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Among the paper documents are the following :—
Orders of Privy Council at Dublin in 1611, 1629, 1631, 1640, with autographs of chief governors and principal members of the Council.
Petition of Officers and Soldiers unaer the Command of the Eight Hon. the Earl of Ormonde and Ossory, with order from Dublin, 1638.
Order for arraying inhabitants of Kilkenny, A.d. 1641, with autographs of Mayor and Aldermen.
Observations upon the list of Popish recusants dwelling at Kilkenny, 1st November 1673.
Letters from John Parry, Bishop of Ossory, 1673-4, to Mayor of Kilkenny and Portreeve of Irishtown.
Warrant, with autograph of William 3, dated 19th July, in the second year of his reign, from Royal Camp at Bennet's-bridge, reinstating Corporation removed under James 2.
Of the books, the oldest is that styled " Liber Primus," by which name, as appears from the minutes of the corporation, it was known in 1753.
This MS. consists of eighty-six vellum loaves, nine inches in length, and seven in breadth, with oaken covers about a quarter of an inch in thickness, the front one being broken in two. On the front of leaf at the end is the following entry in an old hand :—" Md. There "is 86 leaves in this book of vellum."
There are two old and partially varying paginations, that on the front of the last leaf being 77. The opening pages are written in a minuscule hand of about A.d. 1350, in double columns. The first two entries are copies in French of Acts of the Commonalty of Kilkenny of A.d. 1230, concerning the election of Sovereign, Provosts, and Councillors.
These are followed by a copy of a Latin Act of the time of the Sovereignty of John Eynow, in 1319, and by ordinances and regulations for prices of bread and ale. On the present page 7 commences a record of . Pleas of the Crown of 1325-6, held before Arnold le Poer, Seneschal of Kilkenny, noted for his connexion with the affairs of Dame Alice Kyteler, the reputed Kilkenny witch. The process here recorded is with • reference to the indictment of Bartholomew Folin, for having slain Adam Walens by a spear-thrust in a conflict arising from a corn seizure. This record gives valuable details connected with the liberties of Kilkenny and the grants from William Marechal, Earl of Pembroke, and Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, to the burgesses designated by the latter, "Nos biens amez "burgeys de Kilkenny."
Pages 14 to 50 contain copies of Pleadings before Philip de Grendon, Seneschal of Kilkenny, in the 24th Edward 3 (1349-50); transcripts of documents sealed with the Common Seal of Kilkenny in the time of William Folin, Sovereign of the town in the 25th and 26th of Edward 3,1350-53; names of the bakers in the town of Kilkenny in 1379; miscellaneous entries connected with the election of Sovereigns, murage proceedings, tollage, assessors, and collectors; watch and keepers of markets, and admissions to freedom, among which is that of a female, Malina Taverner.
On page 50 are recorded the' particulars of the division of the County Kilkenny between the heiresses of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, in the fourteenth •century, followed by town matters to page 55, from which to 59 are occupied with Annals of Ireland ending in 1248, containing various local details; 59 to 83 contain records of town elections, laws enacted, names of burghers 1384, and Copy of Charter from Richard 2, attested by the Viceroy, Philip de Courtenay, at Kilkenny, on the 1st of December, in the 7th year of that King (1383).
From the conclusion of this Charter to the end of the book the contents are miscellaneous; market regulations, rentals, Acts of Assembly, agreements with the Friars Preachers, names of Kilkenny Sovereigns, Councillors, Freemen, and their oaths.
Pages 75 and 76 contain copies by Patrick Archer, Sovereign of Kilkenny (19th Hen. 7, 1503-4), of such Statutes and acts beneficial to the town of Kilkenny as were enacted by the "right mighty Gerald, Earl of "Kildare, the King's deputy, and his Council, when he "came personally into the town of Kilkenny," in the 5th year of Henry 7 (1499-1500), for the reformation of the Counties of Kilkenny and Tipperary.
The last leaf of the volume is fixed to the cover, and contains Copy of an order by Patrick Archer, Sovereign of Kilkenny, and his Council, 15th year of Henry 7 (1499-1500).
The body of "Liber Primus" is in fair order, but some of the first thirty leaves have been severely damaged and perforated by mildew.
