Introduction to the Kenmare Papers

Date published: 21 November 2007

Part of: Significant privately deposited archives , K - Introductions to significant privately deposited archives

This is a document summarising some of the most interesting and significant content within the Kenmare archive (D4151) held in PRONI.


The Kenmare papers deposited in PRONI, which include most of the former contents of the Estate Office at Killarney, Co. Kerry, amount to well over a ton of records, 1587 to 1958, comprising around 475 volumes and files (53 of them of huge proportions) and around 3,520 documents (of which over 400 are outsize maps, plans and surveys). 

The papers include – in the description provided by the late Dr Edward MacLysaght in The Kenmare Manuscripts (IMC, Dublin, 1942)

'... a remarkably full series of rental ledgers and estate account books, a considerable volume of correspondence, many hundreds of Chancery bills, briefs and other legal documents, a very large number of conveyances, leases, etc, together with various interesting miscellaneous items, the majority but not all of them relating to the Browne family and the Kenmare estate ... [in Cos Kerry, Limerick and Cork, and, to a lesser extent, Cos Carlow, Kilkenny and Queen's County]'. 

Much of the description which follows is taken, mutatis mutandis, from Dr MacLysaght's introductory comments.  However, as his cut-off point in most respects was 1795, and as he concentrated on the choice rather than the bulky parts of the archive, a good deal of additional information has been required and is now provided.


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