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Co Armagh Overview.
ARMAGH (County of), an inland county, in the province of ULSTER, bounded on the north by Lough Neagh, on the east by the county of Down, on the south-east by that of Louth, on the south-west by Monaghan, and on the west and north-west by Tyrone, it is situated between 54º 3' and 54º 31' (N. Lat.), and between 6º 14' and 6º 45' (W. Lon.); and comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 328,076 statute acres, of which 267,317 acres are tillable, 17,941 are covered with water, and the remainder is mountain and bog. The population, in 1821, was 197,427; and, in 1831, 220,134.
Early People & History.
This tract is supposed to have been part of that named by Ptolemy as the territories of the Vinderii and Voluntii, it afterwards formed part of the district called Orgial, which also comprised the counties of Louth and Monaghan. The formation of this part of Ireland into a separate dominion is said to have taken place so early as the year 332, after the battle of Achaighleth-derg, in Fermoy, in which, as recorded by Tigernach, abbot of Clonmacnois, who died in 1068, Fergus Feagha, son of Froechair the Brave, the last of the Ultonian kings who resided in Eamania, was killed by the three Collas, who then expelled the Ultonians from that part of the province to the south of Lough Neagh, and formed it into an independent state, to which they gave the name of Orgial, afterwards corrupted into Oriel or Uriel, names by which it was distinguished to the beginning of the seventeenth century.
The county was made shire ground, under its present name, in 1586, by the lord-deputy, Sir John Perrott, who, not relying with confidence on the vigilance and care of Henry O'Nial and Sir Henry Bagnell, to whom the government of Ulster had been entrusted, projected the division of the greater part of that province into seven counties, of which Armagh was one,and took its name from the chief town in it.
For each of these counties he appointed sheriffs, commissioners of the peace, coroners, and other officers. Previously to this arrangement, the chief part of the property of the county had centred in the families of the O'Nials, the Mac Cahans, and the O'Hanlons.
At the commencement of the seventeenth century, it was principally vested in those of MacHenry, Acheson, O'Nial, Brownlow, and O'Hanlon, exclusively of the great territories settled on Moharty, which the Mac Cahans had forfeited in rebellion, and a large tract of country called Oirther, afterwards Orior, a district in the southern part, which also escheated to the crown by rebellion of a branch of the O'Hanlons.
According to a project for planting, by Jas. I., the whole of the arable and pasture land, amounting to 77,580 acres, was to be allotted in 61 proportions of three classes of 2000, 1500, and 1000 acres each, among the English and Scottish undertakers, the servitors, and the Irish natives.
A portion was also assigned to the primate, another for glebes for the incumbents (of whom there was to be one for each proportion), another for the four corporate towns of Armagh , Mountnorris, Charlemont, and Tanderagee, and a fourth for a free grammar school.
The native Irish were to be distributed among a few of the several proportions, with the exception of the swordsmen, who were to migrate into waste lands in Connaught and Munster.
The project, which was but partially effected, was not acted upon until 1609, when a royal commission was issued to inquire into the king's title to the escheated and forfeited lands in Ulster, with a view to the plantation there. Inquisitions were consequently held, the return of which for Armagh, made in August of the same year, states that the county was then divided into the five baronies of Armaghe, Toaghriny, Orier, Fuighes, and Onylane or O'Nealane, and enumerates with great particularity the names and tenures of the proprietors.
In 1618, a second commission was issued to Captain Pynnar and others, to ascertain how far the settlers located there in the intervening period had fulfilled the terms of their agreement. It is somewhat remarkable that, although the inquisition names five baronies, three only are noticed in Pynnar's survey; those of Arrnaghe and Toaghriny being omitted, probably because they contained no forfeited property.
The number of the proportions specified in the survey are but 22, eleven of which, situated in O'Neylan, were in the hands of English undertakers; five in the Fuighes, in those of Scottish undertakers; and seven in Orier were allotted to servitors and natives. The number of tenants and men capable of bearing arms in the two first proportions amounted to 319 of the former, and 679 of the latter; the number in Orier is not given.
The county is partly in the diocese of Dromore, but chiefly in that of Armagh. For civil purposes it is now divided into the baronies of Armagh, Turaney, O'Neilland East, O'Neilland West, Upper Fews, Lower Fews, Upper Orior, and Lower Orior. It contains the city and borough of Armagh; part of the borough, seaport, and market-town of Newry; the market and post-towns of Lurgan, Portadown, Tanderagee, Market-hill, and Newtown-Hamilton; the disfranchised borough of Charlemont; the post-towns of Richhill, Keady, Blackwatertown, Loughgall, Tynan, Forkhill, and FlurryBridge; and the market-towns of Middleton and Crossmeglan, which, with Killylen, have each a penny post. Prior to the Union it sent six members to the Irish parliament, two for the county at large, and two for each of the boroughs; but at present its representation consists of three members in the Imperial parliament, two for the county at large, and one for the borough of Armagh.
The election takes place at Armagh; and the constituency, as registered in Oct. 1836, consisted of 384 £50, 324 £20, and 2384 £10 freeholders; 5 £50 and 19 £20 rent-chargers; and 122 £20 and 573 £10 leaseholders; making a total of 3811.
It is in the north-east circuit the assizes are held at Armagh, where the county court-house and gaol are situated; and quarter sessions at Armagh, Lurgan, Market hill, and Ballybott, of which the three last have each a courthouse and bridewell. The number of persons charged with criminal offences and committed to the county gaol, in 1835, was 385, and of civil bill commitments, 111.
The local government is vested in a lieutenant, vice-lieutenant, 13 deputy-lieutenants, and 63 other magistrates; besides whom there are the usual county officers, including three coroners. There are 17 constabulary police stations, having in the whole a force of a stipendiary magistrate, sub- inspector, paymaster, 5 chief and 19 subordinate constables, and 99 men, with 5 horses maintained equally by Grand Jury presentments and by Government.
The amount of Grand Jury presentments, for 1835, was £27,259. 2. 3½., of which £4704. 0. 3. was for the public roads of the county at large £9974. 1. 7½. for the public roads, being the baronial charge; £1475. 11. 4. in repayment of loans advanced by Government; £2279. 10. 7. for the police, and £8525. 18. 6. for public establishments, officers' salaries, buildings, &c.
The public charitable institutions are a district lunatic asylum, and the county infirmary and fever hospital at Armagh; and dispensaries at Crossmeglin, Forkhill, Market-hill, Jonesborough, Keady, Blackwatertown, Seagoe, Loughgall, Richhill, Lurgan, Newtown-Hamilton, Poyntz-Pass, Tynan, Portadown, Tanderagee and Ballybott, supported by equal Grand Jury presentments and private subscriptions. There are also dispensaries at Tanderagee, Portadown, and Tullyhappy, built and supported by the Earl and Countess of Mandeville; and a fever hospital at Middleton, built and supported by the Trustees of Bishop Sterne's munificent bequest.
In the military arrangements this county is within the northern district, of which Armagh is the headquarters, where there are an ordnance-depot and an infantry barrack constructed to accommodate 12 officers, 174 men, and 5 horses, at Charlemont there is a fort, with an artillery barrack for 5 officers, 151 men, and 79 horses, to which is attached an hospital for 22 patients.
The northern verge of the county, near Lough Neagh, the north-western adjoining Tyrone, and the neighbourhoods of Armagh, Market-hill, and Tanderagee, are level; the remainder is hilly, rising in the southern parts into mountains of considerable elevation. The highest is Slieve Gullion, rising, according to the Ordnance survey, 1893 feet above the level of the sea; it is about seven miles from the southern border, and is considered to be the loftiest point of land in Ulster, except Slieve Donard, in the neighbouring county of Down. Slieve Gullion sinks on the east into the Fathom Hills, which skirt the Newry water.
One of the finest and most extensive prospects in Ulster is obtained from its summit, which commands the bay of Dundalk ; and the bold and picturesque features of mountain scenery are confined to this immediate vicinity, including the Doobrin mountains and the neighbourhood of Forkhill. Westward to the Fews the country exhibits a chain of abrupt hills, the greater part of which can never be reduced to a state of profitable cultivation.
Further west are the Fews mountains, a subordinate range, lying in a direction from south-east to north-west. The fertility of the more level districts towards the eastern, northern, and north- western confines is very remarkable, especially in the views from Richhill, the numerous demesnes being sufficiently wooded to ornament the whole country, and the surface generally varied by pleasing undulations.
From the shores of Lough Neagh, however, extend considerable tracts of low, marshy, and boggy land. The other lakes are few and small, that of Camlough, romantically situated on the northern verge of Slieve Gullion, is the largest. Lough Clay, in the western part of the county, which gives rise to one of the branches of the Callen river, is the next in size; but neither of them would be noticed for extent or beauty if situated in some of the neighbouring counties.
A chain of small lakes occupying the south-western boundary of the county is valuable from the supply of water afforded by them to the mills in their neighbourhood. Coney Island, near the southern shore of Lough Neagh, and between the mouths of the Blackwater and Bann rivers, is the only island in the county; it is uninhabited.
The climate is more genial than most of the other counties in Ulster, as is evinced by the greater forwardness of the harvests, this advantage has been attributed to the nature of the soil and subsoil, the gentle undulation of the surface, the absence of moor or marshy land, and the protection by mountains from the cooling breezes of the sea.
The soil is generally very fertile, especially in the northern part, the surface of which is a rich brown loam, tolerably deep, on a substratum of clay or gravel. There is an abundance of limestone in the vicinity of Armagh, and in Kilmore and other places; and there are quarries near Lough Neagh, but the stone lies so deep, and they are subject to such a flow of water, as to be of little practical use.
