County Down Baronies and Towns

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

It is partly in the diocese of Down, and partly in that of Dromore, with a small portion in that of Connor. For purposes of civil jurisdiction it is divided into the baronies of Ardes, Castlereagh, Dufferin, Iveagh Lower, Iveagh Upper, Kinelearty, Lecale, and Mourne, and the extra-episcopal lordship of Newry. It contains the borough, market, and assize town of Downpatrick; the greater part of the borough, market, and assize town, and sea-port of Newry; the ancient corporate, market, and post-towns of Bangor, Newtown-Ardes, Hillsborough, and Killyleagh; the sea-port, market, and post-towns of Portaferry and Donaghadee; the market and post-towns of Banbridge, Saintfield, Kirkcubbin, Rathfriland, Castlewellan, Ballinahinch, and Dromore; the sea-port and post-towns of Strangford, Warrenpoint, Rosstrevor, Ardglass, and Killough; the sea-port of Newcastle, which has a penny-post; the post-towns of Clough, Comber, Dromaragh, Hollywood, Moira, Loughbrickland, Kilkeel, and Gilford; and a part of the suburb of the town of Belfast, called Ballymacarret.

Prior to the Union it sent fourteen members to the Irish parliament, namely, two for the county at large, and two for each of the boroughs of Newry, Downpatrick, Bangor, Hillsborough, Killyleagh, and Newtown-Ardes. It is at present represented by four members, namely, two for the county, and one for each of the boroughs of Newry and Downpatrick. The number of voters registered at the last general election was 3729. The election for the county takes place at Downpatrick. Down is included in the north-east circuit: the assizes are held at Downpatrick, where are the county gaol and court-house: quarter sessions are held at Newtown-Ardes, Hillsborough, Downpatrick, and Newry: the number of persons charged with criminal offences and committed to prison, in 1835, was 468, and of civil bill commitments, 87. The local government is vested in a lord-lieutenant, 19 deputy lieutenants, and 120 other magistrates, besides whom there are the usual county officers, including two coroners. There are 30 constabulary police stations, having in the whole a force of 5 chief and 30 subordinate constables and 114 men, with 6 horses, the expense of whose maintenance is defrayed equally by Grand Jury presentments and by Government.

There are a county infirmary and a fever hospital at Downpatrick, and dispensaries situated respectively at Banbridge, Kilkeel, Rathfriland, Castlewellan, Dromore, Warrenspoint, Donaghadee, Newry, Newtownbreda, Hollywood, Hillsborough, Ardglass, and Bangor, maintained equally by private subscriptions and Grand Jury presentments. The amount of Grand Jury presentments for 1835 was £43,103. 7. 0 ¼., of which £5257. 6. 2. was for the public roads of the county at large; £17,226. 19. 2. was for the public roads, being the baronial charge; £11,923. 18. 4. for public buildings and charities, officers' salaries, &c.; £3429. 1. 5 ½. for police; and £5266. 1. 10 ¾. in repayment of a loan advanced by Government. In the military arrangements it is included in the northern district, and contains three barrack stations for infantry, namely, two at Newry and one at Downpatrick. On the coast there are nineteen coast-guard stations, under the command of two inspecting commanders, in the districts of Donaghadee and Newcastle, with a force of 15 chief officers and 127 men.

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