James Hoban - Architect - He designed the White House and was a Catholic Freemason.


Birth: 1758
County Kilkenny, IrelandDeath: Dec. 8, 1831
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Born the son of a tenant farmer in County Kilkenny, James Hoban ultimately immigrated to the United States at Philadelphia in 1785.

Selected by George Washington to design and build the US President's House, which ultimately became known as the White House.

Also granted the honor of building the US Capitol Building, based upon the design of Dr. William Thornton.

Present with George Washington at the laying of the cornerstone of the US Capitol Building on 18 September, 1793. The cornerstone was laid in a Masonic Ceremony, Washington and Hoban both being Freemasons.

Founding member of the First Federal Lodge of the Freemasons, Washington, DC.
Mount Olivet Cemetery
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

In 1802, Congress granted the citizenry of the District of Columbia limited local government and Hoban served on the twelve-member city council for the next two decades, except for the years during which he was rebuilding the White House.

Founder of Grand Lodge Number One of the Masonic Order, captain of a local militia company, a city councilman, and successful real estate developer, Hoban also initiated a private fund to employ schoolteachers, raise a volunteer fire brigade, and assist Irish construction workers in need.

In 1799, James Hoban married Susana Sewall, daughter of Clement Sewall, a Revolutionary War veteran and landholder of St. Mary's County, Maryland. With Susana he raised a family of ten children. Clement died in infancy, and his teenage daughters Helen and Catherine and wife Susana all died within the year of 1822-23. Edward and Francis became officers in the United States Navy, Henry a Jesuit priest, and James Jr. a noted orator and a respected attorney.

James Hoban died in 1831, leaving a substantial estate of both city and farm property and assets worth more than $60,000 (approximately $1.4 million in 2006). Hoban signed a petition for the emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia and stipulated in his will that his urban slaves were to be sold in the District of Columbia to prevent their relocation to plantations.

The House That Hoban Built
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Irish architect who designed the original White House. Tom Deignan takes a look at his extraordinary life.

In 1785, a newspaper in Philadelphia carried this advertisement:

“Any gentleman who wishes to build in an elegant style, may hear of a person properly calculated for that purpose who can execute the Joining and Carpenter’s business in the modern taste. James Hoban.”

Hoban was an Irishman, born in Kilkenny. George Washington never did see Hoban’s ad. But he did choose the Irishman in 1792 when it came time to build the White House.

250 Years

This year marks the 250th anniversary of James Hoban’s birth. To honor the man who built what is arguably the most famous building in the world, the White House Visitors Center recently unveiled a new exhibit entitled “James Hoban: Architect of the White House.”

The exhibit runs through November 2, 2008 and reminds the public about Hoban’s many accomplishments.

This was no easy task. Many of Hoban’s personal belongings – including his personal papers – were destroyed in a fire 50 years after Hoban died in 1831. The White House Historical Association had to use creative methods to assemble his life story, and explain how Hoban came to design the White House and earn the title of “First Federal Architect.”

As a recent reviewer of the Hoban exhibit noted, “The show conveys enough facts and images to form an intriguing portrait of this designer, builder and developer, who wasn’t the most creative talent of his day but nevertheless devised a lasting symbol of the presidency.”

All in all, it is easy to see Hoban as the ultimate Irish immigrant success story in young America.

So, who was James Hoban? How did he come to design the most important building for a young America? And what famous building in Dublin is the White House based upon?

Kilkenny Native

Hoban was born near Callan, Kilkenny in 1758, to a tenant farming family. A locally prominent family, the Cuffes, offered tutoring services on their estate in skills such as carpentry. Hoban took advantage of these services, and later attended the Dublin Society’s Drawing School, where his work caught the eye of Thomas Ivory, the school’s principal. Ivory also had a private design practice. It is believed that Hoban, working with Ivory, worked on the construction of notable Irish buildings such as Dublin’s City Hall and the Custom House. Though Hoban was making a name for himself in Ireland, he decided to relocate to America in 1785.

