From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
INSTITUTIONS FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE FINE ARTS, AND OTHER USEFUL AND SCIENTIFIC PURPOSES.
The Royal Hibernian Academy of painting, sculpture, and architecture, founded by royal charter in 1823, consists of fourteen academicians and ten associates, all of whom must be professional painters, sculptors, or architects: the king is patron, the lord-lieutenant vice-patron, and its affairs are under the superintendence of a council. The academy has for the last few years been encouraged by a grant from parliament of £300 per ann.; its first president, the late Francis Johnston, Esq., architect, erected an elegant and appropriate building in Abbey-street, at an expense of £10,000, which he presented to the academy for ever, at a nominal rent of 5s. per ann., and to which his widow subsequently added a gallery for statuary. The building, which is three stories high and of elegant design, has, on the basement story, a recess ornamented with fluted columns of the Doric order: over the entrance is a head of Palladio, emblematical of architecture; over the window on the right; a head of Michael Angelo, illustrative of sculpture; and over the window on the left, a head of Raphael, allusive to painting. The academy has a good collection of casts from the antique, some paintings by the old masters, and a library of works chiefly connected with the fine arts, and of which the greater number were presented by the late Edward Houghton, Esq.
The Royal Irish Institution for promoting the fine arts was founded, under royal patronage, in 1815: its vice-patron is the Marquess of Anglesey, its guardian, the lord-lieutenant, and its president, the Duke of Leinster: its affairs are superintended by eight vice-presidents (all noblemen), and a committee of directors. The Artists have also formed a society, called the Artists' and Amateurs' Conversazione, for cultivating and maintaining a social intercourse with admirers of the fine arts, and thereby promoting their mutual interests.
The Horticultural Society, patronised by the Lord-Lieutenant and the Duchess of Leinster, and under the direction of the Earl of Leitrim as president, several noblemen as vice-presidents, and a council, was instituted in 1813, and has rapidly increased in prosperity. Prizes are awarded at its annual exhibitions, which are numerously and most fashionably attended.
The Geological Society was instituted in 1835, and is under the direction of a president, vice-presidents, and a council. Its attention is peculiarly directed to Ireland: it consists of honorary and ordinary members; £10 on admission, or £5 if not resident within 20 miles of Dublin for more than one month in the year, constitutes a member for life; and £1 on admission, and £1 per ann., constitutes an ordinary member. The rooms of the society are in Upper Sackville-street; two parts of a volume of its transactions have been already published.
The Zoological Society, instituted in 1831, is under the direction of a president, vice-president, and council: £10 paid on admission constitutes a member for life, and £1 on admission and a subscription of £1 per ann., an annual member. The gardens are situated in the Phoenix Park, and occupy a piece of ground near the vice-regal lodge, given for that purpose by the Duke of Northumberland, when lord-lieutenant: they have been laid out with much taste, and are in excellent order, affording a most interesting place of resort; the council have already purchased many fine specimens of the higher classes of animals. They are open to the public daily, on payment of sixpence admission.
The Agricultural Society was instituted in 1833, and is under the direction of a president (the Marquess of Downshire), several vice-presidents, a committee and subcommittee: it consists of 330 members, who pay an annual subscription of £1, and among whom are most of the principal landed proprietors; its object is the establishment of a central institution for concentrating the efforts made by other societies and by individuals for improving the condition of the people and the cultivation of the soil of Ireland: two annual meetings are held, one in Dublin during the April show of cattle, and the other at Ballinasloe in October.
The Civil Engineers' Society was established in 1835, for the cultivation of science in general, and more especially of those branches of it which are connected with the engineering department; it is under the direction of a president, vice-presidents, and a committee, and consists of members who must be either civil or military engineers, or architects, who pay one guinea on admission by ballot and an annual subscription of equal amount.
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
A story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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