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'The dead person was often buried in a religious habit, Brown for the Franciscans and Blue for mostly young girls '
Harry Browne describes the burial practices and customs from his childhood. He goes on to remember the common modes of transport and the hard labour that was common in those days.
Trinity College Dublin
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Is Part Of
Childhood and Early Life
Russell Avenue, North Strand, Dublin
Life Story Item Type Metadata
People often died at home with family and friends gathered around the death bed praying and saying Rosaries. The dead person was often buried in a religious habit, Brown for the Franciscans and Blue for mostly young girls. Habits were often worn in the colours of the various Sodalities to which one belonged. Whilst in their last moments the dying person's arm was placed in the sleeve of the habit as they were not yet in Heaven but after death they were fully dressed in the habit as they were then fully in Heaven. Family members wore black for a year and a day after the death ( sometimes just a ribbon) and elderly widows often wore 'widows weeds' until they died. Prominent modes of transport in Dublin in the 1940s included bicycles, buses, trams and foot traffic. There was a business in Granby Lane which rented out horse drawn carts, without horses, which had to supplied by the renter and handcarts. The handcarts were smaller than the horse drawn type and could be rented by the day. Men rented these vehicles and then sought employment as transporters of the most wildly disparate items throughout the city. My uncle Jack employed one such individual to deliver suites of sitting room furniture to clients from one end of the city to the other. The handcart was often laden with three suites, consisting of two armchairs and a sofa. The full load was therefore three sofas and six armchairs. This unwieldy load was then pushed to its various destinations by one small man. Depending on the load and the hills to be encountered on the journey, the carrier might, at his own expense, employ a helper, mostly a small boy to help push the handcart and to offload the furniture at its destination. This type of brutal hard labour was all too common in those less enlightened times.
Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)
Senior Research Associate
Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)
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