Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Builder and architect, of Cork. Alexander Deane was born circa 1760, the second son of DAVID DEAN [1]  DAVID DEAN [1] and his wife Mary, daughter of William Kearns of Cork and sister of WILLIAM KEARNS WILLIAM KEARNS , builder and architect of Cork.(1) A diary which he kept between 27 July and 26 August 1789 shows that at that time he was working as a carpenter in London, living in lodgings at 32 Great Poultney Street, Golden Square.  The diary includes a description of a visit to his uncle Kennedy Deane in  Gosport, which seems to have been prompted by the death of another uncle, the painter Hugh Primrose Deane, in Portsmouth.  He evidently intended to spend more time in London, for he records on 10 August:'in the Evening went to Mr Pane's drawing Accadamy and he promised to let me have the first vacant place I also subscribed to his new publication'.(1) 'Mr Pane' was probably William Pain, the grandfather of JAMES PAIN  JAMES PAIN and GEORGE RICHARD PAIN GEORGE RICHARD PAIN , who published a series of builders' handbooks between 1758 and 1793.  Deane returned to Cork during the following year and was married at Lower Shandon Church on 15 Aug 1790 to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Sharp of Cork. He died on 20 March 1806, aged forty-six,(1) at Middleton, Co. Cork, on his way from Cork to Ballintra, leaving his widow with seven young children. An eighth child was born after his death. Elizabeth Deane, described as a woman of great energy and ability, carried on her husband's business, which was responsible for very extensive construction work for the Navy on Haulbowline Island. Her eldest son, THOMAS DEANE THOMAS DEANE , who had been only fourteen at the time of his father's death, helped for a time in the management. Mrs Deane died on 17 March 1828.


All information in this entry not otherwise attributed is from the genealogical account of the Deane family in IB 43, 13 Feb 1901, 633-635.  The article forms the basis of an article in The Cork Historical and Archaeological Society Journal 21 (Oct-Dec 1915), 180-186, which includes portraits of Alexander and Elizabeth Deane.

(1) O'Dwyer points out that Alexander and his elder brother William were the first members of the family to add an 'e' to the end of their surname (Frederick O'Dwyer, The Architecture of Deane and Woodward (Cork University Press, 1997), 2).
(2) A transcript of the diary, made by the owner of the original, Alexander Deane, of Argentina, a great-great-great-great-grandson of Alexander Deane [1], is in the Irish Architectural Archive (RP.B.49) courtesy of Hector Deane (Jul 2009).
((3) Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 (1897), 126.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for DEANE, ALEXANDER [1]

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Date: 1806a
Nature: Works at same, for Grice Smith, Esq.
Refs: MS. copy book of estimates, bills of measurement &c. by William Deane in IAA, Acc. 2009/91 (microfilm in NLI)..

Date: 1806a
Nature: Store for Edward Jameson, Esq. built by AD and measured by William Deane, 1807.
Refs: MS. copy book of estimates, bills of measurement &c. by William Deane in IAA, Acc. 2009/91 (microfilm in NLI)..