Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Mangan - Contents

James Clarence Mangan

James Clarence Mangan, silhouette made in 1822 (age 19).
From [Sheridan, 1937].
See larger and full size.


James Clarence Mangan,
probably born 1 May 1803, 3 Fishamble St, Dublin,
bapt 2 May 1803.
The tragic poet.
He was born "James Mangan". "Clarence" was a nom de plume adopted as an adult.
See Wikipedia.

He was a prolific writer, first published 1818 (age 15). Wrote for many publications. He wrote nearly a thousand poems.
[Enc.Brit.] describes him as: "a prolific and uneven writer of almost every kind of verse whose best work, inspired by love of Ireland, ranks high in Irish poetry".
[Shannon-Mangan, 1996] says the nom de plume "Clarence" first appears in 1831. Its meaning is not explained.
The most common theory is that "Clarence" comes from the character of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence in the play Richard III, and his line: "Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjured Clarence".
He wrote for The Dublin University Magazine (after 1834).
Worked as a copyist at the Ordnance Survey office in Dublin 1838 to 1841.
Worked as a cataloguer in Trinity College library (1842-1846).
More nationalistic writings in 1840s. Wrote for The Nation (after 1842) and The United Irishman (after 1848).

Dismissed from his library employment in 1846.
Never married.
Lived an alcoholic, penniless life of ill health.
Infected with cholera in epidemic 1849. Was in hospital, walked out, found homeless and malnourished. Brought to the Meath Hospital, Dublin.
He died 20 June 1849, Meath Hospital, age 46 yrs.
He was bur Mangan family grave, Glasnevin.
See burial record. This gives under address ("Residences") just "Fishamble St".

His poems include:

Other works include:

Portrait of James Clarence Mangan, by Frederic Burton, drawn just after Mangan's death in 1849 as he lay in the mortuary of the Meath Hospital.
From [O'Donoghue, 1897].

James Clarence Mangan.
From [O'Donoghue, 1897].

James Clarence Mangan.
From [Guiney, 1897].

Part of a special poem Mangan wrote for the first issue of The Nation, October 15, 1842.

Part of Mangan's translation, "A Lamentation For the Death of Sir Maurice Fitzgerald, Knight of Kerry".
The Nation, 29 Aug 1846.


"Dark Rosaleen"

"Dark Rosaleen" is Mangan's creative translation of the old Irish song "Róisín Dubh".
Start and end of "Dark Rosaleen".
The Nation, 30 May 1846.

John McCormack sings Mangan's "My Dark Rosaleen" (1907).




Sources yet to be consulted



Memorials to James Clarence Mangan


"To the soul of Clarence Mangan was tied the burning ribbon of Genius."
- W.B. Yeats, in "Clarence Mangan's Love Affair", United Ireland, 22 Aug 1891.

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