History of Mayo (Exerpt)

By J F Quinn

Westport Union In 1859

At that time there were 20 electoral divisions, and weekly meetings of the Board of Guardians held. The chairman was the Marquis of Sligo, his brother, Lord John Browne, being Vice-Chairman, and Robert Buchanan, Prospect, Deputy Vice-Chairman. Treasurer, The Bank of Ireland; Clerk, John Egan; Master and Matron, Charles Nugent and Eliza Wilson; Chaplains, Archdeacon Cather and Dean Burke; Medical Officer, Dr. W. P. Peebles; Relieving Officers, Wm. Dever, Westport, and John Ferris, Clare Island; Dispensary Doctors, Dr. McGreal, Islandeady; Dr. Irwin, Louisburgh, and Dr. Peebles, Westport.

Before The Great Famine

"Westport is an important and thriving seaport and market town, 156 miles from Dublin, 28 miles from Ballina, 10 from Castlebar, and 7 from Newport," says Slater's Directory for 1846. "It is situate on the south-eastern extremity of Clew Bay, at the mouth of a small river which falls into that part of it forming the harbour of Westport - a name derived from its situation on the western coast. The town, which is of modern date, consists of three principal streets and a Mall of large and handsome houses on both sides of the river, the banks of which are planted with trees and afford a pleasant promenade. The approach from Castlebar is singularly beautiful, being enriched with the well-planted demesne of the Marquis of Sligo (who is proprietor of the town), and commanding a fine view of Clew Bay, studded with picturesque isles, and the lofty mountains of Nephin, Achill, Erris and Croagh Patrick - the latter's mighty eminence celebrated as the annual resort of penitents. The trade of the port, which is of comparitively recent origin, has been progressively increasing for some years past, until it has attained great importance. The exports comprise large quantities of grain, principally oats, together with oatmeal and flour. The imports consist of timber, foreign wheat, tobacco, wines, spirits, tea, sugar and various goods of British production.

Classified Directory

Bonding and Distilling --- In 1836, when the bonding system was introduced into this port, and which imparted a powerful impetus to its trade, the duties amounted to £14,704. The stores for bonding are held by Mathias McDonnell. Avery extensive distillery, belonging to Mr. Livingstone; branches of the Bank of Ireland and National Bank, several insurance agencies, a linen factory of Messrs. Pinkerton and Thompson, bleach works of Mr. McDonnell, and two flour mills, the like number of salt works and principal inns, are the other chief business establishments. Walsh's hotel in Castlebar street is a very admirably conducted house. The general Sessions of the Peace are held in April and October, Petty Sessions every Thursday, and a Seneschal Court for the recovery of £20 once a month. These courts are held in the courthouse, a neat, substantial stone building to which a small bridewell is attached.

Churches --- The church, a small neat structure, stands in the demesne of the nobleman before mentioned, and on the Mall is a spacious Roman Catholic chapel in the Gothic style, erected by subscriptions in 1813. The Wesleyan Methodists have also a chapel at this spot, and the Presbyterians and a sect calling themselves 'Darbyites' have places of worship, the latter in the market house. A neat chapel belongs to the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy established here, and the exemplary sisterhood superintend the instruction of a considerable number of poor girls in a school connected, with the Convent. A linen hall is situated opposite to the Catholic chapel, and a dispensary in the locality of the church - a neat building erected by the Marquis, who munificently contributes fifty guineas annually towards its support. In 1844 this valuable institution administered relief to upwards of 7,400 poor, of whom a large number were visited at their own dwellings by the indefatigable medical attendants. The neighbourhood of Westport is the residence of many respectable families, and some of the mansions are placed in situations of great beauty, commanding extensive, interesting views and scenery of great variety. The seats and villas most likely to arrest attention are the following: Rosbeg House, Mountain View, Cherry Cottage, Altamount Villa, Trafalgar Park, Cloona Lodge, Murrisk Abbey, Prospect, Mount Brown, Woodville, and Greenhills. The market, a well-attended one for linen, corn, provisions, etc., is held on Thursday, and fairs on January 1st, May 22nd, August 6th and November 1st. The parish of Oughaval contained, according to the returns made in 1841, 13,441 inhabitants, and the town (including quay portion, 547) 4,912 of that number."

Post Office --- The post office is in High Street, and the postmistress is Miss Elizabeth Hiderbrow. Letters from Dublin and various parts arrive every afternoon at half past three, and are dispatched every morning at half-past nine. Letters from Sligo and the North arrive every evening at seven, and are dispatched thereto every morining at five. Letters from Louisburgh arrive every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at nine, and are dispatched thereto on the evening of the same days at five.

