Foster/Massereene Papers

Repository: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleFoster/Massereene Papers
Archive ReferenceGB 0255 PRONI/D207
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1590-1935
Extent MediumOver 26,000 documents + volumes


Creator(s): Foster, family, Viscounts Ferrard Clotworthy, family, Viscounts Massereene Skeffington, family, Viscounts Massereene

  • Administrative History ↴

    The two families of Foster/Massereene came together through a marriage of 1810 between the Foster heir and the Masserene heiress. Their estates and titles merged in the person of the 10th Viscount Massereene and 3rd Viscount Ferrard in 1843. 'Massereene' is the barony (or, rather, Upper and Lower Massereene are the two half baronies) in Co. Antrim where Antrim Castle and the bulk of the Massereene estate lay; and 'Ferrard' is the barony in Co. Louth where Collon and the bulk of the Foster estate were situated.
  • Archival History ↴

  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Foster, family, Viscounts Ferrard Clotworthy, family, Viscounts Massereene Skeffington, family, Viscounts Massereene ↴

    The collection consists almost entirely of Foster papers, though there are a few Massereene estate papers for the 17th and early 18th centuries. It contains no Massereene correspondence.
    There is a certain amount of 17th and 18th century material relating to the Foster estate and family finances and a certain amount of miscellaneous material; but the vast majority of the papers in D207 are the correspondence of John Foster in the period 1804-1811.
    Many of the topics and correspondents represented in this correspondence are also well represented in D562. But as a general, though not unvarying, rule, D207 contains letters from John Foster’s most prominent correspondents – prime ministers, lords lieutenant, chief secretaries, authors etc. – in short, from people who are likely to be of interest in their own right.

    – Extracted from a full account of the Foster/Massereene Papers in the PRONI catalogue:

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    D207 Correspondence of John Foster in the period 1804-1811

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 Dates1590-1935
Extent MediumOver 26,000 documents + volumes
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids A descriptive list is available to search online at: Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Copies InformationD207 - 4,700 documents are available on microfilm: MIC511
Related MaterialPRONI hold further related papers: D207 - 4,700 documents (Copied as MIC511) D562 - 18,000 documents (Copied as MIC500) D1739 (Clotworthy House papers) - 200 documents D2681 - 163 documents D4084 (Chilham papers) - 3,330 documents(Withdrawn material copied as MIC611, and correspondence copied as T2519/4) T2519/4 - 2,400 documents (Photocopies of the original correspondence, which is closed to the public, in D4084. T2519/1-3 and 5-16 comprise photocopies of Foster-related papers in other institutions) MIC618 - printed matter and a few family letters D3711 (Emerson papers, not actually of Foster/Massereene provenance) MIC251 (Cooper papers, also not of Foster-Massereene provenance)

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