Sir John Thomas Gilbert.

A history of the city of Dublin, Volume 1 online

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here, have presumed to dedicate it to his Majesty. — I cannot
pretend this to be an accomplished performance; it was done
in haste, and intended to overtake the proceedings at West-
minster, but it comes too late for that : what effect it may
possibly have in time to come, God and the wise Council of
England only know ; but were it again under my hands I
could considerably amend and add to it. But, till I either see
how the Parliament of Westminster is pleased to take it, or
till I see them risen, I do not think it adviseable for me to go



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350 HISTORY OF THE CITY OF DUBLIN.

on t' Other side the water. Though I am not apprehensive of
any mischief from them, yet God only knows what resent-
ments captious men may take on such occasions." The pre-
face of this work is dated February 8, 16&7-8, and its author's
death, occasioned by the rupture of a blood-vessel, took place
on the nth of the following October. He was buried, as
before noticed, in St. Audoen's Church, and his portrait,
painted by Kneller, is to be seen in the Examination Hall of
Trinity College, Dublin. His son Samuel, bom in 1689, was
appointed Secretary to George II. when Prince of Wales,
t^onstituted Lord of the Admiralty and member of the Privy
Council, and married Elizabeth Diana, eldest daughter of
Algernon Capel, Earl of Essex. Samuel Molyneux, who
was highly skilled in optics and astronomy, died without issue
in 1727-8. His estates, after his relict's death, devolved upon
his \mcle, Dr. Thomas Molyneux, who continued to reside in
the family mansion in New Row till the year 1711.

In the reign of Charles II. a meeting-house was erected
in New Row by a congregation of Dissenters, formed by Dr.
Samuel Winter, Ex-Provost of Trinity College, and the Rev.
Samuel Mather, who, on the passing of the Act of Unifor-
mity, resigned the offices which they held in the Established
Church. " The accession of these excellent men to the sys-
tem of conformity was much courted. Had they subscribed
to its tests, professed its creeds, and complied vrith its ritual,
they might have attained to the highest ecclesiastical dignities
in the land." Dr. Winter, who possessed a considerable pri-
vate estate, which descended to his heirs, **wa8 a man of great
zeal, rich in good works, and his &ith and patience were very
signal both in his life and death.*' The Rev. Samuel Mather,
" a member of one of the most remarkable families of Noncon-
formists in England, and Puritans in the American colony at
Boston," came to Ireland with Henry Cromwell, was appointed
Senior Fellow of Trinity College, and ordained in 1656 co-
pastor of St. Nicholas' parish, a portion of the congregation of



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MULLINAHAC. 351

which, adhering to his tenets, used to assemble at his house
till their building in New Bow was completed. After having
suffered various persecutions for his Nonconformist principles,
Mather died on the 29th of October, 167 1 , and was interred in
his former church of St. Nicholas. He was succeeded by his
brother, the Rev. Nathaniel Mather, who continued minister
in New Bow till 1689, having had as co-pastor, till 1681,
the Bev. Timothy Taylor, appointed colleague to the Bev.
Samuel Mather in 1668. The New Bow congregation re-
moved to Eustace-street in 1728, during the ministry of the
Bev. Nathaniel Weld, who had been ordained co-pastor of
the Society in February, 1682.

The " Bam Inn," kept by Mr. Matthews, was located at
the lower end of New Bow, in 1730 ; and at No. 32 here re-
sided Thomas M*Donnell, bookseller and publisher from 178 1
to 1788.

