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November 24, 2007


Leixlip Chronology 1900 - 2002
1900: HJ Gill of Roebuck House, [Sth Co Dublin] wrote a letter to the editor of the Freeman’s Journal, dated 19/7/1900, in which he disputes the meaning of Leixlip, commonly treated as meaning Salmon Leap. He claims that in old Norse hlaupa meant ‘to run’, not ‘to leap’. In modern Swedish, ‘to run’ is lœpa, and in modern Danish ‘to run’ is lœba. The old Norse for ‘to leap’ was stœkkva, and the modern word is springe. I think therefore, he writes that Leixlip means ‘the salmon run’. The salmon at this spot do not leap, but swim in a wriggling way. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1900: Mrs Ferguson had moved to Marshfield from Toll/Bridge House, according to the St Mary’s CofI, Leixlip, Sustentation Fund accounts book, from which address she contributed £1 -10s on 22/10/1900 and a Robert Laracy, from the Bridge House, contributed ten shillings on 20/10/1899.
1900: Queen Victoria visited Ireland for the fourth and last time, staying in the Phoenix Park at the vice-regal lodge.
c1900: Pim's Department store on South Great George's St was open about now. Pim of Danford Lodge?
1900: Goodbody’s (Quaker family) jute factory, of Clara, Co Offaly, employed 600 people. Men earned 10s to 11s for a 57 hour week; women, 8s to 9s; girls a ‘few shillings until trained’. [DB Quinn, ‘Clara: A midland industrial town 1900-1923’, in Nolan & O’Neill (eds), Offaly Heritage & Society, Dublin, 1996, p799-830.] This example is quite similar to the development of Wookey’s flock mills at Leixlip: immigrant specialist managers; the owner a JP; very long hours (six days a week).
c1900: A newspaper clipping [title, date n/a] headed Dublin Tramway: Kildare Co Council petitioned the Dublin United Tramways Company for an extension of the tramway and electric lighting service to Leixlip on Wednesday. Their memorial said that Leixlip’s population was c800, and the railway station was one mile distant, the tramway being more convenient. At present buses are used; the service is indifferent. Many travelled to work in Dublin and purchased their household commodities there. “The village had very many attractions from a scenic point of view, and if the tram service were extended so far, it was certain that in a short time it would be a populous residential suburb”. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1900:   Neil [sic] McGettigan, aged 70, a shoe maker and amarried man, of Meenacross, Dungloe No 1 district, Glenties, died of malignant disease of the liver on 2/9/1900; John McGettigan was the witness. This person is presumed to be father of Mary Anne McGettigan, teacher, of Leixlip; it is possible that the person filling in the marriage cert. reversed the occupations of the bride's and groom's fathers. [Ref. No: 1900/3 Glenties 2 60]. This would put Neal McGettigan at age 61 on Mary Anne's marriage, which, if she was born when he was 30, would put her at 30 years etc. In fact, if she were more than 27 years at marriage, her birth cert. would be unobtainable from the Registrar General's office (which proved to be the case).
1900: At this time nearly 25% of children born in Dublin city would not live to the age of one; tuberculosis (TB) was rife. [Diarmaid Ferriter, The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000, London, 2004, p30.]
1900: Edmund Leamy, Nationalist, and CJ Engledow, Independent Healyite supporting Nationalist, were elected to Parliament for North Kildare. [BM Walker, ed, Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, Dublin, 1978.]
1901: A newspaper report [title n/a], dated 20/7/1901, entitled ‘the address to Fr Hanly’ [formerly of Leixlip], was prepared by Miss May Fitzpatrick. The article is accompanied by pictures of the Church of St Mary [sic], Leixlip. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1901: “The north bank [of the Liffey, Lower Road, Strawberry Beds] rises abruptly from the roadside, in many places richly wooded and in others devoted to the culture of strawberries and cherries, which in season may be purchased here and eaten al fresco at places along the road” [not so the opposite side]. [Lucan and its neighbourhood, Weston St John Joyce, Dublin, 1901, p8.]
1901: “The view from Leixlip Bridge is highly picturesque, particularly up the river, where the venerable Castle of Leixlip stands in a commanding position on the high and wooded ground forming a fork between the Rye and the Liffey. It [Leixlip] is now in a decayed state, but was formerly a place of considerable importance, and in recent times, during the early period of Lucan’s popularity, a favourite resort for the Dublin citizens.” [Lucan and its neighbourhood, Weston St John Joyce, Dublin, 1901, p15.]
1901: Census, Leixlip Village: an Emily Williams was described as a widow aged 34, (formerly Cooke of Galway), with four children from infancy to five years, lived in Leixlip. The 1901 census gave the number 85 to her dwelling, which was made of stone or brick, slated and had four rooms, all of which she occupied. The next house on the list, no. 86, was a shop occupied by the Doran family. From the Rates books, the house is more clearly located, on the north side of the Main Street, just east of Ralph Square. Emily Susan Williams (nee Cook or Cooke), of Galway, and daughter of John Cook or Cooke, a sexton, married Elias Francis ('Frank') Williams, then purporting to be a Sergeant in the RIC, son of a farmer, Richard Williams, and from Cavan, on 3 August, 1894 in the parish of St Nicholas, Diocese of Tuam, Galway - most likely her home parish. They had four children in quick succession: Richard Henry, born 25/4/1895 in Kenmare, Co Kerry, where Sergeant Williams was stationed; Lilian Maude ('Lily'), b.15/10/1896 at Ballynacelligott, a few miles east of Tralee (to where they had moved); George Francis, b. 18/3/1898 at Kenmare, and Florence Mabel, b.9/4/1901 in Leixlip. Sergt Williams had died three months earlier, on 30/1/1901 at Athy Hospital (Work House), aged 40 or 41 years, of acute Bright's disease following bronchitis; he was then described as a retired constable, RIC. According to local lore, Emily first lived with her children in a small cabin on the Barnhall Road, Leixlip, on income provided by the local authority's welfare services. This would correspond with the 1911 census data, where she is seen to be residing in Leixlip townland (exclusive of the village area) in house no. 27; that was a thatched house (or one with a wooden or perishable roof) with four windows to the front and she occupied 3 rooms. Her landlord was a Patrick Halligan and her house was one of two thatched houses in the townland. All the houses in the village were slated at this time. Dave Cormack and James O'Toole, two Leixlip natives, both remember a thatched house on the north side of Barnhall-Celbridge Road by Elton Court which is the likely location. She is buried in St Mary's graveyard.
Of 130 separate households and non-household premises, 13 vacancies were noted; ten households, the two churches and one flour mill. About ten of the households which were occupied on census night, were flats or rooms within single dwelling houses.
William Mooney, solicitor, JP (76) and Roman Catholic, born Co Dublin, occupied Leixlip Castle in the townland of Leixlip Demesne.
1901: Census, Lucan DED, Backweston Park townland: Frederick Wookey lives in a 13 room house with 7 persons; CofI; (49) wool-flock manufacturer, b. England; family b. Leixlip. William Lawrence, a 50 year-old gardener, his wife Mary and four children, most of whom were born in Co Wicklow, also lived at Backweston Park.
Frederick Wookey, JP, of Weston Lodge, d. 16/7/1918, aged 68, and is buried in St Mary's churchyard with his wife, Fanny, who drowned in the sinking of the RMS Leinster, October 10, 1918. Wookey had been predeceased by his son, John Levesey, who d. 3/3/1880 aged 31. His father, Francis, d. in Southport, England, 27/12/1889, aged 74; they too lived at Weston Lodge.
Edmund Exley, Congregationalist, (51), flock mill manager, b. England; also son, Henry (25), rag and flock merchant, b. England. The Exley's are buried in St Mary's, Leixlip: Edmund's first wife, Sarah Ann Millett, d.3/11/1895; Edmund, himself, d. 21/7/1912; his second wife, Martha Jane, d. 10/1925; his son, George Wm. Millett, d. 6/10/1954 and his youngest daughter, Gertrude Mary R. Coombes, 2/4/1970.
At Ballydowd townland: Patrick Farrell, RC, (61), carpenter, lived with his wife, Bridget, RC, (62), both b. Co. Kildare. Also in same townland, Wm O'Rourke, RC, (44), m. farmer and publican, b. Co Meath. [Nat. Archives, ref: 16/5].
In the Cooldrinagh townland (Ref: 16/22) Terence Brooks, RC, (41), publican, born Co Meath and his family are listed as No 18; most likely the Salmon Leap Inn, of which he was proprietor. Also at No. 8, was Alexander Gray, Cof I, (43), Head District Inspector of the RIC, and b. Co Tyrone.
1901: Elizabeth Kingston, nee Courtney, sister of Henry, the Leixlip iron founder, who married Arthur Johnston Kingston in 1818, died in Jan.1901 and must therefore have been about 100 years old.
1901: FJC Howard Esq resided at Collinstown House; he was an officer of the select vestry. 
1902: George Soden resided at Hillford House, [Old Hill/Station Road] Leixlip; he was an active member of the select vestry.
1902: David J. Barbour contributed £1 each year from 1902 'til 1908 to Leixlip Sustentation Fund from a residence at Bridge House [=Toll House]; there are no sustentation records after 1913. He remained at the Toll House until 1915, if the valuation books can be relied upon. Nonetheless, there is no record of him or any of his family in the 1911 census of population in Leixlip. However, this may be because the family members were not there on census night.
Another person contributing the same year was an Ambrose McEnerny, who gave £5, and who may belong to the well-known builders of the same name.
Brenda Collins, of 20A Lr Ballinderry Rd., Lisburn BT28 2JB, in a paper to the 3rd Irish Genealogical Congress, on the Irish Linen Industry observed that Barber (=Barbour) is a famous name in linen all around the world: perhaps David J Barbour was working in that industry here? In the census of 1901, David J. Barbour is head of family at 27 Leinster Road West, Rathmines, a Presbyterian, aged 39 and a flour merchant by occupation; he is not married and was born in Co. Down. The house was shared with Frances J Barbour, his mother, aged 67 and widowed, from Co. Down; his unmarried sister, Lily, aged 27, governess, from Co. Antrim and his unmarried sister Anna M., aged 23, from Belfast, Co. Antrim, of no stated occupation. All declare same religion. [Ref. 63, file 60, form B, no. 16, National Archives, 1901 census, Rathmines, Dublin.] 'Lily', Mary Elizabeth Barbour was born 7/6/1873 at Wolfhill, Ligoniel, Belfast, to Samuel Barbour (teacher) and Fanny (=Frances) nee McCullough.
In the 1911 census living at the same address were John Whittle, CofI, aged 33, a 'merchanthouse man in drapery', born in Co Kildare, and married; his wife, (32), mother (60), son (5) and daughter (infant), together with a servant (RC) lived at this address. Mrs Whittle was born in Co. Down, their infant in Dublin, son in Belfast and Mrs Whittle senior was born in Co. Wicklow. No Barbour lived at this address in 1911. [National Archives ref: Dublin, 61/108].
1902: Captain E M Conolly's Estate,Castletown. Rentals for Half year ending 29th September and 1st November, 1902. Accounts for half year ending 31st December 1902
Little change from subsequent years in relation to key tenancies, i.e. Island Farm, Bridge House,Leixlip Mill, Jacob's Holding near Bridge House.No 58, Island Farm was now attributed to tenant, Rev. M.B. Saunders, instead of reps of Jas Glascock, who was dead. And No 93a was 'Leixlip - 'Black Castle' - reps. John Jacob [£1 14s 0d as usual].
By the next set of accounts, to half year ending 30/6/1903, No. 58 has reverted to reps Jas. Glascock. Under Miscellaneous Expenses (in the half yearly accounts) are two relevant items: " January 3: Search docket for will of Isaac Jacob - 1s 0d; and: June 10 - .fee to advise on lease to Cromer - £2 2s 0d".
In 1903, Mrs Williams was listed as occupier of No 53 Main Street (almost opposite Ralph Square). In January of that year the Sustentation Fund accounts book lists her as residing at 'Leixlip' and contributing 2 shillings then. From the following year until 1913 she contributed 2/6d each year to the Fund, her contribution being made 'per Rev RNS (Somerville)' in most years, on the same day as Somerville and his wife or other family member contributed in most cases. It seems that Somerville paid Mrs Williams' contribution. Perhaps she worked for him?
Next available accounts are to the half-year ending 30/6/1905. No change in No 58; No 68B now called "Mill & Mill House" - John Cromer - £16.10s 0d per half year; No.93 is "Saunders Rev. Rep" £6. 1. 0 per half-year. No 93a as before. Under Miscellaneous Expenses has "Jan 12, 1905 - stamp on agreement and duplicate with Ml. Brennan for Bridge House - £0. 3s 0d". [Note that several other agreements incurred much smaller stamp duty for the same purpose, e.g. 1/- on several; 6d on a house in Tea Lane (Celbridge) and on Jas. Goff' as a weekly tenant of a house in Mill Lane (Leixlip), 1905.] As Michael Brennan was described as a Saddler in Porter's Post Office Guide & Directory (1910) under the Celbridge Commercial List his Bridge House tenancy was not at Leixlip, but at a namesake premises in Celbridge.
No change in accounts to y/e 31/12/1905 in respect of key tenancies of interest. However, under Miscellaneous Receipts there is an entry: "Sept 30 (1905) Woodhams & Moore (per R White) on account of £17 for old machinery in Cromer's Mill - £17. 0. 0". Under Miscellaneous Expenses is an entry: "Aug 10/1905 M. Brennan repairs to harness 1/2/05 to 5/7/05 Farm - £4 1s 6d". [Castletown Papers, Box 63, IAA.]
1903: King Edward VII visited Ireland for the first time, staying in the Phoenix Park at the vice-regal lodge. He is credited with a new Land Act to satisfy Irish demands. He drove from the vice-regal lodge to Maynooth College, where he was welcomed by young priests in front of a picture of his Derby winner, Persimmon. They had decorated the frame with ribbons in his racing colours, and 'the blend of loyalty, sporting spirit and religion amused the king'. [Adrian MacLoughlin, Historic Dublin, 1979, p132] Edward kept a fleet of Daimlers and brought them across the sea to tour the West of Ireland this year. [Anne Haverty, Elegant Times, Dublin, 1995, p41]
1903: On 19/3/1903, William (Bill) Murphy, a Leixlip guide to the Salmon Leap, was found dead in his bed, according to a newspaper report (name not cited) in RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI. A Wm Murphy
is listed in the Cancellation Books at Lot 6, Mill Lane, that year.
1903: Newspaper, probably the Evening Telegraph (on pink paper), dated Saturday, 5/9/1903 has a piece on the church/parish of Aderrig. It states that on an old map of a survey made by Abraham Carter in May 1690, the name of this place appears as Anderrick, not improbably an English phonetic of An Dairigh, ie, the (place of) oaks. On the old map an area of 40 Irish acres near here is shown under timber and named The Great Wood. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1903: Tea lane Cemetery, Celbridge headstone : “To commemorate Richard Scott Lamb, b. 20/1/1866, d 31/1/1903 at Allen’s Grove, [sic] Leixlip. Erected by Elenor, his wife. And his son David Robert Armston Lamb, b 12/4/1911, d 5/8/1911.” He is said by Leland Bardwell to be a jam factory owner.
1904: King Edward VII visited Ireland for the second time, staying in the Phoenix Park at the vice-regal lodge. He was accompanied by his queen, Alexandra and attended Punchestown races on Tuesday and Wednesday, 26 and 27 April. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p98.]
1904: A newspaper [title n/a], dated 26/11/1904, reports of Leixlip Gaelic Leaguers honouring their comrade’s memory. The story related to a James McGovern, who lost his life last summer in an unsuccessful bid to save another young man, Matt Fitzsimons, who while washing sheep in the river Rye near Distillery Bridge, got beyond his depth in a hole. Mr McGovern tried to save him but both drowned as Fitzsimons clung on to McGovern’s waist. Fr Dooley CC acted as treasurer of a fund in which the public were invited to subscribe for a memorial. This has now been erected by Mr James [=Canary, of IV] Farrell, Leixlip. The inscription includes the sentence: “Bhádadh san abhainn Rige é…”. There are sketches of the memorial and the bridge. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1905: Edward Michael Conolly sold his interest in the lands now in Folio 1885, Co Kildare to Terence Brooks, Salmon Leap Inn, farmer, on 25/4/1905. That folio included the small parcel of land north of the now imaginary line of the northern mill race within the Toll House garden.
1905: The Rev Somerville, rector of Leixlip, was living at the Glebe House, Pound Street, for some years now. Evidently, he didn't like it; partly because he claimed it was dark inside and didn't get sunshine into the bedrooms etc. By letter of 17/7/1905 he asked permission to sublet the rectory as it wasn't agreeing with him and he wanted to take another house - "there is a prospect of my getting another house in the Parish". He had written that as his house was at the end of the Main Street, people could see everyone coming and going from carriages which stopped there - and they stopped and stared.
1905: John O’Connor (of Barnhall?), Nationalist, was elected to Parliament to replace Edmund Leamy, who died. O’Connor was re-elected in 1906 and in 1910 (twice). [BM Walker, ed, Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, Dublin, 1978.]
1906: William Mooney resided at Leixlip Castle, and he was a member of the Co Kildare Archaeological Society. 
1906: A sailor, John Chambers East, was charged before Mr Ronaldson at the Curragh Petty Sessions with desertion of the navy and joining the land forces. Ronaldson said: ‘It is rarely that young me get such an opportunity of getting tired of both services in such a short time, though there are many in either both tired and sick’. [Leinster Leader, 30/11/1907.] Ronaldson was probably he of Barn Hall, Leixlip.
1906: Anna Montgomery Barbour, now aged 28 years, sister of David J Barbour, now of the Bridge House, Leixlip, was married on 27/6/1906 to Dugald Blue, an insurance clerk, of Foxrock, Co Dublin, and with a father of identical name, an agent by rank or profession. Anna's father is described as Samuel Barbour, a merchant (long dead). They were married in Lucan Presbyterian Church, by Wm A Hill and George McCaughey. Her address on her marriage cert. was simply 'Leixlip'. The witnesses were Colin Blue and Edith Katherine Sheldon.
1906: The Return of RIC (Sergeants and Constables) reported that as at 31/12/1906, there were 27 stations in Co Kildare, a force of 142, including 9 vacancies. This would have included Leixlip station. Co Dublin was part of the RIC remit.
1906 & 7: Includes Rentals for the two calendar years, 1906 and 1907, and accounts for same in four volumes. There were no changes in the key tenancies, above. However, Isaac Jacob, who is named as a tenant for another property, No 98a, earned an observation on this for the y/e 30/12/1907: "Proceedings threatened against Isaac Jacob." [Castletown Papers, Box 64, IAA].
1907: King Edward VII visited Ireland for the third time, staying in the Phoenix Park at the vice-regal lodge. It seems he bought 12 Galway shawls in Galway on his motoring trip in this year. He also visited Maynooth College, where the College President, Dr Daniel Mannix, a nationalist, resented flying the union flag and instead raised the king’s racing colours, to the amusement of the king. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p88.]
1907: William Danford, Secretary to the Select Vestry and residing at Newtown House, Leixlip, wrote to the Diocesan Council, who were then considering a proposal to sell Leixlip’s Glebe House as a prelude to the planned merger of Leixlip and Lucan parishes, in a letter dated 24/4/1907, that the Select Vestry had resolved "to inform the Diocesan Council that the Parochial hall stands on the same plot of ground as the Rectory, and is included in the same lease".
1908: Account books and rentals for the Castletown Estate for the first half of 1908 have the reps. of Saunders at the Toll/ Bridge House; Leixlip Mill is occupied by John Cromer and Isaac Jacob occupied, as tenant, the land adjoining the Toll House [Castletown Papers, Box 65, IAA].
1908: The Old Age Pensions Act, 1908, provided five shillings a week for old people.
1908: [Frank] Porter’s Guide to the Manufacturers & Shippers of Ireland, 1908 Belfast, 1908 observed in the Preface [p15]: “.. Small industries are springing up here and there all over the country.. the principal place [for these] must be ungrudgingly given to the Gaelic League.. .. to the convents, which provide employment for about 10,000 girls in the manufacture of lace,…”
1908: Estimated populations: Celbridge (915), Leixlip (650) and Maynooth (950). [Porter’s Guide to the Manufacturers & Shippers of Ireland,1908 Belfast, 1908.]
1909: Kathleen Smith, formerly of Newtown Hill, Leixlip [=’Abode’] was buried in Leixlip Churchyard on 22/3/1909 aged 34; she was then resident at 3 St James’ Terrace, Malahide.
1909: The Evening Telegraph of 24/7/1909 carried an article ‘In and Around Lucan’ by Charles J Davey, in which he says that Leixlip castle “was rebuilt by Adam de Hereford in the 12th century”. . [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1909: Fianna Eireann, the Sinn Fein-inspired scouting movement, was formed this year by Bulmer Hobson and Constance Markievicz.  Markievicz took the idea of a Nationalist Boy Scout movement mainly from Baden Powell who had in the previous year, 1908, founded his Christian Scouting movement in England. Hobson, then of the IRB, encouraged her to emulate him, telling her of his attempt to set up such a movement in 1902 in Belfast. At her request and her expense he rented a hall in Lower Camden St., Dublin, and helped her call an inaugural meeting with Sir Roger Casement and others on the platform. From then on the IRB kept a fatherly eye on the scouts, or Fianna - after the legendry warriors of old - as the Fenians did, too. Casement sent them £10 for kilts for the boys. [Sean O’Faolain, Constance Markievicz, London, 1934 & 1987, p85-6].
Liam (‘William’) Mellowes, a native of Lancashire, was organiser of the Irish National Boy Scouts, which, according to its own official statement, was formed for training boys to work for the independence of Ireland and requiring its members to make a declaration never to join England’s armed forces. When the Irish Volunteers were formed in 1914 he acted as their organiser, particularly in Co Galway. [Unattributed note, ‘William Mellowes’, Dublin Castle Special Branch files, CO 904.]
1910:  Porter's Post Office Guide and Directory for Counties Carlow and Kildare 1910 lists Mrs. Bobbett, Cooldrinagh House, Leixlip, as a 'Private Resident'. The Leixlip population was then stated to be 650, having been 1,692 in 1833. In contrast, Celbridge's population was said to be about 850 in 1910. Terence Brooks, of the Salmon Leap Hotel, was described as a wine and spirit merchant. John Cromer occupied Leixlip Mills - a corn miller and saw mills. WA West, land commissioner, resided at Newtown House. Fred Wookey was a bedding manufacturer; Patrick O'Neill, a builder; Miss Mary Muldoon, Confectioner; Anastasia Prendergast, draper; John Byrne, H Dalton, E Maher, Patrick O'Neill and Mrs MB Wardell were grocers; EJ Doran and MB Wardell were hardware merchants; Edward Pyke, a painter & decorator; John Jacob a poultry dealer/farmer; E Maher a butcher; other publicans were Mrs Eliza Moore, Mrs MB Wardell and Thomas Wogan.
David J Barbour, occupier of the Bridge/Toll House from 1902 onwards, and a flour merchant, was not listed in this source.
The Directory listed NO auctioneers, banks, bakers, boot warehouse, bottlers, brewers, brick manufacturers, carpet manufacturers, chemists, coal merchants, coach builders, cycle agents, dentists, dining rooms, distillers, fish mongers, forage contractors, hotels, house agents, implement manufacturers, iron founders, maltsters, merchant tailors, mineral water manufacturers, monumental masons, motor engineers, music teachers, newspapers, outfitters & clothiers, pawn brokers, photography, plumbers, sack & bag binders, saddlers, slaters & plasterers, solicitors, stationers & newsagents, surgeons & physicians, tanners, timber merchants, undertakers, vet. surgeons, watch makers, wine & spirit merchants, woollen manufacturers - in Leixlip.
1910 to 30/6/12: Includes Rentals for the half years ending 31/12/1910 to 30/6/1912 and in between, together with accounts for these periods. There were no changes in the tenants’ details for the key tenancies over this period. It was noted that there were several (usually about 4) "Labourers' Cottage - Leixlip" tenancies to the "Rural District Council" at Leixlip, one at Barnhall, and about 3 in Celbridge - over this period. 
For the period to 31/12/1911, under Miscellaneous Expenses is listed: Nov. 16 - Stamp on weekly agreement of Teresa Courtney - 2s 0d.  
1911: Census of Population for Lucan DED, Cooldrinagh townland in the parish of Aderrig, National Archives Refs: 19/5 and 19/22 has, inter alia: 
Four persons in 9 rooms at the Salmon Leap pub, with Terence Brooks (aged 51) as head of household;
House (now ruin at south west corner of Leixlip Liffey bridge) in charge of Matthew Sherry, RC, (74) agricultural labourer, b. Co Kildare, single; Rose Smyth, RC, (40), niece, widow, b. Co. Kildare; Mary Smyth (11) and Annie Smyth (8), grandnieces, both born in Co Kildare;
No 23 (on list): Richard Bobbett, head, RC (63), cattle salesman, married, b. Co Meath; Mary (26), Ethel (24) and Louisa (20), all single, RC, daughters, b. in England. Also 3 servants. Note absence of Rebecca Louisa Bobbett, wife. House had 13 rooms and many out-offices; Cooldrinagh House. By1929, Mary had married Alfred Mockler, and resided at Castle Annagh, New Ross, Co Wexford. [Admons. of RL Bobbett's estate].
No 9 (on list): Jas. McKilloss? CofI (39), wool and yarn agent, b. England.
No 30 (on list): Philip Murras Bass, Soc. of Friends, (31), and family; accountant in woollen trade; he and his wife born in England, 2 children born in Belfast city.
No.31 (on list): Samuel Smith RC (31) and family; professional golfer, b. Co Westmeath.
1911: The census for Rathangan had John Lane (Protestant) as the constable and enumerator; his wife or daughter was the school teacher. [Seamus Kelly, in A Ramble in Rathangan, Rathangan, 2005, p29]. Lane was later a Sergeant and lived in 12 [Lot 41 or 42] Main St, Leixlip, in the 1930s, and had a reputation for ‘fining’ everybody for the least issue, according to Owen Roe O’Neill, of Leixlip. His wife’s name was Bridget Lane.
1911: King George V visited Ireland for the first time, staying in the Phoenix Park at the vice-regal lodge. He was accompanied by Queen Mary, the Prince of Wales and Princess Mary came in the first week of July. They visited Maynooth. [The Irish Times, 4th & 10th July, 1911]. For the people of Kildare the reception by the hierarchy, led by Cardinal Logue, and other bishops, was most memorable. Special trains brought loyal subjects from Dublin and elsewhere and the town of Maynooth was extravagantly decorated for the great day. There was no military presence. [Con Costello, A Most Delightful Station.., Cork, 1999, p263.]
1911: By this time one third of all people born in Ireland were living elsewhere; one quarter of those between 45 and 54 years old had never been married. [Diarmaid Ferriter, The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000, London, 2004, p44.]
1912: A committee was established in Maynooth under the chairmanship of Canon Hunt, PP, to prepare a congratulatory - if somewhat fawning - address from the people to the Duke of Leinster on his coming of age. It was signed by a great many locals (men), including a few who wrote in Irish, and dated 24/8/1912. Among the signatories were Joseph and Pierce Colgan and Michael Sullivan. [Duke of Leinster's press cuttings etc. PRONI, D/3078/6/1 MIC 541.]
1912: For the Conolly Leixlip accounts ending 30/6/1912 there are observations in respect of No 93 (reps. Saunders) as follows: "Proceedings will be taken against Mrs Bobbett unless paid in 10 days" followed by, in red ink: "(Paid since account closed)". These were arrears of one year's rent of £12 2s 0d. Of this sum £6 1s 0d had arisen in the half year ending 1/11/1911. (Note this was near the time that Mrs Rebecca Bobbett sold the Bridge/Toll House to Thos. Edmund Hornby and Jas Jobling.) [Castletown Papers, Box 66, IAA].
1912: Captain/Colonel/Major EM Conolly's Estate Rental books for the period March, 1912 until June, 1924, records the tenancy of the Leixlip Mill as being John Cromer; that of the Island Farm, the reps of James Glascock; the reps of Saunders paying annual rentals of £12 2s (the rent of the Toll House, so presumably they are the reps of the late Saunders' couple), with the reps. of Jacob occupying an adjoining plot from March 1913 onwards [Castletown Papers, boxes 67 to 69, IAA].
1912: A weekly half-day off for workers (leaving them work five and a half days) was now the norm in Dublin. A Shops Bill was passed in 1910 limited working hours to 60 per week. [Anne Haverty, Elegant Times, Dublin, 1995, p48]
1912: Francis Howard of Collinstown House, and Wm Mooney, of The Castle, Leixlip, were listed as members of the Co Kildare Archaeological Society [JKAS, Vol VII, No 2, July, 1912 p61].
1913: A Leixlip fife and drum band existed around 1913, when they are known to have marched to Lucan under the command of James O’Neill of Leixlip; their instruments were taken from the hall at some stage by persons unknown, but possibly by O’Neill or at his behest for another band of the Citizen Army. A similar band in Naas was treated with suspicion by the authorities and refused permission to play; they were seen as disloyal by the security forces. [Leinster Leader, 11/11/1916.] [Con Costello, A Most Delightful Station.., Cork, 1999, p291.]
1913: In the Rentals Book, with accounts for the half-year ending 30/6/1913, there was no change in the details for the above three properties. Under the subtitle, Miscellaneous Payments is a note: "June 16 - witnesses' expenses on ejectment proceedings against Teresa Courtney - £0 5s 0d". No person of that name was listed as a tenant in that Rentals book; perhaps she was an under-tenant or a weekly paying tenant? [Castletown Papers, Box 67, IAA.]
c1913: RD Walshe’s ‘Cuttings & Notes, Lucan & Leixlip 20th century’, MS11658, NLI, includes a piece, undated, but about this year of a visit by the Old Guard to Confey cemetery to commemorate Nicholas Dempsey, the yeoman who protected Lord Edward FitzGerald in 1798. It was accompanied by a sketch of an elderly, bearded, Michael Larkin, of Leixlip, whom we may presume attended. A Michael & Catherine Larkin were sponsors at a christening at St Mary’s RC Church, Leixlip, on 23/7/1848. Griffith’s Valuation, which began in 1850, records a Timothy Larkin as tenant of a 10 shilling house [Cancellation Books - Leixlip, Valuation Office, Lot No 12a, Leixlip townland (excluding the Main St and environs) near Ryevale House from 1855-61, and later from 1882-5 in the same property. A Michael Larkin first appears as a property owner in another 10s house, at Leixlip townland where he was tenant from 1866 to 1885 [Lot, No 24f, opus cit]. He then moved to Rye Cottage, Main St, (the east side, now Mrs Farrelly’s residence) where he lived from 1886 to 1911. This property was improved and had a new roof put on in 1890; it was valued at £4 pa. Michael Larkin continued to reside on the Main St, next, from 1913-28 in a £2 house rented him by publican, Thomas Wogan, near the current Credit Union building [Lot No 74(a)]. Meanwhile, a new and younger Timothy Larkin took possession of a new cottage, built by the Celbridge RDC, facing Rye Cottage, Main St. That property remained in the possession of the Larkin family until c2001. That the first mentioned Michael Larkin attended a 1798 commemoration, suggests that he may be a close relation of his namesake, a journeyman tailor and Fenian from Lusmagh, south-west co Offaly, one of the three Manchester Martyrs executed in 1867. This Michael Larkin’s grandfather was publicly flogged in 1798 and transported for his part in the rebellion. [Brian S Murphy, ‘The land for the people, the road for the bullock: Lia Fáil, the smallholders’ crisis and public policy in Ireland, 1957-60’, in Nolan & O’Neill (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p 858-60 and footnote 27, p880.]
1913: At a meeting of the Civic League in November 1913 the Irish Citizen Army (ICA) was born, as a result of official force against strikers in Belfast, where James Connolly was organising the ITGWU. [Tim Pat Coogan & George Morrison, The Irish Civil War, London, 1999, p78.]
1913: The inaugural meeting of the Irish Volunteers was held in the Rotunda, Parnell Square, Dublin, on 25/11/1913. [Tim Pat Coogan & George Morrison, The Irish Civil War, London, 1999, p81.] During the early months of 1914 units were organized in nearly every parish in county Kildare. [Senator Michael Smith, Irish Volunteers, 1914-1916, MS Military Archives, Dublin, p1.] Among them was the editor of the Leinster Leader, Michael O’Kelly, 1912. 
1914: By July 1914 a unit of the Volunteers had been established in Carbury and a section of Cumann na mBan in Athy. A county committee for the Volunteers was founded in August and the effective strength in the county was given as 6,000. [Buro Staire Mileata: 1913-1921, Chronology, Part 1.] Check source for Leixlip area. They were given permission to drill on the barrack square in Naas. After royal assent had been given to the Home Rule Bill in September, 1914, and John Redmond MP, speaking in Wicklow called on them to support the British army, the movement split, the majority going with Redmond as the National Volunteers, and the residue, kept their old title and were dominated by the IRB.
1914: A Maria Courteney, from 7 Upper Mount Pleasant Avenue, died, aged 75, on 7/2/1914 in the Workhouse, South Dublin Union. She was described as a widow [Registrar General’s ref No Vol 2, page 542, 1st Quarter]. The census of 1911 shows 7 Upper Mt. Pleasant Ave to be in four separate units. These were occupied by Mary Gartland, RC, (50), single, b. Co Meath, the landlady, or lodging house keeper as suggested by the head of another of the units; Barbara McBaine, Presbyterian, (80), widowed, b. Co Louth, and living on an allowance from son; Anna Bilson Kane, CofI, (36), single, b. England, living on interest of money; and in no. 7a: Mary A. Gillespie, CofI (25), single, no occupation, b. Co. Dublin, plus Chas Wm Ganly, CofI clergyman (58), married, boarder, b. Co Clare; Mary Anne Ganly, CofI (61), b Co Cork, boarder; and Charlotte Walker, CofI, (62), living on interest of money; b. Dublin city, boarder. In summary, this house was clearly a boarding house, with no Courtney there in 1911; perhaps she was hospitalised for some years before her death, either for health or poverty reasons?
See entry for 1892, where a Maria Courtney died aged 68 years. Perhaps she's the one?
1914: "Whereas by Deed of Conveyance ... of 18/7/1910.. between Richard Arthur Hartley of Beech Park, Clonsilla.. Lieutenant Colonel in His Majesty's Army .of the first part... and the Rural District Council of Celbridge No.1 Rural District of the third part.. the said RA Hartley granted and conveyed to the Celbridge RDC .. about 2 roods for the purposes of forming an addition to the said burial ground (at Confey), the said Council has allocated a portion of .. five perches .. as a burial plot for Protestants and have requested us to separate the same from all common and profane uses .. and to consecrate it .. and we Joseph Ferguson DD, Archbishop of Dublin... dedicate, appropriate and consecrate it forever as a place of burial for Protestants alone, etc.. dated 10/11/1914. In a separate PETITION from Celbridge RDC dated 6/11/1914, signed by Jno Field, Chairman, Wm T Kirkpatrick, WG Dease (members) and Francis Shortt, clerk of the Council, the Council petitioned the Church to do the foregoing!
1914: Lord Decies purchased Leixlip Castle from the Conolly family. [Desmond Guinness leaflet on Leixlip Castle]. However, it seems the Lord may have been in possession then as the Conolly Rental records 'miscellaneous expenses of 5s 0d incurred on July 10, 1914 on a Map for Lord Decies (Leixlip Castle)'. The 5th Baron Decies is aka John Graham Hope Beresford. In a later Rentals Book is recorded the date of the sale: 15/1/1917. [Castletown Papers, Boxes 68 & 69, IAA].
