Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Builder, of Dublin. John Semple was a brother of GEORGE SEMPLE GEORGE SEMPLE , whom he assisted in preparing an estimate of the cost of rebuilding Essex Bridge circa 1752.(1) At about the same time the two brothers were consulted about the condition of Ormond Bridge,(2) and in 1761 John Semple constructed galleries on either side of the bridge.(3) He is presumably the same person as the John Semple who was overseer of works for the Barrow Navigation from 1761 or earlier until 1769 or later.(4) A John Semple was employed as a 'bricklayer and rough mason' for the construction of the Custom House in 1781.(5) Semple also worked for WILLIAM CHAMBERS  WILLIAM CHAMBERS on the construction of the Theatre and Chapel at Trinity College.(6 )

The death of John Semple, senior, bricklayer, in Abbey Street, Dublin, is recorded in Faulkner's Dublin Journal for 8-10 April 1784; his will was proved in the Prerogative Court in the same year.(7) The register of St Thomas's parish, Dublin, records the baptisms of no less than eleven children of a John Semple and his wife Lydia - and the death of a twelfth - between 1756 and 1774. Five of the baptisms were of sons : William (1758), George (1762), John (1763), Edward (1764) and Anthony (1771); the first son, another George, died in 1760.(8)

Addresses:(9) Abbey Street, 1764; Mecklenburgh Street, 1766; Marlborough Street, 1768; Sackville Street, 1769; Gloucester Street, 1771; Lower Abbey Street, 1774; 99 Abbey Street, 1776.



(1) George Semple, A Treatise on Building in Water (1776), 37.
(2) Semple, op. cit., above, 62.
(3) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 16-20 Jan 1761.
(4) JHCI 8, ccxcii (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); V.T.H. & D.R. Delany, The Canals of the South of Ireland (1966), 130-132.
(5) T.S. Mulvany, ed., The Life of James Gandon (1846), 55.
(6) Trinity college muniments, MUN/P/2/132-354, passim. E.McParland, James Gandon(1985), 47.
(7) Arthur Vicars, Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 (1897), 419.
(8) R. Refaussé, ed., Register of the Parish of St Thomas, Dublin, 1750-1791 (1994), 9,19,22,26,27,29,30,35,40,47,54,61,94,118; the former tradition of naming a first son after his paternal grandfather may indicate that John Semple's father was named George.
(9) All but the last two, which are from Wilson's Dublin Directory are from the batismal records of St Thomas's church, see Refaussé, op. cit., above.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for SEMPLE, JOHN [1] *

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Date: 1752
Nature: Helps GS prepare estimate for reconstructing same.
Refs: George Semple, A Treatise on Building in Water (1766), 37

Date: 1752;1761
Nature: John & George Semple consulted re condition of bridge, Apr 1852. JS constructs galleries on each side of bridge, 1761..
Refs: George Semple, A Treatise of Building in Water(1776), 62; Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 16-20 Jan 1761