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PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE of NORTHERN IRELAND

 
The Clanwilliam/Meade Papers (D/3044)

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Summary.
Family history to 1779.
The union of two immense properties.
'Dissipated to the last guinea'.
The marriage and early death of the 2nd Earl of Clanwilliam.


Theodosia Magill, Countess of Clanwilliam, painted by Gainsborough in 1765.

 

Theodosia, Countess of Clanwilliam (1744-1817).
The re-settlement and partition of the Co. Down estate.
A plan which backfired.
The 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam (1795-1879).
Gill Hall.
The 4th Earl of Clanwilliam (1832-1907).
The Hon. Sir Robert Meade (1835-1898).
The archive.


Theodosia Magill, Countess of Clanwilliam, painted by Reynolds.

 

Papers of Theodosia, Countess of Clanwilliam.
Papers of the 2nd Earl.
Papers of the 3rd Earl.
Papers of the 3rd Earl's wife.
Papers of the 4th Earl.
Papers of Sir Robert Henry Meade.
Papers of other members of the Meade family.
Thun and Woronzow papers.
The reunification of the archive.


Selina Meade, Countess Clam-Martinics, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Clanwilliam.

 


Richard Meade, 3rd Earl Clanwilliam, 1795-1879.

 

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Summary

The Clanwilliam/Meade Papers comprise c.90 volumes and c.2,000 documents, 1659-1951, and are the papers of the Meade family, Earls of Clanwilliam, formerly of Gill Hall and Montalto, Co. Down. They consist of estate, diplomatic and family papers, and include material relating to other British and European aristocratic families to whom the Meades were related.

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Family history.

The Meades are a family of Gaelic descent long-established in the city of Cork and its neighbourhood. They can be traced as being resident in that area from the 14th century. The spelling of the name was varied over the years: in earlier times it was spelt Meagh or Miagh, and was changed to Meade during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Meades were prominent in the civic life of Cork, and one of them was Recorder during the rebellion in that city against the proclamation of James I as King of England, and was the leader of that rebellion. In the early 18th century the Meades were created Baronets of Ballintober (near Kinsale), Co. Cork. In 1765 Sir John Meade, 3rd Bt, the grandson of the 1st Baronet of Ballintober, married a rich Co. Down heiress, Theodosia, daughter of Robert Hawkins Magill of Gill Hall, Gilford.

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The union of two immense properties.

From the time of her father's death in 1747, when she was only three, she was known to be one of the greatest heiresses in Ireland. The famous Married Women's Property Act was passed well over a century later to protect the interests of middle-class women: upper class women had always been protected by elaborate family and marriage settlements. This was especially true of upper class women who were identifiable as heiresses before they married (most heiresses in fact became heiresses as a result of some subsequent accident). Theodosia Magill was very well protected indeed: her landed property, which consisted of the (allegedly) haunted house of Gill Hall, an estate in the Gilford/Dromore area of Co. Down, worth about £2,500 a year in 1747, and the larger but wilder Burrenwood estate, round Rathfriland, then worth apparently £1,500 a year, were entailed by her father's will on the heirs male of her future marriage. The most that her future husband could expect out of them was an income for life.

Sir John Meade, as befitted Theodosia Magill's expectations, was a man of even greater landed wealth than herself. His estates were worth £10,000 a year, and most of them were located, not in Co. Cork, but in the Golden Vale of Co. Tipperary, which is situated in the barony of Clanwilliam. In the following year, 1766, in consideration of this merger of two immense properties, Sir John Meade was created Viscount Clanwilliam and Baron Gilford. This clearly signalled that their eldest son would enjoy his father's Cork and Tipperary acres and his mother's estate at Gill Hall. The rest of the Co. Down estate was to go to a son, according to the entail, but whether to the eldest son remained an open question (PRONI, T/3465/M/3/3).

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'Dissipated to the last guinea'.

The whole situation was transformed in any case by Lord and Lady Clanwilliam's mounting debts. In 1776 he was advanced to the earldom of Clanwilliam, 'totally unsolicited' she claimed. This no doubt caused them to step up their life-style, in Lord Clanwilliam's case leading to a multitude of 'stableboys and mistresses'. For whatever reason, by c.1783 '... the possessors of such an affluent income were so immersed in debt as to have their personal property seized and sold by a public auction' (T/3465/M/3/3). Sketches of Irish Political Characters, published in 1799, has this to say about Lord Clanwilliam: '... This nobleman has dissipated a noble fortune. His attachment to the ladies and to the turf and certain anecdotes respecting him are too generally known to justify the relation of them here.' These may include a far-fetched anecdote recounted by Horace Walpole (letter of 20 December 1779 to Sir Horace Mann) that Lord Clanwilliam had been responsible for the murder of 'a younger, handsomer, swain' favoured by one of Clanwilliam's mistresses.

