French's Quay is named after James French who was a wine merchant in Cork in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. His house stood at the foot of Barrack Street adjoining present-day French's Quay. James French was very prominent in the civic life of Cork. He was a member of Cork Corporation, a magistrate and was Mayor of Cork in 1696. His business interests dovetailed with his civic activities as he frequently supplied the wine which was drunk by the city fathers on festive occasions. His son Philip served as Mayor of Cork in 1715 and another son Abraham held the same office in 1717. It is quite likely that the Vikings had a settlement along what later became French's Quay.
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