Thursday, January 15, 2015

MAGUIRES & METHODISM IN DUBLIN - a view from a Church of Ireland Cathedral

William MAGUIRE was my great-great-great grandfather. He was buried in Dublin in 1844 in that part of the Churchyard of Saint Patrick's Cathedral known as the Vicar's Bawn, aged 62. He had served as the Sexton of the Cathedral since 1810; he was Inspector of Taxes for the Paving Board of the Corporation for Paving, Lighting and Cleansing the Streets of Dublin; and he was a Primitive Wesleyan Methodist.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral had an important part to play in the life of Dublin Methodists. From as early as 1747, it had been a place where Methodists went to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper; and on a number of occasions, the numbers brought there by John WESLEY himself were so large that he was called upon, by the Methodist-friendly Dean of Saint Patrick's, Francis CORBET, to assist in the dispensation of that sacrament - in order, I venture, that they all might get home in good time for dinner.

[James MALTON's View of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, 1791, from the south-west, looking over the Vicar's Bawn.]

This article sets out to investigate this arrangement, and whether it played any part in the later advancement of the MAGUIRE family into important civil posts within the Cathedral itself.
It will look at some early involvement of William's parents, Thomas MAGUIRE and his wife Letitia PHAIR, with the Methodist Society in County Cavan, before they left their farm in Mullalougher Townland, parish of Castleterra, in the year 1777, to live in Dublin.

But we will begin with Dublin, the early days of Methodism there, and their connection with the communion chalices at Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral.


Methodism made its introduction in Dublin in 1746, when an English Methodist preacher, Mr Thomas WILLIAMS, under instructions from the English Methodist Conference, arrived and established a society there.
Rev John WESLEY himself followed up with his first visit to Ireland in the ensuing year, as we learn from his Journal, for August 1747:
"Sunday 9 August. Before ten we came to Saint George's Quay... About three I wrote a line to the Curate of Saint Mary's, who sent me word he should be glad of my assistance; so I preached there...
Monday 10. Between eight and nine I went to Mr R. (the curate of Saint Mary's). He professed an abundance of good will, commended my sermon in strong terms, and begged he might see me again the next morning. But at the same time he expressed the most deep rooted prejudice against lay-preachers, or preaching out of a church, and said, the Archbishop of Dublin was resolved to suffer no such irregularities in his Diocese. I went to see our brethren, that we might pour out our souls before God. I then went straight to wait upon the Archbishop myself; but he was gone out of town...
"Tuesday 11. I awaited on the Archbishop at Newbridge, ten miles from Dublin. I had the favour of conversing with him two to three hours; in which I answered abundance of objections...
"Sunday 16. We went to Saint James's church in the morning (there being no service at Saint Patrick's), and in the afternoon to Christ Church..."

The Archbishop was Charles COBBE (1689-1765), whose Episcopal seat was in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin; but on the south side of the River Liffey was another Church of Ireland Collegiate and Cathedral church named Saint Patrick's, built beside the River Poddle on the site of the well which folk-lore has it Saint Patrick himself used for baptising early Irish converts to Christianity.
And there, in January 1747, was installed a sympathetic Dean, Francis CORBET.
From the Journal of Charles WESLEY, who followed his brother John shortly after in his first visit to Ireland, we see that contact had already been made with Saint Patrick's, probably by Mr WILLIAMS; Charles made this entry for October 1747:
"Sunday October 25. Passed three hours at Saint Patrick's, under my usual burden among the dry bones of the House of Israel [fn - Ezek 37: 1-14]. I seldom enter this place but they are ready to drag me out as a profaner of the temple. The Dean I must except, who has always treated us with great courtesy; looks pleased to see us make the bulk of the communicants; appointed us a set by ourselves; and constantly administers to me first, as the rubric directs."

Thereafter, the nexus established between the Dublin Methodists and the Dean of Saint Patrick's continued, in particular in connection with the administration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
WESLEY himself notes his attendances at service there from time to time, even up to within a couple of years of his death, and mentions several occasions when the numbers of Methodist communicants was so great that it became necessary for the Dean to seek his assistance, as we see from his Journal entries:
"Sunday 19 July 1752. I preached at five and eight, but not to so large a congregation as I expected. I was greatly shocked at the behaviour of the congregation in Saint Patrick's church..."
"Sunday 9 April 1775... The good old dean of Saint Patrick's desired me to come within the rails and assist him at the Lord's Supper..."
"Sunday 23 August 1775. I again assisted at Saint Patrick's in delivering the elements of the Lord's Supper..."

The 9 April entry was Dean CORBET's last mention by WESLEY - he may not have been there on 23 Aug, as he died two days later, on 25 August 1775, aged 87; he was succeeded as Dean by William CRADOCK, who continued the arrangements of his predecessor, and appears to have presided over the employment favours shown subsequently to members of the MAGUIRE family.

John WESLEY's diary entries continued:
"Sunday 5 October 1777. I was much comforted at Saint Patrick's, where an uncommon awe seemed to rest on the whole assembly..."

"Sunday 3 July 1785. We had a larger congregation than ever at Saint Patrick's, where many of our brethren found such a blessing, that they will not easily be so prejudiced against the church as they were in time past."

"Monday 30 March 1789... Meantime, I had letter upon letter concerning the Sunday service; but I could not give an answer till I made a full inquiry both into the occasion and the effects of it. The conversation was this:- About two years ago it was complained, that few of our society attended church on Sunday; most of them either sitting at home, or going on Sunday morning to some Dissenting meeting. Hereby many of them were hurt, and inclined to separate from the Church. To prevent this, it was proposed to have service at the Room; which I consented to, on condition that they would attend Saint Patrick's every first Sunday in the month. The effect was, (1) That they went no more to meetings, (2) That three times more went to Saint Patrick's (perhaps six times) in six or twelve months than had done for ten or twelve years before. Observe!  This is done not to prepare for, but to prevent, a separation from the Church...
"Sunday 5 April. I preached in the new Room at seven. At eleven I went to the Cathedral. I desired those of our Society who did not go to their parish churches, would go with me to Saint Patrick's. Many of them did so. It was said the number of communicants was about 500, more than went there in the whole year before Methodists were known in Ireland...
"April 12 - Being Easter Day. We had a solemn assembly indeed; many hundred communicants in the morning; and in the afternoon far more hearers than our Room would contain, though it is considerably enlarged..."

Archbishop COBBE's resolve to have no lay-preachers in his churches, and no preachers in his diocese preaching out of church, meant that the Methodists had no option but to build their own Meeting House. The Methodist Society had commenced meeting in a former Lutheran Church located in Marlborough Street (evidently on the site of the present Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral), although some local opposition did see it damaged by rioters.
But WESLEY also wanted permanency, by purchasing their own land; however, he had to settle for a 99 year lease, on land in Whitefriar Street, on which a Meeting House was built, and which was opened for preaching in 1752.

The site was undoubtedly the one shown on ROCQUE's 1756 map of Dublin, marked "M.H" in the top right corner of the above map image - standing on the east side of Whitefriar Street, just south of Whitefriar Park, immediately opposite Wood Street (and across the street from the Presbyterian Meeting House marked "P.M.H" on the north side of Wood Street).
And the site was very convenient to Saint Patrick's Cathedral, which lay a short 3 or 4 minute walk to the west, along Wood Street, across Saint Bridget's Street, along Petty Cannon Lane, and into the North Close of Saint Patrick's.

The Meeting House in Whitefriar Street continued in use until 1843, when the "Centenary Church" was built by the Methodist Society on the south side of Saint Stephen's Green. The Society had hoped to renew their 99 lease after it's due expiry in 1849, but found that the Carmelites had gazumped them. After the new church was opened, the Methodists continued to use the old building at Whitefriar Street as a school, until the actual lease term expired.
Subsequently, the Carmelite, Father SPRATT, ran a school there for female children of the neighbourhood, and it was later demolished to erect a custom-built school, which was opened in 1895, and was still standing in 2010. A Carmelite publication produced to mark their centenary (see the Whitefriar Street Church Centenary Souvenir web-site) has a slightly hazy photograph of the old Methodist Meeting house.

