Links between Brazil and Ireland




Visit of the Emperor & Empress

of Brazil to Ireland in 1877


         © 2009 Peter O´Neill (ed.)

         e. peter.links @


An e-text of this paper is available at:






Dom Pedro II &

Tereza Cristina Maria de Bourbon


The Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro II, and the Empress of Brazil, Thereza Christina Maria, visited the United States and Europe for eighteen months from March 1876 to 26 September 1877 together with a small entourage. As part of that journey they made a five-day visit to Ireland from 7-11 July 1877. They visited six locations: Belfast, Portrush, the Giant´s Causeway, Dublin, Killarney and Cork. At least four local newpapers published articles about the visit, which are reproduced below in full or in part: The Belfast News Letter, The Ballymena Observer, The Coleraine Chronicle and The Irish Times Dublin.


Countess de Barral

[Luísa Margarida de Barros Portugal]


Dom Pedro´s visit to Ireland was full of emotion, but not for the reasons one might suspect. July 1877 was “the long awaited month” in which he would meet up again in Paris with the Countess of Barral, the former private tutor of his children Isabel and Leopoldina, and with whom he maintained sentimental correspondence for many years, as reflected in 256 secret letters which only came to light in 1948.  The Countess of Barral accompanied Dom Pedro on his visit to Ireland (1).


Some images from that period have been used to illustrate the original newspaper articles, including some that the Emperor himself collected en route: such as a Carte-de-visite (CDV) of the Giant´s Causeway, containing twelve views of the local countryside, and five Stereoview cards (SVs) of Killarney.


A Stereoview card had two images which were slightly different from each other and when viewed through a ‘steroviewer’ or ‘stereoscope’ they appeared three-dimensional. Steroviewers were wooden articles with a slot where one could insert the image and see it in 3D.


The Emperor´s CDV and SV cards from Ireland form part of the Thereza Christina Maria Photographic Collection  of 21,742 photographs which were left to the National Library of Brazil by Dom Pedro II in 1891.


Copies of this paper are available at the Historic Archive of the Imperial Museum, Petrópolis, RJ; the National Library, Rio de Janeiro (Area de Iconografia); the Linen Hall Library, Belfast; and at the National Library of Ireland, Dublin, together with a copy of the Folha de São Paulo newspaper dated 9 October 2008 which published an eight-page article about the visit written by Marina Della Valle, and based in part on the following material.





H.E. Mr. Stélio Marcos Amarante, former Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland, for a digital image of an Irish Times article about the Emperor´s visit to Belfast and Dublin dated 9 July 1877 obtained from the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Clir. Paddy Bourke P.C., and the Chief Archivist of the City of Dublin, Mary Clarke. Two articles dated 11 and 13 July 1877 about Dom Pedro´s visit to Cork appear as a result of research in the digital archives of The Irish Times. Aongus Ó hAonghusa, Director, National Library of Ireland, for locating articles from The Cork Constitution (9, 10 & 11 July) and The Cork Examiner (10 & 11 July). H.E. Mr. Michael Hoey, Ambassador of Ireland to Brazil, provided assistance in gaining access to the Emperor´s original CDV and SVs held at Rio´s National Library (Fundação

 Biblioteca Nacional). Neibe Cristina Machado da Costa of the Historic Archive of the Imperial Museum, Petrópolis (Arquivo Histórico do Museu Imperial) for some of D. Pedro´s private papers relating to the visit. John Killen, Deputy Librarian, Linen Hall Library, Belfast, for articles from The Belfast News Letter (8 & 9 July 1877) about the visit courtesy of Kenneth H. Orr, Antrim. Pastor Billy Jones of Ballymena, and Mrs. Charlotte McFadden, Head Libarian at Coleraine Library, for related articles from the Coleraine Chronicle (14 July) and The Ballymena Observer (12 July) - which later became The Ballymena Times . Aida Yared, who runs the Joyce Images web site, and Jodi Cronin of the Imperial Hotel Cork, for images of the period. Marcia Estellita Lins, Rio, reviewed the text.


 (1) SODRE, Alcindo. Abrindo um cofre:

Cartas de Dom Pedro II à Condessa de Barral.

Rio: Livros de Portugal, 1956. 335p

MONTEIRO, Mozart.  A vida amorosa de D. Pedro II.  Rio: Edições O Cruzeiro, 1962. 452 p. Illustrated.

PRIORE, Mary Del. Condessa de Barral - A paixao do Imperador. Rio: Editora Objetiva, 2008. 260 p. Illustrated.








Particulares of Journey

Person to be communicated with


- Remarks -


July 7







July 8




July 9





July 10



July 10



July 11


Leave Belfast/York Road, 6.10 am - Perhaps 5  Special Train  arrive Portrush 8.55 am

   By Road to Giant´s Causeway & back to Portrush. Leave Portrush 11.30 am  Arrive Belfast 2.30 pm. Leave Belfast (Gt. Victoria St) 3.5 pm, arr Dublin 6.10 pm


Leave Dublin (Kingsbridge Stn)   7.45 pm

Arrive at Mallow                             1.10 am



Leave Mallow 1.10 am by Special Train to Killarney, where remainder of the day will be spent (Charge for Special Train 10 Pounds)


Leave Killarney  9.12      Arr Mallow  11.2 am

         Mallow   12.38 pm    “ Cork       1.3 pm

         Cork         2.45 pm     Dublin  10.0 pm


Servants to return direct to Dublin

Leaving Killarney 9.12    Arr Mallow 11.2 am

Leave Mallow      11.25 am    Dublin  5.5 pm


Leave (Dublin, Westland Row)        6.15 am

         Kingstown (by Steamer)         6.45 am

Arrive Holyhead                              11.15 am

Leave                                               11.40 am

Arrive Bangor                                  12.20 pm

Leave                                                3.40 pm

Arrive London (Euston)                 10.10 pm



Mr. E.J. Cotton, York Road Stn Belfast




Mr. G.E. Ilbery

Kingsbridge Stn Dublin















Mr. G.I. Neele

Euston Stn






Mr. Cotton to provide carriages from Portrush to Giant´s Causeway for a Passano, viz The Emperor, Empress and 5 of the Suite, also two Luncheon Basquets to take in a special train.  Servants to leave Belfast 7.0 am  Arrive Dublin 11.0 am





Mr. Ilbery to provide Vehicles for the Emperor, Empress & five of the Suite to make [visits] in the neighboroughead of Killarney.


Mr. Ilberay to order Hot Luncheon to be ready at Cork at 1.30 pm for the Emperor Empress and Suite.  Ten servants (4 Superior & 6 Inferior) also Carriages to take the Emperor Empress & Suite into Cork.



11.40 am Irish Mail from Holyhead will be shipped specially at Bangor to enable the Emperor Empress & Suite to alight to visit Minai Bridge. Mr. Neele to order the necessary Vehicles.  Mr. Neele to order a hot Breakfast on board the Steamer from Kingstown, and also to have a Luncheaon ready at Chester on arrival there of the 3.40 pm train from Bangor.


Ref.: Museu Imperial/Iphan/MinC: Maço 029 - Doc 1045 Cat B




The Belfast Newsletter. Sun., 8 July 1877


Arrival of the Emperor and Empress of Brazil in Belfast.

[fragment from a 350-word article]


… We understand that the visit is quite a private one, their majesties travelling strictly incog., consequently no address will be received, nor will there be any public demonstrations.



The Belfast News Letter. 9 July 1877


[Three additional items of information from the former Ballemena Observer newspaper have been inserted into the following text in italics. Details published by the Coleraine Chronicle on 14 July 1877 have been added in gray letters].