Towards Charlemont there is much bog, which yields red ashes, and is easily reclaimable; the substratum of this is a rich limestone. The eastern part of the county consists of a light friable soil. In the south the country is rocky and barren, huge rocks of granite are found on the surface promiscuously mixed with blocks of limestone, as if thrown together by some convulsion of nature.
All the limestone districts make good tillage and meadow ground, the natural meadow found on the banks of the rivers, and formed of a very deep brown loam, yields great crops without manure. The hilly district is generally of a deep retentive soil on a gravelly but not calcareous substratum, a decayed freestone gravel, highly tinged with ferruginous ore, is partially found here, the subsoil is sometimes clay, slate. In these districts heath is peculiarly vigorous, except where the judicious application of lime has compelled it to give place to a more productive vegetation. Except near Newtown- Hamilton, there is but little bog among these hills. The valleys which lie between them have a rich and loamy soil, which yields much grain, and does not abound in aquatic plants, although the poa fluitans grows in them in great luxuriance. The general inequality of surface which pervades the county affords great facilities for drainage.
In consequence of the dense population the farms are generally very small, and much land is tilled with the spade. Wheat is a very general crop in the baronies of Armagh, the O'Neillands, and Turaney; the main crops in the other baronies are oats, flax, and potatoes. In the smaller farms potatoes constitute the first and second crops, sometimes even a third; and afterwards flax occupies a portion of the potatoe plot, and barley the remainder, if the soil be dry and fine, but if otherwise, crops of oats are taken in succession.
The treatment of the wheat crop consists of one harrowing and one ploughing, to level the potatoe furrows; if two crops of potatoes have preceded, a small quantity of ashes is scattered over the surface. The seed most in use is the red Lammas wheat, and the quantity sown is about three bushels to the acre.
Potatoe oats are commonly sown on the best lands; black oats, and sometimes white oats, on land manured with lime, in the mountainous districts; this latter species, when sown on mountain land not previously manured and drained, will degenerate into a black grain in two or three seasons. Flax is invariably sown on potatoe ground, the plot being tilled with the spade, but not rolled Dutch seed is sown on heavy soils, American on light soils. The seed is not saved, and therefore the plant is pulled just before it changes colour, from an opinion that when thus prepared it makes finer yarn.
More seed was sown in 1835 than was ever before known, in consequence of the increased demand from the spinners in England and Ireland. The pasturage is abundant and nutritious; and though there are no extensive dairies, cows are kept by all the small farmers of the rich northern districts, whence much butter is sent to the Belfast market, a considerable quantity of butter, generally made up in small firkins, is also sent to Armagh and Newry for exportation.
The state of agriculture in modern times has very much improved; gentlemen and large farmers have introduced all the improved agricultural implements, with the practice of drainage, irrigation, and rotation crops. Mangel-wurzel, turnips, clover, and all other green crops are now generally cultivated even upon the smallest farms, particularly around Market-hill, Tanderagee, Banagher, and other places, where the greatest encouragement is given by Lords Gosford, Mandeville, and Charlemont, and by Col. Close and other resident gentlemen, who have established farming societies and expend large sums annually in premiums. The Durham, Hereford, North Devon, Leicester, Ayrshire, and other breeds of cattle have been introduced, and by judicious crosses a very superior stock has been raised, some farmers on good soils have also brought over the Alderney breed, which thrives remarkably well; but in some of the mountain districts the old long-horned breed of the country is still preferred, and a cross between it and the old Leicester appeals to suit both soil and climate, as they grow to a large size, give great quantities of milk, and fatten rapidly.
The breed of sheep and horses has also been greatly improved; the former kind of stock is chiefly in the possession of gentlemen and large farmers. The horses used in farming are mostly a light active kind; but the best hunters and saddle horses are brought hither by dealers from other counties.
Numerous herds of young cattle are reared on the Fews mountains, which are the only part of the county where grass farms are extensive. Goats are numerous, and are allowed to graze at liberty in the mountainous districts. Hogs are fattened in great numbers; the gentry prefer the Chinese breed, but the Berkshire is preferred by the country people, as being equally prolific and mere profitable.
Lime and dung are the general manures; the former is usually mixed with clay for the culture of potatoes, and is also applied to grass lands as a surface dressing preparatory to tillage, sometimes even three years before the sod is broken, as being deemed more effective than manuring the broken ground; the average quantity of lime laid on an acre is from 30 to 40 barrels.
Thorn hedges well kept are the common fences in the richer districts, and with scattered timber trees and numerous orchards give them a rich woody appearance. In the mountainous district, too, the same fences are rising in every direction. Many parts of the county, particularly in the barony of Armagh, are decorated with both old and new timber, and in comparison with neighbouring districts it has a well-wooded appearance; but there are no extensive woodlands, although there is, near Armagh, a large public nursery of forest trees.
The geological features of the county are various and interesting. The mountain of Slieve Gullion, in its south-eastern extremity, is an offset of the granite district of Down, and is remarkable for the varieties of which it is composed. It is in the form of a truncated cone, and presents on some sides mural precipices several hundred feet in height, from which it acquires an appearance of greater elevation than it really attains the summit is fiat, and on it is a lake of considerable extent.
The granite of this mountain, particularly that procured near the summit, is frequently used for millstones, being extremely hard and fine-grained, and composed of quartz, feldspar, mica, and hornblende. This, indeed, is here the common composition of this primitive rock, the feldspar being grey and the mica black. Sometimes the hornblende is absent, in which case the rock is found to be a pure granite; and at others it graduates into a beautiful sienite composed of flesh-coloured feldspar and hornblende-Flesh-coloured veins of quartz are also found to variegate the granite, in a beautiful manner, in several places.
On the south, towards Jonesborough, the sienite succeeds to the granite, and afterwards passes into porphyry, which is succeeded by silicious slate. The Newry mountains and the Fathom hills are composed of granite. Around Camlough mica slate is found in vast beds. Westward the granite district of Slieve Gullion extends to the hill above Larkin-mill, on the western declivity of which the granite basis is covered by almost vertical strata, composed first of an aggregation of quartz and mica with steatite, which in the distance of about a quarter of a mile is occasionally interstratified with greenish grey clay- slate, of which the strata still further west are wholly composed. Several slate quarries have here been opened and partially worked, but none with spirit or skill, the principal are at Dorcy,
Newtown-Hamilton, Cregan-Duff, and in the vicinity of Crossmeglan. Further distant this becomes grauwacke slate, by being interstratified with grauwacke. In the neighbourhood of Market-hill the strata comprise also hornblende slate and greenstone porphyry. Sandstone is also connected with this district; there is a quarry of remarkably fine freestone at Grange; and on the surface of the southern confines is seen the intermixture of grit and limestone rocks above noticed.
Trap rocks, forming a hard stone varying in hue between dark green and blue, here called whin, are found in various places in huge blocks and boulders, or long narrow stones. The substratum of the eastern portion of the county varies between a silicious schistus and an argillaceous deposit, forming a grauwacke district, which extends across to the western confines of the county. The west and middle of the county is limestone, which is generally white, except in the vicinity of the city of Armagh, where it assumes a red tinge, exhibiting that colour more distinctly as it approaches the town, improving also in quality, and increasing in the varieties of its shades.
The minerals, as connected with metallurgy, are so few as scarcely to deserve notice, lead only excepted, a mine of which was worked in the vicinity of Keady, on a property held by the Earl of Farnham, under Dublin College; but after much expenditure the operations were discontinued in consequence of the loss incurred, which, however, has been attributed to the want of skilful or honest superintendence.
Lead ore has also been found near Market-hill, in several places near Newtown-Hamilton, on the demesne of Ballymoyer, near Hockley, in Slieve Cross, near Forkhill, and in the parish of Middleton. Some indications of iron, imperfect lead, regulus of manganese, and antimony, have been found in a few spots. The other mineral substances found here are potters' clay and a variety of ochres. Various kinds of timber, particularly oak, pine, and yew, have been raised out of the bogs; petrified wood is found on the shores of Lough Neagh; and fern, spleenwort, and mosses have been discovered in the heart of slaty stones.
The woollen trade flourished extensively in this county until interrupted by the legislative measures enacted by William III., and cloth of every description was manufactured.
The linen manufacture is now pursued in all its branches, the finest goods being produced in the northern parts. The extent of the manufacture cannot easily be ascertained, because much comes in from the outskirts of the neighbouring counties, though the excess thus arising is most probably counterbalanced by the goods sent out of Armagh to the markets in the adjoining counties.
At the commencement of the present century, the value of its produce annually was estimated at £300,000, and at present exceeds £500,000. Large capitals are employed by bleachers, who purchase linen and bleach it on their own account; the principal district is on the river Callan, at Keady. Considerable sums are also employed in the purchase of yarn, which is given out to the weaver to manufacture.
Woollen goods are made solely for home consumption, and in only small quantities. Manufactories for the necessaries of life in greatest demand, such as candles, leather, soap, beer, &c. are numerous; and there are mills for dressing flax and spinning linen yarn, and numerous large flour-mills.
The two principal rivers are the Blackwater and the Bann, which chiefly flow along the north-eastern and north-western boundaries of the county, the former discharging itself into the western side of Lough Neagh, and the latter into the southern part of the same lake, at Bann-foot ferry.
