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Letter from Sir John Maxwell to Mrs. Lillie Connolly [widow of James Connolly] regarding her attempts to retrieve her husband's personal affects.
Letter on headed paper "Headquarters / Irish Command / Parkgate / Dublin".
Physical description: 1 item (3 pages) with envelope.
Lillie Connolly (née Reynolds), a domestic servant from a Wicklow protestant family, met James Connolly during his his amry service in Ireland. They married in Perth, Scotland, in April 1890.
Connolly was still a practising Catholic at the time of his children's birth, and the couple's children - six daughters and one son - received a catholic education.
Sir John Grenfell Maxwell was a British Soldier, previously stationed extensively in Egypt, who was made Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in Ireland after the outbreak of the Easter Rising. The defeat of the rebels was already inevitable by the time of Maxwell's arrival, but he was primarily responsible for government policy in the immediate aftermath of the Rising.
Maxwell's quickly ordered executions of the rebel leaders, followed by thousands of arrests, are regarded as a key factor in accelerating the shift of nationalist feeling towards support for the militant Sinn Fein.
(Biographical information: Fergus A. D'Arcy. 'Connolly James'. Dictionary of Irish Biography, and Keith Jeffery. 'Maxwell, Sir John Grenfell'. Dictionary of Irish Biography.)