Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Professor of Physic at Trinity College, Dublin, from 1781 and president of the Royal College of Physicians, Ireland.(1) After the competition for a monument to Wellington in Dublin had been advertised in 1814, Hill took an active interest in the form the monument should take. In an article, 'Remarks on the Wellington Monument', published in the Monthly Museum for December 1814, he argued against the choice of a column.(2) He himself entered a design in the form of a circular temple, which was one of the six to be short-listed by the managers of the Wellington testimonial fund. In a pamphlet published in December 1815, just before the managers announced their choice of design and site, JOHN LESLIE FOSTER JOHN LESLIE FOSTER , one of the managers, gave his opinion that Hill's temple had 'considerable beauty' but criticized the use of an order taken from Scamozzi rather than from ancient Greece:(3) 'To a certain character of lightness and grace, it is indisputably entitled, but I confess I do not receive from it any impression of Sublimity or Grandeur.' When Smirke's design for an obelisk was chosen, Hill wrote an open letter to the secretary of the managers, the Hon. and Rev. John Pomeroy, in which he described the merits of his own design and criticized the others.(4) The Dr E. Hill who exhibited a 'Study of a Head' and a 'Head of the Virgin' at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1828 is presumably the same person, although by this time he would have been in his late eighties.



(1) For further information about Hill and a photograph of his portrait in the Royal College of Physicians, see E.C. Nelson & E.M. McCracken,, The Brightest Jewel: A History of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin (1987) Pl. 15-17.
(2) Information from unfinished MS article on the Wellington Monument by C.P. Curran in IAA, Curran Collection, Acc. 77/6; Hill's letter is mentioned in a letter from Edward Ledwich to James Gandon, 1816, published in T.J. Mulvany, The Life of James Gandon (1846), 225-6.
(3) John Leslie Foster, A Letter on the fittest style and situation for the Wellington Trophy about to be erected in Dublin (1815), 20-26 (copy in IAA).
(4) P.F. Garnett, 'The Wellington Testimonial', Dublin Historical Record 13 (june-Aug 1952), 50.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for HILL, EDWARD (DR)

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Date: 1796
Nature: Stone and brickwork for walls and gardener's house measured by Bryan Bolger 'by order of Dr Hill'.
Refs: Bryan Bolger papers, NA/PRO 1A/58/126

Date: 1814ca
Nature: Short-listed entrant in Wellington Testimonial competition with design in form of circular temple.
Refs: NLI PF 20 (AD 1927?); Irish Architectural Drawings (exhibition catalogue,1965), 9 (no. 22); John Leslie Foster, A Letter on the fittest style and situation for the Wellington Trophy about to be erected in Dublin (1815), 20-26.