The collection contains c 1600 documents and 23 volumes of genealogical and historical writings, c.1775-1890, which pre-date and include the writings of Richard Nugent of London and subsequently of Farren Connell, the family historian, who succeeded his nephew Edmond Robert in 1876 and died in 1891. c 300 title deeds, settlements, case papers, wills, leases etc., 1488-1872.
The family settlements and related papers, mainly of the Nugents of Farren Connell, 1703-1837, include: a deed whereby Robert Nugent apparently becomes Protestant trustee of the estate of the Roman Catholic Dease family of Turbotstown, Co.Westmeath, 1751; and draft settlements of the estate of Thomas Nugent, 6th Earl of Westmeath, 1756, and of Robert Nugent (later Earl Nugent), of Gosfield Hall, Essex, 1762. In addition, there are c.400 miscellaneous estate papers, 1735-c.1870, including a 1765 survey of Bobsgrove, maps, valuations, drawings, schedules and inventories, together with rent receipt books, rentals and agents’ accounts and a very large collection of correspondence, 1762-1890.
The records of greatest general interest are undoubtedly those of Major-General Sir Oliver Nugent and his wife and children, 1884-1926.
There are some 600 letters from Sir Oliver, then Commander-in-Chief of the 36th (Ulster) Division, to his wife and children, written from the Western Front, between May 1915 and April 1918 and including some thirty letters covering the period of the Somme offensive in July 1916. These letters are remarkable for their volume and regularity, which provide a daily account of life in the trenches. Sir Oliver Nugent’s last command was in India, where he commanded the Meerut Division in the Afghan War of 1919. Again, this period is covered in letters to Lady Nugent.
Sir Oliver retired from the Army and died in 1926. Apart from material relating to his military career, the archive also reflects his personal and leisure interests. There are his diaries, 1884-1925 including his shooting diary, which gives details of shoots in India and Africa during the late 1880s and early 1890s, and a game book kept by him, giving details of where and with whom the shoot took place and the number of game killed, 1900-11.
There are also c.1000 loose newscuttings, c.1895-1943, relating to Sir Oliver Nugent, the Boer War, the First World War, 36th (Ulster) Division casualties, honours lists, promotions and appointments, the conscription question in Ireland, life at the Front, the Somme offensive, Unionism, etc. There are a number of printed obituaries of Sir Oliver and details of Nugent family events.
Photographic and pictorial material comprises: c.80 important and rare Boer War photographs including some of bombed bridges, an armoured train, Boer dugouts, trenches and battlelines, Canadian troops in action, Bristol aircraft fighters at Sarwekei aerodrome, views of Ladysmith, 1899, Pretoria, 1900, and Bloemfontein, c.1900, and a photograph of a prisoner of war camp in Pretoria; c.45 First World War photographs of trenches, shelled towns and officers etc.; c.200 photographs of various locations and events in Ireland, India, Oxford and Bermuda; photographs of various Nugent family members at Farren Connell etc.; and photographs of Sir Oliver Nugent dedicating a war memorial, of the fifth annual dinner of the 36th (Ulster) Division officers, and of regimental football teams.