It was this Meeting House which the MAGUIRE family would have attended after their arrival in Dublin in 1777 - up until the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist schism in 1818, when they attended the newly constructed Primitive Wesleyan Methodist chapel, opened in 1820, in South Great Georges Street.


John WESLEY early ventured into the north of Ireland.

Henry Charles CROOKSHANK, M.A., published his "History of Methodism in Ireland" in 1885; at Chapter VIII, page 113, concerning events taking place in June or July of 1756, he wrote:
"At Castlebar, the rector, the Rev Mr ELLISON, having intimated that Mr WESLEY might have the use of the church, he preached there morning and evening to large audiences. Mr WALSH also addressed a numerous and serious congregation in the Courthouse. A good work was then going on in the town, similar to that in Athlone some years previously. WESLEY remarks, 'the stream runs very wide, but very shallow.' He also preached in Newport church, at the invitation of the rector, the Rev James HERN. 'More than all the Protestants in the town' were present, and 'deep attention sat on every face.'
"After having preached at Aughrim, Ahascragh, and Abbeyderg, Wesley went to Longford, where many supposed the mob would be too violent to allow him a peaceable hearing. A great crowd flocked to the yard of the old barrack where he preached, while many of the Romanists stood at the gate, or just outside the wall. They were all as still as night, nor did he hear an uncivil word, while he walked from one end of the town to the other. Having preached at Cleggill, Coolalough, Tullamore, and Tyrrell's Pass, accompanied by WALSH, he rode to Bally beg, near Drumcree, where they found 'a little company of earnest people, most of them rejoicing in the love of God.' To these were added a few from the county of Cavan. Joseph CHARLES having gone thither some time previously on secular business, spoke of the things of God, many believed his report, and some found his words 'the power of God unto salvation.'
"Such is the brief and simple record of the introduction of Methodism into Cavan."

At some time, a Methodist or two in that part of Ireland met up with Letitia PHAIR - but whether she was, at the age of 17, one of the few from County Cavan mentioned here by CROOKSHANK, we do not yet know.

Thomas McFANN, in his obituary tribute [Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, 1845, pp. 26-37] commemorating the lives of two of Letitia's sons, Thomas Junior and the above-mentioned William MAGUIRE (they both died in 1844), recorded that Letitia:
"...was made the happy partaker of true religion some years before Methodism was introduced into that part of the country. It was in his [Thomas MAGUIRE's] house shortly after his marriage, that that able minister of the New Testament, Mr John BREDIN, preached his first sermon...
"Soon after, the travelling preacher [John SMITH] came, and on his first visit, a class of thirty-three members was formed, '...amongst whom,' says Mrs MAGUIRE, '...was my poor, aged, blind mother, who continued to be self-righteous until within a year of her death. When at the Lord's Table, after the cup had passed, the words repeated by the Minister came with power to her heart, and she returned home praising and glorifying God, saying - 'I am seventy-seven years old, and was only born this day'."

It is not possible to abstract a date for Letitia's embrace of Methodism from this brief mention by McFANN. We know, from her son William's Memoir (commenced in 1823, and now in the possession of CRAWFORD descendants of William's son Henry MAGUIRE, and living in Buckinghamshire), that her marriage to Thomas MAGUIRE took place at Ballyhaise in 1763.

But we do have a date for the enrolment of the 33 new members at Mullalougher from another source. CROOKSHANK had earlier, in 1881, published his "A Methodist Pioneer: or the Life and Labours of John SMITH," with the following account of Methodism's first appearance in County Cavan:
"In 1766, however, in connection with the zealous and faithful labours of John SMITH, a large number of Societies were formed, including those at Mullalougher, Killashandra, Bawnboy, Belturbet, Cavanagh, Ballyconnell, Swanlinbar, Furnaceland and Gortnaleg.
"Early in the year, as John SMITH travelled between Clones and Ballybay, seeing a man lying on the road-side asleep, he awoke him, and found that he had been drunk and lain there all night, having spent all his money and parted with most of his clothes. John SMITH brought before him earnestly the wickedness and danger of his course, and then prayed with him. As he pleaded with God, the poor inebriate wept in penitence of spirit. That man was John BREDIN, a Roman Catholic schoolmaster, who lived at Tullyvin, about three miles from Cootehill. He accompanied John SMITH round the Circuit, and soon obtained a sense of sins forgiven.
"The young convert felt an earnest desire to lead others to a saving knowledge of Christ; and with this end visited Mrs MAGUIRE, of Mullalougher, whom he had previously known. He spoke to her of what the Lord had done for him, and his words sank deep into her heart..."

About Letitia PHAIR's origins, we know almost nothing. From her age at burial, we know that she was born about the year 1739.
That her mother was aged 77 in 1766 indicates her birth in about 1689; and if this is correct, she was aged about 50 when Letitia was born, which would suggest that Letitia was probably one of the last of her brood, and may well have had older siblings, including brothers, who may have been ancestors of the PHAIR family members who continued to farm small leaseholds in that part of County Cavan for another 200 years.
Several of these PHAIRs were recorded, aged in their 70s, in surviving fragments of a Census taken in 1821, living at Drumliff, also in the parish of Castleterra, about a mile from Ballyhaise - they were children in 1763, when Letitia was married nearby, and would probably have wanted to know who she was - and whether she was a relation. I think it likely that she was.

CROOKSHANK ["History of Methodism"] mentions John SMITH (1713-1774), originally from Tandragee, County Armagh, and later of Cootehill, County Cavan, who heard WESLEY preach there in 1758, and became a convert and class leader there; in 1766 WESLEY appointed him to be an itinerant preacher on the circuit that encompassed the Counties of Cavan, Fermanagh and Monaghan; one community he did visit was Kilmore, but this he recorded as being in County Monaghan.
John H. LENTON ["British Preachers in Ireland &c," Bulletin of the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland, Vol. 16, 2010, p. 14] wrote about SMITH's activities between 1766 and 1774:
"Yet in this brief period he led a significant popular revival in the border regions of Ulster, both the Lough Erne triangle and the Armagh triangle and much of the country in between. This is the area where Methodism grew fastest in Wesley's lifetime and it became its stronghold, an area where Protestant & Catholic were relatively closely balanced and Anglicans were as strong as Presbyterians. Smith converted at least 14 of those who became Irish travelling preachers, including such leaders as John BREDIN, Thomas BARBER & James McDONALD. Out of 100 Irish born preacher, this is high percentage in an astonishingly short period. He converted at least 500, and started 33 societies."

Robert H. GALLAGHER [Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, Vol. XXVIII, 1951-52, Notes and Queries, pp.166-7], wrote of John BREDIN, as having been born about 1737 (and so a year or two older than Letitia PHAIR), "...a Schoolmaster in the Roman Church" who was "...soundly converted" in 1766 by "...John SMITH, a pioneer Methodist preacher"; and "...called into the itinerancy by John WESLEY in 1769, three years after his conversion." He died in Belfast on 2 November 1819, and was buried in Lambeg churchyard, where his Monumental Inscription recorded his age as 82 years.

CROOKSHANK mentioned another member of the PHAIR family. In 1790, William PHAIR addressed a Methodist meeting in Ballyhaise, County Cavan, as CROOKSHANK ["History of Methodism in Ireland," Vol 2, Chapter II, p. 14] recorded:
"On Jan'y 23rd, 1790, a young man named Matthew LANKTREE, a native of Oldcastle, visited at Drumliff, in the county of Cavan, some friends who had recently become Methodists, accompanied them on the following Sabbath morning to the chapel at Ballyhaise, and was much impressed with all he saw and heard. The preacher was Mr James IRWIN, the house well filled, and the whole congregation appeared influenced by the spirit of devotion. They sang with melody, prayed with fervency, and heard the word with affectionate attention... In the evening he attended a meeting, conducted by William PHAIR, a leader whose exhortations and prayers powerfully impressed his mind. On the following Lord's day, he commenced meeting with these simple earnest servants of God..."

