Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Amongst the Lennox-Boyd Collection of architectural prints in the RIBA Drawings Collection(1) is a rough design for a simple five-bay, two-storey house; the centrally placed entrance has a shallow segmental fanlight and side lights. The drawing is signed 'Robert Duff April the 4th 1840'. The accompanying notes, with their references to Irish measure, make it clear that the building is in Ireland, but neither place nor client is named. From the tone of the notes, the client - for whom the cost of building is evidently a prime consideration - appears to be a friend. 'Iā€¦think [Duff writes] that you have to much buisiness in hands to mind this season without Building - I would strongly advise you not to neglect your Buisiness - if you would refer the Building of the house until next year I think you could manage it much more convenient and better in every respect.' The author of the design could be Robert Duff, last surviving son of THOMAS DUFF  THOMAS DUFF of Newry, who may well have have assisted his father, though there is no clear evidence of this. Robert Duff died in June 1847.(1) The Newry Telegraph, in its obituary of Thomas Duff, who died the following year, noted the 'mental affliction' from which he had latterly been suffering 'In consequence of the loss of an only son of much promise'.(2)



References



(1) Victoria & Albert Museum, RIBA Drawings Collection, SE3/11, see British Architectural Library Catalogue, http://riba.sirsidynix.net.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/qTgzgHjGEb/MAIN_CAT/237720086/13 (last visited May 2009).
(2) Information from Christine Casey, source not given but probably Newry Telegraph.
(3) Newry Telegraph, ll May 1848.