At the northern extremity of New Bow stood " Mul-
linahac,'' a name which appears to have been formed from
the Irish Muilenn-a^-chaca^ signifying the foul or unclean
mill. So early as the close of the twelfth century a mill
near the Bridge was bestowed upon the convent of the Holy
Trinity, by a native Irishman named Gilla Muircj and the
mills of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem appear also to
have stood in this vicinity. The first person of any import-
ance who settled here was John Allen, <* sent over as a factor
for the Dutch in the latter end of Queen Elizabeth's reign ;
who being very handsome in his person, and of great skill in
architecture, was much esteemed, and consulted by the most
eminent of the nobility and gentry in their buildings, particu-
larly by the Earl of Strafford, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in his
large intended edifice near Naas ; and liud out the plan of his
own house at MuUinahac near Dublin, leaving it to be finished
by his son. Sir Joshua, for whom he acquired a considerable
fortune, and who made very large additions thereto by pur-
chase, and an extensive trade, being a merchant of the first
rank. In 1664 he was Sheriff of the City of Dublin, and in



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352 HISTORY OF THE CITY OF DUBLIN.

1673 served the oflSce of Lord Mayor ; was knighted and ap-
pointed 8th June, 1679, one of the Commissioners for admi-
nistering the oaths of supremacy and allegiance tosuch as should
be entered into the artillery garden ; but was involved in the
general Act of Attainder, passed by King James' Parliament
in 1689 ; and had his estate of £2720 a year in Ireland, and
£200 a year in England, sequestered."

His son, John Allen, created, in 1 7 1 7, Baron Allen of Stil-
lorgan, and Viscount Allen, was succeeded by Joshua Allen, a
weak and dissipated man, who was trepanned by Lionel Duke
of Dorset into a marriage with Margaret, daughter of Samuel
Du Pass, first clerk in the Secretary of State's OflSce, whom
he subsequently refused to acknowledge as his wife. ** But
the lady, afler living some time in close retirement, caused an
advertisement to be inserted in the papers, stating the death
of a brother in the East Indies, by which Miss Margaret Du
Pass had succeeded to a large fortune. Accordingly, she put
on mourmng, and assumed an equipage conforming to her sup-
posed change of fortune. Lord Allen's affairs being very much
deranged, he became now as anxious to prove the marriage
with the wealthy heiress as he had formerly been to disown
the importioned damsel ; and succeeded, after such opposition
as the lady judged necessary to give colour to the farce. Be-
fore the deceit was discovered. Lady Allen, by her good sense
and talents, had obtained such ascendance over her husband,
that they ever afterwards lived in great harmony."

Lord Allen was satirized as follows under the name of
" Traulus," by Swift^ whom he had offended by some obser- *
vations made in 1730, relative to the presentation of the free-
dom of the city of Dublin to the Dean : —

" Let me now the vices trace.
From the father*s scoundrel race
Who could give the looby such airs?
Were they masons, were they butchers?
Herald, lend the Muse an answer
From his atavus and grandsire:



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MULLINAHAC. 353

This was dext'rous at his trowel,
That was bred to kill a cow well:
Hence the greasy clumsy mien
In his dress and figure seen;
Hence the mean and sordid soul,
Like his body, rank and foul ;
Hence that wild suspicious peep,
Like a rogue that steals a sheep;
Hence he learnt the butcher's guile,
How to cut your throat and smile;
Like a butcher, doom'd for life
In his mouth to wear a knife:
Hence he draws his daily food
From his tenants' vital blood.
In him tell me which prevail,
Female vices most, or male?
What produced him, can you tell?
Human race, or imps of hell?"

Another satire describes John Allen, Member for Gary sfort,
and Bobert Allen, representative of Wicklow, as

'' Aliens Jack and Bob,

First in every wicked job,
Son and brother to a queer.
Brain-sick brute, they call a peer.
We must give them better quarter.
For their ancestor trod mortar.
And at Howth, to boast his fame.
On a chimney cut his name."

Till about the year ] 735 Mullinahac continued to be the
town residence of the Allen family, whose country seat was at
Stillorgan, where is still to be seen an obelisk erected by John,
third Viscount Allen, with the object of clearing his park of
stones, and giving employment to the poor during the hard
fSrost of 1 739. The Allen peerage became extinct in 1816, by
the death of the sixth Viscoimt, Joshua William Allen, who
had served through the Peninsular campaigns.

