First Floor Gallery
One of the more interesting additions to the Museum collection is a leather coat reputed to have been worn by King William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne. The story of King William’s jacket (or jerkin to give it its proper title) is an interesting one. In July 2000 the Museum was approached by a private individual informing them that he had leather coat which was reputed to have been worn by King William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne. According to the individual the jacket had come to his family’s possession via his great grandfather. The folklore of the piece is best captured in a report from the Newry Magazine of 1815 where in Dr. John Spenser talks of the piece as: -
A coat of buffalo-skin, worn by king (sic) William the 111, at the Battle of the Boyne, is now in possession of Robert Thomson, Ravensdale, Esq. It is perforated at the spot opposite the shoulder, in which the king had receive a wound from a musket-ball. It was the property of the late Mrs. Mills (grand –aunt to Mr. Thomson) who died a few years ago, in extreme old age, at Ravensdale. This lady husband had received it from colonel Wetherall; (aid-de-camp to William,) whose near relative he was. The colonel had aided it taking it off the king, with whose consent he had retained it, in memory of the transaction of his sovereign.
The jerkin is now in pride of place on the Museum’s first floor exhibition. Other items of note include a pair of Tusk Earrings with a matching brooch acquired by Dundalk-born, Arctic explorer Francis Leopold McClintock during his Arctic service as well as the Babeswood Stone, a beautiful grave-slab marker dating from the 8th or 9th Century.