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tion was incorporated for the study of polite literature, science, and antiquities by letters patent, dated 28th January, 1786, which recite that Ireland was "in ancient times conspicuous for her schools and seminaries of learning, and produced many persons eminent in every branch of science," and that "lately several persons in the city of Dublin_had met together for their mutual improvement in the above studies, to which encouragement should be given everywhere, especially in Ireland."

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"The first society of this kind established in the University about the year 1782, was called the Palæosophers.' Their object was the investigation of ancient learning, particularly the fathers of the church. Dr. Perceval had just returned from the Continent, and introduced the new system of chemistry, then almost totally unknown, and little attended to in this country. The investigation of this had excited a kindred zeal in the pursuit of other sciences, and Dr. Percival proposed to Dr. Usher to establish a new society to promote it. In the year 1785, therefore, another association was formed. Their object was the investigation of science and modern literature, and they denominated themselves Neosophers:' into this, the Palæosophers' in a short time merged. They met at each other's houses, dined together once every fortnight, read essays, and debated: they kept regular journals of their proceedings, but published no transactions. From these emanated the Royal Irish Aca. demy, combining and enlarging the objects of both the former, and having distinct committees for the investigation of science, antiquities, and polite literature. The originalNeosophers' were, Drs. Usher, Marsh, R. Stack, Hall, Young, Hamilton, Waller, Kearney, F.T.C.D., Drs. Perceval and Purcel, M.D., Messrs. W. Ball and W. Preston, barristers."

The Rev. Robert Burrowes, F.T.C.D., by authority of the Academy, in 1787, gave the following account of the origin of the institution :

"In the year 1683 William Molyneux was instrumental in forming a society in Dublin similar to the Royal Society in London, of which he was an illustrious member: much might be expected from an institution of which Sir William Petty was president, and Molyneux secretary, had not the distracted state of the kingdom dispersed them so soon as 1688. Their plan seems to have been resumed without success about the beginning of the present century, when the early of Pembroke, then lord lieutenant, presided over a philosophical society established in Dublin college. In the year 1740 the Physico-historical society, two volumes of whose minutes are

Molyneux's account of this society will be found in the third paper on the Streets of Dublin, IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. II.

still extant, was instituted: under their patronage Smith published his history of Waterford. And in the year 1772 the antient state of Ireland attracted the attention of the Dublin Society, who appointed a committee for the express purpose of enquiring into its antiquities. The favourable reception their proposals of correspondence met with abroad evinced a disposition in foreign nations to assist the cultivation of this branch of literature, of which the Royal Irish Academy acknowledge with gratitude they have already received valuable proofs. The meetings of the antiquarian committee* after about two years ceased; but the zeal of a very

* The following reports of the two initiatory meetings of the antiquarian committee of the Dublin Society are now for the first time published from the manuscript records: "Dublin Society, May, 14, 1772. Resolved, That a standing committee be appointed to enquire into the antient state of arts and literature, and into the other antiquities of Ireland; to examine the several tracts and manuscripts in the possession of the society which have not been published; and also, all other tracts on those subjects, of which the said committee can obtain the perusal. Resolved, That the said committee do consist of the president, vice presidents, the secretaries, the treasurer, and the following members of this society: Lord Charlemont, Lord Moira, Sir Lucius O'Brien, bart., Lord Bishop of Cloyne, Lord Bishop of Derry, Right Hon. Speaker of the House of Commons, Robert French, Esq., Rev. Dr. Leland, Caldwell, esq., Major Vallancey. Resolved. That our worthy member, Sir Lucius O'Brien, bart., be requested to preside as chairman in the said committee.

Monday, 18th May, 1772. At a meeting of the select committee of antiquarians, Sir Lucius O'Brien, bart., in the chair-Resolved, That the rev. Dr. Thomas Leland, and Charles Vallancey, esq., be appointed secretaries to the committeee for the present year. Resolved, That the Rev. Dr. Peter Chaigneau be appointed assistant secretary and librarian to this committee for the present ycar. Resolved, That the members of this committee will each subscribe the sum of three guineas annually towards the expense of this undertaking, and that the same be paid into the hands of our assistant secretary, Dr. Chaigneau. Resolved, That this committee will employ Maurice O'Gorman as their amanuensis at the rate of five guineas per quarter. Resolved, That the appointment of this committee be notified to the publick by an advertisement in the Dublin Journal, and that a request of the committee be made in the said advertisement, that such persons as are desirous and have it in their power to assist the committee in their researches, and contribute to this national undertaking, will communicate the titles of such ancient Irish manuscripts as may be in their hands, and an account of such other materials as they are possessed of, and which they think may be useful in forwarding the designs of the committee; directed to Dr. Chaigneau at the Dublin Society's house in Grafton-street." Having been informed by the chevalier Thomas O'Gorman, that the Irish college at Paris possessed some ancient Irish manuscripts, the committee communicated with that institution, which warmly entered into its views, and convened a public meeting at their college on 11th March, 1773, presided over by Richard Dillon, archbishop and primate of Narbonne, and to which all persons connected with Ireland were invited. ceedings resulted in the appointment of an auxiliary branch at Paris, and

