Category: History

More stories from the Great Parchment Book: Paul Brasier and Coleraine wharf

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There are lots of stories just waiting to be discovered in the reconstructed pages of the Great Parchment Book. Colin Salter has found information about his ancestor, Paul Brasier who first brought the Brasier family to Ireland and was involved in the building of a riverside wharf in Coleraine.

Coleraine BrasierPaul Brasier arrived in Ulster in 1611 as part of part of the Plantation of James I and settled in Coleraine. His name occurs several times in the Great Parchment Book, principally as a member of a consortium commissioned by the Crown to build a riverside wharf in Coleraine. The book records in some detail the terms and conditions of the commission. The wharf must be a minimum size “from the full sea or high water mark down into the said river sixty foot at least and twenty foot at least in breadth, and the said quay or wharf shall be walled on the outsides next the water with good, sufficient, and strong timber” and the consortium must not use cheap materials; they “shall laid forth and expend in and about the building and making of the said wharf forty pounds sterling at the least.”

Coleraine Brasier 2In return for building this commercial asset to the town, the consortium could run and develop the quayside facilities “at their proper costs and their dues, to make, erect, build, and fully finish one crane and cranehouse on any such part of the aforesaid wharf as shall be most convenient” and thereby, it was to be hoped, make their money back; they “shall have and hold all profits, commodities, duties, and payments belonging to the said quay, wharf, and crane for the term of one and twenty years from the feast of Phillip and Jacob now last past, for and under the yearly rent of forty shillings sterling for the last twenty years of the said one and twenty years payable unto his Majesty, his heirs and successors.”

So the King took his cut, but Paul Brasier and his partners were hoping to profit by doing business with the new regime. It is certainly true that, at the same time that disillusioned settlers were leaving the plantation, the Brasier family’s land holdings began to increase. In 1649, he received a further grant of land in Ulster, presumably not from Charles I who had been beheaded in January that year, but from Charles’ executioner Oliver Cromwell. It is tempting to speculate that Paul was being rewarded in the aftermath of the massacres of Protestant settlers in the Irish uprising of 1641 – an uprising which another ancestor, Hugh Massy, helped to suppress – but that’s another story.

Find out more about Paul Brasier and Hugh Massy by following the links at http://talltalesfromthetrees.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/paul-brasier-active-1611-1649-and.html.

You can read the story of another settler, George Canning, the Ironmongers’ Company’s first agent at http://www.greatparchmentbook.org/2016/10/03/the-ironmongers-companys-initial-period-in-ireland/.

There must be lots of other stories out there about people in the Great Parchment Book – if you know one, please let us know!

Articles, audio clips and animations: an online resource on the history of the Ulster Plantation

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If you want to make a start looking into the history of the Plantation of Ulster, then the BBC has a very good resource available within its online archive. Developed by BBC History under the overarching theme of Wars and Conflict, it’s an excellent introduction to the topic both for the general reader and those who’d like to dig a bit deeper. Through essays, audio, photographs and interactive maps, you can discover how the Plantation transformed Ulster.

BBC HistoryThere are two main sections. That on Ireland before the Plantation looks at the legal and religious systems that regulated political and social life in Gaelic Ireland and the indispensable role played by the bardic poets who charted its rise and fall. The section on English and Scottish planters touches on early Scottish migration to Ireland from the 14th century, before looking more closely at the history of Plantation from Elizabeth I’s first colony in 1571 until the 1641 Catholic Rebellion, and then examining the long term consequences of Plantation. Topics covered include the City of London livery companies, the economic background of the settlers and the social and economic conditions in Ulster, and women and the Plantation.

BBC History RavenThe resource also has supplementary pages on a variety of subjects including cartography, the connection to English settlement in America, Plantation architecture and the linguistic history of Ulster. The audio clips are extensive and there are maps, animations and other aids to help you dig deeper into the history of the Plantation.  Of particular note are the animations of Thomas Raven’s maps of 1622. These maps form part of the evidence submitted to King Charles I in support of the charge against the City of London and the livery companies that they were not fulfilling their legal obligations to implement the Plantation. This charge led to the compilation of the Great Parchment Book which documents their Irish estates.

Great Parchment Book logoThere are two major caveats about the pages. Archived web pages are not updated so new research, discoveries and interpretations will not feature and they become increasingly out of date. Most significantly from the point of view of this blog, an essential original documentary source for the Londonderry Plantation is not referenced. Of course, that source is the Great Parchment Book which was unavailable to researchers at the time the pages were put together (around 2000) owing to its damaged condition.

Derry and Strabane Guildhall exhibitionNevertheless, these BBC History archived pages on the Plantation are well worth exploring alongside the virtually reconstructed Great Parchment Book. Visitors to Northern Ireland can also find out more from the continuing exhibition at Derry Guildhall, People, Plantation, Perspectives which opened in May 2013 in connection with the 400th anniversary of the building of the City walls, the driver for the Great Parchment Book project to make available the manuscript which lies at the heart of the story.

 

More 17th century Irish history online: the Civil Survey 1654–6

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The Civil Survey 1654–6 of landholding in Ireland was carried out by an inquisition which visited each barony and took depositions from landholders based on parish and townland, with written descriptions of their boundaries. The Survey covered 27 of Ireland’s 32 counties, but excluded the five counties in Connacht which had been the subject of the Strafford survey commissioned by Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford in the 1630s. The original Civil Survey records were destroyed by fire in 1711, but a set of copies for ten counties was discovered in the 19th century.

imcThe Survey was published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission in the early 20th century and digital copies are now available. Of most interest in connection with the Great Parchment Book and the Ulster Plantation is the Survey for Donegal, Londonderry and Tyrone originally published in 1937. The digital copy of the published copy is available here.

Down Survey 2The Civil Survey was separate from the Down Survey, a cartographic survey, which began while the Civil Survey was in progress, and made use of Civil Survey data to guide its progress. The Down Survey is also available online. Find out more about the Down Survey of Ireland in a previous blog post on 17th century Irish history online.

Men of substance

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A new book on the livery companies role in the Plantation of Ulster by Robert Stedall, a Past Master of the Ironmongers’ Company, has recently been published.

