WRIGHT, Rev. G.N. Scenes in Ireland. With Historical Illustrations, Legends, and Biographical Notices. Embellished with thirty-six engravings. [CHARLES A VIGNOLES’S COPY]


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London: Printed for Thomas Tegg, 1834. pp. viii, 235. Contemporary full brown morocco, covers framed by a single gilt fillet, blind dog-tooth roll, and a blind thistle, rose and shamrock roll. Spine divided into five panels by four gilt raised bands, title in gilt on green morocco label in the second, the remainder blind tooled; board edges hatched in gilt; comb-marbled endpapers; maroon and white endbands. All edges sprinkled red. Contemporary signature of Charles A. Vignoles, The Deanery, Kilkenny, on front free endpaper. Also with later signature of Thomas Willoughby Ingram. A very good and attractive copy. Scarce.
George Newenham Wright, (c.1794-1877), Irish writer and Anglican clergyman, was born in Dublin, the son of John Thomas Wright, a medical doctor. He graduated B.A. from Trinity College in 1814 and M.A. in 1817. He held several curacies in Ireland before moving to St. Mary Woolnoth in London. By 1851, he was a teacher of classics, resident in Windsor. In 1863 he was master of Tewkesbury grammar school. From the 1820s to the 1840s Wright published some topographical works and schoolbooks on subjects ranging from the Greek language to biography and philosophy. There were several books on Ireland, two of which have illustrations by George Petrie. In this illustrated historical treatise, Wright provides detailed descriptions of a wide variety of Irish scenes including its topography, architecture, historic figures, noteworthy landmarks, observations regarding traditional Irish folklore, and much more. Also included are 12 engraved plates containing a total of 36 engravings.
Provenance: From the library of Charles Augustus Vignoles (1789-1877), clergyman and antiquary. He was born at the family seat of Conahir, near Tyrrelspass, County Westmeath, eldest child of Revd John Vignoles and Anna Honoria Vignoles (née Low), of Castlelost West, County Westmeath. His paternal grandfather, Jacques Louis Vignoles, a Huguenot, settled in Ireland in the late seventeenth century, and his father was minister of the French church in Portarlington, County Laois, for twenty-four years. Educated in Cheshire by a Rev. Carter, he entered TCD (1806), obtaining a BA (1810), MA, BD, and DD (1831). Ordained in the diocese of Ferns (1811), he was rector of Newtown Fertullagh, County Meath (1811-43). For part of this time he was also French minister in Dundalk, County Louth, and in Portarlington (1822), and dean of the chapel royal, Dublin Castle (1831-43). He then served as dean of Ossory (1843-77), and rector of Aghavoe, Urlingford, and St Patrick’s, Kilkenny. From 1850 to 1857 he lived in France. Vignoles was the first president of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society (1849) and, from 1864, with advice from Rev. James Graves, restored St Canice’s cathedral and round tower. He married Elizabeth Durell, of Southampton, Hampshire, England; they had five sons. They resided at Conahir and in the deanery house, Kilkenny. He died in 1877 at the deanery, and is buried with his wife in the graveyard of St Canice’s cathedral, a replica of one of the high crosses at Clonmacnoise, County Offaly, marking their grave. There is a memorial window to him in the north transept of the cathedral. A nephew, Sir George Grey, KCB, became governor of New Zealand, while another relative, Charles Blacker Vignoles, was an innovative nineteenth-century Irish railway engineer.


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