CollectionMasonic Female Orphan School
Collection DescriptionThe fund for the education of the daughters (and, separately, the sons) of deceased freemasons was started in 1792, but the school took another seven or eight years to establish. The school moved several times, but after the Burlington Road site was disapproved by Medical Officers, on grounds of overcrowding, it moved to Merrion Road, near the Royal Dublin Society in 1882.

Masonic Order in Ireland, Committee of Charity and Inspection Minutes 1795-1955. Names, age, lodge, years of subscription, occupation, family, cause of distress and grants given. Many of the applicants widows of members.

Charity applications to Lodges (filed according to lodge of origin) include petitions, letters, character references and amount of grant.

For example:
'That Petitioner [William Smythe] until the visitation of Misfortunes almost Unparalleled always moved in Very respectable Work of Life having among other appointments held the office of High Sheriff six successive years during which there occur'd the two fearful Visitations of Typhus fever and Cholera - several of the more humble clay of Masons were infected who Petitioner removed to hospitals he provided at his own expense-', Galway, 1859. His widow later petitioned again, 1869, and later still his daughter, Mrs Rice, from India, 1875. After her father's death she had supported herself as a governess in the Erasmus Smith school in Harcourt Street, Dublin, until her marriage to a fellow-teacher . On their appointments as headmaster and mistress of the Kurrachee European and Indo-European School the family had gone to India, where Mr Rice had died, and she and her son, aged 4, were left destitute. She was awarded £5.

Mary Ann Enright, Cork, 1853-1859, made several applications, giving details of her difficulties and losses.

Later applications, from c.1860s, are on standard forms, and give less information.

AccessContact Repository
Century18th, 19th, 20th

See Dr Brian Bowden, 200 Years of a Future Through Education, A History of the Masonic Girls' Charity [Privately printed, 1992].

Repository NameGrand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland
AddressFreemasons' Hall 17 Molesworth Street Dublin 2
EircodeD02 HK50
Telephone(01) 676-1337
Repository Web Address