Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Montrose House, Dublin.

Gosh! Ireland always amuses me with a number of tales! This is not about faeries though, it's about radio and broadcasting.

What I've learned recently is that there is a bound between the Montrose property in Donnybrook, Dublin, first headquarter of the state broadcaster RTÉ (radio and TV) and the wireless radio inventor, Guglielmo Marconi.

At the end of the XVIII century, the Jamesons, a threesome of scottish brothers, settled down in Dublin and funded the well-known distillery. Montrose House was built in 1836 for John Jameson, who named it after the Walter Scott's A legend of Montrose. That much he loved his fellow countryman's work. While John and William stayed in Dublin, Andrew decided to go west, and funded a distillery on his own. He married Margaret Millar in Dublin and then left.

Margaret and Andrew's daughter, Anne, grew up at Daphne Castle, close to Enniscorthy, county Wexford. When she reached her twenties, she went to Italy to study music and, in Bologna, fell in love with Giuseppe Marconi, a rich Italian landowner (aged almost the double of hers). After some melodrama, they eventually got married. After one year their first son was born, Alfonso. After nine years, in 1874, their second son was born, Guglielmo.

Although grown up in Bologna, Italy, Guglielmo came to Ireland very often with his elder brother and mother.
Especially mother Anne has been a fundamental character of his story. In Italy, the young Guglielmo Marconi couldn't find any institutional support for his experiments, so she encouraged and funded him herself. Then she brought him to London, where others were interested in his discoveries.

While, unfortunately, Daphne Castle has gone, Montrose House is still there as landmark, and symbol for the curious paths of world history.

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