Patrick Halpin, Engraver

(fl. 1755-1787)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Trained in the Dublin Society's School, he worked as an engraver in Blackamoor Yard, off Anglesea Street, whence he moved in 1775 to 35 Temple Bar. He was given a prize of two guineas by the Dublin Society in 1760 for an engraving of a “Head of Mossop,” and another in 1763 for “an engraving in imitation of a chalk drawing.”

He engraved in 1757 a reduction in one sheet (20 ½ by 29 inches), of John Rocque's large four-sheet map of the “City and Suburbs of Dublin,” and a smaller one (10 3/8 by 15 ½ inches), entitled “A Pocket Plan of the City and Suburbs of Dublin,” published by L. Flin at the Bible in Castle Street; as also one for Harris's “History of Dublin,” 1765.

A scarce print by him, of which there is an impression in the British Museum, is “A Plan of the Lying-in Hospital and New Gardens, Dublin, by Scalé and Richards, Land Surveyors, 1764,” 15 ¼ by 20 inches. This print shows, besides a plan of the hospital and grounds, an elevation of the building, and is dedicated to the Countess of Northumberland.

He also engraved the “Geometrical Elevation of the Parliament House” in the set of views issued by Bernard Scalé (q.v.) in 1767.

The edition of Burns' “Poems,” published by James Magee in Belfast in 1767 [1], 12mo, the first Irish edition, and the first printed out of Scotland, has, as frontispiece, a portrait of the Poet engraved by Halpin, which also appeared in the subsequent editions of 1789, 1790 and 1793.

Halpin's work was mostly in line, and he appears to have been the only line engraver of his time in Dublin. He was much employed in book illustrations for the Dublin publishers.

At his best he was an artist of considerable merit, as may be seen in his engraved portrait of “Charles Lucas,” after a picture by Thomas Hickey, which he published at Blackamoor Yard in 1771, at three shillings and three-pence to subscribers, and five shillings and four-pence to non-subscribers. The print was advertised in the “Hibernian Journal” as “The Doctor's Head, from an original painting … the print will be elucidated with ornaments expressive of his qualifications, Prudence, Fortitude, Liberty, Justice and Physic.”

The date of Halpin's death has not been found. A PAGET HALPIN was working as an engraver in Mecklenburgh Street from 1796 to 1810; but no particulars concerning him have been found.

« John Edmund Halpin | Contents and Search | Haly »

Abbreviations footnote on Patrick Halpin

[1] The Magee edition was actually published in 1787.