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Margaret Pearse

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Margaret Pearse

Aged 51 at the time of the 1911 Census

Census 1911 Address: 20.2, Haroldsgrange (Whitechurch, Dublin)1

This is the 1911 Census return for Margaret Pearse (51). The return was completed in Irish and her son Pádraig was recorded as the head of the household. Pádraig was 31 years old and entered his occupation as a School Headmaster. Also on the Census return are her daughter Margaret Mary (32) (a future senator) and William (29) who was a sculptor. (It does not include her other daughter Mary Brigid.) The Census return included two other people:  Margaret Brady, (40), Pádraig and William’s cousin, and Wilfred MacLoughlin (22), who was recorded as the son of Pádraig and William’s half-sister. Margaret recorded her marital status on the Census form as a widow.

Margaret was an Irish politician and was born in Dublin in 1857. She was the daughter of a coal merchant. She worked in a stationer’s shop where she met her husband, James Pearse. She was his second wife. James had two children, Emily and James, from his first marriage, (two other children died in infancy). Margaret was the mother of Pádraig (Patrick) and William (Willie) Pearse. Pádraig was a signatory of the proclamation and both sons were executed after the Easter Rising.

Margaret was from a strong nationalist and Irish speaking background, (although not an Irish speaker herself), and helped to instil these values in her children. She had a particularly strong and supportive influence on her eldest son, Pádraig. When he founded St. Enda’s school she took over the housekeeping at the school. Following the executions of both her sons after the Rising, she wholeheartedly adopted their cause and dedicated the rest of her life to the twin causes of Irish independence and maintaining St. Enda’s School. She toured the United States to raise money for St. Enda’s, which continued to operate at a loss. Often regarded as the matriarch of the Easter Rising, she gave countless speeches venerating her two sons. Margaret joined Sinn Féin after the Rising and was elected to the Dáil in the 1921 elections. She died in 1932.

Margaret’s  daughter, Margaret Mary, also became a politician and was first elected to the Dáil in the 1933 general election. Margaret Mary was defeated in the 1937 election but was elected to the Seanad and she served in the Seanad until her death in 1968. St. Enda’s school in Rathfarnham was bequeathed by her to the State in 1968 and is now The Pearse Museum.

Margaret Pearse: Member of the Oireachtas

Margaret Mary Pearse: Member of the Oireachtas (24/08/1878 - 07/11/1968)



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