Surveyor General, 1743-1752. Arthur Jones, later Arthur Jones Nevill, was the only son of Colonel Edward Jones of Wexford, who had married Mary, daughter of Richard Nevill (c.1654-1720) of Furness, Co. Kildare, in October 1717. As Richard Nevill's only grandchild, he assumed the name of Nevill at least some years before succeeding as heir to his uncle, Richard Nevill (1684-1750) of Furness.
Nevill was appointed Surveyor General by patent dated 15 June 1743 in succession to ARTHUR DOBBS , a position which he paid £3,300 to secure. His salary was increased in 1748. He later ran into trouble for maladministration in relation to barrack building. He was dismissed from his post on 30 August 1752, but was allowed to sell it on to THOMAS EYRE. A year later he was expelled from the Irish House of Commons, where he had sat as member for Co. Wexford from 1751. Although the affair caused a considerable stir at the time, the expulsion, which appears to have been politically motivated, does not seem to have done Nevill permanent damage. He entered Parliament again as MP for Wexford in 1761 and became Sheriff of Co. Kildare in 1762.
Nevill died in 1771. He had married in November 1742, Elinor, daughter of Rear Admiral Christopher Parker and sister of Admiral Sir Peter Parker, by whom he had three sons. His eldest son, Richard Nevill or Neville, of Furness was visited in 1777 by Arthur Young, who described him as 'a landlord remarkably attentive to the encouragement of his tenantry'.
Whatever the reputation he may have gained as 'jobbing Jones', Nevill appears to have been a man of cultivated tastes. For the new house which was built for him at 40 St Stephen's Green in about 1746, he commissioned a superb ceiling from the unnamed continental stuccadore who is also thought to have worked at St Peter's Church, Drogheda, and at Russborough, Co. Wicklow. He sent the painter Jacob Ennis to Italy in 1753. Ennis, after his return in 1757, decorated Nevill's drawing room at 14 Rutland Square with lunettes after Pietro da Cortona's decorations in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, and was a witness to his will. A subscriber to John Aheron's General Treatise of Architecture (1754) and to the Rev. John Payne's Designs for Country Houses (1757), Nevill is recorded as having himself drawn plans for barracks at Charles Fort and for the Bedford Tower range at Dublin Castle during his surveyorship. He also subscribed to Robert Gibson's Treatise of Practical Surveying (Dublin, 1752). He became a member of the Dublin Society as early as 1742 and was the author of a pamphlet, Some hints on trade, money and credit, published in 1762.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Burke's Irish Family Records (1976), 877 and from E.McParland, 'The Surveyor General in Ireland', Architectural History 38 (1995), 91-101. For an account of Nevill's parliamentary career, see Edith Mary Johnston Liik, History of the Irish Parliament 1692-1800 (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1992), IV, 510-12. Johnston Liik, loc. cit., above, gives the date of his birth as c.1712, and www.familysearch.org as c. 1708. Both dates are surprising if it is correct that his parents' marriage took place in October 1717, as is stated in Burke, loc. cit., above. Johnston Liik identifies Nevill with the Arthur Jones who entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 25 June 1729 and graduated BA in 1733 (see Alumni Dublinenses, 445). As stated in Hibernian Journal, 14-17 June 1771 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); according to the account of the Neville family in Burke, loc. cit., above, it was Edward Jones (d. 1735) who did so; however Arthur Jones Nevill is still referred to as 'Mr Jones' in 1743, see note 5, though as Mr 'Nevil Jones' in 1745 (Christ Church Chapoter Acts VI, 27).. NA/PRO (Kew) WO/8/3, f.89. McParland, op. cit., above, p. 97, notes that 'Such sums were not fees or bribes to officials for the appointments; instead they represented the value of the post when it was viewed as the personal property of the holder of the patent'. Thus the statement of May 1743 in TCD Clements MS 1741 that 'Dobbs has disposed his employment to one Mr Jones' (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44). NA/PRO (Kew), WO/8/3/, f.124 and T14/12 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44). A.W. Hutton, ed., Arthur Young's Tour in Ireland (1892), I, 419. British Library Add. MS. 38,671 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44). J. McDonnell, Irish eighteenth-Century stuccowork and its European sources (National Gallery of Ireland, 1991), 20-21. John Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1700-1800 (1997), 339. See note 9, above. W.G. Strickland, A Dictionary of Irish Artists (1913), I, 324. JHCI, V, lxv ff (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44). NA/PRO (Kew) T1/337/95 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44). 'Kelleher' (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).