Reports from Commissioners, Irish Education Inquiry, Second Report, Schools of all Denominations, 1826


Cat No.:   IE0347:

The Second Report of the Commissioners of Irish Education Inquiry is a fascinating insight in to the state of education in pre-famine Ireland as well as being a wonderful genealogical source, listing some 12,530 Masters and Mistresses of schools.

The report was published in 1826, from an abstract of returns by both Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy for the year 1824. The Report is divided in to two parts, the actual report and the appendices. The report part is quite short, a little over twenty pages, and it lays out the distribution of schools by province, religion, male to female ratio, as well as any societies the schools were associated with, such as the Association for Discountenancing Vice or the Board of Erasmus Smith's Trustees.

It is the twenty two appendices of this report stretched, over 1,200 pages, which provide the most useful information. Here the information is broken down to County level and individual school level. Of the appendices it is Appendix 22 which is the longest and most fulsome. It lists 11,823 individual schools, the Barony and Parish, townland, who the Master or Mistress is, as well as their religion. It also lists if the school is free or fee paying, the total income of the Master or Mistress, a description of the school house and its probable cost. Finally the report includes the break down of children attending by religion, as well as any societies the schools is associated with, if local patronage is provided, and if scriptures are read at the school.

The information provided by this report gives a description of what it was like to attend school in Ireland in 1824. For example the school in Castletown, Island Magee, in Antrim was listed as a fee paying school. It had 23 Protestant children attending, and the school house was described as "a barn; in a wretched condition".

This is a must have source for anyone with an interest in Irish education and for anyone trying to trace family involved in education in pre-famine Ireland. 

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