These pro

few of their members still continuing has given to the public several essays, since comprised into four volumes, entitled Collectanea de rebus Hibernicis. About the year 1782 the society from which this Academy afterwards arose was established: it consisted of an indefinite number of members, most of them belonging to the University, who at all weekly meetings read essays in turn. Anxious to make their labours redound to the honour and advantage of their country, they formed a plan more extensive; and admitting such additonal names only as might add dignity to their new institution, or by their publications had given sure ground to hope advantage from their labours, became the founders of the Royal Irish Academy."

The following report of the earliest meeting on record of the Irish Academy, is now printed for the first time from the original document:

"At a meeting of the original members of the Irish Academy of sciences, polite literature and antiquities, held at lord Charlemont's, April 18, 1785.-The following resolutions were agreed to. I. That the Irish Academy of sciences, polite literature and antiquities, do consist of a president, a council of eighteen, and an indefinite number of members. II. That the council be divided into three committees, each consisting of six members, which committees shall have for their objects, respectively, the departments of science, polite literature and antiquities. III. That each of these committees meet every third week, and be empowered to form bye laws for the regulation of their several meetings, at each of which meetings every member of the Academy shall be invited to assist. IV. That a committee of finance be appointed consisting of six members, two to be chosen out of each of the aforementioned committees. V. That there be two public general meetings of the Academy in the year, at which meetings the titles of the publications, which have been approved of by the several committees, shall be read, and candidates shall be balloted for, such as shall have signified their intentions of

although the college of the Lombards had promised only a transcript of the book of Lecan, which was the sole valuable manuscript in their possession, that important document has finally found its way to this country, and is now in the custody of the Irish Academy. Among those who took an active part in the proceedings of the Dublin committee were Dr. Carpenter, R. C. archbishop of Dublin, Sylvester O'Halloran, and Charles O'Conor; to the latter was committed the task of preparing for the press the manuscript of O'Flaherty's "Ogygia vindicated," purchased by the committee for twenty guineas from a Mr. Wilton of Galway, and published in 1775. The committee compiled a set of sixteen queries on subjects connected with the objects of their investigations, and ordered two thousand copies of them to be printed for circulation among the clergymen and most respectable inhabitants of the various parishes in Ireland. The meetings of the committee were generally held at 7 p.m. in the College library, and they assembled for the last time on the 24th February, 1774.

proposing themselves as members six weeks at least before the public meeting. VI. That each fellow, on his election, do deposit two guineas in the hands of the treasurer, to be continued annually, or twenty guineas as a life subscription. VII. That the president and council, with a treasurer and secretary, be elected by the original members of the Academy at lord Charlemont's, and that the first Monday in May be appointed for that purpose. VIII. That an extraordinary general meeting be held on Monday, the sixteenth of May, for the purpose of electing members who shall have been proposed on Monday, the second of May. IX. That the right reverend the lord bishop of Dromore, be requested to apply to the Antiquarian Society of London, and the Edinburgh Society, for copies of their regulations, and that the lord bishop of Killaloe and Doctor Ussher be requested to apply to the Royal Society of London and the Academy of Berlin, for the same purpose. X. That an extraordinary meeting of this Academy be held at Col. Conyngham's on Monday, the twenty-fifth of April, at eight o'clock in the afternoon. List of original members: Earl of Charlemont. Lord Rokeby, primate of Ireland. Earl of Clanbrazil. Earl of Moira. Bishop of Killaloe. Bishop of Clonfert. Bishop of Waterford. Bishop of Dromore. Right Hon. John Hely Hutchinson, secretary of state. Right Hon. Denis Daly. Right Hon. Burton Conyngham. Col. Vallancey. Doctor Murray, vice provost of T.C.D. Rev. Hugh Hamilton, dean of Armagh. Richard Kirwan, Esq., London. Edmond Malone, Esq. Rev. Michael Kearney, D.D. Adair Crawford, M.D. London. Rev. Thomas Leland, D.D. Rev. W. Hales, D.D. F.T.C.D. George Cleghorne, M.D. Rev. Henry Ussher, D.D., S.F.T.C.D. Rev. John Kearney, D.D., S.F.T.C.D. Rev. John Waller, D.D., F.T.C.D. John Purcell, M.D. Robert Perceval, M.D. Rev. Matthew Young, F.T.C.D. Rev. Digby Marsh, F.T.C.D. Rev. George Hall, F.T.C.D. Rev. Richard Stack, F.T.C.D. Rev. W. Hamilton, F.T.C.D. Laurence Parsons, Esq. William Preston, Esq. William Ball, Esq. Rev. James Archibald Hamilton, D.D. William Deane, I..L.D. Sir Joseph Banks, London, R. Lovell Edgeworth, Esq. (Signed) Charlemont."

