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Early in January, The Hibernian Chronicle advertised that 'Mrs. Bolster's School for Young Ladies' would be taking on new pupils, where they would receive instruction in 'English grammer, Drawing, Varnishing and Embroidery'. [The Hibernian Chronicle, Mon. Jan. 6th, 1800, p. 1, col. 1]

On Saturday, April 26th 1800, William Davis, carver, gilder and print-seller, of No. 4 Mardyke Street, announced in The Cork Advertiser that he had just received a great collection of prints, for sale. The May 6th edition of the Advertiser contained the information that the "French, English & Drawing Academy" run under Mme. de Lestang would be opening on Monday 12th May, at Duncan Street, with Mr. Du Bosc in attendance.

The Cork architect Richard Morrison (1767-1849) moved his practice to Dublin, having worked for a time in Clonmel.  Morrison's father, John Morrison, had been a prominent architect and builder in the South of Ireland in the middle of the eighteenth century, having designed the College at Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, for Lord Kingston's trustees. Richard Morrison's second son, William Vitruvius, had been born in 1794, while the family still lived in Clonmel. He assisted his father from about 1809, until the partnership dissolved in the mid-1820's. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, Richard Morrison designed mainly classical villas, afterwards he worked on gothic houses and picturesque castles. [McParland and others, The Architecture of Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison (Dublin, Irish Architectural Archive, 1989) pp. 1-5]


Attracted by the prospect of employment, a builder named John Hogan, from Tallow in Co. Waterford, along with his wife Frances and their three young children, moved to Cork in 1801. The youngest of the Hogan family, John, who had been born on October 14th the previous year, was subsequently to become the most significant sculptor to emerge from Cork in the nineteenth century. [J. Turpin, p. 20]

The death occured of 'C. Burke, Miniature Painter' in January 1801. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 128]


In north county Cork, near Fermoy, John Hyde in 1801 rebuilt a large Georgian house known as Castle Hyde, to the design of the elder Abraham Hargrave. Around this time also, Hargrave designed Hoddersfield, a three-storey house at Crosshaven, for W. H. Moore-Hodder; and Lota Beg, at Glanmire, for Sir Richard Kellett. Lota Beg (with its entrance gate arch designed by by George Richard Pain some years later) is a large square late-Georgian house with an impressive cantilevered staircase, typical of Hargrave's architectural designs. Not long before, work had started on Aghada House, another late-Georgian residence by this same architect, which was built for John Roche, and completed in 1808.  [M. Bence-Jones, pp. 153, 2, 70] Like the Pain brothers, Hargrave was probably an immigrant from England. He had built up a prominent architectural practice in Cork by the beginning of the19th century. When the Napoleonic wars brought an economic boom to Cork, orders flooded into the Hargrave office from many of the landed families of the county who were desirous of improving their living conditions. Dunkathel House at Glanmire, Ashgrove House on Great Island, Castle Bernard (c.1810) and a house called The Island, on Little Island, all date from this time. (this last house has also been ascribed to Davis Ducart, of whom the Hargraves were followers). [M. Craig, p. 255, attributes it to Hargrave; M. Bence-Jones, p. 189, to Ducart, dating it to c. 1780]. A house named Gortigrenane, at Minane Bridge, a seat of the Daunt family, is also thought to be by Hargrave. In addition, he designed churches; at Bandon, Doneraile and Skibbereen.

A wealthy merchant named Cooper Penrose commissioned Hargrave the elder to design a fine house overlooking the river Lee, near Tivoli. The house, called Woodhill, was described in later years by Daniel Maclise as containing "a very remarkable picture gallery, one of the chief in the South of Ireland". Amongst the paintings at Woodhill were a number of works by James Barry, including Venus Rising from the Sea, the allegorical Portrait of the Prince of Wales (later King George IV) as St. George. (now in the Crawford Gallery, Cat. No. ***), Lear and Cordelia and Jupiter and Juno upon Mount Ida. [Croker MS. p. 520] Penrose's gallery also contained Angelica Kaufmann's The Return of Telemachus and The Sacrifice of Gideon, ascribed by Maclise to Boucher. [D. Maclise, MS autobiography, pp. 28-29] Cooper Penrose, as well as being a patron of James Barry and John Butts, had his own portrait painted in France by Jacques Louis David (this portrait is now in the San Diego Museum, California). [Information from Desmond Fitzgerald, Knight of Glin, 1991] Woodhill House was depicted around this time in a painting by Nathaniel Grogan (1740-1807) entitled Landscape at Tivoli, Cork, which is now in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Abraham Hargrave also designed around the turn of the century an extensive military barracks overlooking Cork city. These barracks, extended in 1849 and named after Queen Victoria who visited Cork in that year, are now called Collins Barracks. Hargrave's designs included long ranges of buildings which could accomodate over 2000 men. [T. F. McNamara, p. 69] 

Abraham Hargrave had an architect son, also called Abraham, who assisted him on houses like Ballyedmond, near Midleton, while John Hargrave, of Cork, who designed the ornamental castle on the point of Fota Island in the early part of the 19th century, and William Hargrave, who designed the severely classical Cork Custom House in 1814, are likely to have been other sons. [M. Bence-Jones, pp. 21, 127; Blue Guide, p. 172] It is possible that John and William were one and the same person, as the Cork Custom House, the only major building ascribed to William, compares closely in feeling to a house called Farragh, in Co. Longford, designed by John around the same time. John Hargrave also designed Castle Forbes in Co. Longford around the year 1830, which is stylistically very close to the castle at Fota.  [M. Bence-Jones, pp. 67, 124]

In 1801, John Power built Lota Park, a late-Georgian house overlooking the River Lee at Glanmire. The architect is not known. The house was later owned by James Roche ("J.R." of the Gentleman's Magazine), who added single-storey wings, one containing a ballroom, the other a library. In the nineteenth century, the house was successively the home of John Moloney, William Ware, J. J. Murphy, Lt-Col. N. L. Beamish and Joseph Gubbins. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 191]

In 1801 a retired captain of the Royal Navy, Richard Sainthill (1739-1829), who eight years previously had moved from Devon to Ireland, brought to Cork his 14 year old son, also called Richard. Sainthill senior was Agent for Transports Afloat for Cork, and was thus responsible for the transportation of convicts from Ireland to New South Wales. His son was tutored in Cork by antiquarian John Fitzgerald, the eccentric and hard-drinking author of the first Cork Remembrancer [not to be confused with the later John Fitzgerald (1825-1910), also an antiquarian, whose watercolour in the Crawford collection Throwing the Dart (Cat. No. ***)  commemorates an ancient Cork civic ceremony]. Richard Sainthill the younger remained in Cork until his death in 1869, and became himself a keen antiquarian and collector of works of art, particularly medals and coins. He published two volumes relating to coin collecting, oddly entitled Olla Podrida, in 1844 and 1853. After some business training in London, Sainthill entered into a business partnership with Peter Maziere, who had a wine importing business in Faulkner's Lane and Nelson Place. Sainthill married Catherine Eliza Atkins, who predeceased him in 1859. They had no family, and their house on Nelson Place, an early eighteenth-century building of some elegance (which still stands, opposite the entrance to the Crawford Gallery), became a favourite haunt of artists, including Daniel Maclise, who had an attic studio there, in 1821. After Sainthill's death, the wine business was taken over by Woodford Bourne & Co. [J. Turpin, "Daniel Maclise and Cork Society" JCHAS, Vol. LXXXV, Jan-Dec. 1980, pp. 68-69 also undated press clipping supplied by Mrs. Condon, who resided in Sainthill's house from 1949 until around 1980]


The engraver James Green, son of another engraver, was born in Cork about 1802. The family business, which was situated in the Grand Parade, at the corner of the South Mall, was continued throughout most of the nineteenth century. The Greens specialised in engraving bookplates, and Strickland mentions that many of their bookplates are in the Franks collection in the British Museum. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 411] Another engraver working in Cork around this time was Frank Lewis, who also specialised in bookplates. He engraved a large bookplate for the Cork antiquary and author, John Windele. Lewis also cut seals, generally from boxwood, and had perfected a technique for producing armorial seals in fired clay. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 20] He exhibited his engraved seals at the RHA once only, in 1842, from an address at 24 King Street, Cork. [A. Stewart, Vol. II, p. 197]

Strickland records an engraver named Morgan F. O'Donovan working in Cork in the early part of the nineteenth century. O'Donovan, who lived in Patrick Street, engraved book-plates; among them 'a poorly designed pictorial plate' for the Very Rev. John A. Cronin, OSA, and 'a somewhat better plate' of Rev. Bartholomew Thomas Russell, OSD and Michael Lawlor. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 187]

Strickland also records Henry Kirchhoffer, who had recently moved to Cork, sending five miniatures to the exhibition held in Dublin in 1802, in the Parliament House. Kirchhoffer was to show twenty-four works in the First Munster Exhibition, held in Cork in 1815 (q.v.) [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 581]


In 1803, the Rev. Thomas Dix Hincks, minister of the Old Presbyterian Church on Princes Street, founded the Cork Institution. Hincks had studied under Joseph Priestley in England, and was part of an educational movement which sought to impart rational, practical and scientific knowledge, as opposed to the classical and biblical studies of the established universities. Arriving in Cork in 1790 to take up his ministry, Hincks had some years afterwards set up a private school where he taught classics as well as mathematics and elementary science, before founding the Cork Institution. The Institution was initially housed in Jameson's Row on the South Mall, and lectures in chemistry, physics and other scientific subjects were given there. The history of the RCI, which was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1807, has been chronicled in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society.  [Footnote: Margaret MacSweeney and Joseph Reilly "The Royal Cork Institution, Part 1: 1803-1826" JCHAS Vol LXII, No.195, January-June 1957, pp.22-36; also, Margaret MacSweeney and Joseph Reilly "The Royal Cork Institution, Part 2: 1826-1949", JCHAS Vol. LXII, pp.77-94; also see, Dr. Sean F. Pettit, "The Royal Cork Institution", JCHAS, Vol. LXXXI (81), Jan-June 1975, pp.78-79]

From the time of its incorporation in 1807, the proprietors of the RCI hoped to be granted the Old Custom House, which was being replaced by a newer building further downstream. This was agreed by the Government in 1810. In the event, however, the new Custom House did not open until 1818 and the transfer of the Royal Cork Institution to the Old Custom House was held up until 1832.


Patrick Ronan (or Ronayne), a portrait painter from Carrick-on-Suir, is said to have taken up residence in Cork, some time after 1804. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 299]


Longueville House, near Mallow, was extensively remodelled around this time, by John Longfield, M. P. The architect of the late Georgian remodelling, which extended the house by three bays on either side, is unknown. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 191]

The Wesleyian chapel in Cork, a large, plain classical edifice with a discreet entrance on Patrick Street, was constructed in 1805. Up to this time, the Methodist congregation in Cork had used the Huguenot church in Frenchchurch Street for their services.

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The death occured in London on 22nd February, of the painter James Barry, who had been born in Cork, in a small cottage in Water Lane, sixty-five years previously. Barry had first studied art under Cork painter John Butts, and painted several works, mostly on Biblical themes, before leaving the Munster capital in 1763, to spend the rest of his life in London, or on the Continent. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 34] Like John Hogan (a young child in Cork at this point) Barry was the ambitious son of a builder; also both artists (for what it's worth) had parents of different religious backgrounds. Although separated by over a generation, Barry and Hogan shared a passion, conceived in Rome, for grand historical themes and portraiture, in 'the true Greek taste'. [Crookshank & Glin, p. 106] Barry, in spite of his difficult temperament, or perhaps aided by it, had achieved considerable fame as a history painter in London, and served as professor of painting at the Royal Academy for a time, before being expelled from that institution. His masterpiece, a self-portrait of 1803, is in the National Gallery of Ireland, while he is represented in the Crawford collection by several works, including the important allegorical portraits Ulysses and his Companions Escaping from Polyphemus (c. 1776) and The Prince of Wales in the Guise of St. George. Several works painted by Barry, and now lost, were to be seen around Cork in 1806, including a shop sign for Laffan's nursery, described by Crofton Croker some years later:

. . it represents a gay parterre in the formal Dutch style; in the foreground were sundry pots of Balsams and highly-coloured flowers, and in the sky two chubby angels appeared, on or both of whom were pouring water out of vases on the flowers. This painting was on copper, and was placed over the shop window, and shaped to the bow of that old-fashioned affair . . [Thomas Crofton Croker Recollections of Cork, 1833, (unpublished MS, Trinity College Library, Dublin); Laffan's nursery was at 95 Grand Parade, or South Mall]

Barry had received his first training as an artist in Cork from two herald painters: Anthony Pasquin in his Authentic History of the Professors of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, mentions Barry 'painting a sign of Neptune, for a whiskey shop in that city'. Strickland also refers to Barry painting this sign, which depicted Neptune on one side and a ship on the other, saying it was painted for his father's public house on the Cork quays, . [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 34] Another sign, also said to have been painted by James Barry, depicted a lion, and was executed for 'an "Imperial Hotel", among the pothouses of that day'. [Cn. "Gleanings on Old Cork Artists", JCHAS, Vol. VI, 1900  p. 105]

Shop signs were a significant art-form in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Cork, and Barry was not the only painter to have turned his hand to this source of income. Crofton Croker describes another shop-sign (artist unknown), which graced Olden's Palm Soap shop in these years:

Luxuriant palm trees loaded with nuts formed the distance, and casks branded with the letters R. O. were grouped in the foreground - far and near did negroes appear throwing down nuts from the trees, or busily engaged in packing them in casks, while prominently stood forth Sambo and Yambo in sable majesty, between whom the following dialogue took place
Sambo"Why Olden buy dis nut, so far away grow?
Yambo "Olden wash white man, make him no turn negro." [Croker MS, p. 129]

Croker, who had grown up in Cork in these years, also describes the shop of Flaherty, an ironmonger, on Patrick Street, which had been decorated by Nathaniel Grogan, with a figure of Vulcan. [Croker MS, p. 136] This painting is described in The Southern Reporter of December 30th, 1826, as being a later work of Grogan, in a good state of preservation. It depicted Vulcan forging the arms of Achilles; 'the effect of the Cyclops at work is excellent'. [The Southern Reporter, Dec. 30th, 1826, Col. 1, p. 2]

On June 4th 1806, Henry Pelham, of Bear Island, published an engraving of Catherine Fitzgerald (the longlived) Countess of Desmond. This illustrious lady had been born about the year 1464, was married in the reign of Edward IV and lived, reputedly, until about the beginning of the reign of Charles I; a lifespan of 162 years. The engraver of the print was Nathaniel Grogan, who worked from an original painting (of the same size), which was then in the possession of Maurice Fitzgerald, Knight of Kerry. There is a copy of this engraving in the Crawford Gallery collection (Cat. No. 1431-PR).