1914: After WWI had begun, an armed contingent of the Irish Citizen Army paraded outside Liberty Hall, HQ of the ITGWU in September, 1914. A large photograph of same in Tim Pat Coogan & George Morrison, The Irish Civil War, London, 1999, p88. The identity of those leading it are not readily discernable. Another photo is shown on page 91, same source.
1914: In May 1914, groups began drilling in Co Kildare and membership of the Volunteers rose to 3,000. By September, 1914 the county had 32 branches and 4,402 members, only 162 of them armed. RC clergy opposed the Irish Volunteer movement and interest in it waned; by the end of 1914 it had only 344 members in Co Kildare, with 24 weapons. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p102.]
1915: In a report of commissioners appointed by the Church of Ireland to inspect Leixlip Glebe house (and likewise for all others), dated 17/9/1915, is noted that under the heading water supply "well and force pump and rain water storage" and under sanitary arrangements "pipe drainage to cesspool in yard with overflow eventually to river"; under hot water installation "yes, good condition".
1915: A discovery was made of tins of gunpowder, detonators, safety fuse, cartridges, milk cans and scrap iron, some of which was made into bombs, at St Catherine’s, Leixlip, early in February 1915. The discovery gave cause for concern and the inspecting officers believed the bombs were ‘undoubtedly intended for the destruction of human life.’ [BM MacGiolla Choille, (ed), C.S.O. Judicial Division – Intelligence Notes - 1913-16, Dublin, 1966, p160.] The maker of the bombs was James O’Neill, of Leixlip, Commandant of the Irish Citizen Army, 1917-23.
1915: An Isaac Skerritt lived at the Toll House until c1917, according to the Valuation Books. A Skerrett family lived at Athgoe Castle.
1916: In January, Baroness de Robeck sought funds to send hot water bottles and cigarettes to wounded soldiers in France. She and her husband lived at Leixlip Castle for a while, while their house was being renovated. He was then a rear-admiral and Admiral of Patrols in the Royal Navy. He later drowned in the Liffey at Leixlip when it was in flood. [Leinster Leader, 12/1/1916.]
1916: Freeman’s Journal newspaper of 9/6/1916 has piece on the Rising in Leixlip and Lucan.
1916: An official summary of the result of the rebellion in county Kildare found that it had inhibited recruiting to the army, and created support for the rebels from persons hitherto condemnatory. The RC clergy were not sympathetic and thought it politically stupid. In some cases they openly condemned it. Fr O’Brien, CC, at Kill was the exception; he went as far as he could in its favour. The clerical staff at Maynooth college were hostile, but many of the students were not. The only physical evidence of the rebellion in the county had been the holding up of a police patrol at Maynooth and the cutting of a telegraph pole on the railway line between Kildare and Athy. [Con Costello, citing BM MacGiolla Choille, (ed), C.S.O. Judicial Division – Intelligence Notes  - 1913-16, Dublin, 1966, p204.] This is an understatement, as James O’Neill of Leixlip was quite busy with his bomb making.
1916: Twenty Kildare members of the Irish Volunteers, including Michael Smyth, were taken to Richmond barracks in Dublin, tried and sent to Wandsworth jail, London, and afterwards to Frongoch Internment Camp, Wales. [Michael Smyth, MS, Irish Volunteers, 1914-16, p8, Military Archives.] [See Kildare Observer and Leinster Leader of the day.]
1916/17: Mary MacSwiney Brugha, daughter in law of Cathal Brugha, writes that “After recovering from his injuries [suffered in the 1916 Rising] he [Brugha] organised the amalgamation of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army into one: the Irish Republican Army (IRA).” [Mary MacSwiney Brugha, History’s Daughter, Dublin 2005.]
1917: By letter dated 8th March, 1917, the War Office, London, wrote to the Command HQ, British Forces, Parkgate, Dublin, about Edward Daniel McGettigan, then staying with his aunt, Bridget McGettigan, Dromard, Milford, Co Donegal. He and his sister, Mrs Mallon, are Sinn Feiners, while he boasts that he is a revolutionary socialist, according to the letter. [Dublin Castle Special Branch Files, CO 904, 209]. McGettigan may be related to those of Leixlip.
1917: At this time – June, 1917 to July 1918 - and probably beyond on each side, Lord Decies was Press Censor with offices at 85 Grafton Street, Dublin. His office had links with the RIC, Army Command in Ireland and Chief government Secretary’s Office; there are examples of correspondence in the Dublin Castle Special Branch files, CO 904, 19, to hand.
1917:   Mrs R L Bobbett, as beneficial owner, demised unto James Augustus Jobling and Thomas Edmund Hornby, a great parcel of land including Cooldrinagh House and lands, (33 acres+ “lately enclosed by Thomas Croker by walls of lime and stone.” A Lewis Hallion appeared to have the holding now occupied by the ESB south of the Liffey.) the Long House, Salmon Leap Inn, Bridge House, Black Castle and contiguous lands for the sum of £5,000. The memorial describes, in the Schedule attached "all that and those the house on the bridge of Leixlip known as the Bridge House with the land appurtenant thereto held under the Fee Farm Grant dated 16th day of February 1854 from Thomas Connolly [sic] to the Rev James Thomas Connolly [sic] Saunders and Augusta Sophia Saunders.. which said premises are edged yellow on the map enclosed on said premises." This map, which the writer has seen, showed the boundary of the site as the centre line of the river Liffey. [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 1917-46-123.]
James (Jimmy) Jobling, according to a family connection, owned a glass works (Pyrex) in Newcastle and is said to have sold it sometime before this transaction. Hornby, in a deed of sale of Leixlip Castle, [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 1917-10-172] is given an address at Blossom Street, York city, England, and is described as a surgeon (Member of the Royal College of Surgeons). A search of directories showed no person with such occupation.
Kelly's Directory of Northumberland, 1910, had James Augustus Jobling residing at 27 Leazes Terrace, Newcastle on Tyne.The same directory's trades' section describes Jobling as "oil merchant and manganese mine owner", with an address at St. Nicholas Chambers, Amen Corner, Newcastle on Tyne.In the Directory for the British Glass Industry,1928, published by the Society of Glass Technology, Sheffield, are listed two companies in which Jobling had an interest:
Jobling, (James A) & Co., Ltd. Works: Wear Flint Glass Works, Sunderland. Offices: ditto. London Showroom, Pyrex House, 7 Charterhouse Street, E.C.1. Manufacturers of pressed table glassware of all description. Lenses for railway and torch lamps. Advertising specialities, etc. Pyrex transparent ovenware; Pyrex laboratory glass ware etc. Directors: James A. Jobling; Ernest J. Purser.
..And: Jobling (James A) & Co., Ltd., 72 Grey Street, Newcastle on Tyne. Manganese dioxide; feldspar; limespar, (i.e. the ingredients for temperature stableglassware).
A Charlotte Jobling, widow of the late Edward W Jobling, Belmont House, Portswood, Southampton, d. 28/10/1902, aged 78, and is buried in Mt Jerome Cemetry, Dublin Sth., also her dau., Geraldine Maud Jobling, d. 21/8/1924, aged 65.
Mr Thomas Edmund Hornby: There is no person of that name listed as a medical practitioner, as suggested by the Leixlip Castle deed of 1917, in either the Medical Directory, 1917 or 1923 editions, or the Medical Register, 1917 or 1921 editions. Neither is he listed under Medical in Kelly's Directory of North & East Riding, Yorkshire, 1913in the City of York, nor is there conclusive evidence of his residence in the city over this periodfrom the street directories from 1913 to 1974. However, the calendar of wills [Microfiche, Guildhall Library, London] records one "Thomasine Hornby of West Ayton, Yorkshire, widow, died on 26/12/1911. Probate, London, 28/2/1912 to Thomas Edmund Hornby, brewery director and William Herbert Jackson, solicitor. Effects, £538 -1s-8d gross, net, £461 5s 4d.
A copy of the will (made 25/11/1907) makes clear that Thomasine is Thos Edmund's widowed mother and Jackson is her son in law and she left all her property in equal measures to this pair in trust for her two daughters, Florence & Hilda. Probate was granted on 28/2/1912, after Thomasine's death on 26/12/1911. Thos. Edmund Hornby had an address at time of probate at 5 The Crescent, City of York, brewery director.
It is speculated that Jobling & Hornby bought this parcel of land mainly for the breeding of horses for the British Army, but backed out after the troubles in 1922. Actually, the British War Office had established an office at the Curragh camp to acquire horses (‘remounts’) within 25 miles of the place on fixed days. The Co Kildare Agricultural Society was then considering new schemes to encourage the breeding of horses for the army. Mr E Kennedy of Straffan Station Study (related to Darby Kennedy of Weston Aerodrome?) was selling horses at Newmarket, England, and while the French army wanted to purchase Irish chargers and were offering more than the War Office, the breeders were not allowed to sell to the French as all horses were required for the British Army. [Costello, opus cit, citing Leinster Leader, 5/8/1916 & 16/9/1916.] In September 1918, when the imminent collapse of the German front was expected, the sale of troop horses commenced under RJ Goff of Newbridge. [Leinster Leader, September – December, 1918.] The price of horses collapsed early in 1919 after the onset of considerable unemployment and the departure of many troops for England from Kildare.
1918: Armistice Day, 11/11/1918, was a day of celebration. The Leinster Leader [16/11/1918] noted that Celbridge had been brilliantly illuminated on Monday night, and there was dancing in the street into the small hours.
1918 - 1920: Members of the KAS in these years included Wm Bobbett, Hansfield, Clonsilla (1920 only), Capt. R Colthurst, Lucan House; Lord Decies, The Castle, Leixlip; Duke of Leinster, Carton; Earl of Mayo, KP, PC. Palmerstown, Straffan [Thos. U Sadleir, Office of Arms, Dublin Castle. JKAS, Vol IX].
1918: Rev David Holmes Gillman MA made his declaration as incumbent in Leixlip on Sunday, 22/9/1918. His declaration was witnessed by A W West, F Bedford and J Wellesley Browne.
1918: A letter dated 20/6/1918 from A.J Dalgety, treasurer to the select vestry, declares that the "select vestry unanimously agreed to the necessity of the amalgamation" of Lucan and Leixlip parishes. In the amalgamation it was envisaged that the Lucan Glebe would serve both parishes and assurances were sought from the central powers that if the occasion arose again of a divide, Leixlip could acquire its own Glebe house out of the proceeds of the sale of the old one etc.
c1918: About this time the house at the west corner of Captain’s Hill and Main St was described in the Valuation Cancellation books as “The Soldiers’ Club”. Later the same place was described as a shebeen, which may have been a reference to the club use. If we can rely on the analogous situation at Clara, co Offaly, [DB Quinn, ‘Clara: A midland industrial town 1900-1923’, in Nolan & O’Neill (eds), Offaly Heritage & Society, Dublin, 1996, p818-9.], that World War I and the service in it of men from both (religious) communities brought some families on each side closer together. The return of the men of both denominations gave sections of the community a common background: many RCs had remained patriotic supporters of the war against Germany throughout the war period. The erection of a British Legion clubhouse at the foot of Bridge St (Clara) became the first interdenominational centre, where Protestant and Catholic men could meet together, and where their wives might join them for whist drives and concerts on occasion. Around the same time the Gaelic League ran classes in Irish and from them the IRA was to be partly recruited. (In Leixlip the Gaelic League is said to have run classes in Irish language, dancing and music, in No 1 Dublin Rd St, opposite the Toll House.)
1918: Domhnal Ó Buachalla, of Maynooth, a Sinn Féin candidate to the Westminster elections for Kildare North constituency, was elected, beating John O’Connor (Nationalist Party), with 68% of the vote in the single seat constituency. He and other Sinn Féin victors entered the first Dáil Éireann assembly in the Mansion House, Dublin, on 21/1/1919. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p109.]
1918: Darrel Figgis (who may be related to the Figgis/Goodshaw family of Leixlip – see 1927), was a son of E J Figgis, Glen-na-Smol, Upper Rathmines, Co Dublin, and the Commercial Buildings, Dublin. He was born in Calcutta where his father was in business, and educated there and in England. He came to Dublin to his uncle’s home, Park Avenue, Sydney Parade and also at 10 Fownes St, when he was them married to Millie ---. He became a member of the Young Ireland Branch of the United Irish league, was a journalist and produced dramas at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, with WB Yeates. On 26/7/1914, he was in command of a section of Volunteers who conveyed guns from Howth into Dublin. After the rising he was arrested and deported. On 22/2/1917 he was arrested in Dublin and deported to Oxford. Later he was elected an Hon. Secretary of Sinn Fein and on 17/5/1918 he was arrested and deported to England. [Dublin Castle Special Branch files CO904, 201.] His wife, Millie, was alone on 31/10/1918.
1919: The Gallivan family left Derry city this year and settled in Leixlip in Hillford House, at the junction of Old Hill and Station road. They gave their name to this junction. Mr Jeremiah Murray, from Donegal, married Miss Jenny Gallivan and purchased the Castletown Inn public house and land, Celbridge, in 1927. [Lena Boylan, Celbridge Charter, No.75, July 1979.]One of the Gallivans was a leading member of the IRA, operating in Co Meath. See notes of conversation with Mrs Camilla McAleese, daughter of Gallivan, who is deputy treasurer, Kings Inns, Dublin.
1919: A decision was taken by the select vestry to auction the Glebe at Pound Street, Leixlip, on or about 14/1/1919, by auctioneers James North. The house, complete with the parish hall, was purchased by Lord Decies for £700. The Representative Church Body held the Leixlip Glebe by deed of 13/5/1881, Samuel R Roe and others granted the house to the Church at a yearly rent of £3 3s 0d in present currency plus 12d in the pound fees, renewable forever after lives. The Glebe house was originally held by Sir Richard Steele, Bart., in a lease dated 18/7/1752. [Contents of a letter dated 29/11/1906] Richard Steele was a Dubliner and founder [?] of The Tatler. He was a friend and collaborator of the essayist, Joseph Addison; for both the national botanic gardens were a favourite haunt, a tree lined walk being called after Addison. [Adrian MacLoughlin, Historic Dublin, 1979, p206]
1919: A campaign of strike action began in Celbridge with 60 labourers, all members of the Co Kildare Farmers’ Association. Their employers threatened a general lockout if work did not resume immediately. In the face of this threat the ITGWU coordinated a strike throughout the county that soon spread to Co Meath. [See Rebel Worker, 1/6/1998.] Offending farms were blockaded and strikers wielding clubs prevented the movement of goods, boycotted urban suppliers of farm owners, disrupted fairs and auctions, engaged in cattle drives and damaged crops. A settlement was agreed on 23 August, 1919. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p98-9.]
1919: The RC bishops assembled at Maynooth on 24/6/1919 condemned the British rule in Ireland. [Buro Staire Mileata: 1913-1921, Part 3, p82.]
1919: Following the establishment of Dail Eireann in January 1919, during the British occupation, the Irish Volunteers were recognised by the Dail as the army of that Dail and fought as such in the Anglo-Irish war [War of Independence]. After the release of men interned in Frongoch a North Kildare battalion was formed and early in 1920 the IRA, as they were then called, formed two battalions. Several RIC barracks in the county were fortified and during the War the RIC became the main targets of the IRA. (The Leixlip barrack, at Mill House, corner of Buckley’s Lane and Main St, was probably burnt; reports may yet confirm this.)
c1920: The former priest’s house, and afterwards an infants school, which was within the RC Parish Church of Leixlip, in a partitioned off space behind the altar wall, was removed and the church effectively lengthened as a result. [John Swan, in conversation with John Colgan, 11/8/2003.]
c1920s: A photograph taken looking north eastwards towards Leixlip’s Liffey bridge from the south bank of the river shows No 1 Dublin Rd St [=the former band practice hall] as a residence apparently in good condition, with slated roof with one chimney at gable to bridge and three bays wide white plastered front towards the river, two-storey, door centre ground floor. The porch and roof of Toll House can be seen, with roof apex tiles recently cemented. A timber fence existed immediately in front of the band hall residence, ie, over that stretch not over the river area, part of which was in poor condition. Of interest is the wall north of and in front of the Toll House. A timber door, conventional size, with a masonry lintel over, existed in the opening just south of the mill-race tunnel nearest the house. The high section of wall, which exists today, was there then, with a flat, horizontal top to it and raking down to the semi-circular coping on the wall to the porch. However, the brick pillar north of the aforementioned doorway rose up a foot or more above the high horizontal wall and was capped in a heavily sloped pillar capping [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI; photograph undated, first page].
c1920s: RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI, includes a review of Miss ML O’Byrne’s book, Leixlip Castle, MH Gill & Son, Dublin [undated], c650 pages - an historical romance of the penal days of 1690. Press comments by The Tablet, Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Limerick Reporter, Cork Examiner, The Nation, Freeman’s Journal and Weekly Register.
1921: 7 September 1921 – The Legion of Mary founded at 100 Francis Street, Dublin, by Frank Duff, Fr. Michael Toher [Leixlip curate] and Mrs. Elizabeth Kirwan (see also 7 November 1980). In 1928 the Legion of Mary opened a hostel for destitute men in Brunswick Street, named the Morning Star.
1921: November 11th 1921, Armistice Day, was celebrated in ‘ascendancy locations’.
1922: Richard Bobbett, the Gresham Hotel, Dublin and Cooldrinagh, Leixlip, Co Kildare. [P.R. Will, June 7, 1922.]
1922: Evening Telegraph of Saturday, 18/6/1922 carries a picture of St Catherine’s Wells, Leixlip, as part of an article. It shows a door and arch over to the lhs of the wells. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
In 1922, James Augustus Jobling, of 27 Leazes Tce., Newcastle on Tyne, and Thos Edmund Hornby, city of York, disposed of the Bridge House aka Toll House and garden to Emily Williams, Leixlip, widow, for the sum of £60 [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 1922-56-187]. She lived there until her death on 7/12/1947, at the Bridge House, (sic) Leixlip, of atherosclerosis, interstitial nephritis and uraemia. She was cared for by her youngest and unmarried daughter, Florrence (Florrie). During that time, particularly during the construction of the ESB hydro station, she took in lodgers. Florrie inherited her mother's property and remained there until 1973, whereupon she sold it to speculative purchasers, Patrick Oman and Denis Drumm, who immediately transferred it to Michael Ramsden, then owner of the Black Castle. Ramsden had plans for a hotel and restaurant development on the site, but these came to naught. However, he secured planning permission for a small residential development on the contiguous lands, which were built in the 1980s. During the 1960s the Mill races which created an island on which the Bridge/Toll House stood, were filled in with rubble and prior to the construction of the small housing scheme, the lands adjoining were partitioned to create an approximately rectangular site for the Toll House, which ceded part of its easterly tail, south of the mill race to the sluice gates into the river Liffey. This is now public open space at the rear of Castle Park.
1922:   Newspaper, possibly Irish Times, of 2/12/1922 carries extensive report of the battle near Collinstown and Pike’s bridge, in which 22 irregulars were captured, one – a Mr Kealy – killed, and 2 or 3 wounded. Private Joseph Moran was also killed, having been shot through the head. Mr Mullaney, an ex-member of the Dáil, led the attacking party. The prisoners were taken to Grangewilliam House, the residence of Mr Kiely. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1922: Just before Christmas, 1922, seven men were executed (arising from the Civil War) [Kildare Observer, 13/1/1923].
1923: Mr Byrne of Leixlip claimed compensation for the death of her horse by an army lorry, 27-30/11/1923. [Cabinet file, FIN 1/2254, original no. 650/61, NAI.]
c1923: Sometime around the early 1920s an order of French monks lived at Ryebrook [aka Music Hall] and a Dr Skipper lived at Blakestown House, where Dennis Foley later lived. [John Swan, in conversation with John Colgan, 11/8/2003]. (Conor O’Brien adds: it was not unusual for a religious order to rent a house for their use for the Summer).
1924: The land in Folio 1885, Co Kildare, transferred to John & Owen Brooks, farmers, Leixlip, on 12/2/1924.
1924: Letter from R Claude Cane, dated 7/3/1924, to the editor of the Irish Times, published later, protesting at the proposed electricity dam etc. and its effect on the Salmon Leap etc [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI].
1924: Newspaper, possibly Evening Telegraph, dated 18/3/1924, has a piece entitled ‘Liffey at Leixlip’ in which the writer refers to Col Claude Cane’s timely reminder in the Freeman the other day of the danger of the Liffey being electrified beyond recognition and cites three projects, one of which includes the total submersion of the celebrate Salmon Leap [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI].
1924: A newspaper article entitled ‘Liffey Projects’, probably in the Irish Times and dated 19/12/1924, provides extracts of a report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee of Private Bills. Col [Claude] Cane told the Committee that he owned land on the banks of the Liffey, the mansion at St Wolstan’s, a house, gardens and out offices at Alensgrove and Newbridge lodge. He stated that the proposals, taken in conjunction with the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill, would have disastrous effects on fishery rights. Major Edward Conolly said he believed that it was in Leixlip Castle that King John [sic] gave the Charter to Dublin City. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
c1924: Weekly Freeman [date n/a] has a large picture of Wookey’s mill and Salmon Leap falls with note under that representatives of the Provisional Government and Dublin Corporation inspected the entire area. A second picture [source n/a] refers to the Liffey Syndicate Ltd and Anna Liffey Power Development Co., Ltd. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1924: A map, [Ref No OS111 No. 29, NQ] entitled - Dublin & District Electricity Supply - General Plan of proposed Liffey Water Power Development, 1 inch to the mile, late 1924. Includes details of Leixlip development shown in colour.
1925: Rural District Councils (RDCs) maintained roads, water supplies, sanitation and housing up to this time; these functions were taken over by KCC.
1925: Two newspaper photographs [paper n/a], with a date 24/2/1925 appended, show what is called Lucan Castle, but is actually Leixlip Castle; the second shows a picture of Mr A Dalgity [an error, actually Dalgetty, or Dalgety] making a fishing cast on the Liffey bank at the rear of Shingled House, Main St. [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.]
1927: The Dublin United Tramways (Lucan Electric Railways) Act, 1927, provides a list of shareholders in the Lucan and Leixlip Railway Company. [Cabinet file, s5442, NAI.]
1927: The Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland (CBSI) association was founded this year by Fr Ernest Farrell.
1927: Mr Gillman is rector of St Mary's CofI, Leixlip and Admiral Johnson resides at Leixlip Castle; both are members of Co. Kildare Archaeological Society.
1927: Johnsons’ Diamond Merchants of 94 Grafton St bought out by Switzers; stock included. Were they the Johnson family of Cooldrinagh? [Anne Haverty, ibid, p73]
1927: An indenture dated 8/9/1927 was made between Mary Elizabeth Fisher and her two spinster sisters and Glascott Symes of 2 Cooldrina Tce, Leixlip, Co Dublin. The premises mentioned in a deed of 17/9/1792 [which see] were sublet on 28/11/1854 by John Figgis to Thomas Johnston for a term of 100 years from 1/11/1854 at an annual rent of £20, and whereas Ellen Johnson[sic] Fisher by her will dated 25/11/1912 and following her death at 17/12/1925, part formerly in the Barony of Newcastle, Co Dublin, and now in the Barony of Salt North, Co Kildare) was sold as No 1 to Costello, and the other part, as No 2, sold to Glascott Symes. Mrs Ellen Johnson Fisher had purchased No 2 Cooldrina Tce from Wm Goodshaw Richardson in 1907.
1928: Rebecca Louisa Bobbett [480] died 12/11/1928, late of Hotel Palais D'Orsay, Quai D'Orsay, Paris, France. Administration of her estate was granted at Dublin to Mary Mockler, (her married daughter), on 13/8/1929. Effects, £6511 18s 9d. [Wills Books, NA, and administrations’ papers.] Her death notice in the Irish Times of 15/11/1928 stated that she was the widow of the late Richard Bobbett, of Cooldrinagh, Leixlip, Co Kildare and that her funeral was to Glasnevin Cemetery following Mass at Westland Row on 16/11/1928.
1928: Joan Hanmer West of Leixlip, daughter of A Wills West and Maida West (nee Hanmer) of Newtown, Leixlip, was married to John Charles Henry, descendant of Hugh Henry (d1743), a merchant banker, of Henry Street, Dublin, who purchased Straffan House and Lodge Park, Straffan, about 1710; Joan gave birth to a son, Michael Charles Henry, this year. The family lived in Lodge Park, which they sold in 1937. Hugh Henry was a trustee of the Dublin to Mullingar Turnpike and, with another, won the contract for the collection of the tolls when the turnpike first opened. [Bunbury & Kavanagh, The Landed Gentry & Aristocracy of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p115-125.] Maida West is buried in St Mary’s graveyard, Leixlip and Joan’s sister is buried in Confey cemetery.
1929: Mary (Polly) Bobbett, d14/7/1929; of Hillsborough, Lucan. Administration granted to Eliz. F Bobbett, spinster. Effects, £1943 8s 0d. The Irish Times death notice of 15/7/1929 states that she was the daughter of the late Patrick Bobbett, Hansfield, Clonsilla.
1930: In a lease dated 14/4/1930, the French legation was established in Leixlip Castle for one year, while their permanent premises at 53 Ailesbury Rd, Dublin, were being refurbished. The chancellery and consulate services were located at 32 St Stephen’s Green during this period. The ‘extraordinary envoy and plenipotentiary minister’ was Mr Charles Alphand.
1934: The Army Comrades Association supported by large farm owners in Co Kildare who were prominent in anti-rates campaigning gave rise to the new name, National Guard. A Fine Gael [?] Deputy, Sidney Minch, of Co Kildare, wore a blue shirt to Dail Eireann on 17/9/1934 and the following day several of his colleagues followed suit, giving the name ‘Blueshirts’ to the movement. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p109.]
c1939: An OS map of 1939 shows Leixlip Saw Mills on the site of the former iron mills and flour mills at the eastern end of the site. The remains of the mill-pond and sluice to river can be seen. Also shown was a line of mill workers’ cottages east of Black Castle
1944:   The land in Folio 1885, Co Kildare, transferred to Owen Brooks, farmer, Leixlip, on 16/5/1944.
1946-49: Leixlip's hydroelectric power station and dam on the Liffey were built by the ESB.
c1946: Mrs Maire (spouse Peter) Cullen, Laraghbryan and formerly of Main St Leixlip and Music Hall, says that a Ms Mooney, formerly of Leixlip Castle, lived, when elderly, in Ivy House. When there she kept it in good condition.
1947: 7/12/1947, Emily Susan Williams died at home, the Bridge House, Leixlip. [Death cert]; death notice in Irish Times of 9th December 1947 gives the date of death as the 8th.
c1940s/50s: A photograph of GAA sportsmen from Leixlip, one with hurley in hand, may have been taken at the Tara Coop lands, shows in front row, left to right: George O’Boyle, Richard Sherry, Joe fox, Ned Malone, T Geoghegan. In back row, ditto: W. Duggan, Tony McLoughlin, G Smith, Vincent Ardiff. Copy to hand as jpeg; kindly lent by Colm & Sean Purcell.
1951: Letter to the Irish Times, dated 12/4/1951, from Mr Timothy O’Connor, Leixlip, in support of the Catholic Hierarchy in the matter of the Mother and Child Scheme, clipped for the Taoiseach’s files! [Cabinet file, No. s14997D, NAI].
1952: January, Deputy Cogan asked for an enquiry regarding increases in the rateable valuations of pubs, citing, in a list, Elizabeth Colgan, of Cooldrinagh [The Salmon Leap Inn] who had hers increased by £10. [Cabinet file, No. s6778B, High Court Judgement, NAI.]
1952-53: Matt Branagan described living in the Toll House as a lodger - along with about 5 others - during this period. He worked as a butcher with the Leixlip IMP meat plant and others on the construction of the houses at St Mary's Park. He claimed that there was no running water or sewerage/toilets there at the time, but electricity.
1952-68: Margaret Daniels was a lodger at the Toll House on and off over this period, especially during the winters, along with several other performers in the Daniels dance troupe. She claims the mill-race was still in action with the water flowing across the garden in a narrow stream, across which was a narrow stone bridge for pedestrians. During that time there was sewerage. Florrie Williams was eccentric, elderly and kept to herself. She had a man friend, a Mr Isaac Graham, who stayed. [He was a widower; her mother’s sister’s husband.]
1954: Telegram from the Taoiseach to Mrs Greene, [Newtown Hill House?] Leixlip, on the death of her husband, 2/11/1954. [Cabinet file, s14426B, NAI.]
1954: 8th Dec, Severe flooding in Leixlip village, requiring the evacuation of the town centre.
1955: The land in Folio 1885, Co Kildare, transferred - for one day - to Louise Annie Mary Burke, Salmon Leap Inn, married woman, and thence, on 29/4/1955, to John Sisk, Dublin, civil engineering contractor.
1956: Major E.M. Conolly of Castletown, Celbridge, died. [JKAS, p.CIII, Vol XIII, No. 7, 1958.]
1958: Desmond and Mariga Guinness at Leixlip Castle.
1963: The land in Folio 1885, Co Kildare, transferred to Arthur John Richards, of Black Castle, Leixlip, civil engineer, on 1/5/1963.
1963: President John F Kennedy of the USA visited Ireland in June 1963. He may have travelled to Maynooth via Leixlip.
1963: Prince Rainier, Princess Grace, Carline & Albert of Monaco visited Maynooth College.
1969/70: The JKAS, Vol XIV, No 5, 1970, p647, published an obituary for Rev J O'Riordan, late PP of Maynooth (and Leixlip), who was a member of the society. He is credited with selling the Penal Church at Leixlip to a developer, despite pleas for its retention by Leixlip residents who sought to use it. See Leixlip Life for correspondence on the issue.
1971: By indenture of 16/7/1971 Florrie Williams sold the Bridge House aka Toll House to Patrick Oman (a furniture dealer and removals man) and Denis Drumm (an auctioneer partner introduced by Oman) of Dublin, for £4,400; they immediately sold it on to Michael Ramsden, antique dealer, of the Strawberry Beds, for £5,950 in the same transaction. Oman says that he wanted the house for his own use and approached Ms Williams originally to buy some furniture he could see in her window. Ramsden (according to his brother in law, Niall Kenny), wanted to make a restaurant of the place. [Registry of Deeds Memo No; 1971-72-38].
1973: The land in Folio 1885, Co Kildare, transferred to Michael Ramsden, of Strawberry Beds, Co Dublin, merchant banker, on 14/2/1973.
1975: An Irish Times advertisement of 28/11/1975 gave notice of the sale by auction on 17/12/1975 of "The Bridge Toll House, Leixlip, Co. Kildare" by Lisney & Son. The house was said to be 'requiring renovation. Architects plans available for inspection'. An accompanying photograph shows the premises rendered in plaster. Shortly afterwards the Kings gained possession and began a modernisation programme which lasted almost three years.
1975: Fr Michael Toher, pious curate at Leixlip (1924-41) and founder of the Legion of Mary, died. He is buried in Glasnevin cemetery? [John Swan, 11/8/2003, in conversation with John Colgan].
1977: Ned Malone was President of Leixlip GAA; Vice presidents were Jack Eiffe, Jack Lynch, Matt Farrell, Frank McGivern (Snr) and Treasurer, Paddy Reilly [Celbridge Charter, No.52, August 1977].
c.1978: Circus tent, plus camels, in Toll House/ Castle Park grounds: picture by Ron Turner; also picture of Toll House porch, showing roof of porch extended over pillars by gate.
1978: An Irish Times editorial of the 17/2/1978 gives notice of the sale by auction on 23/2/1978 of 4.5 acres of land attached to the Black Castle, Leixlip, with about 450 feet of river frontage and full planning permission for 16 houses designed by Henry J Lyons (who also did the p.p. on the Toll House for the Kings). A river-bank picture is included.
1979: On 31/7/1979, the title to 1.194 acres of the land in Folio 1885 was transferred to Folio 4260F, Co Kildare, leaving a small parcel north of the line of the mill-race with the Toll House.
1979: By indenture of sale made 6/6/1979, Michael Ramsden, Strawberry Beds, Chapelizod, sold the Bridge House aka Toll House to Liam King and his wife, Deborah, for the sum of £7,500, subject to the fee farm rent of £12.10 and the several covenants in the fee farm grant, together with the adjoining registered freehold land in Folio 1885, Co. Kildare. [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 1979, 75, 30]. Liam King was a barn builder from Mayo, working in the USA; his wife (nee Schuster) was an American who worked as a trade union official. They lived in the house some time -perhaps for three years (from 3/3/1976) - before they purchased it, with their two children. He carried out extensive refurbishment, mostly modernising and replacing much of the window timbers, wiring etc. which were very much in decay after the Williams' time there.
1979: By indenture of sale dated 18/7/1979, Liam and Deborah King sold the Toll House property to McKone Estates Ltd for the sum of £52,000, after an auction held on 18/5/1979 [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 1979-72-160]. The McKones bought the property to provide a convenient access point to the public sewer which flowed under the garden, there being no public sewer in their extensive property, Cooldrinagh, across the river. They retained the Toll House property in a sporadically occupied state by community groups and a caretaking family (Chas. & Suzanne Pegley) until they sold it in September 1991 for £108,000 to John Colgan, who, with his wife, are the present owners. A newspaper editorial notice, including a picture of the house, in an edition of 16/5/1979 is available. The auctioneers were Lisneys, Dublin.
1980: The ownership of the (residual) lands in Folio 1885, Co Kildare was transferred to McKone Estates Ltd., Dublin city. A covenant retained the right of the previous owner to a 15 feet wide passage to his remaining lands across the site. This right-of-way was later extinguished upon the purchase of the freehold by John Colgan in 1991.
King Juan Carlos of Spain, and HE the President of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, visited Maynooth College. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p88.]
1995: William Galland Stuart (1944-1995), noted conservationist, of Kildrought House, Celbridge, and formerly of 14 Highfield Park, Leixlip, died on 6/3/1995 after a long illness. An obituary drafted by C J Woods is in JKAS, Vol XVIII, Part II, 1994-95, p270-271, and in the Leinster Leader of the time by John Colgan.
2002: Noel Lambert, farmer, formerly of Easton House, Leixlip, died 15/6/2002 at Maynooth, leaving €8,567,349. He had earlier sold his farm at Easton House for residential housing, now Glen Easton estate. [Probate/ wills office data].
The last segment of John Colgan's marvellous chronology of Leixlip. Our thanks as always to John for making this extraordinary piece of work available to EHistory and indeed the world.


