Some tenants of Clanricarde Estate in Loughrea, Galway in 1780

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Small Sources 45.   This list of 43 tenants is from a document (NLI Ms. 2119) in the Clanricarde papers in the National Library of Ireland entitled ‘List of arrears due May 1777 with the different yearly rentals from that period to November 1780 as also a list of the arrears then due … during the employment of John Nowlan as agent and receiver of rents to the Right Honourable John Smith De Burgo, Earl of Clanricarde, as extracted from his lordships ledger found in the possession of his late agent William Morrissy’.  See our article here for a detailed account of rentals and their relevance.

The document provides the names and properties as below, and also the rent, the arrears due and (for some) observations on their status. For instance in the entry for Hutchinson, who rents ‘Knowles plot’ the observation is ‘Knowles died a beggar’.  An account of the great divide in lifestyles between landlords and their tenants is in our blog entitled ‘Eye-witnesses to our ancestors‘ which summarises the accounts of travellers to Ireland in the period covered by this document. Note that several tenants are listed as ‘Esq.’ meaning Esquire, which was a title of respect for men of higher social rank, e.g. landed Galwaygentry above the rank of gentleman. The rents vary widely from £275 (Peter Killkenny) to 8 shillings (James Kenny, and also John Harrison) to 4 shillings (Widow W. Hugo for a ‘cabin on the rock’).  ‘Chief Rent’  mentioned below is what is now termed Ground Rent.  Some of these people are listed in a Survey of Loughrea in 1791.

The Clanricarde estate was one of the largest in Galway and extended to over 52,000 acres in 1870. At the time of this record the property was held by John Smith De Burgh the 11th Earl. He had changed his name from Burke to De Burgh, presumably to differentiate himself from the many Burkes in the county. The family residence was Portumna castle which has recently been fully and faithfully restored by the Irish State.  It is noteworthy that 7 of those listed as being in arrears are named Burke and are possibly related to the landlord.  The places listed are mainly in the town of Loughrea, Co. Galway but there are also properties in surrounding parishes. Loughrea was a major centre for the linen industry at this time, as well as being a garrison town. The probable identity of most townlands listed (and the current spelling) is in brackets where appropriate. Although no specific location could be found for Bophine (see Michael Burke below) Baron Bophine was one of the titles held by the Earls of Clanricarde.   Some interesting  names include:  Carbery Egan, who may be part of the McEgan clan, based on the unusual name;  and Ross Mahon, who rented Castlegar and whose extensive papers are also in the National Library.  It is also interesting,  and perhaps disheartening,  to know that almost none of those listed can be found in searches of Ancestry or of FindMyPast.   Further Galway sources in this series of blogs are rentals of the Quansbury Estate in 1777-8; a Mountbellew estate in 1817; and a Kilconnell estate in 1840.   Ancestor Network will offer 1 free hour of research by a professional researcher to conduct further research on these individuals or others in these estate papers. Click here and quote ‘Galway SS44’ in the subject line.    We also publish ‘A Guide to Tracing your Galway Ancestors‘ (see above)  by local historian Peadar O’Dowd.  It is available here.

Name                                                     Denomination (CP = Civil Parish)
John Burke                                            Reaghan (Tynagh CP)
Carbery Egan                                        Killegan (possibly Kylagowan in Ballynakill CP)
William Burke Esq.                               Ballydugan etc (probably Ballydoogan in Kilmeen CP)
Edmond McDonogh                            Boulenanullock (probably Boleynanollag in Ballynakill CP)
John Kenny                                            Rostellies (probably Rostollus in Ballynakill Parish)
Widow Barrett                                       Glanatallin (probably Glenatallan in Kilconickny CP)
Peter Killkenny                                      Lissafuca & several denominations (Lissaphuca in Kilmeen CP)
Peter Burke                                            Cloondagaff (now Cloondadauv, CP of Ballynakill)
Carbery Egan                                         Shrah (probably Srah in Kilconickny Parish)
Edmond Burke                                      Chief Rent of Clonlee (Possibly Cloonlee, CP of Duniry)
Robert Ormsby                                     Carrumunabeg (possibly Carrowmuna in CP of Killogilleen)
Ross Mahon Esq                                    Castlegar (see above)
Michael Burke                                        Bophine (see introduction)
Charles Donelan Esq                           Mills, Fairs and Markets
John Harrison                                        Owen Halls house
Revd. William Pigott                             Monemore & Old Red House (south-east of Loughrea)
Widow Eleanor Burke                           House & garden East suburbs Loughrea
John Coone (Coyne?)                            House in East suburbs do.
Michael Daly Esq                                   Edmond Lennon’s house and garden
Henry Coulson                                       Margaret Molowny’s house,  Loughrea
Henry Barrett                                        House in Loughrea
Doctor John Giles                                  Tyrell’s plot do.
William Barrett                                      Gibb’s plot, the old barrack & a tenement in west stacet?
Conor Maughan                                     House & garden Loughrea
John Fallon                                              Several houses in do.
Daniel Tressy                                          House & garden, do.
Richard Hutchinson                              Knowles’s plot. do.
John Burke Fowler                                 Gavin’s house & garden
Widow W. Hugo                                     A cabin on the rock
Silvester Burke                                      Two Houses, Barrack St. Loughrea
The widow Loughlin                             House and garden
Anthony Hynes                                      Maggons plot
David Connor                                         Several holdings
Widow Smith                                          Her house
Joseph Power Esq for Elice Power     Part of Poulnadoby etc (North of Loughrea)
James Kearny                                         His house and Garden Loughrea
Michael Hanberry                                 House and garden

1780. Tenants of Earl of Clanricarde estates, mainly in Loughrea, Co. Galway, with property, rent and arrears. NLI Ms. 2119
Extract from the rental showing the information provided.  A further column of ‘observations’ to the right is blank in most entries.  Image courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.  NLI Ms. 2119



Tracing your Galway Ancestors,  by local historian Peadar O’Dowd. 

Further information  is available HERE







Some of the articles in our series on Irish Family History sources:

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