Sunday, 4 April 2010

Ulster Museum Trip

I went on a whistle-stop tour of the renovated Ulster Museum at Botanic Gardens in Belfast this afternoon. Being Easter Day, it was fairly busy.

I took the elevator right up to the top floor, where I had a good look at their Old Master collection. There are about three large oil paintings, 18th century, of Belvoir Park at Newtownbreda; painted when the house was of two storeys. Most interesting; and I chatted to a part-time attendant, telling him what I remembered about the Batesons of Orangefield (afterwards the Bateson baronets and Lords Deramore at Belvoir House). I urged him to "google" the Internet in order to view my images.

The Museum has a fairly good display containing the insignia of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. It's just a shame that they aren't showing the mantle, hat and sash of the Order.

In storage are two Order of St Patrick mantles worn by Lord Shaftesbury (invested 1911 ) and Lord Londonderry as Grand Master (1886-89). Most of the following items relating to the Order are on display: Two collars, one unofficial, silver gilt, the other the normal gold; two breast stars c 1820, and the other c 1870; a gold knight's badge; a knight's badge with agate cameo, c1860.

The Grand Master's badge, worn by Lord Talbot, 1817; two miniature Grand Master's badges, one late 19th century, the other 1921; the Prelate's badge, 1817; miniature Prelate's badge, 1834.

Badge of the Usher of the Black Rod, c1879. The ceremonial tunic of the Black Rod of Ireland, 1751, is above. There are also a number of associated items, including a print f
or the first installation dinner, statutes and medals for the installations of 1821 and 1863.

I feel it is a shame that more of the insignia is not on display. Still, a fascinating exhibit.


Owen Polley said...

Considering going tomorrow or Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

What is the tunic, Tim?


Timothy Belmont said...

They say it's the uniform of the Usher of the Black Rod of Ireland, date 1754.

Anonymous said...

46 years in service before they, regrettably, wound up the Parliament in Dublin. I wouldn't have been a Unionist in 1800 - not even for a Barony!

Still, a much nicer uniform than GB's equivalent.