The Emperor and Empress of Brazil arrived in Belfast on Saturday morning, as already announced in the News Letter, at four o´clock. Their Imperial Majesties left Barrow [Barrow-in-Furness] the previous evening about six o´clock by special steamer, the Antrim, which was under the command of Captain Morrison and Captain Stokes. The Barrow Steam Navigation Company, as soon as they were made acquainted with the fact that the Emperor and Empress intended to travel to Ireland by their line, provided of themselves the steamer specially for the occasion, and very kindly and promptly placed it at the disposal of their Majesties. The Antrim was fitted up for the royal party, and a very handsome stateroom prepared. The passage across was somewhat rough, nevertheless the vessel made her journey in the regular number of hours. On the arrival of the steamer at the quay of Belfast Mr. G. Gerald Bingham, Brazilian Consul (1), went on board to receive the Imperial party. The shed opposite which the vessel anchored was in part decorated with national flags, and a passage was constructed from the vessel to the street, which was carpeted and decorated. Their Imperial Majesties did not make any appearance on deck till near the time when they took their departure from the Northern Counties Railway station, having breakfasted on board. The extremely private character of the Emperor and Empress´s visit had been made known to the public generally, and, indeed, the rapidity with which they had travelled through England, and the early hour fixed for their arrival in this island, were sufficient indications of resolution to carry out that intention to the letter. Under other circumstances, no doubt, their coming to this populous town would have been made the occasion of some formal reception on the part of the people or their representatives; but they could not have complained, considering the numbers that presented themselves at the quay on Saturday, of any very violent desire on the part of the people of Ulster to prevent their Majesties passing through in the most noiseless and unobserved manner. The special train by which the Royal party went to Portrush left at five o´clock, about an hour after the arrival of the steamer, and at more than half an hour from that time the Royal party came on deck, and having been conducted from the steamer by Mr. Bingham, they took their seats in four open two-horse carriages, which were supplied by Mr. Robson, of Chichester Street; outriders accompanied the leading vehicle. The Royal party consisted of The Emperor and Empress, the Countess of Barral (2), the Viscount of Bom Retiro (3), Admiral de Lamare, Councilor de Souza Macedo (4). There were also attendants, most of whom remained in Belfast, and proceeded to Dublin by the seven a.m. train. The costume of their Imperial Majesties bespoke more unmistakably than any other outward signs the perfectly private character of the visit. His Majesty was dressed in a simple suite of black; he wore an ordinary travelling hat; and, indeed so completely disguised his royalty as to prevent all possible detection by persons who had not received reliable information as to his identity. His Majesty is a fine looking man, and strikingly unpretentious in his demeanor. His general appearance is quite familiar to one, and there is nothing about him in any way suggestive of the foreigner. At the Northern Counties terminus the Imperial party were met by E. J.Cotton

, Esq., general manager of the company, and conducted to their seats in magnificently appointed carriages specially supplied for them. There were two saloon carriages and one coupé. The engine was driven by Mr. Malcolm, locomotive superintendent. On the right side of the front portion of the engine was placed the Brazilian flag, and on the opposite side the Union Jack. A larger number of spectators assembled on the platform than had been at the quay. The Emperor and Empress occupied the first carriage. Mr. Cotton also occupied the first carriage. The journey to Portrush was accomplished in the remarkably short space of two hours. The only stoppage made was at Ballymena [at 6 a.m.], which occupied only two or three minutes. At Portrush their Imperial Majesties were awaited by carriages supplied by Mr. Linden, proprietor of the Antrim Arms Hotel (5), where special apartments were prepared for them. The previously appointed programme of touring which his Imperial Majesty had made did not permit of his remaining any time in Portrush.  He intended merely to see the [Giant´s] Causeway, and though the scenery at Portrush is the commencement of the great panorama of natural beauty of which the Causeway os the climax, his Majesty drove right on to the Causeway - the two whips being the brothers Dougherty, who, as old and experienced attaches of the Antrim Arms Hotel, are famous in those parts for their deftness and dexterity in handling the ribbon. The fine road leading to the Causeway lies along the rock-bound coast the entire way, thus affording an admirable view of the striking scenery with which it abounds. The ocean wave comes tumbling in there with fearful force, and has made wonderful inroads upon the stern barrier of stone with which Nature has opposed its action, as may be seen from the countless caves, archways, and gallies fashioned out of the firm formation. Some singularly fantastic shapes are given to the disintegrated rock, Napoleonic noses and such like, to all of which the inhabitants have applied appropriate and romantic appellations. The most remarkable object, however, on the steep escarpments, and the most interesting to the antiquarian or historian is the ruins of Dunluce Castle, which are still in a state of good preservation. But why linger over the memory of this grand old pile, which, from its solid foundations in the sea, speaks so eloquently of the ancient greatness and glory of Ireland´s warriors, chieftains, and various clans?  Everybody is familiar with its history in these days of infallible guide-books and organized excursions; and everybody, too, is familiar with the extraordinary character of the phenomenon further on, the celebrated and bewildering Causeway itself, which the Royal tourists came to see. It has amazed and confounded the most learned savans of the age, and will, doubtless, always remain as a sample of the inscrutable handi-work of Him who holds the universe and everything it contains in the hollow of His hand. Along the route the Imperial Party, who were accompanied by intelligent guides sent from the Antrim Arms Hotel, expressed their admiration for the picturesque scenery that every now and then as they travelled along presented itself to their view. However, neither Dunluce Castle, with all its romantic ruins and situation, stayed the rapid course of the Royal carriages, nor any other of the scenic beauties of the route.  Eight o´clock found their distinguished occupants at the Causeway. Here the foresight and attention of the proprietor of the little hotel at the Causeway Head had made arrangements which enabled the Imperial party to accomplish the object of their visit without any difficulty. Mr. Francis Kane and Mrs. Kane had two boats ready manned with able bodied seamen, who were dressed specially to row the Emperor and Empress out in front of the Causeway, so as to give them from the sea a comprehensive view of the extent and grandeur. Unfortunately the sea was too rough, the waves were evidently in an angry mood, and were showing the white surf with great violence. But it may be observed that a wild sea tossing its waters high in the air is an almost essential accompaniment of the general wildness and beauty of the Causeway; and in this respect, though it deprived the Royal visitors of viewing the great headland from the sea, some atonement was mad by the presence of this completing element of the scene. The carriages having arrived at the Causeway, the Emperor graciously accepted a nicely prepared cup of coffee presented by Mrs. Kane, and after that the Royal party alighted, and, accompanied by guides, undertook the agreeable but somewhat difficult task of inspecting the Giant´s Causeway.




Twelve views at and near the Giant´s Causeway, Co. Antrim.  Carte-de-visite collected by D. Pedro II.  Courtesy, Archive of the National Library, Rio de Janeiro.


