Last year a local told me that Richard Beesly Sheridan was born at No.12 Dorset Street next door to the Moy Pub so I decided to carry out some research and I must admit that I was surprised by the complicated story that I discovered.
According to Wikipedia: “Playwright, Westminster Parliament member, and son of Thomas, Richard Brinsley Sheridan was born on this street at number 12 in 1751; Brinsley Sheridan's works include The Critics and A School for Scandal”.
Eneclann Ltd, a Trinity College campus company, was commissioned in 2002 to determine if Sheridan was born at 12 Dorset Street, as claimed in recent biographies by Fintan O’Toole in 1999 and by Linda Kelly 1n 2097.
The report found the false assumption about Sheridan's birthplace came about because of different numbering systems for the street dating back more than 150 years ago. Sheridan was born in 1751 and the historians found that numbers were not assigned to Dorset Street Upper until the 1770s, 20 years after Sheridan's birth.
Crucially, from the 1770s to 1848 there were some changes in the numbering system. After 1848, the numbers were permanently fixed as they are today. The research found the house recorded as No 12 (Sheridan's birthplace) in the first half of the 19th century could not correspond to the same house today.
Researchers found an early deed for the house currently known as no 12 Dorset Street Upper dated 1783 and records a lease on the property between Joseph Ellis and John Smithy. At this time, the property was recorded as No 10 Dorset Street.
What they did discover was that Thomas Sheridan, Richard's father, held a lease on an adjoining property to what is now 12 Dorset Street.
They are convinced that the actual Sheridan house was one of those purchased by the Dominican Order around August 1883, which were subsequently demolished to build St Saviour's Priory.