TIPPERARY, a parish and market-town, in the barony of CLANWILLIAM, county of TIPPERARY, and province of MUNSTER, 18¼ miles (W. N. W.) from Clonmel, and 100¾ (S. W.) from Dublin, on the mail coach road from Waterford to Limerick; containing 7996 inhabitants, of which number, 6972 are in the town. This place, which is of great antiquity, is supposed to have derived its name, TiPra-Rae, signifying in the Irish language "the well of the plains," and of which its present appellation is only a slight modification, from its situation at the base of the Slieve-na-muck hills, forming a portion of the Galtee mountains. A castle was erected here by King John for the defence of the territory acquired by the English, to which may be attributed the growth of the town, and the subsequent foundation of a monastery for Augustinian canons in the reign of Hen. III. contributed materially to its increase. The town, which gives name to the county, appears to have had formerly a corporation, from a grant made in 1310 by Edw. II. to "the Bailiffs and Good Men of Typerary," allowing them "murage (as Adare) for three years." In 1329 the town was burnt by Breyn O'Breyn, but the monastery appears to have subsisted till the dissolution, when it was granted by Hen. VIII. to Dermot Ryan, at a yearly rent of eightpence. The present town is situated on the river Arra, and consists of one principal street, from which several smaller streets branch off at right angles; in 1831 it contained 1042 houses, several of which are well built and of handsome appearance. The inhabitants are supplied with water from a public fountain, erected at the expense of Stafford O'Brien, Esq., who, with the representatives of John Smith Barry, Esq., is joint proprietor of the town; the streets are cleansed under the provisions of the act of the 9th of Geo. IV., under which also it will be watched and lighted. Considerable improvements have been made and are still in progress; many of the old houses have been taken down and new buildings erected, and the town has a very neat and thriving appearance: a penny post to Cappaghwhite and Bansha has been established: there are temporary barracks for the accommodation of 100 infantry. The principal trade is in agricultural produce, which is purchased in the market and sent by water carriage to Waterford and Limerick, to which places also about 30,000 casks of butter are sent annually; and there is a large retail trade for the supply of the populous and extensive surrounding district. The markets, which are amply supplied, are on Thursday and Saturday; and fairs are held on April 5th, June 24th, Oct. 10th, and Dec. 10th. The markethouse, over which is a news-room, a neat building in the centre of the town, and the shambles, were erected at the expense of the late J. S. Barry, Esq. This place is the residence of the chief magistrate of police for the district, who has generally from 20 to 25 men stationed here; and there is a small bridewell, containing four cells, two day-rooms and two airing-yards. Petty sessions are held every Thursday. The parish comprises 4263 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe, act: the land is of excellent quality, and in a high state of cultivation; the system of agriculture is improved, and there is no waste land. Limestone of good quality is quarried in the vicinity, and adjoining the quarry is also one of building stone. The principal seats are Sadleir's Wells, the residence of W. Sadleir, Esq., a handsome house in a fine demesne, the grounds and gardens of which are tastefully laid out; Scalliheen, of - Sadleir, Esq.; Roesborough, of J. Roe, Esq., finely situated in an improved demesne; and Pegsborough, of G. Bradshaw, Esq. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Cashel, united by act of council, in 1682, to the rectory and vicarage of Templenoe and the rectories of Clonbulloge and Kilfeacle, and in the patron- age of the Bishop: the tithes amount to £276. 18. 5½. The glebe-house is in the parish of Templenoe; the glebes together comprise 40¼ acres, and the gross value of the benefice is £967. 7. 8½. per annum. The church, situated in the town, was erected in 1830, for which purpose the late Board of First Fruits advanced a loan of £2500, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £127 for its repair. The R. C. parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church: there is a small chapel in the town, which is about to be rebuilt on a larger scale; also a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. About 400 children are taught in three public schools, of which two, one a classical school, are supported by the trustees of Erasmus Smith's charity; and there are 16 private schools, in. which are about 530 children, a dispensary attended by a resident physician and an apothecary, and a fever hospital. On the lawn in front of the classical school-house are some remains of the Augustinian monastery, consisting chiefly of an arched gateway, from which circumstance the school building is called Abbey House. There is a chalybeate spring in the adjoining hills, which is much frequented during summer.
from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.