[Robert] Murdock: A Timeline

Brief information on the activities of [Robert] Murdock in Ireland identified by the author between 1780 and 1807 is presented in the timeline below. In the newspaper advertisements reported the author noted a number of variations of his name, including Murdock, Murdoch, Mordoc and Murdoc; the most likely explanation for these spelling descrepancies is that they are the result of typesetting errors based on an aural mishearing of his name. Note his clearly identified connection with William Southwell, established by the notice placed in 1796.

1780 A notice placed in The Dublin Evening Post, 29 January 1780 advertised the services of 'Mr Murdock' for tuning and/or repairing Chamber and Barrel Organs, Harpsichords, Piano-fortes, &c. at Mr Lee's Music Shop, No. 70, Dame-Street or No. 11, Trinity-Street. In March of the same year Murdock advertised that 'he will engage to make any of the above instruments as good as any made in London, and on as reasonable terms' (The Hibernian Journal, 20-22 March 1780).
1785 Apparently Murdock moved away from Dublin for a time between 1781 and 1785, since an announcement placed in The Dublin Evening Post, 11 January 1785 states that he had arrived there in order to commence business. Interestingly he continues 'As he has worked with the first Makers in London, flatters himself by his abilities and punctuality, to give evey satisfaction to those who may honour him with their commands'.
1796 In this year we find a 'Mr Mordoc' in Belfast. A newspaper notice states that 'Mr SOUTHWELL, PIANO FORTE MAKER &c., Dublin, recommends Mr MORDOC, (who has done business with him for a long time), as a person very capable of Tuning and Repairing Organs, Piano-fortes, &c.' (Belfast Newsletter, 16 September 1796). This notice was repeated in a later edition of the same publication, 1-11 November 1796, this time with his name spelt 'Murdoc').
1805 On 19 January 1805 a notice appeared in The Hibernian Journal advertising ' a remarkable fine toned large Chamber organ, worth 100l [pounds] to be raffled at the house of Robert Murdoch[sic], Gloucester-place, Gloucester-street' [Dublin]. It also states that his house is to be let and that Murdoch continues to tune and repair Piano Fortes, Church, Chamber and Barrel Organs in Town and Country. Given the similarities in his areas of work, it seems this is the same person as the Murdock/Mordoc of the earlier notices and here we learn that his given name was Robert.
1807 From an advertisment placed in The Dublin Evening Post, 27 August 1807, it seems that Murdoch had only temporarily let his house in 1805, since his address is given here as 7, Gloucester-place, Dublin. He states that he is travelling around undertaking work in different locations - Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry and Armagh are mentioned. He also once more advertises 'Lodgings to be let'.


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