Subfonds M - Papers of 4th and 5th Earls (ex astronomy)

Gallagher Side 01 Gallagher Side 02 O'Hare Side 01 O'Hare Side 02 Molloy Side 01 Molloy Side 02 Fagan Side 01 Fagan Side 02 Dunne Side 02 Gallagher Side 01
Results 1 to 10 of 93 Show all

Identity area

Reference code



Papers of 4th and 5th Earls (ex astronomy)


  • 1860-1956 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Laurence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse, Baron of Oxmantown, 7th Baronet of Birr Castle, was born 17 November 1840 to William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, and Mary Field. Like his father, he pursued astronomy and is known for his attempt to design a truly flat mirror to use in a telescope. Lord Rosse succeeded his father as the 4th Earl of Rosse in 1867. In the same year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. From the year of 1867-68, Lord Rosse served as a Justice of the Peace for King’s County, and was appointed High Sheriff of King’s County. On 1 September 1870, he married Lady Frances Cassandra Hawke, daughter of Lord Edward Harvey-Hawke, 4th Baron of Hawke, and Lady Frances Fetherstonhaugh. From 1881-87 Lord Rosse was the Vice-President of the Royal Society. From 1885 to 1908 he serves as the 18th Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin. He also was the Lord Lieutenant of King’s County, and Custos Rotulorum of King’s County from 1892 until 1908. In 1896 he was elected President of the Royal Irish Academy. In 1902 he received the honorary degree of Legum Doctor from the University of Wales, sharing the ceremony of the instalment of the Prince of Wales as Chancellor of the University of Wales. The 4th Earl of Rosse died on 29 August 1908, and was succeeded by his son, William Parsons, 5th Earl of Rosse.

Name of creator


Biographical history

William Edward Parsons, 5th Earl of Rosse, Baron of Oxmantown, 8th Baronet of Birr Castle, was born 14 June 1873 to Laurence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse, and Lady Frances Cassandra Hawke. Before inheriting the earldom, Lord Oxmantown was commissioned into a militia battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment in 1896, and was swiftly promoted to Lieutenant. A year later, he was commissioned as a regular officer in the Coldstream Guards, and later transferred to the Irish Guards on its formation in 1900, and promoted to Captain. On 19 October 1905 he married Lady Frances Lois Lister-Kaye, daughter of Sir Cecil Lister-Kaye, 4th Baronet and Lady Beatrice Adeline Pelham-Clinton. Upon the death of his father, William Parsons became the 5th Earl of Rosse and head of the Parsons family. He was promoted to Major in 1906 and resigned in 1908. In 1911 he was elected a Representative Peer. Lord Rosse returned to military service to fight in the First World War, was wounded in action, and died on 10 June 1918.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Correspondence and other papers of the 4th and 5th Earls of Rosse on subjects other than astronomy, including estate and other King’s County affairs, the 4th Earl’s contributions to public life as a representative peer, Chancellor of T.C.D., etc, etc.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access strictly by appointment only. Please contact [email protected] for more information

Conditions governing reproduction

May be reproduced in accordance with provisions of the Copyright and Related Rights Acts (2000). No reproduction online, in print or broadcast without express permission of copyright holder.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Dates of creation revision deletion

June 2021, Leslie Duggan

Original descriptions by A.W.P Malcomson, Calendar of the Rosse Papers (Dublin, 2008)




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places