Thomas Grant, born 1851

Thomas Grant was born on the 16th July 1851 in Tipperary, and as a boy his parents went to live in Galway. Thomas was born in "Tipperary", but I have not been able to find exactly where in Tipperary, this was immediately after the Famine, and records tended to be a bit sparese at that time. His parents, Stephen and Mary Ann Grant lived at Towra, Shinrone, Kings Co. until 1840 and their first two children were born there. After that we do not pick them up until they reappear at Woodlawn in 1868.

He joined the Dublin Metropolitan police in 1871 when he was aged 21, and gave his address as Woodlawn. The Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) was the police force of Dublin, Ireland, from 1836 to 1925, when it amalgamated into the new Garda Síochána. The DMP was modelled closely on the London Metropolitan Police. Not only were the uniforms of the two forces almost indistinguishable, especially with the helmet and Bath Star, but the two forces also had a similar organisational structure; rather than a Chief Constable, they were commanded by a Commissioner, who was not a police officer, but a magistrate holding a Commission of the Peace. This was descended from the 18th century system of controlling parish constables, and was a sop to the public's fears about the danger of a standing police force under government control. In common with police forces on the island of Great Britain, the DMP was an unarmed force.

He married on the 26th August 1880 to Marie Watson at St Paul's Church, Portarlington. The ceremony performed by Rev Dean Wolseley, who was the cleryman for the English Church in Portalington. His marriage certifiate gives him as a sergeant in the DMP, but oddly gives his address as Portarlington. There were not any DMP officers in Portarlington, it was the RIC who manned Portarlington. Maria Watson was the second daughter of William Watson and Elizabeth Blong (of Huguenot extraction). She was a ladies maid in Dublin. Her father William Watson came from Clonsast outside Portarlington and was a farmer. After marriage CW Grant says they went to live in Portarlington at the mother in law's house (the implication being that William Watson is dead in 1880). They could not have lived there very long as they are living in Dublin when their first child is born in May 1881.

His police record shows he was a "labourer from Woodlawn, Kilconnell, Tipperary" when he joined the police (note Woodlawn is Galway not Tipperary!). His DMP number was 7600. He was 5ft 9inches and was recommended by "E.C.Williams" (I do not know who this person was)

They had 5 children. Two of the boys, Thomas and Stephen, died in early childhood. The two daughters remained unmarried. Ethel suffered from a thyroid gland problem, that left her retarded with the mental age of a 12 year old. May wanted to get married - to a "cousin from Donegal" - but was prevented by her bother Charles, who told her she had to look after their widowed father Thomas in his old age.

1881. Their address is given as 166 Townsend Street, Dublin when the first child Charles William Grant was born on 26th May 1881

1885 May Elizabeth Grant born 8 June 1885

1887 Their address was 5 Auburn Street, Dublin in January 1887 when his son Thomas died

1889 And as 36 Fontenoy Street in 1889 when Stephen died

Thomas Grant and family outside 7 Newbridge Avenue, Dublin circa 1890
7 Newbridge Avenue, Dublin in 2008

As the family lived in Sandymount, Dublin at 7 Newbridge Avenue (above) for quite a long time as the children were growing up.

1893 Ethel Laura Grant born 31 January 1893.

1901 census thomas grant

1901 census has the family living at 3 Irishtown Church Avenue, Dublin

3 Irishtown Church Av

3 Irishtown Church Avenue, Dublin

1902 the family moved to 24 Rathgar Road, Dublin.

24 Rathgar Road, Dublin in 2008

Thomas Grant and family in 1896
Thomas Grant and family circa 1910

He served in various divisions of the city and for a time was chief inspector at HQ Dublin Castle. He had been responsible for the police arrangements at many public events, among these the Irish International Exhibition of 1907, which was visited by King Edward VII. Appreciation of his services are given in the official record of the exhibition "the excellence of the police arrangements both inside and outside the ground were carried out by Supt Grant and his collegues".

Thomas Circa 1900

Thomas in uniform

Dublin Cathedral 1907, Thomas marked in centre

He is said to have "enjoyed the confidence and esteem of both the public and his collegues". He was the recipient of many acknowledgements, including on one occasion anonomously a handsome ebony walking stick with a silver engraving "from a few students of TCD". He retired from the police in 1912, and the fact that he continued to live in Dublin after Irish Independance leads one to assume that he had not accumulated too many enemies during his time in the police.

Thomas Grant in Dublin in 1932

For some years before his retirement his wife had been ill, and on retirement he devoted himself to looking after her and Ethel. His wife Marie died on 28th May 1922. Thomas carried on living at Rathgar Road. His daughters May and Ethel continued to live with him at Rathgr Road after their mother Marie Watson died in 1922.

The household was augmented by Thomas' sister Elizabeth Grant, the last survivor of the family at Woodlawn Gatelodge, who moved out of the Gatelodge in 1935 when her own brother Robert died. On Thomas' death in 1940 she lived for a short time with a relative in Clonmel, and eventually died in the Protestant Home for Incurables in Cork.

Thomas died 17 Feb 1940, still living at 24 Rathgar Road. In his will it basically all went to his son Charles Grant to enable his daughter Ethel to be looke after.


Newspaper reports cnfirm that he joined the Dublin Metropolitan Police in 1871, and retired after 41 years service with the rank of Superintendant of E Divisionhe in 1912.

Thomas died on 15th February 1940 at Kingston Lodge, 24 Rathgar Rd, Dublin. The remains of both Thomas and Marie are interred at the family grave at Mount Jerome.

The family burial plot in Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin

Return to Stephen Grant, b1811, his father