This is a maritime county, the smallest in
Ireland, bounded on the east by the Irish Sea, on the west
by the counties of Monaghan and Meath, on the north by
Carlingford Bay and the county of Armagh, and on the south
by that of Meath. Its greatest length in direction of south
by west is twenty-eight miles; and its greatest breadth west
by north is eighteen; comprehending an area of 202,123
acres; of which about 106,071 are under tillage; 69,322 in
pasture land; 4,482 of plantations; 21,595 occupied by
towns, water, bog, mountains, &c; and 653 covered by water.
Although the smallest county in the
island, it presents distinguishing features, as to its
scenery and soil, well deserving attention. The surface of
the country is uneven and studded with lofty hills, many of
which bear thriving plantations, which contribute to the
beauty of the scenery. Louth constituted the centre of the
English pale, originally extending from Wicklow on the
south, to Dunluce on the north; and its fragments of ancient
monuments are interesting and numerous, some bearing marks
of considerable magnificence.
The soil is generally fertile, producing
fine grain and heavy green crops; indeed, Louth may be
considered as an agricultural county of considerable value.
The manufacture of sheetings, and other kinds of coarser
linen cloth, is carried on, in the neighbourhood of Drogheda
to a considerable extent, and there are large bleach greens
in and around that locality. There are three places of
export for the agricultural and manufacturing produce—Newry
in the north, Drogheda in the south, and Dundalk midway
between the two; and inland communication is effectually
facilitated by several lines of railway which run through
the county. There is an oyster fishery at Carlingford Bay,
the produce of which is held in great estimation, and finds
a ready market in Dublin and other towns. The Dundalk
fishery district, which comprises fifty-two miles of
maritime boundaries, and extends from Warrenpoint to
Ballywater, employs a good number of men and boys.
The CLIMATE of Louth is mild, but humid;
not more so, however, than other sea-bound counties
generally are. The geology of the county is very simple. The
mountains in the north are chiefly composed of granite; and
clay slate, limestone, impure ironstone, and pyrites of
iron, form the sub-strata of other districts. The rivers
which have connexion with this county are the Flurry, the
Stranarn, the Cully, and the Creaghan—all streams from
Armagh, and with the Fane from Monaghan, flow into Dundalk
Bay. The Lagan, the Glyde, the Dee, and the Boyne, are the
other streams defined by name—the last celebrated for the
battle fought on its banks between James I and William III.
The lakes within the county are Newtownbalregan, Corteal.
Kercock, Beaulieu, Drumcah, and two or three smaller sheets
DIVISIONS, POPULATION, REPRESENTATION, &C.
The number of baronies comprised in the
county are six—namely, Ardee, Drogheda, Dundalk Lower,
Dundalk Upper, Ferrard, and Louth: these are divided into
sixty-one parishes (including those comprehended in the
county of the town of DROGHEDA) and several parts of
parishes. The assizes are held at Dundalk, and quarter
sessions at Ardee, Drogheda, and the first named town. The
county is within the Belfast military district, with the
exception of Drogheda, which is in the Dublin district.
The population of the county, by the
census taken in 1861, was, males, 44,241; females, 46,472:
total, 90.713; by the returns for 1871 the numbers were:
males, 41,033; females, 42,988; total, 84,021 showing a
decrease of 6,692. The number of houses inhabited in 1861
was 17,654; uninhabited, 951; and houses building, 66; in
1871, houses inhabited, 16,885; uninhabited, 718; building,
Prior to the Union Louth sent ten
representatives to the Irish Parliament; two for the county
at large, and two each for the boroughs of Ardee,
Carlingford, Dundalk, and Dunleer; at the period referred to
all the boroughs were disfranchised except Dundalk, which
sends one member to the Imperial Parliament, and the county
at large two—the present representatives for the latter are
P. Callan and A. M. Sullivan, Esquires. The county of the
town of Drogheda is represented by Benjamin Whitworth, Esq.
Custos Rotulorum the Right Hon. Lord Viscount Massereene and
Ferrard, Antrim Castle, county Antrim; Oriel Temple, county
Louth; Kildare Street and Sackville Street Clubs, Dublin;
and Junior United Service, Carlton, Boodle's and Travellers'