Swift's Contexts

A Symposium on Jonathan Swift and the Politics in his Age

Conducted on 21-22/10/2006 at The Deanery of St Patrick's, with Dr Robert Mahony in the Chair

John Lyon and Irish antiquarianism in the time of Swift

Toby Barnard (Hertford College, Oxford)

[Outline CV of author? Reference to where this may be print-published?]

In the early nineteenth century, the historian of St Patrick's Cathedral, William Monck Mason, paid tribute to a predecessor who had made possible his own voluminous publication. That forerunner was the Reverend John Lyon. 'There is no one', Monck Mason ventured, 'to whom the Irish antiquarian is more indebted; to his diligence we chiefly owe the preservation of whatever remains of the ecclesiastical antiquities of Dublin'(1). This judgment may surprise those who know of Lyon principally as an aid to Swift in his last, distressing years, and as cataloguer of the dean's library(2). Lyon's importance for Swiftians goes further. He recorded several anecdotes in a copy of Charlesworth's life of Swift which amplify details of the biography. At one stage, indeed, the annotated volume was owned by his admirer Monck Mason, who also acquired some of Lyon's collections relating to Dublin and its environs(3).

The documented links between Lyon with Swift have been explored thoroughly. However, other aspects of Lyon's career, although sparsely documented, can throw light on the intellectual life of the time. In particular, Lyon reveals the development of antiquarian interests among the educated and sociable Protestants in the Irish capital. In turn, an examination of Lyon's activities may help to reconstruct some contexts in which Swift himself operated. Much of Lyon's known work occurred after Swift had died. Nevertheless, his labours had begun in the 1730s and owed at least something to Swift's encouragement.

'The very accurate and intelligent' Lyon published nothing himself. Instead, he laid the foundations for the work of others, notably by re-arranging and cataloguing the archives of the two Dublin cathedrals and of Trinity College(4). The connection with St Patrick's began while Swift was dean. In 1740, he was appointed to a minor canonry in the cathedral. However, before that (in 1738) - and more suggestive of his skills - he was paid ten guineas by the cathedral chapter, for his "collections illustrating the history of St Patrick's"(5). This is the earliest indication of the talent on which Lyon's posthumous reputation rests. Not only did Lyon attend to the apparently disordered muniments of St Patrick's, but he was invited to undertake similar work in the other Dublin cathedral of Christ Church and at Trinity College (his alma mater), as well as in Dean Swift's private library. He gathered together and sorted what was scattered; he indexed and re-arranged documents; in some cases he copied them. Thanks to these labours, the material became easier to consult and use. In several cases, his intervention ensured that the material survives, either in the original or through his transcripts.

Two immediate questions occur and a third seems worth asking. First, where had Lyon acquired his recondite skills in palaeography? Second, why in the 1730s was there, not just at St Patrick's, but elsewhere in Dublin, an upsurge of interest in these types of records? Third, what were the causes and consequences of Lyon's pioneering activities? The little that is known of Lyon's antecedents can not really explain his enthusiasm for or expertise in historical manuscripts. He came from the Dublin world of skilled artisans and craft-workers, and graduated from Trinity College in 1729(6). All that may be deduced from these facts is that he had grown up under the shadow of the physical survivals from earlier ages that still abounded in the capital, notably the dilapidated fabrics of the two cathedrals. The college, contrary to what critics have averred, was not sunk in intellectual torpor. Among fellows and recent graduates, either mentors or contemporaries of Lyon, were avid enquirers and collectors, such as Patrick Delany, John and Samuel Madden and Claudius Gilbert. It was an atmosphere sympathetic both to practical innovations and to the investigation of Irish antiquities. But it was not one in which Lyon could obviously have learnt his technical palaeographical skills. Thus, it is likely that he was largely self-taught, gradually accumulating experience as he deciphered the recondite materials.