The Newry water, after flowing through a narrow valley between the counties of Down and Armagh, empties itself into the bay of Carlingford, below Newry. The Callan joins the Blackwater below Charlemont, the Cusheir falls into the Bann at its junction with the Newry canal; and the Camlough, flowing from the lake of the same name, discharges itself into the Newry water. This last named river, during its short course of five miles, supplies numerous bleach-works, and corn, flour, and flax mills, its falls are so rapid that the tail race of the higher mill forms the head water of the next lower.
The Newtown-Hamilton river is joined by the Tara , and flows into Dundalk bay, into which also the Flurry or Fleury, and the Fane, empty themselves. The total number of main and branch streams is eighteen, and the combined lengths of all are 165 miles. The mouths of those which flow into Lough Neagh have a fine kind of salmon trout, frequently 30lb. in weight, the common trout is abundant and large, as are also pike, eels, bream, and roach.
An inland navigation along the border of the counties of Armagh and Down, from Newry to Lough Neagh, by the aid of the Bann and the Newry water, was the first line of canal executed in Ireland . Commencing at the tideway at Fathom, it proceeds to Newry, and admits vessels drawing nine or ten feet of water, having at each end a sea lock. From Newry to the point where the Bann is navigable, a distance of fifteen miles, is a canal for barges of from 40 to 60 tons, chiefly fed from Lough Brickland and Lough Shark, in the county of Down .
The river Bann, from its junction with the canal to Lough Neagh, a distance of eleven miles and a half, completes the navigation, opening a communication with Belfast by the Lagan navigation, and with the Tyrone collieries by the Coal Island or Blackwater navigation. The chief trade on this canal arises from the import of bleaching materials, flax-seed, iron, timber, coal, and foreign produce from Newry; and from the export of agricultural produce, yarn, linen, firebricks, pottery etc.
The canal from Lough Erne to Lough Neagh, now in progress, enters this county near Tynan, and passes by Caledon, Blackwatertown, and Charlemont to its junction with the river Blackwater above Verner's bridge, and finally with Lough Neagh. A line of railway from Dublin to Armagh , and thence to Belfast, and another from Armagh to Coleraine, have been projected.
The roads are generally well laid out, and many of them of late have been much improved.
Among the relics of antiquity are the remains of the fortress of Eamania, near Armagh, once the royal seat of the kings of Ulster. The Danes' Cast is an extensive line of fortification in the south-eastern part of the county, and stretching into the county of Down.
The tumulus said to mark the burial-place of "Nial of the hundred battles" is still visible on the banks of the Callan. The Vicar's Cairn, or Cairn-na-Managhan, is situated near the city of Armagh. Cairn Bann is in Orior barony, near Newry.
A tumulus in Killevy parish contains an artificial cavern. Two ancient brazen weapons were found in a bog near Carrick, where a battle is said to have been fought in 941. Spears, battle-axes, skeyns, swords, the golden torques, and collars, rings, amulets, and medals of gold, also various ornaments of silver,jet, amber, &c., have been found in different places, and are mostly preserved.
Near Hamilton's Bawn, in 1816, was found the entire skeleton of an elk, of which the head and horns were placed in the hall of the Infirmary at Armagh, and in the same year also the body of a trooper was discovered in a bog near Charlemont, of which the dress and armour appeared to be of the reign of Elizabeth.
The religious houses, besides those of the city of Armagh, of which any memorial has been handed down to us were Clonfeacle, Killevey or Kilsleve, Kilmore, Stradhailloyse, and Tahellen. The most remarkable military remains are Tyrone's ditches, near Poyntz Pass, Navan fort, the castles of Criff-Keirn and Argonell, the castle in the pass of Moyrath, and Castle Roe.
People & Social Conditions.
The peasantry are in possession of superior comforts in their habitations as well as in food and clothing, which cannot be attributed solely to the linen manufacture, as their neighbours of the same trade in the adjoining counties of Cavan and Monaghan are far behind them in this respect.
The county possesses sufficient fuel for domestic consumption; but coal is imported from England by the Newry canal, and from the county of Tyrone by the Blackwater. In no other county do the working classes consume so much animal food. The general diffusion of the population is neither the result of a predetermined plan, nor of mere accident it arises from the nature of the linen manufacture, which does not require those employed in it to be collected into overgrown cities, or congregated in crowded factories.
Engaged alternately at their loom and in their farm, they derive both health and recreation from the alternation. Green lawns, clear streams, pure springs, and the open atmosphere, are necessary for bleaching, hence it is that so many eminent bleachers reside in the country, and hence also the towns are small, and every hill and valley abounds with rural and comfortable habitations.
In the mountainous districts are several springs slightly impregnated with sulphur and iron. The borders of the bogs sometimes also exhibit ferruginous oozings, one of which in the Fews mountains is said tobe useful in scrofulous complaints.
The same effect was also formerly attributed to the waters of Lough Neagh, in the north-western limits of this county. Boate states, in addition to this, that the temperature of the sand at the bottom of the bay in which this sanative quality is perceived, alternates frequently between cold and warmth. A petrifying quality, such as that said to exist in some parts of Lough Neagh, has been discovered at Rosebrook, near Armagh , the mansion-house of which was built, in a great measure, of petrifactions raised from a small lake there. Petrified branches of hawthorn have been found near the city of Armagh; and fossil remains of several animals have also been discovered in the limestone rocks in the same vicinity. Petrifactions of the muscle, oyster, leech, together with dendrites, belemnites, and madreporites, are also found; and in the mountain streams are pure quartz crystals, of which a valuable specimen, found near Keady, is in the possession of Dr. Colvan, of Armagh.
ARMAGH , a city, market and post-town. and a parish, partly in the barony of O'NEILLAND WESt, but chiefly in that of ARMAGH , county of ARMAGH (of which it is the capital),and province of ULSTER , 31 miles (S. W. by W.) from Belfast and 65¾ (N.N.W.) from Dublin ; containing 10,518 inhabitants, of which number, 9470 are within the limits of the borough.
The past importance of this ancient city is noticed by several early historians, who describe it as the chief city in Ireland. St. Fiech, who flourished in the sixth century, calls it the seat of empire; Giraldus Cambrensis, the metropolis; and, even so lately as 1580, Cluverius styles it the head of the kingdom, adding that Dublin was then next in rank to it. The original name was Druim-sailech, "the hill of sallows," which was afterwards changed to Ard-sailech, " the height of sallows," and, still later, to Ard-macha, either from Eamhuin-macha, the regal residence of the kings of Ulster , which stood in its vicinity, or, as is more probable, from its characteristic situation, Ard-macha, signifying "the high place or field."
Armagh is the head of the primacy of all Ireland, and is indebted for its origin, and ecclesiastical pre-eminence, to St. Patrick, by whom it was built, in 445. He also founded, near his own mansion, the monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul, for Canons Regular of the order of St. Augustine, which was rebuilt by Imar O'Hoedegan, and was the most distinguished of the religious establishments which existed here, having materially contributed to the early importance of the place.
This institution received numerous grants of endowment from the native kings, the last of whom, Roderick O'Connor, made a grant to its professors, in 1169; in-somuch that its landed possessions became very extensive, as appears from an inquisition taken on its suppression. Attached to it was a school or college, which long continued one of the most celebrated seminaries in Europe, and from which many learned men, not only of the Irish nation, but from all parts of Christendom, were despatched to diffuse knowledge throughout Europe.
It is said that 7000 students were congregated in it, in the pursuit of learning, at one period; and the annals of Ulster relate that, at a synod held by Gelasius at Claonadh, in 1162, it was decreed that no person should lecture publicly on theology, except such as had studied at Armagh.
The city was destroyed by accidental conflagrations in the year 670, 687, and 770, and also sustained considerable injury in the last-mentioned year by lightning.
In subsequent periods it suffered severely and repeatedly from the Danes, a band of whom having landed at Newry, in 830, penetrated into the interior, and having stormed Armagh established their headquarters in it for one month, and on being driven out, plundered and reduced it to ashes.
In 836, Tergesius or Thorgis, a Danish chieftain, equally celebrated for his courage and ferocity, after having laid waste Connaught and a great part of Meath and Leinster, turned his arms against Ulster, which he devastated as far as Lough Neagh, and then advancing against Armagh, took it with little difficulty. His first act, after securing possession of the place, was the expulsion of the Bishop Farannan, with all the students of the college, and the whole body of the religions, of whom the bishop and clergy sought refuge in Cashel.
The numerous atrocities perpetrated by the invaders at length excited a combined effort against them. Nial the Third collected a large army, and after having defeated the Danes in a pitched battle in Tyrconnel, advanced upon Armagh, where, after a second successful engagement, and while preparing to force his victorious way into the city, the main position of the enemy in these parts, he was drowned in the river Callan, in an attempt to save the life of one of his followers.
Malachy, his successor, obtained possession of the city, in which a public assembly of the princes and chieftains of Ireland was held, in 849, to devise the means of driving their ferocious enemies out of the island. In their first efforts the Danes suffered several defeats; but, having concentrated their forces, and being supported by a reinforcement of their countrymen, they again marched against Armagh, and took and plundered it about the year 852.
The subsequent annals of Armagh, to the commencement of the 11th century, are little more than a reiteration of invasions and conquests by the Danes, and of successful but brief insurrections of the natives, in all of which this devoted city became in turn the prize of each contending army, and suffered all the horrors of savage warfare.
In 1004, the celebrated Brian Boru entered Armagh, where he presented at the great altar of the church a collar of gold weighing 20 ounces; and after his death at the battle of Clontarf, in 1014, his remains were deposited here, according to his dying request, with those of his son Murchard, who fell in the same battle.
