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Boston College collection of Constance de Markievicz

Collection BC-2021-079: Boston College collection of Constance de Markievicz


  • Creation: approximately 1868-2019
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1892-1927

Scope and Contents

The collection is primarily composed of correspondence of Constance de Markievicz. Correspondents include notable artists and musicians, actors, politicians, and authors, such as Robert Brennan, Anna Nordgren, Seumas O'Kelly, Edward Martyn, Tivadar Nachéz, and Jack B. Yeats. The majority of letters contain a discussion of the arts, such as Jack B. Yeats explaining his paintings and criticisms, an expected book deal of Robert Brennan, and an appraisal of Edward Martyn's play, "Grangecolman." Most outgoing correspondence is written to Kathleen Clarke, a fellow Irish revolutionary and founding member of Cumman na mBan and Fianna Fáil.

Also included are typescript biographies and a timeline detailing Markievicz's personal and professional achievements. Materials related to prominent Jewish lawyer Michael Noyk are also included, such as correspondence and a copy of his portrait. The collection also contains assorted ephemera and newspaper clippings related to research about Markievicz, including the 150th anniversary of her birth, her past villa estate in Rathgar, Ireland, and a lock of Markievicz's hair.

The materials in the collection are correspondence unless otherwise noted.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

Constance (Gore-Booth) de Markievicz was born in London on February 4, 1868, the elder daughter of Arctic explorer and adventurer Sir Henry Gore-Booth and Lady Georgina (Hill) Gore-Booth. In 1892, Markievicz attended the Slade School of Art in London to study painting; it was at this time that she first became politically active and joined the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). Later, she moved to Paris and enrolled at the Académie Julian where she met her future husband, Casimir Markievicz. The two were married in London on September 29, 1900, and she gave birth to their daughter, Maeve, in November 1901.

In 1908, Constance de Markievicz became actively involved in nationalist politics in Ireland. She joined Sinn Féin and Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland), a revolutionary women's movement. Markievicz also joined James Connolly's socialist Irish Citizen Army (ICA), a volunteer force formed to defend demonstrating workers from the police. As a member of the Citizen Army, Markievicz took part in the 1916 Easter Rising and served as second-in-command to Michael Mallin at St. Stephen's Green. Following the failure of the Rising, Markievicz was sentenced to death, but the court sentence was commuted to life in prison. She was released from prison in 1917, along with others involved in the Rising, was jailed again in 1918 for her part in anti-conscription activities, and was later released.

In the 1918 general election, Markievicz was elected as Teachta Dála for the constituency of Dublin St Patrick's. This made her the first woman elected to the House of Commons, and she served as a Member of Parliament for Dublin St Patrick's from 1918 to 1922. Markievicz also served as Minister for Labour from April 1919 to January 1922 in the Second Ministry and the Third Ministry of the Dáil. Markievicz left the government in January 1922 in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, and worked actively for the republican cause in the Irish Civil War. In 1926, she left Sinn Féin and became a founding member of the Fianna Fáil party. Markievicz died on July 15, 1927 of complications after two appendicitis operations.


Clarke, Mollie. “Constance Markievicz: The Making of a Rebel Countess.” The National Archives blog, April 6, 2021.

“Constance Markievicz.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed June 29, 2023.

“Constance Markievicz.” Wikipedia, June 20, 2023.


1 Linear Feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection primarily consists of correspondence of Irish politician, revolutionary, nationalist, and suffragist Constance de Markiewicz. Also includes posthumous materials documenting the 150th anniversary of Markievicz's birth and more, including biographies, newspaper clippings, exhibit ephemera, a real estate catalog, and photographs.


Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Approximately half of the collection was purchased from De Búrca Books in 2021, sponsored by the family and friends of Brian P. Burns. Materials were also purchased from Whyte's in 2022.

Related Materials

Clarke (Kathleen Daly) papers and collection of Thomas Clarke and Irish political materials, MS.2001.007, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Have faith, watercolor attributed to Maud Gonne, MS.2020.061, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Loretta Clarke Murray collection of women in revolutionary Ireland, MS.2016.016, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Plunkett (Grace Gifford) letter and article, MS.2017.015, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Yeats family papers, Boston College collection, MS.1986.054, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Separated Materials

Published works associated with this collection have been transferred within the Burns Library and can be found in the Boston College Library catalog.


Boston College collection of Constance de Markievicz
1868-2019 (bulk 1892-1927)
Molly Aleshire
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States