Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Jesuit priest and amateur architect, who is said to have conceived the design of the Church of St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, which was carried out By JOHN B[ENJAMIN JOHN B[ENJAMIN ?] KEANE  KEANE from 1829 onwards. Bartholomew Esmonde was born in 1789, the second son of Dr John Esmonde, who lived near Sallins, Co. Kildare, and was hanged in 1798 for having led the insurgents at Prosperous, Co. Kildare, during the risings of that year. After having passed most of his novitiate at Stonyhurst in Lancashire, Bartholomew Esmonde studied philosopy and theology in Palermo. On his return to Ireland he became master of novices at Clongowes Wood College. He remained at Clongowes, for about twenty years, with the exception of one year as superior in the Jesuit house in Hardwicke Street, and was rector of the college from 1829 onwards. From circa 1837 to 1844 he lived in Rome, and it was during this time that he supervised the design and construction of the high altar for St Xavier's, which incorporates porphyry from the Golden House of Nero and marble from the old altar of S. Paolo fuori le Mura. The altar was shipped from Leghorn at the beginning of 1842. From Rome Esmonde moved to Malta and in 1850 he returned to Dublin. He died at the Jesuit residence in Gardiner Street in 1862. A portrait of him, commissioned from an unidentified French artist by his elder brother, the Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas Esmonde, Bt., is in the residence.

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry is taken from Maureen Ryan, 'The Church of St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin', unpublished MA thesis presented to University College Dublin, November 1994, 20-21,35-39,77. Ryan cites as her source for the biographical information about Esmonde on pp.20-21 Obituaries 1800-1899 Vol. 1, 52, in the Jesuit Provincial Archives, 35-36 Lower Leeson St, Dublin; her information about Esmonde's supervision of the construction of the high altar on pp. 35-39 comes from letters written by Esmonde from Rome between 13 Mar 1838 and 9 Feb 1842, in the Jesuit Archives in Gardiner St and the Provincial Archives in Leeson St. (There is some inconsistency in Ryan's dating of the work.) See also Maureen Ryan, 'Roman Opulence in a Dublin church: the High Altar of St Francis Xavier's', Irish Arts Review Yearbook 14 (1998), 33-39(illus.)


2 work entries listed in chronological order for ESMONDE, BARTHOLOMEW


Sort by date | Sort alphabetically


Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GARDINER STREET UPPER, CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER (RC)
Date: 1829-32
Nature: Design of church said to have been conceived by Esmonde and carrried out under supervision of J.B. Keane. FS laid 2 Jul 1829.
Refs: 'Annals of Dublin' in Pettigrew & Oulton's Dublin Almanac (1847); Maureen Ryan, 'The Church of St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin', unpublished MA thesis presented to University College Dublin, November 1994, 20-21.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GARDINER STREET UPPER, CHURCH OF ST FRANCIS XAVIER (RC)
Date: 1838-42
Nature: Design and construction of high altar supervised by Esmonde in Rome, incorporating porphyry from Golden House of Nero and marble from the old altar of S Paolo fuori le Mura.
Refs: Maureen Ryan, 'The Church of St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin', unpublished MA thesis presented to University College Dublin, November 1994. Ryan's information about Esmonde's supervision of the construction of the high altar on pp. 35-39 comes from letters written by Esmonde from Rome between 13 Mar 1838 and 9 Feb 1842, in the Jesuit Archives in Gardiner St and Leeson St; see also Maureen Ryan, 'Roman Opulence in a Dublin church: the High Altar of St Francis Xavier's', Irish Arts Review Yearbook 14 (1998), 33-39(illus.)