Republic of Ireland news

Easter Rising surrender letter signed by Pádraig Pearse sells for £263,000

The typed Easter Rising order of surrender signed by Pádraig Pearse sold for £263,000
Andrew Madden

A LETTER of surrender from the 1916 Rising signed by Pádraig Pearse has sold for more than £250,000 at auction.

The typed letter, which was drafted and signed by the Easter Rising leader after six days of fighting in Dublin, fetched £263,000 at Bonham's Fine Books sale in London.

The estimated sale price had been just £80-120,000.

It is not known exactly how many typed copies of the order of surrender were produced, but it is thought to be in single figures.

Two are held in the National Library of Ireland and another, signed by Pearse and James Connolly, is at the Imperial War Museum in London.

In addition, there are known to be three hand-written drafts.

Uniquely, the typed copy sold on Wednesday bears a tricolour stamp depicting William Allen, Michael Larkin and William O'Brien, the 'Manchester Martyrs' who were hanged for killing a police constable.

Bonhams manuscript specialist Kieran O'Boyle said: "The order of surrender is one of the most significant documents in Irish 20th century history, and I am not surprised that it was so keenly sought after, nor that it sold for such an impressive amount."

In December, a written version of the letter was withdrawn from sale in Dublin after bidding stalled at €770,000.

It was expected to fetch up to €1.5m - the highest estimate ever assigned to a historical item offered at auction in the Republic.

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