People worldwide with Cork connections owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Richard Caulfield. His career is dealt with here:
Many of the Church of Ireland records from the Cork Churches were transcribed by him and the originals went up in a few seconds with the detonation of explosives placed by the Anti-Treaty IRA in the Public Records Office of the 4 Courts Complex in 1922. At the time the Public Records Office was regarded as among the best in the world.
The RCB Library in Orwell Road, Dublin have some of his original transcripts, the industry involved is apparent from his comments.
‘Reverend L.O.Madden lent me the Registers on the 30th June 1877, Saturday 1.30 commenced 8.30 (coden sie)’
In the middle of the transcription between different sections from Births to say Deaths he has inserted in his own hand.
” The entry of burials between the 19th April 1748 and the 11th February 1764 have been cut out of this Register. I am sorry to have to record here the Register of Christ Church Cork are a lasting disgrace to the clergy of the last century who had custody of them.
They are wantonly mutilated in several places the leaves loose, having been torn out, and the entries made (at least to 1784) by some of the most disorganized incompetent person, as would appear by by the spelling of the most common names.
Richard Caulfield LDOFSA, Cork August 1877.
His comments were echoed in the 1820s by probably the greatest Irish scholar of all time Dr. John O’Donovan in his travels around the Northern Counties in connection with the writing of the Ordnance Survey Letters. An absolute treasure trove of each townland, customs, personalities, traditions, and historical associations. He found the state of record preservation deplorable. Unfortunately his work in that area was stopped.
Maziere Brady in the 1850 compiling th History of the Dioceses of Cork Cloyne and Ross says the same.
Christ Church records transcribed 1940s:
Memorial St. Finbarrs Cathedral:
The memorial took the form of a bronze door inlaid with silver erected at the south side of the ambulatory at a spot which would have made it the entrance to the organ had this not been moved to the north. It is now the doorway to the tower stairs. Over it is a tympanum with a carving of David playing the harp and for this reason it is known as the David Door. In marble on the wall beside it is an inscription recording its dedication to the memory of Caulfield. An inscription on the door bears the date 1889. Rev. Canon A.C. Robinson in his Handbook of the Cathedral published in 1898 points to the existence of a colourful tableau representative of Caulfield’s friends and work captured by the positioning of the tombstone of the Rev. Rowland Davies in the floor on the first storey of the central tower reached through Caulfield’s door, while past the door and set in the ambulatory wall is a tablet of white marble commemorating Bishop Isaac Mann. Caulfield was instrumental in having the remains of Bishops Peter Browne and Isaac Mann brought from the chapel of Bishopstown House to the Cathedral in 1865. (39) Beyond the tablet lies the south transept with marble-lined walls dedicated to the memory of Dean S.O. Madden.