The next Corporation book in point of date is on paper in a parchment wrapper, on the inside of the front of which is inscribed, "Liber 2;" its first page is of the 36th year of Henry 8 (1544-5), and the latest date is that of 1572, on the back of folio 75.
This volume contains miscellaneous matter connected with the affairs of the town, copies of documents and of proceedings in Courts.
It is imperfect, carelessly written, and in bad condition. Eight leaves which had belonged to its commencement have been recovered by Mr. Watters, the present Town Clerk, who found them tied together and endorsed " some leaves of the old book."
The "White Book" is a large folio volume, commencing with eleven leaves of copies of leases, after which begin the proceedings of the Corporation, dated 10th of October 1656.
The final entry on the last page is that of Swearing of Freemen, dated 17th February 1687.
The " Clasped Book" of the Corporation of Kilkenny commences with entries under John Baxter, Esq., Mayor, September 29th, 1690, "being the Michaelmas "next after the route at Boyne, anno regni Gulielmo "tertie, secundo."
The proceedings registered in this volume terminate on the 28th September 1717, on page 300, after which there are copies of translations of Acts of Parliament; Charter of James 1, called the " Grand Charter ;" index and table of Chief Governors of Ireland, ending in 1703.
Volume 5 of " Journal of Proceedings of Corporation "at Kilkenny" commences on 23rd December 1717, and ends on the 23rd November 1730, at page 506, after which are entered copies of Oaths of Aldermen, Councillors, &c.
Volume 6 commences on 5th December 1730, and ends on the 25th December 1760; 669 pages in large folio.
Vol. 7 extends from 29th December 1760 to 23rd December 1775.
Vol. 8 commences on 29th December 1775, and ends on the 3rd of May 1826.
Vol. 9 extends from 16th May 1826 to 23rd October 1843, when the old Corporation expired.
A folio volume of high local value, commenced towards 1600, is entitled "a note of fee fearmes and "leases passed upon the common land under the "common Seal of the town of Kilkenny." The latest document in it is a letter by the Lord Lieutenant Ormonde, dated at Kilkenny, 10th August 1678, to Mayor and citizens of Kilkenny, respecting illegal election of Mayor.
In addition to the foregoing volumes of the "high "town of Kilkenny," there are also the following books of the Corporation of St. Canice, otherwise " the "Irishtown of Kilkenny " :—
1. Proceedings from 1544 to 1661.
2. From 1661 to 1717, with miscellaneous entries down to 1730 on some leaves at the commencement.
3. From 1715 to 1799.
4. From 24th July 1799 to 11th October 1834. The Books of the " Irish town " were received by the present Town Clerk on the 21st May 1844, from William Grace, the last Portreeve of the Irish Town.
A catalogue of books and charters made since Mr. Gilbert's visit to Kilkenny.
Many of them have suffered much from damp, and the binding of some of the books has become so impaired that care is required to prevent loss of leaves.
The present Town Clerk, who succeeded his father in that office, has most scrupulously preserved every record which came into his custody, but the repair of the entire by skilful hands, and a fire-proof repository for their custody, are needed, and will no doubt be provided by the Corporation of Kilkenny when their attention is directed to these points.
A transcript of the " Liber Primus," a list of its contents, and a Catalogue of the documents in the collection, are also much to bo desired.
I have the honor to be,
My Lords and Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
J. T. Gllbekt.
Dublin, 18th November 1869.
Report From J. T. Gilbert On Documents At
Mt Lords And Gentlemen,
The following two documents, inspected by me at the Limerick Town Hall, are stated. to be the only old records now in the possession. of the Municipal Corporation of that City.
1. Inspeximus, by Oliver Cromwell, of enrolment of Letters Patent to Limerick, dated at Westminster, 3rd of March in the sixth year of James 1, attested by Charles Fleetwood, " Deputy General of the dominion "of Ireland, the five and twentieth day of May, "1657."
2. Inspeximus, dated Dublin, 10th of February, twenty-second year of Charles 2, of enrolment of Letters Patent to Limerick under Great Seal of England, dated Westminster, 3rd of March, sixth of James i.
