The Quaker community at Baltyboys dates back to the 1678s and predates the nearby, but far better known, Quaker community at Ballitore by two decades.
The first burial in the Quaker graveyard at Baltyboys was that of Peter Paisley. He was born in Oxfordshire in the same year as George Fox, who founded the Quaker movement, and died at Baltyboys in 1684, aged 60.
Initially, meetings for worship were held in members’ own houses, but the membership grew large enough to justify a local Meeting House, which was built in 1710.
Family names associated with the Baltyboys Quaker community in the 1700s were:- Peisley (Paisley), Lapham, Barker, Thacker, Haughton, Barcroft,
Eves and Williams.
The community was in decline from the mid 1700s. The last Meeting House trustees were appointed in 1794, the Meeting was discontinued in 1799. The last burial in the Quaker graveyard was in 1809 and the last documented reference to a Quaker is to James Butler, aged 45, who was baptised into the Church of Ireland on 9 May 1826 and died one week later.
Although there are no records of Quakers after 1826, the Quaker family-names continued in the area as they intermarried with their Church of
Ireland, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic neighbours.
Today, the Quaker Burial Ground is the only surviving physical evidence of the former Quaker community at Baltyboys. It has been cleaned
and secured by the members of the Blessington Lakeside-Heritage Group and lies directly opposite the entrance to Baltyboys Golf Club.
Copies of the book are also available in the Blessington Bookstore, Main Street, Blessington, Co. Wicklow.
This page created 19 July 2014 by John Hussey. Updated 11 October 2017.