Creator(s): Smythe, family, of Barbavilla, County Westmeath
Administrative History ↴
The collection traces the family's long connection with Westmeath, from their acquisition of extensive lands in the county in the late 17th century and the construction of their residence, Barbavilla House ca 1730. It also provides an overview of the family's business transactions and the maintenance of the estate over the proceeding generations, through to 1929. A key feature of the collection, and of significant value to scholars of landlordism and agrarian conflict in 19th century Ireland, is the material relating to William Barlow Smythe (1809-1889), who ran the estate from 1830. His papers reflect his early hostility to the Repeal movement, his later conflict with the local Catholic clergy and his relations with tenants prior to and during the Land War, culminating in the eviction of tenants on the Barbavilla estate in March 1882 and a subsequent, unsuccessful attempt on his life at Collinstown on 2 April 1882, which resulted in the murder of his sister-in-law, Maria Smythe. The collection also sheds light on the activities of the Land League and Ladies Land League in Westmeath and the response of the local Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Castle to agrarian violence.
Archival History ↴
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Smythe, family, of Barbavilla, County Westmeath ↴
The papers consist mostly of correspondence between members of the Smythe family, the majority between Ralph Smythe (1676-1755) and his brother William Barlow Smythe (1692-1769), dated 1712-52. The letters concern social, family and business affairs, in particular land and tenant issues in co Westmeath. There are some land deeds and agreements in respect of Barbavilla. Other papers of interest concern genealogy; poetry, for which exists a first-line index; a collection of printed pamphlets; and miscellaneous items which includes a printed almanac for the year 1684 with manuscript diary entries, in which the author refers to his travels around Ireland and meetings with Lord Granard, Lord Kingston, Sir Oliver St George and Lord Mountjoy.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
The collection is arranged as follows:
11198/1 Rev William Smyth d 1699, of Ranaghan, Co. Westmeath, Bishop of Killala 1680, Bishop of Kilmore 1682, Bishop of Raphoe 1693
11198/2 Robert Nelson fl 1679-1713, merchant, of London
11198/3 Ralph Smyth (1676-1757)
11198/4 William Smyth (1692-1769) of Barbavilla, Co. Westmeath
11198/5 Ralph Leonard Smyth (1717-1790) of Barbavilla, Co. Westmeath
11198/6 Ralph Smyth (1784-1814), of Newpark, Co. Roscommon and Barbavilla, Co. Westmeath
11198/7 William Meade Smythe (1785-1866), of Deerpark, Devon
11198/8 William Barlow Smythe (1890-1889), of Barbavilla, Co. Westmeath
11198/9 Henry M Smythe (1810-1893) of Barbavilla Co. Westmeath and Dublin
11198/10 Col William Lyster Smythe of Barbavilla, Co. Westmeath (1859-1920)
11198/11 Agnes Smythe (nee Litton) d 1952
11198/12 Capt Cecil St George Lyster-Smythe (1895-1948)
11198/13 Genealogical Papers
11198/15 Pamphlets, Transcriptions and Sermons
Conditions of Access & Use
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Manuscripts and Archives Research Library, Trinity College Dublin contains further related material: IE TCD MS 3488 Smyth, Isabella, of Castle Forward: Commplace book, 1819-1827: school history, poems, devout meditations
Descriptive Control Area
Adapted by Natalie Milne, February 2014.
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.