The Catholic University of America

Richard Robert Madden

An inventory of the Richard Robert Madden Papers at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Richard Robert Madden, August 20, 1798-February 5, 1886
Title: Robert Richard Madden Papers
Dates: 1641(1851-1891)n.d.
Extent: 1 linear foot; 2 boxes
Abstract: This collection contains bound copies of Dr. Richard R. Madden's papers as well as loose copies of personal letters. The contents of these papers include burial practices of the Irish, English, Welsh, Scottish, Chinese, Japanese, and several South Sea cultures. These burial descriptions also include printed sources that were pasted within Madden's journal with annotations. The other personal journals include articles and annotations on Irish politics, Church policy, and testimonials of his work as Colonial Administrator in Jamaica and Cuba. Lastly, there are also testimonials with his work with Irish and American anti-slavery societies.
Collection Number: 26
Language: English

Biographical Note

Dr. Richard Robert Madden, M.D. was born in Dublin on August 20 1798. Madden had a stellar education at the finest private schools where he began his passion for medicine. He was an apprentice for Dr. Woods of Athboy for five years before traveling to Paris, London, and Naples to continue his career. In 1824 Madden went to the Near East for three years where he studied the ancient burial practices of the local people. Until 1833 Madden was in London where he continued his work on burial studies. That year he was appointed as a special magistrate in Jamaica where he was in charge of carrying out the abolition of Slavery. Due to the resistance that the planters gave Madden he resigned his position in 1834. He was a magistrate in Havana from 1836-1840, and in Africa from 1841-1843. Dr. Madden also served three years in Lisbon, Portugal as a reporter for the Morning Chronicle.

In 1846 Madden was appointed as colonial secretary of Western Australia, where he took up the humanitarian cause of improving the lives of the aborigines. His last governmental position was his job of thirty years, 1850-1880, as secretary of the Loan Fund Board of Dublin. Dr. Madden's most important achievement was his abilities as a writer for different social causes as well as his work as a historian. One of his most important works was his seven volumes of "The United Irishman, their lives and times", 1843-1846; his other important works of Irish history included "Connection of the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of England", 1845, and "Penal Laws Enacted against Roman Catholics", 1845.

The other major topics that Madden wrote about was about the evils of slavery as well as burial practices of ancient and modern times. Most of Madden's writings on slavery came from his work as a colonial administrator in the Caribbean. His most famous work on this topic was his two volumes of "Travels to the West Indies", 1838-1840, and "The Slave Trade and Slavery", 1843. Dr. Madden was also an avid researcher on various burial practices. This work was all published in his 1851 book, "Shrines and Sepulchers of the Old and New World. Robert R. Madden would remain in Dublin until his death at the age of 87 on February 5, 1886.

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Scope and Contents

The Robert Richard Madden Papers consists of two series. The first series are personal papers and manuscripts. The manuscripts are a collection of papers of Dr. Madden that were bound in two volumes. These two volumes have a wide variety of topics that Madden was interested in. They include obituaries from the 1870's of local Dubliners, names and references to books. Shakespeare excerpts, articles on different Irish scholars, political articles, and tributes. This collection also includes a book of poetry and a book an ancient Irish burials with hand drawn drawings and diagrams. Lastly, this collection consists of newspaper clippings from famous burials, notes to scholars on burial practices, and a book of testimonials on Madden's work in the anti-slavery movement. The second series has several hand written chapters of Madden's 1851 book "Shrines and Sepulchers". These notes were taken after the publication around 1872-1873.

The Madden papers mainly focus on his work on researching ancient burial grounds. There is a cursory amount of information on his work as a colonial administrator and anti-slavery activist. The papers on burial practices however are extensive on the history of the burial as well as the religious ceremonies that go with the funeral. Madden also uses secondary sources; which are pasted in his journals with personal annotations. Madden's close attention to history gives a good glance at English and Irish history from the ancient period until the mid-nineteenth century. Lastly, Madden's personal paper's reveal a scholar's opinion on Irish politics of the second half of the nineteenth century as well as British policy in Ireland. Overall, the Robert Richard Madden papers give great insight to one of the most important Irish scholars of his generation.

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Arrangement

Series 1: Personal Papers and Manuscripts, 1641(1851-1891)n.d., Box 1

Series 2: Shrines and Sepulchers, ca. 1872-1873, Box 2


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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donor Unknown

Processing Information

Processing completed in 2011 by Raymond Moore. EAD markup completed in 2012 by Raymond Moore.

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Related Material

American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives:

Fenian Brotherhood Records and O'Donovan Rossa Papers

Irish Home Rule Political Cartoons

Irish Repeal Campaign Cartoons

Thomas Clarke Luby Papers

John Luddy Notebooks

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Robert Richard Madden

Organizations:
Shrines and Sepulchers

Places:
Dublin, Ireland

Subjects:
Irish History, Burial Practices


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Bibliography

Dictionary of Irish Biography by: Henry Boylan Appleton Encyclopedia of American Biography

