Britannia, by William Camden

The County of Louth.

Latin Urgalia.
Big T THE County of Louth, call’d in ancient Books Luna and Luda, and in Irish Iriel or Uriel (if that is not rather a part of this County,) lies beyond the County of Meath, and the mouth of the river Boine; running northward upon a winding and uneven shore of the Irish Sea. It is so * * Solo pabuloso.full of forrage, and so fertile, that the Husbandman finds plentiful Returns with moderate Labour.

Near the mouth of the Boine, stands DroghedaDrogheda. or Droghda, in English Tredah,Tredah. a neat and populous Town, so call’d from the bridge ⌈(and therefore by Sir James Ware named Pontana,)⌉ and divided in the middle by the Boine. King Edward the second granted it the privilege of a Market and Fair, at the instance of Theobald Verdon; and several Immunities and Privileges have been also granted to it by the Kings of England; particularly that of a Mint. ⌈By authority of a Parliament held here in the year 1365, an Academy was erected, and endowed with the Privileges of the University of Oxford; but for want of Maintenance, it soon expir’d. It is now an Earldom in the Honourable Family of the Moores.⌉ Near this Town, stands Mellefont-Abbey,Mellefont Monastery. founded by Donald King of Uriel, and commended by S. Bernard. It was given by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Edward Moor Knight, a Kentish Gentleman, very deserving for his wise conduct both at home and abroad; the Monks having been turn’d out some time before. ⌈His descendant is the Earl of Drogheda, just now mention’d, whose chief Seat is at this place.

Phil. Trans. Vol.22. p.790. At Munster-Bayes, near Drogheda, is a stately Cross, with two Cats on it, and this odd Inscription,


Seven miles from Drogheda, stands * * Ardeth, C.Ardeo, a mid-land town of some note; and higher in the Country, Dundalk,Dundalk. which has the benefit of a good harbour, and was formerly fortify’d with strong walls. It was burnt by Edward Brus, brother of the King of Scots, who had proclaimed himself King of Ireland, but was soon after cut off near this place, with eight thousand and two hundred of his men. Within the memory of this age, it was besieged by Shan O Neal, who was quickly obliged to raise the siege with dishonour; ⌈and since, it hath been erected into a Barony, and enjoy’d by the Honourable Family of Gorges.⌉ Eight miles from hence stands Carlingford,Carlingford. a pretty famous harbour; ⌈from whence the Family of Taaf hath derived the honourable title of Earl: in like manner, as those of Tichbourn, and Butler, derive their respective titles from this County; the first, that of Baron FarrardFarrard. of Beaulieu; and the second, that of Baron ButlerNewton. of Newton Butler.⌉ And these are all the places that I know of, memorable in this County.

Bermingham, who are also call’d Brimicham, Earl of Louth. Louth hath given the title of Earl to John Bermingham, an English man, which was confer’d upon him by King Edward the second, as a reward of his great valour (after he had engag’d, defeated, and slain Edward Brus, that momentary King of Ireland, who for some time had ravag’d the Country with great cruelty and slaughter,) and gave him the said Earldom to have and to hold, to him and his heirs males, as also the Barony of Athenry, to him and his heirs. But as the honour begun in this Gentleman, so it expir’d with him; for after he had conquer’d his enemies, he was overcome and slain in a popular insurrection in these parts, with many others of the same name; leaving no issue behind him. This County likewise, in the memory of the * * So said, ann. 1607.last age, gave the title of Baron to Oliver Plonket,Barons of Louth. which was confer’d upon him by King Henry the eighth; ⌈and since, Louth hath afforded the title of Viscount to the Honourable Family of Netterville.⌉

Families still remaining in this County, are the Verdons, Tates, Clintons, Bellews or de Bella Aqua, Dowdalls, Gernons, Hadsors, Wottons, Brandons, Mores, Warrens, Chamberlains ⌈who have changed their name into Brownlow,⌉ and many other English Families; of Irish extraction, are the Mac-Mahons, &c.

Ware, Ant. p.28.Athenry, before-mention’d, is suppos’d by the Learned Antiquary of this Nation, to be the Rigia or Regia of Ptolemy.⌉

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