ANTRIM (County of)

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

ANTRIM (County of), a maritime county in the province of ULSTER, bounded on the north by the Northern Ocean, or Deucaledonian Sea; on the north-east and east, by the North Channel; on the south-east, by the lough or bay of Belfast and the river Lagan, separating it from the county of Down, which likewise borders it on the south; on the south-west, by Lough Neagh; on the west, by Lough Beg and the river Bann, which separate it from the county of Londonderry; and on the north-west, by the liberties of Coleraine. It extends from 54° 26' to 55° 12' 16" (N. Lat.), and from 5° 47' to 6° 52' (W. Lon.); and, exclusively of the extensive parish of Carrickfergus (which is a county of a town in itself), comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 76l,877 ¾ statute acres, of which 466,564 are cultivated land, 53,487 ½ are under water, and the remainder unimproved mountain and bog. The population, in 1821, was 262,860; and in 1831, 316,909. In the ancient division of the island the southern and south-western parts of this county were included in the territory called Dalaradiae, or Ulidia, the western and north-western were designated Dalrieda, and the name of the whole was Endruim or Andruim, signifying the "habitation upon the waters," and strikingly descriptive of its situation. It was afterwards divided into the three districts of North or Lower Clan-Hugh-Boy, Claneboy, or Clandeboy; the Glynnes; and the Reuta, Route, or Rowte. North or Lower Clandeboy, so called to distinguish it from South or Upper Clandeboy, now included in the adjacent county of Down, extended from Carrickfergus bay and the river Lagan to Lough Neagh, and consisted of the tract now forming the baronies of Belfast, Massareene, and Antrim: the Glynnes, so called from the intersection of its surface by many rocky dells, extended from Larne, northward along the coast, to Ballycastle, being backed by the mountains on the west, and containing the present baronies of Glenarm, and part of that of Carey: the Route included nearly all the rest of the county to the west and north, forming the more ancient Dalrieda, and, in the reign of Elizabeth, occasionally called "Mac Sorley Boy's Country." Within the limits of Clandeboy was a minor division, called "Bryen Carrogh's Country," won from the rest by the Scots. At what precise period Antrim was erected into a county is uncertain: it was divided into baronies in 1584, by the lord-deputy, Sir John Perrot, but this arrangement was not until some time afterwards strictly observed.

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