Selected: TINSLEY, WILLIAM


Born: 1804
Died: 1885


Architect, of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, and Cincinnati, Ohio. William Tinsley was born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, on 7 February 1804, a younger son of Thomas Tinsley, builder, by his wife Lucy (née Brough). In about 1820 he became an employee in the family building firm, which was by that time being run by his eldest brother JOHN TINSLEY JOHN TINSLEY . In the evenings he attended classes in mathematics at the Clonmel Endowed School. When John Tinsley fell ill and then died in November 1825, William took over the running of the firm, at the same time returning to the Clonmel Endowed School to study painting and drawing.(1) Over the next twenty years he built up a substantial practice as a builder and architect in Cos. Tipperary, Waterford and Cork, with a clientèle which included the Marquess of Waterford at Curraghmore, the Earl of Glengall at Cahir and members of the landed gentry of the area. From the mid 1840s he gave up the building side of the business and practised solely as an architect.

Although baptised into the Established Church, Tinsley converted to Methodism before he was twenty-one and remained a committed Methodist for the rest of his life. Following the reorganization of the administrative structure of the Ecclesiastical Commission in 1843, he was appointed architect to the diocese of Lismore, in succession to JAMES PAIN JAMES PAIN , who had been responsible for the entire province of Cashel. He had already built several churches to Pain's designs and had sought his advice. He named his fourth son, who was born in 1844, James Pain Tinsley.

In 1851 Tinsley emigrated to the United States. The potato famine of 1847 had led to a decline in business, and Tinsley, although his own circumstances were more than adequate,(2) was anxious about the prospects of his large family - particularly his seven sons(3) - in the prevailing climate of economic uncertainty. In September 1851 he, his wife Lucy(4) and nine of their children, ranging in age from nineteen to less than a year, sailed from Waterford to Liverpool and thence to New York. They settled in Cincinnati, where Tinsley launched himself on a successful career in the mid-West when he won the competition for North Western Christian University in the winter of 1852-3.. This led to a further six commissions for substantial college buildings and eventually for the massive Institution for the Education of the Blind at Columbus, Ohio. He died in Cincinnati on 14 June 1885 in his eighty-second year and was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, beside his second wife, who had died while the family was living in that city during the 1850s.

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

References
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the comprehensive account of Tinsley's life and works in J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953). This is largely based on Tinsleys manuscript autobiographical memoir, written in 1873-74, which belonged in 1953 to Tinsley's grand-daughter Jane E. Tinsley, of Crawfordsville, Indiana. The volume includes a rough draft of the autobiographical note which Tinsley wrote for publication in The Biographical Encyclopaedia of Ohio in the Nineteenth Century (1876), 551. Forbes also had access to Tinsley's 'Professional Journal and Account Memo. 1846-1849', some legal documents and photographs, collected by another descendant, William T. Stagg of Los Angeles, California. There is a brief entry on Tinsley in APSD, T, 58.

(1) An interesting example of his draughtsmanship is the sketches he made when he was serving as a juryman in the William Smith O'Brien trial in Clonmel in 1848, see J.D. Forbes, 'The Tinsley portrait sketches of the William Smith O'Brien Trial', JRSAI 83 (1953), 86ff.
(2) By the time he departed for the United States, he had acquired a considerable amount of property in Clonmel, including a house in William St, a house in Mary St, two houses in New Street, and eight houses in Cahir Street as well as his own house, Adelaide Cottage.
(3) He envisaged a career in architecture for his eldest son, Charles, born in 1832, who is presumably the Charles Tinsley who was admitted to the Royal Dublin Society;'s School of Drawing in Architecture on 5 November 1846.
(4) His first wife, Ellen MacCarthy, died of tuberculosis after two years of marriage. He then married her cousin Lucy MacCarthy, who died in 1857 in Indianapolis. His third marriage, to Mary Eliza Nixon, ended in estrangement. He fathered seventeen children by his three wives.

