Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Surveyor of buildings with the Board of Public Works. Charles Astley, who was born in 1822(1) or 1823,(2), was almost certainly English, a younger son of John Wolvey Astley, of Quenington, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Christian.(3) He entered the employment of the Irish Board of Works as a drawing clerk on 15 September 1846;(4) he was promoted to clerk of works in in 1856 and to surveyor of buildings in 1862.(5) He remained in the Board's employment until his death, which took place suddenly at Blackrock, Co. Dublin, on 17 March 1872. According to his obituarist in the Irish Builder, he was 'beloved by all who knew him - a refined and courteous gentleman, the most genial of companions, an able and considerate public officer'. The obituary suggests that Astley's untimely death 'was to some extent superinduced by anxiety of mind with respect to the gross and flagrant job which the Government have in contemplation to perpetrate at the Board of Works', alleging that the 'proposed subjection of himself and others to the humiliation and insult … of being placed, after years of diligent and effective service, under the subordination of an … incompetent captain of Engineers, affected violently the sensibility of a high-minded professional man.' Astley was Grand Superintendent of Works to the Freemasons 'for a long period'.(6)

RIAI: elected associate 20 December 1849;(7) auditor 1866-68;(8) appointed to committee to organize dinner for Sir Charles Lanyon, 27 Jan 1868;(9) fellow by 1870.(10)
RSAI (Kilkenny & South East of Ireland Archaeological Society): elected member 3 November 1858.(11)

Addresses:(12) 28 North Gloucester Street Upper, 1857; 2 Longford Place, Monkstown, 1863.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Astley in IB 14, 1 Apr 1872, 99.

(1) www.familysearch.org records his christening at Quenington, Gloucestershire, on 8 March 1822.
(2) Jones transcript from Board of Works records.
(3) See note 1, above.
(4) Jones transcript from lists of Board of Works personnel in Thom's directories; his transcript from Board of Works records, see note 1, above, records mistakenly that Astley was promoted directly from Drawing Clerk to Surveyor of Buildings on 1 Jul 1856.
(5) He is named as such in Thom's Directory (1863), 1210.
(6) RIAI general meeting minutes, 20 Dec 1849, 65.
(7) Jones transcripts of RIAI officers from Thom's directories.
(8) RIAI council meeting minutes, 27 Jun 1868, 99.
(9) RIAI Sessional Papers 1863-4 to 1869-70, list of members.
(10) JRSAI 5 (1858-59), 199.
(11) Vol.10, List of Members.
(12) From Post Office Dublin Directory (1857) and Thom's Directory (1863).