« AnteriorContinuar »
spirit of conviviality was by no means excluded from the pale of the church of Ireland.'
The following peers resided in Kildare-street, in the last century: viscount Hilsborough (1750); lord Doneraile (1751), whose house is now known as No. 45; the earl of Louth (1783); viscount Dungannon (1783); lord Muskerry (1783); the earl of Courtown (1783); lord Harberton (1783), his house is the present No. 5; the earl of Portarlington (1793); lord Trimleston (1799); and lord Rossmore, the site of whose spacious mansion is occupied by three houses, built about 1837, which at present form Elvidge's hotel. Hussey Burgh resided in Kildare-street from 1770 to 1772; John Hely Hutchinson, created prime sergeant in 1761, resided here till he was appointed provost of the University of Dublin in 1774; and here also sir Henry Cavendish, teller of the exchequer, erected two houses on a plot of ground demised to him by James, earl of Kildare. Cavendish died in 1776, owing to the government the sum of £67,305 7s. 2d., a portion of which was recovered from his representatives; in November, 1782, the interest in one of the houses erected here by him was conveyed to David La Touche, the younger, "in trust and for the use of the gentlemen of the Kildare-street club," an institution founded in that year, on the occasion, it has been said, of the right honorable William Burton Conyngham having been black-balled at Daly's in Dame-street, already noticed. In 1786 the club, through their treasurer, La Touche, purchased the second house erected by Cavendish, which, with the former one, now forms the Kildare-street club house. Of this institution a recent writer has left the following anecdote :
"Within these forty years lord Llandaff proposed his brother general Montague Mathew as a candidate for adinission into the Kildare-street club, Dublin. Montague was black-balled. Eighty-five black-balls registered the political rancour of the club, which was eminently Tory; amongst whom, nevertheless, the sons of three Roman Catholic brewers (C. F. and M.) figured; but they had been admitted because they had fixed political principles, and to give to the club an apparent claim to a character for liberality of opinion. When the numbers were declared, the great room of the club was full. lord Mathew, or rather Llandaff, (for his father was now dead), closed the door, and put his back to it. He then said in a loud voice: 'There are eighty-five rascals in this room.' 'Llandaff! Llandaff! recal those words,' cried several of his friends. No, I
will not. I repeat that there are eighty-five Scoundrels in this room.' Surely, my lord, you will allow men to exercise their right?' Certainly I will; but I repeat my words-there are eighty. five scoundrels in this room, for every man it contains pledged himself to me to vote for my brother's admission.' The effect of this statement may be conceived. The haughty, indignant, and now supercilious earl, after a pause, proceeded amidst breathless attention: Montague Mathew is the only man in Ireland for whom I could not succeed in procuring admission into this club. Who among you is better entitled to the distinction, if it were one, than Montague Mathew? Which of you is of a nobler family, or more illustrious descent? Who among you is more Irish, or rather more patriotic in principle and conduct, than he? Bear in mind, every man of you, that I denounce eighty-five of those who hear me as scoundrels!' He then threw open the door, and for the last time descended the staircase of the Kildare-street club."
Barry Yelverton, chief baron of the exchequer, resided in Kildare-street from 1792 to 1798, where also was the 'residence of Richard Power, baron of the same court, from 1771 to his death in 1793.
"Baron Power," says one of his contempories, 66 was considered an excellent lawyer, and was altogether one of the most curious characters I have met in the profession. He was a morose, fat fellow, affecting to be genteel: he was very learned, very rich, and very ostentatious. Unfortunately for himself, baron Power held the office of usher of the court of chancery, which was principally remunerated by fees on monies lodged in that court. Lord Clare (then chancellor) hated and teazed him, because Power was arrogant himself, and never would succumb to the arrogance of Fitzgibbon. The chancellor had a certain control over the usher; at least he had a sort of license for abusing him by inuendo, as an officer of the court, and most unremittingly did he exercise that license. Baron Power had a large private fortune, and always acted in office strictly according to the custom of his predecessors; but was attacked so virulently and pertinaciously by lord Clare, that having no redress, it made a deep impression, first on his pride, then on his mind, and at length on his intellect. Lord Clare followed up his blow, as was common with him; he made incessant attacks on the baron, who chose rather to break than bend; and who, unable longer to stand this persecution, determined on a prank of all others the most agreeable to his adversary! The baron walked quietly down early one fine morn ing to the south wall, which runs into the sea, about two miles from Dublin; there he very deliberately filled his coat pockets with pebbles; and having accomplished that business, as deliberately walked into the ocean, which however did not retain him long, for his body was thrown ashore with great contempt by the tide. His estates devolved upon his nephews, two of the most respectable men of their country; and the lord chancellor enjoyed the double gratification of destroying a baron, and recommending a more submissive officer in
his place. Had the matter ended here, it might not have been so very remarkable; but the precedent was too respectable and inviting not to be followed by persons who had any particular reasons for desiring strangulation; as a judge drowning himself gave the thing a sort of dignified legal éclat! It so happened, that a Mr. Morgal, then an attorney residing in Dublin, (of large dimensions, and with shin bones curved like the segment of a rainbow,) had, for good and sufficient reasons, long appeared rather dissatisfied with himself and other people. But as attorneys were considered much more likely to induce their neighbours to cut their throats than to execute that office upon themselves, nobody ever suspected Morgal of any intention to shorten his days in a voluntary_manner. However, it appeared that the signal success of baron Power had excited in the attorney a great ambition to get rid of his sensibilities by a similar exploit. In compliance with such his impression, he adopted the very same preliminaries as the baron had done; walked off by the very same road, to the very same spot; and having had the advantage of knowing from the coroner's inquest, that the baron had put pebbles into his pocket with good effect, adopted likewise this judicial precedent, and committed himself in due form to the hands of father Neptune, who took equal care of him as he had done of the baron; and, after having suffocated him so completely as to defy the exertions of the Humane Society, sent his body floating ashore, to the full as bloated and buoyant as baron Power's had been. As a sequel to this little anecdote of Crosby Morgal, it is worth observing, though I do not recollect any of the attorneys immediately following his example; four or five of his clients very shortly after started from this world of their own accord, to try, as people then said, if they could any way overtake Crosby, who had left them no conveniencies for staying long behind him.”
