Category Archives: dublin

If I Paint My Sitter in a Purple Tie

Image. These are the opening lines to the preface of Maurice Craig’s Dublin 1660-1860: The Shaping of a City. They hit the point of writing about history so exactly. The historian proper enjoys less licence to select and omit than is … Continue reading

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Sallied Forth In Your Drawers

In October 1900, when asked his opinion on what ‘national costume’ should be adopted in a soon-to-be-independent Ireland, the Republican Pádraig Pearse had this to say: Frankly I should much prefer to see you arrayed in a kilt, although it may be … Continue reading

Posted in bog clothes, clothing, colour, dublin, ireland, kilts, knitting, laws, leather, men's clothing, national costume, ninth century, patrick pearse, personalities, school uniform, seventeenth century, stockings, trousers, twentieth century, weaving, wool | 12 Comments

To Drag Free Citizens to the Tenter-fields, and There to Torment Them

Possibly the only portrait of John Rocque – this upperclass man with his ‘way-wiser’ is drawn in his map of Middlesex – source. In 1754, John Rocque came to Dublin. In 1756, he produced the four-sheet Exact survey of the city and suburbs … Continue reading

Posted in dublin, dublin, eighteenth century, ireland, laws, nineteenth century, weaving | 6 Comments

One Stiff Gown For Sunday

In 1765, Lady Arabella Denny founded the first Magdalen Asylum in Ireland, for Protestant ‘fallen women and penitent prostitutes’ in Lower Leeson Street in Dublin. A year previous to this she had been awarded the Freedom of the City of … Continue reading

Posted in caps, caps, clothing, cotton, dresses, dublin, handkerchiefs, lace, linen, neck handkerchiefs, nineteenth century, personalities, petticoats, serge, shawls, shoes, socks, stockings, wool | Leave a comment

Press Down The Lumps, The Hollows Fill

Jonathan Swift, Irish-born Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, was 67 when he wrote a poem called A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed, about a prostitute taking off her work persona (her clothes, makeup, wig) at the end … Continue reading

Posted in dublin, eighteenth century, ireland, poetry | 2 Comments


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 … Continue reading

Posted in colour, cotton, dublin, eighteenth century, socks, stockings | 2 Comments

Lost Property

The Dublin Chronicle, 16-18 May 1771, page 3, carried an advertisement of a list of clothes which had been stolen from a home near Christ Church in Dublin, when a window was left open in the summer of 1771. Half a … Continue reading

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