When and where was my Irish forebear born?
Edward Shadwell Hickman was Crown solicitor for the Province of Connaught in the West of Ireland from 1814 until his death in 1848.
I am hoping to find out when and where he was born. His father Richard lived in both Ennis, Co. Clare, and in Galway City, but neither has the parish records for this period.
Would Edward’s personal details have been entered into some sort of register upon his appointment as Crown solicitor? Would he have needed to be from Connaught to be eligible for the role? Declan Barron
The Crown solicitor was the government’s law agent. There would be a main office in Dublin, and various sub-agents spread around the country. And yes, in theory there would have been a record kept by the relevant authorities of all appointments. However, if it was a record kept by Dublin Castle, the seat of British power in Ireland, then it’s unlikely to have survived given the great conflagration of 1922, which saw the Irish Public Record Office consumed by fire.
Unfortunately Hickman’s appointment was four years before the commencement of the Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Papers (CSORP), which are the main surviving series of Dublin Castle administration papers, but which only began in 1818.
Before then, many administration papers were retained by each outgoing lord lieutenant. The incumbent for 1814 was the Earl of Whitworth, whose period of office was June 1813 to October 1817. It may be worth your while to do some keyword searches online for references to any surviving papers for Whitworth. Some are listed in The National Archives’ Discovery catalogue at bit.ly/WhitworthTNA. The papers from CSORP, which are now held at the National Archives of Ireland (NAI), are currently accessible through contemporary hardcopy annual indexes. However, there is a project to catalogue them online in much greater detail for the years 1818–1852. The papers up to 1830 have already been completed and the database can be found at csorp.nationalarchives.
ie. Search for Hickman’s name and you will find that there are very many references to his work as a Crown solicitor.
It may also be worth checking the papers of the chief Crown solicitor held at NAI. While these papers date from 1815, one year after Hickman’s appointment, they generally relate to Crown prosecutions rather than establishment (personnel) matters.
Additionally the papers are not online, and you will need to visit NAI to check the finding aid and any relevant papers that you might identify. Steven Smyrl