- Born: 1672c? Died: 1759
Amateur architect to whom the designs for model charter schools, published by the Incorporated Society for Promoting English Protestant Schools in Ireland in 1737, have been attributed. The Ralph Hansard to whom the Incorporated Society made payments for unspecified services in 1740 and 1741 was probably the son of Edward Hansard, of Lifford, Co. Donegal, who was admitted to Trinity College, Dublin, in 1700 at the age of fifteen.(1) From 1720 until his death in 1759(2) he was vicar of Castledermot, Co. Kildare, which was where the first charter school opened in 1734. McParland has found a reference to 'Mr Hansard', in a letter from Thomas Fortescue to Michael Ward, of 12 October 1725, which describes him as 'an ingenious man', who 'understands architecture', who was brought to Dundalk circa 1725 to help Lord Limerick with his improvements to the town, which included a school. It was from Dundalk that Hansard wrote to the Royal Society in 1728 about a nocturnal rainbow which he had seen. In 1734 he placed an advertisement in the Dublin Journal announcing his proposal to publish designs for a country house.
All information in this entry is from E. McParland, Public Architecture in Ireland: 1680-1760 (2001), 170(illus.),174, and Clergy of Dublin and Glendalough (Ulster Historical Foundation, 2001), 704-5.
(1) www.familysearch.org lists another person of this name, who was born in Dublin circa 1672 to parents named Richard and Mary Hansard.
(2) His will was proved in the Prerogative Court in 1759.