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Southwell family papers on Ireland


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

This collection consists primarily of documents concerning government administration in Ireland during the tenures of Sir Robert Southwell (1635-1702) and his son Edward Southwell (1671-1730) as Secretaries of State for Ireland. Because of their nineteenth and twentieth century collection history, the documents here are largely miscellaneous in nature but are clustered around a few themes. Highlights include lists of rents and financial transactions from the period after Cromwell's invasion and before the Williamite war in Ireland, a 1689 eyewitness letter recounting the battle of Derry, a series of documents related to admiralty, smuggling, and collecting maritime revenue in the first decade of the eighteenth century, an inventory of maps of Ireland, and a substantive series of petitions relating to Richard Blake of Ardfry.

The collection Archibald Cameron Elias Jr. (1944-2008) was a literary scholar who wrote extensively on the writer Jonathan Swift and his circle. Dr. Elias' books include Swift at Moor Park (1982) and the Memoirs of Laetitia Pilkington (1997). His collection reflected his interest in 17th and 18th century Irish and English literature and in addition to the materials listed here he also owned a number of bound manuscript volumes which are cataloged separately.

This collection was formerly owned by Archibald Cameron Elias Jr. (1944-2008), a literary scholar who wrote extensively on the writer Jonathan Swift and his circle. Elias purchased this collection at Sotheby's (London) in their 4 April 1977 sale, as lot 140. The documents contained within had almost certainly been sold, re-sold, and reorganized in the 150 years since they left the possession of the Southwell family. The Southwell family papers were purchased in bulk by London bookseller Thomas Thorpe and dispersed in a series of sales in the 1830s. Nearly all of these papers were purchased by the famous manuscript collector Sir Thomas Phillipps and many of his distinctive manuscript numbers appear on the documents and volumes in the collection. Phillipps' collection was sold in an extended series of sales over nearly a century from the 1890s onward and it is clear that the present collection consists of the remains of once larger sets, with material removed and sold by bookdealers over the years. Many of the documents have penciled page numbers or other annotations which indicate the presence of other materials not preserved here.

This collection includes documents bearing annotations from the following sales and lots:

Thomas Thorpe: 137, 690, 752

Sir Thomas Phillipps: 10,018; 10,020; 10,035; 10,060; 10,070; 24,227; 24,274; 24,523; 26,291; 29,013

For the catalogs of the Southwell papers sold by Thorpe see

Catalogue ... containing the Greater Portion of the United Libraries of Sir Robert Southwell ... his Son, the Hon. Edward Southwell, and the Late Lord De Clifford (London: Thomas Thorpe, [1834])

Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Southwellianae ([London]: Thomas Thorpe, 1834)

Catalogue of Ancient Manuscripts .. Several Volumes Relating to Ireland, (Omitted in former Catalogue of State Papers,) from the Southwell Collection (London: Thomas Thorpe, 1835)

Catalogue of upward of Fourteen Hundred Manuscripts…Paston, Sidney, Ormond, Orrery, Southwell, and other Family Papers (London: Thomas Thorpe, 1836)

Supplement to Thomas Thorpe's Catalogue ... and another Portion of the Southwell Papers (London: Thomas Thorpe, 1836).

These documents were loosely contained in three volumes, often without discernible order or any clear arrangement. They have been organized here according to their physical volume of origin and then by shared provenance to a given Phillipps collection if recorded.

Gift of the Archibald Cameron Elias, Jr. (1944-2008) estate.

This collection consists of manuscripts and papers relating primarily to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Ireland and Great Britain formerly owned by A.C. Elias. Archibald Cameron Elias Jr. (1944-2008) was a literary scholar who wrote extensively on the writer Jonathan Swift and his circle.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Mitch Fraas
Finding Aid Date
2015 June 12
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Middle Hill green boards with title in pencil reading "Sir Robert Southwell Ireland" and the number "410". The number 24,523 also appears in pencil.
Box 1 Folder 1
Copy of an order related to the collection of hearth money in County Cork, 1665. 1 folder.
Box 1 Folder 2
Physical Description

