Cat No.: IET0087:
The Irish Statistical Survey was carried out under the direction of the Royal Dublin Society. Each county was surveyed with the aim of determining the 'actual state, capabilities and defects of agriculture, manufactures and rural economy'. In practice the surveys contained a vast quantity of local information on almost every aspect of the county surveyed. Because these studies were carried out under central direction the quality of the information provided is good, and given their early date, they remain an invaluable source for the study of each county. They record many details about conditions in pre-Famine Ireland, including social and economic conditions, the growth of population and poverty, education, religion, history, the Irish language and local customs.
Amongst the last of the Statistical Surveys published, 1832, Isaac Weld's survey of Roscommon is one of the longest and most detailed of the series. The Statistical Survey of Roscommon covers the same topics as the previous surveys; Weld divides his survey down to Barony level. Covering the baronies of Boyle, Roscommon, Ballintobber, Athlone, as well as the half baronies of Ballymoe and Moycarne, the survey stretches to over 800 pages. That information is supplemented with approximately 80 pages of statistical tables and further information. The general observations of the author paint a picture of "wretchedness". The first part of the Appendix is a fascinating 27-page history of the Arigna Iron and Coal Company and another 46 pages on the bogs and how best to deal with them. The Statistical Survey of Roscommon is an intriguing publication for the Connaught County on the eve of the Famine.
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