Architect, of Dublin, active circa 1772?-1792. Parke's beginnings are unknown. He may be the 'Mr Parke' who in 1772 entered the competition for designing the Blue Coat School, which was won by THOMAS IVORY. He was THOMAS COOLEY' s clerk of works in the first stages of the construction of the Four Courts complex, which was started in 1776 and interrupted by Cooley's death in 1784. He was also employed by the Royal Dublin Society from at least 1784 and had dealings with the Dublin Wide Streets Commissioners between 1784 and 1787. In 1789 he reported on various Linen Hall accounts, which suggests that he preceded Edward Parke as the Linen Board's architect. At the time of his death in 1792 he was superintending additions to the Irish House of Commons to designs claimed by the amateur architect SAMUEL HAYES but largely attributable to JAMES GANDON. He was succeeded in this work by EDWARD PARKE , who appears to have been his son, and with whom he is often confused. Parke was admitted a Freeman of the City of Dublin as a member of the Corporation of Carpenters by Grace Especial at Michaelmas 1789.
Address: 31 William Street, Dublin, 1787-93.
His designs receive unfavorable comment in a letter from 'Architectus' to The Freeman's Journal of 9-12 January 1773 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
JHCI 12, lxv (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
J. Turpin, A School of Art in Dublin since the Eighteenth Century (1995), 62.
Wide Streets Commissioners minutes, 4 Oct 1784, 6 May 1785, 22 May 1787 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc 2008/44.
E.McParland, James Gandon: Vitruvius Hibernicus (1985), 84-85,204.
'An alphabetical list of the Freemen of the City of Dublin, 1774-1824', The Irish Ancestor XV (1983), Nos. 1 & 2, 97; the fact that he was admitted by Grace Especial may indicate that he was not a native of Dublin.
Freeman's Journal, 27 Nov 1787; Wilson's Dublin Directory 1787-1793.
5 work entries listed in chronological order for PARKE, ROBERT
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||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, BLACKHALL PLACE, BLUE COAT SCHOOL
||'Mr Parke' an unsuccessful competition entrant.
Freeman's Journal 9-12 Jan 1773 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); for 2 competitions of 1772 and 1773 see S. O'Reilly & Nicholas Robinson, New Lease of Life: The Law Society's building at Blackhall Place (Dublin, 1990), 9.
||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, PARLIAMENT HOUSE
||RP architect in charge of erection of House of Commons; succeeded after his death by Edward Parke.
James Malton, A Picturesque and descriptive view of the city of Dublin (1799), unpaginated; E.McParland, James Gandon: Vitruvius Hibernicus (1985), 204; JHCI 15, ccccix; 16, lxxxix (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)