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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

County Carlow


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 Kilkenny.

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.

Faulkner's Journal"

There were many notable printers in Dublin in the 18th century. Among these were George Grierson who flourished in the 1790's; George 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 copyright.

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.

“Kineer's Chronicle"

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.

“Carlow Mercury"

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 1883.

"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".

Founded 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 Society.

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 1882-1887.

The following Newspapers can be found on micro film at County Carlow Library, Tullow Street, Carlow, Co Carlow Ireland and The National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin. Ireland.

List of papers as at 9th April 2001

Finn's Leinster Journal 1767 - 1806 (minor gaps)
The Carlow Journal 1784 & 1785 or Leinster Chronicle
The Carlow Mercury 1788 or Leinster Chronicle
The Leinster Journal 1807 - 1812  .
The Carlow Morning Post 1818 - Nov.1822 & 1828 - Jan.1835  .
Carlow Sentinel 1832 - 1920  .
Carlow Standard January - April 1832 (Ed. John Ryan)
Leinster Independent December 26th 1834, 18th April 1840  .
Leinster Reformer October 1839 - January1841  .
Bristol Standard January 1839 - January 1842 (Ed. John Ryan)
Carlow Post 1853 - 1878  .
Carlow Weekly News March 1858 - October 1863  .
Carlow Independent 1879 - June 1882  (some gaps)
Nationalist and Leinster Times September 1883 to date  .
Carlow Vindicator 1892  .
     Source: Susie Warren 


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