Thom's Directory:

Borough of Drogheda


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St. Laurence Street, Drogheda, in the early 20th century.

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DROGHEDA, a maritime county of a town in Leinster province, situate between Meath and Louth counties, and 31½ miles N. from Dublin by railway, comprising an area of 9 square miles, or 5,780 acres, of which 5,303 are in the rural district, and 472 in the town ; population in 1831, 17,365, of which 1,437 were of the Established Church, 265 Protestant Dissenters, and 15,663 Roman Catholics ; population in 1841, 19,260, of  which 2,909 were in the rural district, and 16,621 in the town, inhabiting 2,955 houses ; population in 1851, 16,876.


The town is situate on the Boyne, 4 miles from the sea.   The public buildings are 3 Protestant Churches, 2 Roman Catholic Chapels, one of which is considered to be the Cathedral of the archdiocese of Armagh, 3 Friaries, 2 Nunneries, a Presbyterian and a Methodist Meeting house, an Endowed School, the Mansion House, Tholsel, Town Prison, Linen Hall, Custom House, Corn Market, Savings’ Bank, and Infantry Barracks, capable of accommodating 400 men - one in Fair-street, which is temporary, and a permanent one in Millmount Fort, upon the fortifications of which two traversing guns are mounted, which command the town and harbour.


The number of pupils in the public schools in 1841 was, in the rudimental schools, males, 752, females, 204 ; in the superior schools, males, 48, females, 39 ; total, 1,043, being  nearly one-third of the population between the ages of 6 and 15, both inclusive, which amounted to 3,583.


The linen manufacture, after flourishing here for some time, gave way to that of cotton, which in turn was superseded by flax-spinning, but both the latter are now carried on to a great extent. Three flax mills give employ­ment to upwards of 1,000 persons; that called St. Mary’s, which is the largest, cost £50,000 for its erection.   There are 6 corn-mills, 5 salt works, 2 breweries, 8 tanneries, and 4 soap works.  The iron works of Messrs. T. Grendon & Co. give employment to upwards of 300 persons in the manufacture of steam engines, boilers, iron bridges, &c., also brass works. The lattice bridge, erected by the Dublin and Drogheda railway across the Royal Canal, and over which the trains pass, was constructed at this foundry.    The brewery of William Cairnes is celebrated for the excellence of its ale, which is largely exported to the Colonies.


The rural portion contains 45 farms of more than 1 acre each, on which there was in 1811, a stock of 362 horses and mules, 310 horned cattle, 4 sheep, 1,370 pigs, 2,501 head of poultry, and 26 asses, all of which were of the estimated value of £6,716.


The town has been divided for municipal purposes into 3 wards, Westgate, Fairgate, and Laurencegate; the rural portion has been formed into baronies, and transferred to the adjoining counties : the portion N. of the Boyne to Louth, the S. to Meath.   The Corporation, styled ‘The Mayor, Sheriffs, Burgessess, and Commonalty of the Town of Drogheda’, consists of 6 Aldermen and 18 Town Councillors elected from three wards.  The town returns 1 member to Parliament ; constituency under 13 & 14 Vic., c. 69,  in 1851, 501.  The corporate estates contain 2,032 acres, producing in 1845, £3,802: the income of the borough in 1849, amounted to £3,702  8s. 5¼d. ; of which £865  5s. 3½d., was applied to salaries and pensions to municipal officers ; £799  2s. 1½d. to watching, lighting, paving, and cleansing ;  £152 18s. 3½d. to public works; and £1,657  13s. 2½d. to sundry purposes.


The Assizes, Quarter sessions, and Petty Sessions are held in the town.


The corporation has charge of the paving, lighting, and cleansing of the streets.


Fairs are held the 11th March, 14th April, 12th May, 21st June, 28th August, 30th October, 17th November, and 15th December; Markets on Saturdays: all toll free.


The Bank of Ireland, and the Provincial, Belfast, and Hibernian Banks have branches here. The Savings’ Bank, established in 1819, had 1,313 depositors in November, 1850; total amount deposited, £35,687 13s. 7d., at £2 18s. 4d., per cent.


The Union Workhouse was opened on 16th December, 1841 ; the expenditure for the year ended 29th  September, 1850, amounted to £5,687  5s. 6d. :  the annual amount of property valued for the Poor-rate is £129,522; that of property valued under the 6 & 7 Wm. IV., cap. 82, £23,658.


The Grand Jury Presentments for 1849 amounted to £2,547.


The Constabulary consists of 32 men, officers included.


