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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Properties owned/leased by the Williams of Dublin

This post documents properties associated with the Williams family.  I will add to it as I discover more.  This information was found in the records of the Encumbered Estates Court, which took control of properties bankrupted by the Famine and subsequent emigration, and sold them off.
Of interest is the Williams’ ownership of property in Wexford, and of No. 39 Dame St. (Their business address was No. 38.)  A James Williams, who I had not come across before, passed No. 39 on to Thomas Williams by 1824.

To be sold by auction on 28th June 1850, property owned by Thomas Williams and Croker Barrington;  the petitioners were Richard Williams (Thomas’ father) and Richard’s son, Richard Palmer Williams.
The property to be sold was in the Barony of Coonagh, Co. Limerick, and the Barony of Lower Tulla, Co. Clare.
Also up for sale was the freehold interest and ground rent of certain dwelling houses in Pery Square and Hartstonge Street, Limerick City, as well as building ground in Barrington Street.

A record of premises on the North Wall, Dublin, owned by the city of Dublin Steam Packet Company.  The lot was between Mayor Street and the ‘River Anna Liffey’.  The articles of agreement for this property , dated 29th February 1835, were made between Westby Percival on the one part, and Charles Wye Williams, James Jameson, and Richard Williams - the proprietors of the CDSPCo - on the other.  This is next to the new Samuel Beckett Bridge.

In the Court of Commissioners for the Sale of Encumbered estates, the Estate of Richard Williams was to be sold on 24th February 1857.  For sale was land held in Co. Wexford and also properties in Co. Dublin -
The property in Wexford was at Crandaniel, Little Holmestown, Holmestown, Knockmullen/Portersknock, Great Bailymanane, and Bunarget in the town of New Ross and in County Wexford.
The dwelling houses of 38 and 39 Dame Street.
Nos 41, 42 and 43 Kildare Street, aka Elvidge’s Hotel; also premises in the rear on Frederick Lane, used as stables for Morrison’s Hotel.
A house at 61 Eccles Street.
House and Villa Lands at Drumcondra, called Goose Green.

More on 38 Dame St - in 1857, the tenant occupying the premises was Richard William’s son (and business partner), Thomas Williams. He had taken out the lease on 8th June 1852.
The Dublin Valuation of 1830 noted that the owners of the property were Williams and Williams.  The same valuation noted a Williams at 3 Dame Lane, 20 Eustace Street, and 3 College Green.  John Dignan Williams lived at Eustace Street (number 15, then 25) earlier;   William Williams lived at 3 College Green.

The premises on Fredericks Lane, being used as a stables by Morrison’s Hotel at the time of the 1857 sale, was being leased by John Baker Esq.   The original lease had been taken out by Richard Williams on 21st July 1817, and was between himself on the one part, and Walter Jones and the Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Lady Dowager Baroness Rossmore and the Rev. Thomas Brownrigg, the executors of Robert Lord Rossmore, on the other part.

No. 61 Eccles Street had a tenant, James Peebles Esq.  The house had originally been leased by Isaac Ambrose Eccles to Alexander Worthington in 1798;  there was no mention of Richard Williams in the particulars given.

Drumcondra/Goose Green (ie:Drumcondra Castle):  The original lease of this property passed the estate from William Philips to Richard Evans; a lease of 1772,  passed the estate from George Ormsby  to George Holmes - in 1857, at the time of the sale, these early leases were no longer available. The property consisted of 30 acres, bounded by the estates of Lady Charleville and the estate of Thomas Twigg Esq.
In 1857, the property was in the possession of Richard Williams and of his late father, Thomas Williams.  The last renewal of the lease, on 6th December 1827, was from Robert Grey to Thomas Williams, and was for the lives of Richard Williams, the current owner, and his two sons, Thomas Williams and George Gibbons Williams, all still alive in 1857.
In 1857, there were several tenants leasing property on the estate - Ewart Christopher Irvine (16 acres),  Eliza Peat and Rosa Collins (25 acres), and Dr. William Lynch (6 acres).

For sale in 1859: 16 Gardiner Place- in 1853, Richard Williams leased the house here to Robert Duffield Speedy, Esq. M.D.;  earlier, in 1792, Thomas Williams had leased the house from John Darley.  Robert Duffield Speedy was named in 1864 as a proprietor of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company; on 23rd October 1863 he had been elected as a director of the company to replace the later William Moore Geoghegan.

