Architect, of Dublin and London. John Taylor may possibly have come from a stonecutting background (see JOHN TAYLOR  ) but the name is such a common one that firm identification is difficult. Several John Taylors attended the Dublin Society's schools: one of them was admitted to the Dublin Society's School of Drawing in Architecture in 1789 and to the School of Landscape and Ornament Drawing in 1790, winning premiums in 1791 and 1792; another, John Smith Taylor, was admitted to the School of Drawing in Architecture in 1793. A John Taylor is recorded as having worked on the drawings of antiquity which were given to the Dublin Society by Henry Hamilton. Taylor started to exhibit drawings at the Society of Artists of Ireland, Dublin in 1801 with a 'Prospective view of the College Chapel', and between 1809 and 1813 he exhibited a series of designs and views. These included a view of the intended court house at Dundalk (1809, no. 171) and a view of the Commercial Buildings (1810, no. 18) in Dame Street; the fact that both buildings were designed by EDWARD PARKE could possibly indicate that Taylor was associated with him in some way.
In 1810 Taylor also exhibited a design of his own for 'Mr Conally's House near Merrion', which suggests that he began to practice independently as an architect at about this time. Another exhibit of 1810 was a drawing of a gothic porch for Clarendon Street Chapel 'executed by the artist', wording which may support the thesis that he was originally a stonecutter. A John Taylor made copies of elevations of Rockingham around this time and also worked on the staircase and chimneypieces.
By 1812 Taylor had been commissioned to design the new Catholic church of St Michael and St John, Exchange Street; in that year he exhibited two drawings of the 'intended' church at the Irish Society of Artists (nos. 77, 78). According to G.N. Wright, Taylor was one of the architects involved in supervising the erection of the pro-cathedral in Marlborough Street; he is presumably the 'I. Taylor' who exhibited a view of the pro-cathedral at the exhibition of the Artists of Ireland, Dublin, in 1819. He is also said to have designed the Church of Ireland church of St Michael and All Angels in the High Street in 1815.
According to Bendall, Taylor was employed by the Bogs Commission in 1811-12. In about 1820 he was appointed chief clerk to the Surveyor of Revenue Buildings in Ireland, JAMES EDWARD DAVIS , whom he succeeded. In 1830 he was transferred to London to fill the post of Surveyor of Buildings to HM Customs, which had been vacant since the dismissal of DAVID LAING in 1825. In this capacity he designed the Custom Houses at Glasgow and Dundee (the latter with James Leslie) in 1839-40. He was proposed by RICHARD MORRISON as an honorary fellow of the RIAI on 1 January 1842, but appears to have died at about this time.
Addresses: Exchequer Street, 1801; 64 Exchequer Street, , 1809; 68 Exchequer Street, 1812-1814; 1 Hatch Street, 1815-1818; Cottage Terrace, Upper Baggot Street, 1819-1834.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Howard Colvin, Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (3rd ed., 1995), 961-2, and from the entry on Taylor in IALE, II, 697-8.
Gitta Willemson, The Dublin Society Drawing Schools 1746-1876 (2000), 93.
IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44, citing Royal Dublin Society Proceedings, 'Drawings'; the fact that Taylor exhibited an 'Interior view of a Roman Gallery' at the Society of Artists in Ireland in 1809 may be connected.
Much later, in 1830, he exhibited a view of the portico of the court house at the RHA, no. 273.
NLI MS. 3775 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); possibly two different John Taylors are being referred to here.
Freeman's Journal, 14 Sep 1812. David Griffin points out the similarity of this church to the surviving early 19th century front of St Michan's Catholic church in North Anne Street.
G.N. Wright, Historical Guide to Dublin (2nd ed., 1825), 254; see also N. Donnelly, Short Histories of Dublin Parishes, III, 90.
Wright, loc. cit., above; H.A. Wheeler & M.J. Craig, The Dublin City Churches (1948), 27.
Sarah Bendall, ed., Dictionary of Land Surveyors and Local Map-Makers of Great Britain and Ireland 1530-1850 (2nd edition, 1997), 504.
RIAI council meeting minutes, 1 Jan 1842, 15.
He is probably the ' - Taylor Esq. Hatch-street'' who subscribed to to William Stitt's The Practical Architect's Ready Assistant; or Builder's Complete Companion (Dublin, 1819).