Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Stuccadore and master builder, of Dublin, active from the 1770s or earlier. According to Curran, Charles Thorp served his apprenticeship as a plasterer with a John Keating.(1) He is recorded as carrying out plastering and stucco work at the Royal Exchange during the 1770s and and at the Blue Coat School circa 1778. From the early 1780s he was also in business a builder and developer, which may account for his involvement in the establishment of the Dublin Insurance Company against Fire in 1783.(2) Between 1782 and 1790 he erected houses in Hume Street, North Great George's Street and Ely Place; he later built extensively in the Mountjoy Square area. He was elected a Commissioner of Mountjoy Square in 1808.(3)

Thorp was active in the public life of Dublin. He had become Master of the Guild of Bricklayers by 1784 and represented the Guild on the Common Council of Dublin from 1787 to 1789.(4) In 1789 he was elected a sheriff,(5) and in 1792 an alderman.(6) In January 1800 he was appointed a member of a committee of aldermen which was charged with preparing a petition to Parliament against the proposed legislative union with Great Britain,(7) and in April of the same year he was elected mayor.(8) Half way through his one-year term of office the aldermen, sheriffs, commons and citizens of Dublin, presented him with an address which acknowledged his 'humane and public spirited conduct', his' unparalleled exertions for public good' and particularly his attention to the relief of the poor. 'We have no doubt of your steady perseverance to continue throughout your mayoralty this line of conduct, you so actively and so peculiarly began in detecting fraud, monoply, forestalling, regrating, and other impositions, which were and shamefully practised on the inhabitants of this great city'.(9) In January 1803 the current mayor and aldermen authorized the commissioning of a portrait of Thorp costing not more than 100 guineas which was to be placed in the Mansion House.(10)

Thorp was a member of the Dublin Society's Fine Arts Committee.(11) After Leinster House had been sold to the Dublin Society in 1815, Thorp, JAMES GANDON  JAMES GANDON and FRANCIS JOHNSTON FRANCIS JOHNSTON , were appointed members of a select committee with responsibility for deciding what alterations to the house would be necessary.(12)

Thorp died a wealthy man(13) in June 1817.(14) He was succeeded in the business by his nephew CHARLES THORP [2] CHARLES THORP [2] ,(15) with whom he has sometimes been confused.(16)  GEORGE THORP  GEORGE THORP and THOMAS EVANS THORP  THOMAS EVANS THORP may also have been related.

Addresses:(17) 10 North Cumberland Street, 1784; Gloucester Street, 1786; Hume Street, 1789;(18) Temple Street, 1792;(19) 45 Gardiner's Place, 1798; 32 North Great George's St, 1803-6; Mountjoy Square East, 1807, 7 Mountjoy Square East, 1808-9; 5 Mountjoy Square East, 1810-16; 3 Mountjoy Square East, 1817.

See WORKS.



References

For an account of Thorp's plasterwork, see C.P. Curran, Dublin Decorative Plasterwork of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (1967), 75-77. An engraved portrait, reproduced from the Hibernian Magazine, Oct 1800, and inscribed 'Rt Honble Charles Thorpe, Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin. The father of the Poor, The friend of the People', is reproduced in CARD XV, facing p. 176, and the full-length portrait in the Mansion House painted by William Cuming circa 1803 (see CARD 15, 283-4) is reproduced in CARD XVII, facing p. 320.

(1) Curran, op. cit., above, 111.
(2) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 25-28 Jan 1783.
(3) Curran, op.cit., 75.
(4) CARD XIV, 544.
(5) CARD XIV, 102.
(6) CARD XV, 287.
(7) CARD XV, 135-6,145.
(8) CARD XV, 145-6.
(9) CARD XV, 166-7.
(10) CARD XV, 283-4.
(11) Curran, op. cit., above, 76.
(12) Henry F. Berry, History of the Royal Dublin Society (1915), 105.
(13) Royal Irish Academy, Haliday MS 4B 31; this manuscript is a copy of a report presented to Daniel O'Connell in 1834 to support the argument for repealing the Act of Union by describing the catastrophic impact the Act had had on the tradesmen of Dublin.
(14) CARD XVII, 164. 
(15) See note 13, above.
(16) As for example in Dublin Historical Record III, 11, which appears to be the source for Curran's assertion that Thorpe's 'Orange proclivities … brought him in his profession, and as guildsman, in conflict with the liberal master Joseph[sic] Pemberton' (op.cit., 75-6).
(17) From Wilson's Dublin Directory unless otherwise stated.
(18) CARD XIV, 102.
(19) CARD XIV, 287.


24 work entries listed in chronological order for THORP, CHARLES [1] *


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CAPEL STREET, NO. 096-97
Date:
Nature: Formerly had ceilings attributed to CT.
Refs: Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 106.


Building: CO. GALWAY, BROOKLODGE
Date: 1777a
Nature: CT paid 1777 for parlour stuccowork.
Refs: Patricia McCarthy & Kevin V. Mulligan 'Unfulfilled mediocrity: the hapless career of Dominick Madden in the west of Ireland', Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies 9 (2006), 98-149

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, BLACKHALL PLACE, BLUE COAT SCHOOL
Date: 1778
Nature: CT paid £378.10s.7d for work at same including £70 for Board room ceiling.(Damaged by fire in 1930s and reproduced in papier maché by John Sibthorpe.)
Refs: NLI MS,13,659(6) (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); Blue Coat School MSS (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); C.P. Curran, Dublin Decorative Plasterwork of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (1967), 76; Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 253. 

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HENRIETTA STREET, NO. 012
Date: 1782
Nature: '...the building was well and truly gutted in 1782 to create a series of large spare interiors, with minimal stucco decoration by Charles Thorp' (Casey).
Refs: Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 199.


Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HUME STREET, NO. 009-12 (OR 14?)
Date: 1782-1789
Nature: Houses built by CT on site of Spring Garden House. Bryan Bolger measures work done cfor CT 'at his new buildings, Hume St' in Dec 1789.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/127; Georgian Society Records (1909-13), II, 115;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 528.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GEORGE'S STREET NORTH GREAT, NO. 038
Date: 1785ca
Nature: Built by CT. ( According to Casey. Nos. 37 and 38 are only attributed to CT.)
Refs: Georgian Society Records (1909-13), I, 24(illus.); C.P. Curran, Dublin Decorative Plasterwork of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (1967), 76;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005),  210.


Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DAWSON STREET, MANSION HOUSE
Date: 1790
Nature: CT paid for painting
Refs: CARD XIV, 174

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ELY PLACE, NO. 019-22
Date: 1790ca
Nature: New houses. Built by CT (and Edward Burne?).
Refs: Georgian Society Records (1909-13), II, 126,131;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 518.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET UPPER, NO. 016
Date: 1792
Nature: Bryan Bolger measures painting by CT for Alderman William Alexander.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/124.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PARNELL SQUARE, NO. 001
Date: 1792
Nature: B. Bolger measures plastering by CT for Lord Caledon.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/124.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ST STEPHEN'S GREEN, NO. 085
Date: 1792
Nature: Bryan Bolger measures bricklayer's work by CT and other work for CT at house of Robert Cornwall, Esq.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/124,127.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GEORGE'S STREET NORTH GREAT, NO. 032
Date: 1792
Nature: Bryan Bolger measures painting and sundry works (additions), including brickwork, slating, &c. by CT and carpentry for CT at house of Samuel Dick, Esq.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/124,127

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET UPPER, NO. 041?
Date: 1792
Nature: B. Bolger measures carpentry work done for CT at Mr Burton's Sackville St, Nov. 1792.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/127

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CLARENDON STREET, HOUSE
Date: 1793
Nature: B. Bolger measures plasterwork by CT at Martin Boe's new-built house, 20 Feb 1793.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/124.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, HOUSE
Date: 1793
Nature: B. Bolger measures plastering by CT for Mr Byrne.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/124.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ABBEY STREET MIDDLE?, NO. 088?
Date: 1793
Nature: Bryan Bolger measures painting & whitening for Frederick Darley at his house in Abbey St.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/124.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 107 (ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY)
Date: 1793
Nature: Bryan Bolger measures plasterwork by CT 10 Oct 1793.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/128; C.P. Curran, Dublin Decorative Plasterwork of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (1967), 76

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, BANK OF IRELAND
Date: 1804
Nature: CR paid £400 for work as plasterer and painter.
Refs: C.P. Curran, Dublin Decorative Plasterwork of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (1967), 76

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MOUNTJOY SQUARE, NO. 019-24
Date: 1804
Nature: CT 'built Nos. 19-24 on a frontage of 156 ft...leased in 1804' (Casey).
Refs: Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 202,203.


Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WILLIAM STREET SOUTH, CITY ASSEMBLY HOUSE
Date: 1810
Nature: CT submits bill of £44.2s.6d for plasterwork executed in process of converting former Exhibition House into City Assembly House.
Refs: CARD XVI, 191

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GLOUCESTER STREET, HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: Bryan Bolger measures work done for CT at Miss Maxwell's house, Gloucester St.
Refs: Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/127

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, JAMES'S STREET, NO. 098
Date: ?
Nature: 'possibly a Thorp house' (Curran)
Refs: C.P. Curran, Dublin Decorative Plasterwork of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (1967), 76

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CORK HILL, ROYAL EXCHANGE
Date: ?
Nature: Plasterwork in stair halls and council chamber.
Refs: The Picture of Dublin (1821), ?; Georgian Society Records (1909-13), III, Pl. 81; Dublin Historical Record 16 (Mar 1961), 102; C.P. Curran, Dublin Decorative Plasterwork of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (1967), 76-7;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 363.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, YARNHALL STREET, NO. 001 (LINEN HALL)
Date: ?
Nature: 'built a great part of the Linen Hall'
Refs: Royal Irish Academy, Haliday MS 4B 31;  this manuscript is a copy of a report presented to Daniel O'Connell in 1834 to support the argument for repealing the Act of Union by describing the catastrophic impact the Act had had on the tradesmen of Dublin.