"View shewing horizontal formations; Dunluce Castle ruins; General view shewing steucans; Pleaskin Head; Lord Antrim´s Parlour; The amphitheatre and chimneytops; The Well and its attendant; The Causeway Gate; The Ladies Wishing Chair; A stormy day at the steucans; The rope bridge Carrick-a-Rede; Off the coast nearing sunset.”  [Ref. FOTOS-FICH.1.4 (506)]


His Majesty having walked as far as the well known Lord Antrim´s Parlour, was met by the Causeway artist, a Mr. Daniel M´Kinlay, who requested the Emperor to sit for his carte-de-visite [photograph]. His Majesty at once consented, and Mr. M´Kinlay, recollecting the fact that Lord Antrim´s Parlour was on one occasion the place in which his Royal Highness Prince Arthur sat for his carte, immediately

invited the Emperor to the spot where Prince Arthur had sat. For many other reasons, the position was the best that could have been selected, affording as it does a very wide view of the Causeway, and one which includes the most remarkable of its geological features.  The sitting was a success, and Mr. Kinlay received orders to forward his Majesty´s secretary one hundred copies. Shortly afterwards his Majesty returned in the direction of the point from which he had set out. In the meantime, the Emperor had performed the tour along the Causeway on a car [and the Empress took tea in Mr. Francis Kane´s at the Causeway head], but the Countess de Barral preferred to walk, and was accompanied by a guide. The Royal party expressed themselves pleased with their visit, and highly satisfied with the scenery of the place. They purchased from the far-famed vendors of specimens several boxes of those rare stones which are considered varieties by visitors to the Causeway, and from Miss M´Kinlay, a relative of the photographer, who had a little tent on the coast, they bought seaweed ornaments, and other little valuables kept solely for tourists. After having taken a general view of the Causeway, which occupied not a very long time, the Royal party reseated

themselves in their carriages, and drove back to Portrush. It was expected that they would make a short stay at the Antrim Arms Hotel, which, greatly to the credit of its proprietor, Mr. Linden, in its appearance and the accommodation afforded to visitors, is well worthy of the presence of royalty, and must be a very great source of attraction to all tourists who desire to find convenient and well appointed apartments at the sea coast. Mr. Linden expected that, when the Royal party arrived first in Portrush, they would breakfast at the hotel, and had

preparations of the most elaborate character effected. However, the privacy of the visit here again manifested itself, for the Royal party had with them lunch, and on their return to Portrush – there being a considerable interval of time before the hour of twelve o´clock arrived when they should start for Belfast – they took the opportunity of lunching.  They did not even accept the invitation on of Mr. Linden to occupy apartments in the hotel, but, having secured a room at the station-house, they used it for the purpose.  Their return journey, commencing at twelve o´clock, and the fact of their arrival having spread, there was considerable interest taken by the visitors to Portrush in their presence, and, indeed, by all who had then an opportunity of getting a glimpse at Brazilian Royalty. The station-house at Portrush was soon crowded by ladies waiting to see their Majesties. The luncheon having been over before the hour of noon arrived, their Majesties promenaded for some time up and down the platform, interestingly observed by a crowd of fair spectators. Twelve o´clock soon came, and the train having again been brought forward, the Royal party were conducted to their seats by Mr. Cotton. On leaving the station cheers much louder than any yet heard greeted their ears, and were kept up while the train glided away. At the various stations on the way the platforms were crowded with expectants influenced by the common desire to see an emperor and an empress; and though the train passed through all with the exception of two without stopping, yet many continued at the stations to obtain a momentary glance of the Royal party. At Ballymena, the first station where the train stopped, an occurrence of a very interesting character took place. Arrangements had been made for the presentation to his Majesty of samples of flax and also specimens of the fibre in the different stages of the process of linen manufacturing. Wm Alexander Young, Esq., presented a neatly bound parcel of flax stocks and several packages of the fiber representing the linen process [from the raw material to its manufacture into linen, the green flax being supplied by Mr. J. B. Black, Raceview.  His Majesty expressed himself highly gratified, and in good English, thanked Mr. Young very much for the gift]. “Ah, de flaz,” said his Majesty, who had just been dozing for some minutes previously; “thank you vera mootch”. He seemed to take great interest in the samples, and the Empress also examined them very minutely. When the train arrived at Carrick [Carrickfergus] Junction a presentation of beautiful bouquets of flowers was made to their Majesties. Miss May Cotton, youngest daughter of E. J. Cotton, Esq., presented a beautiful hand bouquet to the Empress, which her Majesty received most graciously. Mrs. M´Kee and Miss Cotton also presented bouquets to the Countess de Barral. The bouquet first referred to was collected in the conservatory of Mr. Wm. Valentine, and the other bouquets in the conservatory of Mr. M´Auhfee. At half part two o´clock the Royal party found themselves again in Belfast. A pretty large assemblage of the public awaited their arrival.  Mr. Bingham received their Majesties, and conducted them to carriages in waiting. They drove straight to the Great Northern Railway terminus, and arrived there twenty minutes before the hour at which the limited mail train was to start (3 – 5 p.m.) for Dublin. The passage of the Royal  carriages through the town was watched by thousands from the streets, and also from the windows of the houses and other elevated positions. At the station they were met by W. Coates, Esq., D.L., J.P., director of the Great Northern Railway Company, and conducted along the platform to where their appointed apartment waited them. The opportunity of seeing the Emperor and Empress of Brazil became, of course, of more value as the hour of their departure approached, and as it became obvious that to miss seeing them now perhaps meant to never see them at all, a large number of the public thronged on the platform, on which the Imperial party promenaded till train time came. There was, too, an additional number of present because of the fact that the train left the station, and thus terminated the brief visit of the Emperor and Empress of Brazil to the North of Ireland.


Apartments were engaged in the Shelbourne Hotel , Dublin, for their Majesties and suite. We understand that their Majestie are to be in London on the 11th. inst., to which they will proceed from Ireland.

   In connection with the visit to the North of Ireland, of such distinguished foreigners, it may be interesting to state that Brazil, a rich and prosperous land abounding in mighty rivers and immense forests, has a population of close of twelve millions. Of these about two million are set down as savages, and one and a half million as slaves.  Under the benign rule of the present Sovereign, however, slavery there has received its death-blow, for by a law passed in the year 1871, all subjects born after that date are free.  In geographical extent, Brazil is about 2,300 miles long, and 1,000 miles broad. In 1808 the Royal Family took refuge in it, having been driven from their own country by the French and founded the kingdom, which in 1822 became an independent Empire under a Portuguese prince. The Emperor has for title Peter the Second of Alcantara, Jean-Charles-Leopolo-Salvador-Bibiano-Francis-Xevier-de-Paule-Leucaded-Michael-Gabriel-Taffaelle-Gonzagal, and succeeded by his father when six years of age, being crowned in 1840. Three years afterwards he was married by proxy – a form of matrimonial alliance in vogue among the Brazilians – to Princess Donna Theresa Christina Maria, daughter of the King of the two Sicilies. Four children were the issue of their marriage, two of whom are living, the heir presumptive being Princess Donna Isabel, who is the wife of a Brazilian General.  The Royal family profess the Roman Catholic religion, which is the persuasion prevalent in the rest of the South American States; but the most liberal tolerance is extended to every other religious denomination.  His Majesty, it is stated, is an expert horseman, and delights in athletic exercises.  When at Rio de Janeiro (“the city of palaces”), the capital,, he is constantly in public, receives twice a week his subjects and foreigners, and writes and speaks fluently English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. He is strongly attached to literature, and liberally patronizes industrial enterprise by encouraging public works and perfecting the navigation of rivers.  The crowning part of his policy has been his bold attach on the national prejudice of employing black slaves, which he has entirely overcome. The policy of the Emperor and of the Brazilian Chambers was not only to decree the suppression of the traffic; but to open up to agriculturists new ways and means by which they might dispense with black laborers.  It will thus be seen that he is a wise, humane, and painstaking ruler.  His Majesty seems to estimate time at a high figure, indeed.  He wastes none of it at all events, and allows himself only a couple of hours or so of sleep, out of twenty-four.  But whether his economical habits in this respect have a beneficial effect upon his physical energies and well-being is a question open to considerable doubt.  He is now only fifty-one years of age, but he looks at least some ten years older.  Care and anxiety have put their print upon his face, which is thoroughly Saxon in its lines.  His hair – which, by the way, he wears unkempt enough – is turning white, and his beard is already so.  He is tall, well built, broad shouldered, and in his bearing he is neither severe nor commanding.  He has an open, ingenuous, but careworn, countenance, on which a frown would seem to sit ungracefully.  His eyes are of a deep hazel hue, full of expression, and very restless. Subdued in manner, studious and reserved, his entire appearance bespeaks a kindly and benevolent disposition.  His gait is rather feeble – the effect, apparently of that troublesome affection, the gout, which preys so frequently upon the constitutions of the high born.  Well accustomed to be stared at, he takes the attention of the curious in good part, and betrays no uneasiness whatever.  The Empress is short of stature and stoutish.  She looks quite as old as his Majesty, and quite as affable and good-humored.  Her walk, owing to infirmity, can only be described as a laborious waddle. Although she does not speak English, except in a very imperfect and broken manner, she appears to have little difficulty in understanding it.