Drogheda carries on a considerable trade, chiefly with Liverpool.   The exports, which are principally corn, meal, flour, cattle, provisions, linen, &c. amounted in 1835 to £766,027, and the imports for the same period, consisting of coal, British manufactured goods, and Colonial produce, amounted to £259,854.   There are 6 first-rate steamers constantly plying to and from Liverpool, which make about 10 trips a week. The harbour is formed by the waters of the Boyne, 4 miles from the sea, and extends about half a mile below the bridge, with 16 to 18 feet of water abreast the quays. Prior to 1830, vessels drawing 12 feet water only, could sail in, but now those of 400 tons can moor at the quays; that on the N. of the river extends 720 yards, and on the S. 107 yards in length; the tide flows up as far as Oldbridge, 2¼ miles above the town, from whence the Boyne navigation for barges of 50 tons extends inland to Navan, 19 miles.    The port and harbour are under commissioners, constituted by Act of 5 Vict., by whom the port has been  considerably improved, and its revenue within the last few years more than doubled, done partly by the erection of the quays, but chiefly by steam dredging.    The dredge is of 16 horse power, and capable of raising 400 tons of mud per day.   Fifty-three pilots belong to the port, who are under the control of the commissioners.    There is one small ship-building yard, and a patent slip.   At the entrance of the harbour are 3 lighthouses, distinguished as N., E., and W., 2 of which are movable, according to the changes in the bar.   The lighthouse duties in 1843 amounted to £745.    The income, arising chiefly from harbour dues, in 1845 amounted to £3,533, of which about one-half was expended in dredging, repairing quay walls, &c., and salaries; the remainder to pay off the principal and interest of debt incurred.   The number and tonnage of sailing vessels registered as belonging to the port in 1850, was 7 under 50 tons, and 40 of 50 tons and upwards; their aggregate tonnage, 5,015; steamers 6, 1,985 tons.   In the cross-channel and coasting trade, the number and tonnage of sailing vessels that entered the port in 1850, was 550 vessels, 42,422 tons; and of steamers, 210 vessels, 81,857 tons. The number of sailing vessels outwards during the same period was 273, 20,478 tons; of steamers, 226, 88,022 tons.   In the British Colonial trade, the number and tonnage of vessels entered inwards in 1850 was 3 of 659 tons; and outwards, none.   In the Foreign trade, the number and tonnage of vessels entered inwards in 1850 was 19 of 2,685 tons; 3 of 381 tons outwards.  The gross produce of the Customs duties was in 1838, £10,903; in 1843, £7,345; in 1848, £17,515; in 1849, £15,428, and in 1850, £l2,234.   The Excise duties of the district of Drogheda amounted in 1838, to £86,122 ; in 1848, to £141,489 ; in 1849, to £164,618 ; and in 1850, to £179,057.


The amount of postage collected in the town of Drogheda was, in 1843, £742 10s. 9d. ; in 1844, £720 5s. 7d. ; in 1845, £757 2s 8d. ; in 1846, £880 13s 1d. ; in 1847, £990 10s. 5d. ; in 1848, £960 8s. 3d. ; in 1849, £938 18s.; and in 1850, £810 8s 1d.   The amount of money orders issued in the year ending 5th January, 1843, was £3,816 10s 1d., and the amount paid, £2,947 12s 2d. ; the number of letters delivered weekly in Drogheda is above 4,000; the number of mails despatched in each day is 49.


The Dublin and Drogheda Railway, which opened for traffic in 1844, produces between £700 and £800 per week ; and an extension of the line is open to Castleblaney.   There is also a branch line open to Navan, and the Belfast Junction Railway is open to Wellington Inn, about 2 miles from Newry.   The line intended is to cross the river half a mile below the town bridge, by a viaduct 250 feet span, and 90 feet high.   By the Drogheda and the Dublin and Belfast Junction Railways all the northern mails are now conveyed.


Two newspapers are published in the town.  


Lieutenant, Right Hon. Lord BELLEW, P.C., Barmeath, Dunleer.

Member for the Borough, The Right. Hon. Sir Wm. MEREDITH SOMERVILLE, bart., DL., Chief Secretary for Ireland, Somerville, Balrath, Drogheda; Dublin Castle, and 16 Lowndes-square, London.

High Sheriff; (1851-52,) James M’CANN, esq., Staleen, Drogheda.

Magistrates, The Mayor, Wm. Cairnes, Thos. Carty, J. Gernon, Henry B. Fairtlough, Henry B. Coddington, Francis Donagh, Thomas Fogarty, P. Ternan, Chris. Jordan, James Mathews, Patrick Mathews, esqrs.

Clerk of Crown, Jn. Maher, esq., 8, Bachelor’s-wk., Dublin.

Clerk of the Peace, William Magee, esq.

Crown Solicitor, Maxwell Hamilton, esq., 5 Kildare-street, Dublin.

Secretary to the Grand Jury, Henry Clinton, esq.

County Surveyor,  John Neville, esq., M.R.I.A.




Mayor, Peter Verdon, esq.




Fairgate Ward, Patrick Casey, Patrick Mathews.

Laurencegate Ward, James Mathews, Patrick Boylan.

Westgate Ward, Thomas Carty, Thomas Ennis.




Fairgate Ward, Edward Atkinson, Thomas Kelly, Wm. Cambell, John Shegog, Edw. E. Ellis, R. B. Daly.