In the middle of the last century an extensive nunnery
stood on the northern side of Mullinahac, surrounded on the

2 a



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354 HISTORY OF THB CITT OF DUBLIN.

north and west by fields planted with large trees. At the
same period a Roman Catholic chapel was located at the rere
of the southern side of Mullinahac, and the *^ Com Premium
Office" was held here till 1780.

" Allen's Court/* Lord Allen's former residence in Mul-
linahac, came in 1770 into the occupation of Edward and John
Byrne, sugar bakers and distillers. Edward Byrne had been ap-
prenticed to an eminent Koman Catholic trader named Toole,
who, becoming a convert, to the Protestant religion, endeavoured
to induce his children and apprentice to follow his example.
Byrne, however, declined to renounce the Roman Catholic
faith, and exhorted Toole's daughter not to conform to the
Established Church. Miss Toole, as before noticed, sought
refuge with Lawrence Saul, and her father obtained possession
of her correspondence with Byrne, against whom he instituted
legal proceedings ; which, after a tedious protraction, termi-
nated in favour of his apprentice, who, after trading for some
years, acquired the reputation of being the wealthiest Roman
Catholic merchant in Ireland, and was consequently induced to
enter into co-operation with the advocates of the repeal of the
Penal Laws. On the rejection of the petition of 1791, the
claims of the Roman Catholics were regarded as hopeless, owing
to the discountenance which they experienced from the nobi-
lity and gentry of their own religion ; the Committee was con-
sequently about to dissolve, when John Keogh, at a meeting
(rf the " Select Committee," held in Allen's Court in 1791,
proposed that a member of that body should be delegated to
lay their case before the English Minister. "Every man,"
says Keogh, " refused to go upon so hopeless an errand, and
the meeting was actually breaking up, and about to disperse for
ever, when I, and I alone, offered to go to London, and at my
own expense to solicit an audience from ministers. All I re-
quired was the authority of their permission, which I obtwied ;
and I accordingly set out for the British capital, where I re-
mained for three months, and whence I returned to this king-



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MULLINAHAC. 355

dom in January, 1792, accompanied, at my own desire, by the
son of that illustrious Irishman, Edmund Burke/'

The duties paid annually by Byrne to the Revenue at this
period were calculated to amount to one hundred thousand
pounds, and in recognition of his wealth and mercantile im-
portance, he was elected Chairman of the Roman Catholic
Committee, to the various publications of which his name was
officially appended . Byrne appears, however, not to have taken
any prominent part in politics after the partial relaxation of
the Penal Laws in 1793, and at the period of his death, in the
early part of the present century, his property was estimated
at four hundred thousand pounds.



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( 356 )



CHAPTER X.

THE merchants' QUAY — THE WOOD QUAY — THE BRIDGE-
FOOT — USSHER's quay — THE BLOODY BRIDGE — USSHEB's
ISLAND.

The name of the Merchants' Quay was formerly applied to
the line of buildings extending along the southern bank of die
Liffey, from the eastern comer of the Old Bridge to an edifice
known as the " Crane," at the northern extremity of Wine-
tavem-street. The quays of Dublin appear to have been con-
structed at an early period, as King John in 1209 confirmed
the citizens in possession of their buildings upon the river
(" edificia supra aquam"), and licensed them to erect edifices
upon the side of the Liffey. Frequent references to buildings
on the bank (" super ripam") of the river, in the parishes of
St. Michael and St. Audoen, occur in local documents of the
thirteenth century, at which period, ships, bound to Dublin,
generally unloaded portion of their cargoes at Dalkey, and
discharged the remainder at the Crane in the city. Various
buildings existed on the quays in the fourteenth century, and
among the city archives is preserved the following entry, made
in the year 1489 : —

** Memorandum that thes ben the wygtes of lede in the Crane
made in Richard Stanyhurst ys dayes beyng mayre, Robert Forster
and Thomas West Bay lyes, Anno regni regis H. vij'*» quinta Item
a cotte of lede off xx stone. || Item a cotte of lede xiiij p\ Item a
cotte of viij p\ || It a cotte off iiij p^ It a cote iij p\ Item a cotte
ij p\ di. It. a cotte ij p\ It a cotte j stone. Item a cotte j stone.
It di stone. It. ij quarters of lede leffet with Thomas Neyle this
yere Cranere and yerly to be delyuered to enery Mayre and Baylyes
by wrytyng."

