Douglas Hyde

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  • Roscommon People

Early years in Longford

Douglas Hyde was born on 17 January 1860 at Longford House, Castlerea,  Co.Roscommon

Map of Co. Roscommon

This is a detailed map of Co. Roscommon, showing all the towns and villages that occupy it.


He was the son of an Anglican clergyman, Arthur Hyde.

His early years were spent in Sligo. In 1867, his family moved to Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon.

Due to a childhood illness, he was educated at home. Much of his boyhood was spent roaming the Roscommon countryside in the company of an old Fenian called Johnny Lavin.

He and Lavin spent time fishing and shooting together, mixing with the people of Roscommon. As a result of this, Hyde learned to speak the Irish language. He also studied an Irish language New Testament owned by his father.

As a child, Hyde was enchanted by the folk tales and songs of the people of Roscommon. As a result of this, he developed a strong interest in the Gaelic elements of Irish culture, which was to dominate the rest of his life.