Brookeborough papers

Repository: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleBrookeborough papers
Archive ReferenceGB 0255 PRONI/D3004
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1575-1975
Extent Mediumc 3,500 documents, c 115 volumes + 6 outsize photographs and formal documents


Creator(s): Brooke, family, Viscounts Brookeborough, of Colebrooke County Fermanagh

  • Administrative History ↴

    The Brookes first entered Ireland under English arms and initially held their property in Donegal and not Fermanagh. However, they have survived on their Fermanagh property through ten succeeding generations. Thomas married Catherine, daughter of Sir John Cole, of Newlands, Co. Dublin, and from this marriage came the name Colebrooke, given later [pre-1718] both to the estate and to the house. Prior to the Williamite wars, then a soldier in the army, Thomas was dismissed by Tyrconnell, later reinstated by William III, and his name together with about 120 other Fermanagh landholders, as well as that of his half-brother, Basil, appears on bills of attainder passed by the parliament of James II. In the more settled times that followed, the family made useful marriages and consolidated their position .... Colebrooke was then regarded as a good estate and the Brookes as having, with the Archdales, the "principal interest" in Fermanagh. Over the past three hundred years, the Brookes have established a remarkably consistent record of military service. In that period, through each successive generation, they have served with every leading regiment and in every major British theatre of war in Europe, the empire and elsewhere. It is the most outstanding feature of the family's long recorded history. The Brookes of Colebrooke, as with most of the Anglo-Irish gentry, made little contribution to the intellect and to the imagination of the province, though this is less true of collateral branches, notably the Brookes of Dromovana. They did, however, exercise and preserve an important governing role, particularly at county level, acting as governors, sheriffs, lieutenants, deputy lieutenants and magistrates, as well as sitting on various county committees and councils, and as members of parliament. Partly in recognition of such services, two members of the family were knighted, and two separate baronetcies created [in 1764 and in 1822]. -Extracted from a full account of the Brookeborough Family and Papers in the PRONI catalogue:
  • Archival History ↴

    Deposited by the late Viscount Brookeborough in a number of deposits in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Brooke, family, Viscounts Brookeborough, of Colebrooke County Fermanagh ↴

    The Brookeborough papers derive from the Brooke family of Colebrooke, Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh, baronets and (from 1952) Viscounts Brookeborough.
    D3004 contains some estate material, particularly title deeds and leases, 1575 and 1639-1896 (D3004/A), but its principal and more important component is family and political papers, the majority of them deriving from Sir Basil Stanlake Brooke, 5th Bt, created Viscount Brookeborough in 1952, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, 1943-1963. Five minor previous deposits have been incorporated in it: D1029, T1358, D1478, D2316 and T2389. Another, larger previous deposit, T1042, has not been incorporated in D3004, although it has been superseded by it.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    D3004/A Title deeds, leases, wills and other legal papers
    D3004/B Surveys, rentals, accounts, architectural material, stock and game books and other estate, demesne and household papers
    D3004/C Correspondence and related papers
    D3004/D Diaries, journals and autobiographical material
    D3004/E Newspapers, newspaper cutting books and newspaper cuttings
    D3004/F Commissions, patents of appointment and other formal documents
    D3004/G Photograph albums and photographs
    D3004/H Miscellaneous papers
    D3004/J Reels of 16mm film concerning Sir Basil Stanlake Brooke, 1st Viscount Brookeborough
    D3004/K Tapes recording conversations or debates in which the 1st or 2nd Viscount Brookeborough were leading participants

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Access to the Brookeborough papers is not entirely straightforward. For one thing, most diaries, news cutting books, photograph albums, etc, back to Sir Victor Brooke's day have been withdrawn, at least for the foreseeable future, by the depositor. It will usually be possible to make special access arrangements, but researchers should write well in advance stating what it is they wish to see and explaining the nature of their research. Additionally, two separate periods of closure have been placed on the papers - 50 years in respect of correspondence and 30 years in respect of diaries. This, in practice, means that correspondence is closed until 51 years from the date of the last letter in the file or bundle, and diaries for 31 years from the date of the last entry in each volume.
Conditions Governing ReproductionItems may be copied for personal research use only. If a researcher wishes to publish any documents from this collection, a request must be submitted in writing to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
Creation Dates1575-1975
Extent Mediumc 3,500 documents, c 115 volumes + 6 outsize photographs and formal documents
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids A full descriptive list is available to search online at: Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Publication NoteBrian Barton 'Brookeborough: The Making of a Prime Minister' (Belfast, 1988)

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NotePRONI Archivist
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997. UK Archival Thesaurus (UKAT)
Date of Descriptions41699