Inventories from the Long Eighteenth Century

The value of inventories in charting how houses were arranged, furnished and used is now widely appreciated. Typically, the listings and valuations were occasioned by the death of an owner and the consequent need to deal with testamentary dispositions. That was not always so. The inventory for Castlecomer House, Co. Kilkenny, for example, was drawn up to make a claim following the house’s devastation in the 1798 uprising.

Mostly hitherto unpublished, the inventories show the evolving collecting habits and tastes of eighteenth-century patrons across Ireland and how the interiors of great town and country houses were arranged or responded to new materials and new ideas. Among the houses where silver is listed are Baronscourt, Castlecomer House, Dublin Castle (2nd Duke of Ormonde’s plate), Mount Stewart and Newbridge House. A comprehensive index facilitates access to the myriad items, including the silver, within the inventories. A foreword, together with preambles to the inventories, sets the households in their historical context.


Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, 1702/3

Kilkenny Castle, Co. Kilkenny, 1705

Dublin Castle, 1707

The Duke of Ormonde’s House at St James’s Square, London, c. 1710

Bishop’s mansion house, Elphin, Co. Roscommon, 1740

Captain Balfour’s town house, auction sale, Dublin, 1741/2

Hillsborough Castle, Co. Down, 1746 and 1777

Kilrush House, Freshford, Co. Kilkenny, 1750

No. 10 Henrietta Street, Dublin (Luke Gardiner’s house), 1772

Morristown Lattin, Co. Kildare, 1773

Baronscourt, Co. Tyrone, 1782

Castlecomer House, Co. Kilkenny, 1798

Killadoon, Co. Kildare, 1807–29

Shelton Abbey, near Arklow, Co. Wicklow, 1816

Borris House, Co. Carlow, 1818

Carton House, Co. Kildare, 1818

Newbridge House, Co. Dublin, 1821

Mount Stewart, Co. Down, 1821

436 pp., 58 illustrations, 18 in colour
103/4 × 81/8 in. (273 × 206 mm)

ISBN 978-1-898565-17-8
Cloth £75.00

[published on 17 November 2022]