Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Carpenter and architect, of Dublin and Charleston, South Carolina. Nothing is known of Cardy before he became a freeman of the City of Dublin 'by grace especial' in 1743.(1) He had married his wife Ann by 1746, when their daughter Elizabeth was christened in St Peter's Church, Dublin. In 1748 he contracted with the Surveyor General to execute repair work at the barracks at Drogheda and Navan, and in 1749 and 1750 he is recorded as buying and improving various pieces of property in Stephen Street, Whitefriar Street and Longford Street. By 1749 he was sufficiently well-established in his trade to serve as Warden of the Corporation of Carpenters. The Navan barracks contract proved to be Cardy's undoing as far as his career in Ireland was concerned. The work, which was finished in 1750, proved to be shoddy, and the extravagance recorded in the accounts gave rise to a government investigation. After Robert Lawe, the inspector, had visited the works, on which he decided 'not half' the contracted sum of £388.17s. had actually been spent, Cardy attempted to bribe him, threatening to 'go immediately home, and clap a pistol to his head,and blow out his brains' if Lawe would not give a favourable report.

Cardy's last documented appearance in Dublin is on 1 June 1751. By 7 May 1752 he had arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, where he he established himself as a builder and architect. He was responsible for St Michael's Church, Charleston, and may also have been involved in the building and design of the State House. He died in Charleston on 24 January 1774.


All information in this entry is from Kenneth Severens, 'Emigration and Provincialism: Samuel Cardy's Architectural Career in the Atlantic World', Eighteenth-Century Ireland 5 (1990), 21-36.

(1) Could there be a connection with the 'Mr Samuel Card' whowas one of the subscribers to The Natural History of North Carolina, published in Dublin by John Brickell in 1737?