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Philip Homan to Teach Maynooth University History Department Research Seminar

February 20, 2020

Equine historian Professor Philip Homan has been invited to teach a Department of History Research Seminar at Maynooth University on March 26. Maynooth University, one of the four constituent universities of the National University of Ireland, is near Dublin.

Homan’s paper, “‘Seeking Bronchos to Subdue the Wily Boers’: The Earl of Fingall in the American West during the Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902,” will highlight the work of Arthur James Francis Plunkett, 11th Earl of Fingall, of Killeen Castle, County Meath, Ireland, in getting American horses for Great Britain’s last imperial war. The Anglo-Boer War, in South Africa, was the last fully horse-powered war in history.

Lord Fingall was headquartered at Boise’s Idanha Hotel in December 1901 and January 1902 while purchasing Idaho range horses at the British Empire’s remount station in Nampa, Idaho, during the Anglo-Boer War.

The autobiography of Fingall’s wife, Elizabeth Mary, Countess of Fingall, entitled Seventy Years Young (1937), is one of the great Anglo-Irish memoirs. It documents, from the point of view of a sympathetic eyewitness, the end of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland and the destruction of nearly 300 Irish country houses by the Irish Republican Army between 1919 and 1923. Killeen Castle survived.

Homan’s seminar will be chaired by Professor Terence Dooley, Director of the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates, who has written about the Roman Catholic Fingalls. 

Homan is Instruction Librarian at the ISU Libraries. He is studying America’s role in supplying war-horses and army mules for South Africa’s Anglo-Boer War.


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