Hoban first went to Philadelphia, where he took out newspaper ads offering his services, but he ended up settling in Charleston, South Carolina. Though a seemingly odd choice, moving to Charleston proved to be a fateful decision for Hoban.

Hoban teamed up with fellow Irish designer Pierce Purcell and went on to design some private residences and worked on two of Charleston’s most prominent public buildings – a 1200-seat theater and the refurbishing of the old colonial state house as a courthouse. Still in use, a portrait of Hoban hangs there to this day. While most of Hoban’s and Purcell’s architectural accomplishments in Charleston have been lost, it was while he was working in Charleston that Hoban was introduced to General George Washington.

This certainly gave Hoban an advantage in 1792, when he entered the competition to design the new home for America’s president.

A House for the President

It’s important to remember that while Hoban was building a name for himself in the U.S., the young nation was in turmoil. True, the Revolutionary War against England was over by the early 1780s. Still, America experienced serious growing pains. It is often forgotten that under the Articles of Confederation describing “America’s first system of government” there was no provision for a president of the United States. That’s because, in the wake of the war against the British crown, it was feared that a single presidential leader would inevitably become a tyrant.

It was not until the U.S. Constitution was adopted in the late 1780s that the U.S. presidency was created. One reason people were willing to accept a president was because they knew George Washington would fill the role. The question now was: Where would President Washington – and all future presidents – reside?

Inspiration from Dublin

Interestingly, the American fear of a royal president is evident even in Hoban’s design of the White House. It is believed that Hoban’s design appealed to American government officials because it was simple and conservative, rather than ornate, which would have led many to view the White House as some sort of palace. When it came to inspiration, meanwhile, Hoban looked to his native country.

Hoban based his White House design on Leinster House, the stone residence in Dublin constructed around 1750 for the Duke of Leinster (now used as the seat of Dáil éireann). Hoban is said to have admired the structure designed by Richard Cassels, while he was attending the Dublin Society Drawing School.

Hoban played a key role in not only the design but also the actual construction of the White House, which took about eight years. Hoban was widely respected for his efficiency and problem-solving skills. So, when construction of the U.S Capitol got underway, Hoban was called in to oversee that project as well. He was also involved in the construction of the U.S. Treasury building as well as offices for the State Department, War Department and U.S. Navy.

Prominent Catholic

While he was rubbing shoulders with Washington, D.C.’s most powerful people, Hoban was also establishing himself as one of America’s first prominent Irish Catholic citizens. This at a time when anti-Catholicism was a very strong force in the U.S. It was not even legal in most states to practice Catholicism before the Revolution. Hoban, however, was a lifelong parishioner at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., and established various aid funds, including one for Irish immigrant laborers.

Along with George Washington’s close aide Stephen Moylan (born in Cork) and Commodore John Barry (from Wexford), Hoban completed a trailblazing triumvirate of Irish Catholic power brokers in the nation’s capital.

Still, for all his other accomplishments, it was the White House with which Hoban was most closely associated. And so, when America and Britain took up arms again during the War of 1812, Hoban was called upon again when his most famous work was burned to the ground.

White House Burned

In August of 1814, British troops first marched upon the U.S. capital. Since it did not appear that they would be able to take control of the city, British officials told soldiers to simply destroy as much property as possible. Soon enough, British soldiers entered the White House, which President James Madison and his cabinet had already evacuated. With them they took as many records and valuables as possible. Most famously, Gilbert Stuart’s painting of George Washington – the man who made Hoban famous – was shuttled off to a safe place. British soldiers are said to have eaten all the food in the White House before setting it ablaze. Only the strong sandstone walls were left standing. For another decade, Hoban oversaw the rebuilding of the White House, and numerous adjacent government buildings.

The White House today, of course, does not resemble even the one Hoban helped reconstruct following the fire of 1814. The famous East and West Wings were added decades later. Still, Hoban’s influence and legacy are clear.

