Dublin supported James II at the Battle of the Boyne, but following his defeat by William III, a protestant ascendancy resumed control of the city and began to forge links with the new and successful monarchy. This process intensified after the death of Mary II in 1695 left William III as sole monarch. Dublin Corporation added William’s arms to the City Sword in 1697 and in the following year, the king presented a chain of office to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, carrying the monarch’s bust on a medallion, which is in use to this day.But these expressions of loyalty were not sufficiently public for the City Assembly, which early in 1700 decided to erect a statue of the king, to be placed on a pedestal in the old Corn Market. From the inception of this project, the Assembly was aware that the statue could become a focus for protest by Jacobite supporters, and decreed that it should “be defended with iron banisters”.  Two Dublin merchants, Henry Glegg and John Moore, who were on business in London, were asked to commission the sculptor Grinling Gibbons to execute an equestrian statue of the king in copper or mixed metal and a contract was signed on 9 April 1700. In fact, the statue was executed in lead. Gibbons was to be paid £800 sterling in four instalments: £200 on signing the contract, the same again two months later, a further £200 when the statue was shipped off, and the final £200 when the statue had arrived and was in position. The Assembly then decided that the statue should be placed, not in the Corn Market, but in a more prominent location, in College green. It was also agreed that the stones of St. Paul’s gate in the city walls, which had been demolished by alderman George Blackall, should be used to make a pedestal for the statue. The statue was unveiled on 1 July 1701, which was the 11th anniversary of the Boyne (following the Julian calendar in use at the time). The lord justices, who were guests of honour, were “entertained by publicly running out some wine” – presumably so they could have the fun of watching the populace scramble for a drink. The event became a yearly one, with a parade around the statue, and volleys of muskets fired in the air. Some security was afforded to the statue when the city Plumber, Alexander Erwin, was paid £13-0s-9d for “fastening the iron work around the king’s statue” and this afforded adequate protection to the monument for the best part of ten years. This honeymoon period ended in 1710. The City Assembly was informed that on Sunday 25 June “some persons disaffected to the late happy revolution, did offer great indignities to his late majesty, king William of glorious memory, by breaking and defacing some part of his statue erected on College Green”.  In fact, his sword and truncheon were broken off. The lord mayor, Sir John Eccles, believing that the attack was fuelled by drink, ordered that a “strict inquiry be made in the several public houses what guests were [there] at unseasonable hours” on the evening of 25 June. The authorities at Dublin castle offered £100 for information and the city offered a further reward of £50, which was claimed by a local man, Richard Markham. The guilty parties were Trinity students who were expelled from the college. But attacks on the statue continued. In October 1714 a truncheon, which was in the king’s hand, was broken off and removed and in 1715, the year of the first Jacobite revolt in Scotland, the Corporation decided to build a watch house beside the statue and post a couple of sentinels there.Protestant sentiment continued in Dublin throughout the 18th century. The position of William III’s statue outside the Parliament House, made it a focus of the Volunteer rallies which took place in College Green in the 1770s. The Lord Mayor’s Coach, which was commissioned by the Corporation and built in Dublin by William Whitton, was carved with unionist symbols, including orange lilies to honour William III. The Coach was first unveiled on 4 November 1791, when it led a procession to mark the Birthday of William III – a procession which took place each year thereafter. Equally, there was a Catholic reaction, and in 1798 the sword was removed and an attempt was made to saw off the kingly head. In 1805, supporters of Catholic Emancipation covered the horse with a mixture of tar and grease, while in 1837 the figure was blown completely off the horse.  It is said that Surgeon-General Sir Richard Crampton, who was a tremendous snob, was at a dinner party in St. Stephen’s Green when a distraught man came to the door looking for him and saying: ‘You must come quickly Sir – a most distinguished gentleman has fallen off his horse in College Green!’ Whereupon Sir Richard rushed off – to find king William’s statue prone on the ground! On this occasion the statue was repaired by John Smyth, whose father was the more famous sculptor Edward Smyth.(Plinth of King William's Statue)The statue of William III continued to excite controversy well into the 19th century. In 1842, city architect Hugh Byrne recommended that the cut stone base and iron railing around the statue were so defective that they should be removed and replaced and the finance committee was instructed to do so.  