St. Brides Parish, Dublin
Irish immigrant Brinsley Barnes was born 5 February 1713 at St. Brides Church in Dublin Ireland.
The following information about St. Brides Parish is extracted verbatim from the Triposo Travel Guide and may be found at https://www.triposo.com/poi/St2e_Bride27s_Church2C_Dublin.
St. Bride’s Church is a former Church of Ireland church located in Bride St., Dublin, Ireland.
The church Map (reprinted 1896) showing the layout of Dublin in 1610. St. Bride’s church is no. 64, located in St. Bride’s St. (no. 65) from Wikipedia by Joop Rotte Public domain
The original St. Bride’s church was an ancient Irish church located south of the walls of Dublin, dating back to pre-Viking times, and dedicated to St. Bridget. It was located north-east of where St. Patrick’s Cathedral now stands. By a grant of St. Laurence O’Toole in 1178, its revenues were appropriated to the Priory of the Holy Trinity (Christ Church Cathedral), but he was later transferred to the Economy Fund of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Until the Reformation, its history was devoid of incident.
The church (now belonging to the Church of Ireland) was rebuilt in 1684 by Nathaniel Foy, rector of St. Bride’s, born in York but educated in Dublin. He later became Bishop of Waterford where he founded Bishop Foy’s School.
St. Bride’s was closed in 1898, but its fine organ-case can still be seen in the National Museum of Ireland. It was demolished to make way for the housing development for the poor, the Iveagh Trust, financed by Edward Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh, which still stands on the spot.
A large number of parishioners were buried in the churchyard, some of whose remains were transferred to Mount Jerome Cemetery when the land was developed at the turn of the 20th century.
Thomas Carter (1690–1763), politician and Master of the Rolls in Ireland, was buried in the church.
O’Hanlon, the keeper of the Record Tower in Dublin Castle, who was killed by Howley, one of the insurgents during the rebellion of Robert Emmet in 1803, is buried here.
The developer and philanthropist Thomas Pleasants (1729–1818, after whom Pleasants Street was named) and his wife Mildred Daunt (died 1814) was buried in the churchyard. Among his donations were over £12,000 in 1814 for the erection of a large stove-house near Cork St. for poor weavers in the Liberties, £8,000 for the building of the Meath Hospital, and his own house (67 Camden St.) for the provision of a school and orphanage for Protestant girls, along with £1,200 a per annum operational grant and funding for modest dowries for the girls.
This parish consisted of a union of three smaller parishes: the ancient St. Bride’s, St. Stephen’s (which dated from the 13th century), and St. Michael de la Pole (also an Irish pre-Norse settlement).
In 1707 parts of the parish were taken, along with parts of the parishes of St. Peter and St. Kevin, to form the new parish of St. Anne. The parish extended along Bride St. as far as Ship St. (the location of the church of St. Michael de la Pole) on one end and Golden Lane at the other, and eastwards as far as George’s St. and Stephen St. (location of the original St. Stephen’s church). The parish corresponded to the civil parish of St. Bridget. In 1766, the government ordered a religious census to be carried out by the Protestant clergy, which showed the parish had 430 Catholic families and 84 Protestant families.
Owing to an influx of civil servants and its central location close to the center of power at Dublin Castle the parish initially did have some wealthy parishioners. However, a number of economic slumps affecting workers in the Liberties during the 18th century meant that by the 19th century the parish was one of the poorest in the city, containing many tenements which were unhygienic slums. In 1813 the parish population was 4,367 males and 5,272 females, of whom only a small minority were members of the Established (Church of Ireland) Church. The population continued to increase, especially during and after the Famine, when this part of Dublin was flooded with poverty-stricken country people looking for work and lodgings.
During a bad economic downturn in 1863 the Carmelite priest Father Spratt, from nearby Whitefriar St. Church, conducted house-to-house collections throughout the city to raise funds for the most destitute in the parish, which numbered 6,000. The then rector of St. Bride’s, Rev. William Carroll, also spent much of his time caring for the poor of the parish, both Catholic and Protestant – he was known as “Father” Carroll by the Catholics of the neighborhood.
In 1901 the population of the parish was 6,155 and in 1971, after many of the older houses in the neighborhood had been demolished, it was 1,335.