De Ros Papers

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) | D/638, MIC/413, MIC/573, T/1135 |

Papers concerning the Barony of De Ros relating principally to Thomas Coningsby, Earl Coningsby (1655-1729), a de Ross ancestor, and the family and descendants of Lord Henry Fitzgerald (1761-1829), and his wife, Charlotte Boyle (1769-1831), 21st Baroness de Ros. The papers comprise c. 1,100 original documents, 1682-1818, with a heavy concentration on 1682-1712 and few documents falling within the period 1712-1758 (D/638), and a microfilm copy of c. 2,900 documents and c. 95 volumes, c. 1675-1976 (MIC/573).

D/638 mainly comprises the letters and papers of Thomas Coningsby (1655-1729), Earl Coningsby, and some of his descendants, 1682-1818. Thomas Coningsby of Hampton Court, Herefordshire (to be distinguished from the royal palace of the same name), MP for Leominster, Herefordshire, held several official posts in Ireland as joint Receiver and Paymaster-General of the Forces in Ireland, 1689-1693 and 1698-1710, and Vice-Treasurer for Ireland, 1693-1710. He helped organise the commissariat of the army during the Williamite War in Ireland, and was one of the Lords Justices from September 1690 to March 1692. In April 1692, he was created an Irish peer. His strong support of the Hanoverian succession secured him an English barony in 1716 and three years later the Earldom of Coningsby. His letters contain much information, political and social, parliamentary and military, about England and Ireland during the late seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries from the perspective of a diverse range of prominent political, as well as personal, correspondents.

The bulk of MIC/573 comprises papers relating to Lord Henry Fitzgerald (1761-1829), his wife, Charlotte Boyle (1769-1831), who established her claim to the barony of de Ros in 1806, and their descendants. Lord Henry Fitzgerald and his elder brother, Charles (d. 1810), were endowed by their elder brother, William, 2nd Duke of Leinster, with the northern part of the family estates, mainly consisting of the barony of Lecale, Co. Down. By the end of the 19th century the estate of Lord Henry's descendant, the 24th Lord de Ros, amounted to almost 3,000 acres in Co. Down plus c.1250 acres in Co. Meath, and the principal family residence was Old Court, Strangford, Co. Down. The Meath estate was completely sold by 1929.

This section of the archive includes: diaries and journals of successive family members, 1756-1891; correspondence of the de Roses, 1764-1891, most notably between Lady Georgiana de Ros and the Duke of Wellington, 1807-c. 1877; papers deriving from Dudley de Ros’s (24th Baron) position as equerry to Albert, the Prince Consort, 1853-1874; various papers and commissions relating to the military careers of the 23rd and 24th Lords de Ros and transcripts of letters from the Duke of Marlborough to Lord Coningsby, 1704-1714; detailed documentation of the background to calling the de Ros barony out of abeyance in 1806; and various family, testamentary and estate papers, 1735-1971.


Of interest to those researching the family history and genealogy of the de Ros family and British and Irish Politics and History from the late 17th to the 19th century.

Physical characteristics

Approx. 3,095 documents and volumes occupying 15 PRONI boxes

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/638, MIC/413, MIC/573 and T/1135 for catalogues of the papers. The catalogues are available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.

See for a more detailed introduction to the collection.


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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 25 August 2018