PETRIE, GEORGE (1790-1866), Irish antiquary, was the son of James Petrie, a native of Aberdeen, who had settled in Dublin as a portrait and miniature painter. He was born in Dublin in January 1790, and was educated to become a painter. Besides attaining considerable reputa-tion as a landscape painter of Irish scenes, he devoted much of his artistic skill to the illustration of the anti-quities of the country. Even in boyhood his love of archology vied with his love of art and of nature. In 1828 he was appointed to conduct the antiquarian and historical section of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, but this department of the work was not persevered in by the Government. In 1832 he became editor of the Dublin Penny Journal, a periodical designed to disseminate in-formation among the masses, to which he contributed numerous articles on the history of the fine arts in Ireland. Petrie may be regarded as the first scientific investigator of Irish archteology, his contributions to which are also in themselves of prime importance. His Essay on Round Towers, for which in 1830 he received the prize of the Irish Academy-, must still rank, whether or not his opinion be accepted that the round towers served the joint purpose of belfries and fortalices, as the standard work on the subject. A second edition was published in 1845. Among his other more important contributions to Irish archology are his Essay on, the Military Architecture of Ireland a,nd his History and Antiquities of Tara Hill. In 1847 he received the degree of LL.D. from the university of Dublin, and in 1849 he was placed on the civil list for an annual pension of X.300. He died 17th January 1866.
See the Life and Labours in Art and Archwology of George Petrie, by William Stokes, 1868.