In 1778 the male and Anglican-dominated City Council commissioned these sumptuous silver presentation pieces from Anastasia Fleming for the outgoing Mayor of Waterford Henry Alcock.
Their importance lies in the fact that the commission was given to a woman who was a Roman Catholic, highlighting that Waterford was the most tolerant city in 18th century Ireland. Anastasia’s father-in-law, husband and son were also silversmiths.
Councillor’s Strand in Dunmore East was named after Councillor Henry Alcock.
These splendid urns are engraved with the coat of arms of the city and are inscribed to Mayor Alcock: for supplying the Poor of the City, at his own Expence with Provisions during that Time of great Scarcity.
Henry Alcock was the son of Colonel William Alcock and Hon. Mary Loftus. He married in 1764 Phillipa Melosina Chenevix, daughter of Bishop Richard Chenevix who completed the Bishop's Palace and was the first bishop to live there but her premature death led to Alcock marrying Elizabeth Katherine Ussher two years later. His seat was at Wilton, County Wexford. He gained the rank of officer in the 13th Light Dragoons, was Mayor of Waterford 1777-78 and MP for the city 1783-97. He died in 1811.