The family came to Ireland with Strongbow in 1172 when he landed at Bannow, Co. Wexford. Family members subsequently intermarried with the families of Butler, Colclough, Devereux, FitzGerald, Kavanagh and O’Flaherty. Sir Thomas Esmonde was created a baronet in the reign of Charles I.
Sir John Esmonde married Louisa Grattan, grand-daughter of the Hon. Henry Grattan M.P. They were the parents of Sir Thomas-Henry-Grattan Esmonde (1862-1935) who features prominently in this collection and collected and saved many of the objects in Ballynastragh.
Sir Thomas-Henry-Grattan Esmonde served as a M.P. for Co. Dublin from 1885 until 1892, for West Kerry from 1892 until 1900 and for North Wexford from 1900 until 1918. He failed to be elected to the First Dáil in 1918 as a Nationalist for Co. Wexford. He was a member of the Seanad from 1921 to 1934 where he sat, generally, as an Independent.
The family seat at Ballynastragh near Gorey, Co. Wexford was burned on 9 March 1923. This collection is what survived.
Archival History ↴
The collection was accessioned in the early 1960s, received from Sir Anthony Esmonde of County Wexford.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Esmonde family of County Wexford ↴
The collection comprises bound transcripts concerning the history of the Esmonde family from 834 – 1899, coats of arms, copies of wills, genealogical tables, Grattan and Esmonde family pedigrees, architectural plans and drawings of Ballynastragh tower. Legals records such as deeds and conveyances, sale and rentals of lands, copies of the charters of Wexford issued by King James II in 1688 and documents concerning Plowden’s ‘History of Ireland’. There are also notes and lists of manuscripts and papers relating to the Esmonde family held in other collections such as at the Bodleian library, Oxford in addition to some transcripts of documents held at the British Museum and Trinity College Dublin. There is also correspondence between family members and others, letters from King Charles I and King James I. Papers relating to the Siege of Duncannon Fort especially the correspondence of Lord Esmonde 1643-1646 and papers regarding the ‘Star Chamber Trial’ of Lord Esmonde in 1639. Only about half the collection has been listed.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
No further accruals are expected
The arrangement of the collation listed here below is as it came from the individual deed-boxes. The captions are those provided by Sir Thomas-Henry-Grattan Esmonde:
/1 Genealogical information
/2 Genealogical information
/3 Genealogical information
/4 Burning of Ballynastragh, 9 March 1923
/5 Publications and printed material
Conditions of Access & Use
Available to holders of a valid readers ticket
Conditions Governing Reproduction
Reproduction is at the discretion of the National Archives of Ireland
Material Language Script
English and Latin
An item-level descriptive list for sections 1-3 is available for consultation at the National Archives of Ireland
Archive Web Link →
Esmonde family papers are held at the National Museum of Ireland ref. IE NMIAS/PP01
Also at the following repositories; National Library of Ireland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and St Peter’s College, Wexford
Dictionary of Irish Biography (Cambridge University Press / Royal Irish Academy, 2009)
Descriptive Control Area
Adapted by IAR archivist, March 2014. Enhanced by Aideen Ireland, NAI.
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: 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.