Geography, Cartography and Surveying

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Aher, David

Aher, David (c.1778–1842), cartographer and civil engineer, was probably the son of Patrick Aher, a Cork surveyor; he trained under his father, in the ‘French school of [John] Rocque’ (qv). A leading Irish surveyor-…

Bald, William

Bald, William (1789?–1857), civil engineer and surveyor, was born and educated in Burntisland, Fife, Scotland. His mother's name was Grizel Bell; he had at least one sister, who inherited property in the town. He left school aged 12 and was apprenticed to John Ainslie in Edinburgh.…

Bartlett (Barthelet), Richard

Bartlett (Barthelet), Richard (d. 1603?), cartographer, of Norfolk, England, may have been related to Thomas Berthelet (c.1490–1555), king's printer under Henry VIII, or to Edward Barthelet of Attleborough (d. 1605). He is thought to have taken part in the Ulster and…

Bartlett, William

Bartlett, William (1809–54), topographical draughtsman, was born 26 March 1809 in Kentish Town, London; nothing is known of his parents. In 1823 he was articled to the topographer and antiquarian, John Britton (1771–1857). During the seven years of his apprenticeship thirty-nine of…

Barton, Sir John George

Barton, Sir John George (1850–1937), engineer and surveyor, was born 13 October 1850 (possibly in Dundalk, Co. Louth), eldest son of James Barton (qv), a prominent engineer. John was one of the seven children of James Barton's first…

Beaufort, Daniel Augustus

Beaufort, Daniel Augustus (1739–1821), clergyman, architect, and cartographer, was born 1 October 1739 in London, son of Daniel Cornelius Beaufort and Esther Beaufort (née Gougeon), members of the huguenot community. The family moved to Ireland when Daniel's father became chaplain…

Beaufort, Sir Francis

Beaufort, Sir Francis (1774–1857), rear-admiral and hydrographer, was born 27 May 1774 at Flower Hill, Navan, Co. Meath, younger son of Daniel Augustus Beaufort (qv), rector of Navan, and Mary Beaufort (née Waller). He attended…

Beechey, Richard Brydges

Beechey, Richard Brydges (1808–95), artist, naval officer, and marine surveyor, was born 17 May 1808 in London, the youngest son of the noted portrait painter Sir William Beechey RA (1753–1839) and his second wife, Ann Phyllis…

Bretland, Josiah Corbett

Bretland, Josiah Corbett (1846–a.1921), engineer, architect, and city surveyor, was born 4 January 1846 in Nottingham, England, and articled (1863–7) to M. O. Tarbottom; nothing is known of his parents or early education. He was successively assistant surveyor (1868–84) and…

Browne, John

Browne, John (d. 1589), mapmaker, sheriff, and (in his words) ‘the first Englishman that in the memory of man settled himself to dwell in the county of Mayo’, was probably of the Anglo-Norman Brownes of Kilpatrick, Co. Westmeath. In August 1583, as servant to Sir Christopher Hatton…

Brownrigg, John

Brownrigg, John (1746/7–1838), land and canal surveyor, was apprenticed to, and then in partnership with, Bernard Scalé (1774–7) before becoming the partner of Thomas Sherrard at 123 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin. Nothing has been ascertained of his origins. He surveyed estates, canals…

Capper, Wilfrid Meredyth

Capper, Wilfrid Meredyth (1905–89), conservationist and creator of the Ulster Way, was born in Belfast on 12 July 1905, the second son of four children (two boys and two girls) of John Malcolmson Capper, a cotton yarn merchant, and Elizabeth Jane Capper (née Stewart); the family was…

Capstock (Capstocke), Francis

Capstock (Capstocke), Francis (d. 1596), deputy surveyor of Ireland and corrupt ally of Richard Boyle (qv), 1st earl of Cork, was appointed clerk of the pipe roll in the exchequer on 6 February 1589, and chief engrosser on 11 February. On…

Conyngham, Sir Gerald Ponsonby Lenox

Conyngham, Sir Gerald Ponsonby Lenox - (1866–1956), geodesist, was born 21 August 1866 at Springhill, Moneymore, Co. Londonderry, the seventh of ten children of Sir William Fitzwilliam Lenox-Conyngham, KCB,…

Dicuil (Dícuil(l))

Dicuil (Dícuil(l)) (c.760–p.825), Irish scholar-exile at the courts of Charles the Great and Louis the Pious, was an important author of several works on geography, computus, grammar, and astronomy. The only details of his life that are known are what can be…

Downes, George

Downes, George (1790–1846), travel writer and topographer, was born in South King St., Dublin, son of John Downes; no details of his mother are known. He worked as a draper's assistant in his youth before being befriended by one of the Shackletons of Ballitore, Co. Kildare, who…

Evans, Emyr Estyn

Evans, Emyr Estyn (1905–89), Ireland's first professor of geography, was born 29 May 1905, youngest of four sons and one daughter of the Rev. George Owen Evans, minister of the Presbyterian Church in Wales, and Elizabeth Evans (née Jones). Born in Shrewsbury, he spent his early…

Fitzgerald, Robert David

Fitzgerald, Robert David (1830–92), surveyor, botanical artist, and naturalist, was born 30 November 1830 at Tralee, Co. Kerry, the son of Robert David Fitzgerald, a banker, and his wife, Mary Ann, née Bell. After studying civil engineering at QCC…

Gibney, Frank

Gibney, Frank (1905–78), architect and town planner, was born 20 April 1905, son of Joseph Francis Gibney, architect, and his wife Eleanor (née Bassett). Aged 18 he went to work for his father (who had been apprenticed to the office of William Kaye Parry), and five years later moved…

Gookin, Vincent

Gookin, Vincent (1616?–1659), surveyor general, MP for Bandon and Kinsale 1654–9, and friend and colleague of William Petty (qv), was the eldest son of Cork settler Sir Vincent Gookin…

Griffith, Sir Richard John

Griffith, Sir Richard John (1784–1878), public servant, surveyor, and geologist, was born 20 September 1784 at 8 Hume St., Dublin (the house is marked by a plaque), son of Richard Griffith (qv), MP for Askeaton, deputy governor of Co.…

Hood, John

Hood, John (1720/21?–1783), land surveyor, was apparently born in Co. Donegal. There may have been two John Hoods, father and son, who were both surveyors; if so, it is impossible to disentangle their careers and dates of vital events. John Hood, surveyor, died in 1783, and there is…

Hughes, Pat

Hughes, Pat (1924–99), prospector and businessman, was born Patrick Joseph Hughes on 14 March 1924 near Keady, Co. Armagh, the only son of three children of Charles Hughes, a building contractor of Keady, and his wife Mary. When he was around 10, his catholic family moved to Newry,…

Joyce, Patrick Weston

Joyce, Patrick Weston (1827–1914), educationalist, historian, linguist, translator, and collector of folk music, was born in Ballyorgan, Co. Limerick, one of the eight sons of Garrett Joyce, a shoemaker known locally as ‘Garrett the Scholar’ for his knowledge of poetry and religion, and…

Keegan, John

Keegan, John (1813–93), surveyor and diarist, was born at Laragh, near Horseleap, Co. Westmeath, in 1813, the only son of Thomas Keegan (1789–1854), a farmer, and his wife, Mary (née Gannon). The Keegans were descended from the hereditary brehons of the Irish midlands; one…