Important Genealogical & Legal Archive
Mahony or O’Mahony, Kerry & Wicklow: A large and extremely important collection of genealogical and legal documents and of political and personal correspondence relating to the Mahony or O’Mahony family and to estates in Cos Kerry and Wicklow.
The O’Mahonys were one of the principal Gaelic Septs of West Munster. In the 18th century they produced some distinguished soldiers in the Irish Brigade in the service of France, especially Count Daniel O’Mahony, hero of the defence of Cremona in 1702. In later times John O’Mahony was a leader of the Fenian Brotherhood and Sylvester Mahony (“Father Prout”) a well-known poet.
The branch that generated this archive used the Christian name Pierce or Peirce in five successive generations:
1. Peirce Mahony (1750-1819) was manager of the Earl of Devon’s estates in Co Limerick.
2. Peirce Mahony of Kilmorna, Co Kerry (1792-1853) established a highly successful firm of solicitors in Dublin in partnership with his brother David (“Peirce did all the talking and David did all the work”). He was Daniel O’Connell’s private solicitor, playing an important part in the campaign for Catholic Emancipation (1829) and in the defence of O’Connell and his colleagues in the State Trials of 1843-44. David Mahony bought Grange Con in Co Wicklow, which became another of the family seats.
3. Peirce Kenifeck Mahony of Kilmorna (1817-1850) married Jane Gun Cuninghame, who after his death married secondly Colonel W.H. Vicars; they were the parents of Sir Arthur Vicars, Ulster King of Arms. Peirce’s younger brother David inherited Grange Con; he developed the gardens there and was also a keen hunting man.
4. Peirce Charles de Lacy O’Mahony of Grange Con (1844-1930), nationalist politician and philanthropist, “was remarkable in having had successively three names, two wives and three faiths, and for being honoured by the kings of two opposing countries in World War I” (Wikipedia). An ardent home ruler, he courageously supported Parnell during the O’Shea divorce scandal. In 1904 he opened an orphanage in Bulgaria. In his later years he styled himself The O Mahony of Kerry and resided on his estate in Wicklow, where he lived as an Irish chieftain, attired in saffron kilt and accompanied by wolfhounds and bagpipers.
5. Peirce Gun Mahony of Kilmurry, co Kerry (1873-1914) assisted in the genealogical work of his uncle Sir Arthur Vicars and bore the title Cork Herald. He died in a shooting accident at Grange Con in 1914. His younger brother Dermot Gun O’Mahony (1881-1960) was a pioneering farmer in Patagonia and later lived at Grange Con, where he was succeeded by his elder daughter Patricia and her husband Lt Col Richard K. Page.
This Archive contains briefly,
· Printed briefs compiled in connection with the Irish State Trials of 1843-44. Alarmed by the success of O’Connell’s “monster meetings” in his campaign for the repeal of the Act of Union, the government banned his proposed meeting at Clontarf. Fearful of provoking bloodshed, O’Connell cancelled the meeting. He was arrested, charged with conspiracy, sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and fined £2,000. He was ably defended by his solicitor Peirce Mahony. Although the House of Lords quashed the conviction and criticised the unfairness of the trial, O’Connell’s perceived meekness severely damaged the effectiveness of the repeal campaign. The briefs give details of previous “monster meetings” and of the legal proceedings against O’Connell and his associates.
· Printed volume in original paper wrappers entitled The Irish State Trials 1843-44. Mahony’s copy. Lacks final page or pages.
· MS list of those qualified to serve as Jurors for 1844 in St Bridget’s Parish, Dublin, giving in each case name, address, occupation and qualification to serve. Approx 400 names, from which the jury was to be picked to serve at O’Connell’s trial.
· Letter-book of P. & D. Mahony, solicitors, 29 Merrion Square, Dublin. Concerns legal affairs. 507 pages. Most are copies of letters written by David Mahony, with some by his brother Peirce, between 12 March and 29 November 1825..
· Copies of report and correspondence between Peirce Mahony and Richard Newton Bennett, Nov 1830 to Jan 1831, including a letter from Daniel O’Connell.
· Letters patent of Charles II dated 13 June 1670 granting lands in the barony of Forth, Co Carlow, to Michael Barry, under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation. A lengthy document, giving details of several townlands. On vellum, with great seal attached (but now broken).
