Selected: BAKER, HENRY AARON


Born: 1753
Died: 1836


Architect, of Dublin. According to his own account,(1) Baker was apprenticed to THOMAS IVORY  THOMAS IVORY and spent 'above four years' studying under Ivory at the Dublin Society's School of Drawing in Architecture. 'Aaron Baker' was admitted to the School on 4 December 1777 and was awarded a silver medal on 9 December 1779.(2) As Ivory's health began to deteriorate in the 1780s, Baker increasingly undertook his teaching duties at the School, of which by the time of Ivory's death on 27 December 1786 he had effectively become the acting Master. By this date he had also been working 'sometime' in the office of JAMES GANDON. JAMES GANDON. (3) On 1 February 1787 he was elected Master of the School,(4) retaining the position for the rest of his life. On 9 November 1797 his salary was increased from £60 to £100 per annum.(5) In the Irish Magazine for July 1809, he was attacked for improperly benefitting from the Dublin Society's exhibitions.(6)

Baker visited England in 1803.(7) He was one of the architects who prepared schemes for the Dublin Wide Street Commissioners during the first two decades of the 19th century. From 1815 until 1821 or longer, he was architect to the Dublin prisons.(8) In Pigot & Co.'s City of Dublin and Hibernian Provincial Directory (1824), he is described as 'City Architect' and in Wilson's Dublin Directory for 1833 and 1834 as 'Architect of the Grand Juries of the City of Dublin'.

Baker was a founder member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1823, secretary in 1826-7 and professor of architecture from 1827 until 1831, when he resigned and was made an honorary member.(9) He exhibited at the Academy between 1826 and 1831. He died on 4 June 1836(10) and was buried in the churchyard of St Thomas's church, Dublin.(11) In 1831, according to Wilson's Dublin Directoryfor that year, he shared his Mecklenburgh Street address with HENRY S. BAKER HENRY S. BAKER , who was presumably related.

Addresses:(12) Aldborough Place, 1800;(13) Caroline Row, 1800-1807;(14) 11 Caroline Row, 1808-1809;(15) 112 Mecklenburgh Street, 1810-1831; 12 Park Street, 1831.(16) 46 Denzille Street, 1832; 55 Cumberland Street', 1833-34; 2 Wentworth Place, 1835.

See WORKS.

References
James Dowling Herbert exhibited a portrait of Baker at the Society of Artists of the City of Dublin in 1812 (no. 146) and Richard James Troy a bust at the RHA in 1831 (no. 273). The present location of these works is unknown.

(1) Letter from Baker (?to the Duke of Leinster, Vice President of the Dublin Society), 27 Dec 1786, asking for 'the favour of your Protection' in his application to succeed Thomas Ivory as Master of the Dublin Society's School of Drawing in Architecture (Conolly Papers, TCD MS. 3978/915). The letter, written on the day of Ivory's death , with a favourable reference from Gandon appended, is cited by E. McParland, James Gandon: Vitruvius Hibernicus (1985), 199, note 60.
(2) MS. transcript from Royal Dublin Society minutes of School of Architectural Drawing admissions and prizewinners (in IAA); confusingly, a Henry Baker was admitted to the school on 4 May 1780. J.D. Herbert, Irish Varieties (London, 1836), 56, concludes that there were two Bakers in the Royal Dublin Society schools, A. Baker & 'young Baker'.
(3) See note 1, above; later Baker was to assist, and then succeed, Gandon at the King's Inns (McParland, op. cit., 174).
(4) Freeman's Journal 11-13 Jan(?) 1787; John Turpin, A School of Art in Dublin since the eighteenth century (1995), 51-52.
(5) Turpin, op. cit., 48.
(6) IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44.
(7) His view of Hurstmonceaux Castle, Sussex, 'finished from a sketch taken in the year 1803' was exhibited at the RHA in 1827 (no. 193).
(8) NA/SPO 588 AAI 989 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(9) Strickland II, 622; Index of RHA Exhibitors I, xxii.
(10) Freeman's Journal, 7 June 1836 (information from Helen Andrews).
(11) APSD, article on Baker; he could possibly be the Henry Baker who married Mary Maginnes at St Thomas's on 19 June 1776 (R. Refaussé, ed., Register of the Parish of St Thomas, Dublin 1750-1791 (RCB, 1994), 128).
(12) From Wilson's Dublin Directory unless otherwise indicated.
(13) ALEI, I, 27-28.
(14) ALEI, I, 27, continues to give his address as Aldborough Place in 1801-2.
(15) ALEI, I, 27, gives his address as 51 Mecklenburgh St in 1809.
(16) Index of RHA Exhibitors, I, 31.

