GREENCOAT HOSPITAL CORK. Pietas Corcagiensis. Or, a vievv of the Green-Coat Hospital: and other Charitable Foundations, in the Parish of St. Mary Shandon, Corke: shewing The Several Steps that have been taken, in Erecting and Supporting those charities. Publish’d by Order of the Trustees, (and Sold for the Use) of that Hospital.


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Cork: Printed by Samuel Terry, 1721. First edition. Small quarto. pp. 93, [3], 2 (folded leaves of plates). Three quarter blue morocco on marbled boards, title in gilt direct on gilt decorated spine. Embossed seal of the City of Cork Church School Board attached to front flyleaf. Half-page with bookseller’s catalogue entry and inscription ‘For / The Honble Mr. Southwell pasted to front free endpaper. Note in Robert Day’s hand underneath ‘I cut the above from a catalogue of one of ... Sales of The Revd.

W.C. Neligan, D.D. - Who was better known as Doctor Sell ! & who died in the Autumn of 1887’. Inscription to the Honble the Lady Bridges on front free endpaper. Armorial bookplates of Richard Caulfield and Robert Day on front pastedowns. All edges gilt.

COPAC with 8 locations only. ESTC T27327. Elmes & Hewson 2086.
Pietas Corcagiensis, or a View of the Green Coat Hospital published by the trustees and sold for the use of that hospital with rare plates by Harris of the Green Coat Hospital, Betridge’s and Skiddy’s Almhouses Cork 1721. Together with an account of the first institution of the Charitable Infirmary, St. Mary’s Shandon. The original first report ever printed with state of funds, subscriptions, and expenses 1772. A sermon by Bishop Elphin at St. Werburgh’s church Dublin; containing at page 36 an account of the charitable schools in Cork and others in Ireland with printed receipts for subscription with on which are engraved the two leading figures of children and the piers of the gate viz, ‘Billy Budds and Mary Beattie Made of lead and very weighty’. Originally from the collection of the antiquarian Rev. W. C. Nelligan, Shanakiel Cork. Robert Day’s copy, Cork’s greatest collector whose collection was second only to the National Museum of Ireland. Together with the bookplates of Richard Caulfield and Robert Day and the seal of the city of Cork Church School Board 1890. In contemporary hand inscribed to the Honourable Lady Bridges with a brief note in Robert Day’s hand pertaining to Rev Nelligan.

The plates depict the south prospect of the Greencoat Hospital and the West prospect of Betridges and Skiddys Almshouses. The ‘w’ in ‘view’ is printed using 2 capital Vs.

Robert Day - Cork’s Greatest Collector

Robert Day was born on 12 January1836; his father Robert Day had founded one of the finest saddlery and harness manufacturers in Ireland in 1831. Their magnificent premises were located at No 103, Patrick Street. The factory to the rear at No’s 3 & 4 Bowling Street employed a large staff of qualified workmen making every requirement for the equine trade. On December 1st 1857 he married Miss Rebecca Scott the daughter of Robert Scott wholesale hardware manufacturers and merchants. Robert

Day was an Alderman, J.P. and in 1893 High Sheriff of Cork and one of the founders of the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society. Over his lifetime he amassed the most unrivalled collection of artefacts dating from the stone age, iron age, medieval period right up to his own era, part of it was exhibited at the Chicago Exhibition. Robert Day died at his residence Myrtle House Cork on the 10th of July 1914 aged 79 years.

London based Gurr & Company auctioneers in conjunction with the Cork firm of Marsh’s organised the auction. The sale took place over a period of five days from September 7th to 11th September. The auction catalogue was printed by the local firm of Guy & Co and 1472 lots were sold at his former residence at Myrtle Hill House. A brief summary of the categories were as follows porcelain, pottery, fine old silver, historical objects, ancient Irish amber and glass beads and finally his collection of rare books and pamphlets. Many prominent English, American buyers and institutions such as the National Museum travelled to Cork to bid for these precious objects. From the very beginning of the auction substantial prices were achieved as rival bidders outbid their opponents in a battle for their desired pieces. The most interesting item of Cork furniture to be sold was a massive mirror in a carved frame with the arms and motto of the city of Cork. This mirror was formerly in the old Mayoralty House (Now Mercy Hospital) and was made by Francis Booker Dublin in 1737. Because of its strong Cork connection this mirror drew a lot of attention from local buyers and it eventually sold to an unknown bidder for the sum of £39.

It was to be the chance of a lifetime for serious collectors to acquire some of the rarest artefacts ever to come on to the market. But unfortunately within seven short days this fine collection was dispersed to private collections worldwide. Robert Day had in his lifetime achieved what no other Cork antiquarian had accomplished, his interest, knowledge and wealth resulted in one of the most complex, rare and interesting collections ever amassed.


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