We have all heart of the mysteriousCount of St Germainbut not many of us are as familiar with the Countess of Desmond as people were in her time. The countess (Katherine Fitzgerald) died in the early 17th century and was reputed to be over 140 years old at the time. No one knows how this mysterious woman lived to such an age but she was very well known- so much so that she is mentioned by both Francis Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh.
Bacon has this rather bizarre thing to say about her: “They tell a tale of the old countess of Desmond who lived till she was seven score years old, that she did [grow teeth] twice or [three times]; casting her old teeth, and other coming in their place.” Her death is rumored to have been from a fall when climbing a tree to gather nuts – not due to old age. Who this mysterious woman was and how she lived so long has remained a mystery since.