The second issue is how and why what may have begun as a private hobby turned into labours supported by the leading ecclesiastical and academic institutions in Dublin. Any attempted explanation must mix utility and intellectual fashion. Leases, surveys and charters were needed to ensure that the legal corporation of St Patrick's, like other foundations, could collect its rents, repel competitors and uphold rights and privileges(7). These were powerful incentives to impose order on the prevalent disorder of the records. Others within the institutions showed similar concern. William King, as archbishop of Dublin from 1703 and earlier a dean of St Patrick's, wished to repel encroachments onto his jurisdiction. Accordingly, he had important documents copied(8). Swift, too, defended the legal rights of the dean and chapter, especially in the face of challenges from competitors and interlopers into the liberty of St Patrick's. Thus, from the early eighteenth century, there were diffuse and unsystematized moves to sort and copy documents(9). There was equal anxiety about the secular records of the Irish state, especially after a fire (in 1711) destroyed much stored close to the Council Chamber near Dublin Castle. It was hoped that the new parliament house being built in the late 1720s would include better accommodation for vital documents.

In his work for the two Dublin cathedrals, Lyon displayed a facility that surpassed that of the scriveners and scribes previously employed. Soon he cornered the market. He was assisted not just by his dexterity but also by his status as an ordained clergyman and - from 1740 - a member of the St Patrick's chapter(10). In consequence, he was re-arranging and listing much in the archives of the two cathedrals and in the library at Trinity College from the later 1730s(11). The arbitrariness with which he dismembered earlier arrangements of documents to fit his own principles may displease later archivists, but they concede how much the accessibility and even the survival of the manuscripts owe to him. In his own time, his familiarity with the contents of the collections meant that he would be consulted over knotty issues requiring reference to past precedents. Swift's successor as dean, Corbett, turned to him in exactly this way later in the 1740(12).

If the every-day affairs of the cathedral explained why Lyon was first commissioned to re-order the muniments, it is possible to see Swift's influence, as much as that of the generality of the chapter, behind Lyon's employment. Swift may first have gauged Lyon's potential and entrusted tasks to him - initially for the chapter but soon for himself(13). However, utility was not the sole reason for Lyon's employment. Rather there was a growing interest in the history of the foundation which, it can be argued, was part of a wider movement. It was evident in the greater care of the fabric and in the wish to memorialize it in print: preoccupations that strengthened during Swift's time as dean(14). Before Lyon was involved, a more idiosyncratic researcher, Isaac Butler, was used by St Patrick's. The intention was to make historical collections, out of which a history of St Patrick's could be constructed and then - perhaps - published. Butler lacked Lyon's methodical approach. Butler's fame, even notoriety, was as an astrologer, quack and compiler of almanacs(15). Yet he was regarded by the chapter as fit to be retained for historical investigations. And he did indeed share with Lyon an interest in the antiquities of Ireland, which soon would be channelled into the work of the Physico-Historical Society(16). Undoubtedly there were reasons specific to St Patrick's to account for the activities first of Butler then of Lyon. Neither resulted in a published history: that had to wait until Monck Mason in 1819 and 1820. But the interest in the annals of St Patrick's was not an isolated instance of antiquarianism. In particular, two contemporary ventures parallel and may even connect with that of Lyon at St Patrick's. They are the scheme to compile and publish histories of all Irish counties. This project was associated with the entrepreneurial Walter Harris. Harris was also behind the second venture: to revise and republish the historical and topographical writings of the seventeenth-century scholar, Sir James Ware. A first step had been the publication in 1736 of a new version of Ware's history of Irish writers. This was designed to rout detractors who supposed that 'Irishman, coward and blockhead were synonymous terms'. It also railed at the promotion of Englishmen to the most prestigious posts within Ireland, with the resulting discouragement to those educated locally in Trinity College(17). Having tested the water, Harris projected a grander edition of Ware. In order to increase its attractiveness and so entrap subscribers, he commissioned drawings of the cathedrals and some of their most striking contents. These were made by Jonas Blaymires and then engraved for insertion into the new edition. Blaymires drew several aspects of St Patrick's. Blaymires's record of the stones and marbles of the cathedral was undertaken at the same moment as Lyon began his labours among the parchment and vellum. Some of Blaymires's drawings were sponsored by Harris, but more were commissioned by the dean and chapter for their own purposes(18).

