Rutland Street


Rutland Street

A Georgian house on Rutland Street which was once the residence of Mary Aikenhead (1787-1858), founder of the Irish Sisters of Charity in 1815. The plaque on the wall reads:

This is where
Mary Aikenhead
Foundress of the Irish Sisters of Charity lived from
1786 - 1812

Mary Aikenhead was born in a house in Daunt's Square in Cork on 19 January 1787. Her father David Aikenhead was an apothecary, a doctor, and a member of the Church of Ireland. Mary Stackpole, her mother, was a Catholic. Mary Aikenhead was baptised into the Church of Ireland in the famous St Anne's, Shandon, on 4 April 1787. She spent the years from 1787 to 1793 in the foster care of Mrs Mary Rorke on Eason's Hill.

Following her father's deathbed conversion to Catholicism on 15 December 1801, Mary became a Catholic. Influenced by Bishop David Murray of Dublin, she entered the Bar Convent of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in York in 1812.

On 7 September 1815, Mary Aikenhead was named the superior general of the Irish Sisters of Charity and opened the first convent in North William Street in Dublin. The sisters devoted themselves to the care of the poor and were to the fore in providing education for poor Catholic children.

The order spread widely opening a convent in Peacock Lane in Cork and in other Irish towns. Eventually the sisters opened a foundation in Australia. For the last thirty years of her life, Mary Aikenhead was plagued by chronic ill-health. She died in Our Lady's Hospice for the Dying in Dublin on 22 July 1858.

Rutland Street / Sráid Rutland

Rutland Street 2

A photograph showing some of the houses in Rutland Street. Rutland Street takes its name from Charles Manners, the fourth Duke of Rutland who was made a Freeman of Cork in 1784.

Download these images in PDF format from the links below:

Georgian house, Rutland Street(180KB)

Rutland Street (65KB)

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