The manuscripts in the hands of Maurice Lenihan, Esq., of Limerick, include the following:—
A volume of about 400 pages, small quarto, closely written by Thomas Arthur Fitz-William, a physician of eminence in Ireland during the first half of the 17th century, and containing numerous entries respecting his patients, many of whom were personages of distinction; together with a variety of miscellaneous matters chiefly connected with Limerick.
The publication of portion of this manuscript has been commenced by Mr. Lenihan.
A small quarto volume of an English version of part of Cambrensis, entitled "The Copy of an auntient "Monument of the first conquest of Ireland in the "reign of King Henry Second of that name, King of "England." "Richard Robinson scriptor hujus kbri, "Anno Domini 1575, Feb^. 15."
Commission for applotment on territories called the Birnes Country and Oosha, in the County of Wicklow, in lieu of composition for cess of soldiers, set down and agreed upon at Wicklow, 20th July 1616, with autograph of Sir William Parsons.
Collections for history of Limerick by the Rev. James "White, Parish Priest of St. Mary's, Limerick, in the last century.
Two volumes and a quantity of loose papers from the Consistorial Court of Killaloe, extending from 1671 to 1780, comprising memorials, licenses for marriages, wills, inventories of property, with autographs.
In the front of the second volume is " a list of records "and instruments in the Registry of Killaloe, 1713."
I have the honor to be,
My Lords and Gentlemen,
Dublin, 19th November 1869.
Report From J. T. Gilbert On The Records Of The Corporation Of "waterford.
Mt Lords And Gentlemen,
The documents of the Corporation of Waterford, submitted to my inspection, were as follow:— Original Royal Charters.
1. Richard 2, 25th March, of first year, 1378; in very bad condition.
2. Henry 6, Dublin, 8th November, of ninth year, 1430.
3. Edward 6, Westminster, 20th November, of first year, 1461.
4. Edward 6, Dublin, 8th May, of thirteenth vear, 1473.
5. Henry 7. Westminster, 14th March, of second year, 1487.
6. Henry 7, Westminster, 12th May, of third year, 1488.
7. Henry 8, General Pardon, of first year, 1509-10 (part wanting).
8. Henry 8, Westminster, 12th September, of second year, 1510.
9. Henry 8, Westminster, 12th September, of second year, 1510.
10. Henry 8, Westminster, 8th April, of sixteenth year, 1525.
11. Edward 6, Westminster, 17th April, of second year, 1548,
12. Edward 6, Westminster, 26th January, of second year, 1549.
13. Edward 6, Westminster, 26th January, of second year, 1549.
14. Philip and Mary, Westminster, 2nd June, of second and third year, 1556.
15. Elizabeth, 16th July, of sixteenth year, 1574.
16. Elizabeth, Dublin, (date torn) of twentieth year, 1577-78.
17. Charles 1, Westminster, 26th May, of second year, 1626.
18. Anne, Dublin, 6th June, of fifth year, 1706. This Corporation also possesses a Roll of the reign
of Richard 2, containing copies of charters and grants to Waterford from his predecessors, Kings of England.
On the margin of this Roll are depicted figures, apparently intended to represent the Kings, Officials, and Mayors connected with the various grants.
1 am unable in this Report to describe the document precisely, not having seen it for some years; and at the time of my inspection at Waterford lor your Commission, I was informed it had been lent to the Secretary of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, with a view to its publication.
The volume, known as " the Old Parchment Book" of Waterford, consists of about 250 leaves, measuring nearly 16 inches in length, 12 inches in breadth, bound in oak boards covered with brown calf, partly numbered so far as 210, with varying paginations.
The contents are chiefly as follows:—
Old Register and table;
Entries of time of Peter Dobbyn, Mayor, Robert Stronge and Robert Walsh, bailiffs of the City of Waterford, m the 33rd year of Henry 8 (1541-2).
Inquisitions, Memorials, Copies of Charters, and rates of duty in corn and salt.
"Order and manner of the election of Maiore and balyves and other officers, and of their solempne othes, and with other many usages and consuetudes accustomed."
Table, in Latin, of fees of the Court of the City of Waterford.
English and Latin lists of tolls, noted as taken from ancient rolls, which had been transcribed in the fifteenth year of Edward 4.
