Reference Code: IE 2135 P49
Title: The O’Carrol Papers
Dates of Creation: 1739-2000
Extent and Medium: 25 Boxes (745 Files)

Download PDF catalogue here



Name of Creator(s): The O’Carrol Family of Tulla and Lissenhall, Co. Tipperary which includes the directly related Angas family of Coggeshall, Essex and the Scott family also of Lissenhall and later Penton Mewsey, Hampshire.

Biographical History: The Carrol family trace their origins back to the ancient Gaelic Chieftains of Ireland, but more specifically to Oilioll Oluim, King of Munster (died 227 A.D.) from whose sons spring the Irish families of Munster. From Cian, a third son of Oilioll Oluim, are descended the Clan Cian, one branch of which was the O’Carroll’s of Ely whose territories comprised the present baronies of Ikerrin and Eliogarty in County Tipperary. The Carrol family, however, consider their heritage to have really begun with Colonel ‘Long’ Anthony O’Carroll who defended Nenagh Castle, a Carroll stronghold, against Williamite forces in 1691 and who soon after attacked and defeated a Dutch force at Barra Bog. In 1712, Long Anthony favoured his cousin James Carrol of Tulla, (who through his mother’s dowry had already inherited the lands of Lissen or Kilkeary) with Lishenalclouta, Garrynamony and other townlands in the Barony of Upper Ormonde, Co. Tipperary as a reward for his services during these actions. While James never married and died intestate, his brother William, a Lieutenant in Viscount Mountjoy’s regiment, succeeded him. It was his grandson also named William Carrol that provides the foundation of, and is central to, the material in this collection. The alteration of the family name came about as a response to the introduction from 1695 of harsh penal laws which prohibited Catholics from buying land, inheriting it from Protestants or leasing it for more than 31 years. The Carrolls like many other substantial Catholic landowners at the time conformed to the established religion to ensure retention of their estates. In a process of Anglicisation the family removed the ‘O’ and the last ‘l’ from O’Carroll, adding Parker as a second forename was seen as a furtherance of this progression.

William Parker Carrol (1776-1842) was the eldest of five boys and two girls. He received his secondary education in Ennis and he went from there in 1792 to study at Trinity College Dublin, distinguishing himself in classical and mathematical courses. He was apprenticed to a firm of solicitors in Dublin when, at the commencement of war with France in 1794, he confounded all expectations and joined the 87th (or Prince of Wales Own Irish) Regiment, as a volunteer, in which Corps his brother was already serving as an Ensign. By 1800 William had achieved the rank of Captain and was posted to a fencible regiment in Gibraltar. One of the principal benefits of this posting was that he became fluent in Spanish and indeed during his career he also mastered French and Italian. In 1806, Carrol distinguished himself as part of the ill-fated British expedition against Buenos Aires. He frequently volunteered in dangerous and difficult situations and his knowledge of Spanish proved to be an essential service to the army. When the British were forced to quit Argentina and a field officer was required to remain behind as a hostage for the fulfilment of the treaty between the two armies, Carrol offered himself and, in the process of his stay, demonstrated his skills as a translator, negotiator and problem solver, helping secure the release and return of many British prisoners.

Carrol’s services were soon called upon again in the wider sphere of the Peninsular War. Captain Carrol was sent to Spain as a Military Commissioner where he took part in 28 different engagements and climbed to the rank of Lieutenant-General. In 1810 he was given permission by the government to enter the Spanish army being put in command of the Regiment of Hibernia as Colonel. At the end of the war he had achieved the rank of Major-General in the Spanish force and was decorated by both the British and Spanish no less than twelve times. He was to receive ample evidence that he was just as appreciated at home. In 1812 he was awarded ‘The Freedom of the City of Dublin’. In March 1816 the Historical Society of Trinity College presented an address to him and at the same event the Irish Bar presented him with a sword and decorative cup. Two months later, in May 1816, he was conferred with a knighthood.

