Later Fr Nolan was appointed Provincial and in that office continued his sponsorship of Fr O'Leary's work. Providence was again on Fr Willie's side when they were both assigned to Rathfarnham Castle, Fr Nolan being the Rector and again continued to support him, especially in the erection of the seismograph station. He also encouraged Fr Willie to maintain his friendship with Professor Milne and to visit him at his observatory at Shide. Without this support one might be justified in asking if Fr O'Leary's experiments would ever have bome the fruit they eventually did.

In addition to his eminent place in the international community of scientists he was also a gifted preacher. He was much in demand as a retreat director, and was especially skilled in directing retreats to the clergy. His contemporaries found him a most affable companion who gladly shared his knowledge with anyone who manifested even the slightest interest in it. He died in Australia in 1939 in his seventieth year. Present at his funeral two archbishops, three bishops, over two hundred priests, and representatives from various branches of science. A priest who first met him on the ship en route for Australia, on hearing of his death, wrote, “In his passing I have lost a great friend, and Australia has certainly lost an able and scholarly Jesuit and a saintly priest”.

Should the building, which housed his seismograph station in Rathfarnham, ever become a snack-bar, it would certainly be appropriate to have a plaque or other memorial put up there. This would record the significant contribution to science that was made in that building, and would prevent the name and work of this great Jesuit from being forgotten.

I feel it is appropriate to conclude with a personal memory. One morning, midway through the Second World War, Dick MacCarthy and I were working in the seismograph station. Suddenly I noticed that the glass pens on the great revolving drum began to register a quivering motion. I called Dick and, in a matter of seconds, the pens went off in a swaying motion from left to right. We both realised that we were witnessing the great O'Leary seismograph recording an earthquake. Before the pens settled down, Dick had calculated that the epicentre of the earthquake was in the Pacific Ocean. In those days the house telephone was definitely off limits for all of us except Dick, who was allowed to use it for business connected with the station. He telephoned the Dublin newspapers with the news. An hour or so later we both cycled to the university for the morning lectures. Standing at the gates of the building was a newsboy crying out the greatest piece of misinformation ever heard, “Stop press! Stop press! Earthquake at Rathfarnham Castle!” We both had a laugh, and Dick said, “I bet the Rector will blame the pair of us for that”.

During the days of the war when news of any sort was censored and generous blackouts were imposed on any type of information, we were a real sensation among our fellow students for bearing the first bit of uncensored news to reach Dublin that day. Dick, who remained a close friend of mine all his life, died in Hong Kong a couple of years ago.

◆ The Clongownian, 1939


Father William J O’Leary SJ

Father O’Leary was born in Dublin on March 19th, 1869. His father was Dr W O'Leary, a well-known doctor and a Home Rule MP in Isaac Butt's party. Father O'Leary was educated at Tullabeg (1880), but came to Clongowes at the amalgamation for a few months in the summer of 1886 to prepare for the “Autumn Matric”. He was a master at Clongowes 1893-'98, and again in 1903; after his ordination. Practically his whole life was occupied in the teaching of science and mathematics at Clongowes and Mungret, and in the Scholasticates of Rathfarnham and Milltown Park. During his philosophical studies at Louvain he became interested in pendulums, and did some very interesting experiments with compound pendulums, obtaining some beautiful curve records. This interest seems to have been the occasion of his interest in seismology later on. A visit to the observatory of Prof J Milne FRS., at Shide IOW., was the beginning of his work in that departinent. At Mungret he created a seismological and meteorological station which he fitted up with instruments of his own design. During this time he also made observations on high-altitude conditions by means of balloons. He was transferred to Rathfarnham in 1915, where he still further improved his apparatus, Here he designed and constructed one of the instruments still in use in the present station. This instrument is the only one of its kind in existence and gives a very open record. It is of the inverted pendulum type, and the “bob” weighs 1.5 tons! It was designed, constructed all except the “bob” and erected by Father O'Leary himself, who, in addition to his other gifts, was a skilled mechanic. Later on he was professor of Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy to the Jesuit philosophers at Milltown Park.

On the death of Father Pigot SJ, Director of the seismological and astronomical observatory of Riverview College, Sydney, he was appointed as his successor, and went to Australia in 1929. His previous studies and practical experience had fitted him for this position, and enabled him to do splendid work in his new post. Here, in addition to seismology, his work included such branches of astronomy as observations on solar radiation, and on variable stars. It is to be hoped that a full account of his work in Australia will be given us. As an inventor he also designed a method of supplying laboratories not in possession of coal gas, with petrol gas, both for illumination and heating. He published a text-book on mechanics, but, with the exception of the records of his observation, does not seem to have written anything else. Reference must be especially made to an accurate clock which he designed and constructed on principles first applied by him, which was for use in connection with his seismograph. Such a clock is an essential element in the recording of earthquakes, for it is necessary that a mark be made on the chart very accurately every minute. His clock combined the properties of extreme accuracy with the means of recording the minutes on the chart. Referring to this clock, Father D O'Connell SJ, the present director of the Riverview observatory, says that it is a most excellent and original piece of work. Except in the patent specification, the details have never been published. It is to be hoped that this will be included in an account of his scientific work.

But it would be a mistake to allow the record of his work as a scientist to render us oblivious of his other and far inore important qualities. All who knew Father O'Leary as a friend and companion need no reminder of his wonderful charm and gifts of character which made him popular with all. A great love of his country, and a strong sense of humour were characteristic of him. He has a fine voice, and as a preacher he was no less in demand than as a lecturer and giver of retreats. His friends have lost one who will not easily be replaced.

Himself the most unassuming of men, he was honoured by his scientific brethren, no less than he was loved by his brethren in religion. He was a member of the British Association, and more than once was special preacher at their meetings; he was also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and Past President of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association.

His death came suddenly. He had been suffering from his heart, but this did not interfere with his work, and he had been working in the observatory only the night before. An indication of the esteem in which he was held in Australia may be gathered from the press account of his funeral. Archbishop Gilroy presided at the Requiem Mass, at which assisted Archbishop Duhig, and Bishops Coleman, Dwyer and Henscke. In addition, there were 200 of the clergy, as well as representatives of the Catholic educational establishments. A large number of distinguished laymen were also present, including the Attorney-General, members of the University and the president of Astronomical Society and Government Astronomer. RIP

H V Gill SJ


The following appreciation is from the pen of one who for many years taught in the same college as Father Willy :

For many years after his ordination, Father O'Leary taught in Mungret, and for a considerable portion of that period acted as Prefect of Studies. A splendid master, be had the gift of imparting knowledge clearly and of getting the boys thoroughly interested in their work. His subjects were Science, Mathematics and Latin. His lessons in Geometry were particularly fascinating - his own consummate skill in the use of instruments and the beautifully accurate figures which graced his blackboard made his pupils quite enthusiastic in their efforts to imitate and emulate him. He made the dry bones of that subject live -no easy task where boys are concerned.

He was highly popular with all the boys, though he never showed any undue leniency. He was strict, but not severe, just and impartial. All these features were prominent in another sphere of school life; Father O'Leary possessed histrionic talent in a high degree. His production, in conjunction with the late Father Willie Doyle, of the “Mikado” inaugurated the revival of theatricals in Clongowes. In Mungret he staged the “Private Secretary”, a very successful performance, one of many similar triumphs.

In the spiritual sphere he did untold good. He was director of the sodalities, a superb preacher, being a first class orator. Only those who lived with him could appreciate to the full the power of his example. He was popular, as we have said, but he used this as a powerful influence for good.

Boys are proverbially prone to hero worship, and this small, though tremendously strong, straightforward, cheerful and great hearted priest won their affection and admiration. They appreciated his great qualities in life, and we trust they will not forget him in death. Requiescat.

John Casey SJ


Father H V Gill has mentioned above that Father O'Leary had a great love for his country; here is an extract from a letter of Father Willy's to a friend in Ireland, written for the New Year :--

“Dear Ireland, how I wish I could see you again. I am too old to fall in love with strange lands and I love you alone. May God bless every tree and every blade of grass in you, may God bless every mother's son in you, and may God keep the Old Faith in you”.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1937


Father William O’Leary SJ

The death of Father O'Leary in Australia will be deeply regretted by many of his past pupils. An old Mungret boy of Father O'Leary's time there writes to the Editor :

“I was at Mungret for five years, and during all that time Father O'Leary was a master there. He taught us Latin, Religious Knowledge, Mathematics and Science. But he taught us many others things besides these. I don't think there was any master of my time there the boys thought more of, or who had more influence with them. For all his lack of inches - he only looked about 5ft. 4ins, in spite of the black hair brushed straight up from his forehead - he was a most virile personality. I will always carry with me as one of the clearest memories of Mungret the picture of Father O'Leary pacing up and down the stone corridor as we went on our way to Mass, wearing his biretta and with his head sunk on his chest for all the world like Napoleon”.