29 work entries listed in chronological order for BAKER, HENRY AARON


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Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, BISHOP'S GATE
Date: 1789p
Nature: Triumphal arch built as memorial to William III at centenary of openeng of the gates of Derry. 1st stone laid by Mayor., 1789.
Refs: G. Vaughan Sampson, Statistical Survey of the County of Londonderry (1802), 481; Mr & Mrs S.C. Hall, Ireland (1841-3), III, 212; T.J. Mulvany, Life of Gandon (1846), 218-219n; APSD, B, 10 and L, 134

Building: CO. MEATH, KELLS, TOWER OF LLOYD
Date: 1791
Nature: Gothic tower. For 1st Earl of Bective
Refs: Carved inscription on tower;  unsigned, undated  topographical view, or possibly sketch design, in IAA, Guinness Collection, Acc. 96/068.3/3/10.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HAWKINS STREET, DUBLIN SOCIETY
Date: 1796
Nature: Designed by HAB, perhaps with Robert Parke.
Refs: James Meenan & Desmond Clarke, The Royal Dublin Society 1731-1981 (1981), 58-59; John Turpin, A School of art in Dublin since the eighteenth century (1995), 63

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WESTMORELAND STREET
Date: 1799-1800
Nature: Facade scheme for Wide St Commissioners
Refs: Drawings in Dublin City Archives; NA/PRO WSC maps 160,195,375,486; BIGS 15, no. 1, Pls 12,13;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 420-21.

Building: CO. KILDARE, NARRAGHMORE
Date: 1801
Nature: Design for castle-style mansion for Col. Keating of Narraghmore exhibited at Society of Artists of Ireland, 1801. (Narraghmore had been destroyed by rebels in 1798.)
Refs: Society of Artists of Ireland 1801, no. 86

Building: CO. KILDARE, BELAN HOUSE?
Date: 1801
Nature: Proposed gates for Lord Aldborough
Refs: Design exhibited at Society of Artists of Ireland 1801, no. 86

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HARDWICKE PLACE, ST GEORGE'S CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1801
Nature: Entered two designs in competiton; placed 3rd
Refs: Front & side elevations in IIA, Murray Collection no. 450,451; RIA, Haliday pamphlets 878/6 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); plan and side elevation exhibited at Society of Artists of Ireland 1801, no. 125,130

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, INNS QUAY, FOUR COURTS
Date: 1802-1804
Nature: Clerk of works for Gandon; supervising work, 1804
Refs: APSD, II, D, 76; NA/PRO Board of Works Minute Book 1,28 Mar 1804

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, BANK OF IRELAND
Date: 1803
Nature: Winning but unexecuted entry in competition. (Competition announced, Aug 1802.)  Entry submitted under motto 'T.V.'.
Refs: Drawing(s) in IAA, Bank of Ireland drawings collection (Acc. 2006/65);  H.A. Baker, Necessary Observations addressed to the Governors and Directors of the Bank of Ireland…by a Candidate (1803);  Freeman's Journal, 28 June 1803; Brenda Doyle, 'Catalogue of Architectural Drawings entered for the Competition held in 1802-3 for the alteration of the Old Parliament House, Dublin, to the Bank of Ireland', theses submitted to Trinity College, Dublin, for the Moderatorship Part II Examination, April 1986; E.McParland, 'The Bank and the Visual Arts', in F.S.L. Lyons, ed., Bicentenary Essays Bank of Ireland 1783-1983 (1983), 104-105, Pls. 42,43,44

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HENRIETTA STREET, KING'S INNS
Date: 1805
Nature: Designs for dining hall and library by Gandon & HAB, 'who evidently played a significant role in completing the dining hall' (Casey).
Refs: Drawings in IAA Murray collection, no. 511-520;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 158.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, RICHMOND BRIDGE
Date: 1805?
Nature: Competition entrant?
Refs: Design exhibited Hibernian Society of Artists 1814, no. 262

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, EDEN QUAY
Date: 1806
Nature: Elevations for Wide Sts Commissioners
Refs: BIGS 15, no. 1, 24; NA/PRO WSC maps 740

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET LOWER, NELSON MONUMENT
Date: 1806
Nature: Competition entrant.
Refs: Plan & perspective view exhibited Society of Artists of Ireland 1809, no. 110,111; anon perspective view in IAA (90/67) could be by HAB

