Sir John Thomas Gilbert.

A history of the city of Dublin, Volume 1 online

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26 HISTORY OF THB CITY OF DUBLIN.

street, on every second Monday and Friday. The " Irish
Woollen Warehouse," established for the promotion of that
mannfiM^ture, and placed by Parliament under the manage-
ment of the Dublin Sodety, was opened in Castle-street in
1773. In this street, also, were located the Halls of the Cor-
porations of Joiners and Coopers, or " Guild of St. Patrick."
The Bank of James Swift and Company was held in Cas-
tle-street, in two houses opposite the Castle gate, from 1741
to 1746, in which year that firm appears to have been suc-
ceeded by Thomas Gleadowe and Company, whose successor,
William Gleadowe of Killester, having married Charlotte,
daughter and heiress of Charles Newcomen of Carrickglas, in
the county of Longford, was created a baronet* in 1781, and
assumed the arms and surname of Newcomen. His brother,
Greorge Gleadowe, was captain of the Loyal Irish or Green
Begiment of Foot, and ude-de-camp to Dalling, Governor of
Jamaica, in which island he died in 1780. Sir William Glea-
dowe Newcomen's bank was held at 19, Mary's-abbey, from
1777 to 1781 ; in the latter year it was removed back to Cas-
tlcHstreet, to the new edifice constructed by Thomas Ivory,
an eminent native architect. ^* The plan," says a critic of the
last century, << considering the great restraint and irregularity
of the ground, is well contrived ; and if the excess of ornament
had been spared, the fironts would have been more perfect."
This banker acquired an unenviable notoriety by his conduct,
as member for Longford in the Irish Parliament, with refer-
ence to the Union, which he " declared he supported, as he
was not instructed to the contrary by his constituents. This
avowal surprised many, as it was known that the county was
nearly unanimous against the measure, and that he was well
acquainted witii the fact. However, he voted for Lord Cas-
tlereagh, and he asserted that conviction alone was his guide ;
his veracity was doubted, and in a few months some of his
bribes were published. His wife was also created a peeress."
From an official document in the Bolls Office, it appears that



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WBRBURGH-STRBBT. 27

Newcomen acquired twenty thousand pounds by supporting
the Union. In July, 1800, Lady Newcomen was raised to
the Irish peerage by the title of Baroness Newcomen of Moss-
town, county of Longford, the residence of her paternal ances-
tors ; and in 1 803 she was advanced to the dignity of Viscountess
Newcomen. She was succeeded by her son. Sir Thomas New-
comen, Bart., Viscount Newcomen, on whose death in 1825
the title became extinct. Newcomen's house in Castle-street
is at present occupied by the Hibernian Joint Stock Banking
Company, but its appearance has been somewhat changed by
the door on its eastern front having been converted into a
window.

On the southern side of Castle-street stood << Silver-court,"'
in the second house of which, next door to the sign of the
•• Golden Hammer and Heart," the «* Dublin Intelligence"
was published in 1728 ; as also another newspaper with the
following title: "R. Dickson. The Silver-court Gazette,
contwiing an impartial account of the most material news,
foreign and domestick. Printed by Richard Dickson, in Sil-
ver-court in Castle-street, opposite to the Rose Tavern."

Many of the early publications of George Faulkner were
printed in ** Pembroke-court," on the north side of Castle-
street, where also a Masonic Lodge used to meet in 1735 at
the " Two Blue Posts," on every second Wednesday ; and in
1751 at the "Ring of Bells," on every second Thursday.
Before the opening of Parliament-street, "Pembroke-court"
was a much frequented thoroughfare.

Werburgh-street received its name from a church which
appears to have been erected there shortly after the Anglo-
Norman settlement, and dedicated to St. Werburgh, patron
of Chester, to which her shrine, which now forms the Bishop's
throne in that town, was brought in the year 875. In more
ancient times there stood in this locality a chmx^h dedicated
to St. Martin, who was highly venerated by the Irish as
uncle of St. Patrick, on whom he had conferred the tonsure.



