Church opens its archive on poet WB Yeats

WB Yeats was born 150 years ago
WB Yeats was born 150 years ago

A Church of Ireland library in Dublin has launched a special promotion of the archive that it holds on one of its most famous sons – the poet WB Yeats.

William Butler Yeats, was born 150 years ago on June 13 1865 and his life and works are being celebrated locally and internationally under the banner of www.Yeats2015.com.

Entering into the spirit of the commemoration, the main record repository of the Church of Ireland, the Representative Church Body Library (RCB) in Dublin, is presenting online the significant evidence of the poet’s life and connection with places in Ireland, his baptism and burial, that may not have been viewed by the public before.

Both Yeats’ baptism in Donnybrook parish church, Dublin, a month after his birth, on July 12 1865, and the reinterment of his remains at the graveyard in Drumcliffe, Co Sligo, on September 17 1948 which took place some nine years after his death at Menton, France, on January 28 1939, are underpinned by his Church of Ireland identity, a church spokesman said.

The poet’s family moved between Dublin, London and Sligo while Yeats was growing up but it was in Sligo where Yeats and his siblings would spend much of their youth and which he regarded as his spiritual home.

It was here in the little parish churchyard at Drumcliffe (where Yeats’ paternal great-grandfather, Rev John Yeats, had been rector between 1811 and 1846) that the poet was finally laid to rest in September 1948, attended by hundreds of people from all walks of life.

The RCB Library’s online exhibition will feature the baptismal and burial entries and other illustrative material documenting his Church of Ireland roots.

For more information see www.ireland.anglican.org/library/archive.