Judge Calls Women’s Fashion the Ruin of the Country, 1895

From the Sheffield Daily Telegraph , 5 January 1894:

“The Kilrush correspondent of the ‘Freeman’s Journal’ says:

At the Quarter Sessions here yesterday a milliner brought an action against a pension for goods supplied to his daughter, who is now in America.  His Honour Judge Kelly said women were the ruin of the country.  Nothing pleased women nowadays but those extraordinary fashions comprising parasols, petticoats, feathers and all this ludicrous headgear which brought ruin on parents and husbands.  Here was this girl, the daughter of a pensioner with 10d a day, procuring parasols, corsets and feathers from this milliner.  The women who a generation ago wore the Galway petticoat, shawl and bonnet looked far more handsome and graceful.  The fashions of the present day were the ruin of the country.‘”

Judge Kelly’s House at 34 Fitzwilliam Square, today.

The same Judge Kelly featured in the news again in 1898 when his housekeeper Mary O’Connor and her two daughters, aged 15 and 17, were arrested for systematic stealing of items from his residence at 34 Fitzwilliam Square when he was away on circuit.  Pawnbrokers gave evidence of receipt of at least 54 parcels of stolen property including jewels, wearing apparel, candlesticks and bedclothes.

This event cannot have done much to improve the learned judge’s opinion of women!

Image Credit: (top)(bottom)

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

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