Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, measurer and author, active in the first and second quarters of the nineteenth century, who published The Practical Architect's Ready Assistant; or Builder's Complete Companion in Dublin in 1819. Stitt had, by his own account, been associated as a pupil or in some other way with FRANCIS JOHNSTON FRANCIS JOHNSTON , possibly - as the family had strong connections with the north of Ireland - when Johnston was working in Cos. Louth and Armagh in the decade between 1784 and 1794. In the dedication of his book to Johnston he writes: 'the following sheets, if they contain any really useful information, I must attribute it to you, who first inculcated to my young mind, the early and salutary lesson of improvement in my profession'. He may be the William Stitt who was made a freeman of the city of Dublin by Grace Especial at Michaelmas 1810 as a member of the Bricklayers' Guild(1) and perhaps the person of the same name who represented the Guild on the Common Council of the city of Dublin in 1832.(2) In 1809-1810 he took measurements for the Board of Works at Sir Charles Vernon's cottage in Phoenix Park and at the Stamp Office;(3) much later, in 1826, he took measurements for the Wide Streets Commissioners.(4)  Designs by him for a new Church of Ireland church at Madden, Co. Armagh, dated February 1812, are in PRONI. PRONI. (5)

The scatter of references to persons connected with the building trades named William Stitt over the first four decades of the nineteenth century does not form a coherent picture of a single career. There is a considerable gap in the directories between 1815 and 1831 when no persons of this name appear, although the author of The Practical Architect's Ready Assistant gives his address as 66 Church Street at the end of his preface with the date October 1818. There were at least two persons of this name in Dublin when the book was published in 1819. The name of 'Mr. W. Stitt, junr, Sackville-st' appears in the list of subscribers, as does that of Richard Stitt, of Church Street. A William Stitt was admitted to the Dublin Society's Schools of Figure Drawing and Landscape and Ornament in 1819 and the same or another to the School of Drawing in Architecture in 1827.(6)

Addresses:(7) Of William Stitt, measurer: 38 Beresford Street, 1808-1814; Bolton Street, 1815; 66 Church Street, 1818;(8)
Of William Stitt, architect: 10 Lower Abbey Street, 1831;(9) 11 Lower Abbey Street, 1832.



(1) 'An alphabetical list of the Freemen of the City of Dublin, 1774-1824', The Irish Ancestor XV (1983), Nos. 1 & 2, 116; 'Grace Especial' usually indicates a non-native of Dublin.
(2) Check source.
(3) Bryan Bolger MSS, NA/PRO 1A/58/128.
(4) Wide Streets Commissioners minutes, 16 Jun 1826 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(5) PRONI, DIO/4/22/7/8 (see PRONI e-catalogue).
(6) Gitta Willemson, The Dublin Society Drawing Schools 1746-1876 (2000), 91.
(7) From Wilson's Dublin Directory unless otherwise stated.
(8) Address and date at end of preface to Practical Architect's Ready Assistant.
(8) Mis-spelt as 'William Still'.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for STITT, WILLIAM

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Date: 1812
Nature: WS prepares plans for proposed new church.
Refs: Ground plan, elevation, section and estimate, Feb 1812, in PRONI, DIO/4/22/7/8 (see PRONI e-catalogue)

Author Title Date Details
Stitt, William The Practical Architect's Ready Assistant; or Builder's Complete Companion 1819 Dublin: James Charles, 1819.