We are beta testing our new website and would love your feedback. Click here to visit it.

About us
About us
Archive of the Month
Other pages in Archive of the Month:

About Us

Find a Church

The Constitution

What We Believe

General Synod

Committees of the Synod

Bishops' Appeal Advisory Committee

Board for Social Responsibility (NI)

Board for Social Responsibility (RI)

Church of Ireland Marriage Council

Church of Ireland Youth Department

Church's Ministry of Healing

Commission on Ministry

Committee for Christian Unity

Council for Mission

Liturgical Advisory Committee

Standing Committee

Central Communications Board

Broadcasting Committee

Literature Committee

Church in Society

Priorities Fund

Working Group on Disability

Children's Ministry Working Group

General Synod Website

Representative Body

Allocations Committee

Audit Committee

Executive Committee

Investment Committee

Legal Advisory Committee

Library & Archives Committee

Property Committee

Stipends Committee

Central Offices


Office Services

Information Technology


Unit Trust Valuation Calculator


Property & Trusts

Synod Services & Communications

Press Office


Contact Directory

RCB Library

Archive of the Month

“Archives of the Month” – Archived


Location & Contacts

Opening Hours




Regulations for Readers of Archives and Manuscripts

Library News

Library Publications

Parish Register Series

Texts and Calendars series

Other publications

RCB Library Catalogue

Online Parish Records

Anglican Record Project

Bunclody Union (Ferns)

Theological Institute

Clergy Pensions

Links with other Churches

Bishops' Appeal

Bishops' Appeal Website

Contact Us

Banner images

Printable version

September 2013


Commonplace Book of Alexander Lamiliere

Clicking on images below will open in a larger window

September 2013Commonplace books seem to have their origins in the zibaldone of 15th century Italy. These were manuscript compendiums of poetry and prose often decorated with the author’s sketches. By the 17th century the keeping of commonplace books was an established feature of English intellectual life and was formally taught to students.


September 2013

In Ireland the keeping of common place books was popular with ladies and gentlemen in the 18th and 19th century. They were a convenient, and sometimes decorative, way of recording useful and improving pieces of knowledge – copies of letters, poems, recipes, prayers, legal formulae. Some were substantial, some slight, but each commonplace book reflected the interests of its creator and was, therefore, unique.

September 2013

Alexander Lamilliere, the creator of this commonplace book, came from French Huguenot stock. His grandfather, Florence La Milliere, had joined the army of William of Orange and had fought as a captain in Lord Galway’s Regiment of Horse. The family settled in Dublin where Florence’s sons, Cyrus and Henry entered Trinity College. Cyrus’s son, Alexander was born in Dublin in 1723 and graduated from Trinity College with a B.A. in 1745, an M.A. in 1750, and an LL.B. and LL.D. in 1775. He was ordained into the Church of Ireland and ministered in the diocese of Cork where he was, successively, chancellor of Cork, 1774–82; vicar of Holy Trinity (Christ Church) in the city of Cork, 1782–96; archdeacon of Cork and vicar of St Peter’s church, Cork, 1796–1800. Lamilliere’s son, also christened Alexander, was ordained for the curacy of St Nicholas’, Cork, in 1790 but died seven years later. The Lamilliere family was one of the few Cork Huguenot families who were not engaged in commerce. Alexander, senior, died on 7 September 1800 and was buried in St Nicholas’ churchyard, Cork, with his sons Alexander and Henry.

September 2013

Lamilliere’s commonplace book is a small volume bound in red morocco leather decorated with gold tooling. The contents include an interesting account of the Lamilliere family written in French, but with a convenient translation, by his grandmother ( a member of the de Proisy family); copies of letters to the Cork newspapers reflecting particular local concerns, and prayers written by Lamilliere. It is, therefore, likely to be of interest to those concerned with Irish Huguenot families, the Church of Ireland in the late 18th century and, especially, events in the city of Cork.

September 2013

The fate of the volume in the years after Lamilliere’s death is uncertain. However, by the 1870s it seems to have been in the hands of the Dublin book trade for it contains the stamps of Carson Brothers, 7 Grafton Street, and W.A. Hinch, 5 Cramption Quay. The volume was given to the antiquary, Robert Day, FSA, in 1881 by Richard Caulfield (1823–87), antiquary, local historian and librarian of Queen’s College, Cork, and purchased by Day at the sale of Caulfield’s library in Dublin, shortly after his death, in 1888. It was transferred from St Fin Barre’s cathedral, Cork, in 2003, to the Representative Church Body Library, Dublin, where it is MS 703.

September 2013

For further information please contact:
Dr Susan Hood
RCB Library
Braemor Park
Dublin 14
Tel: 01–4923979
Fax: 01–4924770
E–mail: susan.hood@rcbdub.org