John Colclough

(06/11/1811 - 04/04/1869)

John Colclough (pronounced Coakley) was born in 1811, son of William Colclough and Elinor Lett of Tubrid, Co Kilkenny.  He was indentured to his uncle Richard Colclough, a coach and buggy builder of 22 Duke Street, in 1825 aged 14.  He married Mary Jane Austin on 5 Apr 1836 who was the daughter of Richard Austin, a paint stainer of 1 Molesworth Street.  When his aunt Jane Colclough, the second wife of his uncle Richard, died he inherited the coach business which had been established in 1801. Mary Jane died at 4 South Anne Street after childbirth in January 1842.

John secondly married Elizabeth Austin, sister of Mary Jane, on 29 Jun 1842. John expanded the business and took a lease on 23 Duke Street. The family lived at Tower Field House(now demolished) on the Crumlin Road in 1856 and by 1858 they were at Glenville, Donnybrook where Elizabeth died on 28 Feb 1866.  She was buried at Mount Jerome. John died 4 Apr 1869 at 20 Pembroke Road and was buried with his wife.

An advertisement for the business in 1909, shows how successful the business had continued to be after John’s death.

Messrs. John Colclough and Sons, of Duke street, one of the foremost and. oldest carriage builders in Dublin, and have in their time worked for Royalty, and supplied equipages to many of the leading noble and gentle families in Ireland. Only recently this enterprising firm supplied two motor cars to a prominent Belfast merchant, and this in competition with some of the biggest firms in England, for the Belfast gentleman, true to his business instincts, invited tenders from several firms, and finally placed his order with Messrs. Colclough, who built the bodies and applied the entire car with oil accessories.

This firm is, moreover, the holder of several very useful and important patents, all of great benefit and much in request in the building of all kinds and classics of carriages and vehicles of every description. One of the principal of these is their patent rubber glass frame for carriage windows. These not only wear better than the old wooden style, lasting for years, for they are not covered in cloth, which has constantly to be renewed, but they are noiseless and can be painted any colour to match the carriage. They also have a patent spring head which shortens the carriage 9 inches, permitting the brougham or carriage to be built very much smaller and lighter. It is unnecessary to say much about their well-known and popular patent steel shafts, which once tried are always used, while at the present moment they have a very important and ingenious patent going through the Patent Oflice, which will be a great novelty and acquisition to their business. The firm have fine show-rooms in 22 and 23 Duke street, and extensive works in 6 to 9 Duke lane, as (well as a coach factory in 1 to 10 Lennon street, where they build bodies of motor cars, hoods, canopies, wind-screens, luggage carriers, all kinds of carriage and horse vehicles, and do all sorts of repairs and overhauling of motor engines. They also hire out motor cars, several of which they have, all of the most modern type, including landaulettes, etc., at moderate charges. Messrs. Colclough and Sons hold several certificates and a first prize medal for their ” C” spring and under spring reversible Victoria, which have met with general approval.

The coachmaking business “Colclough and Sons” were still operating in the 1920s in Duke Street but the introduction of the motor vehicle and buses had a huge effect on their business.

Person Photo
Connection with area: A coachbuilder who lived in Towerfield House off the Crumlin Road