On 24 March 1793, Lady Mary Boyle Roche wrote a letter (National Library of Ireland Manuscript 5391). In it, she described Lady Pamela Fitzgerald (pictured above) who had just married Lord Edward Fitzgerald a mere three months previously. I came across this in my research on socks on stockings in the 19th century. Yowza!
[She is a person who] “affects the dress of a Peasant, and she sometimes wears Black stockings with Red Clocks and a Black Gown with Cocklico ribbons which we have an idea here is the Jacobin Uniform in France and when her head is bound up with a dirty handkerchief people suspect it is soiled with the Blood of Louis ye 16th. She was at the Rotunda Ball some nights ago and in a strange attire, with black and scarlet Ribbons bound in ye sandal way over her stockings, which the shortness of her petticoats and extraordinary movement of kicking in dancing made very visible. The Company (some of the genteelest in Dublin) star’d at her with so much curiosity that she went away crying.”
Pamela’s own backstory reads like a novel. Check it out here. Her husband‘s name is far more common in historical research than hers is (as well as having many Irish pubs named after him!). I’m quite pleased that in this historical research, at least, Pamela’s socks are the star 😉