Éamon de Valera Papers : British documents relating to 1916

Abstract: A collection of British documents and letters relating to 1916 which form a file within the Papers of Éamon de Valera. The documents include intelligence reports, despatches, and correspondence between Irish Command, Home Forces, the War Office, M.I.5.G., and the Royal Irish Constabulary. The documents cover the immediate aftermath of the 1916 Rising, the executions of the leaders, and the general political situation in Ireland at the time.

  1. Cover
  2. The Director of Military Intelligence writing to the Under Secretary for Ireland
  3. Intelligence report about an armed rising in Ireland
  4. Intelligence report on the state of Ireland from Headquarters, Irish Command to Lieutenant Colonel V.G. Kell, M.I.5.G.
  5. Reports by Major General L. B. Friend on the progress of the rebellion
  6. Document appointing Lieutenant General Sir John Maxwell Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in Ireland
  7. Communications relating to the appointment of General Maxwell
  8. Proclamation No. 1
  9. Henry A. Blake writing to the Lord Lieutenant
  10. Lord Wimborne writing to General Maxwell
  11. Field Marshal Viscount French writing to General Maxwell about his talks with Sir Edward Carson and John Redmond
  12. Notes
  13. R. Hutchison writing to the GOC, 59th Division
  14. Major General Shaw writing to General Maxwell about his appointments as GOC the Forces in Ireland
  15. The War Office writing to Viscount French about Maxwell's appointment
  16. Notes concerning Pearse's conditions for surrender
  17. General Maxwell writing to Lord French about the situation in Dublin and the surrender of the rebels
  18. Lord French writing to General Maxwell
  19. Scheme for further operations to cope with the rebellion in the Dublin District Area
  20. Instructions for taking the surrender
  21. Despatch from Colonel G.A. French to the General Officer Commander-in-Chief about a peace deputation
  22. R. Hutchison writing to GOC Dublin and OC 59th Division concerning troop movements.
  23. Maxwell writing to Lord French concerning casualties
  24. Secret communications between General Maxwell, Major General Friend, the War Office and General Headquarters, Home Forces
  25. French writing to Maxwell about the suppression of the insurrection
  26. Viscount Wimborne writing to Maxwell about the suppression of the insurrection
  27. Viscount Wimborne writing privately to Maxwell about the suppression of the insurrection
  28. Robert John Lynn writing to Maxwell
  29. Report by General Maxwell to Lord Kitchener on military action following the surrender
  30. Telegram from French to Maxwell
  31. Lord French writing to General Maxwell referring to the executions of Pearse, Clarke and MacDonagh
  32. Lord Lieutenant Viscount Wimborne writing to General Maxwell about martial law in Ireland
  33. Note from Brigadier-General, General Staff, Irish Command to HQ, Irish Command
  34. General Maxwell writing to Lord French referring to Eoin MacNeill
  35. Communication from Frank Hall, M.I.5 to Brigadier-General R. Hutchison marked 'Secret and Personal'
  36. Wimborne writing to Maxwell about a message from the Prime Minister
  37. Basil Blackwood writing to Maxwell about Sir Henry Blake
  38. Basil Blackwood writing to Maxwell enclosing a telegram from the Stephen Quinn, Mayor of Limerick
  39. Rough preliminary draft of a proclamation under martial law
  40. Report from Belfast concerning the terms of the surrender of arms
  41. John Dillon writing to General Maxwell protesting about the executions
  42. Maxwell writing to Robertson about Hutchison
  43. Cipher messages between the Prime Minister and Dublin about the executions
  44. Communiqué
  45. Maxwell writing to French attaching a dispatch from Robertson
  46. Neville Chamberlain writing to Maxwell about meetings of Sinn Feiners
  47. Cipher messages between the Prime Minister and Dublin about the executions
  48. Head Quarters, Irish Command writing to Neville Chamberlain about meetings of Sinn Feiners
  49. Cipher message between the Prime Minister and Dublin about the arrests of Sinn Feiners
  50. Whigham writing to French
  51. Frank Hall writing to Maxwell
  52. French writing to Maxwell
  53. French writing to Maxwell discussing Maxwell's position in Ireland
  54. Despatch from Maxwell to Lord Kitchener concerning Francis Sheehy-Skeffington
  55. R. Whigham writing to Maxwell about Hutchison
  56. Maxwell writing to Asquith about the death of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington
  57. Lord French writing to General Maxwell about Maxwell's actions
  58. Hutchison writing to the Editor of the Freeman's Journal about its reporting
  59. Follow up note from Hall to Maxwell
  60. Extract from a report concerning the response Belfast from the U.V.F.
  61. Report on the Sinn Fein Rebellion and the present state of S.F. movement
  62. Maxwell writing to French reflecting on the Sheehy-Skeffington case and other incidents
  63. Maurice Bonham Carter writing to Hutchison about an interview with a journalist
  64. Special Branch communications relating a letter for Eoin MacNeill sent to Mrs. A.S. Green
  65. Despatch from General Maxwell to Maurice Bonham Carter
  66. Paraphrase copies of cipher messages from Maxwell to Kitchener concerning the North King Street massacre
  67. Paraphrase copies of cipher messages between the War Office and General Maxwell concerning Mrs. Pearse
  68. French writing to Maxwell about his visit to Dublin
  69. War Office writing to Maxwell about Byrne
  70. French writing to Maxwell about the 10th Commercial Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers
  71. Correspondence between R. H. Brade and Field Marshal Viscount French
  72. Shaw writing to Maxwell enclosing an amended proof of the Irish despatches
  73. Maxwell writing to Asquith concerning Bishop O'Dwyer of Limerick
  74. Drafts of a statement by General Maxwell to the Associated Press
  75. Note from French to Maxwell
  76. Correspondence and reports relating to telephones in R.I.C. barracks
  77. Points suggested for discussion
  78. Maxwell writing to the Chief Secretary concerning the extension of police telephone system in Ireland
  79. Edward Troupe writing to Maxwell
  80. Correspondence between Maxwell and H. E. Duke concerning Major Price
  81. Memorandum by J. Byrne to Royal Irish Constabulary inspectors
  82. Despatches between Major General Sir F. Shaw and Brigadier General Sir Bryan T. Mahon
  83. Memorandum concerning present and future relations of Great Britain and Ireland in the Empire
  84. Telegrams relating to General Hutchison
  85. Paraphrase copies of cipher messages from the War Office to Irish Command about General Hutchison
  86. Letter to Sir Brian T. Mahon about Hutchison
  87. Notes on conference held at Headquarters, Irish Command, Parkgate, on November, 6th, 1917
  88. Major General R. Hutchinson writing to H.E. Duke about the situation in Ireland
Original version
Date created:
Type of resource
Physical description
c. 133 items
Organisation/arrangement note: This represents a single file within the wider Papers of Éamon de Valera.
Biographical/historical information
Born in New York but brought up in Limerick, de Valera studied mathematics at the Royal University. In 1908 he joined the Gaelic League and remained dedicated to the Irish language. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and during the rebellion of 1916 commanded the 3rd Battalion at Boland's Mill. Sentenced to death, de Valera was reprieved partly because of his American birth.
Biographical/historical information
On his release from prison in 1917, de Valera was elected MP for East Clare and became president of both Sinn Féin and the Irish Volunteers. In 1918 he and other Sinn Féin leaders were arrested for complicity in an alleged German plot. He escaped from Lincoln jail in February 1919 and was elected president of the first Dáil. In June 1919 he went to America and raised over $5 million for the republican cause but failed to obtain American recognition for the republic. His visit also led to a bitter power struggle with the leaders of the Irish-American movement, John Devoy and Judge Cohalan.
Biographical/historical information
After his return from America in December 1920, de Valera's relationship with Michael Collins, who had effectively masterminded the IRA campaign in his absence, came under strain as differences emerged over the conduct of the Anglo-Irish War. These were accentuated when de Valera decided not to lead the Irish delegation that negotiated the Anglo-Irish treaty. There have been two opposing interpretations of this decision. The more hostile view is that he allowed Collins to take the responsibility for what he knew would be a partial surrender. His own explanation was that by staying in Dublin he could better preserve national unity and ensure general acceptance of any agreement reached.
Biographical/historical information
