"St. John's", a parish, in the county of the city of Kilkenny, and province of Leinster; comprising 5318 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. Fairs, for which patents have been obtained, are held here on Feb. 15th, May 6th, Sep. 23rd, and Nov. 10th. It is in the diocese of Ossory; the living is a vicarage, united by act of council, in the reign of Henry VIII., to the vicarage of Clara, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is impropriate in the corporation of Kilkenny. The church is part of the ancient monastery of St. John the Evangelist, restored agreeably to the character of the ancient building, which was of elegant design and elaborate execution; it contains the mutilated relics of ancient sepulchral monuments to the Butler, Grace, and Purcel families. The priory, or hospital of St. John the Evangelist, founded by William Le Mareschal in 1220, notwithstanding its long alienation from ecclesiastical uses, was, in 1641, taken possesion of by a fraternity of Jesuits, who commenced its restoration; a great part of it was afterwards demolished, and the east window of its church, enriched with delicate tracery, and part of the south side of the chior formed a picturesque ruin till the year 1817m when it was restored, and became the parish church of St. John. The annals of this house, called Codex Kilkenniensis, were in high reputation, and formed part of the Chandos collection. There is no glebe-house; the glebe is situated in the parish of Clara, and comprises 15 acres. In the R. C. divisions the parish of St. John is the head of a union, comprising also Rathcoole, Kilderry, and Kilmadrum. St. Mary's R.C. parish also contains a small portion of St. John's parish.
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)]