It was James I, who, in 1610, forced the London Livery Companies into colonising County Londonderry, then the most belligerent part of Ireland, and into fortifying Londonderry and Coleraine. He was looking for ‘Men of Substance’ to restore order among Ulster’s Irish chieftains, who were receiving Continental European support. Facing continuing attack from militant Ulster rebels, settlers did not arrive in sufficient numbers to establish control. Far from replacing the local Irish they needed their help to build their settlements. Charles I, frustrated at their failure to meet plantation objectives, expropriated their estates. This led to the City of London supporting Parliament in the Civil war, which cost Charles I his head. Meanwhile, in 1641, the Irish organised a concerted rebellion to destroy any remaining British settlements. It was only the walls of Londonderry, built by the City livery companies, which prevented them from re-establishing complete control.

men-of-substanceIn his book MEN OF SUBSTANCE: The London Livery Companies’ Reluctant Part in the Plantation of Ulster, Robert Stedall  explores the livery companies role in the Plantation from its beginnings in 1610 through to the 19th century when the Companies, realising their tenants’ plight, resumed control of their estates and commenced a period of rebuilding, development and community support. By 1900 though, most of the Companies had sold up, owing to the British Government’s policy of financing tenant purchases.

MEN OF SUBSTANCE: The London Livery Companies’ Reluctant Part in the Plantation of Ulster is published by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.

The Ironmongers’ Company’s initial period in Ireland

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Robert Stedall, a Past Master of the Ironmongers’ Company, explores the Company’s initial period in Ulster and the work of its first agent, George Canning.

When efforts to establish the plantation in Londonderry were begun, the Ironmongers’ Company claimed that it did not have the means to participate. It was the least wealthy of the twelve Great Companies. Although the King was insistent, about half the members remained conveniently away from town. Pressure to assess members was applied, but the Company had to augment their contributions by borrowing. Although the first levy was paid, the second proved more difficult, and the third had to be met out of the its common stock. Yet, in February 1611, it confirmed that, with support from its associated Minor Companies, it would accept land in Ulster. Contributions were as follows:

companies-contributions

On 17 December 1613, the Ironmongers drew an area of 19,450 acres, on the Bann river upstream from Coleraine. Being in several parcels, separated by church and native freeholds, it was indefensible. With its fragmented lay out, consideration was given to dividing it among each of the associated Companies, but this was dismissed in view of the difficulty in providing security. With the Ironmongers left in sole charge, it was named the Manor of Lizard. It was uncharted territory, and Simon Kingsland was commissioned to provide a map, which he completed quickly, but inaccurately.

The Company’s particularly good early records are supported by the letters of George Canning, the first Agent. The Company was lucky in its choice. His brother William was to become Master in 1617. They were great-great-grandsons of Sir Thomas Canninge, Lord Mayor in 1456. As the sixth son, George needed to establish himself and applied for the role at a salary of £100 per annum. He was ‘a country gentleman of the type most needed to make the Plantation a success’. As most agents only sought a quick profit, he was a rarity. On arrival in 1614, he received precise instructions with regard to ‘fencing of lands, establishing boundaries, letting land, collecting rents, and keeping accounts’. Having arrived with several bricklayers and carpenters, he had soon repaired some Irish cabins to provide shelter.

Canning chose to build his settlement at Agivey on the Aghadowey River, up which barges could deliver materials from the Bann. The land was excellent and local clay was used to make bricks, but good stone was in short supply. He balanced quality with economy, turning to Coleraine, for lime, timber, slate, limestone and lath, but poor winter weather prevented delivery. Although nails could be delivered for £1 from London to Coleraine, it cost a further ten shillings to bring them up river past rapids on the Bann and by horse and cart to the settlement. His carpenters were soon making timber frames and he completed a brick kiln. He preferred ‘half-timber’ for house building, despite transportation difficulties, but each one needed 26 tons of sawn wood. Chimney stacks were of brick and casement windows were hung on iron hinges.

Canning was soon able to offer leases to workmen, who would undertake to expel the Irish, and, during 1615, he granted fifteen leases to settlers, conditional on them building two English-style houses and assisting in church repairs. Boundaries were to be hedged and Irish nomadic-style farming was prohibited. By December 1615, leases for twenty houses were granted to English and Scots. For security he wanted settlements of at least six houses, but, although his plan had been to evict the Irish, they offered higher rentals than the settlers and were retained on short leases. Without them there would have been economic collapse. He was always cavalier. In 1616, one hundred and nineteen out of one hundred and twenty-seven under-tenants remained Irish. Yet high rentals left them ever more impoverished and seething with anger.

the-buildings-of-the-ironmongers-by-thomas-raven-copy-courtesy-of-the-drapers-company

The buildings of the Ironmongers by Thomas Raven 1622 reproduced courtesy of the Drapers’ Company

Canning urgently requested a delivery of arms from London to combat rebels, who continued to strip clothing from the workers and stealing their tools. The castle and bawn was of critical importance. With timber being unsuitable for the walls, he used stone on the lower levels with brick above. He waited for good bricklayers, but was a respected employer, who paid promptly. The foundations needed piling on the boggy soil. Yet, by the end of 1616, he had completed a structure with walls four feet thick and thirty-one feet high, and a circular flanker at each corner. There were no interior fittings not even stairs. He claimed it as the best house built on any of the plantations, although others had been costlier. In 1619, the Government surveyor was impressed, but was concerned that the bawn had only three sides (with the river side still unbuilt) and no flankers.

Despite his problems, Canning pronounced Agivey with its six houses as ‘a great town in this country’. With thirteen further houses built by tenants elsewhere, he considered it ‘a good plantation’. He was soon generating a surplus. In 1617, with his standing well-established, he became head lessor, negotiating for himself a lucrative 41-year tenancy. This included the castle, five houses and nine townlands. He built bridges, erected a mill and repaired the church. At last, his wife and family joined him from England. Yet finding settlers was proving difficult; they would not pay what he was asking or build to the designated standard.  Meanwhile the Irish continued to offer higher rents than settlers could afford.

Nothing remains of Canning’s settlement; it was destroyed in the Great Rebellion of 1641, when the settlers were butchered. In 1635, they had been left in the lurch when the Companies’ interests were expropriated by the Crown. Although Canning escaped to Londonderry, his eldest son, Paul failed in an attempt to hold Agivey against the rebels. Canning’s second son William was killed with many others in a doomed attempt to defend Garvagh, a native castle further north. When the Cromwellians restored British control in 1649, Paul establish his own settlement there. Garvagh now became the Canning family estate, from which their later title takes its name. Although Agivey was returned to the Ironmongers, it was never rebuilt.

men-of-substanceRobert Stedall is the author of MEN OF SUBSTANCE: The London Livery Companies’ Reluctant Part in the Plantation of Ulster recently published by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd

 

Livery Company Maps of the Londonderry Plantation

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The importance of the livery company maps of the Londonderry Plantation cannot be underestimated. Dr Annaleigh Margey, Lecturer in History at Dundalk Institute of Technology, has been examining the maps of Ireland and its regions during the decades of plantation from 1550 to 1636 and takes a closer look at eight of these maps from the livery companies archives held by London Metropolitan Archives at Guildhall Library. While to modern viewers, they appear as basic drawings with little by way of modern cartographic expectation, the maps became fundamental tools in the development and shaping of plantation landscapes in Londonderry.

