[SEDAN CHAIRS] A List of the Proprietors of Licenses for Private Sedan Chairs, at 25th March, 1788, alphabetically ranged; with their respective residences, published as required by law. A list of the original subscribers towards building the public rooms, and establishing six annual assemblies: to which are added, the conditions; and also a scheme for card assemblies, &c. With some remarks on the state of the Lying-in hospital, its buildings, and their present unfinished condition. There are likewise re-inserted, (as it may not be necessary to intrude again on the public) the charter, bye-laws, tables, statements, &c. Printed by Order of the Governors of said Hospital. With sepia printed frontispiece, two folding leaves of paginated, six engraved plates of coats-of-arms, a fine sepia view of the Assembly Rooms framed within elaborate border, two engraved plans (one folding), and a printed original subscriber’s gentleman’s ticket.
To which are prefixed, a list of the subscribers to the six annual assemblies, intended to be held in the New Rooms in Rutland-Square. And also, the motives which induced such undertaking. There are likewise added, certain tables explanatory of the receipts, expenditures, and state of the Lying-in Hospital. Dublin: Printed by order of the Governors of the Lying-in Hospital, 1788. 12mo. pp. 80. Contemporary full tree calf, covers ruled with a single gilt fillet border. Spine divided into six compartments by single gilt rules. Subscriber’s label pasted on to front pastedown, recording The Viscount Headfort as an original subscriber to the Lying-in Hospital, with his signature. Label pasted to rear endpaper with the caption ‘Public Assembly Tickets / For 1798’. A superb copy. Rare.
ESTC T41067 with 4 locations only in Ireland.
A scarce publication for the Hospital for the Relief of Poor Lying-In Women, in Dublin, commonly called the Rotunda. In 1745, thanks largely to the efforts of Irish obstetrician Bartholomew Mosse, the first maternity hospital in the British Isles was established in Dublin. A few years later, realizing that the Lying-In Hospital was chronically short of cash, and yet unwilling to give up his dream of expanding it, Mosse devised a novel solution. In his design for the hospital’s new site on Great-Britain Street, which would finally open in 1757, Mosse combined the hospital buildings with an entertainment complex that began with a pleasure garden and eventually included a suite of assembly rooms and the Round Room for which the hospital was eventually renamed. Money generated by the concerts, balls, and assemblies that took place on one side of the complex would pay for the medical care given to the indigent mothers who were delivering their children on the other (Eire-Ireland: Journal of Irish Studies, Fall-Winter, 2002 by Susan Harris).
But the funds of the Hospital again fell into a state of chronic depression, and this time the Irish Parliament decided to help by granting the Governors the tax levied on all sedan chairs hired within a radius of one mile of the hospital. They also granted them a Royalty from the coaches licensed within the area; from each of these licenses the Rotunda received £450 yearly. It is uncertain for how long the hospital received this assistance, but sedan chairs were a more popular means of transport than is generally recognised. They were still in general use in 1800, as Henry Grattan, when a very sick man, was hurriedly transported by sedan chair to the Irish Parliament to make his speech against the Act of Union at the unsavoury hour of 5.30 a.m. An English visitor in 1779 remarked that sedan chairs were almost as common in Dublin as about St. James’s.
This work in furnishing the addresses of proprietors throws a light on fashionable residences and town houses of the nobility and gentry of Ireland which were scattered all over the city. Of all the streets mentioned Henrietta Street, named after the wife of Charles, Duke of Grafton (Lord Lieutenant early in the century), was the most exclusive.
Earlier editions ran to just 30 pages, and the elegance of this enlarged production suggests that there had indeed been a significant increase in revenue.
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