Keene family, of Dublin

Arthur Keene (d.1818) and two brothers came to Dublin from England as working goldsmiths. His marriage to Isabella Martin at St. Bride's Church, Dublin in April 1775 is the only wedding John Wesley is known to have conducted in Ireland. He was a steward of the Dublin society and Wesley's letters to him reveal warm friendship. They indicate his importance in connection with the Whitefriar Street School and the Widows' Almshouse. He quarrelled with Wesley over the times of Methodist services and the administration of the Sacrament and declined to meet him on his last visit to Ireland.

His sons Martin Keene (d.1846) and James Keene (d.1872) were members of the committee which drafted the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Constitution in 1818. Martin was King's Printer in Ireland and a founding member of the Hibernian Sunday School Society (1809) and his grandsons, Charles H. Keene (d.1915) and James B. Keene (d.1919) were respectively the first Professor of Greek in University College, Cork and Bishop of Meath.

  • John Wesley, Letters, Standard Edition, vols 6-8 passim
  • D.A.L. Cooney in Dublin Historical Review, Spring 1995

Entry written by: DALC
Category: Person
Comment on this entry