Architect, of Dublin. Abraham Denny was born in 1820, the second son of Henry Denny (1789-1870) of Waterford who in the 1820s established a bacon business in Waterford which is still in operation today (1995). His mother was Sarah, daughter of THOMAS ANTHONY of Waterford. By 1837 he had moved to Dublin to train as an architect in the office of WILLIAM MURRAY at 72 Gardiner Street Lower in Dublin; this was the address from which he exhibited a design for the front of a church at the Royal Hibernian Academy in that year. In 1845 he was taken into partnership by Murray, together with the latter's son WILLIAM GEORGE MURRAY . Denny continued in partnership with William George Murray after William Murray's death in 1849 and until 1855, when he gave up architecture in order to return to Waterford to work in the family business.
Back in Waterford Denny is said to have been instrumental in expanding the business which became known as Henry Denny & Sons. He was active in public life, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a magistrate and deputy lieutenant for Waterford City and a magistrate for Co. Waterford. He was elected Lord Mayor of the city in 1854 and served as an alderman for many years. He was chairman of the Waterford Steamship Company and of the Waterford, Dungarvan, Lismore and Tramore Railway Company. He died on 5 March 1892 at his house, Ballybrado, Co.Tipperary, leaving a fortune of nearly £175,000. He was married twice: first in 1845 to Elizabeth Georgina (d. 1887), daughter of John Williams of Holywell, Flintshire, by whom he had had a son and two daughters; second in 1888 by special licence to Mary Rose, the elder sister of his son's wife and a daughter of John Rose of The Lions, Malta.
RIAI: elected associate, 1845; council member, 1849-1854; wrote to resign fellowship, 13 January 1868, as he had ceased to practise as an architect; elected hon. fellow, 15 April 1869.
RSAI: elected member, 22 January 1868.
Addresses: Work: 72 Gardiner Street Lower, Dublin, 1837-1844 or later; 68 Gardiner Street Lower, 1846-1854.
Home: 16 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, 1846-1854; Rockfield, Tramore, Co. Waterford, <=1868 until >=1887; Ballybrado, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, <=1887 until death.
See WORKS. See also MURRAY & amp; DENNY.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the entry on Denny in E. Walford, The County Families of the United Kingdom (1887), 300, and from the account of Denny's life in Bernadette Goslin, 'A History and descriptive catalogue of the Murray Collection of architectural drawings' (MA thesis, University College, Dublin, 1990), 17-20.
Other designs exhibited by Denny at the Royal Hibernian Academy were as follows: a public building, 1838; a castle in the Elizabethan style, 1840; a mausoleum, 1840; the front elevation of a church, 1841; the front elevation of a villa proposed to be erected in the County of Waterford, 1841; a railway terminus, 1847; a railway bridge, 1847; a music hall for the city of Dublin, 1847; a music hall, 1849. Mark Girouard suggests that the Abraham Drury who exhibited a design for Clonbeg House, Co. Tyrone, at the RHA in 1843, is a misprint for Abraham Denny.
Goslin says on 7 Mar but a newspaper cutting about Denny's will in A.E. Murray's scrapbook in IAA says 5 Mar as does www.familysearch.org.
www.familysearch.org states that Denny married Eliza Fitzgerald in 1850 and had a daughter, Emma (1852-1886) by her.
Goslin states wrongly that Denny married Murray's daughter, but it may be possible that Elizabeth Williams was related to William Murray's wife, who was also born Elizabeth Williams.
Pettigrew & Oulton's (or Thom's?) Directory, 1845.
List by Jones of RIAI officers.
RIAI council meeting minutes, 27 Jan 1868, 99.
RIAI council meeting minutes, 8 Feb,1 Mar 1869, 124,126, general meeting minutes, 18 Mar,15 Apr 1869, 229,230.
JRSAI 10 (1868-69), 6.
Wilson's, Post Office, Pettigrew & Oulton's & Thom's Directories sub William Murray.
? and Thom's Directories.
JRSAI 10 (1868-69), 6.