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Roscommon Collectibles.

Occasional Series. Booklet No. 4

Miscellaneous Legal Documents from Roscommon.

Liam Byrne

This material was originally published on the roscommonhistory.ie website.

Miscellaneous Legal Documents from Roscommon.


Solicitors practices are a treasure throve of local history, especially if the business is long serving. Unfortunately attempts to preserve privacy often lead to wholesale destruction, because of the trouble involved in separating the private from the public documents contained in the files. Where these documents do survive however they are often priceless additions to local history. A legal document dating from 1706. For hearing in the House of Lords in February 1706. An attempt by one Hyacinth Pilley, Gent. to have lands near Ballybeg, Co. Roscommon restored to him. The land was then in the names of Hugh & Katherine Madden and Hyacinth wanted the land back. The name Pelley / Pilley is not now extant in this area or in Co. Roscommon. It can still be found in south-east Galway.

Trespass Rates for County Roscommon for 1815 (right). Dated 12th. October 1815 and signed by all the prominent men in the county, these were the fines levied for animal trespass. Signed on behalf of Oliver Cary (Clerk), Henry Hughes, Arthur Browne, George French, Edward Crofton Bt., William Caulfield, James W. Lyster, Thomas Mahon, Arthur French, James Irwin, Wm. P. Bowles, Thomas N. Bagot. Printed by D. Daly, Athlone.

Rent receipt to the Congested Districts Board for Ireland. 11 May 1915. The Earl of Ross Estate in Co. Roscommon. From John P. Conry, 32.17 for six months rent.

Indenture.
The term "Indenture" has numerous definitions: For example, an indenture may be: A written agreement between the issuer of a bond and the bondholders, usually specifying interest rate, maturity date, convertibility, and other terms. A written note showing proof of indebtedness. A legal document published by the issuer of a security giving details of the terms of the issue and key features of its legal structure. A contract binding one party into the service of another for a specified term. Deed or mortgage document signed by two parties. Its name comes from the old practice in which such instruments used to have jagged edges because they (together with their copies) were cut to match each other later for authentication. It is generally this last definition that applies to the indentures that we come across. Illustrated below are some of our indentures.

An indenture between Patrick Balfe of Dublin and Francis Flanagan of Ballyconboy dated 5 April 1838.

A bond for 200 (right), between Daniel Webber (Dublin) & John Irwin (Roxboro) and George Sandford, dated 1827.

An indenture between William Devenish & Hanah (nee Lloyd, his wife) of Mount Pleasant and Gilbert Hogg, late Colonel of British Spanish Auxiliary Legion, of Churchview. Hanah was daughter of John Lloyd, late of Cloonfinlough. 2 May 1838.

An indenture (left) between William Lloyd of Rockville and Owen Richard Nathaniel Lloyd of Riversdale, dated 31 October 1863.

Commission of the Peace for Captain Roderick Mackenzie ca. 1820.


This parchment document from the first year of the reign of King George IV (12 August 1762 - 26 June 1830) has the manuscript inscription
"County of Roscommon Commission of the Peace for Captain Roderick Jn. Mackenzie" on the reverse.

Manuscript title on reverse.

The full parchment is typescript, with manuscript insertions in two places. The first section lists the Kings Parliamentary Members and the second lists the Justices of the Peace. The document is dated "1st. day of April in the first year of our reign". King George IV became King on 29th. January 1820 and this may have been the first opportunity for him to appoint his legal representatives, in time for the Easter Term (April / May)1820. The seal is missing.

Land Rental.
Rental and Account of Peter O'Connor of Roscommon for the year ending 1st. May 1892. The particulars mention the tenants on his land at Ballypheason, Roscommon. They were National Bank, Rev. J. Shiel, F. McDonnell, Dr. Healy (?), F McDonnell and W. E. Holmes. Internally the document contains notes on the property and the tenants.

A letter from Peter O'Connor to James Kelly (right) concerning the sale of sheep. Is this the same Peter O'Connor? No date. External evidence suggests first decade of 20th. century.

Transfer of Land at Creggane, Cornafulla, Athlone, Co. Roscommon in 1939.

The last will & testament of Honora McGuff of Tibohine, Co. Roscommon. Dated: 21st. October 1895.

Transfer of Publicans Licence, Ballaghaderreen, 1947.

Rental & Account of the Estate of Peter O'Connor Esq. 1st. May 1892.

A Copy Statement concerning a charge of 4.000 on land in Taughmaconnell, Co. Roscommon owned by the family of Sir Capil Molyneux of Manor Doherty, Co. Armagh and Taughmaconnell, Co. Roscommon. dated 27 March 1849.

Letters and correspondence.


Letters and correspondence can be very important to someone doing family research or local history research. Illustrated below are some letters and covers we have in our archive.

Covers (left) from New South Wales, Australia dated 1889 and correspondence (below) concerning the disposal of the estate of the late Alexander Byrne (or Beirne) of Australia and formerly of Rathmore, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon. This is the Australian Lawyers correspondence regarding the matter.

Copy of a will of John McHugh of Strokestown dated 8 May 1900.

Certified Copy of portion of A record in the Public Records Office of Ireland entitled Will Book 1868. G. M. Principal Regy., Court of Probate. The last will & testament of Sarah Morton of Lisroyne House in the County of Roscommon, widow. As most of these records were destroyed in the explosion in the Four Courts in 1922 this might be a rare and important survivor!

Copy of a Certificate under the Land Acts. Strokestown Union. August 1887. Landlord: M. W. Devenish. Occupier: Anne Owens.

Form No. 1. Land Law (Ireland) Act 1881. Landlord: John J. Dillon of Mount Dillon. Tenant: Richard Owens. Notice of Intention to Sell Tenancy. December 1883? (A very fragile document).

Form No. 27. Land Law (Ireland) Act 1881.Landlord: William Devenish of Granard, Co. Longford. Tenant: Richard Owens of Lismahy, Co. Roscommon. Dated. August 1887.

Marriage Agreement.
Marriage Agreements or Marriage Settlements were an important part of the process of marriage in the past. Marriage Agreements contain a lot of interesting material for the family and local historian.

The Marriage Agreement between Samuel Geraghty and Barbara Kelly of Tulsk dated 29 January 1879. Trustees were Terence McLoughlin of Fortwilliam and James Sandys of Durham Lodge.

This booklet contains just a small sample of material saved from the solicitors bonfire. Once lost they are gone forever. This historical archive is priceless. Please be aware of its potential.

Compiled, edited and published as an eBook by Liam Byrne. First Edition September 2012.