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28 HISTORY OF THE CITY OF DUBLIN.

Lorcan Ua Tuathal, Archbishop of Dublin in the twelfth
century, is recorded to have miraculously restored to life his
fiiend and companion, Galluiiedius, a priest of St. Martin's
church, which edifice appears to have gradually fallen to decay
until its remains were scarcely distinguishable in the early part
of the sixteenth century ; and a passage named Saint-Martin's-
lane, in its immediate vicinity, has been also obliterated.

St. Werburgh's is mentioned among the parochial churches
of Dublin in a Papal letter of the year 11799 t^d its cure has
been always filled by the Chancellor of St. Patrick's Cathedral
since the archiepiscopate of Henri de Loundres. On the night
of St.Colum's festival intheyearl311, a great part of the city
of Dublin was acddentally burned down, together with St.
Werburgh's Church, which originally had two chapels an-
nexed, — one called ** Our Ladle's Chapel," and the other named
that of St. Martin, from the old church.

Nicholas Suttown, clerk, by his will in 1478 bequeathed
to St. Werburgh's Church the cost of making and painting
a crucifix (^* valor facturse et picturad crucifixi") ; and a Me-
morandum Roll of the nineteenth year of Edward IV. (1479)
registers an Act of Parliament in French, reciting that Wal-
ter Baldwin and William Cornell had granted a messuage
called Coryngham's Inns, in St. Werburgh's parish, to Pa-
trick Bumell and Patrick Grote, proctors of St. Werbur^'s
Church, to furnish a priest to chant in the chapel of St. Mar-
tin, in St. Werburgh's Church, for all Christian souls. An-
other messuage in the same parish, in occupation of John
Duff, was granted for support of this priest ; license was also
given to purchase lands to the amount of ten pounds, the cost
of repairing houses in Dublin being considerable, or, in the
words of the original record, ** par cause les reparadons deins
mesz' dans la dite cite sunt si chargeuz et si custuz." The old
parish of St. Martin is occasionally alluded to in official do-
cuments down to the sixteenth century ; and in a valuation
made in the thirty-eighth year of King Henry VIII. the



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WBRBURGH-STRBBT. 29

tithea and oblatioiiB of the rectory or chapel of St. Werburgh
are stated to be of no value beyond the alterages assigned to
the corate and repair of the chancel.

Nicholas Walsh, minister of St. Werbngh's from 1571 to
1577) and subsequently Bishop of Ossory, was the first who
introduced Irish types into Ireland ; Queen Elizabeth, at her
own expense, haying provided a printing-press and a fount of
Irish letters, *^ in hope that God in his mercy would raise up
some to translate the New Testament into their mother tongue."
In 1607, James Ussher, afterwards Primate of Ireland, a di-
vine and scholar of European reputation, was appointed to this
church. His successor here was William Chappel, who had
been John Milton's tutor at Cambridge, and who, according to
Symmonds, was the reputed author of the celebrated " Whole
Duty of Man :" he was afterwurds Provost of Trinity College,
Dublin, and Bishop of Cork and Ross. The Roman Catholic
Bishop of Down and Connor, who died in 1628, during his
imprisonment in the Castle on a charge of conspiring with
foreign powers against the Government, was buried in this
churchyard at four in the morning.

The church is described, in 1630, as ^^ in good repair and
decency," worth sixty pounds per annum, there being two
hundred and thirty-nine householders in the parish, all Pro-
testants, with the exception of twenty-eight Roman Catholics.
" St. Warburr's,'* says a writer in 1635, " is a kind of ca-
thedral : herein preacheth judicious Dr. Hoile about ten in
the morning and three in the afternoon; a most zealous
preacher, and general scholar in all manner of learning, a mere
cynic." Dr. Hoyle, the iriend of Ussher, and the " tutor and
chamber fellow" of Sir James Ware, was elected Professor of
IKvinity in, and Fellow of. Trinity College, Dublin ; he sat
in the Assembly of Divines, witnessed against Laud, and in
1648 was appointed Master of University College, Oxford.

