Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

The Browne-Clayton Collection
The Illuminated Address

By kind permission of Michael Purcell

 (To view please click on the image to enlarge).
The Images were transferred to digital format by local photographer Oliver Byrne.
Above are 6 of the pages mentioned in the text below.


The Illuminated Address has been described as Carlow's mini-Book of Kells. The Address is in 8 page book format, hand-bound. All the work has been done by hand in vivid calligraphy on Vellum of which 6 pages have been illustrated above for your pleasure. The surrounding designs are also extraordinary and all completed by hand in 1867. It was presented in Jan. 1867 to William Clayton Browne-Clayton of Browne's Hill from the Inhabitants of Carlow on the occasion of his marriage to Caroline Watson Barton. To mark the wedding day Carlow town was decked in floral decorations.

The Illuminated Book was part of the Browne family archive and it was among several hundred documents recently handed over to Michael Purcell of Carlow. Michael and Robert have become friends following research carried out by Michael in his role as researcher in his House and Land History agency. The Book and much of the archive have been handed over by Michael into the custody of County Librarian Tom King. The book has now been digitalised and will be on display in the library along with other documents from the archive in April 2007. Robert has requested that the book should be returned to his custody for the time being.

The Browne family built and owned many houses in Carlow town and large tracts of land in counties Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Wexford and Dublin. Among the documents are dozens of Deeds relating to houses situated in Tullow Street and the surrounding streets. The subject of the address, William, was a Justice of the Peace and also served as High Sheriff for the County. The Browne family were the leading Gentry family in Carlow for over 300 years. Robert Browne had come to Ireland with Oliver Cromwell's Army and he settled in the Carlow area in 1650.

The following is an account of the Brownes early days in Carlow, the document outlining the event was found recently by Michael Purcell among the family papers:

"When King James II came to the throne of England in 1685, Mr Browne suffered great hardships and loss. His house was occupied by his enemies and his family imprisoned. His land and stock sequestered and plundered and still worse might have happened only for the intervention of a worthy and respectable Roman Catholic gentleman of the name of Allen from Pollerton near Carlow town. Upon their release Robert built a roomy Mansion close to the Tullow Gate in Carlow town."

Readers will be interested to know that the "roomy Mansion" referred to above is now Lennon's Cafe Bar (121 Tullow Street, Carlow).

The present head of the family is Robert Browne-Clayton who resides in England, he is the great grandson of William Clayton Browne-Clayton

The Names:   (Page 5 & 6 of the document)
A. Bettesworth Perry, Rector of Carlow   William Jackson.
John J. Brown, M.A. Clerk   William Boake.
Bernard O'Neill, Administrator.   William H. Boake
Joseph Cox.   Henry Vaux.
Arthur Fitzmaurice J.P.   William Pallin. M.R.C.V.S
Thomas O'Mara, M.B.   Edward Hopkins.
R. Todd Huston, F.R.C.S.J.   Zac. W. Moreton
Charles McDowell, A.B., L.R.C.S.J.   William Graham & Son.
William Salter, L.A.C.   William Gale.
Thomas Stoyte.   Peter Belton
Robert Malcolmson, Solr.   James C. Bell.
James Palmer   William Henderson.
Edward L. Jameson.   Thomas Lacey.
Richard Wilson.   Arthur Barrow.
Sarah Carroll, Carlow Sentinel.   Robert Hmphreys.
Thomas Price, Carlow Post.   James Byrne.
Patrick Burke, T.C.   William Brennan.
Robert Lawler, T. C.   Patrick Kinsella.
Matthew F. Tynan, T.C.   James Nolan.
Matthew W. Rowe.   Martin Maxwell.
Joseph Lynch.   J. C. Deighton.
Edward Croghan.   Geo. Woods.
William Whitmore.   F. M. Spong.
Edward Byrne.   Matthew Byrne.
Thomas Richardson.    

Source: Michael Purcell  c2006

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