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Surrender letter signed and dated Dublin, April 29, 1916, 3.45pm, by Patrick Pearse, one of the principal leaders of the Easter Rising. Sold for £215,000 at Bonhams on June 14.

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Signed and dated Dublin, April 29, 1916, 3.45pm, by Patrick Pearse, the schoolmaster who was one of the principal leaders of the Easter Rising, this key document in modern Irish history sold for £215,000 at Bonhams (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) on June 14.

Composed at the British Army HQ, copies of the letter were distributed to the rebel positions around Dublin by Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell, who had acted as a messenger and intermediary – and although it is not known how many typed copies were made, it is believed to be in single figures.

Pearse was among the 15 men executed by firing squad in the days that followed, but those executions and suppression of the rising led within a very few years to increased support of Irish independence, Sinn Fein election victories, a war of independence and the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921.