CELT document T100084

Johann Friedrich Hering's description of Connacht

Johann Friedrich Hering

Edited by Christopher J. Woods


J. F. Hering's description of Connacht


At last, on 9 April 1806, we were summoned in all haste to the ship and set sail. However, as a calm soon set in we had to ride at anchor. The ship on which I found myself was not a transport-vessel suitably adapted to carry a large number of horses but a packet-boat that formerly had conveyed passengers, and some horses also, from Liverpool over to Dublin. For the rest, it was well laid out, and the cabin was situated in the middle where the motion was gentlest. But for 40 men and 21 horses on board it really was much too small. The weather remained fine and calm. Not until midnight did a favourable wind get up, so that we weighed anchor, yet without coming very far, for soon the surface of the sea appeared as smooth as a looking-glass. We kept constantly in sight of the coast of Wales, whose high mountain-tops were still covered with snow. Finally, on the third day, the wind became favourable, and whilst at 8 o'clock in the morning we could still see the British coast, at noon we caught sight of the Irish coast. The motion of the ship likewise was so violent that I had to betake myself to my berth. The next morning we were in Dublin harbour.

I disembarked at once and hastened to the nearest inn in order to acquaint myself with an Irish breakfast. It consisted of tea, bread and butter and half a dozen eggs. The others disembarked on the same day and the regiment was settled in a barracks, though the officers were quartered in citizens' houses that had been abandoned and stripped even of tables and chairs. We were forced to rent.

Dublin is more beautiful than London. It has broader streets, taller and more uniform houses, and finer squares. Only the splendour and wealth of England's capital are missing. Of very special note is the street in which the former parliament-house is situated; it displays a definite grandeur of the kind one fully expects in capital cities.

The stranger in Ireland soon notices the hospitality. I too was to enjoy it and was taken around by one inhabitant and entertained by him. He showed me amongst other things the local museum with a mineral and insect collection said to be from Germany and to have cost 1,200 sterling. 1 For the rest one sees in Ireland opulence beside the deepest poverty; and beside the finest carriages the carrier's car draws past with a thin, rough horse; and next to the palace stands the mean, wretched cabin, occupied by the neediest persons. Ragamuffins that are not found in England are not unusual in Ireland. So it is in the capital, but even more in the countryside.


During our eight-day stay in Dublin the regiment was reviewed by the lord lieutenant and soon it had to march off to the north-western part of Ireland. It took us six days to do 112 Irish miles. 2 The tract of country through which we passed was mostly desolate; only the roads were good. Our march was divided up as follows.

On 1 May 1806 we marched from Dublin. For several miles around the capital the countryside still retained a well-cultivated appearance, but then it changed, becoming desolate and most neglected, although the soil was very good. Impoverished, ill-dressed people were living in wretched mud-cabins; only the livestock in the fields fully resembled that in England.

We reached on this day the very small town of Killcock, where we were able to find stabling for barely a third of our regiment. All the officers were accommodated in two inns, which had nothing more in common with English inns than that things were just as expensive. Turf was burned here, dirtying the rooms. The carpets were in tatters. The male sex wear grey cloaks, the female sex red, beneath which they wear bad clothes that are similar to English clothes only in their form.

On the following day we passed through countryside that likewise was poorly cultivated and dotted with mud cabins. Only the road was well maintained. Towards evening, after travelling 18 Irish miles, we reached Kinnegad, in the county of Westmeath, where we found things somewhat better. On the way also we saw, here and there, houses that had been destroyed in the rebellion.

On the third day we marched 18 Irish miles further, through barren country where the cabins became even more wretched, to Kilbeggan. Here a weekly market was in progress. But this likewise was utterly different from English markets, that is to say the stalls were hung with ragged linen cloth, some of the people were barefoot, and the meat on sale was lean. Here for the first time I was quartered in a citizen's house, but they preferred to send me on afterwards to the guest-house. Our horses went into a ruined brewery.

Since our departure from Dublin I had still seen no vehicle with four wheels, no coach and not even a mail car. In Ireland the mail is mostly forwarded by canal or just on covered cars. The wheels of the last of these are only one foot high, and the double shaft is fastened on to the horse's back by means of a hoop. For our little baggage we needed 50 such cars, as they can carry but little.

