1586 County Louth


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1586 Co. Louth, a Brief Description .......


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The following description of County Louth is taken from Britannia: or a Chorographical Description of Great Britain and Ireland, by William Camden, first published in 1586 (and constantly revised by him up to 1607). The book was originally published in Latin; the first version in English appeared in 1610. The extract below is taken from the 1722 edition, translated into English by Dr. Gibson.


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Illustration from Camden's 'Britannia' (original is not coloured)



The County of LOUTH 

Columns 1391-1394 


 Iriel. Latin Urgalia



*Solo pabuloso.



Drogheda, Tredagh








Mellefont Monastery 





Phil. Trans. Vol. 22. Pa. 790




*Ardeth, C.


















Bermingham, who are also call'd Brimicham, Earl of Louth






*So said, ann. 1607.


Barons of Louth




 Ware, Ant. P28


 The County of Louth, call'd in ancient Books Luna and Luda, and in Irish Iriel or Uriel (it that is not rather a part of the County), lies beyond the County of Meath, and the mouth of the river Boine; running northward upon a winding and uneven shore of the Irish Sea. It is so* full of fortage and so fertile, that the Husbandman finds plentiful Returns with moderate Labour.


Near the mouth of the Boine, stands Drogheda or Droghda, in English Tredah, a neat and populous Town, so call'd from the bridge (and therefore by Sir James Ware names Pontana,) and divided in the middle by the Boine. King Edward the second granted in the privilege of a Market and a Fair, at the instance of Theobold Verdon; and several Immunities and Privileges have been also granted to it by the Kings of England; particularly that of a Mint. By authority of Parliament held here in the year 1365, and Academy was erected, and endowed with the Privileges of the University of Oxford; but for want of Maintenance, it soon expir'd. It is now and Earldom in the honourable Family of the Moores. Near this Town stands Mellefont-Abbey, founded by Donald King of Uriel, and commended by S. Bernard. It was given by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Edward Moor Knight, a Kentish Gentleman, very deserving for his wise conduct both at home and abroad; the Monks having been turn'd out some time before. His descendant is the Earl of Drogheda, just now mention'd, whose chief Seat is at this place.


At Munster-Bayes, near Drogheda is a stately Cross, with two Cats on it, and this odd inscription:

Seven miles from Drogheda, stands* Ardee, a mid-land town of some note; and highed in the Country, Dundalk, which has the benefit of a good harbour, and was formerly fortify'd with strong walls. It was burnt by Edward Brus, brother of the King of Scots, who had proclaimed himself King of Ireland, but was soon after cut off near this place, with eight thousand and two hundred of his men. Within the memory of this age, it was besieged by Shan O Neal, who was quickly obliged to raise the siege with dishonour; and since, (it hath been erected into a Barony, and enjoyed by the Honourable Family of Gorges.) Eight miles from hence stands Carlingford, a pretty famous harbour; and whence the Family of Taaf hath derived the honourable title of Earl: in like manner, as those of Tichbourn, and Butler, derive their respective titles from this County; the first, that of Baron Farrard of Beaulieu; and the second, that of Baron Butler of Newton Butler. And these are all places that I know of, memorable in this County.


Louth hath given the title of Earl to John Bermingham, and English man, which was confer'd upon him by King Edward the second, as a reward of his great valour (after he had engag'd, defeated, and slain Edward Brus, that momentary King of Ireland, who for some time had ravag'd the Country with great cruelty and slaughter,) and gave him the said Earldom to have and to hold, to him and his heirs males, as also the Barony of Atherny, to him and his heirs. But as the honour begun in this gentleman, so it expir'd with him; and after he had conquer'd his enemies, he was overcome and slain in a popular insurrection in these parts with many others of the same name; leaving no issue behind him. This Country likewise, in the memory of the * last age, gave the title of Baron to Oliver Plonket, which was confer'd upon him by King Henry the eight; and since, Louth hath afforded the title of Viscount to the Honourable Family of Netterville.)


