Beggars Bush: A Perambulation through the Disciplines of History, Geography, Archaeology, Literature, Philology, Natural History, Botany, Biography & Beggary

Dublin, Donnybrook – False Trails Beggars

The usual explanation of the place name Beggars Bush is that it was a haunt of highwaymen or beggars. However, the record of Beggars boush in 1573 undermines these later explanations at Dublin, Donnybrook. Many historical works on Dublin give this. I believe they are examples of the tendency to adopt restrospective romantic explanations. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 30th, 2011 | Filed under: Places, Speculations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »


Dublin, Donnybrook – False Trails Prints

There are four early prints purporting to show Beggars Bush at Donnybrook. It is difficult to identify these with any recorded features or with each other. It seems that the two later prints take liberties with the features to present an artistic scene. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 30th, 2011 | Filed under: Places, Speculations | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »


Dublin, Donnybrook – False Trails Baggotrath & Folly

At the date of the earliest record in 1573 Baggotrath Castle would have been a prominent landmark in the countryside south east of the city. As However, as the record refers to both it appears to exclude the possibility that the place name Beggars Bush was an Anglicisation of Baggotrath. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 30th, 2011 | Filed under: Places, Speculations | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »


Dublin, Donnybrook – False Trails Lazars Hill

In 1573 “the Old Shore” of South Dublin continued to Townsend Street, then called Lazey or Lazar’s Hill (also Louseyhill, Louzy Hill and Lowsyhill) from the leper hospital. This is too far away to have any direct connection with Beggars Bush at Donnybrook.
I have encountered an article by Sean Donnelly which speculates that connects the two sites in Dublin through Poor Robin’s An Almanack of the old and new fashion (1694) which says “Since the King of the Beggars was married to the Queen of the Sluts at Lowzy-Hill near Beggars-Bush, being most splendidly attended by a ragged Regiment of Mumpers.” I do not believe this has anything to do with Dublin. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 30th, 2011 | Filed under: Places, Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »


Walter Jones ? Yellow Stockings 1713

There is a reference to Beggars Bush in a version of the popular melody “Yellow Stockings” printed in a dubious Irish anthology. It isn’t possible to be certain about the author of the verse, which is almost certainly a literary creation rather than a collected “folk song”, although one reviewer rather cruelly suggested it was “neither Irish nor literature”. All that can be said is that the author and printers assumed that readers would understand the phrase, which is consistent with the standard literary usage. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 25th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


Dublin, Lucan, Ireland Begarsbush 1704

Rocque’s Survey of Dublin (1760) shows Begarsbush over three fields running north-south west of the lane south from the Lucan to Palmerston road (now the N4). The site roughly corresponds with what is now Ballyowen Park. It is opposite the gate house to the park marked Hermitage, and an area marked Woodville. Taylor’s Map of Dublin (1816) shows Beggars Bush running west-east across the same lane, and appears to show the area as being a small hill. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 25th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, Turkey Beggars Bush 1915

This is a very late and tragic example of the place name. The naming can be fixed to a very short period, responsibility for naming can be limited to a small group, and their situation at the time is known  It falls within the same general circumstances  as the other ‘frontier’ sites, but even more intense and dangerous. However, it may not arise from the literary usage but have it’s origins in another location.

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Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Sticky: Dublin, Donnybrook Beggars boush 1573

Current location and earliest record

The name is now used for the area around the redundant Beggars Bush barracks, in use from 1827 for training and as the final station before embarkation for troops going to the Crimea, Flanders and the Empire. In 1929 the barracks area was taken over for housing and the headquarters of the Geological Survey of Ireland, the National Print Museum and Labour Court. There is also modern pub called Ryan’s Beggars Bush.

The earliest record of the name in Dublin is 1573 “at the wood called Beggars boush by Bagotrath” in Fiant 2341 in the Calendar of Fiants of reign of Henry VIII 1510-47 through to Queen Elizabeth 1558-1603. The Irish form Tor an Bhacaigh would have followed the English/Anglicised form Beggars Bush.
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Posted: March 13th, 2011 | Filed under: Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »