Gnomes from Zurich to Swinford

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The phrase "The Gnomes of Zurich" was probably not invented when the redoubtable Mr. Wynne took this photo of the Bank in Swinford but the dark man lurking in the doorway would probably have resented such a title? I don't think we have posted an image such as this from Wynne beffore but that makes it all the more interesting!

Photographers: Thomas J. Wynne 1838 - 1893

Collection: Wynne Album

Date: Circa 1880’s

NLI Ref: WYN38

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 3588
wynnealbum nationallibraryofireland ireland captionedalbumenprintsmayo galway thomasjwynne swinford comayo connacht hibernianbank gnomesofzurich

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 01/Jul/2021 07:56:00

    Looks like a Back-end-of-a-bus view - goo.gl/maps/t4VcLivGeg9BxybD9

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 07:57:19

    There's a good café about 6 doors up. I always stop there when I'm in Swinford.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 07:59:33

    The nearest Mellets are in 1911 in Foxford

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 08:02:30

    Also, Gnomes of Zurich is a bit of a stretch, surely? He might just as easily be a Bermuda Triangle or a Servant of Cthulhu.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 08:30:30

    Interestingly, Market street has moved from being this street when this photo was taken, to being now what was then chapel street. The Pawnbrokers on market street (i.e. possibly the one in this image) in 1901 were David and George Meade. Edit: In 1911, all the bankers lived on Main Street, which according to the OSI was not in fact a thing. So perhaps market street in the census is where market street is today, and not the street shown above.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 08:43:55

    Hmm. Not sure why the search didn't produce Mellets the first time. House 34 on Main Street is run as a hotel by a pair of them. Edit: There's definitely something up with the indexing. Mellett with two T's produces one of them, but there are two in the house. Curious.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 08:52:29

    www.rmsleinster.com/people/GLYNN_Marion.htm

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Jul/2021 09:08:24

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Also, Gnomes of Zurich is a bit of a stretch, surely? He might just as easily be a Bermuda Triangle or a Servant of Cthulhu. It was the dark figure lurking in the door that inspired the title:-) Now I have to look up the Servant of Cthulhu???

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    an poc

    • 01/Jul/2021 09:26:50

    The three balls suggest that Mellet's was a pawnshop.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 09:32:42

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Look up "Illuminati Steve Jackson". I had assumed that was the reference rather than Harold Wilson. Though of course Cthulhu is also a fun thing to look up.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 01/Jul/2021 09:42:19

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] What sad stories of the Mellett family.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Jul/2021 10:10:44

    From an article about Oonagh Keogh, first female stock broker, a reference to her father: Joseph Keogh of Joseph Keogh & Co. Stockbroking who himself was famed for being the youngest bank manager in Ireland, taking up the role in the 1880s at the tender age of 24 at the Hibernian Bank in Swinford, County Mayo. Born in Wicklow in 1862, Joseph was the son of farmers Thomas and Maria Keogh nee Chapman of Dunbur, Wicklow. Another reference has: The family lived in Swinford in 1901 and Joseph remained with the Bank until 1902. By 1911 they had moved to Shrewsbury Road.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Jul/2021 11:14:54

    Joseph and family were living in the Bank building in the 1901 census.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 01/Jul/2021 12:17:26

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Looks like P. J. Mellett's first wife was Mary Meade according to both thisfamily tree and Agnes Mellett's birth record. (However, I think a lot of the info on the family tree regarding him is wrong - he's recorded as a widower for example when marrying Elizabeth Armstrong in 1877.)

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    suckindeesel

    • 01/Jul/2021 12:54:23

    Photo predates the later Provincial Bank of Ireland (AIB) of 1902, two doors down, which replaced the earlier branch shown on the 25" of 1895. This map shows an hotel on the site of the new bank branch, although can't see anything that looks like an hotel in our photo. www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/31207...

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    sharon.corbet

    • 01/Jul/2021 13:37:39

    Here is the 25" OSI. Market Street is called Main Street on the Cassini (referred to as "Historic 6" Last Edition B&W" in this version of the viewer.)

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 13:49:35

    The reverse view shows Patrick Mannion and William Mulligan on Barrack Street, neither of whom are in the 1901 census: catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000227573 Edit: Michael Mulligan the draper is listed as Market Street in 1901.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Jul/2021 14:37:15

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] From that Mellett history page: In the meantime, in 1892 Elizabeth had opened a hotel in the premises in Swinford, so we are before 1893.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 14:48:17

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley I had taken the address to have been Brookville Avenue, from the description, though looking at the 6", Brookville Avenue possibly didn't even exist then, or if it did, it was an unnamed laneway as on the 25", so this quite probably is the original pawn & stuff shop.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 14:50:51

    Hibernian bank is 1880 per NIAH (www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/31207...), so that's a somewhat narrower window: 1880-1892

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    sharon.corbet

    • 01/Jul/2021 15:03:16

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Doesn't "extant 1880" just mean that it can be proven to have existed in 1880 and not that it was built then?

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    sharon.corbet

    • 01/Jul/2021 15:05:50

    There's a description of the court case regarding possible insurance fraud at the bottom of the page here in the Flintshire Observer Mining Journal and General Advertiser for the Counties of Flint Denbigh from 26th June 1890.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Jul/2021 15:12:27

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] The NIAH reference to the bank being "extant 1880" is quite possibly because the bank is in this photo and this photo is dated 1880 in the nli catalogue. We have seen that before with Lawrence photos. Update: Evidence for this possibility is that this shot is one of the 5 in the gallery of pictures of the building used at the NIAH. Another is this later historical shot with the Provincial bank branch of 1902 and some Model T looking motor cars, which I see referenced elsewhere as a Postcard image. The balcony is still there in that one.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 15:21:05

    Ah. According to this the bank was there as an institution in 1846, though I guess not necessarily in this building: www.mayo-ireland.ie/en/towns-villages/swinford/history/sw...

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    sharon.corbet

    • 01/Jul/2021 15:24:53

    The Pope obviously had little to do in 1887: Mr. P. J.Mellett, of Brookville Avenue, Swinford, has been honored with a letter from his Holiness Pope Leo XIII, through his Grace the Archbishop of Ephesus, Dr. Kirby, conveying the Special Apostolic Benediction for the Swinford New Church Bazaar, and all those who contribute to its success. He also forwarded to Mrs. Mellett a magnificent cameo brooch, set in gold, which will be a special prize at the bazaar, and his Grace, Dr. Kirby has generously supplemented his Holiness’ gift, by a very generous contribution (The Catholic Telegraph, 1 September 1887)

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Jul/2021 15:36:05

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Here is the record of the death of Patrick Mannion, Merchant, of Swinford in October 1889. Of course, they may not have changed the sign over the door right away, but it is consistent with these photos being in the 1880s.

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    derangedlemur

    • 01/Jul/2021 17:58:45

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Missed your comment earlier; You reckon that's how the Mellets got into the pawnbrokering business, or just assortative mating?

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    Bernard Healy

    • 01/Jul/2021 18:45:19

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Tobias Kirby was rector of the Irish College in Rome from 1849-1891 & was a very good friend of Pope Leo XIII. (They did their theological studies at the same time & battled it out to be top of the class. The future Pope won, but Kirby came second & was a lifelong friend.) That explains why Kirby was able to land a prize from the Pope for the church bazaar in Swinford. I’ll see if I can find out more about Kirby’s connection to the Swinford bazaar.

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    silverio10

    • 01/Jul/2021 21:05:41

    Buenas fotos antiguas .

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 01/Jul/2021 21:55:38

    The bank was certainly not new. Who pinched the juliet balcony? O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo ? From 2009 streetview - https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia/51283979213/

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    sharon.corbet

    • 02/Jul/2021 06:56:10

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] I got a bit tangled up in Meades, Armstrongs and Melletts yesterday evening, all of whom seemed to be somehow caught up in the pawnbroking business. So probably the latter. [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] Seems like Mrs. Mellett wrote to Dr. Kirby about it - see page 57 of the pdf here: Holograph letter from Elizabeth Mellet, Swinford, to Kirby: Asking Kirby's blessing and support for bazaar to help the building of a new church She later sent him a copy of the ad - it's listed on page 216 of the pdf here: Printed advertisement for 'Swinford New Church Bazaar' from Mrs P.J. Mellett, Hon. Sec. of the Ladies of Swinford, BrookVille Avenue, Swinford There's also a reference to a Mellett the pawnbroker in Dúchas where he is called a "gambeen man".

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    Bernard Healy

    • 02/Jul/2021 08:04:00

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ I was about to point to the same letters. It seems that it wasn’t unusual for the Pope to donate things for Irish charity fundraisers through Archbishop Kirby.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 02/Jul/2021 08:05:42

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ That’s not a flattering piece in the folklore collection. Normally one writes gombeen man, but Wikipedia tells me that the Irish word is gaimbín (interest), so gambeen makes sense.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 02/Jul/2021 09:23:06

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy Yeah, I found the contrast between that description, and him getting a letter from the Pope a bit odd to say the least.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 02/Jul/2021 10:03:35

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ I suppose it’s not that strange that if someone is involved in pawnbroking that he might (fairly or unfairly) earn a different reputation from his clients when compared to his broader reputation in the town. He might have been a hard man to his borrowers or the folklore might be based on gossip from someone who had a grudge against him. I suppose we’ll never know.

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