Parliamentary Gazatteer of Ireland, 1845

RATHMORE, a parish in the barony of Lune, 2 1/4 miles north east of Athboy, co. Meath, Leinster.  Length, eastward, 3 1/2 miles; breadth, from 3/4 to 2 1/2 area, 5,345 acres, 2 roods, 25 perches. Pop., in 1831, 1,635, in 1841, 1,780. Houses 280.  A considerable extent of bog is situated in the eastern district; but the remainder of that district, and the whole of the central and western districts, consist, for the most part, of good land.  The road from Athboy to Kells passes across the western district. The seats are Ballyboy house and Moyagher house. Rathmore was formerly the residence of the noble family of Bligh, Earls of Darnley.

John Bligh, Esq., the first of this family who settled in Ireland, was a citizen and drysalter of London, who came to this country in the time of Cromwell's government, as an agent to the adventurers for the estates forfeited in the rebellion of 1641.  He speedily became an adventurer himself, subscribing the sum of £600 to a joint stock in which two other speculators were concerned; and on casting lots among other adventurers, the allotment for himself and his associates fell in the baronies of Lune and 'Mohergallion' in this county, on property which had chiefly belonged to the Gormanstown family.  He seated himself at Rathmore, a part of the estate thus easily acquired, and shortly augmented his purchases.
In the first parliament after the Restoration, Mr. Bligh was returned member for Athboy, which town sent two representatives to the House of Commons, previous to the Union.  He was afterwards joined in several lucrative commissions under government.  Thomas, his only son, who erected into a manor the principal estates of the family in this neighbourhood, was also empowered, by grant from King William, to hold 500 acres in demesne, and to impale 800 acres for deer.  John, grandson to the founder of this family, was created Baron Clifton of Rathmore in 1721, Viscount Darnley of Athboy in 1723, and Earl Darnley in 1725.

This parish is a rectory, and part of the benefice of Athboy, in the dio. of Meath.  Tithe composition, exclusive of that of the rectory of Moyagher, £184 12s. 4d.  In 1834, all the parishioners, with one exception, were Roman Catholics; and there was neither church, chapel, nor school.