When his father died in 1816 Carrol came home because, as eldest son, he was to inherit the estate and would also have to act as executor of his father’s will. He retired from the army on half pay and settled in the family house at Tulla, Co. Tipperary, quickly becoming a prominent member of local society and in 1817 married Emma-Sophia Sherwill (1799-1819). They had two children, William Hutchinson Carrol (1817-1895) and John Egerton Carrol (1819-1852). Unfortunately Emma-Sophia was to contract consumption and died on 26 August 1819.

In 1821 Carrol was appointed as Lt. Colonel of the 18th Royal Irish Regiment of Foot and in January 1822 was posted to Malta. During the Governor of Malta’s frequent visits to the Ionian Islands of which he also had charge, Carrol, despite his purely military position, acted as governor during these periods. From 1825 he was posted with his regiment to the Ionian Islands, but having contracted Malaria, he was forced to return home in 1830. By the time of his departure he had achieved the rank of Major-General.

A brief posting in 1839 as Commander of Forces for the Western Districts (Ireland) based in Athlone resurrected his military vocation for a period. In 1841 he received a brevet promotion to Lieutenant-General, a move which often foreshadows a retirement and as was to prove the case with Carrol. He retired to Tulla and resumed his commitments there but was to do so only for a short time as he died suddenly on 2 July 1842 and was buried in Kilkeary graveyard. An impressive memorial which highlights his achievements and honours was erected on his grave by his son Hutchinson and it stands to this day.

William Hutchinson Carrol (1817-1895) was born in Tulla and little is known about his education other than the family tradition that suggests that he was educated in Manheim, Germany. In 1835 he was granted a commission as an Ensign in the 35th Regiment of Foot. He served with this regiment for a number of years until he was transferred to Athlone in 1839 as Aide de Camp to his father, who had assumed the role as Commander of Forces for the Western Districts (Ireland). In 1840, he transferred to the Iniskilling Dragoons where he reached the rank of Captain. In 1842, upon his father’s death, he had to take responsibility of the estate in Tulla. William Parker Carroll’s ownership was marked more by absence than direct involvement and despite his sister’s best efforts, the estate management was in some disarray, with large debts both due and to repay. Hutchison Carroll took firm control of affairs in Tulla and was very hands on in every respect in eventually restoring the estate’s viability and financial order. In 1853, he purchased Lissenhall, near Nenagh Co. Tipperary, its demesne and several other adjoining tracts of land through an Incumbered Estates Commission sale. At the time of sale, Thomas Dagg was a tenant in Lissenhall and he arranged that he rent the house and demesne from Carroll. This arrangement suited Carrol as he at the time had not sufficient funds to undertake a relocation to Lissenhall. This turned out to be a mixed blessing however, for when in 1969 Carrol was in a position to move from Tulla to the larger house in Lissenhall, Thomas Dagg refused to move. The legal position was not resolved until 1873, by which time the extra space that Lissenhall afforded would certainly be utilised by what had by then become a large family.

In December 1862 Hutchinson Carrol married Elizabeth (Bessie) Leslie Griffin (d. 1887). They had six children, one of whom only survived six weeks. The others were Alice Isobel Carrol (1865 1940), Rose Maude Carrol (1865-1939), Florence Kate Carrol (1867- 1935), Hutchinson Carrol (1869-1887) and Egerton Griffin Carrol (1871-1897). Hutchinson, always a sickly child, died at the age of 18 from Tuberculosis and is buried in San Remo, Italy where he was brought with the hope that the dry mountain air would improve his health. Egerton survived his father who died on 6 September 1895 and with Alice undertook executorship of his father’s will. In October 1896 he married Miss Alice Caroline Mary Gibson but Egerton, unfortunately, was to die only four months later. This left the management of the estate with the three remaining sisters but it was to Alice that the bulk of the responsibly fell.

