Charlotte, Lady O’Brien
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This chapter outlines the life and contribution to education of Charlotte, Lady O’Brien (1781–1856). Born in Ireland, Charlotte Smith was a member of the Anglican community. She and Sir Edward O’Brien wed in 1799. Charlotte brought inherited business acumen to their long and happy marriage. The couple and their large family lived in Dromoland, Co. Clare. They renovated their home and remodelled the surrounding demesne. The couple, together and separately, provided support, financial and social, for the people of Dromoland and surrounding areas. With the backing of the Baptist, Hibernian and Kildare Place Societies, Charlotte, a committed evangelical, maintained a number of schools around her home. Her schools met with robust opposition, especially from local Catholic clergymen, and all closed ultimately. Nevertheless, Charlotte would be involved with educational provision in Co. Clare for approximately a quarter of a century.