In spite of these precautions, the statue continued to suffer physical attacks necessitating repairs, which were conscientiously carried out: in 1843 alone, such repairs cost the City Council more than £73. But after the Home Rule Party seized control of Dublin City Council in 1880, this careful attention was not applied to the city’s statues and in 1888 they were reported as being dirty, with William III’s statue also being dangerous.  A report about the statue in the following year, found that it was indeed dangerous, with the horse in particular having sustained several cracks with a likelihood of it falling into the street and causing injury. The City Engineer recommended that the statue should be repaired – at a modest cost of £35 – and that a new site should be found for it at Foster Place, away from traffic. It was also suggested that a plaque should be added recording that the monument had been restored by the Corporation of Dublin during the Mayoralty of the Right Hon. Thomas Sexton. However, although the repairs were carried out, the statue remained in College Green. Even though the City Council members were largely nationalist, there was no suggestion that the statue should be removed altogether and a proposal from John Erskine of Belfast, offering to purchase it, met with the abrupt rejoinder ‘The Statue is not for sale’.  Anc. Rec. Dublin, VI, p. 232. Ibid. Surviving works by Gibbons in Ireland include a monument in St. Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin to Narcissus Marsh, archbishop of Armagh, and two in Kinsale, Co. Cork to the Southwell family. See Edward McParland, ‘A monument by Grinling Gibbons’ in Irish Arts Review (Yearbook, 1994), pp 108-9. Anc. Rec. Dublin, VI, p. 235. Ibid., VI, pp 237, 239. Anc. Rec. Dublin., VI, 248-9. The lord justices were Henry Moore, 3rd earl of Drogheda; Narcissus Marsh, archbishop of Dublin; and Hugh Montgomery, 2nd earl of Mountalexander. T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin, F.J. Byrne, A New History of Ireland, IX, (Oxford, 1984), p. 491. Anc. Rec. Dublin, VI, 256.  Ibid. VI, pp 416-7. Ibid., VI, pp 416-7. DCA, MR/36: Dublin City Treasurer’s Account Book, 1651-1717, fol. 622b. Markham was paid £50 ‘for discovering the Persons that did Deface the Statue of King William’ but their names are not given. Anc. Rec. Dublin VI, pp 540-1. This pattern of attacks on the statue of William III lasted throughout its history. It was finally blown up by the old I.R.A. on 11 November 1928, the 10th anniversary of Armistice Day. Dublin City Council disposed of the shattered pedestal in 1929, as it was judged to be a hazard to traffic. Cliona Cussen, ‘Public Sculpture: a cautionary tale, or Ni Neart go baint da cheile’ in Sculptors Society of Ireland, vol. 10, no. 4, 1989. Frederick O’Dwyer, Lost Dublin, (Dublin, 1981), p. 27. City Council manuscript minutes, vol. 11, pp 185-6. Ibid., vol. 12, p. 146. Dublin City Council minutes, 1888, item 180 Dublin Corporation Reports, 1889, vol. 3, pp 61-2. Dublin City Council minutes, 1889, items 257, 281
The Mansion House Dublin, 300 Years of History and Hospitality
A year–long series of events to mark the tercentenary of Dublin’s Mansion House culminated on 14 December 2015 with the launch of a beautiful book The Mansion House, Dublin 300 years of History and Hospitality edited by City archivist Dr Mary Clark.Professor Christine Casey, guest speaker at the launch, has kindly given permission to reproduce her speech in which she reflects on the historical significance of Dublin's Mansion House and highlights some of the fascinating insights uncovered by the book contributors:-"Dublin's Mansion House is one of three eighteenth-century free-standing houses which continue to fulfil their original role in the life of the city, the others being the Deanery of St Patrick's and the Provost’s House of Trinity College . The Mansion House is the earliest of the three and speaks eloquently of Dublin’s history over the past three hundred years."Photo above: Ardmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh with Dublin City Librarian Margaret Hayes, City Archivist and editor Dr. Mary Clark, and other essay contributors to the book. (click to view larger image)(speech continued) "Ironically it began life as a private residence built by the developer Joshua Dawson who helped to spread urban development away from the medieval city and from the Tholsel or City Hall. Though the old city waged a long battle to prevent a new bridge east of Capel Street, thereby thwarting the Gardiner and Fitzwilliam estates, the city fathers had no qualms in establishing the mayoral residence on the very edge of the expanding south-eastern suburb. When Mayor John Stoyte took up residence in 1715 the scene from his rooftop viewing platform extended across the expansive fields of the Fitzwilliam estate as far as Mount Merrion. Thirty years later, in choosing to build his grandiose townhouse on Coote Lane (now Kildare Street), the 20th Earl of Kildare, Ireland’s first peer, though questioned for building so far from the city, was doubtless cheered by the example of Dublin’s first citizen. Lord Fitzwilliam followed suit and by 1800 the Mansion House found itself in the heart of the Georgian city."Photo above: The work of photographers Alastair Smeaton, Joanna Travers and Conor McCabe all feature in book.