This coincidence in timing was not mere chance. There were similarities in aim behind Harris's ambitious undertakings and Lyon's seemingly more limited activities. Both indicated a wish to make more widely available information hitherto the preserve of a few adepts and initiates. As much is revealed by the terms in which Lyon apostrophized one of the institutions for which he was working: not St Patrick's, but Christ Church cathedral. 'The idea of your ancestors was to hide away in safety the charters and muniments belonging to this most ancient and august metropolitan church, yours indeed was to examine and free them from the forgetful injuries of time…In your judgement, unless I am deceived, it is indeed shameful to be learned in ecclesiastical things relating to foreign people but ignorant of one's own'(19).

Pride in local foundations, manifest in Lyon's rare statement and in his endeavours, shaded into a patriotism developing and strengthening among the more thoughtful members of the Protestant élite in Ireland during the 1720s and 1730s. It had led, in 1731, to the establishment of the Dublin Society. It expressed itself also in the projecting and pamphleteering to which Swift himself was a notable contributor(20). The practical schemes of agricultural and commercial improvement patronized by the Dublin Society have attracted applause(21). The Dublin Society bulks so large because it has a continuous history from 1731 to the present, and its directors were experts in self-promotion. Moreover, the works that it publicized and sometimes subsidized conformed most closely to conventional ideas of material improvement and constructive patriotism. Yet the same spirit that inspired the Dublin Society lay behind the separate but related work of Harris directed into the shorter-lived Physico-Historical Society.

The latter, like the Dublin Society, was the culmination of earlier scattered and episodic attempts to realise Ireland's potential riches and invigorate agriculture, manufacturing and trade. One method was to advertise and popularize innovations, often introduced from outside Ireland. Another was to survey more exactly the natural resources of the island as the prerequisite for their profitable utilization. Alongside these empirical enquiries were more subjective ones into the supposed reasons for the underdevelopment and unsettled history of Ireland(22). Most who addressed the questions concluded that there were characteristics intrinsic to the Irish and to Catholics which inhibited enthusiastic adoption of tried and tested techniques from elsewhere. In consequence, the analyses and commentaries tended to be celebrations of the benefits conferred by English rule and the spread of Protestantism in Ireland. These connections were made explicitly in the county histories published under the aegis of the Physico-Historical Society and promoted most strenuously by Harris in the 1740s and 1750s. The Society declared in 1745 that its 'aim is to procure proper collections for the natural and civil history of the several counties of this kingdom, whereby the many gross misrepresentations it lies under may be removed and a foundation laid for the improvement of the arts and sciences'(23). Protestant partisanship pulsed through other of Harris's publications. Harris eulogized William III as the deliverer of the Irish Protestants from the resurgence of Catholic power and as the ruler who put in place the structures and conditions necessary for the peace, prosperity and (arguably) modernization of Ireland. Harris also revisited the bloody episodes, especially in the 1640s, during which the Irish Protestants had been tested and refined in the furnace of persecution(24).

Lyon never contributed formally to Harris's several schemes. Undoubtedly they knew each other in the rather hermetic professional and intellectual worlds of mid-eighteenth-century Protestant Dublin. Lyon is listed as a subscriber to the second volume of Harris's edition of Ware, published in 1745. Both sat on the council of the Physico-Historical Society and are recorded as being present together at a meeting in 1749(25). Beside Harris, Lyon remains a more retiring and less aggressive propagandist of the Protestant interest. His practical concerns were channelled into the voluntary and philanthropic bodies that flourished in mid-eighteenth century Ireland, notably Swift's Hospital. He served as secretary to the governors between 1746 and 1786, and became a governor in 1773(26). At the same time, the unobtrusive Lyon continued a powerful current in Protestant clerical scholarship, which reached back to Archbishop Ussher, and flowed strongly throughout the eighteenth century. These Irish Protestant partisans annexed St Patrick and other heroic figures in early Christian Ireland to the history of the Protestant Church of Ireland(27).