Families still remaining in the County, are the Verdons, Tates, Clintons, Bellews or de Bella Aqua, Dowdalls, Gernons, Hadsors, Wottons, Brandons, Mores, Warrens, Chamberlians (who have changed their name to Brownlow) and many other English Families; of Irish extraction, are the Mac-Mahons, &c,


(Athenry, before-mention'd, is suppos'd by the Learned Antiquary of this Nation, to be the Rigia or Regia of Ptolomy.) 



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At the time the above was written, Louth was included in the counties of Ulster ....

'the soil [of which] for want of culture is rough and barren, so the Inhabitants, for want of Education and Learning are very wild and barbarous..... But when we speak of wildness and barbarity of the Inhabitants of Ulster, this is to be understood of the Irish Inhabitants only, who are now so routed out and destroyed by their many Rebellions, and by the accession of Scots (who for the most part inhabit this Province) that there are not supposed to be left ten thousand Irish, able and fit to bear arms in all Ulster' (column 1391).

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For those who prefer their text in Latin, the following description is from the 1607 edition of the book:






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30 January 2013



 935 Genealogy of Gairbhith 976 Genealogy of Cinaeth Mac Croinghille  1285-1932 Drogheda Mayors 1361-1918 Co. Louth High Sheriffs 1586 Camden's Louth 1649-1734 Drogheda Council Book Name Index 1654 The Down Survey Dundalk Barony 1659-1901 Surname Analysis of Haggardstown 1665-1882 Title Deeds of County Louth Index 1689-1927 Regiments based in County Louth 1692-1841 Dundalk Corporate Officers 1734-1758 Drogheda Council Book Folio Name Index   1740 Corn Census of County Louth 1756 Commission of Array 1775 Collon Cess Payers 1775-1810 Assizes 1793 Louth Militia Officers & Men 1796 Flax Growers 1797 The Louth Militia Light Company   1798 Louth Militia Officers & Men 1804 Militia Substitutes 1816 The Murders at Wildgoose Lodge 1822 Freeholders 1824 Freeholders 1830 County Louth Magistrates 1832 Dundalk Voters 1832 Dundalk: J.R. Eastwood Creditors 1833-40 Dundalk Union Ten Pound Valuations 1837 Dundalk Householders 1837 Dundalk Property Valuations 1837 Drogheda Householders   1837 Lewis's Co. Louth 1837 Shareholders in Dundalk Western Railway 1839 Roden Tenants 1842 - The Montgomery Children, Dundalk 1842 Voters 1842 Thackeray's Louth 1848 WIlliam Torrens McCullagh 1846 Dundalk: The Long Panel 1851 Prisons in County Louth 1852 Thom's Directory - Co. Louth 1854 Patriotic Fund 1855 Ardee Convent 1855 Drogheda Poor Relief Fund 1855 The Louth Rifles - Recruits 1856/7 Emigrants 1858 The Wreck of the Mary Stoddard 1864 Map of Dundalk 1865 Voters 1868-1900 Haggardstown Internments Notified to Dundalk Democrat 1886 A Brief History  1890 Tenants' Defence Fund   1890 Dulargy Schools 1890 Louth Parish Church Fund 1890 St. Joseph's Dundalk Subscribers 1891 Bellingham Memorial 1891 Carroll Fund [Dundalk]   1894 Monasterboice 1898 Tullyallen Subscribers 1900 Haggardstown Church Subscribers 1907 County Louth Through the Stereoscope 1908 Dundalk 1914-1918 The Returned Army 1915 Co. Louth Ambulance Fund    1917 Statistics of the County of Louth 1922-24 Civil War Period in Dundalk 1930-40 Newspaper Death Notices Miscellaneous The Annals of County Louth Baronies, Parishes and Townlands Burials Statistical Surveys Dowdallshill Links Monasterboice through the Stereoscope  Co. Louth Population What's New Louth Sources Books of Co. Louth Interest Memorial Inscriptions Name Index to County Louth Inscriptions  1832 Some Co. Louth Antiquities Illustrations on this Web Site The Kingdom of Oriel Contact Me Copyright Notice

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