For sale in 1859:  Nos. 8 Synnott Place.  (Richard’s son Charles Watkin Williams had lived in No. 8 Synnott Place for a time.)   Richard Williams had leased the house to William Johnston in 1853; the current tenant was Mrs. Harriett Johnston.

For sale in 1859:  No 2, Belvidere Place.  The original lease was between John Johnson and John Russell in 1795;   the document doesn’t mention the Williams family - perhaps the original lease no longer existed in 1859 - but they lived here in the early part of the nineteenth century;   in 1859, however, Richard Williams was leasing the house to John Smith Esq.

Document of 1871, giving the tenure and particulars of 5 and 6 Barrington St,  Limerick City, which details that the lease, taken out on 31st May 1831, from the Earl of Limerick to Joseph Barrington, who was to hold the lease for  the lives of Thomas Williams, then aged about 21, George Gibbons Williams aged about 19, and Richard Palmer Williams aged about 17, the first, second and third sons of Richard Williams of Drumcondra Castle.  (I think this property was also up for sale in 1871.)

For Sale by Richard Williams in 1857: 39 Dame Street - Indenture of demise, dated 13th December 1786, from James Williams to Henry Wilme for 999 years.  The interest of James Williams became vested in Thomas Williams, and the interest of Henry Wilme became vested in Benjamin Poyntz....23rd December 1824, an indenture of lease was executed between Thomas Williams of the first part, John Weldon, silk mercer of the second part, and Benjamin Poyntz of the third part.   This property was offered up for sale in 1857 as part of Richard Williams’ estate.  The tenants using the premises in 1857 were the West of England Insurance Company.
(39 Dame Street - Lease: Indenture of lease dated the 13th December 1786 from James Williams to Henry Wilme for 999 years , from 1st January 1787, at the yearly rent of £ indenture of lease dated 23rd December 1823, was made and executed between Thomas Williams Esq., of the 1st part, John Weldon, silk mercer, of the 2nd part, and Benjamin Poyntz, hosier, of the 3rd part, whereby the said Thomas Williams (in whom the interest of said James Williams, in said premises, was then vested) demised said premises to Benjamin Poyntz (in whom the interest of said Henry Wilme therein was also vested) for the term of 961 years...with liberty of carts, cars, horses, carriages, labourers and servants to pass and repass from and through the passage then and now called Dame-lane, at the rear of said house and premises, at all hours and times, and liberty was thereby reserved to the said Benjamin the expiration of every seven years of said term, to surrender said premises on giving six months previous notice in writing.
And by deed of 14th June 1842, William Hodges and others (in whom the lessee’s interest in said indentures of 13th December 1786 and 23rd December 1823 was then vested)  assigned their interest to Samuel Page, who executed a declaration of trust  that he held in trust, and for and on behalf of The West of England Insurance Company.)

 The valuation of Dublin of 1830 named Poyntz as the proprietor of 39 Dame Street.

Notes on James Williams, original owner of 39 Dame Street, whose widow, Dorothea Williams, sold the house on to Henry Wilme in 1787.  James Williams was a printer/bookseller who printed Enlightenment literature at his premises in Skinner Row near Fishamble St.  He married, in 1763, Dorothea Archer, the daughter of John Archer, another bookseller of Dame St and of Kilkenny.  James carried on his business in Skinner Row for about 20 years before moving down the road to the more fashionable Dame St in 1784;  he died there in 1787 and his widow sold on the house at this point.   I believe that Henry Wilme, who bought the property from her, was a well-known goldsmith from the Dublin Castle area at the north end of Dame St - James Williams may well have been a member of the family of the goldsmith Richard Williams who lived at Castle Street.   The children of James Williams intermarried with the Finn family of Kilkenny - this family were the owners of 'The Leinster Journal' for which James Williams was the Dublin agent.  In 1797, William Williams of Kilmacud, Dublin, the son of the late James Williams, married Elizabeth Finn of Kilkenny.  The witness was her brother, Michael Finn, who married Sarah, a second Williams daughter.  William Williams and Michael Finn went into stockbroking and banking together in Kilkenny where their bank, 'Williams & Finn',  failed in about 1821.