· Two letters patent of Queen Victoria appointing Pierce Mahony to be Clerk of the Crown in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Ireland (1849) and David Mahony to be Clerk of the Crown for co Kerry (1854). Both are fine documents on vellum, with decorated borders containing royal portraits and emblems. Each has the great seal attached, in perfect condition.
· Two fines (fictional lawsuits used to determine the conveyance of land prior to 1833) on vellum and written in Latin. They date from the 5th year of George II (1731-32) and relate to the sale of house property in Dublin (at Abbey Green in Oxmantown and in Capel Street) by John Lambert and Charles Capper and their wives to Elizabeth Williams.
· Other indentures of lease and similar legal documents, some on vellum, relating to lands in various counties, 18th-19th centuries, the earliest dated 1717.
· Facsimile of Charles Wolfe’s letter to John Taylor Esq at the Rev Mr Armstrong’s, Clonoulty, Cashel, 6 Sept 1816, with first draft of his poem on the Burial of Sir John Moore.
· Illuminated page with poem of six verses in memory of “W.H.T. Hill, 5th Lancers, killed in the Defence of Ladysmith January 6th 1900.” Signed Bessie Mackay. Endorsed: “He was your grandmother’s 2nd eldest brother.”
· File of typed documents re sale of the estate of George Raymond at Kilmurry, Co Kerry, under the Land Act of 1903. 44 pages. Damaged.
· Large genealogical file on the Mahonys of Kerry – letters, genealogies, certificates, transcripts of original documents etc. Collected by Peirce Gun Mahony, Cork Herald, 1907-08.
· History of the O’Mahonys of Grange Con compiled by Lt-Col R.K. Page, 1996.
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Another File of Papers relating to the Mahony Family from a different source:
· Miscellaneous letters to Peirce Mahony on estate matters, 1815-1818.
· Many legal documents, including mid-19c mortgages of the Mahony estate, with accompanying correspondence and a summary by Lt-Col. R.K. Page
· Papers relating to the genealogy of the Mahony family. Letters relating to genealogical queries, including many from John Mahony of The Dispensary, Brosna. Envelope with Mahony seals.
· Some personal letters of late 19 Century and early 20 Century.
· Bundle of cheques drawn on the British Exchange and Annuity Office, 1821-22
· Volume in original paper binding, Report of Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of the Law and Practice in respect to the Occupation of Land in Ireland (1845)
· MS: “The Writ ‘De Lunatico Inquirendo’ in the case of Jonathan Swift DD, Dean of St Patrick’s. With Observations by J.T. Banks, MD TCD, MRIA, King’s Professor of the Practice of Medicine, Visiting Physician to the Richmond Lunatic Asylum, &c &c.” 13 pp.
· Misc letters, c 1825-1848 – personal, legal, estate and banking.
· Misc papers relating to the Grange Con estate.
· Letter to Peirce Mahony from John O’Connell (son of Daniel), 14 June 1848.
· Letter from Joseph James Byrne of Dublin to Peirce Mahony, 1 Dec 1834. Contains his observations on the Scots engineer Alexander Nimmo’s proposals for the “improvement” of the bogs in co Kerry. Byrne reports to Mahony on how these might affect the Mahony lands.
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Co. Waterford Elections
Co. Waterford: File of ten documents relating to the election for Waterford County, 10 June 1829 to 22 Jan 1830. In 1826, after a sensational campaign, Henry Villiers-Stuart, backed by O’Connell, had defeated one of the two sitting MPs, Lord George Beresford, on the issue of Catholic Emancipation. However, when Stuart resigned his seat after the passing of the Emancipation Act in 1829, Beresford was re-elected. At the general election later that year, O’Connell himself took one of the two seats and Beresford the other. The file includes correspondence between Peirce and David Mahony, a draft of Lord George Beresford’s address to the electorate, and letters from Charles Maunsell in Waterford and Barton Anderson in Dungarvan providing much local information. As an Archive, w.a.f. (1)More details ›
ARCHIVE OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO SIR ARTHUR VICARS
Archive: Sir Arthur Edward Vicars (1860-1921) was born in Warwickshire, the youngest of five children of Col W.H. Vicars, 61st Regt, and Jane Mary Gun Cuninghame of Mount Kennedy, Co Wicklow. His mother had previously been married to Peirce K. Mahony of Kilmorna, Co Kerry, and Vicars identified strongly with the Ireland of his half-brothers. He developed a passionate interest in Irish heraldry and genealogy, and in 1893 was appointed Ulster King of Arms in succession to Sir Bernard Burke. He did much to develop the office, expanding its archival collection and giving it a permanent home at the Bedford Tower in Dublin Castle. Unfortunately, his reputation has been permanently tarnished by the unexplained disappearance of the so-called “Irish Crown Jewels” from his custody in 1907, which led to his dismissal. He retired to Kilmorna, where he was shot dead when the house was looted and burned by the IRA in 1921.