When they say the Irish built America, there’s no need to think only of anonymous, poorly paid laborers toiling on the Erie Canal and frontier railroads. The President, visiting dignitaries, and thousands of tourists marvel at an Irishman’s work each and every day.


kja1888 Registered User

Andrew Kerins (Brother Walfrid), of Ballymote, Co Sligo and founder of Celtic FC is buried in a beautiful spot overlooking the mountains, with many other members of his order in a school in Dumfries, Scotland.

Dummy Registered User

I brought my little boy to see the Lusitania grave in the graveyard in Cobh today. This is a graveyard full of history.

The first grave I came upon, after the Lusitania grave, was a chap by the name of Verling. Verling was the dental surgeon to Napolean Bonepart.



Here is a link that gives more information - http://www.napoleonichistory.com/napoleon_and_dr__verling_on_st__helena_57270.htm

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Dummy Registered User

Also in Cobh graveyard, I came upon Jack Doyles grave. Jack Doyle was a very famous boxer, who in America, starred in two Hollywood movies.



Here is a Wikipedia article about Doyle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Doyle

There was a short piece on a noticeboard at the graveyard about Doyle, which said that he died penniless and homeless in London. How sad for a man who should have had it all.

I just found this video about Jack Doyle - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR2vvBekteo

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Dummy Registered User

Some time ago, I came across Lord Haw Haw's, William Joyce, grave in Galway.

Here is sime info about Lord Haw Haw - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Haw-Haw

And here is a recording of one of his broadcasts - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quyBOAAy8Y8

And here are the images of his grave:

Grave - [ATTACH]166658[/ATTACH]

Headstone - [ATTACH]166659[/ATTACH]

Grave.jpg Headstone.jpg
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getzls Banned

Humpy Joe Biggar, MP for Co. Caven. Only Catholic that is buried in the Church Of Ireland Parish Church in Carnmoney, Co. Antrim.

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They called him the Iron Duke in his lifetime for the metal bars he put on the windows of his London home to protect it from rioters.

He had an aversion to being called "horse" and was allegedly born in Trim,Co Meath.

He has an obelisk erected to him in Phoenix Park and his horse is buried in the gardens of Kilmainham Hospital.

He was buried in St Pauls Cathedral London in 1852.

Its Arthur Wellsley, Duke of Wellington .

It was one of the most spectacular public events in London in the nineteenth century.

As Churchill was looked on for saving Europe from Hitler, Wellington, saved Europe from Napoleon.

Check this link for a description


The Duke of Wellington's funeral caused as much of a stir in the mass media of 1852 as did Sir Winston Churchill's in the middle of the twentieth century. The Illustrated London News devoted columns of print and a plethora of large- and small-scale plates not merely to the Iron Duke's funeral in London's St. Paul's Cathedral (he was carried through the streets on the same funeral car used for Lord Nelson years before and Churchill over a century later), but also to a retrospective of his illustrious military career, the apogee of which, of course, was his triumphing of the greatest military genius the world had produced since Julius Gaius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, on the field of Waterloo in Belgium. Here is what The Illustrated London News had to say:
The grave has closed over the mortal remains of the greatest hero of our age, and one of the purest-minded men recorded in history. Wellington and Nelson sleep side by side under the dome of St. Paul's, and the national mausoleum our of isles has received the most illustrious of its dead. With pomp and circumstances, a fervour of popular respect, a solemnity and a grandeur never before seen in our time, and in all probability, not to be surpassed in the obsequies of any other hero heretofore to be born, to become the benefactor of this country, the sacred relics of Arthur Duke of Wellington have been deposited in the place long since set apart by the unanimous design of his countrymen. . . . all the sanctity and awe inspired by the grandest of religious services performed in the grandest Protestant temple in the world, were combined to render the scene, inside and outside of St. Paul's Cathedral on Thursday last, the most memorable in our annals. . . . .
Amid the rise, and perhaps the fall, of empires, amid "fear of change perplexing the nations," amid earthquake and flood, a trembling earth and a weeping sky, Wellington was conveyed from his lonely chamber at Walmer to the more splendid halting-place of Chelsea, and from thence to his grave, in the heart of London. To the popular apprehension — felt, if not expressed — it seemed as if the great funeral of that great man were only to fitly celebrated amid mystic voices predicting —
A time of conflict fierce and trouble strange,
When Old and New, over a dark abyss,
Fight the great battle of relentless change;
And when the very elements seemed to sympathise with the feelings of living men at the loss of one so mighty as he had been in his day and generation.
But the hero is entombed, and the voice of his contemporaries has spoken his apotheosis. Every incident in his long and honourable life has been sought for and recorded. — Saturday, 20 November 1852 [on the same page as the picture "The Lying in State at Chelsea Hospital"]
These are but some of the illustrations:
3 November 1852. Preparations in St. Paul's Cathedral for the Funeral of the Duke [of Wellington] — The Nave by Gaslight
20 Nov. 1852: "The Lying in State at Chelsea Hospital. — The Vestibule."
20 Nov. 1852: "The Duke's Funeral. — Temple -Bar." (p. 429)
20 Nov. 1852: "The Duke of Wellington's Funeral Car. — (Drawn on the wood, at The School of Design, Marlborough House.)" (p. 440)
11 Dec. 1852: "Batons [of] The Late Duke of Wellington." (p. 532)

20 November 1852. Medal of the Late Duke of Wellington, by Pinches.
18 September 1852. Field Marshall His Grace the Duke of Wellington by Sir Thomas Lawrence
20 November 1852: "The Late Duke of Wellington. — From a Miniature by Sir George Hayter." (p. 429)
20 November 1852: The Late Duke of Wellington — Painting by Pelligrini (p.429)
11 December 1852: "'The Hero and His Horse on the Field of Waterloo, Twenty Years After the Battle.' — Painted by B. B. Haydon. — Engraved by Permission." (p. 532)
11 December 1852: "First School of the Late Duke of Wellington, At Trim." (p. 533)


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who the fug Registered User

Anyone know where the Iron Duke older brother (He who doubled the size of India when viceroy ) is buried ?


who the fug said:
Anyone know where the Iron Duke older brother (He who doubled the size of India when viceroy ) is buried ?

The guy you are refering to is Richard Wellesley - Ist Marquis Wellesley - who was a very public supporter of Catholic Emancipation and married a Roman Catholic.


As Lord Lieutenant of Ireland he dealt with a mini famine

When in 1822, through scarcity of food, owing partly to the disturbed state of the country and partly to natural causes, a considerable number of the poorest members of the community were threatened with starvation, he organised an effective system of relief, obtaining a grant of £300,000 from the government, and raising public subscriptions amounting to £350,000 from England, and to £150,000 in Ireland, to which he contributed £500 out of his private purse.

That dispells a myth on inaction during times of famine.

Wellesley died at Kingston House, Brompton, on 26 September 1842 in his eighty-third year, and was buried at Eton in the college chapel on 8 October His widow, who was a lady of the bedchamber to the Queen-dowager Adelaide, died at Hampton Court Palace on 17 December. 1853.

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kja1888 said:
Andrew Kerins (Brother Walfrid), of Ballymote, Co Sligo and founder of Celtic FC is buried in a beautiful spot overlooking the mountains, with many other members of his order in a school in Dumfries, Scotland.

Andrew Kerins ....not a GAA fan, qualified as a teacher before joining the Marist Order and as a monk worked in Glasgow and the East End of London.

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A native of Ballymote in Sligo there are memorials to him there

and in Celtic Park


CDfm said:

That dispells a myth on inaction during times of famine.

To be fair the issue is about whether there was 'sufficient' action -not 'inaction' during the Famine. Just saying...


MarchDub said:
To be fair the issue is about whether there was 'sufficient' action -not 'inaction' during the Famine. Just saying...

True -both Wellesley brothers had the same mindset on famine and it's recurrance and the need for action.

Its ironic that they are on the same page as Brother Walfrid.

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