Henry Dodwell, whose immense erudition has been eulo-
gized by Gibbon, was baptized on the 4th of November, 1641 ,



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30 HISTORY OF THB CITY OF DUBLIN.

in St. Werburgh's Church, which in the seventeenth century
was the burial-place of many important Anglo-Irish families.
Sir James Ware was interred, in 1666, in his family vault in
this church, without either stone or monumental inscription ;
<< but," says his biographer, ** he had taken care in his life-
time to erect a monument for himself by his labours, more
lasting than any mouldering materials.**

A meeting of the natives of Chester rendent in Dublin
was held in St. Werburgh's Church in 1671 9 as appears from
^* A Sermon preach't before the Bight Honourable the Lord
Mayor of the city of Dublin, and the rest of the society of
the city, and county palatine of Chester, and of the county
palatine of Cheshire, at a publick meeting of the natives both
of that city and county, in the parish church of St. Warburgh's,
the 23 of November, 1671, by Samuel Hinde, D.D., one of
his Majestie's chaplains."

This sermon is dedicated by the preacher to " The Bight
Honourable, John Totty, Lord Mayor of Dublin, and the rest
of his worthy friends and countreymen of that ancient dty, the
city and county palatine of Chester, and of that famous coun-
try, and county palatine of Cheshire." The author styles Sir
John Totty and himself both natives of Cheshire, and says
that the sermon was preached at the ^^ first and last publick
convention in the parish church of St. Warburgh's, in Dub-
lin ;" and a note appended states that, ^^ The stewards for the
managing of this our Cheshire meeting were Will Billington,
Mr. Henry Ashton."

Edward Wetenhall, who had been Thomas Southern's
tutor in Trinity College, was curate of St Werburgh's in
1672. He was subsequently appointed Bishop of Eilmore,
and distinguished himself as a controversial writer. Weten-
hall was author of the well-known Greek and Latin Gram-
mars, which have gone through innumerable editions, and are
still in use.

Dr, Faithful Tate, father of the Poet Laureat, was con-



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WBBBUROH-8TRBBT. 31

nected with St. Werburgh's Church in the reign of Charles II. ;
and William Eong, subsequently Archbishop of Dublin, was
minister here from 1679 to 1688. In King James' time,
Pierce Butler, Viscount Gralmoy, a distinguished soldier, was,
'* for some insolent or ill actions committed by him in these
days in the parish church of St. Werburgh's, Dublin, ordered
to do penance in the said church, but it was remitted for some
certain mulct to be given for the use of the poor of that pa-
rish." " This," says a contemporary, " I saw publickly per-
formed at a vestry in the said church."

Samuel Foley, who succeeded Dr. Eang, was appointed
Bishop of Down and Connor in 1694, in which year he pub-
lished, in the ^^ Philosophical Transactions," the first account
given to the public of the Giant's Causeway. John Steame,
afterwards Dean of St. Patrick's, rector here from 1702 to
1706, bequeathed eighty pounds per aimum for the mainte-
nance of a divine to deliver lectures on the catechism twice a
week, to be held from Easter to Michaelmas in St. Werburgh's
Church ; and from Michaelmas to Easter at that of St. Nicholas
Without ; to be chosen every three years by the beneficed cler-
gymen of the city of Dublin. Edward Sjmge, for six years
minister of this parish, ^^ preaching almost constantly to
<arowded congregations," was, in 1714, promoted to the bi-
shopric of Baphoe, and in 1716 to that of Tuam. He incur-
red much censure for some expressions used in a sermon at
St. Werburgh's, on Sunday, 3rd October, 1714 : a contem-
porary manuscript states, *^ that it was publicklie siud in the
city that the Doctor was preaching a new religion ;" he ac-
cordingly printed the obnoxious discourse, ^^ to put a stop to
the &lse and altogether groundless reports that had been
spread abroad concerning it." Dr. Synge was the son of one
bishop, the nephew of another, and the &ther of two bishops,
Nicholas, Bishop of Killaloe, and Edward, Bishop of Elphin,
commonly called " Proud Ned."