For a man of his intellectual attainments allied as they were in him with a natural agility of mind and speed of accomplishment - it must have been a heart-breaking task to expound the elements of euclid to a junior grade class not specially gifted above their fellows. Only once in my time did I ever see it overcome him, and that was an occasion that none who saw will ever forget. One day in dealing with a boy whom the Lord never meant to learn euclid, he allowed himself to be betrayed into one or two natural expressions of impatience - just so much and no more. It made no impression on us nor on the boy concerned - we were I fear a thick-skinned lot - but next day when the class began, Father O'Leary called out the boy and apologised to him coram publico in terms which penetrated to our subconscious preceptions far deeper than any sermon. Talking of sermons reminds me that he was the boys' favourite preacher and confessor. He had a deep musical voice and a gift of oratory and also an ability to teach elocution which were all his own. I don't know if elocution is still taught in the schools or if it has been crowded out by the modern programme : to judge by the sort of thing one hears in “talks” from Radio Éireann even from possessors of University Degrees - the art of speaking and reading aloud is a lost one. Anyone who ever was in Father O'Leary's class or in one of his plays learned how to open his mouth and sound his consonants. He used to teach us Byron's poem about the Assyrian coming down like a wolf on the fold - I have every word of it yet - and when you came to the line ‘With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail’ - woe betide you if you put a ‘Jew sitting on the poor man's brow’.

Science was, of course, his first love, but even that gave way before his love for Ireland. To hear him speak of Irish history or to listen to him sing ‘The West's Awake’, as we so often did was to know that the fire that burned in the breast of his distinguished father burned just as fiercely in his own. He must have known when he left Ireland in 1929 that the chances of his ever seeing home again were very small how hard that thought must have been those of us who knew him can well realise. He went like so many other Irishmen - and Mungret men have gone - where duty called him, and if he rests at last far from his own land that he loved so well, there lie around him the bones of many of his kith and kin to foregather at the resurrection. All the boys of his time in Mungret will join with me in a prayer for one than whom no one stood higher in our affections as a priest, a master, or a friend”.

D Gleeson

Pigot, Edward Francis, 1858-1929, Jesuit priest, teacher, astronomer and seismologist

  • IE IJA J/539
  • Person
  • 18 September 1858-22 May 1929

Born: 18 September 1858, Dundrum, Dublin
Entered: 10 June 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899
Professed: 01 March 1901
Died: 22 May 1929, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia

by 1893 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1894 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1895 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1900 at St Joseph, Yang Jin Bang, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1904 in St Ignatius, Riverview, Sydney (HIB)
by 1905 at ZI-KA-WEI Seminary, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1910 in Australia

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online
Pigot, Edward Francis (1858–1929)
by L. A. Drake
L. A. Drake, 'Pigot, Edward Francis (1858–1929)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1988

astronomer; Catholic priest; meteorologist; schoolteacher; seismologist

Died : 22 May 1929, North Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Edward Francis Pigot (1858-1929), Jesuit priest, astronomer and seismologist, was born on 18 September 1858 at Dundrum, near Dublin, son of David Richard Pigot, master of the Court of Exchequer, and his wife Christina, daughter of Sir James Murray, a well-known Dublin physician. Descended from eminent lawyers, Edward was educated at home by tutors and by a governess. The family was very musical and Edward became a fine pianist; he was later complimented by Liszt. He studied arts and medicine at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1879; M.B., B.Ch., 1882) and also attended lectures by the astronomer (Sir) Robert Ball. After experience at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, he set up practice in Dublin.

In June 1885 Pigot entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore, County Down. He began to teach at University College, Dublin, but in 1888, on account of ill health, came to Australia. He taught at St Francis Xavier's College, Melbourne, and from August 1889 at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney. Returning to Europe in 1892 he studied philosophy with French Jesuits exiled in Jersey, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained priest on 31 July 1898. In 1899 he volunteered for the China Mission and was stationed at the world-famous Zi-Ka-Wei Observatory, Shanghai. In 1903, again in poor health, he spent some months working in Melbourne and at Sydney Observatory, and taught for a year at Riverview before returning to Zi-Ka-Wei for three years. Tall and lanky, he came finally to Sydney in 1907, a frail, sick man. He had yet to begin the main work of his life.

On his way back to Australia Pigot visited the Jesuit observatory in Manila: he was beginning to plan an observatory of international standard at Riverview. He began meteorological observations there on 1 January 1908. As terrestrial magnetism could not be studied because of nearby electric trams, he decided to set up a seismological station as the start of the observatory. The Göttingen Academy of Sciences operated the only fully equipped seismological station in the southern hemisphere at Apia, Samoa: a station in eastern Australia would also be favourably situated to observe the frequent earthquakes that occur in the south-west Pacific Ocean. Assisted by the generosity of L. F. Heydon, Pigot ordered a complete set of Wiechert seismographs from Göttingen, and visited the Apia observatory. Riverview College Observatory opened as a seismological station in March 1909. Seismological observations continue to be made there.

A great traveller despite his teaching duties, Pigot visited Bruny Island, Tasmania (1910), the Tonga Islands (1911) and Goondiwindi, Queensland (1922), to observe total solar eclipses; and observatories in Europe in 1911, 1912, 1914 and 1922 and North America in 1919 and 1922. He made observations of earth tides in a mine at Cobar (1913-19), collaborated with Professor L. A. Cotton in measurements of the deflection of the earth's crust as Burrinjuck Dam filled (1914-15) and performed Foucault pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market building, Sydney (1916-17). On 1 September 1923 F. Omori, a leading Japanese seismologist, observed with Pigot a violent earthquake being recorded in the Riverview vault; it turned out to have destroyed Tokyo, with the loss of 140,000 lives.

Fr Pigot was a member of the Australian National Research Council from 1921, president of the State branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923-24 and a council-member of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1921-29. On his way back from the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo (1926), he visited the observatory at Lembang, Java, where he planned a programme of study at Riverview Observatory of variable stars. Between 1925 and 1929 Pigot measured solar radiation at Riverview and Orange, particularly in relation to long-range weather forecasting. He was seeking a site of high elevation above sea-level for this work, when he contracted pneumonia at Mount Canobolas. He died at North Sydney on 22 May 1929 and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery.

Sir Edgeworth David paid tribute to Pigot:
It was not only for his profound learning that scientists revered him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health, he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful manner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of scientific truth. Surely there never was any scientific man so well-beloved as he.

Select Bibliography
Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal, 49 (1915), p 448
Riverview College Observatory Publications, 2 (1940), p 17
S.J. Studies, June 1952, p 189, Sept-Dec 1952, p 323.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Paraphrase/Excerpts from an article published in the “Catholic Press” 30/05/1929
“The late Father Pigott, whose death was announced last week in the ‘Press’, was born at Dundrum Co Dublin 18/09/1858, of a family which gave three generations of judges to the Irish Bench. He himself adopted the medical profession, and having taken his degree at Trinity, he practiced for a few years in Dublin and at Croom, Co Limerick. While studying at Trinity he made his first acquaintance with astronomy, when he heard a course of lectures by the famous Sir Robert Ball, then head of the Observatory at Dunsink, and Astronomer Royal of Ireland.
In 1885 the young Doctor, already noted for his charming gentleness and self-sacrificing charity entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore. he made his first visit to Australia as a Scholastic in 1888, and he taught for four years at Xavier College Kew, and Riverview Sydney. Naturally his department was Science.
In 1892 he was sent to St Helier in Jersey to study Philosophy with the French Jesuits who had been expelled from France. It was here that he began his long battle with frailty and illness, during which he achieved so much for scientific research over his 70 years. He did his Theology at Milltown and was Ordained 1899. Two years later he volunteered to join the French Jesuits in China, and this required of him not only his scientific zeal, but also his spiritual and missionary ones. he did manage to master the Chinese language for his work, and he used to tell amusing stories of his first sermons against himself and his intonations. His health was always threatening to intervene, and so he went to work at the Zi-Kai-Wei Observatory near Shanghai. The work he did here on the Chinese Mission was to reach his fulness in the work he later did over many years in Australia, and where he went to find the climate which suited his health better. He received much training at Zi-Kai-Wei and in photography and study of sunspots at Ze-se, which had a twin 16 inch telescope.
1907 saw him back in Australia and he set about founding the Observatory at Riverview, while teaching Science. By his death, this Observatory had a range and capacity, in terms of sophisticated instruments, which rivalled the best Government-endowed observatories throughout the world. Whilst he had the best of equipment, he lacked the administrative personnel necessary to record all the data he was amassing. His great pride towards the end was in his spectroscope for the work on Solar Radiation where he believed that ‘Long-distance weather forecasts will soon be possible, though not in my time’ (Country Life, 29/04/1929). Current farmers and graziers will owe him a lot in the future.
The scientific work at Riverview has received recognition in Australia. Edward’s interests in the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his experiments in earth tremors at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, geophysics at the Cobar mines, pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Markets of Sydney. In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania, and in 1911 on the ship Encounter a similar trip to the Tongan Islands, and the Goondiwindi Expedition of 1922.
In 1914 he was appointed by the Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St Petersburg, though war cancelled that. In 1921 he was a member of the Australian National Research Council and sent to represent them to Rome at the 1922 first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union and the International Union of Geoditics and Geophysics. He was president of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association, and a member of the Royal Society of NSW. In 1923 the Pan-Pacific Science Congress was held in Australia, and during this Professor Omori of Japan was at Riverview watching the seismometers as they were recording the earthquake of Tokyo, Dr Omori’s home city. In 1926 he went to the same event at Tokyo, and later that year was elected a member of the newly formed International Commission of Research of the Central International Bureau of Seismology.
From an early age he was a passionate lover of music, and this came from his family. he gave long hours to practising the piano when young, and in later life he could play some of the great pieces from memory. He was said to be one of the finest amateur pianists in Australia. It often served as a perfect antidote to a stressful day at the Observatory."

