The Temple Bar Telegrapgh ISSUE 1
The Temple Bar Pub first licensed in 1819 BY EAMONN CASEY The city of Dublin was in 1819 still proudly celebrating the exploits of Dubliner Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, who five years previously had gloriously polished off Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo, when an application was made for a publican’s licence that has since proven to be one of the oldest surviving in this region of the city. That current licence can be traced back to Friday May 14th 1819 when enterprising young publican James Harrison set out on a great new adventure on his first foray in business. Prior to that young James had worked beside his father Thomas who ran a pub grocery business at 48 City Quay. He now had a ready-made porter supplier in Samuel Figgis, Porter Merchant, who ran his business from nearby Temple Lane. The other dominant supplier of the age was Darley’s Brewery of Gt. Britain St, (Parnell St.) who distributed Porter, Ale and Table Beers.
VICTORIA had assumed the British throne when James Harrison was succeeded here by Cornelius O’ Meara, Grocer, Tea, Wine & Spirit Merchant, in 1835. O’ Meara was a committed publican intent on spreading his wings as he also ran another pub at No. 1 Wood Quay. This street was then at the epicentre of Dublin’s 19th century rag trade as Cornelius O’ Meara’s two nearest neighbours were Christopher McCauley, Hat Manufacturer, and Edward Loman, Hatter. O’ Meara served almost a decade here before he sold out to James Farley, Grocer and Spirit Merchant in 1844. Farley knew the business here very well having made but a short journey from 38 East Essex St. where he had operated as a Provisions Dealer. James Farley’s reign at this old hostelry was of brief duration and the Great Famine was raging across the country with unprecedented horror and devastation when much-respected Dublin publican, William Cranston took the wheel in 1847. Temple Bar was doing quite well at this point in Dublin’s commercial narrative as new businesses such Wholesale Wine Merchants, Glass Merchants, Paper Hanging Merchants and General Merchants had moved into the UEEN
Loading Guinness casks onto Liffey barges for delivery to Dublin Port.
street. Cranston was an enterprising publican who was here for the long haul by working diligently at his business. At this time Dublin was awash with money and a great new spirit of adventure and enterprise was abroad. Kinsgbridge Railway Station had recently been completed and all the benefits of the steam age were at large. Hotels, Guest Houses and new business sprang up about the city in a real construction boom. But more industry and greater disposable income spelt trouble for the pub trade and William Cranston. During the middle to late 1850s a new wave of Provisions Dealers & Dram Grocers had infiltrated this street and they operated the practice of Dram Drinking. The dram grocers then allowed customers to buy spirits in an offsales (liquor store) capacity and illegally consume them on the premises behind screens and makeshift partitions. This practice created much financial hardship for the authorities and regular or legitimate vintners. William Cranston was a member of the Licensed Trade delegation who travelled to lobby the British Parliament in Westminster, London in 1863 to have this practice forbidden by legislation. Within two years the practice was outlawed and in 1865 the vintners and grocers merged to form a stronger new trade association, the L. V. & G. A. (Licensed Vintners and Grocers Association). The Fenian Brotherhood were preparing a revolutionary armed protest against British rule in Ireland in 1865 when John Lambert, Grocer, Wine & Spirit Merchant, bought this pub at public auction from the now retiring William Cranston. Lambert was an experienced Dublin publican who also traded at 38 City Quay. He was also a thrifty one and within three years had sold out for a handsome financial profit to John Joseph and Ann Cranwill. A lot of tenement buildings now existed in the street and this larger footfall may have enticed the Cranwills to set up business here.
