Drapers’ Company Papers

Repository: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleDrapers' Company Papers
Archive ReferenceGB 0255 PRONI/D3632
Web Link to this Entryhttps://iar.ie/archive/drapers-company-papers
Creation Dates1585-1944
Extent Mediumc 500 volumes + c 1500 documents


Creator(s): The Drapers' Company, County Londonderry

  • Administrative History ↴

    The Drapers' involvement in Ireland began in January 1610 when James I more-or-less compelled the livery companies of the City of London to undertake the plantation of 400,000 acres of the newly named county of Londonderry. From the distribution of land between the companies, the Drapers emerged with holdings in the barony of Loughinsholin in Co. Londonderry comprising the Divisions of Moneymore, Brackagh, Slieve Gallion, and Ballinascreen. By 1880 the Company had concluded that its Irish estates were no longer viable. The tenants were discontented after a series of bad harvests, and considerable arrears of rent were building up amid accompanying agitation for tenant right (D3632/K). It was decided, therefore, to proceed with the sale of Drapers' property under the terms of the 1881 Land Law (Ireland) Act and the 1885 Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act. This proved to be a protracted business, which culminated in the Drapers being accused, by a Parliamentary Commission, of unfairness to their tenants - an accusation which they were able to refute. Next the Company was sued by its own solicitors, Glover & McGuckin, for the costs which they had incurred in administering the disposal of the Company's estates. The solicitors also claimed commission on the sales of land and on the collection of rents (D3632/H/2). This was followed by a lawsuit against the Drapers by the Irish Attorney-General. A select committee of the House of Lords had ruled that the Drapers were merely trustees of the Irish estates, and that proceeds of the sale of their estates should be devoted to improvements in Ireland. The Drapers contested this and the verdict was eventually given in their favour by the Irish Master of the Rolls (D3632/H). Amid this storm of litigation, the sale of the Drapers' Irish estates was virtually completed by 1900. - Extracted from a full account of the collection in the PRONI catalogue: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni
  • Archival History ↴

  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: The Drapers' Company, County Londonderry ↴

    The Drapers’ Company archive documents the history of the Drapers’ ‘adventure’ to Ireland, and their settlement in Co. Londonderry, from the early 1600s until the sale of their estates in the late 19th century. From the arrangement of the archive three broad categories can be discerned:
    Records relating to the management of the estates, including minutes of the Company’s courts and committees, c.1820-1891 (D3632/C); reports of Deputations, 1817-1884 (D3632/D); records of agents, 1827-1894 (D3632/D), and their correspondence, c.1780-1900 (D3632/G); financial records, c.1750-1900 (D3632/F); and litigation records, mainly c.1800-1900 (D3632/H).
    Records of land tenure, and of the Drapers’ dealings with their tenants, including some 2,000 leases, c.1820-1880 (D3632/B); rent records, 1813-1890 (D3632/K); and petitions and memorials, 1808-c.1900 (D3632/J).
    Records reflecting the growing diversity of interests of the Drapers’ Company in such matters as: education, 1807-1906 (D3632/S); medical care, 1817-1889 (D3632/T); and philanthropy, 1829-1882 (D3632/U).

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    D3632/A 17th and 18th century documents relating to the settlement of the Drapers’ Company in Co. Londonderry
    D3632/B Leases
    D3632/C Minutes
    D3632/D Deputations
    D3632/E Agents
    D3632/F Financial Records
    D3632/G Correspondence
    D3632/H Litigations
    D3632/J Petitions and memorials from individuals and groups, such as tenants and church congregations
    D3632/K Rent records
    D3632/L Irish Land Commission
    D3632/M Works, repairs and improvements
    D3632/N Surveys and valuations
    D3632/P Maps, plans and prints
    D3632/Q Timber
    D3632/R Church
    D3632/S Education
    D3632/T Dispensaries
    D3632/U Charitable societies
    D3632/V Railways
    D3632/W Miscellaneous printed material
    D3632/X Political societies
    D3632/Y Industries and agricultural societies
    D3632/Z Other London companies

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions The collection can be consulted in the reading room in PRONI in accordance with PRONI's rules and regulations. http://www.proni.gov.uk/proni_rules_and_regulations_2011
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 Dates1585-1944
Extent Mediumc 500 volumes + c 1500 documents
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids A descriptive list is available to search online at: http://www.proni.gov.uk/ Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

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