Earl of Erne Papers

Repository: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleEarl of Erne Papers
Archive ReferenceGB 0255 PRONI/D1939
Web Link to this Entryhttps://iar.ie/archive/earl-erne-papers
Creation Dates1611-1981
Extent Mediumc 11,750 documents + volumes


Creator(s): Creighton, family, Earls of Erne, of Crom Castle, County Fermanagh

  • Administrative History ↴

    The Creightons were created Earls Erne in 1789, in 1872 they changed the spelling of their family name from Creighton to Crichton. According to T.J.C. Reeves-Smyth, the name which originally spelt neither Creighton nor Crichton, but 'Creichtoun', '... derives from the barony of that name in the ancient county of Edinburgh, and its lineage can be traced back to the 12th century .... In the early 15th century, a branch of the family acquired land at Brunston ..., and ... for the next eight generations the head of this branch was the Laird of Brunston. In 1597 John, the 9th Laird, sold his lands there ...', and his eldest son, James, his younger son, Abraham, and his grandson, Thomas (son of James), were all eager to participate in the plantation of Co. Fermanagh. The Creightons of Crom, however, were not among the original patentees in Plantation Fermanagh, and in fact did not come into possession of Crom until 1655. In 1613, James and/or Thomas Creighton bought the proportion of Aghalane, a short distance from Crom on the others side of the lough, from its original patentee, Thomas Moneypenny, Laird of Tinkell, very soon after the date of the passing of the tatter's patent in 1611. In c. 1615, James and or Thomas Creighton built Aghalane Castle. In 1616, Thomas Creighton leased to his uncle, Abraham, the lands of Derrycanon, etc, part of the manor of Aghalane. On these lands, Abraham Creighton built himself a house at Dromboory (which survived until c. 1840-1845, when it was burnt down) and thereafter was styled 'of Dromboory'. He died c.1630, and was succeeded by his son, another Abraham, subsequently known as Colonel Abraham Creighton. At this stage, and until 1655, Abraham Creighton was still a poorer relation and tenant of his Aghalane cousins. In 1661, Thomas Creighton of Aghalane died and was succeeded by his younger brother, the Rev. George Creighton, who in that year made a fee farm grant of Dromboory to Abraham Creighton, which in effect gave ownership of it to Abraham. In the early 18th century, according to T.J.C.Reeves-Smyth, the then head of the Aghalane branch of the family, John Creighton, moved out of Aghalane Castle into a newly built small mansion at Killynick. Although he was by now a rather distant cousin, he features prominently in the family settlements of the Creightons of Crom (and vice versa). John Creighton died in 1738, without a son, and in his will directed that his estate should be sold and the proceeds divided among his six daughters. The purchaser was Samuel Cooke, later Sir Samuel, Alderman of the City of Dublin. Cooke's daughter, Anne, married Walter Weldon, a member of the Weldon family of Rahenderry, Queen's County, and by 1784 Aghalane was owned jointly by Mrs Anne Weldon, now a widow, and her son by Walter Weldon, Samuel Cooke Weldon. Then, by an extraordinary coincidence, one of the Weldons' two daughters, Jane, married in 1797 Colonel the Hon. John Creighton, second son of the 1st Earl Erne and father of the 3rd Earl of Erne. Soon afterwards, Jane’s only brother, Samuel Cooke Weldon, died, leaving as his co-heiresses Jane and his other sister. In 1816, the Weldon estates (of which only Aghalane was in Co. Fermanagh) were partitioned between the co-heiresses, the Aghalane estate going to Jane Creighton. From 1829, it became part of what was called in mid-19th-century Erne estate records 'the Killynick estate'. Following a purchase of additional land to the value of £19,382 in the period 1842-1852, this combined Killynick estate had a total acreage of 1,798 (Irish). -Extracted from a full account of the Earl of Erne Papers in the PRONI catalogue: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni
  • Archival History ↴

    Deposited by the Earl of Erne, Crom Castle, Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh in a number of accessions.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Creighton, family, Earls of Erne, of Crom Castle, County Fermanagh ↴

    The Erne papers comprise c.11,750 documents and volumes, 1611-1981, some of them relating to the family and personal affairs of the Creighton family of Crom Castle, Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh, Earls Erne, but most of them relating to the administration of their various estates: at Crom, Callowhill, Derrylin, Killynick, Lisnaskea, Knockballymore and Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh; at Lifford, Co. Donegal; and in Dublin City, Co. Sligo and Co. Mayo.

