Irish Barrister Escapes Prison, Elopes to France in a Barrel, 1820

Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin, c.1800, from whence Mr Hodgens would certainly have taken ship to France, though whether in a barrel or not is debatable.

From the Weekly Irish Times, 26 April 1902:

“In the early years of the last century, a youthful barrister named Hodgins, just called to the bar, fell in love with a pretty girl he had noticed coming out of a fashionable boarding school in Mary Street. She smiled upon him, they managed in some way to become acquainted in spite of difficulties, and then he eloped with and married her. But ‘the course of true love never did run smooth.’ The young lady was an heiress, and a read more

Served up on a Staffordshire Platter: The Four Courts, c.1820

A blue transfer-printed Staffordshire china platter, with a central scene depicting the Four Courts, c.1820.

Perhaps originally part of some barrister’s dining set? Now in New England.

Some details below (zoom in closer here).

(1) A very early view of Morgan Place at the side of the courts.

(2) White-trousered gentlemen, possibly sailors? The couple should keep an eye on that dog – pets were regularly stolen on the quays.

(3) The very new Richmond Bridge in the distance. Track its evolution read more

As It Was: Images of the Inns Quay/Arran Quay Junction, 1753-present

This fantastic map from the Dublin City Council Digital Archive (minutely zoomable version available to download here) shows the junction of Inns Quay and Arran Quay in 1790, not long before the opening of the Four Courts on the old Inns of Court site close by.

The bridge appearing on the map is the Old Bridge of Dublin, replaced in 1818 by today’s Father Mathew (formerly Whitworth) Bridge. But what are those clusters of buildings on either side?

According to Liffey read more

A Bear in the Dock, 1875

From the Freeman’s Journal, 2 April 1875:

“A Bear in the Dock

Two Frenchmen were charged with causing an obstruction to the public thoroughfare at Pill-Lane, that morning, by exhibiting a dancing bear.

The prisoners were placed in the dock, with the bear between them. It was a shaggy, uncouth-looking animal, not at all like that which Goldsmith’s bear leader described as never dancing but to the genteelest music, ‘Water Parting,’ or the duet in ‘Ariadne.’

On read more

Future Judge Brings Legal Proceedings to Recover Dognapped Pet, 1830

The Ha’penny Bridge and Wellington Quay, Dublin, by Samuel Brocas, 1818, with the dome of the Four Courts in the distance. Click here to zoom in! Mr Harvey’s warehouse was located among the line of buildings on the left of this image, close to where the Clarence Hotel is today.

From the Pilot, Wednesday 19 October 1831:

“FIDELITY OF A DOG – On Thursday, a servant man of Mr Ball, the barrister, applied before the magistrates of the Head Office, and stated that he had seen a very large sized Newfoundland dog that day, which his master had lost about three months before at Messrs. Harvey’s warehouse, on Wellington Quay. He said that he had made application to some persons in the establishment to have the dog restored to his master, but was told that read more

Called to the Bar, June 1914

From the Irish Independent, 11 June 1914:

A grainier version of the above photo appears in the Freeman’s Journal of the same day, where the new barristers above are identified as Frederick Jerome Dempsey, Edward James Smyth, Samuel Spedding John, Thomas William Gillilan Johnson Hughes, Denis Bernard Kelly, Oliver L Moriarty, John Maher Loughnan, Isaac Roundtree, Ion George Wakely, Bernard Joshua Fox, John Henry de Burgh Shaw, Frederick William Callaghan, John McMahon, Edward Patrick McCarron, read more

The Mysterious Folding Doors of the Supreme Court, 1937-73

From the Evening Echo, 8 January 1973, this wonderful article about the Irish Supreme Court and its former Chief Justices:

For a whole decade – 1923-1932 – the Four Courts building was not in use and the Courts sat in the room in Dublin Castle which now comprise the State Apartments.

When the repaired Four Courts were opened the Supreme Court looked elegant as befitted the highest tribunal in the land. Directly opposite the Bench, in line with the approach from the Quay through read more

Aristocratic Insolence in the Dublin Police Court, 1830

Rutland Square, Dublin, c.1817, by William Frederick Brocas, via Mutual Art

From the Freeman’s Journal, 26 May 1830:



‘A chiel’s amang ye takin notes

And faith he’ll prent it.’

Robert Burns


Lord Langford attended before Mr Cole, the sitting magistrate at this office, to substantiate a complaint which he had previously preferred against James Carroll, a servant recently in his Lordship’s employment.

It appeared that Carroll had been for fifteen months in Lord Langford’s service; that read more

As It Was: Images of 145-151 Church Street, 1860 to date

This beautifully coloured image below, from Dublin City Digital Archive, shows the rear portion of the Law Library Distillery Building, 145-151 Church Street, when it really wasa distillery, owned by John Jameson & Co. You can zoom in on it even more closely here.

Jameson acquired the site 145-51 Church Street in 1911 and almost immediately demolished a considerable portion of the existing buildings on the site. The Distillery was then extended onto most of the now-vacant site.

Sadly, the read more

Dublin Solicitor Helps Couple Elope, Sends Them Bill of Costs, 1905

From the Dublin Daily Express, 8 December 1905:


In the King’s Bench Division yesterday, before Mr Justice Boyd, in the case of Hehir v Kelly and another, Mr Carrigan (instructed by Mr Edward McHugh) applied on behalf of the defendants, Denis Kelly and Mary Kelly, otherwise Molloy, residing in the City of Dublin, for an order that all future proceedings in the action should be stayed pending the taxation of the costs by the taxing officer, pursuant read more