Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

County surveyor for Co. Cavan, 1889-1913. Richard Newman Somerville, who, according to the 1911 census, was born in Galway in 1850 or 1851, was probably a son of Richard Newman Somerville, who married Mary Worrall at St Michael's church, Limerick, in 1842.(1) He attended Queen's College, Belfast, receiving the BA degree in 1871 and the BE dgree two years later. He also served a two-year pupilage with SAMUEL USSHER ROBERTS. B SAMUEL USSHER ROBERTS. B y 1876 he had been appointed engineer to the 'Town Board of Galway' . He was living in Galway in January 1878, when he attended a meeting in Dublin to discuss the proposed reconstitution of the RIAI.(2) He was later appointed borough surveyor of Galway, presumably after CARTER DRAPER CARTER DRAPER , who was town surveyor for the city as well as county surveyor for the western district of the county, moved to Co. Wicklow in 1882.(3) On 15 October 1889 he was appointed county surveyor for Co. Cavan in succession to FREDERICK GEORGE DEVERELL FREDERICK GEORGE DEVERELL . At the time of the 1911 census, he was living with his wife, Jane Dunwoody, and two of his three children, in Kinnypottle townland, Cavan.  He submitted his resignation in May 1913 but stayed on until the end of the year in order to give time for a replacement to be found. HENRY O'REILLY  HENRY O'REILLY succeeded him in January 1914.Somerville then retired to Belfast.(4)    According to O'Donoghue, he was one of the earliest Irish motorists.

ICEI: elected member, 5 April 1876;(5) still on list of members for 1896 but not on that for 1898.

Addresses: Kingston House, Galway, 1876; Ardeevin Place, Galway, <=1887-1889; Drumbar, Cavan, <=1900->=1907;  Kinnypottle townland, Cavan, 1911;  Osborne Park, Belfast, 1915.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from ICEI membership applications, II, 42, and membership lists and from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 301-302.

(1) www.familysearch.org.
(2) IB 20, 1 Feb 1878, 46.
(3) According to O'Donoghue, Somerville became town surveyor and harbour engineer in Galway when Roberts left Galway for Dublin in 1873; however the directories list H. Temple Humphreys as town surveyor in 1875 and Carter Draper as town surveyor in 1881 and 1883. Somerville appears in the 1887 directory as borough surveyor.
(4) Irish Times, 15 Oct 1915, reporting the death of his son Richard in France.
(4) TICEI 11 (1874-6), 109.

3 work entries listed in chronological order for SOMERVILLE, RICHARD NEWMAN

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Date: 1901
Nature: New sewerage scheme for town.
Refs: IB 51, 1 May 1909, 285

Date: 1909
Nature: New bridge. Contractor: J. & R. Thompson.
Refs: IB 51, 26 Jun 1909, 413

Date: 1912
Nature: Taking down and rebuilding. Henry McGeough, Monaghan, declared contractor (£289.10s.).
Refs: IB 54, 8 Jun 1912, 347