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cretary for Ireland, accompanied the Lord Lieutenant, Earl of Mulgrave (the late Marquis of Normanby), on his first visit to the Normal Model School at Mornington House, Lower Merrionstreet, Dublin, the birthplace of the illustrious Duke of Wellington, which was opened under the management of the eminent professor and teacher, Dr. MacArthur, and of Mr. Lawler, now Inspector of National Schools. The Author, then an humble youth, who had been selected to give instruction to one of the classes in the establishment, had the gratification of receiving from both noblemen on the occasion the highest commendation for the system of vivá voce examination adopted by him in the course of his teaching. On several subsequent occasions Lord Carlisle expressed similar approbation. Thus, at this early period of his life, he had the happiness to attract the attention of this gifted and kind-hearted nobleman.
In 1837, at the suggestion of Lord Morpeth and the late Archbishop Whately, the Author, while yet a mere boy, was appointed to instruct the teachers, then in training, in his method of teaching geography, history, &c., by inductive interrogation—a system of instruction which afterwards called forth the flattering approbation of many of the highest personages in the British Empire, including his Royal Highness the late Prince Consort, Lady Noel Byron, Miss Edgeworth, Harriet Martineau, Combe and Spurzheim, the eminent phrenologists, and Turner, the great painter. In 1841 Lord Morpeth, who never lost sight of an occasion to promote the advancement of the boy whom he had heard teaching in Mornington House, wrote from the Irish Office, London, to the Right Hon. Anthony Richard Blake, Chief Remembrancer of the Irish Exchequer, and one of the Commissioners
of National Education in Ireland, to ascertain if the Author would be willing to go to London, to acquire "Wilhem's Scientific System of Vocal Instruction," then being developed there by Hullah, under the Committee of Privy Council for Education (in order to qualify himself for carrying out Lord Carlisle's special desire and purpose of introducing that popular system of vocal culture into Ireland); and having received a reply in the affirmative, his Lordship remitted a cheque for £50 towards defraying the expenses. The opportunity, thus auspiciously presented, of acquiring an honourable and useful profession, was cheerfully embraced.
On the day of his arrival in London, February 7th, 1841, the Author received the following letter:
"Lord Morpeth is glad to hear of Gaskin having arrived. In the course of this afternoon he had better go to Battersea-a village three miles from London-ask for Dr. Kay,* and present to him the enclosed note, or to one of his family, if he is absent. Lord Morpeth is sorry he cannot come to see him now, but he will hope to do so before long. Lord Morpeth earnestly trusts he will keep out of harm and temptation, and not abuse the confidence he has placed in his discretion.
"Feb. 7th, 1841."
After a due course of study and training under Mr. Hullah, and a constant attendance at the Norwood Industrial School, the Greenwich Naval Schools, the Battersea Educational Institute, and the Choral Classes at Exeter Hall, and also having paid a visit to Paris, to observe and compare the system as carried out in the various Schools, and Orpheon Societies of the French Capital, the Author returned to Ireland, and devoted himself zealously and
* Now Sir James Phillips Kay Shuttleworth, Bart., late Secretary to Committee of Privy Council for Education.
successfully to the introduction and general diffusion of Wilhem's effective and scientific method of musical instruction.*
During the course of his professional career, nothing has been more grateful to his feelings than the continued and unvarying friendship of Lord Carlisle, who was the means of shaping and directing that career.
The following letters clearly manifest the sincere interest his Lordship felt in the prosperity and professional success of his protegé.
Having been some time occupied with the formation of the "Royal Irish Choral Society," the Author received the following letters of congratulation :
"CASTLE HOWARD, Jan. 12, 1843.
"Many thanks for your enclosures, and the best wishes for the new year. . I am very glad to hear you have had so favourable a reception in high quarters. If you happen to have my last letter on the subject [choral music] still by you, have the goodness to enclose it to me, and I will return it. "Very faithfully yours,
"DEAR MR. GASKIN,
"TRENTHAM, STAFFORDSHIRE, June, 1846.
"I have indeed had great pleasure in reading of those marks of honourable appreciation you have received in connexion with the spread of choral music in Ireland.
"Very faithfully yours,
"COUNCIL OFFICE, WHITEHALL, Oct. 22, 1842.
"I have written to the Commissioners of Education on your behalf; but, if it will be any satisfaction to you to receive from me the expression of my confidence that your recent visit to England has qualified you to teach the method of Wilhem, I readily express my conviction that you are prepared to introduce it into the Model Schools of Ireland.
"I cannot do so without adding that I trust your visit to England will have given
The Author's work on "Geography and History made Interesting," based on the inductive system of interrogation practised by him at the Model Schools, Mornington House, so much admired and commended by Lord Carlisle, being ready for publication, he requested permission to dedicate the work to his Lordship, and received the following reply :
“LONDON, May 16, 1846.
"I accept the Dedication with very great pleasure.
“TO THE RIGHT HON. VISCOUNT MORPETH,
"Whose literary tastes and high lineage are only surpassed by his benevolent exertions to carry out the maxim that 'to educate is to govern.'
The year 1847—the famine year-was a period of great privation and suffering in Ireland. Misery and desolation overspread the land. The trading, mercantile, and professional classes equally felt the fearful pressure of this awful visitation. The Author's profession is of all others peculiarly liable to suffer from any serious national calamity or depression. He now feels mingled emotions of pleasure and regret, when calling to mind and recording the thoughtful kindness of his ever-benevolent patron, Lord Carlisle, who, unsolicited, under the impulse of his own kind heart, remitted the Author a cheque for fifty guineas.
you a title to respect for the steadiness of your conduct, your amiable manners, and intelligence; nor without expressing a hope that you will be as successful in securing the good wishes and support of your patrons in Dublin as you have been in England. "I am, dear Sir, very truly yours,
"Mr. James J. Gaskin."
"J. P. KAY.
From this sad era in Ireland's sufferings to the year 1852 [in the interval Lord Carlisle had succeeded to the Earldom of Carlisle], Lord Carlisle continued to hold a familiar and friendly correspondence with the Author on the various questions of interest relating to the welfare of Ireland.
One of his Lordship's letters is as follows:
"DEAR MR. GASKIN,
"CASTLE HOWARD, Dec. 18, 1852.
"I was very glad to hear that you approved of my letter, and still more so to find that your discharge of your official duties meets with such honourable recognition.
"Your faithful well-wisher,
After the Earl of Carlisle had been appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and previous to his arrival in Dublin, the Author received the following letters :
"DEAR MR. GASKIN,
"CASTLE HOWARD, March, 1855.
"Many thanks for your valuable and suggestive Heads and Hints. . . Your friend the critic treats me most handsomely. I beg to mention that the work was not sent to any of the publishers of papers to my knowledge.' "Very faithfully yours,
"MY DEAR GASKIN,
"I am extremely pleased to have your useful publications, and gratified by the place I continue to hold in your recollections.
"Yours, very faithfully,
On the resignation of Lord Palmerston's Ministry, the Earl of Carlisle was succeeded by the late Earl of Eglinton as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, March 9th, 1858. In the beginning of May the Author received the following letter:
"A Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters," by the Earl of Carlisle, Longman and Co.