Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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That’s a great story about Leeson, explains why he vanished off the scene. I’ve heard speculation that the little classical mortuary chapel in Goldenbridge Cemetery might have been designed by Leeson, probably just based on the dates, anyone have anything concrete on that?
John Leeson was indeed a man of ‘poor social skills’ if your to believe his biography on the DOIA
But no mention of that mortuary chapel in Goldenbridge Cemetery in his few listed works gunter.
Architect, of Dublin. John Leeson’s origins are unknown; he may possibly have been the son of James Leeson, whose carpenter’s work at Colonel Brown’s cottage, Glenageary, was measured by Bryan Bolger in 1806. As a student at the Dublin Society’s School of Drawing in Architecture, John Leeson won one of the two first-class premiums awarded by the School on 22 July 1813. He was clerk of works at the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin from August 1819 or earlier until 26 June 1822, when building work was halted.He later ‘mapped out the principal lines’ of the church of St Nicholas of Myra, Francis Street, begun in 1829. He may be the ‘Mr J. Leeson’ who was GEORGE WILKINSON’s most highly paid assistant in 1843-44 duriing the workhouse building campaign and who left at the end of March 1844, though continuing to to give ‘partial assistance until the completion of the building accounts’.
Leeson was one of many architects abused by ‘Nicholson Numskull’ in his satirical Essay on the Rise and Progress of Architectural Taste in Dublin (1832):’Without one ray of genius – not a spark, L-s-n comes next – a chapel building clerk; So dull and stupid – could you once suspect This brainless oaf to be an architect. In a footnote ‘Nicholson Numskull’ refers to the rebuilding of the Townsend Street Roman Catholic Chapel. Leeson was the architect originally chosen by the parish priest, Matthias Kelly, to design the new church, but, after building had already begun, Kelly’s successor, Dr Blake, decided to change the site and to give the commission for the church (now known as St Andrew’s, Westland Row) to JAMES BOLGER.
Leeson probably died in 1855. His name appears in Thom’s directories until 1855 at 25 Clare Street, premises which he shared with a Mrs. Leeson, court milliner and dressmaker. By 1857 only his son, Arthur Edmund Leeson, was living at this address. John Leeson is referred to as ‘the late – Leeson’ in the Dublin entry in the second volume of The Architectural Publication Society’s Dictionary published in 1856.
A little bit harsh do ya think . . Another ‘misunderstood mad genius’ perhaps?