Advent 2018: 17 December

Melon to start? Some useful advice for keeping fruit fresh during the winter months taken from the commonplace book of Colonel Edmund Pery (d 1721), dating between 1671 and 1681.

We are delighted to care for these items from the Pery family, which were recently deposited on loan to the Special Collections and Archives department by the Earl of Limerick. They provide a unique insight into life in Limerick in the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.

This 172-page commonplace book contains notes and observations relating to family accounts, weights and measures, foreign coins, chronology, interest on money, geography, astronomy, orthography, pronunciation and usage of English, significance of colours, instructions concerning the keep of horses, recipes for ink and boot polish, a gardener’s calendar, and meteorological predictions.

Perhaps relevant for the party season, it also contains advice on how to make your hair curly — though none of the team here have been brave enough to experiment.

We’ve also included the beautiful red and gold binding below, a manuscript of 218 pages relating to the Sexten, Casey and Stackpole families, dating from 1531 to 1737.

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