(1) Gerald G. Bingham, Vice-Consul for Brazil for the Port of Belfast and the Northern District.

(2) Countess of Barral, nèe Luisa Margarida Portugal  de Barros, Viscountess of Pedra Branca.

(3) José Caetano de Campos, Visconde do Bom Retiro, the Emperor´s best friend from childhood.

(4) Chevalier Arthur F. de Macedo, His Majesty´s private secretary.  Obs. The Emperor´s physician and chaplain were also on the trip.

(5) The original Antrim Arms Hotel at Ramore Head was purchased by the Northern Counties Railway and became the Ramore Head which was destroyed by arson, demolished, and eventually replaced by the present-day Ramada Hotel located at 73 Main Street, Portrush, Northern Ireland. Acknowledgement: Pastor Billy Jones, Antrim. 



The Irish Times, Monday, 9 July 1877



(Additional details about the visit from The Cork Constituition of 10 July 1877 have been added to the following text in gray letters.)


A Royal visit was paid to Dublin last Saturday, when their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and the Empress of Brazil arrived in this city from the North of Ireland in the evening. They took their departure during the afternoon from Belfast, where they had been staying for a short time, and, accompanied by S'Excellence la Contesse de Barral, Comte de Retiro, Admiral Lamare, Counseillor S. Fondes, and Chevaller de Macedo, travelled in a saloon carriage by the limited mail to the Amiens Street terminus, which they reached at about 6.10 p.m.


Amiens Street train station

The crowd assembled outside the railway station was, comparatively speaking, small in number as the visit, which was private, was not generally known throughout the city. A force of police under the command of Mr. Superintendent John Ward, was on the ground, but with the exception of a trifling incident nothing occurred to call their services into requisition for the maintenance of order. Among those on the platform were - The High Sheriff of the city, Alderman Campbell, Mr. Hutton, one of the directors of the Company; Mr. Grayson, assistant secretary; Mr. J. P. Browne, the courteous and efficient superintendent; Mr. MacDetmott, T.C.; Surgeon Kenny, Mr. Superintendent Ward, of the G Division; Dr. Neary, &c. The visit being entirely of a private character, no presentations took place, and their Majesties were received by Mr. Michael Murphy, Brazilian Consul. On alighting the Imperial visitors were conducted by Mr. Browne to their carriage, which was waiting at the side of the entrance of the station. His Majesty, who is of middle stature and of a not very dark complexion, considering the climate from which he comes, has a white beard and moustache, and was dressed in a plain suit of black clothes, without any of those insignia which so frequently distinguish royalty. Her Majesty, who is not quite so tall as her consort, wore a plain dress made of some dark material, and presented a very un-assuming appearance. They were received by the crowd outside with some cheers, and Dom Pedro, who had at first waved his hand for silence, raised his hat several times in acknowledgment. The expression of popular feeling with which they were greeted was not, however, wholly unanimous. A few hisses being intermingled with the cheering. Among those who thus showed their dissatisfaction at the proceedings was a well-dressed young man, standing about three yards from the carriage, who rendered himself particularly prominent by the violent manner in which he gave expression to his feelings. Several persons near him asked him to desist, and called upon the police to remove him, but he asserted that Bazaine was in the carriage, and continued to hiss loudly. For a few moments there was every prospect osturbance being created, but at length this mistaken young man was removed from the scene in the custody of the police. The Emperor and the Empress, accompanied by la Comtesse de Barral, instead of proceeding to the Shelbourne Hotel where their baggage had been conveyed during the forenoon, and where they were expected to have immediately gone, took a drive through some of the principal streets of the city, viewing the different public buildings as they passed with considerable interest.



Carte-de-visite (CDV): 12 Dublin Views:Grafton St.; Sackville St.; Westmoreland St.; The FourCourts, The General Post Office, The Custom House; King William Statue, Eden Quay, The Bank and College Green, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick´s Cathedral, The Chapel Royal


Wherever they were recognized they received a great deal of public attention, but this was a very rare occurrence owing to the total absence of display as regarded themselves, their servants, and their carriage.  The Imperial party then paid an almost unexpected visit to Mr. Rue´s distillery in Thomas Street, where a telegraphic announcement of their intended arrival had only been sent about an hour previously. They were received in the absence of Mr. Rue, who is at present in London, by Mr. John Steine, the manager, who conducted them through the premises and explained the operations employed in the manufacture and the uses of the different buildings. Unfortunately, owing to the lateness of the hour at which the visit was made, the men had gone home and the working of the establishment could not be viewed, but his Majesty – who appeared, from frequent quotations which were made in very good English, to be conversant with the subject, and highly interested - expressed his astonishment at the extent of ground covered by the distillery, and offices, stores, &c., belonging to the distillery, and at the amount of spirits – two million gallons – there yearly manufactured. On leaving this place their Majesties next proceeded to Sir Arthur Guinness´s  brewery, which, it need scarcely be observed, is in the immediate vicinity, and went over the whole of this well-known manufactory of porter. Here the Emperor and the Empress were more fortunate than they had been in the establishment they had first visited, for the men were all at the time busily engaged at work, and the magnitude of the operations carried on could be fully seen.

Guinness Brewery Vats

Every portion of this building, which had recently been so fully described in the Irish Times on the occasion of the Viceregal visit as to render a further account superfluous, was examined with interest, particular attention being bestowed on the enormous vats and the ice pump. The Imperial visitors soon afterwards took their departure, highly pleased with their visits to these two large manufactories, and drove to their hotel.

Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin

In the meanwhile the intention of their Majesties to make the above-mentioned visits not having been publicly known, a large and respectable crowd gathered at the entrance to and in front of the Shelbourne Hotel, where the Emperor and Empress proposed staying, and whither, it was believed, they would have directly proceeded on leaving the train. A number of police were on the ground, under the direction of Mr. Superintendent Richard Gallagher, but happily their presence was Almost merely ornamental, for the greatest order prevailed. The spectators were for some time, however, doomed to disappointment; for, although at intervals various member of the suite arrived, there was no sign of the Imperial visitors. Already some of the crowd was beginning to disperse when the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor [Hugh Tarpey], accompanied by his secretary, drove up; and shortly afterwards, at about eight o'clock, the long awaited guests arrived, and were received with cheers. They were at once conducted to their apartments, where the Chief Magistrate of the city had an audience. His lordship's reception was private, and there was no deputation.  The tastefully-fitted apartments occupied by the Imperial party consist of the noble suite of rooms formerly used by the Burmese Embassy on the occasion of their visit to this city, and who, on taking their departure, had presented the manager with a testimonial of their satisfaction.