1870: Slater’s Directory, 1870 writes that “Leixlip is a small market town and parish.. The market day is Saturday, and the fairs May 4th and October 9th. The population of the parish in 1851 was 1,698, of which number 832 were returned for the town. In 1851 the parish numbered 1,412 persons, and the town 788 of that number.” Marian McGettigan and Martin Connolly were National School mistress and master respectively. Anna Maria Bacon, the postmistress.  Mrs MG Dennis resided at Cooldrinagh House [Slater’s Directory, 1870, p54]. The Cancellation Books (Valuation Office) have Colonel Dennis there from c1859 and then Mrs Dennis from1864, the whole belonging to Montgomery Caulfield. The house was then valued at £26 10s.  
1870: Wm Daniell, gas maker, of Dublin city, obtained a lien on the lands of Tom Conolly in Cos. Donegal and Kildare for debts of over £1K [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1870-34-1].
1870: Rev Charles Omeara [sic] was made curate of Leixlip Union on the recommendation of Rev. Henry Stewart, Esker Glebe, Lucan.
1870: Oliver Mills, of Abbeyleix, Queen's County, at the request of Richard William Steele of New York, by agreement dated 28/12/1870, granted to R.W.Steele and Steele granted to Samuel R. Roe, of Newbridge Mills, Celbridge, miller, his heirs and assigns, for the perpetual yearly rent of £17.0s 2d, the fee farm grant created by an indenture bearing the date 30/7/1855 [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1855-25-30] and made between Rev. James Thomas Conolly Saunders, his wife, Augusta Sophia Saunders, and John Young, Lucan, for the houses and garden in the town of Leixlip then lately in the possession of Wm McLoughlin, bounded on the east by a stone wall which divided the garden from a garden of Laurence Conolly, miller; on the west by a stone wall which divided the said garden from a field formerly in the possession of Charles Fellows; on the north by part of the street of Leixlip and the road leading to Marshfield, and on the south by the mill race leading to the Iron Mills, TO HOLD the same unto S. R. Roe for ever subject to the clauses and conditions in the indenture of 30/7/1855 and also to a yearly rent of £3.8s created by a condition in the lease of 16/2/1854 between Thos. Conolly and the Rev JTC Saunders and his wife, .. the houses, garden, orchard and park called the Tenter park together with the park called the Furry Hill formerly in the possession of Robert Ingham and also the island next adjoining the said orchard between the same and the river Liffey formerly in the possession of Wm Conolly, all of which lands and premises were formerly in the possession of Christopher Glascock and are part of the manor of Leixlip, TO HOLD forever at the yearly rent of £12.2s (SR Roe) created by the indenture of 16/2/1854 and also subject to the last mentioned premises in the tenancy of George Ferguson under a lease dated 8/12/1752 (renewable forever) made by Chris. Glascock to Wm McGowan at a yearly rent of £5.1s 6d [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1870-37-160].
Richard William Steele, son of John Steele, gent., was born in Queen's county and boarded as a student at TCD on October 17, 1834, when aged 18 years. He received his elementary education from a Mr Lyons. [Alumni, ibid]
George Fergusson was a physician from Leixlip, the nephew of William Fergusson, of Leixlip. George obtained an LRCS in 1835, following a Licenciate in Midwifery from Dublin's Lying-In Hospital in 1830. His service prior to 1852 was in Mullingar. He may have died about 1869, as his name disappeared from the medical directories about then. Another Fergusson, Dr John, had been in the Mullingar area - was he the father of the younger George?
Roe's occupation of the Bridge House was confirmed by the rate collector when he called in 1872, the house being vacant at his last recorded call about 1869. (Note that several Roe births were recorded at Leixlip from 1869 to 1879). According to the rates collector's records, Roe remained in occupation until the rate collector called in 1879 (then Wm A Noble). However, the Sustentation Fund accounts book list SR Roe as being at 'Newbridge Mills' in 1870 and 1871, through to 1876. Nonetheless, Suzanne Pegley says that the Valuation Books list the residence at Newbridge Mills as being vacant during this time; she feels whoever recorded his residence may have simply preferred the Mills one to the Bridge House. (See 1879 entry). The collector noted that the house had "improved (in) '79" and increased the buildings valuation from £10 to £12, one pound short of their original valuation. Noble's lessor was Roe and Noble was gone by the next recorded collector's visit in 1882, as Noble had died in June, 1879. Roe took a lease on no.1 Dublin Road Street - directly facing the Bridge House - in 1874, and had a Michael Ennis as occupant of that house until 1878.
1870-1889: Richard Pigott was proprietor of The Irishman newspaper; aspects relating to Fenianism are included in Ms7699 and 7700, Larcom Papers, NLI. Press and other correspondence by him in relation to his business activities, together with other documents of his affairs, incl. Land league funds are in Ms8580, NLI. Was he related to the Pigotts of Ryevale?
1871: George Hynes, writing from Cooldrina, [sic], on 3 March 1871, to MA Hamilton Esq [St Mary's C of I] asking for a copy of his baptismal certificate to be made for him [Loose papers, Leixlip, RCBL]. Was he the father or grandfather of George Hynes of Leixlip GAA fame?
1871: The Rev. John Lombard was nominated as curate of Leixlip Union on 22/7/1871.
1871: In a Survey of Landowners of one acre and upwards for Co Galway, 1871, the following persons of Leixlip connection were mentioned: Thomas Berry, Blackcastle [sic], Leixlip, had 294 acres in Galway. Arthur, Emily, Frederick, George and Reginald Courtney, of Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, had 398, 17, 17, 589, 589, acres each respectively (ironmonger family). Countess De Nesbitt [sic], Leixlip, had 1529 acres in Galway. The source list is incomplete (A to D only).
1871: Thomas Berry, Secretary of the Glendalough [diocese] Finance Committee, was writing from Ivy House in this year and in 1872, when, on 23rd November, he wrote about Rev. Henry Stewart's "declining health" and his interest in buying Leixlip Glebe for his life time and then gifting it to the parish.  Mr Stewart died 26/3/1874, aged 88.  
The original lease on Leixlip Glebe was dated 10/7/1752.
1872: Wm Mitchell was buried at St Mary's, CofI, Leixlip about 21/3/1872 [Church burial records]. The Irish Times death notice of 21/3/1872 states: "Mitchell - on the 19th inst, of paralysis of the brain, William S Mitchell, eldest son of the late John Mitchell Esq., of Leixlip, aged 41 years. The funeral will leave 75 Leinster Road for Leixlip this (Thursday) morning at half-past 11 o'clock". His death notice states that he died in Jervis St. Hospital, and had a residence at Newbridge Mills. He was married, aged 40 last birthday and a miller by occupation. He died of “effusion on the brain” and was 40 days ill [Death cert.].
1873: Mary Drury, of Dublin city, widow and administratrix of the late Wm. Barret Drury, of Co Wicklow, agreed, in an indenture of assignment dated 29/5/1873, to sell to Wm Whitton, Dublin city, solicitor, sums of about £198 due out of lands of Black Castle, Leixlip [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1873-19-296].
1873: The 3rd annual report of the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Glendalough, 1873, provided details of parishes:
                                                                                                Stipend Sub.          Church           School
Parish                     Incumbent                                             paid by Parish       Members        Attendees
Leixlip                     John Lombard                                          £300                        200                          16
Celbridge                  Robert Pakenham                                    250                         549                          35
Maynooth                                R W Whelan                                            300                         120                          9
Lucan                       C W Benson                                             200                         250                          24           
1873: Rev. Henry Stewart resigned as rector from 1/1/1873 after 50 years (apart from some months) service as rector of Leixlip Union. Rev John Lombard replaced him from February, 1873.  His declaration of assent was witnessed by Samuel R. Roe and J W G Johnson, church-wardens. By 15/5/1876 Henry Stewart had died.
1874: On a lease dated 3/3/1874, John Figgis of Fownes Street, Dublin, demised to S. R.Roe all that the house, garden and premises in Leixlip town now or lately occupied by Henry Bradley, bounded on the north by the mill stream, on the south west by the Liffey, on the east by the road leading from Leixlip to Dublin TO HOLD from 1/2/1874 for 61 years and a yearly rent of £5, payable every 1st February and 1st August, subject to the several convenants between landlord and tenant therein contained. The Memorial was signed by Thomas Gill Figgis [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1874-8-272]. This is No 1 Dublin Road Street, Leixlip; Michael Ennis was the occupier. The Ennis family had run another corn mill on an island in the Rye River to the rear of Buckley's Lane, Leixlip.  
There is no record of any deed of lease on the Toll/ Bridge House at the Registry of Deeds from Roe to Noble, which deed could only be registered there if it was for a term of 21 years or longer. Noble may have been related to Roe (see 1879).
Roe evidently had more success than his predecessor, Patrick Farrell, at running the corn mills he had taken over, for in 1871 the collector made a note that "5 pairs of burr stones 4 ft 4 inches diameter work 24 hours daily. Full supply of water (from the mill race) the whole year. Difters, screens and elevators in perfect order. Diameter of wheel, 21 feet; Breadth, 12 feet". In another reference to this note the collector states "See new mills". And elsewhere: "No additional buildings in 1873 to Mr Roe's Mill". When examined in 1873 the collector judged their valuation fair at £64. They were, in fact, set at £61 in the next review at about 1879 and increased the following year to £80 as they were deemed low valuation.
1874: Samuel Robison Roe, Newbridge Mills, bought 53a 2r 33p statute measure at Cooldrinagh (eventually he built Cooldrinagh House) from Rev Richard Eyre, Galway, Rev Henry O'Rorke, Shropshire, and Wm Fry, Dublin City, solicitor, and Eliz. Dennis of Blackrock, Co Dublin, widow, for a consideration of £3,500 in an indenture of agreement dated 9/10/1874, for ever, subject to a rent and covenants in a fee farm grant of 22/8/1786 [Registry of Deeds Memo NO 1874-42-242]. In an indenture of release of the same date, Rev Henry West, Upr Gardiner St, Dublin, and Augustus Geo West of Blackrock, Co Dublin, and Sarah West nee Eyre of the same address, his wife, did release the said lands from an annuity of £100 for a consideration, devised by the will of Maurice Griffin Dennis of 30/7/1867 [Reg. of Deeds Memo No 1874-42-241]. However, Roe mortgaged the premises for the sum of £2,000 to the Eyres, O'Rorke and Fry at the same time [Registry of Deeds Memo No: 1874-42-243].
The Eyres are those of Eyre Square, Galway. Several were educated at TCD.
1874: Horace Webb Townsend was nominated incumbent of Leixlip Union, 2/9/1874. Within a month he had obtained the archbishop's permission to reside at Esker Glebe in Lucan parish; he wrote from Leixlip Castle. His father was Secretary to the Bombay Government and the Rev. Townsend was born in Bombay in 1838. Townsend served as Leixlip's rector form 1874 to 1879; he died on 10/1/1915 aged 76.
1875: A General Election took place this year. Again the RC clergy, priests and bishops, were the power brokers. They were involved in the selection process and sought total control. Unwelcome candidates were attacked and defamed at Sunday Mass by them. On this occasion the ballot was secret, provided for under an Act of 1872 [Gerard Moran, ‘Political Developments in King’s County, 1868-1885’, in Nolan & O’Neill (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p767-98].
1875: Henry Knox Courtney died in 1875, aged 70, in the Dublin south district.
1875: The Sustentation Fund accounts book now list SR Roe and Mrs Roe as residing at 'Cooldrina' or 'Cooldrina House' from 1877 until 1885, with Mrs Roe still there until 1887.
1875: Wm A Noble was first listed in the Sustentation Fund accounts book, paying his usual £2 per annum, at Cooldrina Cottage. He continued to pay from that address for the next two years before moving to 'Leixlip' (most likely the Bridge House, where he appears in the Valuation Books at that address at the 1879). A William Alexander Noble got a marriage licence to marry Anne Robinson in 1835, according to the Appendix to the 30th Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records - Wills and Grant books, Dublin Diocese, 1800-1858. See 1879.
1875: A reproduction of the Irish Poor Law map by counties made for the Lord Lieutenant, 1875, showing boundaries of poor law unions in each county; each county is on a separate sheet [OS111 No. 71, NA].
1876: Tom Conolly died and was succeeded by his son, also Thomas Conolly, then aged 17 years.
1876: Reciting a fee farm grant of 1859 between John Young, Lucan, Architect, and Edwin Chesney Seal of Black Castle, Leixlip, bounded on the north by the street of Leixlip, on the east by the flour mill garden, towards the south by the mill stream and towards the west by Hilles's field, Seal conveyed unto Roe the house lands and garden called the Black Castle, containing 2a 2r 6 p Irish, or 4a 17p 19yds statute measure [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1876-49-11]. The deed was witnessed by Wm. Whitton, Solicitor.
1876: See Mallet, p.89, for reference to Courtney, Stephens & Bailey.
1876: Persons owning one acre upwards this year included, for Co Kildare: Hugh L Barton, of Straffan House, 5,045 acres; Wm Bobbett (Cooldrinagh connections), Westland row, Dublin, 272 acres; Eliza Brangan, Old Carton, Maynooth, 1 acre; George Bryan, Jenkinstown, co Kilkenny, 1,627 acres; Edward Cane, St Wolstan’s, 294 acres; Maurice Cane, Parsonstown, Celbridge [sic], 16 acres; Lord Concurry, Lyons, Hazelhatch, 6, 121 acres; Edward Colgan, Clonsast, Kilcock, 133 acres; Francis Colgan, Cappagh, Enfield, 553 acres; Mrs M Colgan, Dublin, 116 acres; Mary Colligan, Lockanure, Clane, 2 acres; Thomas Conolly, Castletown, Celbridge, 2,605 acres; Robert Cooper, Collinstown, Leixlip, 164 acres; Matthew Ennis, Confey Castle, Leixlip, 196 acres; Charles S Eustace, England, 1,407 acres; Rev Wm Eustace, Kilbride, Bray, 142 acres; John Ferguson, Summerhill, co Meath, 168 acres; Cuthbert Fetherston, 20 Clare St, Dublin, 99 acres; Reps. John Fetherston, Griffinstown, Kinnegad, 182 acres; Patrick Fields, Kilcock, 34 acres; Rebecca Hackett, Mount Norris villa, Strand, Bray, 157 acres; Gowen W Rowan Hamilton, Killyleagh Castle, Co Down, 225 acres; Barth H Hartley, Colagan House, Carbury, 1,058 acres; Richard W Hartley, Beech-park, Clonsilla, 416 acres; Anna Hone, 35 Lr Leeson St, Dublin, 381 acres; F Hone, Gapton, Monkstown, 717 acres; Robert Jebb, 84 Middle Abbey St, Dublin, 6 acres; Alex Kirkpatrick, Donaghcomper, Celbridge, 630 acres; John la Touche, Harristown, Brannockstown, 11,282 acres; Alexander Law, 8 Colville Gdns, Bayswater, London, 48 acres; Robert Law, Ballysan, 646 acres; Duke of Leinster, Carton, 67,227 acres; Countess Lusi, Newtown, Leixlip, 411 acres; John Maunsell, Oakley Pk, Celbridge, 1,309 acres; John D Molloy, Fortfield ho, Rathmines, Upr, Dublin, 324 acres; Sir Capel Molyneux, Castledillon, Armagh, 2,426 acres; Bridget Moore, Leixlip, 21 acres; Catherine D(owning) Nesbitt, Newtown, Leixlip, 37 acres; Jane Newcomen, 15 Stanley villa, Chelsea, London, 14 acres; Jane Peppard, Naas, 57 acres; Wm Pigott, Ryevale, Leixlip, 33 acres; Fred Pilkington, Carbury, Enfield, 589 acres; Hannah Pim, --, 295 acres; Frances Robinson, Kilcock, 26 acres; Rev Henry Stewart, Esker Glebe, Lucan, 1 acre; John Alfred Trench, 14 Leeson st, Dublin, 129 acres; Rev Richard Trench, Dublin, 395 acres; Thos Cooke Trench, Millicent, Naas, 667 acres; Jas Twigg, Dublin, 597 acres; Chas C Vesey, Lucan House, 2,778 acres; John T Vesey, 15 Sth Frederick St, Dublin, 1,332 acres; Mrs G W West, England, 510 acres.  
For Co Dublin: Patrick Bobbett, Hansfield, Clonsilla, 521 acres; Wm Bobbett, Crickstown, Ashbourne, co Meath, 133 acres; Lord Cloncurry, Lyons house, Hazelhatch, 920 acres; Thos Conolly, Castletown, Celbridge, 1,512 acres; Mrs Henry Courtney [iron mills, Leixlip], 24 Fitzwilliam Pl, Sth, Dublin, 17 acres; Henry K[nox] Courtney, 38-41 Bridgefoot St, Dublin, 5 acres; Meade C Dennis [Cooldrinagh?], Fortgranite, Baltinglass, 216 acres; Edward Ennis, Kimmage Mills, Dublin, 11 acres; Richard W Hartley, Beechpark, Clonsilla, 330 acres; Robert W Hillas, Rathfarnham, 327 acres; Nathaniel Hone, St Doulough’s Pk, 1,058 acres; Thos Hone, Yapton, Monkstown, 159 acres; James Johnston, Cooldrinagh, Leixlip, 39 acres; Joseph F Shackleton, Anna Liffey Mills, Lucan, 27 acres; Peter R Skerrot, Athgoe Pk, Rathcoole, 970 acres; John J Twigg, 9 Upr Fitzwilliam St, Dublin, 149 acres; Chas C Vesey, Lucan House, 1,524 acres; James Warren, Astagob, Lucan, 27 acres; Mrs White, Killakee, Whitechurch, 3,422 acres; John Wills, Willsbrook, Lucan, 950 acres. [Land Owners in Ireland, 1876, Balltimore, 1988.]
For Co Offaly, with Leixlip connections: Digby, 30,627 acres; Alexander, 2,266 acres; Atkinson (1), 4,414 acres; Atkinson (2), 1,001 acres; Cassidy, 2,582 acres; Grogan, 3,585 acres; Harte, 3,481 acres; Johnston, 2,329 acres; Nesbitt (1), 2,808 acres; Nesbitt (2), 4,351 acres; Greene (1), 1,472 acres; Greene (2), 1,670 acres; Hackett, 1,097 acres. [Gráinne C Breen, ‘Landlordism in King’s County in the mid-nineteenth century’, in Nolan & O’Neill, (eds), Offaly History & Society, p635.] Among the Offaly Huguenot families is that of Persse (present in Confey).
1877: A list of graves in the CofI Parish Church of Conwal, Letterkenny (adjoining the RC Cathedral) included four entries (nos. 86, 87, 333 and 334) of Starret graves, of whom Samuel Starret, died 1877, was one. Starret was an agent of Tom Conolly in Leixlip, c 1752. The name Love also appears there, the name of the Cof I rector in Leixlip in modern times.
1877: A branch line on the MGW Railway line opened this year between Enfield and Edenderry, King’s County [Offaly]. The branch had been done largely through the generosity of Miss Catherine Downing Nesbitt, who gave the railway company free passage (through her lands) and subscribed £10,000 towards the cost. [Information provided by Dr DB McNeill to WA Maguire, ‘Missing Persons: Edenderry under the Blundells and the Downshires, 1707-1922, in Nolan & O’Neill, (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p537.]
1878:  Thom's Dublin Directory, 1878, lists Henry Courtenay, esq., at 17 Mountjoy Square and 44 Belvedere Place (same person)
1878: "The Landowners of Ireland", by Hussey de Burgh (1878) lists the owners (defined as those with leases of 99 years or more) of 500 or more acres or valuations of £500 or more in aggregate in Ireland. The data was supplied by the owners themselves. The home addresses of the landowners were cited. Those living in Co. Kildare with the largest holdings included Miss Catherine Jamison Downing Newsbit [sic; Nesbitt] who lived at Leixlip (Newtown House); Lord Cloncurry, John La Touche and Hugh Barton (Straffan).
Miss Nesbitt's property was made up as follows:                       County                     Acres       £ Valuation
                                                                                                Antrim                     321          294
                                                                                                Galway                     1329        692
                                                                                                Kildare                     36            90
                                                                                                King's                       2555        1642
                                                                                                Limerick                  620          673
                                                                                                Londonderry            5638        2221
                                                                                                Roscommon             3641        1627
                                                                                                Total                       14340      7239
Her Kildare property would have been her house and lands at Leixlip and no other.
Other landowners of local interest included Rev. Robert Noble, Co. Fermanagh, 824 acres, valuation, £421;
Captain William Noble, Holly House, Plumstead, Kent,                    Co. Fermanagh, 876 acres, valuation, £293;
Reps. of Wm. Noble Belturbet, Co. Cavan                                         Co. Monaghan, 560 acres, valuation, £450;
Robert Law, Ballysan [sic], Co. Kildare                                     Co. Kildare, 646 acres, valuation £422
4th Duke of Leinster, Chas. Wm. Fitzgerald, Carton                          Co. Kildare, 67,227 acres, valuation £46,571
                                                                                              Co. Meath, 1,044 acres, valuation £1,075
The Late Tom Conolly, MP, Castletown                          Co. Donegal, 22,736 acres, valuation £6,283
                                                                                              Co. Dublin, 1,512 acres, valuation £2,982
                                                                                             Co. Kildare, 2,605 acres, valuation £3,346
                                                                                                      Co. Wicklow, 64 acres, valuation £36
1878: Wm. A Noble, was residing at 'Leixlip', according to the SustentationFund accounts book, contributing (£2).
1879: Wm. A Noble, was residing at 'Leixlip', according to the SustentationFund accounts book, in this the last year he is listed as contributing (£2). Only one William Alexander Noble, esq., died within this period and none other than he was found; he died on 16/6/1879 at Forphy House, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, which was his former residence. In his will, he left less than £1,500. Probate was granted on 18th October 1879 to Samuel Black Noble of 260 Cornwall Road, Nottinghill, London, late Captain 41st Regiment, the residual legatee, at the Dublin Registry [Wills and Administrations books, NA]. His death certificate states that he was a gentleman by occupation, aged 71 years, a widower, and he died of valvular heart disease which he had for one year. Samuel Black Noble was his eldest son; another son, William survived childhood and married Jane, dau. of Rev. Hamilton Haire in 1874.
William Alexander was the son of Major Samuel Noble and Prudential Noble, the major's second cousin. The Major was the son of Wm. Noble of Donagh, Co. Fermanagh and grandson of the famous Major Arthur Noble. The Black connection came through William Alexander's mother's sister, Margaret, who married a Col. Black. He may also be related by marriage to his landlord, Samuel Robinson Roe, as his only sister, Eliza, married George Roe, MD, of Ballyconnell House, Co. Cavan [Burke's History of the Landed Gentry in Ireland, 1899]. Given his age, he may therefore be the son of an attorney, his namesake, who qualified as such (solicitor) in June 1801, who was the son of Wm. Noble and Catherine Black (marriage licence, 1803) of Donough, near Maguire's Bridge, Co. Fermanagh, and educated at Portora School [King's Inns, ibid]. William Alexander married Anne Robinson in the Dublin diocese in 1835, having obtained a marriage licence then. Was she one of the Leixlip Robinsons?
Was Col. Black a relation of Black, the attorney in partnership with Jas. Glascock at York Street? Several Nobles, with wills, [William, 1877; John, 1880 and his brother William, 1881] from Co Fermanagh were all farmers. Another, Rev. William, died with will in 1838, also from Fermanagh. Maguire's Bridge is about 3 miles from Lisnaskea.
William Henry, in his Upper Lough Erne in 1739 (1892), p.25, notes that Eliza, the daughter of Major Samuel Noble, HEICS, had married a George Roe, MD, of Ballyconnell. They had a son, Samuel Black Roe, Esq., CB, who was Deputy Surgeon General in the army in 1876 [See Walford’s County Families, 1889.].
Forphy House is in the townland now called Forfey. JC took pictures of the house in April, 2001. It was derelict, but just about capable of restoration. The garden was overgrown. An immediate neighbour said that the house was jointly owned by Dr Andrew Maguire of the Blackrock Clinic and his brother, a dentist practising nearby.
1879: A Marriage Notice in the Irish Times of c.17/6/1879 states: "Belas and Bastic: George Henry Belas Junior of Newbridge cottage, Celbridge, Co Kildare, second surviving son of George Henry Belas, of Leinster Road, Rathmines, Co Dublin, Solicitor, to Eliza Conchita, daughter of the late Arthur Bastic, of Riversdale, Co Dublin" - This confirms that SR Roe was not living - but merely working - at Newbridge Mills at that time.
1879: SR Roe, of Newbridge Mills, Leixlip, purchased, at public auction for the sum of £70 [Ganlys?], brought about by the direction of the high sheriff, the tenement formerly called Levey's holding in Leixlip town, a plot of ground formerly in the possession Christopher McGowan and the widow Barry (c.6 acres) for the unexpired term of such premises, formerly held by Michael Murphy. Registry of Deeds memorial No. 19-191-269 refers to the sale and 1879-10-191 refers to the court order on the sheriff to levy the goods of Murphy. Note that memorials nos. 1867-15-51 & 52 refer to a Thos. Browne having a lease on Levy's holding (possibly Ivy House site and other lots) from Co. Alex. Lawe. Browne owed money to Jas. Ganly, salesmaster, and the sheriff, Lawless, transferred the lands, via Michael Murphy, to Ganly. Ganly Walters, the auctioneers, were established in 1847.
1879: Rev. Horace Webb Townsend resigned as rector of St Mary's from 10/3/1879. Rev. Francis Edward Knowles Bird MA made his declaration as rector on Sunday 25th May 1879. The witnesses were Samuel R. Roe and John Crampton, two Church Wardens.
1879: Edward Stuart Cole wrote from St. Catherine's Park, 26/4/1879; he was a church-warden.
1879: This year the Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary visited Maynooth college in the course of a stag hunt. She received a warm welcome and later returned to attend mass. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p88.]
c1880: Artist RT Moynan, (1856-1906) painted the well known picture of the soldier, urchins and tennis players on Main St, Leixlip was a student of the RHA in 1883. He won a prize for the best picture by a student. Several versions or drafts of his Leixlip painting are in the archives of the National Gallery, Merrion St.
1880: A General Election was held this year. On the Sunday before the contest, which focussed on Parnell and Home Rule, the election was the sermon topic in nearly all RC churches and the electors were told to support the Home Rule candidates. [Gerard Moran, ‘Political Developments in King’s County, 1868-1885’, in Nolan & O’Neill (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p767-98.]
1881: Slator's Directory - Towns in the Province of Leinster, 1881, lists Leixlip parish population as being 1,412 in 1861 and 1,357 in 1871, of which the town contained 817 in the latter year. Celbridge's populations for these years were 1,592 and 1391, respectively.
A Mary Ann McGettigan was listed as [school] mistress, Leixlip National School(s). Listed as Millers were: George Bealas, Newbridge Mill, Celbridge; Thomas Ennis, Leixlip [Buckley's Lane?] and Samuel R. Roe, Leixlip. Benjamin Chapman (gentry) was at Newtown House. George Shackleton & Sons were millers at the Anna Liffey mills, Lucan.
1882: Letters of administration were taken out for the estate of Henry Classon Courtney, BL, of Victoria, British Columbia. [Ref T 4881 P.R. Original 1B=56=85, NA.]
1882:   During the decade up to 1892, a Catherine Duggan had leased several properties in the Main Street area; so did a Reverend Duggan. Reverend Wm Duggan was the Catholic Curate at Leixlip from 18/10/1885 until 4/12/1892, according to the baptismal register of Leixlip RC parish church.
1882: Darrell Figgis (1882-1925), nationalist, politician and writer, was born in Rathmines, Dublin this year: was he the son of the Figgises of Leixlip, who married into the Leixlip Goodshaws and occupied 1 Dublin Road Street, Leixlip? See 1874. He supported the Treaty and helped draft the Constitution of 1922.
1883: Cancellation Books [Valuation Office] note that “New offices and house and much improved” for Cooldrinagh House. It was then valued at £32 10s. Montgomery Caulfield remains as the ground landlord.
1883: About 1878 Nicholas McGettigan was first listed as occupier of No 42 Main Street (now Leixlip Blinds and then with valuation, £8-10s) until about 1883 when he moved to the Bridge House. A Mrs. Gettigan (sic) was listed next door, at no. 41 (now Barry's shop with house) from 1875 until about 1878. [Note Mary Ann McGettigan, Leixlip schoolteacher and niece of bishop Daniel McGettigan of Donegal. Daniel McGettigan was born in November 1815 in the townland of Drumdutton, parish of Mevagh, Co. Donegal. He trained as a priest at Navan and Maynooth for the diocese of Raphoe, where he was ordained bishop on May 18, 1856. He was translated as Archbishop of Armagh on March 11, 1870 and died Dec. 3, 1887. His painted portrait hangs in Maynooth College immediately alongside several Irish Cardinals. 
1884: An agreement made 19/2/1884 between Samuel Robinson Roe of Celbridge, flour merchant, being indebted to Frances Robinson of 20 Great Strand St, Dublin, widow, on 18/2/1873 for the sum of £1052.10s due on the 17/1/1873 and also for an additional £2000 advanced to him on the 28/1/1873, left a lease dated 9/11/1869 from Thos Conolly to SR Roe with Frances Robinson as security; these premises included lands in Leixlip Parish, with dwelling house, 3a 1r 28p. The debts and 5% interest shall stand against this property. Roe agreed to execute a legal mortgage of said premises whenever called to do so. Roe’s signature is on the memorial. [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1884-11-296.]
1884: Will of Ellen Mitchell, 18 Kenilworth Square, Dublin, dated 20/3/1884 [Ref: T12540 or T12590, P.R.20, NA]. 
1884: Alexander Lawe transferred property to the Irish Land Commissioners [Reg of Deeds Memo No: 1884-39-202].
1884: The Irish Builder, issue of 15/11/1884, p39 makes reference to Leixlip, according to a manuscript note in RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI. The reference may be to a reference on Leixlip spa of August 1793.
1885:   Thom's Dublin Directory, 1885, lists the following:
Courtney & Co., iron merchants, 2 Usher's Island.
1885: The future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, then Prince and Princess of Wales, visited Carton during their Irish visit of 1885. [Elizabeth, Countess Fingall, Seventy Years Young, London, 1937, p182, quoted by Terence Dooley, The Decline of the Big House in Ireland, Dublin, 2001, p55]
1885: John Canon O’Rourke wrote on ‘Leixlip Castle and the Valley of the Liffey’, The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, January 1885, p22-29. [In RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI.] Among the references he cited were Rob in Turr. Lond. See ‘Leixlip Castle’ by a Kildare Archaeologist, p6. Harris’s Hibernica, p42; Annals of Ireland, p174 re Bruces at Leixlip; Moore’s History of Ireland, Vol iii, p63. 
He defined a carucate as: as much land as could be ploughed in one year by one plough [with 8 oxen], i.e, 60 to 120 acres.
1885: The JKAS published, in Vol II, 1896 - 1899, p392+, under the pen of Lord Frederick FitzGerald, notes taken from a pamphlet called Leixlip Castle which was written by Very Rev James Canon O'Rourke, PP, Maynooth, in 1885 (inc. illustrations). The author states that Sir N Whyte was granted the Manor of Leixlip, two castles, a water-mill, a salmon-weir, two fishing places, called the Salmon Leap, on the river Annaliffey, [= Liffey] Priorstown Meade, and other demesne lands of the manor.. in 1570.These notes provide a good resume of the history of Leixlip; it is not clear where the location of the single mill was in 1570...
1885: Stephen Grant, of 2 The Mall, Leixlip, was appointed process officer (in the service of civil bills) for Celbridge District by Judge William Frederick Darley on 7/4/1885 (A printed public notice is on the source file). On the 25/4/1885, a Mr M? Yeats wrote from an address at Tenterfield, Celbridge, that the poor Grant was dead from a cold got from standing in the hall of the Court House, Naas. Dr. White had been attending him. Yeats was returning Grant's papers, given to him by Grant's daughters [Records of the Clerks of the Crown etc, Co. Kildare, 1C 26 83, NA]. Tenterfield was the name of the glebe or rectory at Celbridge.
1885: A General Election was held this year. Like that of 1880, the RC clergy were invited to take part in selection conventions. This was the first year the party ‘pledge’ was introduced and the centralisation of national politics. [Gerard Moran, ‘Political Developments in King’s County, 1868-1885’, in Nolan & O’Neill (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p767-98.] For more information on this period, see KT Hoppen, Elections, politics and society in Ireland, 1832-85, Oxford, 1984.
1885: J L Carew, Nationalist, and Baron de Robeck (= JH Fock), Conservative, were elected to represent North Kildare in the general election held this year; the population was 30,630 (nth) and 35, 997 (sth). [BM Walker, ed, Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, Dublin, 1978.] De Robeck was drowned in the Liffey while living temporarily at Leixlip Castle.
1886: J L Carew was elected to represent Kildare North. [BM Walker, ed, Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, Dublin, 1978.]
1886: Samuel Robinson Roe died in Cooldrinagh House, Leixlip, on 14th October 1886, aged 54 years .He had acquired this house in 1874 [Registry of Deeds Memo No1874-42-243]. No less than three death notices appeared in the Irish Times; the first, on 15/10/1886, simply said "Roe - October 14, Samuel R. Roe, Leixlip Mills"; the second, the following day, gave his age, and death at his home; the third, on October 19th, stated that he would be buried tomorrow (Tuesday), the 19th at 2 o'clock in Leixlip. Roe's headstone in St Mary's cites his age as 53 years. His wife, Anne, [nee Belas] d.18/3/1923, aged, 83, and is buried with him.
By 1889 the flour-mills had been vacated, and the representatives of Samuel Robinson Roe described as the lessor; only the caretaker's house was in use. Roe's representatives were listed as lessor until 1896 and the flour-mill ceased to be used as a mill by 1902, according to the Valuation Books.
1887: In an article entitled ‘Rambles around Dublin’, dated in m/s 13/8/1887, newspaper unknown, Weston St John Joyce wrote of the Salmon leap: “Beware of guides. On any days visitors are expected loquacious and imaginative guides lie in ambush..” “Dublin people… will learn with regret that the scenery of the Salmon Leap is almost irreparably spoiled. A hideous shoddy mill rears its ungainly proportions above the beautiful falls… A mill stood on this spot for many years past, but about two years ago it was burnt, and now having been rebuilt with extensive additions it falls much more obtrusively on the view than hithertofore”… [more] He notes that from Leixlip House one could see the Salmon Leap, which may account for the earlier name, ‘Gazebo Park’ [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 19th & 20thc, MS 11658 NLI].
1890: Wm Richardson, merchant, of Tara St, Dublin, assigned unto Alexander Ward of 1 Berkeley Sq, London W, civil engineer, ALL THAT the mills of Leixlip with the dwelling house offices garden land and several workmens' houses belonging and formerly in the occupation of Patrick Farrell, containing 3a 1r 26 p Statute.. [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1890-61-50].
1890-1897: Leixlip was served by a steam tram-line, extended from Lucan, and operating from Dublin. The footpath on Leixlip Bridge was erected after the tram coming to Leixlip; it was replaced by a wider one in 2006.
1891: The Grand Jury Presentments, under the caption, Contracts at Spring Assizes, 1891, for 3 years, - North Salt: Moieties of Existing Contracts: (No.15): "To John Danford, Leixlip, 426 perches, road and footpath, from Leixlip Bridge to Mr Roe's mill, and to the milestone at Leixlip Station, 4s 0d p.p. - - £42 12s 0d". [See m/s notes for further references].
1891: Thomas Conolly of Castletown came of age in September, 1891, at whose celebrations Prince Albert Victor, heir to Edward VII, joined the nobility and gentry of the county in the celebrations. Albert died of the flu in January 1892. [Con Costello, A Most Delightful Station…, Cork, 1999, p193.]
1891: On 11/11/1891, Mary McGettigan, the Leixlip schoolteacher and principal of the Leixlip national school, was married to Michael O'Sullivan, another teacher, of 27 Goldsmith Street, Dublin, in Maynooth RC Chapel by James J Hunt P.P. The witnesses included Mary's sister, E[mily] M McGettigan. Mary's father was Neal McGettigan, teacher; Michael's father of the same name, a boot and shoe maker. Fr. Hunt would later be the defendant in a successful court case taken by Mary Ann McGettigan. A death cert for a Neil McGettigan, married, shoemaker, of Meenacross, nr Dungloe, Glenties, of 2/9/1900, is to hand. He was aged 70 at death and cause: "probably from malignant disease of liver".
c1891: At the rate collector's call in 1888, the Bridge House was again vacant and remained so until Anna Maria Courtney was present at his 1891 visitation, when the collector noted that Ms Courtney was paying "Rent of £16 (per annum) with taxes and to keep in repair". The valuation was reduced from £12 to £10-10s at that time. St Mary's Church of Ireland, Leixlip, Sustentation Fund accounts book has a Mrs(?) Courtney present and paying ten shillings on 27th December, 1891. Ms Courtney may have remained there until 1896; we can only surmise this because there is no evidence of others being there for that period. This Anna Maria Courtney was most likely the daughter - perhaps widowed or divorced - rather than the spinster, sister of Henry Courtney, iron founder of Leixlip and Dublin. Henry died in 1868.  
1891: John French Pigott of Togher House, Maryborough, Queen's County, and Joseph Cassan of Ballyknockane, same county, were trustees of the will of SR Roe and executors of the will of John Roe, late of 27 Upper Sackville Street, Dublin, and Tralee. George Robinson of Kenilworth Square, Rathmines, Dublin, was executor of the will of Frances Robinson, deceased, of 20 Gt. Strand St, Dublin. Perrin sued John Roe, and his executors, aforementioned, were the defendants. In consideration of the sum of £250 paid by William Richardson of Tara Street, merchant, to John French Pigott and Joseph Cassan, they the said executors, conveyed unto William Richardson all John Roe's estates and interest as such executors of the personal estate of SR Roe ALL That the Corn Mills of Leixlip with the dwelling house, garden, land and several workmen's houses formerly in the occupation of Patrick Farrell, 3a 1r 26p statute, and in pursuance of the order of the Master of the Rolls, made 25/4/1887, George Robinson released to Wm Robinson all the premises subject to payment of rent and performance of covenants in the deed of 9/11/1869, free from all encumbrances affecting the said SR Roe. [Registry of Deeds Memorial No 1891-29-263].
At least two generations of Piggotts [sic] are buried close by Samuel Robinson Roe in St Mary's graveyard - Jean Sophia, (d.12/10/1882); Wm. Wellesley Pole, (d.25/6/1886), Lucy Martha, (d. 11/6/1894, aged35 or 36) and Lucie Henrietta (d.17/6/1894, aged 80). Perhaps they are related? The last two lived at 27 Raglan Rd, Dublin, at their time of death.
1892: A Maria Courtney, spinster, aged 68 years, and of no occupation, died of chronic bronchitis, at 144 Abbey St., Dublin, on 1/2/1892. Was she, she of the Bridge/Toll House in 1891?
1892: Ethel Harriet Mabel Faloone, School house, [Classified as ‘Abode’ in Pro forma Register] Leixlip, died February 24, 1891, aged 4 - Parish Register, St Mary’s, Leixlip. The Faloone family lived at two adjoining houses in The Mall, Main Street, one after the other. Perhaps one was used as a school? Alternatively, the young Miss Faloone died in a school which was not her home address elsewhere in Leixlip.
1892: PJ Kennedy, Anti-Parnellite Nationalist, and JL Carew, Parnellite Nationalist, were elected to represent North Kildare in the London Parliament. The population of the constituency of North Kildare was 32,925 in 1891 [BM Walker, ed, Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, Dublin, 1978].
1893: The Kildare County Surveyor, Edward Glover, reported to the Spring Assizes of the Grand Jury (p.12) as follows: "I had to spend £6.10s 0d in doing work at Leixlip bridge, which the Tramway Company would not do for me, and more requires to be done. I am seeking to get back this expenditure from the Company, and I request that you will allow your solicitor to act for me in any action I might take".
Owen Feighery of Sureweld International has pictures of Fonthill Power Station [trams].
John Danford, of Leixlip, was contracted to repair 426 perches of road and footpath from Leixlip bridge to Mr Roe's mill, and to the milestone at Leixlip Station at 4 shillings per perch; the transaction was recorded at the Spring Assizes of the Grand Jury (p.39), 1893. Thomas Campbell of Leixlip, won a similar contract a decade earlier.
1894: Thom's Dublin Directory, 1894: lists as follows:
Courtney & Co, iron merchants, 2 Usher's Island; also John R. and Andrew C., at this address with residences as follows: John R Courtney, 47 Northumberland Road
Andrew Courtney, 49 Northumberland Road
Courtney, William M., and Mrs., surgeon-major, Bengal army, 82 Kenilworth Square.
1894: Evie Hone, brother of Captain Hone of Leixlip House, born this year; she died, 1955. [Details of her works in JKAS Vol XIV, No 2, 1966/67, p247+]
1895 or 6: ER McClintock Dix and James Mills, rapporteurs for a visit to Lucan and Leixlip by members of the RSAI in 1895 or 6, observed that “There are remains of a weir, and perhaps a bridge, connecting [the parish church of St Mary’s] and castle”. They asserted that the church stands on the site of a priory, but this is unsubstantiated. “The principal parts of the castle consist of two blocks at right angles, facing east and south. The east face and NE circular tower, though pierced by modern windows, kept in repair and occupied, are probably part of the original castle. This portion contains a room said to have been occupied by King John. The SE square tower and south front, though of considerable age, are of much less ancient date”. [Proceedings: ‘Lucan and Leixlip’, JRSAI, Vol 26, 1896, p419-25]
1895: CJ Engledow, Anti-Parnellite Nationalist, and JL Carew, Parnellite nationalist, were elected to represent North Kildare in Parliament. [BM Walker, ed, Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, Dublin, 1978.]
1896: Probate was granted on the estate of Isaac Jacob, Leixlip, general merchant [Ref. No. O.C.737, Deputy Keeper of Public Records in Ireland, 57th report].
1896: Rev. F.E. Knowles Bird resigned as rector of St Mary's from 30/4/1896. Thomas L. Palmer was nominated in his place by a board of selection which included Frederick Wookey, Jon Danford W.J. Irwin, Henry Galbraith, H.W.Gagen[?] and Archbishop Plunkett on 8/6/1896. He must have declined the invitation, as on 22/6/1896 they nominated the Rev. Richard Neville Somerville, MA. He made his declaration on taking office on Sunday, 19/7/1896; it was witnessed by Church Wardens, T Forbes Wills and John H Atkinson.  
1897: Mrs Stewart, with a residence at Bridge House, contributed 5 shillings to the Leixlip Sustentation Fund on 14/10/1897; one year before she had resided at Cooldrinagh Terrace, according to the same source. There are no further records of Mrs Stewart to hand. She was not Eliza, the widow of Dr Henry Hutchison Stewart, who had died on 22/2/1880, aged 73 years. [Nessa O’Connor, Palmerstown – An Ancient Place, Dublin, 2003, p108.]
1897: Queen Victoria over-nighted in Carton House. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p90.]
1898: Local Government reform replaced the Grand Juries which were landlord-controlled by county councils elected on a wide franchise, including women. [Joseph Robins, Custom House People, Dublin, 1993, p71.]
1898: John H Atkinson resided at 3 Cooldrinagh Terrace, Leixlip, and, in a letter of 18/2/1898 wrote that Edward Smith, formerly of Newtown, Leixlip now resided at 144 Rathgar Road and was not entitled to be a vestryman; he sent a similar letter in respect of S.B. Smith, also formerly of Newtown. A long row ensued within the select vestry with several members seeking a sworn enquiry, alleging irregularities in the financial affairs of the parish by the incumbent, Somerville. These persons included J Tuthill, Frederick Wookey, W J .Irwin, John Smith and R Claude Cane. Allegations about persons not entitled to vote on residency grounds and decisions made by previous select vestries were deemed by the challengers not to be binding on succeeding vestries. Somerville was charged with putting his own men on the vestry etc.
1898: The Valuation Books [incorrectly] record Roe as lessor of Bridge House until about 1898, when they were said to revert to Thomas Conolly. 
1898: Thom's Dublin Directory, 1898: lists as follows:
Courtney & Co., iron merchants, 2 Usher's Island; also John R. at this address with residence at 47 Northumberland Road
Henry Courtenay, esq., Hughenden, 67 Grosvenor Road, Rathmines
1898: By March 1898 a Miss Duggan was in occupation of Bridge House, Roe remaining as lessor. Duggan didn't stay long: within a year or two she was gone, to be replaced by a David Barbor (sic), whereupon the house may have become vacant once more until 1922. In 1915 Rebecca Louisa Bobbett, nee Nelson, of Cooldrinagh House was listed as the lessor, presumably having acquired it from the estate of Roe who had previously owned that house.
1899:   J Whiteside Dane, clerk of the Petty Sessions, Naas, sent a list of magistrates for the Petty Sessions District of Celbridge & Donadea to the Leinster Leader on 29/4/1899 in the context of a vacancy as a clerk. The magistrates included: Lord Cloncurry, Lyons Hazelhatch; Francis Colgan, Cappagh, Enfield; Sir Gerald Dease, Celbridge Abbey; Lord F. Fitzgerald, Carton; WF Kirkpatrick, Donacumper; and William Mooney, Leixlip Castle. [Co Kildare Records of the Clerks of the Crown & Peace, 1C 26 83, NA].
1899: Elections to the first Kildare Co Council took place this year. Included were Wm Ronaldson, ex-officio, Chairman of Celbridge RDC, and Francis Colgan of Timahoe. Election details are in Leinster Leader and Kildare Observer. [Liam Kenny, ‘Documents and Sources: Kildare’s First County Council, 1899’, JKAS, Vol XVIII (Part IV), 1998-99, p631-3.] The chairman was Stephen J Brown, a solicitor, [check] of Naas. Until recently, the firm of Brown & McCann, solicitors, of Naas has enjoyed a virtual monopoly over legal services provided to KCC since its inception. The firm ceased trading under that name in recent years; some of its component solicitors trade as W A Osborne and Company. The inaugural meeting of KCC took place on 22nd August 1899 in Naas Court House. [Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p111.]
1899: An issue of the Irish Builder of this year has an article on the history of St Wolstan’s; cited in RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20th c, MS 11658 NLI in an article by C L Adams on Leixlip Castle (paper and date n/a).
1899: Mrs Ferguson was residing at Bridge House, according to the Leixlip Sustentation Fund accounts book on 23/9/1899, when she contributed £2 from that address. Was she the widow of one of the Dr Ferguson's, or that of George Ferguson II (see 1870)?
1899: The average life expectancy was little beyond fifty: 32,000 people emigrated this year. [Diarmaid Ferriter, The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000, London, 2004, p30.]
1899: Soldiers pay was one shilling per day this year; from this monthly equivalent of £1 11s deductions of 2s 2½d were made. Sergeants were paid 2s 4d per day and corporals 1s 8d.


