Author Topic: 800th anniversary of Northern Ireland's oldest document  (Read 379 times)

James James

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800th anniversary of Northern Ireland's oldest document
« on: June 12, 2019, 03:05:13 PM »
"12th June 2019"

"Papal Bull: 'Oldest public document' in NI marks links to Scotland"


Historic links between Northern Ireland and Scotland are being marked as the oldest publicly-owned document in Northern Ireland turns 800 years old.

The document is a Papal Bull (an official document issued by the Pope) which is dated 12 June, 1219.

It was issued by Pope Honorius III to grant ownership of a new convent and priory in Paisley, Scotland, to nearby churches in Cathcart, Glasgow.

It was brought from Scotland to Ireland by the Hamilton family 400 years ago.

The Hamiltons were Scottish aristocrats who moved to County Tyrone during the Plantation of Ulster and established a new stately home at the Baronscourt Estate.

The current owner, James Hamilton, Duke of Abercorn, is the most senior aristocrat in Northern Ireland.

A number of years ago, his family deposited a collection of historic documents with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

The papers included the 800-year-old Papal Bull, made of sheepskin, which is the oldest document in PRONI's possession.

"It's only four years younger than the Magna Carta, which is probably the seminal document in British history," said Stephen Scarth, head of public services at PRONI.

Papal Bulls take their name from the lead seal, or bulla, that was traditionally attached to the document as a method of authentication.

Mr Scarth said the document was in "remarkably good condition".

"Ink doesn't get absorbed into sheepskin, it just sits on top of sheepskin and doesn't come off," he added.

The curator said the 13th Century scroll had stood the test of time better than some early 20th Century public documents which have not survived.

The current Duke of Abercorn's son, James Hamilton, the Marquess of Hamilton, is a guest speaker at a free event in Belfast on Wednesday, held to celebrated the 800th anniversary of the Papal Bull.   etcetera,...


"In 1966, the duke married Alexandra Anastasia Hamilton, known as Sacha, whose own family history included links to Russian tsars and assorted European royalty."

"She is also a direct descendant of the renowned Russian poet Alexander Pushkin."

"The Duchess of Abercorn, who died late last year, was the founder of a cross-community charity set up to help children traumatised by the Troubles in Northern Ireland."

"The Pushkin Trust, named after her famous ancestor, helps young people to express themselves through creative writing."

"The Late Sacha, Duchess of Abercorn OBE, Founder of the Pushkin Trust"