Annesley Papers

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) | D/1503, D/1854, MIC/538, T/3774 |

Estate, family and political papers of the Annesley Family, Viscounts Glerawly and Earls Annesley, of Castlewellan, Co. Down, 1560-1565, c. 1620-1916. Containing approx. 1500 items, the collection provides important and unique documentation relating to the family, its lands and place in society.

In addition to the range of title deeds, leases and legal papers, maps, plans etc charting the development of the Family’s various estates in Counties Down, Cavan, Meath and Queen’s Counties, which are typical of such collections, the Annesley Papers include a range of important political papers dating back to the late 16th century. These comprise: a volume of accounts, 1560-65, of Sir William Fitzwilliam as Vice-Treasurer and Receiver-General for Ireland re the settlement of Ireland; 3 volumes of papers, c.1660-9, of his successor in these offices, Arthur Annesley (1614-86), 1st Earl of Anglesey, relating to civil and military lists, crown rents; Customs and Excise; Petty's Down Survey; journals of Parliament etc.; 22 volumes of a version of the Books of Survey and Distribution, 1676-8; papers of Francis Annesley, MP in both the English and Irish Parliaments of Thorganby, Yorks, and Castlewellan comprising: minutes, reports, petitions, tithe details, accounts etc. of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the Forfeited Estates (1699) and Trustees for the Sale of the Forfeited Estates (1700-3).

Other papers of note include the law student notebooks of Richard, 2nd Earl Annesley (d.1824) and Customs and Excise papers, 1673-1810; estate letter-books, 1838-87, relating to estates in Castlewellan, Newcastle, Co. Cavan, Co. Meath and Queen's County of William Richard, 4th Earl Annesley (1830-74), and accounts of the Castlewellan Yeomanry, 1810-19; 35 photograph albums started in 1855 depicting scenes around the Mournes, the Kaffir and Crimean Wars (the largest and most important collection of early photographs in NI) of Hugh, 5th Earl Annesley, and also his dairies; war and holiday diaries of Francis, Viscount Glerawly, later 6th Earl Annesley. The archive also includes family and estate papers, 1641-1879, of the Annesleys of Bletchington, Oxon, whose family property was in Co. Kildare.


Of interest to those researching the management of large estates and connections of the landed gentry. The photographic collection of Hugh, 5th Earl Annesley, are also of particular note representing the largest and most important collection of early photographs in Northern Ireland. These date from 1855 onwards and include images of the Scots Fusilier Guards in the Kaffir War, 1851-53 and the Crimean War in addition to photographs of family, friends, servants and tenants at Donard Lodge and Castlewellan, including the building of the present castle.

Physical characteristics

c.165 volumes and c.1,275 documents, 1560-1916, occupying c.120 PRONI boxes.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI references D/1503, D/1854, MIC/538, T/3774 for catalogues of the papers. These are available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search room. A full introduction to the collection is also available on



Prints from the photograph collection under D/1854/5 can be ordered from the Local History Library at the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT9 5AB

Accrual Policy
Accrual Method
Accrual Periodicity

While a large part of the collection has been purchased, some of it has also been gifted to PRONI.

Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 25 August 2018