RUTLAND, an island, in the parish of TEMPLECROAN, barony of BOYLAGH, county of DONEGAL, and province of ULSTER, 18 miles (N.) from Narin: the population is returned with the parish. This island, anciently called Innismacdurn, received its present name from its proprietor, an ancestor of the Marquess of Conyngham, in compliment to Charles, Duke of Rutland, who was at that time Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. At the time of Pynnar's survey here was a small old castle with a bawn, where a few English families had settled. It is situated off the north-western coast, forming one of the group of islands called the Rosses, and contains about 180 acres, chiefly rocky and coarse mountain land, with a considerable quantity of bog. The harbour is narrow and fit only for small vessels.

The inhabitants, in each of the years 1784 and 1785, realised £40,000 from the herring fishery off the coast; and the great abundance of herrings found here at that time induced Colonel Conyngham to expend £50,000 in building houses and stores and forming a town here, and in constructing roads through the mountains on the coast to the champaign country in the interior. From that period the fishery began to decline, and in 1793 it entirely failed; and though it afterwards began to revive, it never regained its former prosperity.

The females are employed in knitting coarse yarn stockings. On the 16th of September, 1798, James Napper Tandy landed here from the French brig Anacreon from Brest, with three boats full of officers and men, accompanied by General Rey and Colonel Blackwell; but after remaining for a day and a night, hearing that the French, who had landed at Kilcummin, had surrendered and been made prisoners, they re-embarked. On the island is a coast guard station, forming one of the seven that constitute the district of Dunfanaghy; a dispensary is maintained in the usual way.

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