Carrickfergus Government in the 1830s

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The incorporation of the town as a county of itself is ascribed by tradition to King John; the shrievalty was held jointly with that of the county of Antrim. But although it existed as a separate county long prior to the time of Elizabeth, the charter of the 11th of her reign is the earliest on record containing such incorporation. Its boundaries are described in this charter and in one of the 7th of James I., with a reservation of the castle and its precincts, together with the ancient liberties and royalties appertaining to it, and of sites for a sessions-house and prison for the county of Antrim; but the latter charter excluded from the county of the town certain lands which had been granted and confirmed to the corporation by charter of the 44th of Elizabeth. The franchise now acknowledged is stated to differ from both, and to be in conformity with a riding of the franchises made by the corporation in 1785. In 1810 it was decided, on an issue tried at the assizes, that the lands of Straid and Little Ballymena, described by the charter of Elizabeth as being within the boundary, but not within that marked out by the charter of James, though still belonging to the corporation, are not within the franchise. This is probably a borough by prescription: the earliest notice of the existence of a corporation is in the record of a commission dated 1274, in which year the Scots landed on the neighbouring coast to assist the O'Neills against the English. Henry IV., in 1402, on the petition of the mayor and three burgesses released them, for one year, from the payment of the annual rent of 100s. for the customs, to aid them in rebuilding the town, which had been burned by his enemies.

Queen Elizabeth, in the 11th of her reign (1569), on a representation of the inhabitants that they had lost their letters patent in the disturbances and persecutions of rebels and enemies, by which they were deprived of the enjoyment of their franchises, granted a charter of incorporation conferring on them, besides several special immunities, all such other privileges and jurisdictions as the corporation of Drogheda possessed; and ordaining that they should hold the borough of the king, as of his castle of Knockfergus, at an annual rent of 10s., payable half-yearly, until the fortifications should be repaired and a grant of lands made, and then at a rent of £40 per annum. The grant of lands was conferred by charter of the 44th of Elizabeth, founded on an inquisition issued to ascertain the quantity which had previously belonged to the corporation. James I., in addition to the charter of the 7th of his reign, before noticed, granted others in the 10th and 20th, the former of which is now the governing charter, and the latter created fourteen persons and their successors a corporation, by the style of the "Mayor, Constables, and Society of the Merchants of the Staple." In the "new rules" of the 25th of Charles II., for regulating corporations in Ireland, it was ordained that the appointment of the mayor, recorder, sheriffs, and town-clerk should be subject to the approbation of the lord-lieutenant and privy council.

« Carrickfergus Harbour in the 1830s | Index | Carrickfergus Corporation in the 1830s »

Search Library Ireland


My Lady of the Chimney CornerMy Lady of the Chimney Corner

A memorable and moving story of the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. In 1863 the author, Alexander Irvine, was born into dire poverty, the child of a 'mixed' marriage. His parents had survived the ravages of the famine years, but want and hunger were never to be too far away from their door. Irvine was ultimately destined to leave Ireland for America and to become a successful minister and author. He learned to read and write when he had left his home in Antrim far behind, but he came to realize that the greatest lessons he had received in life were at his mother's knee. My Lady of the Chimney Corner is the depiction of an existence that would be unthinkable in modern Ireland; but, more than that, it is the author's loving tribute to his mother, Anna, who taught him to look at the world through clean spectacles. ISBN 978-1-910375-32-7. USA orders. The book is also available as a Kindle download (UK) and Kindle download (US).

Popular Rhymes and Sayings of IrelandPopular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland

In Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland (first published in 1924) John J. Marshall examines the origin of a variety of rhymes and sayings that were at one time in vogue around different parts of the country, including those which he recalled from his own childhood in County Tyrone. Numerous riddles, games and charms are recounted, as well as the traditions of the ‘Wren Boys’ and Christmas Rhymers. Other chapters describe the war cries of prominent Irish septs and the names by which Ireland has been personified in literature over the centuries. The book is also available as a Kindle download.


Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Annals of the Famine in Ireland, by Asenath Nicholson, still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord’s field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be appalled and distressed.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger

This book, the prequel to Annals of the Famine in Ireland cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Refusing the luxury of hotels and first class travel, she stayed at a variety of lodging-houses, and even in the crude cabins of the very poorest. Not to be missed!

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

The Scotch-Irish in America

The Scotch-Irish in America

Henry Ford Jones' book, first published in 1915 by Princeton University, is a classic in its field. It covers the history of the Scotch-Irish from the first settlement in Ulster to the American Revolutionary period and the foundation of the country.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».


letterJoin our mailing list to receive updates on new content on Library, our latest ebooks, and more.

You won’t be inundated with emails! — we'll just keep you posted periodically — about once a monthish — on what's happening with the library.