Church Register holdings at PRONI, for Church of Ireland parishes in County Cavan, contain some vital events for a family named Fair, in the parish of Kilmore, including:
1. John FAIR; died "...near Kilmore," 13 May 1778, and buried at Kilmore C. of  I. Parish (age not recorded).
2. Zephora FAIR, baptised at Kilmore C. of I. Parish, 18 July 1780, daughter of Richard FAIR (address not recorded) and Mary FAIR.
3. Joseph FAIR; died 29 December 1782, and buried at Kilmore C. of I. Parish (age not recorded).
4. Richard FAIR, baptised at Kilmore C. of I. Parish, 4 May 1788, son of William FAIR, of Breeckhill, and Rebecca FAIR.

It is further possible, perhaps even likely, that William's wife/widow Rebecca may have been the Rebecca PHAIR who was buried in Dublin in 1795, in Thomas MAGUIRE's plot at Saint Patrick's Cathedral (see below).
And if this is so, then the above four FAIR family events may well be for Letitia PHAIR's relations.


There are several versions as to the reason behind the MAGUIRE family's leaving County Cavan.

Although he was not yet born, Thomas and Letitia's youngest son William MAGUIRE (born in 1782), commenced his Memoir in 1823 (the W.M. Diary). In it, William stated that Colonel NEWBURGH's widow:
"...having a particular liking for my mother, when she married the Dean and came to Dublin, induced my parents to come and settle also."

The widow was Martha CARY, who came to County Cavan from Londonderry.
The Colonel was Thomas NEWBURGH, proprietor of Ballyhaise House, and of a large acreage of tenanted land in the district; he married Martha CARY on 16 January 1747 [St James's Evening Post, London, Thursday 22 January 1747]; Thomas was made a widower in November 1745 when his first wife, Charity Julia BLAKE, died without issue; and as Tom NEWBURGH, he had published a volume of poetry.
And the Dean was William CRADOCK, who married the widow Martha on 26 January 1777 ["Exshaw's Magazine, 1777, p. 152" - as cited in Notes and Queries, 6th Ser. VI, 16 September 1882, p. 223].

I had wondered whether Letitia and Martha may have been related, but research has not yet established whether this was the case, and probably will not.
I had also speculated that the connection may have been through Letitia's mother, perhaps in service with Martha at Ballyhaise House, where she may have met Mr PHAIR, possibly also working on the NEWBURGH estate at Ballyhaise. Estate Accounts, if they still exist, might prove interesting.
But there may be a simpler explanation - Martha may also have been a Methodist.
Indeed, she would undoubtedly have met John WESLEY on 29 May 1775, when he visited Ballyhaise on his way from Belturbet to Clones, "...and spent an hour with that venerable old man, Colonel Newburgh. It does me good to converse with those who have just finished their course, and are quivering over the great gulf..." [WESLEY's Diary].

Martha may have been a force behind CRADOCK's desire to renovate the old Deanery in Saint Kevan Street, so that they might live there - and evidently able to invite the MAGUIRE family to make their home there as well around the mid 1780's; widowed again in 1794, Martha died in Dublin on 13 December 1804, and was buried in the Vicar's Bawn at St Patrick's Cathedral, aged 73, and without issue.

There is a second source that provides another reason for the MAGUIRE family's departure from Mullalougher. CROOKSHANK ("History of Methodism in Ireland," Chapter 27, p. 308), records the following details for the year 1776:
"Mr [John] SLOCOMB, who had been appointed to the Clones circuit, and is described by WESLEY as 'an old labourer, worn out in service,' came to the house of Mr MAGUIRE in Mullalougher, ill of fever, the week before Christmas. Although he was tended with unremitting care and affection, on the last day of the year he sank under the virulence of the disease...
"When Mr and Mrs MAGUIRE returned from the interment... they found that two of their children had taken the infection, and soon after Mr MAGUIRE and two others of the family caught the disease; but the Lord supported and healed them. Mr MAGUIRE then resolved to move to Dublin, which he did as soon as practicable..."

Perhaps the timing of Mrs CRADOCK's removal to Dublin was just coincidence, but a fortuitous one in Thomas's case, leading, as it appears, to an immediate employment and accommodation package.


Thomas MAGUIRE and his wife Letitia, with a young family of 7 children, arrived in Dublin in the year 1777.

On 21 March 1779, he was appointed to succeed Fergus GIBBONS as Sexton of Saint Patrick's Cathedral. His predecessor, and his daughter Isabella CROSS, the Robe Keeper, had been dismissed under suspicion of being involved in a theft from the Cathedral:
"...some villains (who it is imagined concealed themselves for the purpose in the church) broke through the Chapter Room of Saint Patrick's Cathedral into a place where the Cathedral plate was deposited and carried it entirely away, together with the pulpit cloth, &c. Strict searching is making in order to discover these sacrilegious wretches..."
[Saunder's News-Letter, 20 March 1779.]
The replacement plate, evidently including two large chalices, was manufactured by Dublin Silversmith Richard WILLIAMS in 1779; and they had Methodist connections, suggesting that the Methodists who took communion there may have dug deep in making contributions for the purchase of them.
In 1782, Thomas and Letitia's youngest child was born in a cottage in the walled garden on Long Lane known as Naboth's Vineyard, the creation of Dean Jonathan SWIFT.
 [Part of John ROCQUE's 1756 Map of Dublin.
The later Sexton's house, No 5, is one of the dwellings shown on the south side of  Saint Patrick's Close,
perhaps on or near the corner of Mitre Alley.
The Deanery is the larger building on the north side of Saint Kevan Street, set back from the street frontage, 
under the "Sepu" of Saint Sepulchre's.]
Later, the family evidently lived in the Deanery; and probably later again in the house at No 5 South Close, occupied by Letitia in her widowhood, and their son William, when they occupied the post of Sexton.

In 1785, John WESLEY commenced a brown leather-bound volume of Dublin Membership Lists of the Methodist Society, which survives among the holdings of the Library of the Wesleyan Historical Society in Ireland, Edgehill College, Belfast; dated 28 June, it included entries for Thomas MAGUIRE, Sexton, and Letitia MAGUIRE, both of Deanery House. Subsequent entries were made, but in a different hand, and in June 1787, they were recorded as Thomas MAGUIRE (#26/2nd Class) and Letty MAGUIRE (#29/1st Class), both at Deanery House, June 1787; and there were separate entries in June 1788 for Thomas at Deanery House (Samuel DAN's 2nd Class), and Letty at Vineyard Row (Thomas PATRICK's 2nd Class) - I do not know whether this apparent "separation" has any significance - perhaps they had moved from the Deanery, but Thomas's details alone had not yet been up-dated.

[The Deanery, on Saint Kevans Street, south of Saint Patrick's Close. Photo courtesy of Patrick COMERFORD.]

The Cathedral Register records the detail of his burial:
"Mr Thomas MAGUIRE, late Sexton (for 16 years) was interred 9 February 1794 in the Vicar's Bawn." [Cathedral Register, Volume 1, Marsh's Library, abstracted in 1983.]

