Church decorator, of Dublin. Thomas Earley was born in Birmingham in 1819, the eldest son of a bricklayer named James Earley, who according to family tradition came from Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim, and his wife Elizabeth, née Farrington. Thomas Earley worked as a decorative painter for AUGUSTUS WELBY PUGIN and the Birmingham church decorating firm of JOHN HARDMAN & amp; CO. in England, France and Belgium, before establishing a Dublin branch of Hardman's in 1853, joined by John Hardman's young nephews Edward and HENRY POWELL . The original shop was at 48 Grafton Street, and in 1857 a workshop was established at 1 Upper Camden Street. The Grafton Street shop was abandoned between 1860 and 1863. At about the same time Thomas Earley's younger brother JOHN FARRINGTON EARLEY joined the firm. In 1864 Hardman's gave up their connection with the Dublin business, which continued until the 1890s under the name of EARLEY & amp; POWELLS and subsequently as EARLEY & amp; CO.
Thomas Earley was in failing health for some time before his death, which took place at the home of his old friend James Baxter, parish priest at Clondalkin, on 28 June 1893. He left the business to his nephew JOHN BISHOP EARLEY , son of John Farrington Earley.
RIAI: elected non-professional associate, 18 Feb 1864; advanced to class of associate under revised by-laws, 1869, having been proposed by THOMAS DREW , JAMES HIGGINS OWEN and PARKE NEVILLE ; drawings of crosses exhibited at conversazione, 16 December 1870.
RSAI; proposed for membership by Rev. P.V.Skelly, OP, and elected 4 January 1871.
Addresses: Work: 1 Upper Camden Street, 1868-1893.
Home: 51 Clanbrassil Street Lower, <=1863->=1875.
See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is taken from notes supplied by Nicola Gordon-Bowe, 22 Nov 1995, based on information from Michael Earley, consultant plastic surgeon at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, and from Thomas Duffy, Dun Laoghaire RTC School of Art, who was writing a thesis for John Turpin, NCAD, for submission in April 1998, on stone carving firms of Dublin 1850-1910, with special emphasis on C.W. Harrison, James Pearse, Edmund Sharp and Thomas Earley.
However a letter signed 'Earley and Powell' published in the Freeman's Journal, 22 Apr 1878, states that 'Mr Earley has been established in this city since 1853...is well known as a Catholic and comes from Co. Longford'.
Advertisements for the firm of Earley & Powell which were placed in the Irish Builder on several occasions between 1871 and 1879 state that 'Mr Thomas Earley is the only Church Decorator living who was taught his profession by the late A. Welby Pugin', while the letter to the Freeman's Journal of 22 Apr 1878 mentioned above states: 'For many years he studied under the celebrated A.W. Pugin and is the only living decorator taught by that great architect and artist.' .
In Thom's Directory for 1863 it is in other hands.
IB 35, 1 Jul 1893, 147; Glasnevin Cemetery records.
RIAI council meeting minutes, 5 Feb 1864, 10; general meeting minutes, 18 Feb 1864, 138.
RIAI council meeting minutes, 7 Dec 1868, 116; general meeting minutes, 17 Dec 1868, 226, 21 Jan 1869, 227.
IB 12, 1 Jan 1870, 4.
JRSAI 11 (1870-71), 324.
RIAI general meeting minutes, 17 Dec 1868, 226; Thom's Directory 1883. This is the address given in Glasnevin Cemetery records.
Post Office Dublin Directory 1874,1875.