Papers of Robert Erskine Childers his wife Mary Alden Childers (née Osgood) Public Deposited
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- IE TCD MSS 7781-7931
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- Copyright The Board of Trinity College Dublin. Images are available for single-use academic application only. Publication, transmission or display is prohibited without formal written approval of the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
- The Papers of Robert Erskine Childers (1870-1922) and of his wife Mary Alden Childers (née Osgood) collection (IE TCD MSS 7781-7931) contains papers relating to Childers' personal, political and literary affairs, as well as correspondence of his wife.The first section of the collection relates to the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations in 1921, and includes conference minutes, committee papers, drafts of the Treaty, memoranda, official correspondence, accounts, rough meeting minutes by Childers himself (TCD MSS 7781-7806). Other sections contain the correspondence: that of both Childers and his wife of a political and public nature (1919-25) (TCD MS 7808), correspondence between them (1903-22) (TCD MSS 7852-60), and between the Childers' and other relatives (1884-1922) (TCD MSS 7861-63). Also included are other Osgood, Morris and Childers papers and correspondence (TCD MSS 7864-87), including the correspondence of Molly Childers (1894-7 and undated) (TCD MS 7864). Childers personal diaries spanning the years 1904-1922 are included (TCD MSS 7809-19), although the diaries for the period 1914-18 have been presented to the Imperial War Museum. Papers relating to Childers' writings and publications include articles, press cuttings and correspondence with publishers (1901-27) (TCD MSS 7824-7826, 7826a, 7827), and papers relating to his trial, death and burial, including legal papers (TCD MSS 7829-30). Another section is devoted to notes and papers belonging to Molly Childers for a biography of her husband (TCD MSS 7899-7900). For further information see: https://manuscripts.catalogue.tcd.ie/CalmView/docs/T.C.D%20MSS7781-7931RobertErskineChilders.pdf . For other Childers family related material see the IE TCD MS 11276, Dulcibella Childers’ commonplace book. Robert Erskine Childers was born on 25 June 1870 in Mayfair, London. He was the son of the orientalist Robert Caesar Childers. His parents died when he was young and he and his siblings were sent to his mother's family, the Bartons, in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. He received a BA from Trinity College Cambridge, and was a clerk in the House of Commons from 1895 to 1910. He served under the British in both the Boer War and the First World War, but between the beginning of the former and the end of the latter his attitude towards the British Empire and Ireland's place within it had completely changed. He had undergone a complete conversion to the cause of Home Rule for Ireland. He was assigned to the secretariat of Prime Minister Lloyd George's abortive Home Rule Convention initiative in Dublin Castle in 1917. The violent suppression of the Easter Rising by the British in 1916 had shocked Childers, and the proposal to introduce military conscription to Ireland in 1918 angered him further. Around this time he was introduced to both Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera. Soon after this, in 1919, the Sinn Féin leadership invited him to join the unofficial Irish delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, at which their 'Demand for Recognition' (of Ireland's right to self-determination) was not answered. Childers was a member for Co. Wicklow of the self-constituted Irish parliament (Dáil Éireann) in 1921, and was the principal secretary to the Irish delegation which negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty with the British government. This agreement was soon to divide the country into two camps, Childers being anti-Treaty. The split resulted in the outbreak of the Civil War in 1922. The pro-Treaty camp had the upper hand and held control of government. Events such as the killing of Michael Collins led to the introduction of Emergency Powers legislation by the Dáil, and it was under this bill that Childers was arrested in November 1922. He was tried by a military court on the charge of possessing a semi-automatic pistol on his person in violation of the Emergency Powers Resolution. The pistol had been a gift from Michael Collins while the two men had been on the same side. Childers was convicted by the military court and sentenced to death. He was shot by firing squad in Dublin on 24 November 1922 and is buried in Glasnevin cemetery. Childers was an enthusiastic sailor from his schooldays. Some of his sailing adventures were used as the basis of his most famous book The Riddle of the Sands, which he wrote in 1903. In 1914 he used the Asgard to smuggle arms to the Irish volunteers in Dublin. His wife Mary Alden ('Molly') Osgood shared his love of sailing. The pair met in the US in 1903 and were married the following year. Molly was an ardent Irish republican, and encouraged her husband in his anti-British stance.
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Papers of Robert Erskine Childers his wife Mary Alden Childers (née Osgood)
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|Papers of Robert Erskine and Mary Childers: Photographs||IE TCD MS 7890/8||Public|
|Papers of Robert Erskine and Mary Childers: Papers||Public|