Tipperary Hunting, Coursing, Dog Breeding, Racing, &c - 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 libraryireland.com, 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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All disinterested judges agree in the opinion that as a hunting country Tipperary has no superior in Ireland. Many famous packs have been established in it at various periods, and the love of the chase continues to be strongly manifested by the inhabitants. Two first-rate packs of fox hounds are maintained, one in the North Riding, and the other in the South Riding. The Tipperary Fox Hounds for many years were known as the Grove Hounds. Mr. Thomas Barton established the pack at Grove, and was master for about twenty years, down to 1836. He was succeeded by Captain Jacob, who held the mastership until 1843. Henry, Marquis of Waterford, then took the hounds for three years. His successors were: Mr. James Miliett, 1846–8; Mr. George Gough, 1848–50, Mr. John Going, 1850–70, Mr. Benjamin Going, 1870–6, Mr. Bellamy, 1876–7, Captain M‘Naghten, 1877–82, Mr. J. M. Langley, 1882–5, Mr. W. A. Riall, 1885–6. Mr. Richard Burke, the present master, took over none of the Tipperary hounds. He formed a new pack of forty couples, with an average height of twenty-four inches, and built kennels at Clonmel, and stabling for twenty horses. He hunts the hounds himself aided by first and second whippers-in. The hunting country is of wide extent, mostly in grass. The jumping is very big as a rule, and the fences almost of every variety. In the best parts of the country more coverts are needed, but notwithstanding this fact, it is believed that there was perhaps not better sport with any other pack in the United Kingdom in 1888–9. Out of seventy-two days’ regular hunting there were as many as thirty splendid runs, and only one blank day. Fethard is the centre of the hunting country, and all the best meets are within easy reach of it. Mr. Burke, with Lord Waterford’s sanction, hunts a portion of the Curraghmore country. The meet days are Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Mr. W. A. Riall, Clonmel, is secretary, and Mr. Richard Bradley, Clonmel, treasurer. There is no rule regarding subscriptions, Mr. Burke not receiving much more than enough to enable him to keep the country. The field money amounts to about £150 year, which pays for fines and a portion of the damage claims. There is a fair supply of foxes. Since Mr. Burke’s mastership a hunt dinner and a hunt ball have been held annually at the end of March. Mr. Burke also revived the hunt races over the Fethard Course in 1888.

The Ormond and King’s County Hunt is supposed to be one of the oldest in Ireland. Previous to 1778 the Ormond country was hunted by private packs of fox hounds belonging to the Tolers of Beechwood, the Falkiners of Mount Falcon, and the Wellingtons of Raplagh. From 1778 Lord Lismore hunted Ormond in its entirety. He then lived at Debsborough, Nenagh. Col. Giles Eyre, famous in his day, occasionally visited Ormond by invitation. In the Racing Calendar of 1809 there is an account of a great run with his hounds during one of those visits. At that period, too, Lord Rossmore kept his hounds at Derrykeel, King’s County, and hunted a part of the united country. A song of the time corroborates this fact in the couplet:

“The first month of the year eighteen hundred and four,

We left Derrykeel about half a score.”

The country has since been divided and reunited at various periods. In the united state it has always been most successful. The King’s County division was hunted by three packs belonging to Mr. Biddulph, of Rathcabbin, Mr. Bennett of Grange, and Mr. King of Ballylin. All three packs at the same time hunted hares and foxes, and had very good sport of its kind. In 1872 the late Lord Huntingdon, then Lord Hastings, hunted the united country, and continued to do so until 1876. He then resigned the Ormond division to Mr. William Trench, who kept it until 1879. Lord Huntingdon took over a portion of Ormond in that year, and added it to the King’s County division, which he had still been keeping. He retained the mastership of the hounds until 1882. Capt. Smithwick, from 1882, hunted a pack in Ormond only. The King’s County had no hunt until 1885, when Mr. Assheton Biddulph re-established the Ormond and King’s County Hunt. The present pack consists of thirty-five couples of an average height of twenty-four inches. Mr. Biddulph hunts the hounds himself. The country extends from near the King’s County to Nenagh, and from the Shannon to within a short distance of Templemore. Some of it ranks with the very best, and there are also parts which are rough and hilly. There is no fixed subscription. The field money comes to about £100 a year. Mr. C. M. Going, Cregg House, Birdhill, is secretary. The hounds meet five days a fortnight. On the whole, except in one portion of the King’s County, there is a good supply of foxes.

