NOTE: This story interests me because of its likely impact on a young Thomas Jackson. He was a son of Irish tenant farmers in South Armagh, and grew up to be the most powerful banker in the Far East in the late 1800s. Parts of this post will be included in my upcoming book.
Thanks to Wendy Jack and Peter K. Fenton whose research was essential to this piece. Any errors are mine, and mine alone. Help with corrections is always appreciated.
Mr Merdle was immensely rich; a man of prodigious enterprise; a Midas without the ears, who turned all he touched to gold. He was in everything good, from banking to building. He was in Parliament, of course. He was in the City, necessarily. He was Chairman of this, Trustee of that, President of the other. The weightiest of men had said to projectors, 'Now, what name have you got? Have you got Merdle?' And, the reply being in the negative, had said, 'Then I won't look at you.'
What will be the verdict upon the poor Irish woman whose husband "beat her to death," in his rage at the loss of some of his money sacrificed by the Sadleir operations-money which the poor creature had dissuaded him from taking out of The Tipperary Bank?June 16, 1856 The Argus,
Old men, some of them, moved about as though demented, and gasped, unable to breathe, in the extremity of their emotion; others with heads uncovered and their snowy locks waving in the air, worked continually with their fingers and, mute in despair, gazed into vacancy; widows, their bereaved condition known from their dress, knelt in the streets and, wringing their hands, asked aloud of God, whether it could be true that all their means of support were gone, and that they were beggars; strong men, their brows knitted, their cheeks ashy pale, and their dark eyes flashing fury, and gripping in their hands great blackthorn sticks, vociferously shouted that they would have vengeance upon those whom they had trusted to their undoing. "To the bank, to the bank!" yelled out a multitude.
|January 2015. Banyan tree.|