The charge that he ran through 'a noble fortune' is supported by the family papers. In his diary, the 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam recounts: 'My grandfather Clanwilliam dissipated, to the last guinea, the Meade estates in Cork and Tipperary, of which the present value may be set down at something like £40,000 a year' (D/3044/F/13/13). The 3rd Earl's second son, Sir Robert Meade, also makes reference to his great-grandfather's character in one of his journals where he recalls that the 1st Earl of Clanwilliam had 'a very fine estate in the golden vale of Tipperary, in Co. Cork and in Clare. He led a life of great extravagance, kept open house in the country and at his town house in St Stephen's Green, Dublin [now part of Newman House], gambled and kept a mistress. ... As a consequence of all this the family became greatly involved' (D/3044/J/18).

It appears that Lord Clanwilliam put great pressure on his son, the young Lord Gilford, to help him extricate himself from his financial straits. According to the 3rd Earl 'under some act of legal instrument they had the means of squeezing him, and, for the sake of a small beggarly pittance, he, in a weak moment without taking any independent advice, consented'. The Dublin banker, David Latouche, offered to save the estates on the condition that Lord Gilford married his daughter, but Lord Gilford refused to sell himself in this manner. There ensued a violent quarrel between Lord Gilford and his parents, the result of which was that the son left for the continent. This account of events, particularly the involvement of David Latouche, may be embroidered. But in 1793-1794 there were a series of complicated transactions, the details of which transpire through correspondence (T/3465/M/3/3) but cannot be precisely ascertained from the Clanwilliam Papers in PRONI because of the absence of title deed material. As a result of these transactions, Lord and Lady Clanwilliam and Lord Gilford joined in breaking the entail of the Clanwilliam estates in Cork and Tipperary, which by 1793 were producing at least £11,000 a year. Eventually, these estates were sold in their entirety, the last sale - of nearly 5,000 Irish acres in Co. Tipperary at a rental of £3,375 - taking place in 1805 (National Archives, Dublin, M/2197).

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The marriage and early death of the 2nd Earl of Clanwilliam.

Lord Gilford was willing to come into an arrangement so prejudicial to himself in the long term, because he had some debts of his own to pay off, and because he wanted to marry a beautiful but penniless aristocrat from Bohemia, Countess Caroline Thun, and needed immediate financial provision for her, for himself, and for their children still unborn. This provision was accordingly charged on the Gill Hall estate, Co. Down, and the wedding took place at Tchusitz in Bohemia in 1793. This re-settlement was accomplished with a high degree of inter-familial acrimony, and Lord and Lady Gilford took up permanent residence in Vienna, where they were when Lord Clanwilliam died, unlamented, in 1800. On 28 September 1800 the Countess Dowager of Massereene wrote to her grandson, the Hon. Robert C. Clements (Killadoon papers, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Q/2/3): ' ... That wretched Lord Clanwilliam is dying, his disorder a confirmed dropsy, and he can't recover, for the water is rising fast every day. Lady Clanwilliam is at Gill Hall. He was there, but came very ill to town, and is in the house with that unfortunate woman who has lived some years with him, and won't see his own family, but is dying just as he lived. How shocking for him to know that he is dying and not to have one action to look back upon which can give him comfort. ...' Following his succession to the earldom, the new Lord Clanwilliam came back to Ireland to settle financial affairs with his mother, with whom he appears to have effected some sort of reconciliation. His wife also died in 1800, but he went back to live in Vienna when his affairs were settled, where he remained till he died, still a young man, in 1805.

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Theodosia, Countess of Clanwilliam (1744-1817).