The Archive contains briefly,
A file of letters, many of them copies but also some originals, relating to Vicars’s ambitions to receive some heraldic appointment. In 1892 he applied for the post of Athlone Pursuivant (a junior officer of arms in Ireland) on the death of Bernard Louis Burke, but on the death of Sir Bernard Burke at the end of the same year he applied to be made Ulster King of Arms, to which he was appointed on 23 February 1893 at the early age of thirty.
The file includes testimonials (mostly MS or printed copies) from prominent heralds and scholars and a Catholic bishop (Kildare and Leighlin); copies of letters written by Vicars; letters from peers (Lord Cloncurry, the Duke of Leinster, Lord Mayo), including Lady Wolseley whose husband was Commander in Chief, Ireland.
On 2 October 1892 Vicars’s half-brother Peirce Mahony writes that Sir Bernard Burke is dying and urges him: “You should move at once.”
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Further material from another source:
· Confirmation of Arms by Sir Arthur Vicars, Ulster King of Arms, to George Philip Gun Mahony of Kilmorna, co Kerry, 20 Jan 1908. Also has signature of G.D. Burtchaell, Athlone Pursuivant. A magnificent document, 54 x 47 cm, with coat of arms in full colour.
· Confirmation of arms by Sir Arthur Vicars to Robert Frederick Stewart Colvill of Coolock House, co Dublin, 1898. Unfinished: text only, unsigned and undated.
· Large vellum sheet headed “Roll of Knights” with titles of twelve Irish peers. Damaged.
· Small booklet with red binding entitled Standing Orders: Viceregal Staff. Ulster’s Office, Dublin, 1895. MS dedication “Lord Athlumney with Ulster’s compliments.” Some MS notes in back.
· Envelope containing representations of coats of arms, taken from books, letterheads etc., including a few bookplates.
· Mounted photographs of portraits of members of the Vicars and La Touche families.
· Large paper knife with brass crown top.
· Copy of Garda Review (1976) with article by Gregory Allen on the disappearance of the “Irish Crown Jewels”
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In Special Limp Crimson Morocco Binding
Vicars (Arthur) The Scale of Precedence in Ireland, 12mo D. (Ulster’s Office – Alex Thom) 1897. First Edn., 43pp. a.e.g. in orig. crimson mor., gilt fillet border. V. fine copy. (1)More details ›
Rare 18th Century Dublin Advertising Billhead
Broadside: Haddock’s Umbrella Manufactory, Earthenware Glass Shop, etc. No. 15 Castle Street, A large broadside, printed by A. Edwards, approx. 16″ x 6 1/2″, with wd. cut illus. at top & wd. cut border, & set out in the form of a poem, rims detailing everything available at the store. In fine condition. As ephemera, v. rare. (1)More details ›
Co. Monaghan: Broadside Poster – Rental of the Lands of Cortubber, Lislienshahan and Lossett, Situate in the Barony of Dartry and County of Monaghan, To be Sold, Under the Decree in this Case (Rev. Sam. Adams V. Thomas Charles Stewart Corry) On the 1st Day of July, 1819, approx. 16″ x 12 1/2″, printed one side only, by W. Corbett, Dublin.’ It details the different tenants of each lot, the contents & the rent paid, together with tenure and other observations, and with some m/ss annotations & notes. As ephemera, w.a.f. Good. (1)More details ›
A Rare Broadside ‘Wanted’ Poster
Co. Monaghan: ‘MURDER, and £851 Reward’. A broadside poster, printed by Courtney, Whitefriar-Street, Dublin, circa 19 x 13 ins, issued by Edward Mayne of Lisnalong, Co. Monaghan, January 1819, offering this reward for the arrest of Thom as Simpson of Drumsheil, Co., Cavan, stated to have killed Mayne’s father Thomas , having ‘without any provocation and in a most treacherous manner .. fired a blunderbuss at, and lodged the contents thereof in the Head of the said Thomas Mayne, and in that of his Mare on which he was mounted, of which Wound he has since died’, with a list of neighbours and others who have promised contributions to the reward, to a total of £851.Small portion torn from upper corner, no loss of text.