Laurencegate Ward, Michael Walsh, Jas. Hand, Jas. Butterly, Peter M’Connin, P. Ternan, P. Kelly.

Westgate Ward, Ant. Keappock, Pat. Byrne, Pat. Courtnay,  P. Verdon, (Mayor), Jn. O’Neill, Bart. Collins

Treasurer, William Campbell, esq.

Sub-Sheriff,  Bernard Kelly, esq., Drogheda.

Sheriff’s Returniaq Officer, Thomas Kelly,, esq., 26, Up. Ormond quay, Dublin.

Sub-Inspector of Constabulary, Michael Reardon, esq.

Head Constable,  Patrick Murtagh.

Receiver  of Droits, Agent for Lloyds and Danish Consul, Patrick Boylan, esq.

Consul for Prussia, Sweden, and Norway, Thos. Carty.




Chairman, The Mayor for time being.

Secretary, John M’Namara, esq.

Resident Engineer, Patrick Doner, esq.

Harbourmaster, Mr. Owens.




Collector,  John Cronan, esq.

Comptroller,  Thomas Lee, esq.

Landing Waiter, Charles Branagan, esq.




Distributer, William Fairtlough, esq.

Sub-Distributer, Mr. Henry Hamilton.




Collector, William Dryden, esq. 

Supervisor, Patrick Larkin, esq.

Supernumerary, F. M’Canly, esq.

Clerk, Mr. B. Foster.




Postmaster, Capt. J. S. M’Culloch.

Clerk, Mr. H. Kelly.




Lieut. James O’Brien, late 6th Royal Veteran Battalion.




Capt. Fred. Bull, h.p. 60th Foot. Office, Millmount Barrack.




Branch Bank of Ireland, Laurence-street. - Agent, Robert Roberts, esq.

Belfast Banking Co., (Branch), Manager, Wm.Carr Joyce, esq.

Provin. Bank, North-qy., Manager, Walter Lucas, esq.

Hibernian Bank, Manager, Denis Ford, esq.

Savings’ Bank, North-qy., Director, Michael Daly, esq.




Board of Superintendence: The Mayor (for time being); James Mathews, esq.; Thomas Carty, esq., J.P., ; Robert Hardman, esq.; Patrick Mathews; Chris. Jordan, esq., J.P.; Francis Donagh, esq., J.P.; John Drew, esq. ; Felix M’Cabe, esq. ; Patrick Boylan, esq.; Patrick Beahan, esq.

Inspector and R.C. Chaplain, Rev. C. Hanratty.

Chaplain, Rev. George Needham.

Governor, James Hughes.




Manager, S. Wrigley, esq.




Superintendent, Robert Pentland, M.D.

Assistant, Francis Darbey, M.D.




Drogheda Argus - Saturday, price 4½d.; P. Kelly, printer.

Drogheda Conservative Journal - Saturday, price 4½d.; Alexander M’Dougall, printer.




William-street - Re-established in 1845.

President, Rev. Doctor M’Kay.

Secretary, William Leonard.




Head Master, George F. Lacey, M.A.

Second Master, Mr. Felix M’Carthy.




Physicians. - E. Atkinson, T. Fogarty, Thos. Gernon, Richard Kelly.

Surgeons. - Robert Pentland, R. Kelly, John Drew, Robert E. Ellis.

Apothecaries. – E. Atkinson, M.D.; T. Fogarty, M.D.; F. Darby; J. Verdon ; J. Drew;  O. Boyle ;  R. E. Ellis.

Attorneys. -.  John Shegog, Thomas Kelly, J. Magee, P. Mayne, T. W. Hardman, Fras. D. Henzell, Wellington Shegog, H. Clinton, B. Brabazon, W. A. M’Kenna, J. Rowland, W. Magee.

Brewer. - William Cairnes.

Distillers. - Woolsey, Jameson, & Co.

Iron Works, Thomas Grendon and Co.





THE DROGHEDA UNION is situated partly in the county of Louth, and partly in the county of Meath; it con­tains an area of 98,848 statute acres, and a population of about 52,511.   There are 12 Electoral Divisions, re­presented by 25 elected, and 25 ex-officio Guardians.   The Workhouse is built for the accommodation of 1,010 inmates.    It was opened on the 16th December, 1841.   The Board of Guardians meets at the Workhouse on every Thursday.


Chairman, Francis Donagh, esq., Newtown, Drogheda.

Vice-Chairman, Patk. Mathews, esq., Annagor, Drogheda.

Deputy Vice-Chairman, Patrick Boylan, esq., South-quay, Drogheda.

Treasurer, Bank of Ireland, Drogheda.

Clerk and Returning Officer, John Fanning.

Master and Matron, Joseph Dullaghan, and M. Dullaghan.

Chaplains, Established Church, Rev. Richard Carter. Roman Catholic, Rev. Thomas Mathews.

Medical Officer, Richard Kelly, M.D.




White Horse, West-street, Keappock, proprietor.

Imperial Hotel, West-street, Simcocks, proprietor.

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

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