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International conference: ‘Waterford and the Wider World 1500–1800’

Date: 8th-9th November 2024

Time: Friday 8th 14:00-17:30.  Sat. 9th: 9:00-16:45

Location: Dr Mary Strangman Large Room, and Medieval Museum, Waterford X91 K10E


International conference: ‘Waterford and the Wider World 1500–1800’ (to celebrate Waterford Treasures Museums 25th birthday)

In partnership with Trinity College Dublin, the Granville Hotel, University College Dublin, Maynooth University, Creative Waterford, Waterford City & County Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

For half a millennium people from Waterford (and the South-East) have made their mark in their adoptive homelands from Salamanca to St John’s and from Malaga to Mazulipatam.  In turn Waterfordians today are a huge mix of Viking, Norman, Gaelic Irish and more recent immigrants.  To echo recent remarks by the former Taoiseach, many in our families have once been asylum seekers, immigrants or emigrants, and nationality and identity ‘are far more complex and fluid than people often care to admit’.

Join us to hear international experts from Newfoundland, New York, Spain, France, Italy, Scotland and Ireland share their research into Waterford’s international connections with England and Europe and the Americas, East Indies and Caribbean, including the question of involvement in the slave trade.

The conference includes a guided tour of the museum displays of objects connected to some of these remarkable people.



Adult: €65 | Friends of Waterford Treasures: €55 | Student/Concession: €20 (includes tea/coffee)




Please email [email protected] Granville Hotel to book special Conference Rate (including parking) and dinner:

  • Fri 8th and Sat 9th:  €159 single; €171 twin/double B&B per night.
  • Wed 6th, Thurs 7th & Sun 10th: €134 single; €146 twin/double B&B per night.

Conference dinner Sat 9th, 19:00: €35.00 per head. Please email [email protected] to book and advise any dietary restrictions.



Waterford, England and the Atlantic – sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

Susan Flavin (Trinity College Dublin) Commodities and Commerce: Waterford Merchants and the sixteenth-century Consumer Boom

David Brown (Trinity College Dublin) Waterford and Revolution: Waterford’s old merchants and England’s new merchants during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, 16381660


Origins and growth of Waterford’s French connections

Marian Lyons (Maynooth University) Waterford migrants in Breton ports in the seventeenth century

Eamon Ó Ciosáin (Maynooth University) Waterford merchants and tradespeople in Western France in the seventeenth century

Sandrine Tromeur (Maynooth University) William Lee (c.16221677), a Waterford merchant in La Rochelle

Julian Walton (Dunhill Multi-Education Centre) ‘Spiting the Penal Laws’: Researching Irish Merchants in eighteenth-century Andalucía: A Personal Odyssey                      



Waterford, Iberia, and Rome: The religious connections

Matteo Binasco (University for Foreigners of Siena) Ab Waterfordia ad Urbem: clerical networks between Waterford and Rome during the early-modern period

Javier Burguillo & Cristo José de León (University of Salamanca) Paul Sherlock’s library in Salamanca and the intellectual profile of the Irish Mission

Thomas O’Connor (Maynooth University) Waterford and the Portuguese Inquisition in the sixteenth century


Waterford, Iberia and the Canaries: The world of trade

Giada Pizzoni (European University Institute, Florence) John Aylward: a Waterford ordinary merchant with an extraordinary career

John Bergin (University College Dublin) George Fitzgerald (d. 1744) and his nephew and partner George Fitzgerald (d. 1762), Waterford-born merchants in Tenerife and London

Carmen Lario (University of Cadiz) The Irish in 18th century Cádiz: signs of an old friendship


Transoceanic networks in the eighteenth century: Waterford, Spain, France and the Caribbean     

Thomas Truxes (New York University) Bordeaux’s Backdoor: Waterford, St. Sebastian, and the illicit eighteenth century wine trade

Kate Hodgson (University College Cork) Franco-Irish business: Munster, Nantes and the French Caribbean world


Transoceanic networks in the eighteenth century: Further afield

John Mannion (Memorial University) A Transatlantic Migratory Fishery: Waterford’s Newfoundland Connections, 17001800 

Andrew Mackillop (University of Glasgow) Waterford and British colonialism in Asia, c. 16901820


Was Waterford unique?

Ivar McGrath (University College Dublin) and David Dickson (Trinity College Dublin) Was Waterford unique?



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