Creator(s): Berkeley, George Fitzhardinge (b.1870), Captain, Irish Volunteers
Administrative History ↴
George Fitzhardinge Berkeley was born in 1870, the only child of Major George Sackville Berkeley. He was educated at Wellington and Keble College Oxford. In 1899 he married Caroline Isabel Mason (d. 1933). Served in Great War 1914-19 as Brigade Musketry Officer, also with 3 cavalry res. regt. and on Claims Commission in France and Italy. Justice of the Peace in Oxfordshire 1906-1937. Married his second wife, Joan Weld, in 1934. Member of Vincent's (Oxford) and Kildare Street (Dublin) clubs. Resided at Hanwell Castle near Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. Died 14 November 1955. Publications include an article in ‘Home rule problems’, Ed. by Basil Williams, (London, 1911). Also ‘The Irish Batallion in the Papal Army of 1860’ (1930). Training Officer/ Officer Inspecting, Belfast Regiment, Irish Volunteers, 1914. Member of London committee Irish Volunteers. The members of the committee included Capt. George Fitzhardinge Berkeley, Sir Alexander Lawrence, Mary Spring-Rice, Conor O'Brien, Erskine Childers and Darrell Figgis. Berkeley became involved in the Irish Dominion League in 1920. The League was formed as a platform for the promotion of dominion Home Rule for Ireland.
The collection contains some material, mainly notes and correspondence, relating to the organisation and training of the Belfast Regiment of the Irish Volunteers in 1914 (PR12/96, /117, /121, /128) and a small amount of material relating to other areas in the North of Ireland (PR12/79, /89, /91). Some items relate to the national organisation of the Irish Volunteers (PR12/69, /71, /108, /112), and include some mention of importation of munitions (PR12/35). There are also a number of items relating to tension in Belfast during 1914 (PR12/4, /8, 10, /93). Regarding the wider political situation in Ireland in 1914, there is evidence of Berkeley’s contact with John Redmond of the Home Rule Party (PR12/32 – /34), and some indication of Berkeley’s views on the political situation at the time (PR12/97, /98). The collection contains some correspondence from one of Berkeley’s Unionist friends in Cork, expressing concern about the evolving political and military situation in Ireland (PR12/99 – /107). Also found is the text of a published article by Mary Spring Rice from the Irish Press on gun importation at Howth in 1914 (PR12/128a). Berkeley became involved in the Irish Dominion League in 1920. The League was formed as a platform for the promotion of dominion Home Rule for Ireland (PR12/208). The collection contains correspondence relating to the League such as from Henry Harrison, Honorary Secretary (PR12/133), from the London Committee of the League (PR12/151, /153), and circular letters from Sir Horace Plunkett (PR/168-/171). There is also material relating to a Bill from Lord Monteagle in June 1920 for Dominion Home Rule for Ireland (PR12/163), and some material about the Irish Peace Conference in September 1920 (PR12/181, /182). Also included are publications by the League and related organisations, and newsclippings (PR12/208). Additional material consists mainly of correspondence with various people and organisations including the Irish Reform Association, Home Rule Council, Irish Institute in London, Irish Protestant Home Rule Committee c1909-c1940s.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
The collection has been arranged into 3 main sections. Section A relates to Berkeley’s involvement with the Irish Volunteers. Section B relates to his involvement with the Irish Dominion League. Section C contains Additional Material (mainly correspondence) accessioned in 2008.
Conditions of Access & Use
Open by appointment to those holding a current readers ticket.