Thomas Mahon, the “Celebrated Irish Piper”, Performs in Glasgow in October 1853

On Friday the 30th of September, 1853, The Glasgow Herald informed its readers, on page three, that:

“… Mr. Thomas Mahon, the celebrated professor of the Irish Union bagpipes, who recently followed the Court all the way from Ireland to Balmoral, and was there courteously received by her Majesty, is about to give the Glasgow public an opportunity of hearing his music next week.”

An advertisement on page one of the Herald, on Monday the 3rd of October, reads:


“MR. THOMAS MAHON, having, by command, played before Her Majesty and the Royal Family, at Balmoral Castle, on Friday Evening, Sept. 16, and having elicited Her Majesty’s highest commendations, and that of her Royal Consort, purposes to appear before a GLASGOW audience on Wednesday Evening, 5th October, in the Trades’ Hall, and to Play a Series of NATIONAL AIRS on the IRISH UNION PIPES, a singularly ingenious, curious, and most melodious Instrument – peculiarly effective in soft, plaintive melody, as well as in the livelier strains of exciting music.

“The Public will also have an opportunity of seeing a Set of UNION PIPES, the old companion of an Irish Chieftain, and removed from the Dublin Exhibition by special favour. It is of exquisite workmanship, and in wonderfully fine preservation – a splendid specimen of this extraordinary, and now rare, Musical Instrument.

“There will also be several COMIC SONGS, at intervals, by an accomplished Vocalist.

“Performance to commence precisely at Eight o’clock.

“ADMISSION:  Reserved Seats, 2s. 6d. (two shillings and sixpence); Second Seats, 2s. (two shillings); Back Seats, 1s. (one shilling)

“Tickets to be had at the Doors; and of Messrs.  J. MUIR WOOD & Co.”


For further information about Thomas Mahon, please see Francis O’Neill, Irish Minstrels and Musicians, 1913, or an extract from the book, which can be found at: