CLARKE, Tom: A paid cheque drawn on Northern Banking Co., Dublin, dated Oct. 6 1913, for £29-0-6d payable to C.G. Henry, signed Thos. J. Clarke.
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With bank stamps, small triangular portion neatly cut from r.h.s (perhaps where stabbed), mounted and framed. 295 x 180mm (including frame). Framed and glazed, label of Guy & Co. Ltd. Printsellers, Picture Frame Makers, 70 Patrick St., Cork, on verso. In very good condition. Tom Clarke’s signature is the rarest of all the 1916 leaders, partly because he was not a literary man, but also because he spent much of his adult life in jail. After going to America as a young man, he was sent to Britain on an ill-fated Fenian mission, and served 15 years in solitary confinement under ferocious conditions. Afterwards he returned to America, and it was only in 1907 that he came to Dublin. He opened a newsagent’s shop, which quickly became a centre of IRB activity. The other 1916 leaders insisted that his should be the first name signed to the Proclamation, in tribute to his personal history and as a mark of continuity with the Fenian tradition. See illustration on next page.
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