Leixlip Chronology 1850 -1869    
1850: Thom's Street Directory for Dublin cites as magistrates for Co. Kildare: John D[owning] Nesbitt and Wm. George Downing Nesbitt, Leixlip; both are also Militia staff.
William Ferguson [sic] is the Medical Officer at Leixlip dispensary.
Leixlip has fair days on 3rd May, 11th July and 9th October.
Richard Colgan is Clane Petty Sessions Court Clerk (sits 2nd Saturday).
Walter Glascock, Esq. is a resident at 65 Rathmines Road, along with Matthew H. Black Esq. and Mrs Black. Glascock & Black were a firm of solicitors in York Street - most likely the same.
1850: The House book of the Town of Leixlip, February/March 1850, compiled by James Montgomery with calculations by Thos Shortall, March 1850 [Ref. OL 5.3960, NA] notes of the Bridge/Toll House [No 2 Dublin Road Street] that "all (is) in good order and finish". There are various other comments relating to the situation of the Toll House, with its doorway access from the street, by a very steep passage almost inaccessible." [Details of room dimensions and qualities, and unusually, a sectional drawing of the house are in this reference].
Across the street, at No 1 Dublin Road, is recorded: "This is a nice summer residence but lies very low and is damp in winter and exposed to flood from the river - the occupiers scarcely can remain long in it - no yard. Gardens pretty well enclosed but subject to floods". Valuation, £6.5s. The tenant was Thomas Duffy. An undated photograph, suggesting a modern house, is in JD Walshe’s newspaper clippings of Lucan & Leixlip, NLI.
At No 9 Dublin Road, ie, the house at the eastern corner of Dublin Road and Mill Lane, recently turned into an office for the Educational Building Society, is noted that the property is James Kelly’s: a house and house return into Mill lane - coal store, stables, cow sheds - "Good business situation at a corner" "House in pretty good order". Valuation, £9 15s.
The House Book provides interesting insights into the rest of the town's houses, shops and churches. Many premises were said to be affected by the opening of the Midland and Gt. Western Railway. Of interest are no. 82, Main St., occupied by Patrick Farrell and lodgers - three paying 1 shilling each per week (valuation £4. 15.0) and next door, no. 83, also with Patrick Farrell, a house and cowsheds (valuation, £6.5.0) "all subject to floods from river". A map, to hand, provided by the Valuation Office, does not show nos. 82 or 83, but 81 - near the river Rye on the Main Street.  
At no.40, Main Street, is Wm. Fergusson's (MD): Main house [=Ivy House], including another house and shop front. [The latter are what is now the ESB shop and offices] Superior finish in house and shop. - Has about 8 acres to rear. Excellent yard and gateway to and from Street. "This is one of the neatest and most comfortable residences in Leixlip" Valuation £26 10s. Across the street, at no.39, Wm Fergusson has taken a lease on some land: "Land well fenced and enclosed - was some years ago a public nuisance just opposite Dr. Fergusson's residence - which was the reason he took it at such a high rent - £6.0 1d - and enclosed it also." This land, known as Levy’s Holding (or part of it) is a garden to the east side of Shingled House, between the House and the bridge road.
In Mill Lane, the workers cabins attached to the corn mill, nos. 1 to 9 "All the houses from no. 1 to 9 except no. 5 which is occupied by a caretaker, have been vacant for the last 6 or 9 months and are .. in very bad repair".  There are details of Ennis's corn mills in Buckley's Lane. In respect of St. Mary's the valuer notes: "The front entrance to this Church has been greatly improved by the removal of the market house which formerly stood between it and the street. There is now some iron railing and large and small gates in front and tastefully laid out gravel walks in front and graveyard in rear of Church" [No.7].
No.11 Mill Lane is the Black Castle residence: Henry Beere - house, return, office stable, car house, £8.15s. "This is a large showy house and yet there are only 3 rooms in it, one above the other." "The field belonging to this is now set to Mr Mitchell" (which field, no.20, was rented for 21 years at rent of £8 p.a.). Note that there is a Beere family plot in St Mary's graveyard from 1736. The Beeres were also in Maynooth. They are related to Molyneux of Leixlip's iron mills; see headstones. In an earlier time a Beere was a steward in the Irish House of Commons.
1850: House book for Leixlip Parish (excl. town centre),1850: No. 21 describes Mr John Mitchell's corn mills in Mill Lane: "Diameter of the outside wheel of the flour mill is 15ft 6 in. Breadth, 2ft; depth of float boards, 2 ft;32 in number. Fall of water 26 inches. Section of conduit is 2ft by 2ft 6in wide. Section of water wheel is 9ft deep by 2ft 6in wide, but is only 7ft over the sluice. The wheel makes 12 and a half revolutions in one minute when at regular speed but made 14 in one minute when I saw it, but the miller said it was above the regular speed. Inside wheel diameter, 16ft, undershot also. Breadth 2ft. Depth of float boards, 2ft; number, 32. Fall of water, 2ft 6in. The mill pond is 9ft deep and quite close to the wheels. There are 6 pairs of stones at the mill diameter 42 inches for grinding wheat. One for wheat, diameter 4... and two for dressing and grinding sharps?; one 4ft 6in, the other 4ft 8in. Can work five pair at a time for 9 months 22 hours a day, the same 5, 3 months 13 hours a day, allowing an hour for getting the men to work and changing the machinery. 10 screens, 8 pair of elevators, 2 flour machines. There was an iron factory quite close to the mill which had claimed the water until it only came to be only 5ft deep but it is now a ruin. On that account it can work more than before.
'Conduit' is the flume or man-made channel to take the water to the wheel.
1850: House book for Leixlip Parish (excl. town centre),1850: No.21b [the former iron mill]: The occupant is Mrs Frances Law, "formerly [it was] Mr Henry Courtney. Vacant dwelling, dwelling houses etc. This was formerly an iron factory but is now in ruins. The other items are of no value. The water wheels and machinery all taken away. "The dwelling is also in a bad state." [NB: the dimensions and particulars of rooms, wheels etc are all in the House Book].
1850: Summer Assizes of the Co Kildare Grand Jury [Ref. No 37] granted a contract to Garret Dalton, for three years, to repair 72 perches of the road from Mr John Mitchell's mill (in Mill Lane, Leixlip) to the corner of the main-street at Kelly's house, at 9d per perch for each year. At their Summer Assizes in 1855, a Thos. Campbell was contracted to do the same job for another three years, this time at 10d per perch. They paid him £1 10s per half year for this [Ref no.996].  Mr Campbell received several other contracts in 1861 and 1862 - to repair the road from Martin Connolly's forge at Leixlip to the Ryevale mill (i.e. Distillery Lane) and to repair gullets and parapets of several bridges - all for £8! [Ref No 1055]
Thomas Campbell died in 1871, aged 51, followed by his wife, Mary, who also died aged 51, in 1875. They and two of their children, Mary (who died in 1865) and Maurice (who died in 1870 aged 20 years) are buried in the old part of Confey graveyard. The Dalton family lived in Pound Street, adjoining Gaffney's Pharmacy; they have burial plots in St Mary's and Confey graveyards.
1850: With the onset of the railways, the Mullingar turnpike road was in particular trouble at this time. The Duke of Leinster was trying to get a Board of Works loan to assist with the road. He exchanged letters with His Excellency, (Geo Wm Fred Villiers) the 4th Earl of Clarendon, the Lord Lieutenant, at Dublin Castle, seeking to use his influence with him. In his several replies, Clarendon noted that the Board was independent of his office; that the Board had to fund the Grand Juries, who could only borrow money from the State, whereas the Turnpike Commissioners could borrow from any source [PRONI: D/3078/3/37; MIC 541/21, Duke of Leinster Correspondence].
Augustus-Frederick Fitzgerald, 3rd Duke of Leinster (1791-1874), was Sovereign Grand Commander of the Freemasons in Ireland, which was held in high regard at the time. [Con Costello, A Most Delightful Station…, Cork, 1999, p207.]
c1851: A new trend among well-to-do shopkeepers to no longer live over the shop but to take a prestigious house remote from their place of trading. John Wright Switzer (b.1806, Newpark, co Tipperary; died, 22/12/1891 at Moyvalley House), founder of Switzer's of Grafton St, married Lucinda Walker and bought Moyvalley House, Co Kildare, where he lived. Switzer was enabled to come up to town daily from Kildare to oversee his flourishing business by the revolutionary new transport system, the railway, which brought him to Kingsbridge Station. From there he could walk or take a side-car to Grafton St. [Anne Haverty, Elegant Times, Dublin, 1995 p17.] Switzer was interested in spas and set up a medico-hydropathic institute. His partner was William Beatty (d by 1890). Switzer was a member of the Freemasons.
c1851: Dublin's pavements were asphalted [Anne Haverty, Elegant Times, Dublin, 1995 p22].
1851: James Goodshaw, MD, died on 27/9/1851, aged 54 years [headstone, St Mary's] and was buried about 2/10/1851 at St Mary's CofI Leixlip (burial records). His wife Margaret died 24/12/1885 aged 76 and is buried at Glasgow Cathedral in her father's, John Buchanan's, plot [Headstone, St Mary's].
1851: Richard Fross, of Knaresborough, York county, and most likely a relative of the Tuton family, leased to John Mitchell of Leixlip, miller, and Wm. Smith Mitchell of Leixlip, his son, the mills etc. at Parsonstown for the lives of William, Walter and Laurence Mitchell, John's three sons, then aged 22, 17 and 15 years or thereabouts respectively [Reg of Deeds memo. no. 1851-8-246]. This dates John Mitchell and Ellen Molloy's marriage around 1828, and these boys were most likely born elsewhere, perhaps in Mountmellick, where Mitchell came from [unconfirmed]; (Mountmellick, Co Laois, "owed much of its prosperity to a colony of the Society of Friends", according to the AA Road Book of Ireland, 1965) In fact, TCD Alumni record Arthur Molloy Mitchell entering TCD as a boarder on Oct. 14, 1851, aged 19. He was born in Co Cork, the son of John, Miller, and was a scholar at TCD in 1854 and graduated in Spring, 1856 with a BA degree. His early teacher was a Dr. Graham.
1851: Freeman's Journal carried a front-page advertisement from a John Cogan, [sic] Auctioneer, Leixlip, advertising an auction of hay, oats, turnips, high-bred stock, farming implements on 14/10/1851 at Possextown, one mile from Celbridge and 3 from Straffan. The Coogan families lived in Leixlip for the whole of the 18th century and earlier. Two John Coogans are buried in separate family plots in St Mary's graveyard. One died in 1860, aged 51 years; the other died 10th December 1882 aged 96 years. They were trustees and benefactors of the RC Parish Church of c1844.
1851: The census of Ireland: part I showing the area, population and number of houses by townlands and electoral divisions, Vol i, Leinster, HoC, 185203. 
1852: By an indenture dated 30/x/1852 Jas Thos Conolly Saunders and his wife assured unto John Young, all the houses and gardens in Leixlip in Wm McLoughlin’s possession; bounded by the stone wall on the east dividing it from Laurence Conolly, the miller’s, garden, on the west by a stone wall dividing it from Chas Fellows’ field; on the north by Mill Lane, and on the south by the mill race to the iron mills.
1852: James Goodshaw, of Leixlip, had by now moved to 16 Fitzwilliam Sq Sth, having qualified in Edinburgh as an MD in 1843, having earlier practised in Lucan, Clondalkin, Dunboyne and Rathcoole as a dispensary doctor, having earlier been an apothecary. [Medical Directory for Ireland, 1852 p 47] He had moved to 122 Abbey St Upper, Dublin by 1854 [ibid]. Henry Shaw's "The Dublin Pictorial Guide & Directory of 1850" has Goodshaw at his Fitzwilliam Square address in 1850, and at his Abbey Street address he was in practice with a doctor Blyth, being described as "medical doctors, Dublin Homeopathic Medical Institution". Was this a second James Goodshaw, or just a late entry in various directories?
A John C. Ferguson MD was at 16 Nth Frederick Street and a Rev. Wm. Ferguson at 35 Camden St. There was no sign of a George Ferguson.
1853: Post Office Dublin Directory (for Thom's), 1853 has the following entries:
Courtney & Stephens, iron founders, engineers and farming implement manufacturers, 1 Blackhall Place
Courtney, Henry, iron merchant, 98 Middle Abbey Street and Leixlip works                                                   
Courtney, Henry, esq., 24 Fitzwilliam Place
Courtney, Henry, esq., 13 Russell Place
1853: Walter Glascock, Esq., of Rathmines, Co. Dublin, died intestate, according to the 30th Report of the Deputy Keeper etc.
1853: Queen Victoria visited Ireland for the second time, staying in the Phoenix Park at the vice-regal lodge.
1854: On 5/10/1854, Grace Maria Courtney, nee Hilles, died at her Sandymount home. On 27/1/1866 letters of administration, with a copy of her will attached - she left less than £1,500 - were granted to her son and residual legatee, Henry Richard Courtney, of Eccles Street. [Summary Wills and Admons, NA.] However, the Freeman's Journal of Monday, 9th October, 1854, puts the date of death as October 6th, of Asiatic Cholera, and her address as 98 Abbey Street, Dublin.
1854: Thomas Conolly, MP, of Castletown, demised unto The Rev James Thomas Conolly Saunders of Cheltenham and Augusta Sophia Saunders, his wife, by agreement of 16/2/1854, all the lands comprised in the lease of the RT Hon Wm Conolly to Chris Glascock, of Dublin, dated 10/6/1749, for ever, to their heirs and assigns at a yearly rent of £12 2s, payable 25th March and 29th September. (Glascock’s rent was £11 Stg + receiver’s fees) [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1854-27-128]. The lands conveyed were described as "the houses gardens orchards and park called the Tenther Park together with the park called the Furry Hill formerly in the possession of Robert Ingham and also the island next adjoining the said orchard between the same and the river Liffey .." The island referred to is the early site of the Bridge or Toll House.
On the same day - 16/2/1854 - Thos Conolly also demised the Black Castle lands to the Saunders couple, for the yearly rent of £3 8s Sterling, payable half yearly. This property had earlier been demised by RT Hon Wm Conolly to Christopher Glascock by agreement of 10/6/1749 for three lives at a rent of £3 7s pa and it had reverted to Wm Conolly's successor, Thos. Conolly [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1854-27-130]. The lands conveyed were described (in the earlier lease of the 10/6/1749) as "the houses garden and premises called the Black Castle holding adjoining the holding called Robert Ingham's holding which land and houses were formerly in the possession of the said Robert Ingham but were then in the possession of the said Christopher Glascock."
On yet the same day - 16/2/1854 - Thos Conolly demised to the same Saunders' couple the collection of lands (of 60a 1r 20p) at the Island farm, Tyands land and Hamilton Farm formerly held by James Glascock under a lease made 16/2/1788 with Glascock; a yearly rent of £59 3s, payable 1st May and 1st November [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1854-27-129].
1854: In contemplation of a marriage between Wm Smith Mitchell of Newbridge Mills, flour miller (son of John Mitchell) and Ellen Robinson, daughter of John Robinson, Drumcondra Terrace, merchant, John Mitchell and Wm Smith Mitchell granted to William Robinson and Walter Mitchell the corn mills at Parsonstown upon trust after the said marriage to the use of Robert Robinson and Arthur Molloy Mitchell [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1854-15-111]. Robert Robinson was most likely one of two namesakes who were born in King's County in 1810 or 1816, both of whom attended TCD as boarders. The older was the son of another Robert, a merchant and the younger, the son of Alexander, a brewer [TCD Alumni, ibid].
A memorial stone in St Mary's graveyard to "William Robinson, seven years Sexton of Leixlip Church, died 6th of February 1897, [was] erected by the parishioners as a mark of their respect". Despite a 28-year gap in the data, there were several Robinson families listed in Leixlip parish records between 1670 and 1778: Eastor [Esther] born to John, April 7 1678; Thomas, son of Thomas, of Confy [sic], June 7, 1724; Alexander, son of James, b. December 7, 1758 Leixlip; and John, another son of James, b. 9 December, 1759.
1855: Doctor Ferguson of Leixlip drew the attention of the Turnpike Commissioners’ surveyor to the bad state of a large sewer in front of his house [Ivy House] and drained to the rear. They decided [4/1/1855] to repair it at a cost of £8. William Fergusson, MD, Esq., died on 29/5/1855 aged 69 years, and was buried in St Mary's graveyard, immediately beside the Church. His headstone declares that he was "Universally regretted in the neighbourhood where he spent his entire life. This stone was erected by his niece."
Freeman's Journal of 31/5/1855 reports under Deaths: "May 29, [Wednesday] at Leixlip, W. Fergusson, Esq., M.D." 
1855: The Grand Jury Presentments record, under the caption, Contracts granted at Summer Assizes, 1855 (No.996): "To Thomas Campbell, contractor for 3 years, to repair 72 perches of the road from Leixlip to the mill, between Mr Kelly's house [at corner of Mill lane and Dublin Road] and Mr Mitchell's mill, at 10d per perch, £3 yearly; expires Summer Assizes, 1858, same act [of parliament], one half year ------ £1 10s 0d".
1855: The Rev JTC Saunders and wife, of Cheltenham, created a lease [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1856-3-176] dated 30/7/1855 between themselves and Captain John Hackett of 147 Lr Gloucester St, Dublin, whereby they transferred the lands of Ryebrook, alias Music Hall and Island Farm, and about 6 acres of Knockmulroony which wereformerly leased by Jas. Glascock, Dublin City to Pierce Hackett, Dublin City, esq., on 5/3/1800.The lease was witnessed by Thomas Conolly, Gent, of 16 Cabragh Parade, Dublin.
Pierce Hackett Esq d. 28/6/1829, aged 74; Captain John became Vice Admiral and died 6/3/1865 aged 80. John, his daughter Anne (d. 13/6/1870 aged 40) and wife, Julia, d.27/9/1874 aged 79, are buried in St Mary's graveyard [headstone]. Mr Hackett, of Moore Park, Newbridge, was commended for helping in connection with the murder of an officer near Parsonstown, Co Offaly in 1865. [Con Costello, A Most Delightful Station…, Cork, 1999, p142.]
1855:In a deed dated 3/2/1855 (but not registered until 1861), Royal Navy Captain John Hackett of the Music Hall, aka Rye Brooke, conveyed the Music Hall, 'Island Farm' and six acres of Knockmulroony to Alexander Wardrop, lately of Strathaven, Co Linlithgan, North Britain, and now of Dublin City for a term of 61 years at a rent of £3 per Irish acre
1855: May 31st, 1855, Freeman's Journal, reports on the agm of the Institution of Engineers - attendance and a discussion on the merits of single line railways.
1855: Courtney & Stephens, of Blackhall Place, Dublin, submitted tenders for the construction of 430 soldiers huts, etc at the Curragh Camp; sureties were given by Henry Knox, iron merchant of Bridgefoot St and Wm Dargan, the Carlow-born railway contractor. They won the contract. [Con Costello, A Most Delightful Station…, Cork, 1999, p27.]
1856: Slater’s Directory, 1856, notes that Baron de Robeck, JP, resident at Leixlip Castle, has modernised and greatly beautified it. Martin Lyster and Mary King were the master and mistress respectively at the National Schools, Leixlip, and Mary Mooney mistress of the Infants’ School, Leixlip.
1856: William Courtney, late of Blackhall Place, ironfounder, d 7/2/1856 at Stormanstown, Co Dublin. His estate was left unadministered after a grant on 18/3/1867 by [to?] his widow, Mary. Letters of administration were granted to his son, Francis S. Courtney, of 76 Radcliffe Sq, London CE on 29/11/1894 [379].
1856:   Anna Maria Courtney, a widow of Baggot Street, died this year [Deputy Keeper: 30th]: was she Henry's Mother? Was she married in 1801 to a John Henry Courtney, at Lucan, having a child, John, christened that year? No, it seems not, as Henry's father's name was David, according to TCD records for Henry's spell there (unless there were two Henry's the same age!).
1856: In a deed of mortgage entered into by Thos. Conolly of Castletown on a great deal of his manors etc, in counties Donegal and Kildare and for a term of 1,000 years, dated 1/8/1856 [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1858-4-122], he received £16,000 in exchange from Chas. A Forde, Co Down; there was a provision for a redemption of the loan after a year, subject to interest at 6 percent [Particulars in Registry of Deeds Memo No 1859-17-27].   
1856: This year John Henry, Baron de Robeck, [temporarily of Leixlip Castle] was drowned in a great flood of the river Liffey at Leixlip. [Archdeacon Sherlock, ‘Some Notes on the fords and Bridges over the River Liffey’, JKAS, Vol VI, No 4, July, 1910, p293-305.]
1857: Anna Maria Courtney, daughter of Henry Courtney, Esq., was married on 8/1/1857 to William Bonamy Maingay, Esq. with residence at Henry's home, 24 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin. Henry and James Galbraith, Henry's nephew, were witnesses at the wedding in St Peter's Church, Dublin by the C of I.
1857: In a deed of mortgage, for a term of 1,000 years [Reg. of Deeds Memo No 1859-17-27], Thos. Conolly of Castletown, in exchange for £15,000 paid by Alexander Hamilton, Coxtown, Co. Donegal, esq., mortgaged many of his manors etc., in counties Donegal and Kildare. Included were: the manor of Ballyshannon, etc. Co Donegal, the manor of Leixlip, the castle, Newtown, Stacumney, Leixlip demesne, Barnhall and Easton, Marshfield, John Downes former plot with rent of £8 3s; the late Robert Lawe's plot of 60 acres; Quarry park, a house and garden held by Richard Wilson in Leixlip town; Tyan's land formerly with Richard Williams; Newtown far Park (Rev. John Cane); fee farm rent of £12 2s yearly issuing out of the houses, gardens, orchard and park called the Tenther Park and the Furry Hill and the island next adjoining the said orchard formerly in the possession of Christopher Glascock in the manor of Leixlip; also the Island farm and Hamilton's farm (formerly with Jas Glascock) and the Black Castle holding (formerly with Christopher Glascock); and a plot of land with Peter Paul Labarte Touche (Ivy House?). There was a provision for a redemption if the £15K loan was repaid after a year, subject to interest at 6 percent. This loan was sequel to that in Memo No 1859-17-27.
1857: Dr. George Fergusson was in dispute with Rev. Henry Stewart over his late uncle, Dr William Fergusson's pew in the chancel of St. Mary's and was boycotting the church. George was William's nephew and he was married at this time; there is no mention of children [Letter of 4/11/1857 from Rev Stewart to the Vicar General of the Diocese].
1857: On April 17th 1857 100 patients were transferred from Hardwick St hospital to Dr Henry Hutchinson’s ‘Asylum for Lunatics of the Middle Classes at Lucan’, which was by them in the old Spa Hotel. As he wished to retire (around 1866) from the management of the above, he offered to hand over his asylum as a paying concern, together with a donation of £5,000, to allow an institution for mentally handicapped children to be established. By 1869 it transferred to Palmerstown House, where it remains to this day. [Nessa O’Connor, Palmerstown – An Ancient Place, Dublin, 2003, p107-114.]
1857: A report of the CofI Archbishop's commissioners to enquire into the value of the Leixlip Glebe was made on 21/9/1857. It noted the following improvements made by the Rev. [Henry] Stewart: a laundry with a proper boiler and a scullery with a sink stone on the ground floor; a closet and dressing room on the second storey, that is the parlour storey; a knife and shoe room and water closet nearby; a loft and a range of sheds in the stable yard of the said Glebe House, containing servants apartments and store rooms,.. and permanent stone steps to the upper floor.
1859: John Mitchell is described in the Valuation Book for Parsonstown as the tenant of Richard Fross, in Newbridge Feed and Flour Mill. By the next insertion, in 1866, William S. Mitchell (John Mitchell's son) had succeeded John Mitchell and Mitchell had also become the lessor in place of Fross. Roe followed Mitchell as tenant and the valuer has noted "very little doing for three years, lease 100 years". In fact by deed of 12/11/1864, Wm Smith Mitchell, Robert Robinson, and Arthur Molloy Mitchell, leased these mills, including house, offices, corn mills, kilns, water wheels and water rights to S Robinson Roe at an annual rent of £150 [See 1864 entry].
1859:   Arthur Molloy Mitchell, 3rd son of John, Leixlip, Co Kildare, miller, and Ellen Molloy, was b.1832, educated at TCD, admitted as a student to the King's Inns at Michaelmas term, 1854, to the English Bar in 1855 and qualified with the degree of Barrister at Hilary term, 1859 [King's Inn Admissions Papers, 1607 - 1867, Keane, Phair and Sadleir, Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1982].
1859: In an indenture of mortgage dated 24/5/1859, Alexander Hamilton paid £15K to Tom Conolly, using the lands of Donegal and Kildare - including the Tenther Park - as collateral [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1859-17-27].
1859: John Young, architect, of Lucan, demised to Edwin C. Seal, the Black Castle and lands, forever at a rent of £25 p.a [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1859-42-62].
1859: The names and addresses of several important local persons, all members of St Mary's vestry, are contained in a letter of consent dated 26/3/1859; the consent was to authorise repairs to Leixlip church. Those who signed their name and address were: Charles Puschell Hoffmann, Leixlip Castle; D Simmonds, Collinstown House; William Pigott, Ryevale; Edmd. Whitmore, Stacumnie Lodge; John Alfred Trench, St. Catherine's Park; Henry Danford A.B., Castletown; Richard Donovan, Leixlip; John Danford, Castletown; and John Coley, Eastown. [sic, Easton]. The Danfords had Danford Lodge, Leixlip Gate entrance to Castletown and later Newtown House. [Church of Ireland library loose Leixlip papers].  A John Piggott was granted lands at Disert, co Offaly or King’s County in 1563. [Nolan & O’Neill, (eds), Offaly History & Society, p252.]
Captain Pigott’s horse, Excelsior, ridded by Capt Harford, was the winner of the Prince of Wales’s Plate, for £500, at the Punchestown races held in April,1868 in the presence of the Prince of Wales. Was he of the Leixlip family, who lived at Ryevale for the next 25 years or so?
1860: The decline of Irish engineering and iron works set in [See Mallet, p.11]
1860: Colonel R. Claude Cane, owner of St Wolstan's, noted that the New Bridge had survived a 40 foot rise [flood] in the Liffey on 6/10/1860, losing only a few feet of the parapet.
c1860: Jane Wigham Shackleton, of Anna Liffey Mills, Lucan, took a photograph of the 'Old mill at Ryewater, Buckley's lane, Leixlip'. Reproduced by Richard Shackleton on page 234, JKAS Vol XVII, 1987 - 1991. This was Ennis’s mill.
1860: A deed of conveyance dated 6/12/1860, Jas Thos C Saunders and his wife Augusta Sophia Saunders, acknowledging an earlier agreement dated 30/7/1855 between themselves and John Young, did assure unto John Young the houses and garden in Leixlip town then in the possession of Wm McLaughlin, mearing on the east by a stone wall adjoining Laurence Connolly, miller’s garden; on the west by a wall separating the land from that of Chas Fellows, on the north by part of the street of Leixlip and the road to Marshfield and on the south by the mill race leading to the iron mills, except the stream from the mill race to Marshfield, at a rent of £17 0s 2d. Chas Jas Seagreave, a judge of the Landed Estates Court Ireland, in consideration of £400 paid by Oliver Mills, Abbeyleix, Co Laois, to the Court and to the credit of the estate of the Rev Jas T C Saunders and his wife, owners and petitioners, did grant to Oliver Mills the said perpetual yearly rent of £17 0s 2d created by the indenture of 13/7/1855, for ever upon trusts of an indenture of 4/7/1815 made on the marriage of John Steele and Elizabeth Massy, subject to conditions in an indenture on the part of the grantor, and subject to a perpetual yearly rent of £3 8s Stg created by an indenture dated 16/2/1854 between Thos Conolly and the Saunders couple. The judge also granted to Oliver Mills the Tenter Park and Furry Hill, formerly in the possession of Robert Ingham, and the island next adjoining the orchard between the same and the Liffey which was formerly in the possession of Wm Conolly and which lands and premises were formerly in the possession of Chris Glascock - subject to a rent of £12 2s created by the indenture of 16/2/1854; and also subject to the tenancy of George Ferguson under a lease for lives for ever dated 8/12/1752 made by Chris Glascock to Wm McGowan at a rent of £5 1s 6d, the last renewal of which was dated 8/11/1848. [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1860-37-194.]
1860: Thos Conolly of Castletown mortgaged much of his property in Donegal, etc, including Tenther Park, Leixlip, to Wm Collum, surgeon major, Bombay and assay master in the mint there, for £5.5K, plus interest at 6%. The date was 25/6/1890. [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1863-23-89.]
1860: Outbreak of scarlatina this year in the Curragh; perhaps it was more widespread? [Con Costello, A Most Delightful Station…, Cork, 1999, p131.]
1861: Queen Victoria visited Ireland for the third time, staying in the Phoenix Park at the vice-regal lodge.
1861: Census of this year contrasts the decline in the number of poor quality houses between 1841 and 1861 within the County Kildare [C O'Danachair, JKAS, p234+, VolXIV, No. 2, 1966/67].
1861: Leixlip RC Church Register of Marriages records the marriage of Anne Farrell, daughter of Jane and Patrick Farrell of Leixlip to Wm Sheridan, son of Patrick & Bridget Sheridan of Leixlip, on 1/10/1861. The witnesses were Wm. Byrne and Esther Dalton.
1861: The 18th century county jail at Naas was re-modelled into the existing Town Hall there [Con Costello, Kildare, Donaghdee, Co Down, 2005, p28].
1862: Leixlip RC Church Register of Marriages records the marriage of Jane Farrell, daughter of Jane and Patrick Farrell, of Leixlip to Edmond Ellis, son of Edmond & Jane Ellis of Leixlip, on 12/10/1862. The witnesses were Wm. Sheridan and Esy Dalton.
1862: Patrick Farrell, occupier, Toll/Bridge House, according to Rates Books.
Thos. Conolly of Castletown demised to Patrick Farrell, miller, of Longford in Co. Longford, "all that and those the Corn Mills of Leixlip with the dwelling house offices garden land and the several workmen’s houses thereunto belonging.. containing according" etc. 3 acres 1 rood and 26 perches to hold the same from 29/9/1862 for 300 years with rent of £65 sterling. Reserved to Thos Conolly were the rights to fishing in the Liffey, all timber, etc standing and growing (and those in the future), all mines and minerals, the rights of access etc with horse and carts and carriages. Farrell was required to build a 3 or more storey corn mill within 5 years, spending at least £1k on it, to be at least 24 feet in height, 60 feet in length and 25 feet in depth with the necessary mill dam and sluice gates thereto ... and also to put up and erect in said Mill six pair of mill stones necessary for the efficient working of said mill and carrying on the corn and flour business" and in default of which the said lease shall then become null and void. Land Registry Ref. 1862-37-71. The lease, dated 18/8/1862, is included in the Castletown Papers collection (IAA) and the map, attached to same, is virtually identical to that which is in hand relating to a later deed of 1869 between Thos Conolly and Samuel Robinson Roe.
The King's Inns Admission papers contain several applications from Farrells from Co. Longford in the late 18th century. See m/s abstracts.
The nine workmen’s houses in Mill Lane (nos. 1 to 9, Griffith) were vacant from 1860 until and including the revision or collection of 1863; three of them were occupied sometime between then and 1866. The last of these houses - a small, single storey cottage, of about 25 square metres in floor area, was demolished in 1998. 
No. 2 Dublin Road St (the Bridge House) was deemed to be occupied by the representatives of John Mitchell (then deceased?) in 1861and said by the rate collector to be vacant at that time, but occupied by Pat Farrell in 1863 when he next called. In 1861 or thereabouts the caretaker's house, offices, store and flour mill in Mill lane were said to be vacant by the rate collector (who classified the rates due as 'nil' on the buildings), and they had reverted to Thomas Conolly in 1862. At the 1863 collection or review Pat Farrell was in occupation, with the rates set at £110 on the buildings, including £1 on the caretaker's house. Farrell remained there until the review of August 1866 and perhaps 'til the following year, when the rate collector noted that the "buildings (were) in very bad repair and a great part gone completely to ruin - 5 pair of stones (were) in working order. (It) works 4 (pairs of stones) about 12 hours a day on flour except for about 3 months when two of them are used for grinding Indian corn. (The) buildings are not worth more than £15 or £17". Subsequently their valuation was reduced to £15, from £49 and from £110 (in 1866). By 1869 the mills were vacant once more.
A Patrick Farrell was the occupier of (Griffith's) no. 83, Main Street, about 1860, as well as land (nos. 12 and 18 - about 9 acres) in Leixlip at that time and the lessor of two houses, nos. 81 and 82 Main Street. By 1866 the land at no.12 had transferred to Patrick Farrell Senior. Between 1869 and 1871 the Farrells had cut their connections with the lands and houses in Leixlip, including the Bridge House; the latter had reverted to the lessor by about 1869.  
The rateable valuation of the Bridge House had stood at £13 since the original Griffith's valuation in 1850[?], plus a valuation of £1-10s for the land (2 roods and 27 perches - a little over half an acre) until 1869, when the house and office (ie, shed or outside lavatory) was reduced in value to £10.
1862: The Medical Register,1859 - the first in the series - listed George Fergusson, MD, at Leixlip, Co Kildare, for each of the years 1859 to 1864 and not thereafter. The Medical Directory for Ireland lists a Dr George Ferguson of Leixlip, for this year; he was unlisted by 1870. He died and left his widow, Sarah. She moved to Waterloo Rd, Dublin, and surrendered the lease on Ivy House.
1863: Robert, Patrick and Jas. Farrell, of Longford, all millers, took out a mortgage for £1200 with the Bank of Ireland [Reg. of Deeds Memo No 1863-5-31] on 5/3/1863, using as collateral Patrick Farrell's lease for 300 years on the mill buildings (3a 1r 26p statute measure) at Leixlip, which included a covenant requiring them to spend £1K within 5 years and a mill at Castlerea, Co Roscommon, which had been assigned to James Farrell (lease dated 24/3/1856, originally between Wm Sandford and Peter Dillon).
On 28/9/1863, they had another (replacement) mortgage [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1863-33-101] created for a sum of £1500 with provision to run it up to £1700, and otherwise identical to the above mortgage.
1863: Con Costello, Kildare Saints, Soldiers & Horses, Naas, 1991, P20: Thomas Lacy, Sights and Scenes in our Fatherland, 1863, described his visits by rail about the country, including Leixlip ‘a very sinking place’.
1864: Kildare County Surveyor, John Yeats, told the Spring Assizes of the County Grand Jury that in his 26 years in that post the roads under their control had increased from four or five hundred miles to 1,137 miles.
1864: Spring Assizes, Co Kildare Grand Jury, Thos. Campbell was commissioned to repair or make 45 perches of roadway, including the footpath at both sides, from Leixlip to the Manor Mill and to Dr Ferguson's gate [i.e. Ivy House], at 1s 6d per perch, a total of £1 13s 6d. [ref no. 953].
1864: This lease [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1864 -35 –2] confirms the relationships between the Roes, Belas's and Mitchells. In it is confirmed that John Mitchell, now deceased, is the father of William Smith Mitchell, Walter Mitchell, and Laurence Mitchell. Also confirmed is that there was an indenture of a marriage settlement (dated 14th June 1854) when Wm S Mitchell married Ellen Robinson, and Robert Robinson and Arthur M. Mitchell were the trustees of the settlement, with Samuel Robinson Roe of Monordree Mills, Mountmellick, a third party to the settlement. In pursuance of the agreement and for and in consideration of the yearly rent and covenants, Wm Smith Mitchell, Robert Robinson and Arthur Molloy Mitchell, out of their several estates did demise etc. unto Samuel Robinson Roe parts of Parsonstown, formerly called Castle Park, of 4 acres Irish, plus a further 2.5 acres adjoining, together with the stores, dwelling houses, cottages, corn mills, and kilns known as Newbridge Mills, and all the mill equipment, and rights of water etc., as lately occupied by Wm S Mitchell, for a rent of £150 sterling, during the lives of John Mitchell's three sons. The deed was witnessed by George Henry Belas, Dublin, solicitor, and another. In 1870, this Belas was, from an address at Newbridge Mills, Celbridge, paying £3 to St Mary's Sustentation fund.
1864: Harriet Courtney, 'private lady', aged 58, spinster sister of Anna Maria Courtney and brother of Henry Courtney, iron founder, Leixlip and Dublin, died of cancer of the liver and pancreas on 28/11/1864 at 118 Baggot Street, where she lived with Anna Maria and a bachelor brother, Richard, leaving Anna Maria as sole executrix. Her will was proved by oath of Anna Maria. Harriet left less than £12,000. Henry Courtney's residence at this time, according to Thom's Dublin Directory, was at 24 Fitzwilliam Place South, Dublin (from at least 1845).
1864: Henry Lazarus, of 86 Marlborough St, Dublin, jeweller, obtained a court judgement against Thos. Conolly for a debt of £2K on 13/10/1864. Lazarus then secured a charge or lien on Thos. Conolly's lands in Donegal, Kildare etc, including Tenther Park, Leixlip. [Registry of Deeds, Memo No 1864-36-84].
1865: On 7/1/1865, the Royal Bank of Ireland obtained a court judgement against Thos. Conolly MP of £2141 15s plus costs and 6% interest, which led to a lien or mortgage on Conolly's lands in Cos. Donegal and Kildare; included was the manor of Leixlip [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1865-6-43]
1865: A letter, dated 25/8/1865, was written to a newspaper editor [title, date n/a] by ‘Clericus Dubliniensis’ about the subject of Leixlip Church [of Ireland], co Dublin [sic]. The writer cites Archdeacon Cotton’s Fasti Ecclesiae Hiberniae, vol 1, p54, which provides information on William Williams, archdeacon of Cashel. He refers to the tablet in the church floor dedicated to Deborah. Says Narcissus Marsh was Archbishop of Cashel from 1690-94 and then at Dublin and later at Armagh and that .. “for some time occupied the old-fashioned house at Leixlip, which is still very commonly known as ‘the Archbishop’s Palace’, but is divided into several small tenements… the church (which has been greatly improved within the past few years, chiefly through the liberality of the present good rector of the parish)..” [RD Walshe, Cuttings and Notes, Lucan and Leixlip, 20thc, MS 11658 NLI].
1865: Sarah Fergusson, of Waterloo Road, Co. Dublin, widow, surrendered her interest in a lease dated 26/8/1848 between Edward Francis French, surviving trustee of Alexander Lawe, and Wm. Fergusson of Leixlip, medical doctor, on Levy's holding of 1r 9p Irish, ground formerly with John Downes (2a 20p Irish) and also parts of the land called Furry Hill near Leixlip, formerly with Chris. McGowan and part with the widow Barry, including garden formerly set to Jas. Hayes [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1865-6-36]. Wm Fergusson had come by this land as the successor to George Fergusson, of Leixlip, apothecary, who had taken a lease of these premises at a yearly rent of £91 Irish from Alexander Lawe; the lease was dated 24th and 25/3/1800. The premises included what is now called Ivy House, but formerly included the ESB premises.
An Alexander Lawe Esq, d.8/1/1850, aged 78 years; his parents, Robert Esq., and Martha, had both died aged 79. Alexander Lawe's wife erected a headstone memorial to him in St Mary's graveyard [headstone].
1865: Rev Henry Stewart, rector of Leixlip Union, appointed James Floyd as curate on 8/12/1865 at a salary of £80 per annum [St Mary's Cof I church records].
1865: Thom's Directory, 1865 has the following entries under gentry, merchants etc.:
Courtney, Henry, 24 Fitzwilliam Place South
Courtney, Henry K[nox], merchant, 38 - 40 Bridgefoot Street and 1 & 2 Usher's Island, residence, 7 Pembroke Road
Courtney Stephens & Co., iron founders and engineers, 1 & 2 Blackhall Place
Courtney Stephens & Co., paper manufacturers,            1 & 2 Blackhall Place
1865: The General Iron Foundry Co., London, got a Court judgement for £1028 plus costs against T. Conolly MP, leading to a mortgage on the latter's property in Cos. Donegal and Kildare; included is the manor of Leixlip [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1865-20-125].
1866: John Johnstone, cabinet-maker, London, obtained a Court judgement against Tom Conolly for debts owing and secured a lien on Conolly's property [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1866-2-250].
1866: Richard Courtney, 'private gentleman', aged 57, bachelor brother of Henry et al, died of cholera on 26/11/1866, late of 118 Lr Baggot Street. His brother, Henry of 24 Fitzwilliam Place, was present at his death. He left less than £6,000 for the use and benefit of his three sisters, and only surviving next of kin, Anna Maria Courtney, Sarah Galbraith and Elizabeth Kingston. Letters of administration were granted to David Chas Courtney of Fitzwilliam Place (nephew?) by order of Court, his brother Henry having failed to administer his estate before he died. Sarah Galbraith had married Rev John Galbraith, Vicar of Tuam, about 1821. Two sons, David, b. c1923 and James, b 23/1/1822 became lawyers [King's Inns, ibid]. 
Richard Courtney, Henry Courtney's bachelor son, died on 13/3/1867 at Albion Road, Clapham, London, his father's then home, perhaps?, after spending time in hospital in Rome. He left less than £800. By order of the court, his uncle, John Maxwell Hilles, of 48 Lark Rise, Clapham, had been given powers of administration, but failed to so administer, leading to Ellen M Hilles, spinster, being granted powers of administration for £300, the residue.
1866: OS54 – Co Kildare – 13/01 Salt North and South: map of trigonometrical stations made in 1866 of parishes of Leixlip, Confey, Donaghcumper, & Stacumny; names of the owners of property may be mentioned. Leixlip Parish No = E262, NAI. Documents Nos. OS55 a, and e, respectively, entitled, Boundary Remark books, contain particulars. [Ref Nos: OS 55A/8 & 59 and OS55E/262 1-3, NAI.] Content Field books, Ref. Nos. OS 58A/ 58 & 59 1-20; and OS 58E/262 1-7; and Road field books, Ref. No. OS 59A/8 & 59; and Levelling Register originals OS 65A/8 & 59 and OS 65E/262; and Levelling register duplicates, OS 66E/262 apply. All NAI reference numbers.
c1867: After helping the suppression of the Fenian rising of this year the Irish Constabulary received the epithet Royal.
1867: Henry Irvine, of Co Fermanagh, obtained a Court judgement in 1865 for £5214 damages which was registered in 1866 against lands and goods belonging to Tom Conolly's estates in Cos. Donegal and Kildare and there was due on security of these lands in 1866 the sum of £2K+. A John ED Mooney, of Doon, King's County, paid £1K to Irvine to buy his £2K+ secured by the property; the property included the manor of Leixlip [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1867-17-30].
Courtney Stephens & Co., iron founders and engineers, 1 & 2 Blackhall Place
Courtney Stephens & Co., paper manufacturers,            1 & 2 Blackhall Place
Classon Courtney & Son, iron, metal, and tinplate merchants, and steel manufacturers, 38 to 41 Bridgefoot Street and 31 and 32 and 1 and 2 Usher's Island
Courtney, John R., merchant                          38 Bridgefoot Street, residence, 17 Mespil Road
Courtney, Henry Knox, merchant,                 38 Bridgefoot Street, residence, 6 Warwick Terrace (off Leeson Park and Street Upper)  
Courtney, Captain,                                         5 Islington Avenue, Kingstown [Dun Laoghaire]                              
1868: Henry Courtney died in Kent on 30/10/1868, leaving an estate of less than £40,000. He had been living at 24 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin up to a short time before this. Anna Maria Courtney, his spinster sister, survived him.
1868: The Prince of Wales visited Carton this year at the behest of August Frederick FitzGerald, 3rd Duke of Leinster. [Padraic Farrell, A History of County Kildare, Dublin, 2003, p81.]
1868: A General Election took place this year. The effects of the 1867 Fenian rising and the Manchester executions (which included a Larkin from Offaly) were still being felt in Ireland. An amnesty for the imprisoned did not have the same impact on the election as the Church Disestablishment and agrarian reform. The latter had the complete support of the RC clergy and the farmers’ clubs. RC priests and bishops made the running on the issues and the selection or blocking of candidates. Archbishop Paul Cullen of Dublin, set up a political association called the National Association in order to lobby for laws favourable to RCs. [Gerard Moran, ‘Political Developments in King’s County, 1868-1885’, in Nolan & O’Neill (eds), Offaly History & Society, Dublin, 1996, p767-98.]
1869: A marriage licence was granted to Sarah Courtney and the Rev. John Galbraith in 1821[30th Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records in Ireland]. This couple had a son, James, born about 1822 in Co. Galway; he boarded at TCD from October 12, 1839 [TCD Alumni, ibid]. He would be in addition to David, above (see 1866).
1869: The Church of Ireland received compensation of almost £85 million under the Disestablishment Act, 1869. [JKAS, Vol. XVIII, Pt. 4, 1989-99, Footnote, p624,].
1869: Samuel Robinson Roe, flour miller, of Newbridge Mills, Celbridge, maternal grandfather of Samuel Beckett the writer, was given a 300 year lease dated 9/11/1869 by Thomas Conolly, MP on the premises "formerly in the occupation of Patrick Farrell", effective from 29/9/1869. The premises were described as: "the Corn Mills of Leixlip with the dwelling house offices garden land and the several workmens' houses thereunto belonging ... containing according to a survey lately made thereof three acres one rood and twenty seven perches statute measure to be the same more or less meared and bounded as the same were delineated and laid down in the map or plan thereof endorsed on said Indenture... together with all and singular the rights members and appurtenances to the said Mill land and premises belonging or in anywise [sic] appertaining together with full and free liberty for the said Saml. R. Roe, his ... assigns at all reasonable times in the day time and for his workmen and servants of ingress egress and regress into through and out of the garden on the western side of the Bridge marked on the said map to and from the head gates and weir appertaining to the said Mill and premises... at the yearly rent of sixty pounds.." Roe was required to proceed to rebuild the mill within the first year (rent free) and spend at least £3K sterling on at least a four storey stone or brick building, at least 70ft by 30ft and slated, using the stone from the old mill buildings, with at least six pair of mill stones and water wheel(s) and complete the work within three years. He was free to get at the sluices etc. on the west side of the bridge and he was required to insure the lot for at least £3k against fire or destruction. The mill had to ready for working by 29/9/1872. Roe's and Conolly's signatures were witnessed by Robert Cooper, Henrietta St and by George Henry Belas of St Andrew St. Dublin, both solicitors [Registry of Deeds Memo No 1870-3-108]. A copy of the full deed and the map attached to the deed is in hand. At this stage, the upper millrace had been channelled into the lower one; the lease included the millrace area and there was no mention of iron mill buildings on the site; the row of cottages nearest the Main Street were included, those east of the Black Castle (sic) were excluded. The dwelling house is one located at the eastern end of the site, not the Bridge House.

