Ruth was born in Belfast in 1877, the eldest of nine children. Her father, Adam, a Liberal Unionist politician, was one of the first senators in the Northern Ireland parliament. Her mother was Maria, a granddaughter of United Irishman William Drennan. The family were prominent Unitarians. Maria’s and sisters Molly and Emma’s diaries also feature in this timeline.
The Duffins were members of Belfast’s high society with many wealthy and influential friends and relatives. Ruth was educated at home by a Governess, and later at Cheltenham Ladies’ College.
Ruth, her mother and sisters were prolific diarists. Ruth and her mother spent over forty years transcribing, editing and cataloguing William Drennan’s letters. She also published three volumes of poetry.
In 1914 she was appointed as the Warden of Riddell Hall, a women’s hall of residence for Queen’s University Belfast.
She died in 1968.
Researcher: Johanna Deaney
PRONI Reference for Diary: D2109/17/9 (Thanks to Mr. Michael Duffin)
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