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Trinity College, The Rubrics

Trinity College, The Rubrics

Trinity College, The Rubrics
Rubrics-Campus
Rubrics-building
Rubrics
GHOST STORY

 Spirit Apparition

Ghostwatch Europe
Views: 30
Report by: Ghostwatch
"The murder of Edward Ford and the dark side of Trinity College"
Report ID: 280

Trinity College, The Rubrics

Trinity College has its share of ghoulish connections. Many of the august University’s students would go on to write their own tales of the dark and unexpected, Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost and of course Bram Stoker’s Dracula spring to mind but there was plenty of real-life gore and ghoulishness to contend with.

To this day as a centre for medical study Trinity’s medical school still sees its fair share of dead bodies but while the cadavers donated to medical science today are treated with courtesy and respect the bodies used by medical students in the 19th Century suffered a less dignified fate. Upon construction of the Berkeley Library in the late 1990’s the remains of dozens of bodies were discovered. It was theorised that these were bodies, sourced illicitly through grave robbers and body-snatchers by medical students of the past as part of their medical training. They were then quickly dissected and buried under the cloak of darkness.

The Rubrics is the oldest building within Trinity College Dublin. Although the exact date is unknown, it was designed and built in c.1700. Today, the Rubrics are used as rooms for students and fellows.

Construction and design

Originally part of a quadrangle of similar buildings, it is the sole remaining original of the college's Library Square. These included Rotten Row, which was replaced by the Graduates Memorial Building, and another residential block which stood at the west end of the square, where the Campanile stands today. To the south is the Old Library of the college, having been begun in 1712. Constructed almost entirely from brick, with tall hexagonal chimneys, the buildings were designed as residences for the students of Trinity College.

Murder of Edward Ford

The Rubrics is heavily associated with the infamous shooting and death of Edward Ford, then Fellow of the College, and son of the Archdeacon of Derry at number 25 of the building on 7 March 1734. He was strongly disliked by the undergraduate body, as he had a tendency to interfere with student matters.

On that particular evening, a boisterous group of students entered Front Gate, beating the porter stationed there, for which they earned a strong scolding from Ford. Subsequently they went to their rooms to plot, after which they made their way to the college's New Square (known then as the Playground) after midnight to break Ford's windows. However Ford responded with a pistol and shot at the group, injuring one, and then ordered two undergraduates to summon a porter.

The students outside dispersed, returned to their rooms, acquired arms of their own, and returned to the Rubrics. A Scholar had urged Ford to remain in bed, but he refused to listen, and he went to the window in his night dress to admonish the students further. The crowd fired, and Ford received shots to the head and body. He was then moved downstairs, and a surgeon was summoned. After two hours of agony, he died and in his last words, when asked who'd shot him he replied "I do not know, but God forgive them, I do."

Four students were charged then acquitted of the murder but later expelled from the college. No successful charges were ever brought against any student for the shooting of Ford but it is said that his forlorn ghost in powdered wig and Georgian attire can be seen wandering the Rubrics building at dusk. Ford’s ghost still haunts the halls to this day.

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