This diary is a fascinating snapshot into a pivotal moment in Irish history. The author of the diary, Dorothy Stopford Price, a 26 year old medical student at Trinity College Dublin, did not seem to be a regular diarist. Rather, the tumultuous events of Easter Week impelled her to record what was happening around her.
Her diary provides a unique insight into how the 1916 Easter Rising was viewed from the perspective of a highly educated Protestant woman: a woman who happened to be staying as a house guest of Sir Matthew Nathan, the Under-Secretary to Ireland, at his home in the Under Secretary’s Lodge in the Phoenix Park, now Áras an Uachtaráin, the home of the President of Ireland.
Dorothy Stopford at the Meath Hospital, undated. Photograph courtesy of Dr Ida Milne.
Dr. Dorothy Price (Image of MS SU-8-3-18 provided by RCPI) 1
Dr. Dorothy Price (Image of MS SU-8-3-18 provided by RCPI) 2
Saint Ultan's Hospital, c.1919 (SU)
Nurses receiving their BCG Vaccination, SU-8-1-4
Indore - Central India. BCG team travelling by elephant and carrying colourful BCG posters, SU824
Dorothy Stopford Price biography note from The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science L-Z (Taylor & Francis, 2000).
St Ultan’s: ‘The convalescent smile’—taken from a 1930 promotional brochure. (Daily Mirror)
St Ultan’s: Kathleen Lynn and Madeleine ffrench-Mullen in 1919. (Teach Ultáin Infant Hospital)
St Ultan’s: Infants (l–r) Betty, George, Jack, Kate and Joseph with unnamed nurses, March 1929. (Teach Ultáin Infant Hospital)
St Ultan’s: a women’s hospital for infants, 1953. (Irish Press).
Alice Stopford Green (nÈe Alice Sophia Amelia Stopford), photograph by Henry Herschel Hay Cameron (later The Cameron Studio), 1880s.
Photograph of Dorothy Stopford, graduating as a Bachelor of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin. 1921. TCD MS 7534/5
Dorothy Price with the St Ultan's founders. TCD MS 7534/139.
Photograph of Dorothy Price with a nurse and a patient, possibly at St Ultan's Hospital. 29 May 1947. TCD MS 7537-208.
Photograph taken during a lecture at the Ospedale Maggiore, Turin, 1935. TCD MS 7534/83.
A holiday camp for children affected by the disease. TCD MS 7535/304, 308.
Letter appointing Price as Children's Specialist of the Royal City of Dublin Hospital. 23 November 1932. TCD MS 7534-28.
Letter appointing Price as Consultant Physician to the Royal National Hospital for Consumption in Ireland. 12 November 1937. TCD MS 7534-204.
The Sunshine Home. Price worked there during the 1920s and 1930s. TCD MS 7535/25.
Timetable for a refresher course in the diagnosis and treatment of TB, Scheidegg, Bavaria, September 1934. TCD MS 7534/63.
Letter from Walter Pagel to Dorothy Price. 7 October 1939. TCD MS 7535-117-2.
Notes taken by Price in Vienna in the mid-1930s. TCD MS 7534/47.
Dorothy Price's thesis for Degree of Doctor of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin. January 1935. TCD MS 7534/68.
Letter from Anders Wassen to Dorothy Price. 31 October 1936. TCD MS 7534-145.
Package from Anders Wassen to Dorothy Price, formerly containing BCG vaccine. 26 January 1937. TCD MS 7534/158a.
Flyer for the Irish National Anti-Tuberculosis League. 15 February 1943 TCD MS 7536/276.
Flyer for the Tuberculosis Exhibition, Mansion House. 28 May 1945. TCD MS 7537/58.
Letter from Noël Browne to Dorothy Price, on his appointment as Minister for Health. 28 February 1948 (TCD MS 7538/30)
Fundraising activities - dance-admission ticket to a holiday camp for children affected by the disease. (TCD MS 7535/304, 308)
Dorothy Price's unpublished biography written by her husband, barrister and antiquarian Liam Price (TCD MS 7572)
The diary begins on Good Friday, 21 April 1916. Price records the most mundane of events: playing in the garden with Nathan’s nieces and reading a novel aloud of the evening. By Saturday, however, there are ominous tones. Although Easter Sunday was taken up with visits to friends, Nathan was preoccupied and went into Dublin Castle several times, the last time at 10.00 at night, while Price and Nathan’s sister-in-law, Estelle, waited up for his return.
On Monday the 24th, the Rising erupted. From that day through the end of her diary on 6 May 1916, Price’s diary reflects the fast-paced events of the week, as well as the rumours and innuendos. This is a fascinating eye-witness account by a skilled writer whose innate ability deftly describes the Rising as she experienced it.
Stopford graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1921 as a medical doctor. She later became pivotal in helping to eradicate TB from Ireland. This digital edition contains further information on Stopford Price and her family, as well as Sir Matthew Nathan and the historical context in which the diary was written.