George Victor du Noyer

On Sunday 25 May in All Saints’ Parish Church, Antrim, the Archdeacon of Connor, the Ven. Alan Harper OBE, dedicated a plaque in memory of George Victor du Noyer which was unveiled by the Mayor of Antrim, Councillor Paddy Marks and two silver cruets in memory of Mervyn Doherty. In his sermon Archdeacon Harper outlined the importance of du Noyer’s work and the high regard in which he was held by his fellow professionals. He also commented on how both du Noyer and Mervyn Doherty had contributed greatly to the areas where they had lived and worked.

Du Noyer, a noted artist, geologist and antiquary of Huguenot descent, was born in Dublin in 1817. He was employed on the famous ‘Memoir’ project of the Ordinance Survey of Ireland and in 1847 he joined the Geological Survey of Ireland. His watercolours and drawings illustrating fungi, plants, fruit and marine life were of an exceptional standard. He exhibited 48 paintings at the Royal Hibernian Academy between 1841 and 1863 and was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1857. Du Noyer was based in Antrim when he took ill with scarlet fever and died on 3 January 1869, his eldest daughter Fanny having died from the same disease the day before. They were both buried on 4 January in the graveyard adjoining All Saints’ Parish Church.

George Victor du Noyer was a kind-hearted and gregarious man whose achievements as an antiquarian or archaeologist still await full assessment. The erecting of a fitting memorial plaque was long overdue and this was a project which was undertaken by Petra Coffey who has been researching du Noyer’s work and has written extensively about him. She commissioned Tom Glendon, one of Ireland’s best known sculptors and letter carvers to design the plaque and also raised the necessary funds for the scheme.