Waddinge Legacy

Waddingeleft his excellent library in his will to the priests of Ross and Wexford. It contained theological tracts by Gregory the Great, Aquinas, Baronius, and Bellarmine, and many books of poetry: Dryden was represented, and so were George Herbert, John Donne and Richard Crashaw. As the reader will notice, the metaphysical poets had an influence on Waddinge: it is impossible not to be reminded of Crashaw's conceit of 'Aeternity shutt in a span' when we read Waddinge's: Heaven's great treasures are now but small/Immensity no extent at all'. This conceit he develops further in his long carol of Christ's Nativity: 'Now infinite hight is low, and infinite depth is shallow,/The greatest length is short, the greatest largeness narrow.'

Luke Waddinge's carols became very popular, and the Smale Garland was reprinted in London 1728 and 1731 for a James Connor, a Drogheda bookseller.

Waddinge lived only a few years after the publication of his Garland. Not long after his death, his chapel fell and his successor was refused permission to rebuild it. For many years afterwards, bishops of Ferns used the Franciscan Convent at Wexford as their procathedral.



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