Transcription of the Depositions

The Deposition Books, TCD MSS 809-39

The collection consists of five distinct groups of documents which were bound together haphazardly according to the counties to which they referred.

A set of depositions taken from refugees by Commissioners in Dublin, headed by Dr Henry Jones, between 30 December 1641 and 30 September 1647.

An incomplete set of fair copies of these depositions made by the clerk of the Commission, Thomas Waring, late in 1645. Except in cases where the original deposition is missing, these copies have not been transcribed in full: the location of the original and its transcript is given and significant variations in the copy are noted.

A set of depositions taken from refugees throughout Munster by sub-commissioners, under the direction of Archdeacon Philip Bisse, from mid-March 1642 to mid-July 1643.

A set of miscellaneous papers, mostly examinations of individuals by judicial officers, dealing with events in the 1640s – described for convenience as ‘Informations’.

A set of examinations conducted by Commonwealth commissioners between mid-June 1652 and mid-July 1654 (including a small number of miscellaneous administrative documents).

The Ulster deposition books

MSS 832 Cavan (1)
Contains 231 folios, with the following distribution of material
Fols 1r-45v – a Commonwealth Index of rebels and offences, keyed to the serial numbers of a following set of Waring copies
Fols 46r-160v – Waring copies. These have been bound out of sequence, in the order 1-19, 61-97, 20-60, 98-146
Fols 161r-3v – an index to the copies
Fols 164r-9v – 1640s Informations
Fol. 172r – a note of the receipt of the Dublin depositions at the Council Board in 1662
Fol. 173r- 231r – Dublin originals

MS 833 Cavan (2)
Contains 297 folios, with the following distribution of material
Fols 1r-288v – Dublin originals
Fols 289r-197v – Commonwealth examinantions
There are also 4 Cavan depositions in other books: William Reynolds (MS 834, fol. 175r); James Carr, by proxy of Ralph Carr (MS 831, fol. 14r); Edward Robbins, by proxy of John Robbins (MS 817, fol. 196r); Henry Jones (MS 810, fol.1r)

MS 834 Monaghan
Contains 203 folios. The Monaghan material commences on fol. 52r, and is distributed as follows
Fols 52r-91v – Waring copies, preceded by an index
Fols 92r-93v – 1640s Information
Fols 94r-183v – Dublin originals
Fols 184r-203v – Commonwealth examinations

MS 835 Fermanagh
Contains 266 folios, with the following distribution of material
Fols 1-70v – Waring copies, preceded by an index
Fols 71r-251v – Dublin originals
Fols 252r 258v – 1640s Information, with copy
Fols 259r-266v – Commonwealth examinations

MS 836 Armagh
Consists of 269 folios, with the following distribution of material
Fols 1r-15v – Dublin originals, preceded by a list of losses
Fols 16r-39v – a mixture of 1640s Informations and Commonwealth examinations, mostly relating to Sir Phelim O’Neill and including a copy of the alleged royal commission (fol 18r-v)
Fols 40r-81v – Dublin originals
Fols 82r-86v – 1640s Information
Fols 87r-118v – Dublin originals
Fols 119r-269v – Commonwealth examinations

MS 837 Down
Contains 182 folios, with the following distribution of material
Fols 1r-37v – Dublin originals
[fol. 19r – 1640s Information]
Fols 38r-182 – Commonwealth examinations.

MS 838 Antrim
Contains 317 folios, with the following distribution of material
Fols 1r-16v – 1640s Informations
Fols 17r-317v – Commonwealth examinations
Two Dublin originals from Antrim deponents are included in the Armagh book: Hugh Cunningham (MS 836, fol. 80r); Henry Maxwell (MS 836, fol. 118)

MS 839 Tyrone, Londonderry and Donegal
Contains 155 folios, with the following distribution of materials
Fols 1r-9v – Waring copies
Fols 10r-46v – Dublin originals
[Fols 26r-v & 37r – Waring copies]
Fols 47r-93v – Commonwealth examinations
Fols 94r-112v – Dublin originals
[Fol. 105r-v – a Bisse deposition]
Fols 113r-23v – Commonwealth examinations
Fols 125r-8v – Waring copies
Fols 129r-31v – Dublin originals
Fol. 132r-v – a Waring copy
Fol. 133r-8v – Dublin originals
Fols 139r-55v – Commonwealth examinations

What do the numbers signify and what

do the endorsement notes mean?

These are questions that have yet to be answered in full. Most of the numbers at the head or foot of the pages are page or folio numbers and provide evidence of the ways in which the material was previously organized. The endorsed numbers similarly indicate particular groupings: some are county sequences, others denote gatherings of material brought together as evidence for a particular prosecution; most have yet to be explained. The endorsed dates, in the form ‘13 oct’, ‘26 nov’ and so on, record the date on which the deposition was copied by the clerk of the Commission. They refer to the year 1645.

The standard abbreviations used in endorsements are;
Ex = examined/checked
Int/Intr = entered or to be entered, presumably in a central register that has not survived

Cert/cert fact/cf = certificate made. This refers to the certificates of their losses that deponents could obtain. It is sometimes accompanied by n.s = non solidus = fee not paid.

Hand. A rough outline of a pointing hand is used to draw attention to a deposition of special interest.

1641 Depositions Project –

Guide to Transcription Conventions

The transcriptions reproduce the original documents in content, but not in lay-out.

Copies of original depositions preserved in the collection have not been transcribed in full, except in special cases. As a rule, the location of the original is given and significant variations are noted.

Spelling, capitalisation, punctuation and paragraphing follow the original text.

Commonplace or self-evident contractions and abbreviations also follow the original; unfamiliar contractions or those that employ a superscript or tilde have been silently expanded. ‘Intw’, which occurs frequently in endorsements and has not been expanded, stands for ‘Intratur Waring’ (the Commission’s secretary).

Words that have been run together have been silently separated.

Each page is headed by the (manuscript) folio number (recto or verso): all original numeration has been transcribed.

All superscripts for dates and numbering are given in regular text:

Likewise, superscripts for monetary values (li-s-d) are given in regular text, followed by a full stop, thus: 20 li. or Xl li. or 10 s.

Marginalia are transcribed within angle brackets: < > They are inserted in the transcript at the place at which they appear on the original document unless they relate to the whole text rather than to a part of it, when they are placed at the end of the relevant section.

Interlinear words are transcribed in italic type

Illegible words appear in square brackets: [ ]

No attempt has been made to represent the space occupied by illegible words. Plausible suggested readings may be included within the square brackets, with a question mark.

The loss of words or parts of words due to binding or damage is indicated by waved brackets: { }.

Conjectural readings may be indicated by a question mark.

Deletions have been transcribed where possible and crossed out.

Illegible deletions are indicated by square brackets, crossed out: [ ]

Words already deleted and later crossed out again have been underlined.

Round brackets are used only as they appear in the text.

A blank space in the transcript indicates a blank space within the text.

The word ‘hand’ denotes a drawn hand pointing to part of the text or added as an endorsement: ‘hand w’ indicates that the letter ‘w’ (for Waring) appears in the drawing.

Other pictograms are indicated by the word ‘symbol’.

[mark]’ indicates that a deponent signed with a mark instead of a signature.

Dates have not been altered. Readers should bear in mind that in the seventeenth century the year officially began on March 25, so that all dates between January 1 and March 24 belong, by our reckoning, to the following year: thus, for 24 March 1641, read 24 March 1642. In the 1640s the names of the month were commonly given in Latin: in the 1650s, usage varied.