Many warm-hearted and generous tributes to the kindness and charm for Father Pigott’s personal character have been expressed by public and scientific men since his death. Clearly his association with men in all walks of life begot high esteem and sincere friendship. Those who knew him in his private life will always preserve the memory of a kindly, gentle associate, and of a saintly religious.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Pigot's family was of Norman origin and settled in Co Cork. Ireland. The family was a famous legal family in Dublin. He was the grandson of Chief Baron Pigot, son of judge David Pigot, brother of Judge John Pigot. He was the fourth of eight children, and was educated at home by a governess and tutors. The family was very musical, Edward playing the piano.
Pigot went to Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated BA in science in 1879. His mentor at the university in astronomy was Sir Robert Ball, then Royal Astronomer for Ireland and Professor of Astronomy. Pigot then studied medicine and graduated with high distinction in 1882, and after postgraduate studies practiced in Baggot Street, Dublin.
However, Pigot gave up this practice to join the Society of Jesus, 10 June 1885, at the age of 27.
After a short teaching period at University College, Dublin, Pigot was sent to Australia in 1888 because of constant headaches, and he taught physics and physiology principally at St Ignatius College, Riverview, 1890-92. He returned to Europe for further studies, philosophy in Jersey with the French Jesuits, 1892-95, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1898. Tertianship followed immediately at Tullabeg.
At the age of 41 and in ill health, Pigot volunteered for the Chinese Mission in 1899, and was stationed at Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, working on a world famous observatory, where
meteorology, astronomy and terrestrial magnetism were fostered. Pigot specialised in astronomy and also studied Chinese. Like other missionaries of those days, he grew a beard and a pigtail. However, his health deteriorated and he was sent to Australia in 1903 for a few years. He then returned to Shanghai, 1905-07, before returning to Riverview in 1908.
After visiting the Manila Observatory, he formulated plans for starting an observatory at Riverview, an activity that he believed would bring recognition for the excellence in research that he expected at the Riverview observatory He believed that seismology was best suited to the location. Pigot obtained the best equipment available for his work, with the gracious benefaction of the Hon Louis F Heydon, MLC. He personally visited other observatories around the world to gain ideas and experience, as well as attending many international conferences over the years. One result of his visit to Samoa was the building and fittings for the instruments in the half-underground, vaulted, brick building at Riverview. Brs Forster and Girschik performed the work. Some instruments, called the Wiechert Seismographs, came from Germany.
He became a member of the Australian National Research Council at its inception in 1921, and foundation member of the Australian Committee on Astronomy, as well as that on Geodosy and Geophysics. He served on the Council of the Royal Society of NSW, and was President of the British Astronomical Association (NSW Branch), 1923-24.
The upkeep of the Riverview observatory was borne by the Australian Jesuits and Riverview. Family and friends also gave funds for this work. When he died from pneumonia, he left at the Riverview observatory five double-component seismometers, two telescopes fully equipped for visual and photographic work, a wireless installation, clocks specially designed for extreme accuracy, an extensive scientific library, a complete set of meteorological instruments, and a solar radiation station, possessing rare and costly instruments.
Pigot's work at Riverview included working on scientific problems of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, experiments at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, geophysics at the Cobar mines, and pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market Buildings in Sydney In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania. In April 1911 he went with the warship Encounter on a similar expedition to the Tongan Islands in the Pacific, and was prominent in the Goondiwindi Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1922.
Pigot was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St Petersburg in 1914. He was secretary of the seismo-
logical section of the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Sydney, 1923, and in 1926, once more represented the Commonwealth Government as a member of the Australian Delegation at the Pan-Pacific Congress, Tokyo. In 1928 he was elected a member of an International Commission of Research, which was part of the International Bureau of Seismology, centered at Strasbourg.
He was highly esteemed by his colleagues for his friendship, high scholarship, modest and unassuming demeanour, and nobility of character. Upon his death the rector of Riverview received a letter from the acting-premier of New South Wales, describing Pigot as one of the state's “most distinguished citizens”, and Sir Edgeworth David praised his magnetic personality and eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of scientific truth.
Edward Pigot, tall and lanky, frail and often in weak health, was also a fine priest, always helper of the poor, and exemplary in the practice of poverty. He did pastoral work in a quiet way. On his scientific expeditions, he was always willing to help the local clergy and their scattered flocks. He was genuinely modest, humble, and courteous to all. Yet he was naturally a very sensitive and even passionate man, with a temperament that he did not find easy to control. He disagreed strongly with Dr Mannix on the issue of conscription - the Pigots were decidedly Anglo-Irish - and positively refused to entertain the idea of setting up an observatory at Newman under the archbishop's aegis.
His extremely high standards of scientific accuracy and integrity made it difficult for him to find an assistant he could work with, or who could work with him. George Downey, Robert McCarthy, and Wilfred Ryan, all failed to satisfy. However, when he met the young scholastic Daniel O'Connell he found a man after his own heart. When he found death approaching he was afraid, not of death, but because O’Connell was still only a theologian and not ready to take over the observatory. Happily, the Irish province was willing to release his other great friend, William O'Leary to fill the gap.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927
Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

Lavender Bay, Sydney :
Fr. Pigot's great reputation as a seismologist was much increased during the present year by his locating of the Kansu earthquake within a few hours of the first earth tremors. “Where he deserted medicine,” the Herald writes, “that profession lost a brilliant member, but science in general was the gainer. Dr Pigot is one of the world's leading authorities on seismology, and can juggle azimuths and seismometers with uncanny confidence”.

Irish Province News 4th Year No 4 1929

Obituary :
Fr Edward Pigot
Fr Pigot died at Sydney on May 21st. He caught a slight cold which in a few days developed into T. B. pneumonia. He was very frail, and had no reserve of strength left to meet the attack. The Archbishop presided at the Requiem. The Government sent a representative. The papers were all very appreciative.

