Papers of Colonel Andrew Dennis O'Kelly (1784 - c.1830)

Scope and Content

U DDLA/40/1 - 9 Accounts and Vouchers

U DDLA/40/10 - 13 Correspondence

U DDLA/40/14 - 80 Miscellaneous Documents and Title Deeds

The papers comprise some personal accounts and titles deeds. Some of the accounts relate to O'Kelly's interest in race horses, but they also include accounts with his tailor, papers to do with India bonds and a memorandum on the insuring of Lord Belfast, a debtor in the Fleet prison, to outlive his father, the marquis of Donegall, in 1794. The deeds relate to property at Stanmore in Middlesex in the late eighteenth century and include a plan of some of Nathaniel Wright's alterations in 1786. There are also deeds for property in Epsom in Surrey and in Piccadilly and Half Moon Street in London in the late eighteenth century. There are circa 70 letters to Dennis O'Kelly, about race horses, debtors and debts, dated 1785-1820, as well as three more bundles of letters dated 1794-1817 which include correspondents such as Lady Anna Donegall, Earl Moira and Arthur Wellesley, duke of Wellington. The only marriage settlement in the collection is that of John Parkhurst and Richarda Dormer (1725). Wills in the collection are those of Andrew Dennis O'Kelly himself (1820) and John Parkhurst (1762). Miscellaneous papers in the collection include a cure for rheumatism and papers relating to Catholic affairs. U DDLA/40/28 is the 1810 declaration of the Irish bishops respecting the Pope and U DDLA/40/29 is a bundle of papers relating to the Prince Regent and the Princess of Wales between 1812 and 1813.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dennis O'Kelly was a central figure in Irish horse racing during its infancy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and was owner of the famous race horse, Eclipse. In 1782 he was in the English army in America (suggesting he was born 1750-early 1760s). He never married and had one brother, Captain Philip O'Kelly. When he died rather suddenly in 1820 the transmission of his estates (including his debts) was rather complicated. He left bequests to several people, including Henry Grattan (whose papers are catalogued as DDLA/39 - see separate entry) but the bulk of his estate went to his brother's son, Andrew O'Kelly. However, he also never married and the estate passed on his death to the son of his sister, Mary O'Kelly. Mary O'Kelly had married Whitfield Harvey and they had at least two children - Philip Whitfield Harvey and Mary O'Kelly. Mary O'Kelly junior married Henry Grattan (b.1789), MP and son of the famous Irish whig politician, Henry Grattan (Dictionary of National Biography; DDLA/40/44).

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Related Material

Hull University Archives:

U DDLA/30/6; U DDLA/31


  • Dictionary of National Biography
  • Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Records 1960-65