A Cork couple who wed twice... and a fascinating diary entry

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A Cork couple who wed twice... and a fascinating diary entry

Mary Quick, of Ballynanelagh, who died in 1946. Her parents wed twice on the same day in 1867.

‘TO be sure, to be sure,’ is a phrase you’d often hear where someone would want to really emphasise some matter or other.

’Twas only last year I heard for the first time of a couple marrying twice on the one day – that was surely ‘to be sure, to be sure’!

There are two pairs of field entrance gates on our farm that are very old but never show any signs of rusting. The people long ago said that the wrought iron of former years ‘bate Banagher’ - you couldn’t get the end of it in terms of longevity and durability.

My great-grandfather, Daniel Arnold, came here around 1875 so it’s possible the gates were made at that time. We’ll never know now, but I heard it said they might have been made by ‘Johnny Quick’s father’.

Johnny died in 1929, 27 years after his father Robert, who was reputedly a blacksmith of the highest order.

Back in 1867, that same Robert Quick got married twice on Saturday, September 7!

The Civil and Church Records show that on that date Robert married Johanna Fleming in Castlehyde Church of Ireland and also in the Catholic Church of Rathcormac.

Bigamy is where a person gets married while still legally wed to anther. Well, Robert and Catherine have nothing to answer for on that score anyway. Robert may well have been born into the Church of Ireland - his father was Baria Quick, also a smith by trade.

Robert and his wife had two children, Johnny and Mary. On Mary’s death in 1946, the family farm at Ballynanelagh, on the road from Dr Barry’s bridge outside Rathcormac to Leary’s Cross near Castlelyons, passed to relations.

I heard a story many years ago about an occasion when the Station Mass was being held at Quick’s home at 8.30 in the morning. At that time the priest arrived on horseback and the Parish Clerk had the job of bringing the ‘Priest’s Box’ from the house where mass had been said the previous morning.

The Box contained all the necessary requisites for the celebration of the Eucharist. Well, that morning at Quicks there was consternation. Due to some mix-up or other, ‘someone’ forgot the Box!

The day before, the Station Mass had been held in a house in Kildinan, a distance of four miles away. There was nothing for it only to dispatch someone on horseback to collect the Box.

Johnny Quick (by name and by nature!) was heard to say - when the priest was down the ‘room’ hearing confessions: “It’s a bad tradesman faults his own tools,” or in this case, lack of ’em!

Anyhow, one day in the 1990s Betty Tallon (formerly O Mahony) was cleaning the windows of her ancestral home at Main Street, Castlelyons, when a car pulled up. The lady and her husband were touring around, but with a purpose.

From Queensland in Australia, Jenny Bellamy enquired if, by any chance, Betty had ever heard of anyone called Quick ‘around here’?

“Would it be Bariah Quick you’re looking for?” asks Betty! Sure, the lady from Down Under nearly fell with the shock.

Indeed, Bariah Quick was a relation of Jenny’s - though far out. Bariah is buried in the local cemetery and before the Bellamys left they saw his grave.

Jenny told a fascinating story to Betty about the remnants of a diary she had found years before. She gave Betty a copy and, though badly damaged by moisture, it tells a fascinating tale of a visit to Ireland in 1898.

Jenny’s grand-uncle, Bariah George Quick, was working in England, and local historian and archaeologist Eamonn Cotter ‘found’ this George Bariah working in the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, in England - he married Edith Annie Chambers in Brompton in 1894.

Four years later, George got ‘leave’ from his job and decided to pay a visit to his relations in Rathcormac and Castlelyons. He arrived in Fermoy Railway Station on Saturday, July 2, at 6pm where he met his (twice wed) Uncle Robert, ‘raining very hard’, ‘Kind welcome, bed about twelve’.

He refers to his first cousin Johnny Quick as Jack - Sunday, July 3; ‘ long walk with Jack in afternoon’. On Monday he was ‘out about 9am, mowing hay for a short time then visited Rath- (Cormac) ‘old Danish fort, went for a swim in the river (Bride) then dinner, rather showery’.

On Tuesday the 5th, ‘Out about ten, shaved then to.. with Jack, nice walk, dinner then to Castle Lyons to see Aunt Jane but so (obviously very sick) could not be seen that day. Met old Jacob Dalton who was a very old friend of father’s and several others who knew him well, all expressed great delight to see me. Uncle (Robert) came over same evening and had a long chat, bed about 1.30am’.

The next day was a wash-out. ‘Out about 10am, raining very hard, went fishing with Jack but got wet through and had to return. Walked to Rathcormac with Jack in afternoon but very wet all day’.

Thursday was better and ‘hay-making in the morning and went to Fermoy with Uncle and Mary in afternoon. Nice ride but rather jolted about the limbs, very sore’.

The weather improved; Friday, ‘Hay-making again in morning. Got very sun-burnt. Castle Lyons to see Jane with Mary in the afternoon. Still very bad but able to see her. Fine looking woman but wandered a great deal’.

He was ‘out early on Sunday, went for a long walk through Brides Bridge to Castle Lyons before breakfast. Witnessed an amusing wedding at Catholic Church, after breakfast went to mass with Jack then home to dinner, after dinner went to see dancing at village, finest day since I’ve been here’.

The fine weather didn’t last long as by Monday ‘Wet weather returned. Mowing rushes with Jack in morning, then wrote to Edie (Edith) and went with Uncle and Mary in Donkey Cart to Rathcormac, received letter and two papers from Mother, got wet all through in returning’.

They were back at the hay-making on Thursday morning but in the afternoon ‘to cemetery to witness burial of Jack’s relative, afterwards to auction of goods…Vicar of Rathcormac. Bed very early’.

Bariah George rose at 4am on the Friday, was in Fermoy by 6 and in Cork (by train) at 8am ‘called to see Mrs Croly, then by boat to Passage, Crosshaven, dinner at Queenstown then to Aghada by boat. Walked to Whitegate and saw Fred Pitt. Stroll round magnificent scenery then back to Aghada, returned by boat to Cork and arrived 10.30pm, supper with Mrs Croly and then to bed. Rained all day and both wet through’.

He left a brilliant account of his travels on Sunday, July 17, 1898; ‘Rise. goodbye to Mrs Croly and left Cork for Youghal at 7.30am. arr. At Youghal 8.30am, a very pretty seaside town, went through Protestant Church, a very ancient place of worship, formerly a Catholic Church or monastery, supposed to be 1000 years old, a number of distinguished people buried there, some in 10th, 14th and 16th centuries.

“Left Youghal by steamer 10am, to Blackwater (the Irish Rhine), arrived at Cappoquin at 12 and took car to Melleray to see monastery, decided to stay all night, dined at 2pm, good dinner, beef, mutton, ham, potatoes, greens, ale or stout and cooked very nice, walked round the grounds and went to several services in the Chapel.

“Tea at 6pm… another walk, service in Chapel then to bed. Monastery Brothers very kind an attentive, up at 6am. Service in Chapel then breakfast (bread, butter and eggs) took car and returned to Cappoquin, then to Lismore.”

When Bariah George Quick got back to Rathcormac that afternoon, a letter had arrived from the Dockyard in Kent requesting ‘me to return at expiration of leave granted. Uncle and family very upset about it’.

He went to Castlelyons that evening ‘Goodbye to Aunt Jane and all friends’.

Bariah George Quick never returned to Ireland. The Quick family in this area are now just a memory but we still have those old iron gates.

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