However luck was not on their side as some five years after acquiring the pub, John Joseph passed away on the premises in 1873. His widow Ann struggled on, bravely at first but this was no business in the 1870s for a woman on her own. The name P.J. Hartnett was first seen above the door here in 1880 in what had now become a prosperous Victorian street of booksellers, bookbinders, iron manufacturers, printers, goldsmiths and all the respected merchants that provided a service to affluent Victorian society. Temple Bar was not in this era a dominant high street shopping location like Grafton St., but yet a much sought after commercial location that visibly reflected Dublin’s privileged position as the second city of the British Empire. P. J. Hartnett benefited richly from this economic windfall remaining here for eleven years until 1891 when he was succeeded by Josephine Purcell who arrived in time to see 100,000 Irish people on October 11th, throng the city streets in silent reverence to follow the funeral of Charles Stuart Parnell, Ireland’s ‘uncrowned king’ Josephine had barely settled in at The Temple Bar when she was out again, having sold the premises in 1892 to James Byrne who himself was to stay but two years. Patrick and Bridget Ramsbottom made their home debut here in July 1894. Bridget was as busy as a bee in the years that followed and she needed to be for the Irish Beekeeper’s Association had their headquarters at No. 44. Patrick Ramsbottom died suddenly in 1898 and the ‘bold’ Bridget traded on alone for another seven years until the Gaffney Bros relieved her in 1905. By 1909 we find Edward Walsh & Co., Grocers, Tea, Wine and Spirit Merchants trading here from what was then a typical Victorian era pub grocery. The Chinese have a proverb expressing the wish that we may live in interesting times. This most appropriately sums up the fortunes of Edward Walsh who was pulling the pints behind the bar here on Easter
Monday 1916 when the firing broke out on n e a r b y D u b l i n ’s Sackville St, as this city erupted into armed insurrection against British Rule. Edward saw out the War of Independence from this pub and later saw British troops marching down the city quays for the last time as this country gained its freedom. He also witnessed the gloom and despair of the Civil War as brother fought against brother until Charles Archer succeeded him in 1923. Within two years Charles Archer witnessed the emerging automobile industry come to Temple Bar as Stanley, Smith & Co. traded from No. 44. For the remaining 26 years of his long tenure here, he saw little adventure and little economic enterprise in a country ravaged by the Economic War, World War II, mass emigration and unemployment. The Fitzgerald family, whose descendants now operate the Joycean pub, Fitzgerald’s of Sandycove, arrived here in 1951 remaining for a decade until they were succeeded by William Flannery in 1961. Your current hosts the Cleary Family are second-generation Dublin publicans whose family previously owned the famous Dropping Well pub in Milltown, Co. Dublin, which was first licensed as a community morgue during the Irish Famine in 1847. They acquired The Temple Bar in 1992 and painstakingly began the long-term goal of creating a licensed emporium that reflected all the historic value and traditionalism of a heritage pub while simultaneously incorporating the energy, the vitality and social requirements of a new vibrant and contemporary culture.
THE TEMPLE BAR DUBLIN ——— E s t a b l i s h e d 1 8 1 9 ———
The Temple Bar and the Knights Templars Church was separted from Rome by Henry V111 in 1536, the birth of protestantism began in England. Many of the Knights Templars families whose descendants had suffered persecution by Rome in earlier times were now free to play a more active role in society. The Temple family were according to British historical records a family who had historic links with the Knights Templars and one who coincidentally came to prominence in England under Protestant rule.
Is there a connection between The Temple Bar and the Knights Templars? Or is the name purely coincidental? Many people including a prominent British genealogist, who claims to know the true story of the Temple family in England and their Masonic past, affirm there is a definite connection. Today the prevailing view of the Knights Templars is that of a gallant and chivalrous group of men with splendid white mantles and shields adorned with a red cross, sitting on white horses, setting off to Jerusalem to defend Christendom. That is certainly the romantic view but what of the real view? Origins Who were the Knights Templars? The order was founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims en route to Jerusalem and had their headquarters on the Temple Mount on the site of the old temple of Solomon. Thus they were initially named the ‘Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon’ or the Knights Templars for short. Though very poor at first, the Order received the official recognition of the Catholic Church in 1129 and became the favourite early-medieval charity rapidly acquiring lands, wealth and influence. They were not subject to any form of taxation and were exempt from all authority other that of the pope. The Templar order grew rapidly as they excelled in many battles throughout the Crusades but of far greater significance was their growth in influence and in monetary matters. Though they took an