Fr Pigot was born at Dundrum, Co. Dublin on the 18th September 1858, educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied medicine, and took out his degrees - MB, BCh, in 1882. For the three following years he was on the staff of Baggot St Hospital, Dublin, and was Chemist with his uncle, Sir James Murray, at Murray's Magnesia works. He entered the Society at Loyola House, Dromore, Co. Down on the 10th June 1885. He spent one year at Milltown Park as junior, and then sailed for Australia. One year at Kew as prefect, and three years at Riverview teaching chemistry and physics brought his regency to an end. Fr. Pigot spent three years at Jersey doing philosophy, as many at Milltown at theology, and then went to Tullabeg for his tertianship in 1898. At the and of the year a very big event in his life took place. He applied for and obtained leave to join the Chinese Mission of the Paris province. For a year he worked in the Church of St. Joseph at Yang-King-Pang, and for two more at the Seminary at Zi-Kai-Wei, but the state of his health compelled a rest, and in 1913 we find him once more at Riverview teaching and trying to repair his shattered strength. He seems to have, in some measure, succeeded, for, at the end of the year he returned to his work at Zi-kai-wei. The success however was short lived. He struggled on bravely for three years when broken health and climatic conditions forced him to yield, and he asked to be received back into the Irish Province. We have it on the highest authority that his reasons for seeking the Chinese Mission were so a virtuous and self-denying, that he was heartily welcomed back to his own province. In 1907 he was stationed once more at Riverview, and to that house he belonged up to the time of his happy death in 1929.
It was during these 22 years that Fr. Pigot's greatest work was done - the founding and perfecting of the Riverview Observatory. The story is told by Fr. Dan. O'Connell in the Australian Jesuit Directory of 1927.
Fr. Pigot's first astronomical training was at Dunsink Observatory under the well known astronomer “Sir Robert Ball”. Then, as mentioned above, many years were passed at the Jesuit Observatory at Zi-kai-wei.
For some years previous to his return to Riverview, earthquakes had been receiving more and more attention from scientists, Excellent stations had been established in Europe and Japan, but the lack of news from the Southern Hemisphere greatly hampered the work of experts. It was the very excellent way in which Fr. Pigot supplied this want that has won him a high place amongst the worlds scientists.
Thanks to the kindness of relatives and friends, and to government help, Fr. Pigot was able to set up at Riverview quite a number of the very best and most up-to-date seismometers, some of which were constructed at government workshops under his own personal supervision. At once, as soon as things were ready, Fr Pigot entered into communication with seismological stations all the world over. When his very first bulletins were received in Europe, Riverview was gazetted as a “first-order station”, and the work done there was declared by seismologists everywhere as of first-rate importance. At the time of his death Fr Pigot had established telegraphic communication with the International Seismological Bureau at Strasbourg.
The study of earthquakes was only one of Fr. Pilot's activities, He was able, again through the generosity of his friends, to put up at Riverview, a first class astronomical observatory. It has four distinct lines of research :

  1. The photography of the heavens.
  2. Photographs of sunspots
  3. Study of variable stars.
  4. Micrometre measurements of double stars.
    Fr Pigot also took part ill a number of solar eclipse expeditions to Tasmania in May 1910, in April 1911 to Tonga, and to Goondiwindi in 1922.
    Finally, and perhaps most difficult of all, he established at Riverview a solar radiation station. The object of such a station is to determine the quantity of heat radiated out by the sun. This quantity of heat is not constant, as was thought but variable. The work is expensive, and of a highly specialised nature. It was hoped that in course of time it would have very
    practical results, amongst them being the power of being able to forecast changes in climate and weather over much longer periods than is at present possible. The necessary funds were collected by a Solar Radiation Committee formed at Sydney, Supplemented by a legacy from a relative of Fr Pigot's.
    Fr Pigot's ability as a scientist is shown by the number of important positions he held, and by the number of missions entrusted to him. He was elected President of the N. S. W. branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923 and 1924.
    He was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW for several years. On the occasion of the International Seismological Congress to be held at. St. Petersburg in l914 he was appointed by the Commonwealth Government as delegate to represent Australia. Owing to the war the Congress was not held. It was on this occasion that Fr Pigot was sternly refused permission as a Jesuit to enter Russia. Even the request of the British ambassador at St Petersbourg for a passport was of no avail. It was only through the intercession of Prince Galitzin the leading Seismologist in Russia and a personal friend of the Russian Foreign Minister that the permit was granted.
    He went to Rome in 1922 as delegate from the Australian National Research Council to the first General Assembly of the Astronomical Union.
    He was Secretary of the Seismological Section at the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Australia 1923.
    He was appointed by the Commonwealth Government as one of an official delegation of four which represented Australia at the Pan-Pacific Congress in Tokyo 1926.
    Fr Pigot was a great scientist he was also a fine musician an exquisite pianist and a powerful one. He was said Lo be amongst the finest amateur pianists in Australia. Once during a villa he was playing a piece by one of the old masters. In the same room was a card party intent on their game. Fr Pigot whispered to a friend sitting near the piano “mind the discord
    that's coming”. It came, and with it came howl and a yell from the card players. In the frenzy of the moment no one could tell what was going to come next. But, as Fr Pigot continued to play a soothing bit that followed, a normal state of nerves was restored, and the players settles down to their game.
    He was a great scientist, and a fine musician, but, above all and before all, he was an excellent religious. In the noviceship too much concentration injured his head, and he felt the effects ever afterwards. It affected him during his missionary work and during his own studies. His piety was not of the demonstrative order, but he had got a firm grip of the supernatural, and held it to the cud. He knew the meaning of life, the meaning of eternity and squared his life accordingly.
    His request for a change of province was in no way due to fickleness or inconstancy. He had asked a great grace from Almighty God, a favour on which the dearest wish of his heart was set, and he made a supreme, a heroic sacrifice to obtain it. That gives us the key note to his life, and it shows us the religious man far better than the most eloquent panegyric or the longest list of virtues that adorn religious life could do. Judged by that sacrifice he holds a higher and a nobler place in the world of our Society that that which his genius and unremitting hard work won for him in the world of science.
    A few extracts to show the esteem if which Fr. Pigot was held by externs :
    Father Pigot's death “removes a great figure not only from the Catholic world but also from the world of science. His fame was world-wide. He was one of the worlds' most famous seismologists”.
    “By his death Australian science and the science of seismology have sustained a loss that is almost irreparable. He initiated what now ranks among the very best seismological observatories in the world”.
    “He was able to secure the best instruments for recording the variations in heat transmitted from the sun to the earth for his Solar observatory at Riverview, and to make observations, which science in time will rely upon to put mankind in the possession of long range forecasts as to future rainfall and weather in general”.
    “Dr. Pigot told me that after some years it would be possible to forecast the weather' two seasons ahead”.
    “ Dr. Pigot was one of the brightest examples of simple faith in a Divine purpose pervading all the universe”.
    “It was not only for his profound learning that scientists reverenced him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful manner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the pursuit of scientific truth. Surely there never was any scientific man so well beloved as he”
    “Those who knew him in his private 1ife will always reserve the memory of a kindly, gentle associate, and of a saintly religious”.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary : Fr Edward Pigot
The following items about Fr. Pigot's youth have been kindly supplied by his brother.
“He was born the 18th Sept. 1858 at Meadowbrook, Dundrum, Co. Dublin His first tuition was at the hands of governesses and private tutors, after which he attended for some years a day school kept by H. Tilney-Bassett at 67 Lower Mount St.
Concurrently, under the influence of his music Master, George Sproule, his taste for music began to develop rapidly. Sproule had a great personal liking for him, and took him on a visit to Switzerland. Many years afterwards Fr. Pigot heard that Sproule (who had taken orders in the Church of England) was in Sydney. He rang him up on the telephone, without disclosing identity, and whistled some musical passages well known to both of them. Almost at once Sproule knew and spoke his name.
Even as a schoolboy, I can recall how he impressed me by his superiority, by his even temper, command of himself under provocation, his generosity, his studiousness and his steadiness generally.
He entered Trinity about 1879. In the Medical School, he had the repute of a really serious student. He was especially interested in chemistry and experimental physics. Astronomy was outside his regular course, but I remember visits to Dunsink observatory, His studies seemed to he regulated by clockwork.
Before setting up as a doctor in Upper Baggot Street, he was resident medical attendant at Cork Street Fever Hospital, and the Rotunda Hospital, and at the City of Dublin Hospital. When in private practice at Baggot Street, he was not financially successful. I have the impression that his serious demeanour and grave appearance were against him, But I have better grounds for believing that his work amongst the poor, his unwillingness to charge fees to the needy, operated still more in the same direction. We often heard, but not from him, of his goodness to the poor. This was the time that he announced to us his desire to join the Jesuit Order. May I add that if there was one event in Ned’s life for which I have long felt joy and thankfulness, it was his desire to enter your Order.
Years after he had left Dublin, one of his prescriptions had become locally famous, and was ordered from the chemist as “a bottle of Kate Gallagher, please”, Kate having been one of his poor friends”.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Australia :

Riverview :

In 1923 Fr. Pigot built a Solar Radiation Station at Riverview, and started a programme of research on the heat we receive from the sun. This work has now been finally wound up. The valuable instruments, which are the property of the Solar Radiation Committee, were offered on loan to Commonwealth Solar Observatory, Mt. Strombo, Canberra. The offer was accepted and the instruments were sent by lorry to Mt. Strombo on February 7th. The results of the work have been prepared for publication and are now being printed. This will be the first astronomical publication to be issued by the Observatory since December 1939. Shortage of staff and pressure of other work during the war were responsible for interrupting that branch of our activities. Another number of our astronomical publications is now ready and about to be sent to the printer. We have started a new series of publications: Riverview College Observatory Geophysical Papers." The first three numbers are now being printed and will be sent to all seismological Observatories and to those scientists who may be interested.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Edward Pigott 1859-1929
Fr Edward Pigott was born in Dundrum Dublin on September 18th 1858, of a family which gave three generations to the Irish Bench. Edward himself became a Doctor of Medicine, taking a degree at Trinity College, and practising first in Dublin, then in Croom County Limerick. In 1885, the young doctor entered the Society at Dromore, and made his first visit to Australia in 1888, where he spent four years teaching at Xavier College.

