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What was Liam's Surname?

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  • What was Liam's Surname?

    I don't think it has ever been mentioned but then neither was Faith's but we know it to be Lehane. Without any indication to something canonical, I decided to do a bit of research to see what it could be. (This is what happens when you come off nights and can't sleep!)

    Firstly, I looked up tradtional Irish surnames and discovered that surnames went through great changes in Ireland in the 1700's due to the influence of the English, under whose rule Ireland had, very reluctantly, recently become. Many traditional celtic names were anglecized to form the kind of names we associate with Ireland now (Murphy, O'Toole, Kelly and the like) and the influx of English into the country meant that English names started to become common (Collins, Browne, Burke etc). The proliferation of the most common names is because the lower classes had way more children and they had to travel a lot more for work etc, so this means that Liam's father being a man of some wealth and standing would probably not have a very common Irish surname.

    This lead me to a census of a small part of Galway, Roscommon and Sligo taken in 1749. If we presume that Liam was 26 when Angelus was born -as stated in "The Prodigal", then the census would've been taken when he was 22. The census lists a man's name, the parish he lived in, whether he was married, his religion, how many children and whether over or under 14 years, how many servants (sex and religion as well) and their occupation. I appears that children of adult age still living with their parents are not listed seperately - due to the fact there was not one man listed who wasn't married or had children.

    Knowing that Liam's father was a trader in Silk and Linens (Blind Date), had one female servant, two children living at home - a girl called Kathy of about 11 years and Liam himself, was a god fearing catholic and had a wife (The Prodigal), I used all this information and came up with a possible real life Liam family background:-

    In the county of Sligo there is a village of Grange (which although not Galway is close enough to the border to ring true). It is close to the sea (important for a trader I would imagine) and Sligo Town. There lived a man called Terence Brine who was married and had two children, one under 14 the other over. He had one servant and his occupation was a Merchant.

    Grange itself, was a very small place. It is described in 1837 as - "consisting of one street, in which are only four decent houses and the rest are thatched cabins", however, in 1721 a school called Primrose Grange was built for the boys and girls whose father's could afford to pay the fee of ?6 a year. So maybe it went downhill! Primrose Grange still stands today, and is now converted into a Bed&Breakfast.

    So in conclusion this is what I've surmised - Liam's father was called Terence Brine and they lived in Grange, Liam was educated at Primrose Grange and rode his horse regularly to Sligo Town where he would drink and carouse the local girls and where he met Darla in an alley round the corner from a tavern.

    Interesting side note:- The name Liam is derived from Uilliam meaning "resolute protector, unwavering protector" and the name Connor is derived from Conchobar meaning "hound, wolf" and "desiring." Well thought out names there - well done Joss!

    Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

  • #2
    I love what you did. It's very interesting to read. That you could find a family that looked like Angel's family is great. I never had the great idea to look into a census, I always looked to the names they used in Galway ... which brings me to my only problem;

    Grange isn't near Galway. I don't know how the name thing works in Ireland. But if I use the Netherlands as an example, names in the east of the country are different from the names in the south.

    My guess was always that his last name would be 'Martin', it's a family known for their traveling and being merchants. They were one of the more powerful families in Galway ... it's possible that Liam's father was a younger brother and got less money.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Nina View Post
      Grange isn't near Galway.
      First thing you have to remember is that Galway is a city and a county. It's never specified that Liam lived in Galway City, so no it's not very close if you're travelling from Grange to Galway City, but the city is quite far south in the county. If you go from Ballymoe in the northen part of Galway you can be in Grange in about 1 1/2 hours, so I wouldn't say that they were the other end of the country from each other.

      The current borders of the counties could have changed since the 1700's, and Galway is a better known county than Sligo, so you could guess that it was used as a guide rather than a specific location - although I suppose they could've said West Ireland rather than Galway if that was the case.

      Still you've got me interested in the 'Martin' name. Off to do some research into that....

      Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor


      • #4
        I'm aware that it was a county as well, but I think that it was Galway City because; the city we saw was pretty 'big', Liam went to the prostitutes (I doubt that a little village would have more than one), the chance that Darla (who loved a good bed and a nice view) would go to a real city is bigger than the chance that she would stay in a small place like Grange, Angel's father had a company and a city is a better place for something like a Silk and Linens company (more buyers). And there is a big chance that Galway city had a bigger (and more famous) harbour than the most places in the neighbourhood.

        And the first shot we see in 'The Prodigal' has mountains, with water in front of it ... and in front of the water, you see land again. It's a view you get when you are in Galway City.

        I know that it's still possible that he grew up in the county and not in the city. But I think that it was the city.


        • #5
          All true, but this exchange kinda makes me think that Liam didn't live in the city - probably a village on the outskirts then.

          Darla: You can do anything, have anyone in the village. Who will it be?
          Angel: Anyone? (Darla nods) I thought I’d take the village

          Ok I'm going out on a limb and say that in 1749, the Brine family lived in Grange in Sligo, but Terence Brine needed to move the family to Galway, where there was more business and did so somwhere between 1749 and 1753. There's an area of modern Galway called Salthill which is right on the waterfront. It could've been a village that was enveloped by the city during the decades. If there were docks there at that time it is entirely conceivable that it would have taverns and prostitutes - seafarers are kinda known for that kind of thing. Due to it's proximity to the city, there could be more well-to-do housing nearby too.

          I looked for anything about the Martins as famous traders and couldn't really find anything that relates to that part of Ireland at that time. I know this is all supposition and I'm making it up as I go along, but I'm having great fun fitting a fictional character up with a real life history!!

          Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor


          • #6
            Maybe Liam came from the village Claddagh, he talked about his people when he was explaining the ring. It was for a long time a village next to Galway, now it's part of the city itself. The village is at the coast ...