Turtle Bunbury

Writer and Historian

Random Quote
Random Date

Published Works



'Dublin Docklands - An Urban Voyage by Turtle Bunbury was commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and published in 008.


Connection: Grand Canal Street

This is the first of the Grand Canal bridges, running along the southernmost end of the Grand Canal Basin between Treasury Holdings (formerly Boland’s Bakery) and the Grand Canal Hotel. In the time of Bacon’s map, there was an engine and carriage factory just down the street where the Emerald Cottages stand today. When the bridge was rebuilt and the road widened the balance beams of the lower gates were removed and winches substituted.

The bridge was named after two brothers, George Maquay (1758-1820) and John Leland Maquay (1859-1829), sometimes spelled Macquay, prominent bankers and members of the Dublin Society whose fortune originated in a sugar-baker business. They each subscribed £500 to the Undertakers of the Grand Canal Company (ie: to the builders of the canal), according to Watson's Dublin Directory of 1784.

George, the older brother, served in the army as a young man and became a merchant and sugar baker, based on Thomas Street, Dublin. In 1779 he was married in Doncaster to Elizabeth Disney, a daughter of Moore Disney of Churchtown, Co. Waterford, by his wife Elizabeth, the only daughter of Amos Vereker Esq, [and Elizabeth Langron] of Bette Ville, County Limerick, whom he married in 1761. Elizabeth was a sister of the Peninsula War hero General Moore Disney who "died at his residence 26 Brooke street, London on the 19th of April [1846] in his 81st year." (The Patrician, Vol 1, 1846). George and Elizabeth Maquay's son John Leland Maquay junior (1791-1868) proposed the general’s membership of the Royal Dublin Society. John Leland Maquay junior was a founder of the Pakenham & Maquay bank of Florence.

As well as being a director of the Grand Canal Company in the 1790's, George Maquay (1758-1820) was one of the members of the Ballast Board who orchestrated the sale of Pigeon House Harbour to the Admiralty. In 1819, he and Leland Crosthwaite commissioned surveyor Francis Giles to assist their engineer George Halpin in building the North Bull Wall.

John Leland Maquay senior, younger brother of George, served as Director of the Bank of Ireland for 21 years from 1808 to 1828, and as its Governor for three of those years. He was also a member of the Ouzel Galley Society, a charity. On 14 January 1794 he was married at St Anne's in Dublin to Charlotte Disney, the youngest child of Moore and Elizabeth Disney and thus a sister to both Elizabeth Maquay and the aforementioned General Moore Disney. Born in 1775 and rasied in Doncaster, Charlotte died at their home on 21 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, just off Merrion Square, on 5 October 1828. [Dublin Evening Packet, 9 October 1828]. John died at the same house, in his 70th year, on 23rd March 1829. (Waterford Mail, 1 April 1829) They do not appear to have had any children, at least none who survived. There is a portrait of Charlotte in the History of the Disney family book, that connects to the de Salis family. (063)

The Maquays were closely related to the Crosthwaite, Leland and Hone families. They are thought to have been grandsons of the Rev Thomas Maquay (1694-1729) and Ann Shannon, who was married by Licence in 1719. Thomas was educated at the Dublin Presbytery and became a minister of the Plunkett Street Presbyterian Church. One of his great friends and fellow churchmen was Dr John Leland, author, bokk collector and Pastor of the New Row Congregation Dublin, later of Eustace Road Meetings (Presbyterian). When Thomas Maquay knew that he was dying, he commended Dr Leland to marry his widow, Ann Shannon, which he duly did at St Nicholas Without Church of Ireland in 1731. They are not thought to have had children. [Rev Thomas Maquay died 27 Jan 1729; John Leland died at his home on Eustace Street, aged 75, on 16 Jan 1766].

Thomas and Ann Maquay's daughter Mary Maquay married Thomas Crosthwait of Fleet Street at St Andrew’s Church of Ireland on 17 Jan 1744 and had children Anne and Leland Crosthwait(e). According to Bill Webster, 'this latter conformed to all the achievements of John Leland Maquay in the Bank of Ireland, Royal Dublin Soc, etc.' Thomas Crossthwait was also a member of the congregation of Eustace Street and closely involved with Nathaniel Hone of Harcourt Street and Joseph Hone of Harcourt Street in establishing a female Charity School in Eustace Street Meeting House in 1833.


On Wednesday evening, a man was perceived taking a parcel out of the Grand Canal, near Maquay Bridge, by two gentlemen of the attornies infantry, who seized him, and upon examining the parcel, found it to contain eight well executed steel pikes, carefully made up in hay’ – The Cumberland Pacquet, Tuesday, 14th August 1798

With thanks to Sarah Purdy, Ray Halpin and Bill Webster.



Up arrowOther Titles