From this period to the English invasion the history of Armagh exhibits a series of calamitous incidents either by hostile inroads or accidental fires. Its annals, however, evince no further relation to the events of that momentous period than the fact of a synod of the Irish clergy having been held in it by Gelasius, in 1170, in which that assembly came to the conclusion that the foreign invasion and internal distractions of the country were a visitation of divine retribution, as a punishment for the inhuman practice of purchasing Englishmen from pirates and selling them as slaves; and it was therefore decreed that every English captive should be liberated. The city suffered severely from the calamities consequent on the invasion of Edward Bruce, in 1315, during which the entire see was lamentably wasted, and the archbishop was reduced to a state of extreme destitution, by the reiterated incursions of the Scottish army.
During the local wars in Ulster, at the close of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries, this city was reduced to a state of great wretchedness; and in the insurrection of Shane O'Nial or O'Neal, Lord Sussex, then lord-lieutenant, marched into Ulster to oppose him; and having attacked him successfully at Dundalk, forced him to retire upon Armagh, which the lord-lieutenant entered in Oct. 1557, and wasted with fire and sword, sparing only the cathedral.
In 1566, O'Nial, to revenge himself on Archbishop Loftus, who had transmitted information of his hostile intentions to Government, even before the Irish chieftains and the lord-deputy had preferred their complaint against him, resolved on a special expedition against this city, and on this occasion committed dreadful havoc, not even sparing the cathedral.
In the year 1575, Sydney, the lord-deputy, marched into Ulster against Turlogh O'Nial, and fixed his head-quarters at Armagh, whither that chieftain, after some ineffectual negociations through the agency of his wife, proceeded, and having surrendered himself, was permitted to return home without molestation.
In the short but sanguinary war carried on between the English Government and Hugh O'Nial, Earl of Tyrone, towards the close of the reign of Elizabeth , the earl obtained possession of this place by stratagem; but unfavourable events in other parts soon obliged him to evacuate the place. In the course of the same war, Armagh was again invested, in 1598, by this chieftain, who hoped to reduce it a second time by famine, but was baffled by the treachery of his illegitimate son, Con O'Nial, who, having deserted to the English, discovered a private road by which Sir Henry Bagnall, the British commander, was enabled to send in such a supply of men and provisions as completely frustrated the earl's efforts.
Soon after, the English were utterly defeated, and their commander killed, in a desperate attempt to force O'Nial's intrenchments, the immediate consequence of which was their evacuation of Armagh, which, however, was retaken in 1601, by Lord Mountjoy, who made it one of his principal positions in his Ulster expedition, and occupied it with a garrison of 900 men. In the early part of the 17th century, a colony of Scottish Presbyterians settled here, from which it is supposed Scotch-street, near the eastern entrance of the town, took its name.
At the commencement of the war in 1641, Armagh fell into the hands of Sir Phelim O'Nial, who, on being soon after forced to evacuate it, set fire to the cathedral, and put to death many of the inhabitants.
On the breaking out of the war between James II. and William, Prince of Orange, the Earl of Tyrconnel, then lord-lieutenant under the former sovereign, took the charter from the corporation, and placed a strong body of troops in the town; but they were surprised and disarmed by the people of the surrounding country, who had risen in favour of the new dynasty, the garrison was permitted to retreat without further injury to Louth, and Lord Blayney, having taken possession of the town, immediately proclaimed King William.
This nobleman, however, was soon afterwards compelled to evacuate it, and retreat with his forces to Londonderry, at that period the last refuge of the Protestants. James, in his progress through the north to and from the siege of Derry , rested for a few days at Armagh , which he describes as having been pillaged by the enemy, and very inconvenient both for himself and his suite.
In 1690, Duke Schomberg took possession of it, and formed a dept of provisions here. No important event occurred after the Revolution until the year 1769, when this city furnished a well-appointed troop of cavalry to oppose Thurot at Carrickfergus. In 1778, on the apprehension of an invasion from France and of civil disturbances, several of the inhabitants again formed themselves into a volunteer company, and offered the command to the Earl of Charlemont, by whom, after some deliberation, it was accepted.
In 1781, an artillery company was formed; and in the following year, a troop of volunteer cavalry, of which the Earl of Charlemont was also captain. In 1796, this nobleman, in pursuance of the wishes of Government, formed an infantry company and a cavalry troop of yeomanry in the town, whose numbers were afterwards augmented to 200, they were serviceable in performing garrison duty during the temporary absence of the regular troops in the disturbances of 1798, but in 1812 were disbanded by order of the lord-lieutenant.
The city, which is large, handsome, and well built, is delightfully situated on the declivity of a lofty eminence, round the western base of which the river Callan winds in its progress to the Blackwater. It is chiefly indebted for its present high state of improvement to the attention bestowed on it by several primates since the Reformation, especially by Primate Boulter, and, still more so, by Primate Robinson, all of whom have made it their place of residence. The approaches on every side embrace interesting objects. On the east are the rural village and post-town of Rich-hill, and the demesne of Castle-Dillon, in which the late proprietor erected an obelisk on a lofty hill in memory of the volunteers of Ireland.
The western approach exhibits the demesnes of Caledon, Glasslough, Woodpark, Elm Park, and Knappagh; those fromDungannon and Loughgall pass through a rich and well-wooded country; that from the south, descending through the fertile, well-cultivated, and busy vale of the Callan, the banks of which are adorned with several seats and extensive plantations, interspersed with numerous bleach-greens and mills, is extremely pleasing; and that from the south-east, though less attractive, is marked by the classical feature of Hamilton's Bawn, immortalised by the sarcastic pen of Swift.
Many of the streets converge towards the cathedral, the most central point and the most conspicuous object in the city, and are connected by cross streets winding around the declivity; they have flagged pathways, are Macadamised, and are lighted with oil gas from works erected in Callan-street, by a joint stock company, in the year 1827, but will shortly be lighted with coal gas, the gasometer for which is now in progress of erection; and since 1533 have been also cleansed and watched under the provisions of the general act of the 9th of Geo. IV., cap. 82, by which a cess is applotted and levied on the inhabitants.
A copious supply of fresh water has been procured under the authority of two general acts passed in 1789 and 1794. Metal pipes have been carried through all the main streets, by which a plentiful supply of good water is brought from a small lake or basin nearly midway between Armagh and Hamilton's Bawn, in consideration of a small rate on each house; and fountains have also been erected in different parts of the town occupied by the poorer class of the inhabitants. The city is plentifully supplied with turf, and coal of good quality is brought from the Drumglass and Coal island collieries, 11 miles distant. A public walk, called the Mall, has been formed by subscription, out of ground granted on lease to the corporation, originally in 1797, by the primate, being a part of the town commons, which were vested in the latter for useful purposes by an act of the 13th and 14th of Geo. III., the enclosed area, on the eastern side of which are many superior houses, comprehends nearly eight acres, kept in excellent condition.
In addition to this, the primate's demesne is open to respectable persons; and his laudable example has been followed by two opulent citizens, who have thrown open their grounds in the vicinity for the recreation of the inhabitants. The Tontine (tm)(tm)Buildings, erected as a private speculation by a few individuals, contain a large assembly-room having a suite of apartments connected with it, a public news-room, and a savings' bank.
Dramatic performances occasionally take place in this edifice, from the want of a special building for their exhibition. The public library was founded by Primate Robinson, who bequeathed for the free use of the public his valuable collection of books, and endowed it with lands at Knockhamill and houses in Armagh yielding a clear rental of £339.
He also erected the building, which is a handsome edifice in the Grecian style, situated to the north-west of the cathedral, and completed in 1771, as appears by the date in front, above which is the appropriate inscription "TO TH( ((XH( IATPEION." The room in which the books are deposited is light, airy and commodious, and has a gallery, there are also apartments for a resident librarian. In 1820, an additional staircase was erected, as an entrance at the west end, which has in a great measure destroyed the uniformity and impaired the beauty of the building.
The collection consists of about 20,000 volumes, and comprises many valuable works on theology, the classics, and antiquities, to which have been added several modern publications. In the record-room of the diocesan registry are writings and books bequeathed by Primate Robinson to the governors and librarian, in trust, for the sole use of the primate for the time being.
The primate, and the dean and chapter, by an act of the 13th and 14th of Geo. III., are trustees of the library, with liberal powers. The observatory, beautifully situated on a gentle eminence a little to the north-east of the city, was also erected by Primate Robinson, about the year 1788, on a plot of 15 acres of land, the building is of hewn limestone, and has on its front the inscription, "The Heavens declare the glory of God;" it comprises two lofty domes for the observatory, and a good house for the residence of the astronomer.
The munificent founder also provided for the maintenance of the astronomer, and gave the impropriate tithes of Carlingford for the support of an assistant astronomer and the maintenance of the observatory, vesting the management in the primate for the time being and twelve governors, of whom the chapter are eight, and the remaining four are elected by them as vacancies occur. Primate Robinson dying before the internal arrangements were completed, the establishment remained in an unfinished state till 1825, when the Right Hon. and Most Rev. Lord J. G. De La Poer Beresford, D.D., the present primate, furnished the necessary instruments, &c., at a cost of nearly £3000.
This city is usually the station of a regiment of infantry, the barracks occupy an elevated and healthy situation, and are capable of accommodating 800 men. In the immediate vicinity is the archiepiscopal palace, erected in 1770 by Primate Robinson, who also, in 1781, built a beautiful chapel of Grecian architecture nearly adjacent, and embellished the grounds, which comprise about 800 acres, with plantations tastefully arranged.
