This archive incorporates the papers of the Hon. Sir Schomberg MacDonnell, Louisa Countess of Antrim, Sir John Stuart and the Stuart family of Dalness, Argyllshire. It brings together a range of interesting and important personalities from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and provides valuable insights into political and court life at this time. Most of the collection relates to Schomberg MacDonnell, fifth son of the 5th Earl of Antrim, and covers virtually all of his life (1861-1915) in varying detail.
Schomberg MacDonnell was Private Secretary to Robert Cecil, Lord Salisbury, during a period when he was Prime Minister (1888-1902); subsequently he became Secretary of the Office of Works from 1902-12, having much to do with royal coronations and funerals; he served in the Boer War with the City of London Volunteers and in World War I with the 5th Cameron Highlanders. He was mortally wounded at Flanders. His papers and diaries reflect his activities in political, military, court and social life.
The papers of Louisa Countess of Antrim, who married the 6th Earl of Antrim in 1875, are in many respects similar to those of Schomberg MacDonnell. They were both on intimate terms with the royal family whom they served. Louisa was the daughter of General Charles Grey who had been appointed Prince Albert's Private Secretary in 1849 and, after the Prince's death, Queen Victoria's. Her grandfather was the Prime Minister Earl Grey of the 1832 Reform Bill. The collection contains some papers relating to both Louisa's father and grandfather. She served as a Lady in Waiting to both Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra. Her letters and diaries include correspondence from many of the members of the royal family, and papers relating to Home Rule which she opposed.
The archive of Sir John Stuart, from Ballachullish, Argyllshire, barrister, MP and Vice Chancellor, comprises letters from Benjamin Disraeli, estate and family papers relating to his daughter-in-law Elizabeth MacDonald Stuart who left her estate in Dalness, Argyllshire, to Sir Schomberg MacDonnell in order that it should remain in the MacDonald clan.
Of interest to those researching political, court and social life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
c. 2,000 documents occupying 6 PRONI boxes
See PRONI references D/4091 and MIC/615 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/sch_mcd.htm for an introduction to the collection.