Luxury items more common in 16th century Ireland than previously believed

Common wisdom about 16th century Ireland, namely that it was a backwater, is being challeneged by a new study by PhD student Susan Flavin. She has looked at imports from England to Ireland between 1503 and 1600 and contradicts the common assumption.

The Bristol account books show that "growth occurred in two main areas: the increasing diversification of product types (buttons, for example, evolved from a single category to a large range of subtypes) and the appearance of entirely new items such as soap and spectacles, an increasing variety of luxury European cloth and foods, and a range of items described as being specifically for children."