Two boxes had been taken at the Gaiety Theatre by their Majesties, who had intended spending the evening there, but owing to the lateness of their arrival they were unable to accomplish this purpose.  Yesterday morning the Emperor rose early at five o´clock and commenced a programme of visits, the number of which to one unaccustomed to his Majesty's indomitable energy and untiring passion for sigh-seeing, would seem rather extraordinary.

Map showing the North Dublin Union Workhouse

He first visited the North Dublin Union, arriving there at half-past seven o´clock, accompanied by the Viscounte de Bom Retiro, and went over the workhouse, making numerous inquiries and observing every portion of it with his usual minuteness of attention. He seemed greatly pleased with the workings of the establishment, over which he was conducted by the master, and with the arrangements made for the pauper inmates.


Botanical Gardens

After remaining sometime his Majesty took his departure and drove to the Botanical Gardens, to which, after some difficulty, he obtained admission, and where the dewy freshness of the tropical green grass and the plants must have presented a striking contrast to the withered aspect of vegetation in a country possessing a climate of so tranquil a temperature as Brazil. After walking through the grounds and viewing the luxuriant growth of the exotics in the hot houses, the Emperor entered the Museum, where he spent a short time looking with interest at the different objects exhibited.


1877 Stereoview of Glasnevin Cemetary


His Majesty next drove to the new entrance to Glasnevin Cemetary, visited the tomb of Daniel O'Cornell, in which he showed a great deal of interest.

1877 Stereoview of Nelson´s Pillar


From there the Emperor drove to Sackville street, and went up on the top of Nelson´s Pillar. He then returned to the Shelbourne Hotel shortly after nine o´clock for her Majesty, with whom, accompanied by Comtesse de Barral and rest of the suite, he drove, at ten o'clock, to Whitefriar-street Carmelite Chapel, wither they were accompanied by the Lord Mayor to where he heard mass. The Imperial party then returned to the hotel, where they took breakfast, after which Mr. and the Misses Swifte, Whitechurch Lodge, and Mr. Ernest G. Swifte, B.L., Upper Fitzwilliam Street, had the honour of being privately presented to their Majesties by the Countess do Barral, Lady-in-Waiting to the Empress, and the Chevalier de Macedo, his Majesty´s private secretary. 

Their Majesties visited the Exhibition Palace and the Royal Dublin Society´s House, Kildare Street, where they were received by Dr. Steele, who conducted them through the library and museum, and other departments of the instituition. A considerable time was spent in examining the numerous objects of interest.


Mansion House

The Empress then left his Majesty, and drove to the Botanical Garens, while Dom Pedro proceeded to the Mansion House, and visited the Right Hon. The Lord Mayor.


From there the Imperial visitor, accompanied by his Lordship, went to Trinity College, where they were received by Mr. Hinkson, the Provest, the Vice-Provest, Dr. Ball, Astronomer Royal, and the Junior Dean, Mr. Shaw, and others, and conducted through the grounds and various buildings.


Trinity College Library

The museum, reading room, the Medical School, laboratory, and even dissecting room were visited. The Emperor appeared especially interested in the department devoted to chemical study and research, and remained for some time in this room carefully examining the different apparati, &c., and asking numerous questions. On leaving his Majesty thanked the Lord Mayor and Provost for their kindness, and expressed the pleasure which the visit had afforded him.

SV National Gallery sculptures

He then drove to the National Gallery, where the paintings and sculptures were viewed with considerable attention by His Majesty, who next proceeded to the College of Surgeons.

Royal College of Surgeons

Here the museum and examination hall having been seen, the indefatigable Imperial visitor paid a visit to the Royal Irish Academy, where the collection of Ancient Irish manuscripts, &c., was examined with a considerable degree of interest by his Majesty. The Imperial party were received by Capt. M´Enrie, curator, who accompanied them through the museum and library. Their Majesties remained for three quarters of an hour examining the various treasures. The Empress evidenced special interest in the collection of MS. letters of the poet [Thomas] Moore, and expressed her regret that she was unable to devote more time to their examination.


Ancient Irish manuscript

The Lord Mayor then took his conge, and the Emperor expressed a wish to go to Mr. Grubb´s observatory at Rathmines, but was for some time unable to do so as he experienced a difficulty in ascertaining the way. On arriving there at length his Majesty remained for some time examining and viewing the telescopes.

Grubb Workshop

The Emperor and Empress, accompanied by several of their suite, subsequently visited the City Hall, over which they were shown by Captain Ingram.


Daniel O´Connell

They appeared to take great interest in O´Connell´s statue, and also viewed with attention the portrait of the Great Home Ruler.

Their Majesties next visited the Royal Hibernian Academy, where they remained some time.

Wellington Monument


A drive in Phoenix Park was the next item in the day´s programme. As usual at this season the People´s Garden and the principal walks were crowded, but very few of the people recognized the Imperial visitors. The Wellington Monument was looked at with great Interest by his Majesty, who read the names of the victories inscribed on it.  The Imperial visitors then returned to their hotel shortly before six o´clock, whence, after dining at a quarter pase seven o´clock, they proceeded by train in the Royal carriage to Mallow where they changed for Killarney.  From this latter place they intend visiting Cork, and, according to the present arrangements, will return to this city on Tuesday evening. When His Majesty arrived at the station [King´s Bridge], there being a few minutes to spare, … he visited the Royal Hospital. The Lord Mayor, by whom the arrangements for the reception of their Majesties at the various institutions were carried out, escorted the Imperial visitors to the train. His lordship was accompanied by his secretary, Mr. Goff. The preparations at the Shelbourne Hotel for the reception of their Majesties were of the most complete character. A suite of sixteen rooms were engaged for the accommodation of the Imperial Party. In the course of the day their Majesties were waited upon by the Lord Mayor, Mr. Goff, secretary to the Lord Mayor; the Rev. M. A. Moore, chaplain to the Lord Mayor; Sir George Owens, Mr. Murphy, Vice-Consul for Brazil; the French Consul; Dr. R. S. Ball; Dr. Mapother; Surgeon Tuffnell; Cannon Pope, &c.




The Cork Constituition, Monday, 9 July 1877




  Last night their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Brazil and suite, who have just visited Belfast, left Dublin by the 7.45 p.m. train for Killarney, where apartments have been engaged for them at the Railway Hotel. To-day they will enjoy a run through the Gap of Dunloe to the landing at Lord Brandon´s cottage, where a barge will await them to convey them through the Lakes. To-morrow morning their Majesties will leave Killarney at 9.12 a.m., arriving in Cork at 1.30 p.m. Their Majesties and suite will lunch at the Imperial Hotel and return to Dublin by the 2.45 p.m. train. So that their visit of the beautiful city of Cork will last just one hour and a quarter, from which must be deducted the time required for refreshments. When they return to their distant Court, they may say that they have “done Cork;” but they will scarcely know much of the Southern capital, and will not even have got a glimpse of our noble river and harbour.



