The Viceroys of Ireland

The Viceroys of Ireland

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Excerpt: ...he found the most determined opposition everywhere. Nobody would listen to the proposal, and the viceroy was compelled to laugh the idea away, pretending that it was but an idle fancy of his own, and quite unimportant. It is not to be wondered at that Dublin should be unanimous against the proposal. Its very existence depended upon the official classes. Seventy-five per cent. of the well-to-do drew their incomes from Dublin Castle; while the trades-people were for obvious reasons panic-stricken whenever it was rumoured that the Parliament should be transferred to London. Rutland thereupon sought distraction in such pleasures as the capital afforded, and his wife seconded him. Both were young and in possession of more than viceregal wealth, and they cut the road to popularity short by a lavish expenditure. The leading noblemen built themselves mansions, and the wealthy bourgeois followed suit. Stephen's Green was the favourite residential quarter, but Merrion Square threatened 191 to rival it. Architects, artists, and builders from England and the Continent crowded Dublin, some of them to found families not without renown in Irish annals, if bearing patronymics more suggestive of sunny Italy or France than their adopted country. The professional classes were rapidly rising in social status, and although the rule that prohibited the recognition of lawyers' and doctors' wives by the Lord-Lieutenant and his consort were still in force, barristers and medical men sometimes gained admission to unofficial festivities at the Castle. The large garrison contributed its quota of officers to Dublin society, which at that time and for many years after the union represented all Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Rutland cultivated society in a manner that gained them immense personal popularity. They led the fashions in the drawing-rooms and in the clubs, and the duke, who dearly loved a good dinner, created a record for dining out never equalled by more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 5mm | 186g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1236716108
  • 9781236716101