Lyon's researches into the pre-reformation records of the Church of Ireland lacked any explicit confessional and propagandist programme, but one was implicit in his undertaking. The continuities between the post-reformation and pre-reformation Church of Ireland could be more fully documented thanks to the materials that he made accessible. Similar if not greater help was given to the apologists of the emerging Irish Protestant ascendancy by Lyon's cataloguing much in the library of Trinity College. Lyon like the majority of clergy of the Church of Ireland had studied at the university; so, too, had Harris. The college's collections, built up over more than a century, were miscellaneous and often the product of serendipity rather than of focussed purchasing. Nevertheless, given the missionary purpose of the college, Protestant polemic and dogma as well as virulent anti-catholicism were well represented on its shelves(28). This feature became even more marked at the very moment when Lyon was engaged on his surveys. John Stearne, Swift's predecessor at St Patrick's and successively bishop of Dromore and Clogher, assembled a vast library of manuscripts and printed works. Towards the end of his life, in 1740, Stearne attended to the future of the valuable assemblage. Much was given to Trinity; some to the recent foundation adjacent to St Patrick's, Archbishop Marsh's library at St Sepulchre's(29).

Notable among Stearne's bequests to Trinity were the originals of the depositions taken in the aftermath of the 1641 uprising. The thirty-three volumes of depositions assumed a talismanic significance. Here, it was contended, was a uniquely detailed and authentic account of what the Protestants of Ireland had endured at the hands of their Catholic neighbours. The record at once justified the subsequent legal restrictions loaded onto the Catholics of Ireland and warned later generations of Protestants against relaxing their vigilance towards supposedly inveterate adversaries(30).

Stearne himself made no obvious use of the voluminous documents. Rather he was content that they go to a repository where they would be secure. In time, he presumed, both scholars and partisans would investigate the collection. This passivity and reticence on Stearne's part resembled that of Lyon. Each wished to ensure that unique materials survived. The ambition was not altogether disinterested. Each, as an ordained cleric in the established Church of Ireland, was anxious to vindicate its considerable privileges. But they did not engage in the publicity-seeking of Harris, active on behalf of both himself and the larger Protestant interest in Ireland. Harris wanted selections from the materials of the 1640s published as a tocsin against possible relaxations of the legal penalties on the Catholics. Stearne and Lyon may have been more discreet than Harris, but their collecting and cataloguing aided the construction of more detailed histories of an Ireland that owed its main achievements to the intervention and energy of the English and of Protestants.

By the 1730s and 1740s, the Dublin Society proclaimed itself the principal agency working for further improvements. Yet, many, even when broadly sympathetic to its aims, did not join. Among the abstainers were George Berkeley and Jonathan Swift. Others, like Harris and Lyon, preferred to direct their endeavours into the Physico-Historical Society. They worked independently to quicken the sluggish economy. The Physico-Historical Society came into formal being only in the mid-1740s and foundered within a decade. Representing itself as complementary to rather than competitive with the senior Dublin Society, it attracted some already prominent in the Dublin Society, such as Henry Maule, successively bishop of Dromore and Meath. Others, notably Bishop Berkeley, would have nothing to do with either organization. As Berkeley explained from his rural retreat at Cloyne, 'I wish them well but do not care to list myself among them'(31).

For Lyon, the Physico-Historical Society offered a convenient and congenial outlet for his public spiritedness. He served on its council. Lyon's place within its inner circle, along with Harris, and also Swift's successor as dean, Francis Corbett, Dean Corbet of St Patrick's, Richard Pococke, soon to be bishop of Ossory, and the Church of Ireland clerics Matthew Pilkington and Kane Perceval, reveals something of the different appeal and orientation of the Physico-Historical Society in comparison with the Dublin Society. Lyon's companions also included James Simon, the numismatist, and John Lodge. The unpublished researches of Lodge into public and private records, in order to compile an accurate Irish peerage, can be compared in volume and thoroughness to Lyon's(32).

The directors of the Physico-Historical Society were not, for the most part, prosperous squires. Rather they were recruited from the professionals, clerics and rentiers of Protestant Dublin. Furthermore, the activists within the Physico-Historical Society preserved more of the traditional approach to the improvement of Ireland by insisting that a prerequisite was an accurate survey - county by county - of the terrain and its natural resources. The descriptions included the antiquities that featured conspicuously in Harris's expanded edition of Ware's works and that were the focus of Lyon's and Lodge's labours. The most prolific contributor to the Physico-Historical Society's programme of publishing county histories was Charles Smith, an apothecary from Dungarvan(33). Smith would be praised in 1756 as 'the diligent antiquarian whose delight is to explore the minutiae of former ages'(34).