On the fifth day we again passed through desolate bogland and through only one wretched village on a march of 19 Irish miles as far as Athlone in the county of Galway. 3 That place is said to be one of the largest towns in Ireland but contains only 600 houses. The barracks there, for artillery and infantry, were the principal building.

Here I saw the first soldier since Dublin. The landlord and landlady of my lodgings had gone away, and the maid who received me was barefoot and spoke only her country dialect. Everywhere else in Ireland one can manage with English. We received invitations from the English officers, but for which we should have greatly missed the fleshpots of Egypt. 4 They had good wines of various kinds served up, and nothing was wanting. Only the potatoes in their skins looked odd beside the roast turkey. People think that they taste best so.

On the sixth day our long march of 20 Irish miles led us through another Siberia. As far as the eye could see there was nothing but large stones overgrown with moss and here and there a black mud cabin. One of these even set up as an inn and had on the sign-board hanging out the significant words “Dry lodgings”. 5 It was comforting that here one could at least stay dry. In Ireland the same sign is frequently found at  p.317 small taverns. In the heat I tried to quench my thirst at that inn; but there was nothing there but foul bog water, the whiskey that is so beloved in Ireland (distilled from potatoes and oats) and oatcake. We finally reached a dismal quarters for the night at Ballinamore. 6 The way in to the inns there was so tumble-down that at first one had to consider whether one would even dare to pass through.


On 7 May we marched in eager expectation to Dunamore, 7 the place appointed for our stay; but the nearer we came the more our hopes sank of finding it a better place.

The people who emerged from the low mud cabins appeared silent and stupid, 8 the bogs grew larger, and even the small cars disappeared completely here. On pitiable, rough horses or asses 9 led by straw-ropes hung a pair of baskets in which dung, turf and suchlike were being transported. On our arrival at our destination, after a tiring march of 18 Irish miles, we soon saw that under the fine name of the place were hidden only a score of small stone houses and mud-cabins. 10 The church and church-tower seemed completely overrun with ivy. The barracks that were to accommodate us bid defiance to the entire place. We were stared at by a crowd of inquisitive ragamuffins who shyly looked us up and down and bit their nails. A big flock of crows had settled in the trees near the barracks and accompanied our entry with their croaking! Here then was not the land of the nightingales.

So the two-month march from Portsmouth to Dunamore ended with not quite the best prospects, and I believed it scarcely possible to endure a week here, but once I was used to the place I thought differently.

The climate is on the whole mild but damp. No day is cloudless. Potatoes, wheat, barley, etc., are in fact grown here, but only with toil are they wrung from the earth. There is very much poultry in this district.

The people of rank and the well-to-do of the country stay mostly in Dublin and London, especially at the present out of fear of the agitators. 11 They come here, collect their rents and spend them abroad, which may contribute greatly to the poverty. Our barracks, a former country-house, 12 were tolerable. Only the tables and chairs were genuine Irish, that is to say as made by a carpenter. The cabins mentioned are only from six to eight feet high and 12 feet square, built of mud and straw, or of stone without any kind of cement, and covered with sods. The rafters are drawn from the bog. Light enters those cabins through gaps left unclosed and in bad weather stopped up with straw, or through a small pane that has been fixed in.

The interior of these dwellings is very edifying. In one corner a bed of straw for humans, in another a sow with young, an ass, goats and such like, and in the third  p.318 a table, chair and spinning-wheel. The family are in the habit of sitting in the middle on the floor around the turf-fire, where the husband and wife smoke their little pipe. The fourth corner contains the opening for going in and out. I admit there are also exceptions but rarely.

There are two churches in the melancholy place, one English and one catholic; but no pealing of bells and no striking of a clock. The graves in the church-yard were marked only by rolling together stones in their natural state. Should it be something special, a large piece of rock is erected, but there is no thought of inscriptions.

It is the custom in England and Ireland when natives and strangers wish to become acquainted that first the native pays a visit to the stranger. I was therefore delighted that the English minister 13 and a captain 14 who had his property in the vicinity and who had just returned from France visited me and thereby provided me with the opportunity for distraction in this wilderness.

