Humane societies, charities whose focus was the recovery of nearly-drowned persons, sprang up throughout the transatlantic world in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. The saving of lives took many forms, but the exchange of ideas, pioneering of lifesaving equipment and exploring innovative techniques were indirect methods which had a great impact. This talk examines the context in which British and Irish humane societies were founded and operated, locating these organisations firmly within a wider transatlantic milieu, as well as delving deeper into this fascinating and, historically, relatively neglected movement.

Speaker: Dr Ciarán McCabe (University College Dublin and Maynooth University)