Though an increasing place, Armagh has now no manufactures, and but little trade, except in grain, of which a great quantity is sent to Portadown and Newry for exportation, much of the flour made in the neighbourhood is conveyed to the county of Tyrone. After the introduction of the linen manufacture into the North of Ireland, Armagh became the grand mart for the sale of cloth produced in the surrounding district. From a return of six market days in the spring of 1835, the average number of brown webs sold in the open market was 4292, and in private warehouses 3412, making a total of 7704 webs weekly, the value of which, at £1. 11. each, amounts to £620,942. 8. per annum.
But this does not afford a just criterion of the present state of the trade, in which a great change has taken place within the last 20 years; the quantity now bleached annually in this neighbourhood is nearly double that of any former period, but only a portion of it is brought into the market of Armagh. The linen- hall is a large and commodious building, erected by Leonard Dobbin, Esq., M.P. for the borough, it is open for the sale of webs from ten to eleven o'clock every Tuesday.
A yarn market is held, in which the weekly sales amount to £3450, or £179,400 per annum. There are two extensive distilleries, in which upwards of 25,000 tons of grain are annually consumed; an ale brewery, consuming 3800 barrels of malt annually; several extensive tanneries; and numerous flour and corn mills, some of which are worked by steam.
The amount of excise duties collected within the district for the year 1835 was £69,076. 5. 81/2. The Blackwater, within four miles of the city, affords a navigable communication with Lough Neagh, from which, by the Lagan canal, the line of navigation is extended to Belfast; and to the east is the navigable river Bann, which is connected with the Newry canal.
A canal is also in progress of formation from the Blackwater, to continue inland navigation from Lough Neagh to Lough Erne, which will pass within one mile of the city. The markets are abundantly supplied; they are held on Tuesday, for linen cloth and yarn, pigs, horned cattle, provisions of all kinds, vast quantities of flax, and flax-seed during the season; and on Saturday, for grain and provisions.
Fairs are held on the Tuesday after Michaelmas, and a week before Christmas, and a large cattle market has been established on the first Saturday in every month. By a local act obtained in 1774, a parcel of waste land adjoining the city, and containing about 91/2 plantation acres, was vested in the archbishop and his successors, to be parcelled into divisions for holding the fairs and markets, but only the fairs are now held on it.
The market-house, an elegant and commodious building of hewn stone, erected by Archbishop Stuart, at an expense of £3000, occupies a central situation at the lower extremity of Market-street; the old shambles, built previously by Primate Robinson, have been taken down, and a more extensive and convenient range, with markets for grain, stores, weigh-house, &c., attached, was erected in 1829 by the committee of tolls , the supply of butchers' meat of very good quality is abundant, and the veal of Armagh is held in high estimation, there is also a plentiful supply of sea and fresh-water fish. Several of the inhabitants, in 1821, raised a subscription, by shares (on debentures or receipts) of £25 each, amounting to £1700, and purchased the lessee's interest in the tolls, of which a renewal for 21 years was obtained in 1829, eight resident shareholders, elected annually, and called the "Armagh Toll Committee," have now the entire regulation and management of the tolls and customs of the borough, consisting of market-house, street, and shambles' customs, in which they have made considerable reductions, and the proceeds of which, after deducting the expenses of management and five per cent, interest for the proprietors of the debentures, are applied partly as a sinking fund for liquidating the principal sum of £1700, and partly towards the improvement of the city and the places for holding the fairs and markets.
The Bank of Ireland and the Provincial Bank have each a branch establishment here; and there are also branches of the Northern and Belfast banking companies. The post is daily, the post-office revenue, according to the last return to Parliament, amounted to £1418. 4. 0½.
The inhabitants were incorporated under the title of the "Sovereign, Free Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Borough of Ardmagh," in 1613, by charter of Jas. I., which was taken from them by .1 as. II., who granted one conferring more extensive privileges; but Wm. III. restored the original charter, under which the corporation consists of a sovereign, twelve free burgesses, and an unlimited number of freemen, of whom there are at present only two a town-clerk and registrar, and two serjeants-at-mace are also appointed. The sovereign is, by the charter, eligible by the free burgesses from among themselves, annually on the festival of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24th); the power of filling a vacancy in the number of free burgesses is vested in the sovereign and remaining free burgesses; the freemen are admitted by the sovereign and free burgesses; and the appointment of the inferior officers is vested in the corporation at large.
By charter of King James, the borough was empowered to send two representatives to the Irish parliament, but the right of election was confined to the sovereign and twelve burgesses, who continued to return two members till the union, when the number was reduced to one. The nature of the franchise continued the same until the 2nd of Wm. IV., when the free burgesses not resident within seven miles of the borough were disfranchised, and the privilege of election was extended to the £10 householders; and as the limits of the district called "the corporation" comprehend 1147 statute acres unconnected with the franchise, a new electoral boundary (which is minutely described in the Appendix) was formed close round the town, comprising only 277 acres, the number of voters registered, according to the latest classified general return made to Parliament, amounted to 454, of whom 443 were £10 householders and 11 burgesses; the number of electors qualified to vote at the last election was 541, of whom 360 polled; the sovereign is the returning officer.
The seneschal of the manor of Armagh, who is appointed by the primate, holds his court here, and exercises jurisdiction, both by attachment of goods and by civil bill process, in all causes of action arising within the manor and not exceeding £10 , the greater part of the city is comprised within this manor, the remainder being in that of Mountnorris adjoining. The assizes and general quarter sessions are held twice a year; a court for the relief of insolvent debtors is held three times in the year; and the county magistrates resident in the city and its neighbourhood hold a petty session every Saturday.
The corporation grand jury consisted of a foreman and other jurors, usually not exceeding 23 in number, chosen from among the most respectable inhabitants by the sovereign, generally within a month after entering upon his office, and continued to act until the ensuing 29th of September; but its dissolution took place at the close of the year 1832, when a new grand jury having been formed amidst much political excitement, they determined, under an impression that the inhabitants would resist any assessment which they might make, to abrogate their functions, and the system appears to be abandoned.
The inconvenience which resulted from the dissolution of the corporation grand jury induced the inhabitants to adopt measures for carrying into effect the provisions of the act of the 9th of Geo. IV., cap.82, previously noticed. The sessions-house, built in 1809, is situated at the northern extremity of the Mall, it has an elegant portico in front, and affords every accommodation necessary for holding the courts, &c. At the opposite end of the Mall stands the county gaol, a neat and substantial building, with two enclosed yards in which the prisoners may take exercise, and an infirmary containing two wards for males and two for females, there is also a tread-wheel. It is constructed on the old plan, and does not afford convenience for the classification of prisoners, but is well ventilated, clean, and healthy.
The females are instructed by the matron in spelling and reading. In 1835, the average daily number of prisoners was 85; and the total net expense amounted to £1564. 14. 6. Armagh is a chief or baronial constabulary police station, of which the force consists of one chief officer, four constables, and twelve men.
The See of Armagh.
THE SEE OF ARMAGH, according to the common opinion of native historians, was founded by St. Patrick, who in that city built the cathedral and some other religious edifices, in 445. Three years after, he held a synod there, the canons of which are still in existence; and in 454 he resigned the charge of the see (to which, on his recommendation, St. Binen was appointed), and spent the remainder of a life protracted to the patriarchal period of 120 years, in visiting and confirming the various churches which he had founded, and in forming others.
Prior to the year 799, the bishop of Armagh and his suffragan bishops were obliged to attend the royal army during the military expeditions of the king of Ireland; but on a remonstrance made by Conmach, then archbishop, the custom was discontinued. A tumult which broke out in the city, during the celebration of the feast of Pentecost, in 889, between the septs of Cinel-Eoghain, of Tyrone, and Ulidia, of Down, affords an instance of the great power exercised by the archbishops at this period. Moelbrigid, having succeeded in quelling the disturbance, mulcted each of the offending parties in a fine of 200 oxen, exacted hostages for their future good conduct, and caused six of the ringleaders on each side to be executed on a gallows.
The commencement of the twelfth century was marked by a contest as to the right of the primacy, which had been monopolised during fifteen Episcopal successions by a single princely tribe, as an hereditary right. "Eight married men," says St. Bernard, "literate indeed, but not ordained, had been predecessors to Celsus, on whose demise the election of Malachy O'Morgair to the primatial dignity, by the united voice of the clergy and people, put an end to the contest, though not without some struggles." Malachy resigned the primacy in 1137, and in lieu of it accepted the bishoprick of Down, which see he afterwards divided into two, reserving one to himself.
His object seems to have resulted from a wish to procure leisure for a journey to Rome, with a view to prevail upon the pope to grant palls to the archbishops of Armagh and Cashel; but in this he was, on his first journey, disappointed, by being informed that so important a measure could only be conceded in pursuance of the suffrage of an Irish council.
On making a second journey for the same purpose, he fell sick on the road, and died at the abbey of Clarevall, in the arms of his friend, St. Bernard. Nevertheless, this object was soon after accomplished, even to a greater extent than he had proposed. In 1152, Cardinal Paparo arrived in Ireland as legate from Pope Eugene III., with four palls for the four archbishops, to whom the other Irish bishops were subjected as suffragans. The following sees, several of which are now unknown even by name, were then placed under the provincial jurisdiction of the archbishop of Armagh; viz., Connor, Dumdaleghlas (now Down), Lugud, Cluniniard or Clonard, Connanas, Ardachad, (now Ardagh), Rathboth (now Raphoe), Rathlurig or Rathlure, Damliag, and Darrick (now Derry).
