Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Laois

Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland. Here are From-Ireland.net’s records for Co. Laois.

  • Place
    Burros In Ossory
  • County
  • Parish
  • Content
    Burros-in-Ossory, a market and post town, in the parish of AGHABOE, barony of UPPER OSSORY, QUEEN'S county, and province of Leinster, 30 miles (S.W. by W.) from Maryborough (Portlaoise), and 53 miles (S.W. by W.) from Dublin city; containing 770 inhabitants. This place was formerly of some importance; being bounded on the north by the river Nore, and encompassed on every other side by bogs, it formed the great pass to Munster; and for its defence the Fitzpatricks, proprietors of the district at an early period built a castle, of which as appears by his will Sir Barnaby Fitzpatrick, second baron of Upper Ossory was in possession in 1582. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth granted this place, among other possessions to Florence Fitzpatrick and his son , which grant was confirmed by Jas. I in 1611. The castle was, in 1641 beseiged by Florence; and the garrison consisting of protestants of Upper Ossory, though enduring the greatest sufferings from want of provisions refused to surrender and kept possession of it till they were relieved by Sir C. Coote. In 1642, Bryan, the sixth baron, accompanied the insurgents to besiege this castle, which was subsequently granted to the Duke of Buckingham. The town is situated on the mail coach road from Dublin to Limerick and consists of one long street containing about 130 houses. It has a market, and fairs are held on Jan 25th, March 21st, May 31st, Jan 24th , Aug 15th , Oct 11th , Nov, 21st and Dec 20th. A constabulary police force is stationed in the town and the quarter sessions for the county are held in April and October, and petty sessions irregularly. Here is also a dispensary. Near the town, on the estate of the Earl of Mountrath, are some remains of the old castle of Ballaghmore, built by the Fitzpatricks which in 1647 was attacked by Capt. Hedges and the garrison of Burros, to whom it surrendered, and was partly dismantled; the captain on his return was intercepted, and before he reached his quarters he lost several of his men. On Kyle hill, about two miles from the town, is a rude stone chair called by the peasantry the “Fairy Chair” which was probably in former times a seat of judgement of the Brehons.