Greer Papers

Correspondence of the Greer family of Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, 1717-1896. Operating from New Hamborough in Dungannon, where the family owned a bleach green, the Greers’ were an important and influential linen family in the North of Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries. Written mainly to the three Thomas Greers from 1717 to 1891, the letters contained in this collection provide a detailed account of the Family’s business activities and an interesting case study for the history and development of the linen trade in Ulster. Letters to and from the second Thomas Greer (1724-1803) form the bulk of the collection. These principally deal with business affairs, and, in particular, the linen trade with England and America. His contacts included Wakefield, Willet & Miers (later Wakefield, Pratt and Miers) in London and Samuel & John Morton in Philadelphia. Difficulties with trade are highlighted throughout, particularly for the period leading up to and during the American War of Independence (1770-1783), which led to a cessation of trade between America and Europe for some time after 1774. Outside their business activities, the Greer family were Quakers and made religious visits to England and Scotland as well as all over Ireland. There are a number of religious letters to be found within the collection, usually referred to as Devotional, as well as a section containing miscellaneous documents concerning religous matters describing in detail religious disputes within the Quaker movement.


This is an extremely important collection of letters revealing and documenting much about the history of linen in Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries, and providing a detailed and interesting story of an important linen family..

Physical characteristics

c. 1,000 letters and a small number of volumes, 1717-1896, occupying three PRONI boxes.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI references D/1044 and MIC/531 for catalogues of the papers. The catalogues are available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.


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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 09 February 2018