Search billions of records on



Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

County Carlow

1831 Census of  Carlow

Taken from the Pat Purcell Papers and Transcribed by: Noel Roche 2007

Report Based on 1831 Census


Report on the Town of Carlow; with a Description of the

Proposed Boundary.

 1. -  CARLOW, (formerly Catherlough,) is distant 49 statute miles from
Dublin, and is the capital of the County of the same name. It is situate on the
left bank of the Barrow, and, as the River is here navigable for barges, the
Town has become a considerable mart for Agricultural produce, great quantities
of corn and butter being annually sent down to Waterford for exportation.  It
possesses the remains of an old Castle, and is a place of great Antiquity; it has
also had various Charters, the last of which was granted to it in the time of
Charles II.  On the opposite side of the Barrow there is a Suburb called Graigue,
which, though it is in a different Parish and in a different County, we think ought
to be considered a part of the Town.  The Parish contains about 2.000 statute
Acres, of which the Town occupies but a small portion.  The Parish Church,
however, is in the Town;  and, in addition to it, there is a Roman Catholic
Chapel, College and Convent;  a large and handsome Lunatic Asylum has also
very lately been erected at Carlow for the whole Province of Lenister, but is not
yet occupied.  The whole Population of the Town (exclusive of the Suburb of
Graigue) is, according to the Census of 1831, 9, 102, and the number of houses,
1.334.  The Population has increased, but not very greatly, since 1821.


2. -  The Authorities of the place possess no Copy of their Charter, nor could
we procure one.  The following information, however, we have collected from
the "Liber Hiberniae:"

 The first Charter was granted by King James the First , on the 1st of April 1613, and by it the Portreeve  and 12 Burgesses were required to send two Members to Parliament.

3. -   King Charles the second, in pursuance of letters dated at Whitehall the
16th of April 1671, (reciting, that whereas many of the Charters of the several
Cities and Towns in Ireland had become forfeited during the late horrid
Rebellion, so that he might justly seize all their Liberties and Franchises, yet,
for the encouragement of trade, that he was willing to extend his favour to
such of them as the Chief Governor of Ireland should judge best meriting the
same, and to grant them new Charters) granted a new Charter to Carlow,
bearing date 24th December 1674, by which the Borough was made to
consist of a Sovereign and 12 Free Burgesses, to whom was given the power
of sending two Members to Parliament.  The Freeman (of whom there are
at present about 30 or 40) are not entitled to vote under this Charter.


4. - The Sovereign is elected annually, and the same individual cannot be re-elected until after the expiration of a year, so that it is necessary to have at least two resident Burgesses, (as they are at present,) who take the Sovereignty by turns.
The Corporation possesses no estates, but they have an annual income of a
Few hundred pounds arising from a Toll on every thing sold in the public
Market, (except potatoes;) the Freeman, possess no advantage, except Exemption
From this toll.  The Sovereign is by virtue of his office a Magistrate of the
County,* in consequence of which the exact Limits of his Jurisdiction as
Sovereign are not defined.  We could not hear of any local Acts of parliament
having ever been obtained for Carlow.

                                                                                                                4.  -  There

* There is no Recorder, nor any resident Magistrate, except the Sovereign.   Neither are there any sessions or Goal for the Town separate from those of the County.








Several Charters,
the last from               
Charles II.
Parish contains
2.000 Acres.


Population, 9.102.

Housing, 1.334


Not in possession of
the Authorities on            
the spot.








Possess no Estates.
Levy a Toll.
Sovereign is a Ma-
gistrate of the                      
No Local Acts of

Transcribed by: Noel Roche 2007
 Source: Michael Purcell
Next Page
The information contained in these pages is provided solely for the purpose of sharing with others researching their ancestors in Ireland.
2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects, IGP TM By Pre-emptive Copyright -  All rights reserved