CollectionThe Rosse Papers
Collection DescriptionThis collection of papers relates to the Parsons family (Earls of Rosse) of Birr Castle, County Offaly, and dates from the 17th-20th century. Anthony Malcomson's Calendar of the Rosse Papers was published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission in 2008. Offaly History also provides a digital copy of the Calendar on its website (see link). A selection of the papers have been microfilmed and copied by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, see MIC/512 and T/3498.
Collection Web Address

D/7/1-170: Letters to Sir William Parsons from his uncle, Laurence Harman of Newcastle, County Longford, 1st Viscount Oxmantown, and from 1806 1st Earl of Rosse, in which he complains about Parsons' absence from parliament on account of his wife's ill health, 1806.

Letters from Jane, Dowager Countess Lady Rosse, regarding the 2nd Earl taking possession of the 1st Earl's house in Saint Stephen's Green, Dublin, 1807 and making reference to politics with the 2nd Earl acting as her advisor and spokesman and stating in a letter, 'to you I will acknowledge [that] my view is to preserve the county in the family; and as your son John is by my will next in remainder after Laurence King to the estate, it appears to me proper that he should represent the country till Laurence is of age. This I am the more anxious for, as I trust he would support the Protestant cause as you did so ably at the time the elective franchise was so foolishly granted, that now causes so much trouble and is so very injurious to the peace and prosperity of poor Ireland', 22 September 1818; the state of Ireland, 'Certainly poor Ireland is a very savage country and the Union by taking the best people away has greatly contributed to make it as now is', 5 September 1816; electoral matters, ' It is thought by some persons that elections in Ireland would be a less formidable business if freeholds were upon the same footing as in England, where none vote but out of their own property, little estates, instead of leases. I have a poor head for such things, but it seems to me as if it would cut up the power of the priests, by depriving those over whom they have such influence of their power to intimidate men of Protestant principles from standing for counties', 31 July 1818; local elections and her duty to bear electoral expenses and noting, 'I am still undecided as to whom I shall support for the county of Longford...I have hardly courage to attempt a contest without such an active friend, and sincerely hope there will be no vacancy for Mr White to set us all at variance', 24 February 1819; her near fatal accident whilst driving her carriage in 1807 and the provisions of her will, 1818, 1838 and 1842

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Repository NameBirr Castle Archives
AddressRosse Row Birr County Offaly
EircodeR42 VO27
Repository Web Address
Comment'The Calendar of the Rosse Papers', edited by A.P.W. Malcomson, was published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission in 2008.