Straffan Rail Crash 1853

Kildare Voice 9 November 2007
Fog Lingers over Straffan tragedy
When a goods train smashed into the back of a stalled passenger train on a foggy day in the townland of Clownings at a point 974 yards south of Straffan Station on October 5 1853, killing 18 people in the process, the impact was heard all around the world.
The Dublin to Cork railway line had been opened just seven years earlier and was still the subject of wonder and awe because of the way it had changed transport within Ireland.
The ill-fated express train had been inaugurated a few months beforehand to bring tourists to the south west. It took six hours from Cork with some Killarney carriages added in Mallow. That such a wonderful mode of transport could be the cause of such slaughter added to the shock.
The shock was not just confined to Ireland. The Straffan railway crash was reported around the world. Just two rail disasters to that date had killed more people, Versailles and Norwalk, Connecticut. It remains the third worst in Irish rail history – Armagh (80 killed, 1889) and Ballymacarret Junction in Belfast (23 killed, 1945),
The victims were disproportionately wealthy and middle class – notables of the changing society of the 1850s.
One was a nephew of the emancipator Daniel O’Connell, who had survived a duel in 1811 at nearby Oughterard. Daniel McSweeney from Kenmare perished alongside his wife Anastasia.
Another casualty was a 37-year-old solicitor from Gardiner Street, Christopher McNally had 17 clergy at his elaborate funeral and his grave is marked by a lavish headstone in Glasnevin.
A third was John Egan a grocer and draper from Birr, Co Offaly who had a large family,. The unfortunate TW Jelly from Stradboe, Co Laois, a racehorse owner was decapitated when he put his head out the window. Jesse Hall from nearby Littlerath also died.
Those who survived included James Collis, the captain of a steamer which who had been one of the survivors of a boiler explosion at sea a few months earlier, and the mother and sister of Whitley Stokes, who was just 23 at the time and went on to become the leading Celtic philologist of his generation, and draw up most of India’s civil legal code during a spell there. It is unlikely Whitley himself was on the train, although there are contradictory reports to that effect.
William Allingham, the poet who brought us |up the airy mountain and down the rush glen” in our childhood, was the author of a melodramatic poem commemorating the disaster.
After an enquiry, £27,000 compensation was paid to victims, the equivalent of €2.37m today.
In the haste to find someone to blame for the tragedy, three crew members were put on trial for being “accessories to the death” and in the end blame was settled on the guard, Paddy Berry and his lamp, who became a footnote in railway history books worldwide.
That chronicle of all things supernatural, Ireland’s Own, records a railman’s legend that Berry can still be seen at night wandering up and down the railway line at Clownings forlornly waving his lamp, in deep distress at what he had caused.
The reality is that Berry, if he does haunt the place (October is a good time to keep an eye out for him) is protesting at the injustice of his being made carry the blame for something well, well beyond his control.
William Hutchinson from Clownings, who had come to the embankment after the train stalled, recalled shouting at him: “what the devil happened to you that you did not stop him.”
Berry replied.”the driver did not seem to mind me.”
The piston rod had broken on the engine of the train, which consisted of three first and two second class carriages, each having four compartments and capable of carrying 160 passengers but carrying fewer than 50 on the day in question.
Croker Barrington, solicitor the GSWR company, was on board and he dispatched Berry down the line wih the lamp because he knew the good train from Limerick Junction had been passed at Portarlington and was following twenty minutes behind.
Despite the warning lamp the goods train careered in to the passenger train with full force, smashed the first class carriage from Killarney, and turned the second class carriage on its side.
The engine and the remaining carriages were shot along the track for three quarters of a mile before they stopped almost at the station house
Locals converged to aid the injured. A hackney driver from Celbridge was calumnied in the press because he refused to transport the injured until he had been paid. The Unionist evening paper in Dublin claimed the locals had gone through the dead and injured rifling their pockets. It was(a bit like the Sun accusation against Liverpool supporters after the Hillsbororugh disaster, and it caused similar outrage in North Kildare.
The local landowners played their part, Edward Lawless and Edward Kennedy, who had been hunting nearby.
It was Edward Kennedy of Baronrath who got the best mention in dispatches, having taken command of the rescue operation.
The injured were treated in the nearby station house, still on Ordnance Survey maps although it was demolished in the 1960s, and the inquest was later heard in the station house, occasionally moving to the platform to avoid disturb patients who were being treated in the next room.
The signal lights at the station could be seen from a distance of two miles on a long straight stretch of railway, but investigators admitted that the recently built Baronrath bridge obscured that view.
The cause of the disaster was like the train itself, difficult to see in the fog. With the benefit of 154 years of hindsight it is clear to us – the hydraulic brake wasn’t invented for 30 years after rail transport.
The goods train, carrying a lightish load by today’s standard, had just two block brakes to stop 30 tons of dead weight travelling at twenty miles per hour, one at the front and tone at the back.
The driver of the goods train was expected to apply this when he saw Berry waving his red lamp in the dense fog a quarter of a mile from the stalled train. It was a hopeless task.
Even after 154 years, the fog still hangs over the Straffan rail tragedy.

Eoghan Corry examines one of the worst rail disasters in Irish history in his regular history feature for the Kildare Voice. 


My thanks also to John Noonan of Clane Local History Group who brought the rail disaster to me attention. It was well covered in the newspapers at the time - particularly in the Leinster Express.

November 20, 2007


Is a market town and parish, in the barony of West Ophaley, county of Kildare, 38 miles S.W. from Dublin, 12 ½ N.W. from Athy, the like distance N.E. from Mountmellick, and 81 ½ N.E. from Limerick, situated on the main road from the metropolis to the last named city, on the banks of the Barrow river and the Grand Canal, which here bound the counties of Kildare and Queen’s. The town, which is the property of the Marquess of Drogheda, is composed principally of a short street and a long range of buildings on one side of the road, whilst the other is beautifully laid out in gardens. The government of the town is vested in the magistrates, who hold a petty sessions once a week, on Saturday, in an apartment appropriated to that purpose over the market-house. The principal trade business establishment is that carried on by Mr.Cassidy, who has an extensive brewery and distillery in the town, and a very large corn and flour mill at Ballykelly, a short distance from it. A considerable quantity of grain is brought here for sale and sent to Dublin, and also exported to England and Scotland. There are two excellent hotels here, both called the “Drogheda Arms”-that conducted by Mr. Jones was built by the Marquess of Drogheda, is under his special patronage, and is considered one of the best on the Dublin and Limerick line of road.
The places of worship are the parish church of St. John’s, a modern building, with a well-proportioned tower, and a neat Catholic chapel. There is also now erecting a large Catholic chapel, which promises to be of great elegance when completed. The public schools are those in connection with the National Board and the Church Education Society-the latter also styled “the Model School,” being intended as a model for the other schools in the diocese. A dispensary is the other principal charitable institution. Near the town is Moore Abbey, formerly an establishment for Franciscan friars, now the seat of the Marquess of Drogheda: the demesne is delightfully varied with wood and water, exhibiting some very rich and picturesque scenery. The market is held on Saturday. Fairs February 9th, March 28th, April 29th, June 16th, July 31st, September 12th, October 5th, November 6th, and December 6th. Population of the town 1,097.
POST OFFICE, William Morgan, Post Master- Letters from DUBLIN arrive every night at twelve, and are despatched thereto at half-past twelve. – Letters from LIMERICK arrive every night at half-past twelve, and are despatched thereto at twelve. – Letters from PORTARLINGTON arrive every night at nine, and are despatched thereto every morning at five.
And their Ministers.
ST. JOHN’S PARISH CHURCH- Reverend Charles Moore, incumbent.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL – Reverend Patrick Healy, parish priest; Reverend Mr. Turner & Rev. P.Moloney, curates.
Passing through Monastereven.
To DUBLIN, the Royal Mail (from Limerick), every night at half-past twelve- a Coach, every morning at six; and one (from Limerick) every evening at five; all go through Kildare, Newbridge, Naas and Rathcoole.
To DUBLIN, a Van (from Parsonstown), every afternoon at ten minutes past one- one (from Nenagh), at two; and one (from Thurles) at half-past two; all go the same route as the Mail & Coaches.
To LIMERICK, the Royal Mail (from Dublin), every night at twelve- and a Coach, at twenty minutes past twelve noon; both go through Maryborough, Mountrath, Borris, Roscrea and Nenagh.
To NENAGH, a Van (from Dublin) every day at ten minutes before one-goes the same route as the Limerick Mail.
To PARSONSTOWN, a Van (from Dublin), every day at ten minutes past twelve; goes through Portarlington, Mountmellick and Kinnitty.
To THURLES, a Van (from Dublin), daily at twelve noon; goes straight through Maryborough, Mountrath, Rathdowney, and Templemore.
To DUBLIN, Fly Boats (from Mountmellick), call here every forenoon at a quarter before eleven, and night at ten; both pass Rathangan, Robertstown and Sallins.
To MOUNTMELLICK, Fly Boats (from Dublin), call here at four in the morning, and afternoon at half-past one; both pass Portarlington.
*** Boats for the conveyance of Goods ply between DUBLIN, MOUNTMELLICK & ATHY- and a Boat (from Athy), meets those from Dublin and Mountmellick.

Description of Monasterevin in 1846 from Slater's Trade Directory. 


