Gosford Papers

The Gosford Papers relate mainly to the estates (in Counties Armagh and Cavan) and financial affairs of the Acheson family of Markethill, Co. Armagh, successively baronets of Nova Scotia (1628), Barons, Viscounts and Earls of Gosford in the peerage of Ireland (1776, 1785 and 1806 respectively) and Barons Worlingham and Acheson in the peerage of the United Kingdom (1835 and 1847), c.1750-c.1960.

Comprising mainly an estate archive, the Gosford Papers contain firstly William Greig's survey of the original Armagh estate, 1821, important in terms of social and economic history. Other components are: title deeds (of which there are surprisingly few in number), leases, c. 1770-c. 1850, and lease books, 1801-1910; agents' correspondence etc., 1816-1984; rentals and accounts, 1787-1930; maps, surveys, plans and valuations for a number of properties, 1730-c. 1880; electoral, legal and judicial records, 1790-1939, including manor court books, 1838-48; and personal, political and general correspondence of the family, 1745-1867.

The correspondence is particularly good for the 18th Century and relates to a wide variety of topics of both local and national importance including comment on, for example, the management of election interests in Co. Armagh, Co. Cavan in 1768, Enniskillen and Old Leighlin, the failure of the harvest in 1782, the election of the Speaker of the Irish House of commons in 1785, disturbances in Co. Armagh in 1796 between the 'Orange Boys' and 'the lower orders of the Catholics', the government's military preparations in June 1798; and the Act of Union in 1799-1800. After 1800 the correspondence includes some references to post-Union British politics and Court life and letters concerning architecture and building on the Gosford estate, 1820-1858.

The archive also includes papers of the 2nd Earl of Gosford as Governor of Lower Canada (the southern part of today's Quebec), 1835-1838. This section includes some 600 letters and papers relating to his period office. These are separately referenced under PRONI D/2259.


Of interest to those researching local history in Co. Armagh; and the building of Gosford Castle. Also of interest to students of Canadian history in the mid-nineteenth century.

Physical characteristics

Approx. 40,300 documents and 300 volumes occupying c. 110 PRONI boxes

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI references D/1606 and D/2259 for catalogues of the papers. The catalogues are available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.

See http://www.proni.gov.uk/records/private/gosford.htm for a more detailed introduction to the collection.


Accrual Policy
Accrual Periodicity

The vast majority of the collection was deposited as an indefinite loan. However, some Gosford correspondence was puchased from the National Library of Ireland.

Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 25 August 2018