2011-04-19-2019-03-24 --- 2019-03-24 11:09:10--00
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LOT :575
Estimate EUR : €10,000.00 - €15,000.00
Auction Date : 19-04-2011


Thomas Reynolds [1771 - 1836] The 1798 Informer A 18ct Gold shaped oval medal, presented on the 15th of October 1798 to Tho. Reynolds, by the Master Wardens & Brethren of the Guild of Merchants of Dublin. Engraved on one side with the crest of the guild, and the obverse with the above dedication which continues, ''together with the freedom of that Guild, and an address expression of their high sense of the truly Honorable and Important services that he had rendered to his country. W. Linday Senr Master P.Powell Junr Master J.Dickenson Warden W.Walsh Warden 8cm x 4.5cm Thomas Reynolds was born in Lincoln Place in 1771, son of a wealthy poplin manufacturer. The young Reynolds was educated abroad by the Jesuits at their seminary in Liege. On his return to Ireland he married and settled down to life as a silk merchant. Upon the death of his father he inherited considerable wealth, however poor management and a profligate lifestyle led Reynolds to virtual bankruptcy. The family had rented Kilkea castle from the Duke of Leinster, arranged by Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the very man he was later to denounce. Thomas Reynolds became a member of the United Irishmen in 1798, but he became nervous about their plans, and with the inducement of promised riches from William Cope, who was an agent for Dublin Castle, Reynolds became an informer for the Government. It is worth noting as evidence of the seriousness with which the British Government viewed the prospect of Rebellion in Ireland, that William Cope had ?100,000 at his disposal to secure information to break up any intended plot for insurrection. The Army, unaware of his role for the Castle, arrested Reynolds with the intent of coercing him into spying for them, however a timely letter to William Cope secured his release, returning him to his spying activities On March 17th Reynolds betrayed the meeting of the Leinster Directory of the United Irishmen. The meeting, held at the house of Oliver Bond was broken up and the conspirators arrested, Oliver Bond was later murdered in prison. Lord Edward Fitzgerald, warned of the raid, was absent at the time, but forced to become a fugitive. He was arrested by Major Henry Sirr in a house in Thomas Street on the 19th of May, dying later of wounds suffered during his arrest, and left without treatment by the authorities. For his role in the arrests and the subsequent quelling of the rebellion Reynolds was paid the princely sum of ?5000 together with a pension of ?1000 per year for life, and a government posting. In addition he was presented by the city merchants with this gold medal and a gold freedom box, the whereabouts of which is unknown. Reynolds and his wife Henrietta - whose sister Maltilda had married Theobald Wolfe Tone - left the country after the trials of the United Irishmen. He obtained various diplomatic posts becoming Consul at Copenhagen in 1819. The British Government stated subsequently that the information supplied by Reynolds was critical to the suppression of the rebellion. Once the leaders had been arrested, it was merely a matter of mopping up their followers. This splendid and valuable medal indicates the significance which the Guild of Merchants - an independant body - attached to the information he gave, a deed which they characterised as ;the truely Honorable & Important Services he had rendered to his Country'.

Hammer Price : €15,000.00
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