John Lodge

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Lodge, John, the distinguished archivist, was born in England early in the 18th century, and was educated at Cambridge University. In 1744 was published at Dublin a Report of the Trial in Ejectment of Campbell Craig, taken in shorthand by him. In 1751 "Mr. John Lodge, of Abbey-street," was appointed Deputy-Keeper of Bermingham Tower Records. Three years afterwards his Peerage of Ireland was published in 4 vols. 8vo. in Dublin. In 1759 he was appointed Deputy-Clerk and Keeper of the Rolls. In 1770 he published anonymously The Usage of Holding Parliaments in Ireland, and in 1772, also anonymously, a valuable collection of historical tracts entitled Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica, 2 vols. 8vo. Mr. Lodge died at Bath, 22nd February 1774. His wonderful collection of indexes remained in the possession of his family for nine years, until 1783, when they were deposited in the office of the Civil Department of the Chief-Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant, in return for a life pension of £100 a year to his widow, and £200 a year to his son, the Rev. William Lodge. A transcript of a portion of these manuscripts sold at Sir William Betham's sale for £155. These documents were largely drawn upon by Mr. Lascelles [See LASCELLES, ROWLEY] in his Liber Munerum Hiberniae.

Mr. Lodge's first wife is reported to have been a Hamilton of the Abercorn family, his second, Edwarda Galland. He was a great expert in shorthand, and almost all his note-books are full of it. Dr. Reeves writes: "In the department of genealogy he was the most distinguished compiler that Ireland has produced. Archdall is to him what Harris is to Ware. His industry was unbounded, his appetite for compilation insatiable, and his accuracy such as stamps all that he did and all that he has left with unfailing reliability." Mervyn Archdall, in the preface to his edition of Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, published in 7 vols. in 1789, writes: "When I reflect on the performance which, though imperfectly, I have attempted to revise, then do I deplore, and I am sure my readers will accompany me, the death of my much valued friend the author. To the desire of improving his Peerage of Ireland, whilst in the various offices, as Deputy-Keeper of the Records in Bermingham Tower, Keeper of the Rolls in the High Court of Chancery, and Registrar of the Court of Prerogative, and to the necessary attendance on the duties of his employments, the public owe his loss."

It is to be regretted that so little is known concerning the life of this unassuming man — one of the ablest and most painstaking that ever devoted himself to the investigation of Irish history. His son, Rev. William Lodge, born in 1742, the only survivor of nine children, was in 1790 Chancellor of Armagh Cathedral and rector of Kilmore, in the same diocese. Through him several of John Lodge's books with marginal notes and corrections, came into the Armagh Library; and a further accession was made about 1867 by the purchase from his grandson, son of Rev. William Lodge, rector of Killybegs, of a large collection of his great-grandfather's papers, with rough draughts of his clerical and other lists. John Lodge must not be confounded with Edmund Lodge (born 1756; died 1839), who edited the Gallery of Portraits.

Sources

128a. Exshaw's London Magazine, 1732-'93.

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.

254. Notes and Queries (2). London, 1850-'78.
O'Callaghan, John C., see No. 186.

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