The Cork Examiner, Monday, 10 July 1877


The Emperor of Brazil is proceeding on his travels at a rate which in less distinguished tourists would be regarded as something akin to furious driving. On Saturday morning his Majesty crossed the Channel to Belfast with his august spouse. A portion of a day was sufficient for doing the North of Ireland. Having arrived at five o´clock in the morning they left Belfast at a quarter to three. In the interval they had visited Dunluce Castle and the Giant´s Causeway, and the Emperor had contrived to find time for a tour of the metropolis of the North. The movements of the imperial travelers in Dublin were characterized by the same extraordinary expedition. Arriving at a few minutes after six in the evening, their Majesties entered upon a round of sigh-seeing, without waiting to go their hotel. In may be a source of pain to Sir Wilfred Lawson and his friends to learn that the first establishment visited by the Emperor was Roe´s distillery, and the next Guinness´s brewery. Having to receive the Lord Mayor in the evening, the energetic potentate was unable to attend the theatre where a box had been secured for him before hand but he was up and doing betimes the next morning.  As early as seven o´clock he was engaged in an inspection of the North Dublin Workhouse, and before ten he had done the Botanical Gardens, Glasnevin, and Nelson´s Pillar. The afternoon easily sufficed for an exhaustive inspection of the remaining institutions of the metropolis, and ere night the flying Emperor was on his way to Killarney. The Prince of Wales is considered a good traveler, but a potentate who can exhaust the sights of Belfast and Dublin in little less than twenty-four hours and find reasonable time for meals and sleep and visits of courtesy, puts the energy of the Heir Apparent completely in the shade. The inhabitants of Killarney have been looking forward to the visit as a great event, and were prepared to make a festive display on his Majesty´s arrival. It is not every year that the land of the Lakes is honored by the presence of an Emperor, and there being some uncertainty as to the proper language in which to address the distinguished stranger should be worded, the people, as we are informed, resolved to substitute an illumination as a compliment which could not fail to be intelligible. But they made no allowances for the unearthly celerity with which his Majesty´s travels are accompanied, and the wholly un-imperial hours of his arrivals and departures.




Stereoview card of Old Weir Bridge, one of a series of cards collected by the Emperor during his visit to Killarney entitled Gems of Irish Scenery: The Lakes of Killarney: Dinis Cottage; Dinis Island; The Lakes of killarney;Old Weir Bridge; Briken Bridge-Glena Mountain in distance; Ruins of Muckross Abbey By courtesy of Rio´s National Library[Ref.: FOTOS-FICH.1.2.(423) (424) (425) (426) (427)]


 His majesty was down upon them at three o´clock this morning, and had done a good deal of sigh-seeing before most of them were out of their beds. The untimely hour at which the Emperor burst upon the sleeping town has produced surprise and disappointment amongst the inhabitants, who hardly expected to see his Majesty sweep through their beautiful territory with just three times the expedition of an American tourist bent on seeing Europe, Asia and Africa in three months. We are informed that Cork has been marked down upon the imperial itinerary, but we have not learned at what hour in the morning his Majesty proposes to drop in upon us, nor how many minutes it will take him to make his rounds. But as it appears that he is expected in Dublin again this evening, those who would like to feast their eyes upon a real Emperor and Empress will have to look uncommonly sharp, and get up uncommonly early. It has been stated that his Majesty´s tour is not altogether an idle holiday trip. Brazil is a country in which there is a good deal of room for improvement. The inhabitants of the Empire of the House of Braganza are not quite as primitive as some of their neighbors, amongst whom a gentleman is considered to be in full costume as soon as he puts on a pair of spurs and a short collar. But they have a good deal to learn, and their Emperor is reputed to be collecting stores of information to be applied on his return for the benefit of his subjects. He has been through the greater part of Europe, and the energy with which he has devoted himself to the acquisition of useful knowledge must be highly satisfactory to his people.



The Cork Constituition, Wednesday 11 July 1877




    The Emperor and Empress of Brazil and suite arrived at the Mallow Junction by the ordinary train from Killarney yesterday morning at eleven o clock. The Royal party caused considerable attraction at the railway station, as several of the inhabitants of the town put in an appearance on the platform, all of whom seemed eager to get a glance at the august visitors. The party proceeded to Cork by the ten minutes past eleven o clock train, on the departure of which his Majesty waved his hat to those on the platform, and in return the gentlemen present took off their hats to his Majesty.


    The visit to Cork of their Imperial Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Brazil and suite, was made yesterday, and we have grave doubts whether the Royal party took away with them anything like a distinct impression of what the Southern Capital and its surroundings are like. It was in the most strict sense of the word a flying visit, but their Majesties seem inclined, as they have been since the commencement of their Royal tour, to make the most of their time, and see all they can in the shortest possible space. As regards their visit to the ’’Beautiful City,’’ as to the other parts of Ireland, the fact of his Majesty’s wishing to travel strictly incognito, and of his being unwilling to receive addresses or be present at demonstrations of any kind, whatever prevented anything like a public reception being given the Royal party. They came and went, and the short space of two hours and a half covered the entire proceedings, including the time devoted by the party to refreshments at the Imperial Hotel. The day before, their Majesties who had arrived at Killarney from Dublin, enjoyed a run through the Gap of Dunloe to the landing at Lord Brandon’s cottage where a splendid barge awaited them, and they spent a short but pleasant time on the Lakes, staying during the night at the Railway Hotel where apartments had been engaged for their reception. Their brief stay ended, they left Killarney yesterday morning, and arrived at the Cork terminus at 12.15 p.m. His Majesty, Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, who was born Dec. 2nd, 1825, is the son of the Emperor Pedro I and the Archduchess Leopoldina of Austria. He succeeded to the throne on the abdication of of his father April 7th 1831, was declared of age July 23rd, 1840, and was crowned July 18th, 1841. He was married on the 4th September, 1843, to Theresa, who was born on the 4th September, 1843, and who was the daughter of the late King Francis I. of the Two Sicilies. The Brazilian Empire derives from Portugal the principles of hereditary succession to the Crown, which exclude the Sallic Law, and allow females to occupy the throne. The present Emperor is a fine looking man, and appears to be in the full enjoyment of health and vigour. Their majesties are accompanied by the Countess de Barrol, maid of honor to the Empressç Viscount bon Retiro, Admiral de Lamare, Conseillor de Lonra Fontir, the Chevaliere de Macedo, private secretary to his Majesty, and a considerable retinue. As we have said before in accordance with his Majesty’s wish, no preparations were made for a public reception in Cork. However, several persons gained admission to the platform before the hour, and the greatest desire was shown to get a glimpse of the Royal party. Amongst those who waited the arrival of his Majesty were the High Sheriff of the city, Mr. Macnamara, Messrs. G. N. Harvey, Brazilian Consul, C. M. Harvey, Consular Agent, F. J. Down, Consul’s Secretary, and J. Demery, Spanish Consul for Cork and Queenstown. Their Majesties were received by the Messrs. Harvey, who, after welcoming the Royal party presented to the Emperor and Countess two magnificent bouquets, which were graciously accepted. The State carriage which conveyed their Majesties and suite from Killarney was externally singularly handsome, and the interior, was a perfect model of elegance. The upholstering was of rich fine flowered silk, the carpets soft and yielding, the decorations artistic, and the general furnishings everything that even royalty could desire in a railway carriage. Their Majesties were conducted to the carriages in waiting, which were provided by Mr. Curry, proprietor of the Imperial Hotel. The Emperor and Empress and the Countess de Barrol entered the first carriage, and the remainder of the party having taken their places in the second, they drove off to see what they could during the short time they intended remaining in the city. The Royal party drove first through King-street, Patrick-street, Grand Parade, and Great Georges-street, where they halted for a moment to admire the proportions of the Courthouse, and then went on through Nile-street, up to the entrance of the Mardyke, the appearance of which favourite walk they seemed greatly to admire. They got oft on the Western-road, and drove to the Queen´s College, where they spent about twenty minutes in visiting the various examination halls, lecture rooms, museum, &c. They greatly admired the building, its position, and the beauty of its surroundings. They next visited the District Lunatic Asylum where they were received by Dr. Eames, Resident Me3dical Superintendent, but, as the time they had at their disposal was so very short, they limited themselves to admiring the beauty of the building, and the neatness of the grounds. Their Majesties next drove down through Sunday´s Well, whence they were pointed out the surrounding beauties to be seen from that spot. They then went along Shandon Street, and had a brief look at Shandon Church and steeple. They also called to see the Butter Exchange, but time did not permit of their being able to visit the interior and see the working of the place. Then the Royal party drove down Mulgrave road, along Camden Place, over Patrick´s Bridge, and on to the Mathew Statue, where the carriages stopped. His Majesty here alighted and closely examined the statue … They then pursued their route on through Patrick-street, and at Mulchahy´s book store her Majesty got out and made some purchases. They then drove round by the Parade and South Mall, and on to the Imperial Hotel where lunch awaited them. Numbers had assembled on the South Mall and Pembroke-street near the hotel, anxious to get a view of the Royal party, who immediately alighted from their carriages. Having devoted a brief time to refreshment they drove to the terminus in time for the 2.45 p.m. train for Dublin. A large number of people assembled on the platform to witness their departure, and as their Majesties entered the State carriage they repeatedly bowed their acknowledgments in return for the greetings they received. The train then moved slowly off, and thus ended the visit to Cork of the Emperor and Empress of Brazil. We may say in conclusion that their Majesties expressed the greatest satisfaction at all they had seen during their short stay in the city.



