Galway City Museum
Fáilte chuig Músaem Cathrach na Gaillimhe

Galway Civic Sword & Mace


1610: The Galway civic sword, made by local silversmiths, was first mentioned in the charter granted to the town by King James I

1709: The Galway civic mace was made in Dublin by either John Clifton, junior or John Cuthbert

1712: Edward Eyre, Mayor of Galway, presented the mace to Galway Corporation

1816: The sword and mace were carried in a procession of civic and religious dignitaries to the laying of the foundation stone of St. Nicholas's church (later the Pro-Cathedral) on Middle Street

1841: Galway Corporation was dissolved and the sword and mace were given to the last mayor, Edmond Blake, by way of compensation

1930: Dublin art dealer Louis Wine of Grafton Street purchased the Galway Sword and Mace from Annie Blake of Murrough House, Galway, daughter of the last mayor

1935: US newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst purchased the sword and mace at an auction at Christies in London for £5,000

1937: Galway Corporation was re-established

1939: The sword and mace travelled from London, England to Los Angeles, USA aboard the Holland-American steamship Drachtdijk. From there they were sent to the San Simeon ranch of William Randolph Hearst

1951: William Randolph Hearst died; in the years prior to his death, he had agreed to return the sword and mace to Galway

1960: Mrs. Hearst, on behalf of the Hearst Foundation, presented the Galway Sword and Mace to Frank Aitken, Minister for External Affairs at a ceremony in New York City Hall

1961: The sword and mace were handed over to James Redington, Mayor of Galway, by the Taoiseach, Seán Lemass at a ceremony at UCG (now NUI, Galway)

1963: The sword and mace were carried before US President John F. Kennedy as he entered Eyre Square to receive the freedom of the city. He was presented with a silver replica of the mace, mounted on Connemara green marble, made by T. Dillon & Sons, Galway

2006: The sword and mace were put on display in the new Galway City Museum, having being exhibited in the National Bank (later Bank of Ireland), on the south side of Eyre Square, since their return to Galway

Location: Level 0