The history of Sligo: town and county, Ireland

VOLUME I

I have tried to embody, in the following pages, the secular, the religious, the social, and, in some measure, the natural history of Sligo. I have spared no pains to collect and verify the facts which belong to the subject under each of these aspects. Knowing the great want of an original and authentic history of the county, and aiming at the supply of the desideratum, I have taken nothing at second-hand, but have gone in all cases for myself to the sources.

Though disposed at first to rely, more or less; implicitly, on John O'Donovan and the Ordnance Survey: letter-writers, I had not proceeded far when, finding them generally unsafe, and frequently misleading guides, it became necessary to trust them, like others, only in proportion to the weight of the evidence which they bring to the support of their opinions. After demurring to the authority of O'Donovan, as to the matter in hand, it is almost superfluous to add that I set little store by his echoists and copyists epithets which may with justice be applied to those who have written about Sligo since his day.

In saying so much of O'Donovan, there is no wish to question his right to rank,' as he commonly does, as our leading modern authority on the topography of Ireland; and if I make bold to differ from him rather often, I do so without questioning the exceptional weight of his opinions in relation to those parts of Ireland, which he had opportunities of studying, an advantage which lie never enjoyed in regard to Sligo.

As these pages are meant to be a record of facts, the reader will be little troubled with legends and "the pre-historic ages." It might be well for history, and particuLarly for Irish history, if there were no such word as pre-historic, the expression is so often employed as a cover for ignorance or indolence. Once the theory is set up that certain things are pre-historic, the student, instead of exhausting patiently and laboriously all the means within his reach, finds it more convenient, on meeting with troublesome difficulties, to fall back on this theory, and to class the object of his search as falling under it, little minding that what is pre-historic for him may be well within the province of history for a more intelligent or a more painstaking inquirer. The Round Towers were pre-historic for all the world till Dr. Petrie demonstrated their origin and uses.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I
THE DISTRICT OF SLIGO

CHAPTER II
BARONY OF CARBURY

CHAPTER III
THE TOWN OF SLIGO

CHAPTER IV
THE FITZGERALDS AND SLIGO

CHAPTER V
THE O'CONNORS AND SLIGO

CHAPTER VI
SLIGO IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

CHAPTER VII
CONFEDERATE EFFORTS TO RECOVER SLIGO

CHAPTER VIII
THE CROMWELLIAN SETTLEMENT OF SLIGO

CHAPTER IX
JACOBITES AND WILLIAMITES

CHAPTER X
TREATMENT OF CATHOLICS

CHAPTER XI
THE ABBEY

CHAPTER XII
THE CHURCH OF ST. JOHN

CHAPTER XIII
THE BOROUGH OF SLIGO

CHAPTER XIV
THE HARBOR OF SLIGO

CHAPTER XV
STIRRING OCCURRENCES

CHAPTER XVI
STREETS AND HOUSES

CHAPTER XVII
COOLERRA

CHAPTER XVIII
PARISH OF CALRY

 

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The district of Sligo was formed into a separate county the the sixteenth century, at the time when the other existing counties of Counaught were constituted. About the middle of the thirteenth century, if not somewhat earlier, the province was divided into two counties the county of Conuaught and the county of Roscommon the former lying to the south, and the Latter to the north, of a line which stretched from the Shannon to the Atlantic Ocean; and that this line was only ill-defined would appear from Harris's Hibernica, where we find the sheriff of Connaught and the sheriff of Roscommon maintaining, each that a certain specified district called Athruim O Many, belonged to his own county. The county of Conuaught comprised the present counties of Clare, Galway, and Mayo; while the County of Roscommon took in the existing counties of Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim, and Cavan, as well as the part of Donegal that lies between the Drowes and the Erne. Ware shows by abundant proofs, taken from the records of the country, that this dual arrangement continued in force down to the year 1565; and there is other evidence, which escaped his notice, that it lasted still longer; for we find Christopher Bodkin,, the Archbishop of Tuam, signing, as Queen's Commissioner in Civil Causes, an injunction addressed to the sheriff of the "county of Connaught," on the 2nd of October, 1567.