From shop-signs to architecture: In Cork, an admirer of Admiral Nelson built Trafalgar House around 1806, to celebrate the British victory at the battle of the same name, which had taken place the previous year. Trafalgar House was notable for having a magnificent marble chimneypiece in the principal reception room, decorated with Nelson's head, H. M. S. Victory and Britannia. Although the house is now restored after various vicissitudes, the chimneypiece, unsurprisingly, has not survived. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 276]

On July 1st, 1806, Wm. H. Newenham, Thomas Newenham, William Hodder, Cooper Penrose, James Penrose, The Marquis of Thomond and other gentlemen decided to revive the old Cork yacht club, which had been originally founded on Haulbowline Island in 1724. Some memorabilia of the original club survived in collections in Cork, including a painting of the original Haulbowline club, which was purchased from the Marquis of Thomond by Col. Longfield, and which was at Castlemary, Cloyne, at the end of the nineteenth century. [R. Day "Old Cork Yacht Club", JCHAS, Vol. III, 1894, p. 125] Also in the Marquis of Thomond's collection were two eighteenth-century paintings by Peter Monamy, of yachts in Cork harbour. These paintings are now on display in the Crawford Gallery, on loan from the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Richard Morrison designed a new County Court House in Cork city around 1806; receiving a fee of £236 for his trouble, as well as £57. 17s. 6d. in travelling expenses. Morrison's court house, which was built by Abraham Hargrave senior, and his son of the same name, lasted for less than twenty-five years, being replaced by a new building designed by the Pain brothers in 1830. [McParland and others, The Architecture of Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison (Dublin, Irish Architectural Archive, 1989) p. 76]



The landscape artist Frederick Calvert (fl. 1807-1830), painting in Cork at the beginning of the nineteenth century, published an aquatint view of the newly-constructed Parliament Bridge, Cork, in 1807. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 150] Although he was highly regarded, little is known about Calvert's work in Cork: he moved to England in 1815, where he continued working as an artist, producing some books and lithographs of English landscape.

The death occured, at his house on the Mardyke, of Nathaniel Grogan (1740-1807), the prominent local artist who specialised in landscapes and genre scenes. He was survived by two sons, Nathaniel Jnr. and Joseph, both of whom painted in the style of their father. Joseph left Cork three years later and went to London, where nothing is known of his subsequent career. Crofton Croker describes how Grogan had nineteen children, all of whom died of consumption, sixteen before Grogan himself, and adds "Nathaniel and Joseph did not long survive their father." Grogan's paintings were at this time, as they still are, highly valued by local collectors. Croker lists the principal owners of Grogan's paintings in the early nineteenth-century as "Lord Listowel, Mr. Denny of Duncan Street, Mr. Newenham of Summerhill, Mr. Penrose of Woodhill and Mr. Wiley of Douglas." [Croker MS, pp 136, 137] The two main owners of Grogan's paintings, as given in Ryan's 1821 Biographia Hibernia, were Lord Ennismore, and John Barry, of Cork. According to a contemporary newspaper account transcribed by Windele, Grogan left unfinished at his death a painting showing himself and a companion on the top of Mangerton, in Co. Kerry. [J. C. "Notes and Queries" JCHAS, Vol. XIX, 1913, p. 49] The account noted that many of Grogan's works were in Lord Ennismore's collection at Convamore, while Sir Richard Kellett owned his Country Fair. The account queried the whereabouts of The Country School, a print of which 'is common in this city'. [Ibid.]

The twenty-two year old sculptor James Heffernan (1785-1847), having being apprenticed for a number of years to Cork architect Michael Shanahan, decided to seek his fortune in London. While in Cork, Heffernan had been employed in carving chimney-pieces and tombstones. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 470] Strickland records three works by Heffernan, executed in London, as being in the School of Art collection in Cork. Those works, still in the Crawford Gallery permanent collection, are: A Girl Caressing a Child (Cat. No. 719), Susannah at the Bath (Cat. No. 720) and The Deserted Mother (Cat. No. 721), all executed in London between 1825 and 1832. Heffernan also made a memorial to Dr. McCarthy for the South Chapel in Cork, and one for the Bishop of Cloyne, at Cloyne Cathedral, which was exhibited in 1823 (q.v.) [J. Turpin, p. 18] Heffernan was later to retire to Cork, where he died in 1847.

Making use of a rather unconventional medium, 'Miss Linwood' held an exhibition of 'Pictures in Worsted' at the Assembly Rooms in George's Street, Cork, in 1807. These pictures--over 53 are listed in the catalogue--were in fact needlework reproductions of paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, George Morland and other noted artists. The pictures were composed of finely stitched sewing silk of various colours, with some of the details, such as hands and faces, painted in. [Robert Day: "Exhibition of Miss Linwood's Pictures in Worsted at Cork, 1807", JCHAS, Ser. 2, Vol. IX, 1903, pp. 262-3] Miss Linwood advertised her gallery of needlework pictures several times in the The Southern Reporter around this time. [The  Southern Reporter, Jan. 6th; Jan. 30th, and Mar. 5th, 1808]


A London book-seller named William West moved to Cork in 1808, where he was to keep a bookshop until 1830, when he moved to back to England. West was the author of A Guide to Cork and Fifty Years Recollections of an Old Bookseller. He was also the father of the portrait and historical painter Samuel West, born in Cork some two years after his father's arrival there. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 518] West also produced, in 1808, a booklet of illustrations of life in the Munster capital, entitled The Cries of Cork. [Susanne R. Day: "The Cries of Cork, by William West", JCHAS, Ser. 2, Vol. XVII, pp. 176-9, 1911] In November, Michael Mathews, of 19 Patrick Street, announced in The Southern Reporter that he had just received a large collection of new caricatures from London, which he would dispose of 'on very cheap terms'. [The Southern Reporter, Saturday March 12th, 1808] Prints were also being sold in Cork at Del Veccio's, 16 George's Street. [The Southern Reporter, Mon. July 18th, 1808]

The death occured of Abraham Hargrave, architect, the designer of many houses in Cork city and county. [C. Fitzsimon, p. 110] Aghada House, a late-Georgian residence designed by Hargrave for John Roche, was completed this year. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 2] Another house in Co. Cork, "Bearforest", a compact but elegant villa near Mallow, was also completed this year for Robert Delacour, to the design of Richard Morrison. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 34]

On Monday, 22nd August 1808, the Cathedral of St. Mary's and St. Anne's, built largely of sandstone, was formally dedicated. The architect of the Cathedral (known as the 'North Chapel') is not known; various names have been proposed, including Francis Johnson and Sir Richard Morrison. [T. F. McNamara, p. 74] The interior of this substantial church was to be embellished in later years by sculptor John Hogan, who carved 40 angels and apostles for the high altar and reredos. Hogan was also to carve the memorial to Bishop Francis Moylan (d. 1815) who was responsible for the erection of the church.



In the year 1810, the miniaturist Frederick Buck (1771- c.1840), younger brother of Adam Buck, lived at George's Quay. "During the Penninsular War, when Cork was a busy port of embarkation for troops, the miniaturist Buck had so many orders for portraits of officers and others going to the war that he kept a supply of partly-painted ivories to which he added the heads and regimental facings, etc., when his customers gave him hurried sittings." [W. G. Strickland. Vol. I, p. 123] The Crawford Gallery possesses several portrait miniatures by Frederick Buck of members of the Gibson family, beqeathed to the Gallery in 1919 by Joseph Stafford Gibson (Cat. Nos. ***, ***, ***, ***, ***)

An portrait painter named R. Gibbs lived in Patrick Street around 1810, according to Strickland. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 400]

Strickland also mentions a wood engraver, Denis O'Keeffe, born in Cork in 1810, who afterwards worked in Dublin from about 1840 to 1851. O'Keeffe produced woodcuts for the Irish Penny Magazine in 1841. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 189]


The scene-painter James Coyle, who had been brought to work in the theatre in Cork by Henry Erskine Johnston, who subsequently omitted to pay him, was described as being "in a most forlorn situation in Cork with a large and helpless family." [Freeman's Journal, 8th October, 1811; quoted in W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 217]. Coyle afterwards found employment for a short time at the Fermoy Theatre, before returning to Dublin.

Tuckey's Cork Remembrancer records that that building on the South Mall in which the Cork Institution was first housed was completed in September 1811, under the supervision of architect William Deane, who died in 1814. William Deane, whose daughter Sarah married architect Abraham Hargrave, was the uncle of the twenty-one year old architect Thomas Deane, whose Commercial Buildings on the South Mall were completed two years later, on 22nd August 1813. [J. C. "Sir Thomas Deane, P. R. H. A." JCHAS, 1915, Vol. XXI, pp. 180-186] The Commercial Buildings (now the Imperial Hotel) were faced with cement, and ornamented with Ionic columns between the windows. Thomas Deane himself lived at a house called Dundanion, near Blackrock, which was constructed around this time. Although Deane supervised the construction, it was actually designed by the Morrisons. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 114] The constructive efforts of the Deanes were not universally appreciated, a Cork writer some time after describing "Old Dundannion castle and demesne / Bless'd with such gifts from Nature, but how few/ From man!" [Anon: "The Powers of Hot Water, or the New Kerry Steamer", Bolster's Quarterly Magazine, Vol. I, p. 284]  The gentle satire of Father Prout was also brought to bear on Deane, whose acquisitive instincts led him to purchase a famous set of statues, mentioned in Richard Milliken's Groves of Blarney:

Who bought the castle, furniture and pictures, O!
And took off in a cart,
('Twas enough to break one's heart),
All the statues made of lead and the pictures, O! [Ibid, p. 182]

Michael Holland quotes another writer's verse which deals with those same statues, bought by the Deanes at the sale of the contents of Blarney House:

The statues gracing this noble place in,
'Tis they are banished so neat and clean
For on Lapp's Island they all in style stand
Before the hall-door of Mrs. Deane. [anon., quoted in M. Holland "Sir Thomas Deane Reminiscence" JCHAS, Vol. XXII, 1916, p. 90]

When Sir Thomas Deane built Dundanion, he transferred at least one of the statues to his new suburban residence. According to the Rev. J. Quarry, writing in 1899, Deane called his new house Herculaneum, "because at the foot of the lawn just over the water, stood a statue of Hercules which formed one of the series from old Blarney Castle into which Milliken introduced 'bold Neptune, Plutarch and Nicodemus'." Quarry goes on to state that he himself had for a long time owned two of the statues from Blarney, which stood in a courtyard "before a house in a cross street near the Custom House in which resided a brother of Sir Thomas, commonly known as 'Sandy Ball'." [Letter from J. Quarry D. D., Donoghmore Rectory, dated 16th March 1899, quoted by T. F. McNamara, p. 57]
Thomas Deane's younger brother, Kearns Deane, also became an architect; their cousins, David and Alexander were also architects or builders; another cousin, William Henry Deane, was a painter, who died fighting a fire in 1808.Thomas Deane married three times; the son of his second marriage, to Eliza O'Callaghan Newenham, was the architect Thomas Newenham Deane. [Ibid., p. 183] Eliza's father, Robert O'C. Newenham, was a founder in 1816 of the Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts. [NB note - 2003 - the preceding account of the Deane family genealogy is not reliable. For a reliable account, consult Frederick Dwyer’s recently published monograph on Sir Thomas Deane]


The Cork painter Edward Parks (c.1773 - after 1828) exhibited three works at the Society of Artists' exhibition in Dublin: Shipwreck, Battle and a Portrait. He also exhibited three portraits and an historical picture the following year. Parks, who was to be a founding member of the Cork Society of Arts three years later, painted 'portraits and Shakespearean subjects in the manner of Angelica Kaufmann', according to Strickland. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 221]
Henry Hayes, who had built Vernon Mount around 1784 and had subsequently been transported to Botany Bay for his abduction of a young Cork Quaker heiress named Pike, returned to Cork in 1812 after his sentence had been commuted by the Prince Regent. The interior of Vernon Mount had been decorated with painted ceilings and doors, by Nathaniel Grogan. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 281]


The portrait painter John Corbett, who, like Frederick Buck, lived at George's Quay in Cork, published an engraving of his Portrait of Christopher Hely-Hutchinson, M. P., which had been engraved in mezzotint by Charles Turner. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 209] Some years previously, Corbet had advertised in The Southern Reporter his move to the lodgings of a Mr. Fanning in Patrick Street, where he would 'take sittings' from 10 a. m. to 5. p. m. [The Southern Reporter, Sat. June 6th 1807] (q. v. 1815)


A painter of miniature portraits named Loder was in Cork in 1814, taking 'accurate likenesses for one pound.' [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 23]

The new Custom House in Cork was constructed to the designs of William Hargrave, son of Abraham Hargrave. [C. Fitz-Simon, p. 116]


The first art exhibition in Cork in the last century was held in 1815, according to the evidence that can be gleaned from accounts of the period.  Strickland corroborates this date, referring to the event as 'The First Munster Exhibition'.  [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 655] A printed catalogue relating to this exhibition survives in the archives of the Crawford Gallery. [There is also a copy in the Haliday Pamphlet collection at the Royal Irish Academy.] The First Munster Exhibition of Original Pictures was held at Dean's Buildings, 'next door but one to the Cork Institution house', on the South Mall. It was organised by an group of local artists, architects and patrons of the arts; a group that in the process of organising the exhibition was to become formally constituted as the "Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts" (referred to in this account as the Cork Society of Arts).

A number of similiar art societies had been formed in cities throughout Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In most cases, as in Cork, these societies were broadly philanthrophic, aiming to improve the standard of 'Taste' in society, although several were used by radical non-conformists to help achieve political change through promoting the concept of specialised education for artisans and workmen. Because of the lack of clear objectives, most of these societies did not survive long. The artist members, who frequently maintained their own private drawing schools, regarded the societies merely as vehicles for selling works of art; an aim frequently at variance with the desires of the other members--merchants, industrialists and landowners--who wished to set up academies to help improve design in manufactured goods. The earliest society, at Liverpool, lasted only from 1769 to 1774, although it was revived briefly in the following decade. The Liverpool Academy, founded in 1814, lasted only three years, and while it was later reconstituted, it fragmented in the 1830's. Manchester saw the rapid failure of William Craig's "Academy for Drawing and Designing", which had opened in 1804, and it was not until 1823 that the Associated Artists of Manchester was formed, their first exhibition being held in 1827. [Sydney C. Hutchison, 'The Royal Academy Schools 1768-1830', Walpole Society, vol. 38 (1960-62) pp. 157, 162, 170] Similiarly in Birmingham, the fledgling Academy of Arts founded in 1814, was supplanted by the Birmingham Society of Arts of 1821, which in turn was undermined by disagreements between members. The Leeds Northern Society of Artists, founded in 1809 by amateurs, lapsed after three exhibitions although it achieved great success with sales when exhibitions recommenced in 1822. The Norwich Society of Arts, founded in 1803, in 1828 changed its name to the Norfolk and Suffolk Institution for the Promotion of the Fine Arts, and ultimately emerged as the Norwich School of Design. Cork was to follow a  broadly similiar pattern, the Society for Promoting the Fine Arts being subsumed by the Royal Cork Institution and emerging finally as the Cork School of Design. [Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton & John Stevens, A Happy Eye: A School of Art in Norwich 1845-1982, p. 26]

The Cork Society of Arts was founded by the poet Richard Alfred Milliken, who was born at Castle Martyr, Co. Cork in 1767. Milliken is chiefly memorable for his popular songs, including The Groves of Blarney; he is remembered less for his plays and political writings, or for his novel, The Slave of Surinam, published in Cork in 1810. As well as writing, Milliken was a member of the Apollo Society of Amateur Actors, for whom he was stage designer. The Apollo Society had a building in Patrick Street, known as "The Old Theatre" (now the Cork Examiner building) which was used in subsequent years for the annual exhibitions of the Cork Society of Arts. Unfortunately, Milliken died on 16th December, 1815, the year of the first exhibition of his fledgling art society.