Theodosia, Countess of Clanwilliam's personal role in these transactions is difficult to establish. She herself, in her own letters, affected vagueness in money matters and depicted herself as a mere innocent in the hands of artful lawyers. Her eldest grandson, the 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam, who was retrieved from Vienna in 1807 and first met his grandmother when he was eleven years old, described her as 'stern, unfeeling, soured, hard and unjust to our mother' (for being a penniless foreigner and a Roman Catholic), and as 'a proud, hard woman, soured by the misconduct of a dissolute husband'. This description is not flattering, but it is indulgent in the sense that it attributes the corrosion of Lady Clanwilliam to 'the misconduct of a dissolute husband'. Lady Clanwilliam's Co. Down neighbour, the Countess Dowager of Moira, who lived at Montalto (a house, ironically, which the 5th Earl of Clanwilliam bought in the early 20th century), made no such excuse for Lady Clanwilliam's unfeeling sternness (T/3465/M/3/3).

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The re-settlement and partition of the Co. Down estate.

According to Lady Moira, Lady Clanwilliam was responsible for running up at least a fair proportion of the debts, and both parents were equally to blame for swindling their eldest son in order to extricate themselves. Lord Clanwilliam may have been '... a consummate wretch devoid of honour or principle ..., [but] excessive avarice appears to be the prevalent bent of Lady Clanwilliam's disposition, to which she would sacrifice every other idea. ... Her soul, it was known [from] time immemorial, ... [was] wrapped up in her diamond stomacher. ...' Lady Moira's comments usually have to be taken at some discount. But there are other indications that Lady Clanwilliam was a hard and crafty woman, who perhaps drove her husband to dissoluteness, and in whom he more than met his match. Perhaps the most significant indication is her will (D/3044/D/1/48), which she made in 1807. Even when en route to her maker, and making a donation towards His Kingdom on Earth, Lady Clanwilliam drove a hard bargain: '... I desire that my executors do apply a sum of £50 sterling towards building a spire on the steeple of Dromore church, the money not be paid until the work is raised by five feet, and in the meantime no interest is to be paid for the same. ...'

For the future, Lady Moira's most telling and relevant charge against Lady Clanwilliam was that she had taken particular care to extricate and preserve her Co. Down estate and actually to augment her income out of it. Under Lord and Lady Clanwilliam's marriage settlement of 1765, Lord Clanwilliam was to enjoy for life the income from her Co. Down estates, subject only to £1,000 pin or pocket money to her. By the end of the re-settlement of their estates and affairs in 1793-1794, Lady Clanwilliam had gained for herself the income from her own estates for life. Even after deducting the charges to which those estates were now liable, this left her - according to Lady Moira' well-informed calculations - with a clear income of £5,600 a year, in lieu of her pin money of a mere £1,000 a year. In other words, Lady Clanwilliam had profited from, as well as been soured by, 'the misconduct of a dissolute husband'. She also had the satisfaction of now being able to leave the Rathfriland estate, which was the larger of the two and the one which was advancing most in rental value, to her adored second son, General the Hon. Robert Meade, while only the Gill Hall estate, where the rents were largely fixed, was entailed on the eldest son, Lord Gilford, with whom she had quarrelled. By c.1880 the relativities between the two properties were: Gill Hall estate, 3,584 statute acres, with a rateable valuation of £4,305 a year; Rathfriland estate, 13,492 statute acres, with a rateable valuation of £13,719 a year.

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A plan which backfired.

Ironically, in view of her devotion to material affluence, and her success in ensuring it to her second son, the course of her descendants did not run according to her plans. Comparative poverty acted as a spur to subsequent Earls of Clanwilliam. The 3rd Earl was a distinguished diplomat, serving as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1822-1823, and Envoy to Berlin, 1823-1827, and being created a peer of the United Kingdom in 1828. The 3rd Earl's second son, Sir Robert Meade, followed in his footsteps, while the 3rd Earl's eldest son and successor, the 4th Earl, rose to be Admiral of the Fleet (1895) and, according to his obituary in The Times (5 August 1907) '... valued his rank as an admiral much more than his titles as Irish earl or English baron'. The 3rd Earl's rise was in two respects a repudiation of his grandmother's actions and values. Lady Clanwilliam had disapproved of Countess Caroline Thun, the 3rd Earl's mother, but he was to derive considerable advantage in his diplomatic career from his early education in Vienna and his mother's many grand connections. Lady Clanwilliam had been two-faced and actually hostile to Lord Castlereagh in Co. Down electioneering, while the 3rd Earl warmly attached himself to Castlereagh and became his private secretary and later his Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office. Indeed, the 3rd Earl's cosmopolitan ease and linguistic fluency no doubt compensated in some measure for the stiffness and awkwardness characteristic of Castlereagh.

