Papers of Patrick Henry Pearse and his family

Repository: Trinity College Dublin

Identity Statement

TitlePapers of Patrick Henry Pearse and his family
Archive ReferenceIE TCD MS/8265
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1886-1953
Extent Medium1 archival box


Creator(s): Pearse, Patrick Henry, 1879-1916, poet and Irish Nationalist

  • Administrative History ↴

    Born 10 November 1879 in Dublin and died 3 May 1916 in Dublin, Patrick Pearse was was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist and political activist who was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. He was the first president of the provisional government of the Irish Republic proclaimed in Dublin on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, and was commander-in-chief of the Irish forces in the anti-British uprising that began on the same day. The son of an English sculptor and his Irish wife, Pearse became a director of the Gaelic League (founded 1893 for the preservation of the Irish language) and edited (1903-09) its weekly newspaper, 'An Claidheamh Soluis'. To further promote the Irish language, he published tales from old Irish manuscripts and a collection (1914) of his own poems in the modern Irish idiom. He founded St. Enda's College, in Ranelagh, Dublin (1908), as a bilingual institution with its teaching based on Irish traditions and culture. The school was moved to Rathfarnam, Dublin in 1910. On the formation (November 1913) of the Irish Volunteers as a counterforce against the Ulster Volunteers (militant supporters of the Anglo-Irish union), Pearse became a member of their provisional committee, and he contributed poems and articles to their newspaper, 'The Irish Volunteer'. In July 1914 he was made a member of the supreme council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). After the Irish Volunteers split (September 1914), he became a leader of the more extreme Nationalist section, which opposed any support for Great Britain in World War I. He came to believe that the blood of martyrs would be required to liberate Ireland, and on that theme he delivered a famous oration at the burial (August 1915) of Jeremiah O'Donovan, known as O'Donovan Rossa, a veteran of Sinn Féin. As an IRB supreme council member, Pearse helped to plan (January 1916) the Easter Rising. On Easter Monday he proclaimed the provisional government of the Irish Republic from the steps of Dublin General Post Office. On 29 April when the revolt was crushed, he surrendered to the British. After a court-martial, he was shot by a firing squad. Pearse came to be seen by many as the embodiment of the rebellion.
  • Archival History ↴

    This collection was collated by by Fr. Seanan/J.S. Moynihan, editor of the 'Capuchin Annual' and purchased from a bookseller.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Pearse, Patrick Henry, 1879-1916, poet and Irish Nationalist ↴

    This collection of papers of Patrick Henry Pearse (1879-1916) and his family, 1886-1953, was collected by Fr. Seanan/J.S. Moynihan, editor of the ‘Capuchin Annual’. It consists primarily of the following:
    Presscuttings of articles regarding PH Pearse and his life;
    Correspondence to Mrs Pearse (his mother); Papers relating St. Enda’s College Rathfarnham including donations, subscriptions, reports, correspondence; Memoirs by Senator Margaret M. Pearse about the uprising, her two brothers Patrick and Willie and the founding of St. Enda’s

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The basic listing of no’s. 1-309 is that provided by the bookseller from which these papers were published and these items are in the order in which they appear or appeared in the scrapbook compiled by Fr. Senan (many now removed); no’s. 310-349 are as arranged by the Library, chronologically.

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Please contact in advance of your visit
Conditions Governing ReproductionPlease contact for guidance.
Creation Dates1886-1953
Extent Medium1 archival box
Material Language ScriptEnglish and Irish
Finding Aids An item-level descriptive list complete with index is available to search online Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Publication NotePadraig Henry Pearse, 'Collected works of Pádraig H. Pearse: Plays, stories, poems' (Dublin & London: 1917) Ruth Dudley Edwards, 'Patrick Pearse: the triumph of failure' (London: 1977)

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteNatalie Milne, February 2014
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions41671