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Charles Bianconi

Merchant and philanthropist (1785-1875)

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Bianconi, CHARLES, merchant and philanthropist, b. September 26, 1785, in the duchy of Milan; d. near Clonmel, Ireland, September 22, 1875. At an early age he was sent to Ireland, as apprentice to an Italian printseller, became a distinguished and wealthy merchant, and was the first to establish (1815-58) through-out the island a system of rapid and cheap transportation of persons and of government mail. He was an intimate friend of O’Connell, a promoter of Catholic Emancipation, a benefactor of many Catholic charities, and a practical friend of the Catholic University at Dublin. The English postmaster general in his Report for 1857 said that “no living man has ever done more than he for the benefit of the sister kingdom”. In the development of his vast transportation system he displayed extraordinary energy and ingenuity, and did much to increase the resources of his adopted country, while he promoted in a remarkable way its social relations. His residence at Long-field, near Clonmel, was a center of hospitality, and a source of much practical activity for the general welfare of his country.

THOMAS J. SHAHAN


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