Thomas Maguire

Thomas Maguire (1831–1889), classical scholar and metaphysician, first Roman Catholic Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, born in Dublin, January 24, 1831, was the son of Thomas Maguire, a Roman catholic merchant, subsequently stipendiary magistrate in Mauritius. Young Maguire, after attending a school in Dublin, went at the age of fifteen with his family to the colony, but returned to enter Trinity College, Dublin, in 1851. He obtained a sizarship, but being a Roman catholic he could not hold a scholarship or fellowship. He gained high honours in classics and metaphysics, including the Wray prize in the latter (1853), and the Berkeley medal in Greek literature and composition (1857).

In 1855 he graduated B.A. as senior moderator in classics and in philosophy. In the same year the board of Trinity College endowed non-foundation scholarships for the relief of those labouring under religious disabilities. Maguire competed, and was elected. In 1861 he obtained the law studentship at Lincoln's Inn, and in 1862 was called to the English bar. Although highly commended by Lord Westbury, he soon ceased to practise, and, returning to Dublin about 1866, set up as a private teacher in Trinity College.

In 1868 he was presented by the college with the degree of LL.D., the payment of the usual fees being remitted as a mark of favour. In 1869 the chair of Latin in Queen's College, Galway, became vacant, and Maguire was appointed to it. In 1873 'Fawcett's Act' for the removal of religious disabilities in Trinity College and the university of Dublin was passed, and Maguire at once prepared to compete for a fellowship. He was elected on Trinity Monday, May 24, 1880, being then forty-nine years and five months old. His accession to the fellowship was hailed with universal rejoicing. He was personally known to all the fellows and to most of the students who had passed through college since 1851. He was held in high esteem for the courtesy of his manners, and was socially a charming companion. A special chair of classical composition was forthwith created for him, and in 1882 he vacated this to take the professorship of moral philosophy.

Maguire was a thorough idealist in philosophy, Plato and Berkeley being his chosen masters. His published works are: Essays on the Platonic Idea, 1866. Essays on the Platonic Ethics, 1870. The Parmenides, with Notes, etc., Dublin University Press Series, 1882. Lectures on Philosophy, 1885. He contributed largely to 'Hermathena' and 'Kottabos;' and many of his translations in the latter have appeared in the volume of 'Dublin Translations,' edited by Professor Tyrrell. Maguire died in London on February 26, 1889.

[Personal knowledge; statements of surviving sister; Dublin University Cal.]

Selected Works of Thomas Maguire

Essays on the Platonic Ethics
» Read it here »

Essays on the Platonic Idea
» Read it here »

Lectures on Philosophy
» Read it here »

The Parmenides of Plato
» Read it here »

Top ↑

Thomas Maguire
Classical scholar, Platonist and metaphysician, first Roman Catholic Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland


Robertson, Edward Stanley. "Maguire, Thomas (1831-1889)." Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 35, 1885-1900. This work is in the public domain.