CollectionVilliers-Stuart Collection
Collection DescriptionThe Villiers Stuart family, which descends directly from the Fitzgeralds of the Decies and of Dromana, has been in unbroken, though not undisturbed, possession of the Dromana estate, near Cappoquin, in West Waterford, since mediaeval times. Although the descent has been unbroken, it has on three occasions during the period 1664-1824 been through the female line. As a result, the family name changed from Fitzgerald, to Fitzgerald Villiers, to Mason Villiers, to Villiers-Stuart, and the family has held a succession of titles, each extinct or dormant in their turn - a viscountcy of Decies, viscountcies and earldoms of Grandison, and a barony of Stuart de Decies. The collection includes the estate, family and political papers of the Fitzgerald, Villiers, Mason, Aland and Villiers-Stuart families of Dromana, Co. Waterford, Viscounts and Earls Grandison and Barons Stuart de Decies. [UCC Special Collections and Archives]
Collection Web Address
ReferenceGB MIC464; T3131; IE BL/E

91 boxes & 147 bound volumes. The Villiers-Stuart collection contains c.12,000 documents and volumes. The earliest original document among the Villiers-Stuart collection is dated 1400: the c.22 documents of 1215-1292 are only present in the form of 19th-century copies. Even so, the archive is unusually early by Irish standards. The papers are listed chronologically according to estate ownership, document type, and collection acquisition. 

The collection includes:

Fitzgerald of the Decies deeds and documents, 1215-1598

Fitzgerald deeds and documents, 1602-1670

Deeds and documents relating to Katherine Fitzgerald Villiers, Viscountess Grandison, 1674-1701

Mason title deeds, 1560-1745

Wills and testamentary papers, 1658-1662, 1693 and 1714-1875

Grandison and Villiers-Stuart deeds of settlement, 1708-1920

Leasebooks and leases, 1680-1902

19th century legal case papers, 1822-1883

Correspondence of the 1st Earl Grandison, 1708-1767

Mason correspondence, 1708-1759

Grandison correspondence, 1766-1802

Stuart and Villiers-Stuart estate and financial correspondence, 1800-1907

Letters and papers, 1824-1874, of Henry Villiers-Stuart, 1st Lord Stuart de Decies, concerning general politics, Co. Waterford politics and administration, and family matters

Similar letters and papers, 1857-1893, of Henry Windsor Villiers-Stuart, MP for Co. Waterford, 1873-1874 and 1880-1885

Formal documents, 1664-1839 and 1908

Inventories, 1694-1695, 1726-1762, [1820s] and 1882-1957

Maps, plans, surveys and valuations, 1640, 1652, c.1655 and 1693-1892

Rentals and rent accounts, 1708-1945

Bills, receipts, accounts and account books, 1709-1927


AccessBy prior appointment
Century13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th

James and Emily Villiers-Stuart transferred ownership of their family papers to University College Cork in 2003.

UCC Special Collections and Archives provides a number of descriptive lists for the Stuart-Villiers, reflecting the four different strands within the Collection, all of which have been recorded using a variety of systems:

Repository NameUCC Special Collections & Archives
AddressSpecial Collections & Archives Q-1 Boole Library University College Cork Cork City
EircodeT12 ND89
Repository Web Address