FINGLAS

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

FINGLAS, a parish, partly in the barony of NETHERCROSS, and partly in that of COOLOCK, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 3 miles (N.) from Dublin Castle, on the mail coach road to Ashbourne, and on a small stream which falls into the Tolka at Finglas bridge; containing 2110 inhabitants, of which number, 840 are in the village. In the reign of Henry II, Strongbow, aided by Milo de Cogan and Raymond le Gros, with 500 men, routed the Irish army consisting of several thousands, and nearly took King O'Conor prisoner. On June 18th, 1649, the Marquess of Ormonde, with the royal army, encamped here, previous to the fatal action of Rathmines; and on July 5th, 1690, King William, after the victory of the Boyne, here took up a position and mustered his army, amounting to more than thirty thousand effective men; and hence a detachment, under the Duke of Ormonde, inarched to take possession of Dublin.

The manor was long vested in the Archbishop of Dublin: Fulk de Saundford, one of the prelates of this see, died here in 1271, and Archbishop Fitz-Simon, also, in 1511. The parish comprises 4663 statute acres, chiefly pasture: there are good quarries of limestone and stone for building. The Royal Canal passes through the townlands of Ballybogan and Cabra. An extensive cotton-mill was here burnt down in 1828, the ruins of which remain.

A large tannery has existed at Finglas Wood for nearly two centuries, and is still carried on by J. Savage, Esq., one of the same family as the original proprietor: the residence is very ancient, and it is reported that James II. slept one night there. By the 4th of George I. a grant was made to the Archbishop of Dublin of markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays, fairs on April 25th and Sept. 29th, and a court of pie-poudre during the markets, by paying 6s. 8d, per ann. to the Crown. A noted pleasure fair is held here on the 1st of May. This is a station for the city of Dublin police; and in the vicinity are three private lunatic asylums.

The seats are Jamestown, the residence of Mrs. Shew; Tolka Lodge, of J. W. Bayley, Esq.; Kilrisk, of J. Green, Esq.; Newtown, of Barnett Shew, Esq.; Belle Vue, of W. Gregory, Esq.; Farnham House, of J. Duncan, Esq.; St. Helena, of W. Harty, Esq., M. D.; Drogheda Lodge, of M. Farrell, Esq.; Ashfield, of Capt. Bluett, R. N.; Springmount, of C. White, Esq.; Elms, of John T. Logan, Esq., M. D.; St. Margaret's, of Mrs. Stock; Cabra House, of J. Plunkett, Esq.; Riversdale, of C. Stewart, Esq.; Rose Hill, of N. Doyle, Esq.; Tolka Park, of J. Newman, Esq.; Tolka View, of the Rev. Dr. Ledlie; Rosemount, of Capt. Walsh; Little Jamestown, of Edward Mangan, Esq.; Rosemount, of M. Rooney, Esq.; and Cardiffe Bridge, of J. Newman, Esq.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dublin, united to the curacy of Ballycoolane, and in the patronage of the Archbishop: the rectory, with the curacy of St. Werburgh's, Dublin, and the chapelries of St. Margaret's, Artaine, and the Ward, constitutes the corps of the chancellorship of St. Patrick's cathedral, Dublin. The tithes amount to £740. 5. 10., of which £462. 2. 5. is payable to the chancellor, and the remainder to the vicar. The glebe-house was erected, in 1826, by aid of a gift of £550, and a loan of £450, from the late Board of First Fruits; there is a glebe of 16 acres of profitable land, divided into three portions, two of which are at a great distance from the parsonage.

The church, a plain substantial building, stands on the site of an abbey said to have been founded by St. Canice, or, as some think by St. Patrick, the former having been the first abbot: several of the early saints were interred here, and there are monuments to members of the families of Flower and Bridges, and one to Dr. Chaloner Cobbe, an eminent divine. This place gives name to a rural deanery, extending over Finglas and its chapelries, Castleknock, Clonsillagh, Chapelizod, Glasnevin, Coolock, Raheny, Clontarf, and Clonturk, or Drumcondra.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising Finglas, St. Margaret's, the Ward, Killeek, and Chapel-Midway, in which are two chapels, in Finglas and at St. Margaret's.

The parochial schools are aided by the chancellor of St. Patrick's and the vicar; an infants' school was established in 1835; and there are two national schools, and a dispensary. Lands producing about £41 per ann., of which £32 are expended on the schools, have been left in trust to the vicar and churchwardens for the benefit of the poor and for other pious purposes.

Here are two strong ramparts, one of which, at the rear of the glebe-house, is called King William's rampart. In the grounds of J. Savage, Esq., coins of the reigns of James II. and William and Mary have been found. Here is a well, dedicated to St. Patrick, slightly chalybeate, and once much celebrated: and there is an ancient cross in the churchyard. The vicarage was held for the few later years of his life by Dr. Thomas Parnell, the intimate associate of Swift, Addison, Pope, and other distinguished literary characters.

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