From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
BALLYBOY, a parish, in the barony of BALLYBOY, KING'S county, and province of LEINSTER, comprising the market and post-town of Frankford, and containing 4182 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the road from Tullamore to Parsonstown, adjacent to the Silver river, and comprises 8861 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. It gives name to the barony, and had formerly a castle of some note, which, in 1690, being garrisoned by six companies of Lord Drogheda's regiment of foot, was attacked by a detachment of General Sarsfield's army encamped between Limerick and Athlone; but after a sharp conflict, in which the garrison sustained great loss, the assailants were at length compelled to retreat.
On the north and south are very extensive bogs, of which 3000 acres are within the parish: with the exception of a small portion of pasture and meadow, the remainder of the land is arable, and though of inferior quality, is under an improved system of cultivation; the only woodland is Ballinacrig, containing 13 ¾ acres. There are a distillery and brewery, and a flour-mill; and in addition to the market and fairs at Frankford, fairs are held at the village of Ballyboy on May 4th and Dec. 6th. Petty sessions are held every alternate Saturday.
The gentlemen's seats are Castlewood, that of N. Fitzsimon, Esq.; Greenhills, of T. Hobbs, Esq.; Ridgemount, of R. J. Drought, Esq.; Temora, of T. L'Estrange, Esq.; Barnaboy, of R. Chadwick, Esq.; Derrinboy, of A. Gamble, Esq.; and Williamfort, of W. Whitfield, Esq. It is a vicarage, in the diocese of Meath, and forms part of the union of Fircall; the rectory is impropriate in the Marquess of Downshire: the tithes amount, to £227. 8. 10 ¾., of which £146. 4. 3 ½. is payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar.
The church, situated in the centre of the parish, was built by a loan of £900 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1815, and has been lately repaired by a grant of £279 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners: it is served by a stipendiary curate. There is no glebe-house; but there is a glebe comprising 367 acres of profitable land, valued at £321. 1. 7. per annum. In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, called Frankford, comprising the parishes of Ballyboy and Killaughy, each containing a chapel; that of Ballyboy is situated in the town of Frankford. The parochial school is aided by an annual donation of £10 from the vicar: there is a national school, aided by a donation of £6 per annum from the Marquess of Lansdowne; and a school at Castlewood is supported for the benefit of his own tenants by Mr. Fitzsimon, who allows the master £25 per annum. About 170 children are taught in these schools; and there are also six private pay schools, in which are about 150 children. An alms-house for five widows was founded by Mrs. Stoney; and there is a dispensary. On the lands of Barnaboy is a mineral spa.—See FRANKFORD.
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A story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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