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The Caldwell Collection is a broad and varied collection spanning almost three centuries. Its core is made up of the private and business correspondence of members of the Caldwell family and to a lesser extent their wives, siblings, relatives and business partners. Correspondents include near relations, personal friends, business associates, land agents and tenants. The following male heads of the family feature prominently –

The collection includes:

  • the legal papers of Andrew Caldwell, 1683-1730/1 and Charles Campbell especially concerning the estate of the Earl of Drogheda;
  • the naval papers of Admiral Benjamin Caldwell and his grandchildren Captain Henry Caldwell RN, 1815-1868 and Commander James Caldwell RN, 1810-1849;
  • legal papers arising from the management of the Bessborough estate;
  • legal papers and correspondence arising from the management of the Caldwell estate at Newgrange, Co. Meath.

The collection was most likely put together by Charles Benjamin Caldwell, who had an interest in his family’s history. He gathered the material from a number of locations in the late 1800s and in doing so he also collected primary material relating to the Caldwells of Castle Caldwell and the Abdy and Gordon families and secondary material of genealogical interest such as transcripts supplied by the College of Arms in London, newspaper clippings, extracts from church registers etc. His wife, Sophia Frances née Cust appears also to have collected family papers which accounts for the presence of correspondence and other papers of members of the Cust and Brownlow families. It was Charles Benjamin who had the collection arranged and bound into nine volumes with an accompanying family pedigree. The collection, when donated to the Royal Irish Academy by Lady Barbara Beevorin 2010, also included a number of boxes of loose material including correspondence from Captain Henry and Commander James Caldwell, travel diaries from Lady Abdy and Charles Andrew Caldwell and inventories of paintings in the family’s possession.

A pdf of the catalogue can be downloaded by clicking here.