Thomas Burgh, the man who built it all, was born in Drumkeen, Co. Limerick in 1670. He was the third son of Rev. Ulysses Burgh and his wife Mary. He attended Mr. Delany’s school in Dublin and was later admitted to Trinity College, Dublin in November 1685. It appeared that he did not take a degree, but instead decided on a career as an engineer in the army.
By his account, he was at sea with Lord Berkley and served at Limerick at the second siege of 1690. He was commissioned captain in the Royal Regiment of Foot in 1692 and during the next three years served at the battles of Steenkerke in 1692, Landen in 1693, and at the siege of Namur in 1695. In 1697, he was one of the twenty-five engineers of the King’s Company of Engineers. He was appointed third engineer on the Irish establishment. Then in July 1700, he succeeded William Robinson as Surveyor-General of Ireland. Soon after, he was appointed ex-officio Barracks Overseer in Ireland in 1701. He then held the position of Lieutenant of the Ordinance of Ireland from 1705 until 1714. He was raised to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1706.
Burgh, who was admitted a freeman of Dublin in 1704, was responsible for the design and erection of a number of important public buildings in the city, including the Custom House, Trinity College library, Dr Steevens Hospital, the Linen Hall and the Royal Barracks. He also designed and created our very own building here, The Church. He worked on numerous other projects around Ireland as well.
He died on 18 December 1730, ‘after a few days sickness’. His books were sold in 1732. Burgh married Mary, daughter of William Smyth, Bishop of Kilmore, in 1700, and had five sons and four daughters.
Come See His Work At The Church
While in Dublin, make sure to go to see all of the works of art designed by Thomas Burgh. While you are out and about, make sure to stop into The Church to grab a bite to eat and a drink while you admire his architecture.