The Crane was for a considerable period used as the Dub-



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THE MERCHANTS* QUAY. 357

lin Custom House ; relative to the firauds practised in which,
the Lord Justice and Council addressed the finglish Privy
Council as follows in 1571 : —

•* Our very good LI. with our humble dewties remembred. We
being here infTormed by George Lodge, gent farmor of Hir Ma^.
customes of Dublin of ingate and owtgate in that Porte, how. the
fichaunts of this Gitie of Dublin by ther Charter beeinge free of
custome, and holden onely but to make entry of ther goods in the
Quenes Custome howse, for whiche is paid for eny entry but onelye
2**. of this money, which is but a right small fee, and so enter ther
goods in grose; and for lacke of en try e, forfeyt no goods at all, be-
cawse by Charter they enjoy e all forfeytures in that Citie, and as
they afyrme, for wanteof none entryeof ther goods, by statute they
maye not lose the same. And under this cowlor of fredome, as is
aledged, they dow cowlor straungers goods, aswell owt of England
as other countreys yn great quantities of marchandizes. And all
this happenynge, for that they will not shewe ther coquets, mani*
festinge by the same the true owners names of those goods, as allso
the payment of the severall oostomes. So yK if it myght please your
Honorable good LI. to take such order as the Customers of Chester,
Leverpool, & other portes of England, myght as it were perforce all
men, as reason is, to take ther coquets manifestinge ther severall
costomes, wyth the true owners name, and ther to be bounde, that
the same coquet shalbe here showed to the Customer, as well to
declare the true owner or fichaunts of those goods mencioned in that
coquet, as also that he hath not hyndered the Quenes Ma^. bf her
Heighnes oostome in England, and what goods is more then in ther
coquet is comprised, may be stayed for Her Ma***, by order to be
taken by your Honors. It wold not onely greatly increase and aug-
ment Her Ma***, costomes in England, but allso here in this realme.

" And whearas here, ther hath passed by Act of Parlament in
the 12"*. yere of Her Ma*", reigne, that no flchaunt whatsoever
showld lode eny lynnon yarne, woUen yarne, woll, flocks, sheppfell,
gotefell, red dearefell, and dy vers other fichandize named in the said
statute, withowt they aunswere Her Ma*** costomes theruppon ap-
poynted and lymytted by that act, and what soever Qchaunt showld
lode eny such fichandize by stealth, and being dewly proved, showld
paie the costomes nomynated in that foresaid statute. For so moch
as dyverse fichaunts of this realme have conveyed greit quantities
of the fichandize above named, by stealth w*^owt aunsweringe Her



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358 HI6T0HT OF THE CITT OF DUBLIN.

