Brownlow's Derry Rental Records|
In total some 520 volumes and c.9,300 documents were deposited by Watson & Neill, Solicitors, Lurgan, on behalf of John Desmond Cavendish Brownlow, 5th Baron Lurgan. With some exceptions, this collection can be described as an estate archive, documenting the history and management of the Brownlow's estate. It relates largely to their land in the manors of Brownlowsderry and Richmount in the Lurgan area, County Armagh, including Lurgan town itself and the adjacent areas of west Down and south-west Antrim, 1619-1960, but also to property in Magheracloone parish, barony of Farney, County Monaghan, 1753-94, and in Philipstown parish, barony of Ardee, County Lough, 1753.
The Brownlow estate, as with most large estates, was virtually a self-contained community. The estate provided the free holders and tenants with either direct employment or employment opportunities, housing or rather the land on which to build housing, educational and health care, commerce and trading facilities, and places of worship. Thus the archive holds interest not just for the agriculturist or economic historian but also for the political, social, educational, church and urban historian. A variety of possible research projects await to be tackled by the historian be he or she professional or amateur.
Account book and rental material comprise: some 83 personal and estate account books, 1711-1933; 10 household account books and inventories, 1754-75; and 13 volumes of labourers' wages books, relating to Brownlow House, farm demesne and garden, 1750-61 and 1854-93; and 273 rentals, rent-rolls and rent day books for the County Armagh estate, 1755-94. In the same section there are also 14 mass rentals, 1827-90, 17 tithe rentals for Lurgan, 1852-69, and 4 bundles of letters re tithes in Shankill and Ardmore parishes, County Armagh, 1827 and 1850-76.
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