Meanwhile, the affluent descendants of General Robert Meade had jointed the English as well as the Irish landed gentry, and lived principally at Earsham, near Bungay, Suffolk. But they did nothing in particular, and they may not even have done it particularly well. The 3rd Earl, in his already-quoted reminiscences which, under the circumstances, err on the side of charity towards his grandmother, commented that his '... uncle, General Robert, made a shady marriage with Miss Dalling [in 1800] ...', and although '... my grandmother settled Rathfriland on him, having discarded my father as a hopeless exile, ... I have lived to see the General's son an exile, and an outlaw. ... I think she rather liked me. She may have had misgivings - there were symptoms of such a feeling - of [sic] having "stripped the title", when she saw that the RM marriage was not raising the position of the family, when I was putting my foot on the world's ladder. ...' Thanks to his grandmother, the 3rd Earl had no alternative but, as Lady Bracknell put it, 'to rise from the ranks of the aristocracy'.

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The 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam (1795-1879).

Richard Meade, 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam, was brought up in Vienna and spent very little of his early life in Ireland. On his father's death in 1805 there ensued a struggle between his mother's relations in Vienna, and John Fyffe, to whom his father had entrusted his guardianship. The outcome of this was that the 3rd Earl was brought back to England, while his two sisters were brought up in Vienna in the care of their aunt, Princess Lichnowsky. He was educated under Bishop Sandford in Edinburgh, and then went to Eton. He had already travelled considerably on the continent, and he entered the diplomatic service at the age of 19, accompanying Lord Castlereagh at the Congress of Vienna, 1814-1815. Subsequent to this he became private secretary to Castlereagh, with whom he established a close friendship. He was appointed acting Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, and took the position over permanently in January of 1822.

Castlereagh's suicide in August 1822 affected him greatly, and his sense of loyalty persuaded him to give up his post in the Foreign Office, as he felt that he would be unfaithful to Castlereagh were he to remain under the new Secretary of State, Castlereagh's inveterate enemy, George Canning. He went with the Duke of Wellington to the Congress of Verona, and on his return to England, Canning, who felt that Clanwilliam should receive some reward, and perhaps because he wanted to win his support, offered him the post of Ambassador at Berlin, which Clanwilliam accepted. During his five years' stay in Berlin he acquired a high degree of admiration and popularity. He appears to have given up his post in 1827, to facilitate the government, on the understanding that he would resume his diplomatic career after a few years.

Clanwilliam was heavily involved in the arrangements for the setting up of the Goderich ministry in 1827, but did not serve in that ministry. Indeed, from this time on he took little part in public affairs, and never resumed his diplomatic career. He was made a peer of the United Kingdom, in January 1828. He was a political associate and friend of the Duke of Wellington, and may have expected to be offered some post in Wellington's ministry, but this was not forthcoming. He did attend the House regularly, and followed politics avidly, but the rest of his life was spent in virtual retirement at Deal Castle, of which he was made Captain. In his early life Clanwilliam had been at the centre of society life in London. He was regarded as a witty and charming man, popular with all and admired by the ladies. His Austrian connections also introduced him into the Viennese society, and he was friendly with a number of high ranking European diplomats. Although he was a secondary political figure, his diaries contain important material on the politics of the period, and provide a useful illustration of the life of a Tory aristocrat.

In 1830 Clanwilliam married Lady Elizabeth Herbert, the daughter of the 11th Earl of Pembroke and Catherine Woronzow. Lady Pembroke was the daughter of a Russian count, who had been Russian Ambassador in London. Her brother, Prince Michael Woronzow, had a long and distinguished career in the Russian Army. He had served in the Napoleonic Wars and in one of his autobiographical journals [D/3044] he gives an account of the Battle of Borodino, at which he commanded a division on the Russian left flank, and at which he was wounded by gunshot in the leg. Woronzow was made a Prince and a Field Marshal in the Russian Army, but his connections with England and his belief in Anglo-Russian friendship persuaded him to retire from military life, rather than fight in the Crimean War.

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Gill Hall in the 3rd Earl's later years.

