Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

County surveyor for Co. Meath from 1834 to 1874. Samuel Stephen Searancke, son of Francis Searancke, a brewer, and his wife Harriett (née Smith),(1) was born in St Alban's, Hertfordshire, and christened in St Alban's Abbey on 15 October 1811. He was apprenticed to CHARLES BLACKER VIGNOLES CHARLES BLACKER VIGNOLES ,(2) who had strong Irish connections. In May 1834, having passed the newly- instituted competitive examination for Irish county surveyors, he was appointed the first county surveyor for Co. Meath(3) and moved to Trim. He held the post for forty years until poor health forced his resignation in 1874. JOSEPH HENRY MOORE  JOSEPH HENRY MOORE succeeded him in the same year.(4)

Searancke died at Prestatyn in Wales in 1885. He had married Caroline Isabella Provis (d. 1871) in 1835. At least five of their sons and two daughters survived into adulthood.

ICEI: founder member, 1835(5) but no longer member by 1870.(6)
RSAI (Kilkenny & South East of Ireland Archaeological Society): elected member 4 July 1855.(7)

Addresses: Home: Trim; Violet Hill, Navan, <=1857 ->=1874; Athlumney Castle, 1878.(8)



The fullest account of Searancke's life and particularly of his career as a county surveyor is in Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 298-299. References and information supplied to the compiler of this database by Brendan O'Donoghue are initialled B.O'D. All other information in this entry not otherwise attributed is from www.familysearch.org and Alfred Jones's transcripts from Thom's directories.

(1) Dictionary of New Zealand Biography www.dnzbgovt.nz, entry on William Nicholas Searancke (B.O'D.).
(2) Report of the Commissioners appointed to revise the Several Laws under which…Monies are now raised by Grand Jury Presentment, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers 1842 xxiv (386) (B.O'D.)
(3) Dublin Evening Post, 20 May 1834.
(4) Drogheda Argus, 26 Sep 1874 (B.O'D.).
(5) Photocopy of transcript of minutes of first meeting of Engineers' Society of Ireland, 6 Aug 1835, in IAA, Jones File F73.
(6) List of ICEI members in IB 12, 15 Aug 1870, 197.
(7) JRSAI 3 (1854-55), 337.
(8) B.O'D.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for SEARANCKE, SAMUEL STEPHEN

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Date: 1838
Nature: SS prepares plans for same. Presentment of £853 to John Trotter to build same.
Refs: NA/SPO CSORP 1838/108/12 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); Co. Meath Grand Jury Presentments, Summer 1838.

Date: 1868
Nature: New bridge to be erected to replace wooden bridge which collapsed in 1867. Responsibility for design of same shared by John Neville (as Co. Surveyor for Co. Louth) , Samuel Searancke (as Co. Surveyor for Co. Meath) and Alexander Tate, civil engineer. Contractor for prefabricated girders: Grendon & Co.
Refs: IB 9, 1 Jun 1867, 134; 10, 15 Jun 1868, 157; W.G. Strype, 'Description of the iron lattice girder road bridge recently erected over the River Boyne at the Obelisk', TICEI 9 (1866-70), 67-78; R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 80-81(illus.)