Gilbert: A History of the City of Dublin

Pdf Gilbert, J.T. A history of the City of Dublin. Volume 1. Dublin: James Duffy, 1861.
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Pdf Gilbert, J.T. A history of the City of Dublin. Volume 2. Dublin: James Duffy, 1861.
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Pdf Gilbert, J.T. A history of the City of Dublin. Volume 3. Dublin: James Duffy, 1861.
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A History Of The City Of Dublin by John Thomas Gilbert was written between 1854-1859 in three volumes and is a highly detailedaccount of the history of his native city from earliest Viking times until the 19th century. His history covers the development of the city marrying his own in depth local knowledge with impressive scholarship. His writings describe the ecclesiastical, cultural, political and social history of the capital of Ireland at one time the second city of the British Empire .

For much of its history the city of Dublin was essentially a small town with narrow streets clustered mostly along the south side of the River Liffey. At one time it featured only a single bridge while toward the mouth of the river and in Dublin Bay were mudflats where later docks were constructed. Dublin was surrounded by a number of defensive fortifications, rural hamlets and large tracts of agricultural land. For centuries the Gaelic Irish attacked Dublin from their refuges in the Dublin Mountains forcing the southern inhabitants to take refuge in strongholds. Over the centuries the city featured warfare, plague, famines, political strife, sophisticated cultural achievements and deep religious piety.

Beginning in the 18th century the population expanded dramatically and a rich and wealthy Anglo-Irish Protestant aristocracy created new streets, fine stone public buildings and red brick terraced townhouses. Rutland Square (later Parnell Square ), Mountjoy Square , St. Stephen's Green, Fitzwilliam Square and Merrion Square became the centre of fashionable society. For a brief period the Irish Parliament had legislative freedom and the city was prosperous.

However following the 1798 Rebellion and the Act of Union 1800, the Irish Parliament was merged with the British House of Commons in London. The wealthy Dublin elite sold their fine houses in Dublin city centre and they soon were transformed into slums.

Gilbert was born at Jervis Street , the son of a Anglo-Irish Protestant diplomat and an Irish Catholic mother. From his youth he was interested in history and archaeology and in his late teens was elected to the Council of the Celtic Society. He met influential Irishmen such as Isaac Butt, Charles Gavan Duffy, William Smith O'Brien and many others. For his erudite History Of The City Of Dublin, he won reknown as one of Ireland's leading historians.

He created much controversy when he wrote History and Treatment of the Public Records of Ireland in which he condemned the government for entrusting Irish language documents with men with no skill in the language. At the same time he held important posts in antiquarian societies such as the Royal Irish Academy and the Irish Archaeological Society. He married the Irish novelist Rosa Mullholland in 1891 and received an honorary LL.d from the Royal University in 1892. He was knighted by Queen Victoria for his work in the fields of history and archaeology and died in 1898. The Gilbert Library on Dublin 's Pearse Street is named in honour.


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