Alice Isobel Carrol (1865-1940), affectionately known as ‘Alal’, was the eldest daughter of William Hutchinson. About her education little is known but she did spend some time in Dusseldorf and was considered to have been a very responsible character. While her forbearers possessed demonstrable military dispositions, Alice in her own way had to fight difficult battles of her own. Following the deaths of William Hutchinson’s wife Bessie and his son Hutchinson 1887, he stepped back from the responsibility for management of the house and estate and as a consequence it had to be borne largely by Alice. The death of William Hutchinson in 1895 and fifteen months later the tragic death of Egerton only added to her concerns.

Among the many issues she confronted was having to not only deal with the residual issues left over from William Parker Carrol’s will, but also with the responsibility of managing the executorship of her father’s will and brother’s estate. To complicate the issue further, Egerton died intestate and left his financial matters in some considerable disorder meaning she had to untangle his affairs also. Egerton’s confusing financial undertakings only served to complicate matters when the father to the now widowed Alice, Mr William Gibson, initiated legal processes to ensure that his daughter was properly considered. Although it was resolved reasonably amicably, there was period of time when fears for the future of Lissenhall could not be dismissed lightly. Alice managed the estate in much the same manner as her father, letting land, selling livestock, timber and farm produce, and appears to have been well versed in the management of stocks and bonds. However, the succession to the management of the Lissenhall estate came about at a time when the Land Acts came into force. As the estate’s holdings eroded through the sale of lands to its former tenants, the difficulty of keeping the enterprise afloat grew increasingly complex. Alice is seen to have on-running interactions with her solicitors concerning The National Income Tax Recovery Agency,

The Irish Land Commission and Lloyds Insurance. By the 1920s she also had to contend with thefts of her stock and equipment and threats to her safety by the IRA. She, by this time,had to bow to the inevitable and oversaw the disposal of Lissenhall house and demesne to the Land Commission and eventually left the property in 1922. Alice continued to live in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary until 1927 before moving to England. Alice Carrol never married, had no children, and died 23 January 1940.

Maude Rose Carrol (1865-1942), the second daughter of William Hutchinson, known as ‘Amo’ was born 26 December 1865. Nothing is known of her education but it may be assumed that she, like her older and younger sisters, spent some time in Dusseldorf. An accomplished equestrian even in her youth, it was at a hunt where she met first George Maxwell Angas (1855-1928). They were married in June 1902 and the following year had a daughter Rosaleen Maude Angas (1903-1987). Max Angas was a gentleman farmer and another consummate horseman from Yorkshire and Maude lived with him at the Manor Farm, Wissendine, Rutland. In 1910, they moved into Lissenhall in order that he could better manage a farm he owned nearby. During the following years and up to the time Lissenhall was vacated he was of considerable help to Alice in the management of the Lissenhall estate. However, the Angas family left Lissenhall in 1922 in the face of continuing unrest in the area. Max died 20 March 1928. Maude was to survive him by eleven years, dying 12 September 1939. Their daughter Rosaleen ran a summer camp for deprived children in the East End of London and in October 1948 married Paul Johan Tausch (1899-1967), a skiing instructor from Austria. They made their home in The White House, Coggeshall, Essex. Paul Tausch died in June 1967. In the years following Paul’s death she was in constant communication with Anthony and Helena Scott, the bond with Anthony formed by a childhood shared at Lissenhall. Rosaleen and Paul had no children and Rosaleen died twenty years after Paul on 2 October 1987.

