Barrister and amateur architect. Michael Frederick Trench, only son of the Rev. Frederick Trench, of Ballinakill, Co. Laois, by his wife, - Moore, of Crymorgan, Co. Laois, was born in May 1746. He was admitted to Trinity College, Dublin on 29 October 1762 and was awarded the BA degree in 1766. He was called to the Irish Bar in 1774.
Mulvany's Life of James Gandon describes Trench as 'a gentleman of large fortune, and great taste in the Fine Arts' and names him as one of the 'admirers of the arts' who attended the Sunday conversazioni at Paul Sandby's house in London in the late 1770s. In 1773 he built himself a house near Ballinakill named Heywood after his mother-in-law Mary Stewart, née Heywood, in the design of which he appears to have collaborated with JAMES GANDON. In 1785, according to Mulvany's Life, he 'anxiously superintended' the erection of the Rotunda Assembly Rooms. He was a member of the building committee and is said to have provided the plan for the new rooms while RICHARD JOHNSTON designed the façade. He has also been credited with the design of the two pavilions which terminated the colonnades on either side of the hospital. In 1787 he prepared plans for improvements to Belvoir Castle, the English seat of the fourth Duke of Rutland, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who died in office later the same year. He was a member of the committee for suprintending expenditure on the building of Gandon's House of Lords and, for a time, of the building committee for the westward extension of the House of Commons.; he was also a Wide Streets Commissioner, and, from 1802 to 1806 or later, a Commissioner of Works. In 1803 he was appointed one of the adjudicators of the Bank of Ireland competition. According to Brewer, he 'suggested' the design for the church at Swords, Co. Dublin, 'skilfully carried into effect by Mr. Farrel, architect'.
Trench was a patron of WILLIAM ROBERTSON of Kilkenny who dedicated his Designs in Architecture, For Garden Chairs, Small Gates for Villas, Park Entrances, Aviarys, Temples, Boat Houses, Mausoleums, and Bridges (1800) to him.
Trench's 'long-protracted life' came to an end in April 1836. A copy of his will, dated 1832, is in the National Library of Ireland. He was married to Anne Helena, daughter and heiress of Patrick Stewart, second son of James Stewart, of Killymoon, Co. Tyrone, and was the father of Sir Frederick William Trench of Heywood (1775-1859), an army general and Conservative MP, , who in 1825 published a plan for building a quay along the north side of the Thames between London Bridge and Westminster Bridge.
Burke's Landed Gentry (1st single-volume edition, 1859?), 1227.
Alumni Dublinenses, 823.
T.S. Mulvany, ed., The Life of James Gandon (1846), 40,94; Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 165.
E. McParland, James Gandon: Vitruvius Hibernicus (1985), 122,205.
Mulvany, op.cit., 94.
McParland, op. cit., 91.
J. Warburton, J. Whitelaw and R. Walsh, History of the City of Dublin (1818), 672, but McParland, op. cit., 91, gives the design to Gandon.
McParland, op. cit., 91, citing NLI, MS 16352, no. 62; Historical Manuscripts Commission, 14th Report, Appendix I, 133,328,329,399 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
McParland, op. cit., 79.
McParland, op. cit., 85.
McParland, op. cit., 94-96.
Information from Wilson's Dublin Directory.
Bank of Ireland minutes, 21 Jun 1803 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
J.N. Brewer, The Beauties of Ireland (1825), I, 246.
Mulvany, op. cit., 94.
See note 1, above.
NLI MS. 11791 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
See note 1, above.