Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Charles Bianconi

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Merchant and philanthropist, b. 26 September, 1785, in the duchy of Milan; d. near Clonmel, Ireland, 22 September, 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) throughout 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 Longfield, near Clonmel, was a centre of hospitality, and a source of much practical activity for the general welfare of his country.

O'Ryan, Charles Bianconi (Dublin, 1905), and Bianconi's life by his daughter, Mrs. Morgan John O'Connell (Dublin, 1885).

THOMAS J. SHAHAN