The Irish Times, Wednesday, 11 July 1877

Image of the article as published by The Irish Times.

The Emperor and Empress of Brazil paid a flying visit to Cork yesterday. They arrived by train from Killarney at 12 o´clock and after a brief stay of a little more than two hours, they returned to Dublin by the ordinary train, leaving Cork at 2.34. The visit was intended to be of a strictly private character, and there was no formal reception of the distinguished strangers by the public bodies of the city.


Queen´s College. Est. 1849. [University College Cork]

Cork Lunatic Asylum

On their arrival the Emperor, accompanied By the Empress and the Countess de Barral, proceeded in open carriage through the city, visiting the

Queen´s College, the Lunatic Asylum and some of the religious edifices. They lunched at two at the Imperial Hotel, and immediately after took their departure.

The Imperial Hotel, Cork



Their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Brazil, accompanied by their suite and attendants, returned last night to Dublin, arriving at the Kingsbridge Railway Station shortly after ten o´clock.  The Imperial party then drove to the Shelbourne Hotel, where they intended staying till this morning Between eleven and twelve o´clock, the Emperor accompanied by his secretary, Viconte de Bom Retiro, visited the Royal College of Science Stephen´s green (1). It had been expected that earlier in the day the visit would have been paid, and arrangements had been made for his Majesty´s reception, but after waiting for a considerable time, the professors went home, and the building had been closed for the night when the Emperor´s arrival took place. His Majesty was received by Mr. Martin, who conducted him through the whole place. After signing their names in the visitors´ book, the Emperor and his secre0tary took their departure about half-past twelve o´clock.

Kingstown [Dún Laoghaire]

This morning the Imperial party left the Shelbourne Hotel, and proceeded by train in the State carriage to Kingstown, where their Majesties will take the steamer for Holyhead.  They will occupy the Royal saloon compartment, and on landing, will proceed to Bangor, where, after a short stay, the Imperial travelers will continue their journey to London, en route for the Continent.


The Irish Times, Friday, 13 July 1877


A respected and enterprising Southern journal * is very wroth with the Emperor of Brazil. His Majesty, complains our contemporary, “swooped down upon Cork, and did the city in two hours and three-quarters.”  This was really too bad of his Imperial Majesty, considering that Cork is the third city in Ireland, and his Majesty devoted two days and a quarter to Dublin, and we know not how many hours to Killarney. Our contemporary, indeed, is candid enough to confess that “there is not very much in Cork to attract the attention of visitors, ever since the Berwick Fountain (1) has been brought into active operation. The list of our public institutions is miserably small, and our public buildings can hardly be said to be conspicuous for architectural beauty. But it is a sad reflection upon the dignity and importance of the capital of the South to be done by a South American Emperor in two hours and three-quarters.” The Emperor visited only four places – the Queen´s College, where he polished off the entire batch of professors, building, and all in twenty minutes; the Lunatic Asylum, “which he may have been led to regard as a peculiarly national institution;” and the Butter Exchange, which he contemptuously “scampered through, making himself master in a few minutes of a system of dealing which the united intelligence of the Farmers´ Club and the Agricultural Society has not been able to grasp after several years of severe cogitation.”

[In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Cork Butter Market (Est. 1770), with its strict and Rigorously enforced system of quality control, was world famous and became the largest butter market in the world for its time. It subsequently became home to the Firkin Crane Theatre.]

Finally, his Majesty condescended to drive round the pedestal of the Mathew statue “in solemn procession, by way of sort of set-off and apology to the teetotalers for having compromised himself in the iniquity of the liquor traffic in Dublin.”

Standing in the centre of Patrick Street, the statue, Erected on 10 October 1864, commemorates Fr. Thoebold Matthew,the apostle of Temperance (1790 - 1861). He was known and loved in Cork for his efforts to alleviate distress during the cholera epidemic of 1832 and during the Great Faminefrom 1845 to 1850.


This last action on the part of the Emperor seems to have been the last straw to break the back of our venerable, but excited, contemporary, which winds up its complaint in these touching and pathetic words: “If the Emperor should be given to writing down his impressions after the manner of the intelligent foreigner described in ‘Pickwick,’ he will doubtless make a note of Cork as a city which deals in butter, is averse to education, and greatly afflicted with lunacy, and on the whole the epitome will not be so far wrong.” This is very sad, but it is just possible that if his Majesty had called upon the editor of the indignant journal in question*, its remarks on his visit would be in a more cheerful and eulogistic vein.


Related article by courtesy of H.E. Stélio Marcos Amarante, former Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland.


Visit of Dom Pedro II,
Emperor of Brazil to Dublin, 1877

From W.V. Ball, Reminiscences of R.S. Ball *, 1915. p. 112. [*Royal Astronomer of Ireland.]

The date of my second meeting with Dom Pedro was in 1877, about the time when Mr. Howard Grubb was constructing an equatorial for Vienna. The object-glass of this instrument was over two feet in diameter. To make such a large telescop is no light undertaking even at the present day (written c.1910) but at the date of which I am speaking it was almost unique. At the time the object-glass was almost finished, and the instrument generally was in a very forward condition.  Astronomy was one of a thousand subjects in which Dom Pedro took a very lively interest. It was his habit to map out his time most carefully, so that whenever he visited any city he might be able to see everything he wanted to see with the least possible delay. In order, I suppose, to save time he wholly disregarded formalities, and studiously avoided ceremonial functions of every description. In true kingly fashion, he compelled everyone to fall in with his ideas. He took possession of each place he came to as if those he visited were his subjects; and as if he were an arbitrary ruler. But his was the rule of a kindly monarch. Those whom he visited never bore malice; indeed, they enjoyed many a laugh at the magnificent manner in which he accompanied his protean sightseeing.