On my way to the captain I observed how laboriously people here work their land. No plough, no harrow, no horse and no ox were to be seen at work. Everything is done with a wooden spade that is iron-plated only in front. People let the land lie fallow for several years and put on the heather then growing to serve as manure. The lower class of the inhabitants speak only Irish, but the upper class speak English too. Yet I could never get to see a book in the country language. Whitsun was little different from other days. I even saw people working in the fields, and on Whitmonday15 a big yarn-market 16 was held. The stalls consisted either of cars on which they [sic] had brought in their produce, or of cask-hoops that were stuck into the ground and covered with linen. 17 One could not stand upright in these, but here every one lay with the beloved whiskey. In the afternoon the drunks were so numerous that the justice of the peace requested us to mount guard in order to contain threatening behaviour. Some days later 18 followed an even more wretched cattle-fair at which there was even greater trouble so that side-arms had to be used. On this occasion I saw how some disturbers of the peace who had been arrested so far degraded themselves as to fall on their knees before the justice and in tears beg for his indulgence. In England even the criminal facing death would not condescend to this. The Englishman steps proudly before his judge and awaits his decision with fortitude and calm. In the month of June there were in fact some fine and warm days and evenings, but nature remained desolate and silent. There was no fragrance of flowers and trees, no buzzing of insects, no nightingale's song.

Midsummer day 19 was celebrated magnificently, that is to say in the middle of the place people made a fire of turf and bones that smoked and stank more than they gave out a cheerful flame. Around this fire the dear young folk danced like mad to a pitiful fiddle or bagpipe. Amidst all this wretchedness one still finds very old people, who not infrequently reach 100 years.


About eight Irish miles from Dunamore lies a somewhat better place, Tuam, to which business often took me. On the way there I saw my first plough, which however was so unwieldy that three men and a pair of wretched horses had to work hard to keep it going, since wheels were entirely lacking. Near this spot also a horse-race was taking place at which a large crowd of people was assembling; but here was seen also the boundless contrast between a few well-to-do landed proprietors and the great mass of the people. The horses however are in no way inferior as runners to the English horses, and distinguished themselves especially at jumping. Six to nine foot walls are not too high for them. Only the elegance that shows in all points at English races was lacking; also the horses were not so well-shaped as the English racers.

At the end of August the harvest began, but this business too is carried on very wretchedly. For the cutting of corn, as of grass, there is nothing but a small sickle.

The bundles were carried home on people's backs and beside the house were thrashed on a broad stone with the nearest thick stick. Cleaning was carried out by husband and wife standing in the wind and shaking the corn about in a shallow basket. A flail, instead of English threshing-machines, would be a beneficent present here.


At the end of September the black clouds hanging heavily in the sky emptied themselves daily and made our stay in that place exceedingly boring. Therefore it was most agreeable to me at the beginning of October to be moved 18 Irish miles away to Ballinrobe where the greater part of the regiment was garrisoned. The place was somewhat better. 20 From here I also went on official business to Castlebar, a town situated a further 18 miles away. It is a very good place and is in fact the place where in his day the French general, Hoche, 21 made the ill-fated landing.

On 9 November we received in this remote spot the sad tidings of the battle of Jena, which robbed us of the hope of soon seeing our homeland once again. It happened that there was almost continuous rain and wind here, with the result that our houses shook and even partly fell in, and many of our people came down with dysentery, of which one officer died. None of this exactly contributed to putting us in good humour.

The election of new members of parliament occurring at that time made Ballinrobe very busy owing to the many electors and voters flocking in. It also gave rise to much revelry and brawling. Every space was covered with handbills, and crowds of people carried them about the streets. On them were printed, in large letters, advertisements favouring the candidates. Each day the polling-house was full of voters, whose votes were written down and who expressed their opinions publicly. The curious were not wanting either, and this colourful exchange gave us foreigners some entertainment.

On 3 December the two newly-elected members 22 were carried all around the streets on big arm-chairs among the milling and incessantly cheering crowd, into which gold and silver coins were thrown by the successful pair.

About seven Irish miles from this place are the remarkable underground lakes that  p.320 are said to be connected with the Atlantic Ocean 23 At two different places they become visible. With some local inhabitants I went down about 25 feet underground on a sloping path in order to see them and found the width of these streams to be between 12 and 18 feet. They flowed with many bends and, as little light came through the entrance, one could not follow them far with the eye. On their sources and outlet I could get no information.