Lyon might well have been celebrated in similar terms. His antiquarianism, as I have suggested, had both utilitarian and ideological (or confessional) applications. For him, as for others in the Physico-Historical Society, careful study of the past could bring better understanding of the present and hopes of a brighter future for Ireland. If investigations into old records and fabrics were merely a means to contemporary ends, incidental benefits were becoming apparent in the 1730s. Interest in recording what survived from distant ages might mutate into concern to preserve those survivals. Blaymires, the artist employed by Harris and by the dean and chapter of St Patrick's, exemplified this trend. Lyon - and his contemporary Lodge - showed another facet of the developing antiquarianism. They wished to locate, collate and order the literary and legal relics of the past: again with the aim of preserving them as the essential preliminary to their proper interpretation. This antiquarianism is best understood was a manifestation of the patriotism that burgeoned in the face of the disasters and provocations in the Ireland of the 1720s: that same patriotism that animated so much of Swift's invective. Swift himself may not have been of an antiquarian bent, but he took pride in the ancient institution over which he presided. Not only did he act decisively to preserve its fabric, by introducing Lyon into the place he helped to ensure the preservation and eventual publicizing of the antiquities of St Patrick's.

Notes and References

1. W.M. Mason, Hibernia antiqua et hodierna, being a topographical account of Ireland (Dublin, 1819), pp 65, note n, lxiii.

2. I. Ehrenpreis, Swift: the man, his works and the age (3 vols, London, 1962-83), iii, pp 847, 902, 903, 911; W. Le Fanu, A catalogue of books belonging to Dr Jonathan Swift (Cambridge, 1988), p. 7; H. Williams, Dean Swift's library (Cambridge, 1932), pp 20-1, 61-2.

3. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Forster Ms. 579. For a more complete version of Lyon's additions, see: A.C. Elias, Jr., 'John Lyon's "Materials for a life of Dr Swift", Swift Studies, 13 (1998), pp. 27-104. The other collections are now NLI, Mss. 100-105.

4. Catalogue of books, records and leases of the dean and chapter of St Patrick's, Dublin, RCB, C.; Catalogue, TCD, Ms. MUN/Lib/1/53; cf. W. Harris (ed), The whole works of Sir James Ware concerning Ireland revised and improved, 3 vols (Dublin, 1739), i, sig. a2.

5. Chapter Act Book, St Patrick's, 1720-63, s.d. 9 May 1735, 11 Jan. 1737[8], 17 March 1740[1], 15 May 1741, 17 March 1742[3]; RCB, C.; Proctors' accounts, St Patrick's, 1718-35, s.d. 9 May 1735; 1735-55, s.d. 14 Jan. 1737[8], 4 June 1741, 17 March 1742[3], ibid., C 2.1.10 (1 and 2).

6. G.D. Burtchaell and T.U. Sadleir, Alumni Dublinenses (Dublin, 1935), p. 519.

7. See, for example, two guard books with their contents listed by Lyon: RCB, C.2.1.22/1 and 2.

8. Abp W. King to Revd E. Synge, 27 Feb. 1704[5] and 17 March 1704[5], RCBL, C.2.1.22/46, nos 81 and 85; account books of Archbishop W. King, TCD Mss, 752/2, f.193; 752/3, ff. 97, 141v; Bp J. Evans to Abp W. Wake, 23 Dec. 1720, Christ Church, Oxford, Wake MS. 13, f. 215.

9. Records of court leet, liberty of St Patrick's, s.d. 17 Dec. 1701, RCBL, C.2.1.22 (2); Proctors' accounts, St Patrick's Cathedral, s.d. 4 July 1722, RCBL, C.2.1.10(1); H.H. Williams (ed.), The correspondence of Jonathan Swift (5 vols, Oxford, 1963-1965), ii, pp 193-8.