    Most of the material relates to the period 1830-1950, with comparatively few documents for the 17th and 18th centuries. This uneven survival of material is probably due to the destruction of the original Crom Castle by an accidental fire in 1764, and to the subsequent absences from Crom of the family until the 1830s, although they did at the very least maintain a summer residence on Inisherk from c. 1780 onwards. The main exception, in terms of early archival survivals, are the papers relating to the Balfour estate at Lisnaskea and elsewhere in Co. Fermanagh. This was not purchased by Lord Erne until 1821, so the documents relating to it were not destroyed in 1764, and in fact provide important information about early 17th century settlement. The Erne papers comprise such material as title deeds, settlements, wills, leases, rentals, accounts, maps, surveys, architectural drawings and Land Commission sale papers relating to the various properties, together with correspondence about estate, political and family affairs, 1727-1728 and c. 1775-1945. Some family and estate correspondence has found its way into the National Library in Dublin (e.g. MS 15360).

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    D1939/1 Irish Land Commission: judicial rent and sale papers
    D1939/2 Maps, surveys, valuations and architectural drawings including Blore’s and subsequent architects’ drawings for Crom Castle
    D1939/3 Register of freeholders, Co. Fermanagh
    D1939/4 Receiving rentals [of the] Erne estates
    D1939/5 Erne estate rentals and accounts, 1856-1942
    D1939/6 Miscellaneous (Fermanagh and Dublin) receiving rentals, 1845, 1868 and 1927-1928
    D1939/7 Agents’ annual rentals and accounts
    D1939/8 Receiving rentals for the Lifford estate
    D1939/9 Agents’ statements of account, etc
    D1939/10 Rentals for estates in Cos Mayo and Sligo
    D1939/11 Title deeds and leases of the Crom, Aghalane and other Fermanagh estates
    D1939/12 Title deeds, leases, correspondence and some rentals and maps relating to the Mayo and Sligo estates, 1700-1910
    D1939/13 Title deeds and leases of the Callowhill and Eyles Irwin estates
    D1939/14 Title deeds and leases of the Cole-Hamilton estate in and north of Enniskillen and of the Crawford estate at Drumgamph, etc
    D1939/15 Title deeds, leases, rentals, etc, of the Balfour estate
    D1939/16 Miscellaneous title deeds and papers
    D1939/17 Title deeds and rentals of the Balfour estate, 1630-1919: contents of Deed Box No. 8
    D1939/18 Title deeds and leases of the Lifford estate
    D1939/19 Miscellaneous legal and testamentary papers, title deeds and leases, maps, surveys and rentals, etc
    D1939/20 Title deeds, leases, accounts, etc, relating to the Aghalane/Killynick estate
    D1939/21 Title deeds and releases relating to virtually all the Creighton estates
    D1939/22 Title deeds, leases, etc, of the Knockballymore estate
    D1939/23 Family settlements, mortgages, etc
    D1939/24 Title deeds, leases, etc, of the Rogerson estate in Dublin
    D1939/25 Wills and administrations: 1668 – 1946
    D1939/26 Family settlements, etc
    D1939/27 Family diaries, household account books, inventories of furniture, paintings, silver, books, etc
    D1939/28 Estate Office correspondence and letter-books
    D1939/29 Workmen’s wages books and farm account books
    D1939/30 Kitchen and domestic accounts including game books
    D1939/31 Cash books
    D1939/32 Bank Pass books
    D1939/33 “Erne Estate” ledgers
    D1939/34 Schedules of documents
    D1939/35 Invoices and receipts
    D1939/36 Miscellaneous estate papers

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 Dates1611-1981
Extent Mediumc 11,750 documents + volumes
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids A full 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