Item 1 - Notes on the Irish College by P. Edm. Hogan S.J.

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Notes on the Irish College by P. Edm. Hogan S.J.


  • [1880]-[1910] (Creation)

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(23 January 1831-26 November 1917)

Biographical history

Born: 23 January 1831, Clonmel, Cobh, County Cork
Entered: 29 November 1847, St Acheul, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1855
Final vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 26 November 1917, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

by 1854 at Laval, France (FRA) studying Theology 2
by 1856 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology 4
by 1865 at Rome, Italy (ROM) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
“Educated at UCD; D Litt 1897; Fellow and Examiner RUI; Professor of Irish and History at UCD; RIA Council, Todd Professor of Celtic Languages, Sec for Foreign Correspondence; Governor of the High School of Irish Learning; Brehon Law Commissioner for the publication of the ancient laws and institutes of Ireland; Has written more twenty or thirty works .......” - Catholic Who’s Who and Year Book”, 1915.

On his death, the following notice was published :
Father Hogan, who passed away peacefully after an illness which, up to the last, had not impaired his mental powers, was the last link with the pioneer days of O'Donovan, O’Curry and Zeuss. He was born in Clonmel, close to Queenstown 23 January 1831. Entering the Jesuit Noviceship at St Acheul at the age of sixteen, he was Ordained nine years later, and spent long and active years in labouring, now in the pulpit and confessional, now in the classroom. He was one of the founders of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, in 1859, remaining there until 1865.
A subsequent year in Rome contributed largely to the definite trend of Father Hogan’s mind and interests towards the study of Irish antiquities. The Irish and other archives in the Eternal City started him upon a field of enquiry where he was to prove himself a singularly diligent and competent toiler. In spite of many difficulties, including the failure of his eyesight, he pursued studies along various lines of Irish linguistics, history and archaeology, and commenced in 1880 the publication of a series of works, many of which, at least will survive as imperishable monuments of energetic and well-directed scholarship.
The list of over twenty numbers would be too long to print here - we may mention as types, the “Documenta de Sto Patricio’, the “Battle of Ros-na-Righ” and other volumes in the Todd Lecture Series. “Ibernia Ignatiana”, “Distinguished Irishmen of the 16th Century” and the great “Onomasticom Goedelicum (completed in his 77th year) - a work bearing witness to his powers of laborious and minute research.
From 1888-1908 Father Hogan filled the Chair of Irish Language and History at UCD. He was a useful and active member of the RIA, and a Commissioner for the publication of the Brehon Laws.
His many fine personal qualities, no less than his eminent merits as a scholar, gained him the esteem of a circle extending even beyond the shores of the country, for which he laboured so untiringly and unselfishly, and will cause his departure, even at the ripe old age of eighty-seven, to be sincerely mourned.”

Note from Joseph O’Malley Entry :
He made his Noviceship in France with William Kelly, and then remained there for studies with Eugene Browne and Edmund Hogan

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Hogan, Edmund Ignatius
by Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh

Hogan, Edmund Ignatius (1831–1917), priest, Irish-language scholar, and historian, was born 23 January 1831 at Belvelly, near Cobh, Co. Cork, youngest son of William Hogan, craftsman, and Mary Hogan (née Morris). Though the older members of the family were native speakers of Irish, he was brought up through English. He entered the Jesuit Order at 16, beginning his noviciate in the Jesuits' French province on 29 November 1847. He stayed there until 1854, when, having completed his first two years of theology, he transferred to St Beuno's College, Flintshire, Wales, where he was ordained on 23 September 1855, completing his fourth year of theology the following year. He took his final vows in 1866.

On his return to Ireland he began teaching at Tullabeg House, King's Co. (Offaly) (1857–8), and was transferred the following year to Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. He was one of the founders in 1859 of Sacred Heart College, The Crescent, Limerick, where he stayed until 1865. That year he travelled to Rome, where he researched Irish Jesuit history. This resulted in Ibernia Ignatiana (1880). From 1873 to 1877 he was attached to the Catholic University, teaching moral theology. He served as priest and teacher in various Irish Jesuit colleges, although his teaching duties gradually decreased as he devoted himself more to scholarship. He began teaching in UCD in the 1880s and served as professor of Irish language and history there until the dissolution of the Royal University of Ireland in 1909. He was appointed examiner in Celtic by the RUI in 1888 and subsequently served as fellow in Celtic/Irish until 1909. He received a D.Litt. honoris causa from the RUI in 1897. In the RIA, to which he was elected in 1890, he was Todd professor of Celtic languages (1891–8), a member of the council (1899–1904, 1905–9), and secretary for foreign correspondence (1907–9). In addition, he was appointed a commissioner in 1894 for the publication of the ancient laws of Ireland and was a governor of the School of Irish Learning from its foundation in Dublin in 1903.

