Selected: EYRE, THOMAS


Born: -
Died: 1772


Surveyor General of Ireland from 1752-1763. Thomas Eyre was the second son of Col. Samuel Eyre of Eyreville, Co. Galway, by his second wife, Anne, daughter of Robert Stratford of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow. He joined James Oglethorpe's regiment as a cadet in 1738 and went to Georgia, where he remained until 1743, by which time he held the position of sub-engineer for Georgia and South Carolina and was a landholder at Frederica. He then returned to England. He subsequently served as a lieutenant in Edward Trelawney's regiment in Jamaica, and was promoted to the rank of captain in 1748 while he was engineer at Rattan. He retired from the regiment in 1752, shortly before his appointment as Surveyor General.

Eyre was appointed Surveyor General and Engineer General of Ireland on 31 August 1752 in succession to ARTHUR JONES NEVILL. ARTHUR JONES NEVILL. (1) His deputy was JOSEPH JARRATT. JOSEPH JARRATT. (2) In 1760, in response to criticism of works he had undertaken at the Royal Barracks in Observations made by the Commissioners on their view of the several barracks throughout…Ireland, he published A reply to the report of the commissioners and others upon the condition of Dublin barracks. The responsibility for military buildings which the position of Engineer General implied were handed over to the Master General of the Ordnance in October 1761.(3) Eyre was promoted lieutenant colonel on 26 January 1763.(4) Later in the same year the position of Surveyor General was abolished. On its abolition Eyre was paid compensation of £200 per annum and was appointed to the newly-created post of Chief Engineer of the Ordnance at a salary of £365 per annum.(5)

Eyre died at the Parliament House, Dublin, on 22 February 1772. His will, made on 16 September 1766, was proved on 11 May 1772.(6) He was married to Anne Cook, the daughter of Major William Cook, an officer in Oglethorpe's regiment, who was in Georgia while Eyre was there.

Eyre's MS. letter book, 1756-65, and 'General Accompt', 1752-1762, are in the IAA, Acc. 86/149.

See WORKS, BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

References
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Rev. Allen Stewart Hartigan, A Short Account of the Family of Eyre of Eyrecourt, and Eyre of Eyreville in the County of Galway, 19-21, Professor Kenneth Severens in letter to E. McParland, 25 Mar 1997, and from E. McParland, 'The office of the surveyor general in Ireland in the eighteenth century', Architectural History 38 (1995), 91-99. A pair of portraits of Eyre and his wife dated 1750 were purchased at auction by the Office of Public Works in 2001 (that of Eyre is reproduced in F. O'Dwyer, 'Building empires: architecture, politics and the Board of Works 1760-1860', Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies 5 (2002), 111.

(1) NA/PRO (Kew) WO/8/4 ff.21- (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); Pue's Impartial Occurrences, 19 Sep 1752 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(2) Maurice Craig, Dublin 1660-1860 (lst edition, 1952), 166.
(2) T.W.J. Conolly, Roll of Officers of the Corps of Royal Engineers from 1660 to 1898. (Chatham, 1898), 112 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(3) JHCI 8, App. XVIII,XXXI, contains reference to Eyre as the 'late Engineer General' in 1761 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(4) Conolly, loc. cit.
(5) NA/PRO(Kew), SP67/22 f71 and SO/1/22 f.167 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); for a detailed account of Eyre's fall from office, see F. O'Dwyer, op. cit., above, 111ff.
(6) NA/PRO 2/434/2, Vol. 22 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).

20 work entries listed in chronological order for EYRE, THOMAS


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1753
Nature: Requests money to pay for repair of 'Round, Square and Water Closets'.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T1/354/48,49 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, CARRICKFERGUS, BARRACKS
Date: 1754
Nature: TE presents plan for new barracks for 4 companies of foot
Refs: Observations made by the Commissioners on their view of the several barracks throughout Ireland(1760), Pt. 2, 22

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1756
Nature: Builds (and designs?) surveyor general's house.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew), T1/367/48-51, T14/13/238 (E.McP)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUN LAOGHAIRE, HARBOUR, INNER COAL HARBOUR PIER
Date: 1756
Nature: TE involved in building of same.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T14/13/153 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, SKERRIES, PIER
Date: 1756
Nature: Te involved in building of same.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T14/13/153 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. WEXFORD, DUNCANNON FORT
Date: 1756
Nature: TE prepares estimates and involved in works at same.
Refs: IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44, citing 'T3158/1281, 1282' (ie at NA/PRO (Kew)?).

Building: CO. CORK, CHARLES FORT (KINSALE)
Date: 1756
Nature: TE prepares estimates and involved in works at same.
Refs: 'T3158/1281, 1282' (ie at PRO (Kew)? from NRA list 20594) (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1756
Nature: Plain granite arch built by TE, 1756.
Refs: Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 360.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1757a
Nature: TE prepares plans for building laboratory for preparing ammunition in Lower Castle Yard. Payment of £405.8s.4d for same, 1757.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T1/376/56-59, T1/379/73,74 , T14/13/311

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1758
Nature: TE ordered to prepare plans for Record Offices.
Refs: PRONI D562/7713A & B (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1758
Nature: TE involved in repair of same
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T1/384/101 and SO/1/21 f.148 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1758
Nature: TE to complete building on N side of castle for Linen Board and 2nd Secretary.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T14/13/314,348 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PHOENIX PARK, MAGAZINE
Date: 1758
Nature: Proposed extension to same.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T1/384/122,126 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CIRCULAR ROAD SOUTH (KILMAINHAM), ROYAL HOSPITAL
Date: 1758
Nature: Minor works at same..
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew), SO/1/21 f.124 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, BENBURB STREET, COLLINS BARRACKS (FORMERLY ROYAL BARRACKS)
Date: 1758
Nature: TE paid £17,964.15s.7¼d. for repairs to same.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T14/14/279 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1758-1761
Nature: Bedford Tower built by TE, though 'the design appears to correspond to the building estimated for in 1750 by Arthur Jones Nevill...an old-fashioned building, whose central block, minus the tower and wings, was modelled on the house of Lord Herbert at Whitehall builit by Colen Campbell in 1723-4' (Casey).
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T14/13/315 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44);  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 352.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PHOENIX PARK, DEPUTY RANGER'S LODGE
Date: 1758-59
Nature: TE prepares designs for same, 1758; warrant for building same, 1759.
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew), TI/384/141,142,143 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); NA/PRO (Kew) SO 1/21 f 182 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1758p
Nature: Rebuilding of garden front. Paid for same, 1761
Refs: NA/PRO (Kew) T14/13/345 and SO/1/21 f.156, SO/1/22 f.88 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44);  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 352. 

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1761
Nature: TE paid for work on castle and for rebuilding state apartments.
Refs: JHCI 7, App. V (27 Oct 1761) and App. CXXXII (1761) (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. KERRY, CASTLEISLAND, BARRACKS
Date: ?
Nature: Barrack for 2 companies 'built by the present Surveyor General'.
Refs: Observations made by the Commissioners on their view of the several barracks throughout…Ireland (1760), Pt. 4, 16

Author Title Date Details
Eyre, Thomas MS General Accompt, 1752-1762 1752-62 IAA, Acc. 86/149.
Eyre, Thomas MS letter book, 1756-1765 1756-65 IAA, Acc. 86/149.
Eyre, Thomas A reply to the report of the commissioners and others upon the condition of Dublin barracks 1760 Dublin, 1760.