Background

In 2013, the City of Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland commemorated the 400th anniversary of its foundation and charter, granted under the auspices of plantation in Ulster.  On its foundation, the city was envisaged as a fortified settlement that would bolster the security of a wider plantation in its hinterland. This plantation, known as the Londonderry Plantation, gave rise to the establishment of a new County Londonderry, formed from the former County Coleraine and part of north Tyrone. Two towns – Londonderry and Coleraine – were also founded. The newly formed the Honourable the Irish Society became overseers of the plantation, while the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London each received twelve lots of the land of the new county to be managed, developed and financed from their company halls in London. Under the terms of their grants, the companies agreed to bring British settlers to, and remove native Irish from, their lands; to establish settlements; to pay rents; and to ensure the taking of the Oath of Supremacy by their settlers; among other regulations.

Locating surviving maps

In 1613, however, the individual livery companies knew little about the lands of Londonderry. Having been grudgingly enticed into the plantation, the companies became anxious to know more about the physical and cultural landscapes of their new lands. As a result, some individual companies began commissioning surveys and maps of their estates in the first decade of the plantation. Since 2001, I have been examining the maps that were made of Ireland and its regions during the decades of plantation from 1550 to 1636. This research has taken me to both public and private archives across Britain and Ireland, finding maps in places ranging from national collections, to stately homes, to an ensuite bathroom! As a result, I have now located 655 manuscript maps for the period.

The maps held by London Metropolitan Archives at Guildhall Library

Plate 1: ‘Macosquin’, possibly by Thomas Raven, c.1616 (CLC/L/MD/F/016D/MS34100/134).

Plate 1: Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors’ plan of ‘Macosquin’, possibly by Thomas Raven, c.1616 (LMA CLC/L/MD/F/016D/MS34100/134).

Of these, an estimated 105 relate to the Londonderry Plantation. These are located in the library of Trinity College Dublin, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast, and Drapers’ Hall, Goldsmiths’ Hall, and Lambeth Palace Library in London. Eight of these maps, however, are held by London Metropolitan Archives and may be accessed at Guildhall Library in the City of London. These maps were deposited as part of the larger collections of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors (CLC/L/MD/F/016E/MS34100/208 and CLC/L/MD/F/016D/MS34100/134), the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers (CLC/L/IB/H/002 and CLC/L/IB/G/097/MS17298) and the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers (LMA uncatalogued, formerly GL Folio 2, No. 8). All but one of the maps could be described as reconnaissance surveys of the estates of these companies as they sought to understand the geography of the new lands which had been granted to them. One map in the Merchant Taylors’ collection breaks this mould, giving an outline plan of the town of Macosquin (see Plate 1), which became the main settlement of the company in Londonderry.

While the cartographers associated with a number of these maps cannot be identified, three mapmakers – Thomas Raven, Simon Kingsland and Thomas Croddin – all have surviving maps within this collection. Raven is perhaps the most well-known of these, having been the City’s surveyor in Londonderry during the early stages of the plantation. Kingsland has been noted as a book-keeper to the Livery Companies, while Croddin’s career as an estate surveyor spanned both sides of the Irish Sea (see Sarah Bendall, Dictionary of land surveyors and local map-makers of Great Britain and Ireland, c.1530-1850 (London, 1997), 122 and 297).

Maps of the Ironmongers’ proportion

Worshipful Company of Ironmongers’ Proportion, Simon Kingsland, 1613 (LMA CLC/L/IB/H/002)

Plate 2: Worshipful Company of Ironmongers’ Proportion, Simon Kingsland, 1613 (LMA CLC/L/IB/H/002)

Focusing on the maps of the Ironmongers’ Company gives something of an introduction to the content of these preliminary surveys. The most significant map within their collection is that titled ‘A Buttall of the Lands No 7 [lying] in the Baronj of Colraine belonging to the Worshipful the Company of Ironmongers’ (see Plate 2). The Company appeared anxious to obtain a map of their lands from their earliest dealings with their Irish estates. A request for a survey and map to be undertaken by Thomas Raven is noted in their Court Orders as early as February 1613 (CLC/L/IB/B/001/MS16967/003, f. 128v, February 1613). Raven, however, does not appear to have produced a map for the company, with much of the cartographic work on their estate attributed to Simon Kingsland. The surviving map measures approximately 774mm × 970mm; has a scale bar, which allows a modern estimated scale of 1:25,000 to be determined; and has a compass rose, with north above. The map also includes some basic embellishments such as a black line border, a decorative cartouche bearing its title and a coat-of-arms.

In terms of its content, Kingsland very deftly outlined the extent of the Ironmongers’ lands in Londonderry, situating it within the context of the surrounding proportions belonging to the Skinners’, Mercers’ and Merchant Taylors’companies. Within the Ironmongers’ estate, he also provided a snapshot of the boundaries of townlands and churchlands, inscribing place names, many of which were drawn from their native Irish heritage. The physical landscape of the proportion was also laid bare, with a keen focus on the rivers, mountains and woods. Their presence, of course, did much to determine the viability of the company’s estate. Mountains, for example, had to be excluded from areas of potential settlement, while rivers were important in determining areas for agricultural production. In turn, woods offered the basic building blocks for their new settlement.

Why are these maps important?

The importance of these maps from the Londonderry Plantation cannot be underestimated. While to modern viewers, they appear as basic drawings with little by way of modern cartographic expectation, they became fundamental tools in the development and shaping of plantation landscapes in Londonderry. It was their content, alongside written reports, that helped the livery companies, and other landlords, to reshape the landscape of Gaelic Ireland, moulding the lands into estates that were reminiscent of contemporary England. In turn, as the plantation took hold, they became monitoring tools for these changes, often showcasing the new developments, including the many villages and towns that became embedded in Londonderry’s landscape.

About the author

Annaleigh Margey is a Lecturer in History at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Her book, Mapping Ireland, c.1550-1636: a catalogue of the manuscripts maps of early modern Ireland will be published in 2017 by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

An essential and enduring online resource

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The Great Parchment Book website is proving to be an essential online resource in several fields of study, with even the blog itself used as a case study.

Examples which have come to our attention recently include:

 

If text then code websiteThe Great Parchment Book project is being used as a case study in an undergraduate course in the Digital Humanities. If text then code is taught by Dr Diane Jakacki at Bucknell University, a liberal arts college in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in the United States of America. On the course students write and critique code as a form of textual engagement, and amongst other skills, gain competency with TEI­-compliant XML, the code we used to encode the text of the Great Parchment Book and facilitate online accessibility. Currently, London Metropolitan Archives, in partnership with UCL, are looking at how we can make the XML from the Great Parchment Book more widely available.