45 work entries listed in chronological order for TINSLEY, WILLIAM


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Building: CO. TIPPERARY, KNOCKEVAN HOUSE (DARLING HILL)
Date: 1825-26;1848
Nature: Works at same, including linen hall., for Richard Pennefather, Baron of the Exchequer. Additions to house, new entrance lodge, 1848.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 11-13,56-57

Building: CO. CORK, YOUGHAL, PROTESTANT ALMSHOUSE
Date: 1826
Nature: WT designs 7-bay, 2-storey 'Protestant alms-house to be erected at Youghal'.(According to Forbes, this was not built until the early 1840s.)
Refs: Signed drawing, dated Dec 1826, in Lismore Castle drawings collection (photocopy in IAA); J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 36

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, RATHRONAN HOUSE
Date: 1826
Nature: Proposed addition (unexecuted).. Gate lodge, geometrical stairs at rear entrance to house.For Sir Hugh Gough.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 13

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, ENDOWED SCHOOL
Date: 1829-1830
Nature: New building, for Rev. Dr Bell. Work supervised by Thomas Tinsley, Jr.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 16

Building: CO. WATERFORD, ASHBURN HOUSE (MILLBROOK)
Date: 1829p
Nature: New Gothic Revival house, for Robert Davis.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 16-17

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, THURLES, COURT HOUSE
Date: 1830s
Nature: WT contractor for enlargement of 'new courthouse…which had been designed by William Vitruvius Morrison'
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 31

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, LAKEFIELD (FETHARD)
Date: 1831-33
Nature: New house in Italian Renaissance villa style on property formerly called Gambonstown, for William Pennefather.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 19,22,Pl.1; Mark Bence-Jones, Burke’s Guide to Country Houses. Volume I, Ireland. (London, 1978), 181(illus.)

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, LISRONAGH, CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1832a
Nature: Built by Tinsley. to designs by James Pain.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 19-21

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, MARLFIELD (CLONMEL)
Date: 1833
Nature: WT appointed architect and/or contractor for new entrance and proposed range of stables for John Bagwell. Stables postponed or not carried out but entrance executed?
Refs: See J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 24

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, DERRYLUSKAN
Date: 1833a
Nature: Remodelling, for John Palliser.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 28

Building: CO. WATERFORD, COMERAGH HOUSE
Date: 1833p;1847
Nature: Improvements, for Col. Wray Palliser. Further monor works, 1847, including repair of water mill and additions to cottage.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 28,56

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, TULLAMAINE CASTLE (FETHARD)
Date: 1835-38
Nature: New house on site of mediaeval stronghold. Tudor Gothic. For John Maher.
Refs: RHA 1843, no. 619; J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 29-30,Pl.3

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, TURTULLA HOUSE (THURLES)
Date: 1837-38
Nature: Remodelling and enlargement, for Valentine Maher. 'Maher had first employed Anthony Salvin…to undertake the remodeling, but Tinsley was called in to take over and alter the older man's plans'.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 33,Pl.5

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, GROVE HOUSE (FETHARD)
Date: 1837ca
Nature: Rebuilding of wings and addition of Ionic portico. 2 bridges in demesne. For William Barton.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 32

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CASHEL, METHODIST CHURCH
Date: 1837ca
Nature: New chapel which absorbed old Cashel court house.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 31-32,Pl.4

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, VICTORIA HOUSE
Date: 1837ca
Nature: Additions.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 34

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, IRISHTOWN, ADELAIDE COTTAGE
Date: 1837ca;1842
Nature: New gabled house for himself of 2 storeys over basement. New wing added , 1842.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 31-32,Pl.4

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, KILVEMNON, CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1837p
Nature: WT builder of new church by James Pain.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Bloomington, 1953), 35

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CAHIR
Date: 1840-1846
Nature: WT remodels town 'by erecting sundry ranges of street houses' for Earl of Glengall (including Glengall Tce in Church St?)
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 37-41,Pl.VI

Building: CO. WATERFORD, ROSEVILLE HOUSE (LISMORE)
Date: 1840s
Nature: New house in Gothic cottage style for Murray family.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Bloomington, 1953), 36; Mark Bence-Jones, Burke’s Guide to Country Houses. Volume I, Ireland. (London, 1978), 246(illus.)

Building: CO. WATERFORD, BALLYMACARBRY, HOUSE
Date: 1840s
Nature: New house, for Abraham Coates, agent to Earl of Stradbroke.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 55-56

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CASHEL, UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1842
Nature: WT contractor for same.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Bloomington, 1953), 36

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, GOLDEN, HOUSE (CASTLEPARK?)
Date: 1842ca;1846?
Nature: New house for Richard Creagh. Also later addition (1846?).
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Bloomington, 1953), 36

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, CORN STORE
Date: 1842p
Nature: New grain store, for Thomas Hughes.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Bloomington, 1953), 36

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, CAHIR STREET, HOUSES (006)
Date: 1842p
Nature: 6 cottages for rental, for himself.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (University of Indiana Press, 1953), 36

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, NEW STREET, HOUSES (002)
Date: 1842p
Nature: WT erects 2 houses and a market on New St as an investment.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (University of Indiana Press, 1953), 36

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, NEW STREET, MARKET
Date: 1842P
Nature: WT erects 2 houses and a market on New St as an investment.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (University of Indiana Press, 1953), 36

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, GORDON STREET, METHODIST CHURCH
Date: 1843
Nature: New Greek Revival chapel to seat 200-250 persons, replacing chapel of ca 1787.
Refs: Interior and exterior perspectives exh. RHA 1845, no. 469; W.P. Burke, History of Clonmel (1907), 298;  J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 41-43,Pl.7.

