Seaview Terrace Donnybrook
The Jamesons and the Monsarrats
During the nineteenth century, the inhabitants at Seaview Terrace consisted of a mixture of high-ranking government officials, churchmen and retired army officers. The terrace also became a magnet for a large population of wine and spirit merchants, perhaps on account of its local association with the Jameson family who owned the adjacent Montrose demesne. James Jameson of the well-known brand of whiskey, lived at Seaview Terrace's Renfrew House in 1850. Mrs John Jameson came to live at No. 2 in the mid-1870s before finally settling at No. 5 from 1885 to 1890. Another wine merchant, Anthony Wilson, lived at No. 6, Seaview House, with his business address at 17 Lower Baggot Street. Griffiths Valuation showed that the terrace was occupied for a time by Nicholas Wade Monsarrat, a member of Dublin-based wine merchants and ancestor of the author of The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat (1910-1979). Heather Sims has done extensive research on the Monsarrats' genealogy in Ireland and more can be found out on her website: www.oliversims.com/monsarrat/.
In the 1870s the Rev. Arthur Gore Ryder , rector of Donnybrook Church , came to live at No. 4 Seaview Terrace. He wrote many books on theology and was a vocal opponent of Charles Darwin and his theories on Evolution. He was followed in 1875 by Lt Col. Andrew Vesey Davoren, retired officer of the Irish Rifles, who stayed in the house until his death in 1913 aged 91 years. Peter Dubedat, secretary of the Bank of Ireland and member of that well-known Dublin Huguenot family, occupied No. 3 in the mid 1880s.
Ancient burial ground
In 1879, excavations for the foundations of a new house on what was once part of the grounds of Mount Erroll revealed an extensive burial mound of between 600-700 bodies. The find was dramatically interpreted by Victorian archaeologists such as Dr William Frazer as the scene of a massacre by a Viking raiding party, with one of the marauders being buried in a ceremonial way beside the victims. The site was given the name Danesfield, which it holds to this day. The find has been re-interpreted in a more benign light in recent times by archaeologist, Dr Betty O’Brien, as a cemetery from the early Christian era incorporating a single Viking burial (6).The human remains were reinterred in nearby Donnybrook Cemetery sometime after their discovery.
Danesfield was included in the Thom’s Directory listing for Seaview Terrace from 1885 . Its first occupant was solicitor, John Alexander French, but it was frequently vacant over the years. Today it is the residence of the German Embassy.
The Moores of Moore Hall
Colonel Maurice Moore, later a Free State senator (1854-1939), lived at No. 5 Seaview Terrace from 1913 until his death at the end of the 1930s. He belonged to the Mayo family who lived at Moore Hall on Lough Carra and was a younger brother of novelist, George Moore. Maurice Moore was associated with the Connaught Rangers since 1875 and he was decorated for his service to the army during the Boer War. A devout Catholic and Irish language enthusiast, he taught himself Irish while serving in South Africa (7). As a result of his support for Sinn Fein after the 1916 Easter Rising, No. 5 Seaview Terrace was raided by the authorities a number of times during the War of Independence. Maurice fell out with his brother, George, over religion and politics and they hadn't made up at the time of George's death in 1933. Maurice himself died at Seaview Terrace in 1939.
No. 6, Seaview House, was the last in the terrace to be completed and it is the only house on the row to retain its original name today. Seaview House was associated from the early years of the twentieth century with the family of Henry and Alice Lynch (nee Vaughan). Henry C. Lynch served as examiner for oaths in the Land Commission where his father, Stanislaus Lynch, was its first commissioner. Like Maurice Moore, the Lynches had a long association with the Connaught Rangers and one of Alice and Henry’s sons, Frank, was killed at Ypres in 1916 while serving with the regiment during World War 1 . The long association between the Lynch family and Seaview Terrace ended in the late 1970s with the auctioning off of the property.
1. Victoria Glendinning, Trollope, page 217. Random House 2011.
2. Irish Architectural Archive, Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720-1940, www.dia.ie/architects/view/4866/SEMPLE- JOHN%5B3%5D.
3. London Daily News, 19 May 1849, page 8.
4. Irish Architectural Archive, Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720-1940, http://www.dia.ie/architects/view/4866/SEMPLE-JOHN%5B3%5D. Accessed July 2014.
5. Frank McCourt, Teacher Man- a memoir, page 174. Scribner.
6. Beatrice M. Doran, Donnybrook a History, page 133-34. The History Press Ireland. 2013.
7. Maria Coleman, “Maurice George Moore”, Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge University Press.
Other Sources: Thoms Directories