 

1641 depositions learning websiteThe Great Parchment Book is referenced as an enriching research resource for understanding the history of the Ulster Plantation on Trinity College Library Dublin’s learning website about the 1641 Depositions. The digitisation of the depositions, which we have looked at previously on the Great Parchment Book blog, has opened up these sources for use in the classroom and 1641 Depositions Bridge21 Learning Resources website enables secondary school students in Ireland to hone their skills as young historians while learning about the plantations, the 1641 rebellion and their impact on Irish history.

 

NMCT case studiesThe National Manuscript Conservation Trust, to which we are grateful for funding the Great Parchment Book conservation project, features it as a case study on its website and also highlights the blog as one of the best about conservation projects that have benefitted from NMCT grants.

 

Cilip blogThe Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) also asked London Metropolitan Archives to write about the pleasures and pitfalls of writing the Great Parchment Book blog for their own blog as a case study.

 

 

Inside HistoryAustralia and New Zealand’s Inside History Magazine has included a link to the Great Parchment Book website in its latest issue as a handy hint for those searching for Northern Ireland ancestors, especially those from the County of Londonderry. This has been driving a lot of traffic to the website since it was published, and some of those visitors are then going on to look at other related Irish genealogical sources for which we provide information and links.

 

Sometimes we are frustrated as we can’t see exactly what the Great Parchment Book website is being used for. For example, we know it’s  referenced in an online learning module run by the University of Haifa in Israel, but we can’t see what it is as it’s for registered users only!

 

UCLThe Great Parchment Book website is used cross-discipline and worldwide, reflecting the comprehensive and enduring nature of the work it represents. Not least, the Great Parchment Book is used by our close partners at UCL in the Centre for Digital Humanities and Department of Computer Science and you can follow this on UCL’s own website relating to the project and on related pages.

Continuing the stories of the Great Parchment Book: Irish genealogy online

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There are an estimated 70 million people worldwide claiming Irish ancestry and we are very pleased that the Great Parchment Book project is now accessible and available online to all those who wish to trace their Irish roots.

To continue the story of those recorded in the Great Parchment Book, the genealogical collections of Derry City and Strabane Archive & Genealogy service offer another significant resource. These include a database of over one million records including traditional family history records such as birth, marriage and death records.

rootsireland.ie Derry GenealogyThe Archive & Genealogy service is currently in partnership with Irish Family History Foundation to offer a Genealogy  service.  The database of over one million records, dating from 1642 to 1922, created between 1982 and 2007 as a project of the Inner City Trust, from the major civil and church registers of the city and county of Derry~Londonderry and Inishowen, County Donegal is now available at www.derry.rootsireland.ie. Please note that this is a subscription website.

GREAT PARCHMENT BOOK AWARDED UNESCO MEMORY OF THE WORLD STATUS

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We are delighted to announce  that on 21 June 2016 at the UK Memory of the World awards at the Senedd in Cardiff, the Great Parchment Book of the Honourable the Irish Society was inscribed to the UK register of the UNESCO Memory of the World.

Copyright The Welsh Government

Philippa Smith, representing London Metropolitan Archives, was presented with the award certificate by Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones who gave the keynote speech. The opening speech had been given by Gary Brace from the UK National Commission to UNESCO. Chair of the UK Memory of the World Committee Elizabeth Oxborrow Cowan also spoke about the careful and skilful management needed to preserve our documentary heritage. The Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History, Chris Skidmore MP, sent a supportive message. Finally, a special award was made to George Boston and David Dawson who established the Memory of the World programme in the UK.

091_UNESCO_CARDIFF_AWARDS-9670

Copyright The Welsh Government

 

The following Inscriptions have now been added to Memory of the World (MoW) UK Register, recognising a wide variety of remarkable historical documents from across the UK, dating from the 9th to the 19th century:

  • Archive of Charles Booth’s Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London, 1886 – 1903
  • The Great Parchment Book of The Honourable The Irish Society, 1639
  • The Exeter Book, c.965 – 975
  • The Laboratory Notebooks of Michael Faraday, 1820 – 1862
  • Medieval Archive of Canterbury Cathedral
  • Survey of the Manors of Chickhowell and Tretower, 1587
  • The Correspondence Collection Robert Owen, 1821 – 1858

In addition, congratulations are also due to the Churchill Archives and the Haig Papers.  These Inscriptions have been added to the International Register, which celebrates documentary heritage of outstanding international significance.

These Inscriptions reflect the diversity of the UK’s rich documentary heritage, which is filled with stories about people, places and events.  Documentary heritage is the documented memory of humankind, and it deserves to be cherished, celebrated, preserved and, above all, shared.

Great Parchment Book UNESCO certificateThe Great Parchment Book has been recognised as a hugely significant record of the Ulster Plantation in the early 17th century, providing a unique insight into an important period of the history of Northern Ireland for which there are few other original archives surviving.

It cannot be overstated how important the Plantation of Ulster was to the history of Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and Ireland and it still has influence today. The Great Parchment Book is central to the study of the Plantation and the social, economic, cultural, religious, and political history of Northern Ireland.

The Great Parchment Book provides a key record of the population of early 17th century Ulster at the time of the Plantation, not just the Protestant settlers who came from both England and Scotland, but also the native Irish, and exceptionally many women, at all social levels. It contains unique information about the properties and individual buildings they inhabited, as well as the extent and layout of the towns of Coleraine and Londonderry.

The Great Parchment Book has considerable significance for the people of Ulster, Northern Ireland and Ireland more generally; it is regarded as iconic by the Irish Society and the City of London.

UNESCOUNESCO established the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme in 1992. The programme vision is that the world’s documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The UK Register (one of several country-level programmes from around the world) recognises documentary heritage deemed by a panel of experts to be of outstanding significance to the UK. The seven new inscriptions join the 50 already listed on the UK register.

The addition of the Great Parchment Book means that London Metropolitan Archives, City of London Corporation has four items inscribed to the UK Register, the other items being the Charter of William I to the City of London, London County Council Bomb Damage Maps, and Robert Hooke’s Diary, 1672-83. This is more than any other local authority archive service and demonstrates the importance of the History of London collections held by LMA which, along with the printed collections at Guildhall Library, are also Designated as Outstanding by the Arts Council England.

Continuing the stories from the Great Parchment Book: records of Londonderry Corporation online

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The Derry City and Strabane Archive & Genealogy service is responsible for the preservation, interpretation and creation of access to the civic records of the Council and its predecessor, the Londonderry Corporation.