The origin of a dispute between the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, regarding their respective claims to the primatial authority of Ireland, may be traced to this period, in consequence of a papal bull of 1182, which ordained that no archbishop or bishop should hold any assembly or hear ecclesiastical causes in the diocese of Dublin, unless authorised by the pope or his legate, but it was not until the following century that this dispute acquired a character of importance.
The rank of the former of the e prelates among the bishops of Christendom was determined at the council of Lyons, where, in the order of subscription to the acts, the name "Albertus Armachanus" preceded those of all the bishops of France, Italy, and Spain. In 1247, Archbishop Reginald or Rayner separated the county of Louth from the diocese of Clogher, and annexed it to Armagh. Indeed, before this act, the inadequacy of the revenue to maintain the dignity of the see occasioned Hen. III. to issue a mandate to the lord justice of Ireland , to cause liberty of seisin to be given to the Archbishop of Armagh of all the lands belonging to the see of Clogher, but this writ was not carried into effect.
In 1263, Pope Urban addressed a bull to Archbishop O'Scanlain, confirming him in the dignity of primate of all Ireland; but the authenticity of the document has been disputed. This bull did not put an end to the contest about precedency with the Archbishop of Dublin, which was renewed between Lech, Archbishop of Dublin, and Walter Jorse or Joyce, then primate, whose brother and successor, Rowland, persevering in the claim, was resisted by Bicknor, Archbishop of Dublin, and violently driven out of Leinster, in 1313. Again, in 1337, Primate David O'Hiraghty was obstructed in his attendance on parliament by Bicknor and his clergy, who would not permit him to have his crosier borne erect before him in the diocese of Dublin, although the king had expressly forbidden Bicknor to offer him any opposition.
In 1349 Bicknor once more contested the point with Fitz-Ralph, Archbishop of Armagh; and, notwithstanding the king's confirmation of the right of the latter to erect his crosier in any part of Ireland, the lord justice and the prior of Kilmainham, being bribed, as is supposed, by Bicknor, combined with that prelate in opposing the claims of the primate, who thereupon excommunicated the resisting parties. Shortly after both Bicknor and the prior died; and the latter, on his death-bed, solicited Fitz-Ralph's forgiveness through a special messenger.
After his decease, his body was refused Christian burial, until absolved by the primate in consequence of his contrition. In 1350, the king, through partiality to John de St. Paul, then Archbishop of Dublin, revoked his letter to Fitz-Ralph, and prohibited him from exercising his episcopal functions in the province of Dublin; and, in 1353, Pope Innocent VI, decided that Armagh and Dublin should be both primatial sees; the occupant of the former to be styled Primate of all Ireland, and of the latter, Primate of Ireland. In 1365, the Archbishops Milo Sweetman and Thomas Minot renewed the controversy, which, after that period, was suffered to lie dormant till Richard Talbot, Archbishop of Dublin, prevented Primate Swain from attending his duty in five successive parliaments held in 1429, 1435, and the three following years. Primates Mey and Prene experienced similar opposition; but after the decease of Talbot, in 1449, their successors enjoyed their rights undisturbed till 1533, when John Alen, Archbishop of Dublin, revived the contest with Primate Cromer, but seemingly without success. Edw. VI. divested Archbishop Dowdall of the primacy, in 1551, in order to confer it on George Browne, Archbishop of Dublin, as a reward for his advocacy of the Reformation; but on the same principle the right was restored to Dowdall on the accession of Mary. In 1623, Launcelot Bulkeley revived the contest with Primate Hampton, and continued it against his successor, the distinguished Ussher, in whose favour it was decided by the Earl of Strafford, then lord-deputy, in 1634.
At the commencement of the Reformation, Primate Cromer was inflexible in his determination to oppose its introduction into the Irish church; and on his death, in 1542, his example was followed by his successor, Dowdall, who, after the accession of Edw. VI., maintained a controversy on the disputed points with Staples, Bishop of Meath, in which both parties claimed the victory.
The English government, finding him determined in his opposition to the new arrangements, issued a mandate rendering his see subordinate to that of Dublin, which caused Dowdall to quit the country and take refuge on the continent. The king, deeming this act a virtual resignation of the see, appointed Hugh Goodacre his successor; but Dowdall was restored by Queen Mary, and held the see till his death in 1558, the year in which his protectress also died. Notwithstanding the ecclesiastical superiority of the see of Armagh over that of Dublin, the income of the latter was so much greater, that Adam Loftus, who had been appointed Archbishop of Armagh on the death of Dowdall, was removed a few years after to Dublin, as being more lucrative, he was only 28 years of age on his first elevation, being the youngest primate of all Ireland upon record, except Celsus. In 1614-15, a regrant of the episcopal property of Armagh, together with a large additional tract of land, accruing from the forfeited estates of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnel, was made to Primate Hampton.
His immediate successor was the celebrated James Ussher, during whose primacy Chas. I. endowed anew the college of vicars choral in the cathedral, by patent granted in 1635, by which he bestowed on them various tracts of land, the property of the dissolved Culdean priory. Ussher was succeeded by Dr. Bramhall, a man also of great learning and mental powers, who was appointed by Chas. II. immediately after the Restoration. Dr. Lindsay, who was enthroned in 1713, endowed the vicars choral and singing boys with £200 per annum out of lands in the county of Down , and also procured for them a new charter, in 1720. Dr. Boulter, who was translated from the see of Bristol to that of Armagh, on the death of Lindsay in 1724, is known only as a political character; a collection of his letters is extant.
He was succeeded by Dr. Hoadly, translated from Dublin, who published some sermons and other works; and the latter by Dr. Stone, also an active participator in the political events of the time. His successor was Dr. Robinson, Bishop of Kildare, and after his translation created Baron Rokeby, of Armagh, whose history may be best learned in the contemplation of the city over which he presided, raised by his continued munificence from extreme decay to a state of opulence and respectability, and embellished with various useful public institutions, worthy of its position among the principal cities of Ireland; and from the pastoral care evinced by him in an eminent degree in the erection of numerous parochial and district churches for new parishes and incumbencies, to which he annexed glebes and glebe-houses, and in promoting the spiritual concerns of his diocese.
Of the R. C. archbishops, since the Reformation, but little connected with the localities of the see is known. Robert Wauchope, a Scotchman, who had been appointed by the pope during the lifetime of Dowdall, may rightly be considered the first; for Dowdall, though a zealous adherent to the doctrines of the Church of Rome, had been appointed solely by the authority of Hen. VIII. Peter Lombard, who was appointed in 1594, is known in the literary and political circles by his commentary on Ireland , for which a prosecution was instituted against him by Lord Strafford, but was terminated by Lombard 's death at Rome , in 1625, or the year following. Hugh McCaghwell, his successor, was a man of singular piety and learning, an acute metaphysician, and profoundly skilled in every branch of scholastic philosophy, a monument was erected to his memory by the Earl of Tyrone. Oliver Plunket, appointed in 1669, obtained distinction by his defence of the primatial rights against Talbot, Archbishop of Dublin; but his prosecution and death for high treason, on a charge of favouring a plot for betraying Ireland to France , have rendered his name still more known. Hugh McMahon, of the Monaghan family of that name, was appointed in 1708, his great work is the defence of the primatial rights, entitled "Jus Primitiale Armacanum," in which he is said to have exhausted the subject.
The Archbishoprick, or Ecclesiastical Province of Armagh comprehends the ten dioceses of Armagh, Clogher, Meath, Down, Connor, Derry, Raphoe, Kilmore, Dromore, and Ardagh, which are estimated to contain a superficies of 4,319,250 acres, and comprises within its limits the whole of the civil province of Ulster; the counties of Longford, Louth, Meath, and Westmeath, and parts of the King's and Queen's counties, in the province of Leinster; and parts of the counties of Leitrim, Roscommon, and Sligo, in the province of Connaught.
The archbishop, who is primate and metropolitan of all Ireland , presides over the province, and exercises all episcopal jurisdiction within his own diocese; and the see of Down being united to that of Connor, and that of Ardagh to the archiepiscopal see of Tuam, seven bishops preside over the respective dioceses, and are suffragan to the Lord-Primate. Under the Church Temporalities' Act of the 3rd of Wm. IV., the archiepiscopal jurisdiction of the province of Tuam will become extinct on the death of the present archbishop, and the dioceses now included in it will be suffragan to Armagh.
The diocese of Armagh comprehends the greater part of that county, and parts of those of Meath, Louth, Tyrone, and Londonderry, it comprises by computation a superficial area of 468,550 acres, of which 1300 are in Meath, 108,900 in Louth, 162,500 in Tyrone, and 25,000 in Londonderry, It was anciently divided into two parts, the English and the Irish, now known as the Upper and Lower parts, the English or Upper part embraces that portion which extends into the counties of Louth and Meath, and is subdivided into the rural deaneries of Drogheda, Atherdee or Ardee, and Dundalk; and the Irish or Lower part comprehends the remaining portion of the diocese in the counties of Armagh, Tyrone, and Londonderry, and is subdivided into the rural deaneries of Creggan, Aghaloe, Dungannon, and Tullahog.
In all ancient synods and visitations the clergy of the English and Irish parts were congregated separately, which practice is still observed, the clergy of the Upper part assembling for visitation at Drogheda , and those of the Lower at Armagh . The see of Clogher, on the first avoidance by death or translation, will, under the Church Temporalities' Act, become united to that of Armagh, and its temporalities will be vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland.