In 1863, a connection of the Magill family, John Ynyr Burges of Parkanaur, Castlecaulfeild, Co. Tyrone, recorded in his diary (PRONI, T/1282/2, pp. 140-141):

'We drove to Gill Hall, the old residence of the Magills and now of Lord Clanwilliam, who on account of ill-health seldom visits it. The house was built in the time of William III, and though small is most comfortable. There is a good hall and dining room and old-fashioned staircase and the gallery room on the first landing. In a bedchamber of this apartment, the ghost of Lord Tyrone appeared to Lady Beresford, and a small cabinet is shown with a mark upon it. But it is not the real one, which [it] is said was removed by Lord Clanwilliam's grandmother years ago. In the gallery there are portraits of Lord Clanwilliam, Mrs Percy ..., wife of the Bishop of Dromore. ... There is likewise a very pretty portrait of old Lady Clanwilliam dressed in a bonnet over the state bedroom chimneypiece, which struck me as a resemblance to the Johnston of Gilford family [the family of Burges's mother, one of whom had married the Magill heiress, c.1670, and changed his name to Magill]. As her father sprang from the Johnstons ... that is not to be wondered at. I felt most interested about everything in this old mansion, which is one of the rare specimens of an ancient Irish residence, where no change or addition had ever taken place since it was built. The trees were planted about the time of Charles II, when the grant of the lands was given to the Magill family.'

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The 4th Earl of Clanwilliam (1832-1907).

Richard, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam, succeeded to the title on the death of his father, the 3rd Earl, in 1879. He had already by this time pursued a successful career in the Royal Navy, which he had entered in 1845. He was seriously wounded in the assault on Canton, during the Opium Wars with China in 1858. He became a junior Lord of the Admiralty in 1874, was made Commander of the Detached Squadron in 1880, Commander in Chief at Portsmouth in 1891, and an Admiral of the Fleet in 1895. He retired in 1902 and lived another five years, dying in 1907. His whole life was devoted to the sea, as is made clear by the following comments made about him by a colleague: 'Throughout his life he was before everything a sailor, studious of the interests of the service and of those under his command, ... .'

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The Hon. Sir Robert Meade (1835-1898).

The 4th Earl's papers constitute only a small part of the archive; but those of his younger brother, Sir Robert Henry Meade, are, next to the 3rd Earl's papers, the largest section. There was an unusual degree of friendship and intimacy between the 3rd Earl and his second son, who was his favourite, and in whose career he took great interest. Meade was educated at Eton and Oxford and, like his father, entered the Foreign Office. He was chosen to accompany Lord Dufferin on the latter's mission to Syria in 1860 [D/3004/J/13, 15 and 16]. He made a considerable impression on Dufferin, at whose recommendation it was that he was chosen as the Prince of Wales's companion on his tour of Palestine and Eastern Europe in 1861-1862. In 1862 he was a member of the Queen's party in Germany, and later in 1862 he was appointed a Lord of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales. The Prince had taken to Meade and they remained friends for the rest of his life. He also created a good impression on Lord Granville, when Granville and he were both in the Queen's party on the Continent and on their return Granville asked him to be his private secretary as President of the Council. He stayed with Granville until 1866, after which he returned to the Foreign Office.

Granville did not forget him, however, and when he became Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1868, he took Meade with him to the Colonial Office as his private secretary. Meade was to spend the rest of his civil service career in the Colonial Office, and it was not long before he became the Assistant Under-Secretary of State. In 1877 he was appointed a royal commissioner for the Paris exhibition and in 1884 he went to the Berlin Colonial Conference as an adviser. During the conference he was in close communication with Gladstone, the Prime Minister, and it was on Gladstone's instructions that Meade had several meetings with Bismarck [D/3044/J/17]. On Sir Robert Herbert's retirement in 1892 Meade succeeded him as the Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Colonial Office and served under Lord Ripon and Joseph Chamberlain. He retired in 1897, having never fully recovered from breaking his leg when boarding a bus in 1896, and having been further affected by the death of his daughter, Mary, in 1896. The many attempts to persuade him to stay on in his post illustrate the high regard in which he was held by the government [D/3044/J/1/358-412], as do the many letters of condolence to his son, Charles, on his death in 1898 [D/3044/P/1-47].

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The archive.

The estate papers in the archive comprise title deeds, leases, rentals and Irish Land Commission sale papers relating to the Gill Hall and Montalto estates, 1659-1951.

