Medieval Irish Records in the Public Record Office, London

Published in Issue 2 (Summer 2002), Medieval History (pre-1500), News, News, Volume 10

The Economic and Social Research Council in the UK is funding a projectentitled ‘England and Ireland, 1170-1485: a guide to documents in thePublic Record Office’. The researcher is Paul Dryburgh, and the projectis supervised by Brendan Smith (University of Bristol) and PhilomenaConnolly (National Archives, Dublin). Work began in January 2002 andfunding has been secured for two years.
As a result of the close relationship between England and Irelandin the medieval period, much documentation relating to Ireland hassurvived among the records of the English administration. Thisincludes: original Irish records and contemporary copies sent toEngland either for information purposes or because they were requiredas part of an administrative procedure, such as the auditing ofaccounts; records produced by various branches of the Englishadministration relating to Irish affairs or involving Irish peopleand/or interests; petitions, letters and reports from officials inIreland or private individuals sent to the king and council in Englandor to individual members of the English administration; recordsrelating to manors in Ireland which later became crown property.Because of the variety of ways in which it was created or acquired, theIrish material in the PRO does not form a cohesive body of records butis scattered throughout a large number of record classes, most of whichare not listed in detail.
It is envisaged that the project will result in the publication ofa handbook which would also be available in electronic format. Theproject team would be interested to receive comments and suggestionsfrom potential users of the handbook which can be addressed to: PaulDryburgh, Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey,TW9 4DU, e-mail: Paul.Dryburgh@pro.gov.uk.

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