Midleton Mace | Metal - Silver | 18th century AD | The Hunt Collection | PD

Derived from weapons carried by royal bodyguards in England and France in the medieval period, most civic maces in Britain and Ireland date from the period following the Restoration in 1660. King Charles II, lacking money, sometimes bought political support by granting honours and charters. The Corporation of Midleton in County Cork was established by a charter in 1670. Midleton was a pocket-borough of the Brodrick family, who thus he’d patronage of two seats in the Irish House of Commons until 1800.

This mace is of classic Queen Anne design, having a plain shaft, three knots and a plain head topped by a crown. The only other decoration is the engraved armorial of the Brodricks, an oval shield set in scrollwork, derived from heraldic mantling, surmounted by there crest. The mace bears neither hallmark (a trait of Irish provincial silver) nor maker’s mark. 

It’s resemblance to the Bandon Mace in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, suggests that it came from the workshop of Robert Goble of Cork. The mace may have been commissioned by Thomas Brodrick (d.1730) or his younger brother, Alan, who became Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1714 and was created a baron in 1715 and first viscount Midleton in 1717. He died in 1728. The Corporation of Midleton was abolished in 1840, and all its real and moveable property reverted to Lord Midleton.