Nano and Ned: Two Irish cousins. Venerable Nano Nagle (1718-1784) and Edmund Burke PC (1729-1797)

Michael D. Phelan

Two eighteenth-century Irish cousins left ?indelible marks in the fields of education for the poor, and politics. Michael D. Phelan, a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Northampton, looks at their remarkable lives and achievements.

These two excellent 18th century Irish cousins achieved much in their very different lives: Nano Nagle laid the foundations during penal times for an education system for Irish Catholics and founded the Presentation Sisters, now working in 23 countries. Edmund Burke became a liberal Whig Westminster parliamentarian and was a writer, political theorist, orator, and philosopher.

Edmund?s mother Mary, n?e Nagle, and only sister Juliana were both Catholics. The wealthy Catholic Nagle family were Jacobites who remained loyal to the deposed Roman Catholic Stuart King James II of England, Scotland, and Ireland. They were against Protestant Prince William of Orange, assuming the throne with James? daughter Mary in 1688-9, at the invitation of English parliamentarians and after the Prince?s naval invasion of England.

Nano, born Honora, used her family name ? Nano ? as Edmund used his family name, Ned, with friends.

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