His impressive literary output in Latin, Irish, and English began in 1866 with Limerick, its history and antiquities. Other publications include Cath Ruis na Ríg for Bóinn (1892), Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894), History of the Irish wolf dog (1897), and A handbook of Irish idioms (1898). He spent ten years preparing his greatest, and as yet unsurpassed, work, Onomasticon Goedelicum (1910), a reference book on names of places and tribes found in Gaelic manuscripts. After its publication his sight and general health began to deteriorate and he lived a life of semi-retirement.

He died 26 November 1917 at the Jesuit House, Lower Leeson St., Dublin, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery. Papers relating to him are housed at the Jesuit Archives, 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin.

Royal University of Ireland Calendar, 1888–1909; Douglas Hyde, ‘A great Irish scholar’, Studies, vi (1917), 663–8; John MacErlean, ‘A bibliography of Dr Hogan, S.J.’, Studies, vi (1917), 668–71; IBL, ix (1918), 64; The Society of Jesus, A page of history: story of University College Dublin 1883–1909 (1930); Michael Tierney (ed.), Struggle with fortune (1954), 33; William Hogan, ‘Rev. Edmund Hogan S.J.: an eminent Great Island scholar’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., lxx (1965), 63–5; Beathaisnéis, i, iv, v

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund Hogan 1831-1916
“At a ripe old age, loved and admired by a large circle of friends and honoured by scholars in many countries, there passed away from us the Rev Edmund Hogan SJ D Litt”. These are the opening words of an article on Edmund Hogan by the late Dr Douglas Hyde, in Studies 1917.

Edmund Hogan was born on 23rd January 1831 near the Cobh of Cork. He became a Jesuit at the age of sixteen and was ordained nine years later. He was one of the founders of the Sacred Heart College Limerick, and remained there from 1859-1865. From there he proceeded to Rome where he ransacked the Archives, and he gathered a vast amount of information relating to the history of the Society and of the Irish Church.

The fruit of his labours may be seen from a brief list of his works :
“Ibernia Ignatiana”, “Onomastican”, “Goedelicum”, a life of “Father Henry Fitzsimon SJ”, “Distinguished irishmen of the 16th Century”, “Outlines of Grammar of Old Irish”, “The Bollandists Life of St Patrick”, “Chronolofical List of the Irish Jesuits 1550-1814.
His net was wise. His studies include :
“History of the Irish Wolf-dog”, “Irish and Scottishe names of Herbs, Plants, Trees, etc”, “Physical Characteristics of the Irish People”.

He was Professor of Irish Language and Hostory at University College Dublin, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, Governor of the High School of Irish Learning, and one of the Brehon Law Commissioners for the publication of the ancient laws and institutes of Ireland.

“He had a fine presence, his head was handsome, his forehead broad, his eyes kindly, and his manner always courteous and affable. With all his great learning, he was charmingly simple, and he delighted in anecdotes about people he had met and known”.

He died at Leeson Street on November 26th 1916. It was of him that Fr Henry Brown made a famous remark at recreation after his funeral “Well, I’m sure Fr Hogan will take what is coming to him like a man”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Father Edmund Hogan SJ
By Richard Ingham (Giving incidentally a glimpse of Clongowes in the Sixties)
My recollection of Father Edmund Hogan goes back to the year 1865-6, when he came to Clongowes to teach a class of philosophy. consisting of four students, James Galavan of Waterford, James Doyle of Wexford, Myles McSwiney of Dublin, and Stephen Boisson a Frenchman. These were high and mighty gentlemen, from the schoolboy's point of view, not mixing with the ordinary students and seldom seen by them except at a distance in Chapel, where they occupied one of the Community tribunes.

The professor of philosophy, then a fairly tall man, dark haired, and with an alert soldierly carriage, and a most genial and prepossessing appearance, we admired from a distance, but we had no acquaintance with him. In the next year, 1867-8, Father Hogan taught the class of 1st of Grammar, of which I was a member. Feeling deeply the loss of Father Stanley Mathews, of the family of Mount Hanover, Drogheda, one of the most fascinating men I ever met, always in college and in after life the best and truest of friends, the welcome extended to Father Hogan was, I fear, not warm.

After a little, his kindly, genial temperament won our regard and respect, and we pulled along evenly and well.

In those days the relation of master and pupils was intimate and very personal. In nearly all the subjects of their course the master was their sole teacher, and he was their guide, philosopher, and friend, and from the affection born in the classroom of times grew a strong, loving friendship, a help and stay to the pupil in all the joys and sorrows of his after life. Thank God, I have precious memories, alas, only memories, of many.

The present system in our colleges, I fear, is not calculated to foster such old world sentiments.

Long ago it was the custom for the master to bring his boys out to walk on playdays and half holidays, if they so wished, but the boys had to go to the castle and ask him.

Father Hogan was ever a great student, and in my days under him, all his spare time, and indeed all his waking thoughts, were devoted, we boys understood, to the preparation of a grammar, I daresay a Gaelic one, that was to throw into the shade all grammars hitherto in use. We sometimes found it difficult to catch our hare when he was wanted for a run, but when once caught, he gave us good sport, and was the most amiable and best of leaders. On one occasion we went to Maynooth, and after seeing the College, had a grand lunch of beefsteaks and pies in the hotel, over which Father Hogan presided, and we toasted the President in ginger beer.

