Creator(s): Beresford, Lord John George De La Poer, 1773-1862, Archbishop of Armagh
Administrative History ↴
Beresford was a younger son of George de la Poer, second Earl and first Marquis of Waterford. He was born at Tyrone House, Dublin, and educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford where he graduated with RA., April 1793, M.A., March 1796, and D.D., by diploma, 11 March 1805, in view of his consecration, 24 March, to the bishopric of Cork., ten years after he had been ordained as a deacon. He was translated to the see of Raphoe in August, 1807, and to that of Clogher in September, 1819. In April, 1820, he was created archbishop of Dublin and in the following month was appointed a privy councillor in Ireland. Finally he was translated to the archbishopric of Armagh and the primacy of all Ireland on 17 June, 1822. In 1829, the Primate succeeded Lord Manners as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dublin, and continued in that office until his election to the Chancellorship left vacant by the death of the King of Hanover on 19 November, 1851.
Primate Beresford stands out as a great benefactor in the fields of education and religion. He erected, at a cost of £3,000, a campanile in the great quadrangle of the University of Dublin in 1853 and gave £1,000 in 1853 and again in 1861 towards the founding and maintenance of a chair of ecclesiastical history. He also gave over £6,000 to the college of St. Columba, near Stackallan, which was opened in 1844 and for which he was visitor and patron for several years until December, 1853. He was even more generous to the Church by restoring the cathedral of Armagh at an expense of nearly £30,000 and improved the services by his own donations. He held the patronage of 120 livings and in ordinary times he gave to the clergy, in the way of salaries to curates and augmentations of small incomes, not less than £1,800 a year. During the tithe war of the 1830s it is believed that many of the clergy and their families were saved from actual starvation by his generosity.
Beresford was a conservative in politics and opposed the Roman Catholic Relief Bill of 1829, against which he seconded the motion of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the House of Lords. His speech on that occasion, one of his very few printed publications, was published in 1829. As a member of the powerful Beresford family, the Primate was also an interested party in the manipulation of several Parliamentary seats controlled by the family. The main constituent of the archive, under the reference number D664, illustrates this control well especially with regard to the Derry election in 1830. This section of the collection also documents in detail the Primate's involvement in such questions as Catholic Emancipation, the National Education scheme and the Maynooth grant. Correspondents include the Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, in April 1845, left the Primate in no doubt as to the strict control which should be exerted over the teaching of Roman Catholicism at Maynooth College: I It would be certainly well if we could have that religion inculcated in its mildest and most tolerant and enlightened form and a Government may fairly require that the principles of sedition and turbulence should be carefully excluded from the College and pains taken to imbue the students with a feeling of submission to the authority of the State. ...'
-Extracted from a full account of the Pack-Beresford collection in the PRONI catalogue: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni
Archival History ↴
Received from Arthur Pack-Beresford of Woburn, Millisle, County Down
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Beresford, Lord John George De La Poer, 1773-1862, Archbishop of Armagh ↴
The papers of Lord John George de la Poer Beresford, 1773-1862, who was Primate of all Ireland from 1822 to his death in 1862. A smaller part of the collection consists of c.500 documents, c.1823-1902, relating to the Dunbar family of Wobum, Millisle, Co. Down – the Dunbar connection to the Beresford archive is explained by the fact that one of Beresford’s nieces married George Dunbar, D.L., of Wobum, who was M.P. for Belfast, 1835-41, and Beresford, who never married, spent his final days at Dunbar’s Woburn seat.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
The collection is arranged as follows:
D664/A Private correspondence
D664/AA Primate’s accounts and miscellaneous documents
D664/D Dunbar correspondence
D664/DA Dunbar accounts and miscellaneous documents
D664/F Family correspondence and miscellaneous documents
D664/O Orr family documents
Conditions of Access & Use
The collection can be consulted in the reading room in PRONI in accordance with PRONI's rules and regulations.
Conditions Governing Reproduction
Items 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.
c 4,500 documents
Material Language Script
A descriptive list is available to search online at: http://www.proni.gov.uk/
Archive Web Link →
PRONI holds the following related papers:
D3279 Primate Beresford Papers
T2772 Primate Beresford's correspondence
Descriptive Control Area
ISAD(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)