Reference Code: IE 2135 P10

Title: The Coote Papers

Dates of Creation: 1755-1969 (predominantly 1890-1959)

Level of Description: Fonds

Extent and Medium: Eight standard boxes, two outsize boxes and one outsize volume (259 files)



Name of Creator(s): Coote family, Barons Castlecoote.

Biographical History: The Coote family’s association with Ireland began with Sir Charles Coote (1581-1642), who in 1621 was granted one of the first baronetcies in Ireland for his military service to the crown during the Nine Years War.  In 1628, he founded the town of Mountrath in county Laois.  His son and namesake was created Earl of Mountrath in 1660.  The title became extinct in 1802 on the death of Charles Henry Coote, 7th Earl of Mountrath.  However, the title Baron Castlecoote, granted to Charles Henry in 1800 for his support of the Act of Union, passed to his distant cousin and namesake, Charles Henry Coote (1754-1823) of Leopardstown Park, county Dublin, eldest son of the Very Reverend Charles Coote, Dean of Kilfenora.  Along with the title, he also inherited the 7th Earl’s Irish properties.  This title, too, became extinct on the death of Eyre Tilson Coote (1793-1827), the third baron, but his widow, Barbara née Meredyth, retained ownership of the Coote estate.  Following her death in 1874, the estate passed to Sir Eyre Coote (1857-1925) of West Park, Hampshire, grandson of the younger brother of the second Baron Castlecoote.  The Coote Papers reflect this rather complex network of family relationships and resulting problems of succession.

Archival History: Purchased by Dr John Logan from John O’Dwyer, antiquarian bookseller, Old Charter School, Newport, County Tipperary. Earlier chain of custody unknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: Donated by Dr John Logan to the University of Limerick on 7 June 2002.



Scope and Content: The Coote papers comprise in the main early twentieth-century correspondence and accounts maintained by the Coote family’s land agents Guinness, Mahon & Co. and, from 1953, William Montgomery & Son Ltd.  The correspondence is routine by nature and illustrates the less glamorous side of estate management involving leaky roofs and inadequate sewage pipes. There is an interesting set of deeds, the earliest of which date from the second half of the eighteenth century; a lengthy marriage settlement drawn up on the eve of the marriage of Grace Coote and the Reverend Henry Bathurst; and letters of administration relating to complications arising from the will of Charles Henry Coote whose heir and two executors all died before probate could be granted.  There is also an extensive set of grazing and letting agreements from 1876 to 1953, mostly dealing with plots of ground in the vicinity of the town of Maryborough (now Portlaoise) in county Laois.  Perhaps the most important item in this collection is a bound hardcover volume of hand-drawn maps of the estates of General Sir Eyre Coote (1726-1783) surveyed in 1803 by Robert Ely (P10/5/1).  Each page in the book is devoted to a single townland, with a helpful index providing the name and total acreage of each townland and the name of its tenant.

Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Information: All records have been retained.

Accruals: No accruals are expected.

System of Arrangement: No original order of the material was discernible at the time of receipt of the collection.  Consequently, the material was arranged into six series by document type.  Series 1 contains deeds, wills, marriage settlements and other documents of legal nature and is further divided into five sub-series by function.  Series 2 contains tenants’ agreements and is further divided into two sub-series by agreement type. Series 3 contains rentals, valuations and other documents of financial nature.  Series 4 consists of correspondence of the Coote family’s land agents and is further divided into three sub-series by the main correspondent.  Series 5 comprises ordnance survey and other maps relating to the Coote family’s holdings in counties Laois and Dublin.  Within each sub-series, documents have been arranged chronologically by date.



Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted access to all items except those too fragile to be safely handled.

Conditions Governing Reproduction: Standard copyright regulations apply to all items.  For photocopying or reproducing material, please consult with the staff.

Language/ Scripts of Material: English.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements: Paper documents in fair condition.  A small number of items require conservation treatment and are too fragile to be safely handled.  These documents have been identified in the finding aid and are not accessible until they have been conserved.

Finding Aids: A hard copy of the descriptive catalogue is available at the Special Collections and Archives Department, Glucksman Library, University of Limerick.



Related Units of Description: At the time of donation, this collection included 153 documents created and generated by Maxwell, Weldon & Co. solicitors with premises at 15 Eden Quay, Dublin.  As no discernible connection between this firm and the Coote family could be identified, the documents were removed and listed as a separate entity, for which see P106.

Publication Note: A detailed account of the papers in this collection can be found in Fleming, David, ‘The Papers of a Coote Estate in Laois and Dublin: A Genealogical Source’, Genealogical Society of Ireland 2:3 (Autumn 2001), 165-174.  A hard copy of the article is available in the Special Collections and Archives Department upon request.



Note: Many of the letters in this collection date from the early twentieth century and contain a mixture of Irish and English spellings of Irish place names.  To aid keyword searching, English variants have been used throughout the catalogue (e.g. Portlaoise instead of Portlaoighise).



Archivist’s Note: Papers arranged and described by Anna-Maria Hajba.

Rules or Conventions: This description follows guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd edition, 2000, Irish Guidelines for Archival Description, 2009, National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997, and EAP Guidance on Data Protection for Archive Services, 2018.

Date of Description: May 2022.