In February 1807, in connexion with certain business, I was invited to the house of a rich landowner; but here too I found everything in the same style as had been the case hitherto in Ireland. The big country-house was dilapidated, the front steps had fallen in, the interior was rich but neglected, for example the large silk window and bed curtains were in tatters and had certainly not been dusted for many years.

As for the rest, the household furniture was of English make and the dinner table was overflowing.

At the end of the month of March the high-court judge made his ceremonial entry into Ballinrobe with various counsel. 24 A trumpeter and six outriders carrying huge antique halberds rode in front of his four-horse carriage. Behind it followed likewise six halberdiers and the household servants. In front of the house intended for his reception he was received by a division of the local militia regiment which gave him a military salute. Two sentries remained behind afterwards in front of the door, and in order to avoid trouble the garrison had been strengthened. The court, which, as in England, was held in public, lasted eight days; with the difference that here the town, the judge's lodgings and even the court-house were occupied by soldiers, whilst in England everything military is removed several miles away from the place of the assizes, and even single officers were not allowed to appear there in uniform at the time. In Ireland the disturbances that had occurred seemed to make other precautions necessary. This court was the occasion for the appearance of many landowers, from whom the jurors for the criminals are chosen. The judge or the counsel proposes for each accused 24 persons, from whom he has to decide on 12 who are to give judgement on him. The judge had an elevated seat and wore a scarlet coat and a majestic white wig. On both sides stood his counsel; in front of him, on a low bench at a table, sat the clerks and finally, in front of them, on a raised position, stood the crier. In a loud voice the crier summoned the accused persons, some of whom were in confinement. According to how such a person had now made known his presence by words or by standing up, the crier touched him with a staff to identify him. Then the judge put his questions to the person, and if he found that his imprisonment so far was in proportion to the offence the person was immediately set at liberty. But if the crime was of the sort that could bring death or transportation, the jury had to pronounce the person guilty or not guilty. A juror who fails to appear without having a valid reason must pay a fine of £12 sterling. At this sitting a young man was sentenced to death and the punishment was carried out during the next few days. The proceedings were conducted partly in the Irish language.

In April of the same year we had to be ready to go to the Continent; but the truce of Tilsit prevented this likewise. Therefore I had further opportunity to get know the Irish people better.


The lower class is very hardened; with a few roast potatoes in his pocket the common Irishman walks between 50 and 80 Irish miles in a day and quenches his thirst on the way at the springs he chances upon. In the winter the children often go barefoot on the ice.

At funerals in Ireland I have often noticed that the coffin was followed by weeping women who, it was said, had to be hired for the purpose; but I could never rightly get to the truth of this assertion. It is however a fact that the relatives visit the graves of the departed for several months afterwards and roll themselves around on them in mourning.

Finally it was settled that we should leave Ireland at the beginning of June, but where we would go remained a secret to us. We suspected Sweden, because it was there that a corps of English troops and a division of the legion were garrisoned.

On 10 June we finally left lonely Ballinrobe to the sorrow, as it seemed, of the inhabitants. Beforehand we were once more entertained by the officers of the garrison; and when we marched out the last one was under arms and gave three parting cheers for us. As for the rest our march back to Dublin was by the same way as we had come.

On 18 June 1807, in the evening, I went with the last division of the regiment to the ship. The harbour was swarming with people, our musicians were playing, people were singing, and amid the repeated cheers of the onlookers we sailed out of Dublin's fine harbour. In the most splendid weather a moderate wind brought us within 36 hours into the bustling harbour of Liverpool, where we awaited further orders …

Document details

The TEI Header

File description

Title statement

Title (uniform): Johann Friedrich Hering's description of Connacht

Editor: Christopher J. Woods

Author: Johann Friedrich Hering

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by: Beatrix Färber

Translated into English by: Christopher J. Woods

Funded by: University College, Cork, School of History

Edition statement

2. Second draft

Extent: 5660 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2013

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T100084

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT project for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Notes statement

We are very grateful to Christopher J. Woods for his kind permission to publish this material in electronic form on CELT.

