When were the 1641 Depositions collected?
There are two types of deposition: the statements taken down within a year or two of the events that were alleged to have happened and those collected during the 1650s. The earlier ones are more-or-less spontaneous reports; the later ones are records of judicial interrogations and are correspondingly more focused in content and formulaic in expression, but they nonetheless contain much of value.
Who collected the 1641 Depositions?
A Commission for the Despoiled Subject, charged with collecting statements from refugees, was set up in December 1641. It consisted of eight Church of Ireland clergymen and was headed by Henry Jones, dean of Kilmore. In March 1642, when it became clear that few refugees from Munster were reaching Dublin, a sub-commissioner, Archdeacon Philip Bisse, was appointed to collect depositions in that province with authority to empanel local commissioners to assist him. All of the depositions collected in the 1640s were taken by the Dublin Commission and its Munster offshoot. The material from the 1650s was collected by a group of more than seventy commissioners spread throughout Ireland. A mixture of army officers and local officials, their responsibility was to assist newly established high courts of justice by gathering evidence against individuals accused of acts of murder or massacre.