Greatly Distinguished

The only full-length statue by French sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac can be found in Armagh Cathedral. It represents the doctor and philosopher Sir Thomas Molyneux, Physician General to the Army in Ireland and Regius Professor of Physic at Trinity College, Dublin who died in 1733. The work was commissioned some years later by his son Sir Capel Molyneux and after arriving in Ireland in 1752 was removed to the family seat, Castle Dillon, County Armagh where it was placed in a wood beneath a temporary wooden shelter, the idea being that a more permanent structure would be erected in the grounds. When this failed to materialise, the statue was moved to the vaults beneath the house. Finally when Castle Dillon was rebuilt in the early 1840s the statue was presented to Armagh Cathedral and placed in its present position. The plaque beneath the figure depicts a physician attending a bed-ridden patient, thereby emphasising Molyneux’s medical career. The inscription advises that he was ‘greatly distinguished in his generation for professional skill, varied learning and private worth.’

3 comments on “Greatly Distinguished

  1. lawrieweed says:

    Stunning and very romantic – So glad is someplace where it can be admired,

  2. Harriet Bridgeman says:

    The Irish Aesthete is the best purveyor of interesting cultural news and opinions of anyone of his generation and before!

  3. Gerard Molyneux A.P.C. says:

    My grandmother told me that her grandmother’s father General Sir Thomas Molyneux 5th Bt., placed this statue of his grandfather in Armagh Cathedral, as I think that he had subscribed to the restoration of the Cathedral in 1840.

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