DerryStrabane ArchiveGenealogy ServiceThe extensive archive collection constitutes an extremely valuable source of information both for the history of the City and the Council and provides a comprehensive record of the city’s development from the latter half of the 17th century to the present day. It consists of minute books, legal documents, architectural drawings and plans, and private collections. The material ranges from business collections, and items relating to industry, shirt factories, railways, political movements and social history. The genealogical collections includes a database of over one million records including traditional family history records such as birth, marriage and death records.

Some of the records of the Londonderry Corporation have been digitised and are available online in association with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) specifically:

The Londonderry Corporation minute books from 1673. In the late 17th and 18th centuries, the city’s business life consisted of merchants and craftsmen such as butchers and bakers, tailors and shoemakers, smiths and saddlers, joiners and coopers.

Records of the Freemen of the City of Londonderry from 1675. In the 17th and 18th centuries, only Freemen of the City were entitled to conduct business, own property and receive protection within the walled city.

These records continue the stories of the inhabitants of Londonderry started in the Great Parchment Book.

Find out more about the records held by the Derry City and Strabane Archive & Genealogy service here.

 

Intersectionality in Digital Humanities

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The last few years have witnessed a movement towards a more open and inclusive Digital Humanities field. Intersectional studies are developing within Digital Humanities to try to bring a plurality of voices into the conversation.

KU LeuvenKU Leuven in Belgium is hosting a conference on Intersectionality in Digital Humanities, 15-17 September 2016. KU Leuven’s Digital Humanities Task Force invites individual paper proposals, panel sessions, poster sessions, and tool demonstrations related to intersectionality in Digital Humanities. Lists of possible topics are available via the link below. Please note deadline for this call is 30 May 2016.

Confirmed speakers include Professor Melissa Terras from University College London who has been closely involved with LMA with the Great Parchment Book project and research into multispectral imaging.

Venue: KU Leuven, Belgium

Dates: 15-17 September 2016 (immediately after the Digital Humanities Summer School, 12-14 September 2016).

Find out more here.

1615-1745: post-digital issues and concerns

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Previously on the Great Parchment Book blog we have looked at related sources such as the 1641 Depositions held at Trinity College Library Dublin.

1641 DepositionsThe 1641 Depositions comprise transcripts and images of all 8,000 depositions, examinations and associated materials in which Protestant men and women of all classes told of their experiences following the outbreak of the rebellion by the Catholic Irish in October, 1641. The 1641 Depositions Project had similar aims to the Great Parchment Book project to conserve, digitise, transcribe and make the depositions available online in a fully TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) compliant format.

You can hear more about the project and it’s future at the forthcoming CERL Dublin Manuscripts Conference 25-27 May 2016 being held in the Library of Trinity College where Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, one of the Principal Investigators on the project, is speaking on ‘The 1641 Depositions: what now?’ in a session on ‘Post-digital issues and concerns 1615-1745’.

cerl-logoThe conference is entitled ‘Unique and universal: challenges for the manuscript librarian’ and is the 7th conference of the European Manuscript Librarians Expert Group of CERL (the Consortium of European research Libraries).

The primary aims of the Group are to act as a forum for curatorial concerns, and to enhance understanding and practical cooperation among curators across Europe. The conference will focus on the themes of commemorations and anniversaries, materiality, and post-digital issues and concerns.

Find out more about the conference and how to register here.

 

Great Parchment Book retrospective: outreach

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The Great Parchment Book had been inaccessible to researchers for over 200 years owing to its fragile state. Our overriding objective with the project was to make the manuscript available again to as wide a range of people as possible, not just for the benefit of scholars and other researchers, but also for the communities to which it was most relevant. In our occasional series of posts looking back at the project, we turn our attention to engagement and outreach.

The original ambition was to produce a digitally reconstructed and fully accessible manuscript that could take pride of place in the exhibition in Derry Guildhall opening in June 2013 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the building of the city walls during Derry’s year as UK City of Culture.

Overall, the project was more successful than we could have hoped. The Great Parchment Book website went live on 30 May 2013 on the eve of the opening of the Derry Guildhall exhibition; it features a blog and an embedded video. Since its launch it has attracted 87,000 page views to date and counting, and has been a great success with a whole range of people around the world including academic researchers, local and family historians, conservators and those interested in the digital humanities.

Bernadette and Edward looking at an original folio of the Great Parchment Book

The exhibition curated by Derry City Council Heritage and Museums Service entitled Plantation: People, Process, Perspectives opened in Derry’s Guildhall in June 2013. The exhibition had nearly 270,000 visitors in its first year and has had over 864,000 visitors to the end of 2015 including school groups. Such has been its popularity that it is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Visitor feedback has been very positive, including high praise for the original archive material which for the first ten months included an original folio of the Great Parchment Book and other documents from the Irish Society archives.

Great Parchment Book Day 2014

All aspects of the project have been celebrated and presented by LMA and University College London at various conferences and events including the Archives and Records Association Conference, Brighton 2012; Digital Humanities Conference, Nebraska USA 2013; Plantation Families event, Belfast/Derry, 27-28 September 2013; Opposites Attract: Science and Archives, LMA 21 March 2014; STEM from the City careers day, City of London Guildhall 27 June 2014; Great Parchment Book Day, LMA 25 July 2014; International Council on Archives annual conference, Girona, Spain 15 October 2014; University of Melbourne, Australia 31 October 2014; ARA Conservation Training Committee and Instructors, LMA 20 November 2014; Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography’s annual conferences, London 27 November 2014 and 22 October 2015.

The project has been published in a range of publications (the UCL project page has a list of the most significant and provides access to the free software produced in the course of the project) and is featured on many websites including the European History Primary Sources (EHPS) website and that of the International Council on Archives and the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust. The Great Parchment Book project has featured in an article in the Observer, 5 July 2015 on conservation technology.

It is used in teaching history at all levels especially in Northern Ireland, as well as for teaching students of conservation and digital humanities around the world.

You can find out more about events connected with the Great Parchment Book on the blog (go to the end of the page once you’ve clicked the link to read in chronological order).

The Plumbers’ Company and the Plantation – a bottomless money pit

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Dr Patricia Stewart transcribing the Great Parchment Book

The Great Parchment Book records the landholdings in the Proportions allocated to the twelve Great Companies, but each of these Companies was also associated with many smaller Companies which could not afford to manage a Proportion in their own right. While the Great Parchment Book makes no mention of these smaller Companies, other documents reveal the tremendous burden of the Plantation on them. Dr Patricia Stewart, who transcribed and encoded the Great Parchment Book, has been looking at the archives of the Plumbers’ Company, an Associated Company of the Vintners, which held lands in the eastern part of Londonderry.