Ma^*". costomes, wheruppon greit somes of money is dew to Her
Heighnes by reason of those conveyaunces, and is to be tryed in Her
Ma*". Exchequer here in this realme. For the more profeand better
try all of whiche, yf it myght please your Honors to direct your
honorable Ires, aswell to the customers of Chester and LeverpolU
as to those that kepe the comon Halls or other places, for severall
discharges of all suche fiichandize and goods ; the same is thought
the good meanes that they may showe ther severall boks thereof,
'w*^ the name and dwellinge place of the owner and discharger of
thos goods, and the copie of ther bokes as moch as serveth for this
purpose to be dely^ed to this bearer, to be brought unto us against
this next Terme; that such psons as so have conveyed, maye the
rather be called to aunswere ther costomes dew to Her Ma***, as by
the Act is appoynted ; and therby the better remedye to growe for
Her Ma***, to mete w**". the fraudulent dealings of such sort of
mchaunts and owners. Neverthelesse we referr the better consider-
sc6n herof as shalbe lykinge to your Honors order and devise, that
these practizes may the better be mett w^.all and ponyshed as the
factes demeryte. And so humble take our leave. From Dublin
this xvii*\ of July, 1571. Your LI. humble at comaundment,
W. Fttzwtluah Egbert Weston, cane T. Armachak. Adam
Dublin. Jo. Plunket. Lucas Dillon. H. Dbatcott, Francis
AoARDE, John Chaloner.'*

On the 11th of March, 1596-7, a quantity of gunpowder
landed at the Crane exploded accidentally, and caused great
destruction of life and property. Of this, the most serious
accident recorded in the Dublin Annals, the fullest notice
hitherto extant is that quoted from the native chroniclers at
page 154, in connexion with Winetavemnstreet ; we are, how-
ever, enabled, from unpublished official documents, to furnish
more ample details of the catastrophe, which is described as
follows by Sir John Norreys in a letter written to Sir Robert
Cecil, two days after the explosion :

*< Although the wynd have stayed our last dispache to your Ha
these 6 dayes, yet hath that tyme affourded nothynge more to wry te,
but the lamentable accydent of the buminge of part of Her Ma*^.
pouder, to the quantety of about syx last, whych beynge the remayn
left aboard of all the store last sent over, was brought in a lyghter



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TUB merchants' QUAY. 359

on the eleventh of thys present to the Crane about zii of the clock,
and toke fyer imediatly after one (by what meanes no man know-
eth). In thys tyme yt was allmost all layd open the Kay, and the
porters beginninge to cary y t away : thre of S'. George Bonsers men
that had the charge of y t, wyth the keper of the Crane, and all the
labourers about y t are peryshed ; the ruyne of the town is ezceedinge
great, twenty houses by estymation, next adjoyninge, thro wen to
the ground, not any one house or church wythin the walles but in
the tylynges, smaule tymbers, and glasse merrelously endomaged,
and many in lyke sort in the suburbes. Yt is supposed that ther
are slayn of all ages and sexes neer 200; fewe Englysh, nor any of
account, but one of the Ratlyfes, master of a bark of Chester: ther
ys lytle apparans that thys should happen by any practise, the
tyme beyng so short that y t lay in the place, and the same garded ;
but yt is ghessed that some nayle in the roulynge of the barrels
myght stryke fyer, the tyme beynge very dry. Though the losse
to Her Ma^7. be not great, nor any hynderans can come to the ser-
yyoe, ther beynge heer suffitient store tyll more may be sent, yet is
the myshapp to be pytyed and accounted a just plaghe of Grod, for
the synnes of so impyous and ungratefuU a people.

*' And thus praynge your Ho. that thys may be imparted to my
L. your Father, to whome I forbeer to wryte (hayynge no more
pleasinge suggett) I remayn most redy to doe your Ho. servyce,

** J. N0BRBT&
**Dublyn thys xiii of March 1596.'*

Sir George Bourchier details the event as follows in a
letter addressed, on the I6th of March, to Lord Burghley :

'* It may please your most honorable Lo. Although your Honor
shalbe fullie advertised by the Lo. Deputy and Councell of the mi-
serable accident happened here, (by Gk>ds providence) through mis-
chaunce of powder, blowen up at the Crane of Dublin, yet I thought
it my duty to signifie the same unto your Lo. in pticuler, so farre
as by all meanes I can gather the truth therof. My men as hereto-
fore have bene accustomed, were at the Crane, (where the powder
and all other goodes both of the Queenes Ma^**. and fichantes are
both shipped and unshipped, having but one onely Crane for all
busines whatsoever) to discharge 6 lastes of powder, w''^ a lighter
had brought up from the ship, and was the last loade of the whole
proporcbn brought hither: it happened on Friday the 11th of this
moneth, at xii of the clock in the day, the tide brought up the



