Farnham Estate




Farnham House circa 1860

  • Hayes, R. (ed), Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization, 11 vols. Boston, 1965.
    • Maxwell aka Earl of Farnham: Rent Rolls etc
      Year(s) NLI Call No.
      1718-1790 Ms. 11491
      1820 Ms. 3502
      1841-8 Ms. 5012
      1842-3 Ms. 18624
      1832-1860 Ms. 3117
  • Breiden, J. "Tenant Applications to Lord Farnham, County Cavan 1832-60", Breifne, v. 9, No. 36, 2000, pp173-224.
  • McCourt, E., "The Management of the Farnham Estates During the Nineteenth Century", Breifne v.3, No.16, 1973-75, p. 531-6
  • Pike, W.T., Ulster: Contemporary Biographies, Brighton, 1909.
  • PRONI D/3975 - Collection of c.450 documents in 6 volumes, c. 1810-1920.

Reprint: Analecta Hibernica XV 1944 pp.381-2.




Formerly the property of Lord Farnham, Cavan ; now in the

National Library, Dublin.

This collection contains :

36 seventeenth century deeds (leases, conveyances, etc), chiefly 1611 to 1634 relating to Cavan town and locality; and a certified translation of patent granting various lands in Co. Cavan to Richard Waldron. These parchments are in a very good state of preservation.

Seven eighteenth century deeds relating to Co. Cavan lands ; and a few 18th century legal documents such as cases for counsel's opinion, lists of debts and encumbrances, etc.

Rentals, these are of interest. They are preserved (loose sheets) for the year 1718 for the bulk of the Co. Cavan estate, and for parts thereof for 1715, 1728, 1734 and 1790. There is a summary for the ten different estates belonging to Lord Farnham (including some lands in Cos. Wexford and Westmeath) in 1760 and a list of Cavan town leases 1742-1814. A series of paper-bound rental books covers the years 1840-1848 (one missing) and so shews the first effects of the famine on rents in Co. Cavan. (This varies considerably according the district). Further rental books for 1877 and later years are in the collection.

Nearly 200 maps of various parts of the estate, for the most part in Cavan. The majority of these were made between 1830 and 1860. Many are elaborately drawn and afford much information regarding tenants, roads, etc. There are several dated 1721, including one of part of the Lisnamaine estate, in the parish of Drumkeane, which gives roads, woods, houses, acreages and tenants' names.

Eleven wills, with some duplicate copies, the earliest being that of John Maxwell, of Farnham, dated 8 Jan., 1713[4]. Probate 14 Jan. 1714[5].

Ten letters 1777 to 1800. These contain a few interesting items, e.g.. Lord Farnham's letter to Lord Cornwallis re the proposed Bill of Union (of which he was not at that time a supporter), and one fron| Chief Baron Yelverton replying to Lord Farnham's suggestion re alleviation of hardships of suitors in the Court of Exchequer.

Folio book, of which 20 pp. are used for pasting in broadsheets and leaflets of a satirical nature, printed about 1820. A MS. key to blank names in one of these is added.

Diaries. Five vols. running to about 500 pp. record tours in Europe, but contain little of interest beyond an occasional observation (e.g. regarding the Rothschilds at Frankfort). Another small vol. (written in " Crosby's Pocket Book " records for 1805 and part of 1806 journeys dinners and other everyday matters (Ireland and London) without detail or description. There are occasional memoranda of some interest, e.g. the killing of a 150 lb. sturgeon in the River Fergus (Co. Clare) and some recipes and gardening notes.

Lastly there are two half-leather bound folio volumes entitled " Applications and Replies " which appear to record all the local correspondence containing requests of any kind connected with the Co. Cavan estate during the years 1832 to 1860. These books do not throw as much light on the Famine period in Co. Cavan as might be expected, but do shew the attitude of a Victorian landlord to his tenants and dependants.