The Plumbers’ Court Records (which may be accessed at Guildhall Library reference CLC/L/PH/B/001/MS02208) show that both the Company’s individual members and the Company as a whole found the Plantation an unmanageable expense.

On 5 February 1629, the Company agreed to repay to the widow of the deceased Master Richard Green all the money that her husband contributed towards the Plantation in Ireland, ‘in respect of her extreame poverty’ (after first ensuring that any money still owed by her husband was deducted from the sum). That the Court had to include the caveat ‘provided that this be noe president for others in the like kinde’ is perhaps telling.

Vintners-lands with permission of Lambeth Palace LibraryDuring the first decades of the 17th century there were several surveys made of the state of affairs in Londonderry, and these resulted in serious disagreements between the Crown and the City of London/Livery Companies over whether they were honouring their obligations in settling the Plantation. In 1635, Charles I took the City of London and The Irish Society to trial in the Star Chamber for the mismanagement and neglect of the Plantation. The Plumbers’ Company Court Records for 9 June 1636 include a copy (in Latin) of the ‘letter of Attourney to Master Hooker to defend the Company’s suite in the Starchamber touching the Irish lands’. The trial ended in favour of the Crown, unsurprisingly, and the resulting wholesale seizure of lands held by the Livery Companies led to the 1639 survey recorded in the Great Parchment Book.

In 1641 Charles, motivated by his need to borrow money to finance various wars, promised to restore the lands to the Livery Companies. On 13 June 1642, the Plumbers’ Court Records show that the City of London was asked to lend Parliament £100,000, the Plumbers’ share of which was £250. Two Wardens of the Company, Samuel North and Richard Orton, and two Assistants, William George and William Haynes, offered to lend the Company £50 each to go towards this loan to Parliament. As security for the loan, some the Company’s plate and tenements were made over to them. An entry from 7 December 1642, states that as ‘the Companie stand endebted to severall persons (at interest) amounteing in all to three hundred pownds and upwards’, the rest of the plate should be sold to the highest bidder and the money be used to pay off these debts ‘and to noe other use or end whatsoever’.

It seems that the Plumbers didn’t pay the £200 lent by North et al. to Parliament, as an entry from 13 December 1642 indicates that a few days earlier the Company received a further official order for this money. The Company was required ‘to carrye in the same somme before Mundaye next on the afternoone or otherwise to appeare before the said Committee on tuesdaye next at three of the clocke in the afternoone at Haberdashers hall, to show cause of your not performeing the same’.

The Plumbers’ answer to this was to plead poverty. To begin with, they recently purchased land and built their Hall, and what with paying workmen and other charges, were in debt over £800 and had to mortgage the said Hall (and other buildings) for £500. Then there was the £100 plus lent for ‘the service of Ireland’ which should have been repaid to them in October of 1641 but hadn’t been yet. In addition, those members who were able to lend money had already done so, the Company had no Common Stock and no other revenues, and business was down. In short, the Plumbers were ‘not able to advance any more moneys nor dischardge theire said ngadgements for all which causes and reasons they humbly desire the said honourable Comittee wold bee satisfied with this theire humble and true answer without pressing them any further uppon the said Order’.

This was not the end of the Plumbers’ money problems, as several more entries running until 1643 detail requests from Parliament for other sums, and their efforts to pay these (or not). Records such as these show the ambivalence and frustration that must have been felt by the smaller Livery Companies (and by the larger ones as well) at their inability to escape what was turning out to be a bottomless money pit.

 

 

Great Parchment Book retrospective: historical importance and synergy with other sources

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Continuing with the occasional series of posts reflecting on the different elements which make up the Great Parchment Book project, we now turn our attention to historical importance and synergy with other sources.

The Great Parchment Book is a hugely important record of the Ulster Plantation of the early 17th century documenting an important and formative period of the history of Britain and Ireland. It cannot be overstated how important the Plantation of Ulster was to the history of these islands and it still has resonance today.

So important was the Great Parchment Book to the Irish Society that it was rescued from the fire at Guildhall in 1786 and carefully preserved in spite of its parlous state as it provided evidence of its property, rights and legitimacy.

Thomas Raven's map of the Drapers' buildings at Monnemore (copyright Trustees of Lambeth Palace Library)Original archives and other artefacts are considerably lacking for this period of Irish history. If the Great Parchment Book did not exist, key data about landholding and population in Ulster at this time (not only the English and Scottish settlers, but also the native Irish) at this crucial period would be undiscoverable. It contains unique information about properties and individual buildings, as well as their extent and layout including that of the towns of Coleraine and Londonderry. It also contains unique and exceptional information about the population from all social backgrounds including references to women about whom there is otherwise very little.

1641 Depositions

Although unique, the information contained with the Great Parchment Book has a synergy with others sources for early modern Ulster and we have explored some of these on the Great Parchment Book website. They include Thomas Raven’s maps of Londonderry, 1622, held at Lambeth Palace Library and Drapers’ Hall, the muster rolls held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and the 1641 Depositions (witness testimonies concerning experiences of the 1641 Irish rebellion) held at Trinity College Dublin Library which are also available digitally. It is also useful to connect to other digital and published resources such as the digital atlas of Derry–Londonderry and the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, and publications of the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

You can find out more about the history of the Plantation on the website and the synergy of the Great Parchment Book with other sources for the Plantation on the blog (go to the end of the page once you’ve clicked the link to read in chronological order).

Great Parchment Book retrospective

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When we embarked on the Great Parchment Book project, we were very uncertain that we would be able to achieve our aim: a digitally reconstructed and fully accessible manuscript that could take pride of place in the exhibition in Derry Guildhall opening in June 2013 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the building of the city walls.

Great Parchment Book partners

The project was an ambitious collaborative undertaking committed to exploring new techniques and technologies; nothing else had any chance of success. Each element was a major piece of work in its own right and different partners and funders were approached for each aspect of the project.

Now with the successful outcome well-established and the project in the public eye once again, it seems a good time to reflect on the different elements which made up the project and look back on the journey.

Over the next few weeks watch out for posts about –

  • Conservation
  • Digital humanities: imaging, transcription and textual encoding
  • The history of the Plantation and synergy with other original sources
  • Public engagement and recognition
  • The legacy and the future

And to help you get your bearings here is the Great Parchment Book project timeline –

  • Initial discussions between LMA, University College London and other potential partners, March/April 2010
  • Imaging – Four year EngD at UCL, September 2010-September 2014 (first year taught so project got underway in September 2011)
  • Conservation, April-September 2012
  • Transcription and encoding, September 2012-May 2013
  • Great Parchment Book website launch, 30 May 2013
  • Derry Guildhall exhibition opened, 10 June 2013
  • Public engagement, recognition and future developments – ongoing

A contentious historical legacy

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The Great Parchment Book is a hugely important record of the Ulster Plantation of the early 17th century documenting an important and formative period of the history of Britain and Ireland. The Plantation had significant implications for the politics of these islands and left a contentious historical legacy which still resonates today.

