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Sources for a 17th-Century Ulster Estate: The Hastings Papers in the Huntington Library, California

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 24, 2008


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by Brenda Collins

The Hastings (Irish) Papers in the Huntington Library, California

"The publication in 1982 of the Huntington Library Guide to British Historical Manuscripts provided for the first time a comprehensive survey of the Library’s research collection of British historical manuscripts which ranges in date from the eleventh to the twentieth centuries. It superseded the 1934 summary report published in the Library’s own Bulletin. The 1982 Guide surveys some 450,000 pieces. It lists and indexes in detail the Stowe, Hastings, Ellesmere, Battle Abbey and Loudon papers and describes the first four of these as ‘the cornerstone of the Library’s British history holdings’.

Although this article will focus on the Hastings collection it would be inappropriate not to acknowledge that references to Ireland and documents relating to Irish events also appear in the 13,000 pieces in the Ellesmere Collection of the Egerton family, Earls of Bridgewater as well as several of the other smaller collections which are listed in the Guide."

In this article, Brenda Collins examines the Hastings Papers, which constitute around 50,000 pieces ranging in date from 1100–1892. They enable research into the major role played by the Hastings family in English political life and their wide local influence in Leicestershire and many other English counties.