The ancient and eminent family of Whyte traces its descent from Ethelbert Le Whyte who was appointed Chief Justice in Pembroke by Henry II who reigned between 1154 and 1189. In 1170, Le Whyte's eldest son, Walter, accompanied Strongbow in his expedition and conquest of Ireland, being knighted by Henry II in Dublin in 1171. Having played a leading part in the conquest of Ulster he was rewarded with large grants of lands on the west shore of Strangford Lough. The connection with the Loughbrickland area of Co. Down, which the greater part of the collection relates to, originated when Colonel John Whyte, 1684-1741 became connected through marriage to the family of Sir Marmaduke Whitchurch of Loughbrickland. From then on the Whyte family had a strong influence in that area: in the nineteenth century Captain Charles Whyte and John Joseph Whyte were both Deputy Lieutenants for Co. Down and Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of 1834 describes Loughbrickland House as 'the handsome residence' of N.C. Whyte. No further information.