Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Carpenter and builder of 178 North King Street, Dublin, listed as such or as D'little or Doolittle in Wilson's Dublin Directory for the years 1816-1830. According to the brief account of his career, written by his fellow tradesmen in 1834,(1) John Delittle set up in business after 1800.  From employing five men at one stage, he became reduced in his circumstances and emigrated to Van Diemen's Land.   In 1830 he and his family left  Dublin for Hobart, where he was appointed superintendent of the government farm at New Town.   In 1833 he had charge of the construction of the orphan schools which were being built near the farm. He died at his residence at New Town, 7 April 1834, at the age of 55, survived by his son ROBERT DELITTLE ROBERT DELITTLE . Another son named Joseph is also recorded as surviving him.(2)

A Henry and a Joseph Delittle were both admitted to the Royal Dublin Society's School of Architectural Drawing on 26 Nov 1829, while ROBERT DOOLITTLE  ROBERT DOOLITTLE and THOMAS DOOLITTLE  THOMAS DOOLITTLE won awards at the school in 1823 and 1824 and in 1828 respectively.(3) A model of the Bank of Ireland, which was formerly on display in the library of the bank, was described by Warburton in 1818 as 'the result of the ingenuity and patient perseverance of Mr. Doolittle, who expended on it the labour of nearly three years'.(4)

'Mr John D'Little, N. King-st.' was a subscriber to William Stitt's The Practical Architect's Ready Assistant; or Builder's Complete Companion (Dublin, 1819).


(1) 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.
(2) Information from the entry on Robert Delittle in Australian Dictionary of Biography 1, 304-5; this entry says that the family came from England rather than Dublin, but the congruity of names and dates suggests that the Dublin origin is correct.
(3) MS. transcript from Royal Dublin Society minutes of School of Architectural Design admissions and prizewinners (in IAA).
(4) J. Warburton, J. Whitelaw and R. Walsh, History of the City of Dublin (1818) I, 533.
Information about his date of death from The Hobart Town Magazine, vol.3 (1834), p.112, kindly supplied by Richard Carruthers-Zurowski, West Vancouver.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for DELITTLE (OR DOOLITTLE), JOHN *

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Date: 1815-1816
Nature: Payment of £5 cash to 'Mr Dolittle, Architect' made in connection with new church, 1815-16.
Refs: The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013),  RCB Library, 'An account of of all sums of money levied for building and repairing of churches...June 1824' (information from Frank Keohane);  exterior of church illus. in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 315.