The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Marion Glynn

GLYNN, Marion (née Mellett)

Marion Mellett was baptised on 5 February 1881 in Swinford, Co Mayo. Her parents, Patrick James Mellett and Elizabeth Armstrong, had married in 1877, this being Patrick’s second marriage. There were three, or possibly four children from the first marriage and Marion was the eldest of three of the second marriage. Patrick Mellett was a Pawnbroker as well as a Shopkeeper selling flour, meal, clothing and drapery, at Brookville Avenue in Swinford. The Armstrong family from Ballinrobe were also in business.

At the end of June 1888 Patrick went to London with his older daughter Agnes, and then moved to Birchington-on-Sea near Margate. On the 13th July, as they were preparing to return to London, Patrick went for a swim and never returned, though his clothes were found in a cave under the cliffs.  He was declared dead, though a death certificate was not issued. When life policies, to the value of over £2000, were claimed by the Provincial Bank to whom Patrick Mellett owed a considerable sum, the Insurance Company resisted on the grounds of no satisfactory evidence of his death. The case went to court in 1890, family members were obliged to testify and theories of how he had planned to stage his death and go off to a new life were put forward. The jury ruled in favour of the Insurance Company. Seven years later the Company paid Mellett’s widow, Elizabeth, the amount of the policy.

In the meantime, in 1892 Elizabeth had opened a hotel in the premises in Swinford, with her brother Charles as Manager, though he died in 1895. In December 1900 Marion Mellett married Stephen Glynn who worked for the Waterford, Limerick and Western Railway Company. He was promoted Superintendent from Sligo to Ennis, with his headquarters in Tuam, and the couple were settled in Shop Street, Tuam in the 1901 census. Just the next month her mother Elizabeth died of T.B. aged only forty six. More tragedy was to come; Stephen Glynn had not been in good health for some time and in November 1901 he went to Dublin intending to enter a hospital. However he suffered a stroke in his hotel room and died on the 15th. The 1911 census shows Marion living in Tuam with a niece, her occupation being ‘Companion’. Her address in 1918 was Sundridge Park, Bromley, Kent but it is not known when she moved to England, or what her circumstances were. A first cousin from Swinford, Nora Kirwan, was also on RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918, but though the Kirwan and Mellett families were close, again it is not known if Marion and Nora were travelling together.

Neither woman survived the sinking of the ship, though both their bodies were recovered. Marion’s body was unidentified for some time and a description was published in the newspapers to help the identification. It described “a woman aged about 40 years, black hair turning grey; grey eyes; wearing brown skirt and jacket over cream coloured blouse; suede gloves; boots with high laced cloth uppers. Pearl necklace, gold ring, bearing the inscription inside the hoop ‘Marion Stephen 14th December 1900’; second gold ring also bearing a name, of which only ‘Stephen’ can be deciphered.” Marion Glynn née Mellett was laid to rest in Glasnevin cemetery on 18 October after a ceremony in the Pro-Cathedral.



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