Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Co. Louth

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. Louth.


  • Place
    Dunleer
  • County
    Louth
  • Parish
    Dunleer
  • Content
    DUNLEER, a post-town and parish (formerly a parliamentary borough), in the barony of FERRARD, county of LOUTH, and province of LEINSTER, 10 miles (S.E.) from Dundalk, and 30 (N.) from Dublin, on the great north road to Belfast; containing 1603 inhabitants, of which number, 710 are in the town.

    This place appears to have been first brought into notice by its proprietor, Geo. Legge, Esq., ancestor of the Dartmouth family, to whom Chas. II, in 1671, granted a market and fairs; and on whose petition, for the greater encouragement of settlers, the same monarch, in 1678, incorporated the inhabitants by charter, vesting the government in a sovereign, 12 burgesses, and an indefinite number of freemen. The sovereign, who with his deputy was a justice of the peace and coroner for the borough, was annually elected, subject to the approval of the lord of the manor, from the burgesses, who also filled up vacancies in their own body, and by a majority of whom the freemen were admitted by favour, and a recorder and town-clerk and all other corporate officers were appointed. The corporation returned two members to the Irish parliament till the Union, when the borough was disfranchised, and the £15,000 awarded as compensation was paid in equal moieties to the Right Hon. John Foster, speaker of the Irish House of Commons, and to Henry Coddington, Esq. From the Union till the year 1811 a sovereign was regularly elected, but since that period no election has taken place, and the corporation is now virtually extinct.

    The town contains 130 houses indifferently built, and is the property of Rodolph de Salis, Esq. The market has been long discontinued, but fairs are held under the charter on July 5th, Dec. 11th, May 14th, and Sept. 19th, and other fairs toll-free on Jan. 6th, Feb.1st, March 9th, April 1st, June 9th, Aug. 11th, and Nov. 1st. A chief constabulary police force is stationed in the town. The parish, according to the Ordnance survey, comprises 2378 3/4 statute acres.

    The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh, united by act of council, in 1682, to the rectories of Dysart, Cappog, Monasterboyce, and Moylary, and to the vicarage of Drumcar, and in the patronage of the Crown. The tithes amount to £153.12s.3d., and of the whole benefice to £741. 11s.7d.The glebe-house was built by a gift of £100 and a loan of £1125 from the late Board of First Fruits; the glebe comprises 20 1/4 acres, of which 19 1/4 are subject to a rent of £3 per acre. The church has been recently enlarged and repaired, at an expense of £300 granted by the same Board.

    In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, comprising also the parishes of Cappog, Mosstown, Dromin, and Richardstown, and part of the parish of Kildemock; the chapel is a neat edifice, and there are chapels also at Dromin and Mosstown.

    About 50 children are taught in the parochial school, which is supported by the rector and curate; an infants. school is supported by subscription; and a handsome school-house has been built in connection with the New Board of Education. There is also a private school, in which are about 80 children; and a dispensary. The horn of a large moose deer was found some years since near the town.