George Salmon
1888 – 1904 (c.1819-1904)

The Conservatives had returned to power the month that Provost Jellett died and the cabinet did not take long to name George Salmon as his successor.1 The son of a shopkeeper, Salmon was born in Cork in 1819.2  He entered College at the age of 14 and had gained Fellowship before the age of 22.3 In the course of the next twenty years he wrote four advanced mathematical textbooks which raninto numerous editions and were well known outside Ireland.4 In 1866 he was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity, and soon acquired almost as wide a reputation in that subject. He was active as a churchman, publishing five volumes of sermons and holding the chancellorship of St Patrick’s Cathedral from 1871 until his death.5 In the 1870s he played an important part in the reconstruction of the Church of Ireland after Disestablishment and was successful in preventing too radical a revision of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh honoured him with doctorates and he was also a medalist of the Royal Society. He was Provost from 1888 until his death in 1904. One of his last acts as Provost was to preside over the Board meeting that received the ‘Royal letters Patent permitting women to receive Degrees in the University of Dublin’, a development he opposed for many years but eventually acquiesced to in 1901 when the majority of the Board agreed to the principle.6

Painting Details

By Sarah Purser
Oil on canvas

  1. J.V. Luce, Trinity College Dublin, The First 400 Years (Dublin, 1992), p. 102.
  2. Anne Crookshank and David Webb, Paintings and Sculptures in Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, 1990), p. 117.
  3. J.V. Luce, Trinity College Dublin, The First 400 Years (Dublin, 1992), p. 102.
  4. Anne Crookshank and David Webb, Paintings and Sculptures in Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, 1990), p. 117.
  5. J.V. Luce, Trinity College Dublin, The First 400 Years (Dublin, 1992), p. 102.
  6. J.V. Luce, Trinity College Dublin, The First 400 Years (Dublin, 1992), p. 119.