Object Detail

Bulmer Hobson, head and shoulders portrait

Bulmer Hobson, head and shoulders portrait

Photographic print (mounted on studio card) of Bulmer Hobson as a young man. John Bulmer Hobson was a leading member of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) before the Easter Rising in 1916. He founded Na Fianna Éireann in 1902 as a Republican scouting movement, and later served as the editor for the republican newspaper Irish Freedom. Hobson was member of the IRB, but was kept unaware of the plans for the Rising. He opposed the Rising as he was convinced it would be a failure, instead believing that the Volunteers should employ guerilla tactics. Hobson was kidnapped by the Rising's organisers to stop him from spreading news of MacNeill's order to cancel all Volunteer actions, and held at gunpoint in a safehouse in Phibsborough until events were well underway. After the Rising, Hobson went into hiding to avoid arrest, a decision which hurt his future political prospects and led many of his former friends and colleagues to turn their backs on him. He spent the rest of his career in the civil service, working in the Department of Post and Telegraphs. Although he had been one of the most active members of the IRB for years, and was instrumental in the founding of the Volunteers, Hobson took no major role in politics after the Rising, or the subsequent Irish War of Independence.

Printed underneath image on lower right recto: " Bloomingdale Bros., Third Ave., New York". Written in pencil on verso: " Bulmer Hobson". Physical description: 1 oval photographic print mounted on card 21.5 x 15 cm.