[compiled and edited by Mario Corrigan and Niamh McCabe]


Maynooth and Kilcock


Maynooth is a small market town, in the parish of Laraghbryan, barony of North Salt, county of Kildare , 15 miles W. from Dublin and 14 N. by E. from Naas; situated on the northern bank of the Royal Canal . It is celebrated for its college, founded in 1795, by the Irish Parliament, and towards the support of which the Duke of Leinster gave a house and fifty-four acres of land, on a lease of lives renewable for ever, at the annual rent of £72. The college was opened in October, 1795, for the reception of fifty students: the number soon increased to two hundred, and, having received considerable additions, it is now capable of accommodating five hundred students. The college is principally supported by parliamentary grants, which, for the first twenty-one years, averaged about £8,000.per annum, and subsequently £9,000. This being deemed inadequate for the comfortable support of its professors, teachers, and free scholars, government, in June 1845, increased this grant to £26,000. There are besides several donations and bequests from private individuals, among whom the late Lord Dunboyne and Mr. Keeman, who bequeathed £1,000.for the foundation of a professorship of the Irish language. The number of free students is two hundred and fifty, who are admissible at the age of seventeen. This noble establishment, designated the Royal College of Saint Patrick, is under the superintendence of seven visiters and a board of seventeen trustees, a president, vice-president, dean, junior dean, and a bursar. The students wear gowns and caps, as well without as within college. The buildings form three sides of a quadrangle, comprising various lecture rooms, a refectory, a library, and a chapel, with apartments for the president, the master, and professors. Near the college are the ruins of an ancient castle, formerly the residence of the noble family of Leinster , which was destroyed by the forces under Cromwell.

The town consists of one long street, at the extremity of which is the entrance leading to Carton, the magnificent seat of the Duke of Leinster. The mansion, situated about a mile from the town, is a spacious and magnificent structure, consisting of a centre, with a handsome portico. The park is very extensive, and delightfully laid out: in one part of it is a stately pillar, and in another a tower, from which a fine view is obtained of the surrounding country, which is very beautiful, and in a high state of cultivation. In a neat modern court-house quarter and petty sessions are held-the latter every fortnight. Th parish church is an ancient structure, supposed to have been originally built by Gerald, Earl of Kildare, as an appendage to a college founded in 1516. The church was thoroughly repaired and modernized in 1744, by the late Duke of Leinster: the massive square tower of the ancient church still retains its original character. The Roman Catholic chapel is a handsome and spacious building. In a fine national school, erected by the munificence of the Duke of Leinster, a considerable number of children are educated, and others, of the female sex, are instructed by the lady-members of the Presentation convent. The charter, or patent for holding the market, is still in force, but is not made available. Population of the parish of Laraghbryan, in 1841, 2,714, and of Maynooth town 2,129 of that number.


Kilcock is a small town (or village) and parish, in the barony of Ikeathy, same county as Maynooth, about four miles W. by N. from that town, pleasantly situated on the banks of the Royal Canal, by which passage boats go to and from Dublin several times in the day; and to this circumstance, and its otherwise thoroughfare situation, its little trade depends, for it has no manufactures of any kind, and a considerable brewery and the inns are the principal business establishments. The place suffered much in the rebellion of 1798; part of it was destroyed, and the residence of Colonel Aylmer was burnt to the ground. A Roman Catholic chapel and a national school are the public establishments. Races, which commence on the 18th August, and continue a week, are well attended. Population of the parish, in 1841, 2,184, and of the town 1,537 of that number.



POST OFFICE, MAYNOOTH, John Mc Clean, Post Master. – Letters from all parts arrive every night at half-past nine, and are despatched every morning at twenty minutes past three.



POST OFFICE, KILCOCK, Eliza Allen, Post Mistress. – Letters from all parts arrive every night at ten, and are despatched every morning at three.





And their Ministers,


ESTABLISHED CHURCH, Maynooth- Rev. George Blacker, rector; Rev. Charles Tottenham Reade, curate.


ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL, Maynooth- Rev. John Cainan, parish priest; Rev. James Whittle, curate.


ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL, Kilcock- Rev. William Tracey, parish priest; Rev. Thomas Geoghegan, curate.





Through Maynooth and Kilcock, calling at the Coach Office, Maynooth.


To DUBLIN, the Royal Mail (from Galway ), every morning at three- a Coach every afternoon at five- and a Car every afternoon at two; all go through Leixlip and Lucan.

To ATHLONE, by the Mail & Coach, to Ballinasloe.


To BALLINASLOE, the Royal Mail (from Dublin ), every night at ten- & a Coach, every morning at half-past eight; both go through Moate and Athlone.


To BOYLE, a Coach (from Dublin), every morning at nine; goes through Enfield , Kinnegan, Mullingar and Longford.


To GALWAY, the Royal Mail (from Dublin), every night at ten; goes through Enfield , Kinnegad, Moate, Athlone and Ballinasloe.


To LONGFORD, by the BOYLE Coach.


To MULLINGAR, a Coach, every morning at nine-and a Car, every afternoon at two; both go through Enfield and Kinnegad



Description of Maynooth and Kilcock in 1846 from Slater's Trade Directory.

[compiled and edited by Mario Corrigan and Niamh McCabe]


Is a market town, the seat of a diocess, and formerly a parliamentary borough, in the barony of Ophaly, and parish and county of its name, 32 miles S.W. from Dublin, 13 W. by S. from Naas, 7 S.E. from Rathangan, 6 E.N.E. from Monastereven, and 5 W.S.W. from Newbridge; situated on the mail roads between Dublin, Cork and Limerick. The town derives its name from Kill-dara, or Chille-darraigh, the “Church or cell of the Oak,” from the circumstances of the first Christian church, founded here, having its site amongst trees of that kind. The town, which is the property of the Duke of Leinster, enjoys but little trade, yet, from the numerous remains of its ancient religious edifices, it possesses an aspect of importance, and boasts two admirably conducted hotels, for families and commercial gentlemen-they are called the “Rosmore Arms” and the “Leinster Arms,” and are both posting establishments. James II conferred upon the inhabitants a charter of incorporation; the municipal body consisting of a sovereign, two portrieves, and a certain number of burgesses and freemen, assisted by a recorder, with other officers; for many years these officials have, however, ceased to exercise any judicial functions, indeed the corporation may be said to be virtually extinct, and the government of the town is now vested in the magistrates, who sit in petty session every alternate Thursday in the court-house, a plain structure. Quarter sessions are likewise held in April and October, in the same building.
The cathedral of Kildare has long been in a ruinous condition, and although at various times partially repaired, it appears, at the present day, but a mass of ruins. The original structure dates its existence from a very early period; and it was repaired and adorned by Bishop Ralph, of Bristol, who enjoyed the see of Kildare from 1223 to 1232. The south transept is a ruin; the nave, which stands unroofed, displays some arches, and other architectural features, in the pointed style. The choir retains both walls and roof, and is used as the parish church; it contains the sepulchral vault of the Earls of Kildare and Dukes of Leinster. In the church-yard is the lofty pedestal of an ancient stone cross; and about thirty yards west of the cathedral is the interesting “Pillar-Tower of Kildare,” full one hundred and thirty feet high. Its origin is variously ascribed to the Danes, who, it is supposed, erected it as a watch tower; while others contend that this and similar towers, of which there are many in Ireland, are connected with the services of religion. Besides the cathedral, the other places of worship are the Roman Catholic chapel, a fine spacious edifice; the chapel attached to a Carmelite friary, and one belonging to the Presentation Convent. The principal charitable institution is the county infirmary, erected in 1780, munificently presented to the county by the Duke of Leinster. It will accommodate fifty patients, and in connection with it is a dispensary, the whole under the able management of W. P. Geoghegan, M.D. There are schools under the dean and chapter, and also the national board-the instruction of the female pupils of the latter is undertaken by the nuns of the Presentation Cconvent, who confer a great amount of benefit on the children of the poor, by their laudable exertions in the path of eduation. Near to the town is the celebrated “Curragh of Kildare,” supposed to be one of the finest commons in Europe, and containing, within its limits, three hare parks. Race meetings are held on the Curragh in April, June, September, and October. In September, 1821, his late Majesty, George IV, who visited these races, contributed to the club a whip of 100 guineas value to be run for annually. The market is held on Thursday; and fairs February 12th, April 5th and 26th, May 12th, June 29th, and September 19th. Population of the town, in 1841, 1,629.
POST OFFICE, Charles Dunne, Post Master. – Letters from various parts arrive (from DUBLIN) every night at twenty minutes past eleven, and are despatched thereto at a quarter past one in the morning.- Letters from LIMERICK and the SOUTH and WEST arrive every morning at a quarter past one, and are despatched thereto at twenty minutes past eleven at night. – Letters from RATHANGAN arrive every night at seven, and are despatched thereto at six in the morning.
And their Ministers.
CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF SAINT BRIDGET- Rev. William Cox, first canon; Rev. John Brown, treasurer.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL- Rev. Patrick Brennan, parish priest; Rev. Andrew Mc Mahon, curate.
CARMELITE FRIARY- Rev. Patrick Parr, prior; Rev. Michael Hughes, friar.
CARMELITE CONVENT – Mrs. Maher, superioress; sisterhood twelve.
CONSTABULARY BARRACKS- William Cuthbert, head constable.
COURT-HOUSE – David Brereton, keeper; William Keegan, clerk.
COUNTY INFIRMARY – Robert Cassidy, Esq., treasurer; Wm. Parr Geoghegan, M.D. surgeon; Francis Mayrath, apothecary.
JOCKEY-CLUB-HOUSE – Bryan Clancy, keeper.
Passing through Kildare.
To DUBLIN, the Royal Mail (from Limerick), every morning at a quarter past one; a Coach (from Monastereven), every morning at seven; and one (from Limerick), every evening at six; all go through Newbridge, Naas & Rathcool.
To DUBLIN, a Caravan (from Parsonstown), every afternoon at two; one (from Nenagh), at three; and one (from Thurles) at twenty minutes past three; all go the same route as the Mail and Coaches.
To LIMERICK, the Royal Mail (from Dublin), every night at twenty minutes past eleven; and a Coach, daily at twelve noon; both go through Monastereven,. Maryborough, Mountrath, Roscrea and Nenagh.
To MONASTEREVEN, a Coach (from Dublin) every evening at seven.
To NENAGH, a Caravan (from Dublin), daily at twelve at noon; goes through Monastereven, Maryborough, Mountrath, Borris and Roscrea.
To PARSONSTOWN, a Caravan (from Dublin), every forenoon at twenty minutes past eleven; goes through Monastereven, Portarlington, and Mountmellick.
To THURLES, a Caravan (from Dublin), every forenoon at ten minutes past eleven; goes through Monastereven, Maryborough, Mountrath, Rathdowney and Templemore.
To and from DUBLIN, Carts for goods pass through Kildare, but have no special calling houses.

Description of Kildare Town in 1846 from Slater's Trade Directory


[compiled and edited by Mario Corrigan and Niamh McCabe]


An incorporated market and assize town and parish (formerly a parliamentary borough), is partly in the barony of South Salt, but chiefly in that of North Naas, county of Kildare, 19 miles S.W. from Dublin; situated at the junction of the Cork and Limerick mail roads, and about a mile and a half from the River Liffey. This place was anciently the residence of the kings of Leinster, and the name signifies “the Place of Elders,” for here the states of that province assembled during the sixth, seventh, and eight centuries: and the ruins of various religious edifices still exist, as evidence of the importance once enjoyed by Naas. The town consists principally of one good street, which is chiefly inhabited by respectable tradesmen. The business of the place is mainly of a general retail character. There are four principal inns, of which the “Queen’s Arm’s,” at the southern extremity of the town, and the “Globe,” at the northern, are family, commercial, and posting establishments of the finest respectability. A branch of the Grand Canal, which comes up to the town, opens a ready communication with the metropolis; and the Dublin and Cashel line of Railway will come within about a mile and three quarters of the place. The municipal affairs of Naas are regulated by a bench of magistrates, who sit in petty sessions every Monday; quarter sessions are held for the district in October and April, and the general assize is held alternately with Athy. The public buildings are a court-house, a modern stone building, facing the main street; a handsome new gaol, situated at the south-western end of the town; a constabulary barrack (formerly the gaol), in the centre of the main street, and a fine military barrack, situated on the Limerick road. There are two dispensaries and a well regulated union poorhouse-one of the former is at Ballymore Eustace, a few miles from the town; they are both valuable institutions, and their benefits skilfully administered.
The places of worship are the parish church, a neat stone building, with a large but unfinished tower, and a handsome new Roman Catholic chapel. A convent of the Sisters of Mercy, established here, is a valuable foundation, and the pious and exemplary members are actively engaged in the instruction of poor children, and administering consolation and relief to the indigent sick. In the cemetery of the parish church stands St. David’s castle, now the residence of the vicar, and near to it is the diocesan school, instituted in the reign of Elizabeth. The other public schools are the parochial and national, both of which appear to be efficiently conducted. The markets are held on Monday and Thursday. Fairs January 15th, February 16th, March 17th, April 15th, May 1st, Whit-Monday, July 11th, August 10th, September 20th, October 20th, November 22nd, and December 15th. Population 3, 580.
POST OFFICE, Jane Parsons, Post Mistress. – Letters from DUBLIN arrive every day at twenty minutes before one and night at ten minutes past ten, and are despatched every afternoon at one and morning at twenty minutes before two.- Letters from CORK arrive every afternoon at one and morning at two, and are despatched thereto at twenty minutes before one at noon and night at ten.
Letters from LIMERICK arrive every morning at half-past two, and are despatched thereto every night at ten. – Letters from WATERFORD arrive every morning at twenty minutes before two, and are despatched thereto every night at ten minutes past ten.
And their Ministers.
PARISH CHURCH- Rev. Walter Burgh, vicar; Rev. Paule Walker, curate.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL- Reverend Gerald Doyle, parish priest; Reverend George Hume, curate.
CONVENT (Sisters of Mercy)- Mrs. Maher, superioress; sisterhood nine.
Public Institutions, &c.
BARRACKS (constabulary), Captain James Crawford, county inspector; Robert Gardener, sub-inspector.
BARRACKS (Military), Fisher, barrack sergeant.
COURT HOUSE- Richard Densmer, clerk of sessions; Mrs. Lapier, keeper.
DISPENSARY, Naas- Patrick Walsh, medical attendant; Andrew Currin, apothecary.
DISPENSARY, Ballymore-Eustace-Jos. D. O’Brien M.D., medical attendant.
GAOL- Rev. Walter Burgh, house inspector; William Clarke, Esq. governor; Rev. Walter Burgh, protestant chaplain; Rev. Gerald Doyle, Roman catholic chaplain; Mr. Patrick Walsh, medical attendant; Mr. Robert Hayes, apothecary.
SAVINGS’ BANK – Rd. Densmer, actuary.
STAMP OFFICE- Catherine Morrison, distributor.
UNION WORKHOUSE – James Butler, master; Susan Quin, matron; Rev. W. Burgh, protestant chaplain; Rev. John Delany, Roman catholic chaplain; Patrick Walsh, Esq., medical attendant; Mr. James Betteridge, clerk.
Calling at the Mail Coach Office-Hugh Miller, agent.
To DUBLIN, the Royal Mail (from Waterford), every morning at twenty minutes before two- the Royal Mail (from Cork), at five minutes before three, and the Day Mail, at ten minutes past one afternoon; all go through Rathcool.
To DUBLIN, a Coach (from Waterford), every evening at half-past six- a Caravan (from Dunleven), every morning at seven, and one (from Carlow), every forenoon at eleven; all go the same route as the mails.
To CARLOW, a Caravan (from Dublin), every afternoon at half-past four; goes through Kilcullen and Castle-Dermot.
To CORK, the Royal Day Mail (from Dublin), every day at twenty minutes before one; goes through Kilcullen, Athy, Stradbally, Abbeyleix, Rathdowney, Templemore, Thurles, Cashel, Caher, Mitchelstown, Fermoy & Rathcormic-& the Night Mail, every night at ten; goes through Kilcullen, Simolin,(T?) Castle-Dermot, Carlow, Leighlin, Kilkenny, Callan, Clonmel, Clogheen, Fermoy and Rathcormic.
To DUNLAVIN, a Caravan (from Dublin), every evening at twenty minutes past five; goes through Kilcullen.
To WATERFORD, the Royal Mail (from Dublin), every night at twenty minutes past ten, and a Coach, every morning at half-past ten; both go through Kilcullen, Athy, Castle-Comer, Kilkenny, Koncktopher and Ballyhale.
Coaches &c. which call at the LIMERICK COACH OFFICE, unless otherwise expressed- Andrew Dempsey, agent.
To DUBLIN, the Royal Mail (from Limerick), every morning at half-past two; goes through Rathcool.
To DUBLIN, a Coach (from Monastereven), every morning at nine-one (from Parsonstown), every afternoon at three, and one (from Limerick), every evening at half-past seven; all go the same route as the mail.
To DUBLIN, a Caravan (from Nenagh), every afternoon at half-past four-one (from Thurles), at a quarter before five, and one from the Black Bull Tavern, every morning at seven; all go the same route as the mail.
To BALLYMORE, a Car, from the Black Bull, every morning at six.
To LIMERICK, the Royal Mail (from Dublin), every night at ten, and a Coach, every morning at a quarter past ten; both go through Newbridge, Kildare, Monastereven, Maryborough, Monteith, Roscrea and Nenagh.
To MONASTEREVEN, Coach (from Dublin), every evening at five; goes through Newbridge and Kildare.
To NENAGH, a Caravan (from Dublin), every morning at half-past nine; goes the same route as the LIMERICK mail.
To PARSONSTOWN, a Coach (from Dublin), every morning at a quarter before ten; goes through Newbridge, Kildare, Monastereven, Portarlington, Mountmellick and Kinnity.
To THURLES, a Caravan (from Dublin), every morning at half-past nine; goes through Newbridge, Kildare, Monastereven, Maryborough, Montrath, Rathdowney and Templemore.
To DUBLIN, there are Boats, as occasion require, but they have no fixed periods of departure.
There are Cars, for the conveyance of goods, which pass through Naas, on their route to DUBLIN and other towns, but they are irregular, and have no office.

Description of Naas in 1846 from Slater's Trade Directory

[compiled and edited by Mario Corrigan and Niamh McCabe]


Leinster Leader 25 October 2007
Ghosts, ghouls and the echo of vanished coaching horses
– history meets Hallow’een
Ghosts, ghouls and graveyards loom large in the imagery of this time of year as preparations are made for that heady cocktail of ancient superstition and modern commercial overkill known as Hallow’een or in the old Irish, Oiche Samhna. Certainly, graveyards take on a life of their own (pun intended) at Hallow’een with stories of churchyard hauntings and strange happenings in the night being part of the seasonal folklore. Occasionally, despite the seriousness of the subject, there can be a touch of black humour in the retelling of a graveyard’s lore and legend. One the better graveyard stories (and all the more so because it has credibility) is centred on the burial ground in the picturesque village of Johnstown, just off the busy N7 Dublin road.
On entering the graveyard the eye is drawn to a large Celtic-type cross which bears the name of Richard Southwell Bourke who among his many titles was landlord of the Palmerstown Estate, Earl of Mayo and Baron Naas. However it was in another capacity that he was to meet a violent death. Hailing from one of the most influential families in the Anglo-Irish aristocracy he was given the plum job in the British Empire’s hierarchy by being appointed Viceroy to India. However his tenure was cut short when he was assassinated in a bizarre incident on an island in the Indian Ocean. The shocked British authorities were faced with the problem of how to preserve his body on the long sea voyage from India back to Ireland. The solution was to preserve his body in a barrel of vinegar earning for him, among locals, the nickname of the ‘pickled earl.’!
This is not the only tale that the Johnstown cemetery – well-maintained by the Johnstown Tidy Towns committee -- has to yield. Inset into the ancient church wall is a grave slab from the 15th century which bears the coats of arms of the Flatsbury and Wogan dynasties – the latter also connected with Rathcoffey castle. The Flatsbury’s have vanished as a name in modern times but one of their number, Philip Flatsbury, left a record for posterity with his compilation of a volume known as the ‘Red Book of the Earls of Kildare’ which although compiled in 1503 survives to the present day in the Trinity College library in Dublin.
The old church with its striking arch is a legacy of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John who were one of the great crusading orders. Indeed the placenames Johnstown and Palmerstown both take their names from the crusading and pilgrimage exepeditions of the middle ages. They formed contingents of knights who went to the Holy Land to defend it from what were perceived as the infidel tribes from the middle east.   The knights left their mark elsewhere in County Kildare not least on the county’s north-eastern border where they built the well-fortified castle of Kilteel.
Leaving Johnstown graveyard one looks across to the familiar and hospitable premises known as the Johnstown Inn,  part of a range of buildings which served the needs of travellers on the main road from Dublin for centuries. And if tangible proof were needed of the transport heritage of the locality a little up the main road towards Dublin, on the margin of the north-bound carriageway, an old stone can be seen. Closer inspection reveals a milestone which may well date from the transformation of the old Dublin road into the country’s first toll-road in 1729.
It is not difficult to imagine the scene at Johnstown with teams of horses being attended to at the stables beside the inn, forage and water being supplied to fortify the animals as they pulled coaches of anxious passengers hurrying to various parts of the country.
 And no doubt too in the late hours of the night the odd echo can still be heard from down the centuries of coaching horses – headless or otherwise – clattering down the route past Johnstown’s ancient cemetery. It may not be real history but, hell … its Hallow’een!
  • My thanks to Mr. Brian McCabe and the Johnstown Community Association who have mapped out a walking trail on the new footpaths linking Kill and Johnstown.
Series no. 38

Liam Kenny focuses on the historic village and environs of Johnstown in his regular column in the Leinster Leader, 'Nothing, New Under the Sun.' Our thanks to Liam 


Leinster Leader 18 October 2007
Kildare-born explorer recalled 100 years after Antarctic adventure
It’s the time of year again when householders will be dipping the oil tank, rooting out the hot water bottles from the back of the press, and ensuring that the there is a can of de-icer tucked in the car glovebox. And all because the temperature might drop to three or four degrees below zero on a few days of an Irish winter. Think then of the resilience needed to cope with weeks of existence where the temperature rarely rose above minus ten … add in biting wind, penetrating blizzards, and an almost complete lack of shelter and support and you will get some idea of the ordeal faced by Kildare-born explorer Ernest Shackleton whose name has become a byword for vision, determination and leadership.
Although the placid tillage lands of south Kildare might seem a long way from the ferocious storms of the south Atlantic it might not be all that surprising that Ernest Shackleton was to find himself in the pantheon of polar explorers. His father’s background was rooted in generations of stoic Quakers who had settled in Ballitore since the early 1700s. His mother’s maternal roots lay ultimately in the fighting Fitzmaurices, ancient Norman stock who had settled in Kerry. As one account of Shackleton’s life noted ‘ These two family lines – hardworking Quaker pacifists and hot-blooded adventurers – were to find a perfect point of fusion in Ernest.’
He was the second child of this union and spent his early years at the family home in Kilkea House, between Castledermot and Athy. His father however was unsettled and moved the family on several occasions so that by his tenth year Ernest found himself living in London. Not interested in following a conventional career into the civil service or professions he was apprenticed to be a ship’s boy in the Merchant Navy. Although it was a harsh introduction to life on the high seas Ernest seemed to develop a rapport with his shipmates and showed leadership quality,  earning the respect of old salts many years his senior.
While he was literally learning the ropes in the skills of long range navigation other currents were stirring in the drawing rooms of London which would eventually see him taking ship to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic, the one continent not yet coloured pink on the map of the British Empire. His first experience of the icebound southern continent was on the crew of an expedition promoted by Britain’s Royal Geographic society and led by Robert Falcon Scott of the Royal Navy. Scott and Shackleton’s polar stories, the first ending in tragedy, the second in survival, were to define for all time the British experience of polar exploration. Shackleton was to return to the Antarctic 100 years ago, when on 31 October 1907 he led his own expedition on board a ship called the Nimrod. His expedition, like others launched in later years, was freighted with serious scientific objectives to study the weather and geology of the Antarctic, but ultimately too there was the public expectation to plant the Union Jack on the South Pole before any other nation got there. The story of Shackleton’s expedition which came within 100 tantalising miles of the Pole, further into the ferocity of the Antarctic climate than any previous explorer, was itself surpassed by his later expedition on the ship, the Endurance, when the vessel became trapped in the ice and he led a mission to get help across 800 miles of storm lashed ocean.
It is the 1907 expedition which will form the theme of the annual Ernest Shackleton autumn school which takes place in Athy over this October holiday weekend. A programme of theatre, films, field trips and most particularly talks by polar experts will recreate the life and times of the most internationally famous Kildare native of modern times. It would be good if his achievement was also recognised by his county compatriots of the current generation. The full Shackleton weekend programme is available from Margaret Walsh at the Athy Heritage Centre, tel: 059-8633075.
  • Shackleton – an Irishman in Antarctica by Jonathan Shackleton and John McKenna published by the Lilliput press gives more detail on the explorer’s Kildare origins.
series No.37

Liam Kenny examines the life of ther great Antartctic explorer, Ernest Shackleton. Our thanks to Liam


Leinster Leader 11 October 2007
‘A long black line on the innocent green sod’
At first sight a connection between canals, the church and bigotry might seem an unusual one but such an association can be found in an account of a canal journey taken by an English lady on the Royal Canal back in 1837. The description, amusing in our times but no doubt deadly serious when it was penned, was quoted by Kilcock historian Jim Rochfort in a paper which he presented recently on the story of arrival of the Royal Canal in north Kildare.
He quoted from the memoirs of English writer Charlotte Brown who described how she was obliged to share the first class cabin on a canal boat with eleven priests travelling from Dublin to Maynooth. She said that she had never encountered looks of such ominous will as from these gentlemen under their slouched hats. Clearly a member of the reformed churches and not enamoured with the Catholic creed she claimed that not alone were these Catholic priests destroying their own souls ‘ but also those of the poor, the turbulent Irish papist, ‘ who were as much in need of reclaiming as the Irish bogs’.
And her ordeal – self-imposed or otherwise – did not end with that observation. She recounted that when the boat reached Maynooth harbour as each of the priests brushed past her, she said a little prayer, that God would convert them from the error of their ways. And in a parting shot that was as bigoted as it was colourful she watched them move towards the college and observed ‘ a long black line on the innocent green sod going towards the great curse of Ireland – that foul blot of England’s unrighteous legislation – Maynooth’ – a rancid reference to Westminister’s approval for the setting up of the Catholic College in the late 18th century.
Long before this episode laden with sectarian undertones took place the placid waters of the Royal Canal had already seen controversy. Historian Jim Rochfort explained that the channel had no sooner reached Kilcock in 1792 when the canal company went bankrupt – the £118,000 cost of the works no doubt being the contributory factor. A loan package of another £50,000 allied with government support enabled the construction to continue westward – the steep double-lock right at Kilcock being one of the engineering achievements. However the canal workers were to encounter more difficulties  attempting to cross Cappagh bog between Kilcock and Enfield.   
The progress of the Royal Canal was perhaps hindered rather than helped by the elite who constituted its board of directors. One of the most notable was Napper Tandy who, it later transpired, was more interested in winning Continental support for Irish Wolfe Tone’s rising, than digging a canal across the midlands. Less well known but almost as notorious as directors were John Binns who was branded a ‘a jobbing demagogue’ and William Cope who was nicknamed ‘the shoemaker’ (apparently a satire on his lowly origins). When the canal excavation reached Mullingar the directors were dismissed and Binns and Cope financially ruined but not before they had managed to get their names inscribed on canal bridges  which remain to this day.
Trade boats began operating from Dublin to Kilcock in 1796 – a commerce which continued until well into the 20th century when names like Kirkpatrick, Paddy Doyle, Mrs. Reilly, Kellys and Toddys all owned freight barges plying from the town. Passenger boats began serving Kilcock  with one leaving for Dublin at 9am with a second class fare of one shilling. Soon the passenger boat service was extended west to Ferrans Lock, Cloncurry and Enfield. There were hardly any commuters in Kilcock in 1796 but anyone so minded could take a 9am boat from the town for Dublin at a second class fare of a shilling. The passenger boats have long since stopped plying the placid waters of the Royal – their existence only now recalled in the memoirs of English writers with poisioned pens and their encounters with Maynooth-bound clergy!
* My thanks to Kilcock historian Jim Rochfort for his proud portrayal of the Royal Canal. Series No.36

An interesting experience of a 'first-class' lady on the Royal Canal near Maynooth forms the basis for a look by Liam Kenny at the Royal Canal in Kilcock and north Kildare. Our thanks to Liam


Leinster Leader 4 October 2007
When horse power of a different kind echoed over the Curragh plains
When sport on the Curragh is mentioned the attention immediately turns to horse racing but horsepower of a more mechanical kind also featured on the plains in the middle of the last century.  The Curragh could boast of having two  motor racing circuits, the “Short Circuit” which opened in 1947  featured both car and motor cycles on a regular basis and the “Big Circuit”,  a five mile circuit on the Camp side of the Curragh was the venue for the  International Wakefield trophy motor races from 1949  to 1954 which drew crowds upwards of 30,000 to the plains – ‘ That was more than attended the Irish Derby over at the race-course’ pointed out Oliver McCrosson, stalwart member of the Curragh Local History Group as he displayed photographs of the Curragh’s motor racing story at the Curragh groups museum in the Camp.  He went on to explain that elite car makes of the day such as Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fraser Nash and Jaguar hurtled around the circuit piloted by such stars of the race track as Britain’s Stirling Moss, Anthony Powys - Lybbe, Duncan Hamilton and Roy Salvadori. However speed and danger are two sides of the motor racing coin and the tragedy was to strike in 1954 when a car driven by Joe Quinn of Derry crashed into onlookers near Ballymany killing Sidney Donaldson of Athy and Patrick O’Reilly, a soldier from Wexford who was on marshalling duty.  That tragic episode brought an end to car racing on the big Curragh Circuit but was far from the end of motorsport with motorbike racing continuing on a shorter circuit until the late 1960s.  The Curragh History Group marked the history of the races, and the unfortunate fatalities, with a  fiftieth anniversary Speed Festival  and the unveiling of  a monument in 1999.
Motoring enthusiasm in the Curragh environs indeed dates from a much earlier period judging by a photograph in the Curragh museum which shows a vehicle in engine and chassis form which was devised by R C Ginn, head chaffeur to Capt. Greer, well  know bloodstock figure on the Curragh. It is thought that this pioneering vehicle dates from 1910 and its history is currently being researched by motoring historian Bob Webster.
The illustrations of motor racing and engineering are far from the only items of technical accomplishment on display in the History Group’s museum. An exquisitely engineered theodoalite complete with instruction manual published by the British War Office in 1859 was used in setting out the buildings in the camp. A literal echo from those early days is a bell which dates from 1855 and carries the inscription ‘Encampment Bell’ ; it apparently tolled the hours from the very early years of the permanent camp installation.  It is one of three tower bells in the possession of the museum – a fire bell and a church bell of uncertain origin are also in the collection.  A smaller bell but one which shows the all pervasive nature of the military stock control system is a hand bell, possibly used in a classroom setting on the camp, which bears the ‘crows foot’ marking used by the British Ordnance Department to mark all kinds of military property but is normally associated with weaponry and large scale hardware. Metalwork of a different kind is evident in the collection of helmets used by Army personnel down through the decades including an example of the controversial ‘German style’ helmets which were in fact made by the Vickers factory in England and used by the Army during the early years of the Emergency (1939-45).  Perhaps some of the soldiers who were the distinctive helmets were recruited on the basis of posters similar to one on display in the museum and dating from 1924 which enticed men to enlist with pay rates starting at 2s/6d per day for a recruit rising to 7s/6d per day on reaching Sergeant-Major rank. The poster which is designed with graphic flourish adds that free board, bed, libraries and gymnasia are additional perks of Army life.
A miscellany of other items, civilian and military, complete the Curragh Local History Group’s collection which portrays the life and times of the Camp since its establishment in the mid-nineteenth century.
·        My thanks to Oliver McCrosson and Reggie Darling of the Curragh History Group for their guidance through the museum’s holdings. Series no. 35
**   Approaching the first anniversary of his death, 6th October, I would ask readers to remember Dr. Con Costello who made this column his own in the Leinster Leader for quarter of a century and contributed 1,261 articles – an achievement rarely equalled in the annals of Irish journalism. May he rest in peace.   