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Papers of Theodosia, Countess of Clanwilliam

No private papers of the 1st Earl survive, but the archive contains correspondence, 1795-1817, of his wife, Theodosia, daughter and heiress of Robert Hawkins Magill of Gill Hall, through whom the Gill Hall estate came into the possession of the Meade family. These consist mainly of letters about family matters from correspondents who include: her eldest son, Richard, 2nd Earl of Clanwilliam, 1804-1805, who writes about his debts; his first wife, Caroline, Lady Gilford; Lady Gilford's sister, Princess Lichnowsky, and cousin, Countess Therese Kinsky; John Fyffe, an executor of the 2nd Earl's will; and others, who write about the dispute over the custody of the 2nd Earl's daughters following his death in 1805. There are also letters from Lady Clanwilliam to General Robert Meade about the Co. Down election of 1805 in which her younger son, John, was a candidate. Also included is a copy of Lady Clanwilliam's will, 1807.

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Papers of the 2nd Earl.

The papers of Richard, 2nd Earl of Clanwilliam, consists of: letters, 1800-1801, from his mother, about family and financial matters; and correspondence between Clanwilliam and his wife's cousin, Countess Therese Kinsky in Vienna, and letters from Clanwilliam to his sister-in-law, Christiana, Princess Lichnowsky, and to his daughter, Caroline, who was living with Princess Lichnowsky in Vienna, about family affairs.

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Papers of the 3rd Earl.

The papers of Richard, 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam, form the largest group within the archive. Entering the diplomatic service at the age of nineteen, he accompanied Lord Castlereagh, Foreign Secretary, to the Congress of Vienna, 1814-1815, and served as Castlereagh's private secretary, 1817-1819, as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1822-1823, and as British Ambassador to Berlin, 1823-1827. He was appointed Captain of Deal Castle in 1848, and remained in this office until his death in 1879.

His papers include: diaries, 1812-1879, which provide an account of his youth, in Vienna and in England, and an almost complete record of his career, with comment on his decision to resign his Berlin ambassadorship in 1827, on the Canning and Goderich administrations, on Catholic Emancipation, and on the Reform Bill crisis of 1831-1832; out-letter books, 1823-1832, tow of which cover the period of his embassy to Berlin and contain letters and dispatches to George Canning, Foreign Secretary, 1822-1827, and to Canning's successor, Lord Dudley, while the other includes Clanwilliam's out-letters to Lord Pembroke and Sir Henry Bulwer, about the Reform Bill, together with several to George Brush, his agent for the Gill Hall estate; volumes of recollections of, and philosophical reflections by, Clanwilliam, 1795-1879 and 1818; formal documents, 1818-1848, which include Clanwilliam's commissions as captain and major of the Royal Down Militia and as Captain of Deal Castle, and papers relating to his duties as a special constable in London during the Chartist agitation in 1848; letters from his sister, Selina, Countess Clam-Martinic, 1837-1848, most of which were written in the years 1847-1848, commenting on, and describing her experiences during, the disturbances in Austria and Poland; letters and memoranda, many of them copies, 1815-1877, on topics which include European politics, parliamentary reform, Catholic Emancipation, sectarian tension and the state of Orangeism in Co. Down in 1843, and the revolutions of 1848, from correspondents who include Lord Castlereagh, Metternich, George Canning, Joseph Planta, Secretary to the Treasury, Stratford Canning, British Ambassador to Constantinople, Lord Dudley, Sir Henry Bulwer, Lord Harrowby, and the Duke of Wellington; and miscellaneous papers, 1825-1865, which include a list of the number of freeholders which various Co. Down landowners can field for or against the Downshire candidate in 1825, and a copy of Clanwilliam's will, 1865.

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Papers of the 3rd Earl's wife.

The papers of Elizabeth, Countess of Clanwilliam, wife of the 3rd Earl, and second daughter of the 11th Earl of Pembroke, include: a volume containing a history of the Pembroke family; 27 diaries/appointment books, 1831-1858, containing routine entries; letters from her grandmother, Elizabeth, Countess of Pembroke, 1815-1826, from her mother, Catherine, Countess of Pembroke, 1815-1836, from her sisters, Lady Mary Caroline Herbert, later Marchioness of Ailesbury, 1826-1842, and Lady Catherine Herbert, later Countess of Dunmore, 1827-1836, which are mainly about family affairs, with scattered references to European politics and social events; letters from Lady Clanwilliam and her husband, 1848-1851, to Charles Arbuthnot, joint Secretary to the Treasury, which are mainly about social affairs, with a few references to politics and foreign events; and miscellaneous letters, 1812-1857, from correspondents who include her husband, her uncle, Prince Michael Woronzow, her aunt, Therese Thun, her brother, Sidney Herbert, and her son, Robert H. Meade. There is also a copy of the diary of Anne Clifford, Countess of Pembroke, Dorset and Montgomery, 1603-1619.

