Mussenden Papers

Papers of the Mussenden family of Belfast and later of Larchfield, Annahilt, Co. Down whose origins are uncertain but who were active in business from the early 18th century. Daniel Mussenden (d. 1763), some time member of the Belfast Corporation, was one of Belfast's principal merchants from 1720, trading with the Baltic and Northern Europe, the Americas and West Indies and also with England and Scotland, and he was a partner in Belfast's first bank, Mussenden, Adair & Bateson, set up in 1753. The business was continued by his son William. Another son, Daniel, barrister and a captain of yeomanry at the time of the '98 Rebellion, married Fridiswide Bruce, a second cousin of Frederick Hervey, the Earl-Bishop of Derry, who dedicated the Temple at Downhill as a mausoleum to her after her early death in 1784.

The papers comprise: estate papers, 1694-1831, relating to Larchfield and other properties in Co Down and Belfast; business papers, 1712-1755, relating to shipping and trade, banking, and including business letters from merchants in Europe and America, indentures for apprenticeships, and ships' accounts etc; papers relating to Daniel Mussenden's involvement in municipal affairs,1736-1758, including the Belfast Charitable Scheme, the Lagan Canal and other civic projects; political, military and personal correspondence which reflects the family's connections with important political figures of the day, including local politicians William Richardson MP and Arthur Hill, Viscount Dungannon. There are no records relating to the 1780s.


Of interest to those researching the economic history of the 18th century in Belfast, trade and shipping.

Physical characteristics

Approx. 1,100 documents occupying 10 PRONI boxes

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/354 and MIC/510 for catalogues of the papers. The catalogues are available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.

See also for a more detailed introduction to the collection.


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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 25 August 2018