Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Surveyor, of Dublin, active from the 1750s until his death in 1793. William Purfield was in business as a measurer from at least 1754 when he meaured work on the west front of Trinity College, Dublin. succeeded GEORGE SEMPLE  GEORGE SEMPLE as surveyor to the commissioners for the opening of a street from Essex Bridge to Dublin Castle in accordance with the Act of 1757 (31 Geo. II, C19) and of further streets in the area in accordance with the Act of 1759 (33 Geo. II, C15).(1) In August 1761 Faulkner's Dublin Journalreported that it was 'under the consideration of the commissioners…to open all the narrow passages on the several quays and also to make a grand new street from the bottom of the lower-castle-yard toward the parliament House' and that Purfield was surveyor for the scheme.(2) The will of William Purfield, measurer, of Summerfield (sic), Dublin, was proved in 1793.(3)

According to Andrews, Purfield is a recurring name among eighteenth-century surveyors in Ireland.(4) Wilson's Dublin Directory records a John Purfield in Capel Street in 1760-61 and a Patrick Purfield in Ryder's Row from 1819 to 1831.

Addresses (from Wilson's Dublin Directory): Moore Street, 1762-1763; Britain Street, 1764-1768; Marlborough Street, 1769-1776; 8 Strand, 1777-1782; 8 North Strand, 1783; 8 Lower Abbey Street, 1784-1792; Summerhill, 1793; 19 Summerhill, 1794-1795.


(1) JHCI 6, Appendix ccxxix and Wide Streets Commissioners Minutes, I (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); for further information about this initiative, see E.McParland, 'The wide streets commissioners', BIGS 15 (1972), 1-8.
(2) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 28 Jul-1 Aug 1761.
(3) Arthur Vicars, Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 (1897), 388.
(4) J.H. Andrews, Plantation Acres (1985), 230.