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Personal Papers, 1641(1851-1891)n.d. (1 Box)
This series contains the personal papers of Richard Robert Madden. They contain personal research notes for his 1851 book* Shrines and Sepulchers as well as newspaper clippings about famous burials and correspondence with different scholars on Irish and English burial practices. There is also two bound copies of personal notes that was done posthumously and a book of poems that was pasted in a journal. Lastly, there is a book of testimonials about Madden's work as a colonial administrator and anti-slavery activist, and a book on Irish tombs. *Note: All bound books are handwritten except for different printed segments pasted within Madden's notes.
Box Folder
1 1 Personal Correspondence, 1851-1852
        The correspondence within this folder is with different scholars on historical research on different funeral and burial customs. There is also an extract from a journal with hand drawn sketches of a graveyard in Dublin.
  2 Burial Newspaper Clippings, 1852-1858
        This folder contains newspaper clippings from various historical burial practices in Britain. There is also a picture of Napoleon I tomb from Paris with articles in English and French describing the tomb. There are also articles on the 1852 death of the Duke of Wellington and his funeral and burial. Lastly, is an 1858 clipping of Richard Henry Lee's 1799 tribute to George Washington.
  3 Richard Robert Madden Testimonials, 1861
        This folder contains an 1861 publication* of testimonials on Madden's work as an anti-slavery activist. There are testimonials from both American and Irish Abolitionists, including major abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison. Lastly, there are testimonials from various people on Madden's work as a colonial administrator in Jamaica and Cuba. *This a publication of work testimonials from 1833-1849.
  4 Poems, 1863-1874
        This is a group of poems written by Madden as well as other authors that was taken from other books and pasted into this one journal. There are also psalms within this journal with requiem poems as well.
  5 Ancient Irish Burials, n.d.
        This is a journal on ancient Irish burial methods with Gaelic excerpts. This journal also includes drawings of jewelry and burial goods that were included in an ancient tomb. The drawings are sketches with some in color.
  6 Research Material for "Shrines and Sepulchers", 1641-n.d.
        This is research material that was used by Dr. Madden; which includes a 1641 copy of "De Sepultura" by: Sir Henry Spelman. There is also a French copy of Spectateur Belge, another book on burial methods. There are then personal notes made on burials including names and dates of the deceased that was found in graveyards. Lastly, there are pages from different books including the death of Walter Scott
  7 Volume 1 of Richard Robert Madden's notes, n.d., 1886, 1888
        This is a bound copy of Madden's personal notes on local deaths in Dublin and their obituaries as well as death's in England. This includes handwritten notes of names and dates of birth and death as well as a short biography. There are also newspaper clippings pasted inside the journal on different deaths. This book was put together posthumously, includes Madden's obituary and his wife's from 1888.
  8 Volume 2 of Richard Robert Madden's notes, n.d., 1891
        The second volume of bound notes includes a list of names and references to different books. There are also news clippings on Irish politics and British policy with Ireland. There are also articles and annotations on Church policy. There are even excerpts on research Madden did on Shakespeare. Also, there is a biography on the Bishop of Clogher. Another important part of Irish history which is included is a section of obituaries for Irish patriots, Catholic Union of Ireland. Lastly, there are pasted articles of Irish scholars as well as a posthumous 1891 article on Madden's memoirs being published.
                       
Shrines and Sepulchers Manuscripts, ca. 1872-1873 (1 Box)
This series contains Richard Robert Madden's hand written manuscripts from his 1851 book; which includes chapters 1-13, 18-21, and an appendix. These chapters are thoroughly detailed with different secondary sources pasted within the manuscript as well as a detailed history which is given of the time period of each culture.
Box Folder
2 1 Shrines and Sepulchers Manuscripts Chapters 1-3, ca. 1872-1873
        Chapter one is a complete history of Anglo-Saxon burials which discusses the transition from Pagan to Christian burials. There is also a section on English shrines to famous English saints, with excerpts from Cornwall and Cheshire. Chapter two is about burial customs from New Guinea. There is a brief history on European contact with New Guinea and a detailed account on burials witnessed from the Cook expedition, 1774-1775. Lastly, chapter three gives a brief description on Chinese burial practices and its relation to their culture. The same is applied to Japan and Maldives.
  2 Shrines and Sepulchers Manuscripts Chapters 4-7, ca. 1872-1873
        Chapter four describes the burial practices of the South Sea Islands, with the use of other texts from other sources. Chapter five discusses the history of burial practices in Sardinia and the British Islands. There is also a description on burial clothing and the transition from Pagan to Christian burials. Chapter six is about British tombs of the London elite. Included are Latin epitaphs and memorial articles. Lastly, chapter seven discusses British tombs of Westminster Abbey. There is a history given of the abbey as well as history of the prominent historical figures buried there including: Edward the Confessor and Catherine of Valois.
  3 Shrines and Sepulchers Manuscripts Chapters 8-13, ca. 1872-1873
        Chapters eight through thirteen are mainly about famous English burial sites. In chapter eight there is a thorough history of St. Paul's Cathedral and the King's relation with the Cathedral. There is also a list of London's mayors who are buried at the Cathedral. There are also pasted descriptions about the deceased buried at the cathedral. This is followed by a complete history of the people buried in the cemetery of the London tower. There is a history of the tower that dates back to 1020 and a history, Latin excerpts, about the people who have been buried there in the time between King Henry VIII and Oliver Cromwell. The last chapter is about the six major tombs of England including Goldsmith, Byron, Burns, Lord Frances Jeffrey, Thorwaldleu, and Kormer.
  4 Shrines and Sepulchers Manuscripts Chapters 18-21 and Appendix, ca. 1872-1873
        Chapter eighteen gives an insightful history of West Indian burial customs. Chapter nineteen discusses the elaborate 1649 burial of John Banister. Chapter twenty gives a history of burial practices within cities and towns. Chapter twenty-one discusses the history of burial of the destitute under the poor law. The appendix section has a varied amount of burial descriptions. These descriptions are about the custom of the Australians and other burial research that could not fit within the other chapters of the manuscript.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Personal Papers, 1641(1851-1891)n.d.

Shrines and Sepulchers Manuscripts, ca. 1872-1873

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