Mairead M. Johnston, Irish fan historian and collector, will receive the Freedom of the City of London in the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers for her research on the history of fan making in Ireland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She has also identified historic links with the Company and Irish fan makers in the past.
The ceremony will take place on Thursday 13th October 2011 at London’s Guildhall, commencing at 11.30am. Mairead will receive a copy of her Freedom on parchment as well as a copy of the ‘Rules for the Conduct of Life’, which dates from the mid eighteenth century. These will be presented by the Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court at the Guildhall.
Mairead is the second Irish woman to be given the Freedom of the City of London in the Fan Makers’ Company. She follows in the footsteps of Dubliner, Elizabeth Laird, of Rathgar, who was an international award winning fan maker. She was admitted to the Fan Makers’ Company for her fan made of Limerick lace and carved bog oak, decorated with silver ornament, and received her City Freedom in 1879.
Mairead is currently completing a Masters in Historic House Studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, looking at the inter-relationship of fans and Irish interior décor in the eighteenth century.