De Valera rejected the Anglo-Irish treaty and resigned as president following its acceptance by the Dáil. In the run-up to the Civil War, he found himself sidelined by more hard-line opponents of the treaty, who distrusted his alternative of external association, while attracting fierce criticism from pro-treaty supporters for his inflammatory speeches. After civil war broke out in June 1922, his attempts to maintain a republican political organisation were rebuffed by the republican military leaders, particularly Liam Lynch. Lynch's death enabled de Valera to reassert some control and in May 1923 the war ended. in August 1923 he was arrested and spent a year in jail.
Biographical/historical information
After his release, de Valera became increasingly dissatisfied with Sinn Féin's political abstention and in 1926 he formed a new party, Fianna Fáil. In 1927 he reluctantly took the oath of allegiance and entered the Free State Dáil. He spent much of the next five years building up the party organisation to a formidable machine and establishing a newspaper, the Irish Press.
Biographical/historical information
Fianna Fáil's election victory in 1932 marked the beginning of sixteen years in power during which de Valera was both prime minister and Minister for external affairs. Policies of promoting small-scale tillage farming and industrial development behind high tariff walls, reinforced by the Economic War, reflected the traditional nationalist goal of economic self-sufficiency. On the political front, de Valera saw off the threat from both the Blueshirts and the IRA and in 1937 his new constitution was enacted. In foreign affairs de Valera achieved some notable successes. The Economic War was concluded in 1938 on very favourable terms and at the League of Nations de Valera was president of both the council and the assembly.
Biographical/historical information
During the Second World War Irish neutrality caused friction with the allies but had overwhelming popular support. After the war, the economy and emigration were serious problems. During 1948–51 and 1954–7 Fianna Fáil lost power to interparty governments. Fianna Fáil won the 1957 election with a big majority and in the last two years of de Valera's political career the First Programme for Economic Expansion was implemented. In 1959 he resigned as Taoiseach and ensured the succession for Lemass. He served two terms as president 1959–73. (Biographical history courtesy of Dr Deirdre McMahon, University of Limerick)
Ownership/custodial history
Mr de Valera bequeathed all of his personal non-family papers to the Order of Friars Minor five years before his death. The collection was housed in the Franciscan Library Killiney, County Dublin before its transfer to UCDA in July 1997 under the terms of the OFM-UCD Partnership.
Scope and content
This collection consists of a file of British documents and letters relating to 1916 from the Papers of Éamon de Valera. The file has a note on the cover ‘Important British Documents & Letters, 1916. (Given to President de Valera) (This is to be given to the Franciscans at Killiney to be put with Éamon de Valera’s documents)’. Consists of intelligence reports and despatches between Irish Command [i.e. successive Commanders-in-Chief of British Forces in Ireland: Major-General L.B. Friend, (Lieutenant)-General Sir John Maxwell and (Lieutenant)-General Sir Bryan Mahon] or their various officers; the Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces and his staff; the War Office; M.I.5.G. and the Royal Irish Constabulary.
Miscellaneous Documents
Ireland--History--Easter Rising, 1916   linked data (lcsh)
De Valera, Éamon, 1882-1975 --Archives
UCD Archives . P150/512
Suggested credit
"Éamon de Valera Papers," held by UCD Archives. © Various copyright holders - see individual records. Digital content by University College Dublin, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin <>
Papers of Kathleen O'Connell
Papers of Kathleen O'Connell

Part of
Papers of Éamon De Valera. Dublin, Ireland : UCD Archives (2017-10-18) (1915-10)
Record source
Descriptions created by staff of UCD Library, University College Dublin, based on information provided by UCD Archives. Additional contextual information provided by Deirdre McMahon. Initial EAD derived from MODS record. — Metadata creation date: 2016-04-19

Rights & Usage Conditions

Creative Commons License
Éamon de Valera Papers : British documents relating to 1916 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright of the original resource: Various copyright holders - see individual records

To use for commercial purposes, please contact the UCD Digital Library See: