‘The Beggar’s Daughter of Bethnal Green’: James Sheridan Knowles’s Dedication to Kirkman Finlay

James Sheridan Knowles dedicated his comedy, The Beggar’s Daughter of Bethnal Green, to Kirkman Finlay. Published in 1828, it reads:


“To Kirkman Finlay, Esq. President of the Roman Catholic Schools’ Association, &c. &c. &c.




In the name of my little countrymen and countrywomen, the Children of Irish Roman Catholics, resident in Glasgow, I dedicate this Play to you. Your steady countenance and zealous advocacy of the Schools which have been established for their benefit, and from which incalculable advantages have been already derived; entitle you to their gratitude. – Their country is your debtor.


On my own account, Sir, I have to thank you for attention and kindness, such as I shall not very readily forget; and to assure you that I am with sincerity,


Your attached Servant,


J. S. Knowles.”



George Fairfull-Smith, January 2020.