10. H.J. Lawlor, Fasti of St Patrick's, Dublin (Dundalk, 1930), pp 140, 146, 166, 204.

11. R. Gillespie, 'The archives of Christ Church cathedral, Dublin', Irish Archives. Journal of the Irish Society of Archives, 5 (1998), pp 3-12; W. O'Sullivan, 'Introduction to the collections' in M.L. Colker, Trinity College Dublin. Descriptive catalogue of the medieval and renaissance Latin manuscripts (Aldershot, 1991), pp 28-9; W. O'Sullivan, 'The eighteenth-century rebinding of the manuscripts', Long Room, i (1970), pp 19-28.

12. Rev. F. Corbet to J. Lyon, 23 June 1747, 22 Nov. 1749 and undated, RCBL, C.2.1.22/46.

13. Williams (ed.), Correspondence of Swift, iv, p. 534; v, p. 275.

14. T. Barnard, 'St Patrick's in the age of Swift' in J. Crawford and R. Gillespie (eds), A history of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, forthcoming.

15. Proctors' accounts, s.d. 1 June 1732, 9 May 1735 and accounts for 1743, C.2.1.10 (1 and 2); E. Evans, Historical and bibliographical account of almanacks published in Ireland (Dublin, 1897), pp. 58-60; M. Pollard, Dictionary of members of the Dublin book trade, 1550-1880 (London, 2000), p. 68. Butler was eulogized as 'a kind of gymonosophist and Rosicrucian well skilled in the occult sciences'. Minutes of 'the Medico-Politico-Physico-Classico-Ethical-Puffical Society', s.d. 7 Dec. 1756, RIA, Ms 24 K 31.

16. In 1747, the Physico-Historical Society agreed to pay Butler to collect botanical specimens in the provinces. Minute Book of the Physico-Historical Society, s.d. 10 June 1747, 6 July 1747, 9 Feb. 1747[8], RIA, Ms 24 E 28. Butler was to be paid at a daily rate of 3s 6d. Making botanical collections was perhaps less taxing than historical ones.

17. [James Ware], Historiographorum Aliorumque Scriptorum Hiberniae Commentarium: or, a history of the Irish writers (Dublin, 1736), preface.

18. Proctors' accounts, St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin, s.d. 19 March 1736[7], 17 March 1737[8], 12 May 1738, 19 Oct. 1742, June 1743, RCBL, C.2.1.10(2); T.C. Barnard, 'Art, architecture, artefacts and Ascendancy', Bullàn, 1, no.2 (1994), p. 26; W.G. Strickland, A dictionary of Irish artists, 19. M. Sheehy, 'The Registrum Novum', Reportorium Novum, iii (1963-4), pp 249-50.

20. J.S. Kelly, 'Jonathan Swift and the Irish economy in the 1720s', Eighteenth-Century Ireland, vi (1991), pp. 7-36; P.H. Kelly, 'The politics of political economy in mid-eighteenth-century Ireland' in S.J. Connolly (ed.), Political ideas in eighteenth-century Ireland (Dublin, 2000), pp. 105-29.

21. For the membership, see: [F. Mulligan], The founders of the Royal Dublin Society (Dublin, 2005), pp 50-6; for the ethos and activities: H.F. Berry, A history of the Royal Dublin Society (London, 1915), pp. 24-7; D. Clarke, Thomas Prior 1681-1751 (Dublin, 1951); D. Clarke and J. Meenan (eds) The Royal Dublin Society 1731-1981 (Dublin, 1981); M. Dunlevy, 'Samuel Madden and the scheme for the encouragement of useful manufactures' in A. Bernelle (eds.), Decantations: a tribute of Maurice Craig (Dublin, 1992), pp 21-8; J. Livesey, 'The Dublin Society in eighteenth-century political thought', Historical Journal, xlvii (2004), pp. 615-40.

22. The fullest account of the thinking and activities of the Society is E. Magennis, ' "A land of milk and honey": the Physico-Historical Society, improvement and the surveys of mid-eighteenth-century Ireland', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 102, section C (2002), pp 199-217. For some of the earlier ventures: T. Barnard, 'The Hartlib circle and the cult and culture of improvement' in M. Greengrass, M. Leslie and T. Raylor (eds), Samuel Hartlib and universal reformation (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 381-97; K.T. Hoppen, The common scientist in the seventeenth century: a study of the Dublin Philosophical society, 1683-1708 (London, 1970).

