The Margaret Fitzgerald Tomb Effigy: A Late Medieval Headdress and Gown in St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny

  • Elizabeth Wincott Heckett
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


The genesis of this research was a working brief prepared for the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin for a reconstruction of the dress of Margaret Fitzgerald, wife of the eighth Earl of Ormond as shown in their effigial sculpture in St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, Ireland. (Figure 12.1) This city is the ancestral seat of the Earls of Ormond and is still dominated by their castle. The reason for the reconstruction is the permanent Medieval Ireland 1150–1550 exhibition installed at the National Museum in Dublin in the fall of 2001. A reconstruction of the Margaret Fitzgerald costume, together with another of the suit of armor worn by her husband, Piers Butler, forms part of the exhibition. In Irish history the end of the medieval period is deemed to be 1550 A.D. and so the Butler double effigy falls in its last part. This research was an exercise in deduction, a kind of detective work linked to the hard facts about specific textile finds established by archaeological excavations and by evidence from historical sources.


Sixteenth Century NatIOnal Museum Central Panel Fifteenth Century Teenth Century 
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Copyright information

© Désirée G. Koslin and Janet E. Snyder 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Wincott Heckett

There are no affiliations available

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