Theobald Mathew (1790-1856)

Famous Individuals: Theobald Mathew (1790-1856)

One of the rare preserved prints by the famous London printer J.T. Wood. The technique used here is described as zincography*.

Theobald Mathew was born at Thomastown Castle, near the village of Golden in County Tipperary (in the south of Ireland, in the provincial county of Munster), on October 10, 1790. He was a Capuchin priest and advocate for temperance. In 1808, he was accepted by the Capuchins in Church St., Dublin, and was ordained a priest in 1813 by Daniel Murray. He passed away on December 8, 1856, and was buried in the St. Joseph's cemetery in Cork, Ireland**.

1 Items

Size: ± 11.5 x 15 cm

Print. Zincography* of stipple engraving

Date: 1845-1850

Printer: J.T. Wood, London.

  • Zincography:

Zincography is a graphic technique similar to lithography used for reproducing images and text. It involves zinc plates onto which images are engraved or drawn using special inks. Subsequently, the zinc plate is moistened, and ink is applied, adhering only to the drawn or engraved parts. The image is then transferred to paper or other material using a printing press. Zincography was widely used in the 19th century for printing books, magazines, and illustrations.

  • Theobald Mathew:

On April 3, 1813, Mathew was ordained a deacon. A year later, he was ordained a priest by the Reverend Daniel Murray (1768-1852), later Archbishop of Dublin. After a brief stay in Kilkenny, Father Mathew returned to Cork, where he came under the influence of Father Daniel Donovan, who was elected Provincial Minister of the Irish Capuchins in 1816. Father Mathew dedicated a significant portion of his time to practical charitable projects and established schools for poor and orphaned children. In these schools, children were taught not only elementary subjects but also household skills. In 1821, Father Donovan passed away, and Father Mathew was elected as his successor as Provincial Minister. He would hold this position until 1851. In 1832, he laid the foundation stone for an elaborate Gothic-style Capuchin church in Cork (later named The Church of the Most Holy Trinity), on Charlotte Quay (later renamed Father Mathew Quay). Due to a lack of financial resources, the church remained unfinished during Father Mathew's lifetime. It was not until 1890 that the spire and facade were added. Nevertheless, Father Mathew gained an excellent reputation in the local community for his tireless efforts in supporting Cork's poor. He was also known for his exceptional spirit of ecumenism, maintaining friendly relationships with several prominent Protestants and Quakers in the city. In April 1838, Father Mathew joined the total abstinence movement in Cork. The Cork Total Abstinence Society was established with the stated goal of encouraging people to make one enduring act that would keep them sober for life. This act of will was enshrined in the pledge to abstain from the consumption of intoxicating beverages.