Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Builders and stonecutters of Dublin. The connection of the Darley family with the building trades, and more particularly with stone-cutting, covers a period from at least the 1660s until the death of the architect FREDERICK DARLEY[2]  FREDERICK DARLEY[2] over two centuries later. A mason named John Darley and a carpenter/architect of the same name (perhaps the same person) were active in Cos. Antrim and Down in the 1660s and 1670s, while John Darley, of Arnos Vale, Co. Down, and George Darley, stone-cutter of Dublin, are recorded as being bound to pay the bursar of Trinity College Dublin, £345.2s.1d. before 24 Jun 1677.(1) The family which flourished in Dublin in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is descended from HENRY DARLEY[1]  HENRY DARLEY[1] (d. circa 1728) of Newtownards, Co. Down, who, with his sons MOSES DARLEY  MOSES DARLEY (d.1754), ARTHUR DARLEY[1]  ARTHUR DARLEY[1] (1692-1742) and HUGH DARLEY  HUGH DARLEY (1701-1771), held leases of extensive quarries in and near Newtownards.(2) According to family tradition, Moses Darley was the first of the family to settle in Dublin. He was the father of HENRY DARLEY[2]  HENRY DARLEY[2] and GEORGE DARLEY[1] GEORGE DARLEY[1] , while his brother Arthur was the father of GEORGE DARLEY[2]. JOHN DARLEY[1] GEORGE DARLEY[2]. JOHN DARLEY[1] , HILL DARLEY  HILL DARLEY and ARTHUR DARLEY[2] ARTHUR DARLEY[2] . By the 1750s the family had quarrying interests further south; granite and limestone from their quarries at Golden Hill, Co. Wicklow, and Ardbraccan, Co. Meath, respectively were used for the West Front of Trinity College, built under the supervision of Hugh Darley.(3)

Throughout the eighteenth century the name Darley occurs frequently in connection with the building trades; no fewer than sixteen persons named Darley were admitted freemen of the City of Dublin in the years 1786-1802, of whom twelve belonged to the Corporation of Carpenters, and two to the Corporation of Masons.(4) By the end of the century a branch of the family was also engaged in brewing.(5)


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the manuscript 'Pedigree Charts of the Darley family in Ireland 1720-1926' in the collection of Mrs Robin Lewis Crosby (1998).

(1) Information about the Darleys of the 17th century is from Loeber, 45.
(2) Typescript 'Notes on the Darley family' presented to the Public Record Office by Henry Seymour Guinness in 1937 (NA/PRO M473)..
(3) E. McParland, 'Trinity College, Dublin - II', Country Life 159, 13 May 1976, 1243.
(4) 'An alphabetical list of the Freemen of the City of Dublin, 1774-1824', The Irish Ancestor XV (1983), Nos. 1 & 2; the Corporation of Carpenters included 'Carpenters, Millers, Masons, Healers, Turners and Plumbers'; two of the fourteen, Arthur and John Darley, are more specifically described as being masons.
(5) Charles Darley, admitted freeman of the City of Dublin in 1802, was a member of the Brewers' Guild, and Henry and Richard Darley, the fathers of students admitted to Trinity College in 1813 and 1816, are both described in the admissions registers as 'Cerevisiae Coctor'.