There are 100,563 statute acres belonging to the see of Armagh, of which 87,809 are profitable land, the remainder being bog or mountain; and the gross amount of its yearly revenue on an average is about £17,670, arising from chief rents, fee farms, and copyhold leases. On the death of the present primate the sum of £4500 is, under the above act, to be paid out of the revenue annually to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
The chapter consists of a dean, precentor, chancellor, treasurer, archdeacon, and the four prebendaries of Mullaghbrack, Ballymore, Loughgall, and Tynan, with eight vicars choral, and an organist and choir. The dean and precentor are the only dignitaries for whom houses are provided; five houses are assigned for the vicars choral and organist. Each dignity and prebend has cure of souls annexed, as regards the benefice forming its corps. The economy estate of the cathedral yields an annual rental of £180. 1. 5., which is expended in the payment of salaries to the officers of the cathedral, and in defraying other charges incident to the building.
The diocese comprises 88 benefices, of which, 14 are unions consisting of 45 parishes, and 74 consist of single parishes or portions thereof. Of these, 4 are in the gift of the Crown, 51 in that of the Lord-Primate, 12 are in lay and corporation patronage, and 21 in clerical or alternate patronage. The total number of parishes or districts is 122, of which 91 are rectories or vicarages, 23 perpetual cures, 1 impropriate, and 7 parishes or districts without cure of souls; there are 22 lay impropriations. The number of churches is 88, besides 11 other buildings in which divine service is performed, and of glebe-houses, 74.
In the R. C. Church the archbishoprick of Armagh, as originally founded, is the head or primacy of all Ireland; and the same bishopricks are suffragan to it as in the Protestant Church. The R. C. diocese comprises 51 parochial benefices or unions, containing 120 places of worship, served by 51 parish priests and 65 coadjutors or curates. The parochial benefice of St. Peter, Drogheda, is held by the archbishop; and the union of Armagh, Eglish, and Grange is annexed to the deanery. There are 68 Presbyterian meeting-houses, and 44 belonging to other Protestant dissenters, making in the whole 331 places of worship in the diocese.
The parish of Armagh comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 46063/4 statute acres, of which 10511/4 are in the barony of O'Neilland West, and 35551/2 in that of Armagh. The rural district is only of small extent, the system of agriculture has very much improved of late; the land is excellent, and yields abundant crops. Limestone prevails, and is mostly used in building and in repairing the roads; in some places it is beautifully variegated, and is wrought into chimney-pieces.
The principal seats are the Primate's palace; Ballynahone, that of Miss Lodge; Beech Hill, of T. Simpson, Esq.; Tullamore, of J. Oliver, Esq.; and those of J. Simpson, Esq., and J. Mackey, Esq., at Ballyards. The living consists of a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Armagh consolidated by letters patent of the 11th and 12th of Jas. I., and united, in the reign of Chas. I., to the parishes of Eglish, Lisnadell, and Ballymoyer, in the patronage of the Lord-Primate.
These parishes, having been so long consolidated, are not specifically set forth in the incumbents' titles, so that Armagh has practically ceased to be, and is no longer designated a union in the instruments of collation. The deanery is in the gift of the Crown, and is usually held with the rectory, but they are not statutably united, and the former has neither tithes nor cure of souls, it is endowed with five tenements and a small plot of land within the city, the deanery-house and farm of 90 acres, and five townlands in the parish of Lisnadill, comprising in all 1142 statute acres, valued at £274. 13. 7½ per annum.
The deanery-house, situated about a quarter of a mile from the cathedral, was built in 1774. The rectorial glebe-lands comprise about 380 acres, valued in 1831 at £368. 6. 9 per annum. The tithes of Armagh and Grange amount to £500, and the gross value of the deanery and union of Armagh, tithe and glebe inclusive, amounts to £2462. 1. 21/2. There are six perpetual cures within the union, namely, Grange, Eglish, Killylea, Lisnadill, Armaghbreague, and Ballymoyer, the endowments of which amount to £440 per annum, paid by the rector out of the tithes. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recommended that the union, on the next avoidance of the benefice, be partially dissolved, and the district of Ballymoyer erected into a new parish; and that the deanery and consolidated rectory and vicarage, now belonging to different patrons, be united and consolidated, the respective patrons presenting and collating alternately, agreeably to the Irish act of the 10th and 11th of Chas. I., cap. 2,(or that the advowson of the deanery be vested solely in the patron of the rectory and vicarage, which are of much greater value than the deanery, the patron of which to be compensated by being allowed the right of presentation to the new parish of Ballymoyer.
The cathedral church, originally founded by St. Patrick in 445, was burnt by the Danes of Ulster, under Turgesius, who, in 836, destroyed the city. At what time the present building was erected is not accurately known; the crypt appears to be of the 11th or 12th entury, but there are several portions of a much earlier date, which were probably part of a former, or perhaps of the original, structure.
It appears from an existing record that the roof, which for 130 years had been only partially repaired, was, in 1125, covered with tiles; and in 1262 the church was repaired by Archbishop O'Scanlain, who is supposed to have built the nave and the elegant western entrance. The cathedral was partially burnt in 1404 and 1566, after which it was repaired by Primate Hampton, who in 1612 rebuilt the tower; it was again burnt in 1642 by Sir Phelim O'Nial, but was restored by Archbishop Margetson, at his own expense, in 1675, and was further repaired in 1729 by the Dean and Chapter, aided by Archbishop Boulter.
Primate Robinson, in 1766, roofed the nave with slate, and fitted it up for divine service; the same prelate commenced the erection of a tower, but when it was raised to the height of 60 feet, one of the piers, with the arch springing from it, yielded to the pressure from above, and it was consequently taken down even with the roof of the building. The tower was again raised to its present height and surmounted by a spire, which, from a fear of overpowering the foundation, was necessarily curtailed in its proportion.
Primate Beresford, on his translation to the see, employed Mr. Cottingham, architect of London, and the restorer of the abbey of St. Alban's, to survey the cathedral with a view to its perfect restoration, and the report being favourable, the undertaking, towards which His Grace subscribed £8000, was commenced under that gentleman's superintendence in 1834. The piers of the tower have been removed and replaced by others resting upon a more solid foundation, in the execution of which the whole weight of the tower was sustained without the slightest crack or settlement, till the new work was brought into contact with the old, by a skilful and ingenious contrivance of which a model has been preserved.
The prevailing character of the architecture is the early English style, with portions of the later Norman, and many of the details are rich and elegant, though long obscured and concealed by injudicious management in repairing the building, and, when the present work now in progress is completed, will add much to the beauty of this venerable and interesting structure.
The series of elegantly clustered columns separating the aisles from the nave, which had declined from the perpendicular and will be restored to their original position, was concealed by a rude encasement, with a view to strengthen them; and many of the corbels, enriched with emblematical sculpture, were covered with thick coats of plaister. Among other ancient details that had been long hidden is a sculpture of St. Patrick with his crosier, in a compartment surmounted with shamrocks, which is perhaps the earliest existing record of that national emblem; and another of St. Peter, with the keys, surmounted by a cock, discovered in the wall under the rafters of the choir.
There are several splendid monuments, of which the principal are those of Dean Drelincourt, by Rysbrach; of Primate Robinson, with a bust, by Bacon; of Lord Charlemont, who died in 1671, and of his father, Baron Caulfield. The ancient monuments of Brian Boru or Boroimhe, his son Murchard, and his nephew Conard, who were slain in the battle of Clontarf and interred in this cathedral, have long since perished. The church, which was made parochial by act of the 15th and 16th of Geo. III., cap. 17th, occupies a commanding site; it is 1831/2 feet in length, and 119 in breadth along the transepts.
To the east of the cathedral and Mall, on an eminence in front of the city, is a new church, dedicated to St. Mark, it is a handsome edifice in the later English style; the interior is elegantly finished; the aisles are separated from the nave by a row of arches resting on clustered columns, from the capitals of which spring numerous ribs supporting a handsome groined roof.
This church, which is indebted for much of its decorations to 'the munificence of the present primate, was built at an expense of £3600, and contains about 1500 sittings, of which 800 are free. There are also six other churches within the union.
In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, which comprises also the parishes of Eglish and Grange, and forms one of the benefices of the primate, the union contains three chapels, situated at Armagh, Annacramp, and Tullysaren. The first was built about the year 1750, on ground held under different titles, the proprietors having successively devised a permanent interest therein to the congregation at a nominal rent; the building has of late been much enlarged and improved, but is still too small for the R. C. population; it is triple-roofed, as if intended for three distinct buildings, yet has a good effect.
The places of worship for dissenters are, one built in 1722 with part of the ruins of the church and monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul, and having a substantial manse in front, for a congregation of Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster, who settled here about the year 1670, and endowed with a first class grant of royal bounty; one for Seceders, built about the year 1785, and endowed with a second class grant; one for the Evangelical or Independent congregational union; one for Wesleyan Methodists, built in 1786, with a comfortable house for the minister attached, and situated near the spot where Mr. Wesley, in 1767, frequently preached; and one near it for Primitive Wesleyan Methodists.
The free grammar-school, to the south of the observatory, is endowed with seven townlands in the parish of Loughgilly, comprising 1514 acres, and producing a clear rental of £1377, granted in trust to the primate and his successors in 1627, for the support of a grammar school at Mountnorris, part of the income is applied to the maintenance of several exhibitions at Trinity College, Dublin. The buildings occupy the four sides of a quadrangle, the front of which is formed by a covered passage communicating on each side with the apartments of the head-master and pupils; on the fourth side is the school-room, 56 feet long by 28 broad, behind which is a large area enclosed by a wall and serving as a play-ground. They were completed in 1774, at an expense of £5000, defrayed by Primate Robinson, and are capable of conveniently accommodating 100 resident pupils.
