HISTORY OF NUMBER 10, DUBLIN
He left the army in Galway, where he was billeted to a weaver who sent him to Dublin to buy worsteds. Deciding to stay in Dublin, David set up as a manufacturer of cambric and rich silk poplins. His business became a gathering-place for the Huguenots of Dublin who left their money and valuables with David for safekeeping when they had to travel outside the capital. Some of this money would be advanced as loans at a reasonable interest and the La Touche Bank came into being.
In 1716 David joined forces with Nathaniel Kane, and the Kane-La Touche banking and poplin business prospered. His two sons, David and James, were educated in Holland and later joined the business. On the death of the first David, James inherited the poplin business and David II, tenant of Number 10, became the proprietor of the La Touche Bank.
The property, originally stretching back to Mary Street, was in the heart of the commercial centre of eighteenth-century Dublin. Proximity to Essex Bridge, one of the earliest bridges across the Liffey, was of great advantage, and the house was positioned directly opposite the customs house, where the Clarence Hotel now stands.
The modern separation of working and living space was not so prevalent in Georgian times, and Number 10 was probably used for banking activity. A bank vault room with stone-carved doorframe survives in the basement, now in use as a butler’s pantry, supporting the theory that the house may have been the site of Dublin’s first bank.