Included in the archive are papers of Catherine, Countess of Pembroke, the mother of Elizabeth, Lady Clanwilliam, 1806-1856, which comprise: letters from her daughter, Elizabeth, 1820-1849, and son-in-law, Lord Clanwilliam, 1830-[1852], which are mainly about family affairs, but contain some references to politics; and miscellaneous letters to Lady Pembroke, 1806-1847, from correspondents who include various female members of the British royal family, Count Nesselrode, Russian Foreign Minister, the Empress Maria of Russia, and an attaché to the Duke of Devonshire's special mission to Moscow in 1826 for the coronation of the Tsar Nicholas, who describes the lavish entertainments given by the Duke.

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Papers of the 4th Earl.

Richard, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam, was a junior Lord of the Admiralty, 1874-1878, a Vice-Admiral, 1881, Commander-in-Chief on the North American Station, 1885-1886, and an Admiral of the Fleet, 1895-1902. His papers, which relate for the most part to his naval career, comprise: a volume of copy out-letters from him, as commander of the battleship Hercules in the English Channel, to other ships' commanders, conveying orders, and to the Secretary to the Admiralty, about routine matters; his journal, as Commander of the Detached Squadron, 1880-1881, recording orders received and dispatched; a cellar book, 1887-1905, for his official residence as Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, and for other residences; 21 visitors' books, 1891-1892; and letters to him, 1877-1906, most of them about the death of his brother, Sir Robert Henry Meade, in 1898.

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Papers of Sir Robert Henry Meade.

Sir Robert Henry Meade, second son of the 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam, served successively as secretary to Lord Dufferin during his mission to Syria, 1860-1861, as private secretary to Lord Granville, 1864-1866, as private secretary to Granville at the Colonial Office, 1868-1871, as British representative at the Berlin Conference, 1884-1885, and as Permanent Under-Secretary for the Colonies, 1892-1897. His papers include: diaries, 1854-1897, most of which contain accounts of Meade's trips abroad, including the Prince of Wales's tours of Norway, Sweden and Denmark in 1864, and the last of which contains comment on contemporary events; in-letter books, 1860-1862 and 1884-1885, most of them about family affairs; damp-press out-letter books, one of them relating to his Syrian mission with Lord Dufferin, 1860-1861, the other to his mission to Berlin, 1884-1885; volumes of anecdotes, compiled by Meade, of contemporary and historical events, 1878-1894; 2 miscellaneous volumes, 1872-1897, one of which was used as a visitors' book for Meade's house, 'Englemere', in Middlesex, the other containing information on the history of the Meade family; letters from his father, 1851-1879, from his mother, 1849-1858, from his second wife, Caroline Georgiana Grenfell, 1880-1881, and from other members of his family, 1854-1887, which are mainly about family affairs; letters from Edward Arthur, Prince of Wales, to whom Meade was a Groom of the Bedchamber, about routine matters, 1832-1868; and a copy of his marriage settlement, 1880.

The papers of Meade's first wife, Lady Mary Lascelles, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Harewood, consist of 4 diaries, 1865-1866, and letters from Lady Mary, 1853-1866, to her mother, Louisa, Lady Harewood, and her sister, Louisa, Lady Hillingdon, about family affairs. The papers of Meade's second wife, Caroline Georgiana, daughter of Charles Grenfell MP, consist of: a diary, 1852-1856, kept by her grandmother, Georgiana Caroline, née Lascelles, containing an account of her travels on the Continent, 1852-1853, and recording family events; letters from Caroline Georgiana Meade to her mother, 1870-1881, about family affairs; and letters to Caroline Georgiana Meade from other members of her family, 1878-1900.

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Papers of other members of the Meade family.

The papers of Herbert Philip Meade, youngest son of the 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam, who was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and died in an accidental explosion of ammunition in 1868, consist of letters to Meade, mainly from his father, brothers and sister, and are largely devoted to family news, with occasional references to politics, to the American Civil War and to his naval career.

