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"Kilkenny", a city and, including Irishtown, a county of itself, and the seat of the diocese of Ossory, locally in the county of Kilkenny, of which it is the chief town, and in the province of Leinster, 24 miles (N. E. by N.) from Clonmel, and 57 1/2 (S. W.) from Dublin, on the river Nore and the mail coach road to Cork; containing 23,741 inhabitants. This place is supposed by some writers to have derived its name from Coil or Kyle-Ken-Ni, "the wooded head, or hill, near the river;" and by others, with more probability, from the dedication of its church to St. Canice, on the removal of the ancient see of Ossory from Aghavoe to this place, about the year 1052, which had been originally founded at Saiger, now Seir-Keran, about 402. Of the earlier history of the town little is recorded previously to 1173, when Donald O'Brien, King of Thomond, assembled his forces to dispossess the English invaders under Strongbow, who had established thenselves and erected a fortress here soon after their landing in Ireland. On this occasion Strongbow retreated to Waterford, and abandoned the castle to the enemy, by whom, together with the town, it was demolished, and the surrounding country laid waste. In 1192, the English appear to have settled themselves firmly at this place; and in 1195, William Le Mareschal, who had succeeded to Strongbow's possessions, rebuilt the castle on a larger scale and restored the town, which became one of the principal residences of his successors, and the head of the palatinate of Kilkenny. About this time arose that portion of the present town which is more especially called Kilkenny, and which was more immediately connected with the castle, in contradistinction to the original town on the opposite bank of a small river flowing into the Nore, called Irishtown. Each had its separate and independent municipal government, the former under the lords of the castle, and the latter under the bishops of Ossory, who ceded a portion of it to William Le Mareschal, by whom the burgesses of Kilkenny were incorporated and endowed with many privileges, among which was exemption from toll in all his territories of Leinster.

Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hereford, marrying a duaghter of William Le Mareschal, obtained as her dower the county of Kilkenny, which subsequently passed by marriage again to Hugh, grandfather of Thomas Le Spencer, from which it was purchased by James Butler, third Earl of Ormonde. A great council of the barons of the English pale was held here in 1294; and in 1309 a parliament assembled at this place, in which severe laws were enacted against such of the English settlers as should adopt the Irish customs; and anathemas against all who should infringe them were denounced in the cathedral by the Archbishop of Cashel and other prelates who assisted on that occasion. In 1317, Lord Roger Mortimer, justiciary of Ireland, and the English nobles, held a council here to deliberate on the most effectual means of opposing the ravages of Edward Bruce; and an army of 30,000 men was assembled, and great numbers of families sought refuge in the town under the general alarm. ...

The city, which comprises an area of nearly a square mile, is intersected from north to south by the river Nore, dividing it into two very unequal portions, of which the large, containing the castle, is on its western bank; and near the northern extremity, on the same side of the river, is that portion called Irishtown, containing the cathedral, and separate from the former by the small river Breagh, which here falls into the Nore. The streets are very irregular, but the city has an air of venerable magnificence, from its castle, cathedral, and the numerous and imposing remains of its ancient religious edifices, and is seen to great advantage from the high eastern bank of the river, and from the rising ground on the road to Clonmel. The houses in the principal streets are generally built of stone, and many of them are spacious and handsome, especially in that part of it properly called Kilkenny, in which the chief modern improvements have taken place; the total number of houses, in 1831, was 2800, since which time the number has increased. There are two elegant stone bridges over the Nore, erected after designs by Mr. G. Smith, to replace two which were destroyed in 1763 by a great flood; St. John's bridge consists of three arches, and Green's bridge connects Irishtown with the opposite bank. ...

The county of the city comprehends the parishes of St. Mary, St. Patrick, St. John, and St. Canice, and comprises 16,400 statute acres. The parishes of St. Mary and of St. Maul is entirely within the city.
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)]

Church Records

Cross reference to Family History Library microfilm (double-check with the Library)
Civil 		Roman Catholic	Time 		FHLC
parish		parish		period		number
St Canice’s	St Canice	1768-1810	0926195
St John’s	St John’s 	1817-1880	0979701
St Mary’s	St Mary’s 	1754-1810	0926196
St Mary’s	St Mary’s	1762-1858	0926197
St Patrick’s 	St Patrick’s 	not available