New River Company 2

This legacy is also reflected in two documents in the latest exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives which relate to a later period – the time of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1803 French invasion seemed imminent, but there were serious problems within London too. Radicalism, industrial unrest and high food prices in the 1790s and 1800s led to plots and talk of revolution on which the government clamped down hard. The failed Irish Rebellion and French landings in Ireland of 1796-8 meant Irish labourers were seen as potential subversives within the capital.

New River Company 1

The documents date from October 1803 and comprise a letter from the Lord Mayor to the New River Company concerning a threat by Irish workers to prevent the supply of water to put out fires in the event of a French invasion and a list of names of New River Company workmen analysing nationality, address, number of years employed and whether the individual had a wife and children (LMA reference ACC/2558/MW/C/15/361/001). The threat was taken very seriously as the list was sent to the Secretary at War. The New Company was the capital’s largest water company and supplied water to the City, and East and North London.

War in London, which reveals the effects of five conflicts on Londoners and their city from the English Civil War to the Cold War, runs at LMA until 27 April 2016.

More 17th century Irish sources online: muster rolls

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The pages of the Great Parchment Book are scattered with references to arms such as pikes and muskets which the tenants of the City of London livery companies were required to “have and keep in readiness … for the service of his Majesty … furnished in such manner as the same shall and may be allowed by the Muster Master”. During the Plantation, landed estates were required to muster tenants for defence when areas were under threat from the native Irish and the provision was recorded in muster rolls. Some of the rolls, all now held in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, simply stated the number of men on estates bearing arms, but others contain the names of adult males bearing or capable of bearing arms.

Bill Macafee on his website dedicated to the family and local history of County Londonderry and North Antrim has transcribed and made available either as a pdf arranged by surname or as a fully searchable spreadsheet the most useful muster rolls containing names as follows:

1622 Muster Rolls for the City & Liberties of Londonderry, Town & Liberties of Coleraine & Vintners’ Estate, Bellaghy [PRONI: T510/2, T671/1]

1630 Muster Rolls for the County of Londonderry and for the Baronies of Cary, Dunluce, Kilconway and Toome, Co. Antrim [PRONI: D/1759/3C/3]

Muster roll 1630

Bill’s web page on 17th century sources gives lots more information about the 1622 and 1630 Muster Rolls and is well worth a look. The information in the rolls can be cross-checked against that in the Great Parchment Book and some of the other online 17th century sources for Irish history mentioned previously in this blog.

1641 Depositions

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The Great Parchment Book is a key source for the history of 17th century Ireland and the Plantation in particular. Also important are the 1641 Depositions – witness testimonies, mainly by Protestants, but also by some Catholics, from all social backgrounds, concerning their experiences of the 1641 Irish rebellion. This material provides a unique source of information for the causes and events surrounding the 1641 rebellion and for the social, economic, cultural, religious, and political history of 17th century Ireland, England and Scotland. The 1641 Depositions are held at Trinity College Dublin (Trinity College Dublin, MSS 809-841) and comprise 19,010 manuscript pages in 31 bound volumes.

Like the Great Parchment Book, the 1641 Depositions (as reported in a previous post More 17th century Irish history online) are also available online in a fully searchable digital edition including transcripts and images of all 8,000 depositions and associated material at www.1641.tcd.ie.

The 1641 Depositions have also been arranged for print publication in 12 volumes from 2014 onwards. The first three volumes have now been published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission as follows:

Volume I: Armagh, Louth & Monaghan

Volume II: Cavan & Fermanagh

Volume III: Antrim, Derry, Donegal, Down & Tyrone

Further details are available on the Irish Manuscripts Commission website.

Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623–1669

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Dr Bríd McGrath of Dublin, who is editing an edition of the Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623–1669 for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, has written to say how useful she has found the Great Parchment Book:

 “I really wish to congratulate everyone involved in this project on an extraordinary achievement. It’s an exceptionally useful source for the history of the period, including the extent and layout of the town and the defence obligations, not to mention the bits about women, about whom we have in general very little information.

It’s amazing how many members of Coleraine’s town council could not sign their names.  Quite astonishing, but absolutely in line with my view of them.”

The Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623–1669, which is still in private hands, records the decisions taken by the Common Council of Coleraine for the period 1623–1669. Sources for Coleraine are rather limited and the Great Parchment Book is invaluable in providing some identification and personal information about some of its citizens.  Dr McGrath is referring to it in the footnotes to her edition, identifying Coleraine’s inhabitants.

 It is hoped that Dr McGrath’s book will be published within the next few months. We will post more information here – watch this space!

Plantation exhibition news

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A rare book, ‘Pacata Hibernia, Ireland Appeased and Reduced Or, An Historie of the Late Warres of Ireland’, is to go on display as part of the Guildhall Plantation Exhibition, from April 2015.

The Plantation Exhibition, currently located within Derry Guildhall, allows for changing exhibits and Derry City Council’s Museum and Visitor Services is delighted be able to showcase this hugely interesting rare book to a wide audience.

Bernadette Walsh, archivist, explains: “This publication is extremely rare and is illustrated with eighteen engravings of seventeenth century Ireland, detailing the final years of the Elizabethan Wars in Ireland and contains a long list of the Irish Nobility who fled to Spain in 1607, after the defeat of the Earls in 1601. The publication contains the background history to the Flight of the Earls, and the inevitable lead up to the Ulster Plantation and will be a welcome addition to the hugely successful Plantation exhibition, that has been visited by thousands of people since its installment as part of a multi-million pound regeneration of the Guildhall. ”

Minolta DSC     Minolta DSC

‘Pacata Hibernia’ was originally published in London in 1633 for Robert Milbourne. It is believed to be almost entirely composed by Lieutenant Thomas Stafford, who served under Sir George Carew. The very detailed maps and plans show the battle layout, military formation, horsemanship and fortifications of the times. These items will add interest to the exhibition showing further images of cartography which played a strong role in developments of the seventeenth century.

“It is important the archive collection reflects this period of history; original artefacts and archives are considerably lacking not only in our own collections, but also within collections across the island. This rare item was purchased and will now form part of our successful Plantation exhibition at the Guildhall.”

The Digital Atlas of Derry~Londonderry

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A digital mapping resource is being developed which allows the user to compare maps of Londonderry for different time periods. It includes Thomas Raven’s map of 1622 which was surveyed just prior to the compilation of the Great Parchment Book.