Ordained in 1899, two years later he volunteered for the Chinese Mission. He learned the Chinese language in preparation for his work, and for a while tested the hardships of active service with the French Fathers of the Society. He used recall afterwards with a wry smile his efforts to preach in Chinese, and how he hardly avoided the pitfalls on Chinese intimation. I;; health, which dogged him all his life, sent him to the less arduous work of Assistant at Zi-Kai-Wei Observatory, near Shanghai. This was the beginning of his brilliant career as an astronomer.

After six years in Shanghai, during which he mastered his science, he returned to Australia in 1907 and started the Observatory at Riverview. He started with a small telescope and a few elementary instruments for recording weather changes, and finally made of Riverview, one of the leading Observatories of the world. Honours and distinctions were showered on him. He was appointed by the Government to represent Australia at St Petersburg in 1914, in Rome in 1922, at the International Astronomical Union, and the Pan Pacific Science Congress in 1923, held in Australia.

In spite of his prominence in the scientific world, Fr Pigott remained always to his brethren a kindly and gentle associate and a saintly religious.

He died on May 22nd 1929, aged 70 years, battling with ill health all his life. A strong spirit housed in a frail body.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1912

Father Pigot’s Return

On April 11th, the Community and boys went down to the College Wharf to welconie Father Pigot SJ, back to Riverview, after his extended tour through Europe. He had been absent about seven months, and during that time visited most of the leading seismological observatories on the Continent and in the British Isles. He had purposed visiting also some other observatories in the United States, Canada and Japan, on his return journey to Sydney; but a severe attack of pleurisy in Italy, during the trying mid-winter season, obliged him to hasten back to the warm Australian climate, without even being able to accept the kind invitation of Prince Galitzin to spend a few days as his guest at St Petersburg. All have heard of Father Pigot's application to the Foreign Office, London (on hearing accidentally, a day or two before, of the existence of a Russian law prohibiting members of the Jesuit Order. from entering Russia) to obtain from the Russian Government the necessary permission, in view of a short visit to Prince Galitzin's Seismological Observatory at Pulkovo. The request of the Foreign Office was refused, as everyone knows, but apparently the sequel of the story is not so generally known.

It was during liis stay at Potsdam (Berlin) that Father Pigot received the unfavourable reply from Westminster. He at once acquainted Prince Galitzin with the refusal, whereupon the distinguished seismologist made a strong representation, resulting in his Government inimediately withdrawing the prohibition. His kind letter to Father Pigot acquainting him with the Russian Government's concession, and a formal communication to the same effect from the British Foreign Office, arrived during Father Pigot's convalescence, but a delay in Europe of three months would have been necessary to allow the severe winter in St. Petersburg to pass before he could, without risk of relapse, have availed himself of the concession and kind invitation.

Father Pigot has asked us to record his deep feeling of appreciation of the cordial greetings of the Community and boys, when they most kindly came down to welcome him at the wharf,

We give a photograph of Father Pigot, and another of a group of distinguished seismologists assembled together from various parts of the world, at Manchester, for the International Seismological Congress (1911).

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1922

Fr Pigot’s Visit to Europe : The InternationalAstronomical Union - First General Assembly, Rome, May 1922

The First General Assembly of the Inter national Astronomical Union commenced its deliberations in May this year, in the Academy of Science (the old Corsini Palace), at Rome. That Australia in union with the other nations, might be represented at the two main conferences (Astronomy, and Geodesy and Geophysics), the Commonwealth Government having paid the necessary subscriptions, three delegates - Dr T M Baldwin (Government Astronomer for Victoria), Mr G F Dodwell (Government Astronomer for South Australia), and Father Pigot represented the Australian National Research Council at the General Assembly.

The purpose of the Union, as set forth in this report, is - (I) “To facilitate the relations between astronomers of different countries where international co-operation is neces sary or useful; and, (2) To promote the study of astronomy in all its departments”. Each country adhering to the Union has its own National Research Council, which forms the National Committee for the promotion and co-ordination of astronomical work iul the respective countries, especially regard ing their international requirements. The countries at present adhering to the Union are Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czecho-Slovakia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, · Itály, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and the United States.
When Father Pigot left us suddenly in March, we felt that indeed there must be “something on” in the scientific world to draw him away at short notice from his beloved observatory. But the meetings of the Astronoinical Union, despite their international importance, were not his only objective. His itinerary, as we shall see, was a long one, and one of his chief aims while in Europe and America, was to inspect the principal Astronomical, Seismological and Solar Radiation observatories, and to get in personal touch with the foremost scientists. of the northern hemisphere.

Upon arrival in Europe he spent some time, successively, in the observatories of Marseilles, Nice, Geneva, and Zurich, In April he attended the Seismological Congress at Strasbourg, and then went on to Rome, taking in on his way, the Arcetri Observatory at Florence (situated, by the way, a stone's-throw from Galileo's house). While in Rome at the Conferences of the Astronomical and Geophysical Unions, he was, of course, in constant touch with Father Hagen S J, the Director of the Vatican Observatory, and though he does not say so, we may well imagine that his feelings were not untinged with sadness as he ascended the great staircase of the Government Observatory-the great Roman College of the Jesuit Order, before a Ministry more sectarian than honest usurped it.

Before the Conferences of the General Assembly were over, the delegates were in vited by His Holiness the Pope to a special audience in the Throne Room of the Vatican. It was accepted by all. Before congratu lating themselves on the splendid success of their meetings, His Holiness spent some time in chatting freely with most of those present, shook hands with them all, and be fore their departure, had a photo taken by the Papal photographer in the Court of St. Damasus.

The Roman Conferences over, Father Pigot lost no time in getting on his way. His first call was at the Geophysical Institute of Göttingen. Then on to Munich, and to Davos Platz for a private meeting on Sky and Solar Radiation with Dr Dorno (Head of Davos Observatory), Professor Maurer (Head of the Swiss Weather Bureau), and Professor Kimball (of the Solar Radiation Station of the Washington Weather Bureau).

The Paris Observatory - one of the largest in Europe - came next, and after spending some time here, he went on to the Royal Observatory at Brussels. Before leaving Beigium, he had time to run down to the Jesuit Observatory at Valkenberg, near the Dutch frontier, after which he returned to Greenwich. At a dinner of the Royal Astronomical Society, at which nine of the delegates were entertained, Father Pigot's health was proposed by Father Cortie SJ, of the Stonyhurst Observatory.

After a brief visit to Ireland, Father Pigot started out on his return journey, via America. One of his first visits on the other side was to the Jesuit Seismological Observatory at Georgetown University, Washington. While in the Capital, he spent some time at the Carnegie Observatory (Terrestrial Magnetisın), the Weather Bureau Solar Radiation Station, the Astro-physical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institute (where he renewed acquaintance with a valued friend, Dr Abbot, the President), the Bureau of Standards, and the Office of the Geodetic Survey. He was much impressed, as in 1919, with the up-to-date appliances of the Americans, and with the thoroughness of their scientific work.

Leaving Washington, he called at The Observatory of Harvard University (Boston, Mass.), and at the University of Detroit, where he found Professor Hussey, who knows Riverview well and has been in Australia more than once on scientific work. Yerkes Observatory, near Chicago, where is installed the largest Refractor in the world, claimed him next, after which he proceeded to the famous Mt Wilson Observatory at Pasadena (near Los Angeles, Col.). Here Father Pigot was in his element, for it is with Dr. Abbott, more especially than any one else, that he has discussed the details of the projected Solar Radiation Observatory at Riverview, and from him received the most valuable assistance.

Passing on to the Lick Observatory (Mt Hamilton, N Cal), he just missed Professor Campbell, who had left for Australia four days before as a member of the Wallal (WA) Eclipse Expedition. Professor Tucker, however, the locuin tenens, showed hiin every kindness.

