Sir Thomas Deane (1792-1871)

His obituary in The Irish Builder was relatively short but read, “Since our last issue the death of Sir Thomas Deane has taken place in this city. The deceased architect was in his eightieth year. He was knighted, when sheriff of Cork, by the Duke of Northumberland, when on his viceregal visit to that city, in 1830. Sir Thomas Deane’s father, the late Alexander Deane, Esq., was also an architect. Sir Thomas Deane’s works are many, public and private, through Ireland ; and on another occasion we may give an enumeration of them, with some fuller particulars of ourmuch-regretted and much-respected native architect.”

From The Dublin Builder, a biographical snapshot.
“Our readers will recollect that in the editor’s annual address at commencement of present series we promised to give biographical sketches and portraits of eminent architects, engineers, and others ; the fulfiiinent of which promise we now inaugurate with a memoir and likeness of Sir Thomas Deane, who is one of the fathers of “our bar.”

Portrait No. 1. — Sir T. Deane, Architect.
Sir Thomas Deane, architect, R.H.A., was born in Cork in 1792. He lost his father, who was also an architect, at the age of 14, which obliged him to enter the profession unusually early.

In the first quarter of the present century, architecture, or the aesthetic department of the art, and building — or the application of the artificer’s skill in constructive science to the rearing of structures, and provision of materials therefor, as a commercial speculation — went more generally hand in hand than at the present day ; and Sir Thomas, in the course of his earlier practice embraced both capacities. Sir Thomas’s first work was the Commercial Buildings at Cork, which he obtained in competition against the celebrated classical architect and accomplished scholar, P. Wilkins, M.A , fellow of Cambridge, the architect of the National Gallery, London — a building which, though cited as a popular example of the latter gentleman’s works, is by no means one of his most successful productions. Amongst Sir Thomas Deane’s subsequent works may be enumerated all the vast stores, wharves, tanks, &c., on Haulbowline island, Queenstown. He received the honour of knighthood when sheriff of Cork, from the Duke of Northumberland, in 1831.

Sir Thomas Deane was the first patron of the late John Hogan, the great Irish sculptor, and aided materially in fostering art in his native city and elsewhere. The front of the Court-house at Cork, the old and new Savings’ Banks, the Bank of Ireland, and numerous other works in Cork, are also amongst his early buildings. His works in connection with his late partner, Mr. Benjamin Woodward, and Ids son and successor in professional practice, Mr. T. Newenham Deane, are well known. They include the Oxford Museum, the Cork Queen’s College, the New Museum and other works at Trinity College, Dublin; the Kildare-street Cliib-housu, the Crown Life Office in New Bridge-street, Blackfriars, London, and numerous other buildings.

Sir Thomas has, for the last fifty years, been an ardent promoter of the arts, and has given his best energies to elevate the character of building workmen, by encouraging and acknowledging their individual abilities.

It was Sir Thomas Deane’s work — the Queen’s College, Cork — that Lord Macaulay in his History of England alluded to as “a college worthy to stand in the High-street, Oxford.” Sir T. Deane had also the peculiar honour of inaugurating, by command, a tinial statue of the Queen, presented by him to the College at Cork, in the presence of her Majesty and the late Prince Consort, at the time of the first royal visit to Ireland.”