A ring owned by the revolutionary aristocrat, Lord Edward FitzGerald turns up in English saleroom


A ring owned by Lord Edward FitzGerald (1763-1798), the Irish aristocrat-turned-rebel, has turned up unexpectedly in a saleroom in England and will be sold at auction next week.

A sale at Cheffins Auctioneers in Cambridge on Wednesday and Thursday (September 18th-19th) includes a ring described as “a band of rose metal (possibly copper)” which is engraved “Left by Lord Edward FitzGerald, when on his deathbed, to Lady Lucy Foley, June 1798”.

FitzGerald was the fifth son of the first Duke of Leinster who famously joined the United Irishmen and helped to lead the 1798 Rising. He died, aged 34, in Newgate Prison, Dublin. He was injured when resisting arrest after a charge of treason. Lady Lucy Foley was his sister.

Cheffins said “this is the first time the ring has been seen in public” and it had come “directly from the family to auction”. The estimate is £1,000 (€1,190).

The auction also features “paintings, furniture, silver and clocks from Carton House, one of Ireland’s most important stately homes”.

Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare, which is now a luxury hotel, was once the country home of the Dukes of Leinster. But the seventh Duke of Leinster sold it in 1918 to pay off gambling debts.

The items, which are being sold by family descendants, also include a set of 12 Irish mahogany and parcel gilt dining chairs, estimated at £8,000-£12,000 and a Portrait of William Robert, 2nd Duke of Leinster by the Irish artist, Hugh Douglas Hamilton, estimated at £6,000-£8,000.

See cheffins.co.uk

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