Historic Roll’s return to NUI Maynooth

NUI Maynooth President Professor Philip Nolan and Curator Christopher Ridgeway speaking as the Morpeth Roll  goes on display to the general public at NUI Maynooth in Co Kildare. Niall Carson/PA Wire
A old document with links to former US President, Ronald Reagan, has returned to NUI Maynooth (NUIM).

A old document with links to former US President, Ronald Reagan, has returned to NUI Maynooth (NUIM).

NUIM historians researching the Morpeth Roll and those who signed it in 1841 have identified links to the great grandfather of President Ronald Reagan and the grandfather of movie director, John Ford.Members of the Guinness family are also linked.

The Roll has just returned to NUIM Library following an Irish tour, and will travel to Queens University in December, later returning to Dublin Castle.

The Roll was signed by 160,000 Irish people as a thank you to the departing Chief Secretary to Ireland Lord Morpeth. NUI Maynooth launched a book on the Morpeth Roll edited by Professor Christopher Ridgway, Curator at Castle Howard - The Morpeth Roll: Ireland identified in 1841 - and is hosting a workshop for local history groups to equip them with the necessary skills in researching the signatories and stories of the Roll.

For many years the testimonial roll remained hidden away in a basement at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, but it is now on loan at NUI Maynooth thanks to Castle Howard owner, Simon Howard, its curator, Prof. Ridgway and Prof Terence Dooley, Director of the CSHIHE, NUI Maynooth.

NUIM President, Philip Nolan, said NUI Maynooth said was leading the charge in terms of research into Ireland’s social fabric during this period.

They were overcoming challenges thrown up by the lack of census data aided by documents such as the Morpeth Roll.

He said it was interesting that the Roll was developed by local communities and today’s communities were using it for research.

The Morpeth Roll has been digitised and available to view online at www.ancestry.com.