The Ryland family settled in Dungarvan in the 16th century. Charles Ryland (born circa 1649 and his will was proved on 3 September 1718) is the first Ryland in Dungarvan. He was buried in Dungarvan. The family originated in England. They were a middle class family, with many of their family becoming Church of Ireland ministers. Richard was born on 7 March 1788. His parents were The Rev. Richard Ryland, D.D. (b. 170-d. 1800 and buried in Dungarvan) and Mary Burton (b.1764-d. 1798 and buried in Dungarvan). He was educated at the Endowed School, Waterford and at Trinity College, Dublin. The Rev. Richard Hopkins married Isabella Julia (d. 1873), daughter of Rev. George Louis Fleury, Archdeacon of Waterford. They had eight children, six sons and two daughters.
Ryland was an amateur historian and is best known as the author of The History, Topography and Antiquities of the County and City of Waterford, published in 1824. The book was dedicated to the Duke of Devonshire. A facsimile edition was published in 1982 by Wellbrook press, Kilkenny. This was the first Waterford history after Charles Smith's publication of 1746. The next county publication was not until 1896, therefore there would have been a big gap in information. He also published several religious pamphlets.
Ryland died on 30 December 1866 and was buried in the cemetery at John's Hill, Waterford.
Author: William Fraher