Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary comprises of several cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland. Here are From-Ireland.net’s records for Co. Westmeath.
ContentKILBIXY, a parish, in the barony of MOYGOISH, county of WESTMEATH, and province of LEINSTER ; containing, with the market and post-town of Ballinacargy, 2279 inhabitants.
The castle is said to have been built by Hugh do Lacy, in l192, and was subsequently the seat of Geoffry de Constantine, who founded at Tristernagh a priory of Canons Regular, sometimes called the priory of Kilbixy, and richly endowed it. The last prior was Edmund Nugent, Bishop of Kildare, who held it with his bishoprick, and a pension of £26 13s. 4d. was granted to him on its surrender. In 1590 a lease of it was granted to Capt. W. Piers, at a rent of £60, and it is still held by his descendants. It was finally destroyed in 1783.
The town arose under the protection of the castle and in the reign of Henry VI. was one of the borough towns of Meath. Sir Henry Piers, in his chirographical description of the county, states that, in 1782, part of the baggage castle, with 40 acres called the baggage land, existed, besides the ruins of many ancient houses and castles. It had anciently an hospital, called the Leper-house of St. Bridgid, of which there are still some ruins. In the reign of Elizabeth, O'Dogherty of Connaught encamped in the abbey demesne with about 600 followers, and being attacked by the queen's forces and refused admission into the abbey, was slain with all his party.
The parish contains 5660 statute acres, and is richly embellisiled with plantations that extend to Lough Iron, which is one of its boundaries and is a mile in length by half a mile in breadth, but is very shallow. The land is arable and pasture, with a small quantity of bog : there is some limestone.
The principal seats are Baronstown, which was built by the Rt. Hon. Anthony Malone, and is now the residence of Mrs. O'Connor Malone; Tristernagh, : the seat of Sir John B. Piers, Bart. ; Rath, of J. West, Esq.; Cummerstown, of J. Irwin, Esq. ; and Carrickbawn, of Mrs. Beaty.
The living is a curacy, in the diocese of Meath, and in the patronage of Sir J. B. Piers, Bart., in whom the rectory is impropriate : the tithes amount to £110. The church is a handsome building, erected at the expense of the late Lord Sunderlin, who also gave the organ. There is a glebe-house, for the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits, in 1816, granted £450 as a gift and £50 as a loan ; the glebe comprises 20 acres.
In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish is united with that of Templeoran, and is also called Sonata : there are two chapels in the union, of which that of Kilbixy is in Ballinacargy.
About 270 children are educated in two public schools, and 100 in two private schools. At Rath is a loan fund, also a society for spinning yarn, supported by subscriptions. Edmund Malone, the celebrated commentator on Shakspeare, is interred here, and the Malone family have a handsome mausoleum near the church. At Temple Cross are the ruins of an ancient chapel.