In this church, in the last century, were generally preached



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32 HISTORY OF THB CITT OF DUBLIN.

the charity sermons for the relief of the surviving soldiers
who had fought for King William III., who, instead of being
rewarded, did not even receive the amount of pay which
was acknowledged by Parliament to be justly owed to them ;
and " after two and thirty years* tedious and fruitless ne-
gotiations, the following arrears were still due to the eight
regiments that formed the garrison of Derry during the
siege: — Baker's regiment, £16,274 9*. 8rf.; Mitchelbum's,
£9541 16*.; Wdker's, £10,188 13*. 6rf.; Munroe's, £8360
2*.; Croftons, £7750 11*. 6d.; Hamill's, £8,969 13*. 6rf.;
Lane's, £8360 2*. ; Murray's, £5312 9*. 6d. ; making a total
of £74,757 17*. 8rf., not a fitrthing of which appears to have
been ever paid."

Although recent researches among original documents have
proved that the garrison of Derry vastly exceeded the number
of its besiegers, and that the history of other events of those
wars has been equally falsified, no palliation is to be found for
the shameful maimer in which the Irish Williamite officers and
soldiers were defrauded by their employers.

At the commencement of the last century the church of
St. Werburgh had become ** so decayed and ruinous that the
parishioners could not with safety assemble therein for the
performance of divine service, and was likewise so simdl in ex-
tent that great numbers of the conformable inhabitants were
forced either to n^lect the public worship of Almighty God,
or repair to other parish churches;" the parishioners being
mostly shopkeepers and tradesmen, who paid *^ great and
heavy rents," the King, in 1715, granted the plot of ground
on which the Council Chamber formerly stood, towards the
rebuilding of the church, which was executed, in 1718, from
the design of Isaac Wills. The lower part of the new edifice
was the same as at present ; the upper story consisted of a lofty
octagonal tower, adorned with Ionic pilasters, and crowned
with a dome and cross.

James Southwell, "batchelor, bom in the parish of St.



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WBRBURGH-STRBBT. 33

Werburgh's," who died in 1729, aged eighty-eight years, be-
queathed £1250 to purchase £62 1 0#. for ever, for certain pur-
poses, among which were the following: — To a lecturer, to
read prayers and preach a sermon every second Wednesday,
£20 ; bread for the poor, after the sermon, 3s. 4d. each night,
£4 6^. 8r/. ; candles in dark nights at lecture, £1 ; coals
for poor roomkeepers, £4 Zs, Ad. ; to bind a parish boy ap-
prentice to a trade, £3. He also bequeathed £45 for a dock;
£386 for a ring of bells ; and £20 to twenty poor widows.

The parsimony of the donor of these charities is comme-
morated in *^a new and mournful elegy on the lamentable
death of the fiunous usurer, James Southwell, who died raving
mad on Sunday, January the 19th, 1728-9, printed by John
Dumeen, next door to the Waly's Head in Patrick's-street,"
which concludes as foUows : —

** Rejoyce, St Werburgh's, toll your knells.
To yon he's left a ring of bells ;
A fine new ring, that when your steeple
Is higher built, will call the people;
Blew-boys, rejoyce I and eke ye poor,
By him yeVe got now something more;
And but ye legatees complain.
To whom he left his old jack chain.'*

A metal tablet, suspended in the vestry, informs us that
Southwell's charities were established, and the bells hung up,
in 1748. The boys of St. Werburgh's parish school were, in
the last century, attired exactly similar to those of the Blue-
Coat Hospital ; and the original school-house, still standing
on the northern side of the churchyard, now forms part of a
clothier's warehouse.

