RCB Library Notes
Small collection of papers of the Hon Rt Revd Charles Dalrymple Lindsay (1760–1846) accessioned at the RCB Library
Since most Irish bishops do not seem to have left much in the way of archives, when episcopal collections do turn up, it is significant because it opens a window to their lives and works. A small collection of papers of the Hon Rt Revd Charles Dalrymple Lindsay (1760-1846), Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, and the last Church of Ireland Bishop of Kildare, 1804-46; together with some materials of his son, the Venerable Charles Lindsay (1790-1855), Archdeacon of Kildare, 1818-55; and finally a travel diary of his second wife, Catherine Eliza Coussmaker (died 1837), has recently been donated to the RCB Library and is accessioned as MS 1104. The detailed list is available as a PDF on this link.
The provenance of this collection is unusual. It was gifted to the Library by Dr John Knightly, who in the course of his PhD research on the Godfrey family of Kilcolman Abbey, Milltown, Co. Kerry, had been gifted it by the late Dermot Edwards of Bushfield, Lismore. Mr Edwards was the grandson of Sir John Ernest Godfrey, 6th Bart. The Godfreys were a Church of Ireland family with many other family connections including the Gore family (mentioned in item 8/ on the list to the collection), to whom Bishop Lindsay would became related by marriage. It is possible that these stray items became interleafed in family papers at various times although there is no obvious connection with either family. The 14 documents were gathered together in a dedicated folder.
It is likely that there is much similar material still in private custody but uncovering it is usually a matter of chance. The items here are random and important documents, a few of which reflect Lindsay’s oversight of Christ Church Cathedral as Dean, including his intended improvements of same following his appointment in 1804, and the diary of Catherine Coussmaker which recounts her journey and arrival in Dublin c.1801 briefly alluding to the swearing in of Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke, as the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, following the Act of Union. Dr Knightly has transcribed this document and kindly shared this available here as a PDF.
Lindsay had been vicar of Sutterton in Lincoln until his appointment in Ireland, briefly as Bishop of Killaloe and Kilfenora, 1803-04, and then as Dean of Dublin and Bishop of Kildare in 1804. His first wife Elizabeth (the mother of his eldest son Charles) had died in 1797, after which he remarried in 1798 and they appear to have set off to Ireland to pursue his career from that time. He later appointed Charles as Archdeacon of Kildare in 1818, a post in which he continued until his death in 1855, which may explain some of the later documentation which post-dates Bishop Lindsay’s death in 1846, although the last four items in the collection post-date the Archdeacon’s life, and add to its randomness as a whole. By his second wife, Lindsay had two sons, the first of whom, George Hayward Lindsay, married Lady Mary Catharine Gore, sister of the earl of Arran, in 1828, explaining the Gore family link.
For the duration of his episcopacy, Bishop Lindsay resided at Glasnevin House, county Dublin, and the collection includes a detailed map of the environs of the village of Glasnevin, which is annexed to a rental deed including detailed valuable, for ‘a parcel of land at Glasnevin County Dublin’, the property of the Hon William John Gore, between the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Dublin, and the said William John Gore. As well as featuring the property concerned, it also shows outlying lands as surveyed by John Longfield, 1807, and should be of particular interest to local historians.