Dr Bríd McGrath of Dublin, who is editing an edition of the Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623–1669 for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, has written to say how useful she has found the Great Parchment Book:
“I really wish to congratulate everyone involved in this project on an extraordinary achievement. It’s an exceptionally useful source for the history of the period, including the extent and layout of the town and the defence obligations, not to mention the bits about women, about whom we have in general very little information.
It’s amazing how many members of Coleraine’s town council could not sign their names. Quite astonishing, but absolutely in line with my view of them.”
The Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623–1669, which is still in private hands, records the decisions taken by the Common Council of Coleraine for the period 1623–1669. Sources for Coleraine are rather limited and the Great Parchment Book is invaluable in providing some identification and personal information about some of its citizens. Dr McGrath is referring to it in the footnotes to her edition, identifying Coleraine’s inhabitants.
It is hoped that Dr McGrath’s book will be published within the next few months. We will post more information here – watch this space!