Friday, November 22, 2013

Building the ultimate Library of Irish archaeology and history. Part II: The Calendar of State Papers

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George Carew, Earl of Totnes via Wikimedia Commons

In the last part of this post, I looked at the Irish annals and posted links to those available online. In this post I wanted to do something pretty similar with the Calendar of State Papers for Ireland. The CSP are ‘calendars’ in the sense that they are chronological lists of documents or manuscripts. They contain a wealth of information from the perspective of the English involvement in Ireland throughout the period from 1509 to 1670. This is from the ascension of Henry VIII, through the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, Elizabeth I (House of Tudor), James, I, Charles I (House of Stuart), the Commonwealth of Cromwell, and back into the Restoration of Charles II.

I can’t seem to find the volume covering the period from 1666-1669 - suggestions would be welcomed!

I know of only one earlier attempt to publish parts of the State Papers relating to Ireland:

Lodge, J. (ed.) 1772 Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica; or a select collection of State papers; consisting of Royal instructions, directions, dispatches, and letters.

To this I would add: The Carew Manuscripts. From what I can see on-line, there are supposed to be six volumes, but I can only appear to find four.

Note: I’ve been unable to find a good on-line description of the CSP, and I’m not completely sure if the volumes I’ve presented here are the complete series. Any contributions that could clarify this would be most welcome! As I said in the previous post – if there’s something available on-line that I’ve missed out, please let me know and I will update appropriately.

**Update (November 23) I'm grateful to Simon Dowling for suggesting the following additions:
Reports of the "Deputy Keeper of the Public Records and Keeper of the State Papers in Ireland" all online here:  ... i.e. the Pipe rolls of Edward the 1st contained within the 35th report.

**Update (November 25) I'm indebted to Paul Rondelez for this contribution: 'To this you could add the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, which includes lots on Ireland. There is an older set of calendars, often with more information on the same period. The CSPI are available in full through State Papers Online. The subscription is expensive, but some libraries have them available. This collection not only has the text-searchable calendars, but also the high resolution pdf's of the actual manuscripts. These often contain very valuable information not hinted to in the calendars.'

**Update (December 12) Many thanks to Donal Fallon for pointing me in the direction of Free Irish History eBooks - a fantastic resource that is well worth further investigation!

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