(speech continued) "It was pioneering in the wider context being the second mayoralty house in the then British Isles after Newcastle. Dublin’s Mansion House was described in 1732 by a citizen of London as a ‘palace’ whose splendour had prompted the London merchants to build a new Mansion House. A mansion house was certainly needed to accommodate the pomp, circumstance and hospitality which attended Dublin’s mayoralty. It was not ideal that the Duke of Ormond’s arrival in Dublin as Lord Lieutenant in August 1703 was marked by a mayoral reception held in a tent in St Stephen’s Green.Though they paid a good price, the city fathers got a good deal and it is noteworthy that after 300 years the original roof structure of Joshua Dawson’s house remains intact together with his floors of Baltic pine and his elegant staircase of Yew wood. The gilt leather hangings and silks of his reception rooms have long since gone, natural wastage in an intensely occupied house which has been home to so many lord mayors and their families. The brick facade with its parapet statues is now rendered, it was already darkened by pollution in the 1840s when Thackeray described ‘a queer old dirty brick house ... looking as if a storey of it had been cut off- a rasee house’. The low and relatively modest character of the house was accentuated by the building nearby of vast late eighteenth-century terraces of three and four storeys over tall basements, lending to the homely character noted by so many of the Mansion House occupants – most eloquently by the late Una Loftus who described it as ‘a loving house’, while the mayoral husband Ken Byrne or ‘Lady Mayoress’ (to give him his full title) likened the old house to an old person and as such deserving of tremendous care and respect.This it has received in abundance. Dublin City Council and its lord mayors have led by example in the quality of recent research, conservation and adaptation of the building. In 1988 Carmencita Hederman commissioned a survey from the Irish Architectural Archive which opened the way for the full conservation management plan completed in 2009 and an energy audit and refit which ensures that electricity and hot water are provided by solar and photovoltaic roof panels. Research on the civic collections has resulted in a complete inventory of contents: the bookcase which stands in the hall came from the old House of Lords, the Lawrence portrait of George IV in the staircase hall hung in the Round Room for the King’s visit in 1821, the curious figurative light-fittings in the Drawing Room date from the Sibthorpe remodelling of 1900. If only we had such precision of record, inventory and provenance for more of the city’s great buildings."(speech continued) "This book tells all of this and more: not least it speaks of those who have lived and worked in the building. In his great treatise of 1450 Leon Battista Alberti wrote of this vital aspect of architecture:'For every aspect of building if you think of it rightly is born of necessity, nourished by convenience, dignified by use…’ The Mansion House is at once a home and an instrument of civic governance. It is the site of ceremony graced by the powerful imagery of the civic sword, great mace and chain of office. Its rooms have seen occasions of state, of civic joy and sorrow. Its occupants have fed the children of famine, of the 1913 Lockout and have sheltered revolutionary leaders. I particularly enjoyed the image of Michael Collins posing as a janitor while sweeping the floor of the Round Room – the British Army, there specifically to arrest him, failed to recognize him. Here lord mayors have honoured citizens of diverse culture, religion and gender. The great room designed to receive a king housed the first Dáil in January 1919 and in 2014 witnessed the shaving of 179 highly principled and charitable heads for the Shave or Dye conquer cancer campaign. The Mansion House is perhaps best known to its staff led by the Manager who each year greet a new lord mayor. Of this Christmas season the most wonderful occurrence noted in the volume was the birth of a child to the lady mayoress: Sinead Mitchell was born here on December 30th 1976. In conclusion, editor and author Mary Clark is to be congratulated for this holistic and engaging study, and likewise authors Nicola Matthews, Susan Roundtree, Patricia Wrafter the late Una Loftus and Fanchea Gibson, Andrew O’Brien and Christian Keegan for marvellous insights into the genesis, metamorphosis and vibrant life of this endearing building'."Note: The book, complete with striking illustrations, is being distributed by Four Courts Press to all good bookshops and can also be ordered directly from the Four Courts Press website. It will soon be available to borrow from your library, please check the Library catalogue.
