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WESTMEATH

"COUNTY WESTMEATH, an inland county in the province of Leinster, Ireland, is bounded N. by the counties of Longford, Cavan, and Meath, E. by the county of Meath, S. by King's County, and W. by Roscommon and Longford. It lies between 53° 8' and 53° 48' N. lat., 6° 54' and 7° 55' W. long. Its extreme length from E.N.E. to W.S.W. is 36 miles, and its greatest breadth at right angles to that line is 2 miles. Its area is 708 square miles, or 463,468 acres, of which 365,218 are arable, 56,392 are uncultivated, 8,803 in plantations, 628 in towns, and 22,427 under water. The population in 1841 was 141,300, in 1851 it was 111,407, and in 1861 it was 90,879, or only 64 per cent, of the population in 1841. In 1861, 16,589 houses were inhabited, 435 were uninhabited, and 39 in course of construction. The Poor-law valuation in 1851 was £257,551, and the general valuation in 1861 was £314,544. The number of persons from this county who emigrated from Irish ports with the expressed intention of not returning between May, 1851, and December, 1865, was 24,456, or 22 per cent. of the population at the former date. The county formed the western division of the kingdom of Meath, to which Longford also belonged. During the occupation of the country by the Danes it suffered severely, and was the scene of civil contentions. It was granted by Henry II. to Hugh de Lacy, who had assisted to reduce it, and was by him divided amongst his followers. The Irish made repeated attempts to recover their patrimony, but without success. " (There is more of this description).

 

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)]
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2018