When Thomas died, he was succeeded as Sexton by his widow Letitia (appointed 31 March 1794), although the physical side of the role may have been too much for, as her son Thomas "returned" to Dublin to assist her. To which responsibility she added the post of Robe Keeper (appointed 13 April 1797, in the Room of Mrs FERNS, deceased). Letitia resigned both these positions on 5 June 1810, aged 70, and was succeeded as Sexton by her youngest son, our William, and as Robe-Keeper by her daughter-in-law, William's wife of 6 years, Mary MAGUIRE alias VICKERS.
Letitia MAGUIRE also appears in the List of the Bands of Dublin, taken in March 1789, as the 2nd of 6 so named in the 6th Women's group; and she was named as one of the Stewards Leaders in the Methodist Society in Dublin, 23 April 1794, as Sister MAGUIRE.
Letitia herself died two years later, on 21 March 1812, aged 72 (W.M. Diary):
"Mrs Letitia MAGUIRE, late Sextonness and Robe-keeper of the Cathedral, interred 24 March 1812 in the family burial place, aged 72 years."
[Cathedral Register, Vol. 2, Marsh's Library, abstracted in 1983 - now at the R.C.B. Library.]


Three sons of Thomas MAGUIRE and his wife Letitia PHAIR maintained the family connection with Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and at least two of them were Methodists.

1. Joseph MAGUIRE was their 2nd but eldest surviving son, who was born in County Cavan on 5 May 1770. He was appointed Clerk of the Cathedral, 17 March 1788; and he was buried in the Vicar's Bawn, "...near the end of the French Chapel," on 3 November 1791, evidently unmarried.

2. Thomas MAGUIRE was their 3rd son, also born in County Cavan, on 10 May 1772. He joined the Methodists early, probably in 1788 under the ministry of Andrew BLAIR - although his obituary, published in the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine (1845), recorded his having been " the fold" for 52 years, which would indicate the year as being instead 1792 - and in that latter year, 1792, he was in Bennett DUGDALE's Class.
Thomas was apparently one of the early members of the Dublin branch of the Stranger's Friend Society, established by Dr Adam CLARKE  "...among the Methodists of the Methodist Chapel, Whitefriar Street, Dublin, in the year 1790" - the inaugural Membership List comprising 35 names, headed by Bennett DUGDALE. This Society visited prisons and paupers, and dispensed charity irrespective of religious affiliations.
After some time working at the trade of Glass Cutter, Thomas worked as a Delf Seller in Camden Street (1803-1815); as a House Tax Collector for the Dublin Foundling Hospital (1808-1827), still residing in Camden Street (1818, 1820); at Saint Stephen's Green (1824-1829); and he afterwards resided at Harcourt Road.
Thomas also held the post of Constable of Saint Patrick's Cathedral from 1789 until 1814; the post of Beadle in 1795 and again from 1796; and the post of Verger from 1818 until his death; his directory listings after 1829 recorded him as Verger and Marshall of Saint Patrick's. He was Representative of the Dublin Circuit in Annual Conferences of the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Society in 1824 and 1826; and for many years he was Treasurer of the Methodist Society's Widow's Fund.
He was married in the Cathedral, by Consistorial License, on 13 May 1796, to Miss Lucinda KENNY of Abbey Street. They had issue 4 children baptised in Saint Patrick's between 1796 and 1809 - Rev Robert MAGUIRE (see below), Thomas (died an infant), Letitia (died aged 14) and Lucinda (who married William ROBERTS, Wine Merchant and a Dublin Methodist) .
CROOKSHANK [History of Methodism, Vol. II, p. 58], evidently citing his 1845 obituary, wrote:
"A young man named Thomas MAGUIRE, son of Mr and Mrs MAGUIRE, formerly of Mullalougher but now of Dublin, was converted; at once became a member of the Society, joining the Class of Mr DUGDALE, and from this time until his death -  period of 52 years - maintained his integrity, and evinced an unabated attachment to Methodism. He was an active member of the Stranger's Friend society; and for 40 years sustained the office of Leader, with comfort and credit to himself, and satisfaction and profit to the members of his Class."
Thomas died in 1844, shortly after his brother William; he was eulogised in the same obituary, published in the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine in 1845, which first alluded to the effect his younger brother's death had upon him:
"Mr Thomas MAGUIRE was tremblingly alive to the progress of disease in his much loved brother. He watched all its variations with extreme solicitude, and when the solemn hour of his death arrived, he meekly bowed to the Divine will. When the funeral procession was moving off from his late brother's residence, he said, with his usual simplicity and meekness of soul, 'this is the last journey I shall ever take with my brother to the cathedral.' How many sacred recollections must have then rushed upon his memory, regarding both the place and the brother..."
How many recollections indeed.
The double obituary went on to tell of Thomas's own demise:
"For a few days previous to his last illness he had been complaining a little of the cold, but went as usual to attend his duties in the Cathedral on Sunday; and there in the House of god, where with scarcely an omission he had been worshipping every Sabbath for upwards of fifty years, the angel of death smote him. When the time came that he should have proceeded with the officiating clergyman to the communion table, he was observed by some of his nephews to be sitting in his place with his head bent down over his seat; he was assisted into the chapter-room, when restoratives were administered to him, which caused him to rally a little, and when he was brought home he seemed cheerful and happy. The disease with which he was attacked proved to be cholera; he did not speak much the following day, and on the morning of Tuesday the 6th of August, his happy spirit was dismissed from its tenement of clay, in the 72nd year of his age, just six weeks after his brother's decease."
He was buried in one of the several MAGUIRE plots in the Vicar's Bawn.
Thomas had also had the painful duty of burying his son, Rev Robert MAGUIRE, which occasion was mentioned in Thomas's own obituary:
"Some years since, Mr Thomas MAGUIRE was called upon to sustain a painful bereavement in the death of his only son... In connexion with this, an incident is mentioned which deserves to be recorded, as it shows the faithfulness of God in answering prayer, and in giving grace according to every trial. The night before Mr MAGUIRE's death, his father retired to rest; but such was the extreme anxiety of his mind, that sleep departed from him. after a short time he arose and betook himself to the mercy seat, where for several hours he continued to plead with God; when he came to his afflicted partner, with his very countenance, like Moses, reflecting the blessing he had received, 'Now.' he said, 'I am like a giant refreshed with new wine, and prepared for whatever may occur'."

Bennet DUGDALE was born about 1756; he was apprenticed to John EXSHAW, the Dublin Printer; he was himself referred to as a "Pious Dublin Printer" and was a Methodist; his diary (John Ryland's Library, Manchester University) mentions a "Band love feast" on 7 April 1778, and another in January 1780, "...a comfortable Band love feast, at which I spoke a few words"; he died at his residence in Belvidere Place, on 10 January 1826; he was married at Saint Werburgh's, Dublin, on 15 January 1779, to Mary SHAFTON; she died at Bath in 1799.