It must have been trying to a man of his habits and tastes to have to run about the country roads with a pack of raw lads who took not the slightest interest in the studies or pursuits he most cared for. Never once, during the whole time he was our master, did I see Father Hogan show the least touch of annoyance, or shall I call it low spirits, on those occasions.

In 1868-9 Father Hogan was again our master in the class of poetry, of which Stephen Brown, now the Crown Solicitor of Kildare, was easily and worthily the Imperator primus. In this year our class acquired musical celebrity. Every day at the end of the after noon class our master, closing his desk, stood up and said, “Now, boys, a little French pronunciation”, and all standing, some in tune and some far from it, sang two verses of a hymn to our Blessed Lady, called “Reine des Cieux”. Never before, nor I suppose since, has choral music waked the corridors of Clongowes during class hours.

Father Hogan was singularly painstaking and patient in his efforts for our improvement, and always anxious that his class should make a decent appearance on all public occasions. As instances of the trouble he gave himself in these matters, I may mention the following. Twice he distinguished me, to my great annoyance, by selecting me to read the essay written by him at the academical exercises in July, 1868, and again as the reciter of the English poem in July, 1869. Curiously, the latter, called “A War Mirage on the Rhine”, was a vivid picture of the war that broke out the following year, 1870. Day after day alterations were made in that poem, until my small stock of patience being exhausted, I bluntly said I would learn no more new lines. My ill-temper was met with a genial smile, but the verses still grew. To practise' me in the required strength of pronunciation, I was brought to the big field beyond the pleasure ground, where, standing at one end and Father Hogan at the other, my success or failure depended, without regard to wind or distance, on Father Hogan's hearing me distinctly. I used to have a rough throat after these performances. To all of us, notwithstanding our shortcomings, Father Hogan was ever cheerful, kind, and singularly amiable, and at the end of the two years his class parted from him with the most kindly feelings, which lasted with the survivors to his death.

These thoughts were in my mind as I prayed beside the coffin, and looked upon the face of my dear old master for the last time. I seemed to hear again the voice coming to me across the big field, “Speak louder, I can't hear you”, or again calling on his class of Poetry to sing their evening hymn.

Richard Ingham


For Father Hogan's subsequent career as Irish historian, archæologist, and linguist, we must refer our readers to a sketch of him which appeared in “Studies” of last December under the heading “A Great Irish Scholar”. It is from the pen of Dr Douglas Hyde, joint founder and first president of the Gaelic League, and is a worthy tribute to his work, It is followed by a list of no fewer than thirty-eight publications by Father Hogan, Included in this list, which fittingly ends with his masterpiece, the “Onomasticon Gadelicum”, completed at the age of seventy-nine, appear four items which are the fruit of his connection with Clongowes. It was from a MS. preserved in Clongowes that he published for the first time in a large quarto volume of nearly four hundred pages, the “Description of Ireland and the State thereof as it is at this present in Anno 1598”. From another MS preserved in Clongowes he published in the “Irish Ecclesiastical Records” : “Hayne's Observation on the State of Ireland in 1600”. Then there is “The History of the Warr of Ireland (from 1641 to 1653)”, by a British Officer of the regiment of Sir John Clotworthy. This from a third Clongowes MS was published by Father Hogan in 1873, in a little volume of one hundred and sixty pages. Lastly, he published comparatively recently from yet another MS preserved in our Museum, “The Jacobite War 1688-1691”, by Colonel Charles O'Kelly.

Father Hogan died at 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin, on 26th November, 1917. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959
Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Edmund Hogan (1831-1917)

A native of Cobh, the eminent Gaelic scholar and historian, was one of the pioneers in the foundation of Sacred Heart College. He entered the Society in 1847; and it is clear that his superiors expected great things of him from the fact that his period of formation was so shortened that he was only twenty-eight years of age when he arrived as a priest in Limerick in 1859. He was appointed minister of the house in 1861 and was in charge of the boys' choir. He remained in the Crescent until 1864. The following years were devoted to research work amongst medieval Irish MSS. For a time he worked with the Bollandists in Belgium on the Lives of the Irish Saints. He returned to the Crescent in 1884 on the teaching staff but remained only one year. The following year at Clongowes saw the end of his career as master. After a short period in Tullabeg, where his sole work was study, he became lecturer in Celtic studies at University College, Dublin and retained that post until the National University replaced the Royal University of Ireland. He remained in the Leeson St community for the rest of his days. Limerick is proud of its associations with Father Hogan's great predecessor in the chair of Celtic Studies, Eugene O'Curry, whose business here was that of time keeper for the building of Sarsfield Bridge. The city may also be proud of its association with Edmund Hogan whose business here was the humble task of educating Limerick schoolboys.

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Notes on the Irish Colleges by Fr Edmund Hogan SJ, which includes reference to Jesuits at Salamanca, Seville, Lisbon, Rome and Santiago de Compostela, 1595-1767.

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