oath of poverty the order became extraordinarily wealthy as they established a vigorous financial network across the whole of Christendom, in the process establishing the earliest know form of banking. They acquired large tracts of land, both in Europe and the Middle East; they bought and managed farms and vineyards; they built churches and castles; they were involved in manufacturing, import and export; they had their own fleet of ships; and at one point they even owned the entire island of Cyprus. Fall from Grace By the mid-twelth century the Templars were in decline as the Muslim world was now united under Saladin and the Order was accused of concentrating more heavily on monetary rather than spiritual or military matters. Many disputes arose within the Order and King Philip 1V of France, who was heavily in debt to the Templars, repeatedly urged Pope Clement V to disband the Order. Philip was prepared to go to any extreme to avoid repayment of the monstrous debt that would have bankrupt France. Friday the 13th The original Friday the 13th came into being on Friday October 13th 1307 when King Philip had all the Templars under his jurisdiction arrested and charged with various offences including hersesy, apostasy, idolatory, obscene rituals and homosexuality, financial corruption, fraud and secrecy. Under extreme forms of torture many of the Templars confessed (charges which they later recanted). King Philip burned hundreds of Templars at the stake in Paris and a period of persecution followed throughout Europe. Under
constant and severe military threats from Philip of France, Pope Clement instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assests. He eventually disbanded the Templars at the Council of Vienne in 1312. However, a very historic document, recently discovered in the Vatican, the ‘Chinon Parchment’ states that Pope Clement absolved the Templar Order of all heresies in 1308. The Catholic Church today officially states that that the medieval persecution of the Knights Templar was unjust; that there was nothing inherently wrong with the Order or its Rule; and that Pope Clement was pressured into his actions by the magnitude of the public scandal and the dominating influence of King Philip IV. Templars Flee With Their Secrets Right across Christian Europe, with the exception of Portugal, decades of persecution and confiscation of assets followed for the Knights Templars. Persecution was a convenient tool for many states, noblemen and monarchs as they were heavily indebted to the order. Many of the fleeing Templars assumed new indentities and travelled to new lands taking their many secrets with them. Perhaps the foremost romantic secret was that of the Holy Grail which the Templars were said to have protected and kept secret from the Catholic Church following their persecution. But there is no historic evidence to support this popular tale which has proven increasingly appealing to the world of literature. Another concerns the Shroud of Turin which was mysteriously discovered in Turin in the 14th century in the possession of a family with a Knights Templar name and historic connection. Protestantism in England Many Norman noblemen who were Knights Templars fled to Britain under assumed names in the 14th century and having declared loyalty and paid taxes to the prevailing monarch, became free of persecution. Secret covenants continued throughout the decades and when the Anglican
Templars in Dublin So when William Temple landed in Dublin in 1599, one wonders did he bring his family history of secret societies with him? Did he practice his secret rituals with fellow members in Trinity College or at his family home in the Temple Bar? Did he embrace and continue his family heritage as a Knights Templar? Some freemason organizations today claim their society is linked to the Templars and we know that since at least the 18th century Freemasonry has incorporated Templar symbols and rituals in a number of Masonic bodies, most notably, the “Order of the Temple“ the final order joined in “The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta” commonly known as the Knights Templar. One theory of the origins of Freemasonry claims direct descent from the historical Knights Templar through its final fourteenth-century members who took refuge in Scotland, or other countries where the Templar suppression was not enforced. However, there is no historical evidence available to substantiate this claim One wonders are they keeping it from us? Is it another secret of the Knights Templars? Vindication for the Knights Templar Following the recent not so astonishing reveleation by the Catholic Church attesting to the innocence of the Knights Templar in the 14th century, a cult of admiration, wonder and mystique has developed around the ancient order. Today the image of the white mantle adorned by the red cross is a potent brand that is considered warm and brave and imbued with honesty and integrity. The aura of covert rituals and hidden secrets has undoubtedly stimulated the imagination of a curious secular contemporary age who have developed a strong affinity to spin offs like the De Vinci Code and similar literary outputs. Some commentators assert that the secrets of the Knights Templar have not been lost but kept in manuscript form concealed in layers of puzzles, mathematical conondrums and literary imagery. One wonders if The Temple Bar holds some of the clandestine secrets of the order?
