, a county
of Ireland, bounded W by Roscommon, N by Leitrim and Cavan, and E and S by W. Meath, 25 m. long N to S, and 24 E to W, containing 366 sqare m. The soil is generally fruitful, though much interspersed with bogs. mountains, morasses, and fens. The Shannon forms the W boundary; other principal rivers are the Inny, Camlin, and Fallen. Lough Gawnagh is its most considerable collection of fresh water. It sends 2 members to parliament. Pop.10,702."
[From The New London Gazetteer
This county lies nearly in the centre of Ireland, and is bounded on the east and south by Westmeath, on the north by Cavan, on the north-west by Leitrim, and Lough Ree separates Longford from Roscommon on the south and west. The form of the county is oblong, extending from north-east to south- south-west; measuring about thirty miles between those points, and fifteen miles in breadth from south-east to north-west. Its area comprises 269,409 acres; of which 191,800 acres are arable; 4,600 plantations; 360 occupied by towns; 13,600 covered by water, and the remainder, nearly 58,000 acres, irreclaimable or uncultivated land. The general outline of the county presents little to attract the eye: it is for the most part flat, and in many places overspread with large tracts of bog; while towards the north, on the borders of Leitrim, the surface rises into bleak and sterile mountains. The soil of the county, like the surface, is exceedingly various, changing from a light thin mould to a deep loamy clay. The elevated districts between Edgeworthstown and Longford have a good soil which yields abundant crops of grain; but the land in many parts is so much encumbered with surface water, as to present a serious impediment to the agriculturist. The average rent of land is 12s. 3d. an acre. Large crops of oats and flax are annually raised in this county, and the produce of the dairy, in butter especially, is extensive; the chief market for these commodities is Drogheda. Many females are occupied in spinning, and the linen manufacture prevails to some extent. The mineral treasures of Longford are few; lead ore has been found in several of the limestone quarries, likewise in some of the mountain streams, and it has even been turned up by the plough, but no efforts have yet been made to trace or work the veins. Ironstone of a good kind exists near the shores of Lough Gownagh; coal-slate in more than one locality; ochres, of various colours, in different districts; limestone and marble is plenteous in many parts; jasper in the barony of Moydow, with fine slate in the barony of Ardagn. The principal rivers that water the interior of the county are the Camlin and the Kenagh; while the Shannon forms its western boundary, and the Inny benefits a part of the southern district; and there are many streams, tributary and otherwise, by which the county is ornamented and irrigated. The lakes are numerous, and some of them of considerable extent; the largest one, Lough Ree, on the south and south-western boundary of the county, and Lough Gawnagh, in its north-eastern quarter. The Royal Canal, with its branches traverse a large extent of Longford, presenting a facile means of bearing the produce of the county to other parts. in September, 1843, there were thirty national schools in operation in the county, attended by four thousand children or more."
[From Pigot's and Slater's Topography of the British Isles
reprinted here with permission from Dr David Alan Gatley of the Victorian Census Project.]