DIRTY OLD TOWNS - GLASGOW AND DUBLIN 1900-1925

My mother was sure her red roots were Scottish - from an Edinburgh heritage where her mother came from...er well that was what she was told.

We lived in a street of post WW2 Irish migrant families.They treated her as one of their own;the local priest would stop her in the street and ask her why he hadn't seen her at Mass!

Even the Avon Lady gave her a little bottle of Holy Water from Lourdes. Mum played down she was christened a Roman Catholic. She was a bastard brought up by Nuns.

She was a Cultural Catholic,loved a drink and singing Irish songs, but that was it. Her maternal dna is Celtic from her mother to her Irish Grandmother who was in the thick of the Easter Rising 1916.

Kathleen Higgins nee Clarke of Exeter Rd
Selly Oak, Birmingham.





There was also another Kathleen Clarke in the Motherland: 

WE ARE ALL VICTIMS OF VICTIMS


Daughters of Thomas Clarke & Christina Ross.
Nan on the right called Kathleen.
The origins of modern maternal family traumas arose out of Westminster sending English WW1 recruits to deal with the struggle for Irish Independence...


Private Thomas Clarke was not sent to Europe - he was part of a contingent sent to suppress the Irish Republicans, and based at Richmond Barracks.
GUNS/GIRLS/GUINESS - at least Tom married Christina before their baby was born into stigma of a "bastard".





 
 SS Michael&John R.C. Church, Lwr Exchange St. Dublin, now
back to its origins as "Smock Alley Theatre", Temple Bar, est 1668.
Christina's brother James Ross was married here in 1919. He had returned from France with a medal and with injuries so set him to work in Dublin Castle - the centre of British Administration.


My Nan's confusion about her parents was because  she didn't know them. In 1918 they left Dublin for Glasgow. Thomas's family had moved there from London for work.

Below is the reason why their three children became wards of the State and Church in Scotland.

Longford St(Great)nr Aungier St, Dublin circa 1950.
Ross family docs. say they resided at No's 1 and 6, 1918-1940.
Christina Clarke nee Ross, would leave behind her mother-city, her family of Dubliners; the Ross and Fegan kinwho lived amongst the overcrowded, squalid tenement slums which were regarded as even worse than London, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Her father, Robert Ross made the trip to Dublin with the Seaforth Highlander in 1891. Irish Home Rule agitators were putting the pressure on Westminster again.
After his service he stayed in Dublin's fair city, as a Carrier and married an Irish woman called Catherine 'Katie' Fegan, daughter of a pensioned British army Irish soldier, James Fegan.


A British soldier after the 1916 Rebellion
My Great Grandfather would not be the immortalised Irish Republican leader Thomas Clarke who had been executed at Kilmainham Gaol as a ring-leader and signature to the Irish Republican Proclamation in 1916. 
Our Thomas was a regular soldier, one of 5000 British troops in the city, which would rise to 50,000 after the 1916 Easter Rebellion. 

A General election was held in Dublin on December 14th 1918,
the same week as Christina and Thomas's son  Herbert was born. 
The overwhelming vote was for Sinn Fein of 73/105 seats in Parliament, calling for an Irish Free State.
Thomas had his discharge papers and was getting him and his Mrs. out of there before everything got crazier!

                                            SCOTLAND 
10 GEORGE ST, GLASGOW, FEB 1920
My Grandmother Kathleen Margaret Alice is born.

THREE YEARS LATER - CHRISTINA CLARKE succumbed to a most awful common disease of Syphilis with little sympathy from her husband who was described as needing alcohol education at the Temperance Union hall. Domestic Violence showed up on his wife's body. 
Penicillin hadn't been invented so the misery and mortality of Syphillus, rife in the British Army was spread to their wives and children.

Great Grandmother on her death bed at
Gartloch Asylum Glasgow, 1923.

CERTIFICATE OF EMERGENCY: I the undersigned.................being...................hereby certify, on soul and conscience, that I have this day, at Eastern District Hospital Glasgow in the County of Lanark, seen and personally examined Christina Ross or Clark, and that the said person is of unsound mind, is a proper Patient to be placed in an Asylum, and is in a sufficiently good state of bodily health to be removed to the Asylum at Gartloch.
And I further certify that the case of the said person is one of emergency. 2nd January 1923


Entrance to Gartloch Lunatic Asylum, Glasgow
with kind permission of Mark Murphy(c)at flickr


CHRISTINA ROSS OR CLARK  28 YEARS   MARRIED    ROMAN CATHOLIC  HOUSEWIFE 
 43 LANARK STREET GLASGOW

LENGTH OF TIME INSANE : A few days    Number of attacks   First

SUPPOSED CAUSE : Organic Brain Disease

SUICIDAL ; Might be     or DANGEROUS  Yes

PARISH TO WHICH CHARGEABLE = GLASGOW PARISH

HUSBAND THOMAS CLARK C/O GEAR 43 LANARK ST, GLASGOW

She is dull, depressed and resistive in her manner and conduct. Confused in her ideas and lacking in a sane appreciation of  her surroundings. She shows the signs of organic Brain Disease. (initialled)
She is dull and depressed in her manner and conduct, inchoerent in her speech, and resisistive to attention. She shows no sane appreciation of her position. She is unable to look after herself.  (initials)

HISTORY : Aunt: Mrs Ross 182 Kilmarnock Rd. Glasgow.

Patient is supposed to be three months pregnant.
Three weeks ago she developed violent headaches. Had to be in bed. Later became stupid and finally confused.
Transferred to E.D.H. Has 3 children Last 14 months ago. No previous nervous breakdown.
One miscarriage two years ago.

