The receipt seen here is for a purchase made at Eason & Son, LTD., Wholesale Booksellers & Newsagents, Manufacturing Stationers, Etc., located at 80 Mid Abbey Street in Dublin. A Mr. Clarke from Amiens Street made the purchase, which totaled three pounds and eight shillings, on 15 March 1910.
Eason & Son, was a major bookseller, that first opened their doors in 1886. Eason & Son became one of the most prominent booksellers in Ireland with over 60 locations existing today throughout the country. As more people were learning to read at the end of the 19th century, the shop boomed with people seeking out information in the form of written material. For this reason alone, the receipt would be valuable piece of Dublin history as it represents the growing commerce of the city in modern Ireland.
The receipt is an important historical object for another reason through. The Mr. Clarke of Amiens Street, who made the purchase at Eason & Son, is Thomas Clarke the 1916 revolutionary leader. Thomas Clarke had returned to Ireland in 1907 and opened a tobacco and newsagent shop in Amiens Street. Clarkes shop sold Irish Nationalist newspapers, including many that were considered radical papers. Because of Clarke’s previous ties to the Fenian bombing campaign in the 1880’s, the Dublin police closely monitored Clarke’s shop. Despite this, Tom Clarke held many IRB meetings in his shop, and Dublin police observed Irish Nationalists from various groups entering the shop. Clarke’s shop would have served as one of the central meeting points for the members of the IRB and Irish Volunteers that planned the Easter Rising.
We will likely never know what Tom Clarke bought at Eason & Son on 15 March 1910, however this receipt from his purchase maintains an important link to not only Dublin’s commercial history but also its revolutionary history. It provides an important insight into the daily life of one of Irelands leading revolutionary figures in the years leading up to the Easter Rising.