That Irishman and the Quakers

On a visit to the Quaker burial ground in Temple Hill, Blackrock, I paid my respects to the resting place of Theodore Moody (1907-1984), Professor of History at Trinity College, Dublin. Moody, who reorganised the Quakers in Ireland records, also did a great deal to encourage research into the life of John O’Connor Power.

O’Connor Power moved to Rochdale, Lancashire in 1861.  He formed a connection with the Chartist, John Bright, an English Quaker and a tireless champion of Irish causes.  Bright, a Radical Liberal, was one of the first Quakers to sit in the House of Commons.  He was Prime Minister Gladstone’s adviser on the Irish Question and provided a safe house for the Fenians to air their grievances and plan a future. In his diaries, Bright mentions that O’Connor Power ‘lived in Rochdale at one time’.

Alfred Webb, a Quaker Nationalist, also has a place in the Temple Hill burial ground. He resigned from his position as Land League treasurer, complaining of Parnell’s ‘autocratic management of funds’.