|Published in:||Architectural History, 2013, v. 56|
In the Dublin Journal of 4 April 1769, Thomas Weston, recently arrived from London and ‘versed in the Stucco Art', announced his proficiency in the ‘Antique Taste', having worked ‘some Years under the Designs of Mess. Adams, Chambers and Stewart [sic]'. His timing was far from coincidental: less than a month earlier the premium for the design of the Royal Exchange in Dublin, awarded to the English architect Thomas Cooley, had been announced; the competition had generated no less than thirty-three British submissions (or 60% of the total number of competitors). Just as enlightened Irish architectural critics had deemed the employment of an English architect for this particular project as ‘too obvious to be insisted upon', so it would appear that Weston had identified an opportunity to establish himself in Ireland as an unrivalled exponent of the Neoclassical style. Some weeks later, on 27 April, Weston amended his original advertisement to record that he had ‘served his Apprenticeship to Mr. Rose of London'.
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