Historical Geography

Townlands (1851) - vicinity of Kilkenny City
Parish		Townland		Acres	Diocese
St. Canice	Archerstreet Lot	88	Ossory    
St. Canice	Ardboy			43	Ossory    
St. Canice	Ayresfield		43	Ossory    
St. Canice	Ballynalina		290	Ossory    
St. Canice	Bishops Demesne    	54	Ossory    
St. Canice	Bishopsfurze     	71	Ossory    
St. Canice	Bishopsmeadows   	32	Ossory    
St. Canice	Bonnetstown    		574	Ossory    
St. Canice	Boolyshea     		168	Ossory    
St. Canice	Burntfurze     		32	Ossory    
St. Canice	Cappagh         	140	Ossory    
St. Canice	Cashel       		39	Ossory    
St. Canice	Cloranshea    		353	Ossory    
St. Canice	Coolgrange    		159	Ossory    
St. Canice	Crokershill		25	Ossory    
St. Canice	Deerpark		530	Ossory    
St. Canice	Dukesmeadows		8	Ossory    
St. Canice	Dunningstown		467	Ossory    
St. Canice	Gardens			81	Ossory    
St. Canice	Jamesgreen   		33	Ossory    
St. Canice	Jamespark      		40	Ossory    
St. Canice	Keatingstown    	733	Ossory    
St. Canice	Kilcreen         	42	Ossory    
St. Canice	Kingsland East		161	Ossory    
St. Canice	Kingsland West		75	Ossory    
St. Canice	Lacken			267	Ossory    
St. Canice	Loughmacask		56	Ossory    
St. Canice	Lousybush		107	Ossory    
St. Canice	Lyons			40	Ossory    
St. Canice	Maidenhill		45	Ossory    
St. Canice	Marnellsmeadows		19	Ossory    
St. Canice	Newtown     		902	Ossory    
St. Canice	Oldpark       		17	Ossory    
St. Canice	Palmerstown     	162	Ossory    
St. Canice	Raheennagun  		46	Ossory    
St. Canice	Robertshill		67	Ossory    
St. Canice	Sugarloaf Hill    	6	Ossory    
St. Canice	Talbotsinch    		303	Ossory    
St. Canice	Troyswood  		507	Ossory    
St. Canice	Walkinslough   		71	Ossory    
St. John's	Archersrath		107	Ossory    
St. John's	Baun			157	Ossory    
St. John's	Blanchfieldsland   	116	Ossory    
St. John's	Bleachgreen       	12	Ossory    
St. John's	Bonnetsrath  		269	Ossory    
St. John's	Brownstown     		537	Ossory    
St. John's	Cellarstown East	167	Ossory    
St. John's	Cellarstown Lower	100	Ossory    
St. John's	Cellarstown Upper	87	Ossory    
St. John's	Cellarstown West	299	Ossory    
St. John's	Charterschoolland	34	Ossory    
St. John's	Collegepark		9	Ossory    
St. John's	Dukesmeadows		69	Ossory    
St. John's	Dunmore			105	Ossory    
St. John's	Dunmorepark		111	Ossory    
St. John's	Friarsinch        	43	Ossory    
St. John's	Gardens			55	Ossory    
St. John's	Garrincreen		116	Ossory    
St. John's	Glendine		123	Ossory    
St. John's	Greenridge   		163	Ossory    
St. John's	Highhays       		10	Ossory    
St. John's	Kingsland    		104	Ossory    
St. John's	Kyleroe			170	Ossory    
St. John's	Lacken			24	Ossory    
St. John's	Leggetsrath East	215	Ossory    
St. John's	Leggetsrath West	245	Ossory    
St. John's	Loughmerans		369	Ossory    
St. John's	Lyrath			74	Ossory    
St. John's	Maudlinsland		53	Ossory    
St. John's	Middleknock		55	Ossory    
St. John's	Neworchard   		208	Ossory    
St. John's	Newtown      		134	Ossory    
St. John's	Pennefatherslot     	87	Ossory    
St. John's	Purcellsinch     	177	Ossory    
St. John's	Quarryland      	19	Ossory    
St. John's	Radestown North		584	Ossory    
St. John's	Radestown South		168	Ossory    
St. John's	Roachpond		31	Ossory    
St. John's	Seixeslough		49	Ossory    
St. John's	Sionhermitage		30	Ossory    
St. John's	Templemartin  		28	Ossory    
St. Maul's	Newpark Lower		151	Ossory    
St. Maul's	Newpark Upper		160	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Archergrove		102	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Archersleas		147	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Ardscradum		12	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Baunreagh		151	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Birchfield      	158	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Castleblunden   	190	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Clonmoran		127	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Cox's Fields		12	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Danville		143	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Deansground		35	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Dicksborough		136	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Donaghmore		53	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Drakeland Lower		104	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Drakeland Middle	230	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Drakeland Upper		40	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Dukesmeadows		37	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Gallowshill		86	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Gardens			30	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Holdensrath     	320	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Joinersfolly     	116	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Kilcreen       		118	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Kylebeg			211	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Loughboy		109	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Margaret's-fields	34	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Mortgage Fields		48	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Palmerstown    		57	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Poulgour       		131	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Raggetsland    		97	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Reviewfields		138	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Shellumsrath		128	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Smithsland North	106	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Smithsland South	66	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Springhill		148	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Warrington     		487	Ossory    
St. Patrick's	Wetland      		65	Ossory    
Edited by Dennis Walsh, last updated 9 May 1999

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