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Rathbran

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STRATFORD-UPON-SLANEY, a market-town and parochial district, in the barony of UPPER-TALBOTSTOWN, county of WICKLOW, and province of LEINSTER, 2¼ miles (N. N. E.) from Baltinglass (to which it has a penny post), near the road to Wexford, through Tullow; containing 2833 inhabitants, of which number, 952 are in the town. This town, which is of recent date, owes its origin to Edward, late Earl of Aldborough, who, towards the close of the last century, conferred upon it his family name, "Stratford," and distinguished it from other places of that name by the adjunct which describes its situation on the Slaney. A battle was fought here during the disturbances of 1798. It is built on the summit of a considerable hill rising from the bank of the river, and is regularly laid out in streets and squares, and commands most extensive views, including the windings of the river. Adjoining the town, on the bank of the river, are extensive cotton and calicoprinting works, established in 1792, by Messrs. Orr and Co., the present proprietors; they employ from 800 to 1000 persons: the machinery is worked by water power, and the average number of pieces printed and finished weekly is about 2000. The market is on Tuesday and Saturday, and by the patent the town is entitled to two annual fairs, which have never yet been held. The district parish, also called Rathbran, is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Leighlin, endowed in 1792 by Edward, second Earl of Aldborough, with a rent-charge of £50 out of the Stratford estate, and in the patronage of Col. John Wingfield Stratford. The curate's stipend is augmented by a grant from the trustees of Primate Boulter's fund. The late Board of First Fruits, in 1813, contributed a gift of £450 and a loan of £100 towards the erection of the glebe-house, to which is attached a, glebe of 10½ acres. The church, a neat structure, was built in 1790 by the noble proprietor; and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £679 for its repair. There is a R. C. chapel, belonging to the union or district of Baltinglass; also a place of worship for Presbyterians of the Synod of Ulster, of the third class. Sunday schools are attached to the church and the R. C. chapel. A fever hospital, with a dispensary, was erected near the town in 1817; it is a neat building, comprising S wards containing 24 beds. Adjoining the church is a plot of two acres of freehold land, from which Lord Henniker takes his title of an Irish baron.

from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.

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