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360 HISTORY OF THE CITY OF DUBLIN.

lighter to the Crane, and w^^'in one houre it was landed, about which
tyme the mischiefe happened, onely 4**'. barrells of powder were
caried towardes the store, throughe the citty, (as is accustomed for
that there is no other way) and the rest being loding into small
cartes and by comon porters of the citty, was redy to be caried
away although none saved but the 4*"'. barrelles, all the rest blowen
up, together with the men that were imployed at the instant ther-
about, and not any alive to make reporte: amongst the rest twoe o€
my owne men j^ished ; and my clarcke that attended the receipt newly
depted from the 'place, together with the M'. of the ship that
brought the municon being called awaie by accident Some con-
jecture yt myght come by a horse foote straning and so strike fier.
Others say a boy was picking about the barrells to seeke loose
powder; and some say by rolling a barrell on the grounde in the
streete. For may it please your La ther is no other meanes but
to lay yt in the streete as it is taken out of the Cran^ And suerly
(my good Lo.) the under officers of the Tower w*^ are to attend the
dispatche of such services were to blame, to send the powder w*'*out
duble casque, to defend it from the like mishappes ; a thing w^. I
doe not remember hath bene done heretofore. Further it may
please your Lo. that the proporc5n of cali9s now arived, being all of*
an old store, lyen long in the Tower, and sent hither w%ut the or-
dinarie marke of pro<^e accustomed to be stamped upon the pece,
and most of them likwise put up with croked stockes vr'^K nowe be
out of use, will never be issued to tharmie, but are like to lie and
consume w'^* ruste, as many other did in my office; soe likwise is
it a great inconvenience to the service in sending the lead in so great
peceis as now y t was, that our cariage horses cannot beare in jornies,
and therfore must be new caste, wherby will growe both waste and
increase of charge. Thus having acquainted your Lo. with the truth
of this accidente so farre as I can learne, doe most humbly take my
leave. From Dublin this xvi***. of Marche 1596. Your Lo. most
humblie to be comaunded^ G. Bowbchier."

The following examinations of witnesses were taken before
Michaell Chamberlaine, Mayor of Dublin, " touching the late
misfortune happened to the Cittie aforesaid by the powder
that laid at the Crane, the 16*^. of March, 1596 :"

** James Fox of Manchester, merchant, of the age of xxvi yeares
or thereabouts sworne upon the Holie Evangelist and duly exa^



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THE MBRCHANTS' QUAY. 361

inined by vertue of his oath, deposeth, that upon Fridaie last beiog
the 2i oi'this pnt moneth,he thisDepon^ being at the Crane of Dublin,
sawe a man rowling out of barrells of powder into the streete, and
w**" him 2 yoimg children, th'one of them in a long side coate, who
so sone as the said fellowe that had first put them a rowling, the
children kept them so rowling untill they came where the greater
nomber of powder laie. The man or children that so rowled them
this depon\ knoweth not, and further deposeth not.

*' Bichard Toben, m'. porter of Dublin, of the age of 65 yeares
or thereabouts likewise swome and duly examined deposeth, that
he this depon^ being at the Crane, the dale and yeare aforesaid help-
ing to put out the powder, and leaving eche barrell at the Crane
dore readie to be carried awaie by suche as the Q. officers had
apointed, the children of the streete and other persons there stand-
ing idle and not hired, fell a rowling of the powder; but who the
children or persons were that so rowld them this depon^ did not
well note or knowe them.

*^He further deposeth that Thadie Carroll servant to John
Allen, darke of the Storehouse, was there pnt taking the note of



Online LibrarySir John Thomas GilbertA history of the city of Dublin, Volume 1 → online text (page 31 of 39)