Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

The Board of First Fruits was established in 1711, when the revenue from annates was transferred from the Crown to the Established Church. Annates consisted of a proportion of the stipends of all clergy presented to a living during the first year of their holding the benefice. Until the Reformation they had been payable to the Pope. The Board of First Fruits was initially charged with using the income from annates to buy back impropriate tithes from lay owners, any surplus being devoted to the building and repair of churches and glebe houses. The latter function eventually became the primary one. From 1777 the fund was supplemented with a number of grants from the Irish parliament and from 1801, more substantially, from the Union government. In 1808 Parliament consolidated the Board's various sources of revenue into one account , doubled the size of its annual Government grant and gave it greater feedom of operation. The grant was further increased in 1810, and a system of interest-free loans from the Treasury established. These moneys supported a major programme of building, repairing and enlarging the churches and glebe houses of the Established Church throughout Ireland. With the passing of the Church Temporalities Act in 1833, the Board was dissolved. It was replaced by the ECCLESIASTICAL COMMISSIONERS  ECCLESIASTICAL COMMISSIONERS in 1834.

Architects to the Board: JOHN BOWDEN  JOHN BOWDEN from 1814 or earlier until his death in 1822. In 1823 the post was divided into four, with one architect for each ecclesiastical province, as follows: Armagh: WILLIAM FARRELL. D WILLIAM FARRELL. D ublin: JOHN SEMPLE JOHN SEMPLE , 1823-24; JOHN SEMPLE & JOHN SEMPLE & amp; SON,1825-1832; FREDERICK DARLEY FREDERICK DARLEY , 1833. Cashel: JAMES PAIN. T JAMES PAIN. T uam: JOSEPH WELLAND. JOSEPH WELLAND.


Information in this entry is from D.H. Akenson, The Church of Ireland: Ecclesiastical Reform and Revolution, 1800-1885 (Yale, 1971, 113 &c., and Cormac Allen, 'The Semple Temples: the church architecture of John Semple & Son', unpublished Master in Architectural Science thesis, UCD, 1993.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for FIRST FRUITS, BOARD OF

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Date: 1826
Nature: Tiny chapel-of-ease with spire. Cost  £830.15s.4½d.
Refs: J.B. Leslie, Derry Clergy and Parishes (1937), 263;  Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 427;  exterior illus. in Clergy of Derry & Raphoe (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1999), 94.