"The assise and wyghte of the brod within the cite "of Waterford, ordoined and establed by James Rice, "being Maior of the Cite, John Lincoll and Henry "Fagan, being ballives of the same," the first year of King Henry the Seventh.
Copies of town Acts of the year 1485, stated to be taken from the "ancient book of memorandums of the "City of Waterford, called the Common Paper," examined and exemplified by the Mayor, two bailiffs, and other witnesses.
Copies of Letters Patent from Mayor, respecting the rights of Waterford, in the early part of the 17th century.
"Liber Primus," with the following heading, "Here "begynnith the boke conteyning all actes and statutes "ordayned and made by the common assent of Mayre, "ballyffs, citsains and comynalte of the Cytie of "Waterford from the fourth yere of the reigne of "Edward the thirde unto the fyfte yere of Henry the "eighte."
This is followed by laws, orders, &c.
The front of page 91 is surrounded by a drawing of scriptural subjects, including the last Judgment, the Blessed Virgin, an old view of Waterford, with its arms and Irish name—Portlarge, dated 1566. From this page to 106 are occupied with rules, laws, and admissions to freedom of City to A.d. 1574.
Page 107 commences as follows :—" Liber Secundus: "Here begynnith the second boke whiche doth con"taigne notable precedents used and accustomed for "laudable ordenances with othres righte many digne "to be recorded and kept in memorye."
On page 110 begins :—" Certayne of the auncient "Customs used and contynued within the Citie of "Waterford, the liberties, limites, suburbs, and fran"chises of the same, tyme out of mynde, and collected "by the verdict of divers of the most auncient and "discrete Aldermen and inhabitants of the said Citie, "being sworne for that purpose, and afterwards ap"proved, ratified, and confirmed by all the Citizens of "the said Citie in the Common Assemblie at Michael"mas 1574, holden before the worshipful Mr. James *' Walsh, Maior, and Patrick Quemerford and Robert "Walsh, Sheriffes, as the very auncient and old "confirmed customs within the same from the begin"ning."
The remainder of the book is occupied with the following :—
Admissions of freemen; Copy of Charter, 16th of Elizabetn; Order oy Mayor of the City, "Admiral of "the great port and haven," respecting the salo of fish; extracts out of " the old red register book," enumerating the cities and towns free of customs, pavage, and murage; rentals of land appertaining to the body politic of the City of Waterford.
This volumo presents specimens of lino and elaborate caligraphy. The leaves towards the end wore adorned with many largo gilt letters, some of which have been cut out.
The subjects dealt with in the laws and regulations are of high importance in connection with the history of various branches of trade, and elucidate many imperfectly understood points bearing on marine and commercial atfairs in past ages.
These Waterford regulations, if printed in conjunction with the analogous records from the Dublin City Archives now passing through the press for Lord Romilly's series, would go far towards giving an accurate view of the ancient position and social state of the commercial and municipal classes in Ireland and their relations with the native Irish, as well as with England and the Continent.
The other books of the Corporation of Waterford which I inspected, are as follow :— .
1. Prom 1st October 1662, with portion of 1580 inserted at back.
2. Book of memorandum of orders, &c. (1655 to 1657), on parchment, writing much faded.
3. 1663 to 1667. Admissions of freemen and pro-' ceedings of Council.
4. 1669 to 1715. Admissions of freemen and proceedings of Council.
5. 1688-9. Proceedings during reign of James 2; the first part has been lost, and the remainder is in a very bad condition from damp.
6. Prom 23rd October 1700 to 1727. After which period the proceedings of Council are kept in regular order.
The list of freemen of Waterford extends from 1700 to the present time.
The foregoing documents are preserved in the Town Hall of Waterford in charge of the Town Clerk, John O'Brien, Esq.
I have the honor to be,
My Lords and Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
Dublin, 19th November 1869.
Report On Documents Relating To Englisii History At Heidelberg.
While staying in Heidelberg I examined the Collection of MSS. in the University Library under the idea that there might be some documents in it bearing on English History, especially on the period falling within the first half of the 17th century, during which the marriage of the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James 1, with the Elector Palatine, afterwards King of Bohemia, took place. In this, however, I was disappointed, but while examining the catalogue I came on a MS. called "t)ic Offices of England," which appeared to me to be worth noticing, if not already known or the copy of one already known.* It contains a detailed and carefully arranged list of the various salaried State, legal, and other office holders in the year 1608. The judge, the chancellor, the keeper of the wardrobe, the purveyor, and the bargeman are all alike noticed, and the pay they were receiving mentioned.