A school for the instruction of the choir boys has been established by the present primate, the master of which receives a stipend of £75 per annum, and is allowed to take private pupils. The charter school was founded in 1738, and endowed with £90 per ann. by Mrs. Drelincourt, widow of Dean Drelincourt, for the maintenance and education of 20 boys and 20 girls, who were also to be instructed in the linen manufacture, housewifery, and husbandry. In that year the corporation granted certain commons or waste lands, called the "Irish-Street commons," comprising upwards of 8 statute acres, on which the school premises, including separate residences for the master and mistress, were erected, and to which Primate Boulter annexed 13 statute acres adjoining.
The endowment was further augmented with the lands of Legumin, in the county of Tyrone, comprising about 107 acres, and held under a renewable lease granted in trust by Primate Robinson to the dean and chapter, the present annual income is £249. 8. 2. The primate and rector are trustees, and the officiating curate is superintendent of the school, in which only ten girls are now instructed in the general branches of useful education; the surplus funds have been allowed to accumulate for the erection of premises on a more eligible site, and it is in contemplation to convert the establishment into a day school for boys and girls.
In 1819, Primate Stuart built and endowed a large and handsome edifice, in which 105 boys and 84 girls are at present taught on the Lancasterian plan, and about 160 of them are clothed, fifteen by the dean, and the remainder principally by Wm. Stuart, Esq., son of the founder. The income is about £100 per annum; £31. 10. is given annually by the present primate and Mr. Stuart. The building is situated on the east side of the Mall, and consists of a centre and two wings, the former occupied as residences by the master and mistress, and the latter as school-rooms.
There is a national school for boys and girls, aided by a grant of £50 per ann. from the National Board of Education and by private subscriptions, for which a handsome building is now in course of erection by subscription, to the east of the Mall, with a portico in front. In Callan-street is a large building erected for a Sunday school by the present primate, who has presented it to the committee of an infants' school established in 1835, and supported by voluntary contributions.
At Killurney is a National school for boys and girls, built and supported by the Hon. Mrs. Caulfeild; and there are other schools in the rural part of the parish. The total number of children on the hooks of these schools is 653, of whom 285 are boys and 368 are girls; and in the different private schools are 270 boys and 200 girls.
The county hospital or infirmary is situated on the north-western declivity of the hill which is crowned by the cathedral, at the top of Abbey-street, Callan street, and Dawson-street, which branching off in different directions leave an open triangular space in front. It is a line old building of unhewn limestone, completed in 1774, a tan expense of £2150, and consisting of a centre arid two wings; one-half is occupied as the surgeon's residence, the other is open for the reception of patients; there are two wards for males and one for females.
The domestic offices are commodious and well arranged, and there are separate gardens for the infirmary and for the surgeon. The entire number of patients relieved in 1834 was 3044, of whom 563 were admitted into the hospital, and 7l children were vaccinated, the expenditure in that year amounted to £1145. 8. 8., of which £500 was granted by the grand jury, and the remainder was defrayed by private subscription.
Prior to the establishment of the present county infirmary by act of parliament, the inhabitants had erected and maintained by private contributions an hospital called the "Charitable Infirmary," situated in Scotch-street, which they liberally assigned over to the lord primate and governors of the new establishment, and it was used as the county hospital until the erection of the present edifice.
The fever hospital, situated about a furlong from the city, on the Caledon road, was erected in 1825, at an entire cost, including the purchase and laying out of the grounds, &c., of about £3500, defrayed by the present primate, by whose munificence it is solely supported. It is a chaste and handsome building of hewn limestone, 50 feet in length and 30 in width, with a projection rearward containing on the ground floor a physician's room, a warm bath and washing-room, and on the other floors, male and female nurses' rooms and slop-rooms, in the latter of which are shower baths.
On the ground floor of the front building are the entrance hall, the matron's sitting and sleeping-rooms, and a kitchen and pantry, the first and second floors are respectively appropriated to the use of male and female patients, each floor containing two wards, a fever and a recovery ward, the former having ten beds and the latter five, making in all thirty beds. The subordinate buildings and offices are well calculated to promote the object of the institution, there is a good garden, with walks in the grounds open to convalescents; and with regard to cleanliness, economy, and suitable accommodation for its suffering inmates, this hospital is entitled to rank among the first in the province.
The Armagh district asylum for lunatic poor of the counties of Armagh, Monaghan, Fermanagh, and Cavan, was erected pursuant to act of parliament by a grant from the consolidated fund, at an expense, including purchase of site, furniture, &c., of £20,900, to be repaid by instalments by the respective counties comprising the district, each (if which sends patients in proportion to the amount of its population, but is only charged for the number admitted. It has accommodation for 122 patients, who are admitted on an affidavit of poverty, a medical certificate of insanity, and a certificate from the minister and churchwardens of their respective parishes.
The establishment is under the superintendence of a board of directors, a resident manager and matron, and a physician. Thirteen acres of ground are attached to the asylum, and are devoted to gardening and husbandry. The male patients weave all the linen cloth used in the establishment, and the clothing for the females; gymnastic exercises and a tennis-court have been lately established. From the 14th of July, 1825, when the asylum was first opened, to the 1st of Jan., 1835, 710 patients were admitted, of whom 400 were males and 310 females, of this number, 305 recovered and were discharged; 121 were discharged relieved; 70 unrelieved and restored to their relations; 89 died, and 1 6 were transferred to the asylum at Londonderry; leaving in this asylum 109. The average annual expense for the above period amounted to about £1900, and the average cost of each patient, including clothing and all ether charges, was about £17 per annum.
Among the voluntary institutions for the improvement of the city the most remarkable is the association for the suppression of mendicity, under the superintendence of a committee, who meet weekly. For this purpose the city is divided into six districts, and eight resident visiters are appointed to each, one of whom collects the subscriptions of the contributors on Wednesday, and distributes them among the paupers on the ensuing Monday.
The paupers are divided into three classes, viz., those wholly incapacitated from industrious exertion; orphans and destitute children; and paupers with large families, who are able in some measure, though not wholly, to provide for their subsistence. The visitors personally inspect the habitations of those whom hey relieve, and report to the general committee. The paupers are employed in sweeping the streets and lanes, by which means the public thoroughfares are kept in a state of great cleanliness; and itinerant mendicants are prevented from begging in the streets by two authorised beadles. "The Robinson Loan Fund" consists of an accumulated bequest of £200 by Primate Robinson, in 1794, held in trust by the corporation, and lent free of interest, under an order of the Court of Chancery made in Feb. 1834, in sums of from £10 to £30, to tradesmen and artificers resident or about to settle in the city, and repayable by instalments at or within 12 months; and there is another fund for supplying distressed tradesmen with small loans to he repaid monthly.
A bequest was made by the late Arthur Jacob Macan, who died in India in 1819, to the sovereign and burgesses and other inhabitants of Armagh, for the erection and endowment of an asylum for the blind, on the plan of that at Liverpool, but open indiscriminately to all religious persuasions, and, if the funds should allow of it, for the admission also of deaf and dumb children, with preference to the county of Armagh. The benefits derivable under the will are prospective, and are principally contingent on the death of certain legatees.
Basilica Vetus Concionaria, "the old preaching church," was probably used in later times as the parish church, a small fragment still remains contiguous to the cathedral, where the rectors of Armagh were formerly inducted. The priory of the Culdees, who were secular priests serving in the choir of the cathedral, where their president officiated as precentor, was situated in Castle street, and had been totally forsaken for some time prior to 1625, at which period the rents were received by the Archbishop's Seneschal, and the whole of its endowment in lands, &e., was granted to the vicars choral. Temple Bridget, built by St. Patrick, stood near the spot now occupied by the R. C. chapel. He also founded Temple-na-Fearta, or "the church of the miracles," without the city, for his sister Lupita, who was interred there, and whose body was discovered at the commencement of the 17th century in an upright posture, deeply buried under the rubbish, with a cross before and behind it.
The site of the monastery of St. Columba was that now occupied by the Provincial Bank, at the north- east corner of Abbey-street; the two Methodist chapels stand on part of its gardens. There are many other vestiges of antiquity in the city and its vicinity. The most ancient and remarkable is Eamhuin Macha or Eamania, the chief residence of the Kings of Ulster, situated two miles to the west, near which several celts, brazen spear heads, and other military weapons have been found. Crieve Roe, adjoining it, is said to have been the seat of the only order of knighthood among the ancient Irish; its members were called "Knights of the Red Branch," and hence the name of the place.
In the same neighbourhood is the Navan Fort, where also numerous ornaments, military weapons, horse accoutrements, &c., are frequently found; and on the estate of Mr. John Mackey, in the townland of Kennedy, are the remains of two forts, where petrified wood and other fossils have been found.
In the primate's demesne are extensive and picturesque ruins of an abbey; near the asylum are the walls of Bishop's Court, once the residence of the primates; and on the banks of the Callan are the remains of the tumulus of "Nial of the hundred battles." On a lofty eminence four miles to the south-east is Cairnamnhanaghan, now called the "Vicar's Cairn," commanding an extensive and pleasing prospect over several adjacent counties.
It is a vast conical heap of stones in the parish of Mullaghbrack, covering a circular area 44 yards in diameter, and thrown together without any regularity, except the encircling stones, which were placed close to each other, in order to contain the smaller stones of which the cairn is composed. Its size has been much diminished by the peasantry, who have carried away the large stones for building; but the proprietor, the Earl of Charlemont, has prohibited this destruction. Coins of Anlaff the Dane, Athelstan, Alfred, and Edgar have been found in and around the city. Armagh gives the title of Earl to his Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.