Building: CO. KILKENNY, CASTLECOMER, MARKET HOUSE
Date: 1809
Nature: For Dowager Countess of Ormond
Refs: Design of building 'now erecting' exhibited Society of Artists of Ireland 1809, no. 94

Building: CO. KILDARE, HARRISTOWN HOUSE (KILCULLEN)
Date: 1809
Nature: Mausoleum, for John Latouche
Refs: Design exhibited Society of Artists of Ireland 1800, no. 180

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MARLBOROUGH STREET, ST THOMAS'S CHURCH (CI, OLD)
Date: 1809
Nature: Proposed completion of front and 130 ft. steeple
Refs: Drawings in RCB; design exhibited Society of Artists of Ireland 1809, no. 88; Warburton, I, 502

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, BACHELOR'S WALK
Date: 1810
Nature: Proposed elevations, 'approved'
Refs: NA/PRO WSC minutes (before Vol. 20)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PHOENIX PARK, WELLINGTON TESTIMONIAL
Date: 1814ca
Nature: Entrant in Wellington Testimonial competition with design for a triumphal arch with double tier of arches.
Refs: J. Warburton, J. Whitelaw and R. Walsh, History of the City of Dublin (1818)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ST MICHAEL'S HILL, CIRCUS
Date: 1816
Nature: Designs for proposed circus.
Refs: Signed & dated alternative elevations in Dublin City Archives, WSC/MAPS/178/1,2

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, INCHICORE ROAD, KILMAINHAM COURT HOUSE
Date: 1819-1820
Nature: Paid £1662 & £510 for work on; prepared designs for new court house, exh. at RHA 1926 (but building executed to designs by William Farrell.)
Refs: PP Public Works 1839,540; RHA 1826, no. 245,253,259,265

Building: CO. KILKENNY, CASTLECOMER, CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1820
Nature: 'Mr Baker' (perhaps HAB) paid £11.7s.6d for plan of steeple. (Steeple repaired and whitewashed, 1822, but not mentioned by Lewis and does not exist today.)
Refs: RCB Library, 'An account of of all sums of money levied for building and repairing of churches...June 1824' (information from Frank Keohane).

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, KILDARE STREET, LEINSTER HOUSE (ROYAL DUBLIN SOCIETY)
Date: 1823-27
Nature: Bust gallery and drawing school on NE side of house. Builder: Manders.
Refs: APSD II, D, 76; John Turpin, 'The Dublin Society's School of Architectural Drawing', BIGS 28 (1985), 14;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 417,481n,499.

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, PERY SQUARE, SPRING-RICE MONUMENT
Date: 1826
Nature: Statue by Kirk for monument by 'now building' exh. RHA 1826. Judith Hill gives date as 1831.
Refs: Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects B (RIBA, 1972), 12,148; Judith Hill, 'Reputations: nineteenth-century monuments in Limerick', History Ireland 5, no. 4 (Winter, 1997), 44-45

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HIGH STREET, ST AUDOEN'S CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1826
Nature: Restoration; alteration to tower, including corner pinnacles, window, louvres, double doors and archway and replacement of pyramidal roof with flat one.
Refs: H.A.Wheeler & M.J.Craig, Dublin City Churches (Dublin 1948), 12; IB 19, 1 Feb 1877, 36; John Crawford, 'An archaeological survey of st Audoen's Church, Cornmarket', Dublin Historical Record 49 (Autumn 1996), 87;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 339.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, NATIONAL GALLERY (PROPOSED)
Date: 1826
Nature: Drawings exhibited at RHA
Refs: RHA 1826, no. 254,255,260

Building: CO. WESTMEATH, BLOOMFIELD LODGE
Date: 1828
Nature: For Countess of Belvedere
Refs: Design of building 'now erecting' exhibited RHA 1828, 298

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CHRISTCHURCH PLACE, CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Early restoration?
Refs: IB 71, 16 Mar 1929, 233

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, D'OLIER ST
Date: ?
Nature: Facade scheme for Wide St Commissioners
Refs: Drawings in Dublin City Archives;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 417,420-21.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WINETAVERN STREET
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed elevation of shops (gothic)
Refs: NA/PRO WSC maps 178

Author Title Date Details
Baker, Henry Aaron Necessary Observations addressed to the Governors and Directors of the Bank of Ireland…by a candidate 1803 Dublin, 1803.