Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and builder, of Dublin. George Ensor, a son of JOB ENSOR  JOB ENSOR and his wife Dorothy and a younger half-brother of JOHN ENSOR JOHN ENSOR , was baptised in St Michael's church, Coventry, on 29 December 1724.(1)  His family must have moved to Ireland while he was still very young, as Job Ensor was working on the Dublin Parliament House by 1729.  On 16 May 1745 he won first prize for designs for a house in one of the Dublin Society competitions sponsored by Dr Samuel Madden.(2) The previous year he had been appointed clerk of works in the office of the Surveyor General, ARTHUR JONES NEVILL ARTHUR JONES NEVILL , and in 1747 he was given the task of inspecting barracks.(3) He appears to have acted as contractor for the barracks at Mallow, Tallow and elsewhere.(4) It was for taking bribes in connection with government contracts that he was dismissed from his post in the Surveyor General's office in 1751.(5) Craig is of the opinion that, 'in the absence of any evidence that Nevill was an architect, Ensor is the likeliest candidate for government designs between 1744-51'.(6)

On 11 October 1760 Ensor married Sarah Clarke, heiress to the small estate of Ardress in Co. Armagh, but there is no definite evidence of his having come into the property until 1783. In the meantime he worked as an architect and developer in Dublin and elsewhere. He was appointed surveyor of the works at Christ Church cathedral Dublin in 1761.(7) It appears that as late as the 1790s he was still carrying out building contracts for the Government, for in 1796 he was again dismissed for taking bribes. He died in 1803, having had five sons. His eldest son, George, was a lawyer by profession and well-known in his day as the author of several books on social, economic and political topics. The George Ensor who became a Freeman of the City of Dublin as a member of the Guild of Carpenters and as the eldest surviving son of a Freeman at Michaelmas 1823(8) may have been a grandson.

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Ardress House, Co. Armagh (National Trust, 1990). See also the entry by Helen Andrews on John and George Ensor in DIA.

(1) www.familysearch.org.  He is described as still being a young man in 1762 (E.McP, citing NLI MS 10,770 re Roscommon Court House).
(2) Dublin Courant, 18-21 May 1745 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); John Turpin, A School of Art in Dublin since the eighteenth century (1995), 12.
(3) JHCI IV, ccxc.
(4) Information from Kenneth Severens, Apr 1996 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(5) JHCI V, Appendix (Report from the committee to examine the accounts of the money expended in buildingā€¦barracks'), ccxxviii; Ensor is censured for receiving bribes in The history of the ministerial conduct of the chief governors of Ireland (1754) (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(6) M. Craig, Dublin 1660-1860 (1st edition, 1952), 166.
(7) Christ Church Chapter Acts, VI, 151 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(8) 'An alphabetical list of the Freemen of the City of Dublin, 1774-1824', The Irish Ancestor XV (1983), Nos. 1 & 2, 47.


16 work entries listed in chronological order for ENSOR, GEORGE


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CHRISTCHURCH PLACE, CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL (CI)
Date: 1761
Nature: GE appointed surveyor of works.
Refs: Christ Church Chapter Acts VI, 151 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44).

Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, ROSCOMMON, COURT HOUSE & MARKET HOUSE
Date: 1762
Nature: Agreement with John & George Ensor to build Sessions & Market House in Roscommon. (Former court house above market house collapsed 2 Mar 1719 killing and wounding at least 200 persons, see |Account of how the Courthouse in Roscommon fell down| (1719))
Refs: NLI, MS 10,770, Ainsworth Report 10 (Pakenham-Mahon) and NLI Spec List 19 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, ROSCOMMON, RANELAGH SCHOOL
Date: 1763ca
Nature: -
Refs: NLI, microfilm Pos.3147 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. WESTMEATH, ATHLONE, RANELAGH ENDOWED SCHOOL
Date: 1763ca-1764
Nature: New free school with chapel and lodgings for schoolmaster and mistress. Opened 20 Apr 1764.
Refs: Old Athlone Society Journal I, no. 1 (1969), 22-34; N.W. English , 1972, has note that contract in 1763 and 1764 is among original papers relating to Ranelagh Trust in Mountjoy School, Dublin (NLI microfilm, Pos.3147)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, FISHAMBLE STREET, CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST (CI)
Date: 1766-69
Nature: Rebuilding.(Closed 1878. Demolished, 1884.)
Refs: Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette 23, no. 88, 3 Sep 1881, 613.H.A. Wheeler & M.J. Craig, The Dublin City Churches of The church of Ireland (1948), 22.

