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Thomas Mackesy Silver Piece

On Friday 10th May the RCSI Heritage Collections were paid a visit by Ms. Heather Elliott and her mother Mrs. Roma Peare. Mrs. Peare gifted a silver center piece given to Thomas Lewis Mackesy (1790-1869) by his medical brethren on 6th June 1864 to the College in 2007. The piece was in Mrs. Peare's family for generations with her husband being a distant relation of Thomas Mackesy.

Thomas Lewis Mackesy (1790-1869)
Thomas Lewis Mackesy was born in Waterford in 1790. His father
was an apothecary and his mother was a Miss Lewis. He was
apprenticed to his father and saw a good deal of practice at the Leper Hospital in Waterford. Mackesy came to Dublin and was prepared in twelve months for the office of assistant-surgeon in the army. He served for seven years in the artillery and was present when the British were repulsed at Guadeloupe  If it wasn't for his running speed and agility he would most certainly have been captured. On his return from service, Mackesy settled down to civil practice. He became a member of the College of Surgeons in England in 1809 and was appointed Surgeon to the Leper and Fanning Hospitals in Waterford. In 1844 the College acquired their Supplemental Charter and Mackesy became a Fellow. On 6th June 1864 his portrait in oils and a large silver center piece were presented to him by a large number of his professional friends inscribed

       'To testify their high sense of his distinguished and untiring
       efforts while consulting the best interests of the public, to
       sustain and elevate a profession which he adorns.'

In 1863 Trinity College conferred upon him, honoris causa, the degree of M.D. On taking up his term of President of the College he became the first provincial practitioner to do so.  Mackesy died on 9th April 1869, aged seventy-nine.
Faith and Charity
Mackesy Center Piece

The middle photograph shows the Mackesy center piece. It's approximately 28 inches in height and is made of pure silver. The inscription can be seen on the bottom panel. Standing on the base are three figures. These represent Hope, Charity and Faith which can be seen in the photographs below. Growing up behind these figures are beautifully rendered vines with delicate leaves and bunches of grapes hanging from it. These vines hold a glass cut dish which in turn holds a glass cut rose bowl (not shown). It is a very fine piece of craftsmanship and one which the College is proud and honored to have.

- Researched and written by Meadhbh Murphy