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History Event at Dromana - 'From the Blackwater to the Nile: Aventurers, Scholars and Travel Writers.'

On Sunday 16th October 2016 there will be a history event at Dromana 'From the Blackwater to the Nile: Adventurers, Scholars and Travel Writers.'

There will be lunch at 12.30pm, opening by Her Excellency Soha Gendi the Egyptian Ambassador to Ireland at 2pm, harp recital by Una Whyte at 2.15pm, lectures by Dr. Rachel Finnegan and Willie Fraher at 2.30pm, closing at 4pm.

The cost is €40 per person or €70 for two.

Dr. Rachel Finnegan:

Richard Pococke

This illustrated presentation tells of the Egyptian travels, writings and 'curious' collections of the pioneering Egyptologist, Dr. Richard Pococke (1704-1765).

On his return from the East, which included two lengthy sojourns in Egypt, Pococke settled briefly in London, where he worked on his famous book 'A Description of the East' (1743), a scholarly and very visual account of the history, culture and geography of Egypt.  After his publication of a second volume (1745), which covered the rest of his Eastern travels, he was appointed Archdeacon of Dublin and took up residence in Ireland.  Over the next few years, he undertook several tours of the country, which he recorded in his travel diary.  This included a tour of County Waterford, in 1752, when he visited the grounds of Dromana House.

In 1756 he was translated as Bishop of Ossory, and both in his Dublin residence and the Bishop's Palace in Kilkenny, he entertained his visitors with lectures on Egyptology and viewings of his unusual collection of Egyptian antiquities and natural curiosities.

William Fraher:

Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart & Egypt

This presentation focuses on Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart, and will explore Henry's visits to Egypt, his exploration of its monuments and the collection of artefacts he amassed.

Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart was born on 13th September 1827, the son of Henry Villiers-Stuart (1803-1874) of Dromana House, 1st Baron Stuart de Decies and Theresia Pauline Ott of Vienna.  In 1850 he was ordained a minister and was appointed vicar of Bulkington, Warwickshire in 1852.  He paid his first visit to Egypt in 1849 and again in 1858/59 with the intention of visiting sites mentioned in the Bible.

Villiers-Stuart visited Egypt with his wife Mary from the autumn of 1878 to March 1879 and published the result of his investigations in 'Nile Gleanings, concerning the Ethnology, History and Art of Ancient Egypt.'  The book was illustrated with his own drawings.

After the battle of Tel-el-Kebir the British government appointed Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart to accompany Lord Dufferin's delegation to visit Egypt and report on the condition of the people.  His reports were published in a series of blue books.  In 1883 he published an illustrated overview of his observations, interspersed with accounts of Egyptian antiquities in 'Egypt After the War' (1883).  In his introduction he states that he hoped it would help to 'emancipate the oppressed classes in Egypt... My sympathies are with the mass of the people of Egypt.  I have faith in their capabilities, if only a fair chance be given to them; they are industrious and intelligent.'

Henry was vociferous in campaigning for the preservation of Egyptian monuments which were being damaged by man and nature.  Like many others he did collect Egyptian artefacts and brought them back to his home in Dromana.

Venue:  Dromana House, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford.

Date:    Sunday 16th October 2016.

Time:    12.30pm.

Cost:     €40 per person or €70 for two.

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