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The Poor Law Union Of Abbeyleix, Co. Laois

The Poor Law Union of Abbeyleix

The Poor Law Union of Abbeyleix was formed 3rd December 1839, and had a population of 35,597.

A market and post town, a parish and the head of a Union. Partly in the barony of Fassadining in County Kilkenny and partly in the baronies of Maryborough-West and Clarmallagh, but chiefly in the barony of Cullinagh (Queen's County) 7 miles from Maryborough and 47 miles from Dublin. Containing 6,719 inhabitants of whom 1,021 are in the town.

The town contains 131 houses situated on the mail road from Dublin to Cashel, the late Lord de Vesci caused the old town to be entirely rased, and laid out on the present more eligible site. Quarter sessions are held in June and December and Petty sessions every Saturday, a court is also held by the seneschal of the manor, and here is a chief constabulary police station. The sessions house is a commodious building, and there is a small well-regulated bridewell.

An almshouse for poor widows is maintained by Lady de Vesci, and there is a dispensary, an infirmary, a savings bank, and loan and clothing clubs. The workhouse for the Union occupying a site of 5.75 acres, held at a rent of £6-12s-8d was completed in 1842 at an expense of £5,850 and is constructed for 500 paupers.
Source: p 004 Abbeyleix
From Lewis Topographical Dicrionary of Ireland 1847 in 2 volumes.
Submitted by Alan Longbottom

Selection of cases from Returns of Paupers

Destitution relieved - selection of cases from returns of paupers relieved in the three months from 10th January to 9th April, 1844, in Unions in Ireland. Submitted by Alan Longbottom

John SINNOT, aged 54-Roman Catholic-stuff-weaver-married-ejected from farm-admitted (with Wife and four children) 11th January, by Board of Guardians-himself bodily infirm-cripple, and bent together with pains in his limbs-the rest healthy-bad clothes-in want of food-emaciated looking-present condition, all healthy, but husband in bad health (will not recover).

Ellen MURPHY, aged 7-Roman Catholic-motherless-deserted by Father-admitted 18th January, by Board of Guardians-almost naked-hungry and filthy dirty-present condition, in good health-at school. Father in America.

Michael FINN, aged 40-Roman Catholic-labourer-married-admitted 18th January, by Board of Guardians-cancer in the mouth-which is in a dreadful state-discharged 5th February voluntarilly-in bad health (cancer will kill him).

Denis DUNN,aged 85-Roman Catholic-schoolmaster-widower-no children alive-ejected from his house-admitted 18th January, by Board of Guardians-bodily infirm-cripple-out of health, almost dead-filthy dirty. (since dead).

William MAHER, aged 55-Roman Catholic-labourer-single-admitted 23rd January, by Master-in fever, and placed in fever hospital-carried to workhouse-discharged 30th January voluntarilly-in good health (recovered fever).

Anne CHAPLE, aged 33-Roman Catholic-mendicaut-widow-admitted with her child, by Board of Guardians, 25th January-herself with very bad cancer-very ill-her child healthy, filthy and in rags-present condition-mother in bad health - in hospital (will not recover) child in good health, at school.

Mary FLINN,aged 30-Roman Catholic-mendicaut-widow-four children alive-admitted 1st February, by Board of Guardians with her four children-all in rags-full of vermin and filthy dirty-present condition, in good health (husband died about eight months ago).

Maria WATERS, aged 25-Roman Catholic-mendicaut-married-two children alive-admitted 5th February by Master-in fever, and sent to fever hospital-discharged 20th February voluntarily-in good health (recovered the fever).

Mary RORKE,aged 51-Roman Catholic-servant-single-admitted 8th February, by Board of Guardians-bodily infirm-out of health-pains in limbs-in rags-present condition, in bad health-to hospital (will not live long).

Matthew ASPIL, aged 40-Roman Catholic-labourer-single-admitted 27th February by Master-bodily infirm-cripple-his leg mortifying-was carried to workhouse (since dead).

William DUFF, aged 11-Roman Catholic-orphan-admitted by Board of Guardians, 14th March-sickly-in rags and half starved (went to service 14th May).

Catherine KEENAN, aged 70-Roman Catholic-mendicant-single-admitted 14th March, by Board of Guardians-bodily infirm-out of health-good clothes-clean, but emaciated-present condition, in good health-in womans ward.

James KAVANOGH, aged 70-Roman Catholic-labourer-married-admitted 21st March, by Board of Guardians-bodily infirm-cripple-very feeble-in rags-present condition, in middling health-in infirm ward.

Thomas COYLE, aged 67-Roman Catholic-shoemaker-widower-admitted 21st March, by Board of Guardians-bodily infirm-in rags and very dirty-discharged 26th March (latterly a beggar).
Original source