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Joseph Bryan Geoghegan (1816-1889) was an English music hall musician and songwriter from the coal fields of Lancashire.

"Joseph Bryan Geoghegan "was born in Salford about 1816 (some sources state Barton-on-Irwell, but both he and his sister Ellen claimed Salford as their birthplace). His father, James, was a Fustian Cutter from Dublin (b. 1791) living at Phillips St., Barton in 1851; his mother, Mary Ann, was from Manchester. According to sources, 'before he reached manhood took to writing songs upon current events'. He certainly seems to have left home at an early age and was married, to Elizabeth (a 'vocalist'), before he was 19. The 'other woman', Mary Ann Birchall, appears on the scene about 1852, aged 17. In that same year Geoghegan fathered children both by his wife and Mary Ann, a pattern that was to continue until 1871, when Elizabeth died. He married Mary Ann that same year. In all he fathered 21 known children: 9 by Elizabeth and 12 by Mary Ann, 10 of which were born whilst still married to Elizabeth. Fate was unkind to his family; at least four of his sons reached adulthood but died before reaching 40. At least three of his children were deaf and dumb from birth (tragic enough, but even more so, given their father's occupation). Only one child, Frederick, showed any musical inclination; he was styled 'violinist' on the 1861 census. Mary Ann died 1889 in Stoke, where Geoghegan was manager of the Gaiety Theatre. He moved back to Bolton and died there the same year. His death was widely reported, meriting two articles in the Otaga Witness, New Zealand!"

—The Mudcat Cafe

Down in a Coal Mine


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