1 folder

Copy of the order making the Earl of Clarendon the Lord Governor of Ireland. Marked "Thorpe 137", April 1685.
Box 1 Folder 3
Two letters relating the administration of prize money. Signed by Lord Rochester, 1685 July 27.
Box 1 Folder 4
Abstracted instructions to justices of the peace on collecting hearth money, 1685 July.
Box 1 Folder 5
Letter writtern at Derry to Robert Southwell describing the battle of Derry. Marked (Co-320) pp. 265-6, 1689 June 7.
Box 1 Folder 6
Warrant from King William III at Whitehall providing 240 pounds to Robert Southwell for troop provisioning, signed by William Blathwayt. Marked (Co-318) p.195-8, 1690 December 6.
Box 1 Folder 7
Order from King William III at Whitehall providing backpay to soldiers, signed by William Blathwayt. Marked (Thorpe 690) p.263-6, 1694 January 24.
Box 1 Folder 8
Empty folder reading with ink note Lot 314 Paid 11/2/34. Later pencil notes indicate this formerly contained pages 259-61 of Thorpe 690, undated.
Box 1 Folder 9
Copy of a petition on financial hardship sent by military officers in Dublin. Marked pp. 321-4, 1696 June 20.
Box 1 Folder 10
Documents on the case of Richard Blake of Ardfry in Galway including his various petitions. Marked (Co-332), pp. 239-260, 1698.
Box 1 Folder 11
Letter of reccomendation from Lord Feversham to Edward Southwell on behalf of Lt. Col. Montaut. Marked Thorpe 752, pp. 417-20, 1703 April 20.
Box 1 Folder 12
Letter from Lord Nottingham to Edward Southwell with some news from London and the continent. Marked Thorpe 752, pp. 421-24, 1703 June 12.
Box 1 Folder 13
Receipts for letters received from William Blathwayt, 1705 April 27.
Box 1 Folder 14
Attorney and Sollicitor General's reports on a bill for preventing Catholic priests from coming into the Kingdom, undated.
Box 1 Folder 15
Copy of a letter from Ormond's Irish council to the Earl of Nottingham relating a meeting in council on legislation., 1703 June 26.
Box 1 Folder 15
Copy of a letter from Bartholomew Vanhomrigh at Dublin to the Commissioners of Transportation, 1703 August 3.
Box 1 Folder 15
Copy of a letter from Bartholomew Vanhomrigh to Edward Southwell relative to shipping matters in Dublin, 1703 August 7.
Box 1 Folder 15
Note from Lord Granville relating to a position in Wexford, 1703 November 4.
Box 1 Folder 16
Document entitled "An Answer made by the Irish to the proposal of 40,000 acres", undated.
Box 1 Folder 17
Form letter for setting a day of fasting. Directed to Michael the bishop of Armagh, the bishop of Meath, and the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore. Dating from Queen Anne's reign. Marked as pages 9-12, undated.
Box 1 Folder 18
Letter to Edward Southwell from Rochester confirming that Southwell had been made Secretary of State for Ireland, 1702 June 13.
Box 1 Folder 19
Detailed list of Irish lands with the revenue they produced in 1661 and estimates of what they will produce in 1662, 1662.
Box 1 Folder 20
Declaration from the Privy Council at Whitehall on the matter of hearth money and the charging of rents, 1674 January 15.
Box 1 Folder 20
Extract of a letter from the Archbishop of Dublin asking that two new ministers be paid in light of the increased number of French protestants in Dublin, 1699 June 1.
Box 1 Folder 20
Manuscript list of books and pamphlets to be sold at Chichester house. Docketed "Irish Catalogue of Books", 1704 October 3.
Box 1 Folder 20
Printed broadside announcing Edward Southwell's intention to procure an act of parliament to enable him to sell certain properties. (Dublin: Printed by F. Dickson, at the Union Coffee-House on Cork-Hill), 1709.
Box 1 Folder 20
Annotated copy of An Act for Reviewing and Amending an act Entitled an act for Recovery of Small debts, in a Summary Way before the judges of assizes. Dublin 2 George I c.11, 1716.
Box 1 Folder 20
Text of an act to prevent the illegal transportation of wool, 1729 October.
Box 1 Folder 20
Letter concerning taxation, Irish bounties, and parliamentary legislation. Dated at London, 1750 March 31.
Box 1 Folder 20
List of maps and charts of Ireland in the great portfolio, 40 in total, undated.
Box 1 Folder 20
French extract docketed "Earl of Ossory's answer to the King of Spain's letter to him", undated.
Box 1 Folder 20
Memorial from Mr. Chambers to Robert Southwell asking for the bishopric of Clogher, undated.
Box 1 Folder 20
Answer to the Lord Lieutenant's objections against the 5000 a year to the Duke of Ormond, undated.
Box 1 Folder 20
Foul copy of a letter to farmers of the hearth money in Irish estates, undated.
Box 1 Folder 20
Notepaper with miscellaneous notes. 3 sheets , undated.
Box 1 Folder 20

