In 1667 Michael Boyle bought the old Norman Lordship of the Three Castles in west Wicklow, with a royal charter to establish a new town that he called Blessington. This was the origin of one of the great Irish landed estates, which under the Boyles, Viscounts of Blessington, and the Hills, Marquises of Downshire, was to survive for nearly a quarter of a century. The Blessington Estate 1667-1908 is not just 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 Irish life. Meticulously researched, it is written in a lively, readable style that recreates that long-vanished world. It is an important contribution to the social history of Ireland.
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