The Parochial Foundation

The reasoning behind the “carving-out” of the new parish from the corporate body of Donnybrook Parish can, in the light of history, now be clearly seen.  The growth of the new suburb of Booterstown, with its many palatial houses (and superb views of Dublin Bay from at least some of them).  The aforementioned new harbour at Kingstown to the south, and the obvious need of a Parish Church to grace the whole and form a centrepiece of worship.

Two men stand out in all this – George Augustus, Eleventh Earl of Pembroke and James Digges La Touche, of Huguenot descent, the Dublin banker.

The Earl, who numbered amongst his properties the superb Wilton House near Salisbury, provided the site and £1,000 towards the cost of staffing the church itself.  There seems little doubt that James Digges La Touche was the “power-house” behind the formation of the new Parish of Booterstown and he was to be one of the first Churchwardens of it.  He will be mentioned later in this narrative in more detail.

Beaver H. Blacker, the historian (later to be appointed perpetual curate of Booterstown) has recorded an extract from the Deed of Conveyance of Ground by the Earl of Pembroke.

“Provided always that the present grant and conveyance is made upon the express conditions that a Church for the celebration of Divine Worship according to the rites and ceremonies of the Established Protestant religion and to be deemed and considered to be the chapel or church of the said new parish, district or cure of Booterstown aforesaid, be erected upon said piece of land with all convenient speed; and also that no part of said ground shall be at any time connected to, or used for, the purpose of a cemetery or place of burial, within the walls of said church when erected, or without the same; and also that it shall happen at any time hereafter that the said piece or perch of ground and the buildings thereon erected shall be used for any other than the purpose here declared and intended as aforesaid, then upon any of the said events this present grant and conveyance shall become, and be considered absolutely null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever.”

The legal phraseology of this Deed, which the writer of this history has recently read, on its original parchment, makes its purpose abundantly clear!