Blue Plaque for Ulsterwoman who espoused temperance

Anne Jane Carlile was a leading light in the temperance movement in Victorian Britain
Anne Jane Carlile was a leading light in the temperance movement in Victorian Britain

The Irish Minister for Arts is to unveil a special plaque in Co Cavan in memory of a Presbyterian Ulsterwoman who was a leading campaigner in the temperance movement.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys TD will formally unveil the Ulster History Circle Blue Plaque to Anne Jane Carlile (1775-1864) at 7pm on Friday at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bailieborough.

Chris Spurr, chairman of the Ulster History Circle, said: “Anne Jane Carlile was an Ulsterwoman whose inspiration and faith gave a name and purpose to one of Victorian Britain’s leading temperance movements.

“A co-founder of the Band of Hope, her early years in counties Monaghan and Cavan lent substance to her charitable work in later life.

“The Ulster History Circle is delighted to honour Anne Jane Carlile’s achievements with this blue plaque, which is our first ever in Co Cavan, and the circle would particularly like to thank the Ulster-Scots Agency for their financial support towards the plaque.”

Anne was born at Ruskey, Co Monaghan, youngest child of a linen merchant of Huguenot descent. She married the Presbyterian minister of Bailieborough and Corraneary, Co Cavan, Rev Francis Carlile, and they had seven children, but her husband and three of her children died young.

Anne quickly involved herself in public service, first of all prison visiting after which she related how nearly every inmate in Dublin had been incarcerated because of drunkenness.

She became teetotal soon after and she went on to campaign in Monaghan, Cavan, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Belfast, travelling widely throughout Ulster and founding a number of societies.