Sunday, 10 January 2021

The Denny Relics

TRALEE CASTLE, County Kerry, the ancient residence of the house of DESMOND, came into the possession of the Dennys as a reward to Edward Denny (1547-1600), the first of the family to settle in Ireland, for making prisoner the Earl of Desmond, who was accused of causing a dreadful massacre of the English at a feast to which he had invited them.

Sir Edward Denny (Image: V&A Images/V&A Museum)

Denny, a military officer in the Earl of Essex's army, not only obtained the castle and possessions of Desmond for this exploit, but was created a Knight Banneret, and presented with a rich scarf, embroidered with gold and pearls, and a pair of gloves, taken off her own hands, by ELIZABETH I.

Crimson velvet and white satin mittens, made ca 1600, embroidered with silver
and silver-gilt thread, coloured silks, beads and spangles (sequins)

This scarf, and those gloves (with others presented by HENRY VIII and JAMES I), which were for many years out of the possession of the Denny family, were restored to it in the following manner:-

IN 1760, or 1761, the magnificent mansion of the Earl of Arran, being sold at auction in London, the management of the sale devolved upon Mr Herbert (father of the Rector of Ledbury), his lordship's executor, and the particular friend of Sir Thomas Denny, who discovered, in making preliminary arrangements for the sale, the gloves and scarf, with an old parchment manuscript in a purple satin bag, by which, upon perusal, he was directed to the family to which they really belonged;

AND knowing how highly he should gratify his friend by the restoration of such inestimable relics, he purchased them for him - the gloves given to Sir Anthony Denny by HENRY VIII, for £38 17s; the gloves, given by JAMES I to Sir Anthony's son, Sir Edward Denny, for £22 1s; the mittens, presented by ELIZABETH I to Sir Edward Denny, for £25 4s.

According to the Bank of England Inflation Calculator, £38 in 1760 was equivalent to £7,731 in 2019.

First published in January, 2019.

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