1859:  15, Gardiner Place.  Original lease taken out by Thomas Williams in 1792;  his grandson, Charles Watkin Williams took out a lease in 1852 with the current tenant, Wensley Bond Jennings.

1860:  Lands at Little Kilrush, Clare;  lease, dated 3rd January 1845, from Matthew Barrington to Charles Wye Williams.  The lot for sale consisted of a residence, stables, outhouses, garden and pleasure grounds, and commanded fine views up and down the River Shannon.  Charles Wye Williams was leasing about 1 acre of this while a John Thomas McSheehy was leasing a further 2 acres of the lot.

1856: Parle’s Holding and Philip’s Meadow in the Faith, Batt Street, and William Street, in the town of Wexford (19 acres).  The notes for this property record that the last renewal of the lease had been taken out on 24th December 1822, from Sir William Geary and Lady Henrietta Geary to Samuel Batt, Hannah Chandler, Anne Hours, John Dignam (sic) Williams and his wife Mary, for the three lives of Benjamin Batt, Anne Hours and the Duke of Leinster. (Benjamin Batt was since deceased.)
The current tenant was Sam.Batt,  the represesentative of H. Hillary and Wm. Chamberlaine.


  1. I descend from James Williams Bookseller of 39 Dame Street Dublin. He married Dorothea Archer daughter of Jonas Archer and Frances Abbott in 1763. He appears to be a selfmade man and very wealthy by time he died in 1787 both sons were educated at Trinity College. James Williams died at Seaview near Bray.His eldest son James managed his father's estate . According to the family history of John White (5th Marquis of d’Albarville b 1762 d 1823), his daughter Ellen White married James Williams the younger of Kilmacud, so this could be James Williams son of James the bookseller.James Williams (Bookseller) youngest son William Williams left a position as Captain of the 9th Light Dragoons to commence banking with brother in law Michael Finn. There were two branches, one at Sackville Street Dublin and the other in Kilkenny, the bank failed and was the subject of considerable paliamentary discussion. It failed before 1811 as William applied and was granted a position as cornet in the 11th Light Dragoons and died a heros death in Salamanca which was recorded in Napiers History of the Peninsular Wars. Two of his daughters married well, one to Henry Haughton of Summerville and another to WIlliam Boyd wine merchant of Jervis Street. A daughter was recorded as marrying into gentry. Hope this is of interest.

  2. Also worth noting that James Williams the bookseller and owner of 39 Dame Street was a close friend of Luke White a very wealthy man who made money through lotteries as did James Williams and James Williams was also a stockbroker as well as printer, bookseller, importer he is said to have become wealthly through his lottery business. His widow Dolly went into partnership with William Jones from 1787 to 1789. James Williams operated his business from 20 Dame Street but owned considerable property. The family attend St. Werburgh's. I haven't found his family but he was born c 1738 I wonder if he was related to Thomas Williams?

  3. Hi there Rosalie - many thanks for padding out my information on James Williams of Dame Street. He came from a very interesting family - I bet they were enjoyable to research!
    I hunted for some link between your James Williams and Thomas Williams of the Bank of Ireland but found nothing at all. If they were members of the same family, then they didn't leave an easy paper trail. Of course, if I uncover anything to tie the two families together, I'll add it into this blog. Thanks for your wonderful input!

  4. Thanks Alison - I am visiting Dublin on 24th March so I will let you know if I unearth any connection. Great blog by the way. James Williams was apprenticed to Richard Watt at Blue Coat School which was the free school so he didn't come from an affluent background. No doubt if not related they certainly knew each other quite well.

  5. Hi there, I was excited reading your finds about James Williams of Dublin, thinking, could it be the same line as my husband, only to realise it wasnt. We have a very wealthy James Williams who died in Dublin in 1805, a sherif, who lived at Gloucester Street Dublin - I am amazed I cant find anything out about him. He left his second son, Bartholomew, my husband's line, 14000 pounds and a couple of properties. James father was named Thomas, his wife was Catherine Carshore and this is where I have hit a brick wall. I believe it goes back to a Thomas, Charles and eventually to Sir Roger Williams of Llangibby in Wales. - according to a gg aunt with her handwritten genealogy line. Has anyone come across such names when researching their Williams line. If so I would appreciate your contact. Thanks for reading