3. William MAGUIRE was their 5th and youngest son, born in Dublin in 1782, in a cottage in Naboth's Vineyard, on Long Lane, not far from Saint Patrick's Cathedral, where he was baptised. He did not actively engage in Methodist Society activity until a bit later than his older brother Thomas, to whom he was early on, after their father's death in 1794, apprenticed as a Glass Cutter, until 1799.
But William benefited from Methodist and Cathedral contacts at several stages in his subsequent career - in March 1800 he was recommended by Bennett DUGDALE for the post of 2nd Master at the General Free School, in Abby Street, which William described as being run by a committee largely comprising Quakers [his Memoir] - in September 1803, he was recommended by the Dean of Saint Patrick's, Rev James VERSCHOYLE, for the post of Supervisor of Works for the Paving Board, under the Commissioners for Paving, Lighting and Cleansing the Streets of Dublin (the precursor to the Dublin Corporation) - and in 1823, he commenced his "Methodist" Memoir (or Diary) at the urging of yet another Methodist, the Preacher William HERBERT, and in a note book that appears to be identical to the one in which Wesley had first recorded Membership lists for the Society in Dublin in 1785.
William worked briefly as a Clerk for several Dublin Merchants between 1801 and 1803 - Mack MONSERRAT, Wine Merchant in Abbey Street, and Mr J.T. ALLAN, Brass Founder in Cork Street - but it is not yet known whether either of these Merchants had Methodist connections.
William was promoted in August 1807 to Tax Collector for the Paving Board, and, in April 1826, to the post of Inspector of Taxes, which position he held until shortly before he died. He also held the post of Sexton of Saint Patrick's Cathedral from 1810 (in the room of his mother who had resigned) until his death.
After 1823, William became more closely identified with Primitive Wesleyan schism of the Methodist Society; he was Representative of the Dublin Circuit at Annual Conferences of the Society, in 1825, 1829-32, 1836-37; he may have earlier been the Representative there for the Clonmel Circuit in 1824 and 1827-28; and was Treasurer of a number of the Society's funds and committees, including the Family Fund (from 1834 to 1838), the Missionary Fund (1834, 1836), and the Committee for the Erection of Preaching Houses, Preachers Lodgings, &c, (from 1835).
William MAGUIRE died at 9 Peter Place on 24 June 1844, aged 62; a notice of the death was published in Saunder's News-Letter and Dublin Gazette, on 27 June:
"DIED - On the 28th (sic - and impossible!) inst., at his residence, 9 Peter-place, after a painfully lingering illness, Mr William MAGUIRE, deeply and deservedly regretted by his family and circle of numerous friends."
His obituary was published in the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, 1845, at page 34, and referred to William's last illness:
"In the early part of the last winter [late 1843], in a letter to his wife Mrs MAGUIRE, who was then on a visit with her daughter, Mrs HOLDEN, in Belfast, he remarks, 'I am beginning to feel I am in a tenement of clay.' In January, 1844, he was obliged to take his leave of his office at the Paving Board... His cough had become very troublesome, and his strength gradually declined, yet no serious fears were entertained of the issue until about the month of May. A consultation on his case was then held by the most eminent medical men in this city, when they pronounced his case to be hopeless. His disease proved to be an inward cancer, and his sufferings occasionally were very severe and protracted."
The Cathedral Register recorded his burial:
"28th June 1844: Mr William MAGUIRE, for 34 years Sexton of this Cathedral, aged 62, interred in the family burial ground, Vicar's Bawn."
Again, we turn to his obituary for the detail:
"His funeral took place on the Friday morning following. It being the time of the Annual Conference, of which body Mr MAGUIRE had been an official member for many years, as Treasurer of the Family Fund, the morning session of the Conference was suspended, and all its members attended, and preceded the hearse three abreast. They were followed by the leaders and members of the Strangers' Friend Society, and nearly all the male members of the Society; the family followed in mourning coaches, and a long line of carriages of clergymen and gentlemen closed the mournful procession. When the funeral arrived at the north entrance to Saint Patrick's Cathedral, those preceding the corpse formed into a semi-circle; and the coffin was met by the present Dean, the Hon and Very Rev Henry PAKENHAM. The writer of these pages never recollects to have heard the beautiful burial service of the Church of England more impressively or solemnly read than on this occasion. At the grave the Dean delivered an address, distinguished by fervid eloquence, deep feeling, and important evangelical truth. Thus was our respected brother honoured in death as well as in life."
So, yet another Methodist was laid to rest in sanctified cathedral ground, by yet another in a long line of Methodist-friendly Deans of Saint Patrick's Cathedral.
William MAGUIRE was married in the Cathedral in March 1804 to Mary VICKERS, by the Rev James NEVINS; in 1810, Mary succeeded her mother-in-law as Robe-keeper of the Cathedral; and she was of a Methodist family before her marriage.
Mary was born at Elbow Lane, Dublin, on 25 January 1786, the 2nd daughter of John VICKERS by his wife Elizabeth STINSON. Her father was a Weaver, admitted to his Freedom of the City of Dublin, Weavers Guild, in 1790; and he was a Warden of that Guild in 1794. John VICKERS was of 5 Elbow Lane, in June 1788, when he was admitted to membership of the Methodist Society, in Samuel DAN's First Class, aged 25; and of the Coombe, Dublin, in March 1789, when he was listed in the Bands of the Methodist Society. His wife was probably also a Methodist - Elizabeth VICKERS was at 2 Elbow Lane, June 1787, when admitted as member of the Second Class of the Methodist Society of Dublin (although this may have instead been John's elderly mother, perhaps already a widow).
Her aunt, John VICKERS' younger sister Mary VICKERS, was born in July 1769; aged 19, she too became a Methodist, in Ann Singleton's Class, in June 1788; and in 1793, she married John PIGOTT (1759-1838), whose son John PIGOTT Junior (1796-1877) we will meet with shortly.
All 16 of William and Mary's children were baptised in Saint Patrick's Cathedral, between December 1804 and 1828; of these there was one set of twins, and one set of boy triplets; but 4 of them did not reach adulthood, and were buried in the Vicar's Bawn.
The most poignant for William was his eldest son Thomas, who died in 1828, aged 19; William wrote an obituary, published in the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine [Vol. VI, 1828, p. 62]:
"When he was about 8 years old, having a very fine voice, he was appointed a chorister of Saint Patrick's Cathedral; and when about 12, he was appointed a chorister of the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle. His serious and retiring disposition was observed and spoken of in high approbation... His voice was so much admired, that many applications were made to me to permit him to attend musical parties; but I feared the temptations that some of those associations excited, and very seldom permitted him to attend them, although the solicitations came from people of high rank... he submitted entirely to my advice and that of his dear mother, and naturally shewed a disinclination to appear in public, except in his place in the choir, where his sweet voice was raised above his fellows, chaunting the praises of his Maker and Redeemer.
"On the change from youth to manhood, as usual, his voice failed... he appeared desirous of entering College, and made the necessary preparation, by assiduous study. when he was 17 years of age, the place of Organist in Saint Anne's Church became vacant: I applied for the situation for him, and his good conduct, while a boy in the choir, was not forgotten. when it was known that he was a candidate, several friends came forward unsolicited, and so strongly recommended him that the Hon. and Rev. Rector, that he obtained the situation at once, although professors of celebrity were candidates. He soon after this entered College, but the preparatory course, and his very rapid growth (being at this early age near six feet high), appear to have laid the foundation of consumption...
"During the last three months of his illness, he repeatedly expressed his gratitude to the Lord, who in his mercy afforded him time to reflect on his lost and ruined state: he was convinced that his strictly moral life could not save him, without an interest in the atonement of his Redeemer..."
It was an age when parents buried their children much more frequently than occurs nowadays - but it could never have been an easy task.
His own obituary, 16 years later made reference to the effect his son's death had on him:
"Mr and Mrs MAGUIRE... were called upon to sustain a sever trial in the death of their eldest son Thomas... He was a lovely youth, had made great proficiency in music, and had passed several terms in College; but the flower of youth was cut down ere it was full blown; he died with these words on his lips, 'Lead on, thou captain of my salvation!' thus triumphing over death and the grave. This afflictive dispensation proved very salutary to the mind of Mr MAGUIRE, affording him a proof not likely to be forgotten, 'that religion alone has majesty over death'."

4. Joseph VICKERS, a son of John and Elizabeth VICKERS, and a brother of Mrs Mary MAGUIRE, was born in 1792; he was appointed Constable of Saint Patrick's in 1814, in the room of Thomas MAGUIRE (resigned); he married Mary SPRAT in 1818.

5. George VICKERS, born in 1794, was another son and brother; he was appointed Constable and Beadle in 1819. He died in 1828, and was buried in the Vicar's Bawn; he married Margaret CONNELL, who died in 1847, and was buried with him.


A number of Thomas and Letitia MAGUIRE's grandchildren, and their spouses, also occupied lay positions at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and I expect, under Letitia's watchful eye, that they too were Methodists. Full details of their appointments are recorded below in Appendix 2.

