The Erne papers comprise material, 1611-1981, relating to the family and personal affairs of the Creighton family of Crom Castle, Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh, Earls Erne, most of which relate to the administration of their various estates: at Crom, Callowhill, Derrylin, Killynick, Lisnaskea, Knockballymore and Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh; at Lifford, Co. Donegal; and in Dublin City, Co. Sligo and Co. Mayo.
Most of the material relates to the period 1830-1950, with comparatively few documents for the 17th and 18th centuries as the original Crom Castle was destroyed by fire shortly after it was built in 1764. The main exception, in terms of early archival survivals, are the papers relating to the Balfour estate at Lisnaskea (Castle Balfour) and elsewhere in Co. Fermanagh which was purchased in 1821 and which provide important information about early 17th century settlement.
The Erne papers comprise such material as title deeds, settlements, marriage settlements and mortgages, wills, leases, rentals, accounts, maps, surveys, formal documents (commissions of the peace, Orange order initiations etc.), household and farm accounts of Crom Castle from 1764, inventories, papers relating to churches, schools and charities on the estates and Land Commission sale papers relating to the various properties, together with correspondence about estate, political and family affairs, 1727-1728 and c.1775-1945. The most important papers relating to Crom are the c. 125 architectural drawings for the exterior and interior of the castle by Edward Blore, 1830-38.
Of interest to those researching estate management, the family history of the Ernes and the development of the Crom estate, and yachting on Lough Erne. Some of the Balfour documents, particularly the rentals for the 1630s, are of considerable importance to the study of Plantation Fermanagh because of their early date.
Approx. 11,750 volumes and documents occupying c. 85 PRONI boxes
See PRONI reference D/1939 for catalogue of the papers. The catalogue is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.
See also http://www.proni.gov.uk/records/private/erne.htm for a more detailed introduction to the collection.