The Templemore Harriers, consisting of eight and a half couples, averaging twenty-one inches in height, were established as a pack in 1887–8. In 1886 a pack formed by Mr. Long, of the Connaught Rangers, became affected with hydrophobia and had to be destroyed. Mr. George S. Jackson is the present master, and Capt. Reginald Bray, secretary and treasurer. The country is open grass land, with double and single ditches, banks and walls, and includes a circuit of about twelve miles. There is no sport within two miles of the town of Templemore. Farmers take an interest in the hunt, and plenty of hares are found. Wherever a “find” is made the herd of the farm receives a fee of five shillings. Subscriptions range from £1 to £5. Deer hunts are held about three times a year, on which occasions the field money is two and sixpence. Ordinarily it is only one shilling. The kennels are at Templemore, and meetings occur on Tuesday and Saturday before, and on Monday and Thursday after Christmas. Mr. John Bennett, of Clune, and Mr. Webb, of Woodville, had private packs of harriers, the former about thirty years ago, and the latter down to 1885.

The Rock Harriers, about ten couples, were established in 1888 by a committee, including Mr. James Cleary, Mr. Samuel Realli, and Dr. R. Cusack. The kennels are kept about a mile from Cashel. Subscriptions run from ten shillings upward. Meets occur twice a week as a rule, but hares are often difficult to find.

A pack of harriers, about ten couples, is usually kept at Cahir Barracks, and handed over from one regiment to another. In the season 1888–9, it was maintained by the 3rd Hussars, Lieut. F. Chapman acting as master. The country runs up to Fethard, and when hares are not to be had, drag hunts become a feature.

In the town of Tipperary a number of merchants share the expenses of a pack of harriers, consisting of twelve couples, averaging eighteen inches in height. Mr. John Godfrey acts as master. The country extends for about seven miles. Meets are held nearly every Wednesday in the season. The pack was established in 1887.

Mr. John S. Mulcahy, of Neddins, Ardfinnan, keeps a private pack of beagles, seven couples, averaging fourteen inches in height. He hunts hares and foxes on the hill-side in the Newcastle district, bordering Waterford.

Mr. Clement J. Ryan, of Emly, hunts a pack of black-and-tan harriers. It comprises ten couples, averaging a height of twenty inches. The pack was established by the head of the Ryan family of Scarteen, County Limerick. A portion of Limerick is included in the hunting country, which is one of the best, grass chiefly, double grass banks and only a few walls. The only draw-back to the sport is that hares are not sufficiently numerous. Mr. Cooper Chadwick introduced a new stock of hares some years ago, but the experiment was not a success, owing, it is believed, to the prevalence of the foot-and-mouth disease. Mr. Chadwick was then master of the Arravale Harriers. He held meetings twice a week, and gave a great deal of sport. Deer hunts were substituted when the hares became very scarce. The Grenane Harriers, established by Mr. St. George Mansergh, also provided plenty of sport in their day. The farmers of thirty years ago took more interest in the hunt than at present. Many of them rode to hounds well, and were included in the list of invitations to the annual dinner given to the Master.

There is no regular Coursing Club or meeting in the county. In 1888 a public meeting was held at Redwood, in the Lorrha district, on the estate of Mr. W. T. Trench. Mr. E. C. Williams of Tullamore, was manager. There was a sixteen dog stake of £1 15s. each. In 1889, on the 26th March, the meeting was private, although about 300 people attended. A twenty-four dog match was arranged without stakes. Dr. Golden, and Mr. Ralph A. Morteshed, were the managers. In nearly all the towns a few of the inhabitants keep greyhounds for the chance of an occasional “find.”

The fancy for well-bred dogs is pretty general throughout the county. Mr. Thomas H. Clibborn, Clonmel, has red setters. He also goes in for falconry according to the ancient methods; keeps from seven to nine falcons, one goshawk for ground game, four or five merlins for blackbird hunting, two or three cormorants and otters for fishing. Mr. Henry Boyd, Clonmel, keeps red setters and pointers, Mr. Henry G. Eaton, Clonmel, Irish terriers, prize-winners at Cork and Dublin, Mr. John H. Lonergan, Clonmel, greyhounds, red setters and fox terriers, Mr. Richard Hutchings, Clonmel, red setters, Mr. Joseph Higgins, Clonmel, red setters and pointers, Mr. John Richardson, Clonmel, setters and pointers, Mr. Edward Cantwell, jun., Clonmel, Irish terriers, Mr. Chas. E. Clibborn, Clonmel, rough toy terriers, fifteen in number, Mr. John Ryan, jun., Tipperary, Irish and fox terriers, Dr. Charles Ryan, J.P., Tipperary, Irish terriers, prize-winners, Mr. Richard Carroll, Tipperary, Irish terriers, Mr. B. Maziere Brady, Roscrea, fox terriers. Mr. Brady was a prize-winner at the Royal Dublin Society’s Show, spring of 1889, Mr. George Lucas, Roscrea, pointers and fox terriers. Mr. Lucas took first prize for pointers at shows in 1886, 1887 and 1889, Royal Dublin Society, and second prize for a fox terrier, 1889, Mr. Edward Ellis, Roscrea, fox terriers, Mr. R. H. Falkiner, Borrisokane, Blenheim spaniels. Mr. Falkiner won second prize at the Royal Dublin Society’s Show, 1889, Mr. Henry R. Poe, Nenagh, pug dogs. Mr. Poe took first prize at Dublin Show, 1889.