Florence Kate Carrol (1871-1935) was the youngest of William Hutchinson’s daughters and, unlike Alice, had more freedom to indulge her passions. Family history has it that she was somewhat wild. She was educated in a private girls school in Kensington but was expelled and was later educated in Dusseldorf. Outstanding in amateur theatrical acting and an exceptional equestrian, it would appear she found a perfect partner in these pursuits with Philip Clement Scott (1871-1932). Philip was the son of Clement Scott, the influential English theatre critic, playwright, lyricist, translator and travel writer. His style of theatre criticism, carried out on the first night of productions, set the standard for theatre reviewers through to today. His mother Isabel was the sister of George du Maurier, known for his cartoons in Punch, and the father of actor Gerald du Maurier and grandfather of the writer Daphne du Maurier. They met at a Military Amateur Dramatic Performance in Dublin as he was also a theatre actor, writer and director. He also was an outstanding equestrian. Philip was commissioned into the Leicestershire Regiment, but by 1896 he had transferred into the Army Service Corps. In 1899 Philip was posted to Natal in South Africa and soon after became involved in the Boar War. Leaving her husband besieged in Ladysmith during which time he organised all military postal services, Florence returned to Ireland where she gave birth to their only child Anthony Gerald O’Carroll Scott (1899-1980) at Lissenhall. Six weeks later Florence returned to South Africa staying in Maritzburg and re-joined Philp when Ladysmith was relieved.

During this period Anthony grew up under the care of Florence’s sisters Alice and Maude. Philip later served in World War One principally in the Mesopotamian campaign as Director of Supply and Transport to General Maude. In this position he was at the head of 659 officers and 12,200 other ranks of the Army Supply and Transport Corps who eventually served in the campaign. He retired a Brigadier General. In later life he and Florence separated and he died in the South of France in 1932. Florence died in London not long after in 1935. Their son, Anthony Gerald O’Carrol Scott (1899-1984), spent his boyhood at Lissenhall and was particularly close to his Aunts Maude (‘Amo’) but particularly Alice (‘Alal’). This was no doubt enabled by their guardianship during his parent’s absences due to Philip’s postings in Africa during the Boar War and after. He also spent extended periods under the care of his aunt Sybil, his father’s sister in Plymouth, or with his uncle Maxwell Angas at Wissendine in Rutland. Anthony was educated at Mourne Grange Preparatory School, Kilkeel, Co. Down for five years, then in 1913 at Wellington, Somerset, and finally at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. In early 1918 he began what was to become a long and varied military career. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Horse Artillery, serving in France with A Battery, known as ‘the Chestnut Troop’. In 1921 he was posted to the 6th Battalion The Kings African Rifles at Dar es Salaam in what is now Tanzania and, while there, became Quartermaster to the Battalion. His dedication and the administrative acumen demonstrated during this period served him well for the rest of his career. A return trip in 1923 saw him obliged to meet and stay with the James family, friends of his Aunt Sybil. There, he met and fell for Helena Gertrude James (1899-1984) and in August 1926 they married. Helena was to follow Anthony Scott on each and every posting during his career. Their first home together was a weatherboard house on Bere Island in Cork harbour. It was a brief posting but one that they appear to regard with great affection. A position as Adjutant to the Bedfordshire Yeomanry followed in 1927 but more significantly 1928 saw the birth of their only child June Mary O’Carrol Scott (1928- ), donor of this collection. The years 1932 and 1934 saw Anthony serve first at the Gunnery Staff Course Larkhill and subsequently at the Staff College Camberley as instructor.

From this point onwards the vast majority of his service was overseas. In 1936 he was posted to the North West Frontier, India and at the outbreak of war was serving in the Instructor Staff College in Quetta. Anthony spent the war years in Arakan Burma holding several posts, notably as Brigadier General Staff with the XV Corps under General Slim. He returned to England in 1945 and took up the post of Brigadier General Staff, Eastern Command UK, before becoming Commander of the Sussex Anti-Aircraft Brigade. His final service with the British Army was again overseas, albeit with the benefit of further promotion. In 1950 he was promoted to Major-General G.O.C. Hamburg District, British Army of the Rhine and finally in 1951 as Major-General G.O.C Singapore. He eventually retired from the Army in 1954, though his retirement was not inactive. From 1955 to 1970 he spent much of his time as a County Councillor and was appointed Chairman of Governors of several schools in Bedfordshire. However, these years gave him the time to indulge himself in his particular passion, it being all things related to hunting game, fishing and falconry. He was a member of the Great Ouse River Board, Vice President of the British Falconers Club, and a member of the Home Office Advisory Committee for the Protection of Birds.

