Roscrea before and since the English Connection - Book of County Tipperary, 1889

About “The Book of County Tipperary,” 1889

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. The Book of County Tipperary is the first of these to be made available on, with its own search page. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

To enjoy the rich variety of advertisements, confirm accuracy of the entries, or have a printed record of a family member, obtain an original or facsimile copy of The Book of County Tipperary.

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Roscrea was a place of considerable importance for centuries before the arrival of the English. In the Dunnseanchus, an old Irish tract, the name is said to be derived from Cré, daughter of Eidleocain. The origin of the town was due to the founding of an abbey for Canons Regular of the order of St. Augustine by St. Cronan, toward the end of the sixth century. A town sprang up in the vicinity, and this eventually became the seat of a diocese. Deaths of Lords of Roscrea are frequently recorded by the annalists. In 942 things were sufficiently flourishing to excite the cupidity of the Danes. It was customary to hold an annual fair on the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, and in the year mentioned the occasion was chosen in order that the wares of the merchants attending might be included in the plunder. The residents of Roscrea must have had some secret intimation of the design, for it appears that 4,000 of the Danes and their commander, Olfinn, were slain. Roscrea was destroyed by fire in 1133, 1135, 1147 and 1154. It was plundered by the people of Cashel in 1154, and by Murtagh M‘Loughlin in 1157, on his return, at the head of an army, from the siege of Limerick. The see of Roscrea was united to that of Killaloe toward the end of the twelfth century. Bishop O’Heyne of the united diocese, gave permission to King John to erect a castle here in 1213, and the custody was assigned to Theobald Walter, but ownership in the manor continued with the Bishops of Killaloe until Bishop O’Hogan, in the reign of Edward I., took in lieu of it lands in the County Dublin. The manor was then granted to Edmond Butler, in the succeeding reign created Earl of Carrick.

In 1647, during the war waged by the Confederate Catholics, the castle was captured by Owen Roe O’Neill.