LANESBOROUGH

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

LANESBOROUGH, a market and post-town (formerly a parliamentary borough), partly in the parish of CLONTUSKERT, barony of BALLINTOBBER, county of ROSCOMMON, and province of CONNAUGHT, but chiefly in the parish and barony of RATHCLINE, county of LONGFORD, and province of LEINSTER, 8 miles (W. S. W.) from Longford, on the road to Roscommon, and 66 ¾ (W. by N.) from Dublin; containing 390 inhabitants. This town derived its name from Sir G. Lane, whose lands of Ballyleagh and others in the county of Longford were erected into the manor of Lanesborough by charter of Charles II. in the 17th of his reign; and to whom was also granted a court baron, with jurisdiction to the amount of 40s., and a court of record for the determination of pleas to the amount of £200. The same charter constituted the town a free borough, under a sovereign and two bailiffs, who were annually elected, and of whom the former, with his deputy, was a justice of the peace; 12 burgesses, elected by a majority of their own body as vacancies occurred; and an indefinite number of freemen, admitted by the burgesses, by whom also a recorder, town-clerk, serjeant-at-mace, and other officers were to be. appointed.

The corporation continued to return two members to the Irish parliament till the Union, when the borough was disfranchised. For some time prior to the Union the corporation exercised scarcely any other municipal duty than that of returning the members to parliament, and since that period it has become virtually extinct. The town is advantageously situated for trade on the river Shannon, over which is a bridge of nine arches connecting the counties of Roscommon and Longford. The chief trade is the exportation of corn, pigs, and eggs, of which vast quantities are sent by the Shannon; eggs are also sent to Dublin by the Royal Canal from Killashee, near this town, to which place they are conveyed by land carriage. The market, which is abundantly supplied with agricultural produce, is on Wednesday; and a fair is held on the 12th of February. It has a sub-post-office to Longford; and there is a constabulary police station.

About a mile to the south is Rathcline, the seat of Luke White, Esq., proprietor of the town, pleasingly situated at the base of Rathcline hill and on the shore of Lough Ree; and on the banks of the Shannon, about the same distance from the town, is Clonbony, the seat of Captain Davys, but now occupied by G. Davys, Esq., commanding a fine view of the river and the town. The parish church of Rathcline, of which the chancel is in ruins, is situated here; and there are a R. C. chapel and a dispensary. Adjoining the church are the shattered remains of a large tower, which is said to have been destroyed from the opposite side of the river by the army of James II. Lanesborough gives the title of Earl to a branch of the family of Butler of Newtown, in which it was revived after it had become extinct in the family of Lane.

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