Mother in Asylum
Father Alcoholic?


2 JAN 1923    CONDITION ON ADMISSION:         

Hair dirty.                                No deformities.                     Haematoma           - left eye

Large haematoma on Gut. aspect of left leg. Multiple small bruises on shoulders and legs. Lungs normal.
Heart action weak              cardiac .              slightly enlarged.
2 finger breadths               (patient hasn't been catherised)  No sign of milk in breasts.
No other signs of          visceral disease. Pupils semi dilated - no reaction.
                                   Patient no temperature but is weak and unable to stand.

(Nurse Notes)

Patient appears to be in a   b               condition
She can be roused but is unable to answer questions properly. She apparently has no idea of her surroundings
and is resistive                                           . She appears  to be  rather exhausted and toxic looking.
Supposed to be three months pregnant.


Patient has improved mentally.Appears brighter and is taking more interest in her surroundings.

            improving but really slow mentally.

Improving mentally but still               unstable.

FEB   Patient very much improved.

MARCH  Patient is clear mentally but simple.
              Appears to have a                of soft palate.

APRIL    Patient suffering from G.P.I. and is presently very helpless, demented and dirty.

MAY      Three days ago patient developed Broncho Pneumonia and died today. G.P.I. Broncho pneumonia   

MY RESEARCH (or why my Grandmother became a Ward of the State and Church)

General Paralysis of the Insane (G.P.I) The syndrome of the mental disorder was identified in Paris mental hospitals long before it was identified as a result of syphilis. Antoine Laurent Jessé Bayle (1799-1858) described it in 1822. Louis Florentin Calmeil (1798-1895), in 1826, called it paralysie générale des aliénés (paralysis general of the insane).  Although this name stuck, many alternatives have also been used. These include general paresis (favoured in the United States) and dementia paralytica. 
General Paralysis of the Insane is now counted as one of the forms of neurosyphilis (syphilitic infection of the central nervous system). It is the main one leading to psychiatric disturbance. 

DEATH CERTIFICATE OF CHRISTINA CLARKE Nee ROSS died May 14th 1923, 4.55am Gartloch Asylum
Glasgow, Scotland

General Paralysis of Insane,  Broncho Pneumonia,  3 days. Cardiac Failure 1 day 


SYPHILIS

A sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. Can also be transmitted to the fetus of infected pregnant women. Early symptoms are often mild and may go unnoticed; other symptoms may include ulcers either on the skin or internally, and skin rashes. More serious symptoms may occur if syphilis remains untreated. Usual treatment is penicillin by injection; however other antibiotics can be used if necessary. Treatment is usually effective against further transmission by the patient after 24 hours.

Neurological complications at this stage include generalized paresis of the insane which results in personality changes, changes in emotional affect, hyperactive reflexes, and Argyll-Robertson pupils, a diagnostic sign in which the small and irregular pupils constrict in response to focusing the eyes, but not to light; Tabes dorsalis, also known as locomotor ataxia, a disorder of the spinal cord, often results in a characteristic shuffling gait.



NOT FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN GHOSTS, A NEW ERA FOR GARTLOCH.


MEANWHILE BACK IN DUBLIN 

Great Great Grandmother, Katie Ross nee Fegan/Fagan had also gone insane...

It's probable she was a patient in Dublin's Institution of Grangegorman/St Brendan's.

















Comments

  1. I WAS BORN AT NO 10 GEORGE STREET IN 1950 RIGHT AT THE VERY TOP OF THE BUILDING IN THE ATTICS.
    I MOVED FROM THERE AT THE AGE OF 5 WHEN MY MOTHER WAS RE-HOUSED, BUT MY GRANDFATHER LIVED THERE UNTIL 1965 AND HE WAS THE VERY LAST TENANT LIVING THERE BEFORE THE DEMOLITION.
    I REMEMBER EVERY DETAIL OF NO 10 WE ACTUALLY LIVED ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE WHICH WAS 10B GEORGE ST. YES IT WAS SLUM HOUSING BUT FOR ME IT HAS FOND MEMORIES OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
    I KNOW THE TIME I LIVED THERE (AND VISITED)WAS MUCH LATER THAN THE TIME OF THE PHOTOGRAPH POSTED ON HERE BUT IT WAS EXACTLY THE SAME.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Mary - any family photos of the old place? I was really pleased to find that George St photo from the Virtual Mitchell. They are real treasures. Hope to go there in the near future - I hear they have preserved one tenement home for social history.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Julie,

    Sorry, no... family photographs taken in George St. my gran used to take me and my 3 brothers to a photography studio when we were young.

    I do have however have a view of the back of George St that you may not have seen, I am myself researching the photography of old Glasgow as I am trying to write the story of my life as a youngster in Glasgow to leave to my children,as I have lived here in London since 1968 so it would be nice to put some photos in my little book. :)

    Thats how I came acvross your page, though I have had the photo of George St., for many years now but I am still searching for more.

    ''Two women in a backcourt at the east end of George Street''


    http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image.php?inum=TGSE01241&t=1&urltp=story.php?id=TGSFA04


    Also if you are interested there is a lot of great photography on this site showing the same scene in past and present format.

    http://urbanglasgow.co.uk/Past_amp_Present_Pictures_Vol_1_about28.html


    Kind Regards Mary

    ReplyDelete
  4. Keep me posted on that childhood story, Mary! I will be a Grandmother soon and one day they will want to know their family origins. CHEERS!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Julie, do you see I said I would look you up: http://storytelleronamazon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/easter-uprising-1st-world-war-and-my.html?showComment=1461243580507#c6849206674445627276

    ReplyDelete

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