Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Sunday, August 25, 2013

In Pictures: WAHS Last Summer Outing of 2013 - The Quaker Burial Ground, Newtown Rd, Waterford.

The present-day Quaker Burial Ground is situated at the junction of Lower Newtown and Wilkins Street. On the evening of Thursday 22 august, we met Joan & Roger Johnston, who told us about the Society of Friends- or Quakers, as they are better known. 
They arrived in Ireland in the 17th century, and the settlement in Waterford was probably the first outside Dublin. The first burial ground in Waterford was in John's Lane, dating from 1689. After that a new plot was acquired in Parliament Street, in what is now Wyse Park. All those buried there would have been merchants of the city.
In 1798 Newtown school was established, and in 1826 the Quakers acquired the grounds where the present day burial ground is situated. 
The burial ground is very plain, with very neat rows of headstones, following a precise grid pattern. All headstones are the same, and carry the minimum information: the person's name, date of birth, and date of death.
We followed Mr & Mrs Johnston as they told us anecdotes about some of the more famous names of the city, Strangman, White, Jacob, Hill, Grubb, Bell.... We learned about the Friends relief efforts during the Great Famine, (soup kitchens, workhouses, straw beds...) and during WWII. 


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The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, Ireland.
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