Source description


  • Johann Friedrich Hering, Erinnerungen eines Legionärs, oder Nachrichten von den Zügen der Deutschen Legion des Königs (von England) in England, Irland, Dänemark, der Pyrenäischen Halbinsel, Malta, Cicilien und Italien in Auszügen aus dem vollständigen Tagebuche eines Gefährten derselben (Hannover, Helwing'sche Hof-Buchhandlung 1826.) Translated into English as 'Journal of an Officer in the King's German Legion: Comprising an Account of his Campaigns and Adventures in England, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Sicily, and Italy' (London 1827. Reprint Cambridge 2000).

Travel accounts and secondary literature

  1. Roderic O'Flaherty, A chorographical description of West or h-Iar Connaught, written A.D. 1684; ed. J. Hardiman. Dublin 1846.
  2. Richard Pococke. A Tour in Ireland in 1752; ed. by George T. Stokes, as 'Bishop Pococke's tour in Ireland in 1752' (Dublin and London 1891). [Available online at CELT.]
  3. Richard Twiss, A tour in Ireland in 1775 (London: printed for the author, 1776).
  4. [Thomas Campbell,] A Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland, in a series of letters to John Watkinson (Dublin 1778). [Available online at CELT.]
  5. The compleat Irish traveller(...) 2 vols, (London 1788).
  6. Síle Ní Chinnéide, 'Coquebert's impression of Galway city and county in 1791', Journal of the Galway Archaeological Society, 25 (1952–53), 1–14. (Part of the travels of Charles-Etienne Coquebert de Montbret).
  7. Síle Ní Chinnéide, 'A Frenchman's tour of Connacht in 1791', Journal of the Galway Archaeological Society, 35 (1976) 52–66; 36 (1977–78) 30–42. (Part of the travels of Charles-Etienne Coquebert de Montbret).
  8. Caspar Voght, Schilderung von Irland, Bruchstücke aus dem Tagebuche eines Reisenden. Im Herbst 1794, in: August Hennings, Der Genius der Zeit, Bd. 8, (Mai bis August 1796) 566–653. [Available online at CELT.]
  9. Jacques Louis de Bougrenet Chevalier de La Tocnaye, A Frenchman's Walk through Ireland 1796–7 (Promenade d'un François dans l'Irlande), translated by John Stevenson (first published Cork 1798; repr. Belfast 1917; Dublin 1984).
  10. William Wilson, The postchaise companion (Dublin [1806]).
  11. Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Journal of a Tour in Ireland, AD 1806 (Dublin and London 1807).
  12. James Hardiman, The history of the town and county of Galway [...] (Dublin 1820). Available online at: http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/.
  13. T. Crofton Croker, Researches in the south of Ireland (London 1824) [available online at CELT].
  14. B. M. Walker, Parliamentary election results in Ireland, 1801–1922 (Dublin 1978).
  15. Ludlow Beamish, History of the King's German Legion (London 1832).
  16. Friedrich von Wachholtz, Aus dem Tagebuche des Generals Friedrich L. von Wachholtz. Zur Geschichte der früheren Zustände der preußischen Armee und besonders des Feldzugs des Herzogs Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Oels im Jahre 1809, bearbeitet und herausgegeben von C. Fr. von Vechelde (Braunschweig [=Brunswick] 1843). An excerpt of the German text covering pp435–451 is available online at CELT. [An excerpt in English translation in Bourke, Poor Green Erin, 84–85].
  17. Heinrich Dehnel, Rückblicke auf meine Militair-Laufbahn in den Jahren 1805 bis 1849 (...) (Hannover 1859). [Excerpts in English translation in Bourke, Poor Green Erin, 86–89].
  18. H. F. Berry, A History of the Royal Dublin Society (London 1915).
  19. J. P. Mahaffy, 'On the introduction of the ass as a beast of burden into Ireland' in RIA Proceedings, 33 (1916–17), section C, 530–538.
  20. Constantia Maxwell, The stranger in Ireland: from the reign of Elizabeth to the Great Famine (London 1954).
  21. James Greaney, Dunmore (n.p. 1984).
  22. W. H. Crawford, 'The patron, or festival of St Kevin at the Seven Churches, Glendalough, County Wicklow, 1813' in Ulster Folklife 32 (1986) 37–47.
  23. John McVeagh (ed.), Irish Travel Writing. A Bibliography (Dublin 1996).
  24. Peter Harbison and Josephine Shields, Our treasure of antiquities: Beranger and Bigari's antiquarian sketching tour of Connacht in 1779 (Dublin 2002).
  25. C. J. Woods, Travellers' accounts as source material for Irish historians (Dublin 2009).
  26. Eoin Bourke, Poor Green Erin (Frankfurt am Main 2011), esp. 75–81 [with English translation of some extracts].
  27. The underground river and cave of the river Aillie, or Aille, mentioned on p. 319–20, referred to in a footnote as 'no longer accessible', have been explored recently by members of Caving Ireland. A video filmed by Shane Diffily which is available on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO7GYUGK-ak) shows their descent into the cave. Thanks to Shane Diffily for permission to link to it.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘Select Documents XLI: Johann Friedrich Hering’s description of Connacht, 1806–7’. In: Irish Historical Studies‍ 25/99. Ed. by Christopher J. Woods. 311–321: 315–321.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Christopher J. Woods},
  title 	 = {Select Documents XLI: Johann Friedrich Hering's description of Connacht, 1806–7},
  journal 	 = {Irish Historical Studies},
  editor 	 = {Christopher J. Woods},
  address 	 = {Dublin},
  publisher 	 = {},
  date 	 = {May 1987},
  volume 	 = {25/99},
  note 	 = {311–321: 315–321}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The present text covers pp 315–321.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has been checked and proofread twice. All corrections and supplied text are tagged. Text supplied by the editor is marked sup resp="CJW".

