T.J. Clanchy, Cork Butter Merchant

Repository: Cork City and County Archives

Identity Statement

TitleT.J. Clanchy, Cork Butter Merchant
Archive ReferenceIE CCCA/PR11
Web Link to this Entryhttps://iar.ie/archive/tj-clanchy-cork-butter-merchant
Creation Dates1860-1946 (1991)
Extent Medium2 boxes


Creator(s): Clanchy, T.J (b1835-d1897) Cork butter merchant

  • Administrative History ↴

    Served as a magistrate, as a member of Cork Harbour Board, and as a governor of Cork District Lunatic Asylum (PR11/48). He participated in many Catholic charities, including the Society of St Vincent de Paul (PR11/37). He was also very involved in nationalist politics, and was asked to run as a candidate for the Irish Parliamentary Party in the 1893 election (PR11/40). In the divisive period following the split in the Party in 1891-2, Clanchy was a supporter of TM Healy, who had opposed Parnell’s continued leadership and was the leader of one of the factions vying for control of the Party. Clanchy was also a supporter of the People’s Rights Association, set up by Healy to increase the independence and influence of constituency organisations within the Party. Perhaps above all, TJ Clanchy was a family man who cared deeply for his children. He wrote verse and drew sketches for them, and wrote them affectionate letters (cf. PR11/18-20). His daughter Elizabeth (Lizzie) Clanchy, later Murphy, was the child of his first marriage, to Mary Anne (Marion) Slattery. Following Mary Anne’s death, he married again, to Ellen Slattery, apparently a cousin of his first wife (PR11/23). This second marriage produced sons Hugh and Edward and daughters Amy, Agnes, and Mary (May). TJ Clanchy died on 31 May 1897.
  • Archival History ↴

    The papers of TJ Clanchy and his family were donated in 1991.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Clanchy, T.J (b1835-d1897) Cork butter merchant ↴

    Papers relating to T. J. Clanchy, Cork butter merchant (1835-1897). The collection is of interest in documenting both the family and the public lives of a prominent Cork figure in the late 19th century. The family papers, including legal documents, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia, reveal the formal and informal ties connecting Clanchy’s large family. His daughter Elizabeth kept most of the collection together and passed it on to her daughter, Sheila Murphy. There are photographs of Clanchy’s son, Hugh, who served in the First World War, and of his daughter Mary, who became a nun in the Society of the Sacred Heart. Mary provided Sheila Murphy, her step-niece, with accounts of growing up in the Clanchy home at ‘Sunville’ (PR11/24). Clanchy himself seems to have written some light verse for publication, but most of his efforts, along with his own illustrations, were for the amusement of his children (PR11/32). These stand in contrast with more serious work, such as his book, ‘Ireland in the Twentieth Century’ .

    While the collection contains some record of Clanchy’s business, as well as his public and charitable work, it is the small volume of political correspondence, relating to the Irish Parliamentary Party in the 1890s, which is of most interest. The Irish Party in these years was riven by dissension. The split into Parnellite and Anti-Parnellite factions in 1891-92 was traumatic, creating a long-lasting division and ongoing bitterness. While the Anti-Parnellite group became the dominant one and retained the name of the Irish Party, factions continued to jostle for control of the party and its organisational machinery. Party debts and funds, including the ‘Paris Fund’ set up to assist evicted tenants, also became sources of dispute, as a letter to Clanchy from WJ Lane, the prominent Cork merchant, reveals (PR11/43).

    The letters in the present collection shed light on a difficult Party Committee election in 1895 (PR11/45-47). They also include correspondence between Clanchy and Justin McCarthy, chairman of the Irish Party (PR11/42, 43). While he declined the invitation to run for parliament himself, Clanchy was clearly a loyal Party man, providing advice and financial assistance. Also present is a letter from TA O’Callaghan, Catholic bishop of Cork, regarding an election, hinting at the close involvement of the Catholic hierarchy in nationalist politics (PR11/44) .

    Taken altogether, this small but interesting collection provides an insight into the social and political milieu of a Cork upper middle class family around the turn of twentieth century, as well as lovingly documenting its domestic life.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    SECTION A: Family and Private Papers
    1. Legal Documents
    2. Family and Private Correspondence
    3. Family Tree, Reminiscences, and Memorabilia
    4. Family Photographs
    5. Poems and Drawings
    SECTION B: Business, Public, and Political Papers
    1. Business Papers
    2. Public and Charitable Papers
    3. Political Correspondence
    SECTION C: Newspaper Cuttings on the Death of TJ Clanchy

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Open by appointment to those holding a current readers ticket.
Creation Dates1860-1946 (1991)
Extent Medium2 boxes
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids Descriptive list Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteTimothy O'Connor
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions38473