23. Minute Book of the Physico-Historical Society, s.d. 4 Nov. 1745, RIA, Ms 24 E 28.

24. T. Barnard, '1641: a bibliographical essay' in B. Mac Cuarta (ed.), Ulster 1641: aspects of a rising (Belfast, 1993), pp. 182, 226, n. 42; E. Magennis, 'A "Beleagured Protestant"? Walter Harris and the writing of Fiction Unmasked in mid-eighteenth-century Ireland', Eighteenth-Century Ireland, 13 (1998), pp 86-111; M. Pollard, Dublin's trade in books, 1550-1800Oxford, 1989), pp 177-8.

25. Minutes of the Physico-Historical Society, 6 March 1748[9], RIA, Ms. 24 E 28. Also present on that occasion were John Putland, the quintessential civic-minded Dubliner, Thomas Prior, the Quaker physician, John Rutty and Richard Pococke, an indefatigable traveller and soon to be bishop of Ossory.

26. E. Malcolm,Swift's Hospital: a history of St Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, 1746-1989Dublin, 1989), pp. 311, 317.

27. T. Barnard, 'Scholars and Antiquarians: the clergy and learning, 1600-2000' in T. Barnard and W.G. Neely (eds), clergy of the Church of Ireland, 1000-2000: messengers, watchmen and stewards Dublin, 2006), pp 231-9; B. Cunningham and R. Gillespie, ' "The most versatile of saints": the cult of St Patrick in the seventeenth century', Archivium Hibernicum, xlix (1995), pp 82-104; Alan Ford, 'James Ussher and the creation of an Irish Protestant identity', in B. Bradshaw and P. Roberts (eds), British consciousness and identity: the making of Britain, 1533-1707 (Cambridge, 1998), pp 185-212; J. McCafferty, 'St Patrick for the Church of Ireland', Bullàn, 3 (1997-9), pp 87-101; B. McCormack, Perceptions of St Patrick in the eighteenth century (Dublin, 2000).

28. E. Boran, 'The libraries of Luke Challoner and James Ussher, 1595-1608' in H. Hammerstein-Robinson (ed.), European universities n the age of Reformation and Counter-Reformation (Dublin, 1998), pp 75-115; eadem, 'The function of the library in the early seventeenth century' in V. Kinane and A. Walsh (eds), Essays on the history of Trinity College Library (Dublin, 2000), pp 39-52.

29. J. Copping to Sir H. Sloane, 2 June 1738, British Library, Sloane Ms. 4055, f. 338; Register of the Board, Trinity College, Dublin, s.d. 21 July 1742, TCD, MUN/V/3; bill of T. Reilly, 24 Aug. 1742, ibid, MUN/LIB/10/153a; list of pamphlets owned by Bishop Stearne and donated to the library of Trinity, TCD, Ms. 2932; will of Bp J. Stearne and act implementing its provisions, 1744, 1773, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, DIO 4/9/5/1/1, 6 and 7; T. Barnard, 'A bishop and his books: John Stearne', forthcoming; W. O'Sullivan, 'John Madden's manuscripts' in Kinane and Walsh (eds), Essays on the history of Trinity College Library, pp 104-113.

30. . Barnard, 'Sir John Gilbert' in M. Clark, Y. Desmond and N.P. Hardiman (eds), Sir John T. Gilbert, 1829-1898: historian, archivist and librarian (Dublin, 1999), pp 92-110; A. Clarke, 'The 1641 depositions' in P. Fox (ed.), Treasures of the library, Trinity College, Dublin (Dublin, 1986), p. 112.

31. The works of George Berkeley, bishop of Cloyne, ed. A.A. Luce and T.E. Jessop (9 vols, London, 1948-57), viii, p. 286.

32. Minutes of the Physico-Historical Society, 16 Feb. 1746[7], RIA, Ms. 24 E 28.

33. Lyon is recorded as a subscriber to C. Smith, The antient and present state of the county and city of Waterford (Dublin, 1746).

34. Minutes of 'the Medico-Politico-Physico-Classico-Ethical-Puffical Society', s.d. 22 July 1756, RIA, Ms 24 K 31.

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