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Baillie, Robert (1710-1738)

Baillie, Robert

Dublin, Ireland; upholsterer (fl. 1710-38)

Freeman by servitude of the city of Dublin, recorded at Mary’s Abbey Street, 1710-38, and apparently also had a house in Capel Street. In 1715 he was paid £704 2s 6d for three State Canopies and in 1716 appointed Upholsterer to HM Government by the Earl of Sunderland. In 1728-9 he was commissioned to supply five tapestries for the new Dublin Houses of Parliament. He had earlier brought over weavers from England, France and Flanders. In the event only two tapestries were supplied, in 1733; they were designed by the painter William van der Hagen and woven by Jan van Beaver. They celebrated the ‘glorious Revolution’ of 1689 and depicted The Glorious Battle and Victory of the Boyne and The Valiant Defence of Londonderry. They are still in situ.

Baillie was a friend and neighbour in Capel Street of the Speaker, William Connolly. He did well in business, building for himself Kildrought House near Castletown. It has been suggested that Baillie was also the supplier of a set of gilt framed seat furniture for Connolly at Castletown, of which four chairs survive [illus. Glin & Peill (2007), fig. 75]. The Speaker’s Chair in the Irish House of Commons is likewise attributed to Baillie, although no documentation survives for either of these attributions.

Sources: Glin & Peill, Irish Furniture (2007), pp. 66-67.