Merchant Traders of Dublin 1792

From linen drapers to watchmakers, seal engravers, stay makers, shoemakers, tallow-chandlers….these were some of the many different trades on the cluttered streets of Dublin in the late 18th Century. The first census of Dublin was still another six years away from the time of this list, and it’s a great insight to the composition of trades evident on most streets about the broader liberties and parts of the north side of the city. Naturally brewing and wine merchants featured heavily and I remember reading before that nearly every second house on James’s Street and Thomas Street having licenses to sell spirits, as most grocers shops were during the period. Haberdashery, silk weaving, skinners and tanners were prominent in the Liberties as we know and here we can see that, detailed with specific house numbers. Such resources are a useful tool to supplement others like Thom’s directory and genealogical repositories in hard copy and online, so I just compiled and separated this into one handy file and I hope people enjoy reading through as much as I do! It’s interesting to see streets listed that are either no longer there or have changed name.  Below is the cover image and beneath that is the full file(not recommended for download on phones with data limits!).

mer1

merchant traders of dublin

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Lady Chapel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral opens to the public.

Now opening again after restoration, the Lady Chapel(chapel of St. Mary) section of St. Patrick’s cathedral was completed around the year 1270 and founded by Archbishop Fulk De Saundford. It has seen a few renovations over the centuries. The chapel was used by the huguenot settlers who fled after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 by Louis XIV, and were also allocated the cabbage garden plot nearby for burials. With those associations it became known as the “French chapel”. Dean Henry Pakenham restored the chapel after it had fallen into ruin due to various reasons(dampness, flooding, structural decay etc.), and also by the philanthropist Benjamin Lee Guinnesss, who restored the entire cathedral and grounds in the 1860′s. During that restoration oak chairs were discovered that were made from a collapsed oak roof of the cathedral, and the chapel also was a place that William III attended service(the chair he sat in is still there too). The Lady chapel is thought to be styled on the chapter house of Salisbury Cathedral.
Here is an old picture of the chapel, and it seems to compare favourably with its newly refurbished look.

st patrick's lady chapel chap

The chapel will  now be part of the cathedral tour. Other obvious associations of the cathedral are that of former Dean Jonathan Swift of Gulliver’s travels fame, the stone which marked the  well where St. Patrick reputedly baptised converts, and the famous door of reconciliation through which the Fitzgeralds and Butlers shook hands in 1492 and led to the phrase “chancing your arm”.

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The wake of Wolfe Tone, possibly Thomas Street

Not much investigated but Wolfe Tone was possibly waked at Tom Kennedys Bar number 65 Thomas street. Many locals would know this bar as O’Neills. Wolfe Tone had associations with High Street and of course the Back Lane parliament but it’s an intriguing possibility, given definite associations I’ve researched relating to Fenian meetings held there which included O’Donovan Rossa(More on that element at another stage) John’s lane church was only under construction then, hampered by lack of funding for completion and the fact that many fenians involved in the building of it were arrested. Out the back of the premises is part of the medieval city wall. The address was noted in the glamour of dublin, published in the early part of the 20th century.
65 thomas street

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Old advertisements

Many people often wonder what the root cause of emigration is; recession, the chance for new experiences etc. I never thought this ad would suggest this reason! What fascinates me going through some old Dublin advertisements is the language and style used to promote products and this is just one sample of an opticians once based on Dame Street. mason opticians dame street

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Peter Piper Picked a peck of pickled pepper! 2 Yr old Dublin style

Well I do say this blog is about all things Dublin. My daughter has just turned two and has decided that she likes to read me stories at bedtime rather than the other way round. This time she takes on an old English tongue twister. What did Peter piper do?

hope you get a laugh out of this, short, sweet and adorable in my eyes:

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Jim “Lugs” Branigan

Here’s a book that a lot of Dubliners will be interested in reading. Lugs “The life and times of Jim Branigan” by Bernard Neary. It’s a great insight to Dublin in the 1940′s and 50′s and an older, more direct approach to policing! Jim Branigan was the most famous policeman to patrol the streets of Dublin. Born in the south dublin union(subsequent site of St. Kevins then St. James’ Hospital), he was educated in the CBS of Basin Lane and Lugs(you wouldn’t call him that name to his face!) was based in Newmarket police station, Irishtown and for the most part in Kevin Street Garda station. Oral histories are divided on his legacy and a cause of much debate to this day. Involved in breaking up activities of several Dublin gangs such as the animal gang, ash street gang and the Teddy boys, Jim got to know almost every family in the disticts he walked, and was was both liked and loathed probably in equal measure. He locked up many ticket touts for big fight nights in the national stadium where he refereed thousands of fights and was himself a leinster boxing champion in 1936. For some in the liberties area it’s like a badge of honour to say you got a kick up the backside or a clip on the ear from him! He would often ask judges for leniency or more time to pay fines for individuals if he knew the family was of general good nature, and would often sort out domestic disputes in defence of the female. Here’s audio from an interesting History Ireland hedge school on the animal gangs I attended and discussion about Lugs himself:


Lugs overseeing a boxing bout, This fight looks like it was a draw :-)

The garda have put the full text of Bernard Neary’s book, a hard one to find in print these days, on their website and is available to read here in full:

http://www.garda.ie/Documents/User/Lugs%20Branigan%20-%20Bernard%20Neary.pdf

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Dublin Cab Derby

Dublin horse cabs are still around today, notably around the Guinness factory and storehouse area, but on presenting a few of them a couple of pics of the cab derby that used to take place, it was evident that many were unaware of such a thing. In the 1930′s and 40′s, to alleviate hard times for the cabbies Continue reading

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