The Bould Thady Quill

My father’s social gathering piece was a lusty tongue-in-cheek rendition of “The Bould Thady Quill”. For individuals who don’t realize it, the track is an excellent mock-heroic come-all-ye that depicts the last word Cork superhero:

” For rambling, for roving, for soccer or courtin’
For consuming black porter as quick as you’d fill
In all of your days rovin’ you’d discover none so jovial
Because the Muskerry sportsman the bould Thady Quill”

I went off to test the lyrics just lately (my own version is rusty, not lusty) and instantly discovered myself down a number of rabbit holes. First, Wikipedia informed me that he was an actual particular person, a landless farm labourer employed by an area Muskerry farmer, Johnny Tom Gleeson, who was additionally a balladeer, and who paid for Thady’s companies with the track as an alternative of his wages, “which happy Thady no finish”.  The image painted is of a bashful man – “he died a bachelor” – tickled pink to be painted in a ballad as a Corkonian Popeye.

A Corkonian Popeye

And there he was within the 1901 census, a live-in labourer in an O’Sullivan family.  However not within the 1911. Hmmm. Why not? A query that set 100 threads a-pulling.

A picture-search turned up a picture of his gravestone.  It revealed his given identify as Timothy, gave an tackle and a date of loss of life. Three advantageous threads there. With the tackle, I acquired his baptism in Aghinagh parish in 1860, to folks Patrick Quill and Catherine Kelliher in Carrigiulla townland.



A test of 1932 loss of life data in Macroom district uncovered a Timothy the fitting age and occupation:

However he was a widower. Possibly the true Thady wasn’t so bashful in spite of everything.  Away with me to the wedding data. There, in 1906, is the wedding of a Timothy Quill to a Julia McCarthy.

His father is Patrick, his occupation is right and his tackle is Kilmartin, one of many areas of Cork omitted from the net 1911. Aha! says I.

On to the newspapers, to flesh issues out. The Southern Star of 1932 has a bit:

This was written on November 5, a couple of days after the burial. However my Timothy’s loss of life was recorded in January 1932. Not doable. Again to the loss of life data. And there, registered in January 1933, and so listed within the index underneath 1933, is the true bould Thady:

A bachelor in spite of everything. However perhaps not the retiring flower Wikipedia implies. The Dictionary of Irish Biography has him requesting the ballad be written, not being fobbed off with it. And his jail data counsel somebody in no want of assertiveness coaching:

Cork jail 1884
Cork jail 1884 No. 2
Cork jail 1903

The ethical of the story? It’s virtually unimaginable to not assemble tales that join partial data. Watch out for them.