Kilkenny Grand Jury Presentments, 1832

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Cat No.:   IET0066:

The record of the Grand Jury Presentments for Co. Kilkenny, or to give them their full title: 'At a General Assizes, and General Goal Delivery, held at Grace's Old Castle, Kilkenny, in and for said County, on Wednesday 7th March 1832', was published in Kilkenny City in 1832 by T Shearman, stationer.

The Presentments for Kilkenny are a detailed record of the financial transactions and payments made to and from the Grand Jury of County Kilkenny between the Spring Assizes of 1825 and the Summer Assizes of 1832 and as such are a set of early accounts for the forerunner of Kilkenny county council.

Broken down into baronies, the Presentments deal with the appointment of surveyors and contractors the Board of Board of Superintendence, the constabulary and other matters. In the main, these broad categories dealt with all the areas for which the Grand Jury had financial responsibility a decade prior to the inception of the Poor Law and general taxation in Ireland and as such provide a fascinating glimpse in to the upkeep and development of the infrastructure, economic development as well as the burden of social responsibility placed on the Grand Jury between 1825 and 1832.

As far as the appointments of surveyors and contractors are concerned, most appear to numbered among the local gentry and landed classes of the county in the make making claims for either the upkeep or development of roads passing through their lands. While this in and of itself is of passing interest, the comments made by the Grand Jury as to the portion of road concerned is of some import. To identify the exact portion of the road in question local landmarks, usually marking the starting and termination points of the road, were recorded. Landmarks often included turnpike gates, bridges, farms, gentlemen's residences and other built features such as limekilns.

While the accounts of the Grand Jury may at first sight seem like dry reading, the detail of the accounts provide some valuable social information on the county. For example, the accounts record payments made to the county's fever hospitals and dispensaries shortly after their establishment and records amounts paid to the county goal and lunatic asylum for the upkeep of the inmates. Payments are also recorded for surgeons who attended assizes inquests and on a more bizarre note, payments made to individuals for the eradication of vermin. An inventory is also included of all the staff of the Grand Jury, including the treasurer, interpreter as well as the names of private individuals who leased out their houses for the conduct of local petty sessions.

The original Presentments was published in two parts of 180 pages each and the current republication, fully searchable on CD-Rom totals 380 pages. This publication will fascinate anyone interested in the machinations and workings of local government in Kilkenny in the guise of the Kilkenny Grand Jury.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  No;  ISBN No.:   unavailable;