CHARLES WILLIAM HARRISON – SCULPTOR
Architectural sculptor of Dublin. Charles William Harrison was born at Cottingham, Yorkshire, on 4 October 1834, the son of an artist named John Harrison and a kinsman of John Harrison (1693-1776), the horologist.
It is not known what brought him to Ireland; he may have come over circa 1859 to work on the carvings for the Kildare Street club house designed by Thomas Newenham Deane and Benjamin Woodward.
In the early 1860s he set up in business in Dublin with Charles Abbey.
Harrison suffered a heart attack on 16 May 1903 as he was coming out of the Royal Dublin Society’s reading room in Kildare Street and died soon afterwards at his house at 8 Herbert Road, Sandymount. He was buried in Mount Jerome cemetery. He was survived by his widow, Sophia, who died in 1919 at the age of eighty-six, and a large family of children and grandchildren.
He was a member of the Royal Dublin Society, the RSAI and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. He is described as a genial man and a very active member of the congregation of St Mark’s Church of Ireland church in Mark Street, acting as churchwarden for fourteen years before his death. The business which he founded continued until the 1970s.
After the partition of Ireland of 1921, and again after the Second World War, the Kildare Street Club found itself in decline. In 1976 it merged with the Dublin University Club, thereafter sharing the premises of the latter at 17, St Stephen’s Green, under the name “Kildare Street and University Club”. The Club’s palatial club-house in Kildare Street still stands and is leased, providing accommodation for the Heraldic Museum and Genealogical Office and the Alliance française.