Nobility, Gentry and Clergy --- Captain Brice Vaughan, The Bower; John Brown, Mount Brown; Robert Buchanan, Barrister-in-law and J.P., Prospect; Very Rev. Dean Bernard Burke, P.P., South Mall; Dominick J. Burke, Greenhills; John Francis Burke, Higgins St.; Joseph Burke, Altamont St.; Richard Burke, Greenhills; Theo Burke, Woodville; Alexander Glendenning, Mill St.; George Glendenning, Mill St.; Rev. Giles Eyre, Carraholly; Francis Garvey, Barrister-at-law, Old Head; James Garvey, Tally; John Christopher Garvery, Murrisk Abbey; Patrick Gibbons, attorney, the Octagon; Wm. Gibbons, Higgins St.; Wm. Graham, jun., South Mall; Captain James Grant, Altamount Villa; Miss Annie Hamilton, Higgins St.; Mrs. Mary Hamilton, do.; Chas. Fitzgerald-Higgins, Trafalgar Park; Capt. Fitzgerald-Higgins, Higgins House, Higgins St.; Ouseley Gore Higgins, Higgins St.; Miss Mary Higgings, Higgins St.; Richard Livingstone, North Mall; Wm. Livingstone, Do.; Matthias McDonnell, The Octagon House; Rev. Patrick MacManus, P.P., Louisburgh; Edward Murphy, North Mall; Mrs. Bridget O'Hora, North Mall; Major Owen O'Malley, Rossbeg house; Mrs. Rebecca O'Malley, Castlebar St.; Stephen John O'Sullivan, North Mall; Wm. Patten, North Mall; James Pinkerton, Higgins St.; Rev. Robert Potter, Rector, Louisburgh; Rev. Patrick Pouden, The Glebe; the Most Noble the Marquis of Sligo; James Smith, Westport Lodge; John Thompson, the Octagon; Denis Walsh, Sub-Inspector of Police, Bridge House, Higgins St.

It appears James St. was then Higgins St., called after the Higgins family, of which was Colonel Ouseley Higgins, M.P., of whom I have already written.

Academies and Schools - Michael Duke, John's Row; Patrick Geraghty, Shop St. Parochial Schools, Newport Road -- Samuel Flinn, Master; Eleanor Flinn, Mistress. Roman Catholic Free School (boys), Castlebar St. - Wm. Moore, Master. Girls' school taught by the Sisters of Mercy.

Apothecaries --- Francis Burke, M.D., Shop St.; Patk. McGreal, Bridge St.; Francis Woodhouse, M.D., Bridge St.

Architect and Valuer --- Edward Kelly, South Mall.

Auctioneers --- James Gallagher, Bridge St., and Bryan Higgins, Higgins St. Bakers - Cloonamiss Bakery, Bridge St., Matthias McDonnell, proprietor, Honoria Costello, Bridge St.; Michael Haran, Bridge St.; Edward Hoban, bridge St.; Wm. Levingstone, Bridge St.; John Morley, Shop St.; Celia Parker, Bridge St.; John Woodhouse, Bridge St., and Mary Young, Bridge St.

Banks --- Bank of Ireland, Mill St., draws on the bank of England; Messrs. Alexander and George Glendenning, agents; Michael Edward Murphy, sub-agent. This is the George Glendenning to whom the monument on the Octagon was erected.

Blacksmiths --- John Dunleavy, Castlebar St.; Peter Gallagher, do.; Michael Malley, do.; Patrick Mooney, Higgins St.; Patrick Moran, Fair Green; Wm. Smith, Quay Road.

Bleacher --- Matthias McDonnell, Cloona Mills.

Boot and Shoe Makers --- Daniel Campbell, Shop St.; James Collins, Peter St.; Wm. Ferguson, the Octagon; Wm. Forde, Mill St.; John Frazer, Higgins St.; Dominick Gibbons, Bridge St.; Thos. Grady, Shop St.; Andrew Healy, Mill St.; John Lennon, High St., and George Masterson, Bridge St.

Butchers --- Patrick Durcan, Bridge St.; Laurence Geraghty, Bridge St.; Martin Lally, Higgins St.; Thos. McGreal, Fair Green; Michael Madden, Bridge St.; Andrew Stone, Bridge St.; Patk. Stone, Bridge St.; John Waldron, Bridge St.; Michael Waldron, Bridge St.

Carpenters --- Martin Flanagan, High St., and Robert Masterson, Bridge St.

China, Glass and Earthenware Dealers --- John Brennan, Shop St.; Patk. Sheridan, Do.; Francis Woodhouse, Do.

Civil Engineer --- Martin Coffey, Castlebar St.

Confections --- John Coen, Bridge St., and Thomas Darcy, do.

