Bumps for her birthday suit?

Download this image

Love this? Please support us and...

More from this collection

Related by When

Related by Where

Research Help!

Where: Munster, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: Unknown

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
"BLANKETING MRS. O'NEILL" a strange image from the Mason Photographic Collection. A circle of Scottish soldiers in their traditional kilts, caubeens and tartan socks bouncing a naked lady on a blanket seems like great sport for the soldiers. The onlooking lady and gent likewise seem amused though the lady seems rather more preoccupied?
Given Mason's history of illustrated talks and presentations there must be a story behind the image?

Photographer: Thomas H. Mason

Collection: Mason Photographic Collection

Date: 1890 - 1910

NLI Ref: M43/28

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 4250
ireland nationallibraryofireland 20thcentury thomasholmesmason18771958 thomashmasonandson lanternslides masonphotographiccollection blanketingofmrsoneill scottishsoldiers kilts uniforms caubeens nakedwoman bouncing

Add Tags
  • profile


    • 05/Oct/2023 07:56:15

    Bizarre story ... ... In Watty Cox’s Irish magazine for February 1816 there was a vivid account of the punishment of a woman at Geneva Barracks in 1798. Mrs O’Neill travelled from Co Antrim to see her son who was imprisoned at the barracks. By bribing sentries she was permitted an interview but as soon as mother and son saluted each other, she was ordered into the presence of Colonel Scott and his wife. The couple subjected her to a rigorous examination and then handed her over to highlanders for a “blanketing”. Blanketing was a common punishment where the soldiers would grab a blanket, strip the victim naked and hoist them in the air repeatedly. Mrs O’Neill suffered this indignity for more than 20 minutes. She implored soldiers to leave some clothes on but when Colonel Scott saw this departure from custom his wife encouraged him to cut off her clothes with his sword. Locals saw her naked body repeatedly rising and falling above the walls of the barracks. Afterwards the woman was taken to Passage East where she died the next day. The fate of her son was not recorded. ... From - woollydays.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/the-story-of-new-gene...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 05/Oct/2023 07:59:08

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia In the extreme!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 05/Oct/2023 08:09:14

    Geneva Barracks at wikipedia. The barracks gradually fell into disuse in the years following the end of the Napoleonic Wars and were finally closed in 1824.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 05/Oct/2023 08:12:06

    Marked as In Ruins on the 1830s OSI 6".

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 05/Oct/2023 08:13:41

    Google maps aerial view.

  • profile
  • profile

    O Mac

    • 05/Oct/2023 08:33:32

    The original was published in Cox's Irish Catholic Magazine February 1815... and was titled "Mrs Blanket O Neill"....Trinity College have a copy... Masons photograph has been flipped at some point. digitalcollections.tcd.ie/concern/parent/wh246w844/works/...

  • profile


    • 05/Oct/2023 08:54:54

    Via Trove a slightly different story (1919) - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/106069047?searchTerm=%... A dreadful case is that of Mrs. O'Neill, whose son, a clerical student, had been taken up and confined in New Geneva barracks, preparatory to being shipped off to work in the salt-mines of the King of Prussia. The poor woman had come all the way from Antrim, a distance of 150 miles, to take a last farewell of him. When she reached her destination she was refused access to him, and only succeeded in seeing him after she had bribed his guards. Unfortunately, she yielded to the violence of her grief when the time to leave him came, and the anguished cries of the poor mother betrayed her forbidden presence in her boy's cell. She was torn from his arms, hurried into the presence of the colonel, and by him delivered to the tender mercies of the soldiers, who dragged her into the courtyard, and proceeded to toss her in a blanket. When the savage pastime of the soldiers ceased, a few rags were thrown to the unfortunate woman. She crawled to a neighbouring cabin, and there she died.

  • profile

    Matthias Rabiller

    • 05/Oct/2023 10:54:27

    Wow… the real story is much more dramatic than what the picture makes it look like

  • profile

    Eamonn Bolger (Ireland)

    • 05/Oct/2023 11:04:30

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/32162360@N00/ 👍

  • profile


    • 05/Oct/2023 11:34:38

    Seems to have been a popular form of punishment in the army awkwardhistory.com/what-ever-happened-to/blanket-tossing-...

  • profile


    • 05/Oct/2023 11:45:48

    That’s a horrible story. We were lucky to break free (if only partially) from that horrible, cruel empire.

  • profile


    • 05/Oct/2023 14:41:52

    Did they throw her in the air and let her fall to the ground or was it like just kept humiliating her by throwing her in the air? It would have been pretty cold in February.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 05/Oct/2023 15:23:48

    A brief history of blanket tossing in the Newcastle Daily Chronicle on 30th September 1895 Newcastle Daily Chronicle - Friday 20 September 1895

  • profile


    • 19/Oct/2023 03:00:30

    The old Scottish jig tune "The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow" sometimes has an alternate title when played in an Irish provenance: "There Was an Old Woman Tossed Up in a Blanket 17 Times as High as the Moon". I always thought it a rather meaningless attempt at humour. Now I find it's not entirely meaningless and not humourous at all.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 19/Oct/2023 08:44:32

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/53021655@N06/ No indeed, not funny at all.