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Sir Andrew J Horne - Ballinasloe man and character in James Joyce's Ulysses

First master of the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, Dublin
 Damian Mac Con Uladh

Sir Andrew John Horne

Sir Andrew John Horne was born in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, in 1856. His parents, Junius and Frances Horne, lived at Society Street and owned a number of houses on the street. 

Horne was educated at Clongowes Wood College and in Vienna.

After obtaining his medical degree he was elected assistant to the Master of the Rotunda Hospital. In 1885 he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and was President of the College from 1908 to 1910. On the foundation of the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street he was elected Master. He was vice-president of the Obstetrical Section of the British Medical Association held at Swansea and president of the Obstetrical Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine, Ireland.

In 1915, Horne had a a stained glass window erected in memory of his parents in St. Michael's Church, Ballinasloe.

In 1922, he was elected chairman of the Central Midwives Board by the newly-established Irish Free State government.

He died in Dublin on September 5, 1924. His wife Margaret, daughter of Francis Norman, of Dublin, predeceased him in 1920.

In James Joyce's Ulysses, Horne's name is mentioned no less than ten times in "Oxen of the Sun", chapter 14. It is suggested that Horne represents Helios, the Greek sun god, and also oxen (Horne=horn).

Playing around with his name, Joyce wrote: "Send us bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit." Referring to the hospital, Joyce continued: "Of that house A. Horne is lord. Seventy beds keeps he there teeming mothers are wont that they lie for to thole and bring forth bairns hale so God's angel to Mary quoth. Watchers tway there walk, white sisters in ward sleepless. Smarts they still, sickness soothing: in twelve moons thrice an hundred. Truest bedthanes they twain are, for Horne holding wariest ward."

Source: The Times, Sepember 8, 1924; James Joyce's Ulysses as well as other sources.

A biography exists, see: John M Stronge, Andrew Horne: Thirty Years a Master, Dublin: A&A Farmer, 1999

 

 


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