6. Letitia PHAIR was the daughter of Thomas PHAIR and Mary Anne MAGUIRE, and so a grand-daughter of Thomas and Letitia MAGUIRE. She held the post of  assistant Sexton from 1817; and as Letitia WHITE, the post of Robe-keeper, washing surplices. Her husband, William WHITE, was Beadle from 1836.

7. Robert MAGUIRE was the son of Thomas MAGUIRE and Lucinda KENNY, and so a grand-son of Thomas and Letitia MAGUIRE. Robert held the post of Schoolmaster at the Cathedral from 1824 until he resigned in 1828; he was appointed Residentiary Preacher in 1827; and Minor Canon in February 1837. He died on 23 March 1837, and was buried in the Vicar's Bawn.
His earlier career was detailed in his obituary, published in the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, 1838, at page 191 et seq.:
"Mr MAGUIRE was born in this city in the year 1797. He was the only son of Mr Thomas MAGUIRE, now one of the oldest leaders in the Dublin Society... He was blest with parents who were anxious about his eternal welfare, and also a pious grandmother, who took the earliest opportunity of instilling into his mind the principles of pure religion; and it appears as if from the very first their united instructions had taken deep root in his youthful mind...
"Mr MAGURIE was not at this time especially designed for the ministry, yet the earnest desire of his own heart was to be employed in the sacred office. Soon after... he intimated his wish to his father, and expressed a desire to enter college... the situation he then filled in one of the government offices occupied a large proportion of his time... While thus pursuing his studies in college... a dignitary of the church having occasion to make a search in the office in which he did business, for some ancient records... finding what the bent of his inclination was, and having a perpetual curacy at his disposal, in the county of Cavan, he awaited on his father, and at once made an offer of inducting his son into it... and in his 24th year he entered upon his arduous and responsible work...
"The severe duties of a country parish, however, soon began to affect his naturally delicate constitution... The circumstances having been mentioned by his father to the Dean of Saint Patrick's, he at once offered him a situation in the cathedral. Accordingly he returned to his native city in 1822... his clerical duties only requiring him to preach and read prayers...
"On the promotion of the present Dean of Saint Patrick's in 1828, he was employed to take an account of Protestants residing in the Deanery; and on his report that it contained about six hundred, who had been previously entirely neglected, he was appointed assistant curate."
Shortly before this appointment, in August 1827, Robert was nearly drowned while bathing near Black Rock, when he got into difficulties in unusually rough seas. The children he had left his clothes with raised the alarm, and with luck, a young man went to his assistance, and eventually raised him from under the water, where it was said he had lain for 10 minutes, and got him ashore; where a passing surgeon finally revived him after working on him for an hour.
Robert's death was mentioned in his father's obituary, 7 years later:
"Some years since, Mr Thomas MAGUIRE was called to sustain a painful bereavement in the death of his only son, the Rev Robert MAGUIRE, a holy and devoted minister of the gospel; it was by means of a malignant fever that this useful and exemplary clergyman was cut off in the midst of his years..."

8. John PIGOTT Junior (1796-1877) was the husband of Elizabeth MAGUIRE (born 1804), the eldest daughter of William MAGUIRE and Mary VICKERS, and so another grand-daughter of Thomas and Letitia MAGUIRE. When John married Elizabeth on 18 June 1824, he was already related to her, as her mother was his 1st cousin; the marriage, by Consistorial License, was celebrated in Saint Peter's Parish Church by her cousin, Rev Robert MAGUIRE. John served as Assistant Sexton at Saint Patrick's from 1839; and as Beadle from 1844.
He was also a Tax Collector, serving the Dublin Foundling Hospital (along with his wife's uncle Thomas MAGUIRE), later the Paving Board (under his father-in-law William MAGUIRE), and finally the South Dublin Union. In June 1842, he wrote an affecting obituary on the death of his son William Frederick PIGOTT, aged 15, which was published in the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine [Vol. XX, N.S., 1842, p.318]:
"He ...from the earliest period evinced a lively, affectionate and amiable disposition which endeared him, whilst very young, to all his relations and friends, particularly to his grand-papa and grand-mamma, Mr & Mrs W. MAGUIRE, of Peter-place, with whom he spent almost every Sabbath for some years past. This led to his constant attendance at preaching in South Georges-street, where he also attended the Sunday school for many years; and from his great anxiety to increase his knowledge of the Bible, would on no account absent himself therefrom. He also  joined the Methodist Society and was exemplary in his attendance at the several meetings..."
"He took great delight in Wesley's hymns... His Bible and hymn book had always to be placed on his pillow or within his reach during his illness... on the day of his death... looking steadfastly in his mamma's face, he, with great earnestness exclaimed, 'Oh, mamma, I believe I am going to die, I AM going to glory... to meet my Saviour; yes, to heaven where we shall meet to part no more,' and immediately commenced singing with a clear sweet voice - 'Glory, honour, praise and power, Be unto the Lamb for ever; Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, Hallelujah... Praise the Lord.'
"...He then became apparently insensible to surrounding objects... he spoke no more. He remained in this state from four o'clock P.M. on Friday (without any symptom of pain) until 12 o'clock at night, when in the most quiet and serene manner he fell asleep in Jesus, and his happy spirit took its flight to the bosom of his Saviour.
"May our last end be like his! Amen."
John went to America in 1858 to visit his sons, and settled in Brooklyn; he died in 1877, while in Kansas, visiting his son George Maguire PIGOTT.

9. Charles Aylmer KELLY was married in 1827 to Susannah PIGOTT, a sister of John PIGOTT Junior. He was appointed as Beadle at Saint Patrick's in 1839; and was the Sexton who succeeded William MAGUIRE in 1844. Susannah Kelly was, in 1855, performing the duties of Robe-keeper, although her appointment is not recorded. She resigned on 17 November 1871. Their son Joseph Aylmer KELLY was appointed Assistant Sexton in 1855, to succeed Charles KEATING, having been performing the duties, without pay, since 1845; and he was appointed Beadle in 1858.


William MAGUIRE, of Patrick's South Close South, County of the City of Dublin, Gent, was named as the Grantee in an Indenture of Lease, dated 24 March 1819, concerning one lot of ground on the east side of Patrick Street (which he had from the three Commissioners of Wide Streets); and he was granted additional leases of land on the east side of Patrick Street in April 1824 and February 1825. On these lands William had erected several substantial brick dwellings.
William MAGUIRE, by now of Peter Place, county of Dublin, Gent, made an Indented Deed of Mortgage, dated 31 August 1840 [Register Vol. 20, p. 90, Deeds Registry, Henrietta Street, Dublin], by which he made the 1819 lot over to a Committee of the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Society -  comprising John HAYES of Ormond Quay, Merchant; Robert QUEALE of Back Lane, Merchant; John SIBTHORPE of Cork Hill, Merchant; Henry James SIBTHORPE of Cork Hill, Medical Doctor; and William ROBERTS of Dublin, Merchant).
Of these, the names HAYES, SIBTHORPE and ROBERTS became part of the wider Maguire family story, as we shall see shortly. Here too we see more connections with the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Society. And it appears from several later wills (his son Rev Robert MAGUIRE's in 1890; and his grandson William Robert MAGUIRE of Tower Hill Lodge) that William made bequests of property in Patrick Street, Dublin. William's will has not survived.

William's 2nd daughter, Letitia MAGUIRE, was born in December 1806; she was the Mrs Holden of Belfast mentioned in her father's 1845 obituary. She & her older sister Elizabeth were the only two daughters of William who were ever married. Letitia married John HOLDEN, a Merchant in Belfast, and an eminent figure in the Sewn Muslin trade in the north of Ireland. John HOLDEN represented the Belfast Circuit in Annual Conferences of the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Society in Dublin, from 1829 until 1841.

