Farren Connell Papers

Repository: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleFarren Connell Papers
Archive ReferenceGB 0255 PRONI/D3835
Web Link to this Entryhttps://iar.ie/archive/farren-connell-papers
Creation Dates1488-1963
Extent Medium80 volumes + 10,000 documents


Creator(s): Nugent, family, of Farran Connell of County Cavan

  • Administrative History ↴

    The archive of the Nugent family of Farren Connell, Co. Cavan, comprises a fairly complete record of this major Ulster family, their estates in Counties Cavan and Westmeath, and their careers, mainly in the army (principally that of General Sir Oliver Nugent, who died in 1926), between the 15th and 20th centuries. The family is a cadet branch of the Nugents, Lords Delvin, afterwards Earls of Westmeath, and has been at Farren Connell since the end of the 17th century. Richard Nugent, 12th Baron of Delvin, was Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1528. The Earldom of Westmeath was created in 1621, with Richard Nugent, 15th Baron of Delvin, being first holder of the title.
  • Archival History ↴

    Collection purchased by PRONI in 1993
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Nugent, family, of Farran Connell of County Cavan ↴

    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.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    D3835/A Historical and genealogical material
    D3835/B Title deeds, settlements, case papers, wills, leases, etc
    D3835/C Estate papers
    D3835/D Correspondence, etc. (excluding that of Sir Oliver Nugent)
    D3835/E Papers of Sir Oliver Nugent and family
    D3835/F Newscuttings
    D3835/G Photographs
    D3835/H Ephemera and memorabilia

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions The collection can be consulted in the reading room in PRONI in accordance with PRONI guidelines.
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 Dates1488-1963
Extent Medium80 volumes + 10,000 documents
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

Copies InformationThe collection is available on microfilm MIC/571
Publication NoteMajor General Oliver Nugent and the Ulster Division, 1915-18, edited by Nick Perry (2007).


NoteEverything up to c.1865 had been listed, and in part calendared, by Sir John Ainsworth of the Irish Manuscripts Commission in the 1950s (see National Library of Ireland Report on Private Collections, No.166, subsequently published in Analecta Hibernica, No. 20 [Dublin, 1958]).

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