Estate and personal papers of the Montgomery family of Blessingbourne, Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone, c.1650-1924, and, in particular, those of Hugh de Fellenberg Montgomery (1844-1924), a senator of the Northern Ireland Parliament from 1922-24.
The estate papers relate to lands in Counties Tyrone and Fermanagh around Fivemiletown and Enniskillen. They are of the normal estate classes and include maps dating from 1728, account books, rent rolls, lists of free holders, mortgages, leases, surveys and conveyances, running from about 1650 to 1900.
By far the most important section of this collection, however, are the letters and papers of Hugh de Fellenberg Montgomery (1844-1924), which are particularly complete reflecting all aspects and avenues of his life as both an Ulster landlord and politician from his coming of age in 1865 to his death in 1924. He can be studied in all his phases: as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford; as a landlord interested in the welfare of his local community and society; and as a father of a growing family for which he built Blessingbourne House. Letters and papers relating to his tenants and lands are particularly extensive and enlightening. These discuss everything that happened in Cos. Tyrone and Fermanagh during his tenure: abatements, local quarrels, distress funds, Land Bills and Acts, all aspects of local government and the affairs of tenants; in these letters the part played by the local estate in provincial life can be studied in detail.
The collection also contains files of letters concerning Hugh de Fellenberg Montgomery's activities before Royal Commissioners, in the Liberal Unionist Association and in the Irish Landowners' Convention; letters about the Irish Convention from such people as Sir James Strong, Edward Carson, the Bishop of Down, the Archbishop of Armagh, Dawson Bates and A.V. Dicey. Later, between 1918 and 1922 there is correspondence with almost everybody prominent in Irish political life on the Unionist side.
Among other items in the collection are letters of Lady Noel Byron, Edward Lear, W.E. Gladstone, James Craig, A.J. Balfour, Lord Hartington, Joseph Chamberlain, Horace Plunkett and the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, O'Connor Don, Hubert Parry and Walter Long. Accounts and papers of the Clogher Valley Railway are also included to be found..
The principal strength of the collection lies in the wide range of political correspondence included.
c. 2,000 items, c.1650-1924 comprising a range of documents, transcripts, maps and volumes occupying 19 PRONI boxes.
See PRONI references D/627 and T/1089 for catalogues of the papers which are available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.