The introduction to the catalogue of the First Munster Exhibition describes how barely thirty years had passed since the introduction of art exhibitions of any kind in Ireland, and how such exhibitions had gradually 'exploded the insignificance of French taste'. High hopes indeed, although as the writer (possibly Milliken himself) recorded, Cork had already established something of a reputation as a city graced with artists of note, even if they did not alway flourish on home soil:

Unfavourable circumstances ever await the talents of our country; and while we congratulate ourselves on the transcendent talents of Barry, they are scarcely preserved to the age and country to which they belonged. The luxuriant and glowing pencil of Butt was retained, but not rewarded at home. The playful fancy, and native humour of Grogan, surmounted professional disadvantage--displayed and wasted itself for the applause of a few; whereas discriminating attention would have cherished so vigorous and elegant a plant, the delight and ornament of its country. Mr. Corbet, whose recent loss we have so much to lament, was one of those in whom nature mingled those contrarieties which so frequently characterise genius; bestowing much talent, where she denies the industry to improve it. However, his portraits and sketches place him, "if not first, in the very first line." [Footnote: Catalogue of the First Munster Exhibition of Original Pictures. . .at Deans's Buildings, South Mall (Cork: probably 1815), Introduction, p.III]

John Corbett (or Corbet), whose loss was referred to in above extract, was born in Cork around 1780, son of the engraver Daniel Corbett. He studied in London under his fellow-townsman James Barry before returning to Cork to set up successfully as a portrait painter, both in oil and miniature. One of Corbett's paintings, Justice, was in the Guild Hall in Cork. He died in February 1815, just before the opening of the First Munster Exhibition, of brain fever, brought about, according to Strickland, by a convivial life-style. [W. G. Strickland, Vol I, p. 209; R. Day "Art Catalogue of the First Munster Exhibition", p. 308] Robert Day, however, recalled that Corbett, in an ironic twist of fate, had died from a cold, caught while attending the funeral of Bishop Moylan, whose portrait by Corbett (the figure by William Willes) was included in the 1815 exhibition. Bishop Moylan, the Catholic Bishop of Cork who died in February 1815, was later commemorated in Shandon R. C. Cathedral with a neo-classical memorial sculpted by Peter Turnerelli (1774-1839). [J. Turpin, p. 18] 

Several other portraits by John Corbett were shown in the exhibition, including one of anatomist and medical lecturer Dr. Woodroffe. [Manuscript notes in the catalogue held in the R.I.A. archives identify some of the sitters of the portraits in the 1815 exhibition.] Dr. Woodroffe in 1811 had established a School of Physics and Surgery in Cork, and was an important member of the city's medical community. He also gave classes in anatomy to the Cork Society of Arts. One of his apprentices during these years was George Russell Dartnell (1800-1878), a young medical student and keen watercolourist, who was later to become a much-travelled surgeon in the British Army and whose paintings of Canadian landscape, done between 1835 and 1844, are a valuable record of that country's early history. [Dartnell's watercolours were exhibited at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1987. They included a view of Kinsale and another of South Gate Bridge in Cork, dated 1834, painted when Dartnell was on a visit to Ireland after his posting to Ceylon and India.] However, there is no record of Dartnell having exhibited with the Society of Arts while he was a student in Cork.  

One hundred and forty-three works were exhibited at the First Munster Exhibition, by twenty-five different artists; some professional, some amateur, some, like John Corbett, and Nathaniel Grogan the Elder, deceased. Grogan had died eight years previously, but was survived by his two sons, Nathaniel Jnr. and Joseph, both of whom painted in the style of their father. In all, there are twenty-five paintings listed as being by Nathaniel Grogan Snr. in the 1815 catalogue, amongst them several views of the Cork harbour area, such as Haulbowline Island, Cove, View of Cork from Glanmire Road  and Blackrock Castle--Moonlight.Other works by Grogan, which showed his interest in bucolic scenes of Cork city and rural life, were Return from Hay-Making, The Forge, Whipping the Herring out of Town, Powdering the Mayor and Breaking up of the Fair. 'Baiting the Herring', according to Michael Holland, was an old Cork custom where crowds thronged the streets, singing "Herring our King", while 'Powdering the Mayor' was another Cork custom which involved the newly-elected mayor being pelted, and frequently half-blinded, with flour or bran. [Michael Holland "Culture and Customs: A Cork Miscellany" JCHAS, Vol. XLVII, Jan-June 1943, p. 103]   The last-named painting, Breaking up of the Fair, painted for Sir Richard Kellett (of Lota Beg) and later owned by Mr. Denny, was described in Bolster's Quarterly Magazine some years after, as a scene of 'frolic, farce and riot':

The central group of the consequential, round, wheedling, recruiting serjeant, coaxing into his Majesty's service, a country lad, with the smart attractions of a cockade, and its influence on a pretty girl; is expressed with exquisite felicity; as also the pedlar, who has stepped out of the way "a little" to reckon his profits, holding the silver between his teeth, . . But the Piper getting a drink while he continues to play, for broad humour, is a touch beyond them all . . . [Bolster's Quarterly Magazine, No. V, Vol. II, 1827, p. 59]

Grogan's literary interests were demonstrated in works such as Sophia Western--from Tom Jones, Wolkmaer, Bacchante and The King and the Cobbler. (This last painting is attributed by Strickland to Nathaniel Jnr., which calls into question the reliability of the 1815 catalogue attributions.) Views by Grogan of the interiors of the abbeys at Kilmallock and Buttevant were also shown, along with a view of O'Sullivan's Cascade, Killarney, while the title of another landscape, Rocky Scene--In the Manner of Vernet, reveals a debt to French landscape painting.One of Grogan's sons, Joseph, who had left Cork in 1810 to live in London, also exhibited three works at the exhibition, Interior of the Ruin in Gougane Barra, A Cascade and Head of St. Peter.

Richard Millikin had sixteen landscape paintings of picturesque scenery in the exhibition--views at Glengarriff, Killarney, Glandore, Glanmire and other scenic locations in Cork and Kerry. One of these was entitled View at Convamore, the seat of Viscount Ennismore. Convamore House was shortly afterwards rebuilt to the designs of James Pain, who commenced working as an architect in Cork in 1816. Viscount Ennismore was later to become president of the Cork Society of Arts.  Another painting by Milliken depicted a View in Lord Kenmare's Park; and it is no surprise to note that Lord Kenmare is listed as one of the vice-presidents of the Society the following year.

Of the artists resident in Cork, Henry Kirchhoffer was best represented at the exhibition, with twenty-four works included in the catalogue. Kirchhoffer, who had moved from Dublin to Cork in 1801, (where his elder brother Robert was rector of Ballyvourney Church), was perhaps not too pleased with the outcome of the First Munster Exhibition: Strickland notes that he moved back to Dublin the following year, although he continued to exhibit in Cork. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. 1, p. 581]

Cork artist James McDaniel showed several of his wry and witty drawings, including Music, Painting and Poetry--Humorous Pen Sketch, Cupids Catching a Hare--Pen Sketch and Poeta Nascitur. A literary Character in this City equally the Disciple of the Muses and Bacchus. The first of these, Music, Painting and Poetry, engraved by R. Dorman, was reproduced in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society  nearly a century later. It depicts a scene in Blarney Lane near Shandon, with the classical muses cast as local hawkers and vendors: a hunchback painter decorating a tobacconist's sign (a wooden Red Indian), a blind fiddler with his ballad-singing wife and child, another blind pedlar with a bundle of papers under his arm marked "Controversy", and various other figures. A legend over a doorway in the engraving is easily legible:

Curious flowr roots shrubs & posies
Greenhouse plants & foreign rosies
Garning in GENL. dun in stile
Inquire within from Patk. Doyl.
N. B. Dry Lodgings. [M. Holland "Two Typical Cork Sketches", JCHAS, Vol. XIX, 1913, p. 76-77]

The original drawing was for many years in the collection of John Marks, a former Master in Chancery, afterwards it was owned by a Mr. Blake, of Cork.
McDaniel, who was later to change his name to MacDonald, was born around 1788 and died in London in 1865 (q.v.). Some time after the 1815 exhibition, he painted a portrait of 'a well-known Cork celebrity', Harry Badger. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 59]

Another Cork artist who showed in the 1815 exhibition was William Willes (c.1785-1851), probably a son of the 'Dr. Willes' who was appointed a committee member of the Cork Society of Arts in 1818 and who appears as committee member 'James Willes M.D.' as late as 1833. Strickland bears this out, stating that William Willes was "born in Brown Street, Cork, the son of an apothecary", although he does state that William Willes himself "took a prominent part in organising the exhibition held in Cork in 1815" It can be assumed that both father and son were involved in organising the exhibition. [W. G. Strickland, vol. II, p. 531] Willes showed several works, including one entitled Historical Landscape, which depicted the wanderings of King Oedipus and his daughter Antigone after he had been banished from Thebes. William Willes afterwards became a student in the Royal Academy, where he exhibited from 1820 onwards. In 1821 he showed a view of Bear Island, Bantry Bay at the Academy, and on the foundation of the School of Design in Cork in 1849 he was appointed its first headmaster. He appears to have moved between Cork and London fairly frequently, giving a Cork address when exhibiting for the first time at the RHA in 1843, when he showed An Irish Dinner Cry, The Water Log and a Scene on the Aubeg, County of Cork; and a London address from 1845 to 1849. [A. Stewart, Vol. III, p. 279] A large portfolio of figure drawings by William Willes is preserved in the Crawford Gallery permanent collection (Cat. Nos. *** - ***)

Among the other artists listed in the catalogue are Webber Carleton, Edward Parks (a portrait painter who lived on Morrison's Island) and J.W. Topp, all three of whom appeared on the committee of the Society of Arts the following year. Mr. E.W. Penrose, Miss Roe, Miss E. Orpen and Miss Jacotin were in all likelihood amateur painters, of which there were a good number in this pioneering exhibition of fine arts in Cork. Other amateur contributors were Miss Mary Newenham, sister of the banker George Newenham, of Summerhill, Montenotte, and Miss Jacotin, daughter of a French teacher in Cork. [R. Day "Art Catalogue of the First Munster Exhibition", p. 310]

The catalogue of the First Munster Exhibition  also includes the name of  an architect who was to feature prominently in nineteenth-century Ireland: Thomas Deane, the first of three successive generations of distinguished architects to bear the name, and himself the grandson of a Cork builder named David Deane (of Castle Hyde), who had died fifteen years previously. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 264] Deane exhibited a Design for a Gothic Entrance to a Gentleman's Demesne, with Prospect Tower attached. Gothic entrances were fashionable in Cork in 1815: Another design for one was exhibited by a junior architect named Edward Marks, who was to exhibit regularly in later exhibitions. Just outside Cork city, this same year, W. H. Newenham of Coolmore House in Carrigaline left the engaged Tuscan columns and Classical pediments on his main house unaltered, but built eight lodges flanking the entrance gates to his demesne, in the 'Cottage Gothic' style, to the designs of an English architect, the elder Thomas Cundy. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 91]  

The gothicising craze was not confined to gate lodges. Eastgrove House, a substantial residence on Great Island, in the 'Cottage Gothic' style, was built around this period, as was Glenburn, at Glanmire, where the gothic feeling is carried through to the interior plasterwork. On a more substantial scale, at Bandon, the 1st Earl of Bandon refaced Castle Bernard in its entirety in 1815, adding gothic battlements, turrets and traceries to a rambling collection of buildings, which included the large late-Georgian house designed by Abraham Hargrave and constructed not many years before. At Macroom, Robert Hedges Eyre also substantially reconstructed Macroom Castle at this time, adding a battlemented parapet. [M. Bence-Jones, pp. 118, 136, 62, 198] A number of houses in county Cork were similiarly 'gothicised' in these years, including Coolmain Castle in Kilbrittain, Lisnegar in Rathcormack, and smaller houses such as Cor Castle in Innishannon and North Esk in Glanmire. Perhaps conscious of the resentment directed towards landowners who were not of native stock, the owners of these 'castles', Maurice Craig suggests, sought to establish their family's antiquity, by giving the impression their houses had been lived in for centuries past.

The Cork Glass House Company on Hanover Street was joined in 1815 by a new glass company, the Waterloo Glass House, founded by Daniel Foley. By the following year, the Waterloo Glass House was employing 100 workers and the closure of the Hanover Street works brought skilled craftsmen into the newer firm, where they continued producing the fine wheel-engraved decanters and glasses for which Cork had become famous. These glass works were joined by the South Terrace Glass works in 1818, but the industry died away in the 1830's through a combination of punitive taxation and cheap imports. [Andy Bielenberg, Cork's Industrial Revolution 1780-1880, p. 86]

The Overseer, a Cork publication, describes the Christmas party given the following year by Foley for his workers, with entertainment provided by a 'band of glass instruments' and a 'glass pleasure boat and cot'. [Phelps Warren Irish Glass (London: Faber & Faber, 1981), p. 55] Decanters produced by the Cork Glass House generally have triple neckrings and a fairly wide lip, while characteristic engraved details are long curving leaf fronds and vesica motifs, sometimes crosshatched. Characteristic motifs of the Waterloo Glass House decanters are knotted bows and flowers. In general, the decoration on Cork glass of this period is cut flat, rather than 'sharp' as with Waterford glass. However, the movement of artisans between different factories in Cork and even between the cities of Waterford and Cork can cause confusion in identifying pieces, as each skilled glass cutter would develop a particular and recognisable style.

On June 18th, 1815, at Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Alfred Elmore was born. His father, a retired army surgeon, brought Elmore to London around 1827, where he subsequently was to become a successful artist and member of the Royal Academy. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 323]

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Following an enthusiastic response from the public to the first exhibition, a 'Society for the Encouragment of the Fine Arts in the South of Ireland'  was formed in February of the following year and given the marginally less unwieldy title "Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts". [Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts: Catalogue of First Exhibition (Cork, Edwards and Savage, 1816); Crawford Gallery Archives]. The three main aims of the Society were, to bring to light 'latent talent and genius', to 'reward the merit of the professed artist', and to encourage the work of aspiring art students.

However enlightened its first principles, the subsequent history of Millikin's Society of Arts was not destined to be all sweetness and light. Two writers of the period, Crofton Croker and John Windele, recorded the birth pangs of the Society. Windele, in his 1846 Guide to the South of Ireland, outlines Milliken's laudable intentions, but describes the Society's subsequent history in more caustic terms:

It was at best, but a flickering affair, at one moment apparently extinct, and in the next, again revived; having never received much encouragment from the wealthy and influential. Professional jealousies and bickering, untimately weakened its efforts; divided into sections, its members ceased to coalesce. Its exhibitions were usually held in the old theatre in Patrick's Street; but it had often been objected against the Society, that its benefits had been more generally bestowed on strangers, than on the productions of native artists; there certainly has been no real fostering of any eminent genius, into note or eminence through its aid or patronage. [Footnote: John Windele Guide to the South of Ireland: Historical and Descriptive Notices of the City of Cork and its Vicinity, (Cork: Messrs. Bolster 70 Patrick St., 1846), p.131]

The core of Windele's objections was that over the years, the Society became more a vehicle for the sale of works by English artists in Cork, and moved away from its original intentions of supporting native talent. That there is some degree of truth in his assertions can be confirmed through a reading of both the extant catalogues of the Society's exhibitions and contemporary newspaper accounts; in particular two local newpapers, the Cork Constitution and the Cork Examiner. It should be stressed that Windele's objections are an over-simplification, as the successive annual exhibitions of the Cork Society of Arts varied considerably in their representation of local artists, artists from outside Ireland and 'old masters'. The influx of English painters that he refers to did not take place until 1831, some fifteen years after the Cork Society of Art's first exhibition.

