800th anniversary of PRONI’s oldest document

Date published: 12 June 2019

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is celebrating the 800th anniversary of its oldest document.

The item is a Papal Bull issued by Pope Honorius III, dated 12 June 1219, and is one of four 13th century medieval documents within the Abercorn Papers. The document is only four years younger than Magna Carta and predates the Black Death, the Battle of Agincourt and the War of the Roses.

The Bull originates from Scotland and was brought to Ireland by the Hamilton family, future Dukes of Abercorn, in the 17th century. The Bull grants a priory and convent in Paisley to the churches of Katkert (Cathcart) in Scotland.

To mark the occasion, PRONI is hosting a half-day event exploring the context of the document, the legacy of the Dukes of Abercorn, and the historic links with Scotland. The event will be opened by James Hamilton, the Marquess of Hamilton.

Director of PRONI, Michael Willis, said: “This anniversary demonstrates the enduring importance of archives. Even 800 years after being written, this document is a testament to the ties that bind Ireland and Scotland.”

Notes to editors: 

1. PRONI is at 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast. For details on opening hours, see www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni or call 028 90 534800. 

2. This event is in partnership with International Archives Day 2019, organised by International Council on Archives.

3. Ulster Scottish Connections: Marking 800 Years of PRONI's Oldest Document will take place on 12 June 2019 at 2pm.

4. Further details can be found at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/marking-800-years-pronis-oldest-document

5. For media enquiries please contact the DfC Press Office on 028 90 823 509 or mail press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk. Out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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