Racing is probably the most highly-favored sport in the county. It is warmly supported by “the classes and the masses,” and in the South Riding, at least, seems to be gaining ground in popular estimation. There are two courses in the vicinity of the town of Tipperary, Brookville and Barronstown. Brookville is situated at a distance of half a mile from the railway station. The races were established here many years ago, but declined until 1886, when the merchants effected a revival on a scale more than usually successful. Among those who took the initiative in the matter were Messrs. John Ryan, sen., David Heelan, William Condon, Edmond Hogan, Thomas F. O’Neill, Joseph English and William Parr. Mr. David Heelan is secretary, and Mr. John Ryan, sen., treasurer. The races are held for two days annually in May. In 1889 the aggregate amount of the stakes was £536. Mr. James R. Sadlier is tenant of a farm which includes the course.

Barronstown is about a quarter of a mile, Irish, from the Limerick Junction, and less than two miles, Irish, from the town of Tipperary. It is an ancient course. After having remained for some years without races, a popular revival was brought about in 1884. Mr. Jeremiah Frewen, tenant, pays a subscription of £80 to the Race Fund each year, and takes all the emoluments, including the stand-house ticket-money. Barronstown is a first-rate natural course, a mile and a quarter round. At the time of the revival Mr. Frewen erected a permanent stand, expending upon that and other improvements over £600. The local gentry and officers of the garrison are the chief patrons of this course, in the matter of subscriptions. Messrs. James Dobbyn, J.P., and P. F. Fitzgerald are the secretaries, and Mr. Michael Carew, treasurer. Races are held for two days annually in June. In 1889 the aggregate amount of the stakes was £322.

Races were revived at Fethard in 1888 through the instrumentality of Mr. Richard Burke, Master of the Tipperary Fox Hounds. None had previously been held for thirteen years. The course is at Kilnockin, a mile and three quarters from the railway station. It belongs to Mr. James O’Connell. One of the solid features is a stone stand erected about twenty-five years ago by the late Mr. William Maher. There is also over an acre of a paddock surrounded by a high wall. Races have been held annually for two days, in April, the military having the first day and the Tipperary Hunt the second. In 1889 the aggregate amount of the stakes for the hunt races was £170. Dr. O’Connell is secretary and Mr. James O’Connell assistant secretary.

The 3rd Hussars held a race meeting in April, 1889, over a new course at Loughloher, three miles from Cahir.

A few years ago races were revived at Cashel, and are now held annually for two days in September over the Rock Course. This is situated at a distance of one mile, Irish, from the city on the way to the railway station at Goold’s Cross, and is considered to be one of the finest in Munster. Doctors Thomas Wood and R. Cusack are secretaries, and Mr. John Mullins is treasurer. The circumference is one mile and a half. Mr. Paul Cusack, principal owner, gives £50 to the fund, puts up the stand, and jumps, and takes the emoluments, arranging with Mr. Jerh. Riordan, tenant of two of the fields. In 1888 the aggregate amount of the stakes was £271.

Races were established at Borrisokane twenty-six years ago, and continued annually since with but one intermission, 1886. Messrs. Hugh Delaney, Daniel D’Arcy, and John Reddan, and the late Mr. Patrick H. Stephens and Mr. Mathew Dunne were the promoters. Mrs. H. M. Stephens is tenant of the course. There is a good stand-house. Races are usually held one day in May, June, or July. In 1888 the aggregate amount of the stakes was £93. Mr. M. Costello, Kyle Park, was secretary that year.

Norwood, Nenagh, was once a famous course, but races have not been held there for over ten years. The last races at Nenagh came off at Ballyphilip, two miles from town, in 1886. The course is a first-rate one, a mile and a half round, and commands a charming view of the surrounding country. Mr. C. S. Honner was secretary.

In June, 1889, a movement was initiated with the view of establishing an annual race meeting at Clonmel. The proposal was warmly received by the residents, and Alderman Cantwell, J.P., offered the use of fields to lay out a suitable course.