At the time of its foundation, the Society of Arts planned to have an annual art exhibition in Cork, and also to show the work of old masters, so that students would obtain a 'correct taste for coloring'; while casts from the antique would be provided for the improvement of drawing. In fact, as Strickland records, only seven annual exhibitions were held. The author of the catalogue for the 1816 exhibition had high hopes for the Society:

The City of Cork may with pride boast of having given birth to as many artists of merit, as perhaps any other in the united kingdom, in proportion to its population. The names of Barry, Butts, Barrett, Grogan, Rogers, Walsh, and others, must still be fresh in our memory; and a number of living artists and amateurs have now come forward, whose works need only be known to be highly appreciated. From the respectable appearance of the present collection, compared with the shortness of the notice for its preparation, the Society form the most sanguine expectations that the Fine Arts will, in this part of the country, be cultivated with as much zeal as Science and Agriculture have lately been, and doubt not its being attended with at least equal success. [Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts, Catalogue of the Exhibition, 1816 (Crawford Gallery Archives)]

The Presidents of the Society in 1816 were The Earl of Shannon and Viscount Ennismore (Lord Listowel). There were no less than eighteen vice-presidents of the Society, including such luminaries as The Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of Kenmare, Sir Nicholas C. Colthurst, Colonel Longfield, Daniel Callaghan, members of the Crawford, Roche, Penrose and Beamish families and Robert O'Callaghan Newenham. The committee comprised Webber Carleton, N. Beamish, Edward Parks, Henry Kirchhoffer, William Crawford Jnr, Richard Greene, M.D., and Thomas Deane. The Secretary was J.W.Topp. These men were either prominent landowners in the Munster area, or had made their fortunes from flour-milling, brewing and other manufacturing and construction industries.

Given the membership of the Society and the conservative nature of Cork society at the time, it was inevitable that some disagreements should arise as to what exactly constituted good taste and what might or might not be shown in the annual exhibition. The most notable example of censorship seems to have been the removal, on the ground of indecency, by the Society's exhibition committee, of James Barry's Venus Rising from the Sea. Another instance of censorship was the refusal to exhibit a painting by the young Cork artist Thomas Falvey, which depicted a group of boys bathing, alarmed at the approach of a thunderstorm. Apparently the figure of one of the naked boys, struggling into his shirt, was a little too much for the judges. Yet the painting was acknowledged to be a work of considerable talent and Falvey, outraged at its rejection, left Cork for two years to study on the Continent, where he endured considerable hardships and deprivations.[Anon: "Memoir of Samuel Forde" Dublin University Magazine, Vol. XXV, March 1845, p. 350] After his return to Cork, Falvey exhibited again with the Society of Arts in 1833 (q.v.)

There are one hundred and eighty-four works listed in the catalogue of the 1816 exhibition. Along with a memorial exhibition of twenty-four works by Milliken, the artists represented again included Henry Kirchhoffer, who this time in a determinedly commercial mood contributed no less than thirty-five works, many of them flower pieces, landscape drawings and sentimental pieces such as Lamentation of a Dog for his Master. Nathaniel Grogan was represented by thirteen works (several of which had been seen in the previous year's exhibition), including landscapes, genre scenes and an engraving of the old Countess of Desmond.  Other works by Grogan in the exhibition were Banditti in the Alps,The Industrious Country Girl, Bowl Players, Mill near Riverstown and Carrig-a-drohid, on the Lee. Thomas Deane showed his Gothic Entrance again, but included a new work: Prize drawing for the proposed front of the Cork Institution.
Other artists represented included Martin Archer Shee R. A., James Maguire and the portraitist John Corbett. Another portrait painter, the miniaturist R. Loder, whom Strickland records in Cork in 1814, showed a number of portraits, including one of Sir Alexander Cochrane.

The recently-deceased James Cavanagh Murphy (1760-1814), author of The Arabian Antiquities of Spain, was represented by two works, both entitled Interior of a Palace. Originally from the Cork suburb of Blackrock, Murphy had had an extraordinary career. Although reputedly originally a bricklayer, he is recorded as a student at the Dublin Society's drawing schools at the age of fifteen, subsequently working as an architect on Gandon's addition to the Irish House of Commons. Introduced by Sir James Chatterton to Sir William Burton Conyngham in Dublin, Murphy was commissioned to go to Portugal, to make drawings of the Dominican monastery at Batalha; he subsequently spent seven years at Cadiz, from 1802, studying Moorish architecture. He returned to England, but died in 1814, before his book on Moorish architecture was completed. It was published posthumously, in 1816, by Cadell & Davies, under the title The History of the Mahometan Empire in Spain, containing . . an introduction to the Arabian Antiquities of Spain. Both Sir Thomas Deane and Crofton Croker are recorded as possessing drawings and manuscript material by Murphy, in 1831. Murphy's original drawings of the monastery at Batalha were presented to the Society of Antiquaries in London by Croker. [J. C. "James Cavanagh Murphy", JCHAS, Vol. X, 1904, pp. 56-58]

A maritime artist, one Capt. S. Dunn R. N., contributed two paintings of shipwrecks, Ship on a Lee Shore and Shipwreck, while another well-known Cork amateur painter with maritime connections, James Beale, was represented by several landscapes of Cork and Kerry. Beale is represented in the present Crawford Gallery collection by a large scene of revelry on the Streets of Cork entitled Skellig Night on South Mall. Other, presumably amateur, artists represented were J. W. Topp, D. Donegan, E. W. Penrose, Edward Parks, Miss E. Parks, John Fowkes, R. Porter and M. Crosbie.

In 1816, the builder and architect Thomas Deane, recently appointed High Sheriff of Cork, took on as apprentice a fifteen year old boy named John Hogan. Hogan, who had previously served a two year apprenticeship to a solicitor named Michael Foote, was the son of Deane's foreman and was taken on after he had displayed considerable aptitude in copying a set of drawings for the new female prison in Cork, designed by Robinson (or Robertson), and built by the Deane firm. [J. Turpin, p. 22; D. & M. Coakley, p. 45; This gaol not to be confused with the Cork male prison built in 1818, designed by the Pain brothers] Hogan was employed by Deane for 13 shillings a week, drawing plans, making architectural models and carving 'balusters, capitals and ornamental figures' in connection with his building business. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 490] Deane's previous decorative carver had been the sculptor Thomas Kirk, born in Cork in 1781. [J. Turpin, p. 23] Hogan later wrote of this period:

During the first and second years of my apprenticeship there was a woodcarver of the name of Kirk employed by Mr. Deane, whenever he wanted capitals, pateras, lyons heads etc. for his buildings in Cork. This man finding that he had more work than he could conveniently execute set up a high price upon it which so much provoked Mr. Deane that he said he would sooner be satisfied with whatever might come from my hands than employ Kirk again. [J. Turpin, p. 23]

Michael Holland attributes the pair of carved owls, which flank the entrance to the old Cork Library in Pembroke Street, to John Hogan, and speculates as to whether Hogan's statue of Minerva (now in the Crawford Gallery, Cat. No. ***) was supposed originally to have been placed on the facade of the Library; Minerva's traditional attribute being an owl. [M. Holland "Sir Thomas Deane Reminiscence" JCHAS, Vol. XXII, 1916, p. 90] Although the date on the Pembroke Street entrance of the old Cork Library reads 1792, the doorway itself, with flanking owls, could not date from before 1816, if Holland's assertion is correct. Holland quotes a witty epigram by a Cork author, William B-ll-n, jnr., on the subject of the owls:

"Owls are Minerva's Birds!" exclaimed Tom Deane,
"But she is rarely in this building seen;
I'll therefore make the birds of wisdom wait
Like outcast strangers perched outside the gate." [Ibid.]

These owls survive today, perched on either side of the entrance to the old library, now the offices of solicitor Gerald Goldberg.
In 1816, Capt. W. J. Brasier-Creagh rebuilt Creagh Castle, near Doneraile, on the site of an earlier house known as Castle Saffron, which was said to have had rooms with plasterwork by the Francini brothers. The facade of the older house, which had been destroyed by fire, was apparently incorporated into the new structure. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 94] 

In this year also, the English architects James and George Richard Pain settled in Cork. The Pain (or, occasionally, Payne) brothers, pupils of John Nash, had first come to Ireland in 1811 to work for Nash on Lough Cutra House, home of Viscount Gort. George Richard was to remain in Cork, where he built up a large architectural practice, while James took his talents on to Limerick. James was appointed architect to the Board of First Fruits for the province of Munster, and was thus responsible for the design of a number of churches built at this time, including those at Midleton, Buttevant and Carrigaline. George Richard Pain designed the County Club house on the South Mall, built in 1826, the Court House (1835, subsequently rebuilt), Holy Trinity Church (1825 onwards--the 1891 Gothic portico and spire are not by Pain) and St. Patrick's church in 1836. He also designed a large number of Gothic parish churches in the Cork area, including those at Blackrock, Frankfield and Carrigaline. Most of the work undertaken by the Pains was in the Cork and Limerick area; their designs for domestic houses were almost invariably in the gothic, or castellated, style. [M. Craig, p. 254; C. Fitz-Simon, p. 116]

An exception to this rule is found in one of the first commissions James Pain received in Cork; the total rebuilding of Convamore, home of Viscount Ennismore (Lord Listowel), a wealthy merchant and landowner, who was also President of the Cork Society of Arts. The old house at Convamore, which had been built by Colonel Bayley, a son-in-law of Lord Doneraile, was transformed into an extremely large but quite plain house, its greatest asset being that it overlooked a beautiful stretch of the river Blackwater, near Fermoy. Its owner, himself once plain Mr. William Hare (1751-1837), was M.P. for Cork in 1796 and purchased Convamore four years later, from the Callaghan family. After voting for the Act of Union, he was rewarded with the title Baron of Ennismore in 1801. William's father, Richard Hare, having made a fortune as a merchant in Cork in the 18th century, had also purchased large estates in north Kerry. The Hares, although 'improving landlords', were regarded as arrivistes by the older families of the Blackwater Valley; one of their neighbours, a Captain Roberts, unkindly referring to Lord Listowel as "Lord Candlegrease". [Christy Roche (ed.) The Ford of The Apples; A History of Ballyhooly, (Fermoy: Eigse Books, 1988,) p. 33] There was an important collection of paintings at Convamore at this time, which included Nathaniel Grogan's The Itinerant Preacher and The Wake, with its 'Cronies (inimitable gossips) over the fire'. [Bolster's Quarterly Magazine, No. V, Vol. II, 1828, p. 56; these paintings survived the burning of Convamore in 1921 and are in a private collection in England.]

A stonemason named O'Shea, one of the many skilled craftsmen who came to work on the construction of Convamore House, remained and set up a workshop in nearby Ballyhooly  village. In later years, two of his sons, James and John O'Shea, both talented stone carvers also, worked for Woodward and Deane on the Kildare Street Club and Oxford University Museum building. The O'Sheas, who were noted for their red beards, their ability to consume alcohol and their lively temperaments, greatly impressed John Ruskin with the quality of their stone carving. Some of their early work in Cork can be seen at Farrahy churchyard and Derryvillane graveyard. [Christy Roche, p. 42]

In 1837, three decades after selling Convamore to Lord Listowel, the Callaghans were living at Lota Beg, a large Georgian house at Glanmire which had been designed by the elder Abraham Hargrave, for Sir Richard Kellett, around the turn of the century. Daniel Callaghan, like Lord Listowel, was a committee member of the Cork Society of Arts. Around this period also, George Richard Pain designed a triumphal arched gateway, which still graces the avenue entrance to Lota Beg. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 191] Daniel Callaghan, who was an M. P. and lived at Lota Beg until 1850, afterwards surmounted this gateway with a carved stone dog, in commemoration of his faithful dog who had saved him from drowning. [C. J. F. McCarthy, notes in the An Taisce Historical Map of Cork City, (Cork: An Taisce, 1985)]


In May, The Southern Reporter gave notice of the forthcoming exhibition of the Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts, which was to be held in August, in the Patrick Street gallery. [The Southern Reporter, May 15th, 1817, p. 1, col. 1] The exhibition opened on Monday, August 11th.

Neither Nathaniel Grogan nor Thomas Deane were represented in the 1817 exhibition, and apart from the familiar names of Edwards, Parks, Milliken, Kirchhoffer, Corbett and Beale, many of the artists listed in the catalogue were exhibiting in Cork for the first time. John Brenan (c. 1796-1865), who had moved to Cork some years before, showed four 'landscape compositions'. Brenan (whose name is frequently spelt Brennan in these early catalogues) had been born in Fethard, Co. Tipperary and had studied at the Dublin Society's Schools before settling in Cork. He worked initially painting heraldic devices before achieving some success as a landscape painter. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 80] He exhibited at the RHA between 1826 and 1866, showing mainly views of landscapes around Cork. [A. Stewart, Vol. I, p. 77]

A newcomer at the 1817 exhibition was the aspiring young artist and author Thomas Crofton Croker, who held a customs post in Cork and lived at Blackrock. He exhibited two pen sketches of pilot boats and another sketch of Bridgetown Abbey. In the years that followed, Croker did not persevere as an artist, concentrating instead on writing; although he did contribute sixteen sketches to Hall's Ireland, its Scenery and Character, published over twenty years later. He is best remembered today as the author of Fairy Legends and Traditions in the South of Ireland, published in 1825. Croker was friendly with the English watercolour artist Francis Nicholson, and his son Alfred. The Nicholsons were well represented at the 1817 Cork exhibition, contributing no less than eighteen views of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as one of Lake Albano. Croker was to move to London in 1818 to take up an appointment at the Admiralty. There he met, and later married, Marrianne, the daughter of Francis Nicholson. Three years later, in company with Marianne and her brother Alfred, he returned to Munster for a visit, and began work on his Researches in the South of Ireland, which was published in 1824 and illustrated by the Nicholsons. [D. & M. Coakley, Wit and Wine, (Dublin: Glendale Press, 1985), p. 32] Croker's 1833 manuscript, Recollections of Cork, is the source of some of the information in this present chronology.

