Identity Statement for Richard Lalor Shiel

  • Reference code: IE UCDA P23
  • Title: Papers of Richard Lalor Shiel (1791–1851)
  • Dates: 1829–51
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 50 items
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Biographical History

Born at Drumdowney, County Kilkenny and educated at Stonyhurst and TCD, Sheil supplemented the meagre income from his early legal career by writing plays which received mixed reviews. A campaigner for Catholic emancipation, he overcame his initial antipathy to Daniel O’Connell’s tactics to help him found the Catholic Association and secure victory in the Clare bye-election of 1828. Shiel was called to the Inner Bar in 1830 and was MP for Milborne Port, Somerset, County Louth, County Tipperary and Waterford successively, 1830–41. He enjoyed a series of sinecures, the last being British ambassador at Florence where he died.

Archival History

Mrs. Power-Lalor of Long Orchard, Templemore, Co. Tipperary was auctioning the contents of her family home. This collection was discovered in a box by Mr P.J. Treacy, a staff member of The Tipperary Star, who sent them to the Assistant Editor of the Irish Independent suggesting an article may be written about them. They were in turn sent to Henry Mangan who suggested that Mrs Power-Lalor should donate or sell them to the National Library of Ireland. They subsequently were deposited in UCD Archives.  


Scope and Content

Papers mainly concerning Richard Lalor Shiel including letters from Daniel O'Connell to Shiel and to Thomas Spring Rice mainly with reference to parliamentary matters (1829–41) and letters from Lord Clarendon and Lord Palmerston to Sheil (1850–1).

Letters from Sheil to his wife concerning political and domestic matters (1831–6) and letters from Richard M. Bellew to ‘Anne’ concerning the progress of Sheil’s parliamentary career (1824–41).

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in original format. Original material will be retrieved at 11am and 2pm only.
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue