The Blackrock Association
The Blackrock association was formed after a meeting of Noblemen and Gentlemen on the 9th December
1782. The reason it was formed was for apprehending, prosecuting and convicting all persons guilty of
House-breaking, High-way Robbery, Felony and Trespass, in or about the Black-Rock, Booterstown,
Merrion, Stillorgan, Kilmacud, Newtown, Monkstown, Dunleary, Bullock, Dalkey, Kabinteely and the county
The members each agreed to pay a subscription to the Association and to pay rewards. William Ogilvie Esq
was in the chair and they made the following resolutions.
1 To every person who shall give information of any person or persons concerned in House-breaking,
Highway robbery or Felony in the above district within twelve months after the fact is committed, is
capitally convicted, the sum of twenty Guineas, over and above all other rewards offered by
Government of the County.
2 To every person who shall inform as above, of the person or persons guilty of Theft or Petty Larceny
by cutting, destroying, or carrying away Trees, Hedges or fenced the sum of five Guineas.
3 Any person giving information that may tend to the Discovery of any burglary, robbery or Felony will
be rewarded in proportion to the utility of his information and his name concealed if he desires it.
4 Besides the above reward, the Association will pay all expenses attending the apprehending, securing
and prosecuting such offenders as above described.
5 They will likewise reward such constables and their assistants as shall appear to deserve
encouragement by an active discharge of their duty.
6 The Lord Viscount Ranelagh, William Ogilvie, Robert Burne, Esq, John Latouche Esq, Isaac Espinasse
and Mr Justice Beckford are appointed a committee for the first year to conduct the business of the
Association; to any of whom it is required that information may be given as early as possible, of all
Robbery, Felonies &c. committed in the above district. The committee will attend the Quarter Sessions
of the county and the next general meeting of the Association will be the Monday of the week preceding
the quarter sessions, of which Notice will be given in this paper. (Saunders News Letter).
These resolutions were signed By Order William Beckford.
The meeting had a revolving chair and they met in various taverns in Blackrock. The Lord Mayor and sheriffs of
the city of Dublin agreed to co-operate with the Association.
Meetings held at Blackrock Taverns
Conways, Blackrock 27 Jan 1783 - Christopher Deey was in the Chair.
A further resolution was made to erect a Lock-up House in the Black Rock and the Association agreed to meet
again on the 17 Mar 1783 to dine together at Conway's and that Viscount Ranelagh would take the chair that day.
Byrnes Arms, Blackrock 9 Dec 1783 - A meeting to elect a new committee.
Jennets Tavern, Blackrock 1 Nov 1787 - Further solutions made.
They offered a reward to anyone who would prosecute to conviction any person guilty of robbery upon the
Black-rock road from Dublin to Dunleary, Bullock, Dalkey, Rochestown, Cabinteely and Loughlinstown and
also from Donnybrook to Loughlinstown.
Nicholas Lawless, Bart was appointed treasurer and Rev Dr Burrowes was appointed secretary. They further
resolved to print notices in the Dublin Chronical, Evening Post, the Hue and Cry as well as Saunders
McQuignons, Blackrock 23 Sep 1789 they met at 3PM and dined at 4:30pm.
By 1806 they were known as the Rathdown Association, the chair no longer rotated and W A Minchin was
chairman that year.
1782 William Ogilvie - Chairman
1783 Christopher Deey – Chairman
1783 Viscount Ranelagh - Chairman
1782 - 1784 Mr Justice William Beckford - Secretary
1787 Nick Lawless – Treasurer
1787 Rev Dr Burrowes – Secretary
1783 Peter Wilson of Mount Druid had his gardens broken into and two fields of vegetables lifted.
1787 Lady Lisle had her house broken into. Curtains and cushions stolen, the material pattern is
very unusual and is described in detail.
© June Bow & Karen Poff – March 2021