The collection holds letters written by a certain William Neville Gardiner, Lieutenant General, who fought in the American Revolutionary War, was Aide-de-camp to Commander Howe at the Battle of Long Island. It was Gardiner, who brought home to England, the Dispatches of Commander Howe.
Later, in history, Gardiner was to accompany Cornwallis in Ireland during the 1798 rebellion. There are several letters addressed to Montgomery from Gardiner during the time he was based in Loughgall and Drumilly, with the Cope family.
Cornwallis mentioned him several times in various references with General Ross indicating that Gardiner was a very capable leader.
Luke Gardiner, who was killed in the uprising at Wexford was the older brother of William Neville. This family, who were extremely wealthy, had several estates in Ireland e.g. Dublin, Blessington and Tyrone. Lady Blessington gained her title through marriage with one of the descendants.
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland holds numerous related documents including maps by the Montgomery family whilst the National Archives in Dublin, have selective documentation related to the history of the Gardiners and their impact on Dublin. Part of Dublin’s O’ Connell Street was once known as Gardiner’s Mall.
Some time ago a direct descendant of this Montgomery family visited me to view the collection of her relative. She was pleasantly surprised and excited with the content of the archive. It is her that I thank for many of the biographical details of her ancestor.
Through the years I have managed to research and collate much information on the collection but periodically found that there was something new waiting to be discovered within the contents. However, I have managed, with a great degree of effort, to put in writing, some unusual little articles using these material resources, especially with the letter signatures.
Many professional historians/representatives of various repositories were impressed by the uniqueness and diversity of the archive.