From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
LECKEN, or LACKEN, a parish, in the barony of CORKAREE, county of WESTMEATH, and province of LEINSTER, 7 ½ miles (N. N.W.) from Mullingar, and between Lough Derevaragh and Lough Hoyle; containing 934 inhabitants. An abbey existed here in the early part of the 7th century, under the superintendence of St. Crumin.
The parish comprises 2883 ½ statute acres, of which 2529 are applotted under the tithe act, and contains some limestone and a small quantity of moory land. Lacken is the seat of Mrs. Delamere. It is a curacy, in the diocese of Meath, forming part of the union of Leney; the rectory is impropriate in Sir J. B. Piers, Bart.
The tithes amount to £133. 13.
In the R. C. divisions it forms part of the union or district of Multifernam, and has a chapel. On the summit of a hill is Wilson's Hospital, founded and endowed by A. Wilson, Esq., of Piercefield, for the support and education of 160 Protestant boys, with whom an apprentice fee of £10 is given on their leaving the school; and for 20 old male Protestants. The inhabitants of Westmeath have the preference, but those of the adjacent counties are also eligible. The house is a handsome building in the form of a square, adorned with a cupola and two receding wings connected by a corridor, one of which includes the school-room and a dormitory, the other, the dining-hall and a dormitory, and there is a chapel handsomely fitted up. The trustees are the Archbishops of Armagh, Dublin, and Tuam, and the bishops of Meath and Kilmore. A body of insurgents posted themselves at this hospital in the night of Sept. 5th, 1798, but were almost all killed the following day by part of Lord Cornwallis's army. Besides the school connected with Wilson's Hospital, there is a private school in which about 40 children are educated. There are vestiges of an old fort at Carrick, and on a hill near the church is a large rath, with two others in its vicinity.
Charlotte Milligan Fox, sister of the poet Alice Milligan, was a founding member of the Irish Folk Song Society and an indefatigable field collector of Irish traditional music. Her singularly important work on Irish haprers is here presented for the twenty-first century reader. This edition of Annals offers a much greater number of illustrations than were included in the original 1911 publication, a full biographical introduction, an extensive bibliography of the writings of Milligan Fox and an appendix discussing the variant texts of Arthur O’Neills Memoirs.
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