Father Pigot's final visit before embarking for Australia was to the Canadian Government Observatory (Victoria, BC), which possesses the most powerful telescope in the British Empire (73in. Reflector). In the realm of instrumental astronomy Canada has outstripped all the other Dominions, and even the Mother Country herself.

It is superfluous to emphasise the im tiense value Father Pigot derived from his visits to the leading scientific men of the world, picking up hints, seeing new methods, and the most modern appliances for the subject nearest and dearest to his heart.

That the Riverview Observatory will gain by his experiences, and that the new Solat Radiation Observatory will receive a new fillip, goes without saying:

◆ Our Alma Mater Riverview 1929


Edward F Pigot

Father Pigot was born at Dundrum, County Dublin, on September 18, 1858. He adopted the medical profession, and practised for a few years in Dublin. In 1885 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore, County Down. He made his first visit to Australia as a Jesuit scholastic in 1888, and taught for four years at Xavier College, Melbourne, and St Ignatius' College, Sydney. Naturally, his department was science. He completed his theological studies in Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained in the summer of 1899. Two years later he volunteered for the arduous China Mission, where the French Fathers of the Society of Jesus were endeavouring to Christianise the vast pagan kingdom - an act revealing fires of missionary zeal and personal devotion probably unsuspected by those who knew only the retiring scientist and scholar of later years. His sacrifice was accepted, and recompensed in a striking manner. He did, indeed, master the Chinese language in preparation for missionary labours, and for a while tasted the hardships of active service.

He returned to Australia in 1907, and immediately set about founding an observatory at Riverview, while teaching science on the college staff. When death called him he had gathered at Riverview five double-component seismometers, two telescopes fully equipped for visual and photographic work, a wireless installation, clocks specially designed for extreme accuracy, an extensive scientific library, a complete set of meteorological instruments, and what he most valued in his later years, a solar radiation, station, possessing rare and costly instruments, such as are possessed by only a few other, and these Government-endowed, stations throughout the world.

Fr. Pigot's in terest in the scientific problems of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his experiments at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, in geophysics at the Cobar mines and elsewhere, his pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market Buildings in Sydney, are well known. In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania; in April, 1911, he went with the warship Encounter on a similar expedition to the Tongan Islands in the Pacific, and was prominent in the Goondi windi Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1922.

Father Pigot was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St. Petersburg in 1914. The outbreak of war prevented the Congress being held. In 1921 he was chosen as a member of the Australian National Research Council, and in 1922 went to Rome as its representative at the first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union, and of the International Union of Geodetics and Geophysics. He was elected President of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923 and 1924. For many years he was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW.

At the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, held in Australia in 1923, Father Pigot was secretary of the seismological section. In 1926 Father Pigot was once more chosen by the Commonwealth Government as a member of the Australian Delegation at the Pan-Pacific Congress, held in Tokyo, in October, 1926. In December of last year he received word from the secretary of the Central International Bureau of Seismology, Strasburg, that he had been elected member of an International Commission of Research, formed a short time previously at a congress held in Prague, Czecho-Slovakia.

Many warm-hearted and generous tri butes to the kindliness and charm of Father Pigot's personal character have been expressed by public and scientific men since his death. Clearly his associa tion with men in all walks of life begot high esteem and sincere friendship. Those who knew him in his private life will always preserve the memory of a kindly, geritle associate, and of a saintly religious. RIP


The Solemn Office and Requiem Mass were celebrated at St Mary's North Sydney in the presence of a large congregation. His Grace the Archbishop presided, and preached the panegyric, and a very large number of the priests of the Diocese were present. Representatives of all classes were amongst the congregation, as may be seen from the list, which we cull from the “Catholic Press”.

The Government was represented by Mr J Ryan, MLC, and the Premier's Department by Messrs. F C G Tremlett and C H Hay. Other mourners included Professor Sir Edgeworth David, Professor C E Fawcitt (Dean of the Fa ulty of Science in Sydney University), Professor H G Chapman, Professor L A Cotton (president of the Royal Society of NSW), Professor T G . Osborn (chairman of the executive committee of the Australian National Research Council), Dr and Mrs Conrick, Dr P Murray, Dr Noble, Dr Murray Curtis, Dr H Daly, Dr Armit, Dr G H McElhone, Dr Wardlaw (president of the Linnean Society), Dr Robert Noble, Dr James Hughes, Messrs Cecil O'Dea, M J Mc Grath, H W and J N Lenehan, Austin Callachor (St Aloysius' Old Boys' Union), J Boylan (St Ignatius' Old Boys' Union), K Ryan, J Hayes, I Bryant, G E Bryant, K Young, R W Challinor (Sydney Technical College), James Nangle (Government Astronomer), O J Lawler, V J Evans, K E Finn, F W Brennan, J and I McDonnell, J Burfitt, and W S Gale, E Wunderlich, Dr Bradfield, Messrs L Campbell, L Bridge jun, Harold Healy, J Edmunds, E P Hollingdale, T Thyne, H Tricker (German Consul, representing the German Scientific Societies), W H Paradice, J. J. Richardson, W Poole (representing the Council of the Royal Society), K M Burgraaff (German Geographical Survey), E W Esdaile, A P Mackerras, E Gardiner, F S Manse (Under-Setretary for Mines), E C Andrews (Mines Department), W S Dun (Geological Survey), E H Matthews, F K Du Boise, Herbert Brown, R H Bulkeley, FRAS, M B Young, O S Cleary.

Letters of condolence were received from the following :The Old Boys' Union, NSW Chamber of Agriculture, The Shires Association of NSW, Dr C J Prescott (Headmaster, Newington Coll ege), Lane Cove Municipal Council, British Astronomical Association (NSW Branch), Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Chemical Society of the Sydney Technical College, the Royal Society of New South Wales, The Hon Sir Norman Kater, Kt, MLC, and many others.

The following letter was received from: the New South Wales Cabinet:

Premier's Office, Sydney, N.S.W.
22nd May, 1929.
Dear Sir,
At a meeting of the Cabinet this morning mention was made of the sad loss this State has sustained in the death of Reverend Father Pigot, one of its most distinguished citizens. I was invited by my colleagues to convey to you, as Principal of the eminent educational establishment, with which Father Pigot had the honour to be associated, an. expression of the deepest sympathy from the Members of the New South Wales Ministry.

The memory of Father Pigot, who was a per sonal friend of many of us, will be kept ever green by reason of his high scholastic and scien tific attainments, modest and unassuming demean our, and ni sy of character.
Yours faithfully,

Acting Premier,

The Rev Father Lockington SJ, StIgnatius' College, Professor

H, H. Turner, of the British Association and the International Seismological Summary, speaks of “the splendid work done by Father Pigot in seismology; Riverview has been for many years our standby in the discussion of earthquakes near Australia”.

Professor Sir Edgeworth David, quoted in the “Catholic Press”, writes:

“By his death Australian science and the science of seismology have sustained a loss that is almost irreparable. He initiated what now ranks among the very best seismological observatories in the world. He was able to secure the best in struments for recording the variations in heat transmitted from the sun to the earth for his solar observatory at Riverview, and to make observa- . tions. This science in time we will rely upon to put mankind in possession of long range forecasts as to future rainfall and weather in general.

He was well known to all leading physicists and astronomers, and entirely because of his great reputation the University of Sydney was able to borrow for a period of six years some extremely valuable pendulums from Germany for measuring small displacements of the earth's crust at the great reservoir at Burrenjuck.