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text.

Quotation: Direct speech is rendered q.

Hyphenation: Soft hyphens are silently removed. Words containing a hard or soft hyphen crossing a page-break or line-break have been placed on the line on which they start.

Segmentation: div0= the description; page-breaks are marked pb n=""/.

Standard values: Dates are standardized in the ISO form yyyy-mm-dd. Date values are encoded.

Interpretation: Place-names are tagged.

Reference declaration

A canonical reference to a location in this text should be made using “diary”, eg diary 1.

Profile description

Creation: The original was written in 1806–7

Date: 1806–7 (original); 1987 (translation)

Language usage

  • The translation is in English. (en)
  • Some words are in Latin. (la)

Keywords: travel; description; prose; Connacht; manners and customs; military; German Legion; 19c; translation

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2014-04-23: Place-names encoded; items added to bibliographical details. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2013-04-22: Date values encoded, header modified. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2013-01-24: File validated. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2012-12-18: Header created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2012-12-17: File proofed (2); corrections communicated. (ed. Janet Crawford)
  6. 2012-12-10: File proofed (1); structural encoding applied. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  7. 2012-12-10: text captured by scanning. (text capture Beatrix Färber)


For details of the markup, see the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

page of the print edition

folio of the manuscript

numbered division

 999 line number of the print edition (in grey: interpolated)

underlining: text supplied, added, or expanded editorially

italics: foreign words; corrections (hover to view); document titles

bold: lemmata (hover for readings)

wavy underlining: scribal additions in another hand; hand shifts flagged with (hover to view)

TEI markup for which a representation has not yet been decided is shown in red: comments and suggestions are welcome.

Source document


Search CELT

  1. The Dublin Society in 1792 voted for the purchase of the mineralogy collection formed by Nathaniel Gottfried Leske of Marburg University, and subsequently lodged it in its house in Hawkins Street, Dublin (H. F. Berry, A History of the Royal Dublin Society (London, 1915), pp 156–7). 🢀

  2. About 142 English miles or 230 kilometres. One Irish mile is equivalent to 2.05 kilometres. 🢀

  3. In fact it was divided between the counties of Westmeath and Roscommon. 🢀

  4. Exodus, xvi, 3.  🢀

  5. Hering gives these two words in English. They were commonly seen beside a cabin door, variations being '“Good dry lodgings” and “Dry lodgings and tobacco” (The compleat Irish traveller... (2 vols, London, 1788), i, 53). 🢀

