Wright, George Newenham (1794?–1877), clergyman, schoolmaster, topographical writer and biographer, was born in London probably in 1793 or 1794. He was the youngest of the four sons of Thomas Wright (qv), a surgeon of Great Ship St., Dublin, and his wife Susan, daughter of Arnott Squire, a major in the 61st regiment. At 16 he entered TCD (2 October 1809), becoming a scholar (1812) and graduating BA (1814) and MA (1817). He was ordained deacon and priest in the Church of Ireland (1818), but seems not to have held ecclesiastical office in Ireland. Wright was headmaster of the Seminary, a proprietary school founded in Dublin in 1817 with premises successively in Denmark St., Marlborough St., and Rutland Sq. North, before moving (1826) to Wales – he had a house at Llanrwst, Denbighshire, in the 1830s and 1840s. He was admitted ad eundem an MA of Oxford University (1836), was reader of St Mary's Woolnoth, Lombard St., London, and master of Tewkesbury Grammar School.
Wright is remembered for his topographical writings. His An historical guide to ancient and modern Dublin (1821; 2nd ed., 1825), replete with information on schools, churches, hospitals and other public buildings, was followed by A guide to the lakes of Killarney (1822), A guide to the county of Wicklow (1822) and A guide to the Giant's Causeway (1823). Illustrated with engravings made from drawings by George Petrie (qv), each contains topographical information systematically arranged and draws from the personal knowledge of the author as well as from the usual reference works. The guides to Killarney, Wicklow and the Giant's Causeway were the first of the genre and were intended, Wright stated in his preface to the last of the three, ‘to induce more frequent visits from the neighbouring island’. After settling in Wales, Wright compiled Scenes in North Wales with historical illustrations, legends and biographical notices (1833) as well as reworking earlier books as Ireland illustrated (1831) and Scenes in Ireland (1834). Wright was the author or part-author of topographical works on France, Germany and China, wrote biographies of William IV (1837), the duke of Wellington (qv) (1841), and Louis-Philippe (1847), and edited the works of George Berkeley (qv) (1843). His competence as a scholar and preceptor is evident in Rudiments of the Greek language (1820; 3rd ed., 1821).
George Newenham Wright died 24 March 1877 at Bath aged 82 (The Times). He married (December 1817) at St Thomas's church, Dublin, Charlotte Mulock of Bath (whose niece, the well known-novelist Dinah Craik (née Mulock) (1826–87) toured Ireland in the mid 1880s and published an account, An unknown country (1887)). The couple had five sons and two daughters.