A sale of letters written by former U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy has been called off following an intervention by her family.

A collection of personal notes penned by President John F. Kennedy's wife to Joseph Leonard, a Dublin-based priest, were due to go under the hammer in Ireland on 10 June (14).

The sale, which was to benefit Dublin's All Hallows College, had been expected to bring in more than $1.3 million (£812,000), but it has now been halted at the request of Kennedy's daughter Caroline and her family, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.

The publication reports the Kennedy family wants the letters to be preserved for their historical value, while an ownership dispute has also played a part in the decision to stop the sale.

All Hallows College spokeswoman Carolanne Henry tells America's NBC News, "(Ownership of the letters) was a factor in the auction being cancelled, because they were not ours to sell. That, and the introduction of the Kennedy family into the proceedings."

A will made out by Leonard is said to show he left the letters to his Catholic order rather than the college as previously believed. The college has been suffering financial troubles in recent years, and its planned closure was announced on Friday (23May14).