THE TEMPLE BAR DUBLIN ——— E s t a b l i s h e d 1 8 1 9 ———
A Monument to The Unknown Whiskey Drinker As you wander through The Temple Bar Pub going towards the Beer Garden your eyes will be immediately drawn to a life size bronze statue of a well-built man standing on top of a whiskey barrel. One of his outstretched hands holds a whiskey bottle while the other holds a glass. Many tourists and indeed pub regulars assume this character is a figure either from Irish history or from the music world. But who precisely is this man, what is he doing on top of a whiskey barrel, and what is his connection to The Temple Bar?
behaviour of this very likeable gentleman whose name nobody seemed to know. On each occasion the regulars waited impatiently for ‘the unknown whiskey drinker’ to take his extravagant leap onto the whiskey barrel while reciting poetry. He never failed them. But while many valued pub customers were entertained by the histrionics of the unknown man, there were those that found his behaviour more than a little insensitive at moments of tragedy.
Who Was the Unknown Whiskey Drinker? The Temple Bar Regular Before we attempt to unravel his identity it is perhaps best to explain his connection to The Temple Bar Pub and why he is standing on a whiskey barrel. This rather peculiar gentleman was an frequent pub customer in decades past who had the eerie habit of turning up in the pub in moments both of tragedy and joy, and at times of huge national importance. Local oral tradition records his first sighting in The Temple Bar Pub as on May 8th 1945, the day Germany surrendered officially marking the end of World War 11. On that evening nobody paid undue attention to the well mannered, well attired, kind and cultured customer who silently consumed copious quantities of Irish whiskey at the bar counter. And when some time later the same gentleman leaped on top of a whiskey barrel, reciting poetry in celebratory style, pub regulars put his behaviour down to high spirits in rejoicing at the war’s end. Moments later this gentleman had disappeared out the pub door.
While there are many contrasting theories as to the identity of this unique folklore character that attached himself to The Temple Bar pub, all accounts concur on the reality that this highly refined man had a particular affinity with music and the arts in general. So who was he? One long-standing customer of the pub believes that ‘the unknown whiskey drinker’ was once a classical composer who had suffered a mental breakdown. Another customer is convinced that our unknown hero had once lived a life of learned monastic seclusion and left the order after a theological argument with the abbot. Another tradition says that he was a German Intelligence World War 11 Officer who had escaped from internment at the Curragh Camp. There is another theory that our ‘whiskey drinker’ was in fact a spiritual being of the literal meaning, who in his earthly existence had been an air force pilot shot down in the Irish Sea. Indeed, there are many other theories of varying credibility as to the identity of ‘unknown whiskey drinker’.
Great Historic Events Pub customers recall that on the night of April 18th 1948 as regulars were toasting the official declaration of The Irish Republic earlier that day, our well mannered gentleman joined the celebrations and consumed several large whiskies from a bottle he had purchased at the bar. Sometime later he again leaped on top of the whiskey barrel with a glass in one hand and the bottle in the other. Over the next 20 years his presence in The Temple Bar pub was always noted at moments of critical historic importance such as the night the Abbey Theatre burned in 1951, the night the Korean War ended in 1953, the Windscale Nuclear Incident in 1957, the night Dublin won the All-Ireland in 1958, the night De Valera resigned as Taoiseach in 1959. Many older customers record his most exuberant performance on the night of November 8th 1960, when John F. Kennedy was elected 35th President of the U.S.A. Over the years pub customers had become accustomed to the eccentric
Casting a Bronze Memorial in his honour For some years subsequent to their acquisition of The Temple Bar Pub, the Cleary Family set forth on a quest to learn the identity of ‘the unknown whiskey drinker’ – all to no avail. However, while undertaking this quest, a clear description of our mysterious person emerged. With this information in hand, the management commissioned leading sculptors Ian Pollock and Barry Linnane to re-create a bronze life size image of the ‘unknown whiskey drinker’. Today that bronze statue occupies a prominent position within The Temple Bar Pub and is the subject of endless intrigue to pub tourists with a spirit of mystery and enquiry. The management at The Temple Bar Pub have not given up hope that one day some customer may be able to conclusively identify ‘the unknown whiskey drinker’.
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The Amazing Story of Sir William Temple —————————————————— ‘Sleaze, corruption and greedy land speculation damaging standards of morality and politics in Ireland’ BY EAMONN CASEY The above quotation could easily be attributed to evidence recently given at one of our Tribunal’s of Enquiry at Dublin Castle. Sleaze, corruption and land speculation have certainly dominated the headlines in recent years prompting wellplaced commentators to question how our nation in this great age of technological advancement could have descended to such depths of dishonest behaviour never previously witnessed in Irish history. The reality is that the above quotation comes from the 16th century in an era when the very pillars of society engaged in such activities. What is more alarming is that it specifically refers to a gentleman decorated by the Crown who had served as Provost of Trinity College – Sir William Temple. This is his amazing story. Sir William IR WILLIAM TEMPLE, (1555 – 1627) the man who gave his name to The Temple Bar, led an extraordinary life of great contradictions. At surface level he appeared to be a man of high academic achievement, devoted puritan religious values showing zealous service to his patrons and country, but on a deeper level Sir William led a life of naked political opportunism, engaging in political plotting and treachery, and accused of treason for attempting to overthrow his queen. In his business and financial life he was immeasurably corrupt, with constant accusations being levelled against him of financial improprieties, sleaze and constant land speculation.
The Early Years William Temple was born the son of Leicestershire man Anthony Temple, whose family name was said to descend from the Knight Templars, a once powerful monastic order during the Crusades, but which was outlawed by the Church during the 14th century and whose membership suffered great oppression and hardship in the decades that followed. The rituals and the secrets of the order survived and many of the Knight Templars families came to prominence in 16th century England when Protestantism was embraced. The young William Temple was a gifted academic who studied at Eton and Kings College, Cambridge, where he secured an M.A. in Philosophy in 1581. A religious puritan, he became Master of Lincoln Grammar School that same year. In 1585 William got his first big break when he was appointed Secretary to Sir Philip Sydney and accompanied him to the Low Countries on his appointment as Governor of Flushing. But his career star which appeared to be ascending rapidly came crashing down to earth within one year when his patron, Sir Philip, died in his arms at the Siege of Zutphen in October 1586. Many years of political obscurity followed for William Temple during which time he returned to the academic world. By 1594 he had found a new patron when attaching his fortunes to that of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, the darling favourite of the ‘virgin queen’ Elizabeth. Through the influence of Devereux, William was elected M.P. for Tamworth in 1597. Temple arrives in Ireland William Temple’s first sight of Ireland came as he landed at Howth in April 1599 to take up his position as Secretary to the
new Lord Lieutenant, Robert Devereux, and 2nd Earl of Essex. It was a baptism of fire as their first great task was to suppress a major rebellion of the native Irish tribes who had now united with the AngloNormans. While Essex campaigned around the country, Temple stayed behind in Dublin that summer relaying news of military deployments and successes to the Royal Court. Essex, once Elizabeth’s most trusted confidant and intimate advisor, now became the unappreciated and maligned viceroy falling foul of the ageing queen. Both he and William Temple were ignominiously recalled to London that same autumn. Treason and Treachery Back in London Essex became involved in a failed coup to overthrow the queen in February 1601 in which William Temple was heavily implicated. Temple had spread rumours around London, in an effort to gather support against the monarchy, of a non-existent plot to murder Essex. Essex was arrested and charged with treason. Directly before his execution he named William Temple as amongst those who had most actively encouraged him in his treasonous efforts to overthrow the queen. Temple strenuously denied any knowledge of Essex’s plans when interrogated. By February 26th 1601 he was under close confinement at the Gatehouse Prison and indicted for treason. The government seemed set on William Temple’s execution but the chief royal minister, Sir Robert Cecil, sparred him and he escaped with a £100 fine and his reputation ruined. He remained in political obscurity for almost a decade totally distrusted by the monarchy. But Sir Robert Cecil and Dr. William Ussher worked together in private and arranged for him to become the fourth provost of Trinity College in 1609. Temple returns to Ireland On his arrival in Dublin William Temple pretended he had never been to Ireland before, attempting to conceal his association with Essex ten years previously. But the Essex connection had played a huge part in his recall from the political wilderness. While Essex’s secretary, he had performed clandestine services for James the Sixth of Scotland whom Essex had wanted to replace Elizabeth with. He had now become the King of England having succeeded the throne on the death of Elizabeth in 1603. James’s primary aim was to further the progress of the protestant reformation in
Ireland and to achieve his aims he set out by granting large tracts of land in Ulster to Trinity College in order to provide it with the means to train protestant clergymen. They needed a cunning, capable, ruthless and politically minded provost to carry out their plans. William Temple was just the man for the job. Provost of Trinity As an administrator William was a meticulous record keeper drawing up the first set of statutes for Trinity College, which survived into the 19th century. During the early years he journeyed frequently to London persuading the king to grant an annual subsidy of £388 to the college. But even in those early days there was considerable unease within Trinity about his financial probity. His difficulty was that his annual provost’s salary of £100 was insufficient to fuel his lifestyle of property acquisitions and lavish family life. In 1610 his decision to lease a large college estate in Ulster for just £600 per annum to James Hamilton, a long time friend and fellow plotter against the previous monarch, drew widespread condemnation and public outrage. Further opposition followed from his academic colleagues when he became M.P. for Trinity College from 1613 – 1615. In London 1616 one of his senior fellows, Anthony Martin, brought a series of charges against him including corruption, religious non-conformity and general misgovernance of the college. Not for the first time in his life William Temple found himself sailing to London to defend his reputation, his family fortunes and his career. But on this occasion lady luck was on his side as the college authorities rallied around him to protect its good name. In May 1617 William returned to Ireland triumphantly having successfully defended his reputation and that of Trinity College. Land Acquisitions & Corruptions Throughout his years in Trinity College, William continued to purchase and release property around the city of Dublin and beyond. He purchased land and properties in Oxmanstown, Chapelizod and Essex Street, and in 1612 purchased a property in the area that is today known as Temple Bar. Though he resided in the Provost’s seat within the college, this became his family townhouse. However, it was his continued leasing of college property to land speculators that continued to alarm the establishment. In particular his decision to lease college lands to his
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wife was considered totally corrupt, immoral and unprecedented in respectable English society. His Legacy His Statutes of Trinity College survived well into the 19th century but he failed in his primary role of advancing the college aim of a protestant seminary. He refused to encourage the Irish language within Trinity and regarded the destruction of the Irish language and culture as a necessary prerequisite to defeating the native Irish way of life. This in effect meant that Trinity’s newly educated Protestant clergy were ill equipped and unwilling to minister in Gaelic Ireland which made a mockery of King James the Sixth’s grand plan to eliminate Catholicism and replace it with Protestantism in a complete religious and cultural transformation of Irish society. On a personal level his family dynasty flourished after his demise particularly with the arrival of Cromwell’s Puritan Age. His descendants include First Lords of the Admiralty, Secretaries of State, Keepers of the Privy Seal, First Lords of the Treasury and prime minister Lord Palmerston, whose name came from the family estate that is now a Dublin village. His son and grandson both lived from time to time in their city townhouse that is now part of The Temple Bar. The family continued to pay Dublin Corporation an annual ground rent of £40 for this property for almost 200 years. Knighthood and Continuing Corruption For his continued devotion to public service he was knighted Sir William Temple on May 4th 1622. However the charges of financial corruption became ever louder even for a knight of the realm. Under continuous pressure to step down as Provost of Trinity, he eventually agreed to do so in January 1627. But the great survivor was to enjoy one final twist of fate and cheat his detractors. Before his appointed departure date, Sir William Temple died in office on January 15th 1627 and was buried in the old chapel near the provost’s seat. At the time of his death he owed some £450 to the college – equivalent to 4.5 years salary – that his family was forced to repay with great difficulty. If he had lived in modern times, Sir William, it appears could easily have adapted and flourished within Celtic Tiger Ireland. Perhaps he was a man ahead of his times – or a man unfit for any time. What do you think?
Published on Jan 1, 2012
The Temple Bar Telegraph Issue 1. January 2012. Background information on The Temple Bar Pub, Dublin, Ireland. Historic information about Si...