"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)]
- Civil Parish: St. Canice's. RC Parish: St. Canice's.
Earliest Records: b. Apr 1768; m. Jun 1768.
- Civil Parish: St. John. RC Parish: St. John's.
Earliest Records: b. Jan 1789; m. Jun 1789.
- Civil Parish: St. Mary's. RC Parish: St.Mary's.
Earliest Records: b. Jan 1754; m. Jan 1754; d. Jan 1754 to Jul 1787.
- Civil Parish: St. Patrick's. RC Parish: St. Patrick's.
Earliest Records: b. Aug 1800; m. Jul 1801.
- Civil Parish: St Maul's. RC Parish: St. Canice's.
Earliest Records: b. Apr 1768; m. Jun 1768.
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
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
Townlands (1851) - vicinity of Kilkenny CityParish 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