Of the clergymen connected with this church in the last
century we may mention the Rev. Patrick Delany (1730 to
1734), esteemed the best Dublin preacher of his day; John
Blachford (1744-1748), grandfather of the authoress of
"Psyche;" Sir Philip Hoby, Bart. (1748-1766), during whose



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34 HISTORY OF THE CITY OF DUBLIN.

ministiy, in the year 1754, an accidental fire occurred in the
church, and burned its roof, galleries, organs, seats, and win-
dows, leaving nothing but the stone-work and bells. The
church was again rebuilt, and a steeple erected with the funds
bequeathed by Hoby, and by a contribution from Arthur
Smyth, Archbishop of Dublin.

Hoby, who was advanced to the Archdeaconry of Ardfert,
likewise left a sum of money to purchase an organ, which
was built by Millar of College-street, and first publicly per-
formed on in June 1768, in which year the building of the
steeple was completed.

Thomas Carter, organist of St. Werburgh's, composed
the celebrated air, "O Nanny, wilt thou gang with me?"
and the music of several other songs, once exceedingly popular.
Richard Woodward, minister here firom 1772 till he obtained
the See of Cloyne in 1778, acquired considerable notoriety by
his pamphlet reflecting on the principles of Roman Catholics,
which was vigorously assailed and exposed by the able and
fiu^tious Arthur O'Leary.

On the 3rd of May, 1787, a commemoration of Handel
was performed in St. Werburgh's Church by amateurs of the
highest distinction, including Sir Hercules Langrishe, Baron
Dillon, Surgeon Neale, Lady Portarlington, and Mrs. Stop-
ford.

In June, 1798, the corpse of Lord Edward Fitz^Oerald
was conveyed firom the gaol of Newgate, and entombed in
the vaults of this church, inunediately under the chancel,
where it still lies.

"The dear remains," writes Lady Louisa Conolly, "were
deposited by Mr. Bourne in St. Werburgh's Church, until
the times would permit of their being removed to the fiunily
vault at Kildare. I ordered every thing upon that occasion
that appeared to me to be right, considering all the heart-
breaking circumstances belonging to that event ; and I was
guided by the feelings which I am persuaded our beloved



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WBRBURGH-STREET. 35

angel would have had upon the same occasion, had he been
to direct for me, as it fell to my lot to do for him. I well
knew that to run the smallest risk of shedding (me drop of
blood, by any riot intervening upon that mournful occasion,
would be the thing of all others that would vex him most ;
and knowing also how much he despised all outward show, I
submitted to what I thought prudence required. The im-
pertinence and neglect (in Mr. Cook's oflSce) of orders (not-
withstanding Lord Castlereagh had arranged every thing as I
wished it) had nearly caused what I had taken such pains to
avoid. However, happily, nothing happened."

The Rev. Kichard Bourne, referred to by Lady Louisa
ConoUy, was Rector of Werburgh's Church from 1781 till he
was advanced to the Deanery of Tuam in 1810.

" A guard," says Lord Henry Fitz-Gerald, " was to have
attended at Newgate, the night of my poor brother's burial,
in ordar to provide against all interruption from the different
guards and patroles in the streets : — ^it never arrived, which
cimsed the funeral to be several times stopped in its way, so
that the burial did not take place till near two in the morn-
ing, and the people attending obliged to stay in the church
until a pass could be procured to enlarge them."

The remains of Henry Charles Sirr, the captor of Lord
Edward Fitz-Gerald, were in 1841 deposited in the eastern
comer of this churchyard, under a flag, inscribed, " The
family burying-ground of Major Sirr and Humphry Minchin,
1790." This stone, which is now broken, is shaded by a
melancholy, stunted tree, and appears to have been originally
placed over the remains of the late Mr. Sirr's father, who
preceded him as Town Major of Dublin.

On an upright slab in the middle of St. Werburgh's
churchyard is inscribed an epitaph on John Edwin, an actor
of Crow-etreet theatre, who died in 1805, from chagrin at the
criticism of the author of the " Familiar Epistles on the
Present State of the Irish Stage."

