Baronies of County Antrim

This county is in the diocese of Connor, except part of the parish of Ballyscullion in the diocese of Derry, Lambeg in that of Down, and Aghalee in that of Dromore. For purposes of civil jurisdiction it is divided into the baronies of Upper Belfast, Lower Belfast, Upper Massareene, Lower Massareene, Upper Antrim, Lower Antrim, Upper Toome, Lower Toome, Upper Glenarm, Lower Glenarm, Upper Dunluce, Lower Dunluce, Kilconway, and Carey. It contains the borough, market, and sea-port town of Belfast; the borough and market-town of Lisburn; the ancient disfranchised borough and market-towns of Antrim and Randalstown; the sea-port and market-towns of Ballycastle, Larne, and Portrush; the market and post-towns of Ballymena, Ballymoney, Broughshane, and Glenarm; and the post-towns of Ballinderry, Ballyclare, Bushmills, Crumlin, Cushendall, Dervock, Glenavy, Portglenone, and Toome. Connor, the ancient seat of the diocese, is now merely a village: the largest villages are Ballykennedy, Templepatrick, Whitehouse, Dunmurry, Kells (each of which has a penny post), Doagh, Dunethery, Eden, Massareene, and Parkgate.

Prior to the Union, this county sent ten members to the Irish parliament,— two knights of the shire, and two representatives for each of the boroughs of Antrim, Belfast, Lisburn, and Randalstown: from that period until 1832 it returned four members to the Imperial parliament,— two for the county, and one each for the boroughs of Belfast and Lisburn; but, by the act to amend the representation, passed in that year (2 Wm. IV., c, 88), an additional member has been given to Belfast. The county constituency (as registered in October, 1836,) consists of 598 £50, 562 £20, and 2246 £10 freeholders; 6 £50 and 19 £20 rent-chargers; and 59 £20 and 337 £10 leaseholders; making a total of 3827 registered voters. The election for the county takes place at Carrickfergus. It is included in the north-east circuit: the assizes are held at Carrickfergus, and the general quarter sessions at Belfast, Antrim, Carrickfergus, Ballymena, and Ballymoney, at which the assistant barrister presides. The county court-house and gaol is situated at Carrickfergus, the house of correction at Belfast, and there are bridewells at Antrim, Ballymena, and Ballymoney. The number of persons charged with criminal offences and committed to these prisons, in the year 1835, was 202; and the commitments under civil bill decrees amounted to 106.

The local government is vested in a lieutenant and thirteen deputy-lieutenants, who are all justices of the peace: the entire number of magistrates is 84, including the mayor of the town and county of the town of Carrickfergus, and the "sovereign" of Belfast, who are ex-officio magistrates of the county; besides whom there are the usual county officers, including two coroners. There are 29 constabulary police stations, having a force of a stipendiary magistrate, sub-inspector, pay-master, 6 chief and 33 subordinate constables, and 165 men, with 8 horses, the expense of whose maintenance is defrayed equally by grand jury presentments and by Government. Along the coast are 16 coast-guard stations,— 8 in the district of Ballycastle, having a force of 8 officers and 54 men, — and 8 in the district of Carrickfergus, with a force of 8 officers and 51 men; each district is under the control of a resident inspecting commander.

The district lunatic asylum and the county fever hospital are at Belfast, the county infirmary is at Lisburn, and there are two dispensaries at Belfast, and others at Crumlin, Ballymoney, Ballymena, Larne, Doagh, Randalstown, Whitehouse, Antrim, Connor, Ahoghill, Loughguile, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Broughshane, and Cushendall, supported by equal grand jury presentments and private subscriptions. The amount of grand jury presentments, for 1835, was £41,002. 16. 1., of which £5230. 7. 10. was for the public roads of the county at large; £14,072. 4. 4. for the public roads, being the baronial charge; £7666. 8. 2. in repayment of loans advanced by Government, £3802. 11. 8. for police, and £10,231. 4. 1. for public establishments, officers' salaries, buildings, &c. In military arrangements this county is included in the north-eastern district: there are barracks for artillery and infantry at Belfast; and Carrickfergus Castle, in which the ordnance stores are deposited, is appropriated as a barrack for detachments from Belfast.

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