With the original manuscript text of the poster, and two manuscript pages containing signed pledges of contributions, headed by (Lord) Cremorne, £22.15.0.
The assailant, Thomas Simpson, is described in the poster as ‘one of the Society of Quakers, about Fifty or Fifty-five years of Age .. speaks in the manner of people of that Sect .. served some years in the Cavan Militia, and is of rather Genteel Appearance.’
A most interesting collection, and an unusual citizens’ initiative. As a collection, w.a.f. (1)More details ›
Granting of Land in New South Wales & Van Dieman’s Land
Australia: Rare printed hand-out outlining Terms upon which Land is granted to Setlers in New South Wales & Van Dieman’s Land, Foolscap 3pp., dated Colonial Office, Downing Street, April 1827. In fine condition. * Extremely Rare. (1)More details ›
Limerick Printing: Chapbook – The Two Divine Revelations, As Revealed to St. Augustin, St. Bridget and St. Anne by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 16mo Limerick (S.B. Goggin, 15 Georges Street) 1828. Single folded sheet, 8pp uncut, with wd. cut illustrations of The Crucifixion. Some tears, as ephemera, w.a.f. Ex. Scarce. (1)More details ›
More News About Jamaica!
Co. Limerick: A broadside poster, 12 ins x 7 ¼ ins, Limerick printed, undated (c. 1830?), giving an extract of a letter from Doctor Palmer, late Magistrate of Jamaica, concerning ‘the glaring absurdity and gigantic iniquity of the Emigration scheme, as concocted by the legislature on this Island .. I contemplate with horror the importation of 50,000 more deluded beings into this country. For them no preparation is making now, and when they arrive they will add to the number of those unhappy victims of cupidity, whose history is short but appalling — they came to this country! They sickened!! They died!! .. the Rum, the Sun, and the disappointments of this country, levelling them to the dust in a few months after their arrival ..’
Many Irish were among the 19th Century emigrants to Jamaica, hence presumably this Limerick publication. As ephemera, w.a.f. A rare and interesting document. (1)More details ›
Protestant Orphan Friends’ Society
Co. Limerick: A 3pp leaflet printed by G.M. Goggin, Printer, Limerick, containing the 7th Annual Report of the Limerick Protestant Orphan Friends’ Society. Undated. The society was found in in 1833 to provide ‘diet, lodging, clothing, and spiritual education for destitute orphans of Protestant parents,’ and its various branches played an important role in providing relief during the Great Famine.
The report outlines the recent activities of the society, praises the contribution of the late Treasurer Thomas Woodger, and names his successor as the Rev. William Newcombe Willis.
* Willis was rector of Kilpeacon; ironically, at his death in 1864 he left his own seven children unprovided for – a fund was established for their education. as ephemera, w.a.f. (1)More details ›
Co. Cavan: To the Gentlemen, Clergy and Freeholders of the County of Cavan: A printed circular, signed Robert Henry Southwell, Castle Hamilton, dated July 14, 1830, soliciting a vote in the upcoming election. As ephemera, w.a.f. Good & Scarce. (1)More details ›
Co. Monaghan Printing: Printed Poster, Timber for Sale. To be Sold at Lisnalong, For Ready Money,… Ash, Oak, Larch and Scoth Fir… July 15th 1832. Printed by Nathaniel Greacen, printer, etc. Diamond, Monaghan, good, as ephemera, w.a.f. Scarce.
* Lisnalong is situated midway between Coothill and Ballibay. (1)More details ›
Unique Early Report of Early Irish Bloodstock Sale, 1832
Co. Kilkenny, Ireland: Tattersall (Messrs) Auctioneers. To be Sold by Auction by Messrs Tattersall, on Tuesday, the 13th November, , & Following Days at Mount Loftus, near Gore’s Bridge, Ireland. The Entire Stud of the late Sir Nicholas Loftus, Bard., decd, Consisting of Brood Mares, Young Stock, Hunters, etc. both Thorough-Bred and Half-Bred, of the Best Irish Blood, 4pp folio [L. 1832]. Printed with condition of sale, and with prices of all lots added in manuscript. As ephemera, w.a.f. V. good.
