Cemetery: St. Nicholas Within (Union of St Audoen). 

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives
Dublin Index


File contributed by: C. Hunt & Mary Bradley

    [From the Rev. R S Maffett, B A, 1903

According to Wright's "Guide to Dublin" (1821), the Church 
of St. Nicholas Within, Nicholas-street, was originally 
built by Bishop Donat; this building would seem to have been 
re-edified in the latter part of the sixteenth century.  The 
church was re-built again in 1707, and the front of this 
edifice was dangerous when WRIGHT describes it.  Lewis 
(1887) mentions that the church had been taken down, and was 
to be re- built, which latter, however, was never done, and 
the parish was united to St. Audoen's in 1867.  The 
first-named author states that the greater part of the 
graveyard was obtained by the Coporation when building the 
Tholsel, so that what remained was merely a passage to the 
vaults which, he adds, contained the bodies of several 
persons of high descent, but their names could only be 
learned from the parish registers. On my visit, in May, 
1900, I had some difficulty in getting in though I had an 
appointment for the purpose, owing to the key having been 
lost; after a delay, however, the difficulty was overcome by 
the padlock being broken.  I was told that the Coropration 
was not going to do anything at present with respect to the 
remains of the church;* all the houses up to it, on the 
south side, had, however, already been taken down in 
connection with the improvement schemes.  What remains of 
the front of the church is the lowest story, of cut stone, 
having a door at the north side, and a corresponding 
aperture, built up, at the south, with one (arched) in the 
centre, much larger and also built up.  There is a derelict 
house (the "Verger's House"), where the schoolmistress of 
the Union of St. Audoen's used to live some years back, and 
which I went through, adjoining the church to the north, and 
it is the strip of ground behind this house that constitutes 
the graveyard.  After passing through the doorway in the 
church front, there is a short passage or walk, and a flight 
of steps, the space to the south being earth.  The rest of 
the site is covered with the flags in the form of a centre 
can only be a few feet (perhaps three or four) higher than 
the level of the top step.  There seemed flat masonry under 
the roofing at some parts at least.  The wall of the church, 
towards the base of which the north side of the roofing 
slopes down, shows four round-headed windows, cut stone 
forming the arches on the house (which also opens into the 
churchyard), is a door to the burial ground.  In the wall at 
the east end of the roofed space, near its northern 
extremity, is the upper part of what I took to be a doorway 
– built up – appearing above the slope of the roof, with the 
form of an arch above a flat-cut stone, the jambs being also 
of cut stone.  The ground on the other side of the wall 
belongs to Messrs. T HENSHAW & Co.  I could see no entrance 
to the space below the roofing.  The Rev. C T McCREADY, D D, 
however, tells me that he once penetrated beneath this 
roofing into the vaults, but saw nothing but coffins and 
slime and coffin-plates recording names of  no one of 
interest."  The Parochial Registers, he adds, give the names 
of all persons buried there after 1670.  I am also indebted 
to him for kindly referring me to a series of articles in 
the "Irish Builder" of 1889, in connection with which, he 
informed me, some inscriptions taken by him appeared †.  
This series seems of a very valuable character, and is 
continued during the year 1890, reproducing the entries of 
the parish registers with other matter. These following 
inscriptions, with some particulars not given in the latter, 
but without stating the age of Edward THORTON.  One of the 
earlier articles reproduces from the "Gentleman's Magazine," 
a view of the front of the Church of Nicholas Within.  This 
engraving, to be found on Plate II of the May number of the 
Magazine for •	I was most civilly shown by Mr. KEOGH (who 
has been, I believe, for some half-century in their 
employment) the part of the wall inside the shop which, he 
said, corresponded with the part I described.  Here there is 
a recess boarded up in the wall, which is fronted by 
shelving; the recess, however, is some distance from the 
ground and has a flat stone at the bottom, which he said 
once came upon a vault full of fine mould on the premises. 

They are still standing (August 1903).

† These inscriptions I could not find in the "Builder."

Picture of: The Earl of Corks Monument in St. Patrick's 
Cathedral, Dublin Erected during his lifetime in 1631

1786, opposite page 375, shows that there was then a wall 
where the "Verger's House" now stands.
'Projecting from the inside of the north wall of what was 
originally the church, to the east of the last window, there 
is a tablet of white marble, 13 inches high by 19 in length, 
within a frame of grayish stone, now quite sofe, of about 2 
inches in width.  The inscription, in small letters is 
plain; but most of the marble has a grayish incrustation 
over it':-

Here Lieth the Body | of Edward TORTON Esq | Who
Departed this | Life Augt ye 21 1762 | aged 69

'The only other inscription in this church or graveyard 
appears to be that  given below, which is on a stone in the 
graveyard leaning against another larger one close to the 
north wall of the church, a little west of the last window 
but one.  This larger stone might, however, have carving on 
the side resting against the church wall.  The first two 
words were the only portion of the inscription above the 
ground.  The stone under "Friend" is apparently broker, but 
not so under the first part of this line; if, however, there 
is anything more on the memorial, it must be after a larger 
intervening space than that between the last two lines 
given.  The lettering is in good preservation':-

Here lieth the Body of Mr. Thomas | KING who Departed
this life on | the 15th July 1771, aged 39 Years | He
was a Good Christian | And a Sincere Friend.

'There is a fourth stone, broken at the top, standing out in 
the graveyard near the second of the four windows, which 
might have an inscription.  It is not more than a few inches 
above the ground, and I only examined it some six inches 
beneath the surface.

Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the 
Memorials of the Dead in Ireland Vo. 6. 1904, (FHL #