Printers of the Past
By T. O'Neill, M.A.
The earliest printing was concerned with Religious matters,
and the first printer in England in the early fifteenth century
was William Caxton.
The first recorded printer in Ireland was Humphrey Powell, who in the
fifteenth century was given a grant of £20 to transfer from London to
Dublin. In the year 1551 there was printing in Wexford, while in the
17th century printing had spread to Kilkenny and Cork as well as Dublin
and Wexford. Kilkenny was the seat of the Confederates in the 1641
Rebellion and most of their pamphlets and proclamations were printed at
The first Irish type to be set up in Ireland was done in 1571 when some
religious tracts for Queen .Elizabeth were printed. This type was based
on Saxon type.
The Franciscans were the greatest Irish printers of the 17th century,
and up to about 1729 most Irish Catholic printing was done in Louvain,
owing to Penal Laws being-rife in Ireland. Those early papers were not
newspapers as we know them, but they took the form of pamphlets which
were circulated with news of various events as they took place. These
later took the shape of news-sheets, and newspapers proper, as we know
them, came into being in the 1690's. One newspaper of that era gives as
a news item the death of Sarsfield at the battle of Landen.
There were many notable printers in Dublin in the 18th century. Among
these were George Grierson who flourished in the 1790's;
Faulkner, who published "Faulkner's Journal," and was familiarly known
as "Peter Paragraph." There was a printer named Hoey who did a lucrative
trade in "Piracy." For example, when the first edition of "Robinson
Crusoe" appeared in London, there appeared in the same year in Dublin
two editions of the same book for which no royalties were paid. This
practice was rife at the time and there were no laws protecting
Carlow Had Many Papers
Early provincial printing was mostly of the newspaper style, and the
first item connected with Carlow was an article on the improvement of
the Linen Industry in Ireland. This was printed by Kineer, Dublin
Street, Carlow, 1778. He was presumably Carlow's first printer.
In the 18th and 19th centuries local papers did not deal with local news
as such. They usually summarized news collected from Dublin Dailies, and
sometimes inserted odd snippets of local interest. Day-to-day news
appears not to have been as important as at present.
The newspaper which Kineer printed began in 1710 and was known as "Kineer's
Chronicle." Vol. 14, No. 13 of this paper is preserved, and it appears
that it was published each Saturday. Kineer married a
Miss Mary Gilbert
from Co. Wexford, and he had connections in Dublin, where Joshua Kineer
was a paper-maker in Fishamble Street in 1773. Dutch paper was used
mostly in Ireland for newsprint.
In 1788 the firm of Eustace and Nord printed the "Carlow Mercury." In
the same year one William Moore entered into bond to print the "Carlow
Packet," but this paper does not seem to have been printed. A printer
named Cooke, at Market Cross, Carlow, printed accounts of Presentments
at the Assizes and these are useful at the present day for information
on family names. Kildare papers of that era were printed at Carlow.
Richard Price figured as a printer in Carlow in 1815, and in 1822 he
published an address of .Dr. Doyle (J.K.L.) to the people of Carlow. He
specialised in printing controversial pamphlets, and they were published
by him at the offices of "The Carlow Post," The "Carlow Sentinel" began
in 1831. The "Carlow Standard" flourished for a short period in 1832.
The "Carlow Post," printed by Thomas Price, started in 1837. The "Carlow
Weekly News" began 1868, and the "Carlow Independent" flourished from
1867 to 1872. "The Nationalist and Leinster Times" first appeared in
"The Budget' of Fun"
A paper called "The Budget' of Fun" was published by John Cahill of 3
and 4 "Dublin Road, Carlow, and contained skittish notes on various
people in the town. (No date has been given for this paper).
"The Nationalist and Leinster Times".
in 1883 during the Land League days, is the sole survivor of the many
newspapers printed in Carlow. It was founded by the late Patrick Conlan.
It is proud to be the printer of this latest journal of the Old Carlow
Its first office was in Brown Street. The printing, works were later
moved to Dublin Street, and finally to its present premises in Tullow
St. The Conservative Carlow Sentinel ceased publication in 1919.
Source: December 1952 edition of Carloviana Vol. 1, No. 1
Newspaper files held by Carlow County Library
listed in chronological order. Finn's Leinster Journal was published in
Kilkenny but has some content relevant to Carlow. Finn's Leinster
Journal became Leinster Journal on 22nd August 1801-10th March 1830.
There are two surviving issues of the Carlow Journal or Leinster
Chronicle, which was published in Carlow for the years 1784 and 1785
respectively. A copy of the Carlow Mercury or Leinster Chronicle
survives from 1788.
The Carlow Sentinel was first published by
Henry Malcomson in Tullow Street, it later moved to Dublin Street and
afterwards to Court Place where it was owned by T.H. Carroll. Its last
proprietor was George Langran. It was unionist and conservative in bias.
The Carlow Post was established in 1850. Its proprietor was Richard
Price and on his death in 1875 this newspaper ceased. The Carlow Weekly
News and General Advertiser ran from May 1855-24th October 1863. The
Carlow County Library holdings run from 1858-1863. The Carlow
Independent and Leinster Agricultural Journal was published by P. Kelly
in Centaur Street. It was established in May, 1878 until c. May 1882. It
was continued as the Carlow Independent and Carlow Post circa May
The following Newspapers can be found on micro film
Carlow Library, Tullow Street, Carlow, Co Carlow Ireland
National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin. Ireland.