June Mary O’Carrol Scott (1928-) was born in her grandparents’ house in Hereford. At the age of seven her father was posted to India, however, her mother’s desire to accompany him and a long standing childhood illness resulted in her being left with her mother’s parents. His posting and the onset of war meant that she was only with them for two and a half months over the next nine years. June was educated at first by a governess but in 1938 went on to Bedford High School. In 1946 after leaving school she went to work in the workrooms of the couture designer Norman Hartwell. Following Anthony Scott’s promotion and posting to Hamburg in 1950 she accompanied her parents there and stayed with them when he was ordered to take command of Singapore Base District in 1951. Towards the end of 1954 she travelled to Australia to become Personal Secretary and Lady-in-waiting to Lady Slim, wife of the Governor General. Returning eighteen months later she became a decorator for Constance Spry. In July 1957, June married James Robertson (1920-2000) an officer in the Guards Armoured Division. The following year they moved into Rose Cottage in the village of Penton Mewsey in Hampshire. Following his retirement as Major in 1964 he chose to take up teaching and a contrivance concerning the availability of grant aid conspired to bring June into the same two-year course at teacher training college. She was to teach at primary level in a number of locations including Appleshaw, Weyhill and Andover over the next twenty years. In 1994 she wrote and had published A Long Way from Tipperary, which traced the history of her father’s Irish ancestors, and in 2005 published Only Remember the Laughter, an account of her own life story. James Robertson died 28 April 2000 and they had no children.

In 2002, in conjunction with the Limerick Civic Trust, she organised the transfer of objects, memorabilia and the papers of this collection to their care in Limerick.

Archival History: The collection accumulated and was held in Lissenhall House until it was sold in 1923 to the Land Commission. The major objects and heirlooms were divided for safekeeping between Maude Angas and Florence Scott, the papers resting with Florence. The estate papers, augmented by the addition of material belonging to Florence, were, after her death, transferred to the care of Florence’s son, Anthony Gerald O’Carroll Scott and his wife Helena in Pavenham, Bedfordshire. In 1984, they became the concern of Anthony and Helena’s daughter, June O’Carrol Robinson and her husband James of Penton Mewsey, Hampshire. Their close relationship with Rosaleen Tausch resulted in other material being acquired, principally that belonging to Rosaleen’s mother, Maude Rose Carrol and her father Maxwell Angas. In 2002, the Limerick Civic Trust accepted the entire collection including objects and heirlooms from June O’Carrol Robertson. In 2008, the documents in the collection were transferred to Special Collections and Archives at the University of Limerick.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: Formally donated on loan by Martin Bourke, Chairman of Limerick Civic Trust in November 2008.


Content and Structure

Scope and Content: This collection contains material created and received by the Carrol, Angus and Scott families, particularly during their ownership and residence of Tulla and Lissenhall but also beyond. It includes legal, administrative and personal documents. There is a small amount of late eighteenth century material, the more interesting of which is a map from 1798 of the Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, though the bulk of the documents are from the nineteenth century. Legal documents include wills and issues of probate and executorship, affidavits, judgments, opinions and correspondence covering financial and trustee arrangements. They also include a large quantity of correspondence related to land sales and transfers, such as agreements, ejectment decrees and indentures, much of which arise from William Hutchison’s efforts to bring estate matters into order. Of particular interest is a return of debts due by the late Lieutenant General Sir William Parker Carrol and paid by his executors which lists many Limerick and Tipperary businesses from the period. Later documents, particularly relating to a legal struggle between the Carrol’s and Lloyds Insurance regarding claims for losses due to the theft of livestock and equipment during the 1920s, are also illuminating.