William's 2nd but eldest surviving son, William MAGUIRE Junior, was born in 1811; he studied law, and worked as Solicitor in Dublin before emigrating in 1838 to South Australia (in 1852 he moved to Sydney, where he died in 1877). In 1836, he married Hannah HENEY, a daughter of Henry HENEY and Hannah SIBTHORPE, of the same family as John and Henry James SIBTHORPE, mentioned above.

Joseph MAGUIRE, William's 5th son, was born in 1820, the youngest of triplet sons; an Architect, he designed a school which was erected for the Methodists by John HAYES, his brother-in-law; he married at Rathfarnham, in May 1845, Mary HAYES (born Dublin, February 1817, daughter of Andrew HAYES and Mary SPARLING) - she was a sister of John HAYES mentioned above, who became a Methodist at the age of 16.

Lucinda MAGUIRE, born September 1809, was a daughter of William's brother Thomas MAGUIRE; in April 1839, she married William ROBERTS, the Dublin merchant mentioned above; he was a Wine Merchant in Abbey Street, Dublin; and at 17 Ranelagh Road, 1849-1859; they had issue.

And John PHAYRE, born in Dublin in May 1790, was a son of Thomas PHAIR (died 1802) and his wife Mary Ann MAGUIRE (1764-1802), and thereby a grandson of Thomas MAGUIRE & Letitia PHAIR. He was aged 12 when his parents died, and was subsequently raised by his maternal grandmother, the widowed Sextoness Mrs Letitia MAGUIRE. He emigrated to New York in 1817, where he was connected with the old Forsyth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, as Local Elder, Deacon; and for 42 years as an exhorter and Local Preacher, "...he devoted himself especially to work at the Almshouse, House of Refuge, House for Old People, asylums, hospitals and the Penitentiary of New York" [Matthew SIMPSON, "Cyclopedia of Methodism, &c," ca 1882].

John died suddenly at his residence, 201 West 30th Street, New York, 4 December 1866, and was buried in his own plot, Cypress Hills Cemetery. He married twice, with issue by both wives; including, by his first wife Frances BOGERT, a daughter Sarah Ann PHAYRE (1827-1894), who married her 2nd cousin, Thomas Lancelot PIGOTT, a son of John PIGOTT& Elizabeth MAGUIRE.


Yet another branch of the MAGUIRE family in County Cavan were probably also Methodists, and appear to have been part of a large number of Cavan Methodist families who emigrated to Canada, taking their Methodism with them.

Bruce S. ELLIOTT, in his "Irish Immigrants in the Canadas: a new approach," 1988, McGILL-Queen's University Press, at page 125, wrote the following:
"A third group of settlers in Carleton County was represented in Colonel Cockburn's List by William Kemp of Cavan. Several dozen families of Protestant farmers and weavers from north Cavan parishes of Annagh, Annacliffe and Castleterra petitioned the Colonial Office for assistance to emigrate to join relatives in the Richmond military settlement between 1820 and 1830 [fn.31].
"Though the government refused them aid, most came in any case, and settled in Goulburn, Huntly, March & Nepean Townships,where they were joined by a number of families from their old neighbourhoods, who did not bother to petition the government before leaving Ireland. Many of the emigrants were pioneers of Methodism in Carleton County, and their faith, which they adopted in Ireland and not on the Canadian frontier, helped keep the families close for many generations."
And at page 327:
"Footnote 31. ..James WILSON and John MAGUIRE, 18 December 1822; CO 384/9, f.357, petition of John and Matthew MAGUIRE, Mullaloghter, Redhills, 5 December 1823; PAC, RG 1, L 3, P14/83, petition of William, Isaac & Abraham PRATT, John McGUIRE Senior & Junior, Matthew McGUIRE and John MOORE, Huntly, read 28 September 1825 ."
The 5 December 1823 petition reveals that John & Matthew McGUIRE, both of Mullaloughter, Redhills, County Cavan, were both then over 23 and of the yeomanry; they were probably also Methodists.
There can be little doubt that these Mullaloghter McGUIRES were related to the family of Thomas MAGUIRE, of Mullalougher, the Sexton of Saint Patrick's, & his wife Letitia PHAYRE. Their son John MAGUIRE (the 2nd of the name, & born County Cavan, probably at Mullalougher, on 10 May 1774), was recorded in William MAGUIRE's 1823 "Memoir" as having gone to America on 18 March 1795; and of having died there (this additional entry was not in William MAGUIRE's hand, so may have occurred after William's death in 1844).
He is certainly of the right age for the John McGUIRE who was enumerated at No 2 Township (Edwardsburgh), Grenville County, Canada West (Ontario), in the 1851 Census, then aged 77, Married, a Farmer, and born in Ireland, with his wife Leticia McGUIRE, aged 51, also born in Ireland; daughter Margaret E. THOMSON, aged 21, married (but not of this family), and sons Jacob (aged 18) and James (11), both labourers and both born in Canada.
In the adjacent dwelling was Mathew McGUIRE, his wife Sarah (both aged 37 and born in Ireland), and their children John (aged 13), Sarah (13), Helen (12), James (10), Matthew (8), Jacob (6), Fanny (4) & Mary Ann (2); also in this dwelling were James BOYDE, aged 17, born Ireland (undoubtedly a brother of Mrs Sarah McGUIRE), and Thomas McGUIRE, 40, born Ireland (probably Matthew Senior's brother).


Methodists and MAGUIREs have both had a long history of association with Dublin, and the Church of Ireland Collegiate and Cathedral Church of Saint Patrick.
For the Methodists that began in the very early days of Methodist Society activity in Ireland, and probably continued unabated until the later re-unification of the Dublin Methodists, who used their own churches for administration of the Sacraments.
For the MAGUIRE family, as lay office holders, that period was shorter, from 1777 until 1844, although their PIGOTT family connections extended their association until the 1870s.

For the Methodist Society, we have seen that their association was strongly connected with the administration of the sacrament of Holy Communion; the numbers of Methodists attending for the sacrament was greatest when they went with John WESLEY himself; and the tradition continued as a regular feature of Annual Conferences of the Primitive Weslyan Methodists in Dublin, even well after Wesley's death.

Not only did the MAGUIRE family and their relations partake of the sacrament, but they also held positions of trust within the Cathedral as safe-keepers of the silverware by which that sacrament was dispensed.
The first appointment was in 1779, when Thomas MAGUIRE, perhaps through his wife Letitia's close friendship with Martha CRADOCK, wife of the then Dean William CRADOCK, was appointed Sexton, after his predecessor had been dismissed over the theft of the Cathedral plate - and Thomas probably took a personal interest in and a particular care of the splendid replacement plate & chalices, to make sure the administration of that sacrament could continue uninterrupted for the congregation, and particularly for his Methodist brethren amongst them.

Inside the Cathedral, on many other occasions, the infant members of the MAGUIRE family & their kin were baptised. And in the churchyard outside, to the south of the Lady Chapel, lie buried 30 members of the related MAGUIRE, PHAIR, VICKERS and PIGOTT families, probably all of them Methodists, and 6 of them my own direct ancestors.

It is to their memory, as they lie there in the peace and quiet of a leafy city churchyard, once known quaintly as the Vicar's Bawn, from the very young to the very old, that I dedicate this article.

But in particular to Letitia PHAIR, who characterised the resolute Methodist women whose strength led to husbands becoming members, and the wives of their sons and the husbands of their daughters as well; and whose friendship in Ballyhaise with another influential woman, Martha CARY, the widow of the local Landowner, and wife of the newly appointed Dean of Saint Patrick's, who encouraged her to move to Dublin, and who undoubtedly encouraged her family to apply for lay positions in the cathedral.