The Digital Atlas of Derry~Londonderry is a collaboration between the Royal Irish Academy, Derry City Council and The School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast.

Based on the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, no. 15, Derry~Londonderry by Avril Thomas (Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 2005), the Digital Atlas provides users with historical and topographical information about the city of Derry for selected time-periods. The key map is a reconstruction of the city in 1831, which is presented in an interactive way. Streets, buildings, city walls/gates and public buildings are mapped and further detail such as name, dates and other historical information is provided in pop-up boxes.

Digital map of Derry-Londonderry

As well as the 1831 map, earlier and later historical maps, including Raven’s 1622 map, can be overlaid and compared. The different map layers reveal not only the way the city developed, but also the way that mapping evolved since the walled city was founded in the 17th century.

This web-GIS resource is still at an experimental stage, but is worth taking a look at.

More 17th century Irish history online

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The Great Parchment Book website is not the only online resource for the study of 17th century Ireland, its people, places and history. Trinity College Dublin has been involved with two projects presented through dedicated websites which explore sources which can be used alongside the Great Parchment Book: the 1641 Depositions; and the 1656-8 Down Survey of Ireland.

The 1641 Online Depositions Website provides a fully searchable digital edition of the 1641 Depositions at Trinity College Dublin Library, comprising transcripts and images of all 8,000 depositions, examinations and associated materials in which Protestant men and women of all classes told of their experiences following the outbreak of the rebellion by the Catholic Irish in October, 1641. The 1641 Depositions Project had similar aims to the Great Parchment Book project to conserve, digitise, transcribe and make the depositions available online in a fully TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) compliant format. The website not only gives access to the depositions themselves, but also provides technical information about the conservation, digitisation and transcription.

1641 Depositions

Taken in the years 1656-1658, the Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever detailed land survey on a national scale anywhere in the world. The survey sought to measure all the land to be forfeited by the Catholic Irish in order to facilitate its redistribution to Merchant Adventurers and English soldiers. Copies of these maps have survived in dozens of libraries and archives throughout Ireland and Britain, as well as in the National Library of France. This Project has brought together for the first time in over 300 years all the surviving maps, digitised them and made them available as a public online resource. There are two main components to the website. The Down Survey Maps section comprises digital images of all the surviving Down Survey maps at parish, barony and county level and all the descriptions (terrier) of each barony and parish that accompanied the original maps. The Historical GIS section, brings together the maps and related contemporaneous sources – Books of Survey and Distribution, the 1641 Depositions, the 1659 Census – in a Geographical Information System (GIS). All these sources have been georeferenced with 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps, Google Maps and satellite imagery.

Down Survey 2

Programme announced for Great Parchment Book Day

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LMA is holding a Great Parchment Book Day at LMA on Friday 25 July 2014. The morning will focus on the Great Parchment Book story; the afternoon will look to the future and explore accessing historical documents through innovative technologies.

PROGRAMME

MORNING: CONTEXT

10.00am Registration, coffee and housekeeping

10.15am Welcome (Deputy Catherine McGuinness)

10.20am Introduction to LMA, collections overview, where the Great Parchment Book sits within those collections, why it became the focus for the project and why it mattered (Philippa Smith)

11.00am  TEA/COFFEE

11.15pm Accessing History through Innovative Technologies:
The Great Parchment Book Project Story
Conservation (Dr Caroline De Stefani)
Transcription/textual encoding (Dr Patricia Stewart)
Digital flattening (Kazim Pal)
Q&A

13.00pm LUNCHTIME

AFTERNOON: EXPLORING NEW TECHNOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS IN CREATING ACCESS TO HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS

14.00pm Welcome and introduction – impact, outcomes and wider context (Dr Tim Weyrich)

14.30pm Display of damaged original materials including Great Parchment Book and LMA Rogues Gallery; demonstration of digital flattening software; opportunity to discuss further possible applications of flattening software and other techniques being researched on LMA material; demonstration of textual encoding (Dr Caroline De Stefani, Marie Poirot, Dr Tim Weyrich, Kazim Pal, Dr Helen Graham-Matheson, Dr Patricia Stewart)

15.15pm TEA/COFFEE

15.30pm HISTORY FUTURES PANEL (Professor Melissa Terras – UCL, Chair, Dr Tim Weyrich – UCL, Emma Stewart – LMA, David Howell – Bodleian Library)
 
How new technologies can and may impact on challenging materials, access and availability, preservation issues – how can we take projects forward? HLF partner bid proposal, Q&A and expressions of interest

16.30pm  CLOSE

The event is already full, but if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please go to http://the-great-parchment-book.eventbrite.co.uk.

Booking opens for Great Parchment Book Day on 25 July 2014

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LMA is holding a FREE Great Parchment Book Day on Friday 25 July 2014. The morning will focus on the Great Parchment Book story; the afternoon will look to the future and explore accessing historical documents through innovative technologies. A more detailed programme will be posted as soon as it is available.

In the meantime, you can book your place at http://the-great-parchment-book.eventbrite.co.uk.

GREAT PARCHMENT BOOK DAY

Friday 25 July 2014

London Metropolitan Archives

9.30 am – 4.30 pm

FREE, booking is essential; tea and coffee available, but bring a picnic for lunch.

Save the date!

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Planning is underway for a Great Parchment Book Day at London Metropolitan Archives on Friday 25 July 2014. The morning will focus on the Great Parchment Book story; the afternoon will look to the future and explore accessing historical documents through innovative technologies.

Save the date now! A more detailed programme and details on how to book will be posted as soon as they are available.

Sources for family history research in County Londonderry

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Coleraine Family History Society has put a list of 17th century sources for family history research in County Londonderry on its website. The sources were mentioned by Andrew Kane in a talk to members of the society on 25 February 2014. Andrew’s talk mentioned how easily accessible they are and the surprisingly large number of names contained in them. Links to online sources are given, many of which are freely available, including the Great Parchment Book.

International peace expert praises Derry archive project

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Not the Great Parchment Book, but the ‘Accounts of the Conflict’ research project run by INCORE, the University of Ulster’s world-renowned international conflict research centre, which has received European funding to establish a digital archive offering long-term storage and preservation of stories related to life in Northern Ireland and the border region during the Troubles.

During her visit to the centre, international peace expert Iratxe Momoitio Astorkia, Director of the Gernika Peace Museum, delivered a seminar on the ‘How to deal with our recent past by making important materials or sources available online’. This is a theme which resonates with the aim of the Great Parchment Book project, to make available a digital reconstruction of the book providing a lasting resource for the history of Northern Ireland in local, national and international contexts.

Find out more about her visit and the INCORE project here.