The Carrol family’s direct involvement with the Tulla and Lissenhall Estates has resulted in the collection containing some rental accounts which provide the names of tenants, acreage and their rentals and also estate accounts which includes the names of local individuals and businesses having commercial interaction with the Carrol estate. Other estate material involves correspondence regarding day to day estate management and operations but worthy of note is a print of the Encumbered Estates auction schedule which includes a description of Lot 1, Lissenhall, its tenants and rents at the time of William Hutchison Carrol’s purchase, and also Alice Carrol’s interactions with the Land Commission leading up to her vacating Lissenhall.

Personal material includes a great deal of personal correspondence and letters from family members much of which is concerned with family genealogy and includes printed and transcribed material from third party sources. Correspondence from institutions with regard to personal finances, stocks and taxation issues is also present. There is a significant quantity of photographs, both in albums and loose covering most of the principal individuals dating from the 1860s to the 1990s. Also present is a large scrapbook. The result of a familial connection to the Scott’s and compiled over nearly fifty years from 1895 to 1944, it contains copious material on Clement Scott and also the Du Maurier family, including photographs of Gerald Du Maurier and the young Daphne with her siblings.

System of Arrangement: The original order of the collection has been largely lost. Given the nature of the material, the collection has been divided into four parts. The first part pertains to the Carrol family and follows successive members of the family, beginning with William Parker Carrol, and followed by his succession by his son, William Hutchinson Carrol and Alice Isobel Carrol, reflecting the family’s beginning in Tulla through the acquisition and management of Lissenhall and onto its eventual disposal.

Each series has been further divided into sub-series to reflect the documents’ nature or creator; Estate (further divided into legal and estate administration documents) and Personal Papers (containing letters relating to career, personal finances, and family correspondence) and is listed chronologically by date. This section also has two smaller series pertaining to Hutchison Carrol and Egerton Carrol. Their unfortunate early deaths possibly impacted their surviving documentary heritage, in Hutchison’s case it is limited to a single item.

Part two contains three further series with regards to the Scott family, following the same generational arrangement and chronological listing as before, beginning with Florence Kate Carrol’s marriage to Philip Clement Scott. This series has rare photographs and personal letters providing a personal insight into the Siege of Ladysmith during the Boar War. This is followed by a series relating to their son, Anthony Gerald O’Carrol Scott and his wife Helena James, while the final series of the section relates to their daughter June Mary O’Carroll Scott, donor of the collection, and her husband James Robertson.

With the estate now sold, sub-series in this section comprise Legal Papers (wills, deeds, and settlements), Personal Papers and Photographs. The small quantity of Du Maurier related material in the collection is included in this section by virtue of the Scott family connection to them.

The third section contains two series emanating from documents created by the Angas family beginning with Maude Rose Carrol’s marriage to George Maxwell Angas, followed by a series based on their daughter, Rosaleen Maude Angas, and her husband Paul Tausch. These series follow the same arrangement as part two.

The final section consists of a small number of documents, mostly photographs, which it has not been possible to attribute to any particular family member. The material as before has been divided into sub-series according to their form and listed chronologically by date.


Conditions of Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access: Unrestricted access to most items.

Conditions Governing Reproduction: Standard copyright regulations apply to all items. For photocopying or reproducing material, please first consult with staff. Language/ Scripts of Material: English, except for 27 and 32 which is in Italian, 41 and parts of 45 which is in Spanish, 373 is in French and one item in 363 which is in Zulu.

Note: Items within the Sir William Parker Carrol’s series which postdate his death are in all cases later handwritten or typescript transcriptions or translations of letters present in the collection, and in one case in another location on display. They are included not only to aid researchers in the understanding or legibility of an item, but also to illustrate their continuing meaning for the family.



© Copyright 2017 Special Collections Library, University of Limerick