The Dublin Penny Journal was a weekly newspaper published in the Irish capital in the 1830s. I’ve always found it to be of mixed quality as a source, but one thing I have always enjoyed about dipping into it are the illustrations. Whole volumes of the magazine have been digitised here.
This first illustration shows the (in)famous Donnybrook Fair, which we’ve looked at on the site here before. In that piece Ciaran noted that “By the time it was dissolved by Dublin Corporation in 1855, it had become a cacophonous event famed for music, heavy drinking, cock-fighting and shillelagh swinging.”
The missing centre-piece of St. Stephen’s Green also appeared in the publication. The work of the talented John Van Nost The Younger, this statue stood in the centre of the park from 1756 until it was bombed (not for the first time) by republicans in 1937.
Illustrations depicting Dublin zoo were plentiful in the magazine. The below combination of a puma and a camel may not have worked so well in real life…..
One of my favourite illustrations in the magazines short lifetime depicted St. Michan’s Church on Church Street. We’ve looked at this church before as there are two very important republicans from the 1790s buried in its crypts. I love the way the artist has depicted the headstones in the graveyard of the church!
Content was not merely restricted to Dublin matters, and there were frequently historical features and profiles of figures and events beyond the city of Dublin. An example of this is the below illustration of Robert Burns, the celebrated Scottish poet. There is a Dublin connection to Burns, in that he wrote of ‘Hell’, a notorious area in the vicinity of Christchurch once upon a time, as we’ve explored before.