While Clare Museum has been closed to the public or has operated under visitor restrictions during the applicable levels of Covid-19 restrictions, it has continued to collect the history of Clare.
In December 2020, Clare Museum received from a donor in Vancouver, Canada, a collection associated with the Scott family of Cahiracon House, in Kildysart.
The Scotts arrived in Clare when the Earl of Thomond leased Cahiracon in Kildysart to Angel Scott in perpetuity. The Scotts continued to reside at Cahiracon until the mid-19th century and owned land mainly in the Barony of Clonderlaw in Clare. At the time of Griffith’s Valuation, John Bindon Scott was High Sheriff of County Clare.
The Scotts are remembered as good landlords in the Kildysart area today, as they did their best to help their tenants during the potato famine. It ruined the family financially and their indebted estate was sold under the Encumbered Estates Act in 1854. The Scotts left Ireland and settled in Brugges, Belgium, with some eventually moving to England. The collection the Museum has acquired was taken to Canada where the donor’s Belgian-born great grandmother settled.
The collection comprises miniature portraits of John, Frances and master Bindon Scott, a book of recipes and cures from the 1830s and servants’ accounts from between 1810 and 1820. One recipe on a loose sheet of paper carries the address of the Ralahine Commune, a society founded in 1831 on the estate of John Vandeleur at Ralahine, near Newmarket-on-Fergus. During their time in Clare, the Scotts intermarried with the Bindon and Vandeleur families in the county.
Mary Scott, daughter of John Scott, married Maurice O’Connell MP, who was the son of Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’. Envelopes addressed to or from Maurice O’Connell are also contained in the collection, some from the House of Commons. Other envelopes are addressed to the Reverend William Anderson, who was the Chaplin at Ennis Gaol and was later living at Kilkishen House near Sixmilebridge. They all date from the 1830s.
The collection is now catalogued and will be available to researchers.
*Clare Museum is currently undergoing renovation works. It is planned to re-open in August following completion of construction works.