NI: Belfast solicitor says Orange tablecloth belongs in NI

The Belfast solicitor who owns a 340-year-old tablecloth that was presented to the Prince of Orange in 1675 has said it belongs in Northern Ireland.

Solicitor Sam Wilson told the Belfast News Letter that he turned away the Rikjsmuseum in Amsterdam and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London after both asked him to leave the “priceless” artefact to them in his will.

The linen is woven with the message “Long life to the victorious Prince of Orange”.

Mr Wilson told the newspaper that linen production played an important role in Northern Ireland’s history and that “is why it is important for it to be here in Northern Ireland”.

At an event in the Museum of Orange Heritage, where the linen has been on display since June, Mr Wilson said he believed the tablecloth had been brought to England from France in 1689.

Mr Wilson went on to acquire the item at an auction while living in Bedford.

The full story of the tablecloth had not been told since it went on display.

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