WRITER AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST
Rosamond Jacob (13 October 1888 – 11 October 1960) was an Irish writer and political activist. She was a lifelong activist for suffragist, republican and socialist causes and a writer of fiction.
She was born to lapsed Quaker parents, Lewis Jacob and Henrietta Harvey, in Waterford, where she lived until 1920. Her parents’ support for Irish Nationalism placed them at odds with the majority of the Quaker community in Waterford and resulted in isolation. Rosamond was educated in Quaker schools in Waterford and amongst other things through this became proficient in languages such as French and German.
As a young adult Jacob become involved in organisations such as the Gaelic League, the Irish National League, and Inghinidhe na hÉireann, a dedicated women’s radical nationalist organisation. She, along with her brother Tom, was a member of Sinn Féin from 1905, and it was Rosamond who opened the first branch of Sinn Féin in Waterford in 1906. It was that same year Rosamond became an Irish language speaker and writer, a language she’d go on to become fluent in. Jacob’s time in the Gaelic League over time began to grate, however, as she began to find the Catholic atmosphere there stifling to her developing feminist and agonist beliefs. In 1908 she joined the Irish Women’s Franchise League, created by her friend and fellow feminist Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington.
She lived in the Rathmines area of Dublin from at least 1942, firstly in Belgrave Square. From 1950 she shared a house with her friend Lucy Kingston at 17 Charleville Road. She died in 1960 after a road traffic accident in which she was struck down. Rosamond Jacob kept a diary almost all of her life, and there are 171 of these diaries among her literary and political papers held in the National Library of Ireland.