James McDaniel (father of the better-known artist Daniel MacDonald) was represented in the 1817 exhibition by two of his characteristic pen-and-ink sketches. One of these, a humorous work entitled Painting, Music and Poetry, had previously been shown in the 1815 exhibition.   The early 18th century Cork artist Rogers, influential in his day and now all but forgotten, was represented by six works, or 'compositions', featuring castles, landscapes, cattle and figures. There were two landscapes by 'Butt'-- John Butts (c. 1728-1764), who had studied under Rogers, taught James Barry, and was highly regarded at that time.  Amateur artists were again well represented, and as reticient as ever: 'Miss M.-' contributed fifteen works, either landscapes or paintings of flowers on velvet, while 'Mrs. O.- B.-' also dared to show two flower pieces. The even more daring Miss Jackson 'of Paris' exhibited A Portrait of a Celebrated Historian. A series of etchings by James Barry R. A. (1741-1806) 'from the celebrated Pictures of the Adelphi' were also shown in the 1817 exhibition--the first time that Barry had been represented. Barry had produced these etchings himself; they were based on the famous series of murals The Progress of Human Culture, which he had executed at the Society of Arts in the Adelphi in London between 1777 and 1784. The Crawford Gallery collection contains a number of these etchings, some of which are on loan to Riverstown House in Co. Cork. (Cat. Nos. ***, ***, ***, ***, ***, ***, ***)

The sale by raffle of four paintings by the late Nathaniel Grogan was advertised in the April 1st edition of The Southern Reporter. The paintings were to be seen at 'Mr. Corbett's, on Patrick Street'. [The Southern Reporter, Tues. April 1st., p. 3, col. 4] Also on Patrick Street, at No. 37, 'Lefevre's portrait of Napeoleon' was exhibited in August. [The Southern Reporter, Tuesday Aug. 12th, p. 1, col. 1]


By 1818, the committee of the Society had grown considerably since the first exhibition and in addition to the original members, Webber Carleton, N. Beamish, Edward Parks, Henry Kirchhoffer, William Crawford Jnr., Dr. Richard Greene, Thomas Deane and J. W. Topp, it now included G. P. Rogers, Dr. Hallaran, Sir William Chatterton, the Rev. T. R. England, Surgeon Murphy, Dr. John M. Barry, Samuel R. Wiley, Wrixon Becher and Dr. Willes.

The third exhibition of the Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts was characterised by the inclusion of works by old masters, calculated to 'add to the refinement of public taste'. Among the lenders were James Penrose, Dr. Woodrooffe, James Roche, William Carleton and the Earl of Besborough, who had a number of valuable paintings at his house near Carrick on Suir. The inclusion of works by old masters totally changed the character of the Cork Society of Arts' exhibition, for now Thomas Crofton Croker, with his five flower and landscape pen sketches found himself surrounded by paintings ascribed to Rembrandt, Ruysdael, Berghem and Hobbema. M. Crosbie attempted to rise to the occasion, by exhibiting his Woman taken in Adultery copied from the picture by Rubens. E. W. Penrose also rose to the occasion by exhibiting his own painting of a moonlit landscape, in addition to lending works by 'Hobbima' 'Jervis' and 'Guido'. Another whole-hearted supporter was E. Parks, who lent several works, including Mars and Venus by 'Sebastian Ricci', while also contributing his own Portrait of the late much lamented Princess Charlotte ('not finished').
However, this assemblage of paintings did not impress everyone, least of all Croker, who later wrote:

Instead however of progressing from the first exhibition of the Society, the annual assemblage of performances declined in number as well as quality . . . in 1818, of a total of 114, but forty four were the productions of residents of Cork, the remaining seventy being an incongruous collection. The injudicious exhibition of 1818 placed the existence of the Society in a critical position . . . [Croker MS, p. 260]

Nathaniel Grogan was included amongst the old masters, with eight of his works being loaned to the 1818 exhibition by a Mrs. Jones and another two, Terpsichore and Innocence, coming from the collection of George Newenham, whose art gallery at Summerhill was well-known to Cork art lovers. Amongst the Grogans lent by Mrs Jones was the interior view of Buttevant Abbey, which had also been shown in 1815, South Gate Bridge and Jail, The Triumph of Bacchus, various landscapes and humourous figures as well as Philip Baptising the Eunuch. Mrs. Jones also lent The Thief and the Cordelier, from Prior  by John Butts, and the same artist was represented by his Finding of Moses, lent by George Newenham, of Summer Hill. This painting was later described in Bolsters Quarterly Magazine as "not unworthy of Francis Mola; it is rich and mellow, both in effect and colour." Cooper Penrose, at Wood Hill, also owned a number of paintings by this artist. [Bolster's Quarterly Magazine, No. V, Vol. II, 1828, p. 56]

Other members of the Newenham family contributed to the exhibition, with Miss Newenham and Robert O'Callaghan Newenham both showing landscapes.  Robert O'C. Newenham (1770-1849) was the grandson of William H. Newenham of Coolmore, Co. Cork. For twenty-five years he held the post of Superintendent-General of Barracks in Ireland and during his tours of Ireland, as Strickland relates, he made drawings of scenery and buildings, many of which were lithographed and published. Apart from his involvment with the Society of Arts in Cork, Newenham was intimately connected with the arts in that city: his daughter Eliza married Sir Thomas Deane, and was the mother of Sir Thomas Newenham Deane. Another member of this leading Cork family, Frederick Newenham (1807-1859), achieved some success as a portrait painter in London, having gone there at an early age. He exhibited at the RA from 1838 until 1855. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, pp. 167-169]

However, with the number of local artists exhibiting in the show reduced by two thirds, in favour of old masters such as 'Cannaletti', 'Jeerozdi' and Leonardo da Vinci (no less) the third exhibition of the Society marked a considerable shift in approach when compared to the first two exhibitions.

The artist Edward Daniel Leahy (1797-1875), who was studying at the Royal Academy, returned to Cork from England in October 1818, and advertised his intention of remaining a short time in the Munster capital. The Southern Reporter of October 10th reported: "Mr. Leahy, Portrait Painter, has the honour to inform the Nobility and Gentry that he proposes remaining in this city for a few months previous to his settling in London. Patrick St., Oct. 10th." [The Southern Reporter, Sat. Oct. 10th, 1818, p. 3, col. 4]


On November 7th 1818 the Southern Reporter informed its readers that conversion work on the theatre on Patrick Street which had been taken over by the Cork Society of Arts, with a view to converting it into a "saloon of sculpture", was nearly complete. By December 26th 1818, Mr. Cockaine, Moulder and Figure Caster to the Royal Academy, had finalised the arrangement of the 'elegant collection of casts presented by his Royal Highness the Prince Regent to the Cork Society for the Promotion of the Fine Arts'. [The Southern Reporter, Saturday 7th Nov. p. 2, col. 3; Tuesday, 22nd Dec. 1818, p. 3, col. 4] The exhibition of over two hundred sculpture casts was then opened to the public. These casts had been made under the direct supervision of Antonio Canova in Rome, from works in the Vatican collections, and are therefore of some importance. They were cast on the orders of Pope Pius VII, for presentation to the Prince Regent of England, later King George IV, in recognition for British help afforded the Vatican in the return of treasures looted by Napoleon. Canova had been a supporter of Napoleon, and had worked for him, but he did not approve the removal of works of art from Italy, and had supervised the return of many of these works to Rome in 1816. Several casts of works by Canova himself, described in the catalogue for the Cork exhibition as 'the boast and ornament of the present day' were included amongst the works which were eventually exhibited in Cork. The Southern Reporter carried a full list of the casts which had arrived in Cork in October:

WHOLE FIGURES  1 Apollo Belvidere  2 Laocoon  3 Adonis  4 Antinous  5 Piping Faun  6 Venus de Medici  7 Young Apollo  8 Concord  9 Letitia  10 Venus (Canova)  11 Anatomical Figure  12 Shifting Venus  13 Small Apollo  14 Minerva  15 Small Draped Venus  16 Boy  17 Hermaphrodite  18 Horse  19 Small Anatomical Figure  20 Do. (Mich. Angelo) 

BUSTS   35 Apollo  36 Bacchus  37 Ariadne  38 Female  39 Mithridates  40 Juno  41 Gladiator  42 Persian  43 Minerva  44 Vituria  45 Silenus  46 Pythagoras  47 Euripides  48 Socrates  49 Valentine  50 Bacchante  51 Faustina  52 Unknown  53 Daughter of Niobe  54 Unknown  55 Amazon  56 Claudius  57 Negro  58 Antinous  59  Small Venus  60 Iris  61 Niobe, Child  62 Anatomical  63 Laocoon's Son  64 Ditto  65 Atalante  66 Niobe, Child  67 Meleager  68 Adonis  69 Laocoon  70 Vesta  71 Seneca  72 Terpsichore  73 Ind. Bacchus  74 Sappho  75 Hippocrates  76 Phocian  77 Caligula  78 Little Mercury  79 Niobe, Child  80 Little Apollo  81 Flora  82 Young Hercules  83 Little Faun  84 Titus  85 Unknown  86 Paris  87 Small Minerva  88 Carracaia 89 Unknown 90 Little Mercury  91 Cato  92-100 Masks from the Antique  101-121 Parts of the Face  122 Farnese Hercules  123-127 Vases  128-131 Battle of the Amazons in bas-relief 

BAS RELIEFS  132 Silenus  133 Silenus with Cupids  134 Silenus with Muses  135 A Sacrifice 136 A Lion  137 Soldiers  138 Helen and Paris  139 Minerva  140 Shield of Achilles  141-219 Various Fragments of Antique Statues. [Southern Reporter, Saturday 7th Nov. 1818, p. 2, col. 3]

The casts had come to Ireland through the efforts of Viscount Ennismore (later Lord Listowel), a friend of the Prince regent and President of the Cork Society of Arts. Apparently, the Prince Regent was not entirely enamoured of his gift of over one hundred large plaster statues from the Vatican, and for some time after their arrival in London they languished, first at the London Custom House, and after at the Prince's residence in Carlton Gardens. [Dr. S. F. Pettit, "The Royal Cork Institution", Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol.LXXXI (81), Nos.233-234, Jan-June 1975, p.82] The casts were housed by the Prince, at Carlton Gardens, in a large tent. A description of the scene is given by an anonymous author, in a memoir of artist Samuel Forde, published in the Dublin University Magazine in 1845:

Those casts, so noble in themselves, are associated in the mind with the most remarkable period in our history. They surrounded the interior base of that prodigious tent-room, erected in the gardens of what was once Carleton palace. There, as if beneath an ample awning, were assembled, amidst the blaze of chandeliers and regal stars, at one period, the allied sovereigns, princes, and chiefs from the Steppes of Tartary, warriors, statesmen, "fair women, and brave men", to celebrate the conclusion of that heroic period which had just terminated in the battle of Waterloo. And here was all that sublimity and beauty in ancient art, like the approving representatives of the gods of other times. Dare we ask where are they now? [Anon: "Memoir of Samuel Forde - A Cork Artist", Dublin University Magazine, Vol. XXV, March 1845, p. 343]

The article goes on to recount the story of how the casts had come to arrive in Cork. Apparently, in the early part of 1818, a student of the Royal Academy in London was standing in the hall of Somerset House, at that time the home of the Academy, when he overheard an attendant describing how the council of the R. A. had been offered the casts by the Prince Regent, but was unable to accept, due to shortage of space. The student, on hearing that "they were to be had for the asking", asked the porter to say nothing more about it.

The following morning Lord Listowel was waited upon, and informed of the circumstance. . .The casts were obtained, and with incredible activity in a few weeks were on the high seas, in one of his Royal Highness's transports, proceeding to their destination, Cork.
. . . .Whatever of dullness had hitherto subsisted, or was chargeable upon the citizens of Cork, vanished at the memorable approach of these casts . . . For here was the most palatable Irish holy alliance of Pope and Prince, of Church and State--what could withstand it?
A theatre was fitted up for the reception of these divinities, as in a temple; a master was provided; an academy founded. Lectures were delivered; the schools filled with students; the public crowded the rooms. All was perturbation - vigour - impulse - extravagance. [Ibid, pp. 343-344]

The arrival of the casts in Cork acted as a strong incentive in the establishment of the first school of art in that city; after their arrival in Cork they remained on exhibition in the converted Apollo Theatre on Patrick Street, the responsibility of the Cork Society for the Promotion of the Fine Arts, who produced a special catalogue for the exhibition. Mr. Cockaine, now an honourary committee members, was acknowledged in the catalogue for ". . . the masterly manner in which he has adjusted the Figures--his judicious and tasteful arrangement for exhibition--and his contrivance for moving the Figures, for the use of the students, according to the plan adopted by him at the Royal Academy, London." [Footnote: Exhibition of Casts taken from Antique Statues and Busts, Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts, (Cork: Edwards and Savage, 1819)]. (Today, these contrivances, large wooden bases on castors, are as useful as they were over a century and a half ago.) The December 22nd edition ofThe Southern Reporter noted that Mr. Cockaine would remain in Cork a further fortnight, and would 'attend to any commands he may be favoured with', including producing portrait busts 'cast from nature', and anatomical casts, for the study of surgery. [The Southern Reporter, Tuesday Dec. 22nd, 1818] p. 3, col. 4]

With the casts on display in the Society of Arts' theatre, the first proper school of art in Cork was now a reality. Cork, a city which prided itself upon the cultural accomplishments of its citizens, had been somewhat tardy in this respect: over seventy years had passed since the founding of the Drawing Schools of the Dublin Society. The Southern Reporter of December 26th 1818 noted that "Mr. Chalmers, Professor of Drawing and Painting, Respectfully informs the nobility, gentry, his friends and the public, that he is returned to Cork, and continues giving instruction in the above art on the subjects of Figure, Landscape and Architecture. [The Southern Reporter, Sat. Dec. 26th, 1818] Chalmers was the first head master of the Cork School of Art, launched with great optimism.

However, the writer of the Samuel Forde memoir goes on to relate how the enthusiastic support amongst prominent citizens for the establishment of the School of Art proved to be shortlived, and how 'these Mecaenases and Medici "of the hour" fled to their villas and their counting-houses', when they realised that founding and supporting an academy of fine arts took more than fine words and flowery phrases. Amongst the general public too, there was concern, though of a different kind, as a later editorial in Bolster's Quarterly Magazine indicated:

The public seem rather to have taken alarm at the gift, and are not yet soothed into quiet; and it is to be doubted whether these sublime works will ever conquer the fastidious notions of our simple-minded citizens, so far as to awaken an admiration for them. [Bolster's Quarterly Magazine, No. V, Vol. II, 1827, p. 56]

The casts remained on exhibition in the converted Apollo theatre for over a decade before they were moved to the Old Custom House, and under the tuition of Cork Society of Arts drawing master J. Chalmers, students such as Daniel Maclise, John Hogan and Samuel Forde drew from them in this improvised but effective setting, which in fact was the first real art academy in Cork. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 165] Daniel Maclise would have been a mere ten or eleven years of age when the casts were first exhibited in Cork, yet in his manuscript biography, which is preserved at the Royal Academy in London, he vividly describes the  elaborate steps taken to display the casts when they first arrived in Cork:

. . . a former Theatre once supported by the Apollo Society of Amateur Actors was fixed upon as the most suitable place for the reception of the valuable collection of Casts. It was situated in a principal street, Patrick Street, and the stage was screened off by a well-painted scene of the interior of a Greek Temple. The Pit was boarded over, the Gallery was partitioned off. The boxes remained nearly as they were, and the Statues were arranged around the Parterre with much taste and moveable pedestals under the Superintendence of a London gentleman who was sent over for the purpose, and whose name happened appropriately enough to be Corkaigne [sic]. This Collection was subsequently removed to the Cork Institution where it was looked upon more in the light of lumber than anything else, many of the Statues being placed in a damp cellar. The Collection is still, I believe, inappropriately located in the obsolete Old Custom House where there is neither light nor space to view it with effect. [Footnote: Daniel Maclise, MS autobiography, Royal Academy library, London; MS  No. 5630, 22A (1), pp. 11-12. Maclise in his autobiography records his birthplace as being Georges Street (now Oliver Plunkett Street) and the date as January 25th 1811. John Turpin points out that the baptismal records of the Old Presbyterian Church in Prince's Street record the artist's date of birth as February 2nd, 1806.]