The papers of Selina Catherine Meade, only daughter of the 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam, consist of letters, 1842-1886, to her and to her first and second husbands, Granville Edward Vernon and John Bidwell, from correspondents who include Gladstone, Lord Aberdeen and Napoleon III.

The papers of Mary Elizabeth Blanche Meade, only daughter of Sir Robert Meade, consist of: diaries, 1881-1895, one of which contains an account of her travels on the Continent; and letters to her from her father, 1872-1881, her grandfather, Lord Clanwilliam, and her stepmother, Caroline Georgiana Meade, about family matters; and miscellaneous letters and papers, 1881-1885, about family matters.

The papers of Charles Francis Meade, only son of Sir Robert Meade and his second wife, consist of letters to him from various correspondents, 1897-1898, about the death of his sister, Mary, in 1897, and of his father in 1898.

Arthur Vesey, 5th Earl of Clanwilliam, first surviving son of the 4th Earl, a captain in the Royal Horse Guards, and ADC to Lord Curzon ad Viceroy of India, served in South Africa, 1900-1902, and in the 1st World War. The archive includes a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings and photographs relating to his career, 1901-1916, and also contains material on his involvement in Co. Down politics.

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Thun and Woronzow papers.

There are, in addition, papers relating to the Thun family of Bohemia, and to the Woronzow family of Russia. The Thun papers, 1776-1779 and c.1850, derive from the marriage of the 2nd Earl of Clanwilliam to Caroline, daughter of Joseph, Count Thun, and consist largely of letters from Countess Thun's mother, Wilhelmina, to John Boyd of Danson Hill, Kent, which are mainly devoted to news of social events in Vienna. The Woronzow papers derive from the marriage of George Augusts, 11th Earl of Pembroke, to Catherine, daughter of Simon Romanovitch, 3rd Count Woronzow, Russian Ambassador to London, and the marriage of their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, to the 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam. The Woronzow papers, 1803-1856, consist of: volumes of autobiographical and biographical material relating to Count, later Prince, Michael Woronzow, the distinguished Russian military commander, son of Simon Romanovitch and uncle of Elizabeth, Countess of Clanwilliam; letters to Prince Michael Woronzow, 1815-1856, including several from the Tsars Alexander I and Nicholas I about Russian affairs; letters to Woronzow from his sister, Catherine, Countess of Pembroke, about the Battle of Waterloo, 1815; and newspaper cuttings relating to Woronzow and Russian affairs, 1803-1856.

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The reunification of the archive.

After the death of the 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam in 1879 his papers were split, the letter books and the majority of his diaries and loose papers becoming the property of his elder son, the 4th Earl, while the remaining papers, which include the letters to his wife and mother-in-law, some of his diaries and the Woronzow and Thun papers, passed into the possession of his second son, Robert. Those papers which descended down the main line were deposited by the late (6th) Earl, and the rest by Sir Robert Meade's grandson, Mr Simon Meade. The surviving estate papers (D/3044/A) were deposited by the late Lord Clanwilliam via his Belfast solicitors, Messrs Crawford & Lockhart. The present (7th) Earl of Clanwilliam also has papers in his possession at Tisbury, Wiltshire.

In spite of this reunification, there are still major gaps in and strays from the archive, only some of which have been supplied. There are virtually no surviving papers of the 1st and 2nd Earls of Clanwilliam. The surviving papers of Theodosia, Lady Clanwilliam, wife of the 1st Earl, descended partly down the line of her adored second son, General Robert Meade, ancestor of the Meades of Bungay, Norfolk. These papers of Lady Clanwilliam were deposited in the Norfolk and Norwich Record Office, and have been photocopied and integrated with her papers in PRONI. The rest of the Meade of Bungay papers are on microfilm in PRONI, MIC/259, but have not been integrated with the Clanwilliam/Meade papers. They are mostly rentals, accounts and estate correspondence relating to the Rathfriland estate, which passed to General Meade after his mother's death in 1816. There is also in PRONI, D/1629, a rentroll for the Rathfriland estate, 1740-1741, when it was still Magill property, and other documents relating to the Clanwilliam estates but not of Clanwilliam/Meade provenance (T/855, D/875 and D/3124).

A.P.W. Malcomson
Peter Houston

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Page created 4 Apr 97; updated 22 October 1998

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