The original was an eighth to tenth century AD two-handled chalice of an elaborate construction with over two hundred and fifty main components. The bowl and foot were made of beaten, lathe-polished silver, the stem was cast gilt-copper alloy. It was decorated with gold filigree, granulation, multi-coloured enamels, a large rock-crystal, amber, malachite, knitted cast, stamped and openwork metal objects.
It was found in a hoard consisting additionally of a bronze chalice and four gilt-silver brooches ranging in date from the 8th to the 10th century A.D. The hoard, which was discovered in Reerasta Rath near Ardagh, Co. Limerick, in 1868, is likely to have been concealed during the 10th century A.D. The original chalice stands 17.8 cm high and is 19.5 cm in diameter excluding the handles. This replica is 17cm high and 19cm in diameter, and is housed in its original wooden, felt lined box, and is a beautifully crafted copy of this great Irish treasure.
James FitzJohn FitzGerald, succeeded, on the death of his grandfather in 1536 to the title of Earl of Desmond, and in order to support it united himself with the head of the dissidents in Ireland, O'Brien of Thomond. The Lord Deputy, Leonard Grey, marched against him,and took possession of his castle in Lough Gur. FitzGerald submitted to the Crown, but plotted with the Pope in 1538 to arrange an invasion by Spain. Deputy St. Leger had to rein him in again and this time he had to renounce the supremacy of the Pope and after a spell of renewed loyalty to Henry VIII was put in charge of the Reformation in Munster. He met with the king in 1542 where his title was confirmed and in 1547 King Edward VI appointed him Lord Treasurer of Ireland. In 1548, his loyalty was questioned again and Deputy Bellingham had him arrested but he was released and continued to serve under Queen Mary. He married four times, his first wife being Joan Roche, his grand niece, and the Katharine Roche in this case might well have been related to him by marriage which may have influenced this judgement for her He died at Askeaton in 1558.
The most accurate plan of Dublin including e very dwelling, and e very alleyway, in much more detail than Rocque produced for other cities in Europe including his huge map of London. It was to be another century before the Ordnance Survey would produce such a detailed city map.
Prior to Postmaster General Rowland Hill’s postal reforms postage was very expensive, charged by distance, and the preserve of the very wealthy, who could afford to pay the equivalent of an average week’s wages (for an ordinary worker) to send a letter from Tralee to Dublin, and Members of the Houses of Parliament who had free postage which they much abused. In December 1839 a uniform rate of postage of four pence per letter anywhere in the United Kingdom was introduced on December 5 and lasted only 36 days until 9 January 1840. The rate was reduced to one penny on 10 January 1840 and on 6 May 1840 Hill introduced the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black. Uniform postage rate is still the basis of most postal systems in the world today, but is under threat by growing privatisation.