Thomas Moore

Convent Chapel

In 1835, Thomas Moore, the poet, lyricist and author of Moore’s Melodies, paid a visit to Wexford Convent. Prior to joining the convent Sr Baptist Frayne had known one of Moore’s sisters and upon learning that Moore was planning to visit in Wexford, she extended an invitation for him to visit the convent.


Above: Sr Baptist Frayne entry in the registry book of Wexford Convent
Above: Postcard of garden and rear of Presentation Convent, Wexford

Moore was very impressed by Sr Baptist describing her in his journal as ‘very fair and handsome … and becoming her abbess’s dress most secularly. Whether she expected to be complimented on her good looks, I know not; but I felt that it would be bad taste to do so, and, at all events, did not venture it.’

Small, pretty chapel

During his visit, Thomas Moore explored the ‘small, pretty chapel’ and played ‘Oh all ye angels of the Lord!’ on the organ. He also planted a myrtle tree in the convent garden. Reflecting on the experience, Moore commented: ‘As soon as I had (awkwardly enough) deposited the plant in the hole prepared for it, the gardener, while filling in the earth, exclaimed “This will not be called myrtle any longer, but the Star of Airin!” Where is the English gardener that would have been capable of such a flight?’

Above: Organ in Wexford Convent chapel
Above: Thomas Moore, after Thomas Lawrence engraving.
Above: Detail of chapel ceiling and wall