These details would, 1 think, be interesting to economic writers, such as Mr. Thorold .Rogers, as throwing some light on the value of money at that time, and they would
* I am informed that there is no copy at the Public Record Office of the manuscript in question; but there are several documents there, out of which the US. called " The Offices of England " was made up.—JB. E.
also give a tolerably accurate idea of the expenses which royalty, had to meet, a subject which, it is unnecessary to remark, became of such transcendant importance to the history of this country shortly after.
Had I been able to do so, I would have copied the whole MS., which consisted of, perhaps, 40 pages ; but, as unfortunately it was not to be found till a few days before my departure, I had to content myself with taking down the chief heads given.
The only other MSS. which were entered on the catalogue, which would bo of any interest to English historians, were two letters (in German) of Dr. Dee, the necromancer, addressed to the Emperor Maximilian, and a dirge of one Thomas Kybbet, addressed to the Princess Elizabeth and the Elector Prederic 5 (the King of Bohemia), "wishing a place of less sorrowe "and more happenesse unto their princely selfe and "progeny," but neither of these documents were forthcoming when searched for.
I cannot conclude this report without expressing my feelings of gratitude for the courtesy with which 1 was met by the Librarian at Heidelberg.
CmCDLAR OP THE Secretaey OP THE COMMISSION.
Historical Manuscripts Commission.
Rolls House, Chancery Lane, 1869.
Her Majesty has been pleased to appoint under Her Sign Manual certain Commissioners to ascertain what MSS. calculated to throw light upon subjects connected with the Civil, Ecclesiastical, Literary, or Scientific history of this country are extant in the collections of private persons and in corporate and other institutions. A copy of the Commission is inclosed, which will best explain the object Her Majesty has in view.
The Commissioners think it probable that you may feel an interest in this object, and be willing to assist in the attainment of it, and with that [view they desire me to lay before you an outline of the course which they propose to follow.
If any person express his willingness to submit any paper or collection of papers within his possession or power to the examination of the Commissioners, they will cause an inspection to be made by some competent person, upon the information derived from whom the Commissioners will make a private report to the owner on the general nature of the papers in his collection, such report will not be made public without the owner's consent, but a copy of it will be deposited and preserved in the Public Record Office, to which no person will be allowed to have access without the consent of the owner of the papers reported on.
Where the papers are not mere insulated documents, but form a collection which appears to be of Literary or Historical value, a chronological list or brief calendar will be drawn up, and a copy thereof presented to the owner, and to no other person without his consent, but the original of such calendar will be deposited for preservation in the Public Record Office, to which no person will be allowed to have access without the consent of the owner of such collection.
The Commissioners will also, if so requested, give their advice as to the best means of repairing and preserving any papers or MSS. which may be in a state of decay, and are of Historical or Literary value.
To avoid any possible apprehension that the examination of papers by the Commissioners may extend to or include any title deeds or legal documents, I have to call your attention to the fact that nothing of a private character or relating to the titles of existing owners is to be divulged, and to assure you that positive instructions will be given to every person who examines the MSS. that if in the course of his examination any title deeds or other documents of a private character chance to come before him, they are to be instantly put aside, and are not to be reported on or calendared under any pretence whatever.
The object of the Commission is solely the discovery of unknown Historical and Literary materials, and in all their proceedings the Commissioners will direct their attention to that object exclusively.
In no instance will any MS. be removed from the owner's residence without his request or consent, but if for convenience the Commissioners be intrusted with any MSS., they will be deposited in the Public Record Office, and be treated with the same care as if they formed part of the Public Muniments, and will be returned to the owner at any time specified by him.
The costs of inspections, reports, and calendars, and the conveyance of documents, will be defrayed at the public expense without any charge to owners.
The Commissioners will feel much obliged if you will communicate to them the names of any gentlemen who may be able and willing to assist in obtaining the objects for which this Commission has been issued.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
WD. GEO. BRETT,