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PIPERS OF THE SCOTS GUARDS AT DUBLIN CASTLE, 12 MARCH 1897

The picture here, The Queens Long Reign: A Celebration at Dublin Castle, 1897, was sold by Whytes Auctioneers, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, in 2006. The following details appear in the online auction catalogue (http://www.whytes.ie/4ArchivesResult. Accessed 1 December 2011): Signature: titled on reverse. Medium: watercolour heightened with white in grisaille. Measure: 19 by 29cm., 7.5 by 11.2in. Auction Date/Lot No.: 27 May 2006/109 Published Estimate: 300-400. Price Realised: 500. In celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victorias reign, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Earl Cadogan, held a state banquet in St Patricks Hall at Dublin Castle. After the banquet a torchlight tattoo was held at the Castle Yard, with a march past of pipers of the Scots Guards as depicted here. Drawn by J. Nash RI based on sketches by W. C. Mills. The pipers were those of the 2nd battalion, The Scots Guards under Sergeant Piper Laing. The other regimental bands taking part were those of the 2nd battalion, The Royal West Kent Regiment, the 1st battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, the 4th battalion The Rifle Brigade, and the 18th Hussars. They were joined by the bands of the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police. All the bands marched from their barracks, the Scots Guards from Richmond Barracks in Inchicore. The RIC Band earned great cheers from the crowd gathered outside the castle when it struck up 'Garryowen' as it swung into the castle gate, as did the DMP Band when it marched in to 'St Patrick's Day'.

In the tattoo itself, the pipers played 'Highland Laddie' (Irish Times, 15 March 1897). Since places in Dublin Castle Yard were limited, the tattoo was repeated on 26 April in Merrion Square (Irish Times, 27 April 1897). According to a report in The Leinster Express, 20 March 1897, one that had been held over for a week, there was an Irishman in the pipe band: IRISH PIPERS IN THE ARMY. Murphy of the Scots Guards. Piper Jeremiah Murphy, now stationed with his regiment, the Scots Guards, at Richmond Barracks, enjoys a unique distinction. He is the first and only Irishman that ever skirled pipes in that corps, in which he enlisted a little over four years ago at Preston, Lancashire. He is a muscular, well-set-up young Kildare man, whose bearing no less than his name tells of his nationality. He hails from Castlemitchell, near Athy, and though he joined the corps as an ordinary private, six months afterwards he was selected as one of those who provide the ear-piercing music which is supposed to arouse the enthusiasm of the Scotch battalions. Twelve months tuition completed his education as a piper, and the forty or fifty Glasgow Irishmen who serve in the same regiment now have the satisfaction of knowing when the martial strains of the pipes are being awakened that one of their own is taking a foremost part in the display. Piper Murphy is now a piper of four years experience. There are ten attached to his battalion which by the way, with its pipes and fifes will add to the entertainment provided at this evening's torchlight tattoo, organised in the Upper Castle Yard in honour of his excellency the Lord Lieutenant. Like the other regiments of the Guards the Scots Guards have only three home stations, London, Windsor, and Dublin, and the battalion at present serving here will, it is understood, leave Ireland about the end of April, their period of service here having lasted about one year. Piper Murphy, it may be mentioned, is a member of the Gaelic League, and has become a student of the old tongue, in which one other member of the pipe band, a Highland Scotsman, also has some proficiency. Seventy-four years previously, the pipers of another Scottish regiment at Dublin Castle had featured in evidence given in a court case:
HEAD OFFICE OF POLICE On

Saturday morning, a poor native of Mayo, named M'Keale, while listening with "ravished ears," to the thrilling sounds of the Cameronian bagpipes, returning from the Castleguard, was disencumbered of three L1 Bank of Ireland notes by one Tommy Kelly, a young man not unknown to fame. He handed the notes to one of his associates, who escaped with them but Master Tommy was secured, and transmitted to Newgate. Just at the same time, the attention of the crowd was directed to a lad named Joe Curtis, who was "nipped in the bud" by Miss Hester Lock, a spinster, who detected the dexter five digits of the aforesaid Joe coming out of her sinister pocket, from which he had extracted two and six pennies and a duplicate. Miss Lock's informations were taken, and Joe forwarded with Tom to the above named place, and Miss Lock was warned to be more attentive in future, when she went to see Highlanders. The Freeman's Journal, 23 November 1823.

Incidentally, when on duty at Dublin Castle, the pipers of the Cameronian Regiment and the Scots Guards would have marched up and down Cork Hill, a short, steep dogleg leading to the gate of the Upper Castle Yard. The hill took its name from a mansion built there c. 1604 by Richard Boyle (15661644), 1st earl of Cork, and though there are other places of the name in Ireland, this is possibly the one which gave its name to the jig Cork Hill.