Liam Kenny takes a look at motor racing on the Curragh from 1947-1954 in his regular columen in the Leinster Leader, 'Notinh New Under the Sun.' Our thanks to Liam


Some thoughts on the industrial heritage of Monasterevin
Barry Walsh
Cassidy's Distillery
I want to make particular mention of the domed keeve behind the main  building  which is not visible from the road. As a structure I believe it is unique.  Its purpose was apparently to store the turf used to fire the boilers. Folk memory maintains that the dome was constructed using as a form a huge  clamp of turf.
Across the road from the distillery is Cassidy's Brewery where St. Patrick's Pale Ale was brewed. At the rear in what is now a private garden is the cooling pond (filled in) with its network of hot water pipes used to cool water from the industrial processes.
The pond was fed by a stream that flows down Drougheda Row. The stream deserves mention a it is under threat of being piped by the Council. It is however an important out‑work of the Distillery. The stream runs under Dublin Street (the N7) and splits into two branches which enter the River Barrow either side of the Town Bridge. One branch drove a waterwheel inside Cassidy's the other was
used to control the flow of water.
Samuel E. Holmes Engineering
Occuipying the site of the distillery the Engineering works also have industrial archaeological importance as a record of mechanical engineering in Ireland from the 1920's to the 90's. Holmes did a variety of engineering work including war work for the Irish government during the Emergency, production of surgical scapels for opthalmic surgeons and pumps for the US Navies research
Gas Production
Before electricty there was of course gas which had to be manufactured locally. One such gas works was behind Cassidy's and provided gas for Moore Abbey house.
Malt Houses
The preparation of malt in malt houses was an important industry associated with distilling. Several malt houses survive in Monasterevin.
The Factory Field
Now Ard Evin estate this was a quarry used for clay. The clay was for a chemical industry use rather than brick making or other.
Kinitware industry in Monasterevin occupied several buildings which were either constructed for the purpose or converted.
As an example of modern idustrial i.e. second half of the 20th century the Glanbia creamery should be noted as well as bulk milk handling and storage there are the grain drying and storage silos at the back.
Gravel Quarrying
To the north of the town along the esker line have been several gravel quarries.
Limestone and shale Quarrying
Before the planting of Moore Abbey Wood the hill which is a limestone outcrop was extensively quarried.
Turf production
Although not carried out on an "industrial scale" the bogs around Monasterevin supplied industries such as Cassidy's. In addition the first briquet works was located in the Ballykelly area.
Electrical Production
Pre ESB the town was elecrified from several privately run power houses one of these was on the site of the present Credit Union and severed the Canal end of the town. I believe that Moore Abbey converted from gas to electricity and the power house may have been near the gasworks.
 B.C. Walsh
Secretary & Webmaster at MHS
Monasterevin Historical Society

When we were looking for information on the Industrial Heritage of Co. Kildare Liam Kenny received a detailed response from Barry Walsh of the Monasterevin Local History Group. Our thanks to Barry  


Matt Goff
Tall, athletic, and good-looking, he was a symbol of the new generation, a proud member of the new army.
He was full back on the Kildare team, the most glamorous in the country in their glowing white jerseys and one of the best known sportsmen in the country.
We were not to know it, but it was Kildare’s greatest era.
He played in six All Ireland finals between 1926 and 1935, won an unprecedented six Leinster titles in succession, and won two All Ireland medals with the Kildare team that was the first to be presented with the Sam Maguire Cup.
Matt Goff was born Matthew Gough the only son of Thomas Gough and Elizabeth Malone on July 5th 1901 and baptized in Leixlip. His godparents were Matt and Katie Malone.
He was married to Mary Patricia Mulligan better known as “Connie” on January 9th 1946, by Fr Michael Kilmartin. his best man Patrick Doolen and his sister Mary Doolen remained Matt and Connie’s best friends through life.
His former home is now known as the St Vincent de Paul house
Matt played with Leixlip in the junior championship teams of 1921 and 1922 and the 1923 league, and came to notice on Tom Farrell’s 1924 Leixlip team that reached the 1924 Kildare junior final, only to lose to the Roseberry (later Newbridge Sarsfields team). His colleagues on the team included Jimmy and Paddy Dempsey, Ned Malone, Joe Balfe, George Hynes, Tom “Swigger” Johnson, Robert Crone, Chris and William Ennis, Patrick Campbell and Tom Galvin.
They were to form the backbone of the Leixlip team that achieved senior status six years later, with Matt’s first cousin Ned Malone at full back while Matt played at centre back. Five of the Leixlip team were on the Kildare team that lost the junior all Ireland to Cavan in 1928 which lost the final in controversial circumstances. But Matt had bigger things in mind.
He had joined the National Army during the war of independence and was a participant in the Stacumny ambush.
His army career helped his football profile. He was stationed as a military policeman at the newly renamed McKee barracks beside the Phoenix Park, reputedly to help the Army Metro win the Dublin championship. Matt played in the army championship of 1924 and on the Eastern Command team that won the army championship.
They reached the semi-final of the 1925 Dublin championship. Matt played on the Kildare junior team that year.
His colleagues at McKee included two of the greatest Kildare players of the time, Jack Higgins, Paul Doyle and Pat “Darkie” Ryan, a sub on the 1928 All Ireland team.
The “declaration rule” enabled Goff to make his debut for Kildare at corner back against Louth in the 1926 championship, alternated with Mick Buckley at full back for the next two matches and then wore the number 3 jersey from the Leinster final for ten years. In the programme for the 1926 final he was listed as 6’1, and 12 stone 2.
His debut year was an eventful one. Kildare played a drawn final with Kerry in 1926 that was commemorated in a famous ballad by Sigerson Clifford and regarded as one of the best in the history of the game long after the death of the last of those who were there. The Leinster Leader described him as “the body of the 1926 team.” The turning point of the drawn final was when bill Gorman eventually outfielded him and sidestepped past him for Kerry’s breakthrough goal.
It was the first football final to be broadcast on radio, bringing the drama of the game to a wider audience listening attently to their crystal wireless sets. The offices of the new York Advocate was besieged by hundreds of phone calls from Kildare emigrants, with the staff working in relays to announce the result of the match from Ballinskelligs telegraph station.
The attendance at the 1929 final, 43,839 crammed into Croke Park at a time when it had two small stands and most people had to stand on a rough circles of muddy banks, broke the record for an Irish sports event of 41,000 established for the Ireland-Scotland soccer match in Belfast in 1925.
Since then Gaelic football has remained the most popular sport in the country.
A sportsman and a gentleman
On the field and off
Kildare will find it hard to field
Another Mattie Goff
- Poem by PJ O’Connor Kells
Matt Goff played on for ten years, participating in the 1935 All Ireland final when Kildare were defeated by Cavan in a reverse of the 1928 result.
If there were All Star awards at the time, Goff would have won five or six, such was his dominance of the full back position in the late 1920s. The debate about whether he or Joe Barrett of Kerry was the best player ever in the position raged through the country.
Every time a team took on Kildare in league of championship, his presence was the first obstacle the opposition had to overcome. Getting past Goff was the key to beating Kildare.
Reputations don’t wear well. Goff’s memory was lost as the generation of followers who attended those matches passed on. There is little archive newsreel footage of Goff in action, except a few grainy sequences from the 1935 final when he apparently spent much of the game covering the Kildare goalkeeper James Maguire.
The folklore of the era is full of Goff stories, Goff exchanges. He was what made Kildare famous. It was a tragedy that Kildare took so long to return to contest another All Ireland final.
He won an intermediate medal with Leixlip in 1929 and was on the Leixlip team that beat Carbury in the replay of the 1937 Leader Cup final at Bawnogues tin Kilcock and the Leixlip team that was beaten by Carbury in the 1940 Leader Cup final at Rathcoffey, his last game for the club.
After leaving the army he worked as a security guard for CIE in Inchicore until he died as a result of bowel cancer in 1956.
Football is a team game. Matt Goff’s achievement was as part of a bigger movement, his team mates on the Kildare team, his deathly but friendly rivals on the Kerry and Cavan teams, and a generation of young sportsmen who raised the standard of football to new levels, energized the lives of millions of people and brought sport to the centre of popular culture where it remains today.
It is that those achievements and more that we are celebrating.
Footballers came from all over the country to his funeral after his death on March 19th 1956. A large crowd followed the coffin up Captain’s Hill, his coffin draped in the tricolour and his lily white jersey on the coffin. A bugler sounded the Last post. A guard of honour was formed by his old Leixlip team mates. Sean Boylan, OC First eastern Division of the War of Independence was present, father of the long serving Meath GAA team manager.
Jack Mangan and John Maguire represented the 1916 men and  Jack Maguire of the old Meath brigade of the Irish Volunteers gave a graveside oration.
A Celtic cross was unveiled at Matt Gough’s grave in 1958.
As PJ O’Connor’s poem mourned:
No more he’ll don the lily white
Or grace the emerald sward
No more he’ll fill us with delight
He’s gone to his reward

Some time back Eoghan Corry wrote a piece on the famous Leixlip and Co. Kildare footballer, Matt Goff which was unearthed by Kevin during an exhibition in Leixlip Library. Eoghan kindly passed on the text for EHistory.


Kildare Voice 12 October 2007
Kildare in the 18th century parliament
As parliamentary systems go, the 18th century Irish Parliament was as dysfunctional as you can get.
It was nearly twice the size of the current Dail with most of the population ineligible to sit, which meant that the talent quotient must not have been very high. Suffice to say that Boyle Roche (“a man cannot be in two places at the same time, unless he is a bird”) is recalled as its most famous speaker.
It also meant that there would be an awful lot of elections, but they had an easy solution for this. Only around d 10pc of the seats were ever contested in the history of the parliament.
There were 300 members but 234 of these sat for boroughs, where the return of members was wholly under the control of a single patron For example, the constituency of Naas was controlled by John Bourke, the Earl of Mayo.
Those of Athy, Kildare and Kildare’s very own rotten borough, Harristown, were controlled by the Fitzgeralds. Harristown, a parliamentary constituency electing two members since the start of the 17th century, was designated “uninhabited.” To add to the curiosity, Harristown was counted as a detached part of Offaly until 1837.
Seats were bought and sold on the open market. Five of the La Touche banking family purchased seats. David La Touche purchased the two seats in Newcastle, just over the Kildare-Dublin border, from the Earl of Lanesborough for £7,000 in 1779. John La Touche purchased the two Harristown seats (13 burgesses in a borough which was uninhabited) from the Duke of Leinster for £14,000 in 1793. To give an idea of the price, Lord Cloncurry bought a large town house, Mornington House on the site of the current Merrion Hotel, for £8,000 in 1791.
There was supposed to be an election to select two members for Kildare County by open vote. Eleven of these were held between 1692 and 1797, plus four by-elections in 1698, 1710, 1725 and 1745) but for most of the 18th century only about 300 people were entitled to vote for Kildare’s MP, rising to 1500 in 1790 when they elected Lord Edward FitzGerald as MP,
This was a largely a holding pen for those who had not yet managed to buy a borough seat for themselves, the chancers, carpet baggers, fortune hunters and nouveau riche who were willing to put themselves on front of the protestant property owners of the county.
The 15 non FitzGerald winners in that period included John La Touche (1690), Henry Colley (1698), Sir Kildare Burrows (1703), Joshua (1713, 1715) Francis (1725) and Richard (1727) Allen, Thomas Keightley (170-3, 1713), Brabazon Ponsonby (1715), Maurice Keating (1727), Dixon Borrowes (1745, 1761, 1768), Arthur Pomeroy (1761, 1768, 1776), Maurice Bagenal St Leger Keating, (1790, 1797), John Wolfe (1783), and John LaTouche (1797),
But although neither sat for Kildare, two Kildare based MPs held the most powerful job in the parliament.
William Conolly and John Ponsonby, both elected speakers of the house, lived in Kildare, but had distant Boroughs of their own to represent.
Their power was practically unrestricted, and although some of their names have passed into popular culture (a bar in Celbridge is still known as the Speaker’s Bar), the hegemony of the Conolly’s and Ponsonby’ largely forgotten.
They came to prominence because of the undertaker system, a peculiar by-product of the Williamite wars. Undertakers were local power brokers, those Irish protestants who offered their services to the king to sort out troublesome legislation.
In return undertakers expected to be consulted regarding policy and to receive a substantial share in the patronage the colonial administration had at its disposal. It meant big political and church jobs for sons, brothers, cousins and supporters.
War was good for parliamentary system. It meant the king had to convene parliaments to fund his army. Ireland supplied and paid for a disproportionate number of those soldiers (12,000 as against 7,000 for England) so the parliament had to sit every second year, and after 1759, annually.
London called the shots in the Irish parliament. The Lord Lieutenant, Chief secretary, Lord Justice and Protestant Archbishop of Armagh, the four most powerful positions in the country, were held by Englishmen. There was one position that the English could not appoint, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.
The system was dominated by three families in its heyday, and two of them were from Kildare.
Key Dates
General Elections to Irish parliament:1692, 1695, 1703, 1713, 1715, 1727, 1761, 1768, 1776, 1790, 1797,
By-elections in Kildare 1698, 1710, 1725 and 1745
3 Nov 1691. Act for forfeiture of 3,921 estates owned by catholics (total acreage of 1,060,792).
5 Oct 1692. Parliament meets, completely Protestant and predominantly Anglican, attempts to break terms of Treaty of Limerick.
21 Sept 1704 William Conolly’s rival Alan Brodrick elected Speaker of the House of Commons
12 Nov 1715 William Conolly from Celbridge elected Speaker of the House of Commons (until 12 Oct. 1729).
3 Feb 1729. Foundation stone laid for new parliament building in College Green
5 Oct 1731. First meeting of parliament in the new Parliament House in College Green
19 Dec.1751 Dispute over budget between British and Irish parliaments
26 Apr 1756 John Ponsonby from Bishopscourt elected Speaker of the House of Commons
17 Apr.1783 British Renunciation Act recognises Irish parliament's legislative independence
9 Apr. 1793 Hobart's Catholic Relief Act permits Catholics to vote as 40s freeholders
7 June 1800 The Irish parliament votes itself out of existence. Bill for Union passes Irish House of Commons by 65 votes; passes House of Lords by 69. Kildare MPs vote against.

Eoghan Corry takes a closer look at Co. Kildare representation in the 18th century parliament. Our thanks to Eoghan. 


Kildare Voice 5 October 2007
The Insurrection Act of 1807
The new insurrection act that was posted in the towns of Kildare exactly 200 years ago this month was a draconian law even by the standards of the time.
Kildare was ostensibly peaceful. It had been four years since Maynooth was captured and held for two days during Emmet’s rebellion, nine years since most of the county been captured by the 1798 rebels for two days and Prosperous held for four weeks.
After nine years of repression, there was hope that a new act would bring to an end the excesses of the yeomanry and the obstruction of liberties, trade and commerce of local people.
The people were to be disappointed. A late frost had destroyed the potato crop, starvation stalked the countryside, and there were fears of renewed rebellion. Over in London from where the laws emanated, it was the hawks who were winning the arguments.
On August 1st 1807 the Dublin Castle regime sent word that the new Insurrection Act had been passed which suspended trial by jury.
Seven years transportation became the penalty for anyone who broke a sunset to sunrise curfew, administered illegal oaths or possessed arms.
It was pretty grim news for the country at a time when they were anticipating a more liberal regime, Catholic emancipation and the modicum of democracy they had been promised in return for the abolition of Ireland’s protestant-only parliament.
The fears of the reformers had been presuaged by the collapse of the national government in London. The so-called “Ministry of All the Talents” (which included liberal interests for the first time) had been dismissed by George III, the king who went into history for talking to trees.
A new government had been sworn in and a new Lord Lieutenant arrived in Dublin, Charles Lennox, three of whose aunts were married to Kildare grandees and he was a first cousin of Lord Edward FitzGerald.
He arrived in Straffan in the summer of 1807, outlining a hard line policy by a new regime at the home of Joseph Henry.
It is doubtful whether the act had any effect. Over the next twenty years Kildare saw a succession of illegal movements, variously attributed to Whitefeet and Blackfeet and Terry Alts but more likely to be different responses to different local acts of political and industrial oppression.
Locals raided for arms in Athy and Naas. Arms were recovered in thatched houses in the north of the county. Staplestown appears to have staged an outright revolt against the local militia.
Tithe seizures were a continuous source of discontent. A raid to recover seized grain in Straffan led to a call for the reinforcement of the militia in Celbridge. In Kilcock, canal builders breached the newly finished banks to try to get a few months extra work to avoid starvation.
Colliers across the border in Laois and Carlow took an early form of industrial action and an unknown number mown down by local militia gunfire. 
Kildare town even had an alleged rebellion all of its own planned for June 1814, according to the paranoid local magistrates.
In 1820 Dubliners barricaded the Grand Canal to prevent an attachment of armed rebels breaking through from north Kildare. Lawless said it was the Dublin magistrates who had created the alarm all of their own accord.
They regarded Kildare as soft on potential rebels in Dublin, where the shrieks and screams of people helping the police with their enquiries could be heard from “Major” Henry Sirr’s quarters in the Castle yard. Wellesley had to curtail Sirr’s excesses with a new police system in the capital a year after he arrived.
Through this time an entire generation had grown up under emergency measures which gave autocratic power to an ill disciplined police. The insurrection Act of 1796 had been prolonged to 1802. Martial law was imposed from 1803 to 1805. The Insurrection Act was renewed in 1807 and was to be again for four years after the so-called rebellion of June 16 1814.
Throughout that period the Habeus Corpus act was suspended, giving the yeomanry effective powers of internment without trial.
Cloncurry tells of a man named Kenny from Bishopscourt who was sentenced to be transported because he had travelled into a proclaimed district by accident after dark. He was released after months in prison but his business was in ruins.
It was an unhappy time for Kildare.
Key dates:
24 Mar 1796 Insurrection Act makes it capital offence to administer oaths
May 23 1798 Rebellion throughout county
23 July 1803 Rebellion in north of county
1 Aug 1807. Insurrection Act replaces 1796 act, seven years transportation for breaking curfew
30 May 1809 Laois MP Henry Brooke Parnell loses motion for inquiry into manner in which tithes are collected
June 16 1814.Alllegation of new rebellion in Kildare town
June 1820 Outbreak of panic in Dublin on false news of rebellion in Kildare
19 July 1823 Irish Tithe Composition Act

Eoghan Corry in his regular Kildare Voice feature examines the extremeties of martial law in 1807. Our thanks to Eoghan. 


Kildare Voice: 28 September 2007
Whatever happened the book of Kildare?
The Audio visual presentation at the decorated arts section of the National museum of Ireland uses one of the great tributes to our monastic tradition, “it seems not the work of men but of angels.”
The AV has seen better days and is a little jaded now, but it cleverly runs these words over the pages of the Book of Kells. It was not the book of Kells that this phrase alluded to at all, but of Kildare.
The words were written by Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales, Gerald de Barry 1146-12Z3) a Bill Bryson of his time whose valuable chronicle of Ireland during his visits in 1182 and 1185-6 is spoiled somewhat by his deprecating and somewhat offensive attitude towards Irish culture. He has been accused of creating the original stage-Irish caricatures, portraying the Irish as barbarians, and barely Christian.
But in Kildare, he came across a decorated manuscript produced by these barbarians that was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
Was it more impressive than the Book of Kells? The work of angels disappeared shortly afterwards. More great Irish manuscripts have been lost than survive, so we can only speculate when and where it was compiled and how richly decorated it may have been.
Brigid was Ireland’s widest known saint in the 9th century, possibly more widely followed than Patrick, so the possession of a great gospel book or Psalter would have been a pre-requisite for the monastery.
The development of decoration can be traced only sketchily. First in the late 6th-century Gospel book Usserianus Primus, where decoration is confined to a framed Chi Rho, surrounded by red dots, The Cathach Psalter traditionally attributed to St Colum Cille (d. 597), but probably written early in the 7th century, which employs spiral and trumpet devices, fish and cross symbols, as well as the calligraphic technique of diminuendo' (diminishing letter size), the late 8th-century Book of Mulling, from St Mullins, Co. Carlow, contains striking portraits of three evangelists,, and the Book of Dimma, from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, contains less naturalistic images. The early 9th-century MacRegol Gospels from Birr, Co. Offaly, employs strong colouristic effects.
Ireland’s most important monasteries inspired the two most famous of all, the Book of Durrow, and later in the Book of Kells, where devices are integrated with motifs borrowed from metalwork, and with animal and figure drawings derived from Mediterranean prototypes.
In Armagh the earliest extant New Testament copied in Ireland, along with a dossier of texts relating to St Patrick (the Book of Armagh), was produced around 807 by Ferdomnach and other talented artist-scribes.
In Clonmacnoise, the 11th-century Annals of Tigernach and the 12th-century Lebor na hUidre (Book of the Dun Cow) were produced.
The book of Kells, or Book of Iona as it probably should more likely be described, was an expensive proposition compiled with the help of purple dye imported from Afghanistan. Cellach mac Ailello, was abbot of both Kildare and Iona shortlay after the book was compiled.
It is the Book of Kells that we tend to use when we try to imagine what Kildare’s book, or collection of books, must have been like, if it was to be described as the work of men, and not of angels.
Cell Dara was described as Cride Hérenn: The Heart of Ireland, in Trecheng Breth Féne, the Triads of Ireland which were compiled form Irish sources at almost the same time Giraldus was making his tour. They also list Kildare is also listed as one of Trí clochraid Hérenn: the three stone-buildings of Ireland, an important place indeed.
We have no manuscripts from Kildare – although Bishop Find of Kildare (d. 1160) collaborated in the production of the book of Leinster, compiled in Terryglass, Co. Tipperary.
Some might yet show up. Ancient Irish manuscripts are stashed in the great libraries of Europe and have barely been touched since a flurry of activity in at the beginning of the 20th century. Less than a tenth of them have been properly read and catalogued, a prospect less likely now that Early Irish and Latin are being dropped by our universities.
One of the most important documents from the 7th century to have survived was discovered by accident in an Italian library two years ago. A miscatalogued Book of Kildare or more likely, a contemporary account of its origin and content, might yet show up.
There is another side to this. Giraldus was essentially a propagandist. His depiction of the barbarian Irish was to justify the Norman invasion.
He outlined strategies for completing the conquest of Ireland, which he hoped to persuade King Henry, and later Richard to implement in Ireland.
He extolled the bravery of his relatives, the Geraldines, at the expense of their Cambro-Norman rivals, especially the dreaded Strongbow, and argued that the Geraldines were harassed unjustly by royal officials while other Normans were given an un fair advantage. The whole point of his trip might have been to push the Gerladines’ case.
The Geraldines were already in the business of seizing control of Kildare from the Irish Kings who had held power there fro four centuries. The Book of Kildare might, like Armagh, have had more emphasis on content than motifs.
Giraldus could have made the whole thing up. Don’t tell the AV people in the museum.
Key dates
750-800 Book of Kells illuminated, possible compilation of Book of Kildare
1170 Naas Offalia granted to Maurice Fitzgerald
1175, Giraldus Cambrensis appointed archdeacon of Brecon
1185 Giraldus Cambrensis sees Book of Kildare
1188 Topography of Ireland compiled
1189 Expugnatio Hibernica compiled.
1220 Henry de Londres, archbishop of Dublin raids Kildare monastery, Book of Kildare lost for ever

 A note on the illustrious 'Book of Kildare' by Eoghan Corry  from his regular feature in the Kildare Voice. Our thanks to Eoghan. 


Kildare Voice 14 September 2007:


 Kildare’s Labour Party Leader






The search for a new leader of the Labour Party serves as a reminder that our county provided the party’s longest serving party leader.


In Irish history, only Dev’s 32 years at the head of Fianna Fáil exceeded William Norton’s 28 years at the head of the Labour party (1932-60).



The party he inherited was in crisis, the one he handed over to Brendan Corish was fighting fit, its very survival having been in question for much of Norton’s term, through a collapse in support, splits, in-fighting, and the Labour party’s own version of a civil war, between William O’Brien and Jim Larkin, and participation in two fractious and ill-formed governments.


Norton twice served as Tánaiste, and is the most resilient example of our county’s honourable tradition of providing party leaders – Kildaremen by birth or residence were leaders of the opposition in the old Irish House of Commons (1789-1800), in the British House of Commons (1808-17) and in Dáil Éireann (1987-90).


Kildare also provided two speakers in the old Irish House of Commons, three Ministers of Finance in the modern Irish State, one of the shortest serving party leaders (for Sinn Féin 1927-8) and, in Norton, the second longest serving party leader in Irish history.


Norton’s union credentials got him the job. A Post Office clerk from 1918, Norton was elected in 1920 to the National Executive of the Post Office Workers' Union, for which he was honorary organising secretary, 1922-23, honorary general secretary, 1923-24, and full-time secretary, 1924-57. He was president of the Executive Council of the Postal, Telegraph and Telephone International, 1926-60


When he was elected TD for his native Kildare he was 32, and was returning to a county that already had one of the best Labour structures in the country. Labour had won five of the 21 seats on Kildare County council in the 1920 local elections. Hugh Colohan, an iconic figure locally and a veteran of the Clongorey campaign of the 1880s, had been elected to the Dáil in 1923.


Norton was repeatedly elected 1932-63, becoming leader of Labour (1932-60)., Tánaiste and minister for social welfare in the first interparty government (1948-51), and Tánaiste and minister for industry and commerce in the second (1954-7), when Kildare also provided the senior minister in the cabinet, Minister for Finance.


The Dáil record indicates he was a passionate and inventive, if unremarkable orator. Veteran voters remember his church gate speeches during elections, which he always signed off with a humorous “vote early and vote often.”


Norton was handed the leadership on the first day  of his second innings in the Dáil. The party he inherited was in organisational disarray having just broken its formal and organisational link with the Irish Trade Union Congress, and his first dilemma was the disastrous decision to support Dev as Taoiseach in 1932..


Although the support for Dev brought a new government and a radical change to the political landscape, Labour was discarded in a snap election in 1933 which almost wiped out the party. It took 15 years to clamber back on to the national stage.


It was a difficult stewardship as international events and the arrival of the Blueshirts pushed political opinion to the extremes, including those within his own party.


Norton supported the Fianna Fáil opposition to the Blueshirts, denouncing them as Hitlerite. He criticised the government's handling  of the land annuities and during the Economic War he said that tariffs were not the answer to Ireland's economic problems.


He succeeded in having a motion on public ownership incorporated in the Labour Party constitution in 1936 but crucially secured the removal of the aim of a workers' republic, something which had been criticised by the all powerful Catholic hierarchy of the day.


By the early 1940s the party’s fortunes were improving, and nowhere more so than his native county.


In the local elections of 1942 Kildare became the first county in which the Labour party won an over all majority.


It came in a strange fashion. Both of the main parties decided not to contest the local elections, instead fielding “independent” candidates. The “independents’ included well known party affiliates like Fianna Fáil’s Tom Harris and Fine Gael’s Gerry Sweetman, but while Fine Gael had eight members elected to the new council and Fianna Fáil two, Labour won eleven seats to enable it to wield power on its own.


It won 48pc of the vote, two out of four for the Athy area (Thomas Carberry and Joseph Green), four out of seven in the Clane area (Michael Crowe, John Malone, Edward Nolan and Denis O'Neill), three out of five in Kildare area (James Dowling, Michael O'Rourke and Michael Smyth), and two our of five in the Naas area (Patrick Byrne and Senator William Cummins). Their ranks did not include the party leader, Norton, who did not take a run for the council until after he had resigned the party leadership in 1960.


Labour supporters have elevated the memory of this period to a sort of golden age, the only time they held power on any part of the island. Unfortunately the reality is a little more complex. The council was the shortest in county history, lasting just three years at a time there was no finance to indulge in cottage building, so the county was left with little by way of a legacy from the local socialist revolution.


Their claims that the clusters of Murray cottages along the by-roads of Kildare was a Labour initiative are only partly true.


In fact it was not until after the emergency the building scheme resumed, after an initial burst of activity initiated at central level by Fianna Fáil in the 1930s.

The Murray cottages were named after the superintendent assistance officer, William Murray, largely un-serviced cottages with rainwater tanks and barrels, kitchen sinks unconnected to a water supply, and dry closets, Ballyoustler is a good example.


But the result was an explosion of activity, new branches and new recruits to the party through the county, which retains a loyal Labour voting base to this day.


It also injected a sense of excitement into local politics which helped direct the larger parties away from a dreary re-run of the civil war.


But Norton’s and the Labour party’s biggest crisis at national level, the 1944 split, came immediately after its biggest triumph at local level. In the general election of 1943 the Labour Party won 15.7pc of the vote, the third highest total in party history, and increased its representation from nine to seventeen seats. The advantage was squandered. If the 1944 split had not happened, what occurred in Kildare could have been Norton’s legacy to the nation.


Key Dates


1932 William Norton becomes leader of the Labour Party


1942 Labour wins majority on Kildare County Council in ,local elections


1944 Labour Party splits


1950 Unification of Labour and National Labour parties agreed, to be led by William Norton (until 1960).


1960 Brendan Corish succeeds William Norton as leader of the Labour Party.




Michael Gallagher: The Irish Labour Party in Transition (1982)



Eoghan Corry takes a look at the distinguished political career of William Norton, leader of the Irish Labour Party from 1932-1960. Our thanks to Eoghan. 


Kildare Voice 7 September 2007
Gearóid Mór, Warlord or Lord of Jaw?
If you think that modern politicians have good spin doctors you should look at what the Fitzgerald family was at 500 years ago.
They had the best spin doctors and kept them in a job over several generations shamelessly hamming up the reputation of the family. The original political spin-doctor, Geraldis Cambrensis was a fan of the first Fitzgerald to arrive in Ireland in the 1170s and the stream of propaganda never abated.
By the time Maynooth was the centre of power in Ireland 500 years ago Richard Stanihurst was writing their testimonials, and a Kildareman, Philip Flatesbury from Johnstown had become the original PR guru, a cross between a modern political handler and a court biographer.
Just to be sure, they also had a family rhymer, the MacWards from Oriel who wrote bardic eulogies in Irish praising the family.
The general population was impressed too. Tales of Gearóid Iarla, often transposed, survive in Irish folklore about both the Desmond and Kildare families.
Greatest of the Garrets was Gearóid Mór, whose eventful life came to an undignified end 494 years ago this week in Woodstock near Athy, when he became the first Irish political leader to die from gunshot wounds sustained in an engagement with O’Mores.
The manner of his death seems fitting. At school most of what we learned about Gearóid Mór was second hand Stanihurst, the story of a fiery man, victim of many plots of his enemies, the one about whom Henry VII allegedly said “if all Ireland cannot govern this Earl; then let this Earl govern all Ireland."
Like all of Stanihurst’s scribblings, it was spin.
From what we can make out from the considerable body of sources that survive (considering the destruction of the age), Gearóid Mór was more than an illiterate, rough-hewn warrior.
Of his political prowess there is no doubt. Gearóid Mór made the Fitzgeralds the pre-eminent family in Ireland., achieving a series of diplomatic victories that meant the Kildare legacy endured for another 400 years, surviving the disaster of the Silken Thomas rebellion
Gearóid Mór was governor of Ireland for over 30 years (1478, 1479-92, 1496-1513), serving under five kings and crowning a sixth, Lambert Simnel as the so-called Edward VI in 1487. With England in turmoil he ruled virtually an independent Ireland.
His Yorkist leanings were, to be fair, inherited. His father Thomas having first won the Lord Deputyship by offering Ireland as a base for Yorkist invasions of England in 1460 by Richard Duke of York, father of Edward IV and Richard III.
When Thomas died in 1478 Gearóid Mór was the natural successor to his job as justiciar and governor.
But remarkably, when the tide went out for the Yorkists, and Richard II was killed at Bosworth in 1484 (he never quite offered “his kingdom for a horse” no matter what Shakespeare might say), Gearóid Mór kept the job.
Apparently Gearóid Mór still kept his position despite offering Ireland as a base for more Yorkist invasions. In 1487 he supplied troops for Lambert Simnel .
In the 1490s he was more careful with another Yorkist pretender Perkin Warbeck who tried three times to wrest control of Ireland from Henry VII with the help of the Munster Fitzgerald cousins before the War of the Roses petered out.
After Warbeck’s invasion he was summoned to London. He could have ended up with his head on the block. Instead he came home with a new bride, having married the King of England's cousin, Elizabeth St John, and was reappointed governor, leaving his son at court as pledge for his good conduct.
It allowed him to continue living his life, depicted by Marian Lyons as a cross between the traditional lifestyle of an Irish king, with hospitality tributes recognisable to pre-Norman predecessors, and a renaissance prince.
The assembly of the objects art and the library was started before his death. Even the college was planned by man who couldn’t write, if completed by his son.
It doesn’t sound like the rough-hewn warrior from our history books who signed his name with an X and was engaged in a military campaign almost every summer, against the O’Donnells, the MacEochagains in Wesmeath, Ulick Burke in Galway   and the O’Brien’s in Munster, the O’Connor’s in Connacht, and the half of the O’Neill’s that wasn’t aligned with his brother in law Con and the half of the O’Reilly's that were not aligned with Cathal, and repeatedly against the O’Mores of Offaly that would eventually result in his death, amid a realization that the fondness for guns having spread for the first time to his enemies.
Naturally he was interested in technology of a different kind. In 1488, he acquired the first hand guns imported to Ireland, six of them from Germany, for his personal guard.
Later in 1488 he was the first in Ireland to use gunpowder, destroying Balra castle in Moycashel with imported German cannon. His brother James used the new technology to capture Carlow Castle in 1495 and Gearóid Mór himself used them in capturing Athleague, Roscommon, Tulsk, and, Castlerea in quick succession in 1499, and Caledon on 1500.
Payback for his re-appointed as Lord deputy came with the battle of Knockdoe in 1504, a massive punitive expedition by Gearóid and the palesman, many from Kildare, against Ulick Burke and the O’Briens of Thomond in response to Burke’s seizure of Galway city.
It was the largest ever battle between Irishmen, when 10,000 men were involved on both sides and, ominously for Gearóid, a handgun was used on an Irish battlefield for the first time.
Gearóid Mór’s most enduring legacy never gets a mention when his story is being written: Poynings law.
Poynings came to Ireland to bring Gearóid to heel, and went home with a piece of legislation that was to curtail Ireland's independence for more than 400 years to come.
Ironically, the Fitzgerald coat of arms ended up on Britain’s Union Jack when the Act of Union was passed three hundred years after his death.
The manner of that death suggested the rules of the game were already changing. His stronghold at Maynooth was to become the most famous casualty of gunpowder technology when his grandson staged a rebellion years later.
Key Dates
1478 Mar. 25 Thomas, 7th earl of Kildare, dies; succeeded by his son Gerald (Gearóid Mór), who is appointed jcr by council in succession to his father
1479 Gearóid Mór appointed deputy for first time
1513 Sept 3 Gearóid Mór dies in Athy from gunshot wounds received in engagement with O’Mores. Succeeded by Gearóid Óg.
1496 Gearóid Mór marries Elizabeth St John, cousin of King
Marian Lyons: Church and Society in Co Kildare 1480-1547 (Four Courts Press 1998)
Colm Lennon: The Fitzgeralds of Kildare and the Building of a Dynastic Image in Kildare History & Society (2006)
S G Ellis: Tudor Frontiers and Noble Power. The Making of the British State (1995).

An examination of the career of Gearóid Mór, arguably the greatest of the FitzGeralds, by Eoghan Corry in his regular feature in the Kildare Voice. Our thanks to Eoghan.

November 17, 2007


One of the most valuable sources for local history are Trade Directories. In 2002, the Local Studies Department decided to extract all articles and individual records pertaining to Co. Kildare and make them available in database and text form. This therefore compliments the original work but offers the researcher easy access to the relevant Co. Kildare articles and easy access to the genealogical and other information by means of a searchable database covering all the entries.

One of the most valuable sources for local history are Trade Directories. In 2002, the Local Studies Department decided to extract all articles and individual records pertaining to Co. Kildare and make them available in database and text form. This therefore compliments the original work but offers the researcher easy access to the relevant Co. Kildare articles and easy access to the genealogical and other information by means of a searchable database covering all the entries.
There was an enormous amount of inputting, typing and re-editing of the material once the initial database was created and the overall format of the project decided upon. This project could not have been completed without the support of Co. Librarian Breda Gleeson and the History and Family Research Centre. Likewise it could not have been completed without the aid of Eric Kemp and later, Niamh McCabe and Mark Kennedy who worked on it separately during the summers of 2003-2006. Much gratitude is due to them for their enthusiasm, patience and editing abilities. Any mistakes are mine and I welcome criticism and advice should mistakes be noted so that corrections can be made. Copies of the original are available in the Local Studies Department of Kildare County Library.
The directory entries offer a snapshot of life in Co. Kildare between the Famine and the arrival of Local Government in 1899. It is a source I use regularly in research and constantly recommend to people who are researching Ireland in the 19th Century. For people trying to trace their ancestors in Co. Kildare it will hopefully provide an insight into their ancestor's lives and into the locality in which they lived or even more importantly help identify their ancestors for them.
I do hope that researchers and enthusiasts find it useful. It is part of the process of making primary and secondary material available via the Internet which has been undertaken by the combined departments of Local Studies, Genealogy and Archives, to encourage people to engage in local history and genealogy as well as increasing accessibility to the Local Studies Collection in Kildare County Library and other information by means of a searchable database covering all 2,281 entries.
The list of newspapers held on microfilm in Kildare Co. Library, Local Studies, Genealogy and Archives Dept., has also been updated.
Mario Corrigan
Local Studies
Nov. 2007

Fully searcahble database of Slater's Directory for 1881 is now available online as part of the online resources made available by Local Studies, Genealogy and Archives Dept., Kildare Co. Library. Particluar thanks to Beatrice of kildare.ie and Niamh McCabe.


