A Collection of Royal Autographs

The signatures of Queen Victoria and members of her family are preserved among the Collections of Muckross House Library. While touring Killarney's Lakes on Tuesday, 27 August 1861, the royal party lunched at Glena Cottage. Their autographs were recorded on the first page of an ornate, richly-bound volume, which you can browse through here

Queen Victoria's signature is visible at the top of the first page, followed by that of her husband, Albert. The autographs of their children, Prince Albert Edward (later Edward VII), Princess Alice, Prince Alfred and Princess Helena, also appear here. The signatures of their hosts, Lord and Lady Castlerosse, can be seen opposite, on the inside cover.

Prince Albert Edward returned to Glena Cottage with his wife Alexandra (later Queen Alexandra) and their son, Author Victor, on 18 April 1885. Their signatures, together with that of the Irish Lord Lieutenant, John Spencer, are again recorded among these pages.

Glena Cottage was a popular Victorian destination. It stood on the shores of Lough Leane, close to Glena Bay and was the property of the Browne family, Earls of Kenmare. Brief notes record the history of some Browne family members at the rear of this volume. A further short entry states that, 'Glena Cottage was burned (maliciously) down during the rebellion in 1920.' The cottage was never re-built.


Patricia O'Hare, Research & Education Officer, Trustees of Muckross House.