Cherry Papers

Legal, political and family papers and documents comprising the records of the eminent Irish academic, lawyer and politician, Richard Robert Cherry (1859-1923), Attorney General for Ireland 1905-1909, Lord Justice of Appeal 1909-1914, and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland 1914-1916. He is best known for his work and expertise in land law in Ireland, a subject upon which he published extensively including three editions of a work on the various Irish Land Law and Land Purchase Acts between 1881 and 1891. Many of the legal issues which concerned Cherry are documented in the archive. Running in tandem and often intertwined with his practice at the Bar was Cherry's politicial career. He unsuccessfully contested the Kirkdale Division of Liverpool as a Liberal in the 1900 election (it was during the Boer War and he suffered by being stigmatised as a pro-Boer) before he was returned for Exchange Division in 1906. Not surprisingly, therefore, the collection sheds some light upon grass-roots Liberal politics in the Edwardian era and, in particular, the organisation of the Liberal Party in Liverpool. However, by far the greater part of the political papers comprise letters to Cherry from leading British and Irish politicians of the day including: Sir Edward Carson, John Redmond, Viscount Gladstone, James Bryce, Augustine Birrell, Reginald McKenna and Lord Loreburn. It is apparent that these figures valued Cherry's opinions highly as the correspondence reveals a great willingness on their part to explain and account for their various political actions and Ministerial decisions. The collection also contains interesting family correspondence including letters, 1887-1907, from his brother, John B. Cherry, who emigrated to Canada and had unsuccessful attempts to succeed as a Barrister in Vancouver (in 1914, he returned to Ireland to work as secretary to his brother).


The strength of the Cherry Papers lies mainly in the information they provide for students of political history in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. To a lesser degree, they are useful for researchers of legal history of the same period.

Physical characteristics

c.1,000 individually numbered documents and volumes, 1882-1938, contained in 12 PRONI boxes.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/2166 for detailed catalogue of the papers. The catalogue is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search room.


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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 09 February 2018