D 2



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36 HISTORY OF THB CITY OF DUBLIN.

The steeple of St. Werburgh's Church, 160 feet in height,
terminatiDg with a gilt ball and vane, forming one of the
chief ornaments of Dublin, having been found in a dangerous
condition, wss removed in 1810, although Mr. Johnson, the
late eminent architect, offered to secure it in a permanent
manner. The tower of the church was taken down in 1836,
and the bells were unhung and placed in the vestibule, where
they still remain. A large stone monument, with some smaller
figmres, preserved from the ancient building, has been in-
serted in the southern wall of the church.

Before the Castle Chapel was rebuilt, St. Werburgh's
Church was one of the most fashionable in Dublin ; it was
regularly attended by the Lord Lieutenant and his suite, and
was always densely thronged. The state seat is still to be
seen, in front of the organ. The area of St. Werburgh's
parish is 15a. 2r. 4p., and the number of its inhabitants in
1851 was 2928. Li the wall, at the southern extremity of
St. Werburgh's-street, stood one of the city portals, known as
St. WerburghVgate, or the ** Pole-gate.** Through this gate,
styled by the Norman rhymer " la dute del Occident," Richard
de Cogan and his knights issued to attack the Northmen who
besieged the city in 1171; and we find notices of stone build-
ings near the gate of St. Werbm'gh early in the fourteenth
century. The building over the " Pole-gate " is described,
about 1590, as a "sqware towre with two stories, the lower
stone upon a vawte with three lowpes, and the upper stone a
timber lofte, and the wall five foote thicke and fourteen foote
sqware within, and the towre forty-six foote hie, besydes the
ganettes from the foundacion of the wall, with a percullis
for the same gate." The first meeting of Quakers in Dublin
was held at the chamber of Richard Fowkes, a tailor, near
the Pole-gate, in 1655, in which year the first settled meeting
of the " Society of Friends" in the city was held at George
Latham's, in the same locality.

It is difficult to determine at what exact period theatrical
representations were first introduced into Dublin. An ancient



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WERBURGH-STRBKT. 37

custom ^^ {Mrevailed for a long time in the city, always against
the great festivals of the year, to invite the Lord Deputy, the
nobility, and odier persons of quality and rank, to an enter-
tainment, in which they first diverted them with stage playsy
and then r^aled them with a splendid banquet. The several
corporations also, upon their patrons' days, held themselves
obliged to the like observances, wliich were, for a long time,
very strictly kept up and practised." In the accounts of the
Cathedral of St. Patrick for the year 1509, iii«. id. are charged
for Thomas Mayowe, ludenti cum vii. luminibus at Christmas
and Candlemas, and i\s. viief. for the Players^ <^ with the great
and the small angel and the dragon at Whitsuntide." These
were, however, but representations of the nature of miracle
plays. The first notice of a regular dramatic piece performed
in Dublin is to be found in a vnriter of the early part of the
last century, who tells us that " Mr. Ogilby, the Master of
the Bevels in this kingdom (who had it firom proper authority),
informed Mr. Ashbury, that plays had been often acted in the
Castle of Dublin, when Bloimt, Lord Mountjoy, was Lord
Lieutenant here in the latter end of the reign of Queen Eliza-
beth. And Mr. Ashbury saw a bill for wax-tapers, dated the
7th day of September, 1601 (Queen Elizabeth's birth-day),
for the play of *Grorboduc' done at the Castle, one and twenty
shillings and two groats." *^ But it is to be supposed," adds
the same author, ** they were gentlemen of the Court that
were the actors on this occasion." The late J. C. Walker
questioned the authority of this statement, because he was
unable to discover the document referred to, which, however,
may have been seen by Ashbury in some of the offices of the
Government, with which he was connected for nearly sixty



Online LibrarySir John Thomas GilbertA history of the city of Dublin, Volume 1 → online text (page 4 of 39)