Brett Manuscript Collection

Archive Collection
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 752 BMC
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English, Middle English (1100-1500), Latin, French, Old French (842-ca.1400), Middle French (ca.1400-1800), German, and Middle High German (ca.1050-1500).
  • Physical Description
      100 leaves. The collection comprises approx. 100 items consisting of manuscripts, correspondence, printed leaflets and pamphlets, legal documents and individual leaves from a variety of books of antiquarian interest, c 1145-c 1855.
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Scope and Content

Small collection of miscellaneous papers and documents deposited by the Belfast solicitor, Sir Charles Brett (1839-1926). The collection consists of a variety of material, mainly of antiquarian interest, including books, extracts, manuscripts, and other documents relating principally to early English civil and ecclesiastical law, land and/or property in Yorkshire, c 1220-c 1600, and Wakefield, c 1763-1824, and the observations of the Rev T.J. Hussey on English birds, c 1828. The collection is also notable for a series of correspondence between Hussey and his daughter, Charlotte, during a stay in Aleppo, Syria from 1779-80 and an unexecuted grant of tithes, c 1145-53 from the Archbishop of Mainz.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Charles Brett (1839-1926)was a solicitor with the Belfast firm, L'Estrange & Brett, one of the oldest established law firms in Ireland (est. 1796). Served as Member of the Council of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce and on the 1st Senate of Queen's University of Belfast under the Charter of 1908.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to consultation.


Description compiled by Clare mcVeigh (RASCAL Project) and entered by Deirdre Wildy, Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

Hard-copy catalogue available for consultation. See 'Calendar of Manuscripts Western and Oriental' for details (MS3). This calendar is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying permitted depending on physical condition of the original and relevant copyright restrictions.

Custodial History

The Brett collection was deposited at Queen's in 1924 by the Belfast solicitor, Sir Charles Brett, and was obtained by him at a Belfast auction in 1886.


Closed, permanent deposit. The Brett collection is managed as a separate unit reflecting its original provenance; new material is not acquired.