From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
DROGHEDA, a seaport, borough, and market-town, and a county of itself, locally in the county of LOUTH, and province of LEINSTER, 57 miles (S by W.) from Belfast, and 23 (N.) from Dublin; containing 17,365 inhabitants, of which number, 15,138 are in the town. This place is said to have derived its name Droighad Atha, in the Irish language signifying "a bridge," from the erection of a bridge over the river Boyne, at a period prior to the English invasion; but no notice of any town of importance occurs till after that event. At a very early period, a monastery was founded here for canons of the order of St. Augustine. It was included in the original grant of Meath to Hugh de Lacy; but in 1220, when a new grant of that lordship was made to his son Walter, by Henry III., the town and castle of Drogheda had become of so much importance, that the king retained them in his own possession, allowing to De Lacy £20 per ann. from the Exchequer, and the talliage of the town, as a compensation. At that time the Boyne, which now intersects the town, formed the boundary between the counties of Meath and Louth, and the two portions of the town on its opposite banks constituted separate boroughs. In 1229, Henry III., by charter, gave to the town on the Louth side of the Boyne certain privileges and free customs similar to those of Dublin; and in 1247, the same monarch invested the burgesses of the town on the Meath side with similar privileges and immunities, and granted them a weekly market and an annual fair for six days. A new charter was granted in 1253 to the burgesses of Drogheda in Louth, empowering them to elect a mayor, to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, and to hold an annual fair for 15 days: but the increase of the town was soon checked by the continued aggressions of the native inhabitants of the surrounding districts.
In the 7th and 24th of Edward I., the town received grants of toll for murage; and in 1316, the king granted 300 marks for the repair of the walls and turrets. In 1317, the burgesses of Drogheda in Meath obtained a new charter for a weekly market, with the grant of a piece of ground on which to hold the same, and the decision of all pleas except those of the crown. Mandates were issued, in 1319 and 1320, by the king to his justiciary in Ireland, to protect the mayor and burgesses of the town in Louth in the enjoyment of their liberties, and to grant remission of their fee farm rent of 60 marks per ann., to enable them to extend their fortifications. In 1375, a mayor of the staple was appointed for both towns; but the calamity of pestilence, added to that of almost incessant warfare with the Scots and native septs, had so reduced the burgesses that, in 1380, Richard II., granted to them certain customs' duties for the repair of the fortifications and the general improvement of the town.
This place, from an early period was, in municipal privileges and political consequence, always considered as on an equality with the four royal cities of Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, and Cork; and of the numerous parliaments assembled by the lords-deputies, some of the most remarkable were held here. Richard II., on the 16th of March, 1394, in the hall of the Dominican priory received the submission of O'Nial, O'Hanlon, O'Donel, Mac Mahon, and other native chieftains of Ulster. In 1407, the inhabitants united with those of Dublin in a predatory warfare against their common enemies, which they extended even to the coast of Scotland. Henry IV., towards the close of his reign, united the two boroughs into one body politic. In 1437, part of the fee-farm rent was remitted by Henry VI., on account of the devastation of the town and the injury of its trade by the king's enemies. The Earl of Ormonde, on being removed from the office of chief governor, in 1444, assembled the nobility and gentry of the English pale at this place; and so strong were the testimonies in his favour, that he was reinstated in his office. A parliament was soon afterwards held here; another was also held in the 31st of Henry VI., and, in 1467, a parliament assembled at Dublin was adjourned to this town, by which the Geraldines were attainted, and the Earl of Desmond appearing to justify himself, was instantly brought to the scaffold.
In 1474, when the fraternity of arms was established, the goods of the men of Drogheda and Dublin were exempted from the tax for its support; and by the statute passed in Lord Grey's parliament, concerning the election of temporary chief governors, the mayors of Drogheda and Dublin were to have a voice in the council. In an engagement which took place at Malpas Bridge, during this reign, the mayor of Drogheda, at the head of 500 archers and 200 men armed with pole-axes, assisted in the defeat of O'Reilly and his confederates, who had committed great ravages in the county of Louth; in reward of which valiant conduct, the mayors are allowed to have a sword of state borne before them. In 1493, Lord Gormanston held a parliament here, but the validity of its proceedings was disputed; and in the 10th of Henry VII., Sir Edward Poynings assembled another in this town, of which the acts relating to the adoption of the English statutes and other important matters have been more celebrated than those of any other parliament prior to the last century. In the succeeding reign, the importance of this place appears from the duties paid at the custom-house, which, in 1632, amounted to £1428. 15.
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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