Some years after being brought to Cork, the Society of Arts having fallen on hard times, the casts were in danger of being auctioned off to pay the Society's debts, but were rescued by the 'secretary for the home department' and transmitted to the care of the Royal Cork Institution, where they were housed "in an attic of the old custom house where they are effectually preserved from intruders or admirers, as if surrounded by a cordon sanitaire." [Anon: "Memoir of Samuel Forde - A Cork Artist", Dublin University Magazine, Vol. XXV, March 1845, p. 344]
In Gibson's History of the County and City of Cork, published in 1861, a concise account is given of the transfer of the casts from the Society of Arts to the Institution:

The School of Design contains a large collection of fine casts, done in Rome, under the superintendence of Canova. These casts were presented by Pope Pius VII to George IV, when prince of Wales. The society became bankrupt before its dissolution, and the casts were seized for rent, when the Royal Cork Institution steped in with £500 and liberated Apollo Belvidere, Laocoon, Antinous, Mithridates, Maria Louisa, Venus de Medici, Juno, Ariadne, Adonis, Napoleons's mother, a piping Fawn, Bacchus, Cicero, Socrates, a board, a cow, a lion, and a hundred other fine men, beautiful women, divine gods and goddesses, and remarkable animals, from a very unpleasant position. [Footnote: Rev. C.B.Gibson, History of the County and City of Cork, (Cork: 1861, reprinted 1974), Vol.II, p.319]

One of the more important bookshops in Cork in the early nineteenth century was George Bolster's establishment at 7 Patrick Street. In 1819, Bolster published a pamphlet relating to the casts, entitled Considerations on the Utility of the Casts presented by H.R.H. the Prince Regent. This pamphlet describes the benefits of the casts to students at the 'School of Art' and how the development of such a school in Cork would save young artists from the trauma of having to go to London for their art education, where ". . in addition to the temptations with which every young person there is surrounded, an additional and great one, occurs in drawing from living models, before the morals are matured, and the mind annealed, so as to endure without warping or cracking, the ordeal to which it must be thus necessarily exposed. . . " [Considerations, p.12]. The writer of the pamphlet hoped that the development of the Fine Arts would encourage newly rich farmers and capitalists to spend some of their money on the arts, rather than on the "mobs of dependants" upon whom they normally chose "to bestow their mischievous wealth". The writer continues:

. . What would be more effectual to produce this improvement than Pictures and Drawings such as were sometimes produced by the playful pencil of our own Grogan, whose genius perhaps still hovers over the yet unformed Artists of our city. Engraving would multiply and diffuse copies of such drawings, and the natural taste and disposition of the people would ensure for the Prints a certain sale. A trade new in Ireland would appear, which would afford subsistence to numerous artificers dependent on it. Men would return from fairs and markets bearing ornaments to their dwelling, amusing instruction to their families, with cheerfulness in their aspects, not as now filled to excess with these deleterious liquors, by which health and strength are destroyed, domestic union dissolved, cottages reduced to ruin and cheerfulness driven far away." [Ibid, p.18]

Helping to save cottage folk from the demon drink was only one of the charms attributed to the arrival of the casts. They were also held to be immensely influential on the artists of the city. The effect that the casts had on Daniel Maclise he remembers as being 'at first overwhelming, and then inspiring'. Not all the students, however, were so impressed. A namesake of Maclise was involved in an incident that is recorded in the Institutions's minute books of 1832, where "The Secretary informed the board that students Mc O'Boy and McLise, having by improper conduct in the Castroom, caused serious injury to one of the casts (group Silenus and Satyrs) he had suspended their privilege of attending the rooms." Daniel Maclise departed for London in 1825, but in his later recollections of his student days in Cork, he recalled how 'for years and years by day and night' he studied from these 'perfect forms'. [Daniel Maclise, MS autobiography.] Crofton Croker remembered the casts being stored in the cellar; "many of the statues have been materially injured and some of the smaller casts entirely destroyed." [Croker MS, p. 269]

In architecture, in 1818, George Richard Pain and his brother James won a public competition for the design of a new prison, or "House of Correction" for Cork. This new gaol was an addition to a large complex of buildings, situated at the western end of the city, which had been built between 1791 and 1795, to the designs of Michael Shanahan. The Pains added an entirely new range of buildings, including a central block with radiating cell wings, a monumental Grecian facade, and a bridge connecting the gaol to the new Western Road, [T. F. McNamara, p. 78] The complex was titled the Cork County Gaol, and also became known as the 'male prison'. The Pains' new facade, with its massive portico based on the temple of Apollo at Delos, is a rare example of Greek Revival architecture in Ireland. [M. Craig, p. 262] (The interior of the prison was demolished in recent times, but the bridge and portico survive, the latter being illustrated in Richardson's Monumental Classic Architecture in Great Britain and Ireland, published in 1914.) Thomas Deane was one of the unsuccessful competitors for the new prison, and, according to T. F. McNamara, employed eighteen-year old John Hogan, the son of his foreman, to prepare the drawings for this proposal. Although unsuccessful in this competition, Deane was selected, about this time, to undertake the construction of the new female prison, not far distant from the male prison. Crofton Croker attributes the female prison to William Robertson, of Kilkenny, and says that it was finished by Sir Thomas Deane. [Croker MS, p. 137]

At Whitechurch, the foundation stone of a new Roman Catholic chapel was laid by John Galway, Esq., of Lota. "The entire edifice is to be in the Gothic style of architecture . . . the plan has had the approbation of all the resident gentry of the parish, and many of the neighbourhood." [The Southern Reporter, Thursday June 4th, p. 2, col. 4] 

In 1818, the "South Terrace Glass House" was founded in Cork, which was to flourish until 1841; while in The  Southern Reporter of April 21st, Daniel Foley & Co. of the "Waterloo Glass Works" thanked the public for their continued support. However, all was not well in the world of glass-blowing. On April 28th in The Southern Reporter, John Graham and Edward Brown placed an advertisment, stating that they had 'right title and interest' in the glass-cutting machinery and steam engine of the Hanover Street glass warehouse, the contents of which were advertised for sale in the same paper, viz: "The old Hanover-street Glass-House to be sold . . . making flint glass and Black bottles." [The Southern Reporter, April 28th, 1818, p. 1, Col. 3] Much of the glass produced at the Hanover Street warehouse appears to have been utilitarian in nature, although at the auction held there shortly afterwards, "Cut lustres, Grecian lamps, Hall Globes, Side bells, Candlesticks, Desert sets of rich cut glass" and other ornamental pieces were offered for sale. [The Southern Reporter, Sat. May 23rd, p. 3, col. 3]

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In the Cork Society of Arts exhibition held in 1819 the shift in emphasis away from living artists was continued. The Society's patron was now no less than "His Majesty", and the catalogue bore the Royal coat of arms on the title page. Of the 132 works listed in the catalogue, over four-fifths were old masters from private collections; less than a fifth came from local artists' studios--and a good half of these were either by 'a young lady' or one of the Misses Newenham. Most of the old master works were ambitiously, and probably erronously, attributed to Rembrandt, Canaletto and other Dutch and Italian artists, with James Penrose also lending a couple of paintings ascribed to Murillo. Amongst the Irish 'old masters', Butt, Grogan and Barry were again featured as examples of excellence. Works by one of the Sadler family of artists were also included. Even by the standards of the day, the Cork Society of Arts' exhibitions must have been dull affairs at this juncture, with views of Dutch seaports, eruptions of Vesuvius, landscapes with cattle, sheep, ruins, or figures, enlivened perhaps by the occasional drunken cobbler; or a sea view, with a brisk gale. There were few enough works by contemporary Cork artists; notable amongst them was J. Chalmers' view of the New Cork Custom House, which had been designed by William Hargrave and constructed five years previously. Chalmers, a landscape and theatrical scenery painter in the Cork Theatre, was appointed drawing master at the Cork Institution in 1819. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 165] It is possible that the Miss J. Chalmers and William Chalmers, who both exhibited works relating to Cork at the RHA in 1827, were children of scene-painter J. Chalmers. [A. Stewart, Vol. I, p. 127]


The 1820 exhibition of the Cork Society of Arts was significant in that for the first time it included works by students of the fledgling Cork School of Art: Daniel McClise, J. Kelleher and Samuel Forde were each represented by drawings made from the antique casts which had arrived in Cork the previous year, and which formed an important part of the 1820 exhibition. Dr. Woodroffe--now designated the Society's Professor of Anatomy--gave a course of lectures On Human Expression and Anatomy  during the course of the exhibition while Chalmers, scene-painter in the Cork theatre, was listed as Professor of Drawing. Maclise and Forde, then in their mid-teens, were close friends at this point; apart from drawing from the casts, they attended demonstrations in anatomy given by Dr. Woodroffe at the South Charitable Infirmary and made sketching tours in the surrounding countryside. Around this time Forde was attacked by a gang of youths at the door of the Cork Society of Arts. Maclise came to his rescue using a canvas he was carrying as a flail. The youths were driven off, but Maclise's prize painting of Aeneas bearing Anchises from the sacking of Troy was completely destroyed. [Davis & Mary Coakley, p. 41]

Samuel Forde had been born in the city of Cork on April 5th 1805, the son of a failed tradesman, a 'phlegmatic, abitrary and reserved man' whose sullenness created an atmosphere in the Forde household where "Freemasonry and Jacobinism . . . destroyed the charms of domestic tranquility." [Anon: "Memoir of Samuel Forde" Dublin University Magazine, Vol. XXV, March 1845, p. 338.] His father later abandoned his wife and children and fled to America, leaving Forde's elder brother to support the household by giving music lessons, while Samuel's interest in art and literature quickly developed. The writer of a later memoir records

There were at that period, when he was between eight and ten years of age, only two portrait painters in Cork, of very limited practice--no very eminent teacher. Amateurs, there were several, but to these he does not appear of have had access. There was but one print-shop where the eternal, but not immortal Warmsly landscapes, and Bartalozzi's red round, Angelica Kauffman's prints, stood waiting in the window to be framed and glazed . . . Forde, at this period, carefully copied from prints, transcribed much from Reynold's discourses, Le Brun's passions, and Bell's anatomy of expression. At that time annuals had not begun to run their course, or grimy Lithographies to overrun theirs. Sometimes a roving auctioneer would bring a "rattling print or two", that astounded him; and, at other times, the booksellers displayed some beautiful wonder to amaze him. [Ibid, p. 339] 

A young artist in Cork whom Forde admired at this time was Corbett's pupil, Crosbie, who had painted the Vision of St. Augustine for the altar of the Brunswick Street Friary, and who had also exhibited The Woman Taken in Adultery at the 1818 Society of Arts exhibition. Forde was a solitiary and introspective individual and Croker describes him going through the unfrequented back lanes of Cork, avoiding crowds and seeking the shade: "his mode of walking has been described to me as 'slipping along by the wall like one afraid of his own shadow.' " [Croker MS, p. 270] Forde also frequently stole at twilight into the chapel at Carey's Lane, where a fine copy of Guido Reni's Crucifixion adorned the altar. With the arrival of the sculpture casts in Cork in 1818, Forde was one of the first students at the new drawing school, and also worked with Chalmers on scene painting for the theatre, where he learned to paint with speed and facility. Not long afterwards, when still only about seventeen years of age, it was decided that he be apprenticed to a London mezzotint artist named Turner, but it was discovered that the young artist was over the age limit and the scheme was abandoned. Nontheless Forde, using a saddler's knife, a rolling pin and some other basic utensils, did produce some passable mezzoprint portrait heads at this time. He also took on pupils of his own, taught architectural drawing at the Mechanics Institute, and undertook commissions such as decorating a medical hall (probably that of a Mr. Fanning) with a painted ceiling and frieze; yet still he made little money:

His taste was essentially not picturesque, nor did his talents lie in making captivating drawings, that attract only boyish and girlish eyes, unless they be of the anti-modern Greek order. He could not easily relax into landscape, nor torment Black Rock and Blarney Castle, with all the sweet vexatious variations of Rodes air, rub-up trees, scrape-out lights, drag water, and draw nothing. ["Memoir of Samuel Forde" DUM, p. 346]

However, Forde's talent was recognised in Cork and he received a commission from James Morgan to decorate a ceiling at Tivoli. This painted ceiling was unfortunately destroyed by fire some years later, but the artist left a description of it in his journal: "In the four angles were shepherds, vine-gatherers, reapers, mariners; at one end an old man reading--at the other, a man in an attitude of reflection, and finished by three figures in adoration". [Ibid, p. 351] Although only fifteen years of age when he exhibited for the first time with the Society of Arts, Forde was already almost a fully professional artist and he continued to exhibit with the Society until his untimely death from consumption in 1828, at the tender age of twenty-three.

Another new exhibitor in 1820 was architect William Hill, who contributed two street perspectives, while architects James and George Richard Pain (or Payne, as they are referred to in the catalogue of the 1820 exhibition) also contributed views of Lord Gort's demesne at 'Lough Cooter' (Lough Cutra, in county Galway; a large castellated house designed by John Nash in 1811, and built under the supervision of his pupils and assistants, the Pain brothers themselves, who had first came over to Ireland for this purpose.)  The artist J. St. J. Long must have excited attention with his wildlife paintings, particularly his depictions of tigers and lions--'from life'. Otherwise the exhibition differed little from those of  the two previous years, with a preponderance of works ascribed to Canaletto, Cuyp, Teniers, Veronese, Guercino, Poussin and other old masters. Over one-third of the 155 works shown were from the private collection of James Roche. All 58 paintings lent by Roche, mostly Italian and Dutch old masters, but including several works by Nathaniel Grogan which had previously been seen in the 1815 and 1816 exhibitions, were sold by auction after the exhibition closed.
Apart from the appointment of Woodroffe and Chalmers as professors, the Society itself had been reorganised to include members who were listed as yearly subscribers or life members. Amongst the life members--those who had paid ten pounds or more--were the Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of Shannon, Oliver Latham, W. Newenham, W. Beamish, W. E. Penrose, Robert O' Callaghan Newenham, Thomas Deane and H. Lawlor. There were over one hundred yearly subscribers, who had each contributed a guinea. Most of the major Cork mercantile professional and landowning families were represented in the Society, either as subscribers or on the committee.