John Forbes, M.P. for and recorder of Drogheda, one of the most zealous advocates of Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform, resided in Kildare-street from 1785 to 1796. The Whig club" occasionally assembled in Forbes' house here, and the Catholic convention of 1793 originated from a meeting held there in 1792, at which were present George Ponsonby, lord Donoughmore, Grattan, Keogh, Edmund Byrne, and others:
"Without any very distinguished natural abilities, and but moderately acquainted with literature, by his zealous attachment to Mr. Grattan, his public principles, and attention to business, Mr. Forbes received much respect, and acquired some influence in the house of commons. He had practised at the bar with a probability of success, but he mistook his course; and became a statesman, as which he never could rise to any distinction. As a lawyer, he undervalued himself, and was modest; as a statesman, he over-rated himself, and was presumptuous. He benefited his party by his indefatigable zeal, and reflected upon it by his character; he was a good Irishman, and, to the last, undeviating in his public principles. He died in honorable exile, as governor of the Bahama isles."
In Kildare-street also was the residence of sir Kildare Dixon Borrowes, bart., of Giltown, co. Kildare, of whose house here Moore has left the following juvenile reminiscence :
"Among the most intimate friends of my schoolmaster,* were the Rev. Joseph Lefanu and his wife,-she was the sister of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. This lady, who had a good deal of the talent of her family, with a large alloy of affectation, was, like the rest of the world at that time, strongly smitten with the love of acting; and in some private theatricals held at the house of a lady Borrowes, in Dublin, had played the part of Jane Shore with considerable success. A repetition of the same performance took place at the same little theatre in the year 1790, when Mrs. Lefanu being, if I recollect right, indisposed; the part of Jane Shore was played by Mr. Whyte's daughter, a very handsome and well-educated young person, while I myself-at that time about eleven years of age-recited the epilogue; being kept up, as I well remember, to an hour so far beyond my usual bed time, as to be near falling asleep behind the scenes while waiting for my début. As this was the first time I ever saw my name in print, and I am now myself the little hero of my tale,' it is but right I should commemorate the important event by transcribing a part of the play-bill on the occasion, as I find it given in the second edition of my master's poetical works, printed in Dublin, 1792:—
" LADY BORROWES' PRIVATE THEATRE,
On Tuesday, March 16th, 1790,
The Tragedy of
And Jane Shore, by Miss Whyte.
the Farce of
THE DEVIL TO PAY.
Jobson, Colonel French,
Many years subsequent to the performance here commemorated, Moore formed one of the distinguished literary and artistic circle assembled by the authoress of the "Wild Irish Girl" at the house of sir Charles Morgan, which is now known as number 39 Kildare-street.
* For a memoir of Samuel Whyte, see the paper on Grafton-street, IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. III., p. 20.
ART. IV. THE GARRET, THE CABIN, AND
1. The Rookeries of London: Past, Present, and Prospective. By Thomas Beames, M.A., Preacher and Assistant of
St. James', Westminster. Second edition, 1 vol. 8vo.
2. Crime: Its Amount, Causes, and Remedies. By Frederick Hill, Barrister-at-Law, Late Inspector of Prisons, 1 vol. 8vo. London: John Murray. 1853.
3. The Social Condition and Education of the People in England and Europe; Shewing the Results of the Primary Schools, and of the Division of Landed Property in Foreign Countries. By Joseph Kay, Esq., M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge, Barrister-at-Law, and late Travelling Bachelor of the University of Cambridge, 2 vols. 8vo. London: Longman and Co. 1850.
4. The Conditions and Education of Poor Children in English and in German Towns. Published by the Manchester Statistical Society. By Joseph Kay, Esq., M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge, Barrister-at-Law; Author of "The Social Condition and Education of the People in England and Europe." London: Longman and Co.
5. Moral-Sanatory Economy. By Henry M'Cormack, M.D., Consulting Physician to the Belfast General Hospital, Visiting Physician to the District Asylum for the Insane, Recent Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine in the Royal Belfast Institution, Corresponding Member of the American Institute, Washington. Belfast: Printed for Private Circulation, by Alexander Mayne. 1853. 6. Juvenile Depravity. £100 Prize Essay. By Rev. Henry Worsley, M.A., late Michel Scholar of Queen's College, Oxford, Rector of Euston, Suffolk. Dedicated, by special permission, to the Lord Bishop of Norwich. London: Charles Gilpin. 1849.
7. Report from the Select Committee on Outrages (Ireland). Ordered to be printed June 4th, 1852.
To the man who looks but at the surface of our social condition, who sees London thronged by a teeming population, who observes on every side the tokens of enterprize, the riches of the