A very important and fascinating book was published this year, "Where Were You? Dublin Youth Culture & Street Style 1950-2000" by Garry O'Neil and Niall McCormack.The book is a compilation of photographs documenting social and fashion scenes in Dublin. What sets this book apart is that there are no staged fashion shoots or celebrities, just amazing photographs of everyday people wearing what was in style and ordinary people with extraordinary style.It's a very intimate account of street culture in Dublin. This feeling of intimacy is directly linked to the way in which the material was sourced. Posters were hung up in cafes, bars and shops around the city asking people to send in photos, rather then all the material being collected in newspaper archives.O'Neil travelled around Dublin meeting people to look through their albums and hear about the scenes that were happening at the time. He also received material from different parts of the globe offered by people who had emigrated. The chapters are organised by decades starting with the 50s and 60s.Each chapter has a very readable preface setting the scene for that era by mentioning clubs,dances, streets and shops that were frequented by young people. They also include quotes from people who were interviewed, here is a very good one from the 50s and 60s "You dressed like your folks or you look like you were dressed by your folks". The pages of photographs also have ticket stubs from gigs, posters and flyers for clubs and really cute adverts from the time.It also documents the violence that sometimes surrounded street culture for example the Boot Boys and Skinheads in the seventies. So from suave suits in the sixties to break dancing, skateboarding and raving in the nineties I would highly recommend buying this book. If you've been stuck out in the suburbs for a while borrow or buy this book and you will remember just how colourful Dublin can be.Another interesting layer to this book is O'Neil's collaborator Niall McCormick who is a great graphic artist based in Dublin. Has designed book covers for O'Brien and Lilliput press. After you have enjoyed "Where Were You?" feast your eyes on Niall's website.
JSTOR is a comprehensive online resource that spans a variety of topics. Access to The Ireland Collection – JSTOR can be accessed at Dublin City Public Libraries free of charge. The Ireland Collection is an interdisciplinary collection of journals and other materials. The Collection contains titles and resources across the arts, humanities, and sciences in disciplines such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. Materials span from the 1780s to the present.Find out more about this and other research materials available at Dublin City Public Libraries. Whether you want to satisfy your curiosities, increase your content knowledge or for personal research the information is at your fingertips. For example you can find a copy of every Dublin Historical Record article ever written since 1834. Students can access further information to assist their studies. Researchers who may not have access to journal databases will find a wealth of information available."JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is an online system for archiving academic journals, founded in 1995. It provides its member institutions full-text searches of digitised back issues of several hundred well-known journals, dating back to 1665. Membership in JSTOR is held by 7,000 institutions in 159 countries. JSTOR was originally funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, but is now an independent, self-sustaining not-for-profit organization with offices in New York City and Ann Arbor, Michigan. In January 2009, it was announced that JSTOR would merge with Ithaka, a non-profit organization founded in 2003 and "dedicated to helping the academic community take full advantage of rapidly advancing information and networking technologies." (Wikipedia)JSTOR is an example of information storage and access that is required to protect the masses of information available. It was a solution for libraries to deal with the growing level of print journals that were in circulation. In the 2003 copy of JSTOR News (Issue 2 No. 7) Michael P. Spinella of JSTOR writes “Though there is not yet a complete tally at the time of this writing, it is believed that many thousands of artefacts, works of art, ancient manuscripts, and historic letters housed by the Iraqi National Museum and National Library have been destroyed or stolen. These works encompass some 2000 years of history and culture. We should take a moment to contemplate the enormity of these losses. Beyond this, we must act to guard against such tragedies in the future. The situation underscores the urgency of preserving history in as many places and forms as possible. Digitization cannot replicate the experience of an original work; nevertheless, digital copies are preferable to the calamity of total loss. In my first few months at JSTOR, I have encountered many people who share an awareness of the need to protect intellectual and cultural histories. JSTOR staff members demonstrate this commitment through their work to ensure the continued accessibility of the literature entrusted to us.”