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The Blessington Estate 1667 – 1908 by Kathy Trant

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In 1667 Michael Boyle, who would later become Primate Archbishop of Armagh and Lord Chancellor, bought for £1,000 the old Norman Lordship of the Three Castles in west Wicklow, with a royal charter to establish a new town which he called Blessington.  This was the origin of on of the great Irish landed estates, which under the Boyles, Viscounts of Blessington, and the Hills, Marquises of Downshire, was to survive for nearly 250 years.  The Blessington Estate 1667 - 1908 is not jus a history of these two families.  At its heart is the complex relationship of landowner, agent, middleman and tenant that cast such a long shadow over Iish life.  Meticulously researched, it is written in a lively, readable style which recreates that long-vanished world.  It is an important contribution to the social history of Ireland.