Historic pre-famine document goes on tour

 

Local historians and genealogy groups are being encouraged to to discover the stories behind the pre-Famine historical document The Morpeth Roll before it goes on a nationwide tour.

The roll has been rediscovered in recent years having been in a box in the stately home of Castle Howard in Yorkshire for almost 170 years.

It contains the signatures of 275,000 people who signed a testimonial to the departing chief secretary for Ireland George Howard, Lord Morpeth in 1841.

He was chief secretary from 1835 to 1841 at a time of relative peace and prosperity in Ireland between Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and the Great Famine in 1845.

Morpeth was evidently a popular figure and the roll includes signatories including Daniel O’Connell, Thomas Gavin and Charles Gavan Duffy who were in favour of the repeal of the Act of Union.

The roll, which if laid end to end would stretch the length of seven Liberty Hall, will be the subject of an academic conference tomorrow in Maynooth entitled The Gathering: Local History, Heritage and Diaspora’, which is providing information on it and how interested parties can become involved and research their local signatories.

The roll will go on a nationwide tour in February and is currently being digitised by the website Ancestry.com. The public will be able to look for their antecedents on it through an internet search engine.

The Morpeth Roll will be launched at NUI Maynooth in March next year where it has been analysed for a number of years, and will tour the country visiting locations such as Farmleigh, Derrynane, Kilkenny, Clonmel and Belfast, before returning to NUI Maynooth where it will remain on public view.

The Gathering: Local History, Heritage and Diaspora will be addressed by genealogy specialists discussing their work, highlighting the sources that they utilise, detailing the research resources available and discussing what can be derived from various channels.

Organised by the Department of History, NUI Maynooth, the event will feature talks by Tim O’Connor who is chairman of the board of The Gathering, Niall Burgess from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Professor Marian Lyons, Department of History, NUI Maynooth.

NUI Maynooth historian Dr Terry Dooley said the roll is an important historical document and a snapshot of Ireland before the cataclysm of the Famine.

“The research has the potential to provide a unique insight into Irish life, society and politics in pre-Famine Ireland and we are calling on historians, local genealogists and libraries to get involved in researching those from their locality who have signed the Morpeth Roll,” he said.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.