* Extremely rare. A unique record of a famous early Irish Stud, with its unique bloodlines, long since gone. The sale consisted of approx. 90 lots, most of which found buyers, & which realised the then incredible total figure of approx £ 3,000. (1)More details ›
Co. Waterford Postal interest: A single foolscap page Manuscript Document, signed by six members of the Chamber of Commerce, requesting a meeting to discuss establishing ‘an efficient line of Steam Packets between Bristol and Waterford – for the transmission of the Mails from London & South of England and Wales to the South of Ireland.’ Dated Waterford 18th Dec. 1841. As a m/ss, w.a.f. (1)More details ›
Tipperary Printing: A scarce printed Poster “Potato Ground – 20 Acres of Prime Old Bawn To be Let, For Potatoes on the Lands of Barranaleen, Time will be given for the money until the first of August. Apply to John Hayes, Barranalleen or Carrough. Feb. 20, 1865.’ Broadside poster, printed by J. Carrigan, Printer, Tipperary. As ephemera, w.a.f. (1)More details ›
Unique Chart of Ballycastle Coalmines, 1817
Co. Antrim: A unique, attractive and important watercolour Chart of the Ballycastle Coalmines & Environs, approx 7 ft x 2 ft, on paper, backed by linen, by William Ayre, 1817, titled ‘A CHART OF THE COLLIERIES NEAR BALLYCASTLE, Describing Dykes, State of the Works in Aug. 1817, by Will. Ayres’, with detailed manuscript key, distinguishing fourteen sectors, with colour-coded indications of geological strata. There are later manuscript notes (up to 1845) at other end of chart, showing this was a working document used over a substantial period. With minor repairs to back, but in remarkably good condition considering its age and size. As an original watercolour, w.a.f.
This would have been a vital safety document for the operation of the mines, particularly in relation to the dykes, since the mine shafts are dug into a cliff-face bordering on the sea.
The Ballycastle colleries were developed by Col. Hugh Boyd in the 18th Century; they finally closed as recently as 1967. It is not clear if the draughtsman is the same as William Ayre, born in Ireland 1782-3, who later worked as a teacher in Nova Scotia (Canada).
An important document, relating to what was once a major Irish industry and important source of employment. (1)
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ORIGINAL ILLUMINATED CHARTER OF CHARLES II
WITH DETAILS OF PROPERTY GRANTS IN CORK CITY
Co. Cork: A magnificent original charter of Charles II dated 19 August in the 19th year of his reign (1667), listing many properties in the city of Cork with the names of forfeiting proprietors and new tenants.
The purpose of the charter was to satisfy the demands for compensation of the “Forty-Nine Officers” – those officers who had served in the royalist army during the wars in Ireland prior to 5 June 1649, remaining loyal to the King thereafter and who had not therefore been granted lands by the Cromwellian government. It lists property in Cork City which had been held by Irish Catholics in 1641 and consequently forfeited under Cromwell, and which is now granted to the officers who had petitioned. They are represented by their trustees Captain Hercules Langford and Robert Fitzgerald Esq., and there is also a separate grant of land in counties Antrim and Armagh to Captain Langford.
The charter consists of three membranes of vellum, measuring respectively approx 78 x 77, 78 x 59 and 75 x 34 cm (30 ¾ x 30 ½, 30 ¾ x 23 ¼ and 29 ¾ x 13 ½ inches). It is in fine condition but lacks its seal. The text (approx 6500 words) is in English. The head of the first sheet is exuberantly illuminated, the first six words being gilded with a silver background. The initial letter “C” of Charles is contained within a separate scrollwork panel in the left hand corner and surrounds a portrait of the King. To the right are the royal arms, with the lion and unicorn supporters also shown separately, together with national emblems such as the rose, thistle and fleur-de-lis (for England, Scotland and France), and a butterfly and dragonfly.
The survival of the charter is miraculous: it was discovered by chance during a waste-paper campaign in the city, and rescued. The lengthy text (misdated to 1666) was transcribed and published in 1964 in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, together with a brief introduction, tabular summary, and map.
This document is of major importance in tracing the development of Cork in the early modern period, especially as the Civil Survey for Cork city and county (apart from the barony of Muskerry) has not survived. It compares interestingly with a valuation of Cork City carried out in 1663-64 and published in vol. VI of the Civil Survey, edited by R.C. Simington.
As a m/ss, w.a.f.
*A highly important survival. (1)More details ›