* This individual has occasionally been confounded with Timothy Cunningham, of Gray's Inn, barrister, who bequeathed in 1789, to the Royal Irish Academy of Dublin, "the sum of £1,000, to be laid out in such funds as they shall think proper, and the interest of it to be disposed of in such premiums as they shall think proper for the improvement of natural knowledge, and other objects of their institution." He also bequeathed to the Academy all his botanical books and books of natural history, and desired that all the residue of his library should be disposed of, and the produce of them expended under the direction of his executor in purchasing books for the Academy. Cunningham died in 1789; from his will, registered in the prerogative court of Canterbury, it appears, that his relatives were chiefly residents of Clonmel, Carrick-onSuir and Waterford. By a strange error, the Academy, in its official publications, always styles Cunningham's bequest the " Conyngham fund;" and as nothing appears to be known of the donor, we here subjoin a catalogue of his principal publications: "A new treatise of the laws concerning Tithes, containing all the statutes, adjudged cases, resolutions, and judg

This Academy has already published twenty-two volumes of "Transactions," and formed considerable collections of manuscripts and organic remains; no attempt has, however, yet been made to give to the public a history of the institution, nor to analyse the merits of its contributions to science, literature, and archæology.

Next to the "Navigation-house" in Grafton-street, another large edifice was erected in 1766 by the Royal Dublin Society, whose early history we noticed in a former paper. The Society assembled for the first time in Grafton-street on the 3d of December, 1767, and from an unpublished map, executed by Thomas Sherard in 1796, we find that their house here had a frontage of forty feet in a style similar to that of the Irish Academy's house. Of the schools, which were located at the rere and entered through a gateway which still exists, a late writer gave the following particulars

"This Academy consisted of three schools, with a master appointed to each, for the instruction of pupils in drawing,

ments relating thereto," 8vo. London: 1748, fourth edition published in 1777. "Law of bills of exchange, promissory notes, bank notes, and insurances, containing all the Statute cases at large, &c., methodically digested," 8vo. London: 1761, sixth edition published in 1778. "The Merchant's Lawyer, or the law of Trade in general," London: 2 vols. 8vo, 1762, third edition published in 1768. "Practical Justice of the Peace,' 1762, 2 vols. 8vo. "New and complete Law Dictionary," London: 2 vols. folio, 1764, third edition published in 1782-3. "New Treatise concerning the laws for the preservation of game, containing all the statutes and cases at large," 12mo, 1764. "Report of cases argued and adjudged in the court of King's bench, in the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of George II., to which is prefixed, A Proposal for rendering the laws of England clear and certain, humbly offered to the consideration of both houses of parliament," folio, 1766. "Maxims and rules of pleadings in actions, real and personal, or mixed, popular and penal," 4to, 1771. "History of the customs, aids, subsidies, national debts, and taxes of England, from William the Conqueror to the year 1778," third edition published in 1778. "History and antiquities of the Inns of Court and Chancery," 8vo, 1780, republished in 1790 under the title of "Historical memoirs of the English laws." "Historical accounts of the rights of election of the several counties, cities, and boroughs of Great Britain, containing the time when each of them was first represented in parliament, and by what authority; to which is prefixed, An Inquiry into the origin of elections to Parliament," 2 vols. 8vo, 1783. "Law of Simony, containing all the statutes, cases at large, arguments, resolutions and judgments concerning it, particularly the case at large in the House of Lords, between the Lord Bishop of London and Lewis Fythcer, esq.," 8vo, 1784, "Introduction to the knowledge of the laws and constitutions of England," 8vo. Cunningham also compiled the general index to the Journals of the English house of Commons, and published "Magna Charta libertatum civitatis Waterford," with an English version and notes, 8vo, Dublin: 1752.

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