Middle Hill brown boards to volume labeled 26,291. Ink title on spine reads "MSS Southwell." Also bears sticker reading "126" as well as penciled number B.39.959. Additional pencil note reads "Vol. 4".
Box 1 Folder 21
Letter from a Mr. Gwin in London with a list of salaries for Gwin, plantation money taken in and other accounts dated 1683-4. (Co. 535) pp. 191-202, 1688 November 1.
Box 1 Folder 22
Letters from Nathaniel Shaw in Dublin on Irish Parliamentary affairs. (Co. 334), pp. 29-40, 1713 December 24 to 1714 January 7.
Box 1 Folder 23
Petition of Sir Richard Stephens, recorder of Waterford. (Co. 335), pp. 21-24, undated.
Box 1 Folder 24
Letter to the Earl of Pembroke recommending judges for the court of admiralty in Munster. (Co. 336), pp. 45-48, undated.
Box 1 Folder 25


The documents in this volume are arranged here as they were stitched together in the boards.

Middle Hill brown boards to volume labeled 10,018 and 10,020. Ink title on spine reads "MSS Southwell, Lettre sur les Vaudois" as well as "Vol 3." Also bears penciled number a.35.412.
Box 1 Folder 26
Petition of Daniel DeLagrange and other Swiss refugees. In French. (pp. 1-3), undated.
Box 1 Folder 27
Letter from Ralph Freke on illicit goods landing on Irish beaches and other admiralty affairs. Dated old style at Rathbarry. (pp. 5-8), 1709 February 24.
Box 1 Folder 27
Copy of a letter of from a Mr. Braconmer on millitary affairs on the continent. In French. (pp. 9-10), 1692 August 25.
Box 1 Folder 27
Letter from Josiah Burchett on admiralty matters. Dated old style, 1710 March 7.
Box 1 Folder 27
Letter from Sidney Godolphin to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (Thomas Wharton) on Edward Southwell and admiralty jurisdiction. (pp. 17-20), 1709 September 29.
Box 1 Folder 27
Reports of expenses in Admiralty cases for the ship St. Stephen and the Corporation of Galway. (pp. 21-24), undated.
Box 1 Folder 27
Admiralty court expenses filed by Richard Crawley and sent to Edward Southwell. (pp. 25-28) , 1707 July 31.
Box 1 Folder 27
Miscellaneous list of maritime charges mentioning Kinsale and Baltimore. (pp. 27-28), undated.
Box 1 Folder 27
Two letters from a Mr. Farren at Cork to Thomas Bocher on illicit shipping. Dated in the old style. (pp. 29-32 and 43-44; pp. 33-42 missing), 1702 January 17.
Box 1 Folder 27
From Thomas Southwell at Dublin to unknown about employing persons to investigate wrecks. (pp. 45-48), 1702 March 26.
Box 1 Folder 27
Proposal to the Lords of the Treasury relating to the Royal Oak Lottery. (pp. 57-60), undated.
Box 1 Folder 27
Receipt for stores put in at Duncannon. Glued to 19th century printed waste mount. (pp. 69-70), 1705.
Box 1 Folder 27
Fragment of a sermon or prayer mounted on 19th century printed waste. (pp. 75-78), undated.
Box 1 Folder 27
Transcriptions made by Arch Elias of the first two letters in this series, undated.
Box 1 Folder 28

Correspondence surrounding Arch Elias' acquisition of this collection at Sotheby's in 1977, 1977.
Box 1 Folder 29

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