The Parliamentary Gazetteer 0f Ireland, 1844-1845, Vol. 1

ATHBOY, a parish, containing a town of the same name, in the barony of Lune, Co. Meath, Leinster.  Length, 4 miles; breadth, 3; area, 11,884 acres. Pop., in 1831, 5,317; in 1841, 5,365. Houses 912. Pop. of the rural districts, in 1831, 3,358; in 1841, 8,539. Houses 605.
The surface is drained by the Athboy rivulet, and consists for the most part of excellent land.
Athboy Lodge, the seat of Sir Francis Hopkins, Bart., and also Danson's Court, adjoin the town.

This parish is a vicarage in the dio. of Meath.  The vicarial tithes are compounded for £200, and the rectorial for £360; and the latter are appropriated to the primacy, and held under lease from the primate.  The parishes of Girley, Kildalkey, Moyagher, and Rathmore, are united to this vicarage to form the benefice of Athboy.  Length, 12 miles; breadth, 11.  Gross income, £509 8s. Id.; nett, £432 8s. Patron, rotatively the Crown, the primate, and the diocesan. A curate has a stipend of £80, and resides with the incumbent.

The church is so old that the cost and date of its erection are unknown, and so incommodious, that many of the parishioners are excluded.  Sittings 300; attendance 350.  The Athboy Roman Catholic chapel has two officiates, and an attendance of 3,000.  There are Roman Catholic chapels also in Girley and Kildalkey.  In 1834, the Protestants of the parish amounted to 333, and the Roman Catholics to 5,158; the Protestants of the union to 500, and the Roman Catholics to 11,214.  In the same year, 6 daily schools in the parish had on their books 260 boys and 142 girls; and these, with 4 other schools in the union, had 502 boys and 294 girls.  One of the Athboy schools was a girls' free school, supported with £3 3s. a year and the proceeds of the sale of gloves, for making which the girls were paid; another was a free school for both sexes, supported by £40 Irish from Lord Darnley; and another was aided with £12 a year from the National Board. In 1840, five schools were aided by the National Board; a boys' school and a girls' school in the town, each with £15; a school at Fraine with £12; and schools at Rathcarne and Balrath, each with £1 6s. 2d.

ATHBOY, a market and post town, and formerly a parliamentary borough, stands in tbe parish just described, and on the Athboy river, 6 miles northwest of Trim, and 28 1/2 north west by west of Dublin.  It consists principally of one long street; and has only about 30 houses of the annual value of £10 and upwards.  It is a poor place, and does not seem to be improving.  An extensive flour mill in the town obtains its supplied of corn from the surrounding fanners and from Navan. Though a weekly market and annual cattle fairs are well attended, there is no market for grain.  The weekly market is held on Thursday, and the fairs on May 4th, Aug. 6th, and Nov. 7th.  A number of resident dealers in corn and pigs make their sales in Navan. In 1828, a caravan travelled between the town and Dublin.  The Earl of Darnley, on whose estate the town is situated, supports a small widows' almshouse.  In 1839-40, a dispensary here received £114 7s., expended £127 16s., administered to 1,692 patients, and served for a district of 23,844 acres, with a pop. of 8,530.  In 1842, the Athboy Loan Fund bad a capital of £404; circulated £483 in 178 loans; and cleared a nett profit of 19s. 5d.

Athboy appears to have been a borough by prescription; and it had charters or kindred documents of 9 Henry IV., 24 Henry VI, 2 Edward IV., 7 and 9 James I., and 5 James II.  The charter of 9 James I., which appears to have been the governing one, describes the borough limits as extending "one mile beyond the town in every direction;" vested the right of electing the portreeve in the majority of the burgesses and freemen, and that of electing the burgesses and all inferior officers in the corporation at large; appointed the portreeve to be the sole justice of peace within the borough; and gave power to hold a court of record, with jurisdiction to £10.  The corporation seems to have been kept up, not with the object of exercising any municipal rights, but solely for the purpose of returning two member to parliament; and the Earls of Darnley were their "patrons," and received for their private use the whole of the sum of £15,000 which was granted at the Union as compensation for disfranchisement.

The corporation has for years been extinct.  A court of petty sessions, presided over by the county magistrates, is held every Thursday.  A manor court, erected by patent of 6 William and Mary, has not been held since 1800.  A chief constable, and a posse of the county police, are stationed in the town. The nearest prison is the county gaol at Trim.  Tolls and customs, claimed as the private property of the Darnley family, were collected till 1828, but were then resisted and abandoned.

In 1317, a Carmelite friary was built or refounded in Atbboy; in 1325 and 1467, it was the meeting place of chapters of the Carmelite order; and in the 31st year of Henry VIII., it was dissolved. Area of the town, 80 acres. Pop., in 1831, 1,959; in 1841, 1,826. Houses 307.


The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland, 1844-1845, Vol. 1

Castletown, a village in the parish of Athboy, 3/4 of a mile south south west of the town of Athboy, barony of Lune, co. Meath, Leinster. Pop. returned with the parish.