Corn Merchants --- John Currigan, Bridge St.; John Geraghty, Castlebar St.; Samuel Handock, do.; Edward Hansman, Bridge St., and Arthur O'Malley, the Quay.

Distiller --- William Levingstone, North Mall.

Fire and Office Agents --- British Commercial (Robert Ekins, the Quay), Royal Exchange (George Hilderbrand, Cherry Cottage), Scottish Union of Edinburgh (Pinkerton and Thompson, the Octagon), Sun (Michael Edward Murphy and the Bank of Ireland, Mill St.).

Grocers --- Honoria Costello, Bridge St.; Bridget Hall, do.; Michael Horan, do.; Philip Hastings, Shop St.; Robert Jeffry, High St.; Wm. Jones, Bridge St.; Dominick Ward Kerins, do.; Harriet Lynch, High St.; Henry Lynch, Bridge St.; Dominick McGreal, the Octagon; John Morley, Shop St.; Mary Young, Bridge St.

Inns and Hotels --- Wm. Robinson, North Mall; Mary Walsh, Castlebar St.

Ironmongers and Hardwaremen ---John Brennan, Shop St.; Phillip Hastings (the Geneal Trimming, etc. Warehouse), Shop St.; John Mulloy, do.; Francis Woodhouse, do.

Leather Sellers --- Absalom Chapman, Bridge St.; John Corrigan, do.; Wm. Ferguson, Octagon; Luke Louden, Shop St.; Phillip McGing, High St.; Anne Regan, Shop St.; Patk. Sullivan, Bridge St.

Linen Manufacturers --- Pinkerton and Thompson, The Octagon.

Linen Drapers --- John Comber, Louisburgh; Daniel Doherty, Shop St.; Catherine Fitzgerald, High St.; Charles Grogan, Shop St.; James Kirby, do.; John May, do.; James Morrison, do.; Robert Talbot and Co., Mill St.

Merchants --- Wm. Graham and Co., Higgins St. and South Mall; Matthias McDonnell, the Octagon; Pinkerton and Thompson, do.; Patk. Sheridan, Shop St.

Millers --- Wm Levingstone, North Mall; Matthias McDonnell, Cloona Mills.
Milliners and Dressmakers --- Bridget Barrett, Bridge St.; Susan Gallagher, Bridge St.; Jane Sheridan, Higgins St.; Mary Tyrrol, Quay Road.

Music Teachers --- Patk. Kelly, Castlebar St.; Wm. Manning, the Octagon.
Painters and Glaziers --- Patk. Durkin, Mill St.; John French, Bridge St.; Peter Regan, Mill St.; Joseph Vahey, do.

Pawnbroker --- Patrick Hogan, High St..
Whitesmiths --- John Dunleavy, Quay Road; Martin Grady and Sons, do.
Wine and Spirit Merchants --- Thomas Costello, Bridge St.; Patrick Jeffrey, High St.; Dominick Ward Kane, Bridge St.; Harriet Lynch and Co., High St.; Wm. Robinson, North Mall.

Miscellaneous --- Patrick Basquill, flour dealer, Shop Street; John Brady, watchmaker, High Street; John and Wm. Hogan, letterpress printers, Mill Street; Daniel Hogarty, harbour master; Charles Larminie, cashier in Westport Office, South Mall; Patrick Lynch, Tobacco Manufacturer, Bridge St.; Patrick McGreal, Hide merchant, Peter Street; Charles O'Hora, cashier, National Bank, North Mall.

Churches and Ministers --- Protestant: Rev. Patrick Pouden, Vicar; Catholic: Dean Burke, P.P.; Rev. Thos. O'Dowd, Rev. Thos. Curran and Rev. Peter Jennings, curates; Presbyterian: Rev. James Smith, Mentor.

Public Institutions --- Constabulary barracks, Higgins Street, Denis Walsh, Sub-inspector, military barracks, Barrack Hill; J.V. Lovelock, Castlebar, barrack master. This barrack, at the back of High Street, overlooked the town. It was purchased by the late Mr. Goode, a clerk in the sheriffs office. Courthouse and Bridewell, Castlebar Street, John Large, keeper; Custom House, the Quay, T. Millar, collector; Louie Kingston Cleyton, comptroller; Robert Ekins, collector's Clerk; John Sinnot, locker; Dispensary, open on Tuesday and Friday, Thomas Hamilton Burke, medical attendant; Excise Officer, Higgins' Street, Thomas Greaves, supervisor; John Parker, ride officer, the News Room, South Mall; Stamp Office, South Mall; Margaret Larminie, distributor; Union Workhouse, Quay Workhouse, Quay Road; John Roe, master; Julia O'Malley, matron, Thomas H. Burke, surgeon; James Scott, porter.

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