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First Strike in Bandon!

The masons go on strike for better pay, possibly the first strike in Ireland. Ok

Mason murdered and buried within the Town Wall, his remains discovered about two centuries later.

Bennett chapter iv

“We should have mentioned, that, during the building of the walls, a strike took place amongst the masons. Their usual rate of wages was twopence halfpenny a day but, seeing a long job before them, they resolved to take advantage of it. Accordingly they demanded three pence daily, and struck work when they were refused. Lord Cork would not give in: so the knights of the trowel, gathering up their tools, marched off in a body to Kinsale, with one solitary exception. This poor fellow refused to accompany them, thinking probably. that the old wages was better than nothing; and, for aught we know, he might have had a wife and little children, or an aged mother, depending on him for support. Be that as it may, he continued at his work; but the Earl of Cork, being anxious to complete the walling of the town as soon as possible, was obliged to send for the refractory tradesmen, and give the required threepence.

Upon their return, they found their former fellow-craftsman still toiling away, and resolved on inflicting summary vengeance upon him ere that day's sun had set. Accordingly, they prepared a grave in the walls; and, gathering around him, one of them struck him from behind on the head with a pickaxe, fracturing his skull, and killing him on the instant. They then laid him in his bloody tomb, placing the fatal pick under his head, and his hammer and trowel alongside him; then laying a large flag over the grave, and running a course of masonry over it, the better to conceal it, they hoped to escape detection. The unfortunate man was missed; but no one could tell what had come of him, though dark hints and ominous shakes of the head often suggested that there was foul play. In course of time, indeed, the truth began to creep out but there were none then to busy themselves about what did not concern them; and one generation handed down to another the story of the murdered mason, who was built up in the walls, until even the tradition concerning it began to grow dim and obscure.

About thirty years ago, two labourers were removing a part of the old town wall, preparing a place for the erection of a summer-house. They were obliged to work hard; for they found it very difficult to dislodge the stones and mortar out of the bed where they had lain for over two centuries. They worked away. At last they touched upon something that was likely to reward them for all their toil, and make them rolling in riches for the rest of their lives. They had met with a large flag, which, upon being struck, gave out a hollow sound. Instantly, visions of Spanish doubloons and crocks of gold danced before them. They worked doubly hard: the masonry flew about in all directions. They rushed at the flag, pulled it up, and, lo! there was the mouldering, skeleton of the poor mason. There was the fatal pickaxe under his head, and his hammer and his trowel lying by his side, just as they were placed on the day of blood. On the right-hand side, corresponding with where his pocket might have been, was a small silver coin of the reign of Edward VI.-probably the poor fellow's earnings. The hammer, trowel, and pick were in a good state of preservation, as also was the coin; but the skeleton, upon being exposed to the air, soon crumbled into dust.”

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