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Ask it above. Charles Bianconi was an Italian immigrant who built up the largest transport system in Europe,in Ireland! It opened the country up as never before.

Rocky Road To Dublin

Trudging Ireland's country Lanes the idea of a passenger transport system occurred to him, and he never looked back. He had vehicles travelling 3, miles daily calling at towns, and stations for changing horses. This is his story.

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When he was 16, although his family were well off, he was apprenticed to a seller of prints who was going to England - chiefly to remove him from the village where he was born and brought up to distance him from a young lady to whom he was getting too close and who was engaged to another! So he and three companions travelled with their print seller over the Alps and along the Rhine, eventually arriving in Ireland - at which point he was just 17 years old. For a year he pedalled prints as his apprenticeship, and then set up on his own, soon moving up the ladder and opening a shop.

To observers it looked as though there was a competition. It would be another thirty years before rail travel opened up the countryside, and in those thirty years the coach service mushroomed in a most remarkable way. And the man behind it? Charles Bianconi.

Eventually he set up his own print and engraving shop in Clonmel, and as the business started to expand he travelled around on the appalling roads to deliver his wares, often stopping to give a lift to pedestrian travellers. No doubt it was this which gave him the idea of providing a public transport service, given that the only alternatives were the prohibitively expensive Mail Coaches. Shortly after he launched a separate coaching business he was fortunate to be able to buy a number of ex-Army horses no longer needed following the Battle of Waterloo and the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

Bianconi started to build his own coaches, eventually moving up to a twenty-passenger long-coach. Coaches meant coaching Inns, and a network of Bianconi Inns were developed, some of them still remaining to this day.

Bianconi M O'c and S J Watson - AbeBooks

Bianconi had actually been retained by the Beresfords who were staunchly opposed to Emancipation to transport their voters to the election, but feelings were running so high that he felt his drivers to be endangered and asked to be released from his contract. This was the capital he needed. Foster and Osborne, with headquarters in Dublin, decided to exploit the profitable Limerick-Dublin route. The following announcement and rates of carriage, published on March 25, , surely caused his sword to rattle in his scabbard:.

The Public may depend on the strictest integrity and attention from the Proprietors one of whom will attend on the road constantly. However, then as now, labour jealousies had to be overcome. Maybe the trouble was fomented by Buchanan, who was a keen businessman. The truculent-carman were aroused to action, and the Dublin company found it necessary to issue the following assurance on March 29, shrewdly including in it an advertisement for a partner who would reside in the enemy camp:.

About the Book

The Proprietors, wishing to render this undertaking as extensively as possible, will have another Waggon erected shortly; and wants a Resident Partner in Limerick, immediately. Apply to the Printer, hereof, or by letter to Messrs. Fosters Osbourne and Co.


All orders will be thankfully received by him, and the Goods sent for and delivered. As his drivers are remarkable for Sobriety, and his Prices are moderate, he hopes to merit the Countenance of the Publick.

Apply to John Halloran, Thomondgate, July 22, When stagecoaches were first established, the mails were conveyed from Limerick to Dublin three times a week. They were carried in saddlebags placed at each side of a horse, which was ridden by a courier, who travelled a fixed distance, usually ten miles.

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A fresh man and horse then took over, and they were so relayed until they reached their destination. Occasionally these couriers were relieved of their saddlebags by highwaymen, who were not by any means the colourful gallant characters which Hollywood would have us believe. A postilion one who rides or guides the first pair of horses of a coach or post chaise would occasionally not turn up to work. The employee of one of these men saw red when he posted this notice:. Limerick, 2nd August, All was fair then in the stagecoach war, and if passengers could, by foul means, be induced to patronise Messrs Foster and Osbourne nobody really worried, except perhaps Andrew Buchanan:.

However, Buchanan was winning the battle of , and Benjamin Meredith, partner in the firm of Messrs.