The history of the Claddagh Ring
Although many myths and tales surround the Claddagh Ring, the most historically accurate account is that of Richard Joyce. While on a Mediterranean voyage, the young Galway goldsmith was captured by pirates and spent years in Tunis. In 1689, under orders from the King of England and Ireland at the time, all subjects who were to be allowed to return to their homes. Joyce’s master had become so attached to the Galway goldsmith that he offered his fortune and only daughter’s hand in marriage. Joyce, however, refused the offer and returned to Galway, the city of the Tribes. Upon his return, Joyce established himself as leading goldsmith of his time.
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