Ramelton > History > Sam Bayne

Samuel G. Bayne

Samuel Gamble Bayne (1844- 1924 ), a most remarkable man known to have been born in Ramelton
Samuel Gamble Bayne

The son of a prosperous Presbyterian merchant in the town (after whom Bayne's Lane is named), in old age he published his memoir 'Derricks of Destiny' in which he vividly described his childhood.

His family lived in a house on The Mall just by the bridge, and aside from the colourful depictions of life in the mid-Victorian age here, he also mentions one intriguing mystery.

Sam recalls that a prized family possession was a cut-throat razor that had been left behind by Bonnie Prince Charlie when he took refuge in that very house not long after his flight from Scotland following defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. There is no way to verify this story, and established thinking has always been that he fled directly to France, dressed as a lady's maid. Nonetheless, given that Ramelton was a significant port on the north coast and Irish Sea trade route, it might be possible, and it's certainly a romantic idea.

Aged twenty-five Sam graduated from Queen's University Belfast and decided to travel to America.
It is no exaggeration to say that in the course of a long and industrious career he accumulated sufficient wealth to be described as a billionaire.
His fortune was based on gold in California, oil in Texas (hence the title of his memoir) and banking; he was a founder of Seaboard National Bank, which ultimately emerged as Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase).

Sam Gamble Bayne died in 1924, a testament to the extraordinary and disproportionate effect that the Irish have had on the development of the USA.

Note: 'Derricks of Destiny' can still be found for sale by antique book sellers on the Internet.

written by Justin Whiteley



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