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, ROCKWELL HOUSE
Date: 1843a
Nature: Remodelling of house in Perpendicular Gothic style, for William Roe (now part of Rockwell College).
Refs: RHA 1843, no. 614; J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 27-28,Pl.2

Building: CO. CLARE, ENNIS, GORT ROAD, COUNTY COURT HOUSE
Date: 1845
Nature: WT a competition entrant.
Refs: Clare Journal, 27 Oct 1845; J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 45

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLOGHEEN, CHURCH (CI, SHANRAHAN PARISH)
Date: 1845
Nature: WT contractor for same.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 35,46

Building: CO. WATERFORD, WATERFORD, CATHERINE STREET, COURT HOUSE
Date: 1846a
Nature: Design for same exh. RHA..
Refs: RHA 1846, no. 458; J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 45

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, FETHARD, ABBEY MILLS
Date: 1847
Nature: Works at same, for Robert Harvey (d. Nov 1847)
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 56

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, MARLFIELD, POLICE BARRACKS
Date: 1847
Nature: Proposed new police barracks, estimated cost £357, for John Bagwell.(Perhaps unexecuted)
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 56

Building: CO. WATERFORD, CURRAGHMORE
Date: 1847-1850
Nature: Farm and stable buildings. Also fortification of house against insurgents, 1848. and mill, 1849. For 3rd Marquess of Waterford.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 46-47,51

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, SPRING HOUSE (KILSHANE)
Date: 1848-49
Nature: Proposed mausoleum on estate. Perhaps not executed.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 57

Building: CO. WATERFORD, MAYFIELD (PORTLAW)
Date: 1849
Nature: Italianate remodelling of exterior, for Joseph Malcomson.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 48-49,Pl.9

Building: CO. WATERFORD, BALLYCAHAN, SCHOOL
Date: 1849
Nature: Improvements, costing £140, for Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 55

Building: CO. WATERFORD, GLENPATRICK, FARM
Date: 1849
Nature: New farmstead, for Joseph Higgins.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 57

Building: CO. CORK, ?, FARM
Date: 1849
Nature: Farm for - Hughes. Contractor: Barry.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 57

Building: CO. WATERFORD, PORTLAW, POLICE BARRACKS
Date: 1849-1850
Nature: New barracks with Italianate tower, for Marquess of Waterford.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 53-54,Pl.11

Building: CO. WATERFORD, PORTLAW, CHURCH (CI, GUILCAGH PARISH)
Date: 1849-1851
Nature: Small Gothic church with chancel and spirelet, for Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford. FS laid 16 May 1849; work still in progress May 1851. Cost: £1,200.
Refs: Ballina Chronicle, 7 Aug 1850; B 7, 23 Jun 1849, 296; 8, 18 Jan 1851, 46; 9, 18 Jan,31 May 1851, 46,346; J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 47-48,Pl.8

Building: CO. KILKENNY, KILKENNY, ST RIOCH STREET, COUNTY & CITY GAOL
Date: 1850?
Nature: Competition entrant. (William D'Esterre Smith won competition for adds. to gaol, 1850, with 'design selected from a number of others in competititon, see B 8, 24 Aug 404)
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 45

Building: CO. CORK, KILCORAN, BRIDGE
Date: ?
Nature: WT contractor for same.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 46

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, MARLFIELD, BRIDGE
Date: ?
Nature: WT prespares plans and estimates for proposed suspension bridge over River Suir for John Bagwell of Marlfield but not executed.
Refs: J.D. Forbes, Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley (Indiana University Press, 1953), 27

Author Title Date Details
Bence-jones, Mark 'William Tinsley: Victorian or Georgian?' 1960 BIGS 3, no. 1 (Jan-Mar 1960), 13
Forbes, J.d. Victorian Architect: the life and work of William Tinsley 1953 Indiana University Press, 1953.