Kildaremen in the South African War 1899-1902
Brian McCabe and Liam Kenny, Naas Local History Group,
12 November 2007.
On Monday night, 12 November 2007, Brian McCabe and Liam Kenny of the Naas Local History Group gave a presentation on Boer War 1899-1902 and its Kildare connections. The Boer War story in some ways is a story of lists: the four states - Cape Colony, Natal (both British), and the Orange Free State and the Transvaal ( both Boer); the three rivers which became battle lines -- the Tugelam, the Orange and the Modder; and the three siege towns -- Ladysmith, Kimberley and Mafeking. Brian McCabe traced the evolution of the conflict -- essentially a clash between two sets of acquisitive colonists - the Boers and the British -- with terrain bearing rich seams of diamond and gold forming the contested territory. The war was a manufactured one to a degree with both sides upping the stakes until a point of no return was reached. The initial British force sent to South Africa to contest the Boers was small and poorly equipped. It was hampered too by military doctrines developed on the training grounds of Aldershot and the Curragh -- an over reliance on outdated formation maneouvres which were easily outwitted by the mobile and tenacious Boers who had the added advantage of being equipped with the modern Mauser rifle. It was not until the British flooded south Africa with manpower and embarked on a contentious policy of rounding up and incarcerating the Boer civilian populations that they began to claim the upperhand. As in so many conflicts there were Irish involved on both sides. Leaders of Irish nationalism such as Major John McBride (later executed following the 1916 rising) and Arthur Griffith lent their support to the Boer cause and there were two Irish Brigades formed on the Boer side. Of course the biggest Irish representation was to be found among the ranks of the British army. Many of the British Generals were Irish born or had spent considerable time soldiering in depots in Ireland. Then in 1900 there was a call sent out for experienced horsemen to join as ad hoc mounted infantry. The hunting elite of Kildare took up the challenge and formed a squadron of Imperial Yeomanry. Col T J de Burgh of Oldtown House, Naas, went to South Africa in Spring 1900; he had two brothers -- one Hugo was killed near Jammersburgh Drift in January 1900. A feature of the night was a display of slides copied from photographs taken by Col de Burgh during his South African years. These were somewhat more personal than the usual military scenes and included a shot of a hospital with signs over the beds indicating the different Hunt Clubs in Ireland which had sponsored hospital beds -- the Listowel, Ormonde and Kildare Hunt signs being visible in the picture. Brian McCabe explained too that the memorial arch in St Stephen's Green facing Grafton Street was erected 100 years ago in 1907 to commemorate men who had fallen while serving with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the Boer War -- many of these would have passed through Naas Barracks which was the Regimental Depot on their way to the Cape Colony.

A note on a the highly successful talk by Brian McCabe and Liam Kenny on Kildare connections with the Boer War, 1899-1902.

KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL - First Elections & First Meeting 1899

Kildare County Council
First Elections & First Meeting
January to April 1899
by Liam Kenny
THE year 1899 marked both and end and a beginning. It was the end of a century which had seen Ireland convulsed by famine and agitation; a century which witnessed the mobilisation of campaigns for religious toleration, land distribution and national aspiration under the leadership of figures such as O’Connell, Parnell and Davitt.
Kildare had not escaped from the impact of such influences. True, the famine did not strike with the same ravaging intensity as in the poorer counties of the west but it had taken its toll. The county’s population was on a downward slide and at the turn of the century was barely half of its pre-famine figure.  
The political mobilisation of land or nationalist agitations did not affect the county with the militancy seen in other parts; yet Kildare’s legacy of its leading role in the 1798 rebellion had not been forgotten. And on the agrarian front the Clongorey evictions which saw upwards of fifty households evicted from their holdings near Newbridge in the early 1890s still touched a raw nerve.
It was against this background that a Westminster parliament translated a scheme for local government to Ireland, and for our purposes. to Kildare. The 1898 Local Government (Ireland) Act was an extraordinarly piece of legislation which established the basis for the network of county councils which has remained a strikingly consistent feature of the map of Ireland.
The Act achieved breakthroughs on many fronts. It extended the right of voting in local government elections to all householders and, for the first time, opened up the vote to women.
It was not a perfect franchise; women, for instance, had to be over thirty and while they could vote they could not stand as county council candidates. However the extension of the franchise to all householders gave ‘ordinary’ people the right to participate for the first time in choosing their own representatives.
In organisational terms the 1898 Act redrew the local authority map of County Kildare. The Grand Jury — an elitist body which had run county business for almost three centuries — and its subsidiary Baronies were erased as units of local government. They were replaced by the County Council and its dependent Rural District Councils.
Similarly the Boards of Guardians districts based on the workhouses at Athy, Celbridge and Naas were transformed into newly created Rural District Councils for sanitation and housing purposes although the Guardians remained in place for health and welfare functions. The Guardians who had been set up as poor relief authorities in the years before the Great Famine had opened the door to participation in local democracy; while property ownership was a qualification to vote for them they at least had allowed some middle-class farmers and businesspeople to come through into public life. However their role as a forum for local democracy was to prove minor compared to the excitement generated by the advent of the County and Rural District councils where, for the first time, every household in the county had a stake in choosing its local representatives.
From the first weeks of 1899 electioneering was in full flight. Elections for the Town Commissions in Athy, Naas and Newbridge were set for January of that year. Thus the the political fires were being stoked in the first few weeks of the year well in advance of the county wide poll for the County Council and Rural District Councils scheduled for April.
The Commissions were town councils which had existed for forty years or more; the 1898 Act offered the prospect of a new status as Urban District Councils. Although confined to the immediate town areas the Commissions were seized on by local worthies aiming for a profile at the county, thence the competitive nature of their mid-winter election contests.
 The Kildare Observer newspaper headlined a report of a raucous pre-election meeting in Naas Town Hall with the description “Laughable Scenes” — a description merited by the proceedings which saw the candidates’ appeals to the electorate punctuated by jeers and heckles. What the newly enfranchised women voters of the town thought of the reaction described as ‘’loud laughter’ from the largely male audience to news of their addition to the voters list is not recorded!
In Athy interest was equally vibrant; 565 out of a possible 745 voters cast their Town Commission ballots on January 10 putting Matthew J. Minch of the well-known grain merchant family at the head of the poll, a name that was to loom large in county council circles in subsequent years.
The ink was barely dry on the Town Commission election proclamations when the County Council contest started in earnest. And if the political pundits of Kildare in 1899 thought they had their fill with the municipal elections it was to prove minor compared to the bitter battles contested in the most public way possible by the rival candidates from the northern to the southern districts of Kildare. As a local commentator observed:
‘ The taste of power which the electorate have observed in the construction of the municipal bodies according to their own desires has helped to whet their appetite for the further display of that power ... the time is drawing nigh when they will be called on to construct the more important bodies — County and District Councils.’
Certainly the electors had no shortage of information about the candidates as the Leinster Leader of February and March 1899 carried columns of advertisements from the candidates appealing to their sympathies. The notices revealed the contention between the Unionists, almost to a man members of the country gentry, and the Home Rulers, who were, in the main, middle-class farmers or town-based merchants. But the dividing lines were not always clear; not all gentry were unionists.
 The Parish Priest of Ballymore Eustace, Very Rev. H. McCarthy eulogised Mr. George Wolfe ‘ the scion of a grand old historic family in the land’ as having ‘ emblazoned the spirit of Home Rule’ on his manifesto. The fact that Wolfe also supported‘ a Catholic University for the Catholic education of a Catholic people’ was no doubt the primary source of his reverend father’s enthusiasm but the endorsement highlighted another facet of the 1899 elections — the pervasive involvement of the Catholic clergy in the contest.
Controversially banned from taking part in the election by a clause inserted in the 1898 Local Government Act to placate the unionist population the clergy ensured that their influence was felt. In Athy Rev. Fr. Rowan chaired a selection meeting for candidates for the town’s rural hinterland while in Monasterevin the parish priest, Fr. Kavanagh, went into print to support the candidacy of Mr. Edward J. Cassidy of distillery fame.
Some unionists like Cooke-Trench of Millicent were given enthusiastic support in their localites — to quote from a Leinster Leader report of a meeting in Clane “the Clane electors ... will support him, not as a politician but as one of the ablest of the minority to whom it is expedient to give representation’’. 
On the other side of the political divide the Home Rulers were often a house divided; and there were also voices for the labour movement even if there was no party of that name.
Such competing agendas led to a heady political atmosphere with candidates pressing their claims through the public notices of the two newspapers in the county.
Edward Delany of Feighcullen advertised his appeal to the electorate of Kilmeague as follows ‘ I offer myself as a County Councillor for your division. You know my politics since the good old days of the Land League.’’
 Hendrick Aylmer of Kerdiffstown House near Naas hedged his bets in an appeal to the voters of the Kill Electoral division: ‘ As a large farmer and employer of labour I shall strive to improve the condition of these classes -- so far as is consistent with the welfare of the rest of the community.’’
William Smith of Carbury made his pitch to ‘the Free and Independent Electors’ of north-west Kildare as follows‘ My political opinions on all national questions are now and always have been — Home Rule, a Catholic University, a complete Land Purchase system ... and the release of all prisoners convicted of political offences.’’
Charles Greene of Kilkea was modest in his message to the voters of south Kildare ‘ Having passed most of my life amongst you I need not say much about my political opinions as they are well known.’
Peter Timmons of Monasterevan knew where the priorities lay for the county council voters of the Barrowside town ‘ The heavy taxes on tea, on the cheaper kind of tobacco and beer, should be taken off in the interest of the labourers.’’
Baron de Robeck of Gowran Grange near Punchestown hoped that familiarity would breed support ‘ I address you as an old friend, being settled among you for some fifty years.’
Such modest proposals however were often overshadowed by bitter head-to-head contests in a number of electoral areas with the local newspapers abandoning any editorial objectivity to give explicit advice to the voters.
The Leinster Leader had this to say about the contest in north Kildare:
‘ Mr. James Cummins of Windgates ... has the temerity to pit himself against Mr. John Field of Kilcock, the chosen candidate of a duly convened public meeting recently held in Rathcoffey.’
Things were also hotting up in Maynooth. A meeting called to endorse the candidature of a Mr. Ronaldson was broken up by ‘ a howling mob, whose most conspicuous features were turmoil, disorder and drunkeness.’ The fact that the meeting took place on St. Patrick’s Day, 1899 may explain the latter vice as the rival candidate, Lord Edward Fitzgerald of the great Carton family, was absolved from involvement in what the writer declared was ‘ a disgrace and blot on the fair name of Maynooth.’
Monasterevin too had a near brush with electioneering excesses with supporters of the rival candidates, Dowling and Cassidy, contesting ground. The Kildare Observer report noted: ‘ Those best informed attribute the ultimate outbreak of hostilities to a narrow section, who having seized control of the local fife and drum band — originally established on neutral lines ... refused to allow this band to attend the meeting at Kildangan, which on this occasion, was in favour of Mr. Cassidy. This was the first genuine Irish row witnessed in Monasterevin for a considerable number of years ...’
Punctuated by such drama the build-up to the county’s first democratic local elections moved to its April climax. Fortunately the date of election had been fixed for the week before Punchestown week — otherwise the attentions of Kildare voters may have been diverted from their democratic duty!
Apart from the political propaganda the Kildare electorate benefited from a public information campaign run in the press to educate them on the detail of exercising their new found franchise. The material yielded such gems as:
‘ ... anyone who is not quite sure of his ability to avoid serious mistakes that may lead to a waste of his vote should not be ashamed to consult those who are better informed. It is no disgrace to be unacquainted with the regulations of a new and unworked system.’
The electorate of Kildare went to the polls on 6 April with the polling stations opened from 10am to 8pm. There was potential for confusion in that every elector was voting for at least two local government bodies — the County Council and the relevant Rural District Council. However the authorities had got around the problem by an innovation described as ‘colour voting’ with voters being given different colour ballot papers: white for the county council elections and yellow for the district councils.
The votes were counted in Naas Courthouse on the following day under the supervision of Mr. Charles Daly, Sub-Sheriff and Returning Officer. News of the results spread on the telegraph wires to the furthest points of the county. In the north-west extremity of the county the Broadford Fife and Drum Band took to the roads of Carbury to celebrate the election of Mr. Moore O’Ferral.
The bonfires blazed also in Monasterevin where Mr. Cassidy’s sucess was feted with banners such as ‘ Cassidy our Councillor’ and ‘Cassidy for Ever’ being displayed across the streets. A grateful Mr. Cassidy rewarded such enthusiastic local support by presenting his distillery workmen with a new set of instruments for their band!
In the neighbouring town of Kildare Mr. John Heffernan’s election sparked rejoicing. The inevitable fife & drum band was in action there too and the crowd stopped outside Mr. Heffernan’s house to hear him addressing his victory speech from an upstairs window.
In Naas where one of the few bitter contests had taken place the victorious Stephen J Brown was chaired through the streets in a torchlight procession; his vanquished competitor Thomas J d Burgh was left to lick his electoral wounds in his estate at Oldtown.
His rejection must have been all the more severe when he read that another member of the county aristocracy, Lord Walter Fitzgerald, had been elected despite questions about his committment to Irish aspirations. Such reservations were put aside by the populace of the town on his election for the Maynooth and Leixlip electoral division of the County Council. He was met at Maynooth station by a brass band and amid scenes ‘ of wild enthusiasm was carried to his carriage outside where a procession was formed ... and escorted all the way to Carton, the crowd cheering vociferously.’
However such excitement regarding the elections was to be short-lived and indeed never quite repeated for any subsequent county council election. The electioneering for the county’s first democratic local elections was now over. It was time to get down to the gritty business of convening the first council meeting and getting to work on the many roads, sanitation, housing and health issues which were confronting the county.
 An essay by Liam Kenny on the first County Council in Kildare in 1899. Our thanks to Liam.
[note - look also at the actual Minutes of the first meeting on this site - Part 1 and Part 2. ]


October 2007 Graveyard Seminar
Group at Lych Gate.jpg
The Co. Heritage Officer, Bridget Loughlin, in conjunction with the Local Studies, genealogy and Archives Dept. of Kildare Co. Library, organised a seminar, ‘Recording Gravestones and Memorials,’ on 13 Oct. 2007 at the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge. The event was attended by over 70 people with an interest in the history and heritage of the county, particularly in the graveyards within their own communities. The keynote presentation by Dr. Caimin O’Brien examined the practicalities of transcription with an emphasis on the iconography of gravestones and memorials. This was followed by a hands-on demonstration by Brian McCabe. Members of the Baconstown Project, currently involved in transcribing gravestones from 40 graveyards and cemeteries in South Meath and North Kildare, demonstrated a community graveyard project in action. Mario Corrigan, Local Studies Librarian and Karel Kiely, Genealogist, finished off the morning talks with an explanation of the value of transcriptions as sources of genealogical information. This was also an ideal opportunity to alert people to recent Irish library innovations such as the Irish Times Archive and online Historic Maps from the OSI as well as local sources online and our EHistory Journal at www.kildare.ie/library/ehistory
 After lunch at Lumville House the entire party walked across the Curragh Plains to the military graveyard for a useful practical guide to mapping a graveyard and a demonstration of the tools and tricks of the trade by Dr. Caimin O’Brien. They were given a guide to the history of the Curragh Military Graveyard at the interesting Lych Gate by local historian Reggie Darling.


Caimin O' Brien & Brigid Loughlin small.jpg

November 16, 2007

NAAS - BASIN STREET in 1901 and 1911

1901 AND 1911 CENSUS
            From 1821 a Census was carried out in Ireland every ten years. Unfortunately, a large amount of this material was destroyed in 1922, and some of it was never preserved. The census returns for Basin Lane, as it was known in 1901, gave fifteen dwellings and a total of sixty-two inhabitants. All dwellings, except No. 15, were classed as second-class houses. The address of No. 15 was given as Naas Gaol. While deemed not inhabited it was given as the residence of Richard Murray, an accountant, and was possibly used as his office. No. 1 was listed as a barbershop and occupied by Peter Boyne, his wife, Jane, and their four sons. Peter Boyne’s birthplace was given as Co. Kildare, while his wife’s Co. Antrim, and his four sons that of India. Peter was an army pensioner and his three eldest sons ran a barbershop in the dwelling. Edward Moylett ran a delph shop in No. 2. He lived there with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. They were classed as a professional family. Edward was born in Co. Mayo, his wife and son in Dublin, while his daughter-in-law and grandchildren were born in Co. Kildare. The rest of the houses were listed as private dwellings. John Carroll, a railway officer lived with his two sisters and one brother in No. 3. All were in their thirties and were born in Co. Kildare. Mary Farrell, a fruit dealer, lived at No. 4 with her two daughters, two sons, son-in-law John Behan, born in Dublin, and granddaughter. Thomas and Mary Plant lived at No. 5 and had a lodger, Thomas Nolan, a widower and shoemaker, while next door Anne Dunne had two married couples, John and Bridget Heffernan, and Thomas and Sarah Moore, as lodgers. (The first five houses were two-story dwellings.)
            Richard Gibbons, a poultry dealer, lived in No. 7 with his wife, two sons and three daughters, aged from twenty-four to nine. Next door lived Michael McCann, a retired coal merchant, while Michael Fitzpatrick, a labourer born in Co. Kildare, lived in No.9 with his wife, Mary, a native of Co. Wicklow. John O’Brien lived in No. 10 with his wife and six year old son. He was born in Waterford, while his wife was born in Co. Kildare. Charles H. Hewitt, twenty-two, from Yorkshire, and his nineteen-year-old wife from Lancashire, lived in No. 11. He was a sergeant in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, based in Naas barracks. Patrick Loughran, a carpenter, from Co. Wicklow, lived next door with his wife, Kate, four sons and one daughter, aged twelve to one year old. The youngest three children were born in Kildare. John Ryan, a cartier, lived in No. 14 with his brother and sister and twenty-five year old nephew, also John. All were born in Co. Kildare.
            In the 1911 Census a lot had changed in Basin Lane. Now it was known as Basin Street. All fifteen houses were occupied and the population had increased to seventy-five. Peter Boyne had moved to No. 5 from No. 1. While two of his sons were listed as hairdressers there is no mention of the dwelling being used as a barbershop. Annie Dwyer, a widow lived in No. 1 with her four daughters, one of whom was a dressmaker. Two more widows lived next door, Katherine Ivers, seventy-three, and her sister, Bridget O’Brien, sixty-nine. Edward Sullivan, a gardener, lived in No. 3 with his wife and two young sons. He was thirty and his wife, Katie, thirty-two. James Broughal, his wife and fifteen-year-old son, Michael, a telegraph boy with the NGR, lived next door. Michael Perkins, a fifty-seven-year old carpenter, lived at No. 6 with his wife, Ellen, forty-seven, and five children, one a machinist, one a carpet maker and the rest listed as scholars. All were born in Co. Kildare. Limerick-born William Brown, a groom, lived with his wife, five sons and one daughter in No. 7. The two oldest boys were gardeners, while the daughter was listed as a mother’s help. Thomas Guilfoyle was listed as the head of the household for No. 8, but only his five children aged sixteen to eight, are listed in the census return. All were born in Kildare.
Michael Boughal, a postman, lived at No. 9 with his wife Margaret, while Annie Short and her daughter, Bella Baker, seventeen, lived next door. Annie was born in England, while her daughter was listed as born in Kildare. Daniel McDonald, a widower and unemployed printer, lived in No. 11. His son, Thomas, a printer compositor, and his wife Margaret Rafferty and their two children also lived there. Kate Loughran still lived at No. 12, though her husband had died. Her six sons and two daughters still resided at home. The three eldest sons were listed as grocery porters. Patrick Ryan and his sister, Mary, moved to No. 13 and had three lodgers: Dublin-born Lance Corporal Edward Keogh and his wife and two young daughters, the youngest born in Kildare; builders labourer Patrick Gleeson and his wife and three month-old baby; and Edward Doyle, an agricultural labourer, his wife and eight-month old son. Arthur Wright, a thirty-three year old RIC constable, lived with his wife and two young children, both born in Co. Kildare, at No. 14, while No. 15 was occupied by Patrick Walsh, a house painter from Carlow, and his Kildare born wife and infant son.
At present Basin Street has changed from a mainly residential area to a bustling commercial sidestreet of the town. The residents have fallen to a handful and the there are now only twelve buildings. Nos 1 and 2 house a photographic gallery; No. 3 is an adult store, No. 4 a charity shop, while No. 5 was a tattoo parlour, and is now vacant. No. 7 is a doctor’s surgery, No. 10 a citizen’s information office and both Nos 11 and 12 are chartered accountants. Only Nos 6, 8 and 9 house residents.
For more information on Naas and the development of social housing in Naas and indeed Co. Kildare in general, check out James Durney's new book - In the Shadow of Kings

James Durney published 'In the Shadow of Kings, Social Housing in Naas 1898-1984' on 8 November 2007. Here he examines the make-up of Basin Street in Naas in 1901 and 1911 according to the Census returns. Our thanks to James 


Primate George Stone and Leixlip
After the introduction of the cannon gun (c1488), Leixlip Castle no longer served as a fortress with long-term prospects. It remained, however, a prestigious residence in a beautiful setting in the Liffey valley by the country’s most famous falls, and within commuting distance of the capital. The Castle attracted prestigious and egotistical tenants. Among the first was the Londoner, the Protestant bishop, George Stone (c1708-64). Stone was brought to Ireland as chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant from 1730 to 1737. It was government practice to appoint Englishmen as bishops and he rose rapidly to become Primate, archbishop of Armagh (1747-64). In 1743 he was appointed bishop of Kildare and dean of Christchurch Cathedral. As bishop he would have had a seat in the Irish House of Lords. By April 1747 he was a Lord Justice and member of the Irish privy council. He continued to pursue the English interest, that is, to appoint friends and relatives from England to bishoprics, etc. Stone’s long primacy belongs to the political history of Ireland. As a fellow cleric sarcastically remarked, the ‘beauty of his holiness’ belonged only to his handsome physique. In Stone’s own words, he ‘injured his constitution by sitting up late, and rising early, to do the business of government in Ireland.’ Ultimately he emerged for a time as the virtual ruler of Ireland from 1752 until his death in London on 19/12/1764. He was a master of finesse and tact, but of unbounded ambition.
Leixlip Castle was Primate Stone’s favourite summer residence from 1752 onwards. Here he took time out from his political struggles and amused himself playing cricket with General Conyngham. His neighbour at Carton, Emily (nee Lennox), Duchess of Leinster, visited him at the castle in April 1759. ‘The Primate was all complaisance, very easy and it was altogether more agreeable than I expected..’, she wrote. Although George was unmarried, some Stone family entourage (?) settled in Leixlip and his servants are mentioned. On 25/6/1758, a daughter of William McMullen, “belonging to the Lord Primate George Stone, archbishop of Armagh”, was baptised and on 10/9/1758; Thomas English, son of James English, a servant of Rev Dr Alex Bisset, chaplain to the Lord Primate, was baptised at St Mary’s, Leixlip. Anne Stone of Leixlip was buried at St Mary’s, 14/8/1796. Judy Stone was buried there in the Summer of 1809 and Thomas Stone, ditto, on the 20/3/1828. A George Stone was tenant at 1 Dublin Rd, opposite the Toll House, from 1878-85; George and Mary Stone appear at the corn workers’ cottages, 4 and 5 Mill Lane in 1850-8. Confey graveyard contains a memorial erected by George Stones [sic] of Leixlip in memory of his parents Thomas, d16/10/1848, aged 48, and Mary, d25/12/1873, aged 62, and his brother, Charles, d28/2/1875, aged 30 years. The Stone(s) had become RC: Michael, son of George Stone and Bridget O’Neill, was christened at St Mary’s RC Church, 4/6/1876 and Michael’s brother, Thomas, married Elizabeth Ardiff in the same church on 30/7/1881.
The reference notes have been omitted from this extract from John Colgan’s book, Leixlip, County Kildare, (2005), available from himself or bookshops in the locality.

Eoghan Corry’s article on Kildare’s Well-Connected Families mentions Archbishop Stone’s relationship with the Ponsonbys; John Colgan writes of Stone’s Leixlip connections in this adapted extract from his book, Leixlip, County Kildare (2005). Our thanks to John



IN the public interest, and in view of recent events, a brief outline of the origin and history of the above Institution may be now deemed desirable. The facts here set forth have already been laid before the Kildare County Council, and with kind permission, have been taken from the available public records dealing with the Infirmary. The Governor’s Minute book provides what here immediately follows.           
To find an origin for our Infirmary we must go as far back as 1767. On March 31st of that year, it wasresolved, at Naas, that an Infirmary be opened at Kildare, and that the Duke of Leinster be appointed Treasurer. In October, of the same year, effect was given to this resolution. A house or two was taken, in what is described, as the S.E. corner of Nugent’s lane, Kildare—and a temporary Infirmary opened. Tb primitive Institution thus started was soon found, for its purpose, wholly inadequate. The available room was insufficient, the house itself in bad repair. As early as 1772it was agreed upon by the Governors that a proper Infirmary should be built, but as the Duke of Leinster was unable to secure a site for which he could give a suitable lease; and as the funds necessary to meet the proposed outlay were not forthcoming, the matter could not be proceeded with. Fresh meetings of the Governors called forth fresh resolutions, deploring the sad state of the temporary Infirmary—the ruinous condition of the building—the absolute necessity of something being done. The desired action was at length taken. To a lady by lineage noble, by fame historic, the spirit to initiate, the determination to execute, is to be attributed. Lady Louisa Connolly presided at the October Meeting of the Governors in 1773. She reminded those present, that idly resolving was no solution of a manifest grievance—that no reason was now apparent why steps should not be at once taken—and accordingly had a resolution, there and then, passed approving of one of the plans already submitted for a new Infirmary. A meeting specially convened at Merrion street, Dublin, on October 31st, 1775, sanctioned this resolution, accepted the estimate of a Mr. Owens, and gave him the contract for £1,140. Meanwhile a site, adjacent to the temporary Infirmary had been acquired by the Duke of Leinster, and on this plot the new Infirmary was built. The building, as then erected, can have been but a portion of the present. elaborate structure. Within a few years the new Infirmary was ready for occupation, and in 1777 we find the Duke of Leinster directing a Mr. Spencer to have the lease drawn up on terms, which shall be presently referred to. In 1778 a new contract is given to Mr Owens, for sundry works, in connection with the Infirmary, and even at this stage the accommodation must have been limited, as no provision was made for the Surgeon to reside within the Infirmary, and no residence could be secured in town. Of this the Doctor complained in August 1778.
No event of importance now marks the history of the Infirmary ‘till we approach the days of the Irish Rebellion. At this particular period an absence of record characterizes the Governors Minute Book, but the void has been fully supplied by a memorial, copied into the book, at a much later date. This memorial was addressed by the daughters of Surgeon Bolton to the then Lord Lieutenant, Earl Talbot, and the substance of it—as follows—is really an interesting page in the history of our County Infirmary. The memorial deals only with the wrongs inflicted on the Surgeon, by the Military authorities of the day. No mention is made therein of patients, if such there were at the time. It otherwise gives a complete chronicle of the missing order of events. It appears that in 1797 the Cork Militia occupied the town of Kildare, were billeted on the people, but for reasons made known at headquarters an order was issued by the Quartermaster-General residing in Dublin to seize the County Kildare Infirmary and hold it as a Military Barracks. This order was quickly carried into effect by Captain Frayne, commanding the Cork Militia. He came on the Infirmary “by surprise,” captured the Doctor inside, and landed him out on the road with such of his effects as probably were devoid of utility to military manoeuvring men. Dr Bolton did not attempt a re-capture, but wisely and hurriedly retreated to Naas where, as best he could, by keeping open a dispensary for the relief of the poor, he tried to discharge his duties of Infirmary Surgeon till his death in 1818.
The infirmary then was forcibly closed, but the Governors, in the interval, endeavoured, under difficulties, to extend such sick relief as was possible. Meetings were held at Castletown from October 25th, 1796, to December 5th, 1799. On the latter dlate the Duke of Leinster was desired to forward to the Lord Lieutenant a petition, protesting against the seizure of the County Kildare Infirmary, and the injury done to the buildings by the quartering of the troops.
The grants usual in that day must have been meanwhile continued by Grand Jury, for the Governors in their reply to Earl Talbot confirmed the Misses Bolton Memorial. Each detail they verified, and declared that Surgeon Bolton was regularly paid his salary to 1809, when their Treasurer, Mr. La Touche, died. Again, at the Lent Assizes in 1810, the public record shows the Grand Jury Grant of £100 for the County Kildare Infirmary.
As yet the Infirmary at Kildare had not been re-opened. A house had been kept going as an Infirmary at Naas, and even at Maynooth a house, given for this purpose by the Duke of Leinster, was opened in 1817. Here we find that the Kildare Infirmary becomes again available—the military had evacuated it, and the buildings had reverted to the Duke of Leinster. So the Governors assembled at Maynooth on June 18th, 1817, resolved—“That owing to Naas difficulties Kildare is the place for the Infirmary; that the Duke of Leinster’s offer of the former buildings be again accepted, and a meeting for this purpose summoned.’
Very soon after that, a meeting was held at Naas. The Duke of Leinster not only proferred [proffered – sic] the buildings to the Governors on the old terms, but strongly urged the meeting to take them back, and as a special inducement, tendered, in addition, all the monies he had received from the Government as rent, during the military occupation. When the motion was finally put to the meeting there was an equal number of those present, for and against, and as the Chairman could not give a casting vote, no decision was arrived at. But the Duke of Leinster was determined that the Kildare Infirmary should be secured to the people. He lost no time in pressing the matter home, for within a few weeks he completely carried his point at Athy, where the Assizes were then alternately held.
The Kildare Infirmary was to be again re-opened, and the next meeting of the Governors was held on July 1st, 1819, in the town of Kildare, to push on the project. They resolved that the Infirmary should be prepared as speedily as possible, and a committee for this purpose was appointed. Fourteen days later at a subsequent meeting the Infirmary was formally taken over by the Governors on terms as follows—“That buildings used as an Infirmary at Kildare be now accepted at a pepper corn rent and during such time as it shall be used as an Infirmary.” This gives the substance of the original lease as can be seen by a case stated for Governors and given in the minute book.
Seeing the deep interest and the generous spirit with which successive Dukes of Leinster have directed and guarded this Institution for over a century of its history, have not the present promoters reason to confidently hope for a restoration of the lease on [the – sic] above terms when the present Duke of Leinster attains his majority?
As we have seen the Infirmary was again in the hands of the Governors. The Committee was using all expedition fitting up the Infirmary. No more patients were to be taken in at Naas after January 2nd, 1818; as it was then believed Kildare would have been ready by February following. The house at Naas was handed over to Trustees to be held as a fever hospital. On February 26th, 1818, Surgeon Tomlinson was appointed to the Infirmary, and was to reside in the town of Kildare. The actual reception of patients seems not to have been earlier than March of this year. With the Infirmary again working its subsequent history, down to the year 1900, is one unbroken record of additions, improvements, alterations. The original buildings were immensely enlarged, apartments provided for the Surgeon within the house, a new laundry built, fresh grounds acquired. Finally, a magnificent residence is built for the Surgeon at a considerable public cost. The last entry on the last written page is an approval of repairs just carried out in accordance with the Surveyor’s instructions.
From its re-opening in 1817 the harmonious working of the Infirmary is long undisturbed, save by one incident in 1827. A mis-understanding unfortunately arose between the Gover­nors and the Duke of Leinster regarding the rent received by the latter during the term of military occupation. It led to the “case stated.” The Governors were advised that they had no grounds for their claims against the Duke, and thus the matter was allowed to drop. Until we reach the last decade of the Infirmary’s existence we do not again touch on any break in its record of progress. Hlere an expression of sadness and regret begins to mark the closing page.
As this outline is gleaned from the written record of the Governors, it is but natural that it should conclude in the light which controls, and in the spirit which animates, their final resolutions. To act otherwise—to go and seek elsewhere for reasons and motives that might provoke class hatred, and religious feeling, would not only, not promote, but actually impede, the object in view. Such a course would be deservedly and univer­sally condemned. In their effort to avail of the present offer of the Trustees of the Leinster Estate, the promoters of the re-opening of the Kildare Infirmary have all along proclaimed that their desire is, to relieve thus a public distress, to secure thus a public property. How real this distress, those who witness it, and those who experience it can best tell. How valuable the property now at stake, those who know it, or those who may be able to competently estimate it, can best say. It is noble, it is patriotic, it is Christian to work as one for the common good. No appea1 can so touchingly plead for this re-opening as the recorded expression of the Old Governors. With the experience of the past, with the prospect of the future before them, they viewed the threatened closing as a ”calamity.” Shall they not now, with us, welcome the promised re-opening as a true blessing.
Infirmary Booklet Cover 72dpi.JPG
Infirmary Booklet Title 72dpi.JPG

The second part of the booklet was a chronological history of the infirmary down to 1891. The complete text of the booklet is available in two parts on the Grey Abbey (Kildare) website - as Kildare County Infirmary Part 1 and Part 2


[Compiled and edited by Mario Corrigan - Reprint of  introduction to Fr. Delaney's booklet on History of Co. Infirmary which was published as part of the campaign to re-open the Infirmary - closed since 1886/7 it was re-opened in 1903. Full text available on www.kildare.ie/greyabbey  ]

November 10, 2007


Naas Local History Group,
Monday night, 12 November, 7.45 pm
Naas Library   
 'A Winter's Tale'
Brian McCabe.

Local history in County Kildare uses all media ... radio listeners can
tune into a regular Local History Spot on Kfmradio at 97.6FM on
Fridays about 1045am with Noel Shannon and Liam Kenny. The item is repeated at 0245am the following morning!

News of Naas Local History Groups talk this Monday and a regular Local History Spot on Kfmradio at 97.6FM on Fridays about 10.45am

[Thanks to Liam Kenny for the update]

November 07, 2007


Maynooth Local History Group presents

a talk by


Forensic Genealogy:  tracing family roots and the origins of family names, using the Colgans of Kildare and Dublin as an example.

 Maynooth Public Library

Monday, 17th December, 2007 at 8pm.


Francis H Colgan of Cappagh, Co Kildare, (1852-1921)


 John P Colgan of The Liberties, Dublin, (1913-1987).

Maynooth Local History Group will host a talk, by John Colgan, in Maynooth Public Library on Monday, 17th December, 2007 at 8pm. entitled 'Forensic Genealogy:  tracing family roots and the origins of family names, using the Colgans of Kildare and Dublin as an example.' 

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