  6. In County Galway. 🢀

  7. This spelling, as well as the modern spelling, 'Dunmore' , was used in contemporary documents. 🢀

  8. Ger. dumm und stumm. 🢀

  9. This is probably the earliest allusion in a traveller's account to the presence of asses in Ireland. Virtually unknown before the nineteenth century, asses were brought into Ireland from Scotland during the Napoleonic wars in order to replace horses, which lately were in much greater demand for military purposes. They appeared first in Ulster, and then in Connacht, where they were easily fed on furze tops and proved especially suitable for carrying small loads on rough terrain. (J.P. Mahaffy, On the introduction of the ass as a beast of burden into Ireland in R.I.A. Proc., xxxiii (1916–17), sect. C, pp 530-38.) 🢀

  10. Cf. William Wilson, The postchaise companion (Dublin, [1806]), cols 173-4: “Dunmore contains eighty-six houses, a parish church, built on the site of an old abbey, the great aisle and steeple of which are still entire; a large, new Romish chapel and very good market house ...; it has four fairs yearly.” 🢀

  11. Ger. Unruhstifter. This is an allusion to the Threshers. 🢀

  12. Lord Ross sold it in the 1790s for use as a military barracks, which it remained until the 1920s (James Greaney, Dunmore (n.p., 1984), pp 37, 68). 🢀

  13. Possibly John Orr (d. 1837), rector of Dunmore, 1796–1837 (J. B. Leslie, Biographical succession list of the diocese of Tuam, N.L.I., MS 2687, p. 177). 🢀

  14. Not identified. 🢀

  15. On 26 May 1806.  🢀

  16. Ger. Garnmarkt, apparently a linen-fair in this case. 🢀

  17. Stalls of this description can be seen in Joseph Peacock's painting, The patron, or the festival of St Kevin at the Seven Churches, Glendalough (1813), held by the Ulster Museum and reproduced and discussed in W.H. Crawford, 'The patron, or festival of St Kevin at the Seven Churches, Glendalough, County Wicklow, 1813' in Ulster Folklife, xxxii (1986), pp 37–47. 🢀

  18. On 29 May 1806 (Gentleman's and Citizen's Almanack, 1806, p. 191). 🢀

  19. Ger. Johannisfest. “Lighting fires ... on the eve of St John” was, according to T. Crofton Croker, who describes in vivid detail the celebration at Gougane Barra, County Cork, on 23 June 1813, “a popular custom of remote antiquity and a remain of pagan rites in honour of the sun” (Croker, Researches in the south of Ireland (London, 1824), pp 277–82). 🢀

  20. Charles Etienne Coquebert de Montbret 15 years earlier had found Ballinrobe “a small town at least as attractive as any other country capital” and especially pleasing on account of the proximity of lakes; its cavalry barracks were in a charming park traversed by a river containing gillaroo trout and flowing into Lough Mask (Sile Ní Chinnéide, 'A Frenchman's tour of Connacht in 1791' in Galway Arch. Soc. Jn., xxxv (1976), p. 54). 🢀

  21. Recte Humbert.  🢀

  22. Denis Browne and Henry Augustus Dillon, both of whom received 3768 votes to become members of parliament for County Mayo; the unsuccessful candidate was Sir John Browne, who received 1240 (B. M. Walker, Parliamentary election results in Ireland, 1801–1922 (Dublin, 1978), pp 13, 231). 🢀

  23. These were in the Aillie cave, about 1 kilometre in length, through which the Aillie river flows on its way from its source in the Partry Mountains to its outlet at Lough Mask, which drains into Lough Comb and so ultimately into Galway Bay; they are no longer accessible (J. C. Coleman, The Aillie river and cave, Co. Mayo' in Ir. Geog., ii, no. 2 (1950), pp 58–60). [But see video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO7GYUGK-ak).] 🢀

  24. The judge was Charles Osborne (c. 1759–1817), who on the morning of 26 March 1807 arrived at Ballinrobe from Sligo to open the Lent assizes next day. Two men were found guilty of robbery. Osborne became unwell and was unable to go on to Galway. (Hibernian Journal, 1, 8 Apr. 1807; F. E. Ball, The judges in Ireland, 1221–1921 (2 vols, London, 1926), ii, 335). No further information about this assizes has been found in newspaper sources. 🢀


2 Carrigside, College Road, Cork