From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
Besides the charters already noticed, many others were granted by different sovereigns. The two boroughs continued till the reign of Henry IV. to be separately governed by their respective charters, and each had its separate corporate officers, from which circumstance the merchants frequenting the town were burdened with the payment of tolls and customs to both corporations, dissensions and debates were daily springing up between the two bodies, and in their contests blood was often shed and many lives were lost. To put an end to these evils, Henry IV., by charter dated Nov. 1st, 1412, with the consent of the burgesses and commonalties, united both boroughs under one corporation, and erected the town, with the suburbs on both sides of the river, into a county of itself. Under this, which is the governing charter, the style of the corporation is the "Mayor, Sheriffs, Burgesses,and Commons of the County of the Town of Drogheda," and the government is vested in a mayor, two sheriffs, twenty-four aldermen (including the mayor), an indefinite number of common councilmen, a mayor of the staple, two coroners, recorder, town-clerk, sword-bearer, mace-bearer, water-bailiff, harbour-master, and subordinate officers.
The freedom of the town is acquired by birth, or servitude of seven years' apprenticeship to a freeman of one of the seven trading guilds, and by especial grace, or gift of the corporation. The trading guilds are each under the government of a master and two wardens annually elected, and have each a common hall. The town sent members to the first Irish parliament ever held, and continued to return two members till the Union, since which time it has returned one member to the Imperial parliament. The right of election was vested in the freemen and freeholders, of whom there were about 936 previously to the passing of the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 88, which disqualified the non-resident freemen except within seven miles, and extended the elective franchise to the £10 householders, and to £20 and £10 leaseholders, for the respective terms of 14 and 20 years. The borough is co-extensive with the county of the town, comprising an area of 5803 statute acres, of which, 844 are in a rural district in the parish of Ballymakenny, and the remainder in the parishes of St. Peter and St. Mary: the sheriffs are the returning officers.
The mayor, recorder, and two senior aldermen who have served the office of mayor, are justices of the peace under the charter, and there are five additional justices appointed under the act of the 7th George IV. The assizes for the county of the town are held twice in the year before the mayor and judges on the north-eastern circuit; and quarter sessions are held in Jan., April, June, and Oct., before the mayor and recorder. Petty sessions are held in the Tholsel court every alternate week; a court of record for pleas to any amount is held before the mayor and sheriffs; and a court of conscience, for the recovery of debts not exceeding £1. 3., is held every Tuesday and Friday before the mayor or his deputy.
A mayoralty-house is provided in the town, as a residence for the mayor during his year of office, but it is seldom occupied. The Tholsel is a spacious and handsome building of hewn stone, well adapted to the holding of the assizes, quarter sessions, and other courts. The gaol on the north side of the town was erected in 1818; it is a neat and well-arranged building adapted to the classification of prisoners, and contains 6 wards, with day-rooms and airing-yards, apartments for debtors, and a chapel: the total expenditure, for 1835, was £379. 11. 11. The amount of Grand Jury presentments for 1835 was £1988. 4. 5 ¼., of which £171. 17. 11 ½ . was for the repair of roads, bridges, &c.; £1390.1. 1 ¾. for public buildings, charities, officers' salaries, and miscellaneous expenses; £8. 18. 6. for the police, and £417. 6. 10. for repayment of advances made by Government.
DROGHEDA | Drogheda in the 1640s | Drogheda during the Williamite Wars | Drogheda Infrastructure and Manufactures | Drogheda Trade in the 1830s | Drogheda Government in the 1830s | Drogheda Churches and Parishes
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
This is a story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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