Building: CO. ARMAGH, ARMAGH, ABBEY STREET, COUNTY INFIRMARY
Date: 1767
Nature: 9-bay, 2-storey building with pedimented central bays.
Refs: NLI microfilm, pos.1014; R. McKinstry, R. Oram, R. Weatherup, P. Wilson, The Buildings of Armagh (UAHS, 1992), 37-38;  Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013),  125.


Building: CO. ARMAGH, ARMAGH, ENGLISH STREET LOWER, NO. 045-55 (SEVEN SISTERS)
Date: 1768-1770
Nature: Terrace of seven houses, erected by Dean Averell, Rector of Tynan, for his 7 sisters. 1 has been demolished.
Refs: Ardress House (National Trust, 1990), 9; R. McKinstry, R. Oram, R. Weatherup & P. Wilson, The Buildings of Armagh (UAHS, 1992), 108;  Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 133.


Building: CO. ARMAGH, ARMAGH, PALACE DEMESNE, ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE
Date: 1775a
Nature: GE executant architect and/or builder of house? Paid Ā£10,322.17s.9d. (Witness to Archbishop's memorial re building of proposed palace, 4 Aug 1766.)
Refs: PRONI DIO/4/40/5/1,9;  Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 94,134..


Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERRION SQUARE, NO. 033 (ANTRIM HOUSE)
Date: 1778a
Nature: GSR give design to GE and names builder as John Ensor but cf. John Roe's map of part of the Pembroke Dublin estates (1822), which shows that purchaser of lot was Samuel Sproule.
Refs: Georgian Society Records (1909-13), IV (1912), 18,81; NA, acc. 2011 (ref. 2/4/32?)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERRION SQUARE, NO. 028
Date: 1780
Nature: Built by George Ensor.
Refs: Georgian Society Records (1909-13), IV (1912), 81;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 584.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERRION SQUARE, NO. 029-31
Date: 1780
Nature: Built by George Ensor.  According to Casey, No. 30 was built by John Ensor.
Refs: Georgian Society Records (1909-13), IV (1912), 81;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 584.

Building: CO. ARMAGH, ARDRESS HOUSE
Date: 1780ca
Nature: Added portico to east front, erected rectangular block behind existing one, containing new drawing room, decorated by Michael Stapleton. For himself.
Refs: Ardress House (National Trust, 1990), 9 4(illus.),12(illus.),15(illus.),20(illus.);  Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 83-4,Pl.47.


Building: CO. ARMAGH, LOUGHGALL, CHURCH OF ST LUKE (CI)
Date: 1795
Nature: GE on committee which decided to rebuild dilapidated existing church in 1788.
Refs: Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 419.


Building: CO. GALWAY, LOUGHREA, BARRACK STREET, BARRACKS
Date: ?
Nature: GE makes plan of same.
Refs: JHCI V, lxxviii (E.McP files);  (Engraved plan of barracks, 1863, as surveyed in 1861, in Military Archives, Dublin.)

Building: CO. CORK, MALLOW, BARRACKS
Date: ?
Nature: GE contractor for same.
Refs: Letter from Kenneth Severens to E. McParland, Apr 1996 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. WATERFORD, TALLOW, BARRACKS
Date: ?
Nature: GE contractor for same.
Refs: IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44, citing letter from Kenneth Severens, apr 1996