Forbes: Memorandums Made In Ireland In The Autumn Of 1852

Pdf Forbes, John, Memorandums Made In Ireland In The Autumn Of 1852 Vol I, London: Smith, Elder and Co. 1853
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Memorandums Made In Ireland In The Autumn Of 1852 by John Forbes (1887-1861) published 1853 is an account of his journey through the towns and countryside of Ireland the previous year. Arriving at Kingstown (present day Dun Laoghaire ) the author spent several months touring the country in the immediate aftermath of the Great Famine.

The work is mostly a travelogue describing landscapes, places, people, agriculture, religious customs, politics, society, culture and town and country life at the time. Among the places described are the cities of Dublin , Cork , Limerick, Galway and Belfast . Famous scenic locations he visited and describes in the book are the Giant's Causeway, the Rock of Cashel, Connemara , the River Shannon, Killarney and many more.

John Forbes was born in 1787 in Banffshire in Scotland . After his primary education and achieving a medical diploma he enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1807 and saw action during the Napoleonic Wars. He recommenced his medical studies upon his return to Edinburgh in 1817 and moved to Penzance, Cornwall the same year. As well as practising medicine Forbes was also a geologist. He later moved to Chichester where he married. Forbes combined medical practise with hospital work and publication of academic papers, poetry and fiction.

Forbes moved to London in 1840 where he met his boyhood friend John Clark who had been made a baronet. This contact eventually got him the post of court physician to Prince Albert , the husband and consort of Queen Victoria . Sadly Forbes’ wife died in 1851 and as he grieved he became interested in homeopathy, clairvoyance and other pseudo-scientific interests that threatened his reputation. He was also sympathetic to the cause of Irish nationalist Daniel O'Connell whom he met in 1841.

Forbes' sympathy for the plight of the Irish people led him to travel to Ireland and there he observed the effects of the Great Famine which shocked and angered him. Although his account of his visit to Ireland is more of a travelogue it is an important and vivid first hand account of post-famine Ireland . Forbes was a humanitarian for all his life and this led him to correspond with Florence Nightingale, who famously treated British troops during the bloody Crimean War (1854-56).

John Forbes died in 1861 after suffering years of ill health due to a number of strokes.


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