Papers, 1630-1953, relating to the Lenox family of Londonderry City, the Conyngham, later Lenox-Conyngham, family of Springhill, Moneymore, Co. Londonderry, the Butle family of Belfast and elsewhere in Co. Antrim (a merchant family whose heir inherited Springhill in 1721 and changed his name to Conyngham), and other less closely connected families.
The papers include: title deeds, leases and legal papers relating to the Springhill estate, 1630-1906; a volume of estate maps, 1722; a lease book for the manor of Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, 1763-1776; Springhill rentals, accounts and account books, 1786, 1803 and 1830-1953; correspondence about the affairs of Derry Corporation, 1691-1731; a letter book of David Butle (d. 1714), the Belfast merchant, 1696-1703, and a successor volume kept by his fellow Belfast merchant, Isaac Macartney (c. 1670-1738), 1704-1707; some 18th century Co. Londonderry militia papers; the originals of the Fottrell Papers which describe the organisation of the Dominicans in Ireland, 1721-1739; the Seven Years' War correspondence of Colonel William Conyngham of Springhill (1723-1784), 1760-1762; letters of William Conolly MP (1662-1729), Speaker of the Irish House of Commons dating from 1691-1731; correspondence of George Lenox-Conyngham (1752-1816), 1779-1812, relating to family and business affairs, politics and law and order in Counties Londonderry and Tyrone, the United Irishmen and the 1798 Rebellion etc; the Boer and First World War correspondence of Colonel William Arbuthnot Lenox-Conyngham (1857-1938);, photographs of soldiers, members of the Lenox-Conyngham family etc, c.1870-c.1926; a typescript history of the Richardson family of Richhill, Co. Armagh, and Rossfad, Co. Fermanagh, from the 17th century, compiled by J.C. Richardson, 1920.
Of great interest to those researching the genealogy of the Lenox-Conyngham family; military history; the management of the Springhill estate and history of the house. The Belfast merchants' letter books, along with two out-letter books in the Linen Hall Library, give a unique opportunity to study the trade and business methods of a Belfast merchant family over a period of forty-five years, 1661-1704, and illustrate the pattern of trade from Belfast, merchant life, business practice and commercial morality while documenting daily life.
The Fottrell papers are very rare survivors of administrative papers dealing with the Dominican Order in Ireland 1721-38 and contain the only known 18th century sermons given in English by an Irish religious before 1770. The papers give a glimpse into the spiritual world which alone gave meaning to the existence of the Irish Dominican province.
Approx. 2,350 documents and c.60 volumes 1630-1953 occupying c.35 PRONI boxes
See PRONI reference D/1449, D/501, T/3161, T/406 for catalogues of the papers. The catalogues are available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.
See also http://www.proni.gov.uk/records/private/len_con.htm for a more detailed introduction to the collection.