- 1890-1919 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
30 bound volumes
1142 digital images
Name of creator
Reginald Digby was the fifth son of Rev Kenelm Henry Digby, rector of Tittleshall in Norfolk, younger brother of Edward, 9th Lord Digby. Reginald was born in 1847 and married Caroline Grace, daughter of Rev Thomas Fremeaux Boddington in 1872. They had three daughters and one son, Lionel Kenelm Digby, rector of Tittleshall, who was killed in action in 1918. He became resident agent on the Geashill Estate in 1871 following the resignation of Thomas Weldon Trench and sole agent in 1872 on the death of William Steuart Trench. He retired in 1923, having served as agent for nearly fifty years, although by this time he had more or less transferred the agency to Lewis Goodbody of A & L Goodbody, solicitors, Tullamore, who continued as agents for the Digby family. Like the previous resident agents before him, he lived at Geashill Castle. In 1922, he needed to go to London for an operation, but was unwilling to leave the house unattended, knowing that an empty house would be a target for burning. Eventually, he could wait no longer, and the house was burned down in his absence. He died in 1927.
Name of creator
Born in 1846, the eldest son of 9th Lord Digby, he was educated at Harrow and then joined the Coldstream Guards, where he made his career, rising to the rank of Colonel and serving in the Sudan from 1885 to 1889. He also served as M.P. for Dorset from 1876-1885. On the death of his father in 1889, he resigned his commission and came home to Minterne. In 1893 he married Emily Beryl, daughter of Col. the Hon. Albert Hood and they had three sons and three daughters.
He became involved in local affairs, accepting the appointment as Chairman of the Board of Herrison Hospital, Charminster and serving as a J.P. and local magistrate, Chairman of the Dorchester Agricultural Society and honorary Colonel in the Dorset Regiment. He planted the rhododendron gardens at Minterne and sponsored plant expeditions to China and the Himalayas, breeding his own varieties in his glass houses and becoming a member of the Royal Horticultural Society.
The house at Minterne suffered from damp and dry rot, and in 1906 he fulfilled his promise to his wife to build a new house. He employed the architect Leonard Stokes, who had built Post Offices and was famously difficult to get on with. However, Lord Digby’s friendly and practical approach charmed him and he produced a marvellous design for his only country house which is still comfortable to live in.
He took an active interest in his estate at Geashill, and was saddened when the Irish Land Act of 1903 resulted in the end of the link with a number of his tenants, some of whom had been on the Digby estate for generations.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Annual reports, accounts and rentals submitted to the 10th Lord Digby by Reginald Digby, resident land-agent of the Geashill Estate during which time he oversaw the sale of the estate to occupying tenants under the terms of the Land Purchase (Ireland) Act, 1903.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
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Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright of digital images administered by Offaly County Council Heritage Office. No reproduction online, in print or broadcast without express permission of copyright holder. Original volumes in ownership of Lord Henry Noel Kenelm Digby, 13th Baron Digby.