Jonas Blaymire, Topographical Draughtsman

(d. 1763)

Topographical Draughtsman

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

He was by profession a "Surveyor and Measurer" in Dublin, and was engaged in 1738 to make drawings of cathedrals for Walter Harris's edition of Ware's Works. His drawings there reproduced are the cathedrals of Clonmacnoise, Kildare, Limerick and Killaloe, engraved by L. Dempsey (q.v.) ; Lismore and Cloyne, engraved by J. Haydon (q.v.), and three views of St. Patrick's, engraved by G. Dheulland (q.v.). The artist, in a letter addressed to Harris from Clonfert on 27th October, 1738, gives a quaint account of the hardships and difficulties he encountered on one of his journeys in connection with his work: "Am now got safe to Clonfert. I arrived here on Wednesday last, but was forced to swim my horse over the Shannon, and had nothing to go over in but a little cot, the wind being very boisterous and the river risen, which put us in danger; but when we was safe over we was as glad as a parcel of mariners arriving after a storm at the desired port. ... I have finished my draught of the Seven Churches after labouring almost day and night. It has been the most laborious draught I ever yet attempted. ... I was likewise obliged to treat several priests that came to see me, even for my own safety, for this affair has made a prodigious noise in the whole country, and has spread, as I am credibly informed, through most part of Connaught, some reporting that I was the Pope's Legate, and was taking an account of the churches in order that they should be repaired, which notion heaped abundance of blessings on me; but on the other hand it was reported that I was employed by the Bishop of Meath to view them in order that they might all be pulled down to build a large parish church, which notion, if it had prevailed, would have proved fatal to me."

In St. Patrick's Cathedral are preserved some of Blaymire's drawings, including two views of the Cathedral, one of the west front and the other of the north side, both dated 1733 and signed J. Blaymire, and one of the tomb of Archbishop Jones. Blaymire died in Dublin on the 12th June, 1763.

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