Skip to main content

Shackleton family papers

 Collection
Call Number: OSB MSS 230

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, diaries, travel journals, commonplace books, poems, genealogical documents, and testimonials and memoirs of the Shackleton family, who were Quaker educators, writers, and mill owners in Ireland. The materials document the family’s involvement in the Society of Friends, their personal lives and intellectual pursuits, and work at the Ballitore School, a Quaker school founded by Abraham Shackleton I in 1726. Included is extensive correspondence and writings of Richard Shackleton, his son Abraham Shackleton II and daughter Mary Leadbeater Shackleton, and physician William Webb Shackleton, a son of Abraham Shackleton III. Among the other correspondents were family members Elizabeth, Sarah, George, and Lydia Shackleton, and Quaker friends such as British author Joseph Gurney Bevan, British minister Samuel Bownas, American ministers Rebecca Jones and Job Scott, and Dublin physician John Rutty. Topics of letters include matters concerning the Quaker community, smallpox inoculation, and the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The collection dates from 1658 to 1944, with the bulk dating from approximately 1770 to 1884.

Dates

  • 1678-1944, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1770-1884

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Shackleton Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Bernard Quaritch on the Hazel M. Osborn Fund, 2012.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. Correspondence, 1727-1944. II. Writings and Other Papers, 1678-1888. III. Printed Materials, 1765-1884.

Extent

6.34 Linear Feet (21 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.shackleton

Abstract

The collection consists of correspondence, diaries, travel journals, commonplace books, poems, genealogical documents, and testimonials and memoirs of the Shackleton family, who were Quaker educators, writers, and mill owners in Ireland. The materials document the family’s involvement in the Society of Friends, their personal lives and intellectual pursuits, and work at the Ballitore School, a Quaker school founded by Abraham Shackleton I in 1726. Included is extensive correspondence and writings of Richard Shackleton, his son Abraham Shackleton II and daughter Mary Leadbeater Shackleton, and physician William Webb Shackleton, a son of Abraham Shackleton III. Among the other correspondents were family members Elizabeth, Sarah, George, and Lydia Shackleton, and Quaker friends such as British author Joseph Gurney Bevan, British minister Samuel Bownas, American ministers Rebecca Jones and Job Scott, and Dublin physician John Rutty. Topics of letters include matters concerning the Quaker community, smallpox inoculation, and the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The collection dates from 1658 to 1944, with the bulk dating from approximately 1770 to 1884.

Shackleton family

The Shackleton family were Quaker educators and writers living in Ballitore, Ireland, where Abraham Shackleton I founded the Ballitore School in 1726. The family also owned a number of flour mills.

Abraham Shackleton I (1697-1771)

Abraham Shackleton was born in Yorkshire, England, to Sarah Brigg and Richard Shackleton. He founded the Ballitore School, a Quaker school in Ballitore, Ireland, in 1726, and was headmaster for 30 years. One of his pupils was Edmund Burke.

Richard Shackleton (1726-1792)

Richard Shackleton, son of Margaret Wilkinson and Abraham Shackleton I, was educated at the Ballitore School, where he befriended fellow student Edmund Burke. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, and succeed his father as headmaster of Ballitore School in 1756. He was also a poet. Shackleton married Elizabeth Fuller in 1749 and they had four children, Abraham II, Deborah, Margaret, and Henry. A year after his first wife's death in 1754, he married Elizabeth Carleton, with whom he had two children who survived to adulthood, Mary Shackleton Leadbeater and Sarah, known to the family as "Blind Aunt Sally."

Abraham Shackleton II (1752-1818)

Abraham Shackleton II, son of Elizabeth Fuller and Richard Shackleton, was educated at Ballitore School and later became a teacher there, before succeeding his father as headmaster in 1779. Shackleton became associated with a group of liberal Quakers in Ulster who were in open rebellion against Quaker discipline. In 1801 he was disowned by the Carlow Monthly Meeting, in a schism within the Society of Friends in Ireland that was known as the "Irish separation." As a pacifist, he refused to join rebel forces occupying Ballitore during the Irish Rebellion in 1798. Following the schism and the brief closure of the Ballitore School, Shackleton traveled, wrote essays and poetry, and managed the Ballitore Mill until his death. Shackleton’s scholarly interests included the classics, botany, and astronomy. He married Lydia Mellor (1749-1829) in 1779, and they had nine children: Richard, Margaret (who died at age 9), Abraham III, Elizabeth "Betsy" (1783-1843), Ebenezer, George, Lydia, Mary, and Margaret Shackleton Grubb.

Mary Shackleton Leadbeater (1758-1826)

Mary Shackleton Leadbeater, daughter of Elizabeth Carleton and Richard Shackleton, was educated at the Ballitore School, where she was the only female student. In 1794, she published anonymously "Extracts and Original Anecdotes for the Improvement of Youth." She also published "Poems" in 1808; "Cottage Dialogues among the Irish Peasantry" in 1811; and "Memoirs and Letters of Richard and Elizabeth Shackleton" in 1822. Her "Annals of Ballitore" was printed posthumously in 1862 by Richard Davis Webb as "The Leadbeater Papers." Mary married William Leadbeater, a former student at the Ballitore School, in 1791, and they had three children. The Leadbeaters resided in Ballitore, where he was a farmer and landowner, and she ran the village post office.

Sarah Shackleton (1760-1847)

Sarah Shackleton, daughter of Elizabeth Carleton and Richard Shackleton, known as "Sally" or "Blind Aunt Sally," was an Acceptable Minister in the Society of Friends.

George Shackleton (1785-1871)

George Shackleton, son of Lydia and Abraham Shackleton II, married Hannah Fisher (1803-1873) in 1823, and they had 13 children who lived to adulthood, including Abraham III and Lydia.

Abraham Shackleton III (1827-1912)

Abraham Shackleton III married Anna Webb (1833-1888), and they had six children: Louis George, William Webb, Frederic, Marion, Alice Mary, and John Abraham. After her death, he married Anne Harvey Walpole.

Lydia Shackleton II (1828-1914)

Lydia Shackleton, a daughter of Hannah and George Shackleton, was botanist and artist.

William Webb Shackleton (1867-1935)

William Webb Shackleton was the eldest son of Anna Webb and Abraham Shackleton III. He was educated at the Quaker school in York and trained as a doctor. In 1896, he married his senior partner's daughter, Eileen Clarke (1879-1955). They had two children, Robert Patrick Webb and Eileen Margaret.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Title
Guide to the Shackleton Papers
Status
Completed
Author
by Brooke McManus
Date
May 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.