John Hogan, since finishing his apprenticeship with Thomas Deane in March 1820, had been attending lectures on anatomy given by Dr. Woodroffe at his "Theatre of Anatomy" in Margaret Street, and also copying from the casts of classical statuary in the Gallery of the Cork Society of Arts. [Advertisment for Woodroffe's anatomy classes, The Southern Reporter, March 22nd, 1818, p. 1, col. 1] Hogan's interest extended beyond human anatomy, if the attribution to him, of a carved wooden lion at the Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, is correct. [T. F. McNamara, p. 35] This lion is traditionally supposed to have been carved by Hogan from an old apple tree. Apart from the other wooden carvings which were to impress William Paulet Carey on his visit to Cork three years later, Hogan executed around this time a life-sized pinewood figure of Minerva, for Thomas Deane's Life and Fire Insurance office in the South Mall (later the Royal Exchange Insurance Society). Cork historian C. J. F. McCarthy recalls the history of the Minerva statue, which stood for over a century on top of No. 5 South Mall, a building dating from around 1760. This building, and No. 6 alongside, were vacated by the Royal Exchange Insurance Company (now Guardian Royal Exchange) in 1889. No. 5 was purchased and rebuilt by the Gresham Insurance Company, who donated Hogan's statue to the Crawford Gallery. [C. J. F. McCarthy, MS note, Crawford Archives. McCarthy attributes the saving of Hogan's statue to local antiquary Michael J. Lavallin of Lincoln Place, Grattan Hill, who was secretary of the Gresham Insurance Company, and who discovered the statue amongst builders' rubbish in the hallway of No. 5 and brought it to the attention of the Gresham Co. directors. Apparently there was a dispute shortly after, when the Royal Exhange Co. discovered that they had left behind a valuable piece of sculpture, and sought, unsuccessfully, to recover it from the new owners of No. 5 South Mall.] [James Coleman "Biographical Sketches of . . . John Hogan", JCHAS, Vol. I, 1895, p. 209] According to Hogan's own account, Deane at this time publicised his intention of sponsoring the young sculptor's further education in Rome, in order that Hogan could then return to Cork and help Deane's brother, Alexander, in the marble works which he intended to set up. As it happened, Alexander Deane was instead apprenticed to an architect in London named Nicholson, and nothing came of the plan. [J. Turpin, p. 26]

In County Cork, the fashion for gothicising houses continued: At Castle Freke, in Rosscarbery, Sir John Evans-Freke (6th Lord Carbery) commissioned architect Sir Richard Morrison, in the years leading up to 1820, to transform a rambling set of buildings into an elaborate castellated complex. Work on Castle Freke continued for over two decades. Morrison added a medieval flavour with polygonal towers, a gateway with portcullis and crenellations, but otherwise left the Classical facade of the house intact. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 68] Around this time also, Henry Mitchell Smyth added castellations, machicolations and battlements to Castle Widenham, Castletownroche, the seat of the Viscounts Roche of Fermoy. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 79]

However, not all houses-owners of this period succumbed to the Romantic charm of battlements and bartizans; perfectly pleasant Regency houses, such as Creagh, in Skibbereen, Rockenham at Passage West and Maryville at Kilworth, continued to be built around this period, with trellised porches, pilasters and fanlights. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 94, 243, 204] Indeed, one of the finest Regency houses in Ireland was built near Cork this year, when architect Richard Morrison was comissioned by John Smith-Barry (1793-1837) to remodel an old hunting lodge on Fota Island. Morrison showed that he was equally at home with a gentle Regency style as he was with the gothic excesses of Castlefreke. Richard Morrison, working with his son, enlarged the house considerably, by adding pedimented wings onto either side of the original lodge. Cut-stone window surrounds and quoins contrasted with a light-coloured stucco facade, which focused on a rather academic Tuscan Doric portico. This portico, echoing the Greek Revival severity of the Pains'  Gaol in Cork, which was also being built at this time, can also be compared with the porticoes of St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin (1816-25), on which Morrision himself was employed. Morrison extended his interest in the Classical orders by naming his son, and assistant, William Vitruvius Morrison, and between them they embellished the interior of Fota House with Ionic and Corinthian scagliola columns and a host of erudite and delicate Classical references (although an engraving survives of a proposed Tudor remodelling of the house by William Morrison).

Richard Morrison designed smaller houses in county Cork also; the Glebe House, Timoleague, an attractive late-Georgian building of this period, has been attributed to him. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 273]

The interior of St. Mary's and St. Anne's Cathedral (known as the 'North Chapel'), which had been dedicated in 1808, was largely destroyed by fire on June 3rd 1820; however it was soon afterwards rebuilt in an extravagant Gothic style, to the designs of George Pain. [T. F. McNamara, p. 76]


The sixth annual exhibition of the Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts repeated the formula of the previous year's exhibition, in that a great number of works came from one private collection. No less than 75 works out of a total of 128 were loaned by a T. Gibson, Esq., although it is not recorded if they were to be sold after the exhibition. The paintings from Gibson's collection were mainly by Dutch old masters, or British artists such as Wilson, Lely and Morland, although in addition there were a good number of works by Irish artists such as George Barrett, William Ashford, Campbell, James Arthur O'Connor and Francis Danby. Amongst the paintings by O'Connor were his Salmon Leap at Leixlip, Conway Castle and A Blind Mendicant. Ashford was represented by his View of Gibralter, and Danby by his Landscape - Evening. Several landscapes by Barrett were shown, while works by Campbell included View of Enniskillen, View of Dublin from Ringsend and View in the Dargle.

The catalogue of the 1821 Cork exhibition lists other paintings from Gibson's collection which are worth noting in the context of Irish art, including Mullins' Portrait of George the First, and Charles Skottowe's Portrait of the Rt. Rev. Dr. England, Bishop of Carolina. Skottowe (1793-1842) worked as a portrait painter in Cork for some time before moving to London, soon after 1829. He exhibited at the RHA only once, in 1829, showing two works: a self-portrait and a Portrait of A. C. Bloomfield Spalding, Esq., Professor of Rhetorical Delivery. [A. Stewart, Vol. III, p. 156] He also exhibited at the British Institution and the Royal Academy between 1834 and 1842. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 358] Local artist John Brenan (spelt Brennan in the catalogue) showed landscapes of Killarney and Glengarriff.
Several works by the student John Hogan were exhibited for the first time, including a study of a head, and two models based on classical casts: the Statue of Antinous and Statue of Venus Canova.. Both of these had been loaned by a James Morgan--probably the James Morgan who lived at Tivoli, a Palladian house on the outskirts of Cork which was notable for its garden temples, one a reproduction of the Temple of Vesta, the other in a gothic style. Tivoli house and gardens are depicted in a large painting by Nathaniel Grogan, now in the National Gallery of Ireland. The house, with its ceiling painted by Samuel Forde, was destroyed by fire around 1820, when James Morgan's children were playing with fireworks.[M. Bence-Jones, p. 273] 

Later that year, Hogan was employed by Dr. John Murphy (1772-1847), Bishop of Cork since 1815, to carve twenty-seven statues in wood and an altar panel of the Last Supper, for St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral (North Chapel) in Cork. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 490] The statues, removed from the North Chapel during alterations in 1965, have disappeared; the bas-relief of the The Last Supper, based on Leonardo da Vinci's work, is now in the collection of the Crawford Art Gallery. When Hogan left for Rome, two years later, Dr. Murphy was to provide him with a letter of introduction to the Irish College in Rome, where the young sculptor was to stay. [J. Turpin, p. 27; D. & M. Coakley, p. 46] Another work by Hogan which probably dates from 1821 is his portrait bust of George Newenham, a prominent Cork banker and art patron, who died that same year. Newenham's house at Summerhill was frequented by Daniel Maclise, who described it his his autobiography written many years later, referring to himself as 

then almost the constant guest at Summerhill, a residence entirely congenial to his dawning tastes. For Mr. N. had a gallery of pictures very well selected and, besides being the resort of all who could at all pretend to taste, there was in the house, carried on by the daughter and the father, the actual exercise of the arts of Painting and Modelling. Colours, canvas and the easel, the model stand and clay were familiar objects. [Daniel Maclise, MS Autobiography, Royal Academy of Arts, London, MS. no. 5630, 22A (1), written in 1846, quoted by J. Turpin, "Daniel Maclise and Cork Society" JCHAS, Vol. LXXXV, Jan-Dec. 1980,  p. 68]

Amongst the early paintings executed by Maclise at Newenham's house were portraits of 'his old lady patroness' Miss Spratt, and another old lady, Miss Parks. [Ibid, p. 68]

Newenham loaned paintings to the exhibitions of the Cork Society of Arts, including, in 1816, a painting by John Butts, of whose work there was a fine collection at Summerhill. Newenham was also interested in science, and constructed a telescope for astronomical observations. Late in life he developed a taste for sculpture and caught his death of a cold in 1821, while clay-modelling, shortly after his bank was wound up. [J. C. "Sir Thomas Deane PRHA", JCHAS, 1915, Vol. XXI, pp. 184]


By 1822, the Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts had over one hundred yearly subscribers, who each paid a guinea annually towards defraying the expenses of the Society. Notwithstanding this increased base of local support, the 1822 exhibition did not include any notable loans of old master paintings from private collections, although several works by 'Vandyke', 'Zucarelli', 'Vandervelde' and other such artists were made available to the exhibition by Robert Hedges Eyre (curiously, not listed as a subscriber), who also loaned a painting of William III at the Battle of the Boyne, by 'Wyck'. Hedges Eyre lived at Macroom Castle, originally a 15th century castle of the MacCarthys, which he was rebuilding around this period.  To some degree the Society's seventh annual show marked a return to the form of the first exhibitions. The representation of local artists improved, with John O'Keeffe (c.1797-1838) exhibiting seventeen works, predominantly depictions of Biblical scenes, nearly all of  which had been loaned to the exhibition by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Murphy. O'Keeffe, born in Fermoy, had risen from being a journeyman coach painter and herald painter, to theatre set painter and portrait artist. He also, as Strickland records, executed a considerable number of altarpieces around this time, for churches in Cork, and received support and encouragement from the Catholic clergy. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 193]
The indefatigable Miss N. Newenham showed eleven works, while J. Donegan, Charles Skottowe and J. Cotter showed three each, and J. Maguire, J. Corbett, J. Purcil, J. Moeran and S. D. Wild, one work each. Love Among the Roses was the painful subject of one of Skottowe's contributions. Other artists represented were William Ashford and the miniaturist James Heath Millington (1799-1872), who showed several portraits including likenesses of Miss E. Sharp, Miss Mitchel and the Bishop of Man. Millington had actually been born in Cork, but seems to have spent the early years of his life in England. Strickland records him coming to Cork in 1821, and setting up his painting studio at 22 Patrick Street. He did not prosper in Cork, apparently, and moved to Dublin in the same year. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. II, p. 116]

In the 1822 exhibition, J. Johnson exhibited seventeen works, mainly classical scenes, such as Telemachus and Mentor, or Mars and Venus. Amongst the seven works shown by Daniel Maclise (or McClise, as his name was then spelt) were Isaac Blessing Jacob, Drunken Boors, The Return of Telemachus  and A Portrait of a Clergyman. Apart from the Rt. Rev. Dr. Murphy and Robert Hedges Eyre, the other main lenders to the exhibition were J. Sullivan, P. Leonard, J. Rogers, C. Thompson, H. Manly and Edward Marks. [Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts, Catalogue of the 1822 Exhibition (Cork, Edwards and Savage) (Haliday Pamphlet Coll., Royal Irish Academy)]

While the Society of Arts continued its series of annual exhibitions, the Royal Cork Institution was growing in importance. In time, the RCI was to take over much of the role of the Society of Arts, including its art education activities and the sculpture cast collection. In the archives of the Crawford Art Gallery, is preserved a form was issued by the Secretary of the Institution, Edmund Davy, dated August 6, 1822, and calling a meeting of the proprietors for the annual election of managers and officers of the Institution. Davy, a Cornishman, was one of the more eminent officers of the RCI, serving also as professor of Chemistry. He is credited with the discovery of acetylene. The form lists the various members of the Institution: The President; the Earl of Shannon, the Treasurer; William Clear, and the Managers, who included Viscount Ennismore, M.P., Lord Carbery, Sir N.C. Colthurst and several other worthy gentlemen. The auditors were Jacob Mark, Charles Carroll and Nicholas Murphy. The voting methods as outlined in the 'balloting sheet' (as it is inscribed), seem to be of limited democratic merit:
     Any Proprietor who prefers any other Gentleman to any of those recommended above, is requested to strike out with his pen such Names as he chooses, and to write opposite to each Name so struck out, the Name of the Person whom he prefers.                                                                                                                         

But no doubt it served its purpose well enough: the fortunes of the Institution at this time were certainly in the ascendent. From its foundation until 1831, the Institution was in receipt of an annual grant from Parliament, and it was to compensate for the withdrawal of this grant that the government handed over to it the former Custom House premises. [Dr. Sean F. Pettit, The City of Cork 1700-1900 (Cork: Studio Publications, 1977), pp. 213-214]


In August 1823, the artist and collector William Paulet Carey paid a visit to Cork. While visiting  the Gallery of the Society of Arts, to view the Canova casts, he saw a small work by Hogan; a torso carved in pine, which impressed him greatly. Carey saw other works by the young artist, including 'a Triumph of Silenus, with 15 figures, about 14 inches in height designed in an antique style by the self-taught artist, and cut in bas relief in pine timber', as well as various studies of hands and feet, a grand head of an Apostle, of a small size; a copy of Michael Angelo's mask, some groups in bas relief after designs by Barry, and a female skeleton, the full life size after nature, all cut with delicacy and beauty in the same material. A copy of the antique Silenus and Satyrs in stone was chiselled with great spirit; and the model of a Roman Soldier, about two feet high . . . a number of drawings in black and white chalks from the Papal casts. [William Carey: Some Memoirs . . . ; quoted in J. Turpin, p. 29]

Strickland also records these early works by Hogan; anatomical studies of feet, legs and hands executed in wood, a Head of an Apostle, a copy of Michelangelo's  Mask of Moses, and some groups in bas-relief after designs by James Barry. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 490] Several of these early works by Hogan are still preserved in the permanent collection of the Crawford Art Gallery, as well as fragments of the full-sized skeleton he had carved in pinewood the previous year, and a copy of the leg of Mercury, copied from Giambologna.

According to his own account, Carey unsuccessfully 'enquired of Mr. Crawford and the members of the Society of Arts' as to where he might find Hogan; however, his  enquiries next door to 'the Academy' on Patrick Street met with more success. [J. Turpin, p. 28] The inability, or reluctance, of the Society of Arts members to assist Carey may have been prompted by the tension which existed at this point between Hogan and his erstwhile patron Thomas Deane, who was trying to pressure the sculptor into providing architectural embellishments for the drawing room of his recently completed house, Dundanion, at Blackrock.  Matters were not improved by the Society of Arts owing Deane over £300 in rent, for the use of their premises, of which he was the proprietor. In the event, the only work supplied by Hogan was a copy of Adonis, which was placed in the hallway of Deane's house. The dispute centred over Hogan allegedly overcharging Deane for a bas-relief limewood carving of a Bacchanalian subject, possibly that which Carey had seen at the Society of Arts. James Morgan, who had loaned Hogan's copies of Antinous and Venus Canova, to the Cork Society of Arts two years previously, was also involved in the dispute.

Carey, oblivious of these local frictions, found his way to the Hogan household in Cove Street, where he met the artist. After seeing other works by him, Carey decided to place letters in the Cork Advertiser, seeking sponsorship to enable the young artist to travel to Italy. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 491] The money having been raised, including a grant of £100 from the Royal Irish Institution and a gift of £24 from Sir Fleming-Leicester,, Hogan planned his departure for Rome, via London, that same year. His timing was opportune: Deane wrote "It is high time that he should quit the country and see if there are as talented persons elsewhere. Arrogance has got the better of him and until he is more humble, he will never be an Artist." [J. Turpin, p. 29] That arrogance did not appear in a letter which Hogan wrote to Deane before his departure, acknowledging his indebtedness to the man who 'had first placed the chisel in my hand.', and a reconciliation was effected, so much so that Deane immediately commissioned a marble figure. Hogan had other friends in Cork who remained loyal, particularly William Crawford, and he was eventually to receive over £100 in subscriptions from the Cork Society of Arts, along with a certificate, praising his achievements, and trusting that he would become 'an ornament to his profession and that position of the Empire to which he belongs'. Before his departure, Hogan completed a portrait bust of the recently-deceased St. Leger Aldworth, commissioned by  Colonel R. Aldworth of Rock Mill Lodge, Fermoy, and a portrait bust of the banker W. Edward Penrose. He left in Cork his brother Richard, also a talented student at the School of Art, who was, however, terminally ill with tuberculosis. Richard survived for only another eighteen months. [J. Turpin, p. 38; D. & M. Coakley, p. 46]

The sculptor James Heffernan exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1823 a monument to William Bennett, Bishop of Cloyne, Co. Cork, who had died three years previously. The bishop had taken a great interest in the work of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and Strickland describes the monument, subsequently placed in the Cathedral at Cloyne, as representing a slave, or Indian, in prayer under a palm-tree, 'clasping a Bible'. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 470]

In terms of architecture, the Gothic Revival in Cork reached new heights in 1823 when "Big George" (the 3rd Earl of Kingston) demolished his 18th century family house and commissioned James and George Richard Pain to build him a castle, which was to be used for receiving King George IV on his next visit to Ireland. "Big George" instructed the Pains to built him a castle larger than any other house in Ireland, which they endeavoured to do. The Royal visit to Mitchelstown Castle in fact never took place, but the resulting building cost £100,000, and if not quite the largest, was certainly one of the most successful early Gothic Revival castles in the country. [M. Bence-Jones, p. 207]


The artist James Forde, grandson of Samuel Forde, professor of music in Cork, was born in 1824. Forde, described by Strickland as an artist 'of some versatility and talent', lived in George's Street. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 372] He later moved to Dublin, where he exhibited two portraits at the RHA in 1846. [A. Stewart, Vol. I, p. 269] Strickland does not state whether James Forde was a relative of the young painter, Samuel Forde--who at this time was struggling to support his family, his father having absconded some years previously to America--and his eldest brother, William, who married in 1822. The fact that William was a professional musician, who later published a collection of songs in conjunction with Mrs. S. C. Hall, indicates a familial connection with Professor Forde. [D. & M. Coakley, p. 41]


Before discussing the establishment of a School of Design in Cork, it is useful to remember that art education for artisans and craftsmen was available in Cork from as early as 1825. The Cork Mechanics Institute, founded in that year through the efforts of William S. Hall, Secretary of the Literary and Scientific Society, was located originally in Patrick Street and later moved to Cook Street [Footnote: John Windele, Guide to the South of Ireland: Historical and Descriptive Notices of the City of Cork and its Vicinity . . ., (Cork: Messrs Bolster, 70 Patrick Street, 1846), p.131] The purpose of the Institute was to give mechanics the opportunity of learning the scientific principles behind the everyday practices of their respective trades, such as distilling, tanning and construction work.        

The secretary was Richard Dowden, a temperance campaigner and well-known philanthropist. Dowden was also librarian at the Royal Cork Institution. The foundation of the Mechanics Institute was recorded in the Cork Constitution of February 9th, 1825:

One of the most interesting meetings we attended was held yesterday at the Saloon of the Society of Arts for the purpose of forming a Mechanics Institute in this city, at which the Rt. Worshipful John Nicholas Wrixon, Mayor, presided. The hour appointed for taking the Chair was 12 o'clock and such was the anxiety manifested by the operative class of mechanics to be present, that every part of this spacious building was filled with anxious spectators. At about half past 12 o'clock his worship took the chair . . . [Cork Constitution, Feb. 9th, 1825]

The meeting, which was attended by several prominent citizens, resulted in one thousand pounds being raised there and then. Merchants and brewers Beamish and Crawford gave £100, with others subscribing similiar amounts. Another public meeting was held that night, and the correspondent of the Constitution estimated that two thousand people were present at this second meeting. The principal speakers were Richard Dowden, J.W. Topp, Richard Lane, John Boyle and several others. Thomas Deane  (1792-1871) the eminent architect and builder, had made the Saloon of Arts available for the meeting, and at that meeting he granted the new Institute the use of that same building for a six-year period.

Crofton Croker stood outside the original Institute building in 1833, and described its history:

Exactly opposite the Chamber of Comerce was the Melodramatic Theatre of Harry Johnson's Company . . . After undergoing the various alterations required to fit it for a picture gallery, a drawing school, a Debating Club (as a professedly Literary and Philosophical Society became) and a Mechanics' Institute, the theatre was at last converted into a broker's lumber room - and a broker's lumber room I found it. [Croker MS, p. 260]

The well-established Royal Cork Institution provided an ideal model upon which the Mechanics Institute could base itself, which is unfortunately what happened. The founders of the Mechanics Institute failed to recognise that in imitating the predominantly middle-class RCI, they had ensured the eventual demise of their own purportedly working-class Institute, although it must be accepted that in the absence of a large working-class community in Cork, their strategy was understandable. Not alone did both institutions share largely the same rules and regulations; they also shared lecturers, including Edmund Davy, who lectured on chemistry, and George Tisdall, who gave instruction on, among other matters, the construction of carriage wheels. Not surprisingly, many of the Institute's lectures dealt with machinery and its advantages: industrialisation was causing unrest amongst the artisan classes both in Ireland and Britain at this time, as evidenced by the activities of the Luddites in England, and the agricultural labourers and mill-workers of Ireland were, if anything, less immune to unemployment than were their English counterparts. [Footnote: Kieran R. Byrne  Mechanics' Institutes in Ireland before 1855   (Thesis for Degree of M.Ed at University College Cork, 1976) p. 138]  Membership of the Cork Mechanics Institute was not as open as that of its counterparts in English cities: The philanthropic proprietors obviously feared that their enterprise might be abducted by the wrong sort of mechanic; but in rejecting the participation of a broad spectrum of ordinary working men, they again stymied the potential of the Institute.

However, for the purposes of this history and chronology, it is sufficient to note that the Cork Mechanics Institute gave classes in drawing to apprentice architects and craftsmen. The shaky fortunes of the Mechanics Institute, which began to decline within two years of its ebullient foundation, resulted in its drawing school being placed upon an independent footing, supported solely by the fees of the students. The sculpture cast collection, that recurring feature of cultural life in nineteenth century Cork, was housed until 1832 at the Institute's home, the Society of Arts, in Patrick Street. This is evidenced in a report in the Cork Constitution in 1830, recording with delight how Daniel Maclise had been awarded two first prizes at the Royal Academy, and expressing the hope that the evidence of genius thus displayed by a Cork student would help in the task of establishing a proper 'school for advancing our Artists resident here', this school to be centred on the collection of casts which were then on display in 'the converted theatre of the Mechanics Institute on Patrick Street.' [Cork Constitution, 21st December, 1830 See also Cork Constitution Sat. Dec. 31st, 1825, p. 1, col. 3]

It is rather difficult to disentangle the relationship between the original Cork Society of Arts, the Cork Mechanics Institute and the Royal Cork Institution. Suffice it to say that the Society of Arts ran a number of exhibitions in Cork from 1815 onwards, was presented with the collection of casts in 1818, and formed a school of art shortly after. The Society of Arts languished in the 1820's and the Mechanics' Institute took over, or shared, the Society's 'Saloon of Arts' on Patrick Street as their new headquarters in 1825, the same year in which the Society of Arts amalgamated with the RCI. The Mechanics' Institute in turn languished, and the RCI took over their art classes, moving both these, and the cast collection, into the Old Custom House in 1832.

The Mechanics' Institute successively occupied premises in Patrick Street, and then Cook Street, ending in Grattan Street (in a building now used as a community centre) where it survived until recent times. It had a trade banner which had been painted at some point in the latter half of the 19th century by an artist called O'Neill, of whom no other record can be found. [phone call from a descendant of this O'Neill to Crawford Gallery, July 1993]

The Mechanic's Institute was unequal to the competition it faced from the RCI. After an unsuccessful application to the government for possession of the old Custom House (which was granted instead to the Royal Cork Institution), and as the expiration of the six-year lease granted by Thomas Deane approached, it was evident that the Institute would have to find a new home, and accordingly Deane was engaged to renovate suitable premises in Cook Street, and to provide the facilities necessary for lectures, committee meetings and the Institute's library.  Five years after its establishment, the Mechanics Institute moved from Patrick Street to Cook Street. [Footnote: Byrne, p. 150. Byrne comments that Cork street directories of the time fail to give the street number of the Institute] The Institute's library apparently was quite popular. Mechanics were to be seen in the evenings 'calling the mind into action'. [Mary Casleleyn A History of Literacy and Libraries in Ireland, pp.164-165]

In an article published in 1943, Michael Holland states that a 'school of instruction' was established at the Mechanics Institute in Cook Street in 1833 and he identifies the teacher of the design class as Signor Fabrona. [Footnote: Michael Holland, "Culture and Customs: A Cork Miscellany", Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol. XLVII,  Jan-June 1943, pp. 99-105] However, by February 1838 the Cork Evening Herald was to record Signor Fabroni's (sic) presence in a more enigmatic manner: "The Drawing is (was) conducted by Signor Fabroni, in this department he has (had) 34 pupils." [Footnote: Cork Evening Herald, February 5, 1836, "Cork Mechanics Institute"  quoted in Byrne, p. 153] The first drawing master of the Mechanics Institute, appointed in 1825, was the short-lived Samuel Forde, himself a pupil of Chalmers, drawing master at the Society of Arts' schools. [J. Francis Maguire The National Exhibition of 1852  (Dublin, 1852), p. 314; Croker MS. p. 273]

However, the move of the Royal Cork Institution from the South Mall to the old Custom House in 1832, and the transfer of the cast collection from the Saloon of Arts to the RCI's new home, effectively spelled the end of the Mechanics Institute as a vital part of Cork's higher education  establishment. By the time the Government School of Design replaced the RCI in the Old Custom House in 1850, the Mechanics Institute no longer existed. The exact date of closure is difficult to establish, although in 1849 Richard Dowden did refer to its failure. [Footnote: Byrne, p. 176]

In Rome, meanwhile, John Hogan in 1825 completed Eve Startled at the Sight of Death,The Shepherd Boy and The Drunken Faun. The latter two were later to be exhibited in Ireland. The Drunken Faun, reputedly carried out by Hogan in response to the assertion by Vincenzo Camuccini, that an original pose in the classical style was impossible, is now in the Crawford Art Gallery collection. [J. Turpin, p. 53]

Hogan's fellow-student Daniel Maclise was also making a name for himself in 1825, producing a series of drawings for Crofton Croker's Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, as well as his famous sketches of Sir Walter Scott. The drawings for "Fairy Legends" were inspired by Richard Sainthill's evening readings from Croker's book. Sainthill (in whose house Maclise had a studio) showed the drawings to the author, and then recommended the teenage artist to the book's publisher, John Murray, who decided to have Maclise's drawings engraved to use as illustrations in the next edition. [J. Turpin "Daniel Maclise and Cork Society" JCHAS, Vol. LXXXV, Jan-Dec. 1980, p. 72]
The novelist Sir Walter Scott, on a tour of Ireland with Maria Edgeworth and the Lockharts, visited Cork on Tuesday 9th August 1825, and was sketched by Maclise while in Bolster's bookshop, at No. 70 Patrick Street. Maclise's sketch was highly acclaimed locally, and was subsequently lithographed, in an edition of 500 prints, which sold rapidly. The original drawing, according to Strickland, is now in the Forster Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum (it was purchased from the Rev. John Bolster in 1872), although Maclise is known to have produced several versions, in response to local demand. There is another version in the British Museum, dated '9 August 1825' and inscribed 'Sir Walter Scott Bart/ sketched from the life at Mr. Bolster's/ Cork 9th Aug. 1825/ by Danl McClise' and dedicated to Bolster, and a third version in a private collection in Cork, which was among the effects sold after the demolition of Trabolgan House in 1985. [British Museum Cat. No. 1907-5-15-27; J. Turpin gives a detailed account of Scott's visit in "Daniel Maclise and Cork Society", p. 73]

Maclise took rooms and opened a new studio, at the corner of Patrick Street and Prince's Street, where he rapidly built up a large and successful practice as a portrait painter, as his biographer Justin O'Driscoll related:

commissions for portraits flowed in upon him and his rooms were crowded with sitters. His first price of a pencil drawing (portrait) was a guinea and a half; the size about 9 inches by 7. His method of working was this: he fully finished the head and outlined the figure in two sittings of about one hour each, and he devoted his evenings and many hours of the night to handling in the background and details. [W. Justin O'Driscoll, A Memoir of Daniel Maclise  (London: Longmans Green & Co., 1871) pp. 22, 23]

An example of one of these drawings is the portrait of an Unknown Lady, in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. However, after a time, such was the pressure of work, Maclise was forced to abandon these elaborate backgrounds, and simplify his style, as shown in another Ashmolean portrait of the well-known Corkman Richard B. Sheares and his Niece Alice Perry Sheares. Richard Sheares was the son of Henry Sheares, executed for treason in the rebellion of 1798. At this time also, 1825-26, Maclise, by his own admission, 'literally made the portraits of all the officers then stationed in the Cork barracks.' He also, and more importantly, spent the winter of 1825 working on an elaborate drawing which he submitted the following year, with the assistance of Croker in London, to the Royal Academy at Somerset House; which succeeded in securing his admission to the Academy schools. [J. Turpin 'Daniel Maclise', pp. 74-76]

On January 12th 1825 the Cork Constitution reported that George Richard Pain had won a premium of £50 for his design for the new Capuchin church, to to be located on Charlotte Quay. The Capuchin monks in Cork had been led by Fr. Theobald Matthew in a campaign to replace their existing house of worship in Blackamoor Lane, off Cove Street, which dated from 1771. For this reason, the new Holy Trinity Church, construction of which began that same year, is also sometimes known as the Father Mathew Memorial Church. Construction of the new church was slow, largely as a result of the Famine, and it was not formally dedicated until 1850. [T. F. McNamara, p. 117] Former city architect T. F. McNamara notes that one, or both, of the heads at the springing of the arch of the main doorway are reputed to be by John Hogan. The interior of the church was afterwards embellished with a stained glass window in memory of Daniel O'Connell, who died in 1847. William Atkins was the architect of the Fr. Matthew Memorial Chapel, also added in later years. [T. F. McNamara, p. 119]  
Holy Trinity church, notable for its delicate gothic traceries, carved in white limestone, remained without a facade for over half a century, until an architect called Coakley won a competition for its completion. Coakley's 1891 additions, which are essentially an abbreviation of Pain's original plans, include a lantern capped by a spire. [S. Jennet, p. 25; Arthur Hill "Architecture in Cork 1859-1909" JCHAS, Vol. XV, pp. 115-18]]

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