It was not only for his profound learning that scientists reverenced him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health, he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful man ner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of seien tific truth. Surely there. never was any scientific man so well beloved as he”.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

The New Seismographs at Riverview

That Seismology, and especially Seismographs, are in the air at pres ent, there can be no doubt. We have recently experienced in Sydney such a series of earthquake tremors, some of which have been usually large, and all coming on top of one another, as it were, that the subject was a common topic of conversation for several weeks. But the greatest interest centred not so much on the earthquakes as on the Riverview Seismograph that recorded them. When, a few weeks ago, the papers announced that a big and destructive earthquake had occurred so many thousands of miles away, "A big earthquake somewhere," one Melbourne Daily headed the re port-the safe announcement following that it was possibly in the sea somewhere, did much, we are sure, to nullify any exciting effect the tid ings might have had on even unsceptical readers. The news two days later, however, that a severe earthquake had taken place in Sumatra, and that 250 people had been killed, made the Riverview Seismograph not only known, but famous. With Father Pigot's permission (or, shall I say, with out Father Pigot's permission?) I purpose giving a short account of the Seismographs to accompany our illustrations,

The idea, as a mere remote possibility, of starting a Seismographical Observatory at Riverview, occurred to Father Pigot a few years ago at Zi ka-wei (Shanghai), just when leaving for Australia, where he was oblijed by ill-health to return, and received a fresh impetus when he was passing through Manilla on the voyage south. The splendid seismographical work done by the Fathers for many years at these two great Jesuit Observator ies of the Far East (not to speak of all that they have achieved in their other departments, viz., Meteorology, Terrestrial Magnetism, and Astro nomy, above all, of the tens of thousands of lives saved by their typhoon warnings during the last thirty years), was a sufficient incentive to Fr Pigot, who had been on the staff of the former Observatory for some time, to attempt a small beginning of at least one branch of similar high class work in Australia. No doubt excellent records had been obtained for several years in Australia and New Zealand by the well-known instrument of the veteran Seismologist, Professor Milne; but it was interesting to see what results would be obtained by a more modern type of Seismograph of one or other of the recent German models. Those of Professor Wiechert, of Gottingen University, were decided upon, if funds would per mit. The decision was most unexpectedly confirmed by the arrival in Syd ney shortly after, on his way home to Germany, at the expiration of his term of office as Director of the Samoa Observatory, of Dr Linke, who showed his Wiechert earthquake records to Father Pigot, at Riverview. Dr Linke, who now, by the way, is Director of the Geophysical Institute in Frankfort (Germany), has since taken the kindliest interest in our embryo Observatory.

But where was all the necessary money to come from? Needless to say, a lot of expense was involved. As two of the principal instruments are now installed, we may say that nearly the whole of the expense of the larger (horizontal) Seismograph was defrayed by our kind and generous friend and neighbour, the Hon Louis F Heydon, MLC - a man whose charity is equalled only by his love of learning and scientific progress ad majorem Dei gloriam. To the Hon Mr Heydon, therefore, for the great pioneer part he played in giving Seismology a foothold in Riverview, not Father Pigot's alone, but Riverview's warmest thanks are due. But though Seismology has certainly got a foothold in Riverview, it must be remembered that at present our Observatory is only in an embryonic con dition. Space has been provided in the building for other Geophysical re search work, to be carried out later on, when, like the Hon. Mr. Heydon, other lovers of scientific research shall have recognised in the Riverview Observatory, a work deserving of their patronage and generosity.

In July, 1908, Father Pigot paid a visit of three weeks to Samoa, where, through the kindness and courtesy of the Director of the Observa tory, Dr. Angenheister, and his assistants, he was able to study the con struction and working of the various instruments, the methods for the reduction of the records, etc. On his return, he set about erecting the building and fittings for the instruments the half-underground, vaulted, brick building (not as yet covered with its protecting mantle for tem perature), and woodwork fittings. These were admirably constructed respectively by Brother Forster SJ, and Brother Girschik SJ, with their usual indefatigable care. In the early autumn the instruments arrived from Germany, and soon afterwards they were recording tremors and earthquakes. The instruments are amongst the most modern in use at the present day, and are known as the Wiechert Seismographs or Seis mometers, named from their designer, Professor Wiechert. Until quite recently they were not numerous, being confined, with the exception of the Samoa instrument, to European Observatories. Now, however, they are being installed in various regions of the globe. The extreme delicacy of the instruments is almost incredible; an unusual weight on the floor of the Observatory (a party of visitors, for example), even at some dis tance from the instruments, would be sufficient to cause serious derange ment of the recording pens; the ocean waves dashing on the coast six miles away on a rough day are frequently recorded. It is in this extreme delicacy that the value (and, incidentally, the trouble) of the instruments consists. As a consequence they demand the most careful handling, and almost constant attention.

There are two instruments: a Horizontal Seismograph and a Vertical Seismograph, to receive, as the names suggest, the horizontal part (or component, as the scientists call it), and the vertical part respectively of the earth-waves set up by any seismic disturbance. The Horizontal Seismo graph, however, consists practically of two Seismographs in as much as it separates the waves it receives into two directions; NS and EW, giving a separate record for each, as may be seen from the two recording rolls hang ing down in front.

The horizontal is an inverted pendulum whose bob is a large iron cylindrical (or drum-shaped) mass of 1000 kilograms, or a little over a ton weight. This mass is supported on a pedestal which is poised on four springs set on a large concrete pillar built on the solid rock, and separated from the surrounding floor by an air-gap one inch wide. When an earth quake occurs in any place, that place becomes the centre from which earth waves travel in all directions, through the earth and round the earth (surface waves). These waves on reaching Riverview disturb our concrete pillar, and set the pendulum in motion. The iron mass is reduced to a "stable equilibrium” by a system of springs, so that when the base is disturbed, the large mass will not fall over, but will oscillate or swing backwards and for wards till it comes to rest again. Now, a very ingenious air-damping arrangement (the two drum-like structures over the mass) destroys the oscillation or swing set up in the mass by the first wave, so that the second and third and succeeding earth-waves will not be affected by the oscillation of the mass itself, but each wave, no matter how quickly it comes after the others, will have its own effect on the mass. Consider, for illustration sake, one of those now-antiquated punching-ball apparatus that consist of a heavy leaden circular base, into the middle of which is inserted a stout four or five-foot cane, on the top of which is fixed the punching ball. When you punch this ball it and the cane oscillate, or swing backwards and forwards (the heavy base remaining stationary). If you determine to hit out at this ball at a fixed rate, say thirty punches a minute, you cannot be certain that every blow will have its full effect on the ball-in many cases you may not hit the ball at all. But if you contrive to make the ball stationary, so that it keeps still, or moves very little, when you punch it, every punch, no mat ter at what rate you punch it, will catch the ball and have its full effect upon it. In somewhat the same way our large iron mass is kept as station ary as possible, by the damping cylinders, while each earth-wave has its full effect upon it. This effect is received by the arrangement of levers above the mass, and magnified enormously, which magnified effect is traced by the recording stylus or pen--a tiny platinum pin-on the smoked re cording roll of paper, Waves coming in a N or S direction are recorded on one of the rolls; those in an E or W direction are recorded on the other, while waves coming in any other direction are recorded on both.

The Vertical Wiechert Seismograph is a Lever-Pendulum, consisting of an iron mass of 160lbs. weight at the end of an arm (under the wooden temperature-insulation box), and a spiral spring (enclosed in the box) be tween the weight and the fulcrum, the weight and the spring keeping the arm of the lever in equilibrium. Hence this pendulum can move only up and down, only by the vertical part of the earth-waves. The effect, as before, is highly magnified and recorded by the stylus. The damping (drum-like) arrangement in this instrument is seen at the left-hand back corner of the table. The temperature-insulation box is simply a double-walled wooden jacket packed with carbon, to protect the spiral, as well as a zinc-steel grid iron compensation, from change of temperature. One of the greatest diffi culties with these instruments is keeping the instrument room at the same temperature always. For this reason the brick building is not yet nearly completed, as it will have to be covered by a thick layer of protecting material, which will finally have to be covered by a proper roofing. Again, scientifically inclined and generously disposed friends, please note!

To lessen any disturbance from the room itself (visitors, etc.) the floor of the building is covered with sand to the depth of a few inches, and in the case of the Horizontal, an air gap to the depth of a few feet sepa rates the instrument from the surrounding floor.

The records, which are changed every twenty-four hours, are traced on specially-prepared smoked paper, and can be fixed at once with a suitable varnish. On the instruments, the records are stretched by drums which, by a very nice clock-work device (c.f, weight and escapement) are rotated once every hour, and moved to the right at the same time. Fur thermore, by an ingenious electro-magnetic contrivance connected with a Wiechert contact-clock (seen with the Vertical Seismograph), the hours and minutes are accurately recorded on the earthquake tracing itself, and not at the side. Consequently, the exact second almost at which a distur bance begins is known. The rate of tracing is about fourteen millimetres per minute for the Horizontal, and ten millimetres per minute for the Vertical Seismograph.

To the uninitiated, at least, the results in the matter of records are really marvellous. They are worth the trouble they entail, and they do en tail lots of trouble. So far, there have been records of at least four con siderable earthquakes (one of which has been already identified), as well as eight or nine smaller ones. Some of these have probably been subma rine, and can be localised when reports come in from other distant Obser vatories. There is one more point to be treated in this rather crude explanation, and it will explain the last sentence. How is the distance of the earthquake ascertained? Well, in a large seismic disturbance, if situ ated at a considerable distance, preliminary earth tremors or short waves precede the long earthquake-waves. The distance of the centre of the dis turbance (which usually lasts for an hour or two) can be calculated from the time elapsing between the first preliminary tremors, and the beginn ing of the long waves. Consequently when three Observatories sufficiently distant and suitably situated calculate the distance of a particular shock, say, in mid-ocean, the actual centre can be found by simple geometry.

I have tried to give a simple, straightforward, unscientific explanation of the instruments, without going into more detail than was absolutely necessary. In fact, it would be unwise to go into much detail, for, if I did, I should probably become helpless very soon, and should require a kind and helping hand from Father Pigot to extricate me. But the calculations in volved are terrific—a fact that will appear plausible when we say (I have it on Father Pigot's word) that the pressure of the stylus on the record, equivalent to a weight of one milligram, must be allowed for in the reductions of the observations.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1902

Letters from Our Past

Father Edward Pigot SJ


Father Pigot SJ, whom our past students of late years will remember, writes from the Shanghai district: to somewhat the same purport :

“Oh, if we only had a few thorough-going Irish priests here, how many more poor Chinese could be received into the Church! In some parts, as in the North, and in Father Perrin's section, one priest more would nean the certain conversion of hundreds and hundreds of Pagans. But Father Superior is at the end of his tether and can not send any more men just now; for the Christian villages around here cannot be left without their missionaries”.

In another letter, dated October of present year, Father Pigott writes :

“Here in our mission, as indeed throughout nearly the whale of China, things are quiet enough : how long it will last I do not know, The Boxers have lately broken out again in the south-west. We had many deaths this past year among our missionaries, and are badly in want of men, especially in the newly opened up districts in the north and in parts of the west of our mission. I send you the lately published yearly “Resumé” of the Kiang Nan. It is, above all, in the Sin-tchcou-fou (Western) Section that the greatest movement of conversion has taken place recently among the people whole villages sometimes asking to be received for instruction for baptism. But how receive them? The means are wanting - above all men. If Fathe

Shee, Thomas Patrick, 1673-1735, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2115
  • Person
  • 16 September 1673-01 January 1735

Born: 16 September 1673, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 02 october1692, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 14 April 1705, Collegium Buntruti, Porrentruy, Switzerland
Final Vows: 02 February 1708 Ensisheim
Died: 01 January 1735, Irish College, Poitiers, France - Aquitaniae Province (AQUIT)

Taught Humanities and Rhetoric. Talent and proficiency above mediocrity. Capable of teaching, of Mission work, of being Superior.
1714 Teaching at College of Sées CAMP
1714-1722 At Episcopal University Strasbourg teaching Humanities, Philosophy and Theology and was an MA
1723 CAMP Catalogue “de Schée” at Bar-le-duc College teaching. On Mission 1 year
1724-1732 Rector of Irish College Poitiers
1733-1735 AT Irish College Poitiers in infirm health

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1728 Rector and Procurator at Irish College Poitiers
His name was O’Shee, perhaps he is the Capt Thomas Shee of Butler’s infantry, who imitated the example of Captain Clinch - that Captain was from Kilkenny and was attainted c 1716

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had begun Priestly studies, probably at Paris before Ent 02 October 1692 Paris
1694-1695 After First Vows he did a year of Rhetoric at Paris
1695-1697 He was sent to CAMP for Philosophy to Pont-à-Mousson
1697-1702 He then spent seven years of Regency teaching Rhetoric at Charleville and Chaumont
1702-1705 He was then sent to Rheims for Theology and he was Ordained there 14 April 1705
1706-1714 His ability in Philosophy and Theology was noted, and so he taught Philosophy for eight years in various Colleges ending at Dijon.
1714-1723 Sent From Dijon to take a Chair in Moral Theology at Strasbourg. In the last year he was also Spiritual Father.
1723-1732 He was sent to the Irish College Poitiers, and became Rector in 1724. Because of earlier mismanagement, the finances of the Colleges were in a chaotic state, but Thomas managed to keep the College in existence and was even able to carry out improvements to the buildings. He remained at Poitiers after finishing as Rector and he died there 01 January 1735

Thaly, Hugh, 1639-1711, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2180
  • Person
  • 10 November 1638-18 September 1711

Born: 10 November 1638, Kilmore, County Cavan
Entered: 20 September 1659, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 12 March 1671, Pont-à-Mousson, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1677
Died: 18 September 1711, Irish College, Poitiers, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)

Alias Johnson

1662-1664 At Pont-á-Mousson studying Logic and Physics
1664-1666 At Charlevile College teaching
1666-1667 At Langres College
1667-1668 At Dijon College teaching
1668-1672 At Pont-à-Mousson Studying Theology and then teaching and Prefect of Physicists, later Seminarians
1672 At Rheims College CAMP teaching Humanities and Rhetoric. Good teacher and fit for teaching and Mission
1699 Came to Poitiers and remained. Minister, Rector (1700-1705)
1708 Catalogue Strength good considering his age, but is wholly blind
In Convent OSF at Waterford there is a book with “Resid New Ross ex domo, Rev Hugionis Thalii”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
“Insignis juventutis instructor” up to his old age; Professor of Belles-lettres, Rhetoric and Philosophy for twenty-five years
Rector of Poitiers and Drogheda; Served two years in hospitals
1683 In Dublin
1686 In Drogheda
1708 In Poitiers
He was totally blind for the last eight years of his life; Twenty-four years in Ireland, and some years in Scotland; A holy man (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan :
1661-1664 After First Vows was sent to Pont-à-Mousson for Philosophy.
1664-1648 He spent four years Regency at Charleville, Langres and Divonne.
1648-1671 He then returned to Pont-à-Mousson for Theology and was Ordained there 12 March 1671
1672-1673 Made Tertianship at Nancy
1673-1676 Sent to Ireland and Drogheda
1676-1677 He was then sent to France, to the newly founded Irish College of Poitiers, but seems to have quarrelled there with the Rector, Ignatius Browne over the administration of the College, and was recalled to Ireland by the Mission Superior William O’Rian the following year.
1677 Sent to work at Dublin Residence.
1678 During the Oates's Plot he was living outside Dublin. The General was not happy about Thaly remaining on the Mission and, on the suggestion of O’Rian, himself exiled in Poitiers, the General recalled him to France but Thaly managed to evade the order until the General's death, in spite of many expressed wished by the Mission Consultors. The cause of the difficulties are not clear, though it can be assumed that he was seen as something of a trouble maker, and that some of the difficulties in the early days at Poitiers had been attributed to him. It is thought that he was being sent to CAMP to have some time to reflect.
The new General left him undisturbed, after a suitable caution, and Thaly proved himself a resourceful organiser at the School and Residence of Drogheda, including managing to get a suitable building for an oratory.
During the short lived reign of James II, he began to dabble a little in politics. He got himself into trouble over the as one of the chief witnesses of the Chief Revenue Commissioner, Thomas Sheridan, who had been accused of corruption. Sheridan’s allies suggested that Thaly was merely a “job-hunter” for his own family and friends.
At the same time, he managed to get the General to appoint a French Jesuit as Chaplain to the Viceroy, and when he did not turn up, Thaly installed himself as Viceregal Chaplain in Dublin Castle. The General became very concerned by Thaly’s behaviour, especially his part in the Sheridan case,, and the Mission Superior was instructed that Thaly should never again be allowed to live in Dublin.
So he went to work in Drogheda, but served as a Chaplain at the Siege of Limerick. After the Williamite victory, he was forced to seek shelter in Dublin, where he exercised his ministry under the name “Johnson” until 1699, when he was captured and deported to France.
1700-1705 Rector at Irish College Poitiers. During his administration were sown the seeds of future disputes between the Irish Mission and the College over the funds which supported the College but in part belonged to the Mission. He died at Poitiers 18 September 1711

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Hugh Thaly 1638-1711
Fr Hugh Thaly was a great scholar and instructor of youth in Dublin and elsewhere, was born about 1638 and died at Poitiers on September 18th 1711.

He laboured on the Irish Mission for 24 years and for some time also in Scotland. During the last eight years of his life, like the good Tobias, he was totally blind, and exhibited, as he died, the most perfect patience and resignation.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
THALY,HUGH. This polite scholar and excellent instructor of youth, died in the Irish College of Poitiers, on the 18th of September, 1711, aet. 73. He had laboured in the Irish Mission for 24 years, and for some time had been employed in the vineyard of Scotland. For the last eight years of his life, God was pleased to visit him with total blindness; but, like another Tobias, he exhibited perfect patience and resignation.