Whyte Papers

Estate, family and political papers of the Whyte family, Loughbrickland, Co. Down, 1622-1950. This collection is of considerable significance partly because the Whytes are by Irish standards a very old-established family, their ancestors having come to Ireland with Strongbow in 1170, and partly because they are a Roman Catholic gentry family who weathered the penal era without losing their Loughbrickland estate and without at any stage changing their religion. The estate, household and family part of the collection includes: title deeds, 1611-1894; leases and agreements for property mainly in Tullyear, Loughbrickland, Dooghary, Ballydown and Coolnacran, Co. Down, 1739-1913; rentals and rent accounts, 1738-1913; estate and financial correspondence, 1773-1916, which includes references to the construction of Loughbrickland Chapel, 1827-33; household and personal accounts of the Whyte family, 1816-c.1900. There are also maps, surveys and valuations, 1727-c.1900, one of which shows the village of Loughbrickland in 1819, and some sketches of Loughbrickland House, 1840-1860. All generations of the Whyte family were widely-travelled and this is reflected in the cosmopolitan nature of parts of the archive which includes letters from various members of the family while on military service in India, during the Boer War and during World War I. The Whyte family also played a significant role in Co. Down politics and there are 132 letters, 1816-63, about patronage and local politics and administration documenting the activities of John Joseph Whyte (1826-1902) and Nicholas Whyte (1785-1867), the first Roman Catholic High Sheriff of Co. Down, 1830-1. Correspondents include Viscount Castlereagh (1769-1822), Lord Dufferin (1826-1902) and Lord Downshire and the letters pertain to issues such as Catholic Emancipation, the Great Reform Bill and the new Poor Law system for Ireland. As a leading Roman Catholic, the views and role of Nicholas Whyte on subjects such as Catholic Emancipation were highly regarded. The papers also include genealogical notes and pedigrees pertaining to the Whyte family, 1110-c.1930, copies of newspapers and magazines retained because of references to the Whyte family in them, c.1880-c.1950, and official documents of appointments to various positions by members of the family, 1732-1863.


The principal strength of the collection lies in the general point that it is unusual to find such detailed documentation of a small to medium sized estate like Loughbrickland.

Physical characteristics

c. 4,000 items, 1622-1950, comprising a range of documents, volumes, photographs, press cuttings etc. occupying 23 PRONI boxes.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/2918 for 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