It was known in a general way that the Emperor was about to visit Dublin. One fine morning he landed in the North of Ireland. By dint of a tremendous effort he visited the Giant’s Causeway and a number of places in Belfast during the early part of the day. He then took a special train to Dublin, where he arrived late in the evening. He at once proceeded to Guinness’ Brewery, after which he inspected another large factory in another part of the town.  Finally, he attended a performance at the Gaiety Theatre. On returning late at night to the Shelbourne Hotel, he sent for the Lord Mayor.

When the dignitary arrived, ready to place the whole of the city at His Majesty’s disposal, the Emperor at once cut conversation short by saying that his particular object in coming to Dublin, was to see the great telescope which was being constructed by an instrument-maker in Dublin of worldwide celebrity.  “I cannot,” said His Majesty, “remember exactly the name of this great man of science, but, of course, you know whom I mean”. The Lord Mayor looked at his secretary and the secretary looked at him! They were both at a loss. The Chief Citizen of Dublin then hazarded the name of a worthy spectacle-maker who lived nearby, but the Emperor at once pooh-hoohed that notion, saying that the name of the man he was looking for was something like ‘mub’ or ‘tub’. This hint failed to produce any effect, and the Emperor expressed his surprise that a man who called himself the Lord Mayor of the city should be ignorant of so elementary a matter. “At all events”, he went on, “you must find out for me in the course of the night where the famous optician is, and take me to him tomorrow morning”. By this time it was twelve o’clock on a Saturday night. The Lord Mayor and his secretary returned to the Mansion House, where I have no doubt they spent an anxious hour in considering how they could extricate the reputation of the city from the obloquy which Dom Pedro was inclined to cast Upon it. Suddenly it was remembered that there was a person in the vicinity of Dublin known as the Astronomer Royal. Although I don’t suppose they imagined that that humble individual was the person whom the Emperor wanted to see, yet it occurred to them that it was within the bounds of possibility that the  stronomer Royal might know whether in fact there was an eminent optician in Dublin. To consult him might be to find a way out of the difficulty. I was at that time Astronomer Royal of Ireland. Once or twice I had said, half in jest, to my wife that when the Emperor of Brazil came to Dublin he would probably pay us a visit at Dunsink (Observatory). So we had the Emperor somewhat on our minds. At about eight o’clock on the morning of Sunday I heard the sound of wheels on the avenue. For any wheeled vehicle to arrive there at that hour of the morning was rather unusual, but when I looked out of the window I was truly astonished at the apparition.


Dunsink Observatory

There was the Lord Mayor’s coach and pair driving up the avenue! I came down at once. The Lord Mayor’s secretary rushed in to tell me of the terrible anxiety under which his chief was labouring. He asked me whether there was any truth in the suggestion that some very big and famous telescope was being made in Dublin for Vienna. I replied that I did happen to know something about the matter; that, indeed, I was one of the committee to whom the general supervision of the work had been entrusted.  He then begged me to come to Dublin at once, and forthwith to take the Emperor off to see Grubb (1) and the telescope. I said, “Grubb’s place will be shut up as it is Sunday”. The agonised secretary replied, “Oh, the Emperor cares nothing about that, and we Must do what we can”. So there was nothing for it, but for me to go to Dublin and breakfast with the Lord Mayor, while we sent off messengers to Mr. Grubb at Rathmines, telling him of the visitation with which he was threatened, and imploring him to collect a few of his hands so as to open up his works as far as possible. When we arrived at Grubb’s we found the famous telescope-maker waiting for us. He had succeeded in getting together a few of his exceptionally skilled workmen. At once the Emperor showed himself thoroughly informed on all matters relating to the great object-glass. He was also well acquainted with the particular requirements of the Vienna telescope *. In accordance with his usual custom, he declined to look at anything which he had not decided would be worth his time. When he bade Grubb good-bye an amusing incident took place. His Majesty, though so well furnished intellectually, was, to put it mildly, by no means conspicuous for the regal splendour of his attire.  As he was leaving he took up what he no doubt supposed to be his hat. In reality it was a beautiful new ‘Lincoln and Bennett’ belonging to Grubb. The Emperor had left behind what we call in Ireland ‘an old cawbeen’.  He was on the point of stepping into his carriage when the secretary, who was evidently accustomed to these little lapses, effected the necessary exchange of head-dress! ... I did get one further glimpse of the Emperor’s carriage later in the day, when I was returning to my home at the Observatory. The Emperor had, of course, been hard at work all the afternoon. In fact, the day’s sightseeing he accompanied was, I believe, unparalleled. It included three distinct drives in the Phoenix Park, with innumerable visits in between. I saw his carriage driving up at last to the station, while two fat horses drawing the Lord Mayor’s carriage were taxing all their energies to keep up with the Emperor.  When he arrived at Kingsbridge Station he had a quarter of an hour to wait. “Oh,” said he, “there will be just time to see the Royal Hospital”. A diligent study of the map had shown the whereabouts of this establishment. Off he went to the hospital, which I believe at that time still contained two or three Waterloo veterans.

* Universitäts-Sternwarte Wien (Vienna Observatory) is an astronomical observatory in Vienna, Austria.  The first observatory was built in 1753/1754 on the roof of one of the buildings of the University of Vienna . A new observatory was built between 1874 and 1879, and was finally inaugurated by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in 1883. The main dome houses a refractor with a diameter of 68 centimeters and a focal length of 10.5 meters.



Related web sites

Dom Pedro II was a member of the Perambuco branch of the Livepool Astronomical Society.

The History of Liverpool Astronomical Society:
“The Pernambuco Branch (Recife) was formed in 1886 with Mr. G.W. Nicholls as Secretary when the number of local members reached fifty-one”; “In February, 1887, even His Imperial Majesty,
Dom Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, joined the society”.



A Grubb telescope is used to teach astronomy at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.


An Irish made Grubb telescope which was donated in 1927 by Belgium astronomer Leon Cap to the

Instituto Astronomico e Geofisico de São Paulo (IAG)  was installed 59 years later (10.04.1986) in the Setor de Astronomia of the campus of the University of São Paulo (USP) in the city of São Carlos, SP.


Av. Trabalhador São Carlense, 400. 13569-590 São Carlos, SP. T. (16) 3373-9191. Contact: Jorge Honel, Físico, Setor de Astronomia, CDCC-USP. T. (16) 3373-9772.

E. honel @  W



(1) Grubb, Howard (1844–1931)

Irish engineer, who specialized in making precision optical and astronomical instruments. Among his manufactures were large observatory telescopes, a revolutionary type of optical gunsight, and the first practical submarine periscope. Grubb was born in Dublin and, after studying civil engineering at Trinity College there, worked for his father, Thomas Grubb (FRS), engineer to the Bank of Ireland and also a renowned optical instrument maker. Howard's reputation for craftsmanship was established in 1865, when his father put him in charge of a project to build a 48-inch reflecting telescope for the observatory in Melbourne, Australia, one of the largest telescopes in the world at that time. On his father's retirement in 1868, the firm moved to larger premises in Dublin, and in around 1880, he completed a 27-inch refracting telescope for the Vienna observatory, for some years the most notable telescope of its kind in the world. In 1925, at the age of 81, Grubb gave up active participation in the family business, which was acquired by the engineer Charles Algernon Parsons and moved to Newcastle upon Tyne as the Sir Howard Grubb Parsons Company.  Grubb was elected FRS in 1883 and was knighted in 1887.

Further reading: Victorian telescope makers, the lives and letters of Thomas and Howard Grubb by I.S. Glass.



Related links


Discover Northern Ireland


Discover Ireland 






Rio, 01.08.09