Britannia, by William Camden

The County of Longford.

Big T TO West-Meth, on the North, joyns the County of Longford; which was reduc’d into the form of a County by H. Sidney, Lord Deputy, * * So said, ann. 1607.some years ago. It was formerly called Analè ⌈or Annaly.Annaly,⌉ and inhabited by a numerous family of the O-Pharoll.O-Pharols ⌈called O-Farrels;⌉ of which there † † Are, C.were two ¦ ¦ Dynastæ.petty Princes; one in the South part, called O-Pharoll Boy, or the Yellow; and the other in the North, call’d O-Pharoll Ban, i.e. the white. Very few Englishmen live amongst them;Ann. 1607. and those who do, are of a long standing.Anale dynasty

One side of this County is water’d by the Shanon, the noblest river in all Ireland; which (as we observed) runs between Meth and Conaught. Ptolemy calls it Senus,Riv. Senus. Orosius Sena, and in some Copies Sacana; and Giraldus, Flumen Senense.Shannin, and Shannon. The Inhabitants thereabouts call it the * * Shan-awn.Shannon, that is (as some explain it) the ancient river. It rises in the County of Trim, out of the mountains of Therne; from whence, as it runs Southward, it grows very broad in some places, like a Lake. Then, it contracts it self into a narrow stream, and after it has made a lake or two, it gathers-in it self again, and runs to Macolicum,Macolicum. mentioned in Ptolemy, now call’d Malc,Malc. as the most learned Geographer G. Mercator has observ’d. Ant. p.27. ⌈But Sir James Ware declares, that he could not find any place of that name; unless it may be Milick by the river Shannon; which is in the County of Galway.⌉

Soon after, the Shannon is received by another broad lake (called Lough Regith,) the name and situation whereof make it probable, that the Rigia. City Rigia (which Ptolemy places in this Country) stood not far off. When it has pass’d this lake, it contracts it self again within its own banks, and runs by the town of Athlon, of which in its proper place. From hence the Shanon, having passed the Cataract at * * Killoloe, C.Killalo (of which I shall take notice by and by,) carries ships of the greatest burthen; and, dividing its stream, encompasses the city of Limerick, of which I have spoken already. From hence, in a direct course of threescore miles (wherein it makes an Island here and there, and is broad, and deep) it runs very swiftly to the West. Where-ever it is fordable at low water, it has been guarded with little Forts by our provident forefathers, to secure the country against inroads and plunder. Then, it falls from a huge mouth into the † † Called by others Mare Bredanicum.Western Ocean, beyond Knoc-Patrick, i.e. Patrick’s-hill; for so Necham calls it in these Verses upon the Shanon;

Fluminibus magnis lætatur Hibernia, Sineus
Inter Connatiam, Momoniamq; fluit.
Transit per muros Limerici, Knoc Patric illum
Oceani clausum sub ditione videt.

Great streams do Ireland’s happy tracts adorn,
Shanon between Conaught and Munster’s born.
By Limerick’s walls he cuts his boundless way,
And at Knoc-Patrick’s shore is lost i’ th’ sea.

Earl of Longford. Visc. Shanon. ⌈The right honourable family of Aungier enjoy the title of Earls of Longford; and that of Boyle, the title of Viscounts Shanon.⌉


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52