North Street, Newry, County Down

North Street, Newry, County Down
North Street, Newry, County Down

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Elizabeth Jennings [1839 - ], North Street, Newry, County Down. Artist.

Elizabeth Jennings was born in 1839, the third and youngest daughter of Andrew Jennings [1793-1869] of North Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife Mary Anne Clarke, daughter of Edward Clarke.
She was baptised in Newry on the 28th of December 1839.
Eliza of Andrew Jennings and Eliza Clarke, 1839. Sponsors  Charles and Mary Jennings.[1]
Her sister Mary Catherine died in Phibsborough, Dublin, in 1864 and is buried in St. Mary’s Catholic graveyard, Newry.  Her sister Ellen, who died in 1866, is also buried there along with their father Andrew who died in 1869. There is a gravestone marking their burial place.
Erected by Andrew Jennings of Newry in memory of his daughter Mary Catherine who departed this life on 19th August 1864, also Ellen McDonald who departed this life on the 16th February 1866, Andrew Jennings departed this life on the 12th April 1869 aged 76. Requiescant in pace.
Elizabeth and her mother Mary Anne moved to 35 Goldsmith Street in Dublin. Her brother Charles Clarke Jennings died in 1870 aged 40 at 2 St. Paul’s Terrace, Goldsmith Street, in North Dublin.  Her mother also died in 35 Goldsmith Street  in June 1876 and both are buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.[2]
At this time the entry in Thom’s Directory describes Eliz as an artist.
1876. Miss Jennings, 35 Goldsmith Street, Dublin.  Jennings, Eliza, artist.[3]

In 1867 a silver medal was recommended to Miss Elizabeth Jennings for a drawing in chalk of a full length antique figure at the annual distribution by the Royal Dublin society of prizes to pupils attending the School of Art in Kildare Street.[4]
The origins of the College date from 1746, when a private drawing school was taken over and run by the Dublin Society. Throughout the 18th Century there were three schools covering figure drawing, landscape, ornamental drawing, and architecture drawing. A school of modelling was added in 1811 and from 1854 the institution was controlled by the Department of Science and Art, London. In 1877 it was renamed the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art.
Two years later in 1869 she was listed among prizes awarded by the Department of Science and Art, London: Selections for National Competition.[5]
In ‘Irish Art Loan Exhibitions 1765 - 1927’ (Index of Artists Vol. I.   A.- L.) by Anne M. Stewart - Loan Treasures of Art Museums Dublin - ‘Storm at the Lizard, Cornwall’ (15 pounds 15 shillings. 0. pence.) is listed as lent by E. Jennings in 1873.[6]
In 1874 the Queen’s Institute published the results of examinations in Science and Art held in May. Eliza was successful in Practical Geometry and Freehand Drawing. She also won two prizes. Three of her works were selected for national competition.[7]
In 1875 she won a prize for an exceedingly pretty design for a silk damask window blind.[8]
In November of that year she won a Third Grade Prize for Timb’s Anecdotes of Nature.[9]
In 1877, when she was 38, Elizabeth won a prize at the Queen's Institute, Dublin for drawing foliage from nature. The Queen’s Institute of Female Professional Schools was on Grafton Street, and included the Dublin Female School of Art. It had been founded by a Quaker, Mrs Anne Jellicoe, who went on to found Alexandra College. The Institute was run by Miss A. B. Corlett.
She was also noted on a prize list for Shading from the Cast [Figure] and an Apple Design.[10]
Nothing more is known about Elizabeth Jennings. She does not appear in the 1901 or 1911 Census records. She is not buried with her mother and brother in Glasnevin Cemetery.

[1] Catholic Church Records, Newry 05502/01. P. 155
[2] Glasnevin Cemetery, MB, 11, SOUTH.
[3] Thom's Directory, 1876
[4] Saunders’s News-letter 24 Dec 1867
[5] The Dublin Builder 1 Feb 1869
[6] National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
[7] Belfast News-letter 31 August 1874.
[8] Irish Times 21 December 1875
[9] Belfast News-letter 12 November 1875
[10] Irish Times 19 December 1877.

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