A plan of the Vicar's Bawn was drawn up in the Register in 1821 (the above illustration was abstracted from it) by the Sexton, William MAGUIRE, and on it is shown the Maguire plot, immediately adjacent to the southern wall of the "French" or "Lady" Chapel, directly under the last two windows nearest to the corner of the Chapel. Thomas was almost certainly buried in this plot.
By 1812, it is probable that a second plot had been purchased; it is almost certainly shown by William in 1823 as the PHAYRE plot, adjacent but one to the south of the original MAGUIRE plot. Letitia may have instead been buried there.
It is highly likely that this MAGUIRE grave was disturbed when work was carried out on the cathedral foundations, and it is possible the remains were re-buried elsewhere (perhaps filling up the PHAYRE plot).
There were 25 burials in the five plots shown on the plan, which suggests that there 5 layers per plot; I have speculated that these 25 burials are distributed as follows, with several uncertainties being identified in the usual way (?). The details were abstracted from the original registers in 1983 and 1992 in Marsh's Library.

A. The plot marked "MAGUIRE #1" in the above plan, immediately adjacent to the Lady Chapel, and in a grave which was cleared during foundation work in the 1860s, to a nearby site now unclear:
3 November 1791 - "Joseph MAGUIRE, Clerk of Saint Patrick's, interred in the Vicar's Bawn, near end of French Chapel."
9 February 1794 - "Mr Thomas MAGUIRE, late Sexton (for 16 years), interred in the Vicar's Bawn."
27 October 1801 - "Thomas, son of Thomas Maguire, interred in the Vicar's Bawn."
          [This was the son of Thomas MAGUIRE Junior and Lucinda Kenny.]
24 March 1812 - "Mrs Letitia MAGUIRE, late Sextoness and Robe Keeper of the Cathedral, interred in the family burial place, aged 72 years."
May 1837 - "Rev Robert MAGUIRE." [Son of Thomas MAGUIRE Junior and Lucinda KENNEY.]

B. The plot just south of plot A, marked "PHAIRE" in the above plan, and marked by the tabular stone, with an inscription now unreadable:

29 July 1795 - "Rebecka PHAIR, interred in Thomas MAGUIRE's ground."
5 August 1802 - "Mrs Mary PHAIR, interred in the Vicar's Bawn." [Mary Ann MAGUIRE, aged 38.]
5 December 1802 - "Mr Thomas PHAIR, interred in the Vicar's Bawn." [Husband of Mary MAGUIRE.]
          [These last two were married in 1785, by License of the Dublin Diocese.]
19 January 1808 - "Mrs Rebecca PHAIR, interred in Thomas MAGUIRE's ground, aged 81 years."
1 June 1815 - "A child of Robert PHAIR, interred in Mr MAGUIRE's burial place."

C. The plot marked "PIGOTT" in the plan, immediately adjacent to and north of plot D:
24 April 1849 - "Mrs Mary PIGOTT, interred." [Mary VICKERS Senior, wife of John PIGOTT Senior, aged 79.]
12 May 1837 - "Miss PIGOTT, interred in the churchyard." [Daughter of John PIGOTT Junior and Elizabeth MAGUIRE.]
2 October 1838 - "Mr John PIGOTT, of Charlotte Street, interred in the Vicar's Bawn, aged 78."
6 June 1842 - "William Frederick PIGOTT, interred in the Vicar's Bawn, Aetatis 15."
25 March 1853 - "Mrs Elizabeth PIGOTT, aged 49." [Elizabeth MAGUIRE, wife of John PIGOTT Junior.]

D. The plot marked "MAGUIRE #2" in the plan, and where the granite obelisk stands (part of the low tabular stone covering plot A above is visible to the right, immediately behind the small standing stone):

(?) 7 March 1822 - "Robert MAGUIRE, interred, Ae 2 years." [Son of William MAGUIRE and Mary VICKERS Junior.]
20 September 1828 - "Thomas MAGUIRE Junior, Ae 19." [Son of ditto.]
22 July 1830 - "James MAGUIRE, interred, Ae 12." [Son of ditto.]
31 October 1840 - "Miss Lucinda MAGUIRE, interred in the Vicar's Bawn, Ae 22." [Daughter of ditto.]
28 June 1844 - "Mr William MAGUIRE, for 34 years Sexton of this Cathedral, interred in the family burial ground, Vicar's Bawn."

E. The plot marked "VICKERS" in the plan:
29 July 1828 - "Mr George VICKERS, interred in William MAGUIRE's ground, Ae 34."
(?) 7 August 1844 - "Mr Thomas MAGUIRE, interred in the family burial ground, Vicar's Bawn." [The Verger.]
1 July 1847 - "Mrs Margaret VICKERS, interred in the Vicar's Bawn, Ae 54." [Wife of George VICKERS.]
(?) 25 March 1853 - "Mrs Lucinda MAGUIRE, interred in the family burial ground." [Lucinda KENNEY, widow of Thomas MAGUIRE Junior, the Verger.]
30 March 1866 - "Miss Georgina MAGUIRE, Ae 37." [Daughter of William MAGUIRE and Mary VICKERS Junior.]


5 July 1779 - Thomas MAGUIRE, appointed Sexton, in the room of Fergus Gibbons (dismissed). He died in 1794.
24 November 1789 - Thomas MAGUIRE (son of the Sexton), appointed Constable. He resigned in 1814.
31 March 1794 - Letitia MAGUIRE, appointed Sexton, in the room of her husband Thomas (deceased). She resigned in 1810.
27 June 1795 - Thomas MAGUIRE (the son), appointed Beadle. Re-appointed 20 October 1796.
13 April 1797 - Letitia MAGUIRE, appointed Robe-keeper, in the room of Mrs Ferns (deceased). She resigned in 1810.
5 June 1810 - William MAGUIRE, appointed Sexton, in the room of his mother, Letitia MAGUIRE, (resigned). He died in 1844. His wife Mary MAGUIRE (alias VICKERS) was appointed Robe-keeper, in the room of her mother-in-law Letitia MAGUIRE, resigned.
28 May 1814 - Joseph VICKERS (brother of Mrs Mary MAGUIRE, the Robe-keeper), appointed Constable in the room of Thomas MAGUIRE (resigned).
December 1817 - Letitia PHAIR (her mother Mary Ann was the eldest daughter of Thomas and Letitia MAGUIRE), appointed assistant Sexton.
1 December 1818 - Thomas MAGUIRE (the former Constable), appointed Verger, having been deputy since May 1817. He died in 1844.
11 January 1819 - George VICKERS (brother of Joseph and of Mrs Mary MAGUIRE), appointed Constable and Beadle.
1824 - Rev Robert MAGUIRE (son of Thomas, the Verger), appointed Schoolmaster. He resigned on 5 December 1828.
1836 - William WHITE (husband of Letitia PHAIR, the Assistant Sexton), appointed Beadle.
16 February 1827 - Rev Robert MAGUIRE, appointed Residentiary Preacher.
28 February 1837 - Rev Robert MAGUIRE, appointed Minor Canon. He died on 23 March 1837.
7 January 1839 - John PIGOTT (son-in-law of William MAGUIRE, the Sexton), appointed Assistant Sexton.
4 July 1839 - Charles Aylmer KELLY (married to John PIGOTT's sister Susannah), appointed Beadle, to succeed William WHITE.
4 July 1844 - John PIGOTT (formerly Assistant Sexton), appointed Beadle, in the room of George VICKERS (his cousin).
1844 - Letitia WHITE (formerly Letitia PHAIR, the Assistant Sexton), styled as Robe-keeper, but not formally appointed - the Chapter Books describe her duties as washing surplices.
9 January 1850 - Joseph Aylmer Kelly (son of Charles, the Sexton), appointed Assistant Sexton, to succeed Charles KEATING, having been performing the duties, without pay, since 1845.
1855 - Susannah KELLY (wife of Charles, the Sexton, and a sister of John PIGOTT, the Beadle, and mother of Joseph Aylmer KELLY), was performing the duties of Robe-keeper, although her appointment is not recorded. She resigned on 17 November 1871.
16 June 1858 - Joseph Aylmer KELLY (formerly Assistant Sexton), appointed Beadle.

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