From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
The trade of the port is comparatively of modern origin. The first return of the customs on record, made in 1277, gives an amount of £6. 18. In 1337 they were only 8 marks; in 1495, £9. 0. 10.; in 1521, £6. 7. 4.; in 1537, £9. 8. 4 ½.; and in 1607, when King James called for a return of the customs of all the ports in Ireland, those of Limerick are stated to be £15. 14. 8., while at Waterford they were £954. 18. 2., and at Cork £255. 11. 7. But they increased rapidly during the. reigns of James I. and Charles I.: in 1633 the customs had risen to £1619. 1. 7 ¾. During the war of 1641 they diminished considerably, but after the Restoration again rose, insomuch that, in 16/2, the customs were £1906. 19. 8., and the tolls at the city gates £310. 12. 4. In 1688, during the government of Lord Tyrconnel, they fell to £801. 3. 4.
It was not till the middle of the last century that Limerick took a position among the principal commercial ports, and now it is a great place of export for the agricultural produce of the most fertile tracts in Ireland. From Kerry, Tipperary, Clare, and Limerick, are sent in corn, provisions, and butter, which are exported to London, Liverpool, Bristol, and Glasgow. The exports for the year ending the 1st of September, 1835, were, beef, 1364 tierces; pork, 14,263 tierces and barrels; butter, 72,630 firkins; bacon, 81,839 cwts.; lard, 9697 cwts.; wheat, 117,874 barrels; barley, 32,847 barrels; oats, 285,623 barrels; flour, 22,725 cwts.; oatmeal, 16,320 cwts.; eggs, 26,214 crates; besides hams, tongues, spirits, porter, ale, flax, linen, wool, feathers, and salmon, the estimated value of all which exceeded a million sterling. The chief imports are timber, coal, iron, flax-seed, tallow, pitch, tar, hoops, staves, wine, and fruit.
The number of vessels entered inwards from foreign ports in 1835 was 51, of the aggregate burden of 12,408 tons of British shipping, and 3 of 698 tons of foreign. The number of vessels cleared outwards during the same period was 31, of the aggregate burden of 7980 tons. The number entered inwards coastways was 494, of 53,078 tons; 44 of these were from Irish ports: the number cleared outwards was 561, of 62,349 tons, 43 of which were for Irish ports. On the 5th of Jan., 1836, there were 71 vessels of 5008 tons belonging to the port: the customs for the year ending on that day amounted to £142,843. 10., and for the subsequent year, to £146,222. 17. 9. The excise duties of the Limerick district, for 1835, were £71,616. 6. 6 ¼.
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