Letters regarding the Irish Rebellion of 1641-1644

Scope and Content

Copies of letters of the Lords Justices of Ireland concerning the Irish Rebellion, 1641-1644, made at the expense of James Butler, Duke of Ormonde (see the note on fo. 178), 247 folios. On fos 229-236 are copies of further documents relating to Ireland, which are recopied in a later hand on fos 214-218, possibly by Henry St John. These documents include a letter from Elizabeth I to the Privy Council of Ireland; instructions of James I to Sir Oliver St John on his appointment as Lord Deputy of Ireland; letters from James I to the Lords Justices of Ireland; letters to the Treasurer at War in Ireland; letters to Sir Oliver St John; the patent of appointment of Sir Arthur Chichester as Lord Deputy; letters from the Privy Council of Ireland to that of England; the protestation of the Bishops of Ireland against popery; and a letter from James I to Sir Arthur Chichester. On fo. 179 are copies of the examinations of Captain P. Bannister, Governor of Cork, Major A. Muscamp and Humphrey Rogers. Fos 180-213, 219-228 and 238-247 are blank.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Butler, 12th Earl and 1st Duke of Ormonde (1610-1688), was appointed Lieutenant-General of the King's army at the outbreak of the rebellion in Ireland in 1641. His plans to move against the rebels were overruled by the Lords Justices. However, between January and March 1642 he engaged and defeated the rebel forces, and proceeded to quieten Connaught, before suffering further obstruction from the Lords Justices. He defeated the rebels at Ross in March 1643, and in September concluded a year's truce.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Received from the library of Henry Bradshaw, 1886.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on the Duke of Ormonde in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds, Dictionary of national biography, Vol. III (London, 1908), pp. 504-512.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

The volume was formerly in the library of the Duke of Chandos, when it was used by Thomas Carte for his An history of the life of James Duke of Ormonde. It was bought at the sale of this library in 1747 by Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke. There is a note by St John on fo. 4.


The letters (fos 6-178) have been printed or summarized by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, from copies in the Ormonde manuscripts, in the Calendar of the MSS of the Marquess of Ormonde (1903), pp. 1-344.

Geographical Names